this is what it feels like.

I fly

rebellious, jubilant, unabashedly

across four lanes

downhill in an affluent ghost town

the wind races through the hair that is woven tightly, threatening to liberate it

as I throw my arms out

like I’m at the front of my ship

the captain of my destiny, with my own Celine Dion soundtrack.

there is Jack-shit behind me.

Hovering above me are dots: gleaming balls of fire unencumbered by clouds

that I stupidly take for granted every single night

as I waste away

right on schedule

in front of synthetic blue light

searching for all that can’t be found

but I shove my world in my back pocket

until further notice

I am the captain of my time

the commander of my soul

and I give it

a much needed vacation.

pitching perfection

2018-06-27

I like to live in a Depression mindset.

No, no no. Not the drop-everything-and-dial-a-hotline depression you’re probably thinking of. [Though I won’t lie– those bouts of elongated sadness do rear their heads occasionally. *weak laughter*]

Nah, I’m talking about the historical Depression, the one that booted so many out of jobs, out of homes, out of their comfort zone. The mindset that what you have today may be totally gone tomorrow. The mindset that you need to use everything around you to your advantage. The mindset that commands your attention to details, and the constant use of creativity. My grandmother grew up through this time, and for her, living the inventive, penny-pinching, ingenious life was how you survived.

Luckily, my grandmother passed down her frugality to my mother, which has so obviously rubbed off on me. While I know I’m not as good at these frugal habits as my mother [I’m very impulsive, I’ve got lots to learn, and I have an expensive taste >.<], I do understand the power of using “every part of the buffalo”, having minimal waste, and being forced to think outside box and draw outside the lines.

I thought of my grandmother today amidst my planning for the next month– life has been insane with getting my Etsy shop started, figuring out this hidden treasure trove of skills I want to learn, working two jobs, and packing for a vacation in the meantime. My planning, albeit a bit scattered, is part of what gets the shit done for me. I recently stumbled across a certain strategy in the book The Organized Mind, by Daniel J. Levitin [which I know I’ve mentioned here so many times before, it’s such a good book you need to read it okay end rant].

What you do is take a big board (I use a whiteboard, this could easily be done with cork and made way cuter, come to think of it!) and divide it into 4 sections, labeled
“TODAY”
“THIS WEEK”
“THIS MONTH”
and my 4th category is “MISC”.

In these sections, you’re supposed to put sticky notes with tasks on them, according to when you’d like them completed, giving you a really helpful, visual representation of your otherwise formulaic, overwhelming to-do list (though if to-do lists are your thing, that’s great too!).

I didn’t have sticky notes, though, [and this is the part that made me think of my grandmother] so I ended up cutting up strips of paper I’d written on, fastening the strips to my organized board with the remnant outlines of sticker paper, the sticker paper excess that had come from my recent craft order.

After putting everything together, I admired my handiwork. It was messy, it was disgruntled, it was less than perfect. I thought about re-arranging the notes of paper on the board to look more aesthetically pleasing. I thought about re-writing all of the tasks in fancy calligraphy to make it more “instagrammable” [I hadn’t posted anything yet for my art Instagram so I was looking for something to post!].

But then I stopped.

What was I doing?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been submersing myself into the work of others, the feeds of others, the blogs of others, the copy of others. Unfortunately, my mind would fall into mini-comparisons. Oooh why can’t I have these gorgeous mock-ups? They have so many likes?? How? This Instagram feed is so UNIFORM omg why can’t mine be like that? If only I had that many followers…UGH if only I had this [software/fuzzy white rug/piece of machinery/shiny camera] to better boost my work!] and other relevant chips away at my self esteem, yada yada etc.

…And those naggy bit of thoughts would just race around the inside edges of my head, until I had a sit-down with myself. I recalled a snippet I’d heard from a friend not long ago:

Goddammit, Steph. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I needed to step back and take some inventory. Everything I have right now [artistically, personally, and financially speaking…] at this moment of time…. I made that.

Whether it was with my own two hands, whether it was something I thought up, something I designed, something I just decided to get up off my ass and finally complete?

Yeah, did that. 

