What if

 

It’s a new year. Things have been shifting for a while now, and I have been focusing on minimalism lately – not like, I only own one chair and 3 shirts, but making my life full of only things that are important to me. Because why not?

I also get tripped up by second-guessing myself. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time – trusting my instincts, trusting my feelings, trusting myself in general – that I can do this, that I mean well, that I am not wrong, that what I feel is right.

So for 2017 I want to work on these muscles – letting things go. Trusting myself.

I wrote the below back in October, but it seemed like good timing to post it now – I don’t have any new years resolutions this year, but this kind of sums up the general vibe I am going for in 2017 – I want to be brave, be myself, and live the life I want to live.

 

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What if

What if I stopped caring what I said or how it may have sounded last night?
What if I lose a friend, or make someone feel uncomfortable, by saying how I feel?
What if I didn’t care about being the “cool” girlfriend?
What if I didn’t care if I killed the mood at the bar when someone says something sexist?
What if I don’t answer that text, show up to that party, or have this conversation, because I don’t want to?
What if someone thinks I’m flaky?
What if someone hates how much I post on Facebook about politics?
What if I devoted all my time and energy only to the people and things that truly matter to me?
What if I stopped doing things I don’t enjoy?
What if I stopped giving myself such a hard time about things that aren’t a big deal?
What if people think I’m loud, too opinionated, annoying, or that I talk too much?
What if people don’t like me?
What if I stopped caring so much and lived my life everyday doing exactly what I want to do?

 

~

 

What are your new years resolutions/vibes? I’ve heard some good ones from friends and want to hear from you! My favorite one that I have heard today: “It’s ok to try EASY sometimes.”

<3

 

 

 

Wait, why again?

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Mélange à trois is a series where we discuss life’s burning questions about life, love, and style. Have a question you just can’t find the answer to? Email me at missmelangeblog@gmail.com and we’ll talk about it!

 

I have this group of girlfriends that I see pretty often. I’ve known them for forever, and they are fun to hang out with – but lately I feel like we don’t have much in common, and even though I have fun, I leave feeling weird. I find myself giving more than I’m getting – initiating things with them, asking them how they are and not talking about myself at all… And I’m starting to wonder why I put in the effort. But I’ve known these girls for forever, and I would feel bad about turning down invites (even though they don’t come to my get togethers)… What can I do to not rock the boat, but to stop feeling bleh about the whole thing?

 

Okay. Let’s break this down:

  • These friends don’t have anything in common with you
  • They aren’t giving anything in your friendship
  • You feel shitty after hanging out with them
  • They don’t come to your stuff, but you go to theirs

The only things keeping you from changing it up are:

  • You’ve known them for forever
  • You feel bad turning them down

Let’s start with the two reasons that would prevent you from changing the current state of things.

It doesn’t matter that you have known them for a long time if you aren’t getting anything out of these friendships. It’s not like you’re banning them from your life, and if you end up having things in common later and life and they bring value as friends, then great, you can always pick things back up. But right now, your life is being weighed down by unnecessary shit, and this is something you need to cut out. We’ll get to why later.

But you also feel bad turning them down. Here’s the thing – what would you rather feel: irrational guilt for turning down an invite from them when they turn down yours, or that frustrated feeling you get when you realize you got off your couch and did your hair, all for a couple of hours that you wish you could get back to do something you care about?

Then there’s the bigger picture. It’s not just about your Friday night, or who has accepted the most invitations – it’s about your whole life. Which sounds dramatic, but hear me out.

When you look at your social calendar, how much of it are you genuinely looking forward to? 50%? 80%? I think it should be 100%. Sure, some things you can’t get out of, and some things are investments or necessary evils (for example, maybe your in-laws aren’t at the top of your fun list, but you know it’s important and it’s worth it). But when it comes to your people who you choose to spend your SPARE time with, why the hell is that something you’re dreading? Makes no sense!

This is something I am JUST figuring out, thanks to my wise sister. We have been talking about how important our time is and how it makes us feel. Think about it – you’re looking at your week like, “Okay Monday I have happy hour with this girl from work who I don’t even like that much and it’s going to be awkward, but she asked me so I had to go… then Wednesday I have my friend’s party where no one I know will be there, but I should go because I didn’t go to her last leggings/oils/crystals/makeup party…then Thursday I have dinner with the boyfriend’s family friends who I’ve never met… then Friday and Saturday I said I would leave for the weekend with friends that I have realized lately I don’t click with at all….” SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT WEEK. I’m already exhausted.

But we’ve all been there, right? (If you haven’t, props to you and please comment with tips!) With that kind of pattern, I would start to feel kinda depressed about my life – where is all the fun stuff I want to do??

