Tag Archives: lifestyle

Tarot 101: Finding your deck…

This is simultaneously the hardest and easiest part of Tarot.

Why is it easy? With all the resources available, it’s easy to find stores in your area that sell Tarot deck, as well as find them online. You also have the resources available to here what other people think about a certain from reviews and forums, which can help make you an more informed buyer, especially if you order them from Amazon or what not.

But now the process becomes harder. With all these resources at your disposal, it’s going to feel overwhelming just from the decks available at your local shops.

In this sea of beautiful artwork, differing content, different sizes, and loads of customer reviews, how do you know if you can work with this deck?

While this may be the right question, I want to elaborate for a moment on this particular question. If you’re a beginner like me, I wouldn’t worry about breaking the bank with the most beautiful deck you can find because your materialistic heart says you need it. I know this seems like a call out, but this is the main question I want you to focus on when you look at a deck, can you REALLY work with this deck? Can you picture yourself handling the cards over and over? Is the finish glossy enough for traditional shuffles (since if you’re like me, you haven’t quite picked up the hang of shuffling the standard sized Tarot which is larger than an average deck)? Is the deck a good size for your hands (I have very small child-like hands, which makes this an issue for me)? Can you imagine doing spreads and readings with these cards?

I know this seems like a lot to consider, but it’s helped me get two good decks off Amazon without ever touching them in person.

But my favorite little piece of advice, I found from Marie Kondo on her new Netflix series. Although her series is about organizing your home using the KonMari method, she asks her clients something very important about their stuff. ‘Does this spark joy?’ It totally floors me every time I use it, because some things you have to keep around (say a hammer for emergency repairs) but other things, you don’t have to hold onto (like a dress from your 8th grade Sadie Hawkins dance). So ask yourself this when you look at a new deck, especially if you’re online shopping. If you can’t see yourself holding this deck, working this deck, feeling joy and growth from this deck, then don’t bother to get it.

Unless you’re going to start an art collection of Tarot cards. Then go for it, I suppose.

I’m not trying to scare you off buying a deck. But I don’t want you to pick a stunning deck for you to work with it twice and realize it just isn’t for you. It would be like investing in a Ferrari for your first car only to find out you only like driving Civics (nothing wrong with either vehicle just a comparison of how even though the luxury is there, you may be comfortable with something that you can beat up a little since you’re still learning). But just take the time to research and investigate before you decide on a deck to save yourself from having decks piling up in your house, pouring out of cabinets and drawers, overflowing closets, spilling from under the beds and piled in the sink.

 

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.

Tarot 101: The Basics…

So this is one of witchcraft’s more commonly portrayed aspects in modern media. Everyone knows of the crazy old gypsy woman reading Tarot cards and palms at her velvet-covered shop with a big ass crystal ball and jars filled with unmentionable items.

While some of this is true for witchcraft (looking at all those memes about mason jar hoarding), Tarot is way more basic than that.

Tarot decks are made up of 78 cards. These cards are split into two main categories, Major arcana and Minor arcana. Major arcana makes up 22 cards of the deck and have all the most famous cards, like The Lovers and Death. The Minor arcana cards make up the remaining 56 cards of the deck and are split into four suits, like a standard deck of cards.

However, the suits are different than a standard deck. Where a standard deck is made up of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, a Tarot deck is made up of Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Now the Tarot suits do coincide with regular suits, so if you’re trying to be sneaky or looking for a new Tarot challenge, you can use a regular deck just as you would a Tarot deck. Cups coincide with Hearts, Pentacles with Diamonds, Swords with Spades, and Wands with Clubs.

An interesting note about the Major arcana is that although they are numbered, they are numbered from 0 to 21, instead of 1 to 22. We’ll go over more of the Major arcana later on.

Tarot is a form of divination magic, like reading tea leaves or casting oracle bones. Another form of card divination is using oracle cards, which are different than Tarot cards because oracle cards can come in different kinds of deck sizes and content, whereas Tarot is normally based on one set standard.

Tarot decks are usually illustrated and based off the Rider-Waite Tarot deck structure. Most decks use their face illustrations off the standard Rider-Waite deck that’s been in print since 1910 and are considered the standard for  Tarot decks. Nowadays, there are many illustrators creating their own stylistic face illustrations for their own Tarot decks, drawing from the Rider-Waite deck as the foundation.

Speaking of the Rider-Waite deck, many pros agree that to start learning with a deck based on the Rider-Waite deck since it is such a common and accessible deck. As well as being the most common deck available, since everyone uses it basically, the resources online are countless if you need help interpreting a card or learning a new spread.  Besides online, Tarot has been around since the Middle ages, meaning that there are books upon books you can reference, although some books reference how Tarot was used as a simple card game before it was used for divination purposes.

That’s just some of the basics involving Tarot. With a topic this old and rich, there’s always more to explore and discover and learn.

Intro to Witchcraft…

We all know about the witch hunts where many woman were burned at the stake or drowned for any reason at all. Witchcraft was more of a blanket term back them to describe anyone who wasn’t fitting in with societal norms.

But witchcraft itself has somehow persevered through the years and is seeing a resurgence of late as more and more women are delving into the history behind it and are finding that it is a much more open community than originally led to believe. Not only is it an open community where members are more than willing to teach and answer questions about witchcraft and wicca, but it is also becoming a more holistic approach to spirituality than other forms of organized religion.

