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 ❤

Advertisements

Well This is Different

I didn’t post for a while because I made a pretty quick, life changing decision.

I moved into my own place!

I’m unsure of what caused it…I just woke up one day two weeks ago and I needed a fresh start, a clean slate. Within two days, I had found a new place and orchestrated a move with the help of my super cool boss and a couple guys and a lady from work. My new place is…pretty great. It’s hidden away, surrounded by trees, and most importantly, it’s my own. I have been feeling happier than I have in a long time, and I know I made the best decision for me.

Not only did I want to tell y’all the reason why I went quiet for a moment, but I wanted to touch of something I’ve had trouble with in the past and have been focusing on lately.

Winston Churchill once said, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” This is something I’ve come to realize is very, very true. I’ve lived most of my life in a bubble of fear, never taking chances and staying in my safe space. In the past couple of months I’ve been taking small steps out of the bubble, and the rewards have been, in a word, exquisite.

Take this move for example. It was terrifying. I’m in quite a bit of debt again. But I’m happy. I feel free, like I could sprout wings and fly. It was scary and asking for help was even scarier. But I did it because it was best for me, and that’s why it was so terrifying.

Last Wednesday I went out on my friend’s boat again. I’m terrified of deep water and drowning. But do you know what I did? I let him take me out to the open ocean. We went past the safe water buoy. It was dusk. And as we floated there, I realized that yes, there are scary things in the ocean, but boats are built to keep you afloat. Under the darkening sky I looked at the smooth, glassy water and the lights reflecting off of Wrightsville beach and never in my life have I ever been so happy to face my fears.

Sometimes, the decision to have courage is the hardest decision to make, but it’s also the most important. You may just find yourself blossoming in a way you never expected.

Now, I’m still getting set up but, but here are a few photos of my new place!

IMG_0707Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.13.15 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.13.24 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.13.36 AM

I’ll have more soon, of course.

And what is a blog post from me without photos from the ocean?

IMG_0729IMG_0734

Gosh…I love Masonboro Island.

Well, I have my work cut out for me today. I need to actually work, because I’m a bit behind on my current deadline, and I have some more organizing to do and some prep for the week. Until next time!

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

And she’s back!

Hey everyone! Oh my gosh, I’ve missed blogging so much! And so much has happened…

Let me give y’all an update. This may be a long post, but it’s important to me. Let me get my Spotify going and I’ll jump in!

When I took my hiatus, there was a lot going on in my life. And a lot of it was, well, not good. I was spiraling back down a road I never wanted to revisit. I was feeling depressed, overwhelmed, worthless…and I don’t revel in feeling that way. I needed change.

Then my boyfriend and I broke up.

We had been dating just under four years. Lately things had just been kind of…I can’t think of a word for it. After we broke up, the negative feelings began disappearing. That sounds bad, because he is not a bad person at all. But I thought about it and I realized that I have not taken any time to focus on myself in four years. And I was beginning to lose who I am. I wasn’t loving myself, I was simply living in a body and going about the motions.

Last Thursday a friend of mine took me out in his boat to Masonboro Island. As I lay there in the sand, the sun warming me and the waves lulling me to sleep, I felt a sudden change in me. A want to be better, a need to improve myself. I want to love myself and be brave, be adventurous, be the best person I know I can be, and I want to share it with others.

I was going to wait to restart this blog until my now roommate moves out in late July, but I’m tired of waiting to change my life. I have a brand new set of goals. I shouldn’t have to wait to begin to achieve them.

So this blog will serve as my record for my weight loss, my healthy recipes, my (hopefully) DIY projects I want to do, my journey to overcome my anxieties and phobias, and my life as I continue this new chapter by the sea, by the sun, and by the light.

For now, the layout of the blog will stay the same. But soon I hope to revamp and buy an actual domain name, make this stuff legit! And soon I will also figure out a blogging schedule.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.40.54 AM

Seriously…how can you not have life changing self realizations in a spot as beautiful as this?

So I’m glad to be back! I will update again soon, and once the dust settles, more often.

Keep the peace!

-Stephanie

Welcome 2016!

I was so excited, so so excited, to start my vacation after holiday deadlines were over. I was going to cook, clean, play my dulcimer and guitar, have some wine, play computer games, cross stitch, and more activities I can’t usually pull off during the workweek or even the weekends for that matter!

Then it happened. On Christmas. I stupidly left a glass of water near my laptop and exited the apartment. Enter: cat. Cat paw + water. You can get the idea…

I have a pretty expensive laptop I’ve been babying for like three years so I was pretty upset when I saw it had water damage. My wonderful, handy boyfriend set up a drying chamber for me and we left it alone for a few days while I attempted to still have fun and not worry about my livelihood or my job or any of the things I need my laptop to do (basically everything).

