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Feeling Very… Pink Today

10 Apr

Today is another sunny, gorgeous day here.  It’s like we skipped Spring altogether, which makes me a little sad.  I can’t stay that way for long once I go outside and feel the sunshine on my face.  Last night I turned my fan on and left my windows open.  It blows my mind still because last week I had frost on my car every morning.  Today it was 66 degrees at 6:30 am.  By this afternoon it was 89.

So this morning when I woke up to birds chirping and a light breeze coming through the window I decided to go pink!  I picked a pink and orange summery dress out of my closet, paired it with pink shoes, a pink purse, my pink gel manicure (which I’ve had now for 2 weeks), and my new white ceramic watch with pink, green, and blue numbers.  I slipped on a little white shrug to bring it all together, and popped on my “passion fruit” cat eye glasses.  With my hair pulled back in an inverse ponytail, I was ready for the summery weather.

Here are some pictures of the completed ensemble (as best as I could do through self-portraits on my smart phone).

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I’m Feeling Sassy Today

24 Oct

I got up this morning and put together an outfit that makes me feel amazing.  I found a gorgeous drop-waist royal blue dress on clearance last week.  I paired it with rocking black lace tights, Tahari peep-toe heels with little bows, and a long black necklace.  For work I topped it with a tailored black jacket with bell sleeves.  I feel like I need to come up with somewhere to go tonight to show off all of this awesomeness.

Another Reason I’m in Love with Sara Ramirez

20 Sep

Sara Ramirez (EP)

I heard Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol on the radio in the office today.  I had no idea what the name of the song was, and still have absolutely no idea who that artist is.  However, I immediately recognized the song from Grey’s Anatomy.  The Office Manager at work looked up the song and band for me, then I rushed back to my desk to buy it from Amazon.  I listened to the sample, and it’s just not the same.  The Grey’s Anatomy version is about 1,000 times better.  All because of Sara Ramirez and the wonderful producers of the show who wrote a moving story-line.  I get chills every single time I watch the video.

If you’re not convinced of how powerful and gorgeous Sara Ramirez’s voice is from that clip, then you have to listen to her singing The Story by Phil Hanseroth, sung originally by Brandi Carlile.  Again, I have no idea who Bradi Carlile is, but I listened to her version.  Not even close to a comparison.  There is a reason Sara Ramirez graduated from Juilliard, performed on Broadway, and won a Tony!  She is amazing!

Warning:  This video may make you cry if you’re anywhere close to as sentimental as I am.

I can’t say enough about her talent.  And if you are one of those people who thinks she is just lip-syncing or has been touched up vocally like crazy in the studio, watch this video, then shut up.

I really relate to this song, and I think I’m going to have to find the music so I can sing it very, very soon.  These lyrics especially resonate with me:

“You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what
I’ve been through like you do”

Most people who work with me, see me around, and even a few people that are relatively close to me don’t see what is behind the smile on my face.  It’s not that I’m not happy, but I am much more of a mess than I appear on the surface.  There also aren’t very many people who really know who I am.  That is something I value immensely in my husband.  He knows me, all the way down to my core.  When I’m having a bad day or triggering, I can hold on to that knowledge.  We have been through worse, and we’re growing stronger every day.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of the incredibly sexy Sara Ramirez.

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collect...

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collection charity fashion show to benefit The Heart Truth. Identity confirmed through image gallery at wireimage.com (a gallery of professional photos of the same event that has the models identified). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feeling My Feelings

30 Aug

Hurricane Isabel, as seen from the International Space Station – Or my swirling feelings

I know things have been quiet on my blog so far this week.  One of the reasons is that I have been trying to process all of my feelings.  Monday I was virtually useless all day.  I couldn’t get my mind off of my dog’s vet appointment the next day.  I don’t even remember one single detail from Monday.  Nothing.  I know I got up and went to work.  I can’t remember if I ate or, if I did, what I ate.  I have no idea what clothes I wore.  I can’t remember what I did that evening.  Mr. Mess was at school all day from 7 am to about 10:30 pm, so I didn’t even get to talk to him beyond a few quick check-ins.  I went through the entire day on autopilot, zoned out.

