Uncategorized

Quarter Life Crisis Chronicles: Woman on woman gender stereotyping.

Now that I’m about 6 years into post-college life, I’ve gained a few life experiences out in the “working world.” (I don’t like the expression “the real world.” It’s just something unhappy, narrow-minded people say to feel better about their life decisions.) I’ve had to adjust my expectations of decent human behavior many times. And I’m still adjusting those expectations. Well, just learning not to expect too much from people.

So when I found this BuzzFeed video, “This is what it would be like if Men were Treated like Women in the Workplace,” I began to reflect on my own workplace experiences with sexism and stereotyping. I won’t get into the wage gap right now. And, yes, I know many Southern women are taught from a young age that being agreeable and passive are attractive traits. (Traits which will get you ignored, run over, and undervalued in a not-so-progressive workplace.)

But I’m not going to talk about those issues this time. I’m going to talk about the one thing that continues to frustrate the shit out of me–above all of the other things that frustrate the shit out of me when it comes to spending 40-50 hours a week with almost complete strangers in a place that smells like old chairs and spilled coffee.

How women treat each other at work.   

I’ll just get right to it.

Ladies, if you want sexism and stereotyping in the workplace to go away, stop objectifying your female coworkers.

If you find yourself about to say any variation of the comments below, tell yourself to shut the fuck up.


 

“Wow, you actually put on make-up today. You do care!”

“That shirt looks good on you. I didn’t realize you liked colorful clothes.”

“You’re so skinny. Why should you worry about what you’re eating?”

“You’re so negative all the time. That puts people off. Just be positive.”

“Oh, you gained weight? I guess you know how it feels now!”

“They just expect too much of you. I mean, that’s really not your job either.”


 

Any variation of the above. Stop. And shut the fuck up.

In any or all of those sentences, you will have devalued the female human being you are speaking to at such a level that you would be less insulting if you said, “I really think you’re inferior and a waste of space as a person.”

When you say something like that to anyone, not just a female, what you are really saying is that to you that person is nothing more than an object to criticize. In your view, that person does not have thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, talents or even a valid reason to make decisions for their own self.

That is indecent human behavior.

And when one female says it to another, it opens the door for a male to objectify and criticize a female. You want equality of the sexes, right? Well, there you have it.

Stop being assholes to each other.

And you know, I may come off as a bit self-righteous. I’m not perfect. Trust me, I have names and words for the women or men who have pissed me off at any job. That’s why I’m saying this. I spent a little time reflecting today, and I realized I contribute to it too. I hold on to anger and insult and become bitter too. But being angry doesn’t change the person who I feel wronged me. So I just try to let it go.

Just let it go. And stop being assholes to each other.

 

Standard
Anxiety, Uncategorized

Quarter Life Crisis Chronicles: Introduction

It was a slow day at work last Friday morning. I finished the small pile of paperwork leftover from Thursday afternoon. I tried stretching out the processing time a little. Read a few pages, write a few notes, make a personal phone call to my bank to make sure my debit card number wasn’t stolen online Wednesday. I was still done before 11am.

And then, as I was browsing my employer’s Facebook page (no, I really was) an idea struck me. When I was looking at my own Facebook page earlier (see!), a psychology article came up in my newsfeed. Something about how many twenty-somethings feel lost and anxious, mixed in with a bit of excitement, as they enter responsible-official adulthood for the first time. The author of the article used the term, “Quarter Life Crisis.” As I read this article, I began to identify with the symptoms. Bouts of depression, occasional feelings of misplaced confidence in my career choices so far, wondering where my real personality went and how I became so angry and boring.  I think it’s pretty official that I’m in my Quarter Life Crisis. A few years late, apparently. <Pours a very full glass of wine>

And then I realized, I should write about it. I’ve gotten through everything else in life by writing about it. And what better place to write about it than my personal blog? At most 20 people will be forced to see a headline, and at least 5 people will read what I write. The chances of someone actually reading beyond the first paragraph are about even with the chances of me clearing a six figure salary by 30. I’ll take those odds!

So here’s where, if you’ve read this far, I’ll make my pitch to get you to read more of my Chronicles posts later. The thing is, what I write will be real. The truth is, the real me is sarcasm, self-loathing, cynicism, and a whole lot of love for cats and kind people all wrapped up in one 5 foot 3 inch package. I can do positivity and Vegan Spring Rolls and love yourself. But now I just want to laugh. Laugh at everything that makes me feel shitty and like a robot and like I’ve lost my life’s purpose. Because I have. I’m a bit lost at the moment. So now you get to be lost with me. And laugh at all the shitty shit with me. Ok, let’s just do this.

