Who has tried online dating? Who gave up super quick? Did you only encounter complete assholes?
Who has tried online dating? Who gave up super quick? Did you only encounter complete assholes?
When I was a little girl, I made fun of my oldest sister a lot for wearing makeup. Taking the lead from my second oldest sister and my parents, I would roll my eyes when I saw her putting on her “mask” and tease her about it. I don’t really remember her reacting much to it at the time, but now that I’ve gotten into makeup she doesn’t let me forget it.
My big secret that they still don’t know about is that while making fun of my sister, I was secretly obsessed with her makeup. I’d lock myself in the bathroom and play with her liquid foundation and her little triangle sponges. I would use her Covergirl mirror compact and put that stuff on as foundation, not a single clue that it was the wrong shade – for both of us.
In my teen years I watched my second oldest sister go through acne issues. Horrible ones. They contributed to her depression, but nothing really seemed to help it. She was convinced that makeup would make it worse, so she never messed with it either.
My mother has never worn makeup. She said that it’s kept her skin young, that makeup will only clog your pores and give you acne.
All of this led to me being that person who vilified people who wore it. I turned them into people who were stupid and probably had skin issues and zero confidence because duh, why else would they cover their faces in that pore-clogging crap? I did the old qualifying, “I don’t mind people who wear makeup, as long as it’s not caked on” bullshit.
Eventually I began to wear eyeliner. Just a simple black eyeliner. I knew I liked it, but I justified it by telling myself that I was only wearing that one thing. It wasn’t like I was slathering on layers of foundation like those snotty makeup-wearing girls did. You know, since I was convinced that’s what they were doing.
For almost four years my job involved me being in a really hot kitchen for upwards of ten hours a day at times. There was a lot of sweat, a lot of grease, and I was definitely not taking good care of my skin. I wasn’t washing it as often as I should have been, using the right wash even, or using proper face moisturizer.
But then I got a new job in October 2013. Around this time my friend Laura aka chaneladdict started very gently easing my into the world of makeup. Suddenly I was working in an office building. I didn’t have to sweat pounds off every shift. There wasn’t grease hanging in the air, or hot ovens and broilers to mess with.
She started me off very slowly by taking me to E.L.F’s website and helping me buy all the most basic things I’d need. All told I only spent enough to get the free shipping and then waited. When it came in I was excited but all of it seemed so scary so it took me a while to actually start messing with it. Laura linked me to tons of youtube tutorials for beginners and was always available to give me tips and advice.
So I started playing with it. And then I was addicted. Just like that. I quickly developed a habit of buying super expensive foundations and palettes and brushes and lipsticks and now here I am.
And no, that’s not nearly all of it. Nor is it very organized. I’m sorry. Next to me is a drawer of nail polish, toner, masks, and some of the makeup I don’t reach for as often. But honestly, as far as addictions go, I’d much rather be addicted to this than to cigarettes or alcohol. I may still need a patch, or rehab as some point though.
The fantastic thing about all of this is how it’s helped me take much better care of my skin. I use a cleanser and moisturizer that are suited to my skin type, I use daily SPF, I wash my face every day and exfoliate a few times a week, and my skin has never looked and felt better.
Even better than having healthy skin is the amount of confidence makeup gives me. I feel so much more confident when I feel good about myself. Sometimes that means feeling comfortable in my clothes. Sometimes that means that I know my eyebrows look really fucking good that day. Sometimes it’s because I’m really thrilled with my eyeshadow blending. And sometimes I’m rocking a red lip and feeling like the badass Peggy Carter knows I can be.
The point is that it doesn’t really matter what you have to do to feel confident. Wear that cute dress if it makes you feel pretty when you twirl in it. Rock that purple lipstick. Wing out your eyeliner, smoke out your eyeshadow, put on the false lashes. Whatever it takes. Because ultimately? We don’t do ANY of these things for other people. We do it for us. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Now I’m going to include a couple of collages that show my evolution with makeup. The very first picture in the first one is me, sans any makeup. My eyebrows are unruly as hell, and I wasn’t taking care of my skin at that point. The second pic was my first attempt at contouring with a little bronzer and I looked like I just rolled in dirt, but I was still learning. As they go on I finally had my eyebrows shaped and I just kept playing with it. There’s a learning curve, for sure, but I feel good about how I do with it all now.
Oh, and those last two pics were taken yesterday before I went out for birthday dinner and drinks! I’m 28 now! It’s hard to believe I started in this fandom when I was only like 18 or 19. I’ve learned a lot in my time with it.
No promises whatsoever on future posts because you can see that I’m not consistent at all with it, but I’m going to immediately start working on one about my online dating experience these past few months, because there’s some LOLs to be had there.
“Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their ‘morning ritual’ and how they ‘dress for writing’ and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to ‘be alone’—blah blah blah. No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver.
