Phoenix SFX Makeup

For those of you who don’t know, I am a certified makeup artist, and in my certification curriculum was an Intro to SFX class.

I learn all of the cool shit, like zombie makeup, burn makeup, injuries, etc., but I also learned incredibly useful things like bone structure, and how to re-create it, and how to properly use it for correction makeup.

So here is a look that I created, and that I’m incredibly proud of. It’s been a really long time since I’ve done any true SFX makeup, and was able to use makeup that I already had.

It feels profoundly liberating to be able to create art like this again. I’m so grateful.

Rise of the Phoenix

The only not so fun part is clean-up. My sink looked like a crime scene, and I now have red stained rags, but it was so, so beyond worth it.

Crime Scene Makeup Removal

For the first time in a long time, I feel a creative shift in my life, and I am so deeply grateful.

Thank you so much for your time; I am grateful.

What I Learned This Week

Sometimes, the truth is so much worse than you think, but despite the sheer amount of pain that it causes can be the key to setting you free. What they say is true: Freedom isn’t free.

Living in silence is not living; it’s oppression and fear.

Reaching out to find an answer is better than not ever knowing. Knowledge is power, and I am powerful.

When things are hard, go to your girlfriends and talk some mad smack, and then work through it. It’s the unwritten Burn Book, and it is magical.

Stop looking allowing people from your past take away from the now. You can’t take it back, and you didn’t know.

You are so much stronger than you think.

Finally, the sun will keep shining, time will keep moving, and as long as I take the time to breathe, I’m going to be okay.

I am in exactly the right place at every moment.

The Imposter Within Me

Imposter Syndrome

I’ve been hearing this phrase dropped around quite a bit lately: Imposter Syndrome. I had a general idea of what is meant, and assumed I probably fell under the umbrella somewhere. I kept trying to avoid it, but as we know, what the mind tries to ignore will fester and start to eat you alive. It took me probably a year and a half of hearing that phrase, thinking about looking it up, and then gently putting it on my “Things to Eventually Get To” list in my brain – AKA the shit that’s never gonna fucking get done.

Strangely though, I kept being pulled back to that phrase. So recently, I finally sat down to look it up and my search results ultimately led to Wikipedia – of course. Which, for anyone who thinks that Wikipedia is just garbage, you are mostly right…. But! Sometimes you can go to the references area and strike gold. I found a few peer reviewed sources (I was shocked too!)

I have never felt good enough to be able to take credit for my small achievements. I always attributed any kind of small success to luck. “Geeze, I was lucky that xyz happened today that I could xyz!” It feels fake to call myself a researcher because I am not in a PhD program. It feels fake to call myself a writer because I don’t have any credentials to be considered one; as far as I’m concerned it’s just a creative outlet, something I have to do for school, and something I enjoy. I don’t even feel like my writing is even that great, even though I’ve been told by others that they enjoy my writing. I think, “They’re just being kind; they don’t actually think that.”

“Women who experience the impostor phenomenon maintain a strong belief that they are not intelligent; in fact, they are convinced that they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.” (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES) Great women like Maya Angelou, Brene Brown, Tina Fey, and even Tom Hanks have all admitted to having issues with imposter syndrome.

In fact, women who exhibit the impostor phenomenon do not fall into any one diagnostic category. The clinical symptoms most frequently reported are generalized anxiety, lack of self-confidence, depression, and frustration related to inability to meet self-imposed standards of achievement (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES).”  When I was reading through the list of characteristics of imposter phenomenon and realizing that my thoughts, attitude, and personality checks off all of the boxes. It was incredibly eye-opening for me to finally see it with my own eyes, and for someone to confirm what I’d always been feeling was incredibly liberating. For me, though, it was also kind of devastating.

I grieved for the girl and the young woman who always out of place every where I went. I always felt like my friends would eventually realize how annoying I was and not want to be my friend anymore. At work, if I had a shitty day with sales, I would feel like shit; but if I had a good day at work I would think that I was just lucky, even when clients that I built up came to see me, I was still feeling lucky that they had come in that day. It was such a frustrating feeling of never being able to celebrate my little wins.

So as it turns out, according to Clance and Imes from Georgia State University, there are 2 types of imposter syndrome: 1) someone who had a sibling that was deemed the smarter, more intelligent child; or 2) someone who was deemed the smarter, more intelligent child by their parents.

For me, I fall under the second type, and according to Clance and Imes, the family conveys to the child that they are superior in every way—intellect, personality, appearance, talents. In the parents’ eyes, there is nothing that they can’t do if they want to. She is told how smart they were during infancy and childhood, such as learning to talk and read early or counting earlier than other children. In the family members’ eyes, they are perfect (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES).

I was that child. From an early age, I remember being told how smart and/or how pretty I was. According to my mother, she was constantly stopped and ogled by people. She tried to get me to be the next Gerber baby, and she put me in a couple of beauty pageants as a kid, but stopped when she realized, thankfully, that she didn’t want to turn into a pageant mom. And to add a cherry on the top, I was an only child for 8 years, so all the attention was on me.

According to Clance and Langford, imposter syndrome is correlated with anxiety, and rank high on the neuroticism and perfectionism personality score (SAKULKU, ANDALEXANDER 2011). Guess who tests high on that score: THIS GIRL. Don’t be jealous though; it’s the worst high-test score ever! Thanks mom and dad!

