Setting 2019 Intentions

Last year, I chose MAKE as my intention. That word grounded everything I did, resulting in a lot of major successes – especially in the making money arena!

But 2018 was still full of a lot of truly draining challenges, which is why I chose TRANSCEND for 2019.

TRANSCEND.jpg

Transcending is all about staying centered throughout the chaos around you and not letting the things you can’t control knock you off course. You can’t control the people around you, but you can rise above their negativity, their drama and their expectations.

It also means going beyond your own expectations for yourself – beyond what you think you’re capable of. I’m going to push myself to grow professionally at an exponential rate. Transcend my mental and physical blockers to push my body to new achievements. I’m going to knock on the doors of NO and turn them into YESes.

What word will you embody for 2019?

2018 Credits

Let ’em roll!

This year was kind of all over the place, but ended up balanced. It was full of both unprecedented happiness and frustration. Many of my goals saw success and the frustrations illuminated new areas for me to work on. And I’m setting up my 2019 to tackle those things head on.

But let’s look back at the highlights of 2018 first!

Themes of the year
Black and gold – almost everything I was drawn to or purchased held these colors. My DnD dice. My guitar. My wardrobe. The Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. My Kate Spade phone case. My wedding cake.

What I did // Saw Wicked on Broadway! Met some rad penguins (Currently trying to figure out how to get an emotional support penguin.) Got in shape. Celebrated the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win. Took a hand-lettering class. Started the Action Book Club with Glux where we read a book and then do an activity on theme with that book! Took my mom to see Mean Girls on Broadway. Achieved a new PR in skeeball. Saw Waitress on Broadway. Climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. GOT MARRIED WOAH. Permanently inked my bond with my sister. Got my stripper license. Experienced the brilliant David Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Most-played albums // Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / Gorillaz*Humanz / Band of Skulls*By Default / The Dead Deads*Rainbeau + For Your Obliteration / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*Who Built the Moon / The Orwells*Disgraceland + Terrible Human Beings / ZZ Ward*The Storm / A Perfect Circle*Eat The Elephant / Beck*Colors

Most-loved shows & films // Black Mirror. The Commuter. The Good Place. The Handmaid’s Tale. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (it grew on me). Glow S2. Jane The Virgin. Nailed It. Orange is the New Black. Disenchantment. American Vandal S2 (hilarious). The Haunting of Hill House 😱 Dexter. Breaking Bad.

Places I traveled // Las Vegas for #Think2018. Philly for my 5th Hot Chocolate 15k (4th consecutive in Philly). Los Angeles for E3. San Jose (and checked out the Winchester Mystery House). New Orleans.

Live shows I attended // Noel Gallagher (finally!). The Dandy Warhols. The Smashing Pumpkins! Depeche Mode. ZZ Ward at Think! Bon Jovi. Beck. Ben Folds and Cake.

Breweries Visited // Big aLICe (LIC) / Transmitter (LIC) / LIC Beer Project (LIC) / Coney Island Brewery (Brooklyn) / Departed Soles (Jersey City) / Flagship (Staten Island) / Killsboro (Staten Island) / Mudhen (Wildwood NJ) / Interboro (Brooklyn) / Grimm’s Artisan Ales (Brooklyn) / Hapas Brewing Co (San Jose, CA) / KCBC (Brooklyn) / Other Half (Brooklyn) / Evil Twin (Philly) / Circa (Brooklyn) / Strong Rope (Brooklyn) / Banger Brewery (Las Vegas) / Brieux Carre (New Orleans) / Braven Brewing (Brooklyn)

Top purchases // My Passion Planner. MealPal. The Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot (signed edition) – the Eight Coins was my eighth deck and I’m an 8 in numerology – what a powerful sign! An Amazon Fire 8 tablet – sure cuts down the clutter of all the books I’ve been reading! This Pokemon tarot deck for Glux’s birthday. A new vacuum (so adult). Backing BOI: Four Souls card game. New renegade cooling system – I upgraded my AC and bought a vornado for the bedroom to circulate the air. My money manifesting wallet. This super cute little radio – It’s been YEARS since I listened to FM radio (it has bluetooth too. Mixing modern and vintage 📻). Moleskine x Nintendo rolltop backpack. Wedding bands!

