‘Tis the Season- All Year

To honestly not give a fuck. Don’t feel like holidays mean that you have to go out of your way to be kind to people who aren’t to you. Santa isn’t fuckin watching, he’s too busy getting wasted with that creepy elf on the shelf. Which means NO, you aren’t getting those coveted karma points for sitting through terrible events surrounded by vapid people. You’re being miserable for glory that will never come. And that goes for every event not just holidays and not just family ones.

People Who Matter Don’t Mind

Don’t buy anyone presents if you don’t want to. Ignore the “happy holidays” texts and block that “hey how have you been” person. You know who has been around for you this year. Who the people are that have poured into your cup consistently. 100% chance they don’t even want you to stress out over anything. Your presence is a present for people like that. Because who you are and how you are is so much more important to them than superficial displays of jolliness.

People Who Mind Don’t Matter

Stress, sadness, and emotional exhaustion are not what you’re life is supposed to be made out of. Seriously, take it easy. This happens every year. Sitting out and taking time for yourself is PERFECTLY OK. No one likes fruitcake, having their weight, or relationship status examined. Nor should you feel as though you have to sit there and endure insults thinly veiled as “I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t care”.

Reclaim Your Time

Skip the event, date, meeting, whatever it is. If you can’t skip it, set boundaries and take no shit.That loud Auntie that always got something to say? Let her know that ugly wig and store-bought pie isn’t fooling someone. That pretentious friend who thinks her emotionally defunct fiance is her pass to judge your life? Ask her the last time she felt loved without having to plan it herself. Does Dad think ya gained a few pounds? Look who’s talking chuckles *pat dad on the tum tum*. That shit isn’t ok but it IS ok for you to disengage and preserve your mental wellness.

But You Though?

You’re wonderful and I need you to know that at every time of the year. The last few weeks of the year can be really difficult mentally and emotionally. Hell, the whole year can be like that. But that doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to drowning. It won’t always be hard. But when it is, lay low and love your self more.

All is Calm, all is bright, and ALL can get these holiday handz year round,

Lily

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Remember..

NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Without rest we cannot:

resist

persist

rage on

All of your efforts are respected, useful and valid. Your struggle is your own but you aren’t alone. Take heart in waking up today and moving forward. Because having the courage to do this one more day is progress. Thank you for being here and don’t stop fighting.

Laboring in Love,

Lily

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First, 1,000 apologies for the delay on this! My work schedule has been heinous. But without further ado, let’s review!

What is it?

YOUtopia Style Box is a subscription box service that gives you control over what you can receive. There are three box themes to choose from : YOUnicorn Goodies for young girls and tweens, YOUtopia mini mailer, and the box I received- YOUtopia Style Box. Each offers a free month upon subscribing, which is a great first treat. This particular box is $49.99/month.

This is my first subscription box and unlike with other services, I wasn’t hesitant to give this a try. Why? Because like I said before, you choose what you want to try! I was able to shop through different outfits and accessories to decide what I would like to receive based on my style preferences. I knew I’d really love what I got. I was sincerely surprised by how many things actually come with this box:

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I have found myself in that all too familiar rut when working in a creative capacity. Lack of motivation backed by sheer exhaustion by the time I’m home.

But for me that is no excuse not to have TTL on and poppin regularly. So to my fellow bloggers, what methods work for you? I know it could all be so simple! But I’m still trying to hash out the best recipe. Whilst making sure I’m not stressing myself to the max to create, create, create!

Any tips or suggestions are welcome and what I find I’ll be sharing in a follow up post.

We can all crush this blog game and we will!

Til Next Time, Stay dope.

Lily ?

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Tonight, as I sit and listen to the rain and the symphony of froggies outside, I realized I wanted to say something. Forgive me in advance because this is a thought in production…

Take heart in knowing that momentary fear is the currency for development. The anxiety. Worry. Restless nights. It isn’t for naught. 

THE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU THE MOST IN LIFE…YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH.

