Goals for the Rest of 2017

Hello frenz! Welcome back to whatever this blog has come to. I've been bored with my blog lately, so I thought about doing something a little different. I've seen these done before and I think it's fabulous to share goals with likeminded individuals. I've tried to keep this post upbeat, but to be honest, I haven't been so positive lately. So here goes – my goal list for the rest of 2017.

I've been unemployed since March, so that makes a total of almost five months now. I was planning to join the Air Force, but realized that I was leaving too much behind (also I'm too old to be tricked by military schemes). I put that goal behind me and now I have another – to find a job. Not only do I need one to pay my bills and buy food, but I'm tired of not working. Every day since losing my job has turned into a blur and I'm ready to be productive again.

I really don't want to live in Pennsylvania anymore. It's poor and highly taxed. The weather sucks and my town should be known as Drug and Crime Central. By getting a decent (and steady) paycheck from accomplishing Goal #1, I hope to be able to start saving enough money to get the hell out of here within the next two years.

I want to write for a living, I've known that for some time now. I want to be a full time writer or even a full time blogger at some point. I want to get my blog out there and create a name for myself. I need to start creating my empire.

I don't think I've ever had this amount of stress in my life. I have nervous breakdowns almost every day, mostly due to lack of money. I can't afford things I want and need. I want to live stress free again. I want to be able to enjoy life and wake up happy.

This is something I've wanted to do for some time, but haven't had the money or want to invest the time in. But Halloween is coming up and you best believe I want to scare all the kiddos on the block this year.

Since money has been so tight recently, I've only been eating once a day and skipping the gym to conserve gas. I need to get back into the routine of working out regularly and eating enough so I don't waste away into nothing. It's easier said than done when you have $-33 to your name.

My trip to Florida at the beginning of July was so incredible. Seeing and spending time with my family meant so much to me. I want to make it into a regular visit.

I really do enjoy reading, but I lack the interest to do anything other than nap (thanks depression). I also find myself reading the words but daydreaming about something else, which leads me to reading the same paragraph ten times. I have so many books but have only read maybe five of them. I'd like to read them all and then add to my collection.

It sounds a little materialistic but I'm a sucker when it comes to makeup. I watch and read tons of reviews on new products and I want them all…but lack the dough to get them. I haven't purchased any new makeup in at least a year, and it's breaking my heart.

Last Christmas was horrible. I wasn't able to get anything for anyone and it made me feel so low. Christmas is my second favorite holiday and I love giving to others. I want to be able to give to everyone I can this year, and even to the less fortunate. I miss having the means to be generous.

I haven't been happy in such a long time, and I really miss the feeling of enjoying life. I need to get that feeling back for my own sanity.

I'm keeping this list as my own little time capsule of things I want to accomplish. I hope to look back in January 2018 to have accomplished all of these and then some. Here's to my future endeavors.


The Problem with Modern Day Job Searching

Hello frenz and welcome back! How are ya?! So I made a poll on Twitter the other day, talking about making a to-be-honest, cut throat, rant-style blog post about the struggle of job searching. The ballots are in and it seems yes won by a landslide. So here it is, and believe me the struggle (and frustration) is real!

Money, money, monnnaaayyy!

Everything revolves around money. Money has become a survival tool, especially with the value of a dollar gradually decreasing. In order to obtain and sustain money, a job should be in order. In most parts of the world, jobs are hard to come by, especially semi-decent, well paying jobs.

"How are we expected to live like this?"

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely in the market for a job, since losing mine in March. The job search for me has become increasingly difficult and tedious. I don't think I'm being too picky when I ask for full time hours at decent pay. The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour. That equals out to $290 a week (40 hours) BEFORE taxes. You get about $100 (sometimes more depending on how much you make) taken out for taxes. That's $190 a week, or $760 a month.

What makes employers think that that low of a wage is livable for anyone? Yes, when you're really broke, money is money. But what do you do when you can't afford your rent or the electric bill or gas for your car, among all the other bills you might be juggling, and you're only getting paid $190 a week? It's not reasonable. I could live off of a $9 an hour wage, which only equals out to $360 a week (before taxes). In some states, $9 an hour or MORE is the minimum wage! To reiterate, I don't think I'm being too picky when I ask for a decent wage.

Okay, what is it with employers asking for 3+ years experience for an ENTRY LEVEL job? In order to gain experience, you need someone to give you a chance, but in order to get a chance, you need to have experience. I'm a fast learner. Give me two, maybe three days top of training and I bet you I could do the job. I understand wanting to hire a person because they already have experience in a certain field, but come on! Give us a chance to do the job before you decide that we're incompetent.

