Here it is kids, October 5, 2016. The first day of the last year in my 20s. Up until now the thought of getting this "old" has instilled in me a sense of nausea unlike anything I have previously known. However, after much thought and a little pep talk from my awesome hubs, I decided I need to embrace this last year of Twenty-Something-Dom because, bitches, I am ready for my 30s. My 20s have been amazing and awful, wonderful but woeful, tiresome yet somehow invigorating as I look back on it all. This has been the most transformative decade of my life thus far and I thought I would share a little on how I survived my 20s up til now...
Step 1: Let it go and learn to love
This sentiment is as much a jab at myself as it is a lesson for everyone on the entire planet earth. My struggle with infertility was not a war I thought I would have to wage in my 20s. I thought everything would be easy-peasy. Get married, pop out some kids--INSTANT FAMILY. What's that saying...make a plan, God laughs? Well, at this point, God must think my life is one big practical joke. My infertility war took me to a deep, dark place of jealousy and despair I didnt even know of which I was capable because I am naturally neither of those traits.
It is really hard to watch everyone else get everything you could hope for without even trying while you are sitting on the toliet peeing on another ovulation test, taking your temperature every morning, praying for aunt flow to stay away, having your fallopian tubes blown out with dye in front of about 30 people, have major surgery, have a miscarriage, take countless fertility meds, and then still have no answers as to what is wrong with your 4 years later. It's like really freaking hard. Wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy hard. But guess what? I made it through. I may not have won the infertility war yet, but I have won the battle of not letting all of those aforementioned things turn me into a person I no longer recognized.
Early on, I realized I could either let this consume me or I could fight...and honey, I am a fighter. I now have the ability to be overjoyed for someone getting exactly what I dream of. Does it still sting a little? Heck yeah, but approaching each day with a grateful heart has made me appreciate these moments for them. Maybe they didn't have to struggle to get where they are and they could never in a million years understand how lucky they are, but I do and I will be grateful for them. TBH, this applies to literally everything in life, not just infertility. Someone is always going to have something better, bigger, nicer or more expensive than you, but being a bitter, jealous person just makes you a hater. Haters are motivators to successful people, and honey, you aren't gonna be successful being a hater. So learn to love, and let it go....
Step 2: Don't forget to feel
I dont know when it became so damn uncool for everyone to "catch feelings". No one wants to be too available or too emotional. Do you remember in high school how everything seemed so end-of-the-world or make-your-whole-year? Your everyday outfit was seriously so important as was your perfectly straightened hair and it was the star of your perfectly timed hairflip you had practiced in the mirror about 20x before school just to get your crush to notice you between classes. I mean, yeah, we were also self-centered jerks, but that passion and zest for life is what made us feel everything so deep! All these feelings were new and we were learning how to be adults. We weren't jaded by "adult things" like mortgages, car payments, ex-husbands, and broken hearts. We weren't afraid to feel, WE WANTED TO FEEL EVERYTHING! We wanted to know what money felt like in our hands, beers in our bellies, wind in our hair, and the speed of a brand new Pontiac Sunfire. It was exciting, man! Don't you remember?
The best quote I have ever heard (and no it wasn't on Pinterest TYSM) goes as such: "Build the type of life you never need to take a vacation from". Up until 2016, I was very much guilty of this. STRESS was my middle freaking name...just ask, Payton. Oh, wait..he was stressed too. I was working 2-3 jobs at any given time and he was working M-F on the road. We were freakin' hustling to barely keep from falling off the financial edge. In 2013, I purchased a PCOS workbook and one of the pages I was to write down all of my worries/stresses/concerns and there wasnt even enough room on the MF'in page to put down everything in my head. I just found this workbook a few days ago while cleaning out my closet and I literally wanted to bawl my eyes out for my former self. I was so wrapped up in all the negative, I wouldn't have been able to see the positive if it smacked me in the damn face.
Basically what I am saying, kids, is put down the damn cellphone and get up and get excited about your life. If you dont like where you work, change it! If you are in a miserable relationship, get out of it! Will it take guts? Probably, but anything in life worth doing is gonna be a challenge. As Thoreau (my favorite writer and nature enthusiast) said, "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this." You are in control of your life and no one has the power to change it but you. Get that pep back in your step, babe, you only have one life to live and you should feel as much of it and as deeply as you can.
