Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Long Time Ago

I am at the point in my recovery program that I am writing my amends letters.

I've already completed a few and delivered those amends.  It was freeing.

But I'm not done and I've been stuck.  Honestly, I have to go back, but that's for a whole other blog post.

I'm stuck on one of the hardest.  My ex husband.

I've been reflecting on our relationship and our marriage for a few months now and trying to figure out how to begin.  That's not true.  I've begun the letter, but I'm stuck.

I've recently discovered this band.  I had heard a couple of songs on the radio and LOVED them, but only recently downloaded their entire album and listened to it.  And I'm obsessed with them.  Their songs are beautiful.  And haunting.  Did I say beautiful?  And oh, the lyrics.

I heard this song and had so many feels.  And it immediately hit me - this was totally my relationship with my ex.  And it's helping me move past being stuck there.  And it's helping me figure out the next thing to write and to say.

I've listened to this song like a broken record at times.

First Aid Kit - A Long Time Ago

I fell in love with you
Long before I knew
What it meant to give everything up
I was a rolling stone
Rolling my way alone
Till you came and made sense out of everything
But you couldn't wait
I couldn't promise you anything
If it was all a mistake
Then I guess we're both to blame
I could have been
So many things
But it would never be enough for you
I was the one
You counted on
But I was never the one for you
Now I know, I lost you a long time ago
City of strangers
Out of danger
In your arms, I was half awake, half asleep
Grab ahold to what I got
Regretting all that I'm not
I couldn't be the one who'd stand by your side
If it was all a mistake
Then I guess we're both to blame
I could have been
So many things
But it would never be enough for you
I was the one
You counted on
But I was never the one for you
Now I know, I lost you a long time ago
I hold no grudges
I come bearing forgiveness
Only love, only love
Even if it's not enough
Only love, only love
Even if it's not enough
Now I know, I lost you a long time ago
I could have been
So many things
But it would never be enough for you
I was the one
You counted on
But I was never the one for you
Now I know, I lost you a long time ago

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Love Is Expressed In Many Ways

This post is going to be a little raw.

So it's no secret that I am a grateful member of Al-Anon.  Yes, it's an anonymous group, however, you choose whether you wish to remain anonymous or not.  I am happy to share my Al-Anon experiences and program with anyone who asks or is curious because if there is a chance that anyone may benefit from my experience, then it's worth it to me to share.

I am feeling lonely.

My son's father and I split up almost a year ago.  I went through almost my entire pregnancy alone.  I gave birth alone (without a "partner" anyway...I wasn't alone as I had my best friend in the room with me), I have been raising my son as of today alone.  He's almost 5 months old.  I haven't been intimate with anyone in almost a year.  I'm lonely.  I am feeling weak right now.  I let my guard down.

I'm sad now.  I've gone through all of the phases.  I've been strong.  I've gone through all of this alone, I've been angry and now I'm sad.

I reached out to my son's father a few days ago in hopes that we could get together for lunch and spend some time with our son together.  In hopes that MAYBE I could get through to him.  In hopes that MAYBE he was sober and doing well.  I knew better.  Expectations.  They can be the death of us.  Expectations automatically lead to disappointment.

And disappointment is what I felt.  10 fold.

Since having my son, I haven't been to many meetings.  I haven't moved forward on working my steps.  I have been part of a gratitude text daily and a daily reading text group that has kept me afloat in my program.  I haven't been close to my sponsor, nor reached out to her like I should.  And I feel it now more than ever.

Seeing my son's father this weekend was a slap in my face that I have to dive fully back into my program and stick as closely to it as I can.  He's back in the throws of alcoholism, he's unemployed, he's depressed and doing horribly.  It broke my heart to see him like that.  It was like a whirlwind of emotions and old feelings and looking into my old life with my ex-husband again.  Anxiety crept in.  The feeling of hopelessness crept in.  The guilt crept in.  That I let him be around our son in the state he was in.  Because of how I wanted things to be.  My own selfishness.

The reading in my daily Al-Anon reader was spot on yesterday.  And a total wake up call.

After a conversation with my best friend on New Years Eve, her words still ring in my ears.  "He will probably never be who you need him to be."

She's right.  And there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.  The only thing I can control is myself and to make sure my son is in the healthiest environment I can keep him in.  And that includes him not being around his father right now.  I don't know if he will ever be in a better place.  All I can do is pray for him and detach with love.  And have my healthy boundaries.  Which I have already set into place.  Atleast I do have my program and enough of it under my belt that when this encounter happened over the weekend, I KNEW what to do.  I KNEW what to say.  I knew not to revert to my old patterns and behavior.  Not to get angry.  But to Let Go and Let God.  To let go of my expectations as much as it hurt.  As much as it still hurts.  As I sit here and cry.

Because my life doesn't look as I imagined it to be with my son.  I went to Central Market yesterday and saw families shopping together and my heart broke as it was just me and my son.  How I wished with all of my might that I could be shopping with MY family.  With my son and his father.  But that will probably never happen.  And that's ok.  That's why I have Al-Anon.

I have begun the countdown to our big move.  My son and I are moving across the country to start over.  I have never been more ready to start a new life in a new place. Tentatively set to leave 7/2/17.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Minus 8 Months / Plus 4 Months

1 year ago today I saw this.  And took this photo.

We had just returned from a vacation in Mexico the day before and I *knew* that this would be the result of this test.

Truth be told, I knew I was pregnant a couple of weeks before I took this test.  I was about a week late on my cycle, but I *felt* pregnant.  I knew I was pregnant with my daughter 18 years ago before I took a test to prove it as well.

I certainly didn't imagine a year ago that my life would look like it does today.

I remember this day vividly.  I was filled with so many emotions.  So much excitement and on the other hand a fear that I would be doing this on my own.  Call it a gut feeling or women's intuition if you will.

I might say that I wish things had turned out differently, but truly I don't.  I had a brief relationship with someone from my past that I have known all my life and getting caught up in a whimsical love affair while ignoring the realities of the world, this was the outcome.  And I had left it up to fate.  I truly believe that there are no mistakes.  My gorgeous son was born and he is the 2nd best thing that has ever happened to me.

My life may not be perfect and it's certainly not conventional....but it is just as my life was meant to be.  God blessed me with a beautiful baby boy 4 months ago.  The ride has been a tough one...emotionally, financially, et al....and will continue to have it's difficulties, but it is all more than worth it....the joy that my son brings to my life outweighs any of the trials and tribulations that we will face ahead.

I was hoping that I would not be a single mother to my son, but circumstances panned out to where I am.  And somehow I knew in the back of my mind and in my heart that I would be.  And that's ok.  Because every second of every day is worth it knowing that I have my son.  He wouldn't be here had none of it happened.  I don't regret a second of it.

We've got big plans and can't wait for our adventure to continue.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RIP Harambe

I've kept my mouth (semi) shut on this subject for a few days now, but I can no longer keep my opinion on this matter to myself.

I will admit I was enraged when I first heard about this happening.

I immediately felt so much anger at the whole situation. Everyone is quick to blame everyone else in these situations. No one ever accepts the blame. It's always pushed off on someone else. We are a society on an eternal wheel of blame throwers. We are a pass-the-buck society. So who is to blame?

