Self-care stuff, smol victories and homemaking.

Hi babes. Today we’re going to talk about self-care and some things I’ve been working on to help preserve my little bit of sanity and improve the quality of my lived life.

So for context, those of you who don’t know me, have probably not read the book I wrote about self-care. You can download and read it for free here (right click and save as, if you use the kindle chrome extension, you can open the link and send to kindle). Please don’t redistribute it or steal it, it is free. If you share it please direct folks back here or at least use my name. I have had the material stolen before and it makes me feel like shit.

I’ve written new material about it off and on but lately I’ve been very focused on using my habit of writing stuff down, to remind myself that basically I’m not totally failing. With the current news I absolutely feel like a lot of us need to claim our small victories because too much of the world is shit.

ON to victory.

For me, I’ve been working on making my house a home. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire adult life. This is mainly due to childhood trauma (YAY SHIT) and working on it has been…bad. After we moved into our current place, I promised myself I would do the shit. I been doin the shit.

First up, below look at a little photo of my hallway. Over the last few weeks partner and I cleared a bunch of boxes and junk from the area and it looked like this after.

20200307_064213

[image description: photo of the authors home there are drawers in the forgroung against a wood floor. also in view a closet, an open bathroom door and some random items]

One of the challenges we’ve faced at home is that it is very small. Partner and I live in a tiny studio and when we moved in we had to throw out most of our furniture because it wouldn’t fit or it was too old and raggedy. I purchased the two bin things as a set from Amazon* (yeah it isn’t “real” furniture but whatever fight me) and I love them.  One of the reasons I love these is that empty they are very lightweight and I can move them by myself. Also I am going to decorate them with tape.

I had a small one like this* that I was able to move into the bathroom and I organized my skin care, hair care and whatnot. WIN. Another thing I like about this sort of plastic stuff is that they are super easy to clean. And I can use them where ever I need to.

Being able to arrange things to my own liking has been amazing. I’m really focused on keeping our home accessible to both of us, easy to maintain and I’ve discovered I have a BIG OLE love of organization.

Next victory.

I purchased a shoe rack* from Amazon. Partner got it together and he put it in front of our front door. Our door has a full swing to open and my lil shoes are out of the way and displayed in a way I find very pleasing. AND no shoe germs in the house!

victory

[image description: a black shoe rack with assorted black shoes on it]

With the area in the first photo opened up more, that means I can get my exercise on right there AND we will have space for my next thing which will be a rack to store some kitchen stuff on.

So why is this such a big deal? First reason is that, I’ve never allowed myself to prioritize my own comfort in my home to spend money on things I both like and need. That is a big deal for me and I’m learning to enjoy the process. Second reason is that, I ENJOY it. Part of my philosophy surrounding self-care is heavily involved in allowing myself to enjoy things.

Yes things are shit right now but, I will snag the joy where I can snag it.

I encourage y’all to do it too.

So tell Auntie your small victories. Remember to cheer your friends on. Do a victory dance when the family or kids or partner or friends do something.

PS

Affiliate links denoted with a * as usual. If you enjoy the self care book feel free to come back and tip me out.

 

 

Crockpot Lemon Garlic Chicken-Recipe time.

Below find a photo of the delicious chicken I made. Photo was taken a couple of hours before it was done.

chimkin

[image description: a whole chicken in a crockpot. It is sprinkled with spices, sprigs of rosemary and a few bits of lemon are visible.

OKAY babes. I have fallen ass over teakettle with my crockpot. And I made a delicious and super simple chicken in it. After deboning, there is enough chicken for a few meals for partner and I. Find my recipe below.

You need:

  • 1 chicken. I bought a 5lb fryer.
  • Some lemons. I used two medium sized ones.
  • Handful of rosemary sprigs. Just this once I will say use fresh.
  • Garlic 1-2 bulbs worth.
  • Herbs De Provence. This one* is my personal fave. I don’t have to use a ton of it to get that flavor.
  • Other spices you like. I used smoked paprika, black pepper and about a half teaspoon of seasoned salt.
  • Half cup or so of chicken stock.
  • 1 crockpot.