STEP 3: You get what you give
In 1991, a band named Tesla released an amazing song called "What you give". In 2012, that song would become Payton and I's first dance song. "It's not what you got, but what you give. It's not the life you choose, but the life you live." This simple lyric is something we can all stand to either be a little better at or take to heart more in our daily lives. Now, this is gonna sound a little bit hippie-ish and definitely a lot new-agey but hang tight with me for a second. We all talk about karma, but usually in the context of something bad happening to someone we considered a shitty person. But...did you know it works the other way, too? I am not just talking about paying it forward in the McD's drive-thru line, which is still a nice gesture, but I am talking about how you interact with people in your everyday life.
Do you always receive bad customer service? Well, maybe you are a bad customer. Are you a bitter, hateful person that can't stand for anyone else to be happy either so you shit all over their happiness any chance you get? Are you the type of person that writes hateful comments on everyone's facebook posts, even ones about celebrites? Or are you just so unaware of your own self and your own ignorance you dont even realize how your words and actions affect others? Woah...harsh, Carly! I know, but listen, I think most of us fall into the last category because we are all naturally self-centered creatures. However, the type of energy you put out into the world is the exact type of energy coming back to you.
If you think your life is just one shit show after another and there is nothing you can do to change it, well guess what...YOU CAN! Just try going out in the world tomorrow being a happy, positive, GRATEFUL person. It is gonna take practice and perseverance because you can't expect to have been hateful and nasty up to this point and for everything to change in one day. But I promise you if you keep being positive and treating others the way you would like to be treated (AKA The Golden Rule we all learn in kindergarten) all that positive energy will come back to you tenfold...trust. Remember the best rewards are won in the hardest fought battles and I don't know anything harder than fighting against your own self.
If Tesla said it once, they say it again..."Love is all around you. Love is knocking outside your door, waiting for you." (if you seriously have never heard Tesla...please go listen on YouTube RN!!!)
so..there it is kids...
my 20-something survival guide. I hope it was insightful and you learned something from everything I have been through over the past decade. Also, please set a reminder with Siri to show me this post next year when I turn 30 and want to have a tiny pity party for myself about getting "old". In all seriousness, being a good, grateful person is never going out of style and the world is a scary, hateful place right now. During a time when most of us have lost faith in humanity, be a beacon of light and love that people can't help but be drawn towards. That is what life is all about, kids.
A few weeks ago, I had one of those moments you can only have when life decides you need a swift kick in the ass to remind you that you indeed are on the appropriate path. I am going to forewarn you there will be some strong language in this post, so if that offends you, just hit that 'x' up in the corner.
So, I recently traveled home to do some makeup for a few special occasion applications, a wedding trial, and just to visit my family. By all accounts it was a normal trip, nothing exciting. Just normal. I had been working a ton and was just feeling generally worn out, kinda sick of messing with makeup for a few days, but that just wasn't in the cards for this weekend off. No biggie, I think to myself, just push through it and you can relax when you are done. which is exactly what happened.
That evening after a long day of makeups, Payton and I meet up with our families at the local watering hole...or Chances R, as some of you know it as. We are eating, drinking, catching up with everyone and it is amazing. This is what recharges my batteries and makes me feel whole again. Reconnecting with people I feel disconnected from is what feeds my soul. So, the night proceeds without incident. Random people we know stop by the table, we also meet some new people who are friends of our parents, we listen to jukebox music, drink some more drinks, and the night is just getting better.
Just as we were about to go home, a couple comes and sits at the table with us. They are friends of friends. We all start talking and the woman in the aforementioned couple turns over to me and basically screams at me how much she loves my lip color. I tell her I love it too and the rest of the conversation goes as follows:
WAB (woman at bar): I hate my lips, they are awful.
ME: Umm....*me studying her lips* No you have amazing lips!
WAB: No..well I don't know. I don't really know how to do lipstick or anything.
ME: *whips huge zipper pouch of lip products out of purse* I can show you!....if you want...
So I riffle through my pouch and find my 2 favorite lip products, NYX Mauve lip liner and my Sephora brand Liquid Lipstick because I am going for the wow factor here. I go to work on her lips, talking her through it, telling her how to overline her top lip to make it look bigger and how to make her bottom lip match. I basically just give her a mini-makeover in the middle of the bar. Because...duh.
WAB: Take a picture I want to see!
ME: *satisfyingly takes picture with smug grin on face*
WAB: *looks at picture* No way...that's not me....
ME: Yes! See I told you that you had great lips!
WAB: Shut up! Let me see it again! *grabs my phone and stares at picture for awhile*
ME: Do you love it?