The mother for turning her back, the father for turning his back, the zoo, the zoo employees, the enclosure itself, God?
It all comes back to one simple thing for me every time. We hear of these tragedies happening all the time.
Humans are assholes. But we are so entitled.
What gives us the sense of entitlement over other species we share this planet with? Because we are "smarter" or because we are more "evolved" than these other species? Please.
Since I have been a kid, I've felt strongly that I don't support wild animals being held in captivity and used for human entertainment and profit. It sickens me. The last time I went to a zoo, I was in high school and we went on a field trip for my photography class. I didn't want to go but I did and it just proved my conviction even more. It saddened me to see these large, bountiful, beautiful animals held in cages or spaces that were just too small and enclosed. My heart broke for them.

I wrote a research paper in high school as well about dolphins and whales in captivity and ever since have been a strong advocate against Sea World and despise the thought of the place. I have never stepped foot into a place like that nor will I ever. I got so far deep into it back then that I even boycotted any Budweiser products or putting any of my money towards any entity that was associated with Sea World.
Since that time in high school, I have never again stepped foot into a zoo, attended a circus or gone to Sea World. I have strongly boycotted them all. And still do to this day. Granted I was strong in my beliefs when I was younger and went above and beyond in my convictions... I was a vegetarian for many years, very involved with Peta and attended quite a few protests in defense of animal rights.
I have since slacked on my convictions and am no longer a full blown vegetarian. I eat chicken and fish (still have not touched red meat or pork since high school), I am no longer a member of Peta, I no longer attend protests, but I still remain strong in my beliefs against the treatment of animals in general. And especially those that do not deserve to be in captivity.
Stories arise of lions and tigers turning on their trainers and killing them or hurting them severely...of killer whales turning on their trainers and killing them or hurting them severely.  Stories of wild animals escaping zoos and running out and on the loose ending in their untimely murder by a human because "we can't have a wild animal loose running around." Stories of what happened the other day. And who do we ultimately blame? The animals. That's right folks. We blame the wild animals because humans are assholes.
What the fuck do you expect?
I am so sick of these arguments that zoos are actually helping endangered species...that they are actually helping them from becoming more endangered. That they are humane and that they treat the animals well.  Really?! How the fuck are they endangered to begin with? Because of the fucking human race...that's why.
And humans are so brainwashed in thinking that this is ok and turn a blind eye and continue to support and give money to these places that have animals in captivity for human entertainment. So we can take our kids there and teach them that it's ok to do this to animals. Because we are the human race. And we are entitled to treat animals this way. Because we are smarter. Because we are more evolved.
Maybe one day it will be enough of a wake up call that these places be shut down. That we shut down these places and create more wildlife sanctuaries and protection of animals in the wild and turn this downward spiral around.
But I digress.
I read a book many years ago that furthered my beliefs that these mammals should be considered our equals or to atleast have so much more respect for them than we have. If you've never read it, I highly recommend 'Ishmael' by Daniel Quinn. I guarantee it will change you, even if it just jars you ever so slightly.
Humans created this tragedy as we do many others. We can place blame every which way we want, but the truth is that humans made this happen. We created the sense of entitlement, we created these zoos, we continue to brainwash each other and continue to think it's ok to keep these wild, bountiful animals in captivity so we can stare at them through a large sturdy piece of glass into a tiny world we made for them and continue to say when tragedies such as this happen that "well, it's unfortunate but given the circumstances, the best decision was made."
Because we are humans.
And because we said so.
I'm sorry that you were murdered in cold blood, Harambe, because of us. Because it's what "had to happen" under the circumstances that WE created. As humans. And as entitled assholes.

We are all to blame.


Saturday, May 28, 2016


I jokingly posted a meme on Facebook about a month ago with a photo of a pinup girl stating "My milkshake brings all the emotionally dysfunctional, selfish, narcissistic alcoholics to the yard".

I laugh because it's true (atleast I can have a sense of humor about it), but in reality it's not so funny.  And it's true as shit.

I have always been attracted to the broken.  Because I'm a fixer.  I'm a textbook Al-Anon.  I have always been attracted to the artists, to the creatives, to the non-conventional.  I love them.  I am drawn to them like a magnet.  And I know that will never change.

However, with every experience in life, you must learn something.  If you don't, you're doing it wrong.

I've learned that I become easily co-dependent in relationships and completely offer 100% of myself to the other person.  I lose myself in the process. I become completely selfless and everything I do is for them and to make sure they are taken care of or happy.

I first came to Al-Anon because of the effects of alcoholism in my life.  But after being in the program for 2 years now, it's so much more than that.  It's a way of life...not just in dealing with alcoholism, but in dealing with every single thing in life.

I didn't intend for this post to be about Al-Anon, but I can't help but bring it up in everything because it is such a huge part of my life.

So we know I gravitate towards the alcoholics and the addicts...because that's what I do.  I'm good at it.

If you are an alcoholic, it doesn't necessarily mean you are a narcissist as well, however, they can go hand in hand.

I didn't really know anything about narcissism.  All I knew is that it was someone who was self involved.  Someone that was vain or constantly concerned about their appearance. I didn't really understand it though.  I didn't know that it goes much deeper than that. I just assumed it was physical obsession of oneself.  Boy, was I misinformed.

My ex husband was a narcissist.  And my now ex is one as well.  I knew they were both alcoholics, but had no idea there were narcissistic tendencies.  Or that that was what it was/is.  And it's easily hidden because they hide behind the façade of being selfless - that they are doing everything not for themselves, but for others - then it quickly turns and the ugly face of narcissism rears it's ugly head.

But the term has been brought up many times lately so I've been drawn to reading about it.

I recently read this article in The Huffington Post : The #1 Secret on How To Engage With A Narcissist.

The worst part about it all is that I finally have a program and no longer involve myself so deeply in the sicknesses and I know I am doing the right thing and have handled myself in a respectful and calm manner, yet the other person STILL manages to play the victim and to make me feel bad - and like I have been the horrible person and that I am the sole reason for the demise of our relationship.  Why?  Because it's engrained in me.  Because feeling like that is engrained in me.  For allowing someone to make me feel like that is engrained in me.

So I just have to continue to stick close to my program and to constantly reassure myself that I am doing the right thing for me and to continue to do the next right thing.

And I don't regret these experiences.  I am solely responsible for my part I play in these relationships and for allowing myself to be a part of these relationships.  But I do know that I am growing and I am learning.  And I am becoming a stronger woman in having those experiences.  So that hopefully the next time may be a little different.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I just don't understand why people choose to be miserable.  Ultimately it's a choice.  If you are in a bad situation or are down on your luck, then do something to change it.  Stop blaming everyone around you and pointing fingers when YOU are the only one that can change the situation you are in.  And if you can't change it, then you have to change your attitude towards it.

I understand being stuck in this emotional bondage.  I understand being obsessed with controlling a situation or a person, but I am no longer in that place.  I have a recovery program that I work and stick close to that helps me from going down that road again.

It's hard knowing you are doing the right thing and having to be put in a situation to deal with someone who is stuck in a negative spiral attempting at every turn trying to suck you right down with them.  And sometimes refusing to get sucked down just makes them act worse.  But I continue to do the next right thing.  I begin to have feelings of restlessness and irritability, but fortunately, I am able to turn it right back around.