Prep your area.

Food safety is important. I laid out some foil to put my chicken on while I was working with it and that cut down on the mess. I also really hate getting raw meat on my hands so I wore gloves.

Remove the giblets and/or neck. You can toss these but I put them in the pot.

Next, slice up your lemons. Put them aside. I buy and use pre-peeled garlic. If you have hand troubles do this. For this type of recipe, go with whole cloves over chopped.

Let’s get that chicken ready.

Jam lemon and garlic into the chicken. And a stick of rosemary. Between pieces of lemon, sprinkle some seasoning in there. Next, season your chicken. On top, on the thighs etc, rub it around. Leave the chicken.

Next, put your stock (or wine if you like) into the pot. Then season it with paprika, pepper, and stir well. Drop in some of your garlic, a rosemary stick and some lemon.

Gently put your chicken in. My super secret is I put the chicken in breast side down for extra juiciness.

After you get the chicken in, jam in the rest of your garlic, rosemary and lemon. Set it on low and go to bed.

When you start smelling garlicky goodness, check your chicken. When it is up to temp you can put it on keep warm OR gently take it out and debone it.

Use your chicken how you like. Put the rest in the fridge.

Mistakes-

Don’t cook it too long, I fell asleep for an hour or so and yeah. I did that and the meat is so tender it is kinda mush. Still delicious.

I will be serving my chicken mushy weirdness (it is ugly but amazing) with wilted spring green lemon pasta. You can also use the shredded chicken for salads, serve over rice, etc. A few other notes. We like VERY garlicky food so used more garlic and we mashed up the garlic when we took the thicken out. There won’t be quite enough liquid left for stock but keep it anyway for the flavor. If you like a different spice profile, use the spices you like. For straight up lemon pepper flavor, less garlic, no paprika and more pepper. Experiment because honestly, as long as you use seasoning it is gonna taste good.

Go forth and enjoy.

 

Optimism among chaos.

Hello darlings.

As the partner and I are settling into our new home I’m starting to have some optimism about an increase in our quality of lived life and by extension I’ve been thinking about things I want to do for my health, my skin care, everything.

I really am looking forward to purging more stuff so I can start over. I’ve replaced some of my skin care and make up. It feels strange to actually have a do over in reach. After probably another grand in bills and moving costs I’ll be able to really get started.

A few days ago I realized that this feeling, this desire to make home is very overwhelming to me. At 41 years old, I have never felt like I had the right to make myself a real home. I’m anxious about it, I’m terrified honestly. I have to ask my partner a million questions. I ask him about how much things cost. If it is reasonable for me to want something for our home. If it is okay.

I’m looking at things for my home that I like. That will make it feel cozy and like I belong here.

Y’all.

When that is not something you grew up feeling, or have been poor enough to either be houseless or have housing insecurity, it is scary.

For instance.

There is a local to me indigenous blanket maker(s). I was looking at their website the other day and saw this blanket. I can picture it on the wall in my entry hallway, right across from the door. The fact that I can see it in my mind is astonishing to me. I am thinking about having art. Having pretty things that mean something to me.

This feeling extends to my bathroom. I’ve been thinking about moving most of my make up stuff to palettes because of how I want storage to be. I’m thinking about the galaxy shower curtain I found and having a beautiful galaxy, pink, purple and black bathroom.

I’m hopeful and scared.

I find home set up terribly intimidating and I swing from wanting many shiny household items to being terrified and not wanting any. What kind of towels do I buy? Should I get the nicer rice cooker? What about kitchen shit? I don’t know.

A new set of anxieties is settling in. Things that cost money that I have to replace. I’m going to need to replace my phone sooner than I wanted to. I still haven’t gotten a new ID. The cost of stocking up on our health shit, cost cost cost.

I’m overwhelmed and exhausted and afraid but, I have this hope that things will level out.

What else?

I’ve gotten my skin care somewhat put back in order. My skin is recovering from the stress and frankly I wasn’t taking great care of it. Currently I’m about that glow up. I’ve switched from foundation to something else, review coming in a few weeks and my skin care routine has settled back into my bedtime process.

