Cleanse #1

It’s my first monthly social media cleanse. I un-installed all of my social media apps last night, and logged out on my home and work computers. I honestly thought it would be easier. I’m surprised at how attached I am to my phone. I don’t feel like I need it, but it’s definitely become a habit to pick up my phone and open an app for every free second I have. When I’m waiting on hold at work, my phone is in my hand, when I’m in line at the store, my phone is in my hand. I’ve taken every spare moment I’m not doing anything to obsess over the lives of other people.

Once I noticed that I was picking up my phone during these times, but had no apps to click on, I wondered how much I’ve missed in those small passing moments. I’m very good about not being on my phone when I’m out with friends, or eating at a restaurant with Alpha, but what about the times I’m by myself? Why have human interactions become so hard for people? Why do I find it so awkward to be out in public without my nose in my phone? I’m sad that I may have missed a couple kissing on a bench, a kid walking his dog, or father holding his newborn baby girl with a smile on his face. Before smart phones, I was super observant of people in real life, now I’m only focused on a tiny screen, “liking” pixilated photos of my friends neighbors cousins uncles dog (exaggerating, but you know what I mean).

I’m only on day 1, and I’ve already realized all of this. I’m hoping by the end of my first cleanse, I won’t be reaching for my phone at all times anymore, and enjoying the what’s going on in the real world more. When I’m sitting in the car with Alpha, I want to be present, and starting conversations with him. When I’m sitting at my friends house, I want to give her my undivided attention, even if we aren’t doing anything. I want to be a part of the real world. I can’t wait to go home and just read a book. I may post more experiences and realizations tomorrow if I have anything interesting to share.

Note: I didn’t log onto social media to post this. I just posted it directly from my blog. I didn’t cheat, pinky swear 🙂


Photo by @alexandrajane21 

Connect

I can’t believe 2017 is less than 2 weeks away. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish next year. I have a lot of things in mind, and am creating a game plan to reach goals. There are a lot of important changes 2017 will bring me (I hope), and one main thing I want to focus on is connecting. I want to find a deeper connection with every aspect of my life. Relationships, nature, hobbies, you name it.

I’ve been actively thinking about how I can connect better. I came up with an amazing plan that I hope I can stick with, and maybe it’s something you’ll want to try out as well. As much as I love social media, I’ve realized that the connections we make through our apps and websites aren’t always genuine or healthy.

I have had people tell me how jealous they are of my life based on what they see on social media. I noticed that I was sharing the best aspects of my life (like most people do), and I felt bad that people think I have all of my shit together. Trust me, I don’t. I’m generally pretty lazy, and I watch Netflix a lot. The worst part though, is that I use social media to cure boredom. When I’m at work, and have nothing to do I’m on Facebook. When I’m at home watching t.v. or lying in bed, I’m on Instagram or Snapchat. I’m always checking my phone for notifications.

So, my main goal in 2017, which will help me accomplish other goals, is to uninstall all of my social media apps at the beginning of every month for 3-7 days. I will no longer use my phone or social media because I’m bored. I hope it gets easier over time, and I’ll start doing it more than once a month. Here is a list of things I’m wanting to do while I take my monthly breaks from social media.

 

  • Spend more quality time with family and friends
    • This includes taking my nieces/nephews out on dates, having craft nights with friends, and going on plenty of walks, hikes, and new places with all of my loved ones.
  • Monthly date night with Alpha
    • Come up with new date ideas together, and always take time out of our schedules to make it happen.
  • Interact more with my wolf cubs.
    • Take my dogs on more walks, play with them more, spend individual time with them at the dog park, and share (dog friendly) meals with them. Also, grooming them more often cause they are nasty.
  • Read
    • There was a short time a couple years back that I was reading every day. I absolutely love reading, but I never pick up any books, even if I buy them. So, book recommendations please?
  • Exercise
    • I started back a the gym with Alpha yesterday. We’re both determined to get into shape and be sexy! I want to try new workout routines, work on flexibility, and become a yogi.
  • Improve with my photography and editing
    • Study camera functions, Lightroom, learn how to use Photoshop, and learn how to work lighting better. I want to create some beautiful art.
  • Learn new things
    • I know, vague right? Really though, I want to learn more about astronomy, botany, agriculture, biology, and oh so many things.
  • Get crafty
    • I suck at crafts. They never turn out how I want them to. I’m going to master crafts this year! I also want to get into candle making if anyone wants to do that with me
  • Cooking
    • I’m going to learn so many new recipes! Since I’m trying to stay away from dairy, I need to learn how to cook vegan meals that I can add chicken to when I need some protein. I also want to learn how to bake desserts and bread from scratch. So there’s a chance you’ll get some cookies at your door this year.
  • Video diary
    • I’ve been wanting to create a video diary of my adventures with family and friends. I never saw many photos or videos of my mom growing up, or with her friends. I really want to capture all of those moments through video as well as photos.
  • New hobbies
    • Through all of this, I really want to find new hobbies. Whether it’s exercise, a specific craft, or videography. I want to start new hobbies with friends so we can do them together.
  • Talk on the phone
    • Talking on the phone instead of texting all the time. I want to hear the voices of my friends, and have conversations. I want to know how their kids are doing, or what they ate that day.
  • Spend time in nature
    • I’m very fortunate to live in a state where the mountains are a 5 minute drive away, and there’s a park in every direction. I want to spend time growing a garden, reading in the park, and just sitting by the river for no other reason than to hear the sounds of everything around me.