I could look at my personal situation with a "woes me" attitude and be angry at people, places and things too.  But guess what?  I CHOOSE to make the best of my situation and my life and I choose to see the blessings.  And I also choose my reaction to certain people and I also choose to protect myself and not get sucked into the sickness.  Because I've been there.  And today, I have a choice.  I have a program that has saved my life.  And it just goes to prove that I need it to survive.  Because I deal with the sickness every single damn day.  And I have to stay strong and focus on myself because if I'm not careful I can just as easily get sucked right back into it and make the situation even worse.

The worst place to be is not realizing that it's your own behavior and your own actions that are causing a situation and you choose to blame everyone and everything else EXCEPT for yourself.  It's a vicious cycle.  And I've been there.  Unfortunately until you realize it and start to heal yourself and fix yourself, you will stay in this sick mindset eternally.

It's not my job to fix anyone else regardless of my situation.  Sadly, this person is forever connected to me through circumstances outside of my control.  But what I CAN control today is how I react to the sickness and that I can protect myself.  No one can take away my serenity and happiness if I don't let them.  I feel sad for people still stuck in this sickness....but again, today, I choose not to participate.

I can only pray that this person will get the desperate help they need and begin to heal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thank God - Simply, Just Thank You

Thank GOD I have a program.  Thank God I am in recovery - emotional sobriety.  I will never be perfect, but I am so very proud of who I am today compared to the person I was 2 years ago.

I am currently in a very stressful situation personally and am being confronted with behaviors that are very unhealthy and very troublesome by a certain individual that will be forever in my life at this point in some aspect.  Despite my naivety at the time, a blessing that has not yet emerged Earthside has come from this decision to have this person in my life.  Unfortunately, situations have unfolded that I wasn't aware were there at the time, but for the past several months, I am proud of my behavior.

The person I was 2 years ago would not have handled this situation the way I have today.  With dignity, respectfully, calmly and with a rock solid program.  I can honestly say that directly because of my program that I am working, I have not done anything or said anything to this individual that I feel that I now or later will owe an amends for.  I have handled myself civilly and with boundaries that are healthy for me.  And for my baby-to-be.

Unfortunately some additional worrisome behavior was directed at me today that instinctively, thoughts of lashing out verbally and in anger at this person have crept up within me.  But since I am in a program and working that program, they have quickly diminished and as I remain calm and at peace with today, I can say the Serenity Prayer several times and all of those thoughts and feelings go away at once.  I am really proud of my progress and am so thankful that I am not in a place of regret or insanity as I may have been 2 years ago.  I have set a clear boundary, this person is overtly attempting to cross the boundary I have set and I will not react or respond because I am sticking to my healthy boundary.

I am truly blessed.  I can only hope that people that are struggling with physical or emotional addictions can find serenity as I have.  I wish it and pray it for them.  But I know I have to take care of myself and my well-being and not be sucked into other people's illnesses despite whatever connection we may share.  I am in control of how I react and how I let someone affect me.  And that is a control that I am so happy to possess because Lord knows I can't control anyone else or anything that goes on around me except for myself.  And today I am in control of my emotional sobriety.

Today's reading out of Courage To Change:

"Life doesn't always go smoothly or peacefully, even though I might wish it would. In the past, when something bothered me, I'd say nothing rather than face an argument. It seemed better for me to be upset than to risk upsetting someone else.  The results were usually disastrous.  I would become irritable and unreasonable as I let resentment fester.
Today I suspect that adversity has value I hadn't previously recognized.  When I face adversity and deal with my problems or express my feelings, things have a chance to improve.  Even if they don't, I release some of the pressure I feel.  I'm new at this, and I don't do it very gracefully yet: sometimes it's scary, and sometimes my words are not exactly welcomed.  Nevertheless, I feel better when I realize that I have finally begun living life on life's terms.
Looking back, I see how much I've grown.  I wouldn't have chosen any of the crises in my life, but since coming to Al-Anon, I've learned that every problem can help me to change for the better, deepen my faith, and add to my self-esteem.

Today's Reminder

The Chinese word for crisis is written with two characters.  The first stands for danger, and the second for opportunity.  I will look for the good hidden within everything I encounter.
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands." - Richard Bach

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stop Looking In the Rear View Mirror, You Aren't Going That Way

I know I've been harping on this whole living in the past / worrying about the future thing, but this is where my thoughts have been lately.

My previous post keeps ringing in my ears and throughout my mind.

It is so true, yet so simply put.  I wish I had really gotten this years ago.

Change is always a progression, but being willing to do so and being open to change is key.  If you stay shut off to bettering yourself or learning a new way of thinking, you will always be stuck exactly where you are.  You can say you WANT to change all day, but if you don't open yourself up to it and be open to learning a new way of living, it simply will not happen.  If you don't do the work and you constantly live your life and long for the life you had in the past, the past is where you will stay.  If you don't do the work and constantly worry or yearn for something in the future, then that's where you will always stay.  Both of which rob you of the present moment.

For me, I have never dwelled on the past too much.  I know that there were things in my past that I didn't deal with like I should have, but I've never dreamed of or spent too much time reliving it.  Or wishing I was still there - for the good parts.  Hence, why I don't think I have ever been depressed for any length of significant time.  My struggle has always been anxiety and fear of the future.  So much so that I wasn't enjoying the present moment.  In my recovery work and working to retrain my brain to focus on the present, I am working past my anxiety.  I am learning to live in the now.  I am truly baffled at my progress I have made just by doing the work.  By not thinking I don't want to worry about the future, but actually retraining my brain to think differently.  I really also like that saying "if you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done".

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  I was insane for most of my life.  Truly.  If the definition of insanity is just that, that is all I ever did.  I always WANTED things to be different.  To react differently to things or to act differently in certain situations or to NOT do something in a certain situation, but I didn't know that I had to do the WORK to actually make a change.

I get it.  Being stuck in a rut is hard.  I've been there and I'm not saying I will never be in a rut again.

I found something that works for me.  Over the past 2 years I have begun to grow into the person that I know that I am and that I know I am capable of being.  I will always be forever changing and growing until the day I leave this earth, but I couldn't be more content on the path that I am following.  I finally feel like I am heading in the right direction.  Not backwards, not too far forwards, but truly living in the NOW.

For the first time in my life, I am becoming content with who I am.  Not feeling like I HAVE to have someone in my life to complete me.  I am not currently in a relationship and I am content.  I don't know if I could have ever said that before.  I have always lost myself in relationships and been so co-dependent on my significant other in the past.  I would have told you that's not true because I am independent and an introvert and I'm ok with alone time, which is all true...although, I did lose part of myself by relying on that other person to fill a void instead of loving myself first and being content with ME.  Just me.  We all lose a little bit of ourselves being in relationships as we bend and flex to the others and it's a beautiful thing, but when you do it for the wrong reasons, it can be a disaster.

Also realizing that I can have boundaries and I don't have to bend and flex for someone who I am not compatible with and trying to force a compatibility regardless of the situation.  It's not being selfish, it's taking care of myself and not settling for anything less than what I want in a significant other.

