Paralyzing Perfectionism

 
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This perfectionist started her morning off with a satisfying Naked smoothie. Nothing tastes better than being able to finish off the bottle of your mango goodness in one pour!

I’m sure many of you can relate and might identify as perfectionists as well, at least in some aspect of your lives. Little moments like this are just oh, so magical.But I’ve also learned that a lot of my struggles with procrastination and motivation actually stem from a need for perfection. For me, the biggest one is writer’s block. I find myself spending all my energy procrastinating instead of actually writing and then the day goes by and I hate myself for it.

It took me too long to realize this isn’t because I’m lazy. I know when I sit down to write I can be there for hours fixating on each word to ensure my sentiment is received. Once I discovered that my habit of procrastinating wasn’t due to a lack of motivation but, was a result of my perfectionist tendencies, I became aware and was able to focus on that by trying not to put so much pressure on myself. Sometimes you just have to write and allow it not to be “perfect” (whatever that means) otherwise you risk resenting something that is crucial to your happiness. I was, in fact, less motivated the longer I put off writing what I wanted to.

So, relish in these satisfying moments of fulfilled perfectionism, don’t let it be another thing you’re hard on yourself for, but don’t allow it to stop you from being you. It’s not your identity.

What Will You Do, Catholic America?

Oh, man. I have a lot of thoughts about the Catholic Church right now so here goes somethin’. I. don’t. know. how we can keep turning a blind eye. Like, I can’t fathom it. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that there’s no justice for these victims and that priests and Catholicism will just keep on keepin’ on, telling everyone to just ‘pray about it!’

Pardon my French, but what the f*ck? These victims--these CHILDREN--don’t need prayers. They need THERAPY and JUSTICE and a SUPPORT SYSTEM to grapple with the dichotomy of knowing they were wronged by the very institution promising them salvation. If that’s not a manipulation of power, I don’t know what is. We’re blacklisting comedians, producers, and directors left and right for their abuses of ADULT WOMEN and people, but what about these CHILDREN? What about these PRIESTS who have direct access to our communities? WHO will blacklist THEM? WHO will look out for the children? You can trust the Church to protect itself. They’re not going to come forward and say, “We are terribly sorry to inform you that Father Voldemort did a grave, grave thing. If your children are exhibiting signs of abuse or come to you with information, please let us know so that we can wholly correct this terrible situation. WE PRAY FOR YOU, our families, as you cope with this.” No. They’re not going to do that. They’re going to move your priest to a different location, claiming “sick leave” or “a new position.”

Personally, I want to see them all go down. I want to see the Pope say this is the GRAVEST WRONG that can be done on this earth. Not abortion. Not suicide. I want to see them condemn these filthy, despicable, child-molesting priests and I want them on sex offender watch lists and I want them banished from the church the way the church has historically banned women who abort their pregnancies.

GOD DAMN, I AM SO ANGRY. IT IS 2018. WE KNOW THIS IS BAD. WE ARE STANDING UP AND FIGHTING. WE HAVE #METOO AND #TIMESUP AND MARCH FOR OUR LIVES. Catholic America, this is my question for you: how can you show up to mass every Sunday after this? Knowing that this could be happening in your diocese. In your church. To the children sitting next to you. To your children. How can you put money in that basket? How can you kneel in silent prayer? How can you look at your Church and the SHAME and DISTRESS it has brought its youngest members? What will you do to protect your children? Because Faith sure as hell won’t.

Fashion, Paper, and Femininity: Isabelle de Borchgrave

While studying art & culture in London in 2014, I spent an amazing day at Tate Modern and came across a poster so sarcastic, I thought it was serious at first. The poster, created by Guerrilla Feminism, is called "The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist." I bought it for my best friend & woman artist, Shelby Kay. A great deal of Guerrilla Feminism's work focuses on women in the fine arts, the limited recognition they receive, and the exploitation of female bodies in the arts (see: "Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?"). So when I saw there was an entire exhibit at The Four Arts Society dedicated to female artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave, I jumped at the opportunity to support a fellow woman in the arts. 