Not only do employers ask for a massive amount of experience, but it seems like nowadays they are only willing to give part time hours (usually only up to 20). In Pennsylvania, the employers do it so they don't have to pay the extra money to offer you benefits. Isn't that fucked up? Not only are you not getting any benefits whatsoever, but you're also getting paid less money per paycheck — and it's not like you're working for much as it is.

A lot of employers straight up lie on their job ads, especially healthcare positions like Home Health Aides or CNAs. They list that they offer full time or part time positions and that they pay $18 an hour. So you think to yourself, fabulous! I can work part time and still bring home decent money! Uh-uh, wrongo. You apply, end up getting the job, and then realize that you're working ten hours a week and that they can't offer full time hours. THEN WHY SAY THAT YOU DO? It's a way to sucker people in and leave them still living in poverty. It's a lose/lose situation.

And for the people who have military experience, forget about it. At least where I reside, employers will swear up and down that they hire veterans. But do they? My boyfriend has applied to a billion jobs (with only having military experience) and has received zero phone calls. So you hire veterans, huh? I bet.

It's the same with college graduates. You might have graduated top of your class, but employers don't care. They say you're too young. You're too inexperienced. You're too this, you're too that. It's utter nonsense. It's like employers are looking for specially programmed robots rather than taking a day or two to train a real person.

It's come to the point where so many people who are living on their own can't find a job. They're forced to move back in with family and take a minimum wage job at Burger King, never using their degree (or training) and feeling like they've wasted the last however many years of their lives.

Is this an issue that can be changed? Or is it going to get to the point where the economy becomes so bad and jobs become so scarce that society just collapses?

Just know that if that does happen, the people living poverty will survive, because it already feels like society collapsed right on top of them.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

I’ve been on this planet for 23 years now. That’s 8,359 days and 201,480 hours. Within that time, I’ve learned some things about myself and my life, as most do when they grow older. Some things take a longer time to learn because you need to experience self growth, while others are learned in an instant. Below are 23 things I’ve learned in 23 years — things I wish I could tell younger me.

1. Perseverence is Key
Hard work really does pay off. Don’t give up.

2. Do What You Love
Even if it’s a hobby like painting yard gnomes, do it any chance you get. You deserve to have a joyous passion.

3. Blood Doesn’t Mean Family
It’s all about how you’re treated. My boyfriend’s family is more of mine than my own…because they treat me like family. See how that works? Don’t feel obligated to stick by someone just because of blood relation. You don’t need that negativity and stress in your life.

4. Nothing Lasts Forever
Whatever you’re going through, it won’t last forever. Keep pushing through the hard times and keep having good times. It all gets better.

5. Friends Come & Friends Go
Your best friend when your 15 might not be your best friend later in life. You might keep in touch and catch up once in a blue moon, but it might not ever be like it was. And that’s okay.

6. Less is More
I’ve been living on my own for three years, I’ve just now begun to realize how much stuff I actually own…and it’s driving me to insanity. Don’t clutter your space because you really want a turtle statue that you have no place for.

7. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Mentally prepare for events or things that make you anxious or scared. It makes the experience less traumatic.

8. Read
Read the newspaper. Read about current events. Read everything you can. Knowledge is power.

9. Drink in Moderation
Drinking way over your limit, being sick that night and/or the next morning, along with a headache and a craving for McDonald’s? No, thanks.

10. Wear Whatever You Want
Honestly, life is too short to care what someone else thinks.

11. Stop Comparing Yourself
You’re YOU for a reason — you don’t need to be like anyone else. Become comfortable with yourself. Self love shines through.

12. Exercise More
Relieve your stress and lose some weight in the process.

13. Challenge Yourself
Set goals for yourself and force yourself to get there. Future you will thank you. 

14. Follow Your Dreams
We all take a different path sometimes because we’re not 100% sure of what we want. But when you come to that great realization, chase that dream. You can do anything you set your mind to.

15. Stop Feeling Bad for Being Lost
So you don’t know where to go or what to do in life? Stop feeling bad for it. There are people who seemingly have it all that are just as lost as you are. 

16. Have a Backbone
Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t take shit from anyone.

18. Stop Eating Fast Food
Cooking is fun and you can choose what goes into your food. Fast food makes you feel like garbage. You don’t deserve to feel like garbage.