I ended my last relationship due to a boundary I had set for myself initially and in turn, doing so brought to light many other aspects of this person that I did not see until doing so that I wasn't ok with.  Selfish and immature behaviors, lack of responsibility, complacency, non goal-driven, constantly living in the past...all of which made me realize even more that I made the right decision for me.  It's not an ideal situation in some people's eyes, but it's certainly ideal for me and that's the only thing that matters.  Doesn't mean I don't care about this person and want nothing but the best for them, but also knowing that I don't have to be the one to try and fix this person or to sacrifice my happiness and my growth when someone else is stuck.  I lived my life that way for too long and with too many relationships in my past.

And today I strive to live in the present.  And the more I train my mind and heart to do so, the easier and more natural it will be.

Monday, April 11, 2016

BEING In The Present

I took a lovely meditation workshop 2 weekends ago where we talked a lot about being in the present moment.

I've had anxiety for a long time - truly since I was a little child, but it really reared it's ugly head in my early 20's and manifested itself into panic attacks and excruciating worry.

I didn't know how to deal with it well at the time and the only thing that helped the panic attacks for me was to get on medication.  I've been on medication for roughly 12-13 years.

I've been to psychiatrists, therapists - both individual and couples.  I got a little bit out of both.

I've been clinically diagnosed with 'Generalized Anxiety Disorder' and 'Severe Clinical Depression'.

I became complacent with relying on my medication to control my anxiety.

It wasn't until I had hit rock bottom in an alcoholic relationship that I really started facing my problems.  MY problems...not someone else's problems.  My defects of character.  It wasn't until I got myself out of the "woes me"s that I started feeling this.

What active part was I playing in my own life or in my own relationships?  When we start to take ownership of our own parts we play in situations, our lives truly begin to change.

It wasn't until I gave in to letting go that things started to truly shift for me.  That I was truly living in Acceptance.

It's been 2 years since I've been in a program that has saved my life and has helped me more than any one therapist, psychiatrist, self help book, etc. has ever helped me.  In this program is where I have truly felt a shift in my anxiety and depression hold patterns.  It's truly where I've felt like I may be overcoming these diseases in my life.  I know that my core issue has always been anxiety and I've suffered bouts of depression at different times in my life, however, I don't consider myself to have 'Severe Clinical Depression' - as it has always been more anxiety driven for me.  But regardless, the two usually go hand in hand at times or at all times.

I have tried to come off my medication once before a few years ago when I thought I was ready... I thought I could do it on my own and I was sorely mistaken.  I had eventually grown comfortable to the fact that maybe I would have to be on the medication my entire life.

Over the past year or so I have been feeling more confident that I might, in fact, be able to get off of my medication.  It wasn't until I found out that I was pregnant that it gave me the push to do so.  All I knew is that I had made a pact with myself that if I ever were to have another child, I would not be on medication during my pregnancy.

God works in mysterious ways.  My pregnancy and situation is certainly not ideal, but my growth is MORE than ideal.

What I could see as a mistake or a bad situation, or feeling shameful, in turn has me living in a present blessing.

And truly feeling blessed.  Not just 'saying' it and still having doubts.  I feel truly free.  I think this is what they call serenity.

Sure, I have moments of doubt, but those are only moments or feelings that come and go (and do not linger) as opposed to debilitating daily feelings not knowing if I could make it through and living in a constant state of worry and panic.

This program in conjunction with other things I have introduced to take care of myself and my own well-being have changed my life.  Al-Anon is the basis of my recovery.  I have since added yoga and being open to other things to add to my life.  They all tie in together.  It's amazing how God is working in my life when I stop and take a look at where I am and how I have gotten here.  When I remove myself out of my body and look at the person I was 2 years ago compared to who I am today, I hardly recognize this person.

I have learned that it's ok to say I am not ok with something or someone else's behavior in my life.  It's ok for me to make decisions based on my own well-being and to not be in an unhealthy situation just because of a certain circumstance.  I've learned to take care of myself before I focus on any one else in my life.  It's ok to say no and it's ok to have boundaries...all of which I could not do before coming into this program.

Living with anxiety and depression will be a life-long existence for me.  But learning more about myself and staying in recovery is the greatest gift I can ever be given.  It's funny the things you see and the blessings that are shown to you when all you have to do is open your eyes and your heart just a bit.

I am happier in my life now than I ever have been before.  Even as I sit here typing this not knowing what the future uncertainty of life with a newborn baby in a few months and where life will take me.  But I don't feel depressed as I am not living in the past and I don't feel anxious as I am not worrying about the future.  I am making a daily, sometimes hourly choice to live in the present.

I have truly learned what it means to Let Go and Let God.  Sometimes it's a conscious effort and other times, when you make it a part of your life, you automatically let go...without another thought.  And that, my friends, is the most freeing feeling of serenity there is.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Stop Taking Away My Rights To Take Away Other People's Rights!

I saw this written on a meme this morning.  While the meme was a little silly, this statement resonates with me.

It's no secret that I am a bleeding heart liberal.  With that being said, that doesn't mean I am 100% liberal and have no "conservative" beliefs of my own.  Which I do.

BUT, just because I believe a certain way, I do not think that anyone has the right to take away anyone else's right to something or what they believe in simply because it's different from my particular belief.

America is a free country.  It's what we are founded upon.

For example, being pro-choice absolutely does not mean that I am pro-abortion.  I am absolutely not.  Do I believe there would be certain circumstances that I may be?  Yes.  Personally I don't believe in abortion, BUT I am very pro-choice, because it is not my right to tell someone else what their beliefs are or to control what they are allowed to do or not.

Mississippi just passed a very shameful law allowing business owners to reject business to anyone in the LGBT community if they see fit based on religious beliefs.  W.T.F.  Are we back in the slavery era again?  This disgusts me.  And simply out of this inhumane act, I will avoid all things Mississippi from here until my death.

I get it.  Everyone believes differently.  And I respect that.  About anyone.  HOWEVER, that does not give you the right to NOT BE A DECENT FUCKING HUMAN BEING.  There is no excuse for being anything other than decent to a fellow human.  You don't have to agree with someone, but don't treat people different from you like assholes.  You don't have to like them.  But you also don't have to be an entitled asshole.  Last time I checked, you weren't God or Jesus himself.  Besides, Jesus wouldn't treat someone like that, so screw that argument.

I am ill by what is going on in America right now.  Between the political nightmares and the holier-than-thou religious groups I am just sad for us all.

This is why I can't get too involved in any of this stuff anymore.  It's deterring me from my own happiness...but that doesn't mean it still doesn't make my blood boil every once in a while.

Now back to rainbows and butterflies.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Loosening The Grip

So I've been a grateful member of a wonderful recovery group for almost 2 years now (4/1/14).  I am absolutely not the same person I was that day because of this program 100%.  I left it for a few months thinking I didn't need it anymore, but I do.  Forever.

A lot of people think you stop needing something just because a particular person (substance, thing, place, etc) is out of your life, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

I am blessed beyond measure to belong to such an organization that is there whenever I need it and is available to me 24/7.  The people I have met and become friends with have forever changed my life.  For the better.

