Changing Wardrobe

Told you I’d be back with a post about the change in wardrobe.

Part of my yearly goals was to completely update my wardrobe. 2019 was the year I finally want my closet to have pieces I will truly wear in a style that fully reflects me. So what is that style?

Black.

Straight up, all black.

I could hear you now: “Alexandra, are you going through an emo phase in your late 20s?” No, I still have color. Let me explain:

img_7846I wanted my actual clothing pieces to be black. No design, no words, nothing. Literally just black. But I want my shoes and accessories to be colorful. Bright blue shoes, pink hat, jewelry with stones of all colors. So, why did I want this as my style, and how does it reflect me?

Plain black makes me feel sensible. professional, clean, and confident. Black makes me feel slimmer, even if I’m wearing something hella baggy. It’s easy to put outfits together. I can dress it up or down, and be appropriate for any occasion. Now, I’m not trying to convert you to a black wardrobe, I’m just describing why.

img_7847But, I’m still very much a nerdy, colorful, fun person. And I want to showcase that  through accessories. It’s what people tend to notice first, and it pops a bit more on a black canvas.

One of the biggest things, guys: don’t go out and immediately buy a bunch of new clothing pieces. Add to the wardrobe a little at a time so you appreciate your style and wardrobe. And usually what I’ll do is, if I get a new piece, I’ll donate something else until I have a wardrobe I’m happy with.

I am so happy changing my wardrobe and I genuinely think I’ll be able to show my true self a lot more than I previously did.

If you want to change yours, remember these steps: know what your style is/what you want it to look like, ask yourself how you see yourself in this style, go through your full wardrobe and donate things that don’t make you happy and/or don’t go with your style, keep comfort clothes and everyday clothes separate, and buy one thing at a time. This is only if you want a specifically styled wardrobe. If you don’t care, then don’t care. If you prefer your hodge podge, then prefer it with pride. I wanted to stylize, and I wanted to give advice.

What you wear should make you happy, whether or not it fits with today’s fashions.

Hugs

Alexandra

How I Stay Awake at Work

I have a desk job. Sometimes staring at a computer screen in one spot doing something monotonous can make you drowsy, especially since I can’t listen to music or podcasts or anything. But I’ve come up with a few things that keep me awake on the days I get too weary.

img_7809First things first, something to drink. I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks or anything like that, and honestly I don’t recommend them. What I keep at my desk isa bottle of ice and water. Freezing cold water is both hydrating and it wakes me up a little. I also opt for a reusable bottle so there’s no waste and a bottle that lets me know how many ounces I’m drinking throughout the day.

I also always have gum and mints on the standby. Giving my mouth something to do (giggity) makes me a little more alive. Moving something keeps me from dozing. As well, it helps stop my appetite from mindless snacking via boredom. And who doesn’t like nice, minty fresh breathe.

img_7810To go along with moving something/getting the mind occupied, I have a stress ball on my desk to play with. It doesn’t make noise, so it doesn’t bother my coworkers. And it gives my hands something to do when I’m reading stuff on the screen or if I’m on the phone (especially if I’m on the phone, as you may know my fear of them). If I had the ability, I’d rather draw or write as I work, but I can’t.

On another healthy side of moving, I recommend getting up and stretching every hour or two. Every two hours I take a little walk around the office. It also clears my mind on long days.

img_7807And lastly, something I definitely recommend is peppermint essential oil. What I do is make a little inhaler from it. When I feel like I’m about to pass out from exhaustion, I take a nice whiff of peppermint and it shocks me awake. If you don’t have little inhalers, just put a drop in your palm, rub your palms together, put your hands in front of your nose gas mask-style, and take a hard sniff. A good wake up call if ever I had one.

Anyway, these definitely help me out when I’m tired at work. But remember, the real medicine to exhaustion is sleep. Take naps before or after work, and make sure you get plenty of sleep.

Good luck.

Hugs

Alexandra

Favorite Movie Exercise

Recently, I was doing some research on favorites. Why do we have favorites, what might they say about us, and how do they shape our personalities? In my research, I found this article about favorite movies. And I was fascinated! I recommend reading it (found here), but the basic gist is something about you might tie your favorite films together. Make a list of your top 10 movies, think about themes and elements, and ask yourself what ties them together. What do your favorite movies say about you?