Goals achieved // Saved $5000 (and THEN some)! Sister tattoos. Hit a 6 figure salary WOOOOOOO!

Style obsessions // Ponchos (so cozy!). New York Black – I created a work uniform that consists of 5 black dresses in different styles that I can change up with funky jewelry, leggings and various accessories – paired with gold – lots of gold! Carnival flavored lip glosses (a la my middle school Lip Smackers days) like cotton candy. Mirrored cat eye sunnies. Handbags that look like cartoon snacks (thanks Betsey Johnson and TokiDoki). Barbie Pink pedis. Makeup made from crystals.

Books read // Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (for the FIRST time! I KNOW, WHAT?!). Shoe Dog – Memoir of the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. Heart Talk by Cleo Wade. Bossypants by Tina Fey. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (ugh). The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel. Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar. IT by Stephen King. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Captive of the Labyrinth by Mary Jo Ignoffo. Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. Super Chill by Adam Ellis. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Best things I did for myself // Took vitamins (almost) every day. Cut back on sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Canceled cable (sorry not sorry, Ryan). #NoSpendFeb! Took a pole dancing class in Vegas. Started learning guitar. Crystal bed therapy. Meditation.

Top games // Splatoon 2 (Switch). Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 (Switch). South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Switch). Octopath Traveler – I mained Primrose the badass stripper (Switch). Pokemon Go (mobile). Jurassic World: Alive (mobile). Salt and Sanctuary (Switch). Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4). Jurassic World: Evolution (PS4). Hollow Knight (Switch). Fallout 76 (PS4). Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4). Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (mobile). Super Smash Bros (Switch).

Favorite gaming moments // This team wipe and a half in Clam Blitz. This ridiculously badass scene from Bayonetta. This ghostly super-lag induced demise. Attending the exclusive grand opening of the Las Vegas Esports Arena.

100% completed Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero!. That time my mom went viral over The Binding of Isaac. When my octoling completed every Octo Expansion challenge IN HEELS. 100% completing Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Beating my BIL in Smash Ultimate.

What were your biggest highlights of the year?


October Manifestations

I’ve been starting each month with Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love Almanac. October is all about embracing luxury. Amazingly, after filling out my chapter for the month, I pulled the Empress for my tarot of the month ritual. She’s all about – you guessed it! – luxury! So from the first of the month, I’ve been in a luxe state of mind.

Less than two weeks after I accepted this energy, I’ve had many opulent experiences come my way.

On October 2nd, I was invited to a preview party for the holiday Sugarfina line. It was held at Park Avenue – a swank restaurant that changes with the seasons. They served endless champagne, some of the most delicious and inventive hor d’oeuvres, AND let us sample all the candy we could handle. I discovered their chocolate covered popcorn and developed an addiction to a forthcoming gingerbread cookie bites. At the end of the night, they gifted us a bunch of candy and let us send a free candy bento to a friend.

Last weekend my mom and sister treated me to spa day at the Sea Spa in Cape May. We got our nails done – I picked a gold that literally looks like my fingertips were dipped in gold leaf – and then we got hour-long facials. It felt glorious! But the best part was getting to spend time with my sister.

This week, I was ready to make a hair appointment – and my haircuts cost around $300 because hair like mine requires the curl experts. Just before I was going to make the call, the salon emailed me that they needed hair models. So not only did I get the haircut I desperately needed, but it was FREE! So I treated myself to a bottle of their amazing leave in conditioner to treat my hair to the decadence it deserves.

There’s so much more yet to come, I just know it. I can’t wait to share more results.

What have you manifested lately?

Savepoint: Midyear review

Savepoint.jpg

I’ve been diligently using my Passion Planner to keep track of my life, my goals and my progress. I chose a word at the beginning of the year to embody my intentions. What have I been able to manifest so far?

Art – I’ve kept up my goal of writing here at a regular cadence. I learned some lettering techniques and doodle in my bujo instead of just writing down ideas and appointments. Now I have a guitar so I’m slowly making music too!

Plans – Well here’s a big one. I’m currently making WEDDING plans. I had no idea that would be a thing at the start of the year. Additionally, I planned time with my sister to get tattoos. Time with friends by planning regular DnD sessions, starting a new skeeball team, and returning to a monthly Nintendo MeetUp cadence.

