Category Archives: Gripes and Groans

Tarot 101: New deck…

So if you’ve seen my older posts about the Tarot deck, you’ve seen the kinda rinky deck I’ve been using.

So I thought I’d splurge and get a nicer deck.

Here are some shots of the brand new deck I got. I love it.

The deck is named Santa Muerte and was designed by Fabio Listrani.

And it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I don’t want to give all the neat things away about this deck. Consider this a teaser.

What I absolutely love about this deck is how it feels in your hands. It doesn’t have a cheap finish like my other deck, the cards slide together so smoothly and nicely. The cards are a traditional Tarot size and feel so nice to shuffle. Of course, the size is something I’m still adjusting to, but it fits nicely in my dainty hands.

Yes, I have dainty, girly hands. But if anything, I have to tell you all if a deck doesn’t fit nicely in my hands because then, maybe I can save the rest of you with dainty hands from investing in a deck that your heart loves but your hands can’t hold. A sadder love story never told.

But the colors are so bright and vibrant. The characters are depicted as skeletons (just in time for the spookiest season of the year). But the color correspondences in relation to certain numbers and suits… It makes my little witchy heart sing and my scholarly mind race. The characters are depicted in a much more unique way in comparison to the Rider-Waite deck and I feel much more easier to connect to this deck and its subtle meanings than in a traditional Tarot deck.

The characters depicted have such wonderful portrayals and emotions which is insane considering that the characters are skeletons, but the emotions and stories they portray are intense and just capture your attention.

And the book that comes with the deck? AMAZING! It takes a new look at the traditional cards and I love seeing the different meanings and different perspectives from this deck.

I’m planning on using this deck exclusively for online readings and such.

Let me know if you would like to see more, or if you would like more than a peek, let me know in the comments.

LIFE AS A COLLEGE STUDENT…

I can feel it now. The air is changing. Girls are exchanging their running shorts for leggings, their hydroflasks for starbucks cups.

Frat guys are….well, they won’t change until the first snow storm hits campus then they’ll exchange their stupid shorts for stupid sweats.

Pumpkin spice is back.

It’s truly the start of the fall semester.

And we’re kicking off our seasonal school depression early this year.

How do I know that we’re kicking the depression off early? How can I possibly know?

I’m horribly moody, I’m not eating, I’m not excersing, I’m sleeping all the time, I’m angry, I’m unmotivated in every way to do even things I want to do (like, I don’t even want to binge anything on Netflix, even with all the scary movies set to pop up).

I know that if I don’t pull myself out of this, I’m going to fail this semester. And I know because I’ve done this before.

My first college semester, I ended falling into a similar depression because I felt I couldn’t add up. I didn’t have all the stuff everyone else had for school supplies and dorm room decor and snacks and cars. And because I knew that I couldn’t afford my one semester, that no matter what I did, I would be leaving at the end of that semester.

So why am I back in that state of mind now? Well, I’m going through something worse than my freshman year. I have no friends, no hobbies, work all the damn time, and still, I can’t make enough to stay in school to finish a degree I should been done with by now.

And I’m so sick and tired of people telling me ‘this is where you’re meant to be.’ Because no. It’s not where I’m meant to be.

I’m supposed to be in grad school, learning veterinary medicine, volunteering at the local shelter and working at a local coffee shop as the spunky, sweet barista that everyone loves.

I don’t want some advice like ‘you can change your reality at any time’ or ‘why not do what you want to do’ or ‘take chances and it’ll all work out’.

Because it won’t.

I’m not in a position where I can just quit my job today and find one tomorrow paying the same or better with the same or better hours.

I can’t just make money appear out of nowhere, or even apply for student loans because I don’t have a cosigner.

I can’t just speedrun through the last 8 semesters of my undergrad, nor can I just take a test to pass them and get credit, because none of my remaining courses are ones that you can learn with on the job experience.

I can’t just move to a whole new city or whatever and start over because I have obligations, like work and school and my family, keeping me where I am.

This isn’t something where I can just sit in the sunshine and hope that the world will get better magically or that my brain will kick itself into gear.

This isn’t something where I can ‘just drink water and hydrate’ the problem away.

This isn’t something where I can self-care and skin-care routine the problem away.

This is a problem that I will be trapped in until my life is over because if I want to get anywhere, I have to play this absolutely stupid game of jumping through hoops.

CATHARTIC rant about life

What, pray tell, I am supposed to be doing with life?

I feel life a failure.

I am a failure.

I should’ve been done with this by now.

I shouldn’t be putting this off.

I shouldn’t be worrying about this.

Why am I so worried about this?

I’m not going to have enough money for lunch let alone a damn parking pass.

I’m not going to have enough money for my car, let alone the rest of teh semester.

Gods, I wish I could curl up under a tree and sleep for a millennia.

I wish I could fake my death and escape into the woods to become a local cryptid.

This isn’t worth it anymore.

This was never worth.

I’m going to see this through and it will all be for nothing.

What if I’m just wasting my youth?

Gods, I’m just wasting my youth.

Why is this all so hard?

This part isn’t hard; what am I forgetting to do now?

I wish I could take a nap in this wonderful autumn sunshine and enjoy the green before the snow, but no. I have to work.

I wish I could find a better job where I’m not treated like a damn babysitter for grown adults.

I want to stop. Just Stop.

I want to be there already.

What if I’m not on the right path to begin with?

What if I’m wasting my time trying to force something when really I’m meant to do something else with my life?