Life isn't easy.  I will never be perfect.  Situations will be difficult.  But I know 100% that if I stick close to this program, I can overcome anything and find complete serenity.  It's only been 2 years and I am in awe of the transformation by working the steps and attending meetings has done in my life and for my well being, my outlook on life and for my life in general.

I walked into these rooms with debilitating anxiety and depression and willing to do anything as I had hit rock bottom.

Today, I still have some anxieties and depression, but I no longer have this looming sense of panic and doom over my head as I did prior to coming to this program.

Today, I am able to Let Go and Let God and truly understand the meaning of it.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to literally do so.  Other times, I have the realization that I did it already.  Automatically.  Because of this program and me working it for me, I can do it now.  And that baffles me.  Talk about a sense of serenity.  This program has continued to bring me miracle after miracle and counting on my God (of my understanding) has been the single greatest freedom I have ever felt.

Today's reading was spot on.

CTC, March 28

What happens when I physically hold on tightly to something? I turn my head away. I squeeze my
eyes shut. My knuckles ache as my fists clench. Fingernails bite into my palms. I exhaust
myself. I hurt!

On the other hand, when I trust God to give me what I need, I let go. I face forward. My hands
are free for healthy, loving, and enjoyable activities. I find unexpected reserves of energy.
My eyes open to see fresh opportunities, many of which have been there all along.

Before I complain about my suffering, I might do well to examine myself. I may be surprised by
the amount of pain I can release by simply letting go.

Today’s Reminder

How much can God give me if I am not open to receive? When I hold onto a problem, a fear, or
resentment, I shut myself off to the help that is available to me. I will loosen my grip on
something today. I will “Let go and let God.”

“All I had to do was become the least bit willing to open my clutched fist a tiny, grudging bit
and miracles happened. That’s God as I understand Him today.”   ~ As We Understood

Friday, March 25, 2016

New Hair / New Specs

So I dyed my hair back to good ol' chocolate brown.  You can still see the highlights a bit, but I figure I'll re-dye in another month or so and hopefully it will cover them up more.  You can really only see them if the sun's shining on my hair.  Needless to say I am much happier.  Please pardon the no makeup.  I've become fairly lazy in my pregnancy and just haven't felt like putting any makeup on lately.  More days than not I am makeup-less :)

I also got some new specs from and I love them.  They are pretty different and a lot bigger than what I'm used to, but I really dig em.

That's all I got for today, I'm a woman of many words apparently.  Happy Good Friday and hope y'all have a wonderful Easter! (or as I like to refer to it as "Zombie Jesus Day".  Hey, get a sense of humor.  They are nice)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Morning Deep Thoughts

So, I've been reflecting a lot on my life and the mystery of it.  If you had told me this time last year where I would be right now, I may not believe you.  But life has a way of making twists and turns that we necessarily didn't see coming.

I've always marched to my own beat.  Since I was a little toddler.  If I wanted something, I went after it.  And I would never wait for anyone to help me or for them to do it.  I'd do it myself.  That hasn't changed too much in my 40 years earthside.

Turning 40 this year has given me a bit of a shift if you will.

I've certainly made some mistakes in my life or taken the road that is less sought after, but I don't regret a second of it.  I've had many unconventional relationships, had a child out of wedlock in my early 20's, eventually did get married to a man I 'thought' was my soulmate, which ultimately ended in divorce around this time last year.  I never have really considered myself a huge risk taker, but thinking about it, I truly am.  Not in the "I'm going to go skydiving or take risks that could risk my untimely death" type of risk taker, but a life risk taker.  And I create my own path.  I always have.  And now is no different.

I've done things in my life that I haven't been afraid to do or that might be outside of certain people's "approval" and received quite a bit of judgment.  I normally don't care too much what other people think of me and my decisions and that still holds true.  But I have to admit it stings sometimes.  I mean we are all human and we all seek others approval.  Some more than others.

Despite some judgments or worries from certain people in my life, I've made a pretty good life for myself.  I have a stable career, make decent money, own my own home, have a beautiful 17 year old daughter who is an amazing kid, I take care of my responsibilities and overall have a good life.  I still have goals I have set for myself that I have yet to accomplish, which I'm sure I will have until the day I leave this earth, but for 40 years old, again, I've made a decent life for myself.

I've never been very level headed when it comes to relationships.  I tend to just go with my heart on things, which in turn has caused me some heartache in the past and currently, but again, I don't regret any of it.  And I definitely take responsibility of my own willingness and actions in said relationships. I wouldn't be the person I am today without those experiences.

I've found myself lately feeling as though I have to make excuses for things or try and make others understand my decisions or to justify them.  Especially as of late.  And I don't like having to feel like I have to do that.  But I still feel as though I have to because I know I am being judged.  Family, friends, extended family, strangers, acquaintances, you name it.

But the more I think about it, why do I even bother?  If someone genuinely cares about me and loves me for who I am, they won't judge me and they will understand and stand by me no matter what without me having to explain anything.  Because THOSE are the people I want in my life.  Family or friends the same.  The reason I am now writing about all of this is that I discovered that a family member de-friended me on Facebook simply because of the fact that I am pregnant expecting a baby and not married or technically "together" with the father of the baby at the moment.  And that's fucked up.  Truly.  And I know I say I don't care, but I do because this is someone that is my family.  And it hurts that they are so judgmental and so critical of something that they have created their own judgment based on something that may not be true and they don't know the complete story...but don't even bother to ask or to understand.

Don't get me wrong, I understand my family and my friends and the father's family and friends are all worried about the situation and concerned.  But being concerned and worried is one thing but being outright hateful and judgmental is another.  Especially when it's not even your body or your relationship.  I appreciate the concern, I really do, but I don't appreciate or accept the judgment or the hatred.  Because it's not your place.  My path is part of God's plan that He has for me.  I am not in charge and neither are you.

So with all of that being said, turning 40 has made me realize that I simply do not have time for bullshit in my life regarding relationships, family or friends or anyone else who will judge me.  (I also think it's a combination of my Al-Anon program and my yoga/meditation practice that has brought me to this realization)  It's sad, but I don't and I won't spend any more time focusing on it.  I will, however, spend all of my time taking care of myself, my children and going after my own dreams because I have lots of them and no one can stand in the way of me reaching them but myself.  I am an overtly caring person and have always done for others, but I have also not included myself in that equation.  It's time I start doing that and living a life that makes ME happy as well.  And not feeling bad or guilty about doing so.

So by all means, if you want to judge me for things you honestly don't understand as opposed to loving me for who I am, don't let the door hit you in the ass because I simply no longer have time for it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hair Woes


Just when I try and accomplish something LESS high maintenance, I end up unhappy and even more frustrated.

I've been thinking about for about a year now to start taking steps to let my natural grays start growing out.  But wanting to do so without the drastic and yucky "line" that would form in letting this happen with the natural progression.

Here I was assuming this may be a fairly easy practice, but much to my chagrin, not so much.  Especially when your natural hair color is dark brown.  If my hair was blonde, it would definitely be an easier process.

I admit I should have done a little more research before I tried to begin this process, but that was my mistake.  So here I am irritated and feeling defeated.