So after about 3.5 days of drying, I tested it out. When my desktop loaded, my heart swelled. It worked! However…the keyboard and trackpad did not. Well, barely. the “i” key typed “ui”, the “m” didn’t work, a lot of keys on the right side were shot. and I could move the cursor for only a bit before it would crap out. I bought a USB keyboard from Target but it barely worked. I knew I had to get a Mac keyboard and also settled for an Apple mouse because the magic trackpad was way over my budget. But…it works! I can do stuff again! Like blog and design and play and work! I couldn’t be happier.

So…I hope everyone had a GREAT new year! I feel like this year is going to bring in some awesome changes. Justin and I sat down yesterday and discussed what steps we are going to take to make our dreams finally come true.

This means making some tough decisions. No longer going out, not spending money on pricier, “nicer” foods, using what we have before purchasing more, etc. We both have debt, and our credit isn’t very good, and we want to buy a house and land. I’m very excited to make these changes and begin to clear up the debt. I feel like life is about to become simpler, more meaningful, especially if we are able to reach our goal.

It’s exciting to shift gears, and also scary. We went from worrying about being homeless, to having sustainable incomes, to being able to go out and enjoy ourselves, to now buckling down and really focusing on our future. I’m excited to update more and record our new journey!

Joaquin

I was going to update my blog this weekend with a post about a new endeavor, but I feel this takes precedence.

We are all aware of hurricane Joaquin, and being on the coast is no joke right now. I am more inland, which is keeping me much safer than I would be a couple miles out. That being said, this is a legit disaster and five people have already died in Columbia, SC, where one of my closest friends lives. The pump station across from my complex has been issuing a siren for the past two hours, something I’ve never heard in the year and a half I’ve lived here.

Make sure you have adequate food and water, flashlights, batteries, and keep everything charged.

Stay safe please!!

Cape Fear River Watch and Farmer’s Market

Now that I live in Wilmington, I’m really excited to get involved with the volunteer opportunities here. And, in light of my determination to go green, reduce my carbon footprint, and help save the planet, Justin and I sacrificed sleeping in this Saturday to help with the Cape Fear River Watch.

Wilmington natives are most likely familiar with this awesome opportunity, but for anyone who isn’t in Wilmington, River Watch is an organization that helps with water and river quality. This particular volunteer program cleans trash out of rivers and riverbanks. I was really excited to see quite a few people there, including my coworker/good friend Allie and her boyfriend Nick! Sticks, bags, and gloves were provided for us. Below are some photos from the morning, taken by Bernie, our motivated and awesome organizer, and Allie! Clicking on the photos will take you to the Cape Fear River Watch Website.

IMG_0011

IMG_0013

IMG_0014

IMG_0015

Allie climbed out first and I followed – My shoe untied and I almost fell in -_-

IMG_0018

I’m particularly happy with my heroic pipeline pose >_>

IMG_0019

IMG_0020

IMG_4377

IMG_4379

IMG_4378

IMG_0021

We got what we could! There’s still more trash that we couldn’t reach even with the long grabber sticks. This photo unfortunately doesn’t showcase every awesome person who came out. We all kind of got separated and cleaned different spots.

I felt really, really good after this morning! My soul felt good, my body felt good…all was good. After, even though we were wet and soggy, Justin and I hauled over to the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market and we picked up some homemade goat cheese, organic cat nip, corn, okra, rosemary and thyme to plant in pots on the porch, and organic ground goat.

IMG_4374

IMG_4375 The vendors were drool-worthy. I wanted some of the homemade bread but I’m still on a bit of a budget (haven’t gotten my first paycheck yet) so I’ll have to wait, it was a wee bit pricey. But when I have the money, I’ll be purchasing a hand-woven basket, some beeswax candles, and other goodies I can’t wait to get my hands on!

IMG_4380

This is my French thyme and pink rosemary! I wanted to buy out the whole herb vendor. The lady’s prices were amazing and she was so kind and very helpful in giving me advice to start my porch garden. Since taking this photo I have potted the herbs, thanks to my awesome neighbor Angie who has a thriving porch garden!

I actually may have a few more posts born of this weekend. Since our apartment is lined by a bamboo forest, Justin went and foraged some fallen stalks and is currently making them into some sunshades for the porch a gate for the porch! And I’m hoping to experiment with some lip balm making supplies I have but never used!

That’s it for now. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!