When Tuesday morning finally rolled along, I was glad to get the ophthalmologist visit taken care of.  I had to lead a conference call for work that morning on the way to the vet.  As I was getting Buddy together, loading the car, juggling my phone on speaker, a leash and my purse, driving to the vet, and trying to facilitate the call, I realized it was too much.  I was going to go back to work after the appointment, even if he had to get surgery, then come pick him up later.  Somewhere during that call I decided that was not going to happen.  I could not handle it emotionally, in the least.

The appointment was depressingly short.  The actual ophthalmologist (the other person I saw was just filling in for him during vacation), was very personable, knowledgeable, and gentle with Buddy.  Unfortunately, when he took the pressure in his eye it was still quite elevated.  A quick look inside at the optical nerve verified what he suspected – there really was no hope for Buddy’s left eye.  I had a sinking feeling all week that would be the case, so I should have been prepared.  I didn’t cry or get upset or even react much at all; I was just numb.  He said that they were ready to do the procedure immediately to stop fluid production in that eye, which would also lead to permanent vision loss.  While they had him under, the vet said he would confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma and check the other eye for a malformation.  With that, he walked out, one of the ladies from the front desk walked in, and I watched them take Buddy away to the back.

My Mom and I had already decided to have lunch together, so I gave her a call as I was walking out, even though it was only 9:30 am.  I told her what was going on, and she suggested that I come by her house right then.  Grateful for something to distract myself with, I headed her way.  Our original plan was to go shoe shopping, check out some clearance sales, and have lunch together – a few hours of mindless fun.  When I got there we started comparing recent purchases, and I talked her into keeping some really cute, cheap shoes that she had purchased the week before.  We talked about what kind of outfits would go with them, how sexy my step-Dad thought the red pair was, and other completely shallow stuff that was as far away from the anxiety-producing thoughts of my dog going under the knife as possible.

My Mom is great.  She can read me.  She understands all of the emotions I have bubbling just under the surface.  She offered her support and some calm reassurance.  She played to my rational side, and treated this like what it was – a minor procedure necessary to help Buddy be comfortable and more healthy.  She gave me a few minutes to call work and let them know I wasn’t coming in, then we moved right along with the business of going shopping in each other’s closets.

A few days before we were on the phone talking about random things, which my Mom is an expert at (we can literally have a conversation that lasts hours and isn’t really about anything in particular).  She told me that she has been looking for a pair of flat boots to wear to college football games.  Coincidentally, I had a pair that I purchased 2 years ago or so when I sprained my ankle.  They were cute, but I found that I really never wore them.  Those boots, along with light brown leather cowboy boots that were slightly too narrow for me and a few other adorable shoes that always seemed to be sitting in the back of my closet unworn went into a bag for my Mom.  Tuesday I unloaded that bag, and she tried on the various shoes.  She loved them all.  That meant I didn’t have to worry about donating them or listing them on eBay.  It’s great to have the same foot size as your Mom!

We then went upstairs where it was my turn to shop.  My Mom has been on the South Beach diet for the past 3 years or so (usually on phase 3, but sometimes going back to the earlier ones for a weight-loss boost).  She is about 2 sizes smaller than I am now, but there was a time she was in the same transition phase as me.  After losing approximately 25 pounds in the past 2 months, I also lost about 2 pants sizes.  That meant I could fit into some of the nice clothes that are too big for her and have been just taking up space.  I played dress-up there in my Mom’s big walk-in closet and found that her old clothes look amazing on me.  My ass is killer!  I ended up going home with 4 new-to-me pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, 2 cardigans, a fly-away jacket, a necklace, and an amazing pair of khaki colored boots.  Score!