But seriously, if you recognize something in yourself that sounds like what I have just described, there is help for it. Therapy is a great place to start! For this type of condition, it’s completely internalized, and so there are step that can be taken to externalize the pain. It is proposed that therapy comprised of learn, “a warm acceptance of all aspects of the person, an empathic understanding of the person’s internal world, and an attitude in the therapist of genuineness and emotional honesty.”

So thank you for reading; as always, I am grateful for your time. If you’d like me to do a more in-depth piece on Imposter Syndrome, please feel free to send a message or leave a comment down below.

If you like what you see, please feel free to subscribe. I am trying to put out 1-2 entries a week, and there is much more to come!

Thank you again so much!

The Anxiety Monster

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story & hustle for your worthiness.” – Dr. Brene Brown

****Trigger Warning: Graphic description of anxiety in the first paragraph and some minor graphic descriptions below. ****

You all know what I’m talking about: it’s that little tiny monster that sneaks its way into your soul, making you question everything that you do, in the more you question yourself, your sanity, your world, the more it feeds, and the bigger it grows. Eventually, without us realizing, it has turned into this horrid creature that you’ve never seen before, but it is suffocating you, and your knees bend beneath you, and eventually you give up and allow it to take over.

Yeah – that went dark fast, didn’t it? This is probably saying, “Bitch, I don’t come here for the depressing stuff. I come here for the relatable information and occasional humor!” First of all, thank you for thinking that I’m funny; I’ve been working on it 😉 Secondly, this is my show damnit! *pouts*

But in all seriousness, I know that I claim this is a sex education blog, but I think that this needs to be talked about, because as small as my platform is, all it takes is it to reach one person in need for it to be worth it. There is never a gesture too small for someone who genuinely needs and is receptive to help. It just starts with a simple question: “Are you okay?

Any way, back to me! Mine and Patrick’s world have been in a tailspin since the year began, and we were lucky enough to get hit with a triple whammy: financial, family, and moving. We decided to get married this year, I decided to go back to school full time and cut back on working only a couple of days a week, then we found out that Patrick’s father had a stroke and were able to reconnect with his father’s side of the family, but because they live out of town, we rented hotel rooms, and my course load was significantly fuller than I originally anticipated, and I’m rebuilding a relationship with my father, and he just recently met Patrick, and it goes on and on and on.

If that felt like a cluster fuck of information, how do you think we feel? The anxiety is constantly looming; it feels like there’s constantly something that I’m forgetting about, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting to be on high alert ALL OF THE TIME. And to top it off, I’m an empathic fixer: I feel very deeply, process very slowly, and I have the instinct to try and fix things as soon as shit hits the fan. I feel anxiety about the possibility of feeling anxiety. Like, what the fuck is that shit? I can’t fucking even. Side note: anxiety simultaneously brings out the basic white bish and the foul mouthed sailor in me.

And worst yet, I am, what I have dubbed, just right this second, an emotional coat rack. I tend to ask people if they need help, and once they do, they tend to dump their emotional coats on me, which wouldn’t be a problem, except, yep, I said it above, I’m an empathic fixer. And, I suck at asking for help, so as a result, I either internalize (which I didn’t realize the extent to which I do until recently), or I emotionally dump on others, who are also empathic fixers. We emotionally dump like it’s a freaking pyramid scheme, or the PC term we use now, a Multi-level marketing scheme. They can’t fool me; John Oliver told me they’re the same!

So how does this anxiety show itself, you may ask? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you any way. For me, it starts with a little bit of OCD; Did you lock the door? Yes, I’ve checked it 5 times dumb ass. Then, I’ll start nagging, blaming and resenting; He knows I’m pissed off today, why is he still breathing in my general direction? Then, we end up having a stupid argument about something stupid, and we both feel shame and guilt for acting like a cunt muffin towards each other. Finally, we make up, and talk about it and move on.

But fuck does it suck to always be the strong one sometimes. The worst part about emotional dumping how good it feels to get it off your chest. I get tired of being the emotional coat rack sometimes, and sometimes I want to be the one that someone offers to help.

Don’t feel shameful if you’ve never offered to help someone in need; life is hard and hectic, and sometimes, if things just don’t feel like they’re going to line up, you go into survival mode, or as I refer to it, hermit mode. It’s also difficult to open yourself up enough to empathize with others; it can be extremely uncomfortable to dig into a deep part of yourself that say, “I’ve been there too.” The bad memories of those experiences tend to linger and sometimes it feels like you can’t handle someone else’s load (lol load). But sometimes, even a simple hug, a funny meme or a “Just checking in” text can change someones day.

I encourage you to be curious about the things that give you anxiety; the monster wins if you shy away from it. I also encourage you to practice gratitude; when you focus on all of the positive things that are going on, it makes dealing with the hard stuff much easier to manage. Finally, practice noticing the people around you. If you see a mom with a screaming child, being stared at grudgingly by strangers, and clearly flustered, ask her if she needs help. If you haven’t heard from a friend in a long time, send them a text saying that you’re thinking about them. It’s amazing how it can brighten not only their day, but also yours.

#makeamericakindagain #anxiety #empathicfixer #emotionaldumping