Goals Update: Best Birthday in a Long Time+ Book Haul from NYC

I don’t think I’ve hid the fact that I’ve had some struggles lately or that I’m “working on myself” quite a bit. That being said, this past Sunday (well the 15th( was my Birthday so I took a break from everything I was doing and hoped on a train to NYC to visit my other friend in Manhattan. It was awesome (besides one store experience… see my previous My Experience at the Glossier Show Room to hear more about that) and I pretty much had my dream birthday besides the fact that I was broke af. But here are some goal updates with an added bonus of a book haul from The Strand.

Job:  I was hired at my dream job. Let me repeat because I’m so happy–MY DREAM JOB. It’s a job I’m perfectly suited for and I’ll basically be selling books. After all my money troubles and health struggles, it’s so satisfying and just plain nice to be able to write that I have my orientation tomorrow. Besides becoming a therapist, I feel like this is the job I was born to do. When I told one of my best friends Joey, she said that it was a perfect job for me because she associates me with books and warmth. I’m so happy that I can finally get afloat financially and go to work everyday.

GREs: I’m super nervous for these but to be fair, three of the programs I’m applying for don’t require the GREs. I really need to get on top of this though because my test date on the 4th is coming up.

Cooking: I’m back to making my rice balls and tofu. My bread making class (using yeast) is going really well and I’m learning a lot. I just made Anadama Bread and it turned out wonderful. I made Raisin Bread the week before and that also worked out great. I’m very glad that I’m learning this super useful skill because homemade bread is the best. It also doesn’t take too long to make! Next time I’ll take a picture of my loaf before I cut into it!

Transportation: I still have my amazing health insurance that helps with transportation but I really need to get my license. I needed to get it pretty much yesterday, but I’ve had the GREs and other stuff going on. I’m going to have to pay my parents for gas now, and honestly, I’d rather have the freedom of being behind the wheel. Basically, this is the only goal I’m hardcore failing at.

Volunteering/ Classes: I’ve actually been volunteering at a mental health clubhouse the last month, doing their data entry, helping out with interns and planning, and stuff like that. It’s been extremely fulfilling and I’m made a lot of friends and met a lot of nice people along the way.

I’m also still continuing to work towards my grad school goals. I’ve gotten all the letters of rec I needed, wrote a personal statement, and have started all my applications. My parents birthday present to me is paying for $130 dollars worth of application fees. Getting a job is also really helping this goal because now I’ll be able to afford to pay to apply!

Dating: Has been going wonderful. My boyfriend is visiting me right now.

Here’s a photo of us:

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He’s super wonderful and damn near perfect so I’m really happy right now.

That’s it! I actually had a panic attack the other day (which was awful) because I feel like too many good things are going on in my life right now. I just feel like my life has never gone this well and the universe is going to take it away from me somehow, someway, which is super illogical.

Oh I almost forgot… the books I got from the Strand for my Birthday this past week!

  • Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz, which is written just how I like the books I read to be written. It’s a bit magical and poetic. A quote from the back is that it a novel about “a dreamy young girl moving between LA and New York”. I highly recommend checking Eve Babitz out.
  • Total Mood Killer by Merritt K and Niina Pollari is a poetry book that I also highly recommend. My favorite poem so far is “Every Mascara Is Exactly the Same” and features the lines “i wondered how many makeups/ it would take for you to like me”. It’s a beautiful book so far. 🙂
  • Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy by Julie Holland, MD is a really interesting book that I picked up because it relates to my chosen field (psychology) and a lot of it seems centered on discussing psychiatric drugs, which is definitely a subject I enjoy reading multiple opinions on. So far her writing style is extremely engaging and the subject is hitting home a bit. I figure that even if I disagree with her (which I haven’t so far but I’m not too far in), it will still be worth it to read more opinions and be more aware of some of the literature that’s around and heavily concerns my field.
  • Smut: Stories by Alan Bennett is just a fun book I picked up. I wanted something a little out there, something fun, and something “tender and comic” as The Independent (London) says on the back of the book. I haven’t really started the book yet, but it’s a really small book that I can’t imagine will take too much time to read.