We also went to lunch at an amazing little restaurant run by a well-known chef.  Right as we were completing our lunch order I got a call from the vet.  Buddy had come our of surgery well, was just now coming around from the anesthesia, and would be ready for pick-up in about an hour.  I fought my natural urge to jump out of the booth and go speeding over to get him.  Instead, we had a nice lunch followed by a trip to Sally’s next door where I picked up two new hair accessories and admired pretty-colored nail polish.

I had ridden with my Mom to lunch, so we returned to her house where I gathered up my bags of clothing.  After a quick pit-stop, I found a special treat for Buddy waiting next to my purse on the table.  If I weren’t so numb I probably would have cried.  I gave my Mom a hug, and thanked her for lunch and the great, free shopping trip, then headed out.

When I arrived to pick up Buddy they gave me some medicine to give him over the next few days and a piece of paper that said (in part):

Diagnoses Left Eye: Primary Glaucoma, chronic

Diagnoses Right Eye:  Narrow angle

Gonioscopic examination of the right eye indicated a significant risk of glaucoma

There it was in black and white.  I knew it, in my head.  I thought I had accepted it.  Buddy wasn’t making it a big deal.  So why did that hurt so bad?  The vet explained there was really nothing I could have done.  He said that usually by the time the damage is noticeable it is usually too late to do anything.  He said that it was a good thing that he is 9 years old when it first presented, not 2.  He also said that we now are ahead of it in the other eye.  We have medication to delay its progress.  We have an emergency plan and medicine in case his other eye acts up.  We are really in a much better place with Buddy’s health this week than last week or even the week before.

I guess it just made me have to recognize the fact that Buddy will not live forever.  I knew that, too.  I’m not a moron.  I am just very connected to him.  My husband has made fun of his sister for saying she would sleep in a tent before she got rid of her dogs, but I get it.  He is my family.  His whole body wiggles with joy when he sees me.  He snuggles up to me in the most adorable way.  He has been there for me through lots of tears, and he always makes me feel better.  When I got him home he was still groggy from the anesthesia, and he fell asleep on my lap.  He is so sweet and soft and wonderful.  I know he isn’t mourning the loss of his left eye, but I am.  I am mourning the fact that he is getting old and may die sometime sooner than I am willing to admit to myself.  He may have 5 years left, maybe more.  It doesn’t seem like enough.  Once again, I am faced with something I cannot control, and I do NOT like it.  Not one little bit.

Yesterday I had a long day.  I left my house at 5:30 am and didn’t get back until after 8:30 pm.  I had a training/ roadshow for work yesterday that was held 3 hours away, then had to play IT person when I got back because internet had been down most of the day and no one knew how to fix it.  I didn’t have a chance to think much at all.  The last week I have also been pushing my feelings down with shopping.  That worked for a little while, and I am definitely more stylish and confident today because of it, but that high finally ended.  Today I am crashing.  I am finally feeling my feelings.  It feels crappy.

I know, I know…  It’s necessary.  We have to sit with bad feelings, give ourselves a chance to mourn for things that are lost, even if they are intangible.  I have to get better about that.  I need to stop avoiding my feelings.  Today they caught up with me, and I’m feeling down.  That’s okay, though.  Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter.  In the meantime, I haven’t forgotten about doing at least one thing for myself.  Today I took the time to write this blog.  I also wore a cute new pair of pants, one of the flirty cardigans from my Mom, a teal, ruffled, lace shirt that I haven’t worn in ages, and these fantastic new shoes.

I hope everyone else is having a good Thursday.  If you have some good news, a funny story, or are having an especially great week so far, I would love to hear about it.  I need a little sunshine today.

Fashion Friday

24 Aug

English: Ann Taylor Loft's sign in Hudson, Ohio

Today I’m feeling super, extra-special cute, so I thought I would share my Friday fashion.  Fridays are normally casual in our office, but I have to attend a meeting at our corporate office today.  So I decided to forgo the jeans and opt for a cool, summery look with white capri pants.  Last night I went shopping at Macy’s to take advantage of some great sales and clearance deals they have going on now (thanks Mom for the heads-up!).