 

There are many more things I could add to my list, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Starting January 2nd, I will take time off of social media and try something different to entertain myself. I will also try to be more genuine on my social media. I don’t want people thinking I’m a perfect person with a perfect life. I’m not, just in case you were wondering 🙂 This will be my last post before Christmas, so I hope you have the happiest of Holiday’s! Stay warm!

One Body, One Mind, One Life

Breathe…

2016 has been a hell of a year. I honestly believe it has been the best year of my life, for multiple reasons. All of these reasons have come down to one thing: Taking care of myself.

I still have quite a long way to go, but I’ve learned how important it is to take care of yourself. I’m not only talking about diet, exercise, and appearance. I’m talking about mental health and wellness as well.

First let’s talk about hair. I know this may be a small, unimportant thing to most people, but to me it’s a big deal. I’ve struggled with my hair for 2 years, after bleaching it to the point where it was falling out and breaking off. I just really wanted pink hair. Well, it got so bad that I had to chop it off 4 different times until all of the dead hair was gone. The last time I chopped my hair was in March. In April, I stopped using straighteners and curling irons. The only heat I was putting on my hair was minimal blow drying. I also started using oils, and getting bi-monthly deep conditions. My hair has grown, and I haven’t seen a single split end since. I straightened my hair for the first time since yesterday, and I was shocked at how healthy and soft my hair was. I’ll still stay away from styling tools until my hair is suuuuper long.

Okay, let’s get onto the more serious stuff. I’ve suspected that I have thyroid problems since I was 16, but every test came back  negative. Finally, I had enough, found a new Dr. and discovered I have hypothyroidism. A few days before I got my results, I stopped eating beef thanks to a bad experience from a restaurant. My Dr. told me my cholesterol was high (WTF I’m only 24!), so I started eating better, and not eating beef was obviously a good choice. I started cutting out other meats too, specifically pork and processed meats. Because I’m anemic (I know, what else could possibly be wrong with me), I had to be very careful with my diet, but I’ve been able to keep enough iron in my body apparently, because I feel fine!

This summer, as you know if you’ve read my blog, my anxiety started getting unbearable. I had held off getting medicated for 2.5 years because my last medication was awful. I was trying to “medicate” myself in other ways. One of those ways was getting rid of toxic relationships. In June/July I ended some relationships (some required ghosting, oops) that just weren’t good for me. I was feeling constant anxiety and self worth issues because of these relationships, and it just wasn’t good for my mental  health. If you know me, I’m a huge advocate for getting rid of toxic people. I do the best I can to keep relationships working as long as possible, and give people the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it’s just not worth your emotional health.

Fast forward to October. I had literally tried everything I could think of to help my anxiety. Exercise, meditation, getting out of the house more, etc. Nothing worked and it was only getting worse. I finally decided that I needed medication. I voiced my concerns to my Dr. about my previous medication, and he prescribed me something he thought would be perfect for me, and it was. Out of all the things I’ve done to take care of myself this year, getting medicated was by far the best decision I’ve made. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get help with your mental disorders. They’re too difficult to deal with alone.

Some things I’ve been doing more recently have really changed the game. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve been eating much much better.  Most of my meals consist of fresh fruit and veggies. I very rarely eat boxed dinners, pre-made dinners, or fast food, and when I do I always go for the healthier option. Obviously I’ve splurged (I couldn’t say no to that pizza), but I’ve been noticing a huge difference in my body. Not only do I look better, but I feel so much better. I have more energy in general, which means I have more energy to actually cook good meals and keep my house tidy! One of the best parts? My skin has cleared up so much. I’ve struggled with acne most of my life, so this was a huge wake up call for me. I already knew I had a milk allergy, cutting out dairy 99% for one week has been amazing! I also haven’t worn a bra in almost 2 weeks, and my boobs feel great…but you probably don’t really need to know those details.

I’m really excited for what 2017 has to bring. I’m going to try really hard to keep up with what I’m doing, as well as add some other steps to better health. Exercise is one thing I always give up on. I really need to get my butt into gear and do a better job with that. Another goal I have is to drink more water. I drink a decent amount, but not nearly as much as I should be drinking. The Holiday’s are always hard when it comes to dieting, but I think I’m determined enough to say no to most things (except cheesy potatoes, because let’s be real). That being said, I will be giving any Christmas candy away, so let me know if you want dibs!