What if my only purpose is to waste my youth and remaining hope working a deadend retail job?

What if I finally get stabbed in the parking lot at work tonight?

What if my tire blows out while I’m doing 80 on the highway trying to make it to work?

What if I get fired and have no other job?

What if everything I’ve worked so hard for collapses under me?

I need real food.

I haven’t had anything but coffee today.

No wait, I had a burrito for breakfast.

I need more sleep.

I wish my back and hips and knees didn’t hurt.

I wish I could travel.

I wish I wasn’t so apathetic.

I wish I wasn’t so…. depressed?

I wish I had a prettier face.

I wish I could be there already.

I wish I was a doctor already.

I wish I had enough money to last me to next payday.

Oh gods, how am I going to make it to next payday.

Shit, I still have to find a concert to go to for music appreciation.

Shit, I still have to go to the math building for that exam due last week.

How come this looks so easy and effortless for everyone else.

What am I doing wrong.

Thank you for coming to my anxiety fueled braindump. I just needed to get some of this out somewhere, so thank you for being patient and bearing with me,

Student life: When you get off track…

Everyone dreams of working through college in their 4-year program and then shuttling into adulthood with a career.

But what happens when you get thrown for a loop and your 4 year plan because a 4+ year plan?

The first thing I want to say is…

I know it sucks. It sucks so much. You want to scream and cry and punch a wall because now you’re entire life plan is shot.

I get it. I really get it. I’m 22 and just now finishing the half way point on my SOPHOMORE YEAR. And I started college straight out of high school.

So what happened that I fell off track?

Well, go check out some of my other posts about the First World Problem and then come back here.

So I had to take a couple years and work through some money problems and all that jazz. So here I am, about 3 years behind the curve and working to try to get things right.

Am I pissed off? Every damn day of my life.

Am I upset that I’m not graduated yet and not in grad school yet? So fucking upset that sometimes, I have to stop myself from crying in the middle of class.

Am I mad that I know other kids have it easier than me? Damn straight I am.

But what I am going to do about?

Well, I’m going to right about so that other kids going through this bullshit know that someone out there knows what it feels like to feel like an absolute failure and for life to keep kicking you in the teeth.

But how do you get back on track and make sure you stay on track?

Three easy steps.

  1. Come up with a course plan. Write down every single course you need to take and when. This is your road map. Sometimes you’ll have to take a detour, but it’s okay.
  2. Be prepared to fall off track again. Between you and me, when life decides to fuck with you once, you are never going to be let off easy again. So just be prepared to keep on failing.
  3. Don’t listen to what anyone has to say if they haven’t been there. Your advisers, while meaning well, will try to lead you astray because they honestly don’t understand what it’s like to be in the position you are in. You are in a very unique position and unless they themselves can tell you about how shitty their time at college was, then don’t trust them to know how to help you. Take their advice with a grain of salt and keep working.

So keep your nose to the grindstone and just keep working.

Is it all worth it? Probably not.

Will you probably regret finishing school in 10-20 years when you’re still paying off all the loans and you hate your career? Yeah, most likely.

But keep going anyways because then at least you’ll have a story to tell at the end of the day.

Why Blogging doesn’t work

If you’re like me, you’ve hit a block or two and started scouring the internet, looking for ways to make ends meet and help set yourself up for a comfortable life.

You’ve come across the same advice I did; start a blog. It’s not hard. Just find a topic and write away.

So why am I bitching about something I am currently doing? Like doing right now, between classes and a real job?

Because I didn’t start a blog to make money. I started a blog to get my thoughts down somewhere outside my head. I started a blog to connect with others and just shout my opinions into the void of the internet.

But why doesn’t blogging work?