I ended up purchasing a really great pair of semi-flats at a really great price (I love 75% off!).  As I was walking away with my new shoes I realized that I still have part of a Macy’s gift card left from earlier in the year.  I pulled it out and saw that I had written on the back that it still had $12 left.  Rather than go back and try to change my payment method for the shoes, I set off to see if they had any cute tops.

Instead I ended up finding two adorable flyaway cardigans.  They were marked at $20 (50% off the original price), but there was a third with a lower price listed.  The ones I liked were white and pink respectively.  The cheaper one was green.  I brought all three up to the cashier and asked her to check on the prices for me.  She told me that the green one was ringing up at $7 and the other two at $14.  She said that she would match the lower price for all of them (yay!).  I told her to ring me up for the white and pink, then pulled out my Macy’s gift card.  Apparently, just having a Macy’s card or gift card entitled me to another 20% off, so I ended up paying about $11 for both of them!  Talk about a deal.  🙂  I now have an entire $0.38 left on my gift card for later.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find something that will cover completely, despite how good of a deal shopper I am.

I am wearing the pink one today, which has 3/4 length sleeves with rouching up the arms.  I have also thrown on a long necklace that I picked up at the outlet mall and a beautiful teal silk top from Ann Taylor.  I added some blue topaz studs, a beautiful blue topaz ring that I purchased in Jamaica, and my new Movado Metio watch, which was a treat to myself during my vacation staycation.

So here are a few of the pieces that make up my ensemble today:

White Capris

New shiny brown shoes

Top, cardigan and necklace. I know you can’t see the shirt very well, but I couldn’t find a picture online and self portraits aren’t my forte.

Shiny new Movado watch (obviously this isn’t MY watch, but I couldn’t get my camera to focus correctly to get a good shot).

London Blue Topaz earrings

So, what do you think?  Too much or just right?

Making My Own Happiness

27 Jul

This post will probably be a mishmash of lots of things.  First, I realize that even though I posted twice yesterday I never mentioned what I did for myself.  The answer is that I dressed up for absolutely no reason.  I wore a pretty floral dress, did my hair and make-up, and put on my pearls.  I wore these adorable new high-heeled Crocs I have that are brown with pink insoles.  I felt gorgeous all day.  Now if only I could find my sparkly silver nail polish!

Today I’m not sure what I’m going to do for myself.  I already downloaded the Thompson Square CD (actually MP3), and have been listening to it at my desk and in my car.  I will be sharing my current obsession with you later in this post.  I also officially put in for a vacation week today.  I will be taking a full week to do nothing except relax, have fun, and take care of myself.  I’m planning a haircut, possibly a new tattoo, plenty of sleeping-in, and maybe a shopping trip or day adventure somewhere.  It’s Friday, though, so I’m going to do at least one more thing for myself today.  🙂

This week I have started realizing the real value in focusing on me.  This past Saturday I went to my first ever S-Anon meeting.  It was a really great experience.  In our area SA and S-Anon meet at the same time in the same location.  The Saturday morning meeting is one that my husband has decided to go to, and last week I made the leap and decided to go along.  Since starting Codependent No More I have a completely different perspective on myself.  It shined a light on the fact that I have plenty to work on, too.

So, back to last Saturday.  The SA meeting seemed to be pretty packed judging by the number of men I saw coming into the building and slipping into the room where Mr. Mess went.  They all seemed to be fairly early, too.  Yet, here I was, the lone woman.  We were pretty early ourselves, so I wandered down the hall to a table with information and brochures.  It seems like this place has a group, 12-step meeting for everything.  Everything, I tell you!  They have SA, S-Anon, AA, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous (never seen that one before), Gambling Anonymous, and maybe even a few others that I can’t remember.

