Two Years Later…

It’s been over two years since my last post on this blog and to be honest, there have been several times within the past two years that I’ve thought about posting here again, but for whatever reason, I just…didn’t.

For what it’s worth, I kind of want to retire this blog and start all over again. I also want to just wipe this one clean, save for a few posts, and start this specific URL over.

I have such a body of work on here though, that I consistently get views every. single. day. Something I wish I could say for my photography blog. I guess spewing young and naive vitriol about my life and opinions and shopping habits in college draws people in? The last key words that brought someone here were “fuck centipedes”, so, you know…I get it.

This isn’t really a post about anything other than the bittersweet feeling of being here again and being on the fence about what to do with this blog.

I feel like I’ve outgrown it, but at the same time, I feel like I can pick up where I left off.

I do, however, want to make a separate blog (I think) to chronicle my newfound dating life. The flowers in the desert, as I like to call them. Still trying to think of an appropriate/good name for it.

Anyway. That’s it. We’ll see where I land with this.

Bum Knees and Barbie Dolls

Hi.

It’s been a really long time.

There have been quite a few instances where I’ve thought about posting here, but somehow I always ended up doing something else, forgetting to, neglecting to, so on and so forth. And it’s really a bit of a shame, because this blog is a form of therapy.

And I need that right now. Which is why I’ve decided to update it again.

First thing’s first: I hyperextended my left knee on Wednesday evening at my new job, while I was squatting in some new linen pants I’d bought the previous day that have absolutely no give and get crazy tight when I bend my legs. I heard two very loud consecutive pops and it felt like my knee popped out and back in again, and I lost my balance. I felt immediate pain, but it wasn’t really excruciating, just extremely uncomfortable. I didn’t immediately ice it. In fact, I still had an hour and a half left of work before going home, and when I went home, I didn’t take care of the injury, but rather walked normally out and about for 3 hours with my mom with very minor, almost unnoticeable pain in my knee.

I went to work the following day, and progressively felt my knee feel stiffer. I mostly limped around all night. The following day (yesterday) I went to the doctor because as with nearly every time I’m injured or sick, my brain goes into hypochondria mode and I jump to the absolutely worst possible conclusions, this time being “WHAT IF I NEED SURGERY AND I NEVER WALK AGAIN” or “WHAT IF I NEED SURGERY AND THEY GIVE ME ANTIBIOTICS THAT I COULD BE ALLERGIC TO AND I DIE?” because that’s literally how my mind works. Anyway, doctor told me to basically relax, monitor the leg, and go to the ER/hospital if it gets worse. I also went in to get an X-Ray, which came out normal, thankfully.

In the past 36 hours, my knee itself has been relatively alright, but my calf (possibly Achilles tendon?) feels sore when I walk and stretch it or when I’m sitting and I push onto the balls of my feet. I believe this pain has gotten a little bit better in the last 6 hours or so. I called the clinic a couple hours after I woke up and told them my fears about my calf/Achilles and they just told me the same thing – to keep monitoring it, relax, ice it.

While I was waiting to be signed in for my X-Ray yesterday, I noticed two pennies on the ground, and as I was picking up the second, I noticed a third as well. I picked up a penny at work the other day as well, when I was limping around. I often find that when I’m in times of need or feeling hopeless or having ongoing anxiety attacks, I find coins everywhere. And I find it really comforting. I recall Sylvia Browne saying that your loved ones on the other side will drop coins around you to let you know they’re there for you. I think my loved ones drop them around me to let me know everything will be okay. And I am eternally grateful, because I often make a mountain out of a mole hill when it comes to medical problems. I need to see a therapist about it, I know.

961440_10155388603335322_86264162_nOn a somewhat related note, the night that I hyperextended my knee and went shopping with my mom, I bought two Barbies. Before you judge me, I ask that you don’t. I’m already judging myself. But I’ve wanted to customize and photograph and design clothes for them for nearly two years now, and I deeply regret donating the two I had for over a decade. They were much better quality, I could bend their limbs, their hair was nicer, and most of all, I didn’t pay for them. Plus, I had a box full of clothes for them. I donated that as well. I think. I may have thrown it away now that I think about it.

I started customizing them the night that I brought them home. I painted freckles on their faces. I painted the blonde’s eyes green and her lips red, and I plan on coloring her hair so she’ll be a ginger. I can’t do much with the other one’s hair – it’s a medium brown. I could dip dye it in something vibrant, perhaps. The blonde one came with a ton of shoes, half of which I spray painted black earlier today and are currently drying in my garage. I haven’t started making any clothes for them yet, but I want to recreate the carnation dress that won me that fashion show. Maybe Mattel will see my extraordinary creations and hire me to develop tres chic couture for Barbies to revamp their popularity with the youths of today.