So often I think we get caught up in what’s missing, what’s wrong, what we need to change, how we’ve failed. We don’t take a minute to appreciate what’s left behind us in our wake, the awesome creative havoc through any mess that has happened that has led right up to this moment.

Now, the goal of this post isn’t to just rant about success or the path towards it, but rather to remind you [and myself!] to take a minute from time to time to give yourself that pat on the back, that moment of pride. That moment when you look around with a dumbfounded budding grin, like “oh shit, did do that? Something a year, a month, a week or two ago I never thought possible? YEAH I did.”

And I did do it. All teh things.

Like this planning board. It may not look super sleek or super shiny. It may not be killer Pinterest content or Insta-ready. It may not be awed and adored by every person who trips over it, or be perfect in any capacity– but that’s who I am. I’m not completely together [I don’t think I ever will be, LOL!]. I’m not super neat [just ask my roommate *sob* sorry son, I love you]. And I’m sure as hell not perfect.

So why should my content be?

xx

the blog purge: to delete or not to delete?

Holy guacamole.

I just wrote a post about risking it  — you know, being bold in your endeavors, jumping off the deep end when necessary, starting over, finding clarity, yada yada.

On a bit of a whim today, I sat down and realized that there’s a bit more that I’d like to do with this blog. And while I’m still floating some ideas and settling into that game-plan, I did realize that I would be faced with a decision:

to keep the old blog posts?

…or to delete them forever?

And I went a bit back and forth on this for a bit. I have seen countless blogs that I follow, and even people who don’t have traditional blogs, delete a bunch of old content because it was either too angsty [me] too cringe-worthy [also me], too personal, [HA ME hands down], or just straight up not really reflective of what they wanted/want to accomplish.

I will say this– for the most part, I was against purging all those old posts. I could look back on them, look at my angsty self and see the growth unveiled with every scroll right before my eyes. I also kind of took it to heart as a bit of a badge, a smol medal saying “look, I’m authentic!”

But now?

[SPOILER ALERT: I’ll get right to it, I deleted everything before 2014. LOL]

But. In case you’re wondering [which you very may well not be, lol, I don’t gotta justify myself and you don’t either 😛 ] here’s why I did it, along with some challenges I thought about in the process:

Your post don’t have to be gone. I made the decision to just get them off this space. For sure, they could live in some file on my computer if I wanted [though I don’t really feel like doing that.] However, if you do ever want to go strolling down memory lane, then keeping those posts in a separate place could be a nice alternative.

But what about all those likes/comments/followers etc? Meh. I dunno. Over the years I’ve come to realize that this really is my space, the content I have is reflective of myself, and if I lose a few nice words [thank you to all you beautiful blogger friends, btw ♥ ] in the process… well, I will take a moment of silence and then proceed onward. Plus, I don’t really buy into the whole “how many likes??!!???” chaos that just distorts feelings of self-worth anyways.

You’ve changed so much. Why shouldn’t your blog? I can’t tell you how many re-models this thing has had. That being said, this space, like myself, is evolving. I will get new inspiration, new ideas, new skills [that I can actually put into practice here on this blog *YAY*] that better reflect me and my goals.

…and what about authenticity? LOL. So I’m gonna let you in on a little secret here. This blog, which is now an incredible FIVE YEARS OLD [??!!???] literally used to be a virtual diary about my outings, my dying pets, and struggles with productivity. Not like that’s all non-authentic stuff [it totally is!] it was just so full of bad grammar choices, fluff-words, and irrelevancy. I’d much rather have original, raw content that’s written [at least a little bit correct]  well and not accompanied by 2.4 mega pixel photos, ya feel me? 😛 [Though FYI I did leave stuff from 3 years ago because I got tired of weeding some stuff out, I’ll save that for another day].

