Sunday, December 13, 2015

Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Prize Give Away 2015!


It's Toys for Tots time! For the SEVENTH YEAR in a row!  :) I really can't believe it's been 7 years since I started doing this but here we are. I've gotten so much help and support through the years from some amazing people. I wouldn't have the success I do without each of you so I hope you all know how much I appreciate your help. We have around 5 weeks this year because I'm not procrastinating as hard as I did last year and I'm in a much better place than I was this time last year.

This year will also be a little different than previous years because this year, everyone that donates will be entered into a contest to win some gift cards. For every $5 you donate, you get an entry into the contest. So $5 gives you one entry into the drawing of your choice. $20 is 4 entries into the drawing(s) of your choice. I say drawings because I have gift cards and some rad handmade items to give away and if you get multiple entries, you can either put them all towards one thing or split them up between multiple things. 

Give away items:

$25 Game Stop Gift card
$15 Studio Movie Grill gift card
4 $25 Sonic Drive-In gift cards
$20 Tiff's Treats gift card
$50 Tiff's Treats gift card
$20 gift card
$25 Target gift card
$25 Barnes & Noble gift card
$25 Twisted Root gift card
$50 Avalon Salon gift certificate
$25 Best Buy gift card
Urban Decay Ammo Shadow Box
Urban Decay Smoked palette
6 sets of Cinemark movie passes (2 passes per set)
Handmade soy candle trio in Key Lime scent
Handmade Rainbow chainmaille bracelet (I'll post a picture once I receive it)
Handmade knit scarf (I'll post a picture once I receive it)
6 Sweet Boxes (one dozen fresh baked cookies)
Handmade soap set (scents tbd as person is still making them for me)

Some of these gift cards are to local businesses so only people that live locally will benefit from trying to win them. And of course the physical items will be fine for anyone to try and win. And there are a few more items I'm working on adding to the list of give aways. (If you want to be generous and donate something to be given away, contact me at amorousrocker [at] gmail [dot] com)

Drawing will be held after the fundraiser ends in mid-December and items will be shipped out to the winners in January. Winners will have a week from drawing day to claim their prize and provide shipping information before another winner will be selected. 

Once you donate, I'll need to know which item you want to be put into contention for and you can do that by emailing me to let me you donated and then letting me know which item (or items depending on the amount of entries you get) you want to be entered in for.

I need to have the donation turned into the Toys for Tots warehouse by December 12th so they have plenty of time for sorting everything out and delivery. So we have around 5 weeks this year to get going! I’ll probably go shopping for toys on December 11th so I’ll need all PayPal donations in by December 9th at the very latest. Then the 12th I’ll be taking everything out to the warehouse for delivery.

The usual:

Every year I donate some toys to Toys for Tots. I pick and choose other things to donate to as well through out the year. I don't think I can make a big dent of change in the world but I can do little things to make things a little better for other people. Be it with toys during the holidays, money for food, donating clothing, etc. I bitch about things that I wish I could fix but really, all that bitching does nothing if you're not willing to step up and do something to help make it better. So, I do what I can when I can to help out. It makes me feel good to know I've done something good and I help out with a lot of different things.

In 2009, I got an idea to do a Blogger Toys for Tots Fundraiser. I got the idea damn late it the year though so there wasn't much time to work with for Toys for Tots. I did it again in 2010 , in 2011 in 20122013 and last year in 2014 as well. And now I'm doing it again this year. Don't know what Toys for Tots is? Let me inform you before I get on with the rest of the post.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Like I said, I donate something every year. Sometimes in toys and sometimes in money. Sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes I don't have much money to spare but I do a little bit anyway because I know even if I'm hurting a little, some little kid and their family is hurting more. I prefer doing toys, though. I like going in to a store and picking out toys that I know will make some little kids happy. I never see the kids who get these but I always wonder if they liked what they got or if they were just happy for something, anything.

In 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 and 2014 I did a Fundraiser for Toys for Tots on my blog. The results were far better than I had expected in 2009 and they were amazing in 2010 and surprised me yet again in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014. I was beyond touched at all of the help and support I've received with this endeavor year after year. I got so many people who donated little amounts and it all added up to so many toys that I went and purchased. I take plenty of pictures and get it well documented on the blog because it's important to me (and lots of you!) to get pictures to show that I was doing as I said I would. I had so much fun going to get the toys in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014. 