And then, after all that labor, I plan on photographing them. One of my friends asked me if I’d made a light box yet, after I told him about this idea, and I said no, but that would be an awesome thing for this little plan, and he said that’s why he brought it up. So there’s that as well. That bit should be relatively easy actually.

So those are my most recent developments. The jewelry store closed down so I’m at a new retail place. And I teach painting, which I was supposed to do tonight, but ended up cancelling because I really didn’t feel up for it with this leg. Plus, I binge watched the entire first season of American Horror Story yesterday and today, and you know what, I don’t feel too guilty about it. I liked Evan Peters before, but now I like him even more. Like this show has reminded me how attractive I find him. I didn’t start the second season tonight because I don’t really like watching horror at night, so I’ll probably watch some tomorrow.

Generation Take-the-Reins

I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a good topic to discuss on this blog for a month now, and Betsy gave me the best idea. Instead of getting into a stupid internet drama comment battle with my neighbor, I’d like to lay out my ideas about my generation, based on this article which talks about why corporate America is shitting its pants because of Generation Y, and this comment, which I received from my next-door neighbor on Facebook after sharing the article:

Who us going to support you and pay your bills because your generation refuses to sit in cubical sand take orders from a boss you can’t stand or a job you hate? Who is going to clean the house? We’d all like to be that way but some if us have to bust our asses to pay for a house and bills for our kids. I know you Viviana are not lazy but yes many people in your generation have a huge sense if entitlement.

This article basically outlines the fact that my generation is a “fuck you, we don’t take no shit from nobody and we’re tired of playing by your shitty societal rules” kinda people, and corporate America doesn’t know how to handle it. Really, they talk about how previous generations in general don’t know how to handle it, but the focus is career based. And damn is it true. If my neighbor’s comment says anything (aside from some rather atrocious grammar) it’s that she took away nothing from that article except that my generation is “entitled”!

Except that we’re not. I don’t think it’s entitlement to want the same things that generations before were able to get with ease. Like, you know, a nice paying job, with benefits and enough money to save for a rainy day or a vacation. And minimal debt and affordable college education. How is that entitlement? We’ve been told all our lives that THAT’S the path to a nice little life. And frankly, we’ve found that to be a lie and we’re not down for it.

It’s not that we expect a silver platter to be laid on our laps, it’s that we don’t take things at face value as they’re given to us. We challenge what we’re told, we dig deeper, we’re inquisitive. Yes, we don’t believe in wasting our lives sitting in cubicles being dictated to be some asshole in a suit. But isn’t that a good thing!? Shouldn’t people be rejoicing that a generation has finally had enough of that shit? Or is it generational jealousy that’s causing this rift?

Here’s the thing about Generation Y. We’re a bunch of do-it-yourselfers and startups and community builders (take a look at all the sweet community projects happening in Detroit that are aided along by young Detroiters) because we realize that the societal norms that have been pushed upon us all our lives – go to college, get a job, get married, start a family – aren’t what we want. We don’t want to be corporate slaves, wasting our time in some office or some retail place, watching our blood pressure rise and the wrinkles form on our faces from all the stress. We’ve decided that we don’t need to continue working some shitty job with shit hours and shit pay that gives us nothing but shitty outlooks. We’re tired of helping the shitty job wheel keep turning and we’re doing something about it because we refuse to believe that our lives should be dictated by a job we hate. There are literally so many better things we could be doing with our time and we’re taking action.

We’re not okay slaving at the bottom, working laughable minimum wage jobs despite having 4 year college degrees, while corporate bosses rake in 6 figures and up dictating to us about things they’ve never done in their lives. We’ve had enough of unfair working conditions, hypocritical politicians, and massive corporations lying to our faces with a toothy grin. We’re Generation Take-the-Reins and our predecessors are scared of us.

They’re scared of our potential so they try to slander us by calling us lazy, entitled, and stubborn. They try to put us down by pointing out that we’re still living at home with our parents, and we’re okay with it. But they fail to point out that the reason we’re still living at home with our parents is because we can’t get independently livable wage jobs with the frequency and availability that previous generations did. And as the vast majority of corporate owned jobs are run by people from previous generations, we’re not to blame for that.

Yes, we approach work from a different angle than people are used to. We refuse to adhere to schedules that don’t work and cover our tattoos and take out piercings because it makes you “uncomfortable”. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to work or aren’t willing to work. It means that we’d rather do it on our own terms, and not just for money, but for the betterment of our society, for things we care about, and for our future generations. My generation wants to change things, and to change things, we must first look at what we’re given from a different perspective. That’s what previous generations find disconcerting – that we’re taking a legitimate hard look at what’s wrong with our society and we’re challenging these norms – and not quietly, but loudly and vehemently, with every fiber of our beings.

