It’s Not All Kittens And Glitter.

You know what’s terrifying? Well yes, tornadoes, clowns, and the thing living in your closet are pretty scary. But what’s even more terrifying lives in your head. It’s looking yourself in the mirror and admitting to yourself that there is something wrong with you. No one likes to admit anything is wrong. We all like to live in Fantasyland and believe that everything is perfect. But I always knew what was wrong with me, I just had a hard time coming to terms with it and voicing it. I hated myself, like really hated myself. I can’t remember a time in my life where I could consider myself fully happy, and I didn’t know what to do. Yes, I’d smile and laugh and have fun but something was missing, and I wasn’t sure what secret ingredient in my life was.

So for about 3 years in high school, I turned to cutting, just a little here and there, nothing serious. I didn’t want to die necessarily. I enjoyed living. I just didn’t enjoy living in the body and the personality that had been given to me. But alas, that didn’t cure me…and rightfully so. I think I’d have bigger problems by now if that had managed to make me feel better (I was somehow strong enough to quit that by myself. But if you’re ever in that situation, please talk to someone. Heck, talk to me!).

Then I thought a boy would be the answer. Maybe, just maybe, if a guy loved me, I’ll be able to love myself. Wrong. I just needed someone to confirm, “Hey, you’re not that bad.” Besides, that thought process goes against pretty much everything you read on Pinterest telling you to love yourself first. But seriously ladies, a guy isn’t the answer.

And then when that didn’t work, I just decided to run away. No, not run away to a friend’s house for a few days without telling my parents. That’s some rookie shit. No, I actually left the country and literally ran away from my problems. I thought having this awesome, brand new adventure would help me to be happy. But I realized I was just trying to keep my life exciting for show. Maybe if people thought I was cool and adventurous, I’d start thinking that about myself too. I also had the mindset that no one needed me or wanted me in his or her lives. So I decided that leaving the country would show that I didn’t need anyone either, when really I was just scared to let people in. “Hey, look at me everyone. I’m brave and independent. I don’t need any of you.” Don’t get me wrong; I had the time of my life during the times I lived abroad, but I also experienced rock bottom during those times as well. And as I’m currently faced with another opportunity to run away, I just don’t know if that’s what I want anymore. I’m kind of tired of running.

So back to the point of this all. It’s taken me 22 years to realize that I am the secret ingredient that makes me happy. People can tell you that all they want, but you need to realize it for yourself. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when it clicked and everything changed for me. I don’t blame anyone or anything for the way I felt and I’m not writing this for people to feel bad for me. I’m writing this because I’ve finally pieced it all together. I’m writing this because I’ve finally come to terms with my past and myself.  I have finally gotten to a place in my life where I am happy with who I am. I’ve realized I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be or have to be. But I am completely fine with that. I can sit here now and look you in the eye and say, “I like who I am,” with complete confidence. I do have to give credit to all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made during these 22 years though.  Without you all, I’d still have a permanent residence at Rock Bottom. And I don’t really want to go back…they don’t have a Sheetz there.

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My New Year Resolutions

My resolutions have always been “go to the gym more” or “no soda”, but I feel like with those resolutions I am always setting myself up for failure (try as I might, I just can’t give up my occasional Dr. Pepper). So instead of making resolutions that only make me feel bad when I inevitably break them, I decided to make some that have the whole purpose of just making me feel better about myself!

1. Don’t check social media as much, maybe only once a day to check notifications. I always seem to spend too much time on Facebook and suffer from FOMO way too frequently.

2. Try to stay off my phone and live in the moment more, especially around friends and family.

3. Compliment myself more and stop comparing myself to others. I’m really good at complimenting others, so why shouldn’t I give myself a few! A little extra self-loving couldn’t hurt this year.

4. Don’t worry so much about things I can’t control (this one will be hard!)

5. Actually make plans with my friends. I love to be myself and I love to do absolutely nothing except lay in my bed and watch Netflix, but I need to actively try to spend more time with friends.

6. And finally, wear more lipstick! I feel like I can rule the world when I’m sporting a fire engine red pout.

What are some of your new year resolutions?

How To Be Unprofessional: A Guide By Alix Gore

I have just recently embarked on a journey that instills a sense of fear into everyone…and that is the after college job search. I tried putting it off. I even moved to Canada for four months to try and escape it. But hey, you can’t run from your problems forever. I like to think of myself as a polite and professional person, especially when it comes to jobs and interviews. But when I think of the job searching process, two cringeworthy moments come to mind.

