3.25.2015

Mean People Suck









Skirt: Scout & Molly's, Sweater and Bag: Target, Shoes: Guess, Necklace: CeleneStones (15% off when you mention ModaFresca- email Krista to order/create your own- celenestones@gmail.com)

Hola! Happy mid-week.

This is what I wore to work on Monday. It wasn't quite warm enough for bare legs so I had major goosebumps all day. And let me tell you, the hair that rose from those bad boys was sharp enough to lacerate if brushed up against other unsuspecting skin. I guess I just want it to be summer so badly that I'm trying to will it into existence with poor outfit choices.

Wise people (or at least quotes on Pinterest) remind us that we shouldn't waste the present by focusing too much on the future...



...and while I would agree that can be a slippery slope, lately I can't seem to help it.

I spend most days of the workweek looking forward to the weekend, when my time is not dictated by meetings in my Outlook calendar or emails marked "important" by that (annoying) red exclamation point. And, while I am grateful for warmer temperatures I still spend every day under 60 waiting for summer; when (at least in NC) it rarely drops below 80. I am ready. Ready... and seriously wondering why I ever left teaching for a corporate job that does not recognize the importance of summer vacations.

And while I have not yet mastered NOT being able to focus on Fridays and summertime, I have gotten pretty damn good (if I do say so myself) at not "waiting" for happiness.

I've seen a lot of people around me lately bummed out and "waiting" to be happy. Waiting for  a relationship, a new house, a different job, a child, to be engaged, to hit a career goal, make more money, reach a weight or fitness goal, be able to kick a bad habit, get over someone, etc. That kind of waiting gets dangerous. That kind of waiting puts you straight up in a shitty-ass life slump.

You know what I mean by "life slump", right? We've all been there. Those times in your life where you may seem okay on the outside, but you're self destructing on the inside? You're sedentary a lot more than you're active, you start to resent people around you who seem happy, you use humor to mask the fact that you hate yourself most of the time, and then you get upset because who are you to hate yourself when you have health, first world privilege, people in your life who love you, etc.???

Do you remember that bumper sticker from the 90's... "MEAN PEOPLE SUCK." I happen to think that mean people are just people who are really unhappy. I have never met a genuinely happy person who is mean. I don't think the two can exist in the same being. They are diametrically opposed. 

I tend to write about "happiness" a lot, and I think that's because it hits me in the face all the time (or at least whenever I have meaningful conversations with people). And of course it is easy to say "be happy" and another thing entirely to genuinely feel that way. I think it's really important though to not be miserable.

Why? Because, life is short, and someday (God willing) we are all going to be old. Then we will realize that we wasted many of our best days/months/years "sweating the small stuff" and we may have regrets and think... "Damn... if I had it to do all over again, I would have made happiness a real priority." I don't know about you, but being in a foul, negative mood most of the time sucks. No one wants to be that person, and very few people want to be around that type of person.

I don't know what will work for you if you're feeling this way, but I'll tell you what has worked for me in the past.