I’m still feeling pretty unsettled and low key freaked out. I have extra bills and our budget is looking a better. Living inside those two things is weird and hard.

In other news, if you are in Seattle/area I’ll be reading at Margin Shift later this month. Come through.

And if you are so inclined you can check out my latest freelance piece here. If you want to keep up with writing stuff, check my writing biz blog over here.

Oh the Chaos.

Oh my darlings.

The move aftermath keeps on going. My life/home are still fairly chaotic and y’all, I ain’t with it.

Given that I’m already a very anxious constantly freaked out person, trying to get my house in some order has just wrecked me. I’m nervous and upset, we are eating a lot of garbage food and trying to figure out life has been hard.

That said- I have figured out some stuff.

I have rediscovered the joy of some small luxuries. There is a little bodega downstairs in my building and I bought a big bag of ice. Seems like nothing but, our previous house the freezer was weird and small so I rarely had ice at home. I made myself a couple of jugs of fridge tea and having that on hand is pretty ding dang great.

I’ve also tried out being intentionally cozy and making myself rest. I don’t recall if I mentioned it but a few weeks ago during the most intense part of the move, I rolled my ankle pretty badly. My foot and ankle swelled up, it hurt a lot and since y’all know life gotta go on sometimes I did not stay off of it.

Once we got all moved in, I got myself into bed, I had my current crochet project, a giant mug of tea and I just got cozy. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but, I have a habit of GO GO GO until I fall out or until my spoons are WAY into the negative, doing this intentionally was nice. A lot of the time, I resent rest. I always feel like I have SO MUCH to do.

I have freelancing to work on. Patreon to work on. I have my hustle to work because the move ate all our money and I’m stressed as fuck.

Now I know good and goddamn well (SHIT I WROTE A WHOLE ASS BOOK ABOUT SELF-CARE) and yet, there I was burning the candle at both ends and not allowing myself to heal at all. I wasn’t giving myself a chance in hell of really being able to settle into our new life and I started getting sick and everything went downhill.

So, I committed coziness. And it was okay. If I’m gonna keep things 100, I’m not good at it. I NEED to fix and put away and try to get things in order. However if my body was a person it would be trying to fight me and screaming CAN U FUCKIN NOT.

Like BRO COME ON FUCKING STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHP.

Ahem.

That has been a struggle.

So this adjustment is a lot more than I anticipated. I also figured out that I built up the life change with this move and I guess I was expecting it to be easier? Or that I’d be able to superperson it out a lot more and I’ve fallen into some old harmful patterns of expecting myself to manifest super powers and do ALL THE THINGS.

I really expected a lot more of myself than I am capable of and having to face in my inability has been crushing. Again I find myself having rejected the idea that my able bodiedness is just not a thing anymore and expecting able bodiedness from myself in a way I would NEVER from anyone else.

Dealing with my terrible internalized ableism has just been the hardest part of all this. I hate that sometimes I treat myself so poorly and justify it because, shit has GOT to be done. I have set myself back in terms of the work I’ve done on this and I’m trying to deal with it without being a fucker to myself.

It is hard.

That said, I’m ready for an improvement in the quality of our lived life. I’m ready to be able to socialize without things being so hard and I’m ready to learn to be cozy.

At the suggestion of loved ones, if you are so inclined find our ever growing housewarming wishlist on Amazon here. 

Next post will be some updated skin care, some hair wins and whatnots.

2018 Priorities and Shit

Holy shitballs it is 2018.

I don’t do resolutions because I find the whole culture of that to be so shamey and gross. So instead let’s talk about priorities.

So far, my number one priority in 2018 is getting the partner and I moved and settled into a new place. This move will improve the quality of our lives so much, I’m super impatient but trying to stay calm about it. I’ve been saving and fundraising for months and after the illnesses and whatnot from Sept-December I was terrified I couldn’t do it.

BUT, I got the coins to cover at least move in so I’m happy.

Correlated to moving is that I’m hoping to be able to afford to do more for my health. I deal with a lot of chronic shit, some of it is shit I’ve had literally since birth. And as has happened time and time again in my life, my unintentional weightloss fixed none of it and exacerbated some of it.