Isabelle de Borchgrave is a female artist famous for recreating historic garments and costumes with mind-boggling accuracy and attention to detail. Even more astounding is that these recreations of hers are made entirely out of PAPER and trampleoi. Her collection, Fashioning Art from Paper, is currently on tour in the U.S. Click here to find out where it'll be next and scroll through my favorite works below.

 

 

5 Self Care Steps You Should Take Right Now

Happy Sunday, Fab Feminists!

I wanted to share something that I've been practicing when I feel like my life is running me and not the other way around: treating the five senses. I've found that if I take a couple minutes to focus on the needs of each of my senses, it takes me out of my stress-bubble and allows me  to ground myself quickly and effectively. Do one activity for each sense in whatever order you feel like! Combine them into one activity if you want, but make sure to spend equal time engaging each sensation.


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How I Cut Back On Avocado Toast

 
 

This piece has been revised and improved since its original posting on May 25, 2017.

Let me just say right now, right here: I have never eaten avocado toast. I don't even BUY avocados because every time I BUY an avocado, it's not ripe enough to eat and it spoils before I realize it's edible. I have a mountain of student debt that eats up a couple hundred dollars of my income every month. I live in a city where millennials live with their parents at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country. Only at 25 did I become financially independent for the first time in my life.

The 'Avocado Toast' Philosophy, in case you don't remember, was first presented by Tim Gurner on 60 Minutes while preaching to millennials about how to buy a house, as if frivolity was the only reason we can't afford to go hundreds of thousands further in debt. Taken as a blanket statement, it oversimplifies the problem and vilifies the millennial. We live in such a polar society (it's absolute absurdity that we can't all accept that trans folks deserve respect and acceptance, people with vaginas deserve access to whatever birth control they want, the patriarchy damages everyone, and children deserve access to a good education/the fact that school funding comes from property tax is a CLASSIST IN ITS VERY NATURE. But I digress) but if we consider that there could be some truth to the statement that millennials spend frivolously, we can begin to examine where we ourselves might be spending money where we don't have to. Hear me out.

We have grown up with access to the internet. We lived pre-Great Recession and are notoriously nostalgic. We LOOOOOOOVE brunch. We know what it's like to have shitty prospects and want to live in the present moment. None of these things are our fault, but it couldn't hurt to take a second to consider how they affect our decisions now, right?  Asking ourselves, "Where's the toast?" and, "How can I eliminate the excess in my own life in order to feel more fulfilled?" can mean the difference between financial independence and paycheck to paycheck.

SO! Where to start? Take a good, hard look at the stuff you mindlessly impulse purchase. Meals out, cell phone apps, nail/hair appointments, Starbucks. The stuff you think counts as "treating yourself" that serves no purpose after that instant gratification fix. When I realized I was spending over $1,100 a year on my hair and nails alone, I was flabbergasted. Giving up my nex-gen nails and wax appointments was an easy way to make a LOT of cushion in my budget. There's this great app called Clarity (which I like better than Mint by QuickBooks) that simplifies what you spend money on, helps you track your habits, AND encourages you to start a saving habit.

This next tip might sound harder than you think it is, but: utility usage can be a great way to squeeze a little more blood out of a turnip--er, avocado. Being mindful about how much water you consume can make a significant impact in your wallet. From personal experience, I can tell you that mindful water consumption meant the difference between a 50% increase and a reasonable bill. You can also implement a grey water system to mindfully conserve water AND your spending. Check on your cell phone plan and auto insurance, too; updating these bills to reflect your current usage is a great way to maintain control over your finances.

Giuls and I talk really openly about our finances and what we're doing to manage our spending. We even created a buddy system for spending frugally while on vacation. To help me stay on the straight an narrow with my day to day spending, Giuls created a budget sheet that YOU can download here! This worksheet is formulated to easily calculate your monthly expenses and we're PRETTY DARN PROUD of it. Here's to taking responsibility of our spending and focusing inward to live our best lives!