Some of these benefits include worshiping who you want without any guidelines on exactly how you HAVE to worship your deity. You also can pick from across cultures all around the world to find a deity that actually suits you and your life instead of a monotheistic religion. Not only is the spirtuality aspect a major winner of why so many people are turning to witchcraft and wicca, but the fact that many attributes of spell work and witchcraft itself revolve around nature and appreciating nature.

So for some who are wiccan, a day at church could be hiking a local mountain and cleaning up litter, or taking a walk through the woods and appreciating the nature that surrounds their area, or maybe it means going down to a local park and sketching some of the squirrels and birds to give as offerings to a deity. I personally understand how any of these activities, done with the proper reverence, beat sitting in a musty old church all morning listening to a man try to interpret a book instead of doing so myself.

Now before I get carried away, let me make a disticntion.

Wiccan is the nontraditional belief system (however considering witchcraft has existed longer than organized religion, maybe this should be considered traditional) of worshiping Non-Christian deities and more than one deity. Most people refer to it as a form of paganism and I guess it counts on a purely technical basis, considering how the dictionary defines words.

Witchcraft is the blanket term for practicing various forms of magic, usually in correlation to a deity, but not always.

So you can be wiccan and practice witchcraft or you can be wiccan and not practice witchcraft, or you can practice witchcraft and not be wiccan. But that’s the beauty of witchcraft. It give you the options and choices to grow spiritually how you want to and with what suits you.

Does this make witchcraft evil? In the eyes of some of the more extreme Christian groups, yes. But for one group who believes that being gay is wrong and that vaccinating your kids is wrong and that divorce is wrong and that only one person has the answer and the other that appreciates other cultures and nature and works primarily to bring about positive solutions to problems… You can see where I’m going with this right?

So maybe you can see why I’m getting into witchcraft. I can do my own thing without have to play into the notion that only one god exists to try to explain the vast amount of uncertainties in the world. Or maybe I’m just an old-fashioned kind of girl 😉

How to: Vodka Gummy Bears…

So here’s how to make my personal favorite drinking snack.

It’s really easy, but does take some set up time.

So all you need:

  • A quart-sized mason jar or a reusable food storage container (any size will really do)
  • big bag of gummy bears (whichever brand you prefer, I always get the biggest bag possible for multiple batches)
  • a big bottle of regular vodka (whichever brand you prefer, I always just get the cheapest, biggest bottle I can find)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 hours

Step 1: Fill container 2/3 with gummy bears

Step 2: Pour vodka over gummy bears until just covered

Step 3: Put lid on container and put in fridge overnight

This is the best make-ahead party treat (for adults, duh) and it stays in the fridge pretty well until you want/need them. I usually just keep a jar in the fridge for a fun little something on Friday nights to treat myself for getting through the week. Because nothing says happiness like gummy bears and alcohol.

Tarot 101: Overview…

To start off my new series of Tarot posts, I just want to go over some basic stuff with you.

For starters, this is more of a way to document my learning of the Tarot deck than to be used as an absolute guide. One of the best study methods is to teach the concept to someone else, so by writing it all down and teaching the internet about it, it should help me learn it all better too.

Secondly, I’m not claiming I’m an expert. Yet. So if you see something wrong, shoot me an email or comment on the post. I’m open to learning anything and everything.

Thirdly, I plan on posting every few days, so I’m not going all out all at once.

Any comments or questions, please let me know. This is definitely a group journey at this point!

My new thing: something spooky…

Since nobody asked, I’m going to tell you anyway. I did give you all enough time to vote and guess though 😉 My new thing…

So my new thing, hobby or what have you, is witchcraft and tarot.

I’m planning on posting some cool witchy stuff over the next couple of weeks, including run-downs of tarot cards, some basic witchy item stuff, maybe some lore and cryptids too.

So let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you’re curious about and I’ll see if I can answer your questions.

Fashion: My favorite accessories…

This post has some affiliate links listed below, so if you decide to click on the links and buy that item, I get a little money as well, at no extra cost to you. 

I live a very busy life. Like, super busy all the time.

So I figured I would make a list of all the tings I carry with me day to day.

  1. Lip balm
  2. Wallet
  3. Phone (duh)
  4. Lighter Here’s one that I carry cause it’s cool af  Zippo Dragon Tattoo Lighter
  5. Butterfly knife (now fair warning, this is legal to have in my area but maybe not yours, check local laws first friends)
  6. Journal Here’s one I LOVE and the journal inserts I use  Refillable Leather Journal
     and Set of 6 Travel Journal Inserts
  7. Pack of smokes
  8. Lipstick (right now I’m using Mally Beauty Lip Crayon in Chic Cherry)
  9. Mascara ( get some Elf brand from your local store, it’s cheap and better damn good)
  10. Pens

Now, most of this stuff I do carry in a bag, but it’s never a huge bag. I love backpacks or messenger bags because they’re a bit more manageable and lasting than normal shoulder bags in my experience. Below are some of the bags I use or would definitely get in the future. (these are picture affiliate links, so if you click on the picture it will take you to the page where you can buy the item if interested. See my affiliate link disclosure at the top of the post)

Survivng retail…

Retail is literal hell. Not metaphorical at all. I would not wish retail work upon my worst enemies.

But for those poor souls stuck working retail, here are some tips to get you through this.

