Wise decisions.

In light of the recent election, I decided to (mostly) quit social media. Reading thread after thread of racist, ignorant remarks by the uneducated, I decided it would be best for my mental health if I stayed away. Facebook remains active but unread, that way my Messenger app still works, allowing me to receive messages from close friends. Twitter, I refuse to check. Tumblr, I refuse to check. Instagram is fine, because it’s 90% positive, inspiring blogs I need in these trying times. YouTube is my main source of entertainment, as I am an avid follower of comedy and review shows. I didn’t realize how much social media added to my stress levels until I quit. My shoulders and jaw relaxed significantly.

Not spending all of my free time on social media has allowed me to take care of some things I’ve been putting off. I recently made a donation pile for Goodwill. I organized my to-do lists and planner and laid out my goals for the next couple months. I did a few cleaning tasks around the apartment, such as gathering the hordes of plastic bags that lurked in the hallway closet. I shredded a bunch of medical papers and bills that were paid.

Now that I have these tasks out of the way, I can open my schedule to reading the stack of books next to gaming consoles, and maybe (!) even play some of those consoles. I’ve missed retro gaming so much and I’ve been relying on YouTube videos of fellow retro gamers to feed my addiction. I’ll put a post up of my favorite YouTubers soon and share the brilliance.

Why haven’t I been writing?

Great question.

The simple explanation is that I had more important things to worry about for a while.

I was panicking about whether or not I was going to move out to Pittsburgh, when I was moving, how much money to save, will I have insurance when I move out there, and so on…

I’m going to be visiting Pittsburgh in April, the weekend of the 22nd, to determine whether or not I like the city enough to actually move there.

Now that the issue is taken care of, I can get back to focusing on writing. However, another problem cropped up while I was away.

Why do we write about subjects that have been written about a million times over? As a minimalist, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every post about minimalism you can possibly see. Every topic. How to save money. What not to buy. How much waste a person/household produces. Why write at all when there are a million other blogs out there doing exactly what I set out to do?

I have no idea. Maybe because my approach is a little different? A little more blunt? Less philosophical? We’ll see what happens.

I can say for certain, though, that my next post will be about the financial aspects of the move. Thrilling, right?

A turning point.

So, I haven’t been talking to my friends as much as I should be because I’ve hit a pretty severe depression. It’s not the depression where you lay in bed all day trying to sleep off how sad you are, nor is it the depression where you cry for hours at a time. It’s the depression that causes you to hate everyone and everything, for no particular reason other than these things exist. You just want to be alone because people annoy you and noise is painful to your depression-ridden brain. It also doesn’t help that the people who were supposed to be there for you constantly disappoint you with their life choices and how they treat you. You know they’re trying their best, doing what they feel is right, but you just…can’t do it anymore. Sometimes, you need to take a step back from everything and everyone.

I’m taking all this alone time to evaluate what’s important in my life. What I want to do, what I love, who I love, how I can improve myself…

And the conclusion I’ve reached is that I basically need to become Lisbeth Salander for a few months. I’m much better at adulting than the character, though, as I’ve never been a ward of the state. I’ve always been alone, tough, and minimalist, but not as angry as I have been recently. However, the anger (frustration?) has become an energy source for me. I decided to make a lot of changes. While I do some of these things already, I’m pushing it a little harder and STICKING TO IT GODDAMMIT.

The past two days I’ve been on a cleaning rampage. I’ve been purging the excess from my life, packing up things for the move to Pittsburgh and putting them in storage, and using up whatever consumables (toiletries and food) I have on hand to get it out of the way and save money. I’m on a slight shopping ban as well. While I never spend a ton of money on clothing or knick-knacks (mainly because I hate having a lot of either item), I do tend to spend money on soap/shampoos and random sweets. I’m putting a stop to these spending behaviors completely.

