Friday, November 21, 2014

Autumn snapshots



Sometime around the beginning of October, in a way that anyone who's suffered from something like anxiety can understand, the pieces of myself sat down to have a talk. We decided to try out a new mantra for the month: Do the Scary Thing. I bought a solo ticket for a concert (that ended up being postponed), made plans to explore potential futures.

And you know what? It was okay.
Just okay. Not much more, not much less. But I tried. Things didn't suddenly, miraculously get easier or better by sheer force of will. People forget that illnesses--mental or physical--don't work like that. Things didn't suddenly clarify in front of me. My body still gave out on me more easily than it should. The chocolate still ran out and the flowers still died. I didn't have something other than hastily edited iPhone photos to offer you, weary intrepid blog traveler. But I was okay. I survived. I think it reinforced the philosophy I've held for a while: that trying is all anyone can truly, legitimately expect from us. Trying (and often falling short) makes us human. Unutterably so.

And boy, am I human this season.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A ramble on being human in the fall

There was one night, not terribly long ago, where I stirred very early in the morning--sometime around 5am--feeling undeniably miserable. The kind that sits in some sort of sandbag weight around your lungs and heart and stubbornly refuses to be shaken. Somewhere in the midst of that, trying adamantly to logic with the subconscious of my brain, something floated through my mind--a thought, or perhaps a cry or a prayer: "Please just let someone be thinking of me."

In retrospect, I think that was pretty human. Sometimes desperate, sometimes humored. Sometimes whining in the tub after 2 Benadryl fail to kick the itch out of the latest batch of mosquito bites (seriously, guys. it's October. I know our temperatures have just consistently dropped below 90, but surely we can end this buffet?). 
Sometimes forcing your best friend to watch Gilmore Girls for the first time because she seriously hasn't seen is and how can any capable woman between 18 and 45 NOT be marathoning it on Netflix and falling in love all over again??? (For the record: I'm pro-Jess and pro-Luke. Also newly appreciating just how flipping fantastic all the female friendships in this show are. And all the women are SO UNAPOLOGETICALLY GREAT at their jobs. And I could go on in all caps about just how much THESE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT, but I guess I'll spare you. Sort of.) 

That's all to say that being a human is very strange, and maybe just a constant strain of rediscovering what it is that makes us so. Especially at this stage in life. 

Since there's no additional point to this post, I'll just say: I hope your autumn is proving weird, but that you embrace it in the best ways you can. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

So, I stopped washing my hair.

(How's that for an introduction back to the blogosphere?)

Yes, I am now officially "that girl."

I promise it's not as crazy as it sounds. Or maybe it is. You can place me on your 'spectrum of internet insanity' of your own accord.

I suppose the more accurate statement would be that I stopped shampooing my hair (but that's a much less radical way to start off a post, right?). It does still get clean. In fact, maybe cleaner than I can remember it feeling? As going shampoo-free has been such a trend in the past year and it can seem so freaking crazy (to myself, too--I still kind of avoid telling people I stopped using shampoo, hah), I figured I'd give you the insight on my experience.

You know, another shout into the great wide internet void.

I stopped using shampoo back in October, primarily out of curiosity.
That's right: if you've seen me in the last ~9 months, I've secretly been almost shamefully unlathered.

But y'all. My hair looks good. I've always had pretty good hair (everything it does is pretty forgivable when you have a unique color, I've found), but this experience has been really different. I think I have liked my hair more in the time since I switched over than I have maybe ever.

About 5 years ago, I couldn't go more than a day without washing my hair before it looked like an oiled mess. After changing my diet, going 2 or 3 days without shampooing could be done, but the tail end of that was often a stretch.
Now? I can go up to about 9 days. 9 DAYS! And still feel like I'm presentable in public!

Ready for a row of awkward iPhone selfies to chronicle one wash cycle? 3...2...1...

[Two notes: 1) these were taken in 3 different places at different times of, sorry for the horribly inconsistent lighting. I promise my hair doesn't change color that much from day to day. 2) days 6-8 were spent with my hair tied up because I was moving and got really, really annoyed with it, you know?]

I started out fully expecting to give this a month or two and then switch back. But for now, I'm quite satisfied with it. Because you're washing your hair with baking soda, it's really really cheap. I can buy a box of baking soda for about $0.80-$1 every month and be set. Making my own dry shampoo (which I surprisingly love more than ones I've bought) makes it cheap, too.  And though I was painfully awkward in explaining this to my hairdresser, she remarked that my scalp looked quite clean and healthy.

There is also the benefit of going "greener." Though this was initially a lesser motivating factor for me, I definitely find it to be a bonus. As I've changed my diet, I've tried to be slightly more cognizant of what I'm consuming not only in terms of food but in terms of overall usage. I'm not great at it by any means, but, when combined with my skin growing more sensitive in the past few years, I've tried to primarily switch to relatively natural personal care and beauty products. I never really saw the personal benefit to this (as opposed to food where it's so easy to comprehend that what you're consuming is directly interacting with and impacting your body's operation) until I read someone note that if things applied to your skin didn't affect your body's workings, then birth control and nicotine patches wouldn't work. That kind of clicked for me.

So, if you haven't decided I'm more or less inane yet, I'll go into a bit more detail of my routine and what I'm using below the jump, including some links I found helpful when starting. (Also, even if you think I am insane, you may want to stick around for the dry shampoo ingredients. Seriously. 2 to 4 ingredients, all of which you probably have on hand. SO CHEAP. SO EASY. You can tell what's important to me. Okay, let's do this.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Of late

Hello, lovely hearts.
I have been around.
Quietly, failingly, I've been around.
Mostly my life has been filled with things that turned upside down. This winter has been the coldest I can remember. The weather is in constant transition here lately, different day by day, though things are turning definitively warmer. The energy here still feels weary and a bit perplexed.
But we're all still here. Still trying. Still living. Still piecing things together. 

from instagram
But, until things are feeling suited to this space, some things to share; good things getting me through the days:

Sunlight. Always the sunlight. 
And all the people who send good thoughts my way.