This year, I'm doing it again. :)

The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here

The final results from 2011: Here 
The final results from 2012: Here
The final results from 2013: Here

The final results from 2014: Here

If you want to see more posts with more details and pictures, then just click here or go to the Toys for Tots tab at the top of the blog on the tabs section.

On the right side of this blog on the side section above my profile, you will find that there is a PayPal donation button there. There's also a Toys For Tots tab up above that.  The email address you can paypal donations to is amorousrocker [at] gmail [dot] com. Easy peasy, eh? :)

If you want to donate money to help buy toys for Toys for Tots, just use that or CLICK HERE.

I will take all the money that gets donated and go buy toys. For proof that I'm doing what I say I'll be doing with the donations, there will yet again be pictures of the toys as I buy them and pictures of all those said toys being loaded into the car and more upon being delivered to a Toys for Tots location once I'm done with the fundraiser.

I know some people see this and think about donating but think they only have $5 or $10 to spare and think that's not worth it. Well, that's incorrect because through the years I've received tons of $5 and $10 donations! Every little bit adds up to something bigger!

With $5 I can buy an action figure, toy cars, Legos, a stuffed animal, various kinds of dolls, PlayDoh sets and various other things. $5 will buy a toy and in some cases more than one toy. I can get 8 or 9 Hot Wheels cars on $10 so no amount would be too small. If 15 people donate 5 dollars, I have $75 and that will buy quite a few toys to brighten a child's day. You can do something to help and leave all the work up to me.

And yes, I know Christmas isn't about the toys and other presents but imagine being 7 and not looking forward to waking up Christmas morning because Santa couldn't bring you anything this year. It's a bummer.

If you want, please feel free to post about this on your blog with links and send people over. I would appreciate that quite a bit. If you do pimp this post out on your blog, email me after you do so with the post link so I can include you in a post that's to come later on. Also feel free to tweet about it or post it on Facebook. A few dollars from a lot of different people goes a long way. :)

This post will stay at the top of the blog for quite a while. Actually, it will be up at the top until the time I'm done with the fundraiser. The cut off date to take donations via paypal will be December 10th. I'll go shopping and deliver the toys by the 13th. I know that there isn't a lot of time for this (as I touched on previously) this year but any amount is better than nothing at all in my opinion.

There's also a tab Toys for Tots at the top of the blog if you want to go check out all the previous posts and pictures from the previous two years.

The tab just has pretty much what this post has plus links to the posts I did last year including all of the pictures as well as a donation link.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Facts

I got challenged to post 10 facts about me around a month ago. I've put it off for a little bit now but since someone is starting to pester me about doing her challenge, I'm going to get it done so she'll stop bugging me about doing it. *heart emoji goes here*

Fact #1: I hate avocado. In any and every form possible. I don't want it on my sandwich, I don't want it in a dip, I don't want slices of it breaded then deep fried, I don't want slices of it on my tacos, I don't want your guacamole near my precious tortilla chips, I don't want it in my chicken tortilla soup, I don't want it in my healthy smoothie, I don't want it anywhere near me.  

Fact #2: That dark gloomy day where the weather is just dark clouds, no sunshine and possibly some rain, thunder and lightning? I love those days most. I love rain and the gloomy weather always feels completely comforting to me.

Fact #3: I consume a lot of 2% milk but I never actually drink it. I just eat cereal a lot. Really, A LOT. For breakfast, for lunch, sometimes for dinner when my boyfriend's working late, sometimes late night snacks. Some days I'll eat cereal multiple times that day. Not because it's easy and I'm lazy, I just really like cereal and like almost any kind of cereal. I have 6 boxes of cereal on hand right now and none of them are being neglected.

Fact #4: I hate uncooked tomatoes unless it's salsa. I love salsa. Give me all your salsa. Unless it's mild or tamer in heat, then you can keep it.

