Pink Paw Print

Monday, November 30, 2015

Coping With Depression & Building Yourself Up From Scratch


I'm not in one of those "the word is stupid, I feel helpless and hate life" kind of slumps. Trust me, I've been there in the past, in that pit of hell I wouldn't wish on anyone, and I'm definitely not in that place now. I am ~beyond~ excited about my future!!! :D <3 It's just not as easy for me to smile (okay granted it's ~da lady time~~ which means I'm in ridiculous crampy pain and all moods are whacked out, but I've feeling this way for a few weeks prior, sooooOoo...). More, it's just that I'm feeling pretty not as happy as I used to, which is saying a lot because I'm a very bubbly, upbeat person. And by happy, I mean I was feeling very on top of the world, so now, in comparison..... *sobs*. Let me explain...


Being home for Thanksgiving break was so lovely, but I also felt really isolated because it's so easy to just stay in my isolated house which is on an isolated private road (which is so beautiful and I am so grateful for it, don't get me wrong - just isolated) and just read all day in that isolated state of isolation if I'm not careful about forcing myself to get out (except when I go out I tend to spend money on coffee or makeup or books or more coffee so I tend to feel really guilty about it). Also, I rarely interact with people my own age when I'm home (I don't have any siblings and I only moved to the town a few years ago and went to private school so I don't know many people around) and while I love love love talking to people older than me (#theparentals, I also feel scared that I'll forget how to be around people my own age?? There's no way that could really make sense unless you're in a similar situation and you know what I mean by that, I guess!? Now that I'm back at college, I feel better about that though, being constantly surrounded with bunches and bunches of people. I think this says a lot about where I should be in the future - maybe I would do better in more of an urban environment? Lots of things to think about with this one.


Recently I've been dealing with some stuff. It all started happening a few weeks back when I ended something with someone who made me so ridiculously happy (and angry too, actually now that I think about it....hmmm..). Saying that you won't let your happiness depend on just one person is a lot easier said than done for me. I haven't felt that level of euphoria, though, since I fell in love two years ago with another not so great guy I've mentioned on here a few times. But the truth is, I'm attracted to the cold heartless type, when in reality, all I emotionally want is the exact opposite of that. Warm, fuzzy, cuddly, teddy bear type - but those types I always find to never be that loyal because they're too warm with everybody - which is sort of like me, actually, now that I think about it, except I'm HELLA into loyalty. Anyway. Back to the cold heartless type. I'm attracted to yanking the emotions out of them, of forcing them to feel when that's the last thing they actually want to do. And then because of it, because of that power, they fall deeply for me, and I feel amazing - that I could do that, that I could have such power. That I could be the factor that makes them actually feel something, for once, and that I could help to fix and heal them, because it's easier to do that than to fix and heal myself. I've realized that I'm somewhat attracted to dangerous people and dangerous situations because it [[ironically]] calms my anxiety. Am I going to get hurt by them? Of course I will. That self-fulfilling prophecy, oh, it takes the guesswork out of it all. Of course it's going to end badly. So there's no need to worry or get anxious, because of course it's going to end because of something bad. It's twisted and it's unhealthy and that's why I said goodbye in this situation with this last guy. Because I need to be on my own to fix my own issues, and not fall in love with someone for fixing those issues of mine for me. I don't want to be rescued from my problems, for the first time in my life. For the first time in my life, I want to fix them on my own. I wrote him some heartfelt letter to say goodbye. We haven't talked since, which even if it hurts it's a good thing deep down I know, because I don't need to fight for someone to value commitment (Of course I'd want to cheat on you! he said.....) or to stop insulting me for a change (poking all of the pimples on my face with your finger aint cute, kid....just no....) or to not call me a "little girl" because I didn't want to have sex yet...and then say "yeah, I went there..." because he knew how I got molested at camp when I was a little girl. You can't forgive somebody for something like that, as much as you want to. You just can't. Then again, I've heard so many awful things that guys have told me in the past, that I'm just actually pretty numb to it. It doesn't have as great an impact as I know it should because it's just another thing in a long list of horrible things I've been told. I've been feeling crushed, but I'm dealing with it because I know one day, when I am ready to let someone in again after I spend some time on my own first, that I deserve better than that and I will find better than that. It's hard because the way I grieve is that I'm in denial of the hurt for about a week or two, feeling empowered, but then it all comes crashing down and really hurts, and sometimes people don't understand why I'd still be upset after the time has passed - but that's because I never let myself feel upset by anything until a few weeks pass because I just can't deal with it so soon. I usually hop from one relationship to the next to heal my wounds, but seeing as I don't have that dating as a form of a drug, the withdrawal symptoms are really really rough at the moment. Just because you're the one who ended things, doesn't mean it hurts any less. I still think about him all the time, the parts that I loved about him, the connection we had emotionally, and it kills me. Particularly the nightmares about him are killing me. Being home for the break gave me too much "thinking" time, and I'm definitely worried about winter break having too much time to think as well... any suggestions about that would be -greatly- appreciated.....


