A Thousand Steps Back

Have you ever felt like you’ve gone so far, and then had to take thousands of steps backward?

It can be puzzling and sad at first. You dwell on it, wondering what you did/are doing wrong. You overthink and overanalyze everything that took you right up to this moment, wracking your brain to figure out why. Why did this have to happen?

Sometimes there is no clear answer. Sometimes you are simply forced to start over.

In my case, I fortunately was able to figure out what brought me a thousand steps back. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I started it when I moved to Wilmington, NC. You’ll know that I went through some difficult situations. I had a breakup after a long term relationship, started over all by myself, and then experienced being fired from a long term career. All of this led me back to Charlotte, NC, a city I swore I would never set foot back into. Now I find myself working as a part time barista, renting a room in my best friends house.

Now, I know, none of this sounds terrible. And it’s not. I am extremely lucky to have the support system I have. But for someone like me, an independent lone wolf type, it’s easy to focus on the negative and ignore the positive. Yes, I lost everything I worked for. Yes, I had to leave the city I felt I belonged in. Yes, I had to put my whole life in reverse and start over.

But let’s focus on that: Starting over. What I failed to realize was that I wasn’t truly happy. I wasn’t passionate about my career or my degree. I have the chance now to actually, truly start over. Ignoring everything else, I can make that career change that I wanted to make.

My point is, even when things look like they’re falling apart beyond repair, keep going. Keep moving forward, because the changes you need to make to be happy are yet to come.

I’m Going Through Changes Now

Hello everyone!

Well, as the title and video would suggest, I am still going through a series of changes. First, obviously, I finally changed the blog header!

I’m about to leave Wilmington. My best friend and I discussed it a while ago, and I decided the best thing for me is to move back to Charlotte. She is literally saving my life by letting me rent a room in her beautiful house for next to nothing, in a city where I can grow professionally and personally.

I’m scared, but excited, and also sad. It’s been kind of a crazy ride these past few years…a lot has happened. Most of it is recorded here on this blog, so thank you for sticking with me! I may go dormant for a bit but I’ll try to update as much as possible, and once I get to Charlotte, I have so many plans and I’ll actually have the ability and means to carry them out, so stay tuned my friends!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Doors and Such

Hi everyone!

Gosh, I have just been so busy. I thought being unemployed would mean some time to relax, and I have had time, but damn have I also ben running around making plans and taking odd jobs and whatnot.

So after I got over the initial anger and depression that comes with being let go from a career, salary, benefits, and whatnot, I began truly thinking and realized that yes, while the career and security were great, the world was my oyster. I could do anything I wanted. I got my degree in graphic design and I am very happy to have that degree. I will never regret the work I put into it, and I will never forget the joy of walking across that stage in my cap and gown. But, I was never passionate about graphic design. I took a hobby and turned it into a career, something I’ve heard you should never do. The one thing I have always been passionate about is writing. I have been writing since I learned the alphabet and could hold a pencil. From poetry to novels, I have written it all.

So I started looking at writing jobs. I knew it would be difficult, but graphic design does technically fall under communications, so I also knew I had a chance.

I replied to a part time job on Craigslist. I heard back from them within a few hours and, after a video interview and some writing tests, I would like to unofficially announce that I was offered the job!

Doors close, and they open. Tragedy can blossom into opportunity.

The other door that is closing is one I am a little bit sad about…at the end of May, I am going to move back to Charlotte. Even though I did get the job, it’s part time and I cannot continue to afford living here. My best friend will be renting me a room in her beautiful new house for a much more affordable price.

I’m excited, and scared, but mostly excited. I cannot wait to see what this new journey holds for me. I’m going to miss the beach and the friends I made here, but my gut is telling me to move on. Move forward. This is not the place where I am meant to grow.

So, I will be writing, and hopefully blogging more! I have some ideas for Unless, and I can’t wait to get started on this new life!

Be well, my friends ❤

Life

Life has been handing me some lemons lately, and it has been very tiring trying to deal with them. This is one of the reasons I’ve been quiet.

This is normal for people my age. I realize that. At midnight on my birthday last month I began having a mid life crisis that I didn’t have much time to truly think about until recently.

When I was 20, living in my very first apartment, I discovered minimalism and began my first ever blog. While that blog is now long lost in the blogosphere, I’ve never really stopped trying to declutter my life. If you knew me personally and have been inside my current apartment, you would not guess that about me. I am very cluttered and I have a lot of sentimental things. But, it has come to my attention that I truly do need to minimize and begin a journey of mindfulness.

So the slow process begins…I want to downsize and rid myself of excessive things that I do not need. I plan on minimizing how much plastic I use, and be better about recycling. I also have begun independent study into medicinal herbalism, and will be trying my hand and creating my own salves and balms!

That’s it for now. I just wanted to make a quick update in between my busy work day hours. We’re nearing the end of our busy season, so soon I’ll have more time to blog and create!

Have a wonderful day!

Stephanie

 

Changes

 

So it’s August now, but I hope everyone had a GREAT Fourth of July holiday last month! I know I did. I went home to my parents’ house, and had two straight days of amazing food, drink, gun and bow shooting, swimming, and overall relaxing. I love going home, and now that I live further away it makes it all the more special. I cannot stress how important family is to me; they come first and foremost, and the love in my true home is unsurpassable.

This year has presented itself with a lot of changes so far. From becoming single to moving to a new apartment, it feels like every day has been a new adventure. About a month ago, I was enjoying a glass of wine on my porch one balmy Friday night and I was thinking about the past 26 years of my life.

I am generally a very happy, optimistic person. I was not always this way: toward the end of high school and the first two years of college, there was definitely a series of unfortunate events that kept me in a dark place for a very long time. There were a couple things that kept me going, but the one that stood out to me the other night was this: I was vegan.