  1. Treat your self. I don’t mean spend your entire paycheck on something you want cause it just came out. I mean, every week buy one little thing to motivate yourself to get through the week. Maybe it’s your favorite latte from Starbucks or maybe it’s Kitkat bar or maybe it’s a rental from Redbox for a night in. Whatever it is, I have a few ground rules to keep myself from going overboard, like nothing over $5.
  2. Go out. Not every night. But take yourself out every so often for ice cream or a movie. I know working retail is exhausting. I know it’s hard. But sometimes you have to take a break from being the responsible adult who’s going to work and paying those bills. So take a little break and enjoy something trivial.
  3.  Start a project outside of work.  You’re going to want to slap me for this, but hear me out. Start something big outside of work, say like repainting a room or starting a 1000-piece puzzle. Just start something to motivate you to finish the work day to go home to. Think about how expecting parents are more than happy to get off work to finish their nursery or how people join recreation sports teams. When you find something to get excited about after work, it makes the work day go easier.
  4.  Clean. Again, you’re going to want to slap me. But again, hear me out. I know how shitty it is to come home from a busy day and see a messy kitchen or bathroom and you feel all lingering motivation for anything flee your body. But think of cleaning like cheap therapy. No one is going to yell at you for beating the dust out of your rugs. No one will fault you for throwing out old magazines and junk mail. Or for aggressively scrubbing the stubborn grout stains on your tile. Cleaning is a good way to safely relieve some of the stress from work while still being productive.
  5. Take a fancy bubble bath. This goes hand-in-hand with treating yourself. Once a week, on your Friday (cause in retail do you ever work a real Monday to Friday, 9-5), go home and run a bath. Get some sweet ass bath bombs or some scented Epsom salts or some super bubbly bubble bath, light some candles, and soak for a few. Rest your tired feet and aching back in a nice hot bath to help relax your muscles. And there’s no shame if you’re a man. Seriously, a hot bath will do wonders for your back and hips and feet and knees. If you don’t have a bathtub, then just take a nice hot shower before bed and when you crawl into bed still warm from your shower, it’ll help you relax and sleep easier through the night.

I know working retail is a thankless job and it’s hard on your mental health and your body. Let me know in the comments below what you do to get through a long hard day in customer service.

My new thing…

So recently I’ve developed a new hobby so to speak.

It’s an old hobby rich in tradition and history

It’s been becoming popular again after falling off the map for a bit, since it seemed to have fallen out of style for one reason of another.

This hobby has ages of books to sift through not to mention all the new blogs and forums devoted to it.

Need another hint?

One word.

Starts with a consonant.

Guess in the comments below 😉

Working Retail: Expectation vs. Reality…

This is the only post I want anyone to read if you’re thinking about working retail.

Long story short, it sucks.

Long story, it sucks ass.

So here’s what I expected walking into retail:

  • Standing for 8 hours a day
  • Lifting things that are really fucking heavy by yourself
  • Cleaning up after grown ass adults

 

Here’s what I get every day working retail:

  • Standing almost my entire 8 hour shift. I get to sit for lunch and when I take a 5 minute pee break once a day.
  • Lifting things in the stupid conditions and having to be the only girl on any team willing to lift the 50 lb. dog food bags that are literally HALF my body weight.
  • Cleaning up after both customers and associates because not only do the assistant managers not do shit, our maintenance doesn’t do shit, our overnight stockers don’t do shit, no one does anything.
  • Giving up my weekends and days off that I put in for because my managers can’t figure out how to run a department for 2 days.
  • Giving up 90% of my free time because not does overtime exist, but the hours as so shitty for starting positions. I started out as a daytime stocker, with the shift running from 4 am to 1 pm. I was dead on my feet by quitting time and asleep on my couch by 7. I lost any social life I had and my boyfriend and I barely went out on date nights ever because I was always fucking tired from not only getting up at an unholy hour but because I was busting my ass all day, putting in overtime to make up for the shitty hourly wage of $11 an hour (which YOU CANNOT LIVE ON NO MATTER WHAT ANY ONE SAYS)
  • Being constantly cranky because I only have time to grab fast food on lunch and I constantly want to eat the fries at the McDonald’s across the street. I gained a good 10 pounds working here (I’ve always been a bit on the underweight side), but I also probably gained heart disease and diabetes because I’m downing fast food and energy drinks and anything with sugar in it to keep going throughout the day.
  • Managers who don’t care to do their job. They act like since they have a fancy title and a nice salary that they get to push off every responsibility onto every other employee, including other managers. But they want to keep their jobs because they like the pay.
  • Unreliable co-workers who will leave you high and dry on those horrid weekends with high traffic. These are the people who do the bare minimum already, expecting you to pick up the slack because they’ve been there for long enough that the managers can’t figure out how to get rid of them. But they will call in all the time and leave you to deal with the rude customers and high-strung managers.

 

Obviously, each job is what you make of it and attitude is everything. But coming in day after day and busting ass to get shit done, being nice or at least courteous to every single person, staying late and coming in early, all this shit wears you out so fast.

I’m in my early twenties and I feel like I’m in my late 40s, the way I ache and cramp and lock up especially with my knees and back. I would definitely recommend never working retail if you can help it. But I know you probably got bills to pay and mouths to feed, so only start in retail if the only other options are turning tricks or stripping.

Putting the D in Dysfunctional…

Buckle up folks, because this is going to be a bumpy af ride.

I want to give you an overview of the dysfunction I face in the day to day with my family.

So that when you see me post something off the wall, you understand that I am a product of my upbringing.

My parents are happily married. They are also functioning alcoholics.

