Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mindful Friday (on Thursday): Life is strange and also frogs

Sunday was the beginning of  a lot of new HBO series starting. True Detective, Ballers, and Brink; to be specific. My boyfriend, myself, and a group of our friends have been looking forward to watching for a while now. Since my boyfriend and I don't have HBO, we go to friends' houses to watch certain shows. Anyway, Sunday night one of our friends picked the two of us up from our house to go and watch these shows at another friend's house. I was leaving the house when my boyfriend said, "Frog."

I almost didn't hear him, but I looked down to my feet anyway. There it was, a little green and speckled frog staring up at me. "Oh no! I almost crushed him!" I squealed. I would have felt so horrible if that had happened. Horrible, I tell you. I bent down towards it and gently ushered it into
the bushes by the house so no one else would nearly crush or actually crush the little creature.

Frog murder avoided, we all set off to our friend's house. On the way, and we had only been driving maybe three minutes, BAM. A car accident. It wasn't us, thankfully, but it was someone else. It must have just happened because people all over the place started racing to the shoulder and pulling over, running out of their cars to assist. The car was white and completely turned over on it's roof. All I saw was white and wheels in a mess of trees and bushes. It had gone over the guard rail and was sitting there. I couldn't see anyone inside.

I still can't find any information on if the person or people inside are okay or not. I haven't stopped thinking about it since Sunday and I probably won't for a long time.

More than anything, I can't get out of my head that the accident could have very well involved the car we all were riding it. If I hadn't stopped to nearly smoosh and then save a frog, maybe we could have been the ones in that upside down car, I know this is probably me just reading too much into the accident I saw, but I feel like sometimes things happen for a reason. Thankfully, I was meant to save a frog that day.

Want to know something? I googled what 'frog symbolism' means and was completely freaked by what multiple websites told me. Frogs are a symbol of change and transition. They can also mean a link between the living and the dead, though I'm still hopeful every single person made it out of that wreck alive.

This got me to remember that life is full of constant change, nothing is permanent. Life is all about births, marriages, love, buying houses, graduating, and even death and grieving. This constant change that life takes us through sometimes comes when we least expect or least want it to happen. Sunday reminded me of how instantaneous and abruptly a life can change. It's reminded me to be thankful for not only the people in my life, but also the time I get to spend with them as well.

Don't forget to breathe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reaction Wednesday.

Sooo I wasn't feeling the need to write a Reaction Wednesday blog post today...but then I did...Because sometimes I just don't understand some people. I was watching Youtube, as you do when you're bored and don't want to go to sleep yet...and I came across Freelee the Banana Girl's Youtube page. This woman She makes her money on Youtube by basically lambasting other people and how those people choose to live their lives.

A little background about her, according to her website/Youtube channel:

  • She has a degree in nutrition as well as other related studies
  • She is a fully raw, vegan
  • Passionate about helping others
  • Says she 'critiques popular bullshit diets'
  • She's also an author
  • And so on...blah blah blah

First of all, if you go to her channel, almost every single video is a 'response' to someone else's life, lifestyle choices, and so on. I don't have a problem with someone doing this in a constructive way...but she doesn't. She completely destroys them. She claims she's this educated, well rounded person...but she doesn't present herself as being so. 

She preaches about healthy lifestyles (living on a high carb, plant-based, and preferably raw-vegan diet), but she doesn't seem like the picture of health to me, at all. Being so thin that you can see your rib cage, not because of genetics but because of what your diet looks like, isn't healthy. I don't like commenting on other's body-types, but since she has no problem doing it to others in a really hateful manner, I don't see an issue. All I ever see her eat on the few videos I watched (before I got too angry) are her making these HUGE smoothies, eating HUGE portions of food, etc. I get that when you eat the way she does, one needs to consume more in order to get enough fuel for your body. However, I don't think it's a safe or sustainable way of life.

Freelee seems to think everyone should follow her chosen lifestyle in order to save the planet...or something to that effect. I don't have a degree in nutrition, but I don't think just because she does and chooses to live the way she is living, gives her the right or the superiority to TELL others how to eat and live their lives.

I know I'm rambling, but her videos make me sooooo angry

She states she's all for helping people 'be all they can be' but she has no problem tearing people down in a video if it means she'll get more Youtube video views...cough, MONEY. Ugh.  Just no. She has no limits it seems. She'll "educate" you on diabetes but completely demolish a person who has an eating disorder (whether it's anorexia or compulsive eating). 