On that "romantic" note, literally six guys from my past have reached out to me in the past week. Yes, friends. 'Tis the season, I suppose... They've messaged me apologizing for various fun things, like how poorly they treated me when they had me, how they took me for granted, how they were so self-absorbed and didn't know how to truly give of themselves, how they were mean and careless with their words and just said whatever they thought would come off as funny but was just cold hearted in the end, one even said how he still thinks about me every day and regrets how he was so careless when it came to being kind to me. All of them asked for another chance. My answer to all? We're just too different... two different people... I only answered a few, but the truth is, nobody gets to treat me like an option when I treat them like a priority. Reciprocity is something that I have never truly experienced, and granted, it's a delicate dance, but it's what I deserve. And my low self-esteem in the past kept me thinking, "What guy would ever like you? Just take literally whatever you can get and work with it," but I'm not in that place anymore. I used to take any guy back if they still wanted me, if they promised they would be better this time around. None of that. I'm done giving second chances, because not once has it led to my happiness. The same mistake gets repeated the second time! No no no. At first, I felt like I was some ice princess for this, but now I know it's just this little thing called self-compassion. Those guys weren't nice to me, so now I'm going to be nice to myself and not let them in again. Byyyyyyyyyyyyyye <333 It just makes me mad that for some reason now everyone has been reflecting on the past year, and are just now realizing what they did wrong. NOW!?!? Now, when I have zero interest. But the truth is, even if I still did have interest, I would still say no. Because I'm nicer to myself now.


It's been difficult between that, and then how I gracefully dropped my computer on my foot and couldn't walk for about a day and a half. And then after I finally could, but couldn't put on shoes or socks for a few more days. So no working out, and no yoga for a while - both things I love very much. Luckily, though, I'll be able to get back into yoga class tomorrow *hallelujah chorus descends from thy heavenz~* But it really did a number on my mood. I hate feeling trapped in any way, and it was making me feel trapped in my own body, if that makes any sense. I have been dealing with chronic pain from two injuries since 2011, the second in 2014, and any new injury always makes me feel weak and powerless - and worried that what if it becomes a chronic issue, and then I'll now have three chronic injuries, rather than just two...


Grad school applications are also due soon, and I have to put together my creative writing portfolios for them. The thing is, each school I'm applying to requires different types of writing: one or two require strictly just fiction writing, whereas the other one or two require writing of different genres like fiction and online article writing, etc. So that's a lot of pressure there. Plus four final research papers due within the next two weeks, and one final exam on books that make ya fall asleep, tbh. I've also got an exam tomorrow to study for. Now, I'm a very good student. I get very good grades. So it's not that I feel like I won't do well, it's more the upcoming labor looming over my head that I want to finish already. I like to just do something, and do it well, and complete the task proficiently. I don't like knowing I'll have things due but not having started them yet because they're a little too much in the future to begin just yet.


There are two other major major things going on, perhaps some of the most significant things that are making me feel depressed, but I feel it's not my business to share them on here because of the nature in which they involve other people, and I can't really say anything more without it being too obvious about whom I'm talking about.  I just need to figure out how to feel better when you feel out of control about the things that will never change. You change yourself to cope if you can't change the situation? Is that it? I'm not sure. Overall, though, I know that this is all a temporary situation, (some issues are definitely long-term though and those are the ones that scare me the most) so I already feel 102938201830291830192830198 times better being back at school (tbh, I started crafting this post late last night, teary eyes a plenty~).

I just miss how purely incredible I was feeling before, because feeling that kind of happiness is just so rare, but I'm going to write down later today as a study break some ways I can think of as to how to create that happiness back on my own without the presence of romantic love in my life. I've never had to build myself back up from scratch without using a brand new relationship as an emotional crutch, and this is definitely a new feeling. I'd be lying if I said I knew how. But I have some ideas. Actually, maybe I'll put them all in a blog post for y'allz to check out! :p <3

I know the sadness and dull worry (different from the urgent, needy panic attacks I used to die from, lolz deal with) I've been feeling for the past few weeks will pass, and I'll get back to myself where it won't be a struggle to stay chipper around others or feel exhausted from begging myself to be happy.

How do you build yourself up from scratch when you feel totally stressed and out of control and in pain?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, November 23, 2015

How To Find Love When You're Single

Recently, I have shocked people with my decision to momentarily bow out from the romantic (~or lack thereof~) world that is the dating scene. Many people have told me they think it's a good decision, because I'm kind of what you would call a "serial dater". As you can see here, I just kind of love everybody in the world - friends, family, romantic prospects, strangers. Even those people I just don't really like, I still have love for them. Why? Because we're all in this wild and crazy ride we call "life", together. And I think that creates a bond that's pretty special (not that we have any other choice when it comes to living life, buuuut, still ahaha!)