We still want a lot of the same things everyone else wants – an enjoyable, happy life, filled with good people, good memories, some extra cash to go sight-seeing and travel a bit, maybe a happy little family and someone to love us – but we’re doing it differently. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s what change is. It’s constant and it’s moving, and someday a different generation will have us squirming in our seats, but we’ll know that we started something positive, not just for us, but for them, and theirs.

So don’t all us entitled. Don’t call us lazy. And don’t call us stubborn. We’re challenging beliefs and shaking the building blocks of a wall of lies. We’ve had enough of the force-fed ideal lifestyle bullshit that’s been shoved down our throats our in entire lives, and we’re reconstructing the meaning of an ideal lifestyle. We are Generation Y, damnit, and we’re proud of it.

Thoughts on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I don’t know about you guys, but 75% of my Facebook news feed is videos of friends and celebrities doing the ALS ice bucket challenge. Before I go any further, let me just preface this post by saying that I commend everyone who has participated in helping raise awareness for this cause, and especially to all of the people who actually donated and didn’t just throw perfectly good clean water on their heads for shits and giggles. That said:

The fact that this thing has gone so viral that it’s literally infected my news feed to the point of every other article is a video or link of someone else doing this challenge is a feat in and of itself. My thoughts on this subject a very love/hate. 

The one hand, as I mentioned earlier, I respect everyone who is participating and in turn spreading awareness of the disease and helping raise money for research and the foundation. However, I have a few qualms with all of this.

The first and foremost is the complete waste of perfectly good clean drinking water. There are people around the world, this very second, literally dying due to malnutrition and unsafe drinking water, while people of our privilege are throwing buckets of water on their heads in order to avoid donating $100 (that no one can actually force you to donate anyway, btw) to the ALS foundation. 

Secondly, as the circle of people who haven’t been nominated to do this challenge yet continues to grow smaller (seriously, this is spreading like wildfire) I feel anxious about being nominated and keep practicing in my head what I’d do. For one thing, and don’t take this the wrong way, but I will not be donating to the ALS foundation. Why? Because I’d rather donate my money to a cause that I genuinely care about, like the WaterisLife.org foundation, which is probably most known for those really cool “straws” that filter dirty water into clean drinking water for people in unprivileged countries such as Ghana, Kenya, and Haiti. 

You may have seen this picture.

If you think I sound haughty, heartless, or holier-than-thou, let me tell you that I completely understand the idea of “just because it doesn’t effect you, don’t mean it isn’t important” and I totally agree. Again, points to all of you who are donating/spreading the word. ALS is certainly not a fun disease to have, and my heart goes out to everyone who has to deal with the crippling disease. However, I would rather conserve a bucket of ice water and donate and promote clean water foundations that help bring a fundamental necessity to people who very seriously need it. 

So while this viral challenge continues to snowball in momentum and provide us with hundreds and thousands of great videos (Tom Hiddleston, I’m talking about you) and millions of dollars raised for the ALS foundation, please be reminded that there are thousands of charities and organizations that you can donate to that you may have more a personal connection to. Please don’t hesitate to Google organizations for diseases, research, etc and find out how you can help. 

For anyone interested in donating to the Water is Life foundation, click this text right here.

#dontnominateme 

SPOILERS: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I haven’t written in here for a while, but I somehow feel compelled to share my thoughts on movies after I see them.

Case in point: I just came home from seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes about ten minutes ago, and it was such a good movie, that I cried the entire second half of it. I think I’ve mentioned both of these things before, but:

1. I’ve taken to going to movies by myself because life it too short to miss out simply because your friends/family can’t/won’t/aren’t able to go see movies with you.
2. I rate how good movies are by how much I cry (if applicable).

That said, spilling tears for half of one pretty much means it’s entered itself into the upper ranks of my movie hierarchy. It was very emotional, it had a good plot line, and the imagery/CGI work was stunning. I still think Caesar is attractive. And his son, Blue Eyes, is equally attractive. (I’m pretty sure they did that on purpose though.) And Koba is still ugly as fuck.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Looks aside, I started crying at the point when Koba seemingly shot and killed Caesar after the humans finally managed to get the dam working and provide electricity to San Francisco. For the next, IDK, maybe like 15 minutes or so? the movie continued on and I kept crying and thinking HOW COULD THEY KILL CAESAR!?! But then they took a break and followed Malcolm, Ellie, and Alex trying to get back to their car, and Ellie found Caesar sprawled in the grass and she gasped.

AND THEN CAESAR’S EYES MOVED AND I WAS LIKE PRAISE JESUS, PRAISE JESUS! I’m pretty sure I started crying harder at this point. When they got him in one of their trunks and were discussing it among themselves about how so and so could’ve done this to Caesar, he interrupted them and said no, ape did this to ape. BAWLING.