My paternal grandparents are not happily married. My grandfather is an alcoholic and my grandmother is addicted to opioids, and most likely has Munchausen Syndrome since she has been in and out of the hospital for the last 15 years.

She is currently in the hospital now, following the death of my great aunt, her sister, in September, and has been since right before Christmas.

I have a cousin in jail for murder. He’s actually one of my better cousins. In his defense, it was a robbery that took a bad turn and he has served his time in jail and it really turned his life around. He used to work with training service dogs, until someone ruined that privileged in the prison.

I have a cousin with warrants out for her arrest for grand larceny. She is my grandmother’s favorite grandchild.

My uncle has been MIA for almost a decade now. After raising his daughter, the larceny cousin, he disappeared. Last we knew he was in the Seattle area. Last I knew, he was a bit of a creep, hanging out with people half his age and trying to date girls as old as his daughter (again half his age). his name is Jared, he has like 6 degrees and probably works in a lab of some kind. Kick him in the dick if you see him and tell him his niece sends her regards :).

My maternal uncle couldn’t keep his pen out of the company ink pot and basically ruined his kids’ lives with having to divorce his wife, my aunt (now removed, but we still like her), and then marry the bitch he was screwing. We do not like her. She is a literal bitch and my God-fearing, see-the-good-in-everyone maternal grandmother even called her a whore one time.

Now my uncle’s new wife is also why I have beef against vegetarians (ha, beef against vegetarians). Every family gathering, she shows up and drinks only from her own cup she brought, which we suspect is spiked, and she refuses to eat anything anyone else brought. She also claims to have this disease or that illness and then makes my cousins be little Cinderella’s and clean the house for her, instead of making her own grown ass kids help. The only time I ever saw her be social in the last 7 years was when I brought my best friend to Christmas dinner (my friend was stuck in town and couldn’t get down south to be with her own family for the holidays) and my uncle’s wife tried to get on her good side with compliments and such. It was the weirdest situation and my friend finally believes that this bitch is crazy. She also completely changed my cousin’s diets to suit her own and I think that’s not quite fair to children already going through a messy divorce. But she doesn’t care. She sits at home on her royal throne of the couch and bosses them away.

My great-grandmother stands at about 5 foot on a good day. And she has won more brawls than your ever will. My two favorite stories about her include how she got banned from a Target and how she whooped the Neighbor Lady.

The Target story goes like this; she was shopping at Target for some groceries, as you do. As she was waiting in line to checkout, a mom and her kid come in behind her. Now the kid starts messing with the cart and pushing into my great-grandma’s ankles. After about the third she turns and asks the boy stop. He continues. She turns back and asks the mom the tell her kid to stop. She does not and he continues. She finally turns back again and tell the mom to tell her little bastard child to quit ramming the cart into her. The mom starts getting froggy, and my great-grandma was having none of that. She knocked the lady out cold with one punch, took her purse and left. She showed up at my grandfather’s house and told them she had been there for the last two hours. They didn’t dare ask why.

Now the Neighbor Lady. This is a story. My great aunts (my grandma’s sisters) were both pregnant in high school. They used to have to walk to the bus stop from their house. Well, they always passed by this house where a mean lady would say nasty things to them, calling them whores and such. Now usually, my aunts could make it to the bus stop without incidence, but they are my blood and have a hard time keeping their mouths shut. So one day, as they were walking home from school, this lady starts up her shit again. My aunts start talking shit back to her, because they weren’t going to take that shit lying down. The lady comes off her porch and smacks one of my aunts. They of course go home and tell my great-grandmother, their mom, what happens. Now my great-grandma knew this lady was a bitch. She and the next door neighbor both knew. So she storms down there, cause someone just hit her child, and she beats the living shit out of this lady in her front yard. My great-grandma then walks home, goes to the next door neighbor’s house and tells her she’s been there the last two hours if anyone asks.

 

Well, that’s enough story time for today. Maybe I’ll dig up some more gems from my childhood to share with all of you.

 

Fashion: Forget being Fashionable…

I hate fashion. I hate all the trends and the way society thinks young women have to look.

I hate feeling like society has some hold over me, like society can tell me how to look.

So I do what any unreasonable girl does. I shit on society’s expectations.

I keep cutting my hair so it’s poofy and unmanaged because everyone has decided that hair has to be absolutely perfect, even when you cut your hair and dye it. It’s not perfectly wavy, it’s not perfectly curled, it’s not straight either. It’s imperfect and perfectly fine like that.

I don’t want to look like anyone else. I am have been born into the lot of looking like anyone else and it frustrates me.

I’m frustrated that I could walk into a model agency right now, probably get a job and be on a billboard by next week. Because I can look like everyone else.

But I hate it. I hate that I can pull off any stupid trend that pops up in a month or a year, because I have the body type for it.

So I’ve come up with the perfect plan for looking like me. 

Buy only what you can use year-round or for multiple seasons. It doesn’t make sense to buy a pair of sheer leggings you can only wear on the beach if you live in Wisconsin. 

Pick one thing you like and stick with it; a certain type of pants, or a certain style of shirt. Build your wardrobe off this. I build my personal wardrobe off skinny jeans and combat boots. 

Try something new once in a while, but don’t try something new every season.  I like high-waisted jeans, but I’m not going to buy all high-waisted jeans I can get my hands on because it doesn’t suit me. 