 

Thanks for reading! What books are you currently reading? And what are your goals? How is your life going? Comment below!

 

 

 

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I’m a bit exhausted with makeup

Wearing makeup used to be many things for me. At first, when I started wearing it, it was just concealer. Then I got into the heavy black eyeliner on some days and years later in college, I had a love affair with lipstick that is still ongoing. In between then I learned how to do a lot of different eye shadow looks but that my thing was always complexion–it couldn’t be too heavy but I needed spot concealer for my spots and discoloration.

Makeup became fun for me around the time I started to have really serious struggles with OCD and I needed something artistic to help me feel good about myself. I created many different eye looks and had a lot of fun playing with my look without attaching it to who I was as a person.

When makeup became less fun was when I started to have skin issues. I recently identified the problem (hormonal birth control) but it’s going to take a bit for my body to regulate itself out and for me to feel comfortable with myself again.

Now, at this present moment in time, I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm for makeup. I dislike feeling the need to wear it. I hate how my skin looks, but I still hate the feel of foundation so I stick to my tinted moisturizer and concealer.

Now I just want to feel good about myself and my skin. I’m tired of eye shadow and makeup all the time. I just want skincare and comfortability. To look like me but a bit better. To be travel friendly and really low maintenance with my makeup use for the most part. I’m just tired of trying to make myself feel better using the external. I want to feel good and have a happy relationship with myself.

This post isn’t to shame anyone. I myself still wear makeup, but right now it feels out of need, like someone is going to spit at me on the street if they see how ugly I look without it. And that’s not a pleasant way to feel about something I until recently, enjoyed so much.

Below I inserted pictures of me on a bad skin day with makeup on and one without makeup. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I hope to be happier with the picture on the right. Until then, I’m going to try to trudge out of this funk.

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Where the Hell was I: Goal Update

So my OCD and Depression got the better of me in the months of July and August. I’m not going to sugarcoat that in any post. However, I’m getting better now and I’m on medicine that works instead of flying solo.  That being said, I did make a huge amount of progress towards my goals and I want to share that progress. I also want to encourage anyone who has similar issues to seek help or even comment/ send me a message if you want to talk about anything.

Job: I was hired and then consequentially let go from my job because of an injury I received to my hand. I severed two tendons in my pinky and underwent hand surgery. I have the splint off my hand now and I’m going to physical therapy appointments to get my range of motion back. Despite all this, I still have some possibilities lined up for a job after my treatment is through and I actually quite excited about them. Much more excited than I was about my previous employment situation. 🙂 So take that, previous employer (excuse my bitterness, please)!

GREs: I decided once and for all that I want to be a Mental Health Counselor. I scheduled my GREs test date for the 4th of November and I’m studying the Math (and other sections) like hell. This time around I’m in a good place to actively work towards my goals and I’m really getting there. Thankfully a couple of schools won’t need my test scores but I’m still going to do as well as I can.

Cooking: I couldn’t cook with my splint/ brace on but I hope to get back into it (trust me, I tried and cracked a couple of eggs on the counter by mistake). I made rice balls a couple of months ago and I’d like to try making different flavored ones now. And master how in the fuck you’re supposed to use a rice maker.

Transportation: I’m doing rather well on this front. I got a new health insurance that helps me get me to appointments and I have more freedom. I also made friends that help me get places and give me a great sense of peace. I’m very happy to be where I am right now and to get focused on getting my license. Thank goodness for MassHealth.

Volunteering/ Classes: I’m applying to seven schools in the Massachusetts area. I’ve already asked for recommendations and I’m getting a draft of my personal statement done. My aim is to start my MA/ PHD/ or MSW in Fall 2018. I’m really doing this.

I’m also taking a bread making class starting in October. I’m beyond excited for that as well. 🙂 I always wanted to learn how to make homemade bread with my hands. Plus I get to bring my creations home!

Dating: I have some stuff going on on this front. Nothing too much because I’m really taking recovery first. Mostly I’m excited that I’ve been making friends and enjoying life again.