I wrote this book after my kids went to sleep. I wrote this book on the subways and on airplanes and in between setups while I shot a television show. I wrote this book from scribbled thoughts I kept in the Notes app on my iPhone and conversations I had with myself in my own head before I went to sleep. I wrote it ugly and in pieces…
…Most authors liken the struggle of writing to something mighty and macho, like wrestling a bear. Writing a book is nothing like that. It is a small, slow crawl to the finish line.”
That lovely quote up there was written in the preface of the book Yes Please by Amy Poehler and it is the truest shit I’ve read in a while.
Over the very small amount of time I’ve been writing I’ve witnessed authors say that it’s easy, that it’s hard, that it’s a bit of both, that if it’s the right idea it flows out of you like water from a tap, but drips out one drop at a time if you’ve made a wrong turn. I think all of those things are true at some point, for everyone, and anyone saying different is either lying or some sort of magical unicorn writer.
Being a writer is sort of like being in this huge, unhinged club. We’re all a bit of a mess in the best ways, and we all understand each other’s struggles and fears and even each other’s triumphs. Inspiration comes and goes for short or long periods, and it always feels like it’s gone more than it’s here.
Some of us struggle with the OCD-ish urge to complete something that we may not have inspiration for any longer. Meanwhile, there’s a truck full of inspiration for something new idling at the curb, waiting for us to hop in so we can go for a ride. Then you have the writers who hop into that truck with no hesitation every time it pulls up, leaving a pile of discarded, incomplete stories that they say they’ll finish but never really do.
I’ve personally struggled with both, and both suck. You’re either left feeling like you’re not giving your current project enough love because you’re not inspired by it anymore, or you chase the high of inspiration while watering a garden of guilt for things you were once passionate about.
Which brings me to this: It’s been almost a year that I started writing something that I hope becomes my first published work. In that year I’ve lost and gained inspiration for it thousands of times. I don’t want to give too many details because it never fails that when I tell too many people about something I wind up losing the will to write it.
However, everything Amy Poehler says is true. Ideas and bits of dialogue will pop into my head at work and I’ll write them down on a post-it or my notebook if I have it. I’ll write bits of the plot from way towards the end of the story if I see something that inspires me, then go back to the beginning. Some evenings I can spit out five thousand words and go to bed feeling inspired, but wake up knowing I’ll be lucky to get five hundred words.
Writing fanfic was so different. This isn’t even like pulling a story and editing out the similarities to the source. This is very organic, all of it coming from my own brain and my own experiences, and it’s freeing. In the heyday of the SVM fandom it was so easy to put stuff out there when authors would receive tons of reviews every chapter. With this there is no constant feedback, save for the complete support and encouragement I receive from my friend Laura in late night (for her) chats and emails.
Fanfic slowed up for me for a while there until I started writing with a partner. It became easy because I had someone to bounce off of, but I’ve realized that it also made me a bit lazy. While it’s fun to not know how the other character is going to react to something your character says, I’ve come to realize that I should know that. Because while it makes the dialogue fun to write, I still need to be in all their heads, to know their motivations and feelings in order to push the story along without it getting boring or just becoming slightly dressed up porn. What’s compelling and honest about that?
It’s also incredibly unreliable to write with a partner, because all of this applies to them too. One day we could both be super into a project and then the other one takes a nap and wakes up with a new idea and jumps into that idling truck, leaving me with this thing I still have passion for but am unable to write because I’ve never been in the other character’s head. So then I’m running after the truck and hanging on for that adventure for a few weeks until the next comes along. Over a year of writing that way messed me up and sort of gave me a bit of writer’s ADD.
So it’s not easy. Writing is hard. Making characters feel human and normal is hard. Not being melodramatic in order to move the story along when you’re stuck is hard. But I want this to be good. I want people to read this and feel like these characters are people they know in real life. I want readers to root for them and criticize them and fall in love with them and that takes time.
I promise that by the time this thing I’m working on takes the form of an actual book I’ll share some stuff with you guys. I might even ask a couple of you to be pre-readers. Until then, I do want to post more here. I’m working on something for you about make-up, believe it or not! That’ll be coming soon. I just need to organize my collection of products and take a picture of it
to show the extent of my addiction for reasons.
As always, you can find me on tumblr and twitter. My tumblr is mostly me being a Marvel/Chris Evans/Sebastian Stan/Hayley Atwell fangirl with some political opinions and feminism thrown in, but it’s fun! I’m not on twitter a lot anymore, but if you ever need to reach me I’ll see it.
Once again, I love all of you so much. I don’t know how many of you are still around or still care, but even if it’s just two or three people I want you to know that I love and appreciate you. You guys were with me through some hard shit, and there’s harder shit to come.
