Stuck

finding memo

There were so great cat memes on being stuck, but because I despise cats so much I bypassed ALL THE CAT MEMES for this Finding Nemo meme, which I aptly named in my pictures folder as “finding memo” 🙂

I’m baaaaccckkkk.

I don’t know why I made a dramatic introduction. It’s not like I have a bunch of followers on this blog ATM. Shoutout to whoever is reading this post right now, though. *tips hat*

Full disclosure: I’m sitting on the couch in my apartment about to take some Tostino’s pepperoni pizza rolls out of the microwave. I ate better as a child, y’know, during the ages when it was more appropriate to eat pizza rolls. Anyway, I digress.

So here I am on a rainy Tuesday evening. It’s been raining/storming on and off for several days. As a result I was without internet for a gut-wrenching 2 days, and I’m already at over 75% of my allotted data. For the month. I listen to a lot of Spotify…

In a stunning series of events/challenges I’ve done some self-assessment. I’ve taken a look at my life, and looked at it for what it is. Structure. Regimen. M-F/9-5/Weekend. Chores, exercise, an obscene amount of grooming, binge-watching shows (although it still takes me forever to actually finish an entire series) and YouTube videos. Sprinkle in some time throughout the week for quiet time (but never enough time) with Jesus, spending quality time with my boyfriend (&& the homies), and with girlfriends who I “have to do this more often” with. Boring. Kind of sad, really.

I took a more-than-brief pause to clean up the pizza rolls plate, and was distracted by Buzzfeed via Facebook aaaaand now I feel like I have an attention disorder. Hmmmm.

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to transition out of my current job, out of finance, into something more interesting and meaningful to me. If I’m being honest with myself I’ve had short spurts of motivation, and longer spurts of complacency where I haven’t done much digging/applying/networking. I grumble about work and come back the next day, the next month, this fall it’ll be the next year. Why? Because I feel stuck.

I’m toting the line between comfort and progress. Progress requires discomfort – not all the time, but a good bit of the time. I’m so exhausted from this job, that is now increasingly more stimulating in the wrong ways, that I just want to come home and sit. I want to comfort myself from the woes of the day, and in doing so I don’t really accomplish anything for myself.

Over the past couple of weeks a loved one of mine pointed out the monotony of my life, and asked me what I look forward to doing when I get home from work (that doesn’t involve sitting).

— Mind you, I recognize that I’ve mentioned sitting an alarming number of times, but in an effort to minimize whatever judgment is coming my way from whatever random reader(s) I’d like to mention that I’m in Zumba/the gym several times weekly in an effort to still be able to eat ice cream and not look like a blob. So there. —

I didn’t have much to say. I mentioned that I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I didn’t have any activities or hobbies explicitly my own (outside of activities with the people I care about) to look forward to. That bothered me. A lot.

When I was in college I was constantly stimulated (in the positive ways, as long as I wasn’t procrastinating). With my school work, involvement in student organizations, and such easy access to all my friends, I hardly had enough time left in the day/night for sleep. My life was full ALL THE TIME. It was exhausting, but everything was so well defined and purposeful. I studied what I wanted, had money to do what I wanted (which I’m now paying off to the Federal gov’t and Navient), and had a well-defined path. Take these classes, become involved in these things, graduate, get a job doing the thing, etc.

And you know what happened? I graduated. I moved back home for two years. I started working in a restaurant, feeling inadequate because I didn’t go to college to end up in a job I could have worked…before college. So I took the first legitimate full-time job opportunity to feel a certain amount of pride and worthiness. It was exciting for a brief period of time, and then miserable. I left. Worked a crappy job, worked what I thought was a dream job (but actually a poor fit), left, and now I’m here.

So what now? I have bills and responsibilities. There’s stuff I want to do – nothing fancy. Maybe go to the beach with my boyfriend. Watch the sunset. Eat some tacos. Go to the beach and watch the sunset while eating some tacos with my boyfriend.

I’m older so I know better than I did at 22. People work corporate jobs for the benefits. I like having health insurance. Not sure what my options are going to look like under the current administration. (I’m looking at you human-rights stripping, immorally scary GOP).

Something that I have now that I won’t have as much of in the future is time. Time to practice my violin, to learn tagalog, to work on this blog and make it cool – not just so I feel comfortable making it “public” but so that I’m proud of the platform housing this content.

I’m already frustrated about not having all the time I want to to run through scales and old sheet music, to create and study flash cards for Tagalog, to learn how to edit websites so that I can have a cool-looking blog.

This is a good frustrated, and I’m proud of it.

For the sake of time I’m going to call it quits on this blog post. I had a lot to say, and I’m not quite sure how to tie this all up in a neat bow. Hopefully I’ll be back on here sooner rather than later

Cheers,

J.

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Great for all hair types: a lie and some personal woes.

I’ve watched a plethora of make up/beauty-related videos on YouTube over the last month. And since my last post was blatantly a political post I decided to go for a more “friendly” topic for this week’s blog post.

Let’s get started!

