good hair day

the past few months i’ve been having a good hair day. i know that sounds strange, but it’s not really about individual good hair, bad hair days. for me, it’s more about embracing a facet of my physical appearance that for a long time i have disliked.

for a long, long time i have disliked my natural hair. i disliked that it was a bit wavy, a bit curly, a bit frizzy. in short, i hated that it wasn’t sleek, and glossy, and straight. i wanted hair that was easy to manage, that air-dried perfectly and didn’t require the use of a million products and styling tools. but since i didn’t have this hair naturally, i used a million products and spent a lot of time in the bathroom with my straightening iron, carefully ironing countless sections of hair. it was very expensive and time consuming.

 while i was working two jobs, i pretty much stopped styling my hair. working in food service i always pulled my hair back, and then working in high-end fashion retail they did not like my curly hair, so i always wore it in a slicked back ponytail. i went through a lot of hair gel during that 10 month period. there was no hair straightening (unless i had just come from the stylist).

the turnaround happened pretty soon after leaving my job in clothing retail. the reasons are two-fold: i found a hair product that actually made my hair looked nice without a lot of work, and i found a guy that actually liked my kind of curly, kind of wavy, kind of frizzy, kind of big jewish girl hair. it’s very refreshing.

now my hair is growing long, and i love how it looks. i love letting it air dry after a shower, seeing the bouncy curls and the soft waves. seeing myself through someone else’s eyes gives me a lot of confidence and is an insane self-esteem boost. (i know there’s a lot someone could say about being able to have confidence without the aid of someone else’s approval…but that’s a post for another day.)

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i am a feminist!

i’m a feminist. i’ve been a female for a long time now. it’d be stupid not to be on my own side.

maya angelou

these inspiring words from maya angelou sum up very well the reason i am a proud feminist.

i am a feminist because i am proud to be a woman. i believe in equality between the sexes; that is purest definition of feminism in my opinion. but i know there are many forms of feminism. at its core, however, i feel that it is about respect, equality, and love.

but there is a historical imbalance. while everything i said in the previous paragraph is absolutely true, it’s impossible to ignore how women have been put down, marginalized, and treated like second-class citizens throughout most of history including present day. fighting for and promoting equality does mean putting the focus on correcting the gross inequities that women have suffered.

feminism is not a bad word. it does not mean the hatred of men. it does not mean the exclusion of men. it means the promotion of women. it means sisterhood, friendship, celebration, and joy. it means joining together to fight for our equal rights, for working to promote our own autonomy our own power. feminism is a vast word and a vast world that encompasses so many facets being embraced by all types of people.

going back to the beginning quote, i think that it is so important for women to be feminists. i mean, why wouldn’t i want to support my fellow women. why wouldn’t i want to support myself?

job dissatisfaction

i am dissatisfied at my job. i am frustrated when i go to work. i am sad when my two days off are over and i resign myself to starting the ugliness over all over again. i have a “case of the mondays” everyday.

my job is not a career. it’s exactly what it sounds like, a job. i go to work, i punch in and 8 hours later i punch out. i go home tired, watch some netflix, eat a dinner, go to bed, and repeat it all the next day. i’ve been doing this job for over 3 years. and i hope that i am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

i didn’t always have this level of dissatisfaction. when i started at my job, it made me very happy to go to work everyday. i began at the bottom of the ladder, and i was so excited to go to work everyday and learn something new. before starting at my job i had been unemployed for close to 10 months, and the idea of having some place to go, a job to do, things to learn, was very exciting to me. it helped clear up a lot of depression that i felt in my life.

the job started out as part time. i worked usually 4-5 days a week about 20-25 hours a week. not a lot of money coming in, but i didn’t have a lot of expenses. in addition to learning new skills that were fun, i think the part-time aspect really appealed to me. i loved coming in, working a 5-6 horu shift and then leaving to go to the movies, to yoga, to hang out with my friends.

for a good year and a half i really loved my job, there was something consistently new to learn and improve upon. eventually the party does have to come to an end. around the 2 year mark, i began to feel the first pangs of job dissatisfaction. countless management changes throughout the next year brought my unhappiness level from tiny pangs to full blown crisis level which is where i sit at this current moment.

i am depressed about my job. it causes me stress, anxiety, and panic. i get terrible stomachaches, my hands shake if i feel overwhelmed.

i have decided; i am leaving my job. within the next one to two weeks i plan on giving my notice. and i am scared. i have no job lined up (although i am searching), only a minimal amount of savings (that i was hoping to keep saving), and expenses that i have to consider. i would need to purchase my own health insurance (my job actually provides me with great health insurance). i would have to make all my normal purchases without the safety net of knowing that a paycheck will come and cover the purchases. i would have to really commit myself to finding a new job.

has anyone else been depressed about their job? what did you do? have you ever left a job without having another job lined up?