P.S. I turn 27 on Thursday and feel a little HOLY CRAP about it. Wasn’t 25 like two days ago? Does this crap slow down or is my life just going to go faster from here on out?
Confession: I’ve never been a fan of the idea that ‘good’ or ‘bad’ can describe a whole year.
Caveat: At times, they can.
Contradictory? Yeah, but whatever.
What I’m getting at is that there was some good and bad to my year, but I can’t really see myself looking back in like 2020 and going, “God, 2014, you know? Shit year.” Now if I’m looking at the period from around the end of September 2013 – August 2014, that was bad. But the end of 2013 didn’t destroy that whole year. Feel me?
So, 2k14… You were interesting. A lot happened.
I got into the swing of my new job. (Good) Moved into a new house with my folks and sister. (Eh) Got a new car. (Good) Had to pay for the new car. (Ouch) My other sister moved to Florida. (Sad) My sister moved to a vacation hotspot in Florida and I get to visit her there. (Excellent) New job got better when I was given awesome responsibilities that mean more money this time next year. (Hallelujah) I gained close friends who are awesome. (XOXO) Removed toxic people from my life. (Good riddance) Began writing original fiction that I’m super excited about. (YAY) Got completely obsessed with new things like Marvel, Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Hayley Atwell. (Marvelous) Started to explore the wonderful world of makeup and found my outer beauty could indeed match my inner beauty. (Wonderful) Began addressing my issues with anxiety and depression in constructive ways. (Relief) Oh, and I guested on a podcast about a subject very important to me, Rape Culture.
That’s all just scratching the surface, but it hits on all the major points.
I’m not usually one to make resolutions, so I won’t. I’m one of those people who thinks you shouldn’t set a date to start a diet, you know? If you’re going to start it, decide and do it. If that means starting on January 1st, go for it and don’t let any asshole tell you you’re stupid for starting something at the same time as everyone else. If it means it’s not until July that you get a bug in your bonnet to make a change, get on that in July and screw any thoughts telling you you can’t.
However . . . there are a few things that I have in mind as I reflect on the past year and look forward to the first part of next. So here’s my 2k15 aesthetic aka: things I’ve already been doing and hope to continue into the next year:
Be More Optimistic
I’m not that into talking about negativity and positivity and all that. I’ve never been a person to complain about everything all the time, and I can accept that sometimes life just has negative things. Being optimistic though, I can deal with. For me it’s about having hope that tomorrow will be better, that better people will come along, that horrible things in the world will change if people open their hearts and join the conversation. So yeah, optimism.
Love Myself More
This one is hard. HARD. My body is nowhere near what I want it to be. The anxiety monster living in my brain keeps me from even liking my face most days. Getting into makeup this year has really opened my mind to the confidence boost it gives people. If you can be happy with yourself without it that’s so great, but never knock someone for needing that boost if it helps them get through a day, especially if that’s what it takes for them to seek the boost elsewhere. Going forward I want to keep exploring this and finding new things that make me comfortable in my own skin.
Learn To Say No
Never feel sorry for being selfish when you absolutely need to be. The amount of, “Sure, no problem. That’s fine with me,” I’ve said in the last couple of years when I never really meant it makes me sick. I’m going to keep learning to stick up for myself and speak my mind if I’m not okay with something.
Read More, Write More
I’ve gone a bit lax on the reading front, but I’ve started picking up physical books again and cracking some spines. I had forgotten how fun it is to turn a page when you’re super interested to see what the ink on the next one says. In turn, this makes me want to write more. It would be foolish of me to set some kind of publishing goal so I’m setting a much more attainable one.
Keep Up A Skincare Routine
Holy crap, you guys. I didn’t realize how badly I was treating my skin until I started taking better care of it. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Use one with SPF. Drink a ton of water. Wash your face daily. Don’t neglect the neck. 28 days makes a habit!
Stop Treating Life Like A Competition
This one is also hard. As women we’re sort of brainwashed into being competitive in so many ways. It’s so easy to look at where I’m at in life and call myself a failure. Do I spend a lot of time on the internet? Yeah. Are most of my close friendships on the internet? Yep. But you know what? So what? I have plenty of social interaction in my non-internet life, and even if I didn’t: So. What. The important thing is that I have social interaction. I’m capable of leaving my house and talking to people in real life so I’d say I’m doing just fine. Other people my age are now married college graduates and starting families of their own and that’s wonderful for them, but there isn’t a life handbook that says you have to do any of that at any certain age. It’s not a competition. Slow down and focus on making sure you’re happy with where you are, not miserable trying to get to where others (or you) think you should be.
So there you go. Goodbye, 2014. Thank you for all the changes, good and bad. I’ve grown in wonderful ways. Hello, 2015. I hope to continue that growth in you. (heh)
To everyone and anyone reading this, I hope you all had great times in 2014 and I hope that 2015 provides some more. If you had a shit year (points to caveat above) then I sincerely hope the next treats you better. I love you all!