That’s it! What are your goals for the month and how have you been doing? Also, I’ll have quite a few hauls/ review posts coming up soon for both skincare and makeup.

 

Interview, Diploma, and Home Troubles: Goal Update

This is going to be an extremely candid post.

My family and I don’t get along. My struggles with OCD, eating, depression, and anxiety frustrate my family, especially my mother. Until recently, my father didn’t believe in mental health issues and it took several discussions with doctors and several (repeated) second and third opinions/ official diagnoses to get him understand. My mom has her own problems but never has been able to understand why certain things are difficult for me because they aren’t difficult for her. She heavily disputes my need for medication but wonders why things start to go wrong when I’m not on it. Her expressed opinion is that my disorders make her life more difficult, she didn’t do anything to deserve this, and her behavior generally consists of her and my brother repeatedly mocking me. Despite her opinion of me, she has always resented that I moved so far away to go to school because she feels a lot of my problems could’ve been avoided if she were there to ‘watch over me’.

None of this is to say I don’t love them or that I don’t contribute to issues in my family.  I’m definitely not always perfect or right, and things have been extremely tense recently. It’s just to say that my current situation isn’t a healthy environment for me and I should’ve never moved home, despite my parents insistence that things would be different and they would help me get healthy. Only my Father has been making an effort and to be honest, I still resent him for his previous beliefs and accusations about me being weak, making up my mental state, and purposely sabotaging my family. He has since admitted that his previous attitudes were incorrect but has never apologized and frequently says similar things when he is angry at me.

That is my current living situation, which might help to explain my current lack of enthusiasm for being out of school because despite whatever stress I was experiencing there, I wasn’t alone and I came home to a peaceful environment. Still, despite all this, I’ve made some progress with a few of my goals.

Job: I just came back from an interview I almost didn’t go to. I haven’t been feeling well recently and my parents and I have been fighting nonstop so I wasn’t very hopeful that the interview would amount to anything for me. Still, I went to the interview, was told that I was a good fit for the job, and that I would hear back for sure within the week. While it’s great that the interview didn’t go crappy and that I genuinely liked the manager and the atmosphere of the store, I’m a bit worried. First of all, I need a job really soon/ already needed one, the work while seemingly enjoyable, doesn’t relate to my grad school plans in the slightest, and I don’t know if I’ll get hired. Honestly, there aren’t many opportunities for employment (or otherwise) around where I live and I’m gratified for the opportunity to interview there and would love to be employed, but I’m distressed that all of the other places that have offered me interviews for jobs that relate to my field of study were too far away for me to commute. I really should get over this, but there is little more embarrassing to me personally than when someone asks me what I’m doing now that I’ve graduated and I have to tell them a) I’m looking for employment after recovering him an illness and b) that I’m seeking employment in an area that is not at all related to what I spent four years getting my degree in and it’s not by choice. The looks of pity, verbally expressed disapproval, questions about how well I did in school if I haven’t been able to find a job (actually, I did very well, thank you) are too much for me. I hate that my current situation is most likely going to look like that for the next two years of my life because grad school keeps getting postponed.

GRE and LSATS: I was extremely discouraged this past week since it felt like all my efforts were fruitless and going to amount to nothing so I haven’t been doing any studying at all. I hope to start again today. Testing and writing have always been two things I’ve been good at but it’s been hard to focus.

Cooking: I ran out of most of my food and need to purchase more. When I was feeling really sad, I foolishly lapsed into some disordered behaviors and threw away a package of my food thinking ‘if it’s not here I can’t eat it and gain weight’. Yep, that’s completely my fault. I also made cookies for myself and my family but my mom didn’t want any and tried to throw those out before my dad rescued them.

Transportation: I’m ordered a bike today so I can leave my house more, exercise, and avoid dealing with my family.

Volunteering/ Classes: Same as last week (no progress), but if I can get a job soon, I have hope that I’ll be able to look into something .