I wanted to put this exercise to the test.

Almost a year ago, I made a post listing my favorite movies (here). I was looking through it again and decided to tweak it. My mind changes sometimes with favorite films, though I continuously seem to go through the same 20. But for this list, I decided on what speaks to me more often than not. Here’s my list in relative, not exact order:

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
  2. Die Hard
  3. Howl’s Moving Castle
  4. Willow
  5. Beetlejuice
  6. Legally Blonde
  7. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
  8. Jurassic Park
  9. Drop Dead Gorgeous
  10. The Frighteners

An eclectic, as Domenick put it, list. Different plots, different genres, different filmmakers, different actors, blah blah blah.

So what ties these together?

*! As a warning, there may be spoilers to the above mentioned films. !*

Let’s start with the top four: Mitty, Die Hard, Howl’s, and Willow handle a character underestimated by seemingly bigger forces. And usually the characters are constantly undervalued. Walter Mitty is constantly pushed around by those of a higher authority though he does more than they comprehend. John McClane is a cop from New York thrown into a terrorist situation in LA before taking them all out alone. Sophie, a girl who is undervalued by self and society, is cursed but is the only person who can keep the world moving. Willow is a small person bullied by those around him sent out on an adventure to save the world-ish, and even with the constant trash against him is the one who never stops and ultimately does save the world.

These are all stories of thriving when underestimated/undervalued, or continuing on when everyone says you can’t because you are the only one who can.

Let’s continue with the rest of the movies, and see if this theme continues throughout the other six.

Beetlejuice has a couple of underestimated characters. The Maitlands are undervalued as a simple superstition and walked all over on, but are able to take back their own house. Lydia is undervalued for being an oddball, but accepts herself and becomes more open in the end after making friends.

Legally Blonde is the ultimate movie of being underestimated. Elle is a beautiful blonde sorority girl from California who is treated like shit when she goes to law school. She doesn’t give up; she kicks all the ass.

To Wong Foo follows three drag queens in a road trip across America before they get stranded in middle America. They’re underestimated as ‘career girls’ and undervalued as drag queens. But they speak out and help the town value itself.

Jurassic Park. Everyone knows this movie for one word: dinosaurs. Obviously, the dinos themselves are underestimated as they fuck everything up. Ellie is underestimated as a woman in this survival situation. Malcolm and his knowledge is undervalued. But they survive, and that’s the point.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary about a teen beauty pageant in a little town in Minnesota. The lead teen is undervalued because she is “trailer trash” compared to her competition who is from the wealthiest family in town. And she is underestimated for being kind. She prevails though, fireball and all.

The Frighteners is about a man who can see/talk with ghosts when a serial killer ghost starts claiming the living. He is an undervalued member of society since he ‘scams’ using his connection with ghosts. He is underestimated since, obviously, no one believes him. He kicks ass, though, and saves the town.

And if I think of some of my other favorites, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Wonderman, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Imitation Game, and more, the majority of them, if not all of them, involve characters underestimated and/or undervalued before showing out, showing off, and being super awesome.

Now, for the last part of the exercise, why am I drawn to these kinds of movies?

I myself feel like an underestimated and undervalued person. Whether it’s myself or other people doing it, I feel like I’m pushed down to not achieve greatness. Not every movie ends in ultimate victory. Sometimes we fail, and we can fail hard. But they were no longer underestimated for what they could/couldn’t do. They were not undervalued as less than. These characters sought for the moon even when they were told they couldn’t.

I see myself in these moments, and that’s why I love movies. I connect with them.

Anyway, this was a fun look into my favorite movies and my own psyche. I recommend trying this with your favorite films. You may discover something new about yourself.

Hugs

Alexandra

2019 Goals Check In

Six (and a half-ish) months in, I wanted to see how I was doing with my 2019 goals. No, not resolutions, goals. This is also the time to see what goals need to be altered and what plans I can make to achieve the rest of it. And, of course, I invite you to go through your own 2019 goals and plan out what you need.