I have no idea what I’m doing.🙂

 

 

Standard
Clock-pointers-license-free-CC0-980x649
Uncategorized

Time doesn’t care if you want to battle with it.

This morning, as I sat down to have my peaceful Sunday morning coffee and my favorite grain-free muffins, I started thinking about all the things I want to get done today.

“I haven’t been to the grocery store in two weeks.”

“I need to make a list first.”

“I need to decide which one of those meal plans I liked.”

“We need to clean the apartment today. I really don’t like how grungy the bathtub feels on my feet from my body wash.”

“I forgot to pick up my prescription yesterday. Well, that can probably wait.”

“I need to exercise today since I skipped yesterday.”

“I wonder what time we’re going to dinner with my parents tonight.”

“I need to do laundry too.”

It keeps going. There’s no point in listing all of it. It’s 11am as I write this, and I haven’t accomplished any of that.

Instead, I stopped myself before I got discouraged and overwhelmed and I thought, “I always feel like I’m battling time. What do I really do in a day? Why do I feel like I never have enough time?”

So, I made a list of what I want to do on a typical weekday, and narrowed it down to what I actually do. Then and I estimated how much time I spent doing each task.

What I WANT to do: 

  • 8 hours to sleep
  • 40 minutes in the morning to prep breakfast, clean the litter box, feed Medea, change her water, collect and set out the trash, do dishes and put them away and drink coffee
  • 30 minutes of exercise
  • 30 minutes to shower and dress before work
  • 40 minutes of commuting (20 minutes each way)
  • 8 hours of work
  • 1 hour of time to myself for lunch
  • 1 hour to cook dinner
  • 1 hour to eat dinner with my boyfriend
  • 1 hour to talk or watch TV with my boyfriend
  • 30 minutes to clean dishes after dinner and put away leftovers
  • 20 minutes to pack lunch for the next day
  • 30 minutes of playtime with Medea
  • 30 minutes to practice coding and web design
  • 30 minutes to write, blog, draw, or read
  • 1 hour to shower, brush my teeth, do my nightly grooming, pick up around the apartment and get my belongings ready for the next day, relax and talk before we go to sleep.

What I ACTUALLY get done:

  • 6-8 hours to sleep
  • 40 minutes in the morning to prep breakfast, clean the litter box, feed Medea, change her water, collect and set out the trash, do dishes and put them away and drink coffee
  • 30 minutes of exercise
  • 30 minutes to shower and dress before work
  • 40 minutes of commuting (20 minutes each way)
  • 8 hours of work
  • 20-30 minutes of eating while working through lunch
  • 1-2 hours to cook dinner
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour to eat dinner with my boyfriend
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour to talk or watch TV with my boyfriend
  • 30 minutes to clean dishes after dinner and put away leftovers
  • 20 minutes to pack lunch for the next day
  • 1 hour to shower, brush my teeth, do my nightly grooming, pick up around the apartment and get my belongings ready for the next day, relax and talk before we go to sleep.

After adding up the time on each list, I found that I spend most of my time sleeping, working, and doing housework (dishes, cooking, cleaning, tending to the cat, or preparing food/my belongings for the next day). That’s 20-23 hours on all these activities. 

Dear god. No wonder I’m tired all of the time and feel like a robot. I spend more time each week scooping up my cat’s poop than I do writing. I have no earthly idea why it takes me 20 minutes to pack lunch. And clearly I need to get one of those sifting litter boxes.

Instead of throwing myself a pity party, I’m going to be constructive.

I can’t change that I need to work to pay bills. But I can change that I do something I enjoy in those 8 hours a day. I’ve been trying to teach myself coding and web design in my free time on the nights and weekends. Clearly, I’m not getting much practice done. And I’ve been thinking how fun it’s going to be when I can build websites and see the things I create out in the world. That is never going to happen if I don’t change how I spend my time.

I can’t change that dishes get dirty when we eat, but I can learn to delegate the workload. And use the damn dishwasher!

I can’t change that we have to cook to eat, but I can choose to spend my time making meal plans, and asking for help with cooking and grocery shopping.

So how are you spending your time? Do you feel like you never have enough? If you start feeling overwhelmed, sit down and make one of these lists. You’ll see what you’re really doing each day. You’ll get to see what you’ve made important. And what’s really not that important to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Springroll_salad
Uncategorized

Vegan Spring Roll Salad: Love yourself and your eat your greens.