WAB: Yes...I didn't know my lips could look like that. Will you show me again?
So we get up and go to the bathroom together, I take off the lip products we had put on and then I hand over the lip products and walk her through doing it on herself in the mirror step by step. She was very unsure and kept telling me she never learned how to do any of this stuff before, that she was just a county girl from Kentucky, but I just kept reassuring her that anyone can do this. In the end, she does a pretty amazing job on herself and she is obviously over the moon with the results.
WAB: Will you go outside and smoke with me?
*we go outside, she lights up a cigarette and I just stand there with my lip products*
WAB: You know, I just feel this really strong connection to you. Like I feel like you just get me.
ME: Really? Well, thanks. I just love makeup so anytime I can teach people anything I do!
WAB: No, you don't understand. I grew up in Kentucky and I never got to learn about makeup or anything like that. My parents didn't give a shit about anything like that.
ME: Oh..that's too bad.
WAB: Yeah, I just had a really rough childhood and never learned anything about makeup.
ME: Well, you are beautiful, you can have this lip stuff. I obviously have tons. You can have amazing lips whenever you want.
WAB: See, girl...you just get me. Like I feel like we are bonded on a spiritual level. Nature wanted us to meet.
And that, folks, is why I do what I do. The power of makeup is f*ing real, y'all. I bonded with this woman over lipstick and it totally reaffirmed why I need to keep doing it. All those 'burnt out, worn out' type feelings melted away in that moment. Nature did want us to meet. Apparently, we both needed it.
Until next time...
So I am back after a week off of adulting real hard...and let me just say that I would much rather be blogging and vlogging than what I had going on last week.
But traveling back to Illinois is actually where this story begins...
After getting a traffic ticket in the good ole Hoosier state I now call home, I was so super pissed I got on the interstate with no drinks or snacks...which is very un-Carly like. So after approximately 100 miles of driving and enough time to get un-pissed, I pulled over to the Marshall truck stop because its new, clean, and has Diet Pepsi. So it met all 3 requirements for my stop at this particular time. These days, with all the adulting and stuff, I am trying my best not to text and drive, so I had about 5 texts to check because I am that popular. LOL.
*DISCLAIMER* If you think I am just some hideous troll, just stop reading now because I am about to toot my own horn and for those of you not confident to toot your own, it might offend. You've been warned.
So on a good day when I feel like I've got it going on, I like to refer to myself as Fat-Hot. Its the new slang term I just made up for people like myself who are bigger than your average woman but also devastatingly beautiful. (If you didn't read that with dripping sarcasm, you didn't do it right. Go back and try again.)
So I am sitting in my parking space, minding my own freaking business, texting my husband when 3 normal looking guys in a ServicePro van pull up next to me, roll down the windows, start honking and pointing at me and making some lewd gestures of which I will leave to your imagination...cuz whatever you are thinking, it was included in the enthralling hand puppet show tailored for Carly.
I am sure you can all imagine the look I gave these creepy bastards because not only was I offended but it was just a big WTF moment.
There I am doing my best to ignore these douchelords until they finally speed away after I make no attempts to pick them up on any of their various and sincere offers. I look around the parking lot to make sure they are actually gone and not waiting to come do a Sons of Anarchy type abduction on me, which obviously didn't happen or we wouldn't be having storytime right now.
So, after much precaution I proceed into Road Ranger and make my way directly to the fountain sodas because at this point, Diet Pepsi is all that is gonna save this wreck of a day. I get so excited expressing the sweet nectar of life into my Styrofoam cup that I accidentally put in too much so when I pressed the lid on and jammed the straw through, it comes squirting out around onto the lid. Why am I going into such painstaking detail about that damn cup? Well...because it proved to be my downfall.
Once again, I am minding my own business, trying to clean up my Diet Pepsi so I don't spill it all down me in front of God and all the truck stop patrons, when a guy with a Road Ranger uniform on comes up and starts talking to me.
This is the conversation:
Road Ranger Guy (RRG): You are just so gorgeous! Do you take compliments?
RRG: You seriously just look so great. I just wanted you to know that. I saw that you had some tattoos. Did they hurt?
Me: Well...yeah. Most of them do.
RRG: Is the one of your foot the only one you have? Can you show me your others? Where are you other tattoos?
