General

On living authentically

Since the pandemic hit, I’ve seen a lot of changes in people. Some for the better, some for the worse. Some (me) have let go of their health and let themselves become immersed in doomscrolling and comfort eating. Others (also me) have taken it as a wake up to take care of themselves and to work whole-heartedly toward their dreams.

One of the things I’ve always admired in other people, older women especially, is how some have learned to live authentically.

What is living authentically?

Well, my friends, that’s the question of the day. I actually googled this to make sure I’m giving you the correct answer here–Living authentically is essentially being true to yourself. Living your life the way you want to, not beholden to the limiting beliefs of others. It means speaking your mind, saying what you mean, and sticking to your word. It means taking care of yourself–your body, your mind, your soul–so that you can then take care of others. This could be self-care days, healthy diet and exercise, and moving away from toxic influences in your life. It means working toward your dreams… because if you don’t, what’s the point?

But there’s a struggle many come across…

How do I live the way I want to when I’m stuck in a 9-5 I hate, when I have bills to pay? When I have a family that depends on me?

How do I dress the way I want when I’m beholden to a corporate dress code?

My answer? Baby steps.

I’m still working toward it myself. My day job is a lower-level leadership position in a corporate environment. I have to look professional, speak professionally, and have zero personality.

At least, that’s what they taught me.

But since the pandemic started? I’ve seen a lot of people doing weird shit in public with zero ramifications. So I decided to test the theory in the worst possible place: my business.

What I’ve been wanting to do? Shift my aesthetic toward the one I’ve always admired. I want people to think I’m a witch.

But.. I’m at work. So? Corporate witch.

Let me tell you, there’s just about zero out there on Google about how to be a Corporate witch. Though apparently there’s an indie book by that name that I haven’t read. Anyway, I had to figure it out myself.

So the first thing I did? I started being more genuine when speaking with others. Aside from the boss, I’ve been letting my personality shine through a bit when talking casually with my employees. I also started allowing myself to wear things that still technically fit the dress code, but aren’t what you first picture when you think of corporate attire. Some plaid pants here, black nail polish there, and what I’m wearing today: a black and red pocket dress with leggings underneath. Actually talking about my book if someone happens to have heard about it. Little things that make me feel more real.

And? It’s working. One day I commented on how badly it was storming outside and that it was a bit apocalyptic. One of my employees said that seemed like my aesthetic–that, and the universe imploding.

I was overjoyed, fam. He was totally right, I love dark stuff like that!

But the moral of the story here is: being more myself, even in a corporate environment, hasn’t actually negatively affected me at all. I would argue the opposite.

I have yet to wear my witch-hat out in public–it’s been Summer here, after all–but I’m working toward that in the fall.

So, tell me… what steps are you taking to be more yourself? Or have you taken in the past? I’d love some tips!

General

Creating during a Global Crisis

Hey, fam.

I’ve been a bit quiet. Because of, you know, the pandemic. It’s all you see or hear about any way you turn. Those of you who follow my twitter probably witnessed me losing my shit about my job being ‘essential’ and my having to continue working and chance exposure.

Turns out, it wasn’t work where I was exposed.

A family friend visited my house, as they often do. We said our goodbyes as we knew the safer at home order was imminent. We didn’t know when we’d see each other again. That was a Friday.

I had a three day weekend by chance, and then I returned to work Tuesday. While I was at work Wednesday, I got a phone call. He was sick. They were going to the hospital for a Covid-19 test. I told my boss I’d had contact with him. I was sent home.

Thursday they call me, they say I can come back on Friday because I shared with them the hospital wouldn’t test him yet because he’d been keeping his fever under control with meds.

Friday, I was back for an hour. They asked for an update on him. I tell them his symptoms. They send me home again.

Sunday, he goes to the hospital barely able to breathe, nearly convulsing. They say he definitely has it, give him the test. It takes 7-10 days for a result. They give a test to the person he lives with, too. Someone who is much, much closer to me. I tell work. They tell me not to come back until the 14 days are up and to consult with my physician as to whether I need a test.

I continue taking my temperature every day.

Why am I telling you all this?

The world has gone to shit. My anxiety has skyrocketed. I’ve barely been able to focus on my creative endeavors. Mostly I zone out and half-pay attention to my daughter and husband.

Don’t judge. It’s a coping mechanism. I haven’t processed this world-wide trauma yet. I think most of us probably haven’t. It’s easier for those who haven’t been exposed. I’m stuck in this house 24/7. We’ve gone into the yard a few times, but shortly had to come back in. Once a bug flew in my daughter’s face and terrified her. The other time, she fell and hurt herself on the concrete. Now she wants to stay inside, too.

No really, why am I telling you this?

What’s saved me these past few days?

Books.

I’ve been reading book after book on my phone. Fantasy, to be as far as possible from reality. Things I haven’t read before so it has my full attention. Things I figure probably have a hopeful, if not a happy ending.

Creators have a job to do, right now.

People are relying on artists to stay sane. To stay connected. To feel something other than abstract horror at the reality we’ve been forced into.

So Thank an Artist today. Send them a message. Leave a review. Do something to show your appreciate. Cause it’s hard for us, too. We need the encouragement to keep going just as much as anyone else does.

And hopefully, things will settle down soon.

Until then, Stay TF home.