Man, it has been a long time since my last post.

My life since the end of January 2016 has been about learning new things and reviving some old things. Trying new recipes, teaching myself a new, more positive inner dialogue, and bringing back my former happy, healthy self.

One morning sometime in November last year, I was standing at the door of my bedroom early on a weekday morning. I had finally gotten out of bed after snoozing for ten minutes. I had my hand on the light switch, telling myself I just wanted to leave the light off and get back in bed. What was the point in getting up? I hated myself when I looked in the mirror. I hated going to work. I was annoyed because I knew I would need to cram chores, packing lunch and breakfast, and taking care of the cat into the 20 minutes left until I had to exercise. I was already running late.

And then, after a year and a half of self-help notecards, therapy, fighting with my boyfriend, cat love, and blogging, I decided I wanted my life back. I didn’t want to be angry anymore. The true thing that sparked that decision — I finally thought I was worth being happy. I finally valued myself and my life enough to realize I deserved to make it a good one.

I don’t know where it came from, it just happened that morning. I stopped caring what other people said I should do with my life. I stopped judging myself for not having my career, my finances, my relationships figured out. I just wanted to be happy again.

So, here I am, February 2016, with a delicious salad recipe to share with you. And with a list of accomplishments that include holding a headstand unsupported for the first time, being able to edit HTML and CSS code, and being able to say I love myself and want to be happy.

Since you’ve gotten this far, here’s the salad recipe you’ve been waiting for:

Vegan Spring Roll Salad

(Inspired by a lack of rice paper and Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls | Cheap Clean Eats on Blogilates.com)

Salad Ingredients:

  • Leaf lettuce
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Shredded carrots
  • Chopped purple cabbage
  • Julienned cucumber

Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons of garlic powder and black pepper

Tofu Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce

Directions:

Start chopping veggies! Start with 2 cups of each veggie prepped the way you want and mix what you’ve chopped together in a mixing bowl. If you want more, chop another cup.

If you’re a slow chopper like me, stop a few minutes in and switch to slicing your tofu. Slice each piece about the size of wedge fries. So, 2 inches long and about 1 inch wide. Put the sliced tofu in a container with your soy sauce to marinate. Take the tofu out after a few minutes. (Seriously, probably 5 minutes max. Or it will soak up too much soy sauce.)

Finish chopping your veggies and throw them in a big mixing bowl. Give them a mix and add more veggies if you’d like.

Put the tofu on a heated pan with some oil. (I like grapeseed oil. It has a high smoke point and mild flavor.) Sear them on each side for about 5 minutes. When they have a little crisp to the outside, they’re done. Set them aside on your cutting board.

It’s time to dress up your veggies! Chop the lime in two halves and squeeze those halves over the whole salad. Then season it with garlic powder and black pepper. Drizzle the Hoisin sauce over the top.

Add a few blocks of tofu to your bowl and top with your salad. Or chop the tofu into cubes and put it on top of the salad. And enjoy! (I added some chow mein noodles on top too. Which are not vegan, of course, but I loved the crunch!)

Chef’s Notes – Someone suggested I squeeze some of the moisture out of the tofu before marinating. Put it between two paper towels and give it a squish. That would help it hold the soy sauce better. I’ll try that next time.

Let me know what you think if you try this salad. I thought the lime juice cut the leafy taste of the lettuce and complemented the soy sauce well.

–Much love to you. 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Finished_pizza_closeupside
Uncategorized

The anxious bakes, Part 2: Breakfast Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

When I finished baking this morning, I thought, “I should take a break from posting pictures of my cat on Facebook and post this pizza recipe on my blog.” It was surprisingly just what I needed to feed my endless pizza cravings. Which is not held back by the lunch/dinner time boundary, by the way. (I’ve stepped up the cardio and strength training these days.)

So, I bet when you were reading the title your excitement from “Breakfast Pizza” to “Cauliflower Crust” dropped like a bar graph from some 2009 recession financial presentation. But please don’t underestimate the cauliflower. The cauliflower is small but mighty and tasty.