Keep that phrase close to you when you have doubts. Because being afraid is a really big part of growth. Seriously. If life doesn’t scare the fuck out of you sometimes, well sistren and brethren, we aren’t doing it right. Fear comes with moving in a direction that isn’t exactly clear yet. Walking along a trail where the markers are few and far between and present some difficulty to even locate at times.

Lately, I have been experiencing fear and uncertainty in regards to my next moves for the coming months. I know I am not the only one. It comes in waves and for a moment I get tunnel vision. Not knowing what to do or what to think. Riling myself up over the smallest of details. Forgetting the big picture and erasing my own journey to this moment. The same journey that shows me, every single time without fail, I have prospered through worse.

My pushback is making a plan. Even if it is only planning what I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow. Taking back control of my mind and ordering my steps is such a powerful action. Come hell or high water I am going to have this cup of coffee and a few moments to myself.  If for no other reason than to defy the gods, it sets me up to change course on my own terms. 

You are a divine and cosmically touched being. Please sleep tonight knowing that tomorrow is at your mercy. You will make it. And there is no other option than for it to be beautiful when you do. 

Sweet dreams and warmest of hugs,

Lily 

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I have struggled with this concept for years. Faced it in college and again now trying to build a brand and become my own boss. It takes a lot of work to get yourself on track with your goals.

It is a unique process wherein you get to choose first hand what you value and how or if something is worth balancing. In my opinion I think we could all use more frequent periods of stepping back and assessing the path we have traveled and where the road looks to be leading us in the future. If for no other reason than to keep a fresh perspective on our experience.

*****I also want to clarify that “getting yourself together” is not limited to degrees and business successes. Pursuing intrinsic gains that shift you into better vibrations and way of living is just as arduous a feat.*****

However, I am not saying you have to go the way of the Hikikomori to meet your goals. Just know that it is ok to not be able to juggle everything and make everyone happy. I am saying that as much to myself as anyone else! My Dad always said “those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”. They will be supportive of you and respect your “I have to do this” mindset.

All that to say, PLEASE do not feel guilty or made to feel like a bad person because you have decided to focus on yourself. Leveling up requires quitting fruitless distractions that do not fill your soul, purpose, or pocketbook. The world is ready for the version of you that you have been dreaming of! Keep laboring in love. You’ll be surprised what the universe will bring to your doorstep.

♥Lily

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Short, sweet and to the point- Stop experiencing through time.

Stop measuring your journey by artificial benchmarks

Stop anticipating your arrival at your hearts destination

Your feelings do not abide by the date in your planner

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The last few days I have felt myself backsliding mentally what with quitting my job and a mixture of other less than delightful happenings. But today it happened. For the first time in about 3 or so years I had..am having?… a panic attack. The manic pixie girls of the world have romanticized this episodic, and lets be honest, crippling emotional occurrence. But honestly fuck them because this isn’t some “Lana del Ray and cheap wine cries” type shit.

 

I don’t know about you or how you process or feel panic. I’m not going to assume that you have ever had a panic attack because I don’t want that for you, ever. But I’m going to do my best to describe what happens and offer some help just in case you ever need it. Before I begin I need to say that my panic attacks usually start in my sleep and yes that is a fresh level of weird hell and that yours may start or be triggered by a number of things or even nothing. It isn’t your fault, please remember that. Being overly stimulated to the point of panic happens far more often than anyone wants to admit because no one wants be seen as weak. You aren’t broken. Think of it as a physical manifestation of “the straw that broke the camels back” (that poor camel).

 

 

Symptoms (this will vary but below are common ones) :

Quick shallow breaths

Sudden restlessness

Feeling smothered

Tense muscles

Hyper fixation on an item, movement, or point in space

Sensitivity to light and/or sound

Conflicting need to be with someone but to be in abject solitude

Irrational/disordered thoughts

Inability to will yourself into motion or action or inability to stop moving

 

It sucks as much as it sounds and the above is in no way an exhaustive list. It is difficult to explain to those on the outside looking in how it feels for your headquarters to suddenly shut down and your brain and body going into a silent revolt about different things. Because all of a sudden now you’re hungry, extremely thirsty, anxious, have to use the bathroom, everything hurts but you can’t really feel anything. Panic attacks are your entire existence up on it’s end for a brief period of time. Although the brevity is a joke when you’re in the midst of one.