1. Stop playing the victim and please, stop complaining so damn much.
2. Stop being around people who play the victim all the  time. All that "woe-is-me" stuff is for the birds. Stop for a second and realize just how good you really have it and hush. (If you're on social media and you feel bombarded by other people's complaining, unfollow that shit. You don't have to let other people's constant whining bring you down.)
3. Try doing a lot of different things out to see if any of them bring you joy. You could try out different hobbies like different forms of exercise, writing, reading, taking pictures, creating music, cooking, whatever. There are countless things to do, and if you think you're too busy to do something that brings you joy, just ask the people around you if they prefer you miserable and present 100% of the time, or happy, and taking a few hours here and there for yourself. You've got to sharpen your own saw, as they say. Find something you love.
4. Gratitude. As your day is winding down, or you are lying in bed, think..."What if tomorrow, I only woke up with what I remembered to thank God (or the Universe... whatever you believe in) for the night before?" Then silently in your head start listing people, things, privilages, blessings that you want to make sure are still in your life the next day. You can do this with big things all the way down to the teeniest, tiniest things. It's a pretty great way to end the day and helps you remember just how much you have in your life that you cherish.
5. Be realistic. Most meaningful change does not happen quickly.
6. Stop with the "what-ifs". You are where you are in your life right now, at this moment. You have ZERO control over the past, but you can work to shape your future. 
7. Don't pin your happiness on  someone else. It's not up to your kids, partner, spouse, boss, ex, or your friends to "make" you happy. It's not their responsibility.
8. Spend time around people who want to see you succeed. Not those who prefer you stay depressed, sad, overweight and/or unhealthy. Misery loves company.
9. Don't compare. Fact: Bad things happen to EVERYONE (whether you know about them or not). Being broke, sick, in debt, broken up with, heartbroken, gaining weight, having a miscarriage, being depressed, losing someone you love, losing a job, unplanned pregnancies, abuse, unplanned divorces, unable to get pregnant, having a shitty job, being fired, having a child who makes bad decisions or treats you like shit, being lonely, and feeling scared. All of this stuff is part of life and it will pass. I promise. Some pain never goes all the way away, but if you live in it every single day, there is no hope of it lessening. And naturally, with time, it will lessen if you let it. Don't ever look at someone and think that they don't know pain. We all know pain.
10. Try to figure out if you are in a slump, or genuinely depressed. If it's the latter, get some help for yourself so you can start to feel better and enjoy this one, precious life you are given.

This rant was inspired by a conversation I had very recently. If it didn't apply to you at all, I'm sorry you wasted your time reading it. But, if it hit home at all... you're not alone, we've all been there. Start with small changes and... start now.

"You have the match!"



3.17.2015

Turning 35... and other musings.








Jeans: LOTUS (15% off online- code MODA), Shirt: Vestique, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Necklace: CeleneStones (15% off if you email Krista and mention ModaFresca celenestones@gmail.com or on Instagram at CeleneStones) Bag: Target


Happy St. Patrick's Day. This is my take on festive attire. I wore it Saturday afternoon when we went out to celebrate St. Paddy's Day. 

I love this cute little shirt, but the strapless bra that I was forced to wear with it??? Absolutely friggin' useless. To get strapless bras tight enough to be of any service whatsoever you have to essentially forgo breathing. Not to mention deal with a bulge of newly formed back fat that puts you in a mood bad enough to want to scrap going out all together. But... on the flip side... if you don't get it tight enough the thing just slides down around your waist. By the end of the night you're basically wearing a boob belt. I call it that because both your boobs and bra end up around your waist. UGH. The struggle.

Anyway... enough about that.  What is really on my mind is the fact that in 1 month from today I turn thirty-five. 

35. 

Man, I used to think that sounded so mature. Not old, but definitely "mature". As in... I would have my life totally together by then because I'd be well into adulthood. But, as I sit here, so close to 35 that I can smell it, I assure you... my definition of "mature" has changed.

Things that make me think I am not fit to live without supervision:

  • The fact that if faced with the decision to buy a cute outfit or groceries, I will never choose groceries. 
  • Bathroon humor makes me laugh. Farting. The funniest.
  • I still cross my fingers when I want something to go my way. 
  • When asked who my doctor is I still want to say, Dr. Shepard. I have not gone to her since my mom had to drive me there. 
  • My favorite word (of all time) is wiener. It's hilarious and I will always think so. 
  • I have a 401K, but I don't really know what that means.
  • None of my towels match and I have no idea where half of them came from. That's weird, right? 
  • There is an air mattress in one of our guest rooms. It's a mac daddy one, and it's made up really nicely, but still. It's an air mattress.  