I'm all for people living their lives the way they want to as long as it's not harmful...but she's breaking that rule. And clearly you are not truly happy with your life when you feel the need to do what she does. What she's preaching is extremely harmful, and I'm not even talking about her high carb, vegan lifestyle. She preaches about "You're fat and are going to die," or "Why are you so fat?" It scares me that individuals who may be young and/or questioning their lifestyle will actually listen and allow themselves (maybe unknowingly) to be brain washed by this woman.

You don't need to be a vegan to be a good person or even a half-way decent human being. You don't have to be stick thin to be beautiful or healthy. You don't need to die if you eat meat. What this woman is spreading is hate and I am just not down with that.

She even says "People abuse me in the comments of my videos." Really, Freelee? What would you call what you're doing and making a profit off of?

The video that really tipped me off? Here, for your viewing pleasure. It's called, "Why I'm Superior to You."--Lovely, right? 

Also, this gem (it's about killing people who eat meat and dairy):

What do you think about Freelee?

Don't forget to breathe (even when enraged).

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mindful Friday

This past week was another stressful one. My car was going all wonky and I was really worried I was going to need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. Thankfully, my boyfriend's dad knows cars and how to fix most problems. It only ended costing around 80 bucks. Though I lucked out, it was an eye-opening experience. One that told me my car isn't going to last forever-that I have to save up for a new one in the (very) near future.

The car is...well really really old. Over ten years old. And it has a zillion miles on it. Though, now, it still runs well and all, I know I really need to seriously start saving. Two things ran through my mind when I realized this. One: I can't afford this with student loans to pay back And two: My dad gave me this car-I'm not ready to get rid of it. 

Although the reality of finances kicked in and that was difficult to deal with, more than that was the symbolism I felt around possibly getting rid of this car in the near future. I don't want to give up on this car like I gave up on my father and any relationship with him. I don't want to deal with the fact that he was super proud and happy that he could give this car to me (and at the time my sister as well) and now I may need to sell or junk it. It was really one of the few times I remember my dad being happy that he could do something for his girls.

On top of all of this, father's day is this coming Sunday. I work retail. Everyone's all about the father's day. It's hitting me harder than I thought it would, to be honest. It isn't the first father's day without my dad being here, but at the same time it doesn't feel that way. It feels like I just spoke to him when in reality, it's been a year and change since he passed away.

Even when he and I would be in areas of life where we weren't speaking to one another, I'd always call him on father's day. It was the one time a year, even more so than Christmas or any other day, that I would set aside time and call. It didn't matter if he was angry on the other end, it didn't matter if he was upset or even crying--I'd still call.

For those of you reading who don't have a clue about my relationship with my was unhealthy. I'll leave it at that for now because this post isn't about what my dad was and what he wasn't to me.

Anyway, this whole car thing this week really made me think about my dad and I've just realized that that's okay. It's okay to think about him and still be sad/mad/upset/etc. I don't think there's a time limit set on grieving. It's okay to still have moments where I am. This bad week reminded me to be kind to myself and take the time to feel what I'm feeling instead of pushing it aside or even worse--suppressing it. That only makes things like anxiety worse.

Anyway, sadness and blegh-ness over. Onto having the rest of this Friday and Saturday OFF!

Don't forget to breathe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reaction Wednesday

For this Reaction Wednesday, I wanted to write about this recent trend I found out about through social media. (I realize today isn't Wednesday, but I really felt passionate about this topic and didn't want to wait until tomorrow.) It's called, "The Belly Button Challenge." At first glance, I didn't read the article attached to the picture. My initial thought was: "Here we go again, another stupid and unattainable body-image-thing." Then I read the article. My thoughts then were: "This is horrifying. Why does this exist? Why are there people who actually think this idea of "healthy" is attainable and actually healthy?"  Yes, some individuals are naturally thin and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Go you! You're beautiful! However, implying or explicitly stating that those who cannot do this challenge successfully are unhealthy?

Completely not okay.

Image found on google
I've read a few articles on it and I'll link them all at the end of this post. However, the one thing a lot of these articles have in common is that they tend to agree with my own thought process. Even with a "scientific study" emerging with confirmation that you MUST be able to do this stupid challenge other wise you're nothing or unhealthy--all the articles I read thought just about the same about this challenge as I do. First of all, what is this "Belly Button Challenge?" Well, it's taking your hand, wrapping it around your back and seeing if you can reach around to touch your belly button (as seen in image on right). Sounds as insane as it actually is, doesn't it? I do not and will probably never understand how these crazy "health" or body image "ideals" get started in the first place. I read an article that likened this "craze" to the's just not attainable and completely unrealistic for most human beings. 

Reaching your belly button in a weird position does not make you a healthy person. You know what does? Let me list, shall I?