  1. It takes too long to make money. Seriously, with how everyone who is a major blog brags about how easy it is to set up a blog and make money, it’s a sham. You have to have the blog going for literal YEARS before you start seeing income come in from either ad space, or affiliate marketing or sponsored posts. Major bloggers will give some much advice and just tell you to get out there and connect with people, but honestly, the market is so damn saturated right now, that to start making money, you’re going to need a crazy scheme or an infallible theme.
  2. You have to dump too much money in to start a blog. Depending on where you partner, you have to dump money in at some point, whether to buy to domain, or buy hosting, or buy the theme, or buy a service of some kind to promote yourself. So not only do you not see any returns immediately, you have to invest so much just to start throwing your writing out into the void.
  3. The market is saturated. No matter what niche you have, what your theme is, how you write; there’s at least 10 other blogs out there doing the same shit. And that’s at least. If you want to write something like a mommy blog, a fitness blog, a fashion blog… Good luck coming up with something original that your audience hasn’t read 20 times already.
  4. There’s so much you have to do to even be seen as credible in your field. You could have graduated with a master’s from Harvard in financial planning (or whatever) and could be a visionary in your field, but your blog is still going to be competing against Al’s Bargain Finances, who graduated from some online college with an associate’s, but has been running his blog for over 10 years. You could be recognized in real life as an expert in your field, but damn, if your blog just looks wrong or unprofessional or old-fashioned (re: 1990s style with minimal pictures, sloppy color scheme, poor formatting), then you are never going to be taken seriously online.
  5. It’s an almost full-time job in itself. As much as everyone brags about how easy it is to start a blog, at least the major bloggers won’t sugar coat the time you need to invest. Blogging is almost like it’s own full-time job. Between the actual writing, designing graphics, social media cultivation (sharing, connecting, collaborating), setting up affiliate marketing, setting up Etsy store listing links, performing services advertised on the blog, brainstorming, editing, site editing and modifying, writing sponsored posts, researching topics, researching the market, researching sponsors, researching on behalf of your audience, weeding through the comment sections on posts (spam comments!)…. It’s a full-time plus overtime gig. And you DON’T GET PAID RIGHT AWAY FOR IT!
  6. You have to learn everything on the fly. You weren’t taught how to code in high school right? I sure as shit wasn’t. So I’ve learning this and that on the fly to set up ads and pop-up forms properly on my site. There’s so much that goes into learning how to set up a blog that you’ll spend so much time on Youtube and Google learning how to just set up your site properly. And while these resources may be free (or nearly free, since you’re probably paying for internet service and your blog already), it still takes a long time to learn and apply. My site doesn’t look like it was designed by a marketing rep, but it still looks better than some of the sites out there. But I did it all myself from a free theme available. I’m still picking up all the bs for SEO and search engine recognition and blah blah blah.
  7. You’re building a brand on the fly and it’s hurting you right now. All the major bloggers out there started their blogs 3, 5, or even 10 years ago. They’ve had the time to set their blog up and rotate through the topics until they found their niche. If you’re like me, you’re new. Super new. I’m still trying to set up my brand. I’m still trying to find my niche, but that’s what hurting me (and you). I’m constantly changing my theme from month to month, I’m kind of happy with my icon for the time being. But all this change scares people off. It doesn’t spark trust that you know what you’re talking about. That’s why the big blogs don’t change their theme once they find one that works. It’s like if you walk into a store; you’ll be okay walking into your local corner store and will forgive a face-lift or paint change every so often, but if you were to walk into your local Target and saw they were changing the colors every week and changing the logo every week, then you would feel uncomfortable. But as a new blogger, you need to change every month or so to try to find where you fit in the internet void.
  8. Your niche is too niche. Maybe you know your niche and you know it’s an untapped industry. Great. But think really hard about it. Is it something that is maybe just a little too niche? What do I mean by that? Well, maybe you have a market and you’ve made a few sales here and there on your site or your online store, but is it something that is just a little too specialized and is flying under the radar. Maybe you make hats for dogs without ears. But the people who can buy those products are very small. Maybe you write specifically about the happenings of the homeless community in a particular spot in your city . While you may have great content and can write forever about it, it’s a market that is very, very, small. Eventually, you’re going to run out of people who want to keep reading or buying into your niche.

Maybe you don’t think I know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re in denial that your blog is failing. So let me explain how I know what I know. As of this post (Sept. 2019), I have made absolutely $0 on this site. I have no ad revenue, no services rendered, no affiliate link click-through. I have posted about 100 posts since starting the blog in Jan. 2019. It’s taken almost 10 months since starting the blog to find a niche I can write about, and it’s still a little too niche (I mean, who wants to listen to some girl whine about working in retail and rant about the occult?) I just made an icon and logo-esque picture and I’ll probably going to change it soon. And I put of a follower counter, so you can go to the side bar and see exactly how many people I have following me. As of this post in Sept. 2019, there are 28 followers (29 technically, but it’s me, so I don’t count myself). 28. After 10 months.

So maybe you’re much better than me and can tell me what I’m doing wrong. but honestly, I just want everyone to understand that blogging is not the answer to your financial issues. Blogging is not some golden egg you can tap into and be wildly successful. Blogging is kind of a sham way to ‘make money quick’.

It’s more like ‘make money very, very slowly, while hoping and praying someone will find you relevant and love what you’re doing, all while dumping your money into a pit that may or may not sprout a money tree in the distant future’.

Student life: when you don’t add up compared to your peers…

So you just got into college and you’re a fresh-faced freshman, ready to take on the world.

Until you hit midterms and you fail miserably, while everyone else is acing it. And you thought you were good at math or English, or whatever it is.

So now what do you do? You’ve hit a snag in your plan and you honestly feel like shit. You were supposed to be good at school. You thought you were good at school. At least good enough to get into college. So what are you doing wrong?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

While you may not have access to all the resources available, just remember, you got into school and you got into school on your own hard work (hopefully).

So am I telling you to just buckle down and get to work?

Kind of.

I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re stuck comparing yourself to everyone because you thought you were good enough but all these other kids seem to be better than you. You’re stuck thinking how can you compare to Tiffany with a 4.0 GPA and boyfriend on the debate team and she’s part of a prestigious sorority.

Those braggers and put-togethers are like your rival in a Pokemon game. They have just enough to be a tough opponent to to challenge you, so you have to get crafty and wise up to the moves they’re going to use.

So if you know that Tiffany in your Lit class only works 10 hours a week at her club, then make her do more work in the group project because she has time to spare. You do not.

So if you know John in your Calc class is a math major, ask him for help and just smile and nod when he gets all high-and-mighty. Because he already knows everything and you can use that resource for free.

If you know that the TA in your lab is majoring in this exact field, then go to office hours or see if they’re available via email, at the least, to answer questions of the lab.

So what I’m really saying is start grinding and getting crafty with your resources. Pretend you’re a spy thrown into this life and you have to seamlessly integrate to keep your cover from being blown. Just start working harder than they are because damn, one day they are going to slip and it is going to be a spectacular fall.

And when then see you at the top, already covered in mud from fighting your way up this mountain, they’ll know, and you’ll know, that you were always more worthy and more qualified than they ever were.

Working retail: retail vs the real world…

Working in retail is like working in a whole different world.

