IT’S MY BLOGIVERSARY FOR 1 MORE MINUTE

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO MEEEEEE

If this published time stamps, ya’ll would have seen the 11:59pm and felt the rush that I just did.

Now that I can come in and edit let me tell you that bringing blogging back into my life has been a very wise decision. It doesn’t feel as secret as it used to, but I suppose that’s the point of blogs these days isn’t it? And shouldn’t that be the way? I used to put things on the internet with the intent that it will get lost. Like shoving all your feelings in the Room of Requirement. Now I feel like that lady rolling her dirty laundry down the street to the laundromat. No towel tucked on top to cover her shame. Unabashed dirty laundry comin atcha.*

Yup. That’s me.

Over the past year I’ve made so many blogger friends and have been using this place as an outlet for some deep feelings, as I cover it with fluffy posts about books and makeup. I love what this space is becoming. I love obsessing over the layout every few months. It feels very comfortable, like I’m participating in a hobby that’s kind of second nature.

Basically, this is rad and I’m making sure my annual domain renewal charge feels worth it.

Thanks for sticking around.

*Actually I try to rein in my personal drama and think critically before I publish a post so my blog isn’t a hot mess. Let’s be honest, nobody likes that girl at the laundromat.

Big Feelings

Here’s the thing.

I’m an idiot.

(Romantically.)

I often let my heart get carried away before my head knows what’s going on. I can’t help it. I can fall in love in a day or two, which is insane. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a term for it: going “Full Boyle.” It really just means getting in over your head in love (which ends up biting you in the ass). Normally I can distance myself from my Full Boyle behaviour and come off as a normal functioning human person, but if the person I’m interested in shows signs of mutual Full Boyle-ness I let my defenses fall. And by that I mean I open wide the gates of my heart and throw a welcome party.

At first it was working out in my favour. It felt like something real and significant was happening. It hadn’t been a long time but we became very close and spent a lot of time together. We were making plans. Little trips, things we wanted to do together. He asked me to make an actual list of stuff we should do together while he was away in Mexico. So I did. I put it in my bullet journal and made it all pretty. Some things for now-ish, other things for the summer.

The week went by really slow because I was so used to spending every other evening with him. The day after he came back we talked. Mexico was good, but he got really sick towards the end. I’ve been sick while abroad before, it’s not fun and you just want to go home. You want comfort. And for him, that was his ex. They’d been broken up for a year but he realized he still had some unresolved feelings that he needed to deal with, on his own. He was very kind to me when he said we couldn’t see each other anymore, and I understood. He didn’t know he had these latent feelings until he got sick, so I can’t be mad at him for allowing me to believe we were going to be something substantial. Telling me ASAP and taking the space and time he needs to heal is the best thing for both of us.

But here remains me, running full speed into a potential relationship and slamming face first into a brick wall. And that brick wall hurt. It hurt more than it should for something that lasted less than a month. I cried. A lot. I had a friend come over to spend some time with me. She brought me flowers and ice cream and chocolate. (What a gal!) It felt like a breakup, and it took me a weekend for my emotions to settle down. I took a couple of long thinking showers to figure out how I felt. You know the kind I mean. The result:

I’d do it again.

I have no regrets about what happened. I don’t want to be the kind of person that doesn’t let people in because they’re scared of getting hurt. I don’t want to be callous. I want to let things affect me; to learn from them and let them become a part of me. I want to be the kind of person to have big dreams; big thoughts; big feelings.

Sunday Self-Love: Sept-Oct 2016

I told myself I would be doing these and I AM DOING THESE! I wanted to make them a once-a-month thing but I forgot to do it for a while, so here are some self-proclaimed Nikita Excellence™ and various ways I’ve been showing myself kindness.