Anyway…  The scheduled time of the meeting 9:30 am quickly approached, then passed with no other women appearing.  I was fairly certain I had the right room, and I knew I had the right place and time since I was staring right at the schedule on one of the flyers.  There was really only one entrance, so I was also pretty confident I didn’t miss anyone.  Conveniently, the number for the group contact person was on said flyer.  I gave her a call at that number, and the answering machine listed another number (her cell) as the best place to reach her.  I called that, and a cheerful woman answered and quickly assured me that she was in the parking lot, and she just caught sight of a few other women walking in.  Leave it to women to be fashionably late for their own support group!

Sure enough, within a few seconds two women walked in.  We made our way to the designated room (the one I thought it was), and quickly turned on the A/C to try and combat the humid stickiness in the air.  Not too long after a third woman appeared.  It was the one I had talked to on the phone.  We started chatting a bit as everyone got settled.  Funny enough, I wasn’t the only newbie.  There was one other first-timer in the room as well.

Since there were just as many newcomers as old-timers at this meeting, they decided to do a welcome meeting.  They didn’t have any extra white books with them, but I had brought my own 12 steps and the women were very willing to share for readings.  Another lady came in during the initial introduction and reading of the 12 steps and 12 traditions.

I won’t bore you with all of the minute details, but I will say that everything really resonated with me.  Some of the readings had some hard truths that I will have to dig into more before I really know how I feel, but overall it was a comfortable, uplifting experience.  Each of the women shared some of their story, what brought them there, how long they have been in recovery, where they are on their personal journey, and that sort of thing.  Their stories all touched some part of my experience.  The other newbie was in tears basically the entire time.

Another woman showed up about half-way through, and shared her story as well.  Both of us first-timers also shared, although we didn’t have to.  Everyone was extremely supportive.  I could tell immediately that this was a group of women who wouldn’t let each other get caught up with the addict.  Crying, anger, and other emotions are definitely welcomed, but wallowing, blaming, and focusing on the sexaholic instead of ourselves is a no-no.  No one really had to say that, it was just the vibe in the room.  We are here for us.  We can’t change them.  But we can strengthen ourselves, set boundaries, decode our codependent behavior, and change our own patterns.  It was empowering.

I got a list of other women in the program with their email, phone numbers, and whether they text or not.  I supplied them with all of my information.  At the end there were hugs all around.  I didn’t know these women, but already I felt connected.  They can understand me.  They are me, in some ways.  All it took was one meeting, and I know this is where I belong.  I am already encouraged that I will be going with another person to their first meeting on Monday.

I was resistant to the idea that there was anything I needed to do, since this is “his problem.”  Now I know differently.  I know that there are things I can do – for me.  To get healthy.  To have a better response.  To feel complete, worthy, and lovable.  To stop making the same bad choices, to get off the roller-coaster, to feel at peace.  I can do it.  I also read something yesterday that I understand in a way I couldn’t have at the beginning of this process:

“I know now that I can’t choose to love or not love DH [dear husband] but I can choose to have him in my life or not.”

It’s true.  I don’t have control over what he does.  I don’t have control over his commitment to me.  I don’t have control over whether he cheats on me again.  I don’t have control over whether he lies to me.  I also don’t have control over the fact that I love him.  It’s just a fact at this point.  I do, however, have control over whether I accept his behavior and allow it in my life.  Everything else is up to me – my happiness, my boundaries, my self-esteem, my mental and physical health.  He can’t control those things, either.

So, today I am feeling encouraged and inspired.  I am smiling, tapping my foot, and jamming to wonderful music right now.  That is how I want to go through life.  Speaking of fantastic music, I promised earlier that I would share the song I can’t stop singing along to all day.  Here’s the video:

And here are the beautiful lyrics that are really speaking to me today:

Tryin’ to live and love
With a heart that can’t be broken
Is like tryin’ to see the light
With eyes that can’t be opened

I think I am finally realizing this.  I have to put my heart out there to possibly be broken again, no matter what course my life takes. 