19. Be Yourself
Stay true to who you are. Don’t lose yourself in the mindless trends or the competitive nature of life.

20. Learn About Your Planet
Grow familiar with where you live and the nature surrounding you. Mother Earth is a beautiful planet. Take care of it.

21. Plan and Prioritize
Plan out everything and learn to prioritize your life. Routines and plans can save you from chaos.

22. Love
Fall in love. No matter what you think, you will be accepted by another human. Stop being scared of that.

23. Build Your Empire
No matter what you have set for your life, work and build it. Be a boss. 

Letting Go of Toxic Thoughts

toxic thoughts

We all have toxic or negative thoughts, whether it’s about ourselves, other people or something we don’t fancy doing. Sometimes these thoughts can overpower all of the positive ones, and as a result we’re left feeling mentally and emotionally drained. But how do we stop seeing the negative and start noticing the positive side to life? That’s where mind control comes in. No, not the type that David Blaine does on Las Vegas sidewalks; I’m talking about controlling our own minds to turn toxic thoughts into positive thoughts.

Sometimes I get overwhelming thoughts about myself. My mind makes me feel that I’m not good at anything and sometimes, it even goes as far as making me feel that the world would be better off without me. I’m a generally optimistic person, I just have a few issues with anxiety…so why do I feel this way? Negative or toxic thinking usually begins with a mistake I’ve made that I feel overly embarrassed for, and then it turns into thinking about everything I’ve ever done wrong. If you think like this too, there is a way to control it. You simply talk yourself out of it. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s really that simple. Let yourself make a mistake. Acknowledge said mistake, learn how to do better next time, and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for it. You’re human. This is how you grow and become better. This is especially true if you’re a toxic thinker in relationships. Talk to your significant other about it. Sometimes their reassurance is all you need to convince yourself that it’s okay to be human. This goes hand in hand with perfectionism, which is a main player in my toxic thoughts.

“I want so bad to be perfect although I know perfect does not exist.”

Turning toxic thoughts into positive thoughts can be grueling when you’re not naturally an optimistic person, but sometimes that’s all it takes to turn your day around. It’s an old saying, but try to look on the bright side. Yeah, things might be hard at work or you’re having a crap day, but there’s always a positive. Spilled your coffee in your car? There’s a reason to buy that Starbucks coffee that you never get to have, and a reason to stop the procrastination of cleaning your car. Is your boss on your case really hard today? Remember that all days come to an end. It’s so easy to jump to toxic thinking when something bad happens. It’s easy to think that one disaster can ruin your whole day; but it can get better when you deal with a problem when it happens, and then move on. Deal with your emotions in the moment rather than letting them boil all day until the inevitable eruption.

Stop taking everything so personally. This is something I’ve struggled with and I am just now learning how to handle. I’m a people pleaser, especially when it comes to a loved one. If my boyfriend wakes up grumpy, I automatically assume it’s because of me. When he loses his temper at a video game, I get nervous because I don’t want him upset or mad at me. I’m familiar with the fact that it has nothing to do with me, but my toxic thoughts lead me to think that I did something wrong. If you’re like this too, stop it. Stop it right now. Not everything is a personal attack at you. Learn to understand the difference between a person who is grumpy at the world and a person who is grumpy at you. Walk away or ignore this behavior in your loved one to save yourself time and energy.

Sometimes we do have bad days where everything is happening all at once and we can’t help but become overwhelmed and frustrated. I’m not denying that days like this exist. I’m also not denying that anxiety and toxic thinking feed off of each other. What I do know is that you can talk yourself out of any emotion as long as you acknowledge it, deal with it and move forward. Your mind likes to play a lot of tricks on you. Start playing tricks back.

Until next time, XO.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

What You Don’t Hear About Living in Poverty


Poverty is around us everyday, whether we choose to acknowledge it or keep it in the back of our minds like that bad 90s techno song. Poverty doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care about your race, gender, who your parents are or that you graduated college with a perfect GPA. With the price of living rising and decent paying jobs becoming few and far between, it’s hard to keep your head above water in the modern day. There are some things about poverty that most like to keep behind closed doors. Today, I am going to expose the true struggles of living in poverty.

The average income for the poverty line in America is $24,250 for a family of four. In 2015, 13.5% or 43.1 million Americans were found to be in poverty.* What this statistic doesn’t show is the amount of immense stress these 43.1 million American experience. Poverty leaves you in such distress, as if every day is a battle for your life. You wake up in the morning and the first thing on your mind is money. How will I pay for groceries? How many groceries can I get for $20? You know well that your two person household won’t be able to live off of that amount of groceries, but you don’t have a choice. You spend the rest of your day trying to get your mind off of your stress. You try everything from a nap to a nice, long run…but it doesn’t matter. Your stress returns almost immediately.

