How Old Am I Mentally?

Yesterday, I had a very unfortunate wake up call. Mentally, I am younger. And immature.

I’m 27 years old. Yet, I act like a teenager. Mentally, I’m in the 16-20 year range. How do I know this? Like I said, yesterday I had an unfortunate brush of reality.

I took a non work day due to trying to get myself organized and feeling mentally better. Some context, I live with my mother and brother. We’re more like roommates, but that’s for a different time. My mom is a teacher. She’s amazing at her job, specializing in at-risk youth. She has a lot of stresses, and everyone has bad days (and if you can’t tell by now, this story may paint her in an unfavorable light. However, she’s an awesome lady and I love her. And she reads this blog {don’t get mad, Mom}).

During the morning, I got messaged to meet my director of a show I’m working on at noon. Then Mom messaged me saying that the couch and stuffed animals she keeps in her classroom for her students is against firecode and had to be immediately removed. We had one car to share amongst three, and I had it. She asked me to come pick up the couch. Ugh. It’s just the innate laziness of not wanting to move from my desk before I have to go to the theater. Also, how stupid of the firecode, considering other things I’ve seen in classrooms.

But I told her I’d do it.

On my way out, in the car, pulling onto the street, she called to tell me her pizza party was cancelled and can I please bring her lunch. Mild annoyance, because that means I have to stop one more place, since I’m not going back to the house. But it wasn’t a big deal. Jokingly, I whined about just leaving (with the plan of picking her up food instead). She said she was sorry and that she found out after first period (about an hour and a half ago). Teachers don’t have an opportunity to sit, much less message a person about lunch. I understood why she wouldn’t have told me until now. Still, like a petulant teenager, and not at all seriously, I whined again; “Why didn’t you tell me then?” It wasn’t meant to harm or to be taken seriously. However, she screamed over the phone, “NEVERMIND, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I’LL JUST FIGURE IT OUT, GOD!” And she hung up.

I was stunned. Huh? Did she mistake my tone for arguing or anger? Did she not understand the kidding-ness of my statements? What the hell just happened?!

I picked her up some food and went to the school, fully intending to ask her about it. I got there, and she, with three other students, brought out the couch and shoved it in the trunk. She didn’t speak to me. She didn’t even look at me. I didn’t exist. Then she slammed the trunk shut and stomped back inside. Even her students were a bit shocked. I gave Mom’s lunch to a student, and left.

I wasn’t even a block from the school when I started to sob. Full crying, noises, headache, everything.

Mom was angry with me.

What did I do?

And I realized: I was acting like a child.

I whined about doing any sort of work or favor. I was like her students, who she has to deal with times a thousand every day. I even started crying when I didn’t understand why an adult I look up to treated me unfairly.

I already knew I was immature for my age. I’m on no real career path, I live at home, I’m a shopaholic with not enough income, and I still need to ask for the car to go anywhere. I’m stuck in a college brain, where I’d rather stay in school than go out to the real world.

I know this.

But this wake up call was something new. And something very ugly to me.

I did not like what I was realizing about myself.

Was Mom in the right to act that way toward me? I don’t believe she was. Was my behavior what set her off? Probably not. She may have had a really bad day (being the handler of 200+ 11-12 year olds).

(Note: I asked Mom about this several hours later, and it was indeed me. She was pissed at me for yelling and arguing and crying, and she was sick of it. I didn’t yell; the mic through the car picked up a different cadence. I certainly wasn’t crying, until after I was scolded. I did argue, but in a non-serious matter. At the time of typing this, neither of us have apologized)

But it still hits me in the face like a baseball bat. I’m 27, not 18. I know I need to mature.

I just need to figure out where to start.

Wish me luck.

My First Time Voting

img_6588I’m 27 years old and I’ve never voted. Until this past Tuesday.

Here in the States, you can vote at 18. However, I also believe in voting when you’re ready. Due to family history, I tried to avoid politics. And because I wasn’t politically-minded, I felt that I was ignorant to what was happening. I don’t want to do something as important as vote if I’m so ignorant.

Now, at the midterm elections, 9 years after my legal voting age, I voted.

I no longer felt ignorant, and I felt like it was the right time for me.

How did my first time go? Well, it definitely wasn’t a cakewalk.