  1. Cleaning my space. My head has been feeling cluttered and unclear so I took a couple of days to really clean and organize my space so I can feel like a grown woman in charge of my own life. I played “The Desired Effect” by Brandon Flowers on vinyl twice. It’s so happy and 80s-sounding and makes me feel like dancing and making my life better. I realize I put this on my last SSL post but at least you know I clean my room once a month.
  2. Forgiving myself for being imperfect in an imperfect body. You may have seen my previous post My Internal Monologue of Weight Gain (and Loss) that I’ve been fluctuating in my weight because FEELINGS. My body image and sense of comfort in my body has suffered but I’ve made the decision to let myself feel the feelings and cope with feelings. I shouldn’t beat myself up over something to temporary.
  3. I started using my agenda again to get shit done. I also bought a Passion Planner to REALLY get shit done.
  4. Attending Queen’s 2016 Homecoming! It has been 5 years since I graduated and I have a lot of feelings about Queen’s University, my growth, and the people I’ve crossed paths with. It was really great going back! (Longer post about this pending.)
  5. I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack and it has healed me.
  6. I made an active real effort to read more. I haven’t finished a book yet because I haven’t fallen into any that I love, but it feels sooooo nice to curl up in a blanket and read something for a few hours. I began Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko and I’ve been sitting halfway through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for a while now. Mostly it’s been listening to M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman on audiobook as I drift off to sleep.

My Internal Monologue of Weight Gain (and Loss)

I try to stay as body positive as I can in public, digital and IRL, but I’m not about to pretend that I don’t have any hangups about my body. I try to make a habit of reminding myself that all bodies are good and there is nothing wrong with carrying a bit of extra weight, but I find that these two parts of my brain bicker like an old married couple.

I eat more (and extremely poorly) when I’m going through some emotional turbulence. These days it’s been a mix of dad-related anxiety and mourning my late kitty.

Little man got hit by a car. He was 3 years old.

Hawksley used to try to eat all the cats’ food until he made himself sick. I 100% used this logic in justifying my overeating. Hawksley would want me to gorge my face. I’m honouring him!

Some days I’ll tell myself that eating so much unhealthy food is not being kind to my body. My skin is breaking out and my energy levels are low. At the same time: fuck all y’all I want Cheetos and I have makeup for my skin. People try to act like gaining weight is the worst thing that can happen to you and I don’t want to buy into that narrative by becoming overly concerned with my weight.

(at least that’s what I tell myself)

So I allow myself to gain some weight, and not fault myself too much for my emotional eating “away move” (as we call it in therapy). What’s the worst that can happen?

I get mistaken for pregnant. Some dude at work wished my luck with my pregnancy. Didn’t ask, just wished me luck. I’m not overly affected by it since I know I gain weight solely in my belly. I’m a little soft. Could pass for 3-4 months preggo I guess.

Worry not! I’m good at picking out flattering clothes. Except… woops, nothing fits anymore. Leggings, let me embrace you! I’m just going to pretend my denim collection isn’t there.

Now I gotta fit back into my clothes because I’m certainly not going to pay money for new clothes as a result of eating too much cheesecake.

Time to re-discover my love of fitness. I really genuinely like to work out, but getting started after a break like this is always difficult and telling yourself “I want to be thinner” doesn’t always cut it. What does cut it is “I want to be strong again” and not getting winded by the stairs. It may take a while but I’ll get back on track with eating well, indulging within moderation, and working out, and slowly my body begins to feel like my own again instead of the physical results of emotional strain.

Soon I’ll be back to being a boss champ and posting to my fitness Instagram more regularly (@nikfitonium). At least until the next emotional crisis.

Sunday Self-Love

Anna over at NerdyAlerty began this lovely series on her blog and encouraged others to participate. Sunday Self-Love is about acknowledging the things you love about yourself; the things you have done to be good to yourself, and the things you are proud of accomplishing. Her series will be monthly, but I’m not sure if I will follow the same schedule.

I have therapy sessions every two weeks to help manage my anxiety (which has become more troublesome since moving back in with my dad), and she would like to see me being kinder to myself. Most of my thoughts are self-deprecating and very focused on what I didn’t do well/enough. When I make a mistake I immediately beat myself up over it. I’m bad at taking a step back to forgive myself and allow myself to be a flawed human. I like the idea of taking the time to acknowledge my strengths; my accomplishments; my attempts to be good to myself.