So we need to start saying no. With no guilt. Even if someone did nothing wrong, but you’re just not into it, say no. Even if you LOVE this person but you don’t love their bowling club, say no. And once your schedule is 90% shit you love, showing up for someone you love to do something you’re not that thrilled about will be a million times easier.

It’s about your life as a whole, and viewing your time as a precious (and scarce) resource. If I say no to this party these girls invited me to, I will have more energy to say yes to other invites that are way more important to me. And I will have more energy to do other things that make me happy, like exercise or cook for myself or read that book. Suddenly, you have time to do the things you WANT to do.

And even if you’re SO BORED, and the only thing to do this Friday night is hang out with those girls, still say no – because you know you won’t have a good time. And with that freed up time and space, you make room for new friends, new hobbies, new habits – and you will only let those in that you think sound fun. It might take some time, but then you’re looking at a bad-ass calendar.

Think of it as a wardrobe capsule for your life. Less=more, quality > quantity.

Sounds pretty dope, no? So start embracing “no”. We’ll do it together.

 

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DIY Earring Stud Box

You guys. I don’t know what’s going on, but I had this DIY project just HAPPEN the other day, like magic.

I have been frustrated with my stud earring situation – I have been more into studs lately and I was keeping them all in this silver box which used to be pretty, but has since deteriorated. I had this cute box I kept from like, a stationary set or something, that I fantasized about making into a box for these stud earrings. I just wanted to SEE them all, like the rest of my jewelry, and not have to dig for their counterparts every morning.

The only problem was, I am not a great DIYer. Sure, sometimes I pull something awesome off out of nowhere (like once a year) but this seemed to be too involved for me – it involved glue, and going to the store. So I pretty much gave up the dream and started looking on Amazon for already made things that could just show up at my door.

BUT THEN. I was in my craft box for some reason, and there was a bunch of black felt in there. Wtf? And then – wood stick things. Wtf?? These happened to be the exact things that Pinterest told me I needed to pull this off, besides a glue gun.

But I was like – wait. What if I just kind of stuff things in there without having to glue? It’s not like the thing has to be sturdy. (This type of thinking is affectionately called “Pulling a Laufenberg” by those close to me – eye-balling where a nail should go before hanging something, or in short just winging home improvement tasks in general.)

I found some fluffy stuff from jewelry boxes I kept for future gifts I never gave and tossed the boxes (finally – Marie Kondo would be proud). Then all I had to figure out was how to cut the sticks to the right length.

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So I could have looked in our tool box for cord cutters or something, but I was too lazy and thought I would just try sawing at them with a big butcher knife. I’m not kidding. This is the stuff Anthony deals with.

But in my defense, it worked. I sawed for a bit, then snapped ’em and it worked fine! So woo! No having to bring out the toolbox.

After that, I wrapped one of the sticks in fluffy stuff, then wrapped that in felt, after I cut it to size. I left extra fabric on the sides for more tucking power. I wrapped it in the felt until it looked bulky enough, then tucked it in there. I used extra tissue paper to stuff in the bottom of the box, since I didn’t have enough fluffy stuff. Then I just repeated that for each stick and just smooshed ’em all in there!

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It wasn’t perfect, but it came out way better than I expected, and it was the easiest thing.

 

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Look how cute it is now on my dresser! SO STOKED

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Any DIYs you’ve been pumped about lately? Please share! <3

 

 

 

How will we fight

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So I’m going to be honest with you. Election night for me went a little bit like this – I got drunk and cried at a bar with a bunch of friends, emailed saying I wasn’t coming into work the next day, and proceeded to have a pity party for myself and how this result was going to affect my white privileged life. Not my most shining moment, but it was real. I feel like I felt my feelings and that’s okay.

The next day (after I slept off my hangover) I went into self-care mode. Watched the series finale of Buffy (helpful inspiration – we will triumph over evil again and again, etc – and I am in desperate need of a pep talk by Joss Whedon btw), hardly went on Facebook, took a walk and called my mom and asked what she did when things were this bad – the civil rights era? The Bush era? What should we do?

What should we do? That was all I kept thinking. I was sober and ready to think of the more important problems – how we will protect people of color, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities…

I kept saying to myself: “This is only day 1.”

“This is only day 4.”

“This is only day 10.”

We will strategize, organize, talk to each other, try things and try other things instead – we will figure out the best way to fight for our values and we will do it for as long as we need to.

My mom said she wants Trump to hear an enormous outcry every time he does something that goes against our values, and I agree. I want to flood the right places with calls. I want to have huge marches. I want to give them hell.

