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.

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’.

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.

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.

 

Why I’m doing this…

So I just want to clear the air. I’m not here to blog and make money off all you people on the internet. There’s enough of that going around. Would I like to make a little cash here and there from my blog? Hell yeah. But I’m not working to turn this into the ‘full-time career’ that every other blogger brags about.

Because that’s just not feasible. At all. How are these people able to quit their jobs as productive members of society just to sit around all day and rake in money from other hard-working people? I don’t want to quit my job to blog all day (I do want to quit because retail sucks ass, but because I want to blog all day).

I love working, and I know that some things just can’t be accomplished yet with technology, like stocking shelves or mopping floors (okay, I know rumbas are a thing, but those aren’t good for commercial places yet). I don’t want to sit back and let the cash roll in.

I’m blogging just to get some of what I think out into the great internet void. Because you can only complain so much to the people you know. And it’s fun to watch people to get all pissy because I’m throwing their lying asses under the bus for trying to mislead regular people into thinking that all their problems can be solved with a simple blog post and some affiliate links.

So don’t think I’m doing this just to get money from you or to live off the system and money made from other people’s generosity. I’m just here to scream into the void.