There is totally such a thing as blogging baggage. And seeing as I’m in a really, really recent realm of “new”, breaking out of old habits and forming new ones, forging connections and blazing paths I previously thought were out of reach… you better bet I don’t want to be reminded of some of the clutter. I’d much rather sort through the clutter, acknowledge its existence, learn from it, and then promptly send it off somewhere to get recycled and transformed into something new. [:
That being said, I’d like to take a more purposeful [albeit personal!] direction with this blog [leaning towards something more relevant to lifestyle…??], so as I’m zero-ing in on what that is, I would love it if you left some comments with ideas, pieces of your blogging journey, things that have helped you find your place as a blogger, etc.! It’s hard because recently I’ve been working on some pretty big things over at stephaniewscribbles.com and I’m just trying to figure out the role this personal blog might play. It’s five years near-and-dear to my heart so I don’t think I want to abandon it *quite* yet… 😛

Cheers to everyone who has been with me since the angsty days of 2013 [you are all God-sends and blessings through the tumult lol] cheers to those who are still going strong, cheers to those who I’ve just recently been able to connect with and explore with, and cheers to those who, like me, are walking a new path in their blogging journey–because that’s dedication, man. [:

xx

 

 

Blogvember Day 4: My Sleep Suit

What do you wear to bed?

 
Well.
This is a rather odd question.
It depends.
What season, how cold I am, who I’m with… You know.
On a normal basis, I wear a shirt and shorts. Or nothing.
Or fuzzy pants.

Lately I’ve just been wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. J’s sweat pants. They’re super comfy.

…I really don’t know what else I’d say to answer this question.

What do you guys wear? XD

Blogvember Day 3: If We Date…

What kind of person attracts you? 

You know the old joke about people with “nice personalities”? Like the “he’s not Brad Pitt but aww he’s cute look he’s trying” kind of thing?

Well, I kinda detest that concept regarding personalities as second best to physical features, seeing as a personality is probably the most important thing to me in a person.

If I had to rate what I looked for in the opposite gender, I’d definitely go off of
-personality/sense of humor
-smile
-passions/talents
-character
-looks
…in that order.

For me, looks are only surface deep.  You could be absolutely GORGEOUS but if you cannot make me laugh, handle my awkwardness, get my sarcasm (or throw it right back at me), or hold a conversation, then… It’s not gonna work.  You have to get my interested. And HOLD my interest.
..I get distracted easily XD

They say “if the eyes are the window to the soul, the smile is the front door”, and I believe every word of this. Your smile has to be genuine– the light-up-your-face-and-make-your-eyes-crinkle type of genuine. I’ve smiled for school pictures before– I try to think of something funny so I don’t end up with a fake smile on my face, because I can spot those a mile away.  Your smile has to invite me in, make me want to smile, make me want to talk to you.

One thing that’s SUPER DUPER attractive is the way someone lights up about their passions, unrestricted and unbothered by outside opinion. When someone is into something and you can see it bloom across their face when they talk about it, that’s attractive. I like confidence. I am drawn to ambitious people who do not feel inferior and do not feel the need to make others feel inferior in their own passions.

The only thing better than a well-dressed man is a well mannered man, and one who has a personal code of conduct or set of beliefs.  Don’t be wishy-washy in your stance when hard times come, take pride in your abilities, and do the right thing. There’s nothing more attractive than a decent human being.

I save looks for last, mostly because it’s like the bow on a present. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice bonus touch (;
…That being said, I find abs attractive, sandy blonde hair, chiseled cheek bones, dimples, and light eyes quite lovely (; Height is a tossup–I like medium to tall guys, but I don’t really care. Then again, it’s not hard to be taller than me, soooooooooooo (;

You know what else I’m attracted to?

People who are just having fun in their lives. Wherever they’re at, whatever they’re doing– if they’re happy about it, positive about it, and glad to be where they are, that’s great.

 

Blogvember Day 2: There’s Me, then… Me 2.0

How have you changed in the past two years?

Wow.

What a loaded question.

So much has changed.

Two years ago today I was a sophomore in high school, still under the deceptive fog that every grade matters and that the biggest goal in life is getting into college.

Two years ago today I was super self conscious about what I wore and how I fit in with people.

Two years ago today I was focused on pleasing those around me.

Two years ago today… I may have smiled more.

Two years ago today… I couldn’t see myself applying to schools and taking almost exclusively AP classes.

Two years ago today my procrastination skills were weak.

Two years ago today I didn’t have short hair.

Two years ago today I was in the awkward stages of a relationship with J.

~

Here and now, I’m a senior. And it feels friggin weird. (Responsibility?! Money?! What is this) …And every grade doesn’t matter. I’ve learned to prioritize. Taking everything as the same importance will kill you. I know now where I can cut corners to save my sanity.