First of all, what were my goals for 2019? Well:

  • Complete one bucket list goal
  • Start an etsy shop
  • Be part of a production
  • Change wardrobe
  • Change hair cut and dye
  • Go out of country
  • Send out work five times
  • Complete a 5k or 10k
  • Able to do regular pushups
  • 50 books
  • Create a routine that works
  • Create a vision board
  • Deep organize through everything

img_7804I was able to do a few things already. I was actually in two productions, which was awesome. I did change my entire wardrobe (and I’ll be making a post about that next week). I organized every nook and cranny of my shit. And I drastically changed my hair, in which you’ll have to enjoy this rendition of since I have no proper pic as of yet.

Now, how about the rest?

I always try to fulfill a bucket list goal every year. I actually have a plan for that, so I should be able to complete it at the end of September. I’ve sent my work out three times now; I have a plan for one before November, and I just need to figure out one more which will just use a little research, so no biggie. I know what I want to color my hair, but it won’t be until at the very earliest August to do so. I have an idea for a vision board, so I should be able to finish it before the month is out.

Here’s where things get to be kind of a bummer. There’s a couple of goals that probably won’t happen. An etsy shop takes a lot of time and mindfulness, two things I haven’t been able to provide, and probably won’t be able to provide the rest of the year. The rest of the summer is going to be too busy prepping for the fall, which is going to be even crazier. There won’t be time for it, so I’m probably gonna cut that from my goal list. I’d love to go out of country, but unfortunately my big trip is going to an orientation in a different state on the other side of the country (a trip I’ve taken quite a few times now). I won’t take it off the list in case I manage to run away to Canada for a second, but it’s very probable I won’t be able to do it.

Now for my ongoing stuff. I’m about 3/5 into my 50 books challenge, so that’s going swimmingly. I’m trying to work on fitness and the ability to do a 5k or 10k is not too far away. Pushups are an odd goal to some, but no one is allowed to tell you what should not be a goal in your life. I can’t do pushups because I lack upper bod strength, and my body is built differently. I just want to be able to do five regular pushups and be proud doing it. Still can barely do a knee pushup, though…And as for the routine, it’s going through trials right now. I can’t figure what works for me, but I’m trying and that’s what matters.

Long story short, I’m doing okay, but could be better. I’m still going, though, which is what matters. Maybe we’ll revisit this again at the end of the year.

And how did you do? Doing well? I’m so proud of you! Not doing so well? That’s okay! I’m proud of you for trying. And this is a good time to start again, revise and move on. You can do it!

Hugs

Alexandra

Why Phone Calls Terrify Me (and Some Research About It)

It seems to be a stereotype amongst the Millennials and Gen Z to be afraid of phone calls and making calls. And it seems to be true, in terms of my own self.

I hate making phone calls/answering phone calls. It gives me real anxiety and it truly scares me. So I wondered, where did the stereotype come from? Or why are people my age so scared of answering/making phone calls? I decided to look at a couple of articles, and here’s what I found:

According to a survey done by BankMyCell, who talked to more than 1,200 Millennials, the main reasons we avoid calls are as follows: time consumption, work responsibilities, being heard on the phone in personal surroundings, and the ‘person’ factor. The ‘person’ factor, as I call it, are the neediness, annoying, whiny, confrontation-y part of the phone calls. Someone else made a good point, saying, “It’s simple: if you text or email someone, they can respond on their time. But if you call someone, they need to respond right now on your time. It’s just inconsiderate.” (Andy Meek).

Another article had an example panic monologue that went something like this:

“Wait, what if she asks me a question I don’t have the answer to? What if I try to explain things using my hands and nothing makes any sense without my excellent hand gestures? What if the connection dies mid-sentence and my incomplete thought makes me sound like I hate HR? Oh no, what if I have to leave a voicemail?” (Peter Du)

The fear of embarrassment seems to be heightened amongst the Millennials as well, which may contribute. (And when I tried to look up some articles about that, all I got were articles written by people that said they were embarrassed to be a Millennial, so that didn’t help). This I understand. Phone calls are in the moment, and the last thing you want to do is say something wrong.

I did look into other articles, but the problem became the hostility toward Millennials being glued to their phones yet are cowards enough not to answer it. They’re precious little babies that whine about everything. (Obviously, I don’t agree, but that’s what the articles summarized). Rude.