I realized that I used to use dating to fill a void. I had been lacking some serious love in other areas of my life (including self-love), and I thought romantic love could make the pain of not feeling loved in the other areas of my life go away. I was dating all the wrong people. I was putting myself in harm's way dating people who were violent, with terrible anger issues, people who scared me more than life itself could ever scare me. I'm a very nurturing, give-up-all-my-needs-to-make-you-feel-loved girl, and because of that, it was attracting the kind of people who needed to feel loved because they had no clue how to love others, themselves. Hurting others with their words, or their hands, or their selfishness? No problem. But loving others? That was a whole new ballgame, and I became addicted to trying to get the guys incapable of love to love me. Because if some one incapable of love could love me, then I felt hey, that would make me really worth loving.

See what's wrong with that? I deserve someone who wants to love me, and cherish me, and treat me like royalty, in return. And it's important to keep the faith that there is that guy out there who wants to love me just as badly as I want to love him. Giving and giving and giving always made me feel like the "better" person, like some saint, like some girl truly worth loving, because I felt deep down like I wasn't really worthy of being loved by anybody. Like how could anybody possibly love me!? So I would neglect my own needs, I would spend my days in a mild to moderate panic fearing the next time my feelings would get hurt, in an odd attempt to make myself actually fix the void I had inside. But clearly, as you can imagine, that never worked out.

Sadly, that pattern, I've realized, has been playing out into non-romantic relationships as well, such as friends, as just one example. There are many people in my life who are blunt to the point that it has really been chipping away at my self-esteem, and I need to do some deep soul-searching and reevaluate how to handle this fact. The hard part is that, often times, these people have no idea how rude their words come off, and when I try to tell them how hurt they've made me feel, they get -beyond- defensive and say even more hurtful things, to the point where things escalate into this huge mess of anxiety and fear. Just thinking about it makes me feel pretty seasick, but I've been working on ways to manage that and keep things with that in its place. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't reason with unreasonable people. You have to brush it off, for your own sanity, and think oh that's so and so being their rude self again, and not let it hurt you because otherwise, you will be chained to sadness and never be able to soar, like you deserve!

But anyway. Back to the single life. So, the truth is, is that I used to be so deeply sad being alone. I thought that no guy could ever love just me, and by being alone, I thought, this was proving that fact. This ties into the virginity thing. There's some invisible ticking clock, it feels like, and as a 21-year-old, quite a few people have told me that I must be a freak if I haven't done it yet.

Truth is, even though I have definitely loved guys, maybe it wasn't true love, the kind where you trust the person 100%. Because they had horrible, scary tempers. Because they would hurt me. So even though it hurts my self-esteem to think about, because I've waited this long, I do want it to be meaningful. It makes me sad to think that by the time I find the right person for me to experience that with, he will probably already have engaged in all of that, and probably many times, and probably with multiple people, which scares me because I feel like our experience will therefore mean so much more to me than it will to him. But then again, someone once told me, everything is a "case-by-case" basis. Like a "just because you aren't somebody's first, doesn't mean that they won't want you to be their last!"sort of a thing. I'd much rather be wanted forever, than just a notch in the tool belt that is ~~experience~~.

Another thing that's been tough is that honestly, forever, since I can remember (darn you, Disney movies......!) is that I've just wanted to be "one and done". Just find my special person, and not have to look anymore and just ... do life with them. While I'm definitely not looking now, I got into a conversation today that made me cry, actually.

My main goal in life (judge me, I dare you.) is just to find my other half. No longer to fill a void, but just to be my partner in crime and to share our happiness together!! Biiiiiiiig difference, let me tell you. Wanting love for this new healthy reason is just such an incredible, ineffable feeling. I am currently working on creating a fulfilled, joy-filled life while minimizing stress, and I can't wait to be able to create this life and then get to share it with him, whoever this "him" will be! About 4 people have had the same response when I said that my number one goal is to find that Mr. Soulmate: "Why? You have so much more to offer than just that. You have talent, and you're smart. You're pretty. Why do you need to make your whole life about finding some guy?"

I cry every time somebody tells me that. I can't help but cry. Because they think that what they are saying is supposed to be like, the biggest compliment ever, but it's actually so incredibly insulting. It invalidates my personal desires and goals and dreams. It tells me that my wishes aren't good enough. That I should be striving for something that people think is "better". That my definition of happiness isn't "good" or "right" or "true". But my main goal is happiness to me. It is what I want. I do want other things, too, though, don't get me wrong. I love blogging and I'm so excited to watch as The Pink Lyme gets even bigger and grows into something that truly blossoms! I want to be a published, well-known novelist! I want to have a job that I love! I want to own some corgi dogs with #FutureBae when I'm older (Pepper is the only pug for me; I don't want to ever replace him <3333)! I want a house that's maybe on the smaller side and as soon as I walk in it feels cozy and like the way everyone dreams that their home should feel - a safe space and full of endless love! But... what I want most is somebody special to share all of this overflowing, abundant happiness and love with. So please, people, don't tell me that my main dream in life shouldn't be to find my partner in crime. Because that is so, so incredibly the essence of me and I carry that wish in everything that I do. No longer in a sad way, but now in a YAYAYAAA I CANT WAIT TIL I FIND THIS GUY! kind of way. We should never change our goals just so others approve. I am glad that these people think highly of me, but I want to share that "talent" and "intelligence" and "attractiveness" with my other half. And the truth is... I'm just not sorry about wanting what I want and I have no desire to ever change this, haha! I hate having to feel pressure to explain myself about why I want love so badly. The truth is, I just do. It's an amazing feeling waking up in somebody's arms and having them kiss you on the forehead and holding hands in public and going on little day-long road trips and cooking together and just ugh, omg yayyy. Ahahah!