Moment 1:

I’ve been known to misspell my name in emails on occasion. I’ve used “Alux” and “Aliz” multiple times. Those are not my name…Alix isn’t even my real name but that’s another story for another time. But my favorite misspelling so far was signing a professional email as “Alix Hore”. I knew it was going to come at some point. Just look at the keyboard. The “G” and the “H” are strategically placed next to each other. Needless to say, I did not get that job.

Moment 2:

On one online job application recently, it gave me the option to link to my Facebook. I didn’t want to link it, but it must have decided it was going to anyways. Because when I looked at the submitted application, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy was listed under my Education. When I first created my Facebook, I thought I was being cute and clever by adding that…well I am cute and clever but that’s besides the point. After a few weeks, I actually thought this was pretty funny and maybe they did too. But I didn’t at the time, because this was a job I really wanted. But they really couldn’t prove I never went there, or that I’m not a wizard. (Because I actually am. Look at the image below. I also could have picked to be a unicorn or a troll. That company could have really benefitted from having a wizard on staff.) Needless to say, I did not get this job either.

IMG_0206

But job searching sucks. Sending out your resume and never hearing a response sucks. But shit happens. If you’re going through the same thing as me, keep your head up because that perfect job is coming along. It probably just decided to take a little vacation or detour on the way.

Things I’ve Learned From Traveling.

1. No matter where they’re from, everyone around the world has the same concerns, fears, and problems. I take some comfort in that.

2. You’re never really alone, even if it feels like it. A lot of travelers are in the same position you are and are also looking for friends and to meet new people.

3. Make every second count. You don’t want to go home and regret the things you didn’t do and the places you didn’t see.

4. Learn to say “yes” more often. You may be out of your comfort zone, but try and do new things!

5. You meet some of your closest friends while traveling. I talk to people I met when I lived in Canada a lot more often than people from my hometown. You’ll have crazy experiences to bond over with people you meet traveling.

6. You learn a lot about yourself, like what makes you tick and what you don’t like. It also teaches you to be flexible, adaptable, and incredibly independent. You learn to just go with the flow.

7. The hardest part is making yourself leave. Everything after that is a piece of cake.

8. You learn that experiences are far more valuable than material goods.

9. People are good (there are exceptions though). Your faith in humanity will most likely be restored.

10. You never lose the love of traveling. It’s a blessing and a curse. I have had a lot of amazing opportunities, but now I’m never content just sitting still. I always need to be on the go!

London: What to Do, See, and Eat!

One of my favorite experiences in college was studying abroad in London. About 22 other students and I lived on Bedford Place for 3 months and had the time of our lives. I’ve compiled a list of places to see, eat, things to do and some helpful advice as well!

Places To See:

  • Camden Market (go on a weekend, more vendors are there. I spent a majority of my time here. Camden Town tube station)
  • See a show at the Roundhouse (or go to La Soiree if it’s playing) The Roundhouse is in Camden and it’s a train station, which was turned into a concert venue.
  • Any exhibit at V&A.
  • Netil Market, Lucky Chip burgerstand. Seems like more of a hipster market which sells cool vintage things, but they have theeee most amazing burger!! A friend and I spent two hours looking for this place, but so worth it. (the address is Westgate Street, London Fields, E8 3RL, but ask a local on how to find the market)
  • If you have time, make it to Greenwich to see the prime meridian! You can take the DLR. They also have a great market, with awesome food and various things on the weekend.
  • Get a bagel on Brick Lane. In all seriousness, the most amazing Jewish style bagels, cheap too! (159 Brick Lane, E1 6SB, Liverpool Station tube or use bus 8)
  • Go to Abbey Road.
  • Pick up some spray paint and head to the Graffiti Tunnel! It’s the only place where you can graffiti legally. I did it!
  • Head to Notting Hill (Portobello Road) on a weekend. You can see where they filmed the movie and can get great food as well.