Intention

Memories – I post to Instagram a lot less, and when I do, it’s after the fact. At concerts, I don’t record. I take a few photos to post later, but spend the vast majority of my time in the moment.

Friends – By prioritizing time with the awesome friends I’ve got, my social circle has expanded a little. At work, I invite colleagues for a post-work drink to get to know them as people.

Money – My little Rover business has really taken off! Last year, I had 2 new clients total. In just the first half of this year, I’ve gotten EIGHT new clients, as well as my regulars. Money is flowing to me easily this year.

How do you feel about your year so far?

 

#REBIRTHday

A Very MerryRebirthdayto Me!

This is the actual cake I ordered from Butter Lane

On Sunday, I enter my 34th year of this kick ass life. I’ve been going through some shit lately and decided my word for April would be RECALIBRATE. April tends to be a cozy month where I settle into old patterns and lose all the good new habits I’ve formed. Glux came up with the brilliant idea of a Rebirthday – looking at our birthdays (which are one day apart) as our personal New Year.

So in the spirit of my Rebirthday and recalibration, I’ve set some intentions.

In 34 I will:
Do more magic!
I miss having more rituals in my life. Lately I feel like I had more rituals in high school than I do now and back then I was in the broom closet! Aside from a handful of rituals, I haven’t practiced much. AND I want to share more spells here.

2f2303fd-6884-44eb-a4ae-62499f95f612-2868-0000014654865823

Breathe and meditate.
I feel stronger when my intuition is on point. Lately I’ve been feeling unbalanced. My goal is to set a regular time and space where I can take at least 5 minutes to center myself.

Stop letting anger win.
I’m genetically predisposed to explosive anger. I hold things in as long as I can and then when I finally snap, I burn the whole damn place to ashes. Sometimes I can’t forgive myself for the things I do and say. It feels like relationships are permanently damaged and there’s no way to fix them. Regrets like that don’t have a place in my life. I’m determined to talk it out, or journal it out and not light the fuse.

Take better care of my body
It’s not just about working out. My gym time always makes me feel fantastic. But along with my vitamin habit, I need to eat more greens and less sugar (after birthday cake, of course!). Cutting back on the alcohol wouldn’t hurt either, though Sunday Sips might need to stay a thing.

How to Have a Panic Attack

I struggle with anxiety and depression. I would like to be able to say that with the same lightness and social acceptance as “I’m suffering from a cold.” No one judges a cold because everyone gets them. Yet mental conditions, which can also happen to everyone whether temporarily or more lasting, are severely stigmatized.

My closest friends and family have told me I’m one of the strongest people they know. I’m proud of that. I’m a little afraid that if they know about my conditions, they won’t look at me that way anymore. But I’ve realized that having these conditions doesn’t make me weak, hiding from them does. Not talking about them does. Talking about them is giving myself the power to make a change and help others. So when mental health issues do come up in conversations, I talk about them casually and from my own experience.

If you’ve never suffered from a mental health condition, lucky you! You probably want to know how you can help a friend who is battling a condition. The honest answer is that I don’t know. Ask them. Sometimes I want to be left alone. Sometimes I want to be alone together. Sometimes I want a hug. It’s always different, but if you ask me in the moment how you can help, I will tell you what I need.

A public panic attack is pretty much the worst, but sometimes I have a severe panic attack on the street (writing this and thinking about it has my heart pounding and my breath shortening). The first thing I do when I feel it coming is find an alcove or non-busy doorway to scrunch myself up in. Then the hyperventilating starts. I try to stay low to the ground until I can get back in control so if I pass out, I don’t fall. Luckily, this is NYC and mostly, people pass you by. Sometimes people stop and stay with me, talking to me and offering help. They ask questions that help me get the shitty energy out by venting or they help me focus on something else. Most of the time, I have to pull myself together.

Some ways I cope are:
Focus on my breath, count each one
Put on my Songs for Survival Spotify playlist
Visualize my calmest memory
Text my therapist
Whisper a reassuring mantra to myself
Call my sister

If I’m home:
Aromatherapy – citrus or lavender are favorites
Focus on candlelight
Make some calming tea
Scream into a pillow
Draw a simple repetitive pattern
Lie in the cool, empty bathtub
Call my sister

Different things work for different people. And sometimes certain methods don’t work at all. But please don’t be afraid to communicate what you need and seek help. You’ll get through it. You will get through it.

