Dreaded

Hello all,

I have always experimented with my image; always trying to find the real “me” that I wanted to show the world. Now that I’ll be 30 in only a couple of years I feel like I’m finally scratching the surface of what I’m comfortable with and what I can do to express myself wholeheartedly to the world around me. I know this all may sound way too “Berkeley” or “hippie” but it’s something I’ve always had in the forefront of my consciousness.

I have noticed that I have become increasingly aware of my OCD with my image. And it’s not only annoying but a little spiritually disturbing to myself. I want to become able to let things go when it comes to myself visually. I want to be able to see an imperfection and say “whatever, no big deal” as opposed to, “Oh my gosh. I gotta’ pick at it, or cover it up or SOMETHING.”

I’ve done some research and decided that I want to make a few dreadlocks in my hair. Not my whole head. Just two or three to tend to; to help me become more patient and to give myself permission to let the little things go. I’ve always believed there was beauty in the imperfections and now I want to live that ideal within myself.

Also, to get away from the “hippy-dippy” side of it: I like how they look aesthetically and the idea of accessorizing with beads and things excites me.

Here are a few inspirational images I found online:

(Images linked to source)

Here is also a YouTube video by eakhful about dreading. I found her video(s) very helpful and felt connected to her decision to dread her hair.

Have any of you tried dreading? I’d appreciate any comments, ideas, or thoughts.

 

 

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Design Your Life

Ever since I got back from 3 weeks of self-exploration in Massachusetts I have been working my butt off. I have been interviewing, constantly checking Craigslist for new job postings, connecting to potential massage clients, and trying to figure out how to be happy and pay the bills. I’m very excited {and relieved} to say all of this determination and intensity has paid off!

 

1. I was contacted by an L.A. based design company for some freelance illustration work (this was pure fate!).

2. With help from one of my best friends and very talented Graphic Designer, Nicole Steiner, I have decided upon my target demographic for massage clients: Tattoo Artists. So I reconnected to the amazing tattoo artist at True Love Tattoo who did the gypsy on my left arm and he is on board to be one of my new clients!

3. Lastly, I was hired as a “Family Assistant” and will get to spend my afternoons cooking healthy meals, organizing, and helping out a wonderful family.

I am so excited and nervous by what the future has in store and by the idea of taking life by the horns and striving to do things outside of the box.

These feel like big risks but also big improvements to my life. I feel like I finally have much more control over what I do and how I present myself to the world.

Change of Hair/Change of Scenery

I’ve done away with a lot of hair. A substantial amount of it. Enough hair to hold a year and a half’s worth of obstacles, negativity, and questions. Oh, I’m being dramatic. But only partially.

A few posts back I wrote asking for some advice because of how I’ve been feeling lately. I got some really nice and thoughtful responses and I appreciate all of them. they helped me make a big decision.

I’ve decided to move back home for a month or so. There have been things going on in my life that have been burdening me for a long time and some things that have only begun to burden me. I’ve decided that going back East and being around friends and family in my home state is the perfect place to do some serious soul searching.

I leave Oakland tomorrow. I’m nervous and also really excited at the prospect of getting to clear my emotional slate and figure out what I need to be happy. It will be my time to really decide what I want, not what I think I should want.

I plan to use this blog to my advantage, of course. I think it would be a really great therapeutic and creative source to document my time over there: what I’m thinking about, what I see, and the things that remind me of who I am. Maybe some of you will relate, maybe some of you won’t but I’m really eager to share this exploration with you all.

I’ll keep in touch from Massachusetts! ❤

Now That I think About It…

Hello everyone. I’ve been M.I.A. for a bit. I’ve been dealing with life; asking myself a lot of questions and trying hard to find the answers. Maybe it’s the change of seasons (though Northern California isn’t that drastic) but I’ve been having a lot of insecurity about what I’ve been doing with my life lately. Maybe this discouraged me from blogging for a while (but I missed it). I was actually inspired by Paige from Barefoot and Vintage to spill some of my proverbial guts.

I haven’t been able to help feel overwhelmed about what my life’s goals are. All the experts say that in order to feel truly fulfilled you need to find what you want to do and do it, but what if you don’t know what you want to do? I feel like I’m interested in so many things and whenever I decide to try something (art school, teaching. massage, writing) I get discouraged and scared and I quit.

I know doing things this way will just keep me from that unknowable thing that’ll make my life complete. I also know that I have most of everything I’ve ever wanted (a wonderful partner, an apartment in a popular city, a cat, health insurance…) But there’s still something missing. I know I need a change of direction professionally but I don’t know how to go about that: I’m without a college degree, I’ve only ever fallen into jobs I was great at but didn’t like doing. But now that I’m older I’m realizing that way of living is not emotionally sustainable.

I guess I’m just looking for a confidence-boost and some focus. Any kind words welcome! Thank you in advance.

Here’s a little Florence singing a song that pumps me up (I think of my dad when I hear it).

Blonde Ambition

I’m stuck sick at home today (boo!). At least I have movies to watch like Truth or Dare, the behind the scenes documentary of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.