Breakfast Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Crust Ingredients

  • 3 cups of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 3 1/2 tbsp of coconut flour (in case you end up with soggy “dough” even after wringing)

Pizza Toppings

  • Ranch dressing (or plain nonfat yogurt with Italian seasonings)
  • Avocado (sliced or mashed)
  • 2 fried eggs, cut into half inch pieces
  • 6 slices of turkey bacon, cut into half inch pieces
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Necessary Kitchen Items

  • Food processor or blender
  • Spatula for scraping sides
  • Pizza stone
  • Parchment paper (wax paper does not go in the oven!!)
  • A thin tea towel (terry cloth towel will work, but not as well)
  • Coffee for multi-tasking before breakfast
  • A cat as sous chef who naps on the job

IMG_20160110_092511464

Directions

1.Preheat the oven at 350 degrees while you get your ingredients out. Put the frozen cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl to defrost on the counter a few minutes.

2. Line your pizza stone with parchment paper and set it aside. (You can grease it with cooking spray and skip the parchment paper, but I did that and my crust stuck to the stone. So good luck with that.)

3. After the oven is pre-heated, lay out the 6 slices of turkey bacon on a small cookie sheet and cook the turkey bacon in the oven for 10-15 minutes. After it’s cooked, set it aside.

IMG_20160110_093020723

4. If your cauliflower is still frozen, put the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Microwave it 1 more minute if it’s still icy to the touch. You don’t need to cook it, but it needs to be soft.

5. Put the defrosted cauliflower in your food processor or blender. Chop on the low setting for 30 seconds. You should chop it until it looks sort of like rice.

6. Lay your tea towel out on the counter, and dump the chopped cauliflower in a pile in the center. Gather up the ends of the towel, and wring the cauliflower in the towel over the sink. (Did your bacon timer go off?)

7. Wring the cauliflower until you can’t get anymore moisture out of it. This will ensure it forms a kind of dough with the egg. (This part is why a terry cloth towel isn’t the best. The cauliflower tends to get stuck in the terry cloth.)

Cauli_dough_wrung

8. Put the now squeezed to death cauliflower back in the food processor, and add the rest of the crust ingredients, minus the coconut flour. Chop on the low setting until you see a “dough” form, about 1 minute. If your “dough” is still too wet, add the coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time and pulse blend the mixture until it seems doughy enough.

Dough_with_seasonings

9. Once your cauliflower mixture is doughy, dump it out onto the parchment paper lined pizza stone. You can be fancy and try to spread it by using another layer of parchment paper over it, but I just mushed it with my hands.

Dough_before_cooking

10. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees and put the crust in the oven for 20 minutes. You can check it at 15 minutes if you made a thinner crust.

11. While the crust is baking, slice or mash your avocado, fry your 2 eggs and cut them up into half inch pieces, and cut your cooked turkey bacon into half inch pieces. (I like to put lemon juice and salt/pepper on my avocado.) Set the toppings aside to put on top of the crust when it’s done baking.

Toppings

12. When the crust is done, spread Ranch in a thin, even layer on top. Add your avocado, eggs, turkey bacon, and parmesan cheese. Put the pizza back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.

13. As long as the cheese is melted to your liking, bon appetit!

Finished_pizza_closeupfull

(Crust recipe adapted from You Won’t Believe It’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe.)

Standard
black-84715_640
Uncategorized

Set goals all year round, not just Jan. 1.

That was what I started this blog for anyway.

And now we’re a few days into 2016.

I was thinking, all this #newyearnewyou stuff has never really resonated with me. It’s not to say I’m not inspired by the idea of a fresh start. I just think if you’re not setting goals for yourself year round, and working on them year round, what difference will the beginning of the year make for you?

Maybe this blog is more-anxious, confessional missive, than- productive thinking from which someone else could learn, but I’ve actually set and worked on many goals over 2015. Most of them I will keep working on this year. And out of those I’ve made some new ones.

  • Make time again for the things I love.
  • Redevelop the healthy habits I used to have.
  • Learn to accept that some things just do not change.
  • Learn to accept and love myself for everything I am at the present.
  • Change up my exercise habits. Something different and fun.
  • Choose happy and let go of angry.

I actually made progress on all of these this past year.

I took a beginning drawing class to relax on Saturday mornings. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw. Or at least to try. (I have much to practice.)

I’ve been spending time away from Netflix to read. I started For Whom the Bell Tolls this weekend. I wanted to see if I could appreciate now some of the literature I had to rush through reading in college. And I do.

I’m a lot less angry now than I was at the beginning of 2015. Having a cat to distract me and give me snuggles helps a lot. But I put in some effort too. I realized that selfish people make the choice to be that way, and I can’t change them. I can’t influence their decisions by hurting myself to make them happy. They are happy for 30 seconds that I did what they wanted, and then they criticize something else.

