I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai! This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.
Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever. Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.” Harsh, I know. And I told everyone that! I hated the thought of ever going back. Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing. I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.
The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America! But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back. Mostly because so much has changed since then. Personally & professionally. Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist. And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.
This is the only “Holiday Gift Guide” I had time to make this year! My goal for next year is to be more specific & give some super badass ideas for everyone you’re shopping for. To take the weight off your shoulders & have a stress free season. Holiday Gift Guides are my jam & I find them to be incredibly helpful. Hopefully this list will at least send you in the right direction…
Your Friends Businesses:
You know what’s freaking crazy, not supporting your friends small businesses or hobby’s. If you have a friend or know of someone that’s bravely trying to create their own business & fulfill a passion, you should be the one in line to support them! I feel like I’m always hearing the critique of what people are trying to do rather than the encouragement & support. SO, what a wonderful time to show support to these businesses by ordering gifts through them. Think of people you know that are trying to start a product, sell a product or service and figure out who you can gift that to. That way, you’re giving an awesome gift to the receiver and another gift to the person you’re purchasing from. If you don’t have any friends doing this, check out Etsy. Tons of businesses & hobby’s on that website are small (& you can consider those people friends). Love this idea!
Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things. One was Jury Duty but the other was a book. Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty. fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready. I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.
I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated. I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down. At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it. Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them. However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.
Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.
Let me explain. I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool. (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical. I listened, laughed and fell asleep. In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question. 3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical. One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety. Wtf. I thought anxiety was something I hated. But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie. Powerful, relieved, and excited. I told myself, anxiety is a superpower. A freaking superpower! Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions. They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower. And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.
Remember when you were little and getting ready for soccer games, a school play, choir/band performance and your teacher or parents would tell you “Just do your best”? Maybe you heard that, maybe you were already the best…
I wish we still had an adult following us around, reminding us to do our best. I recently had a boss that filled a position where he was in way over his head. Drowning in the position because he likely over promised what skills he actually had. I watched him drown. I tried my best to help him but quickly noticed he wasn’t trying his best. He didn’t fulfill the position requirements and instead of digging his heels in and trying to do his best to figure it out, he resisted. He passed everything he could off to anyone that would take it. He gave it to his bosses, people under him, people next to him. He refused to learn. He trusted his seniority would precedent.
Over the weeks, that turned into months, I started wondering why he wouldn’t try. What happened to trying to do your best? Come in to work every day and do the very best YOU can do. If it’s a mess or not everything gets done, at least you tried. I don’t understand people who don’t try to do their best. Why wouldn’t you? With my boss, whatever his issue with the position was, I still think he should’ve tried to do his best at it, every single day until he’s either learned the position requirements or found something else.
If you stop doing your best, how boring? What are you learning? What are you getting better at? In conversations, try to do your best at listening. At workouts, try to be your best athlete. Preparing for the week, try to do your best each Sunday. I mean shiiiii, if you’re not trying at anything anymore you need to get a hobby you enjoy. If you’re an expert at everything, you have the wrong mindset. Find things to work hard at & be passionate about. I hated my job once, and let me tell you – I did my very best at finding something better. At going to work every single day knowing I was trying for something better, so I felt comfortable working hard while I was there.
Thank you to everyone for your feedback on the Jury Duty post! I can’t describe the relief it was to feel other people understand where I was coming from… The experience made me think I was alone on an island called Understanding – so thank you thank you thank you! And like I said, I’m not done with this, so stay tuned. My wheels are spinning! Please continue to let me know if you have similar stories, ideas, thoughts – I love hearing them!
Today, I’m getting off the serious train & into something I consider a little more enjoyable. I become overwhelmed & disengage quickly when someone is in a constant heavy subject. Even for me, that gets exhausting. I need to full circle of conversation. I also try to enjoy my life & freedoms as much as possible because I know they are not granted to everyone.
Let’s talk Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Fuck that shit! (Yeah right, I spent the entire weekend scrolling the internet in efforts to procrastinate all other tasks. Procrastination does not end in college.)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday ever!!! It’s a holiday where you eat, relax, meet up with friends/family, eat again, and hopefully be grateful. This is the bee knees of holidays people, there’s nothing better. (I also love all the shopping sales that closely follow. Ha!) But it simply wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving without being able to say what you’ve been thankful for…
Wafiq and I have a ritual of saying what we’re thankful for almost daily. When times were a little tougher I think we would say them twice a day… Taking time to challenge each other in a grateful war always makes the mood brighter. And it takes your mind off all that negative shit that’s stuck up in that brain of yours.
This year, I have TONS to be grateful for, so lets get into it!
With the last few weeks feeling like my eyes were wide fucking open, I decided I have to get my shit together. I always feel this way, like I really need to get my life wrangled in, but this time the feeling felt focused. Small changes had to start happening, now. A few weeks ago I discovered The Container Store. Damn, for people that already knew of this beautiful secret of a store, congratulations. I bought one small organizer for all my hair clips, I think it was $2.99. I brought it home, and felt changed. Organized and proud. But I left it at that. Every once and awhile I would brainstorm ways to organize my makeup but didn’t follow up. So… after this slam dunk of events happening and being woke the F up, I decided no more waiting – I need to act!