On a brighter note, I've been feeling pretty emotionally fulfilled as of late, so I know that I'm on the right path because I haven't woken up and felt so cozy and loved (without even being in a relationship, woohoo!) in a while. (Okay, okay fine so maybe the whole Thanksgiving Chrismukkah season has a little something to do with it too, lol!! :p) Buuuut, anyway - I'm enjoying my time just getting to know people for who they are. When I talk to guys, I don't think MAYBE HE IS DATEABLE, OMG OMG! I think, instead, Hey, who is this guy? What's his story? Maybe he could be an awesome friend to get to know! And even with girls, I'm not putting any pressure on acquaintances to turn into full blown-out intense friendships. I'm just enjoying people for who they are, and enjoying what we have at the level we have it. I'm also enjoying my relationship with myself. I'm spending more time snuggled up in bed to do my homework rather than running off to the library to be surrounded by people 24/7. I'm not afraid to be alone with my thoughts, even if I've been having these kinds of philosophical struggles (these "struggles" are how you grow and learn to define your values as a person!). Wrapped up in blankets with just being by myself, I can think about all of these things without heading into a panicked state.

Taking a break from dating has made me have SO MUCH LESS ANXIETY than I have had in the past few years, to be completely honest! There is no self-induced pressure to look and act perfect to attract some guy. I can just be 100% Brooke, and tbh, fyi, when we are 100% ourselves, it's when we start to attract people, friends and romantic prospects, who are a great fit for us!

Do I still want romantic love more than like, anything? You betcha! But there are many other important things that I love - enjoying my own company, spending time with friends, reading, writing, SHOPPING LOL *cue sassy handflip*, experimenting with new makeup looks, learning new things, etc. & the list goes on. But the truth is, is that I have to ignore the naysayers who don't believe that wanting to find the right person to be with is a good main goal in life, because that's my Truth with a capital T! Although I don't want that love right now, because I want to go on my journey of self-exploration before I find it so it will be hella enriching to have so much fulfillment to bring to the table, it is my long-term dream and realizing this will, without a doubt, help me achieve it.

So how to find love when you're single, do you ask? Start with yourself. Love yourself. Make the time to do things that make you happy. Read for fun. Shower extra long. Cuddle up with a lot of blankets in bed and just listen to upbeat songs. Try a new body wash. Try new exercises at the gym. Nourish yourself mentally, intellectually, emotionally, physically - and that's when you'll attract the people who are truly the right fit for you because you will be able to bring your best self to the match - and you deserve a match for your best self, rather than a match better suited to a "I really need to get my life together" self!! :p lol!

Has anyone ever discouraged you from your main goal in life? How did you handle it?
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, November 20, 2015

You've Asked, I've Answered!

On Snapchat, I had you guys send me questions (literally, anything you want to know!!) that I would answer in a blog post, right here, right now! I'm hoping to make this a reoccurring "series"of blog posts, perhaps maybe once a month!? :p Anyway - the questions y'allz asked were so much fun to answer!! I decided to keep them all anonymous, even though most of the readers who asked said they would be fine with it not being anonymous (maybe in the future though I'll switch it to not anonymous!?). Also, I couldn't include all of the questions in the post (it would get kind long, ahaha!) so I've kept the first half in this post, and I'll make a post in the future sometime with the others!

If you don't have Snapchat, or would rather email your question to me, you can send it to: :)

How do you usually get over a guy?
It always takes me forever, not gonna lie... but in general, that's an easy one - eat more calories, of course!!!!! Anything with chocolate in it. You're welcome ;).

When did you start blogging?
December 14, 2015 was when I was like, hey, I'm really gonna do this!!

Who is your favorite blogger?
Welllll, I don't really have a "favorite". I mean, definitely Carly from The College Prepster inspired me to start a blog in the , but there are so many incredible blogs out there that I'd hate to have to pick just one! :0 >:p

Where did you learn to type funny? Like you always use *this* and add ~~ ?
Well about the ~~ I honestly couldn't tell ya. I think maybe, maybe I did it by accident once and I thought it was hella sassy AF so I kept rollin' with it!?! Maybe!? I think that might be it, idk. And as for the *typinglikethis*, I think back back in the day there was this book series called like TTYL, TTFN, and L8R, G8R by Lauren Miracle where one of the characters would always say *sigh*, and then I kind of just thought that it would be helpful for other actions/descriptions other than just *sigh*. I read them when I was in the 5th grade, right at the time that AOL instant messenger (AIM was bae, tbh~<33333)

How old are you?
I'm 21, betchezzz~~~!