I wanted to go early before work, so I got to the polls at 7:30 am. And they weren’t open. I was fairly certain polls were supposed to be open at 7. Frustrating. But, I can just come back, so off to work I went.

After work, I went to vote. I waited in line. For a while. I was there at around 4:20 (blaze), and I had somewhere to be at 5:15, at a half hour drive away. People chatted since everyone knew everyone (except me, the town hermit), and generally wasting time. I just want to vote.

Finally, I got to check in. I registered in August. If you remember, I moved in August so I don’t recall which address I put down. They asked my address, and I stumbled. Poop-poop-de-doop, I’m about to be kicked out of line to re-register. Luckily, I was able to go through after talking to the volunteer.

I went into a booth. I filled in the bubbles. My sharpie almost ran out. I put it in the slot, once finished. Another volunteer announced that I voted and gave me the infamous ‘I Voted’ sticker.

It was, indeed, a super simple process, but it is so necessary.

If you’re able, and your feel ready to do it, go vote in the next election.

Hugs

Alexandra

A Relaxing Day…

Yesterday I needed to compress from a lot that’s been happening.

Fortunately, my brother and I had a day off together for the first time in a while. I had started a new job, he got new hours, and we were never able to spend time together. Yesterday was a good day.

We sprawled blankets, we ate snacks, we played Monopoly and CAH and Diablo III. We watched Game Grumps and The Frighteners.

It was nice.

It was a day I needed.

Today, I face my problems again. But I’m better than I was two days ago.

Take moments, even in times of stress, to relax and not think about those things. Not thinking about it won’t make those problems go away, but having a moment of not thinking will give your brain a rest. And a restful brain is a more productive brain.

Take a break, then face your problems.

Hugs

Alexandra

So Your Job Won’t Let You Dress Up

I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.

However, my job doesn’t allow us to dress up for Halloween. Honestly, they’re missing a great opportunity for some extra fun. Everyone’s distracted anyway, throwing candy at each other, decorations everywhere. Costumes are just a nice cherry on top.

I’m not the only one who’s complained, but higher-ups stand firm. No costumes.

Well, I’m not gonna take this with a boring work-day outfit.

Here’s what you do when your job won’t let you dress up for Halloween:

First of all, black. Wear all black. Everything black! Besides being the only acceptable fashion choice, it looks spooky. Don’t have black? Guess what. Thrift stores have black! And if you like to wear it, nail polish. Black nail polish. Black makeup. Or blood red, whatever.

First-and-a-half of all, if you don’t want to wear all black, bound it up. Take a character, and create a modern, appropriate outfit for it. You wanted to dress like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, but the office won’t allow a bikini and tail? A green skirt, a purple shirt, red earrings.

Second of all, spooky accessories. Skull earrings, bat headband, Freddy Kruger belt buckle, Friday the 13th tie, I don’t know. Whatever you have that could say ‘spooky’, put it on.

Third of all, have a little fun. You carry a purse to work? Guess what. Your purse is not a pumpkin. You write a lot at work? Guess what. Your pens are now bloody syringes (available at a party store). Your computer wallpaper is now a graveyard. Your tissue box is now wrapped like a mummy. Your water bottle is now shaped like Frankenstein’s monster. Your lunch is now brains. Commit!

And most importantly, have fun. Halloween is a fun time. Even if I’m not allowed to dress at work, I’m gonna be wearing all black, with all my spooky accessories, throwing candy at the kids I work with. Maybe even some of my coworkers.

Have a safe, fun Halloween!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

The Relationship

Another story time, whoo hoo! Only because I feel there is wisdom in my breakup. That’s right, I’m talking about my Glasgow relationship.

Again, we’ll call him Tom.

He and I met in a little coffee shop/study space for postgrad students at the University of Glasgow. I got there early enough to find a table (as there was never enough seating there) and was reading some class material, sipping on a hot cocoa when a man approached my table. He had his backpack over his shoulder and his wallet in his hand. “Sorry, do you mind if I sit? There’s no more free tables.” Being the polite person I am, I allowed him to sit at my table and I continued reading. His coffee came, he took out his own reading materials, and…

“Excuse me. What do you use for your iPad?” See, I had this app on my iPad called Noteshelf that let me take notes and highlight the reading material, saves it, bookmarks it, everything. Best thing for a postgrad student who has to read a shit-ton. Anyway, he continues, “I have an iPad, and I would love not having to print papers or lug my brick of a computer.” And that’s how we started talking.