Quit playing on the ideas that you can’t have functional fashion. I can’t stand the idea of looking like a Barbie doll. Not because Barbie isn’t a good role model, but because all of Barbie’s clothes are not truly functional. I have to carry stuff all day and I’m not going to bring a purse with me every second if it’s not completely necessary. I can’t wear heels all the time because I work an active job, because I do active things outside of work. 

 

Can we please just quit throwing money at an industry that is controlling our lives in ways it should not? Fashion is turning little girls into sex symbols because it’s the only clothing around and then people wonder why little girls look, and summarily act, like they’re adults when they’re still children. Fashion has claimed lives of models told to look certain ways to entertain an ideal that can’t exist naturally. Fashion is the one way we separate ourselves from the crowd, to be see as an individual and fashion is the one way we segregate people out of our inner circles.

But the worst part is that people still adhere to fashion like it’s a damn religion and throw dollars in the trash to look ‘good’ or ‘cool’ for a year.

 

 

Student life: How to bounce back from a bad semester…

First thing first: don’t panic.

Shit happens. Don’t start freaking out on me. That’s rule #1 in any survival situation.

So take a deep breath.

Step 1: Don’t shut down yet. 

I know how it is at the end of the semester. You’re exhausted. You’re sick of staying up late and getting up early and you want to eat anything other than ramen. But don’t get into vacation mode just yet.

If you’re already there, then wait two weeks before the new semester and start prepping for class then.

You don’t want to shut down just yet because you need to keep the wheels moving while you’re in that school mentality.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; Why the fuck am I going to keep studying and working after I turned in my 20 page paper and finished my Chem Final?

Because this is where we unfuck the next semester.

Step 2: Unfucking yourself

This is the nitty-grtitty of it. You should be registered for your next semester and have the resources available. (If not, no big deal, we’ll come back to you later).

Think through the past semester and jot down all the times you know you fucked yourself over for school. Was it an extra shift at work? Maybe a first date that had you primping for over an hour and half? Or a birthday party for your grandma?

Jot down all these instances. Literally, put it on paper because you’re going to need a physical form for you to see this.

Now everything that was optional and you could’ve lived without doing, put a star next to it. Everything that was necessary and unavoidable, cross out. Examples of both are; a night spent out drinking with friends from high school you don’t exactly like a lot – optional and unnecessary. Grandma’s 90th birthday party – necessary (unless you got a grandma like me and she wants you to study instead of party so she uninvites you to her party).

Every unnecessary instance (starred) will show you were you dropped the ball on time management. Maybe you got caught up in a new Netflix show. Maybe you dated someone before a messy breakup. But now, you’re wiser than at the start of the semester and can learn from this mistake.

Maybe this means you have to stop hanging out with your friends in the sorority because as nice as they are, they aren’t on the same major as you and don’t have to work as hard to be an architect as to be a doctor. Maybe this means you have to cut your crazy uncle out of your life for a while because he only shows up to bum some cash, couch surf, and party. Maybe this means you have to take a break from your S.O. because while they may be studying history and you’re studying Literature, they may distract you from getting your work done.

This may seem like a shitty thing to do, but you have to remember that you are racking up a huge bill to get a step further in the world. You can’t cater to anyone else’s feelings right now. This is your time to grow and those in your life need to understand that or they need to get out. So tell them either get behind you or get our of the way, because you can’t make it through this journey with half-assed support and people dragging you down and turning your attention away from getting this shit done once and for all.

Step 3: Plan, Plan, Plan, and Plan some more

This is also why you need to be stuck in that studying mindset still.

You have to make a real plan for the next semester. I know that I’ve screwed up a semester or two because I went against my plan and let myself be spontaneous as any college kid does. DO NOT KEEP DOING THIS!

While it’s good to live a little, you are spending thousands of dollars to learn and grow, and spending 4 years being studious and boring is better than spending 10 years stuck in a dead-end job because you dropped out of college.

Everyone will tell you to enjoy your youth while you have it and to live it up while you can, but let me tell you something; we’re here for a good time, not here for a long time, so live it up small but don’t leave yourself SOL when you need cash or time or a better job.

So plan out your study time and work schedule now to get a jump on telling your managers when you’ll be available. This is also a good time to think about if you may need help for next semester. Look into study groups or tutoring for those classes that keep coming back to haunt you. Look at what messed you up this semester; was it poorly written notes? Was it ineffective study groups? Was it Netflix? Was it spending too much making flash cards instead of reviewing them?

So figure out a game plan for the next semester.

Step 4: Let it go 

No, not the song.

Well, kind of like the song.

Just make your peace with this semester. Time marches on and soon this will be just a challenge you overcame for grad school application essays. Now, I know you’re thinking, how am I supposed to get over the worst time in my life? This is so horrible and I’ll never get over it. I’m a disgrace and a waste of space…

I’ll tell you how. You should still be sitting down looking at your plan. Take a deep breath. Now tell yourself the truth; you messed up, but guess what? You’re cleaning up your mess and you’re going to make it better.

So if you need a strong drink and a good cry to make your peace, well you and me both, friend.

High school mentality…

I can’t believe how often people working retail act like high schoolers. It’s ridiculous.

I just witnessed a grown woman afraid to tell the salaried managers that she was being bullied by other members of her team and it had escalated to the other team members now shoulder-checking this woman if they were in the same aisle. Like a grown woman was afraid that it was going to turn into a ‘he said she said’ thing. And she was worried about being seen as the guilty party.