 

what i’m reading in 2015

i love to read, and every year i always plan to read a lot of books. last year i read close to 30 books, better than previous years. i try not to re-read books because there is so much out there that i haven’t read yet and that i want to read. i love the idea of devouring a new story, new characters, a new setting. it’s like diving into a new world each time i pick up a new book.

at the end of 2013 the last book i started reading is a book by thomas mcnamee called alice waters and chez panisse. it is part biography of alice waters and part history of the famed berkeley restaurant called chez panisse. in reality, the two cannot be separated from each other. alice and her restaurant are virtually one in the same. i am hard pressed to think of a restaurant that so wholly embodies the philosophy and vision of its founder as chez panisse does. to me and many others, alice waters is a revolutionary, a trail blazer. i admire her immensely. i admire her vision, her tenacity, her true belief that changing the way we eat can change the world.

i wasn’t able to finish the book by december 31, so it didn’t count for my total in 2014. it was the first book i finished in 2015, and i’ve decided to make 2015 the year i read more books by females or featuring strong female protagonists. i’ve put together a stack on my shelves of all the books i own written by females. those will be the first ones i read. after that i’m going to move on to books that feature strong female characters. my goal for the year is to read 30 unique books for the year. also, i’m trying to not purchase any new books for my personal library. i guess that if i make it through all the books written by women and featuring women characters before making it to 30, i will raid my parents home library or borrow from my friends.

after finishing the mcnamee book, i decided to start 2015 with amy poehler’s yes please which was a gift from my secret santa after sitting on my amazon wishlist since long before it was actually published. not only is the book funny and charming, it also reinforces my admiration for amy poehler as a comedienne and as a feminist. i truly love her “be yourself” approach. i’m about half-way through the book, and i look forward to finishing it soon.

my plans for 2015

i have spent a lot of time over the past few days of the new year thinking about my plans for 2015. what do i want to accomplish, what will make me happy, what will make me feel proud about myself? these are all questions i am asking over and over in my head.

since 2014 was a good year for me, i have decided that i want to add to my bounty. i want to keep moving forward with the good momentum from last year.

i want to add by subtracting. the things i surround myself with at my apartment should make me happy. i have a lot of stuff and not all of it makes me happy; there’s too much stuff that i continue to own year after year that does not make me happy, that i don’t use, that i don’t find beautiful.  here’s the thing, i don’t need to add to my incredible bounty by going out and purchasing more things that i find pleasing. what i really need to do is round up the items in my apartment that i no longer want and donate them. i will then find myself surrounded by a higher percentage of things i like and find beautiful and useful. see, adding by subtracting.

i also have wellness goals for 2015 as do most people who make resolutions. my intentionsare not going to be objective, like “i waant to lose 10lbs and exercise 3 times a week and i will never eat carbs again.” i participate in some light exercise, probably not as much as i should. i bike ocassionally and i go for walks or hikes every so often. most of my daily movement comes from my work where i usually spend close to 8 hours on my feet, moving around, serving customers. for the most part, though, i hate to exercise. i haate it with a passion; it is not fun, i don’t feel good after, i don’t feel a high from exercising. the only enjoyment i ever get from exercising is when i am with other people, like walking with a friend or biking with my boyfriend.

i have a fitbit and a bike trainer that i want to use more. i do use my fitbit everyday; i pin it to my jeans and it counts my steps. if i remember i sync it with my laptop which keeps track of how many steps i walk each day, how many miles i’ve walked, and how many calories i’ve burned. except i don’t sync it everyday, i don’t really look at my stats, and i don’t change any of my habits if i see that i’m not really meeting my goals. honestly when i see that i’m not meeting any of the goals it does make me feel ashamed because my fitbit was a gift that i specifically asked for. i feel bad for not using it properly.

the same goes with my bike trainer. i specifically said that i wanted one, promised that i would use it if i had one. well, i got one, i used it for a couple of weeks, then i just stopped. i haven’t touched it in months. and i feel deeply ashamed about that. every time  walk into my apartment and see my bike trainer, i hate myself for asking for this gift and never using it.

so for 2015, i want to utilize my tools more. i want to really use my fitbit for how it was intended. i want to use it to improve overall fitness; i want to remember to sync my fitbit regularly, analyze my stats, and adjust my daily activity so that i am making progress. in addition, i want to start using my ibke trainer with regularity. i will certainly try my hardest to stick with my wellness intentions for the upcoming year.

some other goals i have for 2015 include reading more books, finding more hobbies that i enjoy, cooking and baking more, and drinking more tea!

happy new year!

so, we’ve made it. 2015. it’s really here, and i’m living it.

last night we went to a new years eve dinner party hosted by family friends. they host this party every year, and it is always a potluck with a food theme. this year the theme was italian. i brought marinated tomatoes made with a recipe i found on the pioneer woman‘s website.

the tomatoes turned out great. the flavors were so awesome and blended so well together. plus, it’s such a simple recipe; you throw everything together and let it sit for a few hours. simple as that. i also love this recipe because it’s light and fresh and pretty healthy. it makes a great side dish, but it could also double as a salad when mixed with greens or as a no-cook pasta sauce.

personally, i would eat this as a main dish by itself. i would maybe add in some sliced onions as well. also, i would cut the amount of sugar used. the recipe, which is supposed to serve 18, calls for 4Tbsp of sugar. this is to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes, but i thought that was too much, and i put in 3Tbsp. i thought that was even too much. next time i make this (and that will definitely happen!), i will probably try either 2 or 1 Tbsp sugar.

all the tomatoes were eaten up at the party which i consider to be an indication of a successful recipe!