His name is [Tom], from [redacted], and he’s studying [a science of some form]. Two hours later, I need to head to class. And he asks to meet me again at the postgrad coffee shop two days from now. I say yes, and fumble to my class.

Two days later, I get there early, get a table, and Tom comes in. How exciting! Look, Ma, I’m making friends! He sits at my table; “How do you manage to get a table?” I get here early enough. “You must sleep here, then. Every time I come here, there’s no table.” And we’re back to chatting. Two hours later, it’s time for me to head to class again. As I’m leaving, he asks for my phone number.

Now, at this point, I’m hesitant. My number? And what do you plan to do with my number, sir? But, I give it to him. Another friend in my phone book…right? Before I think too much, I go to class.

He texts that weekend. We meet up again, I leave, he texts, we meet up, I leave, he texts, and the circle continues. Until one fateful day, a couple of weeks later: “Can I take you out some time? O a date?” Another hesitation. I have a bad history with dates. I’m traumatized by some I’ve been on. Also, I’m here for my education! But, Tom’s so easy to talk to, and I know we’d have a good time, so I said yes.

That Friday, he takes me to a ramen restaurant, where they were showing Spirited Away on the big screen. And it was a great date. We talked. We had ramen. We strolled around the Duke in city centre. And it was so nice. He listened when I was talking, he laughed at my jokes, he commented on how smart I was. By the time we parted ways on the subway, we agreed to a second date.

Now, my friends and family are probably screaming at me right now, “Why didn’t you tell us?!” Because I didn’t want to. For several reasons. One: my hesitations caused me to pause when it came to announcing anything. Something intuitively told me not to tell anyone about Tom, a baby bear warning, I know. But I also didn’t sense a danger which is why I continued. Two: sorry, but relationship/dating announcing is kind of annoying. I couldn’t talk to anyone I know without them badgering me with questions about the date and about Tom. Hey, in class we talked about that play you did- “yeah, cool, so when are you and Tom going out again? Has he texted you?” And forget a real relationship; then everyone would be asking about potential marriage. And three: he asked me not to tell. On our second date, he brought up becoming a couple. He liked me and wanted to continue dating, however, his family would only support him while at school if he focused on his studies and stayed away from distracting things like relationships. His family was strict. And an added bonus with keeping our relationship on the down low was the American presidential election. He’s not American (wasn’t Scottish either) and his family had strong opinions about Americans. Which I am.

The point is, we kept our dating quiet because he and I would’ve gotten an earful if we made it public.

We were happy to agree with each other, and after that second date we were a couple.

This seemed so nice! How, you wonder, does it go absolutely tits-up?

Well, you get to wait.

That’s right! We got a cliffhanger! Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon…

Face Painting

I recently was volunteered to do face painting for a small fair. I’m not the biggest fan of being volunteered to do something, but I also have an impossibility to say no.

So I did it.

And I thought, since it is the Halloween month (and tomorrow I’ll be doing some of this), I could give some tips about face painting, specifically for the masses. Here’s what you do:

  • Have a plethora of knowledge. Know how to paint more than cat whiskers because some girls will come up to you and ask for a horned Pegasus with a flower crown. There are plenty of tutorials online of specific animals and other things.
  • Paint brushes, not makeup brushes. Just trust me.
  • Non toxic, non waterproof face paint. Learned this one the hard way. Use actual face/body paint.
  • Have a cup of water for your brushes handy.
  • Have a designated brush for black. It’ll be your most used color.
  • Practice before the day. It’s kind of embarrassing giving a girl a ‘unicorn horn’ that looks super phallic.
  • Practice on yourself too. Every time I do face painting at a fair or anything, I have my own face painted so they know who I am and what I do.
  • Towels, paper towels, tissues, and everything in between.
  • Makeup wipes are also a life saver. I did face painting for a bunch of girls who just got finished with cheerleading and needed all of their makeup wiped off.
  • Put your brushes on a towel on the table. Or else they’ll roll away and you’ll find your designated black brush two hours later in the grass.
  • And lastly, don’t trust lilac body paint. It tends not to show up well on skin. Get regular purple and mix with white on site.