I really hope that you all take care of yourselves. I know it’s hard in the beginning to get motivated, but once you do it is so worth it. There is always something to work on. We only have one body, one mind, and one life. I’m very grateful I realized that this year and have been working toward a new, happier, healthier me. If anyone needs help getting healthy, I’m always here to talk! I’m no expert, but I do love helping out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you need help bettering yourself!

Why I Left The Mormon Church

Don’t waste this life worrying about the next.


I’ve been struggling to write this post for a while. Every time I convince myself to be completely open, I shut down and can’t do it. I’ve kept a lot of these things hidden to protect my family from having to know this secret I’ve kept for 17 years, but I just need to let it be. If they see this post, it is what it is. Family, if you do read this, just know I’m okay. I don’t let these things get to me anymore. I don’t really want to talk about it, because I don’t need to. Bringing it up will just trigger me, and none of us need that.

So,  here’s my story about leaving the Mormon church. It all started when I was 8 years old. Just a few short hours after being baptized, I was in the basement of my home being sexually abused by a family member. Who that family member was isn’t important, because he is 6 feet under (kind of a dead giveaway). At the time, I couldn’t really process what happened. It didn’t feel right, but I didn’t understand what had just happened.

Fast forward to my 8th grade health class, where we were learning about sexual assault, abuse, rape, etc. Right then and there it had all clicked. The memories of what had happened all came back, and I instantly shut down. Even then I didn’t know what to call it. He didn’t rape me, or touch me inappropriately, so was it really molestation? Was him forcing me to touch him inappropriately considered sexual abuse? He left a few small bruises on my wrist from grabbing me so tightly, so I guess that could be considered abuse? I asked these questions frequently growing up. All I knew is what he did was wrong, and it made me feel dirty.

This was the time in my life when I really started questioning the church. Why would God let an 8 year old girl who was just baptized and “clean”, experience such trauma? I was never “pure”. How was I supposed to repent for something I had no control over? 12 year old girls should not be worrying about these things. All I wanted was to take my childhood back and start over. I shouldn’t have ever had to be an adult under these circumstances. And I never should have had to hide what happened, but I did out of fear.

As the years passed, I did my best to put that behind me. After questioning the church for so long, at age 13 I officially didn’t believe in it. I tried really really hard to believe in it, but I just couldn’t. I went to church, tried to believe in my “testimony” that I had practiced in my head over and over again because it never “just came to me”, and I made friends with people who any Mormon girl would be friends with. Between the ages of 14 and 16 I was either faking it, or hating myself for not believing what I was taught my whole life was true. I didn’t choose my religion, I was born into it.

This was a very dark period of my life. I was going through a lot at home, school was torture, and church was emotionally stressing. My parents were going through a divorce (which I was very happy about), and my emotionally abusive bishop was making me feel like I was the worst teenager to set foot in his office. I was constantly being told I was going down the wrong path (even though I was going to church every Sunday, and all youth activities), and had church members “watching me” under the bishops orders. I was being pinned as this troubled child with separated parents, but I was just trying to cope with my life.

I continued to go to church to make family members happy, but I was dying inside. I constantly felt like people were staring at me, judging me, and looking down at me. I already didn’t believe in the teachings, but feeling inferior to everyone around me pushed me over the edge. At 17, I was done. I couldn’t let any person or any religion control my life anymore. I went to church every so often with my head down, and tuned everything out. I remember my last day at church. Leaving that building was one of the best feelings in the world.

Since then, I’ve only stepped foot in any church one time. I’ve stopped believing in God(s), and discovered Atheism (We’ll save all of that for another post). I’ve never been happier identifying as something. I live my life to the fullest, and created my new life motto “Don’t waste this life worrying about the next”.

 Before I end this post, I just wanted to say that I have nothing against Mormons in general (as long as they’re good people of course). I have Mormon family members, friends, and co workers that I love dearly. I often have to tolerate their preaching, but I respect them anyway. You are free to believe whatever you’d like, but you should also be open minded about other’s beliefs. There are so many beautiful people in this world regardless of their views, and I would have never discovered that if I hadn’t left the church. Thank you to everyone who has accepted me no matter what, and to the people who have opened my eyes to all the amazing things in the world.

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

The election has been hard on me, just like it has many others. From someone who has been sexually abused, is married to a man with brown skin, who has friends and family members of the LGBTQ community, I am very heartbroken.

There is a lot of fear and anger happening right now. We have every right to be scared and angry. However, I am very disappointed in the way we are handling this. I’m seeing a lot of hate. I’m seeing protesters being violent, saying hateful things, and destroying property. I am seeing bullying from both sides on social medial all day long. I am seeing friends and family members push each other away, instead of trying to love and understand one another.