So then he directs them to take him to his old house, where James Franco’s character raised him in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Ellie fixes him and bandages him up, but not before Blue Eyes comes back with Malcolm, and Caesar has a heart to heart and tells him Koba did this and I WAS CRYING SO HARD AT THIS POINT. IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND EMOTIONAL SCENE. Then Blue Eyes goes back to the city to help free the imprisoned Caesar loyalists, and Caesar’s still at home, and he finds an old tape recorder and hits play on it and it’s a recording of James Franco’s character teaching him to sign and AGAIN, CRYING LIKE A BABY.

I’m not going to mention the rest cause I really recommend you all go see it. However, I will say that I fear in the next PotA movie, Koba will come back with a rebellion. And I really don’t want to see his ugly face anymore.

Confidence

I really enjoy getting psychic/intuitive readings. I find that getting someone else’s perspective on things is exactly the thing that I need sometimes to help me see things from a different perspective, and give me a nice little kick in the butt.

That said, I chose to get one spur of the moment earlier this week and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Among the common threads that linked all my issues together was needing to feel confident in myself and my abilities. I have not been feeling appropriately confident and this has held me back. I know what I am capable of, I know what I can achieve and I know I have talents. But lately I’ve been questioning all of that, and have internalized it all as well. I know this hasn’t done me any good. What good is worrying anyway? I must remind myself of one of my favorite pieces of advice:
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t take you anywhere.

In that I must find my strength. And in action. I know that standing still won’t help me move forward, and I need to conjure up the courage to face my problems with my chin up and my smile on.

I’ve always found that when I feel good about myself, I look good in the mirror as well. When I feel down on myself, I look terrible. I find flaws, more reasons to hate this part of me, that part. Both positive mind sets and negative ones are miraculous in their own ways. While a positive one can make you see the greenest parts of life, a negative one can make you forget them, and in that they are both powerful. But a negative mind set never got anyone anything worth while, and I’m not about wasting any more of my time feeling sorry for myself, wishing I’d done this or that, or any other shit.

There is no one in this world that is better at piecing us together than ourselves. We tear ourselves apart, and we build ourselves back up. It’s a learning process. And I am currently learning to be more confident. To trust myself more. To know that I have worth and I need to project that part of me.

I have been told numerous times that when you are confident in yourself, others will see you as such as well. I think that’s true of all characteristics and emotions. And as such, I think it’s not only good, but vital, that we project ourselves as positive, open-minded, kind, and confident. No one likes to hang around a debby downer. It’s like sticking a cord in a socket that sucks all the energy out.

I know I can’t change overnight. I don’t expect to. Everything takes time and time heals all wounds. My goal for now is to remain centered and focused on myself. I need to reign in my energy and build up my confidence so I can project that and communicate to people that I am open, I am available, and I am approachable.

Changes

I feel like I’m kind of at a crossroads in my life. Maybe. I think.

There are times when I don’t know what I want to do anymore. But the fire within me for being a fashion designer still burns, and I still feel the same about it: my ultimate goal is to make people happy through clothes.

However, I’m having a hard time finding a way into the industry and getting myself known and showing off my abilities. But I live in Michigan. And the metro Detroit area to boot. We are starters here. What we don’t have, we make. My problem is not so much the making of goods, but rather the providing of services. I don’t know where to begin to get my product out, besides like Etsy, where the competition is so thick, I get lost in the throng.

I need immediate turnover. I need people to see my stuff and say yes, I want this now. I want this today. Not add it to some wishlist or favorites group for a maybe later. This is the biggest challenge for me. Is getting a footing and establishing myself. But I guess before I do that I need to figure out exactly what my niche is going to be. I seem to really be drawn to making jewelry. And taking photos. I haven’t properly sketched clothes since college to be honest, and that’s a problem. I don’t enjoy the computer aided design aspect of it at all and I’ll be the first to admit to it. I loathe the Gerber program and while Illustrator flats can be okay to do sometimes, I generally find the practice tedious and annoying. I am not a technical designer by any stretch.

But I like coming up with concepts and ideas and little details. I like making color palettes and organizing things and looking at things from different angles to better understand them. Nonetheless, I still feel lost. I know what I’m good at, but I tend to forget and think of myself as not being good at anything worth while. And then it’s a whole whirlwind of “BUT HOW WILL I SUPPORT MYSELF IF I CAN’T DO X AND Y!?” It’s a tumultuous mental journey that I’ve been having far too often lately and I need to figure out a way to get out of it. Like, asap.

On the bright side, I have faith things will turn around. They always do. There is an ending to every journey, so new ones may begin. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I do know it will change. Everything always changes.