What does more for my health look like? I want to keep up with a few things. I do a double shot of EmergenC in ice water every day. I do vitamins too. Unfortunately I lost my ability to swallow larger pills so I’ve been subbing in gummies. They are okay but my ride or die line up are all horsepills and I’m trying to get back to be able to take them. I’m back up to being able to take some medium sized pills so hopefully 2018 is my year.

Correlated to that, my hair. I’ll be continuing to do the LOC method and my main goal is retaining length. Since braids were a total fucking fail (why yes, I am still salty AF about it) I’m back in wigs. Currently rocking a silver bob that I feel magical as fuck in.

20180105_061338.jpg

[image description: photo of the blogger, a Black femme person in a silver asymmetrical bob wig]

I’ll probably do my annual blowout soonish. My last one, my hair looked AMAZING. I may start doing a blow out once a month or so. Mainly to give myself the encouragement to do a monthly deep detangle. All the way to the scalp with the little comb.

I really want to avoid the deep terrible tangles I struggled with this year. I’m also cycling taking biotin and am going to mix up some hair oil for my scalp because I tried giving up greasing my scalp and nah son.

My poor scalp gets so dry like the rest of my body except my face. So yeah, I’ll be liberally greasing up literally from scalp to toes forever.

Overall my priorities this year are to remember how to take better care of my whole self. I want to return to my habit of figuring out DIY remedies and things. I want to maybe eve start making body care items again.

Hopefully, I will remember to bring y’all along for the fails and wins.

See y’all soon!

Life Makes Shit Hard

Hello frands.

I’m currently ass deep in feels and stress so…stuff.

I’m trying to find us a new place to live and it is so frustrating. If you’re new, I live in Seattle and the housing here is plentiful but expensive. I have some deal breaker things aside from affordability and I found a few places that are perfect but, weren’t good.

One of them is in North Seattle, not far from a spot I lived in before. Now, I like the neighborhood. Pretty, quiet, library, grocery and whatnot close by. HOwever, last time I lived there every morning when I got off the bus after work, someone would watch and wait for me and call the police.

Think about that, this was before cops were shooting Black folks because they are afraid of us and I still had months of terror. One of the times I was stopped by the police who were called, I broke down in tears because I had to go to the bathroom, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. The cop told me to get off the bus somewhere else. I was followed, I had men throw garbage at me from a car while yelling racial epithets. The idea of living there again makes me feel panicky.

BUT, the one place I found has all the things I need. It is in my budget (as in, is about as much as I’m paying now) there are two different buses, it is flat, the store is close by and it has laundry close by and is accessible for my partner. Technically, it’d be great but the idea of living in such a White neighborhood, especially in a nice building in a nice area is terrifying to me.

I know where I want to live. But, in order to do so I’m going to have to add at least 25% to my income to even qualify. Because, that is a thing here these days.

I’ve been on several (six at last count) waitlists for affordable housing the oldest listing is 6 years, the newest is 2. So shit is not great.

The worst part of this for me however is dealing with the classism and racism and knowing how much my anxiety is going to be triggered because I’m trying so hard to take care of my family and everything- shit is hard. I am shit scared I won’t be able to give us a better quality of life and for my partner in particular that’s gonna be a problem.

I’ve mathed shit out and in order to provide the base level of comfort, safety and quality of life I’d like to give my partner I need to make the equivalent of another 900$ per month, or better 7$ more an hour than I make now.

All that said, y’all.

I’m trying.

Things I’ve done to help myself out:

  • Rebudgeted my Patreon money.  I also have some plans to expand my offerings there so I can make more cash.
  • I am on four waitlists for income restricted apartments.
  • Put off buying a new bed/any purchase over 100$.
  • Hustlin

I’m working.

The other thing that’s on my mind is that really when we do move we’re gonna have to essentially start over. We desperately need a new bed, I’ve literally had my mattress and box spring for 18 years and they were not quality to begin with. We need new pots and pans, most of ours were cheap and are on their last legs.