It’s a world of perpetual smiling, nodding, and degrading yourself for the customer.

It’s a world where ‘professional’ is thrown around like salt on fries.

There’s nothing professional about it, honestly. How is it professional to ask children to show up and then refuse to tell them the rules of professionalism, subjecting them to a trial by fire?

How is it professional to ask that only certain employees can dress for the environmental conditions, while asking more who deal with those same conditions to wear other clothing?

How is it professional to allow dating within the company, but only until one party of the couple is promoted from their own hard work and dedication?

How is it professional to allow some employees to bend all the rules but some still have to follow them to the tee for no reason other than the managers have an attitude problem?

I worked in the real world. I worked in an office where I was required to be professional. I was required to wear a certain dress code and act a certain way based off my position. I understood that going into that job. I understood that I couldn’t wear certain clothes or talk in a more casual way and I knew that I was getting paid to act that way.

In retail, not only are you not paid enough to really care how you act but, with how stressful it is dealing with not only your customers, but fellow employees, people wonder why there are some many stories revolving some of the biggest retailers in the world.

I can’t comprehend how consumers still choose to shop at these places that are obviously horrible to work, let alone shop.

My own parents continue to shop at a retailer where not long ago, people experienced domestic terrorism and died from gun violence. My parents weren’t apart of the tragedy, but they still choose to shop at the place where things like that happen.

Maybe what I’m trying to convey is that as consumers, we can end this cycle of high school drop outs being underpaid and underappreciated, just by taking our business elsewhere. We can end this cycle of poverty where the CEOs of the big retailers take so much of the profits and the low-level employees struggling to make ends meet between 2-3 jobs by refusing to give these people any more of our money.

And I’m sure some of you are thinking, but don’t you work at one of those places? Won’t you be affected by them losing business?

Sure I will, for a little bit. But I can always find a new job better serving my community and existing outside of the drama and hysteria that is retail work. Or I’ll die from homelessness after 6 months without a job. But either way, I win in the short term.

Student life: what they don’t tell you about college classes..

College is a fantastic time. It’s a great time to learn about the world and your self and your place in the world. But lately, more and more kids are heading into college and struggling through their first year(s).

Why is that?

In my opinion, from what I’ve observed being a college student, and being asked questions by kids at work (I have teenagers on my team who want to know everything about college), college is set up to fail a vast majority of incoming students.

What is the disconnect between what kids are told by their high school teachers and what actually happens at college?

For one, most classes are actually self taught. I know, I know… You’re paying thousands and thousands just to be there, plus the hundreds on textbooks, so that means the professor should show you something right?

No. The professor is just there to make sure you get evaluated for the class. The actual learning part is up to you. You need to actually do the ‘optional’ reading and do every activity. The lecture is just to see what the professor will test you on. No actual learning happens in a lecture. It happens in your dorm room at 3am as you struggle through the same chapter for the 10th time trying to memorize the equation for cellular respiration.

Another thing kids don’t get told about is how to effectively time manage. Every kid thinks they know how to manage their time and those who took extracurriculars in high school are extremely sure about their ability to time manage.

What nobody wants to tell them is that, real time management involves prioritizing tasks and pushing some tasks off until last minute because more important tasks come up.

For example, knowing that a big project is due, these freshies will spend hours trying to finish a 10 point homework assignment instead of plotting out and researching for the project that’s due in two days.

Just because something is due immediately doesn’t mean you absolutely have to complete it if it’s going to put your grade in jeopardy for another course.

Honestly, there is so much they don’t tell you about college when you’re a high school junior or senior.

And even with all the advice out there from kids like me who have just finished college, or are still in the middle of it… There’s still so much nobody tells you.

Like, syllabuses will save your ass time and time again, so don’t lose them or throw them out after the first class.

Or stock up on tissues and cold medicine before cold season hits, especially if you live in the dorms, because you will catch something.

Pick one day a week to always do laundry otherwise you will run out of clean underwear and usually before a big event (date, job interview, family dinner).

Write notes in class in pen because a pen will 9 times out of 10 work more consistently than a pencil.

Do not make in class notes pretty. You will spend too much time switching between highlighters and then lose information that will definitely be on the test.

Do not wear impractical shoes or clothing, no matter how cute you think you look. Those heels will be your bane when you have to walk all the way across campus in the sudden rainstorm.

Do not party. Just don’t. Not only are the legal implications shitty (wait until you have to pay your first ticket), but if you party with strangers, bad shit happens. Maybe not to you or your friends, but bad shit happens.

Always carry a charger and a snack. Always. There will be days you get stuck in class and miss lunch or dinner.

Set alarms and reminders on your phone for everything. Everything, from taking out the trash to a project due next week to reminding yourself to take a break from studying so you can actually make it to the dining hall for food.

When you move out of the dorms, you will trash your new place at least once in the semester. And not party-trash. I mean, working 30 hours, projects galore, haven’t done the dishes in weeks trashed.

You will get at least one shitty professor. One who makes you hate that class and their department. Suck up dealing with them because honestly, they can and will fail you for a shitty attitude. Happened to me. But that’s a story for another time.

No amount of words I put out will actually make your experience any different.

Lay off the coffee shop lattes because you will inevitably go broke. Trust me.

Coffee and energy drinks are not meal replacements.

Most assignments are listed only in the syllabus and it’s your responsibility to know what is die when. These assignments will only be listed in the syllabus and never brought up in class.