A history of my hair color - natural is dark ash brown.  I've colored my hair over the years most colors under the sun...mainly staying within the reddish tint, but I've been relatively boring the last 5ish years with my plain jane dark brown.  Because we all know that once you add any red to your hair color it's difficult to get it out in the long haul of things.  I've been going gray for a while now, but honestly, the majority of it is at my temples, not necessarily the whole top of my head quite yet.  However, the silver foxes at my temples always decide to start making an appearance pretty much the day after I would dye my roots.  Le sigh.  And I wear my hair up a lot, so there's not much hiding it...I was forced to dye my roots usually every 3-4 weeks.  And that was me being lazy.  It would be more like every 2 weeks if I were to actually stay on top of it.

Point is, I was growing tired of having to keep up with coloring my gray roots every month or so.  It may not be too often to some of you, but for me, it's just too much of a hassle and awfully high maintenance for my taste.

So I got it in my head that I'm ready to start the process a few months ago and I start researching photos.  I found a salon that appeared to have a good gallery of photos of hair color that was a little outside of the box, so I figured I would try it out.  Here are the examples I took in:

So much to my disappointment, the colorist looked at my hair and said we could definitely get it there, but it's going to take quite a few appointments.  Being human and always striving for instant gratification, I was bummed, but she did say that we could take it light enough that day to make a difference.  She showed me some colors and I specifically pointed to the brass blonde and said "I DO NOT WANT THAT!"  I told her anything as close to gray/ash tone as she could get, I would be ok with. She heard me and we got to working on it.  2 hours later, I thanked her and left astonished.  Because you know, when it comes to real life confrontation with hair stylist/colorist, I can never say if I don't particularly like something.  A Groupon of $60 + $60 on top of it, here I am.

Now I'm no brain surgeon, but this looks pretty f'ing brassy to me!  I was super upset and immediately started calling around to try and find someone to fix this horribleness.  I made an appointment with a funky salon in downtown Dallas seeing that they had a gallery of pretty extreme colorings and had great ratings, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I went in a week after my bad experience and talked to the lady there - she totally understood my frustrations and said she was definitely right in saying it will be a process, but that doesn't mean I had to settle for brassy blonde and be unhappy with it through the process.  I was confident she would help me and she really "got" what I was wanting and showed her the photos.  So she put some demi permanent dark brown on my hair that day and sent me home with deep conditioning treatments to use 3 times before I come back in 3 weeks later.  Forked over $80 and off I went. About a week before the appointment, the demi permanent color was starting to fade and I could see a little of the brass showing through again, so I was super glad for my upcoming appointment and was really hoping that she would help me out.  4 hours at the hair salon confident that I would be happy with the babylights she had spent a couple of hours brushing in.... anddddddddddddddddddd NO.  She said "oh, it's a beautiful beige!" and "it's definitely more ashy as opposed to brassy."  All I saw was brass on the top of my head on my bangs on my forehead.  I said "wow, it's still brassy."  She saw my disappointment and showed me the back, where I will admit I could see it was a little more ash in the back and the babylights were a better effect so it wasn't so choppy throughout my hair, but I still wasn't satisfied.  I kept trying to stay optimistic.  She told me to get this purple shampoo they had and it would help with the brass until I came back for my 2nd round of operation gray highlights.  She rang me up...$215 is your total.  Excuse me, WTF?!?!  

I've been trying for 2 weeks to be ok with my hair.  I've used the purple shampoo and kept telling myself, it looks better and to try and have patience, that it will get to where I want it.

But you know what?  Fuck this.  Excuse the language, but after trying to be optimistic and have patience, I am literally sick.  I'm out over $400 and still HATE my hair.  Really hate it.  Not even remotely "ok" with it. Blonde tones and blonde hair is gorgeous on other people, but it looks terrible on me and my skin tone.  And I'm not ok with it.  I have an appointment on 4/16 for my 2nd round and I'm cancelling.  No way am I going to pay another $200 to be even unhappier and keep shelling out that amount of money for 2-3 more sets of highlights to finally get it to where I want it.  At this point, I should have just bit the bullet and had someone bleach my hair completely out and dyed it dark gray.  It would have looked better and by now, the damage to my hair is just as much that would have caused.  It looks dry and frizzy and the color is horrible.  This is today and yesterday.

I'm doing a deep condition overnight tonight, then going to Sally's and getting dark ash brown and going straight back to where it was before all of this mess over the weekend.  I'm so sick about this experience, but it was a hard lesson learned.

At this point, dying my roots every month is a much better option and letting my hair grow out and become healthy again is the route to go.  In a few more years once the grays start to infiltrate my whole head, then I will revisit this transition, but at that point, I'm going to go the 'completely bleach out, then dye my hair gray' route.  F all this other BS.

Public Service Announcement: So for any of you contemplating this same transition, do NOT attempt to do it the way I attempted to if you have dark hair.  You will just be disappointed...and out a lot of money.  :(

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fire In The Sky

I've been thinking a lot lately about violence and hatred.  It's hard not to when it's shoved down your throat every time you turn on the tv and see the news, or browse the interwebs to see the same thing, or open up your social media accounts. Or opening your eyes. It's everywhere.  Even when we try to escape it.  We can't.  It's nearly impossible at this point.

It's equally as hard to not get sucked into participation when all of us are up in arms on both sides of the political spectrum.  But what is happening right now exceeds all things political.  It's just the face of the underlying matter.

There is so much fighting on both sides.  I get it, ok.  I understand that Republicans are upset at the current situation...after all, they have been beat out twice in 2008 and again in 2012.  Completely understandable to be unhappy about the current situation and even upset.  If the tables were turned, I would feel the same way...just like I did when we had GW Bush in office for 2 consecutive terms.  And I will admit, I was outwardly upset and in fact, it caused way too much stress in my life at the time.  I've been pretty content since then because a President that I voted for twice, backed and believed in (which I still back and believe in) has been sitting in office.  I don't agree with all of his decisions, but I still stand behind him.  And he hasn't said or done anything so outright hateful or spiteful to deter me otherwise.

Which brings me to my feelings on the current situation in America.

We have taken hatred to the extreme and I'm afraid there is no turning back if we don't take some sort of stance.  On BOTH sides.

I guess what I don't understand is regardless of whatever your political beliefs, whatever your stance on current affairs, etc....  why don't we all agree on having basic respect for others?  Is that such a far stretch?  Isn't that a universal commonality that links us all?  That SHOULDN'T divide us all?  I hate to sound so simple, but can't it just be that simple after all?

In my opinion (and this is purely my opinion alone), I am pretty unsettled with all of our current political candidates this election.  I am an open liberal (and yes, I do have a good corporate job and have supported and support my family, make good money, work for my own catch my drift) and I tend to side with Democrats on most issues.  Not on ALL issues.  Just because I'm a liberal, don't assume that I am a loaf and want everything given to me and think we should work hard just to give everything we have away.  Because that's not it.  I know the value of working hard and earning my own money and supporting my family and reaching my own goals on my own will.  But I'm also very open minded and believe in helping others, accepting others for who they are regardless,  and have compassion for my fellow Americans as well as any other human beings for that matter (and let's not forget about animals, because frankly I prefer hanging out with animals more than most human beings, but that's neither here nor there).  I have a bleeding heart for certain.