Fact #5: I have small hands. My mittens or gloves pretty much have to be purchased from the kid's section otherwise they'll be too big. On the plus side, kid sized mittens are way cheaper than the slightly larger adult versions so I can usually buy 2 or 3 pairs for what 1 adult pair would cost me.

Fact #6: I got a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle slippers (Raphael, to get specific) last year for a party I went to in pajamas. I got them for that party specifically because I never really wore slippers before, including slippers that had been given to me as gifts. I wear my TMNT slippers all the damn time. 

Fact #7: I put hot sauce on an obscene amount of things. My blood probably has traces of Cholula in it. 

Fact #8: I don't like pumpkin spice anything but give me salted caramel things or gingerbread things and I will (probably) eat all the things or drink all the things. Unless they're gross, then you can keep them. 

Fact #9: One of my favorite things in the world is seeing people really enjoy and appreciate things I've cooked or baked. There's not much than feels better than people enjoying and appreciating something I created. It's one of the best feelings.

Fact #10: I'm glad I'm done with this now. ;)

All done!

If you haven't checked it out, my 7th annual Toys for Tots holiday fundraiser is up and running. There are 30 days left to get your donations in! This year, there is a prize giveaway going on for anyone that donates. Just a $5 donation gets you in and there are just over 30 prizes up for grabs. Check out the list of prizes and and all the details right here. Feel free to share the fundraiser link over social media, too. I've had people ask if I mind them doing that and I most definitely do not mind at all! The more the merrier! ;)

Also I'm supposed to tag people for the 10 Facts but I'll spare everyone that. If you do end up doing it, let me know so I can come learn some things about you, too!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

99 Things

I posted something on Tumblr and was then challenged to answer all 99 questions in the post. Instead of doing it on Tumblr, I decided I'd do it on here instead. I rarely do long text posts over there since that's what this space is for. 

1:Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?: Closed. Open would annoy me.

2:Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?: Sometimes, if they smell good and don't make my hair feel weird.

3:Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?: Out. My boyfriend's 6'8" so tucking them in is useless because he'll just knock them loose if I tuck them in. I've accepted this and let go of my want to have them tucked.

4:Have you ever stolen a street sign before?: No but I've been with people that were stealing a street sign before. Not in a really long time, though.

5:Do you like to use post-it notes?: Sometimes, when I think about using them. We have a dry erase board at home though so I tend to put notes on that.

6:Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?: Nope. 

7:Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?: Neither sounds pleasant at all, thanks. I think I'd have better luck against a swarm of bees. A beekeeper once told me to avoid water and instead run through shrubbery or bushes instead because it'll distract them. So I'll be the seemingly off balance person hauling ass through your shrubs if a bee swarm is coming at me.

8:Do you have freckles?: A light smattering across my nose.

9:Do you always smile for pictures?: Sometimes. I don't like pictures so it's hard to get excited about them, unless I've been drinking. Plus I tend to make a goofy face over smiling because I feel more comfortable doing that.

10:What is your biggest pet peeve?: LACK OF PUNCTUALITY. People that don't close their mouths while they're eating and there's all those sounds and sights and nope. People that try to get on an elevator, bus, etc before letting the people coming off out first. People that walk out into the street or into a parking lot without checking traffic because their stupid face is buried in their phone instead of paying attention to what's going on around them. I'll stop there. :)

11:Do you ever count your steps when you walk?: Sometimes I do. 

12:Have you ever peed in the woods?: Nope, I stay out of the woods.

13:What about pooped in the woods?: Nope, I stay out of the woods.

14:Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing?: Oh yeah.

15:Do you chew your pens and pencils?: NO. I HATE THAT.

16:How many people have you slept with this week?: One.

17:What size is your bed?: Queen, obviously. ;) 

18:What is your Song of the week?: "Control" by Halsey and "Watch Me Drown" by Seether.

19:Is it okay for guys to wear pink?: They can wear whatever they want. 

20:Do you still watch cartoons?: Occasionally. Animated movies far more often.

21:Whats your least favorite movie?: Snakes On A Plane. My boyfriend and youngest brother love it so unfortunately I've seen it.

22:Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?: I'm not revealing that, thanks. ;)

23:What do you drink with dinner?: Sweet tea or some kind of other beverage depending on my mood and what I'm eating. Example, I like a margarita with Tex-Mex but wouldn't drink one with say spaghetti. 

24:What do you dip a chicken nugget in?: I don't eat chicken nuggets but it'd be ranch or barbecue sauce or hot wing sauce or honey mustard or spicy ranch or spicy ketchup. I LIKE A LOT OF STUFF OKAY.

25:What is your favorite food?: Italian. Tacos. Homemade macaroni and cheese.

26:What movies could you watch over and over and still love?: In & Out, Batman movies, Gone In 60 Seconds, Aladdin, The Last Samurai, The Boondock Saints, Wreck-It Ralph, Chef, the Underworld series, Big Hero 6, The Avengers, Lion King, Iron Man, Ghostbusters, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain America, Maleficent, Skyfall, Tangled, Sherlock Holmes, Home Alone. I'll stop now. :D

27:Last person you kissed/kissed you?: Boyfriend.

28:Were you ever a boy/girl scout?: I was a girl scout for a brief time but wasn't really into it. 

29:Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?: Probably not.

30:When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?: Last week! :)

31:Can you change the oil on a car?: Yes, I can.

32:Ever gotten a speeding ticket?: Nope.

33:Ever ran out of gas?: Nope. I pay attention to the fuel indicator and the mileage indicator and if I'm starting to run low in an unfamiliar area, I stop before I need it just in case.

34:Favorite kind of sandwich?: Grilled cheese on sourdough or something spicy with chicken.

35:Best thing to eat for breakfast?: Depends on my mood. The best thing for breakfast ranges from cereal, bagel, fruit with yogurt, waffle with fruit or breakfast tacos.

36:What is your usual bedtime?: Whenever I'm tired. Usually I try to lay down around 10:30 since I get up really early for work but I rarely fall asleep before 11:30/midnight.

37:Are you lazy?: Nope. My boyfriend gives me a hard time because on "lazy days" I still clean or run errands or find things to do because I hate sitting around doing nothing.

38:When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?: Various things. Rock Star, witch, superheros, ninjas. 

39:What is your Chinese astrological sign?: Ox.

40:How many languages can you speak?: Two. 

41:Do you have any magazine subscriptions?: I don't even ready any magazines anymore.

42:Which are better legos or lincoln logs?: I LOVED THEM BOTH. But I still have Legos so probably those.

43:Are you stubborn?: Just a lit.... HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. 

44:Who is better…Leno or Letterman?: I never cared for either.

45:Ever watch soap operas?: HARD PASS.

46:Are you afraid of heights?: Not at all.

47:Do you sing in the car?: Oh hell yes.

48:Do you sing in the shower?: Oh hell yes.

49:Do you dance in the car?: Sometimes, if there's a song I feel like moving to.

50:Ever used a gun?: I've shot one before. 

51:Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?: So very long ago that I don't even remember exactly.

52:Do you think musicals are cheesy?: I love musicals.

53:Is Christmas stressful?: Not particularly but I get my shopping done early and don't plan too many parties/events so I can enjoy all the fun parts of the season.

54:Ever eat a pierogi?: Mmmm, yes.

55:Favorite type of fruit pie?: Apple.

56:Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?: Rock star, firefighter.

57:Do you believe in ghosts?: I do. OoOoOoOohhhh.

58:Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?: Not often.

59:Take a vitamin daily?: I do!

60:Wear slippers?: I own them but I rarely actually remember to wear them.

61:Wear a bath robe?: Yes, it's super comfy.

62:What do you wear to bed?: An oversized tshirt or nothing.

63:First concert?: Backstreet Boys.

64:Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?: Target.

65:Nike or Adidas?: Nike.

66:Cheetos Or Fritos?: Neither.

67:Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?: Neither.

68:Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?: I have not... until now.

69:Ever take dance lessons?: Nope, I just work with what skills I've got naturally.

70:Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?: No, as long as they're happy and not harming anyone else, I couldn't care less.

71:Can you curl your tongue?: I can.

72:Ever won a spelling bee?: I have. 

73:Have you ever cried because you were so happy?: Probably but I can't think of anything specific.