Check and double check everything you write for essays. If your allowed opinion based(usually arts and some literature classes) then just make sure everything makes sense. If you need sources (science reports), please learn how to academically write.

You will spend thousands to be here, but you will be expected to pay out of pocket to print 90% of anything you need printed, including notes, project, reports, and more.

Everyone is pretentious and completely full of themselves. Avoid who you can, be courteous to those you cannot avoid.

Splurge on pens because the last thing you need is for your pen to quit working in the middle of lecture. Don’t share pens for anything.

You will think you are starving. You are not. Eat only meals 3 times a day and 2 snacks a day between major classes.

Student life: Rewriting your notes…

So how do I study and stay on top of my busy schedule?

Most of the time, I don’t.

But what do I do when I try to study between working, commuting, and trying not to lose my shit?

I recopy my lecture notes. My handwriting is absolutely atrocious. So when I find the time, I sit down with a fresh notebook page and copy my notes down and make them readable. Then when I get time to study, I can review everything that the professor went over in lecture.

So how do I rewrite my notes to make sure all the viable content gets copied down?

First, I start with opening the lecture from the day and start writing the notes I copied down. Whenever I hit a snag from where my writing is indecipherable, I can reference the lecture slides and jog my memory.

So how do my reference notes and lecture notes differ?

In my refernce notes, I use different colors to help with memorization. For example…

  • Red is used for vocab words
  • Green is used to key concepts (either underlined or written in green ink)
  • Blue is used for chapter headings and to distinguish what will be on what test
  • Pink/purple (or another bright color) is used for chapter summaries and to summarize what will be on the test

Does this system really work? Maybe. I’ve heard many conflicting things on this way to study or that way to study. Honestly, this method helps me and that’s what counts. Maybe your method you develop involves making flashcards, or watching Crash Course videos or whatever.

There’s no right way to do anything and whatever works for you is what works.

How to survive being an adult…

Adulting is hard.

Super super hard.

And every single adult sucks at it.

Every single post you see on Instagram about how pretty a desk looks and all that bs… It’s the biggest crock of bullshit.

I literally right now have no money in my bank account, mountains of dishes in the sink, my gas tank is riding E, and I’m a week away from payday.

Every single adult is lying about how good they are at being an adult. Some one may be really good at drinking the right amount of water and paying bills, but I can guarantee they suck at taking their car in for oil changes.

I know I’m good at paying bills and keeping my bathroom mostly clean (counters don’t count). My boyfriend/husband person is good at taking care of my our cars and doing the dishes.

However, we both really suck at eating right, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep.

So in conclusion, fuck being an adult. There is no real way to adult and there is no way to adult effectively. People over 40 have practice being adults and grew up in a time when they were allowed to make mistakes in secret, away from social media and the all-watching eyes of the internet.

Maybe we should start an internet campaign called #realadulting where we all post picks of our unfinished laundry and overflowing sinks and soap-scum crusted showers because hell, we’re here for a good time not a long time and sometimes, all the stupid shit that makes us ‘real adults’ gets put on the back burner.

I’m just so sick of everyone posting their damn fitness routines and meal plans and shit and bragging about how amazing they are. Fuck being a real adult. Fuck trying to squeeze in a fitness routine after working your ass off all day. Fuck ‘clean eating’ when you can’t afford to buy groceries on a regular basis. Fuck sleeping 8 hours a night when the only way to make rent is pulling double shifts and working side gigs like ride shares. Fuck drinking enough water when you can barely keep your eyes open half the time (from working all the damn time) so you pound coffee after energy drink after latte after energy drink after coffee.

Fuck thriving as an adult when we can barely stand on our own two feet.

So go forth, fail spectacularly, and learn. Put off whatever can wait if it means you can take a minute to breath.

Student life: Scholarships…

Honestly, I feel like scholarships are an absolute waste of time and energy.

I spent almost 10 hours a week during my sophomore and junior years sifting through scholarship after scholarship to apply for. I spent so much time trying to find ones I even qualified to apply for.

And in the end?

Nothing. Not a single damn scholarship.

I had nothing to show for my efforts, nothing to show for hours I labored away.

Does this mean you shouldn’t apply for scholarships?

Maybe.

I feel like the market for scholarships is over-saturated and the people applying for scholarships are over-applying.

There’s no limit to applying for multiple scholarships and if some are lottery-based, then yeah, other kids are going to have a better chance at winning certain scholarships.

Honestly, if I could go back in time and spend those hours upon hours differently, I would’ve picked up a hobby or a sport or a club instead. Then I would’ve been able to narrow the field of my scholarship search.

But then again, my dear cousin, who I think is brilliant and talented, never won any scholarships for her photography, IB and AP scores, for being over 5 foot 10 as a girl, or for both parents being divorced.

It’s a flawed system, making children compete and jump through ridiculous hoops just to find money to better their future.

Working retail: culture…

I hate the culture of working in retail. I absolutely hate it.

So you’re asking, what about ‘retail culture’ do you hate?

The entire entitity that is retail.

I hate that you start in a position at this corporation and they go on and on about how wonderful the company is, with these benefits and this policy.

But it’s all a lie. It’s the culture of lying.

The policies they brag about don’t do shit for you, the employee.

The benefits they brag about don’t do enough for you, the employee.

I work every day in a place where men are constantly listened to before a woman opens her mouth. I work in a place where customers and employees alike are not only rude and aggreesive to me, but I work in a place where no matter who I talk to about it, they are allowed to act that way.