Personally, I think HC is untrustworthy and wish-washy just to get a vote.  I agree with BS's political stances as they mirror a lot of my beliefs, but honestly, there's something about the guy I just don't mesh with, so I'm not backing him either.  On the opposite side, TC seems snaky to me, Kasich and Rubio actually seem like they are fairly level headed (but again, I'm a liberal and I do not agree with a lot of their beliefs....but generally they seem like respectable people and handle themselves in a mature, adult manner).

So then this brings us to Trump.  For months now, I have been watching this mess unfold.  Because it is a mess.  I've honestly tried to reach out to friends and listen to their reasoning for supporting Trump.  I get the exact same answers from those I have asked and from things I've read in comments from Trump supporters.

They go something like this.

"I like what he stands for."
"I like that he says what he feels and doesn't care what anyone else thinks."
"I like that he's not your typical politician."
"I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but I agree with what he stands for."
"He's what we need to turn around this mess that our government is in."

There are others along this same line, but I don't need to go on, you get the point.

And those arguments alone make sense to me.  I get it.  But why am I never offered anything deeper in reasoning besides the above mentioned comments?

So then there is what he says, what he does and how he acts.  All things that are just ignored by Trump supporters because here's another one "I like Trump because I hate Hillary and Bernie and I will vote for him before I ever vote for those two."

Again, simple human decency.  Isn't this something that should not divide us?

Regardless of what someone says they stand for or believe in and you agree, how can you get behind and support someone who openly has criticized the handicapped, the obese and even instigates becoming violent with anyone who doesn't agree with you?  No matter what political party you are affiliated with.  Ask yourself this question.  Seriously.

Because over the last several weeks, I have mistakenly been involved in some heated discussions regarding this same situation and I get all of the same answer, then when I ask any Trump supporter this one simple question "How can you support someone who openly has criticized the handicapped, the obese and even instigates becoming violent with anyone who doesn't agree with you?", I get crickets.  Literally.  Or they automatically turn it back on me and get mad at me and say they don't have to answer to someone who is so misinformed or my favorite "typical Liberal.  Anytime someone doesn't agree with YOUR beliefs, they are automatically idiots."

Well, no.  I don't think people that disagree with my beliefs are idiots.  I do believe that people that support and defend someone who has openly criticized the less fortunate and invokes violence openly to others...well.  Need I say more? Make sense?  There's a difference.  We are all somewhat brainwashed by simply the media alone, but this is almost cult-ish and truly not far from the Hitler reign.

But I digress.  Because I have had a bit of an epiphany if you will over the past few days as my blood pressure starts to rise as this nightmare continues to unfold that when we (as liberals and democrats) start playing into this man's game, he wins.  Because that's exactly what he wants and that's exactly what his supporters want so although they instigate it, they can turn around and say "SEE, I TOLD YOU.  TYPICAL LIBERALS...NOW WHO ARE THE VIOLENT ONES?"

So I've made a pact with myself.  Although it may in turn keep me from being informed (but really how "informed" are we with the current media), I am temporarily unfollowing all media outlets on my FB and unfollowing any FB friends that post anything encouraging hatred from EITHER party.  I will not watch the news and will refrain from participating in any discussions regarding any politics or active groups against other groups, etc.  Or any 'lives matter' groups, because ALL lives matter.  Not just one specific group.  And stop with the war on cops and the government.  Seriously.  I'm tired of diversity.  I'm tired of the current state of affairs.  And sadly it's come to this, but I am not going to involve myself anymore because my life is too precious and too important and becoming angry and hateful is NOT who I am regardless.  And I'm not going to feed into the darkness anymore.  I will spread my own love and light and share it with others.

Who knows, maybe it will also give me a break from stupid coverages of the Kardashians or any other un-newsworthy crap.

And please...any negative comments will be unread and deleted, so save your breath.  You are on my page and my blog, remember, I am not trolling on anyone else's...this is my avenue to express how I feel.

So I will wrap up this blog post by posting a song. This song keeps popping up in rotation on my ipod and I've been thinking about the lyrics and the meaning behind it intently lately.  I'm pretty sure it's my higher power giving me a sign to pay attention.  Because this song can also be interpreted metaphorically with all of the spoken violence as well.

Fire in the sky outta the blue and into the red depths,
Time for you and I to try to fall asleep in the bed they've made us,
All came crumbling down tears in our eyes as it rained confusion
The whole world has changed
But I don't understand how one can kill a man
In the name of peace, that's ridiculous
They say eye for an eye
So they fire from the sky and they come outta nowhere
Time for you and I to turn on the big screen see what's happening
And as those children die, pawns in the game of collateral damage,
The whole world goes mad.
Standing here on quick sand, the more we fight we sink
And vengeance gives us hope, at least that's what we think,
At least that's what we think.
As we make amends by getting our revenge,
We sort nothing out, just add to the doubt
With God on both sides, if death is justified
Whatever the name, then we're all to blame.
As the spirits fly,
To honor those who have passed,
We got to get along, while the time still lasts
Bury the hatchet deep, so we all can weep
And heal all this pain, so we can live again,
So we can live again
As we make amends by getting our revenge,
We sort nothing out, just add to the doubt
But with God on both sides, if death is justified
Whatever the name, then we're all to blame.
But I don't understand how one can kill a man
In the name peace, that's ridiculous
But I understand that I will defend my family, from both sides of misery.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Look Ma, There's a Bun In The Oven!

I know I haven't been the world's greatest blogger (not that I ever came close to that title), but I am still active, so there.

In other news, I am pregnant and have decided to start a pregnancy blog for all things pregnancy to document my journey.  I will still be posting here for non-pregnancy related posts, but for any of you out there that actually read this, feel free to take a peek.

Love and poopy diapers, Ciao!

Little Bebe's Journey From Wombside To Earthside

Monday, November 23, 2015

Curl Diaries and More

Just a quick update...

Getting used to the Curly Girl method.  I'm still not very happy with the length of my hair, but hopefully I will be a little more happy with it in a month or so when I get some length back in it.  As far as my curls go, I really like the way they look now and how healthy my hair feels.  Still having a bit of a challenge with getting my bangs straightened while keeping the rest of my hair curly, but I am getting a little better at it.

I'm still doing the same routine that I listed in the previous blog, but instead of the Knot Today leave-in, I have switched to the SheaMoisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Styling Milk as my leave-in.  It used to be the SheaMoisture Thickening Growth Milk, but they seemed to have discontinued this and replaced it with the one in the link.  It is a little heavier than the Knot Today leave-in, so I like it since it's winter and my hair needs more moisture.  It doesn't weigh my hair down, but my hair feels a little softer and more moisturized.  I will probably switch back to the Knot Today leave-in when spring comes back since it's a little lighter, but we'll see.  I've been wanting to try the Ouidad Texture Taffy, but haven't wanted to shell out the $$ to do so.  Hopefully I will grab it soon and let you guys know what I think.  The biggest thing I am getting used to is having to use soooooooo much gel in my hair.  I really can tell that it helps defining the curls and controlling the frizz, so it's a must.  And after I crunch it all out, my hair is really soft and not frizzy at all, so I know it's doing the job.