Things that make me realize I am most definitely 35: 

  • I think most of "today's music" is garbage. 
  • I still believe college was ten years ago.
  • I'd  rather be in bed at midnight than "out". 
  • I no longer care about "skinny". I feared I'd spend my whole like worried about that shit. Now I exercise to be strong and confident. Sweet Freedom.
  • I speak my mind. Always. 
  • I own 3 crock pots. 
  • I have a bad knee. 
  • I will not tolerate someone in my life being mean to me or making me feel like shit because they hate themselves or the decisions they have made. 
  • I own a car that takes Premium fuel.
  • I now know that nothing is "black or white". "Good people" do bad things and "bad people" do good things. 
  • There are place settings on my dining room table. Always. 
  • I have crows feet and when I sweat profusely during PiYo my mascara runs down my face and pools in the lines around my eyes.


Yup. 35. I don't have all of my shit together, but I've come a long way. So... if you are reading this and you are quite a few years younger than me... here is some advice:

  • Find a job that has medical insurance. 
  • Get regular oil changes.
  • Free yourself from anyone who does not inspire you to be your best self. 
  • Find at least one soul friend. Someone who does not compete with you. Wants the best for you, and laughs at the word "wiener". Keep them close, you will need them as you make good decisions and bad throughout your life. 
  • Find something that makes you happy and do it. Even if no one else understands why you're doing it. 
  • Love who you are with. Really love them, and tell them a lot.














3.11.2015

Guess Whos Bizzack






Dress: Lotus (15% off any item online- code MODA), Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Necklace: custom Celene Stones (email Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com or find her on Instagram at CeleneStones. Tell her I sent you and get 15% off any one of her amazing creations.)

YO YO YO!!!!! Long time no "see", Mamacitas!

I didn't intentionally set out to take 7 weeks off of blogging, but that's precisely what happened. I haven't taken more than 2 weeks off from it in almost 3 and a half years, so I guess I just needed a break. Plus... I'm pretty sure I just hate winter.

I hate winter clothes... loathe being outside (to take pictures or for any other reason)... despise getting dressed and I have no inspiration as far as outfits go. The only thought I put into clothing in the winter is asking myself... "Are these sleeves/pants long enough to cover up the fact that it's been more than a couple of days since I have shaved?" I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  For real.  Winter blows.

So... let's see. What's been going on since I last blogged?
  • I graduated from the Nutrition program I was in. I am now a certified Holistic Health Coach (WOO-HOO). 
  • My Manfriend celebrated another year of life. He turned 34 a few weeks ago. Shout out to the best dude I know.  <insert fist bump>
  • I celebrated my 1-year anniversary of teaching PILATES!!!
  • I attended the wedding of one of my dearest friends last weekend in Hilton Head, where I was a "Groomsmaid" of sorts. Instead of a traditional wedding party he had a mixed party with his closest friends (some men and some women) and let me tell you.... it was one of the best experiences I have EVER had in/around a wedding. A BIG congratulations to Ali & Bethany!
  • I ruined a 3 year old's life.
You did not read that last one wrong.

You may have noticed that I have a million more inches of hair on my head than a couple of months ago. I've got extensions in (I get bored easily... that's not new news). Anywho.... I was teaching Bootcamp last week and a woman came to check out the gym. She had her 3 year old little girl in a stroller and when I introduced myself the 3 year old's eyes got really wide and she was silent. She would not say hello or interact with me at all. I thought maybe I had scared her. A few minutes later I returned to see if the woman had any questions about the paperwork and she said...

"My daughter thinks your Elsa."

Huh??? I had my hair pulled to the side in a braid (that thanks to the weave is pretty long) and this sweet baby girl thought I was her favorite Disney princess. I bent down to talk to her and her eyes got humongous again. She did not speak, she just reached out her little open arms for a hug and slowly leaned into me. I hugged her and after her tiny hands let go of  the GI Joe Kung Fu grip she had on my neck she started to talk.

"Uhhhh....uhhhhh.... I..... I.... I... I having a princess burfday party. I an 3... uhhh... uhh... uhhh... and you're gonna come to it." I said... "Oh honey, I'm not Elsa, my name is Melissa. I'm so happy to meet you though. I hope you have a great birthday party with the real, magical Elsa. AND.THEN.TEARS

Oh... fuk.