We are turning into what we hate. I know that Trump and many of his supporters have done the same to us, but we need to do better than that. We need to protest peacefully. Instead of saying “Fuck Trump”, we should saying “Love Trumps Hate” and show support for the people effected by this. We should be hugging each other, laughing with each other, and unifying. Dragging people out of their cars to beat them, starting fires in the streets, and shitting on Trump posters (yes this actually happened) is not going to help anything.

We need to realize that WE are the change. WE are the ones that need to teach our children love and compassion, plant trees, fight for equality. Maybe I’m just a crazy liberal hippie, but I have seen the strength that has come out of love. Please use your anger and sadness to do something good. Put that energy into changing the world. These next four years may be very difficult, but remember that we can overcome this. We can overcome anything if we are spreading love and compassion.

Trump supports and Trump protesters, hug each other. Let each other know that you care for one another. We already have too much hate in this world. Before we can change the system, we need to change the way we feel about each other. Stop looking at race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Look at the person behind that, and do your best to understand them.

I want to end this by saying that I love each and every one of you. You’re all so different, and that’s what makes you amazing. If I could hug and share a smile with every single person on this planet, I would. But since I can’t, please accept my virtual love 🙂

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Artist Unknown

Renewal

I love Autumn! It is my absolute favorite time of year. The vibrant colors, crunching leaves beneath my boot filled feet, the smell of crispy apples, and the satisfying taste of everything pumpkin. These are all things I live for. But the main reason I love Autumn? Death. Okay, I know that sounds creepy, but don’t run away just yet.

Once a year, we are surrounded by death. Trees, grass, flowers…all die. The good thing about nature is that the things that die will come back to life. This is also true for humans. We all go through things that make us die a little, but we push through it and find new life. A lot of us go through some hard times during this time of year. With the cold weather, and the Holiday’s there seems to be a sort of sadness. The skies are darker, we long to spend time with people we’ve lost, and the bitter cold often feels like hopelessness.

Right now, I’m experiencing this new life. I died a little recently. I fell apart and lost my worth. I stopped doing the things I loved because they became emotionally overwhelming. But it’s exactly what I needed. Because I died, I now feel more alive than I have in the longest time. My dreams have become goals, and I’ve been able to reevaluate why I love the things that I love. My creativity is all coming back to me, and I feel the need to strengthen my relationships. My worth and purpose are all starting to take shape again. This is renewal.

The year will soon be over. I encourage everyone to renew themselves. Reflect on your life and find the things that need improvement. Get rid of those toxic relationships, spend more time alone to get to know yourself better, find or rediscover a hobby. You should get that hair cut you’ve been thinking about, add some crystals to your collection, or revamp your wardrobe. There are so many small things you can do to bring some renewal into your life.

I Can Breathe

Just over a week ago, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I made an appointment with my Doctor to be put on anxiety medication. It’s been 3.5 years since I’ve been medicated, and I absolutely hated it. I didn’t feel like myself. I had my appointment and shared concerns with my Doctor about how my last medication (Zoloft), made me feel like an emotionless robot. He suggested that I try Lexapro, because he hasn’t seen any serious side effects. He told me that it will take about a month for my body to get used to the medication, and until then I may experience some side effects that will go away over the course of that month.

I’m starting week two of the medication, and week one was hell. I was keeping a daily journal about my side effects, and how I was handling each day, but I felt it was repetitive. The first few days of the medication I hardly slept, and had to rely on sleeping pills to get any rest. That made me groggy during the day, and mixed with Lexapro my days were hard to get through. I’ve also been very depressed. I know that’s normal when starting a new anxiety medication, but it’s really making it hard to function normally.

I don’t have much of an appetite, and have already lost weight. Sometimes I don’t even realize I haven’t eaten, and have often been forcing myself to eat. Even when I do get hungry, nothing sounds good. My stomach is constantly upset, and I have nausea half the time. Sometimes I’m so focused that I don’t even blink. I’ve been getting muscle aches, especially in my legs and lower back. I get loopy and dizzy, and sometimes my vision is blurry. I feel like I have every side effect possible right now.

However, with all these bad side effects, I’ve also noticed a difference with my anxiety. I can breathe. I don’t remember the last time I was able to breathe normally. The tightness in my chest has become a rarity. And yesterday, for a short while, I felt complete peace. When I noticed my mind was silent, I couldn’t stop smiling. It didn’t last long, but it felt so good I almost cried. I’m very hopeful that this will all be worth it.

I’m so grateful for Alpha. He’s been so patient and kind during my journey. He got me out of the house yesterday, and took me to one of my favorite places. I really need the fresh air, red rock, and fallen leaves on dirt trails. He took some photos of me since I’ve been feeling too down to model or do any photography. Being in nature with him makes everything better.