What does "Lyme" mean in "The Pink Lyme"?
I'm from Old Lyme, Connecticut! It's where Lyme's Disease was found…. *casually voms, then dies*.

Where do you like to shop?
Oh, everywhere!!! For more upscale pieces, my favorite is probably Ralph Lauren and for great deals, my go-to is Forever 21.

Do you have a boyfriend?
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL No. I don't. I'm usually always in a perpetual state of being heartbroken by somebody, though. That rarely ever changes. I fall too hard and too fast and it's just a fact of life for me. However, I'm dating myself for a long, long while. Something in me clicked the other day, and I just need to belong to myself first, and have a solid strong feeling of self-possession and self-ownership, before I allow myself to be involved with somebody else. I'm just not at that stage yet. It will take a long time to get there, trust me, I know. I need to learn to trust myself 100%, to love myself 100%, to make peace with my past and stop beating myself up for it, and it's going to be an intense journey - but I'm really very excited for it. That's just not something I, personally, can do while in a relationship. I need to be single in order to make myself feel loved and special - does that make sense? I hope it does. I need to make myself feel loved and special before I can let someone else do that for me, at this point in my life. Because then, if it's just only coming from someone else, I become dependent on their love and care, because I wasn't able to get a chance to develop it on my own prior to our relationship, and I don't feel self-fulfilled or self-assured. My confidence only comes from them. So if my confidence comes from within first, then I can be safe in letting someone else love me, because even if they crush me, I won't be 100% destroyed with nothing left inside to give me joy.

Do you have any brothers? I feel like you would have brothers.
I'm not entirely sure what is being implied by this, hmm…. *curious face*, but no, I don't have any brothers, sorry to disappoint ahahah! I don't have any sisters either. I'm an only child, actually! :p

What's your favorite social media app?
GOODREADS. GOODREADS ALLLLL THE WAY. Followed by Snapchat (add me:  @buhhrook ), which I am hopelessly obsessed with. And then Pinterest, of course! *cue sassy hand flip*

Do you party a lot?
No lol. Maybe once or twice a month, max, and that's only because it's my senior year so I feel like it's the ideal time to let off some steam! For me, though, the ideal party involves pizza and ice cream cake and board games and presents…….. #happy8thbirthdaytome !!!!!!!

Got questions??? Let me know!
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, November 16, 2015

Makeup Products I'm Dying to Try!

Every once in a while, I go through my makeup caddy (okay okay I know you're supposed to get rid of things like every month or every three months or what-have-you, but this is one makeup vice/bad habit that I just can't seem to shake! *hides face behind hands out of guilt*). I'm always up for trying new makeup products, and these have been on my wish list for quite a while, now! (Note: this post is not sponsored in any way; I am just sharing my personal thoughts with y'allz~~)

1 // Benefit Cosmetics Lemon Aid 

This color correcting eyelid primer is definitely something that should be on every sensitive (read: if you cry a lot) girl's wish list. If you've ever cried over a broken heart or just feeling lost (or whatever) for a bunch of hours, then you know how heinous it is to walk out in public later that same day with still super-puffy eyes and your eyelids are all red and everyone looks at you like "uhhh, is she okay or….?".  I need this in my life!!!!!!! *writes some poetry, grabs some Kleenex*

2 // NYX Cosmetics Macaron Lippies

The pistachio color, in particular, is calling my name!!! I'm a big believer that a naked face is a blank canvas. People, in my opinion, worry too much about using makeup to look "beautiful". And while that is always definitely a great look to achieve, there is nothing (yet again, in my opinion) more fun than wearing daring makeup every once in a while - pistachio colored lipstick, included. ;) Pinks and reds are great, but sometimes you just need to do something different. Who cares about looking "sexy" or "cute" all the time!? It's okay to look fun. It's okay to look chic. It's even okay to look -*gasp!*- silly!

3 // Lancome Cils Booster XL Enhancing Mascara Base

I've heard great things about how well this works - apparently this eyelash primer makes a huge difference in the way your lashes look once mascara is applied because of the conditioning vitamins in the serum! *wiggles fingers with pure delight* I usually stick to Urban Decay's Subversion Lash Primer, but I may have to try this one out…….

4 // Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick
Personally, I think the Sugar shade would be super flattering on so many skin tones! Even though I've been into "fun" makeup, I also am really loving neutral makeup paired with "fun" clothing to balance out the look. With a little black dress and some pearl-accented accessories, I think this would look amazazazazing!

5 // Beauty Blender
Okay, so this is more of a makeup applicator rather than makeup, itself, but still - I've heard incredible things about the Beauty Blender and I'd love to try it! Personally, I just tend to use my fingers to rub in foundation or tinted moisturizer or CC creams; however, on occasion I use collagen-infused sponge wedges. According to a ~buncha~ reviews on the internet, the Beauty Blender does an even better job than the sponge wedges do… ummm, count me in!

