24 Lessons in 24 Years

My birthday is coming up, and I was going to make this into a video but I talk too much so I’m typing it out instead. Here are 24 things I have learned in life so far:

1. Self love is underrated. Seriously, love yourself. You are awesome. 

2. I am worth more than a number despite being constantly assigned one. Grades, age, school ID, work ID, telephone, customer number, rewards member ID, weight, etc. That’s a lot so it sounds like the logic is against me but fuck it.

3. The world is incredibly cruel.

4. Animal love is so pure. Your pets love you and they are angelic beings.

5. Don’t stay in a relationship after it’s run it’s course. If you don’t love the person anymore, do everyone a favor and leave no matter how painful. It’s even more painful to stay in it for all parties involved. 

6. Don’t stay in a relationship because you think the kids need both parents. It’s much harder on the kids to be in an environment where their parents dislike each other. Separate/divorce, figure out visiting schedules, and let your kids see both of you in a happier situation. Seriously. My life was greatly improved when my parents finally separated 6 years after they told me they were going to.

7. I can function way better on 0 sleep for 3 days than I thought. I also don’t appreciate that I’ve learned this fact. 

8. Despite being told for 18 years there is more to life than school.

9. Also college was 100% different than what all of my teachers told me. Professors cancelled class because they were sick or tired. One of them didn’t even care what way we used to cite our sources, just as long as it made sense. A lot of the times class was outside in a circle in the grass. Tests were way easier than I anticipated. High school lied to me.

10. Always be true to yourself. and I wish I learned this earlier than I did.

11. It is 100% ok to be yourself.

12. Some people wont appreciate you for being yourself and that’s ok.

13. Not everyone will like you

14. It’s not your job to make them like you.

15. Failure is inevitable. So fail at something you like.

16. Most people don’t know how to not take their bad day out on you. I learned this from spending WAY too much time in customer service. As a customer service worker part of your job description is to stand there and be berated and then help them anyway. Which is why I sucked at it. You yell at me and I am done helping you. Next customer please.

17. Cliques exist outside of the high school cafeteria 

18. Food does not fix everything

19. Alcohol might. (I’m joking… maybe)

20. Despite what your brain says you’re probably not the most disgusting human being alive.

21. It’s not fun to suffer alone (mental illness)

22. Water is magical

23. Dancing is incredibly freeing.

24. Someone out there loves you

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Happy Christmas

Is 2016 over yet?

I have been doing nothing but working my butt off since April. My average week consists of 5-6 work days at 10-16 hours each day. Thursday night into Friday I have 6 hours between shifts so I got about 3 hours of sleep and had to work 16 hours on Friday. Suffice it to say I. Am. Exhausted.

But other than working a lot, I had been looking forward to Christmas, and since I have to work Christmas Day, my family had Christmas today.

It’s not the first year we’ve done it on Christmas Eve, but it’s the first we’ve done it out of necessity instead of excitement and impatience. I slept for about 12 hours, got up, worked out, then headed over to my mom’s.

My angsty teenage little brother sat on the couch glued to his phone while my mom and I ate pizza and caught up and then we opened gifts.

I don’t like that as we grow older the magic in our lives just disappears. Christmas used to be a sparkly, warm, magical time that I like to relive in classic movies and perfect photographs, but in reality it’s not the same as it was when we were 3. The little bit that’s left is in those traditions. Pizza as our Christmas dinner, watching A Christmas Story on repeat on TBS, watching the Disney Christmas Parade (I was there for the filming this year!!!), and eating cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast (mine are in the fridge waiting for morning).

No, Christmas isn’t the same as when I was 3, but 20 years later I’m still in love with the colorful lights, the movies and food, the traditions, and of course getting to spend time with my family and friends. I can’t believe how many people think of me to wish a Happy Christmas to and even get me a gift.

I hope that you all have a happy Christmas and take a moment to just breathe in the moments you’re spending with family.

Reminder to Myself

Remember the spaghetti straps, butterfly barrettes, and collar bones? I do. I remember wanting so much to look like that. Those girls were pretty. They were popular. Nothing bad could ever happen to them. They got the guys. They had all the friends. They had the big house with the red convertible on their sweet sixteen, and a mom and a dad and an annoying younger sibling that at the very worst teased them slightly.

That was what I grew up with. The 90s aesthetic and teen television comedies on Disney Channel and ABC Family. All I wanted was to fit into those super tiny spaghetti strap dresses that hung off of their slim bodies like an oversized t-shirt. Whenever I tried i still had that belly pooch sticking out and my collar bones where no where to be seen.

There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to be stick thin. I can’t blame the media alone or the way I was raised. It’s a combination of everything and my weird mental imbalances that keep me from being satisfied with anything about myself. Today it’s not about collar bones and spaghetti straps but the booty and crop tops. But there is still that part of my mind that wants spaghetti straps and collar bones.