Along with stress comes the sleepless and restless nights. You lie awake and stare at your ceiling, hoping for the universe to send you a sign of what to do. Your anxiety increases with all of the hopeless “what ifs”. Soon it’s midnight and then 2:00 am and before you know it, you’re still wide awake come 5:00 am. You were supposed to go to a party the next day, but you can’t seem to pull yourself off of the couch since your anxiety, stress and depression have been hounding you into the wee hours of the morning. And so the cycle continues until you finally become exhausted.

You want to make plans to see your friends, but you’re too embarrassed to say, “I don’t have enough gas to get there”, or, “I don’t have money to go out to lunch.” Casual shopping trips and iced coffees with your girlfriends become a thing of the past, and something that you’re too easily envious of. You shop at Goodwill and feel guilty for spending a little extra cash on a few t-shirts and some jean shorts. Your pride shrinks and you begin to sink into a depression like state. You can’t take much wanted trips or vacations. You can hardly afford to go see your family in the next town over. You really begin to understand the true meaning of cabin fever.

You resort to prioritizing your bills and ultimately have to skip one or two a month just to afford food or gas for the week. The guilt is overwhelming when you’ve never missed a payment and you just got your credit in good standing. You almost feel like a failure even though you’re trying your very best to make things work day by day. You start to debate selling some of your expensive items just to have a little stash of extra money. Any money that you’re gifted is never spent recreationally, although that’s all you wish for is to be able to have expendable cash.

Your thoughts become overwhelming when you think about how worse it could be, and how easy you could end up homeless and on the streets. You want to be thankful for the things you have because you know others have it worse. You’re aware that there are different types of poverty and that the kind you live in is much better than others, but it’s still hard to focus on how good you have it when you feel so low. You prepare for the worst in every situation because although you’re hopeful, you’re never quite sure how it will end up. Your cynicism becomes increasingly high. You’re in constant fear of how fast things could go south.

Whilst living in poverty is stressful, difficult and outright overwhelming, surviving it comes with certain abilities. You learn how to problem solve. You learn that optimism can get you through more than you think. You learn just how strong willed you can be. You understand the meaning behind never giving up, mainly because you don’t have choice. When you want to be successful in life so bad, you will do just about anything to get there…even if you have to struggle for awhile first.

For all of those that can relate to this post and who might have it the same or, god forbid, worse than me, I want you to know that you can get through this. I am right here with you, and we can’t give up. Nothing ever lasts forever. Keep on keepin’ on.

Until next time, xo.

*Statistic according to talkpoverty.org.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

What’s Been Going On: Vacation, Anxiety, Life

whats been going on blog post

Hello there, frenz! Long time, no blog post. First off, I would like to apologize for the 24-day absence. If you read my last post, you know how I was running my blog completely from my iPhone and that I ordered a new laptop charger so I could run my blog the way it is supposed to be ran. Well, the charger came later than expected and then life events, as you all know, came crashing down like monsoon season in Vietnam.

My boyfriend thought three weeks ago that it would be the perfect time to quit his dead end job. If you know anything about me, it’s that I like to see people with happy souls. He didn’t have a happy soul at this job. He was doing slave work and working insane hours for very minimal compensation. He’s my man and my best friend, so of course I supported his decision 150%, even if I didn’t totally agree with it. Sometimes you gotta quit that crappy job for a happy soul and peace of mind; I’ve done it and was happier because of it. The only issue now is that we are a household with a total fiscal balance of $2 bucks.

Although we are extremely broke, we’re trying to make the best of our situation. I actually have a family vacation to Florida in T-minus 12 days. And no, I didn’t spend money on a plane ticket that I could’ve been spending on food. My generous and loving big sister and brother-in-law paid for both mine and our other sister’s tickets. Our niece turns ten on July 6th, and what kind of aunts would we be if we didn’t visit her? A vacation to bright and sunny Florida is long overdue, and is just what I need to clear my head. I need to get away from this rain and gloomy weather. I need a break from my own existence. I need to be in my happy place, which is poolside (or ocean side) with coffee in one hand and a fashion mag in the other.