 

Going Out:

  • Piccadilly Institute (google this, looks freaky but soooo cool, Piccadilly Circus)
  • The Ice Bar (belowzerolondon.com, this is a must honestly. Make reservations!)
  • Strawberry Moon (right next to the Ice Bar. I didn’t go but my friends loved it)
  • The Rocket (near Russell Square)
  • O’Neills (set up like an Irish Pub, seriously our favorite place while there!! There are several, but go to the one near Leicester Square)
  • Catch 22 (Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E2 8DA. We went to a 90’s night here, so fun. It’s in a grungy part of town though. Check the website before going to see what kind of things they are doing that night)
  • Tiger Tiger (Piccadilly Circus)
  • World’s End (more in the Indie scene near Camden Market, but one of my favorite places)
  • The Perseverance (a pub near Russell Square)
  • The Jack Horner (a pub near Goodge Street Tube station, they sell Blue Moon! That’s how we found it)
  • Ye Olde Chesire Cheese (old style pub, pretty cool, near St. Pauls)
  • Fabric (dubstep club, known for having great DJs. Check the website to see who is DJing before you go, and you may have to get tickets online)
  • Ministry of Sound (didn’t go here, but wish I had. They are known for having great DJs. 103 Gaunt St, SE1 6DP, Elephant & Castle tube station)

 

Places To Eat:

  • Get coffee at Costa
  • Patisserie Valerie (get tea, scones, and clotted cream)
  • Eve’s (breakfast bagels are amazing!)
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • Chilango’s (better than Chipotle, yeah I said it, one by Holborn station and one by Angel station)
  • El Pirata of Mayfair (a little on the pricier side, but I went here almost 3 days in a row with my parents. It’s a tapas bar and it is amazinggggg. Get the bread with mayo garlic spread. Trust me on this one, I still have uncontrollable cravings for it. And why not get some sangria?)
  • Make sure to get fish n chips, you can’t really go wrong anywhere you go

 

Some Advice:

  • Barclays has no ATM fees (go there!)
  • Waitrose was the best grocery store! But Sainsbury’s is usually cheaper.
  • Order cider! Yum! (The best is the Strawberry Lime cider or many times they’ll carry a Mixed Berry one, or just ask what kinds they have. Make sure you try anything by Rekorderlig, they sell it in the grocery stores too.)
  • Pick up a TimeOut London, it’ll tell you all the great and fun things happening that week.
  • Don’t be loud on the tube! Sure sign that you’re a foreigner!
  • Don’t waste your time going out near Knightsbridge and Mayfair. Way too expensive. (But you could see a celebrity)
  • Go out and enjoy London as much as possible, even if you think you have work to do. That’s one thing I regret, I wish I had explored more.
  • Make friends with the locals and take everything in.

Why I Don’t Like Cold Weather.

First of all, the amount of layers I have achieved this week is ridiculous. But the worst is after you put on your two pairs of long johns, sweatpants, and then snow pants, you realize you have to pee. Mother Nature is a bitch and does that on purpose. At no point in the process do you have to pee until the final zipper is zipped and the final button is buttoned. Also another terrible thing is when your butt itches. First of all you can’t even reach back there due to jacket overload. But even if you could reach back there, would it matter through all those layers? It’s just not worth the effort anymore.

Secondly, the wind makes my eyes water. So I just look incredibly sad all the time, not a good look.

Finally, I hate when my entire body goes numb. It makes me worry a little bit. I like to know that during my 20-minute trek through the tundra to the other side of campus, my vital parts have stayed in contact and are still somewhere on my body. I always need to do a little count when I get to class, just to make sure everyone’s accounted for. If I’m going to lose something, it might as well be my pinky though. What’s that for anyways?

Why I Don’t Like Halloween.

halloween. such a pointless holiday. yeah, you get free candy. but does my fat ass need that candy and all that temptation…no. all that will get me is much needed extra time at the gym. so don’t shove your big 200 piece candy bags in my face, walmart. also now that i’m in college, halloween has set a whole new standard of sluttiness. i don’t know, there’s probably plenty of people who enjoy girls wearing basically nothing. but not me. with my right as a human being, there are just some things i shouldn’t be forced to see, ya know. and also there is just too much work involved in halloween. i don’t want to have to plan my costume, and then spend money on it or take the time to actually make it. i’d rather lay around and eat that 200 piece bag of candy and call it a night. okay, so maybe i’m just a scrooge about halloween. but, i will admit that i do love the halloween costumes for dogs though, they always make me laugh and who wouldn’t want to dress their dog up as a hot dog, a wall mount, or an ice cream sundae.

so forget halloween…give me two christmases instead.