 

Image result for attacked meme

 

The one I experienced this morning was more intense than I have had before and took quite a bit to quell. Sometimes I can sleep through it but today was not going to be that easy. But the steps I have used, some of which I employed today, are below and can be used together or apart to help calm you:

 

Calming Panic:

Identify what is wrong- please do not skip this one even if it isn’t a detailed analysis give yourself something to grasp

Lower the temperature in your room or lie on a cool floor

Recite something basic like a poem or your address to ground your mind

draw your blinds/window treatments for a little while

have something to drink preferably flavored to have something to at least subconsciously consider

Turn on a fan or white noise machine

If it works for you pick an ASMR video that is sound only. I’d recommend this one by WhispersRed ASMR

 Lay under heavy blankets or weighted if you have one- this can give the feeling of security

DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON’T FEEL UP TO

 

This isn’t a race. Recovering from a panic attack can take time and practice to find out what really works to help you navigate to calmer waters. Be easy on yourself and do what you can until you feel better.

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The best decisions can feel like the worst ones when you don’t know what is next. I am a firm believer in the power of a back up plan but I’m at the mercy of life and its lessons like anyone else.

A week after stepping down from an increasingly toxic place I know physically and mentally I am doing better. I actually sleep soundly and my body is starting to correct itself in various ways. This has been scary. Let me say that clearly and consistently, this decision has not come without its fair share of fear. The feelings of anxiety and wayward wandering are also pretty prominent. I have found that financial security via employment is a ridiculously strong narcotic. I have had time to look back at where I was and how much I was willing to withstand to make sure my comfort and stability remained intact. To what degree I desensitized myself to get through 8am Monday to 5pm Friday. It is impressive and terrifying to know how far you will go to secure yourself. With that mixed bag of feelings I know what I can offer and what I refuse to give going forward.

As one would expect I have re-entered the job hunt pool fairly quickly. And OMG IS IT TRASH. I am saying that as sincerely and professionally as I can muster. The hoops that are in place now are ridiculous and I am now very clued in why positions never get filled. And the need to really take a good long look at who you are applying with is crucial. The following two questions are extremely common now:

 

While seemingly harmless on a first glance, the first questions has a concerning undertone. On one hand they want to know how hard of a worker I am and if I will go the distance. But on the other hand, they are gunning for someone willing to be “above and beyond” ALL THE TIME. It is the age of the “eager beaver” where we should be grateful for the experience. Except….we already have it. I’m not showing these to bash the hiring process (ok a little) but to make a point about being aware of who you are applying with. Nah, no preaching about “you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you”. They are judging to see if you’re hungry enough to accept bottom of the barrel. If you’re unsure if that is the goal go back and really read the “job description”. You’ll notice a tone of self-importance and an exhaustive list of expectations from YOU with no mentioned contribution from them to match your effort. Often times coming in at the $11-$14/hr range.

 

 

This second question is trickier. You’re talking about a big project that you contributed to and ultimately championed. Be careful here a question like this is a perfect pitfall to over share and/or blow things out of proportion. Keep it modest and brief using buzzwords like: organization, results oriented, time management, process, efficient, team work, customer satisfaction, etc. While you want to show off, it just isn’t a good idea. Read up on the position on the company site if possible and align your narrative with their company culture. You don’t want the person reading your responses to feel threatened by your competence.

 

PAUSE.