As excited as I am, I’m also exceptionally nervous. I’m nervous for the plane ride, because I’ve never been on one and I’ve seen Final Destination a billion times; but I’m more nervous to see my big sister. She’s been like a mother to me ever since ours crapped out of the unconditional love department. I’ve made many changes to my life in the last year since she’s moved away and I can’t get it out of my head that she won’t approve of the changes I’ve made. She’s always told me she wanted me to move out of my parents’ house and experience life; learn what I like and dislike and find out who I am, and that’s just what I’ve done.

Whether I like to admit it, I need approval from my big sister. She’s always pushed me to do great things and I want to make her proud…but what if I don’t? It might be my anxiety talking or it might be a validated fear, but I don’t want to feel less proud of the choices I’ve made for my life by her disapproval. My boyfriend said something to me a few days ago that really stuck with me – “if she doesn’t approve of your life, then she’s not really your sister and doesn’t really love you.” And he’s right…like always. But if that is the case and she’s not happy with my newly formed beliefs and the choices I’ve made, then I won’t have much family left, and it’s already upsetting enough not to have parents in my life.

It could be the child in me that never grew up that needs approval and validation, but I  finally know what I want, and am meant, to do with my life and I’m ready to put the steps into motion. All I want is to be truly and utterly happy, at whatever cost.

Until next time, xo.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]


The Girl with the Blue Hair


There was a time when I was about 19-years old. I was still living with my parents, sleeping until 1:00 in the afternoon and eating McChickens for just about every meal. I was unemployed, overweight and generally unhappy, but never really showed it. I was suffering and no one had a clue. I got pretty good at it. During that time period, I had a mini meltdown, equivalent to 2007 Britney, only she shaved her head and I dyed mine blue. 

Looking back on it, it’s like I was stuck in a fantasy. I created a world in my head where I was pretty and fun and had tons of friends, when in reality, I was an immense loser. I didn’t have anything going for me. I remember hanging out with my sister a lot during that time. We would drive around in her car for hours. It was like a personal escape from my exceptionally pitiful existence. 

I drank, too. Now that I think about it, I drank a lot. I never passed up the opportunity to get hammered. I wasn’t anything close to an alcoholic, but I drank quite a bit. There were no consequences for my actions. Yeah, everyone was on me to get a job and grow up, but I didn’t have to do it right now. I still had time, at least that’s what I told myself. I remember being extremely insecure with myself. I hated my body. I hated my thoughts. I hated that I wasn’t accomplished, and I blamed myself consistently for that. I felt like a waste of space, to be quite frank. My life was dull and drivel. 

Between being addicted to Twitter, drinking and the inevitable ice cream binge, I started spiraling more and more down the rabbit hole. I would sleep all day, consume nothing but fast food and cigarettes like I wasn’t gonna see tomorrow. I was angry at the world. I was angry at myself. I remember being on Facebook and seeing all my friends and the people I went to school with either go off to college or buy their first car or do something spectacular. They were doing all these things and living their incredible lives, and I was stuck. I didn’t know how things worked in the real world and I didn’t care. I just stayed in my fantasy world where everything was perfect. 

My sister, too, was having a mini breakdown of her own. She and her boyfriend of six years were having issues and it lead to a break in their relationship. When you’re confused and naive, your judgement is rather clouded and you can sometimes make irrational and spontaneous decisions, like dying your hair an obscene color. My sister wanted to dye her hair pink. Me, being of not so sound mind and body, supported this decision which, in turn, led to her supporting my decision for blue hair. 

I remember looking in the mirror at my long, blonde hair turning blue with every smack of dye. It never crossed my mind, why am I doing this? I was living life without responsibility. I wanted the blue hair to liberate me and somehow set me free. Set me free from what? My life? My fears? Who I was? I didn’t want to be me anymore. I wanted to be this bad ass girl who could rock the hell outta some blue hair. But I wasn’t. I was still just me.

I remember sitting on the roof out of my attic window shortly after that, and I just wanted to die. I didn’t want to be here anymore. The battles inside my head were eating away at an already delicate wound. I wondered if it would kill me if I jumped off, or if I would just get really hurt. I spent a year of my life living in a fantasy; pretending that my family life is great, that I have friends and I’m social, that I have a man in my life. But I didn’t have any of that. I didn’t know who I was, so what was the point of living?
I’m not even sure how I brought myself out of that meltdown. When I reminisce on that time, I wonder, how did I make it out alive? I never thought I would make it to see my 23rd birthday this last March. I always thought I would’ve killed myself by the time I was 20. I’m glad I didn’t because now I have the world in my hands, and I’m only just getting started.