I have worked my ass off so much for the last year and where have I ended up? No where. Because the only place to go in that retail establishment is to go up the managerial ladder and get worked even harder until I either quit or collapse.

I work in a place where as an hourly manager, I was the only person not given the schedule they wanted, or given a schedule where I could work more effeciently.

And NOW! Now, that I’m out of that manager position, the person who has taken over is listened to more than me and people praise her to the moon and back for doing what they wouldn’t do for me.

I work in a place where we lie and cheat and scam every fucking day, not only our associates but our vendors and our selves.

We lie to ourselves every day when we walk through the doors to work and say to ourselves, ‘maybe, today won’t be so bad’, ‘maybe, today I’ll actually get my 15 minute break for once’, ‘maybe, today, I’ll get out of work without being harassed in any way’.

I fucking hate the culture around retail and the fact that we are used and abused like late-model Honda Civics are abused by first-time drivers and car guys that are too poor to afford a nicer car.

Getting married on a budget…

I can’t understand why people get so stressed over planning a wedding.

Why would you want to spend thousands and thousands on a wedding?

My two budget tips for planning your own wedding?

  1. Don’t bother having anybody come. It’ll cut down on how much money you ave to spend on food, entertainment, etc.
  2. Don’t hire a wedding planner. Do you really want a big wedding? Do you really want to invite your entire family and spend hundreds on clothes and food and booze?

Seriously, weddings are a waste of money. There’s no reason to spend thousands and thousands on giant party that acts as nothing more than a status symbol.

Spend that money on something else. Save up for a down payment on a house for you and your new spouse. Spend that money on a well-deserved vacation/honeymoon.

Don’t buy into the idea that you need to do this or that for your relationship to be seen as a ‘real’ relationship.

Working retail: hitting your breaking point…

My breaking point at work has definitely been when I told my manager I had to back off my hours to focus on school and he bitched at me and tried to change my mind.

Now, I’ve talked about a lot of the bullshit I’ve been through at work, from being threatened by fellow associates, being hit on by coworkers and customers alike, being pushed to the point of working 12 hour days alone to meet unrealistic deadlines, but this… This is the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I try my best to communicate with my managers about what may be happening in my personal life that can affect my work life. I try my best to work with my managers so they are not left high and dry during rushes and busy days. But this incident…

I will not allow someone to stand in the way of my future. I will not allow someone to look at me like I don’t do enough as is for my team and bitch at me about it.

To give you some perspective about this entire situation, I am not the only person going to school right now on my team. 2 other people are and honestly, I feel I work harder than them. One team member only works 4 days a week, and not even weekend days, just a regular Monday through Thursday schedule. The other teammate works 2-3 days a week and only 6 hours per day. And me? I work 5 days a week, especially weekend days and rack up about 38 hours a week.

But I get bitched at because I had to back down from 40 hours a week. I get bitched at because I’ve only been on the team for 3 months and have already been asked to be evening shift lead after the managers leave and I have to take the angry customers and angry calls. But I’m the one letting the entire store down.

So what am I going to do about it?

Honestly… I don’t know yet. I wish I could find another job, but I won’t be able to find anything where I can retain the hours and pay rate I need to stay in school and pay my bills.

So I’m stuck. And stuck griping on the internet because I need to work hard to live and everyone wants to bitch about it.

So thanks for coming to my bitchfest, leave a comment about how idiotic and ridiculous I am.

Spite not sugar…

Remember when you were having a hard time in elementary school with someone and you would ask your parents for help and they would say ‘kill them with kindness?’

And remember how frustrated you were because Stacy was not going to be nice to you first and why should you be nice first to some dumb slide-hog? And you would moan ‘but mom, killing her with kindness isn’t going to work!’ And you were right, because your mom had never met Stacy or knew what a raging cold-hearted bitch she was.

But then as you grew up, it was still the same advice of ‘kill them with kindness’. Well, do I have news for you friends.

You can now cut them from your life spitefully and still live a great life.

But that’s not the only place I’m going with Spite. Spite is what makes the world go round, not kindness. You don’t see drug lords and politicians being nice to regular people 9 times out of 10. You don’t see your managers at work being completely nice to everyone.

Maybe you’re afraid to take that leap into being a bitter hag like me. So let me tell you a thing; hate is just as passionate as love. You get as much emotional energy from hating something as you do loving something. So why not live in spite of everything?

When you harness spite as an emotional energy source, you feel more motivated to get shit done just so you don’t have to do it again. You feel more pressure from yourself to get that stupid meeting over with or to finish up that dumb project with so-and-so.

I live in spite of my foundations. I decided that I hated how I grew up and the foundations my family provided so I decided I was going to turn that hate into something productive. When I finally finish school, I’ll be the first doctor in my entire family. The first.

To hell with all the bullshit ‘good vibes only’ and ‘thinking positive’. I’m positive I’m going to get further than half of those wackos who only want to be positive and I’m positive I’ll have better emotional health because I’m not trying to push aside my negative thoughts or my ‘bad’ emotions.

I want you all to give me an example of how killing with kindness has worked for you, because in all my life and all my experiences I’ve never seen it work. So comment below and tell me why I’m wrong.

Long time no see…

Sorry kiddos. I’ve been working like crazy and haven’t taken the right time to keep on top of the blog bs.

My summer semester started on Monday so I’ve running around crazy between commuting an hour each way for classes, working 40 hours a week still and having to manage some home issues (broken pipes and all that jazz).