Which makeup products are you dying to try?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Changes Coming to TPL

Recently, I've been too busy experiencing life to really write much about it, as it's happening. I've also been thinking a lot about TPL, and where I'm headed with this blog.

When The Pink Lyme first started out, the posts were more about the things I like: quotes, books, nail polish - you name it. Then there were the funny posts, and the guest posts from gentlemen, and the video posts, and the sponsored posts… and then there were the personal posts. Although you can't be everything to everyone, I prefer to do it all. A mixing and matching of subject matter. It's not that I've been feeling uninspired, it's just that life has been taking a bit of an emotional toll on me.

I want to write a post on this soon so I won't really go into too much detail here, but if you follow me on Snapchat ( @buhhrook ), then you've watched my video about how it terrifies me to think about what my 10 year old self would feel about who I am today. Would that little girl be proud? ….And how about yourself? Would your 10 year old little kid self, all vulnerable and naive in the world, be proud of who you are today? Or would you make him/her cry? Or would you make him/her disappointed? Or would you make him/her shout out in anger?

When I do find myself having spare time (~~ahh yes, spare time, yes, a rare specimen, indeed! *casually toys with monocle*~~), I tend to spend it hunting curly fries with my bestie, or curled up in a ball in my bed trying to take naps throughout the day to make up for the lack of quality sleep I usually get at night (nightmares, man….). So the blogging has been taking a bit of a back seat. I'm going to try to take less naps throughout the day, and learn how to fall asleep earlier despite people shouting in the dorm...

That being said, I really want to get back to posting 3 times a week. Things are tricky, though. As a relatively-established blogger (my one-year blogging anniversary is coming up next month… eek!), I'm now expected to take all of my own photography for the most part (rather than use pics from online even with proper credits, which is easiest). Buuuuut I don't have a camera. And I don't know how to take the "perfect photograph". And I don't have Photoshop on my computer. Looking at all of these "I don't's" has made me think about how I can create a new list… of "I will's"!

I will (strive to)…
-schedule at least two fashion photo shoots a month
-do at least one really personal, keepin' it real piece a month
-get my hands on a really good video camera
-and then make quality videos (beauty tutorials, just hangin' out/chatty videos, etc.)
-not be afraid to write about intellectual topics (because sometimes I actually like relating what I've learned in class to real life stuffz~)
-write more about books and makeup, two of my greatest passions in life, tbh
-finish the "page" at the top of the menu that will include links to my other writing found on various place on the web
-revamp all of the "pages", for that matter! ;p
-talk about crunchy things despite how most people could kind of care less, but I care!!!! (yoga, chakras, ASMR, vegetarian lifestyle, why Birkenstocks are bae, etc.)
-forgive myself for not even trying to have a target audience… As a blogger, I'm supposed to keep an "ideal reader" in mind at all times, but that's never been the way I work, quite honestly. I just kind of write, and collect my disciples (lmaoooo!) along the way… and reward them with virtual love and chocolate (in that order!)~ If ya like it, ya like it - you don't have to be in your twenties and female, just because I am, to get something out of what I write! So I find myself disregarding the fact that so many people have encouraged bloggers to censor our work in this way! I want genuine, authentic readers, not people who fall in love with some false image that I project. I mean… if you read many blogs written by 20-somethings in general you'll eventually begin to grow tired, as they're all pretty similar. I try to make sure that my voice always stays real and to talk about topics that matter to me, rather than what everyone has been talking about lately (thereby making me feel obligated to talk about it too even if it's not really of interest to moi!)
-do something new and cool. I've been wanting to feature fun little interview profiles about people doing really cool things in the world, but I haven't really been sure as to how I'd like to go about it. I'll think about this more and then get out there and make it happen!

New posts headed your way soon. Quality over quantity, thoughhhh!<33
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Toxic Habits I'm Going to Quit

[Psssst - TL;DR? You could scroll to the bottom if you're short on time/attention span, but I can assure you that'd you'll be missin' a lot of ~good, keepin' it real, deep stuff~~.]

If you're wondering why I post things like this, it's because as I've once written about, I think brushing things off as "Too much info!!!!" is a dangerous thing. It isolates people. If we talk about real issues, you'd be surprised how many lives you can touch - and potentially even save in one way or another.

First off, recent life recap before I get into the toxic habits stuff (it's all very very highly related, I promise *sticks out pinky for official pinky promise w. u~~ lol!)*:

 Stress is like a form of chronic illness for me. I'm really good about letting it motivate and inspire me, but at the same time it's been wreaking havoc on my physical health. We can only possibly be aware of so much - if it's affecting me in some ways, I can only begin to imagine the health problems it will cause later on down the line…. *panics, which causes even more stress omgggggggg!!!!! :F*.