74:Own any record albums?: A few.

75:Own a record player?: Not anymore.

76:Regularly burn incense?: Not regularly since they give my boyfriend headaches.

77:Ever been in love?: A couple times. 

78:Who would you like to see in concert?: Queen but with Freddie Mercury so science needs to get up on teleporting so I can go back in time and make that happen.

79:What was the last concert you saw?: Garth Brooks last weekend.

80:Hot tea or cold tea?: I like both.

81:Tea or coffee?: I like both.

82:Sugar or snickerdoodles?: I don't care much for cookies since I work in a cookie shop surrounded by cookies 5 days a week, every week, for the last three years.

83:Can you swim well?: Yes! I love to swim.

84:Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?: Yes.

85:Are you patient?: Not terribly so. I'm working on it.

86:DJ or band, at a wedding?: Whatever the people getting married prefer, I don't care.

87:Ever won a contest?: A few but not in a while. The boyfriend has better luck with that which works out pretty well for me.

88:Ever have plastic surgery?: Nope.

89:Which are better black or green olives?: I can't eat olives.

90:Can you knit or crochet?: Nope and nope.

91:Best room for a fireplace?: In a house that actually sits in a place where the weather makes sense for one to be present.

92:Do you want to get married?: Maybe. It's never been a big deal for me.

93:If married, how long have you been married?: Zero years and counting.

94:Who was your HS crush?: Hell if I know, I probably had tons of crushes on various girls and guys when I was highschool aged.

95:Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?: No, I'm not childish nor petty.

96:Do you have kids?: Nope.

97:Do you want kids?: I absolutely do not.

98:Whats your favorite color?: Red, purple, green, orange.

99:Do you miss anyone right now?: I wasn't but this question always and forever makes me think of people I do miss, so.

Monday, September 21, 2015

World Alzheimer's Day

Today is World Alzheimer's Day! 

There are 5 days left to donate to my ‪#‎Walk2EndAlz‬! Check out my My Walk Page to read my story and if you feel so inclined you can donate there as well.

Donations benefit the Alzheimer's Association and help towards providing Alz care, support and towards funding research towards prevention and finding a cure.

This cause means a lot to me because watching my grandfather lose himself in this disease was one of the hardest things I've dealt with. You lose a person you love twice, once right in front of you and the second time once they do pass. It's rough. People think of Alzheimer's as being "memory loss" only and just "old age" but it's not. You can get it at 40 or 70. It's much more than just losing track of time or forgetting where your car keys are. You forget people. You lose your memories. There are physical aspects of it. It's heartbreaking when someone you love can't remember how to pour themselves a glass of milk. It's so much more than just becoming forgetful and so many don't realize that.

If you want to do something for World Alzheimer's Day, you can....

Donate to the cause. 

Wear purple today.

Volunteer your time.

Learn some facts.

Thank a caregiver if you know one in real life or on social media.

Thank you to all those that have supported me in some way leading up to this years walk. The walk is this weekend and I'm ready! Wether you showed support through sharing links, talking about this with me, joining the walk or donating your hard earned cash to the walk, I appreciate it all so much. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

You're Never Too Old To Have Fun

You're never too old to do things you enjoy doing. If it makes you happy, why put an age limit on it? Whether that's coloring books, riding all the rides at an amusement park, water gun fights, board games, dodge ball, going to a paintball park, video games, stomping in a puddle once in a while or anything else that makes you feel good. 

I don't understand when people stop doing things they enjoy because they feel like they're "too old" to be doing them anymore. If it's for a health reason that you have to give it up, that's unfortunate but you taking care of you is more important than any fun thing you do.

If you're just quitting something you still like doing because you feel like you shouldn't be doing it anymore because you're "too old" to be doing something immature or silly, that's nonsense. You need things that bring you joy, even if it's just thirty minutes with a video game or a spirited game of dodge ball.

"Being an adult" and "growing up" shouldn't mean you also have to give up things that bring you happiness. I know several people that think I'm a rather immature 30 year old and honestly, I couldn't care less. If it makes me "less of an adult" to anyone because I still color in coloring books (even before my therapist had me pick up art therapy specific coloring books) or thinks I'm "immature" because I've organized a water balloon/water gun fight with other "immature adults" then cool, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I however, don't currently and likely won't ever agree with that sentiment. 

