3.3.16: resolutions, NEDA & happiness

I love March for many reasons, one being that this month Chris and I have been together for a whole year and it has been one of the greatest of my life! Also, March means the end of winter. Although I live in New England and we have gotten snow in March and April, I am really hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself because I am ready for spring, warmer weather, a nice breeze, and sunshine.

Going through some of my more recent posts I re-read my New Year’s resolutions and I wanted to give an update on that:

Have I been sweating more? Yes and no. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like but, I am finding new exercises that I really enjoy or rather, rediscovering exercises that I really like such as: taking outside walks, cycling, and the stair climber. Finding exercises you like to do is crucial for a healthy relationship with your mind, body and soul. I did however, cancel my gym membership because I have access to a free gym at work but, it does kind of stink that I don’t have a place to workout on the weekends or when I’m on vacation but, that’ll motivate me to get my ass outside more!

I also noted that I wanted to do more yoga well, during that time I was actually practicing almost everyday but, lately not so much. I’ve gone to some classes near my house but, I’ve really neglected my home practice. I was making a lot of progress with my flexibility and I was really excited about the results I was seeing however, I just am a lazy person a lot of the time I won’t lie! When I get home from work I just want to lay in my bed, read, make tea, and watch Netflix. It aggravates me that I am like this because yoga has been the biggest aid in my recovery and when I regularly practice I feel great! I just need to get my ass in gear and do it.

In regards to my resolution to read more: I am reading soooooooooooo much it is crazy and I love it. Reading more was a big resolution for me because I am TV kind of gal. Although I love to read, nothing beats watching some of my favorite shows after a long day but, I really have been on a roll with reading. I even have a Scribd subscription and get some library books on my Kindle Fire. I think in the past three months I have read about five books and I made a Goodreads account that you can find here  and you can add me as a friend and we can talk books.

I’m proud that I’ve actually stuck with a lot of my resolutions because typically I forget them all and never look back. 2016 has been really good to me so far and I am very very thankful. Happiness has never been this present in my whole entire life and I truly owe this happiness to my recovery. I never in a million years would’ve thought that I would be this comfortable and confident in the skin I am in. I won’t lie to you though, there are some days I really struggle, I want to lose weight, be skinnier and fitter, and change how I look but, I remind myself that changing the outside won’t change how I feel on the inside and if I am feeling a negative way about my body, there is something internal that I need to reflect on and I do.

This journey isn’t easy and there are many bumps in the road but, seeing as this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week, I think it is important to reflect on where we started, where we are now, and how we cope when struggles arise in our recovery. I think for me, one of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is just being my natural self. I love makeup and a good outfit because I feel empowered, confident, sexy, and just totally revolutionized whereas when I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with no makeup on – I definitely feel more self conscious and I’d like to work on that. So, I have decided not to wear makeup everyday and to start embracing my natural beauty. I think too, I’m not the best when it comes to skincare – I am very content with using a makeup wipe and hitting the pillow so, I think by doing this it’ll get me on a regular skin care regimen. Honest Beauty has free trials of their skincare products which range from dry to oily with balanced in between and it comes with a cleanser, moisturizer, and what they call a “beauty fluid” which has SPF 30 in it so, I have been trying that and I highly recommend it if you are looking for cruelty free and more natural skincare products. They feel very natural on my skin and I just ordered a full size bundle – if anyone would like an update on how my skin reacts to it in a month or so, just let me know!

It feels really good to be writing again, I’ve missed you guys! You all listen to my problems or successes and are always so supportive, thank you! So many things are happening that I just can’t believe that this is my life. I work full time and go to night school so, I’m a pretty busy person but, I’m finding a balance between work and play. Finding that special time for me and the people I love and this journey has just been so rewarding.