Clear drawer trays: (here)
I chose clear because I can leave notes under them // Clear drawer trays: (here)
Super cheap but super valuable hair organizer: (here)
So that’s what I did. I went to The Container Store and bought pieces that I thought would help organize my room. I didn’t think about what someone else would use to organize, I didn’t think about what made the most sense, I didn’t think about what a fancy organizer person would do – I only thought about how I wanted to organize my shit… and I proceeded.
The reason I’m even bringing up The Container Store is because it’s a one stop spot to knock out all of your organizing needs + most of the items are affordable. I’m obsessed with this store now. So let me tell you how I started. I bought this tiny box organizer that looks like a children’s fishing tackle box and decided to separate all my hair clips into the dividers. Before, they were all in one location, but in a small plastic box mixed together. I had no idea how many ponytails I had, where the other shiny blonde bobby pin was, or what clip I was looking for. This $2.99 organizer made it so simple, and easy to store! (Full disclosure, I left it out on my bathroom counter for a week just so I could stare at it).
For my makeup, I started with different sized drawer organizers. I went back and forth about where I wanted my makeup… On the counter or put away in drawers. What do you think? I’ve seen it on counters lately as like a decoration? But I wasn’t feeling it for myself… so I went for these drawer organizers. I decided on clear plastic organizers because they’re shiny, and I put little notes underneath them to reference.
I would love to say I’m back with Taylor Swift in my ears but I have 1,000 upgrades, login/password confusion, and download issues happening in iTunes right now so no Taylor Swift for me! Might have to take it the old fashion way of buying a tangible CD or pirating. I’ve only been looking forward to this album since she disappeared.
I had a few traumatizing events happen the last few weeks, Jury Duty, work overload, and a book that rocked my socks. The combination of everything changed me. Really changed me in my core, opened my eyes, freaked me out, kept me awake… I’m going to follow up with a few posts on those events in the next week or so because it’s a lot to take on in one post, for me. Especially since I haven’t written a post in awhile, I wanted to say hi first! Immediately after Jury Duty I started thinking – fuck blogging, it’s not important enough. I kind of protested myself, to myself? My eyes were opened WIDE and I really shut the door on blogging, I was completely shifted in my thoughts. I couldn’t come on and write about shoes, or festivals, or being happy – when that’s the opposite of what I gave a shit about. But then, being away made me feel anxious, I love writing. And it doesn’t have to be roses and smiles all the time, because life isn’t roses all the time. And my writing doesn’t have to be perfect or make perfect sense, because no one is perfect. No one knows everything. I also learned that being away from blogging & writing didn’t feel right.
I’ve anxiously been waiting to have a post schedule again. I use my blog as a creativity outlet but realized it’s more than that for me, it’s a way to express what’s in my head and talk to a few people that read. My goal is to eventually talk back and forth (I think some people call that conversation 🙂 ) with readers. I know everything I say or think can be changed with a little extra knowledge and I’m going to do my best to search for it! And always hear the other side on all my thoughts, and I encourage you to do the same.
Needless to say, waaaay out of the holiday spirit this year. I don’t even remember Halloween. Did it happen already? This might not seem like a big deal, but as a blogger I should give a shit. And my whole life I have – I love costumes and dressing up. I’m typically VERY holiday. Celebrations excite me and I’m always down to participate… but this year I haven’t gotten into the swing of things, just haven’t and I probably won’t. I’m relieved, I don’t want to holiday this year. I want 2017 to be the year that I’m not focused on holidays but focused on myself and upcoming plans. I’ve done this once before, when I first moved to Dubai. I skipped holidays, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. So this year will be somewhat similar, not a total skip, but pretty darn close.
Wooooooof TA! Austin City Limits music festival beat the crap out of me! Every year I go I hope it’ll be easier, but it never is. I love the music & the break from normal life – but it’s H O T in Texas and that heat can really beat you up.
This festival came right on the heels of the Vegas catastrophe, which you couldn’t help but feel heavy about. My friends & I did our best to not bring it up but that’s hard to do when there’s thousands of people stuffed in on top of each other at a concert. I think that’s how it’s going to be from now on for our generation. It’s hard to honestly say otherwise. We have to live in a place where we’re cautious of our surroundings and listen to our instincts, especially when we’re in large crowds. Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at in America. Boo, all because of those mother fuckers.
One adjustment I noticed this year, I’m not sure if it’s new or just something I’m more aware of, is the huge crane overlooking the festival with police on it. They had a birds eye view of the entire festival and you could see they had huge lenses to see everything happening on the ground. That was about my only piece of mind.
On the 2nd night as Wafiq and I were watching one of the shows, we heard a huge bang come from the other side of the festival. We told ourselves if we hear it again, we’ll leave. Then we heard it again. And again. There were police near us that also looked concerned, as did most of the people around us. To make a long story short, it was pyrographics at the stage on the other side of the festival. I’m thinking (and hoping) this part of live performances will have restrictions in the future. I don’t think it’s worth it to risk confusing a crowd. With our tensions a little higher than we’d like, Wafiq and I decided to leave early that night. Again, we’re at a place where you have to trust your gut on certain circumstances, call us dramatic but I’d rather be the dramatic one all day than the one standing there when/if something happens.
I constantly brag about the incredibly insightful active shooter training I did with our city Fire Marshall – I need to do a whole post on that because it was way more helpful than I imagined it could be.