Furniture: I now have a bed, box spring, chair, chest of drawers, and vanity that I’ve purchased. I still need to paint my walls so I can’t unpack, but it’s nice to have places to put my things in the future.

Dating: I don’t feel much like leaving my house, talking to any of my old friends, or much less like going on a date. I’ve had a few seat up, but I never end up making the final plans. I don’t imagine I’d have much to talk about with my life being a certifiable mess so I’m just going to stay out of that for a long time. I also don’t look anywhere near my best atm.

That’s about it! Sorry for the depressing update. I hope next week will be better and I’ll feel more encouraged to write a better post. 🙂

 

 

Transportation Troubles: A Goal Update

A week ago I wrote  a post enthusiastically (perhaps a little too enthusiastic given the circumstances) describing my immediate future goals. I’ve decided that every week I’m going to write a post that tracks my goal progress, provided of course, I have any updates. Thankfully, this week I’ve made some progress.

LSAT and GRE prep: Going well. I set up a study program to cover my testing weak points and strengthen my strong points. I’m pretty confident about this test and I plan to take it in the early days of August (giving myself enough time to retake it if need be). I got my LSAT Kaplan book in the mail late on Sunday and I’ve given it a precursory look over. The test doesn’t look anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. I need to set up a study plan for this test and get past my Mother’s not so shocking disbelieve in my future.

Job Progress: I sent in more job applications, have another one set to mail, and secured two interviews so far. However, I can’t make it to those interviews because one job is too far away and the other isn’t a good fit. Honestly, I’m a bit discouraged but I hope that I’ll get more interview opportunities soon.

Furniture: I have two solid wood bookcases that were gifted to me and a lamp I purchased at Walmart. I’ve also chosen a light peach shade for my room and I’m painting this weekend. However, I haven’t been able to find a mattress, which is by far the most important piece of furniture I have on my list to secure. I need a damn mattress soon or I’m never going to get a good night’s sleep.

The Transportation issue: Abysmal. I can’t buy a bike until I get a mattress, I have no one to teach me how to drive, and I can’t afford a driving class until I have a job. It doesn’t help that a lot of jobs have ‘driver licensed required’ under the list of job descriptions. A mess.

Cooking: Haven’t been able to find my old recipe books yet, but I’ve had a few tests that tell me my liver is healthy again. I’m able to drink wine again. Nothing seems so bad with a little bit of cheap alcohol and a lack of body pain/ weakness. I’m now an expert on cooking firm tofu too.

Volunteering and Community College Classes: No progress without transportation or a job. However, I am getting my BA diploma delivered soon. It should be here on Friday. Thank you Cornell, for whatever it’s worth.

Extra: Online dating. My Mother really wants me to be dating again (despite having ended  a relationship less than a month ago) and she wants me to shell out a ton of money for a pay site like EHarmony or Match.com because she thinks ‘more quality people pay more money’. I’m not really interested. My experiment with Okcupid has already been enough for me… despite having 350 people ‘interested’ in me, I get a lot of messages about ‘taming monsters’ (don’t ask), how hot or alternatively, how ‘very aesthetically appealing my facial features are’ (a direct quote), messages that made it clear the guy didn’t bother to read my profile, messages crediting Joss Whedon with the creation of feminism (I love Buffy too but it’s definitely not the ‘reason for feminism’), and messages describing how a guy I’ve only said hi to will treat me right. All and all a waste of time.

 

 

Goals, goals, goals

Figuring out to do with my life post-graduation, post-breakup, pre-employment, and in the midst of an illness and eating disorder recovery has been difficult, especially when I’m banned from exercise and my energy is zapped. Still, I’ve made a list of a few goals that I hope will get me feeling more positive and less like sitting on the couch drinking my favorite cheap red wine blend (still, shoutout to Trader Joe’s for cheap, yet affordable alcohol). So in no particular order (with the exception of #1):