We both need to toss pretty much all of our basic clothing items. Underwear, socks, jeans, bras for me and start over because our shit is so raggedy.

This is where poverty really feels hopeless.

Currently via Patreon I make (I’m lowballing to account for declined cards) about 220$ extra a month. I could try to hustle more freelance writing work though, I’m really terrible at it and make probably about another 250 or so. Most of the regular work I’ve found has been contract based and I won’t rely on that because I’ve been burned.

I’m at the point where I’ve sacrificed a lot. My personal comfort, my personal quality of life, the quality of food I eat, how much I eat, so much and I’m only able to get a tiny bit ahead. And then something (not a huge deal to most) happens and I’m fucked.

I’m questioning my refusal to work the way I did in my 20s. Work and grind and forget writing or pleasure of having a quality of life.

I’m questioning other choices I’ve made like whether or not to go into industries I hate and don’t feel welcome in.

Often at night when I’m trying to go to sleep and my brain hamsters get turnt the fuck up, I find myself analyzing and remembering a lot of things. I think, fuck I spent 75$ on bras four (shit FOUR) years ago, shouldn’t have done that. I spent 15$ on thrifted Danskos in 2014. I bought food I bought the menstrual pads I like rather than the ones that were 3$ less.

I know for me this is mainly an indication of my stress levels. When I’m not so stressed out I don’t do this.

I am not sure how I’m going to make this happen.

I don’t know what to do but, I’m going to do whatever I have to.

Passion planner-Thoughts.

Hello darlings.

Can we talk planners?

Back in the day before smart phones I was a devout user of dollar store calenders and pocket journals like this. Small chubby notebooks like this were my jam (affiliate link back there). I wrote everything in them, chunks of stories, my work schedule, bus times, everything.

This is also how I developed my love of this specific pen. Always purple. Back then, that was my ultimate treat myself thing was one of those pens. My current very favorite pen (that I use daily) are these. Also always in purple.

Now that we live in the future, I’ve mainly been using my google calendar for stuff. I share it with my partner and use it for appointments, budgeting, bills and whatnots but it wasn’t really fulfilling. And not really doing what I needed.

In the last few years, paper planners have been trendy. I’ve seen lots of styles and whatnot. I’ve tried Bullet Journaling. From their site:

Rapid Logging

Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal. Rapid Logging is the solution. Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.

For me, when I tried this system, it didn’t really work with my brain. For me, a big part of this process is slowing my brain works. I think this method would be great for folks who want quick easy and very open planning.

After that I started researching Passion Planners. I read a lot of reviews and watched videos and ultimately treated myself to the UNDATED MONDAY COMPACT TIMELESS BLACK.  Y’all.

First up the quality is very nice. The construction is solid, the paper has a nice feel and color. From their website:

WHAT’S INSIDE

  • Passion RoadMap: Annual exercise that helps you define, and create actions for your goals in 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, and throughout your life.
  • Weekly layouts starting on Monday
  • Annual and monthly overview calendars
  • Monthly reflection questions to keep you focused on your progress
  • 28 additional blank pages
  • 28 additional gridded pages

WEEKLY LAYOUTS

  • Weekly and daily focuses to keep your attention on the most important tasks.
  • Weekly plans from Monday – Sunday, 6 AM – 11 PM. Every day, broken down into 30 minute sections to help you manage your time.
  • “Good Things That Happened” section to keep you focused on the positive.
  • A motivational quote and challenge to inspire positive action.
  • Personal and work to-do lists organized by priority to encourage work-life balance, because very often we forget to take care of ourselves.
  • “Space of Infinite Possibility” where you can take notes, draw, create, write, brainstorm or customize to your needs.

For me this is what I needed. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I am super in love. In love enough to start personalizing it with stickers from artist Jesse Dewyer (the amazing mermaid) and some from the Evil Supply Co.

cover

[image description: image of a black planner with a fat great white mermaid sticker in the lower left, a pink and purple rose sticker and a graveyard dirt sticker on top]

It is A5 size 5.5”x8.5” and fits in my purse very nicely. There is a little pocket on the inside where I have some stickers and extra notes.

