This is 32

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32: no makeup, just me

I turned 32 on Friday.

It’s cliche, but I don’t feel 32, at all. In my mind, I still feel like I’m in my early 20s, if not younger. I’ve grown and changed over the years, sure, but I still have a lot of the same doubts and worries I struggled with at 16.

I’m at the age where I need to start thinking about wrinkle prevention, but I’m still struggling with acne. I constantly buy new products to try but am stubborn about going to the dermatologist. I hate making any type of doctor’s appointment–or talking on the phone in general. Online scheduling only, please. Same goes for pizza delivery.

I try to eat well, but I overdo it sometimes. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I haven’t figured out portion control. I don’t binge like I used to, but I still have times where I eat based on emotions rather than hunger. I can’t keep ice cream in the freezer. I also still have nights where I drink too much. I wake up swearing that I will never drink again, but inevitably, one beer will turn into three. (Granted, it doesn’t take much.)

I’m probably more comfortable with myself than I’ve ever been–it really is true that the older you get, the less you care what people think of you. That doesn’t mean I don’t care. I still get insecure–in my work, in my relationship, in my friendships. If I hear someone whispering, I always think they are talking about me. There are times when I feel confident and other times when I feel like everyone is judging me. If I’m out by myself, I’m always on high alert (SSDGM). That’s just being cautious, though.

I haven’t figured out my personal style. I guess that’s not true–I haven’t figured out a professional style. I rush out the door like a hot mess most mornings. My closet is an entire bedroom, but there are still days with nothing to wear. I’ll change shirts five times and pants another three, before settling on the same jeans and a t-shirt (my uniform of choice). I don’t know how to look “put together.” I’ll sometimes take fashion risks, but half the time I’ll talk myself out of it before I leave the house (see above).

I haven’t grown out of my teenage moodiness. I have a temper, and the most inane things will set me off. I take things personally, even when I know it’s not personal. I’m not great in emotional situations. I don’t visit my family enough. I have a lot of guilt, but I don’t take a lot of action.

To some, 32 is young, and to others, it’s old. My point is, I haven’t got it figured out. Most days I feel like I’m stumbling through adulthood, trying to figure out who let me live unsupervised. I don’t know what I’m doing. Neither does anyone. When we’re younger, we look at adulthood like some magical solution. One day, our problems will be solved. We’ll have all the answers. It’s just “adolescence.” Then you get older, and you’re still waiting for that day. The timeline shifts. Your problems evolve and change, but they’re still there.

We’re imperfect. It’s part of the beauty of it all. All I can do is try to be better each day. Recognize my faults but also my strengths. Be grateful for what I have and for each opportunity to try again. There’s bad days, sure–but there’s a lot of joy, too.

This is 32.

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Link Love (06/19/18)

Hey y’all! How are we this far into June already!? I feel like time is flying by.

I’ve been saving things I’ve come across that were interesting, so I thought I’d do another Link Love post.

First, I wanted to share that I created an Instagram account for the blog. You can find me on IG @moveoutoftheblack. I already have a personal account, a vegan food account (@herbivorean), and a vintage clothing account (@sofakingawesomevintage), so what’s one more? 😉

If you’re not following, you’re missing out on exchanges like this:

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HA! What a good dude.

Okay, end PSA. On to the links!

READ

You know that thing where you mention wanting to go on vacation to a friend, and suddenly your social media feed is filled with ads on deals to Aruba? (I kid you not, I used Head & Shoulders shampoo for the first time in a while, and the next day, an ad popped up on my IG feed.) It turns out we’re not just being paranoid…. our phones really are listening.

Someone put together a Google Map of unsolved murders, organized by location and era.

I enjoyed these tips on managing a negative mood and generating a positive one. Hint: don’t give in to your first reaction when things don’t go your way.

A reflection on Kate Spade’s death and a good reminder that our actions don’t always match how we’re feeling inside.

What if we all just did a little less? An Elle writer takes a cue from the book The Joy of Doing Just Enough and stops trying for a week.

Jennifer Carole is the daughter of Lyman Smith, one of the victims of the Golden State Killer. She’s been blogging all about her experience now that D’Angelo has been arrested as a suspect, including the trial appearances. She’s a great writer, and it’s been facsinating to learn about the case from her perspective. It’s still a struggle, but I’m glad she’s able to start to find some closure.

LISTEN

Murder by Death is one of my favorite bands, but I always have trouble explaining them to people. Luckily, VICE put together this handy Guide to Getting into Murder by Death.

Speaking of Murder by Death, they’re in the midst of another epic Kickstarter campaign. They always have great rewards! On the last campaign, we got to see them play in a lagering cavern in Kentucky. This year, they’ll be playing in an underground cave in Tennessee! If you’ve got $10K lying around, you can even join them at space camp. For the rest of us, there’s digital downloads, vinyl, and rad shirt and poster designs. The concept of the new album–a self-proclaimed space western–sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to hear it. There are 10 days left on the campaign, so check it out and help us get the stretch goals!

The new Chromeo album is perfect summer listening!

FOOD

Let’s get together and make this raspberry frosé, STAT! The perfect drink for summer (and I don’t even like wine).

These Toasted Coconut Caramel Frappes look amazing!

 

Got any links to share? Post them in the comments below!

My own worst enemy

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“Don’t Believe Everything You Think” print by Mel Cerri. Available on Society6.

Lit was right–I am my own worst enemy. (Quick vote: worst or best way to start a blog post?)