  1. Get a job. I’m used to having something to do and I’m not doing great staying idle. I also need money and not in the I-need-spending-money sort of way, but in the I-desperately-need-money-to-live way.Hence stalking online job advertisement websites, tweaking my resumes, writing cover letters, and applying to every place that has a help wanted sign. Somewhere has to come through, right?
  2. Start studying for both the GREs and the LSATs. I don’t know exactly what career I want to go into, but I know my future will include grad school and helping people. For the past few years I’ve been leaning strongly towards a career in public/ mental health or a career as a lawyer focused on prosecuting sexual assault cases. Taking the these tests is a good place to start.
  3. Buy a bike. That’s it. I need an easier, cost effective way to get around the small town/ city I’ll be living in. I also look forward to using it to exercise (once I’m pretty much all better).
  4. Furnish and paint my new room. I have no furniture (not even a mattress) to speak of  so I need to need get some basic furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, and cheap retailers so I don’t end up in a sleeping on the floor for an extended period of time.
  5. Learn to drive. I never needed to know how to drive before because I lived in a city and then a college town so I took the bus everywhere. Also, I’m terrified of cars. Now I have to find a way to get past that.
  6. Go through vegetarian recipe books to learn how to make meals I can cook. I’ve been a vegetarian for a year and a half and I’ve done a terrible job of it. I need more protein and iron in my diet or I won’t be getting better anytime soon.
  7. Volunteer. No justification or reason needed.
  8. Take a community college class. I already miss being in school. As soon as I can afford to, I like to take a class in one of the many subjects I was interested in, but never had the time to explore in school.

Thanks for reading! What are your goals at the moment?

Skin Care (for the obsessed person)

I have sensitive, fry-an-egg-on oily, acne-prone skin. I’m also extremely vigilant when it comes to sun protection and (attempting) keep my skin clear so I don’t pick on it. In the past, I’ve had issues conquering my dermatillomania/ excoriation disorder. I was finally able to leave my skin alone (for the most part) by letting it heal, visiting a dermatologist, using copious amounts of SPF, and paying strict attention to the ingredients in the products I use. Yes, my skin still breaks out and sometimes I can’t help but pick on it, but for the past year I’ve had pretty nice skin and a lot of it is simply due to knowing how to take care of it. Below is my skincare routine and the products I use.

Mornings (daily):

  1. A gentle face wash. Either Soy Fresh Facial Cleanser (my favorite) when I have the money or a gift card, Cerave foaming face wash, or Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser.
  2. A Benyzol Peroxide acne cream on alternating days or a few drops of Glossier’s Super Glow facial serum
  3. A moisturizer. Either Cerave Moisturizing Lotion or CeraVe Night Time Moisturizer (yes for day time).
  4. Eye Cream. I use Cerave’s eye cream.
  5. SPF. My favorites are Glossier’s SPF 35 or the Physical SPF 41 Water Resistant from Elta MD. I also sometimes use Cerave’s Morning Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 but it sometimes plies on me but it’s great otherwise and allows you to skip the all over moisturizing step
  6. Lip Balm to prep my lips.
  7. Makeup (I always use a Tinted Moisturizer with SPF unless it’s an event. Then I use a cushion foundation.)

Extra step: Before makeup, if my skin is red, I use Dr Jart’s Tiger Grass Cream with SPF 30. It color corrects well without me having to add extra makeup.

Night (daily):

  1. Makeup Remover (if I wore makeup). I like the Simple Micellar Water best.
  2. Gentle Facial Cleanser (same as above)
  3. A Retinoid Acne/ skin treatment. I use adapalene 0.1 cream.
  4. A facial moisturizer. Either of the Cerave ones without SPF with a few drops of the Ordinary’s Hyaluronic acid+B5 facial serum

Treatments (mostly done at night):

About once a week at night I use Drunk Elephant’s Baby Facial TLC. On the nights I use this I don’t use the retinoid cream and the next morning I won’t use the benyzol cream so I can avoid drying/ overtreating my skin.

Once or twice a week (also at night and at least two days from the time I used the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial) I use my Clarisonic with the Cerave facial serum

I make sure to use some sort of moisturizing facial mask as well but I haven’t found a good one that isn’t a sample of an obnoxiously expensive product.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what products work well for you and what SPF you like. 🙂