Dreadlock Journey

After years of wanting and wishing and waiting I finally asked myself what I was waiting for? I had wanted dreadlocks for a long time. A really long time. I recall in college an attempt to make my first single ended synthetic dread, and while I was satisfied with the results, I eventually cut my hair too short to wear it anymore. So I gave it to a friend with longer hair similar to my own hair color.

After college the job hunt began, and once I found a job my professional life began to dictate my appearance. So I spent that time trying to look professional since I was in retail and in public view a lot. Plus I worked at a cosmetics counter to start and wanted to look like a more contemporary beauty advisor instead of the alternative kind…which meant looking like a basic white bitch and not having very much fun with makeup and colors.

Now that I’m a graphic designer, I find my desk job suites me better. I’m allowed to have a more unique style. I can wear colorful wigs and do brighter makeup. The company atmosphere encourages diversity and innovation, but also encourages me to be myself. It’s a complete relief and freeing experience.

Being in this sort of atmosphere made me feel much more confident, and I finally decided one day to purchase a set of dreadlocks for myself on Etsy from a gal in Ukraine. When they arrived I watched a ton of YouTube installation videos and decided to braid them in myself. It took me 1 hour for all 20 single ended dreads (I have an undercut so I don’t need many) and I’m thrilled with the results! I’ve worn them in my hair for about 2 weeks now and it’s been a great experience.

What I love about them is how everyday is a great hair day! There are so many fun styles you can do with dreadlocks and the maintenance really isn’t that bad if you do it yourself. Braiding them in takes time, but isn’t difficult. Washing them isn’t hard either as long as you use the right kind of shampoo and focus your washing on your scalp (and rinse really well).

In all, I really love them. ❤️

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The Trouble with Loving Yourself

Some of you may recall that I chose to get medicated for my depression a few months ago, and this is the not really obligatory but close to it, blog post describing my life thus far since making this life change.

 

It’s been hard, but still the best decision I have made for my own life.

 

It’s been hard mainly because there have been some unexpected snags. Side effect that the list they handed me when I was first prescribed the medication did not have on it. Ones I’m sure even doctors cannot predict.

The first change and trial I had with becoming medicated, was that I had to, and still am, learn who I am now. That seems really silly to say, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I find now more than ever I’m beginning to realize who I am and what was the depression talking. I find I am not as anxious as I was about most things in life. I’m finding that I really enjoy a lot of things in my life more than I once did, and I find that even though I can become tired out, I have more energy than I have had in a long while.

 

With these things can come a few interesting problems.

 

Discovering I like myself means I have discovered that I do have value, and with it comes a crisis of faith. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am struggling with my faith a little. I started to realize how so many people in my life I had once thought were spiritual leaders had a habit of being spiritually abusive towards me. While I recognize that this is not God’s fault, it is very difficult to trust much when you realize how much the Bible was taken out of context to control you. It has also made me very aware of how everyone is a little wrong, including myself, and makes me rethink a lot of what I have been taught as well as my perspective on it. God and I are in a state of healing our relationship from this, though I fear the journey will be long and full of many mistakes on my part. Still my trust in the Christian Church has made trust in God very difficult and getting back to speaking terms with God is something I have already struggled with for a long time.

Another issue that had been unforeseen, was my spending. As I have mentioned in past posts, I struggle with retail therapy. When I was depressed I shopped. Unfortunately I struggle with the same issue, but for the opposite reason. I like myself. I deserve nice things. So I shop. Something my husband and I are actively trying to curb, with small successes, but it is still hard when I am so good at wanting and feeling like the want is a need.

The last, and probably the weirdest result of learning to like myself, is how other people respond to it. Though, I understand very few people are not self critical. Most people have plenty they do not like about themselves and therefore find that they have a great deal of self loathing. I didn’t realize how much self loathing I had until it started waning away. Now that I like myself, I realize how full of myself I must seem. Even one of my coworkers has responded very badly towards me liking myself, and misinterpreted it as “making everything about me,” as he said only just aggressively towards me this morning (which I reported to HR because I love myself now and I don’t deserve to have my coworker talk to me like that). Yes, I talk about myself more now, because I like what I’m up to. I’m enjoying my friends and my life. I’m losing negativity and finding interesting and positive people to surround myself with and do life with. But of course, when someone talks about themselves a lot, it comes across as being full of yourself, when in actuality, I find that talking about me and my life, keeps me from talking shit about other people who are already full of their own negativity towards themselves and are just trying to figure out life like I am.

I’m allowed to be into myself. I’m allowed to love myself. I’m still learning what that looks like in a healthy way, because clearly shopping will only give me more stuff, and it’s just stuff and nothing more, but the fact of the matter is I’m putting efforts to learn it and heal from my wound. I have self worth now. I realize I am an asset. I am worthy. Of what? That’s still being figured out, but I know it is more than what was once the status quo.