I remember seeing this documentary years ago but I definitely wasn’t as aware of how amazing and iconic Madonna was. In case any of you have forgotten, Madonna was (and is) such an amazing trendsetter and was able to push the boundaries of female sensuality / sexuality in a way that changed our view of ourselves.

Her collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier for her stage costumes helped bring her influential fashion sense to another level. Who can forget this iconic under(over)garment:

I watched the movie thinking about how amazing her costumes were and how they are still relevant today.

For Pink’s Sake!

The other day Noah and I went to the local toy store (one of the really big ones we are all familiar with) so he could pick something up for his RC Car. All nerdiness aside, I was interested to see if much has changed since the last time I went to a large chain toy store. When we walked in and started searching down the isles, a familiar sight caught my eye. Pink! Isles and isles filled with pink. I’m sure you can guess which toys these isles housed: “Girl” toys. “Are they still slapping pink on every girl toy?” I thought to myself.

The answer is, yes. Not only that, I was also confronted with “girl” toys (all pink, of course) having to do with all of our important womanly duties:

the kitchen

strolling babies around

basically, being our natural princess selves

There were other toys like the, “Make-up and Nail Salon Kit,” Model Doll Runway Extravaganza (Complete with all 3 revealing outfits!),” and, for the gamer girl, “your very own PINK video game controller!” Now, the names of these toys are obviously fabricated for dramatic effect but they still exist on the shelves.

Being a housewife is an incredibly difficult job (no sarcasm). And I am not trying to insult anyone who has decided to stay home and take care of the house/family. It’s just the suggestion that that’s all there is for a little girl to have to connect with is what’s troubling me.

I did come across one line of toys that did not adhere to the all-pink-all-the-time mantra:

You see? At least the sexy bowling girl and sexy science girl aren’t wearing head-to-toe pink. Not even their sexy after-bowling/experimenting outfits are all pink. Fhew. I guess we are making a change. Except for the fact that these girls look like anorexic aliens, I’m very relieved…

I’m not trying to hate on pink, that’s not the point. Whether I like pink or not has nothing to do with this post. But what I am trying to discuss is how our society is still so fixated on showing (actually, telling) our girls what is most important to being a girl. This is a heavy topic and I am surly not 100% educated or knowledgeable in gender roles or gender stereotypes. And I’m not only wagging my finger at the “girl” toys.

Though “boy” toys are not garnished in blue typography or housing (in fact, there was a much wider array of colors in the boy isles: red, yellow, black, neon green, etc…), they still are mostly centered around shooting, throwing, blasting, fighting, shanking, jumping, hitting, speeding, and any other hard core/violent verb you can think of. (I wish I had the photo of the WWF figurine isle. That was magical).

I began to look around at the advertisements on the “boy” toys, too. There were no photos of any girls on the packaging, just as there were no photos of boys on the “easy-bake ovens.” I thought that I would have to admit to myself that gender stereotyping had not at all eased since I was a kid. Then I saw this:

Girls! Girls playing sports! And they’re not wearing pink jerseys! High five to Stats Co.

I started feeling hopeful once again and then pointed out to Noah, “Look! Girls on the box building a volcano!…Girls on the box building a rocket!” I was thinking of how I could shamelessly plug all of these gender neutral game companies in my blog when Noah said something like, “This is the science section. It’s sort of a different thing.” Damn. He was right (again). I guess it’s nice to know that at least we are all aware that girls and boys can partake in science experiments and other educational extracurriculars. But still, the toys, the things that the kids REALLY want to play with are all segregated. STILL.

I know I should relax a little bit. I mean, I was never a fan of pink when I was a little girl and I played with things like this:

But my parents dressed me in boy’s hand-me-downs and never really had the opportunity to buy me all of the ridiculous things I wanted (even though I still remember the aching desire to own a Barbie Dream House or Barbie go-cart). I was still vulnerable to the ads. I think I rebelled against this love/hate relationship with “girl” toys when I was in middle school and my good friend and I decided to give all of her Barbies mohawks, tattoos, and black leather wardrobes.

I’m not trying to kid myself or be a hypocrite. I am fully aware that this blog features fashion & beauty, as well as crafts and the like. I have become more comfortable with my femininity; my OWN view of my femininity (and, yes, that includes tattoos, too). I’ve come to terms with my own relationship with it. But little girls today are even more susceptible to gender stereotyping ads, what with the internet, the slew of wireless electronic devices, and magazines. I think I just had to deal with toy stores and television commercials when I was their age and a little older. There are very strong views of women in reality now that challenge the “all-pink” view. But doesn’t that mean that toy manufacturers should catch up? I guess it is a slower process than I wish it could be.

If a girl likes pink, and doing her nails, and dressing in high heels then fine. But what if a girl likes wearing a baseball cap, blue genes, and spending her time looking for bugs and worms, and doesn’t worry herself about how she looks? What if a boy likes the color pink too, and asks one of his parents to paint his toe nails that color, and also thinks that princess dresses are pretty, and isn’t so into sports? Is this also fine? I think so.