There’s probably more rattling in my noggin somewhere, but these were the ones I remember immediately. If you find yourself face painting for a multitude, just stay calm, have some of your own music on, and have fun. About 99% of the people will love what you do.

Good luck.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Here’s face painting at the little fair:

Plane Outfits

I have a story I’d like to share about something that happened when I was at an airport a while ago. I wrote it in my phone when it happened and I don’t know why I’ve never shared it. So here we go:

I love flying (I really don’t, but this is a story). When I was in college, I had to fly 2-4 times a year. Gross.

I’m flying back to school after being in the States for a brief unfortunate period (those in the loop and in my messages know what’s up). So, I’m sitting in the first airport, recently medicated and slightly woozy. But whatever, let’s fly anyway.

As I sit like the good little girl I am, across from me is a boarding school douche. You know these guys: blazer with an emblem of a club, that green sparkling water S Pellgrwhatever, expensive fruity coffee he sips with a pinky up, loosely greased back hair that looks good on literally nobody. Guys, he even had trimmed and waxed eyebrows!

I didn’t care about anything other than getting through this flight without passing out.

Anyway, as I was minding my own business, he leans forward over his laptop with a Stanford sticker on it and says hi. My medicated ass is not up for conversation, but I’m not rude so I say hello back. In the most casual way he possibly can, he asked if I was a lesbian.

The fuck?

I reply with a sharp no, and then this money bank douche tries to continue the conversation. I cut him off and asked why he thought I was a lesbian. Because why the hell would you drop that in the most casual way?!

“You’re dressed like one, and I wanted to know before I tried talking to you.”

The fuck squared?!

I always thought those private school assholes were a stereotype until I met one who wouldn’t talk to me if I was a lesbian.

You cannot assume a person’s sexuality based on anything unless you hear it directly from their mouth. So me and my medicated queer self will excuse you, good sir.

So, that’s the story I found in my phone. Honestly, I remember maybe half of this conversation as I fell right to sleep as soon as I entered the plane (I didn’t even make it to the safety demonstration).

But, the point of this story is clear.

Watch out for private school assholes.

 

Why Do I Look Like a Hoarder?

I have a lot of stuff.

And with the new trends of minimalism being the end-all, be-all of living, I wonder if I have perhaps too much stuff.

So, why do I look like a hoarder?

Well, because I lived.

Let me explain.

First of all, everything I’m surrounded by are either memories, knowledge, craft, or pleasure.

I surround myself with memories because I lived. I’ve had a long life, chock full of memorable events. I like looking around, reminiscing on the good times after so many bad times. Does this justify having a magazine cutout of a liger named Patrick on my wall? Yes, because I met him and the woman who saved him, Tippi Hedren. Use your power for good, and help all species. What about the flyer for the United Makeup Artists Expo? I was the only student in the University of Glasgow to go! What an accomplishment, and a learning experience! Look at these accomplishments, these happy moments, these little lessons. Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with knowledge because I lived. Learning as much as you can is what life is to me. Learning about the world, the past, the present, and most importantly, yourself. Learning how to make yourself the best person you can be. I have many theatre books, art books, textbooks of various forms, self help books, biographies. I have binders with my research, class notes, writings, articles. I have journals of self-findings, self-betterment. Look how much I’ve learned, and how much I strive to continue to learn! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with craft because I lived. It took so long for me to figure out what I like to do, and I like to do a lot. I’m actually still figuring out what I like to do. I make jewelry. I craft things (as you’ve seen in past posts). I make videos. I write. I draw and paint. I sew. I cosplay. And I plan. I am a very big planner, so I make that as pretty as possible. Because of this crafting that I love to do, I have lots of supplies. Everything from wire to brushes to rocks. And because organization is a passion and need, I have to have shelving and drawers to put everything in its proper place. Look at these passions, these hobbies, these moments of happiness! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

And I surround myself with pleasure because I lived. Life may not have been the kindest, but I can have kindness in my living space. I decorate with happiness. Little plushies of things I like, funko pops of characters I feel a connection with, flowers, my talented friend’s art, the teapots I’ve started to collect. Are they necessary? No. But do I like having them around? Absolutely. This space is my place of comfort and relaxation. It’s a place I can either focus on my work or take a breather and play a game. Look at this color, this beauty, this love! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

Now, I am not in any way saying I don’t get rid of things. I do. Something I find is no longer of use to me, something that can be a bigger help to someone else, or even a hobby that I don’t do anymore (bye bye jazz shoes). I always make sure that I am organized and tidy. The only place that is almost never tidy is my desk because of everything I do there.