Overall I find the benefits to my life out weigh the struggles. Some changes I’ve made in my life as a result of liking myself and having less anxiety are:

1) I got dread locks. I just always freaking wanted them and I bought myself some extensions and braided them in myself. I love them.

2) I’ve been doing more personal journaling which means keeping more of my life to myself than putting it out here in public. Which is probably healthier for me.

3) I’ve been pleasure reading more again.

4) I HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE. I joined a book club and hang with friends just about once a week instead of once a month like in the past.

5) I’ve been investing more of my efforts into my small business which has reaped some if not many benefits to my income.

6) I feel more productive at work. I’m making fewer mistakes than in the past.

7) I’ve added meditation a couple times a week to my schedule. I like how relaxing it is. I also realize I sucked at breathing and am better at it now.

8) I’m exercising again.

9) I’m getting my health back on track.

All of these things are worth investing my time in. I enjoy them. I enjoy myself. Life feels like it has a little more meaning and mystery again.

Flat Earth

So I have always suspected that people who follow the Flat Earth Movement do not actually believe the Earth is flat. I have always suspected that the Flat Earth Movement was always meant to be a satire. Much like the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s something that in an extreme way is actually protesting some kind of common mentality.

Or maybe they’re just stupid. I don’t know. I just have a really hard time thinking people could be that foolish since we’ve been in space and know.

Though honestly I cannot think of what they might be protesting if it is, in fact, a form of satirical protest. Other than a protest of placing blind faith in things. Could be a protest of media being the “ultimate resource” for current events knowledge but proves time and time again to be unreliable? Still, that goes back to the blind faith thing again, and if it is in protest of people putting blind faith in things…it could be in regards to anything from religion to politics to science to…well…everything.

Maybe it’s just one of those futile groups that wants to protest everything? Maybe that’s the point?

Or again, maybe they really are stupid.

Or maybe the movement doesn’t actually exists? Maybe it’s like what the media was doing to my generation back in middle school. It kept saying stuff like “The New Sex Party Trend…” or “Watch out for the new thing kids are doing at parties” none of which had actually happened or was reported to have happened. It was media making up news and giving a generation a bad wrap for something that never happened. So what if the Flat Earth Movement revival, is just the media making up fake news for the sake of drama?

I’m probably over thinking it, but I can’t help but wonder.

I am a Maker

Like my Creator I too have been given the blessing of being able to create. I have been given hands that can hold my instruments, and a mind that can see things that are not yet there. I have seen beauty beget beauty and deep searing pain beget beauty. I have seen that which seems impossible and made it so. I make words work together. I make small beautiful things to adorn people and places.

I work on my artistry and craft for the same reason I write here…for therapy. Every piece has held, helped, and healed a moment in my life that was joyful or painful. Each piece I have crafted is a monument to my desire to make beautiful things as I have been made into a beautiful thing. To remind others that though they adorn their homes and themselves with my work, they have been adorned with a souls, crafted by the greatest hands of an Almighty Craftsman.

I work to remind the world, that if you want beautiful things you must…absolutely must….stop starving the artists.

Below is a collection of some of my small adornments. They are a combination of metals and natural materials. If you’d like to see more you’re welcome to visit my business Facebook page.

Giving Tuesday

It’s giving Tuesday! That means I’m sharing some of my favorite charities and non-profits with you!

Here we go:

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

I’ve been involved with these guys for 3 years now, and besides memberships and donations they have an online store where you can get some sweet merchandise and help keep the history of letterpress printing alive!

LINK

Helping to liberate people from oppression is the most rewarding thing you can do! Liberty In North Korea helps find refugees (known as “defective” to the North Korean government) and relocate them to safe zones. They also have an online shop where you can purchase merchandise to help the cause, or you can become a freedom fighter to help the cause if you are unable to donate.

My Rescue Dogs

This one is a personal friend of mine who creates beautiful art and merchandise to help pets find forever homes. All 100% of the proceeds go to helping out shelter animals.

What are some of your favorite charities? Put them in the comments and share! 👇👇👇👇👇👇

Earthing

It’s like everything runs into the earth when I lay on it. All the worry. All the pain. All the anxiety. Just laying in the grass, with the sunshine warming my skin and hearing the life happen around me. The breeze caresses my face and plays with my hair. It’s the most calm I have felt all week.

My husband and I are trying “Earthing” or “Grounding” as it is also known as. A friend of mine had mentioned it to me as something that assisted with cysts she had in her uterus and was desperate to keep this particular child after having miscarried 5 others before. She tried it for the entire first trimester, every night all night while she slept. Her cysts reduced in size as much as 60% according to her doctor. I figured even if my issues were not the same as hers, I would give it a try too.