So I’m going to work better at updating and making sure I don’t fall off the radar entirely. Like I have for the last month or so.

My Spend Less Challenge…

You see these damn things all over the internet. Those 2-week or 30 day challenges to help cut back on spending. And I’ll admit, some do work. I’ve tried them. But some also don’t take into account what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck and barely making enough to make ends meet.

So here’s my Spend Less Challenge for people like me, who try really hard to keep track of your money but somewhere between a little pick-me-up cookie at lunch and extra gas after running your mom to the airport, you seem to be short right before every payday.

This is a 30 day challenge to get the ball rolling, but really you can keep it going however long you see fit. Start at the first of the month or right before payday for the best effects.

Prep steps:

  1. Get an empty coffee can (i got tons, of course) or an old piggy bank or a jar or a cup. Any kind of receptacle that can hold all the junk you’re going to now take out of your wallet. You heard me. Into this receptacle, put all the loose change and credit cards that you have in your wallet. You can keep any bills and you debit card (or one if you have multiple).
  2. Take stock of what you have in your kitchen pantry and fridge. Then make a list of staple items you need (rice, cooking stock, milk, etc.). Now make a meal plan for the next two weeks. Put the ingredients onto the list. Now shop and DO NOT STRAY FROM THE LIST PERIOD.
  3. Pay all applicable bills now while you have money. The credit card bills, the utilities, rent, car payment. Anything that will allow you to pay early, pay while you have money.

Now comes the fun parts. You are prepped and ready. Here are the rules you have to follow throughout the month.

Rules:

  1. Credit cards are to remain in the jar unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  2. You can only eat out lunch once a week. You can only eat out dinner once a week. Pick wisely. (this means you have to pack your lunches)
  3. Take out $20 a week from your bank as your allowance. This is the only money you can spend on fun things (a smoothie to treat yourself, a neat little figurine for your desk, etc.) FOR THE WEEK. When it is gone, it is gone. Whatever happens to be left over at the end of the week, put into the jar of change.
  4. The cash in the jar can only be used in life-threatening emergencies, unless the end of the month has come. At the end of the month, you must take the jar to the bank and split it 60/40: 60% into savings, 40% into checking.
  5. The debit card can be used but not for anything fun. E.i. if you know that you filled up your car on payday but will need to fill up again before the next payday, then the debit card can be used. The debit card cannot be used to buy that neat video game you’ve been waiting to come out for 6 months, that happens to come out between paydays.
  6. Grocery shop as close to payday as possible. Make a list, meal plan for the next pay period, do not abandon the list. While making dinner each night, use some of the downtime (like waiting for water to boil) to start packing your lunch for the next day. Throw in everything that doesn’t have to be refrigerated if your fridge is packed or fully pack it so it’s ready to grab and go in the morning.

At the end of the month, compare how your bank account looks now instead of previous months. It may not look like much at the moment, but if you continue to do this, then you’ll start to see where all your money went in little onesie-twosie purchases.

When I see that I have more money than usual I try to make extra payments to my student loans or credit cards to keep that snowball running. Maybe you want to put that extra money into savings. Maybe you want to use that extra money to take your mom out to dinner because you’ve been a shitty kid lately.

This is the hard shit that people don’t talk about anymore. We accept it with careless shrugs and ‘what can you do’ smile. But that’s how They keep you in line and under thumb (you know Them, the government, the insurance agencies, the credit card companies, the banks, the corporations,the people controlling your money and how you spend it). So if you’re even half as much of a bitter hag as me, then let’s make all their lives harder by spending less and living less so they can’t tell us how to live.

A life half-lived is still better than a life wasted under someone else’s control. Control your money and you control your world.

Working Retail: My nails…

I understand that this looks like it’s going to be just a typical girly gripe about my nails. But it’s really not. I promise.

Since I haves started working in retail, my hands, fingers, and nails have taken an absolute beating. I’m constantly smashing my fingers or pinching them between boxes and hard places. My nails I constantly break off (painfully most times) as I try to wrestle boxes open that are glued, not taped, shut. I constantly have to baby at least one finger with a cardboard cut or because my cuticle is pushed so far back that it splits open every few hours and bleeds.

And my skin in general has been absolute shit. I already live in a very dry climate and winters here suck ass. Even before working retail, I had a whole hand routine every night to treat the skin hurting and cracking just from being dry. Now I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate basic first aid into my routine. It’s not going well.

I honestly am very lucky if I make it through the week with only breaking 3 nails. And when I mean breaking, I mean breaking down to the nail bed; I’m not talking about the nail is brittle and breaks off looking my fingers looking uneven.

But the worst part is that when I do get any time off, like my weekends, my fingers heal just enough to stop being painful and to stop bleeding every time I ram them into everything. And then I get to go back to work and do it all over again.

But mostly, we’ve come to notice something very important about the girls at work with their nails. If your nails look anything like mine, where they look like shit, they are all broken off and blunt and growing at different lengths (because they got broken at different times), then you probably come in and do your job. Because you don’t break nails off doing nothing.

But if you have those pretty, fancy acrylic nails that stick from here to Timbuktu, then you are most definitely not doing your job of opening boxes and stocking shelves. I’m not ragging on women who have their nails that way, I understand that they are very pretty and make your day better by having something so nice in your life. But when you’re working in an environment where you constantly need to use your hands to do your job, I can’t understand how having long nails would help. Especially knowing the issue I have experienced from stocking boxes. Because you constantly have to rip open boxes or jam your nails under the edges of a box to open it. There’s no way in hell you’re doing your job with your fancy acrylics.