Here and now, I’ve settled into a group of people who are all crazy– like me. And I love them to death. But the best part is? I don’t care what people think. Those weird looks as we scootered around outside the senior patio in the pouring rain on senior spirit day? Yeah. Priceless. Keep those -weird- jealous looks coming (;

Here and now, I’ve learned to make time for myself. I can’t be everything for everybody. No one can. When I need to put myself first, I will.

Here and now, I smile less. I try, but sometimes life is too much. I’m currently in the process of changing that, though.

Here and now, I’ve applied to one school already and am working on my second for a November 15 deadline– go me!! (It’s not that bad and ominous as I originally thought).

Here and now, procrastination is my specialty. I do it often, but I do it well. I can make bullshit look like it came from a cat (;

Here and now I rock shorter locks. And I love it.

Here and now I have settled into a groove with J– and though I do not know what the coming year has in store for us… I’m focused on living in the moment and enjoying everything I can and dealing with things as they come.

So much can happen in two years. And while sometimes I don’t recognize myself… some parts of me I’ve had since forever ago are resurfacing, to blend and merge with the new parts of me. They’re bubbling together to form who I am now. It’s an ever-changing process that is totally unpredictable.

And I’m becoming okay with that.

 

Blogvember Day 1: I’m Weird When I’m Alone.

What are some weird things you do alone? 

Well, for starters, I answer questions like this.

But in reality… I sing (ridiculously, loudly, and obnoxiously) in opera voice, I walk around my house with minimal clothing (all about that comfort, amiright ladies?), I overcome my self-discipline and raid my fridge for the weirdest items (like cottage cheese and pickles), AND I talk to myself.

I don’t need to justify any of these. I realize.

But they’re fun.

And the best part?

No one is around to judge me. Not that I’d care too much (except for being indecently exposed around my family, which…. could get quite awkward).

Opera builds my vocal skillz (heh), walking around half naked exposes my skin to fresh air (stupid oxygen-depriving clothes), ravaging the fridge satisfies my odd cravings and hunger, and speaking aloud to myself about anything on my mind or simply my chain of actions…keeps me sane.

What about you?

What weird things do you do when no one’s watching?

Blogvember, Here I Come!

HIIII GUYYYYS

So. I haven’t posted in a while and I want get back on my game in terms of my writing skills and just general spewing of emotions on my brainchild {awkward imagery, I know}. So here’s a cool challenge I found on Ladyleemanilla’s blog. I’m a bit behind but I’ll just improvise (;

30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE TOPICS:

1. Weird things you do when you’re alone
2. How have you changed in the past two years?
3. What kind of person attracts you?
4. What do you wear to bed?
5. Five things that you’re a Tate you about the opposite sex? The same sex?
6. The person you like and why you like them.
7. Your opinion on cheating on people.
8. Something you’re currently worrying about.
9. Your last kiss.
10. Your views about drugs and alcohol.
11. Your current relationship. (If single, discuss how single life is)
12. Things you want to say to an ex.
13. A date you would love to go on.
14. Something disgusting you do.
15. The best thing to happen to you this week.
16. 3 things you’re proud of about your personality.
17. Things that make you scared.
18. Disrespecting parents.
19. Something that never fails to make you feel better.
20. The last argument you had.
21. Something you can’t seem to get over.
22. 10 things about you people don’t really expect.
23. Something you always think “what if…” about
24. Things you want to say to 5 different people.
25. 10 ways to win your heart
26. Your religious beliefs.
27. Talk about your siblings.
28. The month when you were happiest this year and why
29. A picture of yourself.