I don't know where people think getting older and becoming an adult means you have to just stop having fun. Being an adult is stressful. Working so you can pay bills and make a living is stressful. Being an adult in itself isn't that fun. It's full of responsibilities and things that are inherently not fun. That's not a bad thing, that's just the course of life. I'm glad I'm not a child anymore. I love having my own place, cooking my own meals and creating a life for myself and my partner. As stressful as adulthood can be, I'm fine where I'm at. I also just refuse to believe that I can't also still have fun and fun as an adult doesn't have to be dinner parties and happy hours and trips to the museum. I do love all of those things as well but there's also nothing wrong with having a water balloon fight or planning a trip to a paintball course to climb obstacles and fire off speedy little balls of paint at a high rate of speed in hopes they'll explode in bright colors once it hits it's target (AKA your friend.) 

If you don't enjoy things, it's cool to let them go and not do them anymore. There are some things I used to enjoy that if you presented me to them now, I'd decline because they don't hold any appeal for me anymore. Some things you do grow out of or simply lose interest in, that's also just how life goes. We're growing and evolving and that includes our interests and hobbies, too. Just don't deprive yourself of things you still enjoy doing because you feel like you're "too old" to enjoy them anymore. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

What Does Progress Look Like?

Last week in therapy:

I expressed frustration to my therapist because I was feeling like I haven't been making any progress. She asked me what I felt like progress looked like, what I wanted progress to feel like. I honestly didn't have an answer because I hadn't given any real thought to the concept of progress. I just had this vague idea in my mind of progress without really thinking about what that might look or feel like. She let me sit there a few minutes to try and gather any thoughts I had but I still came up with nothing.

She said, "let me tell you about your progress then. At times, it can be difficult to see it yourself when it's happening gradually and slowly. Sometimes we need an outsider to show us how we're changing."

Honestly, I had to actively keep from rolling my eyes because it sounded so cliche. I didn't because I remembered I tend to think of a lot of cliches as being considered cliche because they're a simple truth that's stated frequently. So, I waited.

Therapist: "A year ago today, what were you doing?"

Me: "I have no idea. I was maybe in Austin or working or at the pool or something like that. Just another day."

Therapist: "What you weren't doing was sitting in front of a therapist getting yourself the help you needed and deserved. I'd call you still sitting in front of me progress. I'd call you still working every day to achieve mental wellness progress. Do you agree?"

Me: "I consider that progress but I don't feel like I've done much more than seek out professional help."

Therapist: "Okay lets start with anxiety. Are you using the tools and techniques I've given you for managing your anxiety?"

Me: "Yes."

Therapist: "Are those helping you manage your anxiety?"

Me: "Well yeah but-"

Therapist: "There isn't a but there. You're doing the things you need to do, that's progress. Every day you get out of bed and try, you're making progress. Every day you look in the mirror and tell yourself you have to keep moving, you're making progress. Every day you're feeling sad and reach out to someone or do something for yourself, you're making progress. Even days when you're feeling your depression or your anxiety or anything negative and you acknowledge it and let it know you see it and know you won't let it win in the end, you're making progress. If you can take all of this in and still don't feel like you're making progress, we can talk about that, we can work on that until you feel like you're making progress."

We continued discussing the progress she's seen in other areas and it's just little things. Things I hadn't even really noticed yet. When we ended, I had a lot to think about.  

I thought about all the little things that didn't look like progress but in fact was that exactly. Putting real thought into what I wanted progress to look like and be versus what realistic progress for me actually looks like. A realization that I was looking for some big thing to happen to feel like I've been making progress hit me and I started laughing at my self. I'm forever talking about how the little things in life add up to something bigger, something more, and here I was ignoring my own little victories that are adding up to something more.