I had to finally go to a manager and tell him that I was concerned for her safety and that this isn’t the first time the transgressors had tried to start drama. Luckily, he confirmed that he had suspicions about them and assured me that the woman they were victimizing was going to be treated as the victim in this situation and there was no need for her to feel that it was her word against theirs. But I know this isn’t the case everywhere.

I know there are managers who play favorites all day every day. Many of my managers play favorites all the time. I was lucky enough to have 3 siblings to contend with and know how to play the favorite game. But not everyone had a dysfunctional childhood like me. They help contribute to this bullshit going on and on, where someone can’t report sexual assault or harassment without fearing that they’ll lose their jobs, where girls are allowed to act however they want and do whatever they want while everyone picks up their slack.

I just can’t wrap my head around how these people allow high school behaviors to rule their lives and make them act immature while at work.

It’s even worse that people don’t seem to understand that in these situations, HR is your friend and that documenting everything is what will keep your ass covered.

It’s sad to think that the American public education system can turn out bullies instead of giving people the tools to succeed and therefore keep the cycle going. It’s sad to think that people are still so afraid to reach out for help in these situations, as though they’re going to get called tattletales and snitches.

It’s a vicious cycle and it’s a vicious way that people have to live their lives; coming to work to pay their bills and getting bullied by some high school drop-out who thinks they’re hot shit, when they’re nothing more than children playing at adulthood and addicted to drama.

The Lie about getting up Earlier…

I absolutely hate this fucking lie that hustle culture promotes.

Getting up an hour or two earlier is not going to change a damn thing.

All those people who preach about getting up before 5 or 6 am, they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. Maybe they’re freelancers or something, but for everyone else with a regular job or a school schedule, getting up a hour earlier won’t mean shit in our day to day.

I already get up at 5:30 am to get ready for work. I get up, get ready, pack lunch for me and my boyfriend, then check my emails and have breakfast.  I get to work at 7 and work until 4. I get home and do chores, blog, cook dinner, the like until I go to be at 10 pm.

So if I get up an hour earlier, then I’m going to be asleep on my couch by 9. Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone. Maybe some of you can survive on 6 or less hours of sleep. I know my limit is 6 hours a night. If I get less than that, then I start turning into a confrontational bitch who slowly starts losing her grip on self-control. Maybe you can live on 4 hours a night and function perfectly well.

But based off the numerous studies conducted about how much sleep people need to functional well, cutting back on sleep is not the way to get ahead in this world. Cutting back on the basic necessities, like sleeping or eating will not get you far before your body decides it can’t keep up with your ambition.

So every single person who claims that staying up late and getting up early and working hard are what will get you there. It’s not. It’s being clever with your time, smart about your resources, and open about your options.

Procrastinating: what helps me…

Everyone procrastinates from time to time.

Some people (like me) do it all the damn time and we get very frustrated with ourselves because we feel like we should be able to get over procrastinating.

But every single time we look for help, the advice is usually along the lines of ‘well just stop procrastinating’. It doesn’t work like that, Brenda!

That’s like telling someone that their leg should just quit being broken or that they should quit having depression.

I know I procrastinate a lot because I feel inadequate. I know, I’m the queen of this hell hole and I feel inadequate? But its true. I feel like anything I turn out is substandard to anyone else even as I huff and mutter under my breath that I’m the best damn (insert progression here).

But that’s what’s helping me get through some of my procrastination.

Fake it till you make it

My life motto most days.

All you have to do is pretend that you’re a spy and you have to do this task and it doesn’t matter how bad because you’re undercover.

But seriously, you just have to tell yourself that whathisname is just as good as you so you have to be better. Or that if this guy can do so can I.

This method usually boosts my motivation for a half-second to at least consider getting my shit done.

But this doesn’t help you magically get your shit. There is no answer that I’ve found for waking up and everything being done.

Baby steps

I’m bad about this. Logically, if you can’t complete the whole task you can at least start on something small to get the ball rolling.

Now I’m an all or nothing kind of person and that has bitten me in the ass more times than I can tell. Sometimes from procrastinating and sometimes because I’m just too damn stubborn for my own good.

But this method has helped me get through so stupid ass essays for school.

Everyone will go on and on and on and on and on about their favorite way of breaking down a task into steps. Do this thing first or that thing first.

But you have to find what works for you. This means brainstorming. If that means sitting down and staring at a computer for three hours trying to break down an essay into parts you can handle, or if that means doing the bare minimum at work while trying to figure out how to handle that big project, then do what needs to be done so you have the right plan in place.

Take Your Damn Time 

This seems counter-intuitive, but here me out. You know how it feels when you half-ass a project and then feel guilty because you could’ve done better, but you rushed and scrambled to get your shit together.

Well quit rushing around like a headless chicken.

Stop for 15 minutes. Take a deep breath. Take another deep breath. Take another.

Now you’re good to keep going. Make a list of everything to do for the day. Now, what has to get done in 10 minutes? 20 minutes? An hour? By the end of the day?

You’ve got your priorities now. So take your baby steps and get the ball rolling. If it means just taking it a little at a time, it’s better than getting burned out and feeling bad about shitty work.

Now, this does mean that some priorities are going to have to be put aside or even dropped to keep other obligations. Let them go. Don’t feel bad about it.

So you miss a homework assignment. So you have to cancel a dinner with your friends to finish a project at work. So you have to stay late at a study group instead of catching another shift at work.

You have to know when to make those calls. But don’t feel bad, because at the end, you’re work is going to be whole-assed instead of half-assed and you’re going to feel motivated to get onto the next task.