I've been overwhelmed with guilt recently. Now, I know this comes with growing up in general, but it's really been hitting me hard. I always used to really pride myself on my "morals and values". I would think about the things I would say before I would say them. I would ignore my own needs in every situation, and always put others first because I thought that's what being a good person means. I would look down upon others who would always talk badly about other people. I thought embracing one's sexuality was gross and bad and dirty. I thought telling a guy you weren't interested in that you weren't interested in him was mean and just plain wrong - that every single guy deserves at least one chance, no matter how uninterested you actually are (omg.). I thought that getting A's was one of the most important things in life. I thought that getting anything less meant that I wasn't being a "good person". That I was slacking. And then who would I be? A slacker. I was too afraid to be disapproved of myself that I would disapprove of others. Not in an overtly judgmental way - in an introspective, panicky kind of way. In a oh no no no I would never be dirty/rotten like that!!! kind of way. That I'm better than that kind of way. If any of my humanly thoughts or actions would disgust me in the past, I would fall into a pattern of self-loathing, panicky sadness. Now? I just don't feel "pure" like I used to, yet I like myself a lot more than I ever had, despite the guilt - I think I'm no longer censoring myself, and I'm accepting myself to do and say and think and feel without beating myself up about every little thing. And this is what makes me guilty, that I don't feel bad about it as much as I would normally expect. Which causes a bit of an identity crisis...

Growing up as an only child, my household was very strict. I never drank until college. I have still never done drugs (other than drinking and caffeine, but…lol). If I got a B on a test or something, the response was that it should have been an A because I was too smart for Bs.  I'm grateful for the way I was always pushed to do better, to be better, and they provided me with the kind of education they didn't have themselves. The first two years of high school took that same mentality but to the extreme where it actually traumatized me - I had never worked so hard in my entire life. I was not much more than a machine, honestly. No time for self-care, no time to smile, taking a shower was the most lavish luxurious part of my day and I felt wrong for taking a shower - that was precious time for studying, right? All that mattered was staying afloat. All that mattered was not failing out of this prestigious institution. All that mattered was that I could no longer pull the straight A's (lmao Physics and Geometry, nooooooooo), and various adult's (family, teachers, etc.) approval of these grades, that I had foolishly allowed to define my self-worth up until the 8th grade. And dare I say it… me, the college English major student who consistently makes the Dean's (High) Honors List, had once gotten a C+ in high school English!!!!!!!!! I think back to those days, how the pressure was so crushing that the only thing scarier than getting out of bed in the morning would be to not get out of bed in the morning. I have never met more phony, shallow, self-absorbed people in my entire life (Excuse my French, but, uh, fuck yeah, Holden Caulfield!!!!!! <3). Everyone had this absurd mentality, and for what? Who went to Ivies? Not many of us. Most people ironically wound up going to be state schools that didn't require such an elite education. The second high school I went to began to restore my faith in education, and college has pretty much helped the emotional scab to fully form.

However, now that I've learned the values of self-compassion and self-acceptance, I've learned to push myself to be "better" in a very different way… to be better to myself. The chronic stress that I've had for years had never really had much of an outlet, so it eventually manifested itself in a hormonal imbalance.  This means that while most girls get a little uncomfy during that ~fun~ time of the month, I have to miss some classes even if I take Advil, and we all know what happened when I took birth control (talk about traumatic, lol. *cries eyes out at the thought of it*), and suffer far more than the average female because I'm producing too much cortisol which makes me produce too much of another hormone (ew I don't want to talk about it because it sounds creepy and it creeps me out) that is only supposed to spike when y'allz get pregnant - but also can occur in some women in the presence extreme, excessive prolonged stress.

So as I lie here, curled up in fetal position with a box of Kleenex as the mascara runs down my cheeks, as I'm cursing my uterus for betraying me in this way, I've realized that I need to make some serious changes because nobody deserves to suffer at a result of their own hand. Yup, that's right. It's time to take responsibility and admit that I cause a deal of my stress. I have a problem with rumination. I don't like to let things go without thinking it over 10349384293489048 times. If I like a guy and he ends things, I feel worthless, like I have no value. Who could just throw me, a human being, a living person, away like that?, I always think. Rather than think "he must have not been able to realize my worth" I always think "Wow he must see what I can't. I must just be flattering myself if I actually like myself, and I'm just protecting my ego. He probably can see me how everyone else does. I must be pretty worthless but I just think I have worth to make myself feel better. I've been lying to myself this whole time. I need to be real - I need to see I have no real worth." <-----DO YOU SEE HOW SCARY THIS WAY OF THINKING IS. So no more. I'm done. I'm done thinking that way. The truth is, we are not merely flattering our egos if we like ourselves!!! We are allowed to see the good in ourselves, and celebrate ourselves.