It was an ethical choice, and I got lucky to have a very supportive family who helped me out. I kept learning all about food and new vegetables and how to cook them, and I have to say my cooking skills definitely improved. Once I was out on my own, I made the choice to eat eggs, dairy and meat again because it was easier on my minimum wage wallet. Recently, especially after having moved into my own place, I realized that I’ve been basically eating vegan this whole time. Then I made a new friend at open mic night, and he is vegan, which I took as a sign. I stopped flirting with it. I am now officially vegan.

I’m not going to preach my opinions or throw slaughterhouse videos in your face. I’m just giving y’all a heads up that my recipes are about to change! I’m pretty excited about going back, it was something that helped me when I was in the dark place, something dear to my heart, and something that makes me feel mentally and physically well.

Have a great weekend!

 

‘Tis in Season Challenge

To help me aid in my weight loss, I downloaded an app called Lose It!. It’s your usual food and exercise log and also taps into the “Health” app included on iOS where it records your daily steps. This app also features Challenges.

Today I joined a challenge called “‘Tis in Season”. The person who logs the most vegetables before the end of June wins. Yes, I did join late, but I feel like that will only help me get further ahead!

Because of this, I went to the store today and bought tons of veggies. I’m so excited to snack on carrots and peppers and celery and much more. I’ve already taken simple carbohydrates out of my diet and have eliminated most “unnatural” ingredients. Whatever I put in my body, 95% of the time I know exactly what is in it.

So for dinner tonight, I made salmon and mashed cauliflower. Unfortunately, I devoured it before I took a photo. Still, I’d love to share the recipe!

For the salmon, I keep it pretty simple:

Preheat ove to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Season salmon with Himalayan pink salt, cayenne pepper, dill, and lemon. I use lemon slices but lemon juice will work too.

Bake salmon for 20-25 minutes.

Mashed Cauliflower:

Cut 1 head of cauliflower into small florets. Chop as much garlic as you want, I love garlic so I used 4-5 cloves.

Boil water or stock and add florets, garlic, and rosemary. Boil until florets are fork tender.

Drain the cauliflower, return to the pan or place in a blender. Add your choice of cheese and about a tablespoon of butter. Blend, or use a hand mixer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Such a super simple, delicious, and healthy dinner! I highly recommend you try it out. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Love and peace,

Stephanie

10 Wellness Tips from a Work in Progress

Hey all!

Whew, what a whirlwind the past few days have been!

Between trying to advance in my career, dealing with my living situation, and trying to fix my body, I’ve learned a great deal about my body and the simple things I can do to treat it right. I’d like to pass on some of the things I’ve learned, and hopefully some (or all!) can help you too!

  1. Be kind. If you’re trying to lose weight, remember that it does not happen overnight. This is a process, and if you stick with it, you will begin to see the results.
  2. Scales are neither your friend, nor your enemy. I see a lot of motivational quotes on Pinterest and Instagram about how the scale just shows a number and you should not measure your self worth by it. I agree with this, however, don’t forget that the scale can also help motivate you. If you see the number go down, the excitement, the happiness, knowing you’ve grown closer to your goal can keep you motivated to keep going, and not give up.
  3. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Do your friends want to meet up for dinner and a drink? Do you want to go? Go! Yes, there are empty calories in alcohol and probably more than you should eat at dinner, but as long as it’s not every night, don’t forget that you are a human being and you deserve nice things, good food, good drink and good company.
  4. Don’t forget about the free stuff. I may be a little spoiled with this. Here in Wilmington, we have the Cape Fear River Walk. It’s a long walk by the Cape Fear River. I did it yesterday and, even though I got caught in the rain, I walked over 10,000 steps (including my regular day to day activities). It’s free fitness. Check around your area to see if there are any local walkways or anything similar.
  5. Get rid of toxic people. They will bring you down and the stress will cause your body to go into turmoil.
  6. Laugh. Watch a funny movie. Tell jokes. Laughter has such a positive effect on your body, and it feels as good as a much needed cry.
  7. Cry. And don’t feel bad about it either. Is your heart broken? Does your job suck? Did you just have an all around bad day? Cry it out, man. It’s cathartic and it will help. Do not forget, you are human. 
  8. Find something beautiful to look at. I don’t mean “thinspiration” or any of that Pro-Anorexia nonsense. I mean something truly, naturally gorgeous. Like these I took yesterday of the Cape Fear River at sunset:IMG_0610IMG_0614IMG_0617
  9. Get angry. Feel the rage, the fire burning inside of you. Use it! If something is making you angry, screw all those people who tell you you’re being dramatic, overreacting, that you should “calm down”. F$%^ them! Take that anger and go for a run. Take it and rip up something, throw some punches at a punching bag. Break something you don’t need anymore (I threw a martini glass once when I was PISSED. It felt so good.) Get that anger out of you! (Don’t get violent. Keep it classy, people.)
  10. When all else fails, take a step back. Reevaluate what your goals are, and how you are going to get there. Start a journal, a blog, anything. But be patient, be kind, love yourself and stay positive. No matter how small the steps are, you will succeed if you do not give up.

I’m not a perfect person. I’m over emotional, a little weird, and overly romantic. I get hurt easily because my whole heart goes into everything I do. I am learning to be kind to myself, to accept myself the way I am. I’m a work in progress.

Stay updated, my friends. My new project is a book of poetry. I’m still working on my novel, but in the past few days a sudden obsession with documenting my feelings with poetry has taken over me. My goal is to write enough to self publish a book.

Above all else, be kind. Love you all!

-Stephanie