Products that indicate that they’re great for all hair types. It’s a lie. It’s always a lie. I really think sometimes that certain products will be well-suited for my type 3C black girl magical curls, but alas! I am mistaken.

And since I’m in the early stages of my blog, and (as of today) I haven’t quite made it public yet I’m not going to shy away from putting any particular lines or products on blast.

Here we go!

For starters, I have what I think would be classified as type 3C s-shaped curls. I’m actually quite proud of my curl pattern, and wish I would have gone natural much earlier in my life. Transitioning to natural made me so much more in tune and proud of my blackness.

As a half-black, half-filipino self-proclaimed (wow lots of hyphens) awkward black girl my racial identity has been a pain point for much of my life (and sometimes continues to be a pain point now). I grew up in a not-so-diverse small-ish town in North Carolina, where I was not only a minority generally speaking, but also a minority within a minority. I listened to indie rock and watched anime, and hung out with the nerdy kids in middle and high school. I figured that since I felt like I couldn’t fit in anywhere I’d kind of sort of fit in with the misfit/outcast crew. Other black girls were sometimes unfriendly, and the vast majority of white kids didn’t consider me black given that I didn’t fit the stereotype of what they would consider your typical black person to look/act/sound like. As a result they’d sometimes demonstrate what I now recognize as racist jokes and commentary assuming that I’d be “cool” with it since I’m not “really” black. Eye roll.

I could write an entire scholarly article about racial identity issues, but the *point* of this specific post is to discuss inclusivity (or lack thereof) in the beauty world. Also – #shoutout to YouTuber Jackie Aina who regularly addresses the lack of inclusivity in the beauty industry, makes some bomb tutorials, and is just really funny and entertaining to watch. I’m waving at you as a fan girl from afar.

For months and months and months and MONTHS I was using a widely available drugstore knockoff of the Wen cleansing conditioner – RenPure cleansing conditioner. Now I really really really REALLY liked the rosemary mint scent – it was really refreshing and helped my scalp actually feel clean. The conditioner itself did have some decent slip. This conditioner (and possibly the remainder of this line) advertises that it’s great for ALL hair types. Now perhaps some products would work better for me than the cleansing conditioner claims to have worked, but I can’t speak for any additional products in the RenPure line since I haven’t tried them personally.

About a month ago I was running low on this product, and was having a harder time than usual finding it at my local Targets, so I chatted with one of my Zumba friends about the As I Am coconut co-wash product.

As I Am is a line of products intentionally made for people with curly hair, and advertises heavily towards people of color. She said that she really likes it (and her hair smells really awesome when she co-washes before class) so I decided to try it. The next morning I co-wash my hair in the LEAST optimal state possible – bent over at the side of my tub (since I had actually taken a shower the previous day but didn’t co-wash since I was about to go to sleep – more on that later). This product was super rich and creamy, and had incredible slip. It was noticeably MUCH easier to detangle my hair (which is a HUGE time saver in the shower), and left my hair super bouncy and more moisturized throughout the day. I’ve been using the coconut co-wash for about a month now, and I feel like my hair is in better shape. My ends are less gross, and Jannine is more happy 🙂

I do want to follow up on a point I put in parentheses in the previous paragraph – co-washing my hair at the edge of my bath tub instead of taking a conventional shower.

Wash day. Let me tell y’all about wash day. Jesus help me. A full wash day for me looks like this:

In the shower:
-clean my body
-shampoo my hair
-apply deep conditioner and de-tangle my hair

Outside of the shower:
-sit under my portable table-top dryer for 20+ minutes with a conditioning cap over my soaking wet head.
-rinse out the remaining conditioner at the edge of my bath tub
-style my hair with leave-in conditioner and my trusty Curls goddess curls botanical gelle

Additional (not hair related):
-moisturize
-apply face moisturizer and topical acne medication
-put my WHOLE FACE ON (a.k.a. apply make-up)
-put clothes on

The entire process I’ve outlined above takes hours. Literally, hours. As a result I haven’t gone through a formal wash day in about a month. This is actually pretty bad. Oops. :/

Despite the unseasonably warm 70 degree weather here in Raleigh for today and the next several days (climate change is real y’all), it’s still TECHNICALLY the winter. So TECHNICALLY a diligent naturalista (which I strive to be) would deep condition as part of a formal wash day on a weekly basis. But your girl J over here…not exactly about that life.

Sometimes I have stuff to do on a Saturday, like go to a march or a Korean festival. Shrug. And then on Sundays I volunteer in the nursery at my church, and then go to worship, so I’m not super inclined to get up as early as I do for work on a Sunday just to accomplish wash day. Also – Sundays are traditionally the sabbath, so OBVIOUSLY wash day can’t occur on a Sunday 🙂

I feel like this post has been long. I’ve been working on this on-and-off for the past couple of hours due to various distractions. I’m gonna go ahead and wrap this up here. Kudos to you if you came across my blog, and actually decided to stick around for the entirety of this post.

Until next time, folks.

-J