  1. Eating clean or trying to eat a balanced/healthy-ish diet
  2. Doing light to moderate exercise a few times a week
  3. How's your cholesterol/blood pressure/vitamin and mineral levels/etc.?
  4. Taking a look at your mental health
  5. Looking at the people you choose to surround yourself with
  6. If you are truly happy/fulfilled or can find moments of this in your life
  7. NOT being able to touch your belly button in an odd position
I could not locate this "scientific" research anywhere on the internet and it is supposedly a study done in the U.S. I would like to know the parameters of this research. Who was in and/what was the sample size like? Who were the researchers? What were their credentials? I could not locate any of this anywhere. What I did find out was that a lot of celebrities, especially those in China, are posing  and posting images of themselves completing this challenge. They claim that if you are unsuccessful that you're unhealthy and/or need to lose weight. This is perhaps the most dangerous thing, I think.

Even without the celebrity factor, this thing this MONSTER has spread across social media like a wild fire. One should think about how many young (and younger than you may like to think about) individuals are viewing this and thinking they're not good enough the way they are because of this challenge. Even when I consider my initial reaction to this, I remember thinking, "Whoa, I know I can't do that. Maybe I should work out more." 
This is how powerful social media or the media in general can be. Imagine a young woman or man who already may have self-esteem or body-image issues/doubts seeing this challenge? Perhaps, even, this person doesn't have the capacity or maturity level, developmental-wise, to research it such as I have done and others. Ugh, the thought alone is terrifying. It makes me scared to have children of my own one day who will look at things like this or worse. 

Bottom line, please do not let things like this challenge define you or how you feel about yourself or your body. It's insanity and really has NO research behind it whatsoever. If there was, it would have been publicly...well published. Here's to the "Who can eat the most sushi challenge"(one I'd enter in a heartbeat), or the "Make a Green Smoothie You Like Challenge," or the "Feel Good in Your Own Skin Challenge" (again, a heartbeat).

How about a challenge that doesn't bring some people up while bringing others WAY down? Huh?
Anyway, what do you think about the belly button challenge? Let me know in the comments!

Articles read/research:
Hello Giggles
ABC News
Daily Mail

Link to my blog post about body image:
Clickity Click

Don't forget to breathe.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mindful Friday

For this Mindful Friday I wanted to focus on something that I've been struggling with a lot lately. I'm not a very insecure person, but I do have insecurities when it comes to certain things in life; as does everyone else. I've been trying to do a lot for myself lately. More than finding a job/purpose as a 'real' adult and recent college graduate, I've been trying to work on things within myself. One of those things is getting close to others. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, one of those many insecurities I have is being around new people or becoming friends with someone else.

I fear rejection. I have issues. Sue me. 

I've mentioned this before in previous posts, but I really do love people and I love being around people as well. This doesn't mean I'm not shy around new or new-er people, though. I completely am. I get insecure about what a person who I want to be my friend, for instance, will view me if I say the wrong thing. I'm insecure about my inborn awkwardness that makes me trip and spill things very easily. I'm also insecure about what if this person lets me down in someway or rejects me? I have issues, sue me.

I've really been trying to 'ease into the discomfort' of meeting new people though. I've been trying this even with people I've known for a few months or years but don't hang out with very often because of conflicting work schedules and what not. It's not an easy thing to do: open yourself up to new social situations and either new or kind-of-new people. At least it's not for me. 

It really confuses me because, again I love being around people. And it also confuses me because I'm awesome at interacting with people in a professional/work/internship environment...even really difficult to handle individuals/situations. When it comes to asking someone I don't really hang out with to do something? Nope. My brain just shuts down and I dissolve into an awkward-nervous-mess. How have I avoided this mess? By simply not asking others to hang out (hah). 

I really want to change this, though. I want friends. Because that's what normal humans want. I'm not saying I'm going to go out to parties and drink and everything; that never was and never will be me. I AM saying that I'm going to make a conscious effort to text, call, Facebook, and more to ask acquaintances or even newer friends/people in my life to hang out more.

The worst that can happen is that the person will say no, right? I'm also going to challenge those of you out there who have the same making-friends-issue to do the same. Lean into the comfort zone limit and try it! You won't be alone and if you have any questions/advice/concerns...comment down below and we can get a dialogue going!

Don't forget to breathe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reaction Wednesday

I think every Wednesday I really want to try to react to something in a blog post. I'm not sure if I'll have time to do it every Wednesday, but's to trying something new!

What I want to react to today is Ingrid Nilsen and her recent Youtube video about her being gay. 