So, to conclude the first half, Millennials tend to be fearful of phone calls because it’s time consuming (which is inconsiderate), they can get confrontational, and embarrassment may happen.

Now, what about me? When I say I’m scared to make phone calls, I mean I could get a panic attack from it (great, considering making phone calls is 65% of my current job). It gives me so much anxiety! Why? Well…

It hearkens back to my undergrad college when I had a job at a call center. I was already an anxious bean, but phone calls weren’t the worst thing ever so I thought I could handle it. Until I actually worked there. Two reasons: the callees and the coworkers. The callees were a special kind of rude because, while we were not selling anything, we were doing political surveys about candidates and hot-button issues like gun laws. I’ll allow you to use your imagination, but I was in a constant state of fear or sorrow.

My coworkers were something else. You had no choice in your hours, bathroom breaks were ordained (and you only got one a shift), you couldn’t take a break from calling because your computer would automatically call for you and you couldn’t stop it, and the supervisors were ruthless. They always listened in on your calls and would tell you everything you did wrong during your call. If you didn’t reach a quota (because that’s totally your fault), your pay was docked. You couldn’t socialize with anyone around you, as proven by getting bad marks for saying hi to a castmates son who worked there too. And here’s where it became very obvious that they didn’t care: I got very sick and lost my voice, which means I couldn’t talk on the phone. When I let them know, they just rolled their eyes and said I can take a day but that’s my only day off I’m allowed (because one of the rules was that we were only allowed one day off in nine months).

TLDR; I’m terrified of phones because I was traumatized. I’m scared people will yell at me, I’m scared people will treat me like garbage, I’m scared I’ll do something wrong, I’m scared that I’m not allowed to do anything else while on the phone because it’ll royally mess me up.

Anyway, I’m screwed over when it comes to calls.

And yet I have to do it every day because income is more important than anything else.

Dammit.

(DISCLAIMER: I have a good job, and being on the phone at work is getting easier because I just use a character, ‘White Collar Alexandra’. I was very aware when I was offered my job that I would be very involved with phone calls)

The Ring Experiment

I’m very single.

It’s not a surprise to people who know me because I joke about it (and I’ll be damned if I ever keep a relationship a secret again). And being a certified adult™, I have plenty of friends who are in relationships, engagements, or marriages.

Some more backstory, I went to a university was rampant. Like, 90% of the people I met there were already married or got married before graduation. And looking into statistics, the percentage is actually something like 70-85% marriage status. Yeah, everyone was getting married.

I was not.

But because of that whole 5 and a half year situation, I have made the unintentional habit of ring-checking. I can notice a wedding band quicker than anyone else. It’s awesome and awful at the same time.

But I was curious, am I the weird one or do others ring check?

So I thought I’d wear a ring for a while.

img_7233

I wore it for three weeks everywhere. Work, rehearsal, the friggin’ library. I didn’t make mentions, I didn’t say anything, just wore it on my left ring finger indiscreetly. And you know what happened?

Nothing.

Not a single thing.

No one treated me differently, no one asked questions, the people I live with didn’t even notice.

What was the point of this post?

I don’t really know.

But experiments are meaningless without data or writing. img_7721

Your lesson of the post of the day (what?) is a person is not a relationship, despite what my old college taught me. Turns out to be my problem, and a problem at my old university. Notice a person before you notice their relationship status.

Man, this was a bad post, but I’m allowed some, especially if it gets a thought out my brain.

Thanks for reading.

Alexandra

Commissions-Ish

I’m in a precarious position of needing some money. However, I HATE asking for it. So I tried something I never planned on doing, but I am not opposed to:

Commissions.

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If you didn’t know, I draw. Not terribly often, but more lately than usual. I have those little comics every Friday, sure, but my colored pencil work is what I advertised. I put it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, everything that I was doing commissions. I had quite a few people on all platforms enjoy my art, so I thought I’d do well.

I got two commissions.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed. But I am also understanding. Not everyone has cash to spare and/or not everyone has a need for colored pencil art. I get it.

Still a bummer, though.

Sometimes things don’t work out like you hope. I was hoping to be able to put a little cash into going to grad school orientation, but it didn’t quite work out. I was still happy to draw for two people who were able to help me out.