Okay, so overall I am very into this.

If part of your planning/journaling is some down/quiet time to spend with yourself I think this system is great. There is enough structure to include work/creative life and space for other stuff. I also get to indulge my love of stickers, I have some other color pens that are gonna be incorporated.

How do I use it?

I do the weekly plans as you can see in the photo below (sorry it is blurry)

inside

[image description: pages in a passion planner with purple writing, and a green 13 sticker]

My handwritng isn’t as arty as you might find if you search the hashtag #pashfam but I’m making it my own.

Lastly, I really appreciate their charity program. For part of the year they do a buy one and they donate one thing that is pretty great.

I will be posting more photos as I get more into it. You can follow me on Insta @weebeasty to see what I do with it.

Overall I’m giving it a 9.5/10 ONLY because I hate the color of the ribbon. Super petty I know but whatevs. Also, if you decide to pick one up, do me a solid and come back here and I can give you a referral. I’ll be saving up to buy another one because I love them.

That’s all y’all.

Do you use planners? Show me yours.

Feelin Myself- Hair n Beauty updates

Oh hay y’all.

As we are ending the trash fire that 2016 has been, I want to end on a few good notes.

Including, stuff that I am super into beauty and hair wise.

Hair first.

I’ve been doing the L.O.C (Leave in, Oil, Cream) method of moisturizing my hair for a while now and wow does it work. It took a few months for me to figure out that my hair once it is well moisturized, only wants to have the full LOC done on it twice a week while I’m protective styling.

Now I am hardcore protective styling. I’m using wigs and I only manipulate my hair to wash it. I’ve decided to protective style until, uh, well whenever I’m done I guess. My hair is healthy enough right now that I’m focusing really heavily on retaining my length.

My current rotation of products is: (affiliate links ahoy)

Liquid-Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture L.O.C. Super Quench Leave-In Spray– not bad. Not quite liquidy enough for my tastes. If you prefer a finer spray this one is good.

Oil- I use half and half of the African Royale Hot Six Hair Oil and JBCO. I added some powdered MSM to it as well.

For my cream (My holy grail is still Oyin Handmade Whipped pudding, but real talk I can’t generally afford it) Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter. I actually bought that on a whim. A few months ago I spent about 50$ on a TON of hair care stock up and this was on sale and a big ass jar. I’ve used some of the jar and it is super moisturizing. It is also kind of heavily perfumed with a powdery scent I don’t think is stellar. The secret is to make sure hair is good and damp or wet before application.

Simple. Easy. My hair is thriving very nicely.

I have also discovered a new type of bonnet to sleep in and I LOVE IT. No irritation, no pressure on my edges. The Magic organic argan oil treated sleep cap.  I dunno if the treatment works or no but, it stays on. I sleep like a demon and used to have to tie other satin bonnets on tightly and that does not work when you get migraines. These are loose and I’ve yet to force once off and no marks on my forehead when I get up. A+.

Now let’s talk my skin.

I had one indulgence on Cyber Monday and I bought the Spin for Perfect Skin brush from Groupon.

spinbrush

I did a TON of research and decided to give it a shot. Y’all……..holy shit I’m in love with it so hard. First of all, it was 80$ off (don’t worry links in a minute) it came with: the machine, a soft brush (lower left corner), an exfoliating brush (right bottom), a body brush, and a pumice stone. I have used all of them and wow.

The soft daily face brush is very soft. This thing spins at a good clip and leaves my skin super clean and smooth. First, I remove my makeup with my Rice, Bright cleansing oil, then I put liquid African Black soap and spin away. I’m careful not to press hard and my skin has already shown some improvement. My dark spots are fading a bit faster, my period break outs are less intense. It actually works better for me than my Clarisonic.

Once a week I use the exfoliating brush with a creamy cleanser. Usually Sunday’s because normally I don’t wear make up on Sunday. Then I follow up with a mask.

Excellence. The exfoliating brush has decreased how many ingrown hairs I get on my chin and is great overall.