I’ll let you look inside me
Through the stains and through the cracks
And in the darkness of this moment
You see the good in that

I have just as many issues and problems.  They aren’t the same because we have taken different paths to get here.  I have to be just as open about my stains and cracks, and work on mine.

We may shine, we may shatter
We may be pickin’ up the pieces here on after
We are fragile, we are human
We are shaped by the light we let through us
But we break fast ’cause we are glass

True and very profound.  We are shaped by the light we let through us, so I’m going to let as much light through me as possible.  I’m going to stay positive.  I’m going to remind myself that I am human.

A Holiday, a Tattoo and a Piercing

4 Jul

Happy 4th of July to all!  It is pretty strange that the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year.  It puts a bit of a damper on the celebration since I worked yesterday and have to go back to work tomorrow.  A lot of fireworks shows have been cancelled in my area due to impending weather and the storms we had this weekend.  So what’s a girl to do in order to make the holiday special?  Get a tattoo and a piercing of course!

That’s right.  I left work, headed to the chiropractor, then went in search of a good tattoo parlor.  The first one I went to didn’t have a piercer on staff that night.  Not to be deterred, I headed downtown to a parlor I know has a great piercer and lots of choices for jewelry.  I got there and wasn’t disappointed.  Some quick paperwork and a care instruction lecture later and I had a nose ring!  Here it is:

I was debating between that and a Monroe piercing, which my friend Wendy was kind enough to tell me about.  I asked a few questions about both and decided on the nose ring for a few reasons.  First, the Monroe swells a lot more.  Secondly, I has been a little leery of a piercing through my mouth because I tend to get ulcers a lot – every time I bite my lip or the inside of my mouth.  I couldn’t imagine getting one of those on a new piercing – Ouch!  The most important reason I decided to get a nose piercing, though, is exactly what I commented to Wendy about why I wasn’t sure about it.  My comment to her was,

“I have always been a little leery of nose piercings because I have a little bump on my nose that I tend to be slightly self-conscious about.  I have come to like it and realize that it’s part of my charm and uniqueness…  But I still was never really sure about getting a piercing there.”

I decided to own my nose, little hump and all!  It’s time that I accept the things that make me different and see them as beautiful instead of a flaw (like I starting doing in What Makes Me Beautiful?).  This was a great first step to that.

I had also found a great tattoo that I wanted to get, and asked it there was an artist in that could take care of it for me.  Unfortunately, they only had one guy in yesterday and he had a line of customers waiting for him.  Oh well…  I was just about content with my nose ring.  I texted my Mom and sister showing them.  My sister had a few questions, so I called her up.  In the course of our conversation she told me about another tattoo parlor close to our house that also does piercings.  I thought they were strictly a tattoo place, but she said no.  She also told me that they had a really great artist and reasonable prices.  I decided to swing by there and check it out.

As soon as I walked in I felt at home.  The two guys there were super-cool.  I brought in the photo of what I was thinking about and we got to talking.  I had a few other photos of various other tattoos that I would like to combine the look of to make a custom one.  That is generally all they do, so they were really stoked about the idea.  They took the photos and said in a few days they will have a drawing made up for me.  In the meantime, I headed to the chair to get my turtle tattoo done.  It was pretty close to closing time – about an hour – when I walked in, but the guys there were more than happy to get started and stay a little over if they needed to.  Very cool!