I’m still gonna draw. If you’d like to, you can commission me at drawing.by.notcon@gmail.com but only if you’d like to.

And if I can give one more little inspirational message: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Art-wise, I have much more talented friends and I feel like commissions aren’t something I’d be good at. But I still did it. You never know, guys.

Hugs

Alexandra

Bullet Journal Set Up for July

Something I’ve been watching on YouTube lately is bujo layouts.

Because I’m poor, I can’t always afford to order some bujo stickers, so I was wondering what I could do instead. Considering I have quite a few sticker collections, I decided to create my own themes using what I already have (which makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?)

For the month of July (aka hot-as-fuck month), I decided an Ancient Egypt theme using the sticker book I got in Glasgow.

First things first, supplies.

  • pen/pencil
  • scissors
  • red and gold washi tape
  • red, peach, and golden brown Crayola Supertips
  • brown skinny Crayola marker
  • forest green, light brown, orange brown Pen+Gear markers
  • the stickers
  • and of course, your bujo

My title page, as every month has one, has the quote “All things are possible. Who you are is limited by who you think you are.” It’s apparently from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which seemed to fit. The symbols is hieroglyphics for July. I thought it was a cool touch, and I hope I got it right.

My monthly page with important dates and goals. I also have a challenge tracker since I dubbed this month Challenge Month, so it’ll keep me on my toes or whatever.

Then, I have a habit tracker. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of habits to track being under a commitment contract.

And finally, I have a weekly page. I have a to-do list, a tiny section for work (though, it’s not often used, it does offer a spot to put meetings or goals), a section for my digital stuff like blogs and videos, and notes for whatever I need at all.

If you want to use any of these, go right ahead.

The point of this is you don’t need expensive kits or whatever. Use what you have already and you’ll probably have a fun time.

Hugs

Alexandra

June Book Club

Because of the show, reading was…scarce…ish. Well, I definitely didn’t read as much as last month. Also, in May, I said I’d read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I actually decided to hold off on that until August. In August,  I’ll be traveling. What better books to read than the LOTR trilogy?

Anyway, so here’s what I read:

1984 by George Orwell

I remember ‘reading’ this in high school. I decided to listen to it at work and…it’s not what I thought. While I understand theme and symbol-wise why this would be read in high schools, there were some disturbing elements that might need to wait until college. With that said, I loved the setting, the plot, but man, the characters were awful. They all sucked so bad. Ignoring the characters, it’s worth a read for the setting and themes.

Creative Struggle by Gavin Aung Than, aka Zen Pencils

I went on a Zen Pencils binge recently needing to feel better about myself and what I’m doing with my life (yes, I had some existentialism going on). I picked up the book and went to town on people of the past who had creative struggles. It’s a quick read as it’s almost entirely comics, but it was super great. Recommend for those who like comics and/or great quotes by influential people.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Narration style of an angsty teenage boy.

That’s all I’ve to say about that.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Love the movie, and everyone talked about how amazing this book was. The movie stuck to the book closer than any other movie I’ve ever seen. I read it in under 24 hours in between work, sleeping, a yard sale, finishing the Good Omens show, and rewatching the movie. It was lovingly written with a fun triple plot and some interesting characters. Highly recommend.

I started The Road, but by the time of writing this I have not finished so that’ll wait until July Book Club. Along with that, I’m planning to read Dr. Frankenstein’s DaughtersThe Girl on the Train, and That Was Then, This Is Now.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

Pride

June is Pride Month. And 2019 seemed to be the most open year for pride I’ve ever personally seen. Daniel Howell and Eugene Lee Yang, two prominent YouTubers I watch a lot and follow, came out. Taylor Swift made a fun song (again, in my opinion) supporting the LGBT+ community. I went to my very first Pride.

Oh, and I fully came out.

I’m Abrosexual, also known as sexually fluid.

I was very worried, considering it’s a sexuality not often heard of/often very misunderstood. No one at the Pride festival had heard of it. When I came out to my mom (who thought I was bi), she was fully accepting, but admitted she didn’t fully understand. But it’s okay. It gave me a chance to educate and enlighten and celebrate.

And that’s what Pride is about.

Happy Pride. To everyone, no matter who you are.

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Hugs

Alexandra