The body brush…….zomfg. My skin is very dry and peely in the winter. I have to have good exfoliation a few times a week and this gets the job done. After I exfoliate with a moisturizing body wash, after I slather on my moisturizers. My booty is smooth and the dry patch I have is already starting to shrink.

NOW. If you don’t already use groupon please consider using my referral link to sign up. You can find the brush here. It didn’t come with a fancy case which is fine. I sanitize my brush heads after use and it goes on a shelf. Honestly, it was a great investment and I’d pay full price for it.

Winter is always tough on my self image. It’s taken me all these years to figure out how to dress and stay warm, to have a nice coat, to have my skin in check. I’ve decided in 2017 in order to continue my glow up, I’m gonna change up my skin care a little bit. Just a few minor tweaks.

Coming up soon I’ll do a post and show y’all my little wig collection. Also, I’ll show y’all how I braid under my wings. It’s not the fleekiest method but I can’t cornrow and it works.

After new year, look for some thoughts on turning 40, hopefully some thoughts about an adventure in perfumery and some angst about underwear.

 

Real Talk on my Mind.

It is coming to that time of year when I need to restock a bunch of stuff, such as but not limited to:

  • Drawers for the household
  • Socks for the household
  • 1/2 pairs of pants. Not leggings but other pants.
  • Night time moisturizer.
  • Skin serum (I like vit c/hyaluranic acid ones, we’ll talk about that later)
  • Mascara
  • Pillows for self and partner
  • Underpants for partner
  • Tights
  • Various website costs

Stuff I need but not for survival:

  • New mid weight coat, preferably hooded, rain resistent and not wool. Longer than booty length.
  • Basic wardrobe shit, tees, cardigans, tanks.
  • Few more multi season dresses.
  • Three bras, two regular one sports so I can get my fitness on without pulling a titty.
  • More leggings, printed ones.
  • ONe or two pairs of platform shoes.

Stuff that I’m just going to HAVE to get probably sooner than later:

  • New higher end phone. I have a low end smart phone that isn’t very old but is on the verge of death.
  • A tablet for writing on the go.
  • Some stuff with my teeth is gonna be about 1K in total.
  • etc

Currently between my Amazon affiliate, Patreon and  bit of other stuff I’ve got our regular stuff pretty well covered, including Uniballer’s medication, but I haven’t been able to get traction to feel okay spending on the other necessary stuff.

I made an error in calculating and had myself a good panic attack the other day.

Then I redid it and had one of those woke poor folks moments where I realized such a relatively small amount could set us ahead enough to live comfortably, I just sort of had to shake my head.

I went a step further and added up a slightly larger amount and y’all, being a poor person and trying to better yourself with two pennies when you need a dollar is such a terrible thing. I’m trying really hard not to be discouraged. I already feel fairly ground down, worn out. I’m still doing my arty shit, but, it feels terrible.

Yes, I could try a fundraiser but, those make me feel kinda terrible. I will likely reopen my teespring shop and try some other stuff.

There’s no conclusion here, just some real shit.

Being poor is terrible and so stessful.

If you are having this problem right now, I feel you. And I see you. We’ll make it.