First of all, I hope everyone is doing well and if you live somewhere that’s still warm I hope you’re enjoying the last of it. We’ve officially switched over to rain and cold here. It sucks.
I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that I haven’t forgotten about the page I’m going to post the Flakes and Sound of Silence endings on. That seems to be the option everyone liked the most, so that’s what I’ll do. Life has been very busy lately and I have a couple of things I have to get to first. Last weekend I did my third wedding photography job for my cousin and it turned out to be the best one I’ve done. I’m really proud of the pictures I took, but I also have nearly a thousand of them that I have to spend my three-day weekend editing.
I can’t say when I’ll manage to get the page done, but I hope it’ll be before Thanksgiving. As soon as it’s done I’ll make a post letting you know! Thank you all so much for your patience. You’re the best!
So several of you wound up being interested in hearing how Flakes was going to end. I had to do some digging (and still am) in my gchat history to find some details I’d forgotten, and I managed to find a document where I’d put a lot of scenes I’d written on it for future chapters. Soooo here’s the deal. I can either put all this stuff in a word document and share it with those who wanted it, or I can make a page here on my wordpress that’s password protected so only those who want the ending will see it. The amount of stuff I had written plus all the details on how it would have ended is just too long for an email I think.
To those of you who wanted the Flakes ending, which would you prefer, or does it matter? Both will be pretty easy. If I put up a page here though I might include the ending for Sound of Silence too if anyone wants to know how that was going to end.
Anyway, it’s up to y’all! I’m so sorry for this taking so long! Life is busy, life is good and all that. I hope everyone is well, and I hope to have some other things to share with you all soon! I may even start using this thing like a real blog and not just a fanfic one.
This is a difficult post for me to write. I just want to put that out there up front. It’s difficult for many reasons, and I wish I’d had the chance to tell everyone this myself, but unfortunately some of you already know what I’m about to say.
I wanted to do a quick update to let you all know that my Aunt Anna passed away a short while ago. My parents were headed up to Wisconsin from here in Missouri this evening but they weren’t able to make it there before she passed, unfortunately.
Thank all of you for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. She hung on really strong until these last couple of days. She was at home and she’d gotten to see all of her children and grandchildren before she went. Hospice was also keeping her comfortable so there wasn’t much pain for her in the end.
Some people scoff when I talk about my online family, but it’s times like these when it’s only reaffirmed that that’s just what we are. I love you all, and once again, thank you.
Hello. I’m sorry that this isn’t an update for Flakes. Or even good news or news at all about fanfic. This is more of a personal request.
I just got home from a pretty good day of work and some shopping with my sister to find very somber looking parents. They sat us down and told us that my aunt’s cancer is too far gone to help her. I don’t know if they’ve given her an amount of time left or what it is if they did.
She has been fighting both uterine and colon cancer for over a year now. She and her husband are both Mennonite and sought treatment from a clinic they heard about in Mexico. I think it was both because they don’t have much money, and also because it was more of a spiritual clinic. It seemed to help her and they declared her to be in remission last year. About a week ago, she went to the hospital because of pain in her abdomen. They discovered a mass the size of a small cantaloupe, inflammation in her colon, and small spots on her lungs. After further testing they discovered that all of it was cancer.
I don’t know if she really was in remission and it came back this quickly, or if it never really left. I know that her doctor in Mexico was shocked that she would have a mass that large. Unfortunately I don’t know enough about cancer to make a judgment.
This particular aunt and I have never really gotten along well. I’ll be honest, she was always one of the most judgmental people I’d ever met. Since she found out she had cancer though, she’s mellowed out. She’s much more kind, less judgmental, and I enjoyed being around her.
She has five children, five grandchildren, and a husband that she will be leaving behind. She will also be the first of my father’s eight siblings to pass. It’s shocking and heartbreaking in many ways. I can see this look in my dad’s eyes, like he realizes just how far in his life he’s gotten and how he’s much closer to the end of his life than he is to the beginning.
I’m not the religious type by any means. I don’t believe in God, but I have no issues with those who do. My aunt is a devout believer. What I believe in is positive thinking. So here’s my request.
If you believe in God, Buddha, Mother Earth, any kind of higher power, or even if you’re just like me and believe in the power of positive thinking, will you do me a favor and send some prayers and/or thoughts my aunt’s way? I know it’s small, but she will be open to receiving it, and maybe it will offer her some kind of comfort and strength.
Her name is Anna.
If you made it this far, thank you for listening.
Update: Just found out they’re giving her days, maybe weeks. She’s already very lethargic and they’ve talked to the family about how they feel about putting her on a ventilator.