Maybe in an office environment, having fancy acrylic nails would be 20x more helpful. I never had them when I worked as an admin assistant, but I know many women love having them for typing and sorting documents.

But working in a grocery retailer is not the place for fancy acrylic nails or a full face of makeup. Period.

To lighten the mood a bit after I’ve basically called out 90% of my co-workers for their bad fashion sense, here’s I do to keep my hands ready and willing to strangle a man.

  1. Every night apply a heavy-duty hand lotion. People will recommend items like Bag Balm, O’Keefe’s, etc. I use just petroleum jelly with cocoa butter mixed in. You get name brand or off-brand. I know everyone is a little gun-shy of petroleum jelly but it’s that or corn huskers lotion, which works but takes forever to dry well enough for you to use your hands.
  2. Don’t be afraid to bandage your fingers. If your nail beds are aching from getting cardboard shoved under your nail, then bandage them up with regular old bandage before bed and for every day after that they continue to hurt. I usually pick up some of the cutesy kid design Band-Aids because they’re at least fun and colorful. And because I’m an adult, I do what I want.
  3. Don’t forget to take your vitamins. I know you’re probably poor if you’re working retail. Me too, man. So I bought some vitamins to help boost what I’m not getting in my diet since I’m mostly eating coffee and McDonald’s fries 4 days a week. Now, I’m not going to say that vitamins will solve all your problems or fix your diet, but the placebo effect of ‘I was healthy, I took  my vitamins’ will help you keep an eye on what you really put into your body, which will come back to helping your skin and nails look better.
  4. Wear gloves in the cold. This is a no-exception rule now. I know that sometimes you don’t think that it’s as cold as it really is and you can manage without a pair of gloves from your front door to the car. But if your area gets as dry as mine, you will feel it sucking all the good hard-won moisture from your hands as you walk the 30 feet from your front door to your car. Then your hands are going to ache all day at work because the cold set into your bones and stole the moisture from your skin causing the skin to crack and old cuts to open up again.

I can’t understand why you would spend $50+ dollars on a manicure and acrylic nails just to go work for minimum wage where 90% of your job requires use of your hands and nails.

I’m just at a loss.

Disaster adult…

Yes, this is a real thing.

Especially for all the grey area adults, those kids born between 1994 and 2000, who aren’t millennials and aren’t Gen Z kids. And are coming into this world as adults and frankly sucking ass as it.

So we coined the term disaster adult. Here’s to my fellow disaster adults.

To all the kids stuck eating ramen for 3 meals a day because they weren’t really taught how to grocery shop.

To all the kids who can tell you the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but can’t tell you how a tax bracket works.

To all the kids who can drive a car but can’t change a tire.

To all the kids who can’t afford fresh produce because they have to pay for their lights to stay on.

To all the kids who drown their sorrows in social media and memes because they can’t afford therapy.

To all the kids coming to terms with the capitalist hell we exist in that dictates our every decision in life.

I raise my glass to you.

Student life: Why I hate common college tips…

I absolutely hate all the advice floating around about college courses. I HATE it. And it’s not because it’s bad advice, it’s because it’s one-perspective advice. It’s all the tips and tricks that particular student found works for them.

So I’m going to go over all the dumb little tips I’ve found to be impossible for me.

  1. Don’t take any classes before 9 am or Don’t take any 8 am classes. This is the most bullshit advice I’ve ever heard. I know when you first get into college you overbook yourself. It’s just what happens. But it is sometimes impossible to avoid taking an 8 am class. At my school in particular, many required courses for my major are only available at 8 or 9, which means that to graduate I gotta drag my ass to class. College isn’t about living the Dream™, it’s about putting in the work to get a future and be more comfortable later in life.
  2. Find a club. I hate this advice because there is no way some of us can be committed to a full course load and a club, especially if you have a job you HAVE to work to afford eating and sleeping with a roof over your head. Not to mention the people who only want to focus on getting through their courses or can’t devote any other personal energy to a club. If you really think a club is going to help you get into some grad school or to get some job after you graduate, then maybe you should also keep your options open about what you want to do after college. I have gotten many jobs without the help of some club and I’m going to get into grad school without a club on my academic resume either, because I’m going to work hard at the other aspects of my life.
  3. Don’t forget to exercise and take care of yourself uwu I hate this advice because it only works for some people. There’s no reason to look at your already packed schedule and try to fit in an hour of intramural sports or 30 minutes at the rec center. If your campus is like mine, then you can bike or walk to class every day, which is just as healthy as hitting the gym every day because you get fresh air, sunshine (on sunny days of course) and some moderate exercise. But there’s no reason to kill yourself trying to keep up with everyone else who’s schedule allows for them to hit the gym or the rec every day.
  4. Focus on school, hustle, hustle, hustle Gods, I hate hustle culture. I hate that fact that people act like if you just work hard enough all your dreams will come true. Let me sit you down and give you some real life advice; You’re NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS YOU. For me that means I will sacrifice everything except the basic needs. I will not lose sleep or skip meals. All those dumb graphics and dumb rhetoric about ‘stay up late and get up early to achieve your dreams’ is absolute bullshit. You can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re sitting in a hospital bed with malnutrition and exhaustion. So don’t skip work, dinner, or bed, because you have to make sure you are taken care of before you start trying to make your life better.

As much as good advice is out there, there’s tons more than you can’t even use 9 times out of 10 because it just doesn’t apply to your situation.