I started by walking around in my yard with my shoes off more frequently, and while I did feel really great, I didn’t want to attribute that completely to the Earthing, since I can be a bit of a skeptic. It could have been the sunshine and increase in Vitamin D. It could have been the movement since I was so used to an office job. Still I noticed that chronic swelling in my hands seemed to experience relief when I would go outside, and I would notice the swelling to return when I got inside or stood on the sidewalk. So I started looking into Earthing methods a little more.

My husband and I watched several documentaries and TED Talks about the nutrients of the ground, the electromagnetic fields of the earth, and the bodily responses to natural stimuli and phenomenon. Not all of them were necessarily related to one another, but all of them were worth researching and helped us figure out a bit of the claimed science behind Earthing. My research was more based on understanding the medical uses of earthing for physical illness, because to be completely honest, I do not find myself buying into the metaphysical sort of stuff that everyone seems to lean towards in these scenarios.

After I was satisfied with the findings, I figured it couldn’t hurt us to try, so I found an inexpensive indoor earthing kit and figured if it didn’t seem to improve anything or feel like it was helping, I could probably get my money back by selling it on eBay or something. So the day it arrived we went to bed with it. Here are the things we noticed:

1) My husband who has snored every night since we got married, stopped snoring and does not snore every night he uses his earthing band.

2) I woke up with blood sugars in normal range for the first time in years and continue to do so since using the earthing band.

3) My husband has noticed an improvement in mood.

4) Chronic swelling in my hands is gone and has not returned.

5) I’m not waking up as tired.

6) I’m not sleeping as lightly.

7) I’m less depressed and more motivated.

I suppose that all of this could just be a placebo affect, but it could be real too. All I know is I’m doing and feeling better. Even my husband has noticed his mood and anxiety improve. So we’re starting to take it a little more seriously now and are starting to tell our friends and family about it. All in all, I hope to see more results as time goes on.

Ideal Accident II

I know not a lot of people seem to believe in God given moments of strength anymore. Yet, even while I didn’t expect it, it was certainly made clear to me.

It’s amazing how in all His power He shows Himself in whispers. How clearly we see them after He has been so soft and subtle. How foolish I often feel that He was holding me in His hands and I never knew.

Yet, how many does He hold and they refuse to see.

Since the car accident, I have taken to heart a great deal of thankfulness and humility in a very short amount of time. Mainly because, it has come to my attention, that I did not once have a panic attack during our trip about driving. Even during and after the accident.

This is only a complete miracle. Considering that prior to the accident I had so many concerns about driving such long distances. Yet, in the moment of crisis, I was not panicked to dysfunction, but rather I was able to act in clarity and with sober (albeit shaken) emotions.

Upon this realization I thanked God feverishly over that. Because there is nothing within me that indicates that I should have been able to do so. Even my husband, whom I love and is usually the level headed one, was brought to an unreal place of panic that I had to coach him through after he got off the phone with the police. Even then I was so proud of him for holding it together while he called the cops.

Still, Im certain so little of that was in our own strength. It was clearly a God moment for me, and I continue to be shameless about telling myself and others that it was.

Not only that though. The fact that engineers were created to give us safe cars is a miracle. The fact that police officers put themselves in such a place of danger to help people like us on dangerous interstates is a miracle. The same for tow trucks who maneuver heavy machinery to keep the highways safe for others is a miracle too.

In light of darker times, seeing people help other people can also seem like a miracle.

Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

So I made some really delicious salt and vinegar zucchini chips in a dehydrator at work and they were so good I had to share them with you all.

You Will Need

1) 2tbs of extra virgin olive oil

2) 2tbs of while balsamic vinegar (at home I used this peach infused white balsamic to make a sweet and salt vinegar chip that was amazing).

3) 3 medium sized zucchinis sliced very thinly

4) Coarse sea salt

Instructions

1) Slice zucchini thinly. If you cannot do it by hand use a mandolin or a food slicer (this is the one I use).

2) Mix oil and vinegar together and pour over thinly sliced zucchini.

3) sprinkle or grind salt all over the zucchini sliced as evenly as possible.

4) Immediately place sliced on the dehydrator (this is the one I have at home) trays and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 8 hours or per your dehydrator units instructions.

4) Enjoy as a snack or garnish.

Good and Bad Art

I couldn’t help but be a little angry after the 7th Gallery visit he posted. What did he know about art? Yes, he was raised traveling (on Disney Cruises) and saw the old masters work in Europe. Sure he had seen them, and sure he had preferred them, but now that he was away at college, he found his niche on Instagram….making fun of modern art.

As a designer and appreciators of the arts, I was a little angry and embarrassed to be related to him. Read more