If you are dealing with an eating disorder and feel stuck – I just want you to know that there is a way out. That the light at the end of the tunnel will make itself known to you. You just need to trust that it will happen and it will. I know some days feel like they will never end – that the pain will never end but, it does. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with whether it be a significant other, family member, teacher, counselor, what have you – someone will be there to listen and help you towards your first steps of recovery because quite honestly, I believe that talking is the first step. Letting someone know what you are going through and opening yourself up is the hardest part in my opinion. You can even shoot me a message and I will be there to listen and give whatever advice that I can.

Thank you again to those of you who take the time to read my blogs, your support means the world to me.

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Photography, the studio, what happens next?

Hello my lovely readers,

Many of you have been following me since I started my blog back in 2013 and thank you. You have seen the highs and lows and the obstacles I’ve faced throughout the years. You have seen me fall in love, get my heart broken, and pick myself back up again, thank you.

Many of you leave comments of encouragement and have helped me in my darkest hours, thank you. You are all so supportive, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for you readers and my blog.

Back in 2014 when I was in Florence, Italy I discovered my love for photography. When I got home and started using my DSLR I was hooked. I took pictures of everything and I just wanted to learn and explore. Having that camera signified my life changing experiences in Italy and the possibility of all the new adventures I would go on whether they be international or in my own backyard. I learned different editing techniques in Lightroom and really started to flourish.

Fast forward to April 2015 when I got my art studio. What a monumental experience it was when I got the keys to my own little space of creativity. I was excited, nervous, and wasn’t sure what to expect what having an art studio would be like. I worked part time so I knew I would have the time but, shortly after getting my studio about three weeks later, I started working full time. The drive to my work is about an hour each way and I usually don’t get home till the evening, this made it harder for me to get to the studio as it is about thirty minutes away from where I live.

Not only was I not going during the week but not on the weekends either. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t motivated to go whatsoever even with having weekends off. When putting together my studio I started really digging into the business side of photography such as pricing and services and I started to feel overwhelmed.

So, I stopped going, still paying a bit of money every month for a place that I never went to. A place that was supposed to be a creative outlook for me but yet gave me anxiety. I couldn’t understand until literally yesterday at my therapy session why this was so. What it boiled down to was this: I thought it was expected of me to have this flourishing photography business, a successful business model where the money would be pouring in from my art. That I was supposed to be this artist who promoted my artwork and soon I found that I didn’t enjoy taking pictures or painting anymore. I felt like I had to fit in with the community of artists where my studio is (there are five floors of art studios with so many artists, it is quite inspiring!). I didn’t/don’t want this for myself. I did my time in retail and sales, and I hated it. I hate trying to sell sell sell when in reality, I just want to be passionate about my art, enjoy it, and have it help me heal.  I put this negative stigma on the studio because I felt that all of these outrageous things were expected from me when in reality they weren’t. It was my anxiety putting this doubt in my head, the fear of failure or disappointment. I also realized that there are no standards when it comes to art and that I can’t compare my art or talent to someone else’s because that would be outrageous.

So, I am going to make my studio a positive and healing place. A place that I can create beautiful art and enjoy my surroundings. No more anxiety, no more expectations, and no more business. Yes, that is right, I deleted my photography website, changed my FB page to “just for fun” rather than “professional services” because photography is a love and passion of mine and I don’t want that to change and I know that the minute it becomes a business, the enjoyment of it will disappear and put me back to where I was. I still have every intention of sharing my photos on my photography page on FB and what not, but I’m just not promoting a business because that doesn’t make me happy. The photography business world is not what makes me happy, and I need to do what has to be done to make myself happy and comfortable.

I feel really good about all of this, thank you all again for always supporting me.

Sunday thoughts

I’m kinda of messy.  I like to think I am neat but in reality I am just messy.  Every Sunday I clean my room, vacuum, laundry, clean sheets, you name it.  I feel so great knowing that I will keep my room clean all week…not.  Each time I clean my room which is has been every Sunday the past three months or so, I tell myself that I will keep it clean.  I think I will make a mini cleaning habit each day so every Sunday it takes less time to clean my room to the point where I won’t have to spend hours cleaning it.