Me: Well...I have a few *flash him the tiny one of my wrist*
RRG: Oh wow. That is awesome. I love tattoos on women, they are so sexy. Yours are really well done. But, I just wanted to come up to you and tell you how good you look. *looks me up and down like a sick creep-o*
*I smile politely.*
So at this point, I am done cleaning up my Diet Pepsi, which has now become the bane of my exsistence. All I want to do is walk away but a never-ending supply of liquid keeps floating around on top of the lid. I finally just say F*** IT! and walk away, also believing the conversation was over.
As you can imagine, I am now slightly sensitive because of the amazingly avante garde parking lot performance of hand/mouth signals, so when RRG starts following me around the store, I am starting to get a little freaked out. I am a young (devastating beautiful LOL) woman traveling alone. Flashes of CSI and limbs in a dumpster are the first things that come to me. I quickly check out and high-tail it to my car, spilling Diet Pepsi all over.
I basically floor it out of the RR parking lot into the afternoon, never to stop at that sons-a-bitchin place ever again. If 2Fast 2Furious was ever in Marshall, IL, it was that day.
So all this happening to me is one thing, but when I shared this story with my coworkers, they all had similar tales of feeling not only thoroughly creeped out by a guy, but also feeling somewhat threatened by the way they were approached or spoken to.
One of my coworkers just went on a date with a guy who pulled out playing cards and started doing magic tricks at the dinner table, only let them listen to his own recorded music in the car to and from the restaurant, talked only about himself, and then when she tried to check her phone, he would stop talking and basically call her rude. It gets better...after that fabulous date, he asked her to go home with him, which she obviously declined. I don't know about you guys, but "pick a card! any card!" gives me a serious lady boner....NOT. This was on a Friday night and Sunday morning, he texted her and basically berated her for not sleeping with him and not being into his personal interest of rabbits in hats and shitty coffee house music. Excuse the shit out of her.
Now these are just a handful of examples, but my bank teller experience is really where the creep-o stories are. Here are a few examples of the things said to me or my female co-workers that I have personally heard:
"Do you like pornography?"
"Do you want to see my pussy pen?" *it was of Sylvester the cat FYI*
"You could win a 'Most Attractive Lip Contest'"
"You smell so good...its so sexy." *leaning into my teller window/personal space and sniffing me in a very creep-tastic way*
"I didn't know they were allowed to hire girls as sexy as you to work here."
"I really like your shirt" *look down to realize bra is showing out of V-neck*
"I really wish I could touch your hair"
"I just love to watch your touch your hair"
"Your hands are so pretty. I love watching you work with them." *ewww*
"You should come to Florida with me" *looks up in down in a seductive attempt* "You'd look good with a suntan down there."
"I see you haven't worn your wedding ring in a few days. Are you dating?"
"I noticed your license plates had changed on your van." *this was by a man who was banned from several establishments around town for harassing women*
I know you are all wondering what my point is going to be for this blog post, so I will get to it. ---->
WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED TO THESE MEN TO THINK IT WAS OKAY FOR THEM TO DISRESPECT WOMAN LIKE THIS? IT IS NOT OKAY.
It will never be okay. I understand that from the list above, it might seem harmless. But if you are male or you think I am unfairly judging answer these questions:
If none of the above applies to you, congratulations you have not been subjected to sexual harassment out in life or at your job. There is not one female I know that doesn't have stories like the above.
LADIES...we have to start standing up for ourselves and telling these creepy bastards its not okay to speak to us like that. Pick your moments, obviously. The term *poke the bear* comes to mind, don't do that. But there are so many times, I have just let lewd comments roll off my shoulders or excused it because it was just a comment here or there, but my collective experience combined with others is just too much for me. I had to speak my mind about this.
Sexual Harassment is real and it is alive, but the good news is that you don't have to put up with it.
Ignoring this behavior from men gets us nowhere, and it also is probably making us turn away the nice guys because we are so jaded we don't know who is sincere or a creepy crawler.
Let's just all get our 1998 Spice Girls on and say "Girl Power!"
That should never have went away.
Until next time...
Have you ever been snuggled up in your bed at a decent hour (for once.) vowing you will fall asleep in a few, but you just need to check out Pinterest for a bit to help you relax and wind down? You dive into the pictures blissfully unaware of the time slipping way. Next thing you know, its 2AM and your phone battery is at 15%.
Welcome to my life.
This is where I will post about those p-interesting things. I will also feature guest bloggers or guest posts here. The random part of my brain lives here. Get excited or get afraid...I'm not sure which is more appropriate. =]