If minimalism is your style, then go for it! Whatever makes you comfortable in your own space, do it.

I love my space. And I hope you love your own space, or are on your way to loving your own space.

Hugs

Alexandra

No Wrong Way to Feel Grief

We’ve all felt grief. Something that absolutely tears us apart emotionally. Unless you don’t feel emotions, in which case I am so sorry for you.

When we feel grief, our body takes over. We have no control anymore and we’re just put on autopilot. We are aware of what is happening, but beyond that awareness we have nothing. We are that passenger in the back of the plane, hoping we don’t crash after getting hit with a torpedo.

I have two examples to share with you today.

The first is a friend of mine. A family member died unexpectedly. Her grief autopilot was to lay in bed. But she was worried about just lying in bed when her family was wanting her to get up. She needed that time to mourn, and was not being afforded such time. If someone just needs to lay in bed, stay home, essentially do nothing, let them.

As for me, when I’m in grief I will shut down emotions and become a calm husk of a helper. When my family experienced tragedy three years ago, my grief autopilot-ed into making sure my family members were okay. I made sure they had water and food, medicine, clean laundry, and that the cats were taken care of. I’m not a fan of my grief autopilot, but it’s just the habit of my body to take care of others before myself.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is that you need to take care of yourself. When you are mourning, take that time you need to be stable. Don’t rush yourself. But also, do what you know you need to do. Do you need to lay in bed? Do you need to go camping or hiking? Do you need to volunteer as many hours as possible? Do you need to sit in the library and read every self-help book they have? Well, do it. Remain healthy, don’t destroy yourself, and understand that this extreme emotion will pass.

Hugs

Alexandra

A Debate Against Mom

Not too long ago, I had an interesting drive to work with my mother. Mom announced how on opposite sides of the spectrum we two were. Obviously, that was kind of confusing until she explained why we were opposites: our opinion on Planned Parenthood.

Uh oh.

Some background for you: my mother used to work in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, using her political knowledge to her advantage. This was before she became a teacher. As a result, she has such strong opinions about politics and isn’t afraid to voice it.

But there is one disadvantage to having an opinionated mother. It’s that I’m absolutely destroyed in any debates or ‘conversations’ we may have.

So let’s talk about the Planned Parenthood debacle. I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted a pleasant morning, dammit! I knew if I said anything that she would shut me down and make me feel super stupid.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: she wasn’t intending this. It’s just my own self-worth issues. It’s my brain, not my mother.

However, she wanted a conversation.

And I didn’t provide it. She kept trying to get me to say anything with passive aggressive sentences like ‘I really like this silence after I say anything. So dumb.’

I knew, though, that if I started anything that it would end with either me upset, her angry, or both. So why would I want to say anything?

Mom and I are from two different generations. She’s technically a Baby Boomer, and I’m technically a Millennial. We have grown up in different times under different political circumstances. It only makes sense that we have different viewpoints on the world.

Planned Parenthood in her time was about forcing ladies into abortions they didn’t want. Planned Parenthood today is about teaching safe sex so we don’t have so many abortions, STDs, or teen pregnancies.

My issue is that I can’t express myself in a moment of potential debate. I hate confrontation. I avoid it at all costs. This includes even verbal conversations of opposing political views. I do it if I absolutely have to, but I’d rather just be silent.

This isn’t ideal, I know. It’s a chance to educate someone that I’m completely dismissing. I’m trying to help myself into having a spine and say what I’m thinking. However, in this game of life, Mom is the final boss that I’m unsure I could ever face.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Mom, I know you’re reading this. This is not meant to paint you as a bad person, because you’re not. I’m just expressing the differences between us, as you said that morning.