So, anyway, as you can tell I've been doing a ~mild~ (lmaooooooo) amount of self-aware contemplation about where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going, and I realized that I'm going nowhere but downhill if I don't start taking the baby steps today to get myself headed down a better path. In addition to the above, here are some toxic habits I'm going to quit:

1 // I am going to quit feeling bad about the way I look. 
Granted, I've gotten a lot better about this one. Buuuuut - Ever since elementary school when I was told time and time again how ugly I was, I used to feel uhhh, pretty shitty! And ever since high school when I got made fun of all the time for my weight, I've always been mentally critical of my tummy/thighs/occasionally calves. Even though now it seems like culture is now boomeranging to sexualize "thick" over "thin", I kinda fit neither of those categories at the moment, and that's okay. No need to avoid looking at myself in the mirror, no need to replay in my mind how my guy friend called me fat a few weeks ago, no need to feel uncomfortable about the way I look. Nobody's body is completely flawless - except maybe when Photoshop comes into play! :p If people look a little too long at a pimple on my face or the way my hair reacts to a rainy day, my soul dies inside and all I want to do is run to my dorm room and cry. But...I'm going to work on brushing it off, that everyone has little flaws sometimes, and it's okay for people to notice if they don't be aggressively rude about it with the intention to hurt you. No more feeling self-conscious. We are all so beautiful.

2 // I am going to quit going to bed after 1:15am on weeknights.
I always feel WRECKED the next morning, no matter how late I sleep in. 12:45am the latest, for realz. I know personally I need more sleep to feel well-rested, like 9 hours, and I only get about 6….eek! :0 No more.

3 // I am going to quit talking with guys whose sole purpose in said talking to me is to have le sex~.
It's time I stop feeling badly about myself for actually wanting something meaningful. Our culture makes relationships out to be like imprisonment or something!!!!!? But to me? Hooking up just doesn't feel liberating like society keeps glamorizing. It doesn't feel empowering to me. It makes me feel empty after. I don't want to leave at 7:30am in the morning in my tight shirt and sparkly leggings from the night before!? I want to cuddle all morning and have pillow talk until brunch time and then go out for hot chocolates and other fun thingzz and then come back for further cuddling. I want to know all of the person's quirks and fears and hopes and dreams. I want to learn everything about who they are, inside, not just what their body looks like, for Christ's sake! Good looks come and go, but a good soul is good forever. I want something real and I need to stop it with guys whom I know, deep down regardless of what they pretend or falsely believe their own intentions are, aren't emotionally available in the ways in which I need them to be. No more self-absorbed, selfish guys. No no no no nononononoNO. No more. I want somebody to want to love me. I have so much love to give, but I'm only going to give that love to someone who actually deserves it from here on out.

4 // I am going to quit "letting one bad play ruin my entire game". 
Back when I played field hockey for a hawwt second in high school, I learned so much from one little phrase my coach used to always say: "Don't let one bad play ruin your entire game!" It resonated with me so much, because when I make one mistake, my perfectionist mind freaks out and thinks that I have become a failure and will keep failing and can never succeed again. But that's not true. Nobody can "win" every single time. Just because you have one loss doesn't mean that you're going to now, by some necessity, keep on having that same loss. You can go back to winning. You will go back to winning. And sometimes, you may repeat that loss, but again, it doesn't mean that losing is your natural state. Winning can still be that natural state. And winning with a few loses in there is much more meaningful, because anybody can win, but it takes a person with incredible courage and strength of character to at least even try again after a loss. For me, loss = how I would get so anxious from that dang birth control pill that it would make me actually throw up all the time from panic. Even now when I am off the pill, I'm a little traumatized to the point where I'm scared now that every single time I'm the slightest bit anxious about a test or a guy or something that I'll throw up in public - but it hasn't happened since I've been on the pill. And yet, I'm still so worried about it that it sometimes feels like it controls my life. No more. No more worrying about le puke~.

5 // I am going to quit feeling broken about the relationships that never worked out. Particularly one of them. 
When someone tells you he will always love you… and oh, yes he meant it  - at the time. But that time was a long time ago. Which can easily feel devastating. And over time, things change, and people change, and people get even more selfish than you would ever think possible, and the only person they can truly love is himself, and then you wonder how what you even had could have even happened with someone so self-absorbed. It was like magic that he was able to give so much of himself to you. And maybe that's why you loved him in the first place. Maybe that's why when he brought up that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you and talked about marriage when you would graduate from college and how many kids would you want to have you felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Even though he destroyed your self-esteem with his verbally abusive comments. With the cruel looks in his wild eyes, him smiling with triumph, with pride, when you cried from the things he said. When he threatened to pull over on the side of the highway late at night to scare you. When he would hide the pictures on his phone from you. When he took all these bodybuilding supplements that made him overly aggressive. When he would laugh at you when you asked for a hug because you sounded "ridiculous". Because, overall, he still made you feel so special that a guy who could only love himself loved you to the extent that he did - it made you feel like you must have been something pretty great if he could. It made you feel so special. It made you feel like you won the lottery. But that's not what I'm looking for anymore. I don't need my ego beaten down then stroked to feel better like that - I need a partner in crime, I need an equal. I don't need a project, and I don't need to be somebody else's project. Just….equals. To balance each other out. I just want the yin to my yang, ya feel~~

What toxic habits are you going to quit?
xoxo, Brooke