I decided on a turtle again for a few reasons.  I have always loved turtles.  I can’t quite explain it, but I think they are amazing creatures.  They glide through the water with such grace and beauty.  I also love the independence that they have from the day they are born.  There’s nothing quite as difficult as being abandoned on the beach by your mother to struggle from your egg, dig up to the surface through sand, and make your own way to the ocean.  They are resilient and carry their home and protection around with them.  They aren’t incredibly social (like me).  The turtle is also a reminder to get out of my shell sometimes.  Let others in.  Be vulnerable.  Maintain my independence while not blocking others out.  It is a reinforcement of who I am and a positive reminder to keep growing.  Here’s the finished product fresh after it was done:

Keep in mind that it is a little bloody, so the colors aren’t completely showing up right.  The center is actually pink, and I will be going back in a few weeks to get it touched up and have a brighter pink added.  They are going to be ordering a special Chinese ink that is so bright it is almost flourescent.  That is the color in the original photo I brought in, and the artist was already planning to order some because it is apparently the best ink on the market.  I’m also going to get him to tweak a few things.  Overall, I love it!

The experience was very empowering.  It was great to just do something for me.  My head did start spinning at one point in the middle and I actually passed out.  It was quite embarrassing because that has never happened to me before and I have 3 other tattoos.  The reason it happened, though, is because I stupidly went in to get a tattoo when I hadn’t eaten in 6 hours.  I had lunch around 1 and walked in to get my tattoo a little after 7.  I was so busy running around town that I didn’t actually stop and eat something.  Silly girl!  They gave me a Pepsi and some M&M’s.  After a cool towel and about 5 minutes of resting on a massage table I was ready to go again.  The rest of the tattoo went really smoothly.  They are great guys there, and they kept me talking about all sorts of stuff – from zombies (we are kindred spirits) to politics to religion to redneck trailer parks at the beach.  They were my kinda people!  🙂

Today I’m not sure what I’m gonna do.  Other than moisterizing my tattoo every hour and cleaning my nose ring a few times that is.  I have contemplated going shopping, but that seems like it could be a self-defeating mission.  Not only is it over 100 degrees outside (for the 10th day in a row or something like that), but I’m not sure what the department stores will look like today.  I sure do hate crowds.  Whatever I decide to do it will be something that I want to do because it makes me happy.  I hope you do the same!

Image

My Pink Hair

9 Jun

What do you think of the pink streaks? They are more fuschia than they look in this shot.

Opinions People… Please!

31 May

I want to do something new and fun.  I’m thinking pink highlights.  I have very dark brown hair that is straight and semi-long (somewhere between shoulder length and way too long).  Here are a few pictures that are kinda like what I’m thinking about…

I love this minus the curls and the blue color. The base is pretty close to the color of my natural hair.

Again, minus the curls, but I like this amount of pink

Pink Highlights

Pink Highlights (Photo credit: coffeebooksbeer)

I have to admit…  I’m already starting to second guess myself.  Damn it – I like this, though!  I might have to get some clip-in extensions to play with a little bit before I’m ready to commit to this.  I’ve played everything safe in my life so far…  Sometimes I just want to do something crazy just because I want to.  I’m not sure how my boss will feel, though…

Thoughts anyone?

Pink

23 May

A few days ago I changed the look of my blog to make it perkier and give it a lighter ambience.  One thing I made sure was consistent, though, is the color: pink.  I have had a love-hate-love relationship with pink throughout my life.  I thought today I would give you a little glimpse into me using the color pink as a framework.

When I was very young my parents were members of an Apostolic Pentecostal church because my uncle was a pastor there.  One foundation of that faith is that women (and girls) are required to only wear dresses and to keep their hair long.  There are all sorts of other strict rules, but the basic idea is that femininity is required – even for babies.  That means that I actually learned to “crawl” in a dress.  I put crawl in quotes because I couldn’t really use my knees like most children do since the dresses made it virtually impossible.  Picture this:  me in a frilly pink dress, hair that had never been cut, “crawling” around on my hands and feet in this weird hunched/ crouching position so that I could maneuver around without tripping myself.  I think I have a photo of that somewhere, actually.  I will have to try and find it.