These posts won’t always contain extravagant things. As I said I’m not good at taking care of myself, so there may not always be spa nights or workouts. I’m trying to pull myself out of a rut and I can’t think of anything substantial that I’ve done for myself lately, but here goes nothing:

  1. I did my makeup on Friday. Putting on makeup always feels like I’m taking care of myself, and it gives me something creative to do with brushes and colours. I had gone bare-faced for a long time and it was nice to look like I was ready to socialize, even if I wasn’t. I even put my hair in a little braid!
  2. I cleaned my room. It took two days because I drag my feet and didn’t do a very productive job of it (it’s still not at 100%), but de-cluttering my space helped me de-clutter my mind.
  3. I stopped eating so shittily. I flip-flop between a healthy lifestyle and a total slobfest. I’m currently sort of a slobfest. I haven’t worked out in over a month even though I said this week would be the week I get back to it, but beginning to eat healthy is a good way for me to ease myself back into treating my body well.
  4. I started blogging again! I got the email that my domain renewal was coming up and I thought “shit, if I’m paying for this I should use it.” I work part time and need productive hobbies for my time off.
  5. I had coffee with a friend from high school. We haven’t talked in a long time but we live close by so we thought it’d be nice to reconnect. We talked a lot about jobs, relationships, life, etc. It was super refreshing and really nice to socialize and have a #PSL.

How to Make Friends in College

University was an extremely turbulent time for me. I feel like I may have made some poor choices, but the good thing is that I can look back and see why my train got wrecked. Late teens and early twenties is a weird time where most people are still trying to figure out who they are. Some people already have that figured out. Congratulations on being a well-rounded self-aware human. Let us slobs work on ourselves.

I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be, but they make such a big deal of “college friends” as if you meet your “college friends” in first year and they’re supposed to be your friends for your entire university career, and they’ll be the ones you’re friends with for the rest of your life. Sure, that can happen and it’s not a bad thing if it does. But it’s not a bad thing if it doesn’t. Finding your tribe can be difficult.

I had the wrong approach to making my friends. I sought out people who I wanted to be like (but knew I wasn’t like), and tried to fit in with them. Sure, we got along fine. We had no classes together, but we were buds. But I always felt like an outcast with them because, guess what! I wasn’t like them. We had different interests and habits and vibes. My main regret about university is not making more friends in my own department. Shockingly, that’s where you find the weirdos who are into the same stuff as you! In fact, I ended up befriending way more people from the English department after graduating because we kinda gravitated to each other. Because we like the same stuff.

A huge problem I faced (but was very bad at realizing it was a problem) was that I kept making friends who tried to mold me into versions of themselves. I suppose Uni!Nik was very malleable because I was so willing to become someone else instead of growing into myself. But I got lost in efforts to be more like some next person. I can’t stress how important it is to just be yourself. You. Your actual self. You are enough.

If I were to do it all over again, I would abide by these rules:

  1. Be yourself. Anyone who doesn’t want to be around your authentic self can fuck right off.
  2. Try to be friends with everyone. Yes people in your department is a great place to start, but mingle with everyone and find peeps who dig what you dig.
  3. Drop anyone who condescends to you. This is especially important for people studying the arts. Don’t let people, especially “friends,” tell you that what you study isn’t important, isn’t difficult, or isn’t worthwhile.
  4. Participate in a thing like class rep, clubs, plays, or whatever extracurricular teeters your totter.
  5. Bake a pie. I did this in first year res and offered slices to people on my floor. They’d come, have some pie, we’d chat and get to know each other. It was a great plan. 10/10 would do again.
This was not the friendship pie. This was the "I'm taking my English final tomorrow and I've lost my mind" cake.

This was not the friendship pie. This was the “I’m taking my English final tomorrow and I’ve lost my mind” cake. (My professor’s name was Tracy.) Circa, 2008.