Remember, it’s that whole thing of ‘to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs’, but this times eggs means obligations and omelettes mean meeting deadlines.

 

 

Everyone procrastinates. Just don’t forget to keep moving. And for the love of whatever gods exist, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not going to stop procrastinating overnight (if you could, I would have done it already and then summarily conquered the world by now). But you can still make progress.

Image that procrastinating is being stuck in one of those foam pits at a gymnastic gym. Those things are incredibly hard to get out of, but you have to keep moving. Just a little bit will get you closer to the edge of the pit and you can get out. But if you stop moving, you’re going to sink. If you stop moving you’re going to get even more stuck. So take those baby steps and think about how if some stupid grade schooler can get out of a stupid foam pit, so can you.

 

Pop songs…

You know what really gets me going in the mornings?

Besides my three pots of coffee and the blood of my enemies.

Really girly pop songs.

No, seriously. This generation has come out with some of the best pop songs from girl groups and solo acts, all of which are finally yelling at little girls that they don’t need to be sexy and stuck up to be popular.

I love Fifth Harmony, and Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, and the amount of female rappers breaking into the industry warms my cold, shriveled heart.

I love that I can listen to the radio and not hear the same damn song preaching about how some girl just wants to fall in love and settle down with her dream boy ( I know early in Taylor Swift’s career she did this, but she has since evolved as an artist and has literally grown up). Now we have multiple ballads screaming how girls night out should stay girls night out, how the haters are just haters, how focusing on your ambitions will net you more than a man will.

I love a sappy romance song as much as the next gal, but when I get to hear those jams about working your ass off as a woman, I just want to cry tears of joy.

Because the industry is finally understanding. They finally get that their market is younger than preteens, that these girls are going to change the world and they need the right background music to do it (yes, the market is just in it to make a quick buck off this whole ‘woman power’ movement but we have to take our victories where we can).

No, this isn’t some feminist rant about how the music industry sucks for promoting XYZ artist or genre.

This is a declaration that I’m so happy these jams by educated women are available because growing up, I didn’t here anything as amazing as that. I had the same bullshit of party jam or breakup ballad. And now we have single lady party jams, we have hustle jams (not promoting side-hustles but damn is it nice to have a song or two promoting working hard), we have those jams about a lady shutting those dickwads down before they can even get close to her.

And if you don’t like this kind of music, that’s fine. I’m not trying to push you into something new and amazing and actually fun to dance to in your kitchen with your best friends while you make nachos at 3 in the morning after clubbing all night.

 

The First World Problem…

We’ve all heard that joke abput #firstworldproblems. It’s funny. Sometimes.

I love laughimg about the Starbucks girls with their uggs and leggings. Because there’s no way that can legitimately hurt someone.

But I can’t stand when try to debate higher education with me.

I’m not saying that higher education is the best and that everyone should go to college, because school isn’t for everyone. What gets to me os the people who look and me and other people like me like we’re stupid for going to college. Like we’re stupid for not going to trade school. Like we’re stupid because we have to pay for college out of pocket.

And then they start this debate and don’t care about all the facts and figures saying that college is way more expensive than the past and kids aren’t getting enough financial aid to cover it all.

I hate having to hold my tongue (and my hands from going slap-happy) because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to explain that college is important for some people to get certain jobs, like doctors and architects. But they keep looking at college like its a choice people can make and still go about their lives and get the job they want. How would you feel is your doctor came into the room like ‘hey this is my first day, just started, didn’t even have to go to school…’?

So when people ask me why I’m working at [insert retail giant name here] instead of going to school, I simply say that I have The First World Problem: my parents make too much money for me to qualify for government aid and they gave me a great childhood where I didn’t starve and I had a roof over my head so I can’t qualify for 90% of scholarships out there.

Now I’m not nay-saying on all the kids who worked harder than me and got full-ride scholarships or had tougher formative years and are able to get some amazing scholarships. I’m just saying that I’m stuck between a rock and hard place and if I open my mouth the wrong way about it, then I look like a major asshole.

Sure, I am a major asshole, but I’m not against these kids out there busting their asses to get an education.

But I’m saying I have a few critiques of the system.

  1. The financial aid application should not rely on your parents income unless your parents sign a waver agreeing to help with college costs and the propose amount they can help with. My parents aren’t able to help me pay for school because they’re still workong on loans from my older siblings. They should be able to tell the government that they are hnable to help financially.
  2. Colleges should make it easier for kids to petition for financial aid. My best friend tried to petition her school to let them know that her dad had lost his job and that she would need more aid since her mom’s salary would not be able to cover the cost of school. They denied her because they stated that the aid was awarded based of off last years income reported from the financial aid application.
  3. More colleges should allow payment plans. My college which has been around since the late 1800’s just allowed payment plans LAST YEAR. After I had to leave twice to pay off my bills to both school and lenders.
  4. Advisors and financial aid offices should work more closely to help students decide what classes they can take and what they can actually afford to take. Advisors will tell you everything you need to take. The financial aid office will tell you how much money you don’t have to spend out of poclet. But then you have to decide if you can even afford to go taking a full-class load of 15 credit hours at $400 per hour. Because of you’re not full-time you lose your government aid.
  5. The rule for becoming an indepedent student in the eyes of the government don’t even apply to half of the students entering grad school. So the government will look at only my tax information I have to be 25, married, or have a child. I can’t afford two of those things and one is impossible to become overnight. And grad students, kids who have been on their own for years now working and going to school and all that jazz, still have to sit down with their parents once a year to fill out a stupid application for money.