It wasn’t quite like this, but you get the general idea…

In my early childhood pink was a staple.  Even after we changed churches and parted ways with the stringent guidelines I owned tons of cute outfits, hair clips, and chunky plastic jewelry that was pink.  When I was about 6 years old my parents bought 10 acres of land in the country, and my Mom started designing a new house for us.  We got to pick everything, which was very exciting for me.  I picked out pink carpet, pink paint for my walls, pink wallpaper border, and a pink bedspread.  We moved in when I was about 7 years old, and I loved my new room.

In the next few years I got more active in sports (softball and horse-back riding mostly), started exploring those 10 acres, and became a tree-climbing, tough, tomboy who loved getting dirty, didn’t mind a few cuts and scrapes, and spent more time with my horses and dogs than playing dress-up.  I started hating the color pink with a passion.  I decided orange was my new favorite color, I think mostly because it isn’t “girly” at all.  I named all of my stuffed animals “orangey,” even the ones that had absolutely no orange in them.  I also spent some time ripping the heads off of my sister’s Barbie dolls just to prove how not interested I was in being frilly and delicate.

As I changed from a pre-teen into a full-blow teenager orange was no longer my favorite color, but pink was still at the very bottom of my list.  I gravitated to blue, gray, black, and anything that made me feel tough.  I think part of that had to do with the fact that I was very picked on in school.  I was home-schooled by my Mom until 6th grade, which I thought was wonderful.  I was super-fast with my school-work, which allowed me to skip a grade and have more time to play outside.  I could finish my lessons for the day in just a few hours at home.

Then I changed to private school for 2 years.  Not only were the lessons excruciatingly, unnecessarily long (it took 3 or 4 times what I had been spending to go over things that I found incredibly simple), but the kids were mean.  Private schools sound good in theory, especially to religious parents who think their children will get the benefit of Christian teachings, prayer, and smaller class sizes.  Let me tell you something – the reality is much different.  Private schools are full of kids who have been rejected from public schools because of their bad attitudes, problems focusing, and in some cases drug habits.  Sure, there are only 15-20 students in an entire grade.  That just means you can’t get away from the bullies.  Ever.

I was very glad to switch to public school for 8th grade through graduation.  At least there I could blend in, fade into the background a bit, and hopefully find a niche for myself.  Still, I was the “new kid.”  Everyone had been together, known one another, and formed their social circles since elementary school.  I wasn’t especially popular, outgoing, or interested in the “normal” teenage drama.  I came to despise the color pink even more because it was associated with the narcissistic, cruel, and shallow group of “mean girls.”

I did end up finding my own comfort zone in show choir, academics, and a few musicals and plays (even though I never fit in with the drama crowd).  I had a few close friends, I was relatively well-liked and respected, although not popular by anyone’s standards, and I was able to avoid being ridiculed for the most part.  I graduated at the top of my class, and couldn’t have been happier to leave it all behind.

I will skip most of the stuff in between then and now because it really doesn’t relate to my journey with the color pink.  Once I became a more self-assured adult something slowly changed about my opinion of pink.  It started with just a few nice pops of pink in a pretty shirt.  I realized I was okay with being feminine – in fact, it was something that made me feel good about myself.  I bought a bright pink shirt for the summer and noticed how much it flattered my dark hair and fair skin.

Slowly pink started making its way back into my life.  Now it represented confidence.  I could own pink for myself, not as something forced onto me by religion, culture, my parents, or the “in crowd.”  I also found that since I was more confident in myself I was okay with the vulnerability and softness that pink sometimes implies.  I didn’t have to be tough all the time.  I didn’t have to be strong, invincible, and shielded from the world.  I could just be me.  And I discovered that “me” likes pink.

I have been shaped by my life experiences and have grown because of them.  I still like black and gray, but I also enjoy silver and pink.  In fact, black and pink were the colors of my wedding.  I wanted this blog to have a pink theme because it reminds me of the journey I have taken to be okay with pink.  It reminds me that I can be vulnerable.  It reminds me that I am fluid – changing and becoming a different person every day.  That is why pink is important to me.

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