Am I the worst human alive or what? I should have just went with it. I'm sure I could have rented a costume and showed up at this baby girl's party. Instead? I ruined her life. All 3 years of it. The mom laughed it off and left. Let's just say I'm betting I'll never see her again. No chance she's coming to work out with the woman who crushed her kid's heart. I should just dye my long braid black. At least that way it would match my soul.


1.27.2015

When life is hard, you have to change...







Pants: Express, Sweater: Old Navy, Scarf: ASOS, Shoes: Off Broadway, Belt: Target

1. Didn't want to do my hair this particular day (shocker, I know). So... I twisted it back wet, drenched in coconut oil (to condition it) and went on my merry way. I wore it this way for 3 days. #lazy I also realized while I was posting these pictures that this 'do makes me look weirdly like the wife of The Russian in Rocky IV. Remember her? Hahahahaa...

2. It was cold out. I wanted to wear this scarf, but was getting annoyed with it wrapped around my neck so I tried something new. I belted it. In doing so I created this kind of make shift vest. It may not be for everyone (especially pairing plaid with a leopard print belt), but I'm digging it. It kept me warm, made my outfit more interesting, and didn't make me feel like I was being strangled to death. Dramatic? Maybe, but I don't really dig things up near my neck. Crew necks drive me bananas. I've been know to freak out and cut a "V" into the very shirt I am wearing with kitchen scissors just because I can't take it anymore. #abitextremeIknow

3. Do you ever feel like there is a "theme" swirling around you? Like... you hear about something going on in one person's life and then you hear about it happening over and over to numerous other people?

The theme that seems to be swirling around me lately is "starting over".

Friends of mine have recently been breaking-up, breaking off engagements, and/or going through divorces. And while they are all deeply saddened by the something or someone they are "losing" they also seem to be viewing these life changes as opportunities.

I don't know if that is shift is something that happens with age or maturity... faith, hope, or optimism (or perhaps I just have really enlightened, self-aware friends), but but these don't seem to be like break-ups of the past. Devastating, long, drawn out, roller coaster breakups that include thousands of tears, hibernation, self-loathing, self-sabotaging behavior and shame. The people I know that are going through these things right now are choosing to focus not on what is "gone", but on what "could be".

Now, don't get me wrong. It is ridiculously hard... wrenching... vomit-inducing to make a major life decisions about whether to stay in a relationship or to leave one. Sometimes those decisions are made for us by other people, but sometimes they are made (or finally accepted) because we know (somewhere deeeeep down in the dark place we have been stuffing it) that we are not our best selves with that person, or in the direction we were headed with them. Either way... the shit is going to hurt.

But... when we get passed the pain enough to see the opportunity, there is this freedom that is like none other. Many of the people I know who have done truly amazing things with their lives did them shortly after a break  up. It was as if when that one chapter closed (without being conscious that they were even doing it) the next page they started writing in their life's book became much more interesting, joyous, and exciting. And before they knew it that one page became a chapter... then an entirely different book/life all together.

There are BIG things that happen in our lives. Places we go, things we do, people we meet, things that happen to us or for us and our lives are divided by them. There is who we were before that moment or that person, and who we are (forever changed) after. And that's okay. Those things mean that you are living. That your heart is beating and your lungs are breathing. Some of our greatest joy can spring from some of our greatest pain.

I guess it boils down to how you choose to view change. The way I see it is that you get to decide.

 Either... your best days are behind you... or your best days are in front of you.

I don't know about you, but I'll pick the later every time.

If you're going through this right now (or contemplating big change)... here...  maybe some of this will resonate. 

"When you feel your life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up and
Take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.
 ...
When life is hard, you have to change."
 
Lyrics to one of my favorite songs of all time... "Change" by Blind Melon. 
 














1.20.2015

My "To-DON'T" List.