I often forget that there will always be that part of me. I let it swallow me up and I end up pulling myself out magically, having the same epiphany over and over again. “I am more than my weight. I need to focus on making my body as strong and healthy as it can be and the shape will just come with it naturally.” And then my life becomes more hectic and I stop blogging and then one day I remember again those words above. But the important thing is I’m still eating. I have replaced food restriction with free time restriction. I work around the clock. At 50-60 hours a week I still cannot afford to pay all my bills. So I don’t grocery shop. I do little things at work for quarters to buy the trail mix out of the vending machine with. I drink teas made with soy milk and eat a couple bananas for breakfast if I have any. And in the back of my mind some 90s teen is calling to me in her velvet spaghetti strap dress and a million butterfly clips in her hair.

So some days I say fuck it and eat extra chocolate because I decide that being a twig is overrated and unnecessary. And other days I eat a spoonful of peanut butter for the entire day both because I’m too poor to afford food and because those collar bones are calling to me.

Every day I’m still fighting to remember those words above. “I am more than my weight.” And every day I get a little bit closer.

 

Getting (Veg)ucated

Vegucated is one of my favorite vegan documentaries because it informs you while also taking you on a journey with real people making the transition to veganism for the first time. Well, they are kind of just thrown into it and it’s a challenge to be vegan for a period of time, but you still get non-vegan people with all of the common perceptions and biases about veganism and watch them change. It’s just very real which I think makes the concept of veganism more approachable and appealing.

I’d watched all of those vegan documentaries on YouTube prior to fully making my vegan transition back in August/September of last year, but I decided to watch Vegucated again the other day.

I ended up in a ball on the floor sobbing and squishing my cat to my chest which I think she appreciated for, like, a second. She purred a little bit. That kinda cheered me up.

Would I love for everyone in the world to go vegan? Yes. Do I expect that to happen? No. There are a lot of people who are ok not knowing about what happens to other lives and that’s fine. We all have the right to be as informed or as ignorant as we want. And some people in certain countries just cannot do it. But in America where we have a choice, I think that’s the one we should be making.

I am incredibly poor. Not the poorest, but I do struggle to pay my bills, especially with an asthmatic cat who needs expensive cat inhalers. But I still manage to maintain a vegan diet. I eat oatmeal, lots of bananas, green salads, and sweet potatoes and frozen veggies. I buy my own groceries and spend probably $10-20 per trip per week as long as I’m not buying like makeup or socks along with that.

Basically, go check out www.getvegucated.com and any other vegan information your little fingers can google and if you decide that it’s something you’re interested in, go for it. If not, keep researching, because the combination of animal and human lives we could save by not eating animal products is too great to ignore.

Reconnecting

I’m gonna be honest.

Not that I’ve ever lied on here that I know of. Maybe about my intake when I recovering. Sorry, guys.

Anyway, since graduating from college I’ve been a constant ball of anxiety and depression. I thought I had a good paying job, but they let me go without notice. Then, I thought I found something ok but the pay was too little for the amount of work I was doing and the hours were way too few. I played phone and email tag with another job for months before I finally got a response. But now, everything has come together. I am about to finish my in class training and start on the job training on Saturday. It’s good pay, it’s what I want to be doing for work while I develop my writing and other projects, and it’s something that I can stay at for many years if I have to/want to.

It took 4 and a half months but I finally made it. I’m finally an adult and I can finally get my stuff in order. Since my job hunt was so long and stressful I kind of let my diet fall to the side. If I was stressed and wanted junk I had it. My waistline has suffered a little bit. I still work out, but you know what they say: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So this week I have kicked my diet back into gear. Every morning I eat oatmeal in some flavor and bring tea to work. I meal prepped a bunch of amazing salads on Sunday that I’ve been having for lunches at work, and when I get home I eat dinner with protein and veggies, work out, and finish my night with banana ice cream.

My diet is back in check, and I’m getting more passionately back into veganism. I did slip up a few times with dairy but never meat. Now I’m back 100%. My stressful times are not an excuse to promote animal suffering by eating animal products, but I know better now and am moving on from my mistake. Next time things get rough I have a plan and know what to do.

I am reconnecting with my body and my mind by taking care of my health and getting back into my creative goals. I have a job that will help us with our expenses tremendously. Now it’s my turn to focus back on my dreams. In my spare time of course.

This is my life. I’m not going to waste it.

Vegan Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

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On our way home from the movies yesterday I was craving something sweet and went to find out if the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was available near me yet.

And it was!!!

All 4 flavors are now available at my local Target, so with 20 minutes to closing we ran in, picked up this flavor, because peanut butter and oreo-like cookies are my weakness, and ran home. IMG_3340

First of all, it’s made with almond milk, which is my favorite milk alternative. It looks like ice cream, the texture is the same, but it tastes amazing because it’s got that nice, light almond-y flavor underneath the peanut butter and cookies.

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Also, there was like a whole, entire cookie buried in my ice cream. I ate about a quarter of it before I had to put it away because my ice cream loving cat was trying to steal it from me.

So if it can fool a cat who can’t even taste sweet things, it can probably fool a non-vegan. But as far as vegan ice cream goes, this is good. I really like So Delicious coconut ice cream, too, but I had to try this out. It did not disappoint.