I have always loved watching Ingrid on Youtube and she seems like such a sweet person. I love watching her healthy recipe videos, especially, but her entire Youtube channel just seems genuine. You can tell she's someone who is not just in it for the money, in other words. I saw that she had a new video post yesterday, I actually found it through John Green's facebook page, and I immediately needed to watch it. The video is titled, "Something I Want You to Know (Coming Out)."

I have only ever watched her beauty-life-cooking-related videos before (I'm not sure if she 'vlogs' or not), but somehow just reading the title of this video made me like her even more. And that was just reading the title. I wanted to watch it based off of the title because, to me, this makes Ingrid so much more than just a 'Youtuber.' It makes her a human being, someone who has gone through ups and downs in life, as we all do, but she just happens to share some of her life with the internet.

I clicked and watched her video and immediately started crying when she started to cry. I felt so proud and happy for this other person that I have never met in real life, someone I really don't know at all. I'm not gay, for those of you wondering, but I really could feel her struggle through the way she told her story. It must be incredibly difficult to live inside this 'prison' of wanting to be happy but not knowing how to do so because those around you won't accept you for who you truly are. 

I watched her video at maybe 8 o'clock last night...It had about 12 thousand or 20 thousand views. This morning? Over 2 million. It just makes me think of how many other young adults are in a position now or were in a position similar to many people she's potentially helping with this video. I think she's an incredibly courageous person to go onto Youtube and 'come out' as gay to literally millions of viewers. I don't think I could do something so brave. 

If you haven't yet, watch the video and tell me what you think! I'd love to get a discussion going in the comments. However, please be respectful. 

Also, just saying, Beyonce commented on her video. B-freakin-yonce. 

Go, Ingrid, you're amazing, beautiful, and so extraordinarily brave.

Don't forget to breathe.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Mindful Friday

My boyfriend and I have been together for three and a half years. I can't speak for him, but he is literally my rock. He makes me happy, helps me when I'm feeling anxious or doubtful, and he's just an amazing person. The last few days, he was pretty sick. He's had symptoms like this before, but this time around they were a lot more serious. A lot more scary too see, too. I have never felt so helpless in any situation before this. Here's this person I love more than anything in this world, and he's feeling so crummy and miserable...and I can't do a damn thing about it.

He ended up going to the hospital for tests and everything, which all turned out negative or normal (thank goodness).  I can't even put into words how grateful I am that he seems to be doing better and that there's nothing major or serious happening to him.

The whole experience was completely eye-opening, though.  It reminded me of how crazy and just effed life can be--and out of no where. You never know when something like sickness is going to happen and how something so simple can disrupt your every day routine. One minute I was texting him about watching Buffy, the next minute I found out he was being admitted over night to the hospital (scary shit). I also learned that hospitals (at least the one we had) suck, that you have to advocate for yourself and your loved one if you want to get anywhere.  I found out that my boyfriend and I both have some amazing friends and family out there who called, texted, face-booked, etc. good wishes and wanted to know how he was.

You all are amazing.

More than anything, this whole experience is a true reminder of how much I care and love this other human being. How much I needed to be there for him, even if it just meant waiting around with him while he slept in an uncomfortable hospital bed.  Even if it meant just going out and buying him Swedish fish or some chicken nuggets, getting him an ice pack to help him feel just slightly better. It reminds me that I care so so soooo much about him and I know he cares just as much about me as well.

Everything's okay right now and I'm feeling very thankful for him and for the rest of his family, friends, and I that he's okay. I also have a feeling that this entire ordeal has strengthened the already strong bond Ryan and I have together. I really feel like we can overcome anything, right now ; )

Don't forget to breathe.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Timeline Thursday.

Here's some things I did in this very (thankfully) uneventful day! Let the GIFS begin!

Woke up, played on my phone. Then, I watched some cute animal videos to get the day rolling.

Made some coffee.

Made my love bug and I some breakfast, checked how he was feeling (much better, if you're wondering!).

Filled out a job application, fought with the printer to print my resume.

Drove to drop off the application.

I did NOT get lost on the way to and from the agency!

Called my love bug. He wanted nuggs (chicken nuggs). Got some. Ate 'em.
This GIF, though.
Did some laundry, other chores too.

Took the best 2 hour nap evar.

Folded laundry, watched Judge Judy.

Wrote a Mindful Friday post for tomorrow (Proud of that one, I am. You'll see tomorrow!).

Ate dinner, and watched Jeopardy.

Did some yoga.

Read some more of Animal by Nikki Rae (Jeebus, what a book).

Caught up on Youtube subscriptions.

Went to bed.
Don't forget to breathe.