I also noticed that when the weekends come I don’t sleep as much.  I mean, I stay up late, wake up early-ish, then fall back asleep only to wake up at noon or past noon.  Working a 8-5 job five days a week can really take a toll on your mind and body but I am thankful for where my life is going.  I am productive and successful for someone my age, I work full time, go to school online, have my photography business, maintain a blog and a fitness social media presence (follow me on IG: jpalmer_fitness) (shameless promotion!).

What is remarkable is that I haven’t collapsed from an overworking brain yet which makes me pretty proud.  I still have time for me, my boyfriend, my best friend, family, Netflix, and reading.  I definitely spread myself pretty thin but at least I am moving in the right direction.

Another day goes by

Do you ever get stuck in that same routine day in and day out? Wake up, school/work, gym, homework/other duties, go to bed and repeat. It is exhausting and discouraging at the same time. You lose yourself when you get into ruts like that, and that is where I am at ladies and gents.

It has been some time since I’ve blogged here, why you may ask? Well, Tumblr has taken over my blogging life because the activity is constant and the pictures are awesome, you can find me by my username if you wish to follow me (jaeybird). Although I love Tumblr, WordPress will always be my first love. I find that on here I can just write, and we all know that is something I love to do.

As I was saying, I find that when the winter comes and we are strapped to our homes and other obligations, life seems to just pass us by with no excitement or adventure. I am all about adventures and to be home bound most of my free time is really putting a damper on my mentality. Thankfully spring has arrived even though here in New England it doesn’t seem that way just yet. I am hopeful that with the nicer weather I will be able to just pick up my camera and explore once again. Or take my workouts outside on the trails and just enjoy the nature around me. I think that is where I find myself, being outside surrounded by grass, blue skies, and sunshine. Being able to ground myself and remind myself of how lucky I am for the life I live is essential and lately I haven’t been able to grasp that. I’ve been rundown, always tired and content and I’m sick of feeling that way. I refuse to continue this mindset.

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I get by with a little help from my friends…

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Meet my friend Jer. In Italy I met some incredible people and he is one of them hands down. I’ve been struggling since I’ve been home in terms of readjusting and realizing that I won’t be around the same people anymore and that my life is going to be different. I haven’t really come to terms with the fact that my life is in fact, going to be different than it was before I left for my trip.

Who I am now is much different than the Jess before Italy, I don’t really know what to make of it to be honest, but I’m lucky to have such great friends that I’ve made. This morning I had a rough time, I woke up in tears because I miss my friends and I miss the lifestyle of Italy and being in the most beautiful country in the world. I was so used to having my own apartment and going to the grocery store on my own and cooking, actually being a grown up appealed to me, but Jer helped me realize that I am lucky to be home, and that this is a new chapter in my life and that I need to take every chance I can to better my life experiences and myself. I can’t fathom the idea of not having these incredible people in my life. Thank you Italy for showing me how incredible life can be.

My goals now are to get back on track with exercise and a healthy diet regimen along with picking up photography, I may not be great but I’ve learned some from Jer and I find that I really enjoy expressing myself through pictures. I also re-registered for the fall semester and am taking Painting I, Intro to Digital Photography, Intro to Philosophy, and Practical Logic, I am so excited to see what I learn and where my artistic abilities can go with these different classes. This whole soul searching thing has really benefited me and I’m happy that I am now really finding myself and going with the flow rather than stressing about the next day and the day after that, seize the day my friends.

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Italy

Sit View

I haven’t posted on my trip because a lot has happened since I’ve been gone. I’m a new person, I am someone who has truly seen a different side of themselves and the world. I got to explore the most beautiful country and eat delicious food, all while finding myself. In Italy I wasn’t worried about losing weight, being in relationships, or anything really because I emerged myself into this trip, I took every advantage and made damn sure that I had a clear mind and positive energy each day I was there because there was no room for negativity.

I miss it crazy there. I miss my friends and the adventures that I would go on everyday. It is going to be a battle that I’ll have to fight for some time to get over the fact that I’m not there anymore. I created a home there, a routine, and friendships. It is bittersweet.