But it is only the beginning. For now, I am looking for sustainable ways to incorporate fighting back and engaging in my community into my life, and learning about what works, how I can play on my strengths, and how to use my family and friends as resources.

At the end of week 2 of this weird apocalyptic reality we’ve been handed, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Green Initiatives 

For my personal cabinet for the next four years, I have appointed my BFF Emily as my Chief Green Initiatives Commissioner & Hippie Consultant. She has done hours and hours of research on all things green and environmentally friendly. I call her whenever I need to check what’s killing me in my house: “Is soy still a thing? I heard that candles are bad now? What should I clean my sink with?” I love having her on speed dial – she is all-knowing and wise.

I’ve already been using cloth napkins and coconut oil for a while now, and switched to a menstrual cup a couple years back to cut back on waste. I’ve also wrapped my Christmas gifts in brown paper bags, and plan on doing so again this year. But I wanted to take more steps since Trump doesn’t believe global warming is a thing and will fuck up our progress on trying to save the planet.

So far, I have switched over to 100% renewable energy for our apartment. It was only going to be a couple of extra bucks a month, and now we are supporting clean energy just from a couple clicks on our energy provider’s website. Take a look at the website of your provider and see if they have a renewable energy program – it literally took me 2 minutes to make the change, and it’s something that could make a big difference if more people join in.

Here’s my list for the other things I want to do to do my part:

  • Make my own household cleaners
  • Get refillable containers and get common items in bulk to reduce package waste
  • Switch to beeswax candles (nontoxic and purifies the air!)
  • Use essential oils + coconut oil instead of scented wax for my wax melt air freshener
  • Watch Before the Flood

Have more ideas? Tell me in the comments!

Get Involved

In addition to Emily, I have added a couple of friends and my sister to my Bad Ass Bitches Feminist Collective Committee. Texting, ranting over drinks, sharing articles – they are my powerful tribe of intelligent AF and brave women who inspire me to do more in the world. With ideas from them and encouragement, here is what I have tried so far to be more involved in my community.

I attended a peaceful protest in my city and marched to protest hate and promote diversity and love. I follow a local group that organizes these events on social media, and I’m hoping to attend more. There is a women’s march in LA in January that I also want to attend. I believe protesting is helpful and meaningful, and found this article to be helpful in explaining that position, in case you’re interested.

I also found this app that compiles locations of safe and/or unisex restrooms for trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals – add bathrooms in your area when you see them so people can pee where they feel safe!

I’ve also called my local representative for the first time in my life, and I’m going to make it a habit. The staffer was so so nice, and I want to just keep the pressure on for my reps to take a vocal stand against all of the very wrong things that are already happening in our government.

I sent an email today to my loved ones that may be shopping for Christmas soon, and asked that they consider using the money they might spend on me to instead donate to organizations I care about (I included links to Black Lives Matter, my local NPR station, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and my local LGBTQ+ organization). I’m not sure how I will donate yet and where, since money is a little tight, so I felt like that was something I could do in the meantime.

Next on the list:

  • Find the best ways to keep track of local town hall meetings and other events
  • Gather ideas of sustainable ways I can help local organizations further their causes
  • Find good sources for local government news to stay informed

What have you found that’s effective when engaging locally?

Don’t back down

The biggest urge I had on election night was to not listen to the news for four years. The idea that I’ll have to listen to that man’s voice, as the representative of the voice of our country… I just couldn’t. I wanted to hide. I couldn’t imagine getting more bad news day after day, hearing him spew hate and being allowed to do it while holding the highest office in our country.

But that would be the most privileged and unhelpful thing I could do. I would be trying desperately to ignore the things I am lucky enough to have the option to ignore, and try to force this new fucked up arena into the “normal life” category. Nope. We have to stay informed. We have to stay angry. That’s what will fuel us. We can’t hide for four years, or move to Canada, or try to get California to secede – those things aren’t helpful. We need to stay and fight for those who need our help and protection.

It’s going to suck. But not as much as it will suck for our LGBTQ+, POC, and Muslim neighbors. We need to fight as hard as we can for them – this is our mess, and we need to clean it up and stand up with the resources we are lucky enough to have.

So that’s what I will try and do. And I don’t want this post to come off as self-congratulatory – I really just want to share ideas. What has worked for you? What have you tried that actually doesn’t work? What do you think I can do to help more?

Here is another helpful list of things we can do to help if you want more!

We need to keep talking, keep reminding ourselves that this isn’t normal, and keep the fire to fight stoked and ready. I’m loving all the thoughtful conversations on social media and off and I know we can all come together to do something to help.

<3

 

 

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