How many of you have been in similar situations? Any one have practical solitions to this mess? Leave a comment or send me an email.

Student life: Study Tips that actually work…

You’re here because you’re procrastinating. You can’t get the info to stick in your information-saturated brain and now you’re scrambling because you have midterms next week. After reading article after article after blog post after blog post, you’re seeing the same bullshit everywhere. And it’s not working for you.

Maybe you were a gifted high school student who didn’t need to study. Maybe all the methods shoved down your throat in school just don’t work or you can’t grasp the intricacies of the method. Worst of all, maybe you’re just trying to find something that actually works outside of what everyone else has been doing since the dawn of higher learning.

So here’s some tips from me that I found work for me.

  1. Spend 30 minutes every day unwinding. This seems counter-intuitive, I know. But if you just spent 6 hours learning and running around, you’re overloaded mentally. First thing I do when I get home from classes (unless I have to work right after class), is take off my shoes, put on a pot of coffee, grab a snack, and do some quick little chores, like the dishes or starting a load of laundry. These are all mindless tasks that you don’t have to spend any real thinking time doing. It also helps set you up for the next few hours. You have coffee (or tea if you don’t want to drink coffee that late, or milk or water or juice or whatever you drink) to keep you going through your homework, your dishes are done, you have clothes started for tomorrow.
  2. Set up your desk. Don’t count this time as part of your break. This is your pre-study prep time. Set up your desk with all the things you need, like you pens, your notebooks, your textbooks, your notecards, your laptop, your drink and snacks. Get your computer up and running and the online homework portal up. This is were everyone else shirks away in their tips; there is no way for you to do your work 90% of the time without being on your computer. 90% of homework is completed or submitted online so you will need your computer.
  3. ‘Eat the Frog’  This is a tip I saw floating around on the internet. It’s basically just starting with the thing you hate most. The thinking behind this is that when you do the thing you hate most first, you won’t push it off, you won’t half-ass it, you won’t ‘pretend’ it doesn’t exist (I’ve been there, don’t lie to me). This isn’t exactly what you want to hear, but you still have to get the work done. So if you have to work on Lit, Math, and Chemistry, and you love Math but hate Chemistry, then work on Chemistry first. Channel your energy hating it into beating that stupid class into submission. Then to reward yourself, work on your favorite class last to give your brain a little break.
  4. Give yourself a montage. Something that oddly inspires me to work hard is pretend that I’m in a movie. So play some music in the ‘background’ (headphones please, not everyone shares your taste) and pretend that Speilberg is filming a dramatization of your life in a Legally Blonde-esque montage of you doing schoolwork and putting your nose to the grindstone. Don’t act all embarrassed by this, you do it in your head already when you’re on a bus ride. So just channel Elle Woods and pretend you have to put your ex-boyfriend in his place by being better than him at his own game.
  5. Google is your new study buddy. Everyone acts like your teacher or your textbook hold all the answers to the class. But that’s utter bullshit. Your teacher may be an expert in the field but sometimes it’s hard to communicate ideas to each other. It’s the drawback of language and human thought. So don’t be afraid to Google a concept or find a Youtube video explaining it. Not everyone learns the same way, so you’ll have to do some legwork on your own to find what works best for you to learn a difficult concept in a week. And Google is very useful for finding practice exams from other professors across the world, or presentations, or study guides.
  6. Avoid brain-drain. You know the feeling; you’ve been staring at the same page for an hour and nothing is soaking in. This is your indication to take a real break. Now, people preach about taking breaks every hour or so, but I take breaks after I finish a flow. A flow is when you get rolling on a project or a section of reading and it’s all just rolling along. So why break a flow when the timer goes off, instead of riding it to the end and keeping the productivity going? But when you get to brain-drain, call it night. Only go back to the desk if you will absolutely fail tomorrow. So when you ride a flow to the end, get up and refill your cup, grab a handful of trail mix or something, and switch projects.
  7. Plan time Do this at the end of your study session. Pull out your planner and update your assignment tasks. Personally, I put vague notes in my physical planner, like ‘Lit class, reading sess, essay revise’ and in my digital planner I put all the details, like page numbers, upcoming projects, essay to-dos. When I plan, I cross everything off that I did accomplish for the day and plan for what I need to get done tomorrow excluding things like pre-assigned reading or homework that needs to be completed daily. This helps me to stay on track with my studying and lets me plan for the next day, including where I can study between classes or what I can push off if my homework runs late.
  8. Work, School, Play. In that order exactly. Everyone brags and boasts how they were able to go to school full-time and work full-time and all they did was prioritize, blah, blah, blah. I take my priorities into account by the hierarchy of needs by Maslow. If you don’t know what this is, Google is your friend, remember? So I spend my time working more so that I can eat and sleep in a real bed. Then I study to get myself ahead in the world. Then if I have anytime left, I plan for dinners with my family or date night with my boyfriend or movie night with my friends. But they don’t get my priority. If you really feel lonely, you have a magical device that allows you to contact people anytime, anywhere.

 

Some of these topics I may cover in depth later, but please take to heart that you don’t have to do things like everyone else. If you still need answers, or you’re just frustrated that you can’t get this whole school thing to work, hit me up. I’m an open ear if nothing else and maybe all you need is to just talk your problems out.