Progress isn't the same for any two people. It's like two people having the same mental health issue, it's not the same even if it is the same disorder because it does different things for different people. We feel the same things but it's not the same exact experience. It makes logical sense that recovering and improving your mental health won't be the same as anyone else's. The mental health issues people face are always unique to them. Depression isn't exactly the same for any two people. What works for some won't work for others and looking at other people and comparing yourself to them only sets you up for failure.

I now realize that "seeing progress" isn't a grand gesture that will present itself. It's not an epiphany that's going to show itself in brilliant blinding light so there's no way I can miss it. It's not an automatic shift in thoughts, feelings and moods that happens all at once.

Having a bad day doesn't mean I'm not making progress still. It just means I've had a bad day and need to not let that take over and wreck the progress I have made. A bad day or a couple bad days in a row are going to happen still but I can't let them win overall.

It's okay to still feel weak sometimes, too. I felt like bad days or feeling weak meant that I was sliding backwards and let them get to me more than I should have. It's been a weird thing learning how to handle myself and learning how to think differently. It's definitely not a bad thing and I don't get discouraged by the progress I still have to make to get to where I want to be. I realize I'm not where I was last year mentally and emotionally and that feels good. It's reassurance from myself that I am capable, I am strong and I can do this. As much as I need support from people around me, I also need to believe in myself and right now, I'm feeling stronger than I have in a while. That's the kind of progress I wanted, I just needed help seeing it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Don't Care What He Would Prefer I Do With My Hair

I keep my hair cut short during Spring and Summer. Texas gets HOT and having a lot of hair when it's so hot out makes me feel miserable. So, I cut most of my hair off until what's left is resting around my earlobes. Nothing feels better than that first day where I walk out into the warm sunshine and feel so much lighter and more free because I've lost five or more inches of hair.

I also have a tendency to change my hair color multiple times a year. I favor bright colors but my job doesn't allow any fun hair colors so the most I can get away with are shades of red. Which is fine because I love having red hair. I also play around with hair chalk on weekends to add more funky colors to my hair since hair chalk washes right out.

Two questions I get most often about my hair have nothing to do with the great work my stylist does or the funky hair chalks I like to add in to my colored hair.

The two I get the most are the same question inquiring about separate things and for the most part, these questions come from other women.

"What does your boyfriend think of your hair being that color?'

"Is your boyfriend a short hair man?"/"What does your boyfriend think of your hair being that short?"

This annoys me because what my boyfriend thinks of my hair doesn't factor in to what I do to my hair. It's MY hair and he has no claim over my hair and what I do with it.

My hair color changing he's fine. He often shows me pictures of beautiful, brightly colored hair to give me ideas for things I can do for hair chalk or for when I work in a place that doesn't have such a strict dress code.

My boyfriend likes long hair. He gets a little sad when I go to cut off my long wavy locks at the start of the hot hot heat. He never tries to talk me out of it or never tries to pretend he has any say over what I do with my hair though because he understands his preference for my hair isn't relevant.

It's not that I don't appreciate his opinion on things because I do. I talk things over with him all the time and regularly bounce ideas off of him because I value his opinion and enjoy getting his perspective on things. How I dress, what eye makeup I wear, what I do with my hair and superficial aesthetic things like those have no real impact on our relationship. It's not like I cut my hair to spite him. How I look is up to me and I do what I'm comfortable with and I do what makes me happy.

What typically follows these questions is, "well if he prefers long hair, why would you cut it short?"

Again, IT'S MY HAIR AND I WANTED IT SHORT TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE AND BECAUSE IT'S CUTE SO I CUT IT SHORT. I don't need anyone's approval to do something to my appearance.

I've never understood the notion that if the person I'm in a relationship doesn't like a certain aesthetic then it means I shouldn't do it anymore. Thankfully, I'm with a person that doesn't try to dictate or pressure me into looking a certain way. He might not like the short hair or the lime green eyeliner but he doesn't try to discourage me from doing things that I enjoy because they're not his preference. He doesn't pressure me or shame me. He understands that I'm the one in control of my body and in control of what I do with it. As long as I'm not hurting myself, he doesn't care as long as I'm happy.

Now if only other people would be as awesome as my boyfriend and stop asking me (and I'm sure asking other people) why I do things to my appearance for myself without considering what he would prefer, that would be rad.