When Poor Kid Feels Do Me Right

These are from my Twitter stream yesterday-

I put these on storify for easy reading.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of financial anxiety. I can’t say that it’s reasonable levels of anxiety, but to be honest, this is pretty much the last frontier in terms of things that just Fuck Me Up.
For some extra background, I’ll talk about some of where this particular trauma response comes from.
I’m sure we’ve all heard these supposed ways that we poor folks can save 1000$ dollars a year or whatever shit. These ideas are based on the premise that if we just stop spending “frivolously” we’d have savings.
Even way back when in the mid90s when yours truly was a baby adult trying to figure shit out, I was told that sort of thing. Back then I think the highest paying job I had was about 6.25$ an hour.
Right and I bought it. Even back then. I’d learned to budget in school and my budgets typically were basics, rent first, no cell phone back then so everything after rent (even then I had to pay gentrification prices which is a whole other thing) took up about 75$ of my checks. I spent most of the rest of my checks on things like bus passes, feeding myself (usually the dollar menu at Wendy’s. I could eat to stay alive for 2$ a day it wasn’t okay), and the few vices I had.
At that time my main vices were smoking, appetite suppressant pills (for the energy and to save money on food, I vividly recall mathing that out and finding that it was cheaper to do that rather than eat, also a whole other post) and I really loved to do one day every three weeks or so where I splurged. Usually I’d take five dollars, get a very good coffee and go prowl my favorite used book store for hours until I found the perfect book for under 1.50.
Back then I was deeply committed to trying to financially better myself. I took odd jobs, I stripped under the radar, I worked some other not really above board jobs. What I didn’t understand back then was that even when I was doing stuff under the table, normally it did not work out in my favor. For some jobs, the taxes were enough to pretty much negate my ability to save, etc.
Even then I had the low key understanding of how problematic a lot of these savings schemes are. I didn’t have the language, but I got it.
Most of the ideas and plans for savings I see assume a LOT of things such as but not limited to:
  • You have X amount of dollars you spend every day on “frivolities”
  • You drive.
  • You can afford in the most technical sense (as in having 2.5-3 times your rent in income) to live where you do.

Now a lot of the language around these things is very paternalistic and designed to induce guilt if you as a poor person ever treat yourself to “frivololities”

All of us poor folks have heard it. I got it a lot while I was writing for XOJane because obviously I can’t actually be poor if I ever have a nice thing (a Clarisonic), I waste money because I like makeup, I waste money because sometimes I want a beer or a slurpee, I’m terrible because I “encouraged” poor folks buy themselves things if they want to.

I bring this up because I believed it. Up through my early 30s, I still in my heart believed that my poverty was because I was too ignorant to make good choices, that I was somehow morally inferior to other people. I internalized the things I was taught from childhood up, that mingled together to fuck up my self esteem. It caused me to really spend a lot of time feeling like a shit person because I couldn’t afford things, I couldn’t “stick” to a savings plan, I couldn’t pull myself up by my bootstraps out of poverty.

All of this created a cycle of terror, self hatred, shame and panic that became really vicious. I devalued a lot of the poor folks skills I have/had. My ducks ass tight budgets, my ability to even pre-internet access find ALL them deals, my ability to barter, ways I learned to live a better quality of life while being in poverty. It wasn’t good enough.

Looking back over the years, I’ve endured some financial fuckery. Being stolen from, having a landlord go SUPER mega slumlord and rook me out of about 5K, being rooked out of 3-4.5K in shitty dental work. Things that were huge and ruined my entire life.

Fast forward to right now.

I have done a lot of work on this. I have spent so much time reteaching myself and figuring out what I actually believe.

Thus lately I’ve been struggling. I have a deep desire to improve the quality of the life my partner and I are living. We need some stuff and haven’t been able to afford all of it and it sent me into a bit of a shame spiral.SO I was doing that thing, the obsessive balance checking, the self loathing because there was personal self-care stuff I needed, shame because I also need some other stuff like pants and shoes.

But the silver lining is that after my obsessive checking and budgeting, I realized today that we’re 100% on target this month and last month. There has been a dip in my side hustle income through not much fault of my own, but, damn it we’re doing the damn thing.

I am able to plan for my partner’s birthday, we are eating good, satisfying food, I got partner new pants and supplied with his preferred medications.

AND today I realized that I have a little bit of enough mad money to get a new pair of walking shoes and maybe some facial masks.

I realized today that holy fucking shit I am DOING THE DAMN THING. No, I can’t afford to buy name brand shoes, I can’t afford to move  and I’m still living in poverty, but I am not living in miserable poverty.

There’s less coming in but life is good.

That is huge.

Okay, if you struggle with this sort of thing, y’all- it can get better. If I can learn to not abuse myself and let myself live a better quality of life because I fucking deserve it, not because I’ve “earned” it..you can too.

I leave y’all with this.

didthething

Image is a gold star with the text “Congratulations” on top and on bottom “you did the thing”

I love y’all. The next post I’m gonna have some natural hair struggle bus updates, soon another wig review and I’ll give some beginner hair care tips I wish someone had given me.

 

 

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