 

Excuse me bitch, whet? Yes! Of all the reasons you can get thrown in the no pile, seeming overly competent and ambitious can be one of them. Logically, an employer should want that. But think of it this way- the everyday jobs that we encounter (while we work on our dreams) are looking for someone who has no ambition beyond the company they are applying for/employed by. Complacency and good ole stability is what gets and keeps jobs. So slap that stick family on your back windshield and let these employers know that you are fine with life and will be staying and hope to support your family and all major milestones while carrying the company on your back. For $35,000 or less a year. Mmmmm the smell of mediocrity….

 

I made myself cringe. I wish nothing but the best of everything for all of you and whatever your goals are I fully support them. However, it is important to be realistic when it comes to employment. A few other tips:

  • Do not share your address if you do not have to. Geographical discrimination is a thing (commute time, neighborhood, size of your home, etc)
  • Do not share social media or personal websites unless they are directly aligned with the job description
  • If you left your job for similar reasons as I did, answer the “why did you leave” with a simple “organizational changes that were not aligned with my professional goals” or something like that
  • NEVER TRASH YOUR EX OR YOUR EMPLOYER– says more about you than them
  • If you’re really interested in the job opening write a sincere cover letter
  • DO NOT answer questions about your relationship status, parental/guardian status, etc. IT IS ILLEGAL
  • Update your LinkedIn, companies are looking

My first week out to pasture and I haven’t had much luck. But this week, for you and I both, will be the one. In the meantime, I send so much love and light to you and yours because it’s hard out here for a competent and worthwhile person. You’re appreciated and you’re doing fuckin great. Thank you for waking up and trying another day.

 

Lily ♥

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I quit my job this morning and I’m scared, anxious, and worried. I hate feeling like this but I know that feeling better comes with time. I know that the hardest part of trusting the process is setting it in motion.
Two years, 3 months, and I quit. I am not saying this triumphantly nor am I saying it sadly. Right now it is merely a statement of fact. The tears well up and dissipate every few minutes or so and I side step the catches of breath pretty smoothly. I am not mourning my job (maybe my paycheck a bit) but I am feeling that “wtf have I done and what am I going to do next” pressure. Everything will be okay, I know this. The choice I made was a good one for me but for now overwhelmed is the prevailing feel.  I am positively overflowing with things to say but in the same instance I realize none of them are ready to be shared because I’m not sure which words to use. But I want to make this very clear for anyone on the edge:

IT IS OK TO LEAVE A BAD SITUATION.

Even if it is not immediately it is important that you take stock of every interaction and relationship that puts you in a less than YOU state of mind. Those people, moments, jobs, websites, that take your inner dialogue out of character GOTS TA GO. It has taken me a year to lay down the gauntlet and realize that “hanging in there” isn’t worth it. You gain nothing from leaving yourself in a situation that requires a sacrificial ritual of your mental health and soul to get through. Because at the end of the day all you will be left with is a shell of who you were when you woke up and no closer to where you thought you ought to be. I’m not quite sure I got this across earlier but I didn’t quit my job to “pursue my dreams”. If only it were that fantastical and innocent. I quit because everyday was more of a struggle. Crying myself to work on the highway, going through bouts of not wanting to eat, feeling defeated and devalued as a professional and really, really, really, bad sleep…a typical week in review.  I didn’t notice these things until it was pretty far along because I was busy making excuses that somehow the problem was me and not that I worked in a hell hole. Because fuck all if I wasn’t going to “stick it out” for that coveted financial security and stability that a decent job can provide….a scam.

We aren’t always going to be happy but we damn sure don’t have to be miserable 40 hours a week. Ya’ll please take care of yourselves. I mean that loudly and consistently. TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAMN SELF. Self care and protection of your mental health is not just a face mask and mimosa’s or 2k and a fresh fade. Sit with yourself and listen. I am saying this from a place of experience and concern because I know what it is like to be trapped in what society says is good and it be the most toxic thing you’ve done lately. Sometimes you have to close the door so that other ones can open for you. That’s cliché af but sometimes rocking the boat is the only way you’re going to create the wave that carries you to the next shore.

Stay afloat babies and rage on,
Lily
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