Lessons from #NoSpendFeb

As a result of some uncontrolled spending in January, I put myself on a strict financial diet for February. I tracked my daily spending to the last cent and resolved to not make purchases unless I really needed to. My strategy looked like this:

IMG_5312

I wasn’t always perfect. Concert tickets for the summer all seem to go on sale in February and there were some opportunities I couldn’t miss. But I learned so much about myself and my habits in the last month.

1) I’m very impulsive with money. On the night of the Super Bowl, I tried to buy a case of Tastykakes while drunk. Luckily my card wouldn’t go through and I (also luckily) didn’t have my credit with me because I hid it from myself (also while drunk) and I can’t find it.

2) Wishlists work. I created two lists – Wants and Needs. Needs are obviously prioritized and include things like new sheets. The Wants are things I’d typically buy myself in the moment, and maybe regret later. By adding it to the list, I can let some time pass and see if it’s still something important to me. Maybe someone needs a gift idea for me? Maybe I don’t want that thing anymore? Do I want this $300 water bottle filled with diamonds? Yup. Do I need it right now? Probably not.

3) Make your wallet inconvenient to access. This was so simple and SO unexpectedly effective! I switched from a messenger bag to a backpack recently. To access my wallet, I need to take the backpack off, unzip the compartments, and dig it out. It’s kind of a pain. When my wallet was easy to access in a side pocket, I could whip it out all too often. Now when I stroll through The Strand, I have to really think about if I want to hold up the line to excavate my wallet to buy a new book. I keep daily essentials like my work badge and MTA card on the back of my phone, but not my debit card.

4) Don’t autosave card numbers into websites. One-click purchases are just too convenient… and often thoughtless! I took my numbers off Amazon. Seamless. Paypal. Modcloth. Pretty much everywhere. Ticketmaster got to keep my card info. That’s it.

4a) DO automate saving! I had an ambitious savings goal of $1,000 for the month. Granted, tax returns helped with that quite a bit, but my bank also lets me set goals based on timing and then automatically moves money into those goals every day.

IMG_7153

5) There’s a lot of free stuff to do around the city. I kind of knew this already. But I rededicated myself to finding free or cheap things to do. There’s lots of free music. Free tastings. Cheap performances at the PIT. One of the reasons I LOVE living in NYC is that i consider my crazy rent part of my membership

6) I appreciated my paid activities more. Like lunch with Tony. And Galentine’s Day festivities. Likewise I felt bad about money events I can’t control – like a “team lunch” that we had to pay for ourselves where I ended up with a $21 appetizer-sized crab cake after splitting the bill 😑 It was really a lesson in value over cost and how to balance the two.

7) Rethinking gift giving. I tend to throw money at spoiling the people I love. It’s a Taurus thing reinforced by my Dad’s specific way of expressing love. For Valentine’s day, instead of a fancy night out and big gifts, I got Ryan a Movie Pass subscription and a poem I wrote about him when I was SIXTEEN. So now we can have a cheap date night at the movies whenever we want!

8) I didn’t check my bank account as much. Because I wasn’t worried about money! Usually in the week leading up to payday, I’m anxious about my account. I check it at least once a day. I always pay all the bills first, but when I’m frivolous with money I don’t feel secure. Since I was very closely tracking my spending, I always knew what was in my account without even having to check. It was a much better feeling!

9) My friends are awesome. Not a new lesson, but it really helped to have friends who understood my experiment and were supportive of the mission. No one was offended if I said no to a spendy hang out. I really appreciated their company instead of worrying about how to keep everyone entertained.

10) I have a mild shopping addiction. It gives me a RUSH to pull out my credit card and punch in the numbers… and then guilt. I feel out of control when I buy things sometimes. I don’t want to feel like that. I channeled that energy into working out or discovering an amazing piece at one of the museums I have memberships with.

I highly recommend trying a No Spend month! The daily spending tracking habits I’ve developed will continue forward, help me save more than I ever imagined, and force me to prioritize my needs over impulsive wants. If you try this experiment, let me know how it goes!