Also, I am not using the Argon oil anymore before I "pineapple" my hair for the night.  It simply makes my hair too greasy the next day.  No bueno for 2nd day hair for me.  Everyone's different, so it probably works great on some people.

Here are some photos of my hair today.

Lastly, I am now 4 yoga classes into my 30 by 40 challenge.  I'm aiming for 3 classes per week.  I hope to be able to bump up to 4 classes per week in the next few weeks or month or so. I'm taking a light beginners class on Saturday that lasts for 6 more weeks and during the week I am taking a Vinyasa class and a Dharma class.  So far, the Dharma is the one that kicks my ass the most as far as workout is concerned.

I love yoga and I'm sooooooooooo happy I am getting back into it.  My body is thanking me already.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Yogi Mandolinist

2 posts in one day!  Look out, I'm on a roll.

So in addition to the new hair change, I've also made some goals for myself.  Somewhat New Years resolutions a little early.

I think me turning 40 in 3 1/2 months is triggering a change in me.

I signed up for an 8 week beginners yoga series.  It starts this Saturday and I couldn't be more excited.  I have taken a lot of yoga classes over the years and got really into it several times, but for some reason never really stuck with it.  I aspire to be a yogi.  I want to eventually maybe become a yoga teacher.  I want to be flexible and fit and healthy.  I want to be able to master those crazy poses that look impossible to hold.

My goal is to have taken 30 yoga classes by my 40th birthday on 2/26.  Estimated at 2 per week, I should be able to get there and it's a fairly realistic goal.

Secondly, I want to start taking mandolin lessons.  It was either that or the banjo, but I chose the mandolin because it's different and I want a challenge.  I am going to try and make the lessons and purchasing a mandolin a Christmas present to myself, so I don't have too much longer to do so.

Curly Girl plus other updates

I used to be so good at blogging and not letting so much time pass between posts, but the last few years, not so much.  I know there is a time and a season for many things in your life....I guess this includes this for me.

Life has happened - a few updates....I got divorced in May 2015.  Been in an AMAZING relationship for 4 months now with a friend from my past and I couldn't be happier.  The timing couldn't have been better for both of us.

I made the decision a couple of weeks ago that I was going to experiment with letting my natural curls flow.  My hair has gone through many phases over the years (as many of us ladies' hair does).  It was straight as a board until I hit junior high and then became naturally curly.  I fought that like the dickens...straightened my hair with an iron on an ironing board and doing the stupidest thing to it like you do when you are young and don't know any better.  I would like to say in my old age (cough), I do now know better, but nope, I definitely don't.  I've gone through brief stints of wearing my hair curly, but it always looked crappy to me, so those were short lived.  The older I get, the less maintenance I wish for my appearance
My hair style has pretty much been the same for the last 10 years....long and I would blow dry with a round brush dryer.  I recently added bangs about a year and a half ago, but that's been the only real change.  My hairdresser rocks.  However, when I decided to do this transformation, I had an SOS hair cut need, so I went to someone else.  I shouldn't have done that and stuck with my guy, but you is what it is at this point, so I gotta live with it.

My hair had become really stringy at the ends and just looked limp and dull, so I knew I wanted layers to bring life back into it a bit.  When the hairdresser looked at my hair (I ended up going to one that specializes in curly hair so I could try and get it cut in a way that my curls would look better as opposed to not so great), he noticed a lot of breakage from about my shoulders down (hence why it was looking so dingy).  We figured out it was because of the round brush dryer I have been using and it was causing breakage - due to my dumb butt for keeping it on my hair too long when drying, but I digress.

So I just said CUT IT.  Cut off all of the dead stuff and let's start from scratch again.  It's a little shorter than I had anticipated and I am not a huge fan of it yet, but once it grows out just a bit, I think I will be more than happy with it.

So this begins my Curly Girl method journey.  I did a lot of research online on routines and products, so this is what I have started with so far.

First let's post some before and after pics.

First was taken about a month ago and the 2nd was a few months ago, so you can tell the difference in the damage that I had done within that time:

These were taken yesterday - my new haircut and curls :)

Like I said, it's a little short for my taste, but once it grows out a little, I think I will be super happy with it.

Since I currently can not afford to spend bookoos of bucks on hair products at the moment, I made my list and headed to Target and Sally's for supplies.  There are tons of products for curlies out there and some more expensive than others, but since I'm on a sort-of budget, I decided to go this route.

Also, noteworthy that I went through my bathroom and got rid of ALL of my hair products containing sulfates and all that crap, which was tons of stuff.  I wanted to start with a clean slate.

The basics: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo & SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.

Other necessities: As I Am Coconut CoWash, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner, Kinky-Curly Curl Custard Gel, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Paste Wax, TRESemme Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray, Argan Oil, Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer and ISO Bouncy Crème.

I also purchased a MicroFiber towel for my hair as regular towels are a big no-no for curlies.

I got my hair cut last Thursday, so I've only been doing this routine for a few days.  I'm sure I will be experimenting and switching up some of the products as time goes on, etc.

I am trying to only wash my hair 1-2 times per week with shampoo.  I washed my hair with shampoo yesterday, but on the other days, I use the As I Am CoWash.

After shampoo or CoWash in the shower I do the "squish to condish" method with the Shea Butter Conditioner.  I rinse most of it out, but leave a small amount in my hair.  I then apply the Knot Today leave in conditioner just before getting out of the shower.

Once I am ready to apply product, I use the Sea Salt Spray first - applying to my roots with my head flipped over and pull through my hair.  Then I apply a small amount of the ISO Bouncy Crème and run through my hair.  I take a good chunk of the Curl Custard Gel and run through my hair as well.  At this point I will either use the "plopping" method and wrap my hair in an old tshirt if I have about an hour or 2 to spare or I will diffuse my hair with a hair dryer (lowest heat, lowest setting) with my hair flipped over.  Be careful not to touch your curls while they are still drying because that will create frizz.

Once air dried or diffused, flip hair back over and scrunch the hair to get all of the hard gel loose and flip hair back over - whalah!

I then put in about a dime size of Pure Clean Paste Wax to set everything.

2nd day hair, spray the Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer and re-fluff hair.  Then apply Pure Clean Paste Wax to set.  All done.

At night, I spray a small amount of argan oil in my hair before I put it up in a "pineapple" to sleep.

So far, I'm getting used to things and feeling happy with atleast the way my curls look (still getting used to the length).  My hair does feel a little greasy due to not shampooing so often anymore and I'm sure due to all the product, but I heard that gets better as time goes on.

I will try and post more the more I get used to things and post any updates if I change up any of the routine.  There are tons of YouTube videos on how to follow the Curly Girl Method, on how to "Plop" your hair and "squish to condish".  Just research and experiment to find out what works best for you.  My hair is hair type 3A the majority of the time (some days fluctuating to a 2C or 3B).

I am currently having issues with getting my bangs styled right - I don't want them too straight nor too curly, so I'm having some growing pains with this right now.

The Polished Curl has a lot of great tips and how to videos on her site...check them out!

The following pic is kind of what I am shooting for style-wise once my hair grows out just a bit.  I love this girl's hair!