How I Built My Confidence

Confidence is something that always eluded me. I’m naturally an introvert and shy. I was the classic punk rocker in high school, and chubby, so no guy wanted to date me. I’ve heard so many times that, “You’re a cool girl, but I just don’t think of you that way”, or some variation of that phrase. I’ve been cheated on and manipulated by men I loved. It made me question if I’ll ever find love, was it my looks? my age? my ability in bed? my intelligence? I’ve suffered a job loss. That made me question if I’ll ever have security or peace of mind again. It took some work and it’s been a process, but this is how I built and re-built my confidence:

  1. Exercise. I know there’s this whole Eff Your Beauty Standards/Body Positivity movement, however, I was not happy at 180 lbs. It was a hard two years, but I lost the weight and then some. I certainly don’t have what people consider a perfect body, but I love MY body.
  2. Faith. It’s not cool to declare yourself a Christian or person of any kind of faith even, but my church really helped me. I knew no matter what no one has the final word on me but God. So suck it, world.
  3. Good people. My parents are rad. I have some solid friends. I know if someone makes me feel like an asshole, I can run the situation by Brittany or Amanda and they’ll give it to me straight.
  4. Me. Reminding myself of who I am and the things I like. Punk rock. Red lipstick. Scandinavian shows. Writing stories. Realizing this is who I am and accepting it.

I love myself Kendrick Lamar

Why I Quit Birchbox

I have been a Birchbox subscriber since 2011. I remember catching wind of this company while reading a copy of Cosmo. Someone asked how they could try samples of beauty products, and Birchbox and Glossybox were both mentioned. Glossybox was more expensive, so I opted to do a month-to-month subscription with Birchbox.

At first, the samples weren’t bad. It was hit or miss, but eventually they hit their stride and started sending me products that were cool. Granted, several of the products they sent me I couldn’t afford in full sizes, but I loved them! It was neat getting a present each month, and for $10 I ended up receiving samples that would come in handy if I was traveling or just happened to run out of shampoo or conditioner.

Birchbox Wings

Well, as time went on, I became non-plussed. A lot of the samples were just “meh”. Anytime I would get an eyeshadow, it was a nude shimmery shadow. I WOULD ONLY GET PINK LIPSTICK. So annoying. I said in my profile that I was interested in face and hair care, but there were times I would end up with so many shampoo + conditioner samples I would run out of room in my shower. Several of these products, like I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t even afford in full sizes.

Stanley Eyeroll

So, what’s a girl to do? All things considered, it was NOT worth $110 a year. I started perusing online and found out I wasn’t the only one. In a Racked.com article, they talk about if this is the end of Birchbox. I emailed and called the company and requested they cancel my subscription. I received my last box in November. Someone I work with gave me her unused October Ipsy bag. I loved it! The eyeshadow and lipstick were actual colors – reddish brown for the eyeshadow, and a berry color for the lipstick. I don’t think I could afford it at this time, but maybe one day!

There are several blog posts and articles online discussing how much Birchbox sucks. This post by MommyReporter discusses another important flaw in Birchbox – they don’t particularly cater to women of color. Now despite my whiteness, I don’t dig if a company doesn’t look to represent women of different races. If you’re a makeup company only swatching your shadows and lipsticks on white skin, to me that illustrates your shortsightedness and I’m not down to support that. My friends who are POC have said the fact that Birchbox sends them certain types of hair products is irritating because they have chemical relaxers in their hair and they can’t use an average clarifying shampoo, for instance.

Farewell, Birchbox.

Bye Felicia

Anxiety Sucks

A lot of people have anxiety and depression, and a lot of people like to act like experts on the topic without any degree or training. I can only offer my experiences as to what it’s like to have anxiety. I’m not gonna pretend like I can give advice or write Top 10 lists to help anyone.

I realized one day as I was shopping how anxious I was. I was taking my time strolling the aisles, killing time because I had nothing to do for several hours. Then, I started worrying, “What if I’m going too slow?” “What if this person grabbing ice cream hates me for taking my time?” “What if Whole Foods kicks me out for being too slow and lame?”

Anxiety Girl

All of those thoughts are irrational thoughts. I don’t know why I have them. If I did, I could stop it. If there was a switch to turn off the bad stuff, I’d flip it. Thoughts like this happen to me often. I have good days when I don’t think so negatively. Some days I worry if I’ll ever find someone and why am I alone. Some days I worry if I’m going to get fired because my boss doesn’t like me anymore (hey, it did happen once). Some days I worry about if God loves me, or if my friends are faking being my friends. These are the bad days. I just got to say to myself, “These thoughts simply are not true.”

Not Today Satan Bianca Del Rio

I try not to pay these thoughts any attention. I write. It helps keep me sane. I go to punk rock shows. Listen to music. Having a religion helps, too, believe it or not (Matthew 6:26-32). I try to talk to others about it, but it’s hard to find good listeners or good advice-givers. So, that’s the real.