I can now say that I’m intelligent and beautiful and really believe myself. I still feel unattractive sometimes. Bloated or greasy or tired or crabby. But I have this wonderful ability to be creative, to make something beautiful out of nothing. I have a very sharp sense of intuition. I have a smile that makes others smile too. Not everyone thinks these traits are valuable. But I do. So they can kindly fuck off.🙂

I’ve gained 10 or 15 pounds, and lost them again. I followed 3 different yoga instructors online, and now I’m doing cardio and strength training. In case you’re wondering, I went from DDP Yoga, to Yoga with Adrienne, to Fightmaster Yoga, and now to Blogilates with Cassey Ho. Yoga is my exercise home. I’m just on vacation right now with Blogilates. And it is really fun!

I still have work to do though.

I’m not writing in my journal every day like I used to. I’m not writing any fiction regularly like I used to. I still get angry at people’s behavior while I’m at work or out running errands, even though I know I can’t change their minds. I still have days where I feel just so small and I can’t seem to figure out what my purpose is in the world. I still find myself trying to make other people happy when I know I will just end up hurt and they won’t care about what I did for them.

But the work on these goals happens year round. And I may never be able to let go of all the things that make me angry that I can’t change. Or maybe I’ll get bored of Blogilates in a month and gain 5 pounds. At least I’m working toward something.

Who cares what time of year it is? If you want to change something or start something, go ahead. You don’t need anyone else’s approval, or social media approval, or a goddamn hashtag to do it.

Standard
Uncategorized

Why I say “Merry Christmas” even though I’m not supposed to.

Every year around December 15th, I finally catch the spirit. I love the chilly weather–what chilly weather we get down here in south Texas, anyway. I get to snuggle under warm blankets with my love. And I get to wear my favorite red peacoat and Burberry scarf. Did I mention the leather boots? I love my black leather boots.

I’ve had the Frank Sinatra holiday station playing on my Pandora all week. I’m listening to it now while I type. My sweet Medea is napping next to me on my bed, snuggled up on my blankets. I can’t help but just grin, just a little.

I think I’m officially smitten with Christmas. I’ve got the Christmas warm and fuzzies. I’ve been wishing people a Merry Christmas at work all week, and most of the people I’ve talked to are happy to send me Christmas wishes back.

But you know what’s coming, don’t you?

Me: “Have a Merry Christmas!”

Other Person: “Well…Merry Christmas. But you know you’re supposed to say ‘Happy Holidays.’

Me: “Oh, I know what I’m supposed to say….”

Other Person: “Ok…”

Really?….Really?

Feel free to lambast me about how ignorant I am, but I don’t really care if I’m supposed to say “Happy Holidays!”

I’m not hurting anyone’s person by saying “Merry Christmas.” I haven’t stabbed anyone with my words. I haven’t drawn blood. I haven’t scared little children.

“But you may offend someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas!”

I may offend someone with my androgynous pixie haircut. I may offend someone because I forget to use my blinker in traffic. I may offend someone because I say “fuck” a lot. Life generally goes on. For all parties involved.

And anyway, who gets offended because someone else tells them, “I hope you have a good day celebrating stuff!” You’re offended because I’m telling you I hope you have a good day?!

Ok, so you don’t celebrate Christmas. You don’t have to! No one is telling you you have to! Please say this if someone assumes you do:

Person who celebrates Christmas: “I hope you have a Merry Christmas!”

Person who does not celebrate Christmas: “Oh, thank you, but I actually don’t celebrate Christmas.”

Person who celebrates Christmas: “Oh! Well, I hope you have a great holiday!” Or “I hope you have a relaxing day off work then!”

Is that really very difficult? Just say, thanks, but no thanks. And everyone goes on with their lives.

Aside from following what rules I need to to keep my job, I’m not going to tiptoe around someone else worrying if I may offend them. And neither should you. Be who you are, but don’t expect everyone else to like it.

Because someone somewhere is going to not like you at some point. That’s just life. Life is often stupid. People are stupid a lot. I don’t know why.

Please don’t be angry if you don’t celebrate Christmas and someone tells you “Merry Christmas.” This is the one time a year where people get excited about being nice to each other. Just be happy someone was nice enough to think of you, and return the favor in whatever way you see fit.


P.S.I’m agnostic. I don’t give a flying fart in space what religion you follow. I’m going to be nice to you at Christmas because I just want to share some positive energy with you.

P.P.S.-Don’t kid yourself. You know you love participating in a little bit of materialism at Christmas. It helps this great economic machine of ours keep going.

 

Standard