I’m noticing that the biggest challenge I face each day is myself. Take yesterday, for example: I received some GREAT news, had a lovely work lunch, and my husband and I were productive for once and ran some errands after work. It felt like everything was going our way.

I ended the night by overeating and feeling bad about myself. I’m not sure what happened. I had dinner and was really full but started to feel kind of down. I then proceeded to eat too much ice cream, even though I knew it would make me feel like garbage.

This is just a small example, but it’s one to which some of you can relate. I make goals, I make progress, and I self sabotage. Two steps forward, one step back. It’s like I can’t trust myself to improve, to be happy, to do the right thing.

It’s not ice cream that’s the problem (although weirdly enough, when I searched “sabotage” on a photo search site, a picture of ice cream popped up). It’s the fact that I do things on a regular basis that don’t benefit me. My rational brain warns me of the consequences, but I continue anyway.

Sometimes I eat too much ice cream, even though eating a lot of sugar makes me feel like crap (I love it so much though). I pick at my face, even though I know it will just make the situation worse. I yell at my husband, even though I hate making him feel bad. I drink too much in social situations because I don’t know what else to do. I buy things I don’t really need. I decline invites to events I really want to go to, because anxiety. I don’t speak up enough. I doubt myself.

Life is a constant battle against enemy number one: our inner critic. In the book You Are A Badass (highly recommend), Jen Sincero talks about how once you finally start to enact positive change in your life, it seems like everything else aligns against you. Things will go wrong. You have to trust and push through.

I complained to my husband, asking why I always do this. Is the five minutes of pleasure I get from the self sabotage worth the hours of guilt and grief? Honestly, sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. He told me to look at each situation, think about how I’d feel after, and decide whether it would be worth it. The hard part is, it always seems worth it in the moment.

Still, I think it’s good advice. It at least forces me to face the issue and think about the consequences. If I deem it worth it, I should proceed, guilt free. If not, I’ll know I made the right decision.

Whichever choice we make, the most important thing–and the most difficult–is to accept it and move on. There are other days, other choices. We can acknowledge that maybe we made the wrong decision for us at that time, but there’s no reason or benefit to feeling guilty about it. Learn from the situation and consider it next time you are in the same position. If you make the same mistake again, so be it. Circumstances were different. Acknowledge, reflect, and move forward.

Each day is a new opportunity to try.

 

Tell me: Do you struggle with self sabotage? How do you keep yourself in check?

Embrace the change

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Cherry blossoms are beautiful but fleeting–a reminder to savor the good moments.

Let’s face it–life is weird.

Imagine two days of your week. The basic activities you do on each of these days are the same–wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, unwind, go to sleep. Nothing dramatic happens, and there are no major differences between the two. Yet one feels comfortable, bringing feelings of joy and content, and one feels frustrating, leading to feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

Does this sound familiar? *Raises hand.*

I have great days and not-so great days, and the only thing that has really changed between the two is my mindset.

I don’t know how to help you avoid this shift. I say this because I repeatedly try and fail. When I know I’m in a funk, I throw myself into motivational podcasts, self-help books, inspirational mantras, meditation, yoga, gratitude, and music–just to name a few. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it just doesn’t.

So, how about a new strategy? Let’s embrace it. Things going your way? Great! Enjoy it. Revel in it. This is your time!

Things not going your way? OK. Let’s take a moment. Breathe. How can we make the most of this? Maybe take the opportunity to be a little kinder to yourself. You don’t have to do everything–in fact, you shouldn’t. What’s one thing you’ve been wanting to do just for you?

I’m not talking about crossing a task off of the never-ending to-do list–I’m talking about cancelling your plans, closing the curtains, and binge-watching the newest show on Netflix. How about finally booking that trip you’ve always wanted to take? Maybe you call the friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, donate the money or time to that charity you always meant to support, hit inbox zero, or read a dang book. (How many of us wish we read more? *Raises hand again.*)

This doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. What you need might be as simple as buying a nice cup of coffee, going for a walk, putting on comfortable socks, or sitting quietly with your thoughts for five minutes. It might be eating some comfort food, having a good laugh, or having a good cry. The point is, use each season (or as my husband might say, mood swing) to your advantage. For every moment of happiness, excitement, and satisfaction, there’s going to be pain, boredom, and listlessness. What you can do to make the most of the “down” times?

Life is cyclical. The good days will return. Let’s take advantage of our ever-changing mindsets and make time for what we need. We’ve only got one shot at this weird life.

Tell me: How do you cope when you’re feeling down?

I don’t have to be….

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I don’t have to be the smartest, the wittiest, or the most adept.

I don’t have to be the prettiest, the thinnest, or the most graceful.

I don’t have to be the loudest or the most assertive, and I certainly don’t have to be rude to get what I want.

I don’t have to be the nicest, or the shyest, or the quiet one. I don’t have to be seen and not heard.

I don’t have to be convincing or completely sure of myself. I don’t have to be the one with all the answers.

I don’t have to be any of these things, and I’m definitely not most of them. I only have to be me–and you only have to be you.

Isn’t that a relief?

 

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Scenes from the weekend (clockwise from top left): (1) vegan cinnamon roll from the farmer’s market (2) finally got my hold of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark from the library (3) took Helena outside after much begging (4) we do have another cat that comes out sometimes (5) how much of the weekend was spent (6) sweaty car selfie after walking around a flea market all morning