 







Boots: Aldo. Leggings: Lotus, Sweater: Old Navy, Purse: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Celene Stones (15% off celenestones@gmail.com when you mention ModaFressca) and Alex&Ani

Someone said to me this weekend... "Mel... I don't know how you find the time to do all of the things you do. You seem to do it all. Do you sleep? Man... I feel so bad about myself when I think about all you do and all I don't".

They went on (and on... and on.... ) to paint this picture of me that is not at all accurate. A picture of this person who kind of has it all together and floats effortlessly through life. Someone with great habits, perfect priorities, and a solid handle on what matters most. If I had a big fat buzzer I would have hit it like... URRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH nope. Stop right there, sister!

Granted, I do a lot of shit. Hopefully most of us do.

It's called living.

I work full time, teach Pilates 6-7 days a week, co-instruct a bootcamp a few times a week, take Pure Barre classes, I'm in nutrition school, in a relationship, and I do some things with my girlfriends and in the community. Those are the things that I do. So... those are the things I talk about and post about.

There are hundreds of things that I don't do though.

I think sometimes social media leads us to believe that other people have it all together, or that they have these picture perfect lives. That's a dangerous myth to buy into. Social media (as I have always said) is someone's highlight reel. Right? I don't believe in putting "woe is me", dramatic bullshit out into the universe like that... but sometimes not putting it out there can lead people to believe that shitty things do not exist in other people's lives. Ugh... 100% false.

I think it's great to get inspired by others (I get inspired by a lot of people in my life near and far) but man... don't make yourself feel like shit, or put someone else up on a pedestal because your behind the scenes doesn't look like their perfectly filtered Instagram feed.

As I was talking to this woman I started telling her that I am a firm believer that we MAKE the time for what is most important to us, and as far as my life goes my "TO-DON'T" list is longer than my "TO-DO list. Right now, health and wellness are very important to me. A lot of other stuff isn't. Be that right or wrong.

My "TO -DON'T" List: 

- I don't cook everyday. When I cook I cook for a small army and eat off of it for days.

- I don't do a things for free anymore. I used to do A LOT of photography for free. It took up SO much precious time (coordinating with the people, driving to a location, taking the photos, driving back, endless hours editing and perfecting, uploading, etc) and sometimes I never received so much as a friggin'  "thank you" for it. I started to resent it. I have stopped doing that.

- I don't go to "parties" where people are trying to sell me things anymore.No more Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Thirty-One, etc.

- I'm really bad about sending Birthday and Christmas cards. Oh, and Easter... Father's Day... Mother's Day, etc. Also, I don't remember anyone's anniversaries. I'm the worst.

- I'm not crafty. I don't do DIY projects. Like... ever.

- I don't wash or blow dry, or straighten, or curl my hair that often. A complete waste of time most days.

- I have at least 25,000 unread emails in my g-mail account. I skim for "real" ones and leave the rest. My work inbox is enough to handle. My g-mail is a joke.

- I don't listen to voice mails for weeks sometimes. I hate them. Not sure why, just do.

- I don't watch series on Netflix. I know nothing about Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, etc. I tried Orange is the New Black. Fail. I just can't commit.

- I keep a really clean house 90% of the time, but I don't give a shit about whether my car is dusty. I probably get it washed once a fiscal quarter.

- I don't take the time to match my socks.

- I don't spend time with people who are not right for me. I'll put the brakes on that shit quick fast. You live and you learn.

-Sometimes I am in such a hurry that I forget to put on deodorant. I keep some in my car's center console for such emergencies.

- I don't have children. A mother's job is NON-STOP. Props to you guys.

- I don't grocery shop that often. If I am at the supermarket chances are there is only ketchup in my refrigerator.

Some of the things on this list I am not proud of (ie: I'm REAL bad about birthday cards) and others I am exceptionally proud of. That is one of the beautiful things about getting older.... you get a chance to create your life. You weed out what does not serve you and focus more on what does. But... just because someone's focus is different, does not make it better. Remembering that would probably be helpful once in a while.

You never really know what other people are going through, so chill out and fight the urge to compare. Basically... stick to counting your own blessings.

You'll be a lot happier that way.