30. What changed this month and what you hope will happen next month

So there it is! 30 days of *crosses fingers* blogging. Should get me back in the game. I’ll see what I can come up with for these… some look… daunting 😛

 

Honesty Hour: Free of Filter

Hi guys. So I’m thinking I may do this feature… just because let’s be real, the world does need more honesty.  I’m… feeling that more than ever.
A few minutes ago I watched this video of a makeup tutorial… but it was so much more than that.  I personally am not much for makeup tutorials, mostly because I don’t have time for such extensive makeup in my daily life… nor do I find it that interesting to watch other people do it… but this one was different.  (I’ll give a shout-out to VICKYLOGAN, you can check out her YouTube channel here) The vlogger, Vicky, touched on a ton of topics during a “get ready with me” vid, (which you can watch here) But I just got to thinking about some of the things she said about confidence, society’s expectations, loving yourself, and imperfections. She starts the video tutorial with no make up on at all and I have to say… I appreciated that so much.  To see someone in their natural beauty, to see that not all people are somehow china dolls all the time, to see that someone is comfortable in their skin and that they only pop into another one out of personal preference and not pressure or obligation….. It was inspiring.
And she’s totally right about the fact that our imperfections make us…well, us. And that “perfect” isn’t, and should never be, a standard.
So where am I going with this?
To be honest (ha, get it? Cuz it’s honesty hour) I don’t really know. All I can say is that I have felt myself… get caught up in all of it.  It’s so easy to just hop on Snapchat, or Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, see the filtered snapshots of the seemingly perfect lives of others and just feel really, really down about yourself. Or, to just go out there and make you want to be like someone else, or someone you’re not. And, once you do feel that push to go out and completely change yourself… once you have, maybe, what you feel like has been “for the better”.. You can’t help but blast it out there for others to see.  The pictures flow, freely, leaking out to all the platforms screaming “hey! I’m normal!” or “hey! I’m cool!” or “hey I look good!” “wow I’m stylish” “wow I’m this” “I’m healthy” “I’m happy” “I’m in love”…
It all builds up.  To the point where it’s a bit much.  It’s hard to know what any followers think… They’re judging only on pictures.  Your analysis becomes geared towards likes, follows, and favorites. And your perceptions of reality are, well, filtered.
Why is social media such a monster sometimes? Does anyone else feel like it has robbed their soul in one way or another?
I do.
I have to admit, I love Instagram.  The pictures are so pretty and I like how they’re perfect squares and how the feed can be so colorful sometimes… But what I don’t like is that it’s so unrealistic at times. There’s a level of superficiality that comes out and just takes hold and makes it reaaaally easy to compare yourself to other people…

I used to hate “selfies” with a passion… (Just the word makes me cringe…still..) My first reaction is that it was kind of a vain thing to do.  But what do I say now when I post them myself? And even more, when the filters are just piled on?

I compare my older pictures with some from now… they’re different.

And somehow, in one way or another, they’re tailored to other people.  Which shouldn’t be the case.
Why do people seek perfection? Call it artsy or whatever with all the filters (though I can’t judge because I love filters because they can twist a photo so many different ways) but life isn’t… filtered.
And I think you can eventually become addicted. Not just to the platforms, but the content and the content posted to said platform.

I say this, because I think I am.

As much as I don’t wanna be like “oh, I’m addicted I need to stop…” When it gets in the way of my productivity or when it just starts to change your views on things just a bit… it’s a bit much.

That being said… while I don’t wanna take a hard-core hiatus (though that’d probably be a good idea with all of my unproductive-ness as of late) I do want to try something.
Similar to my waaaaaaay long ago post about going “Unmasked” for 3 weeks or so, I’m gonna go unfiltered.  All posts, no matter where, will be free of a filter  Just to gain an appreciation those things that do not need a filter.  Friends, family, nature, and importantly, yourself.
Like Vicky says, everyone has something or some things they don’t like about themselves.  But the crucial part is learning to live with them, embracing them and being aware of them. Because like she says

“…All of that [makeup, clothes hair, imperfections etc.]… at the end of the day, it don’t matter because we all go to sleep in the dark. …Well, most of us– some of us use night-lights…. But when it’s dark and no body sees you… Do you love you?” ~Vicky

She’s very funny and down to earth, I highly recommend her channel.

So, my friends! Head out into this filtered world and just rip the filter off.  Love you, what is raw, what is real, what is most important to you… And I shall do the same. Again, I’m not hating on filters or anything, I just… sometimes I wanna view the world without one for a while.  To keep it in check.

And you’re invited, too! Feel absolutely free to follow me on my unfiltered journey and join me in my #freeoffilter endeavors: @stephaniesaysxo on Instagram & Twitter.

Love always,
Steph xoxo