In addition to the shopping ban, I’ve packed up a significant chunk of my wardrobe. I love all the pieces I own, but I wear the same 4 things over and over. So, I packed up everything but those clothing items. This is way easier for me than most because I have a uniform job. When I’m at home, or I’m out with friends I just wear men’s A-tanks and skinny jeans with stompy boots, sometimes with a sweater over it, or a flannel. Boom, simplified. Don’t need to think about fashion.

I eat when I’m hungry instead of eating three meals a day like a diabetic is supposed to. I don’t know if that’s going to bite me in the ass some how, but we’ll find out. Because I’m required to eat three meals a day with snacks between to keep my blood sugar steady, I never felt hunger and would feel overstuffed. I hate feeling overstuffed and eating when I’m not hungry. So, there goes my bad habit of wasting food and buying way too many cookies/chocolate/etc. The grocery outlet helps cut down on costs, and so does the farmer’s market when I actually make it there. Side note, Emmaus Farmer’s Market is dope, and you should check it out.

I’ve started working out way more as well. I hate feeling like a flabby mess, even though I know I am quite thin according to most people. I work out using Blogilates, or do minor weight lifting, and a lot of glute/thigh workouts. I’m hoping doing these exercises everyday, combined with diet, will give me the body I want.

Simplifying everything, making changes. I just want to feel better. I hate feeling like this.

What Did You Say Was In My Guacamole?

Fire Momma Bear

Winter Storm Jonas kept the schools out again today and that meant my client load was pretty light this morning giving me the chance to pop into the supermarket for a few things.  As I was gathering up my produce, I ran into a client I was just training.  She started to ask me about food and what I eat (thank goodness my cart was a testament to what I preach).  I told her what I was going to make with the items in my cart; a mushroom, kale and lentil soup and a kale and pepper frittata, plus smoothies and salads.  She only had a few things in cart and one was the store brand’s “Made Fresh Guacamole”  I asked her why she didn’t just make her own and she said this was all natural and made right there in the store so it has to be as good…

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I’m terrible at titles.

So, it’s Christmas Day. I have a cup of coffee, Animal Crossing music in the background, and DayQuil is coursing through my veins in a feeble attempt to fend off this cold. (Thanks, Nick.)

As the New Year approaches, I’m faced with several serious life changes. Primarily, the move from Allentown, PA across Pennsyltucky, to the glorious Emerald City that is Pittsburgh, PA. This choice does not come lightly. After festering in the Lehigh Valley for five years with no new job prospects, very few friendships, and a deep feeling of “What the hell am I doing with my life?,” I decided that moving to an entirely new city may the only option. A fresh start to self-actualize after years of stagnation.

Beginning in January, I have the arduous task of saving at least 1500 dollars as a cushion for my move. Part of this blog’s purpose is to chronicle the savings and life hacks to create that cushion. I’ve never been able to save money before because, quite frankly, I suck at being responsible (Dunkin Donuts and energy drinks are my kryptonite) and after living in poverty most of my life, I couldn’t help splurging on things with my new-found extra cash. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Along the way, you’ll have a deluge of pictures, excessive bluntness and weird finds at grocery outlets and thrift stores. There may even be some discussion of mental and physical health and coping with a lifetime of bullshit.

I hope you’re as stoked as I am.

Hello.

For the past five years, I’ve been in a bit of a slump.

Lots of job applications. 3 call backs and no new employment.

Toxic relationships…one right after the other.

Declining physical health.

An impending sense of hopelessness as I watched all of my college friends acquire amazing jobs, internships and marriages.

I was starting to give up hope. I was starting to give up…completely. I became something akin to the human version of a slug. And then, one day…

I just got tired of it. I got tired of feeling that way.

I never used to be like this. I was tolerating toxic relationships and people. If my friends had told me the stories I’d been telling them, I would have shook them senseless and made them leave those people behind. If I had watched the people I loved give up on the job search like I had, I would have done anything in my power to boost their confidence. I wouldn’t allow this state to happen to my friends, so why would I let it happen to myself?

I sat down with my favorite notebook and started outlining a life-changing plan. And I realized, maybe a blog would help me along my journey to self-improvement and mental/physical health.

And so here we are.