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.

Setting Intentions for the Week

Thank you in advance for sleep, and for my body feeling rested. Thank you in advance for good health, and no seizures because of the Houston heat.

Thank you in advance for financial prosperity, million dollar ideas, business growth, and connections. I’m grateful to have a job, and I’m grateful for the warm welcome back into my community.

Thank you in advance for pulling myself out of my tiny hole called home, and embracing fashion, creativity, and community.

Thank you in advance for love, empathy, kindness, and support. I’m grateful for my friends, my small circle of acquaintances, and my family.

I’m grateful for being a strong woman with a presence. Thank you in advance for stepping into my power, letting go of fear, and allowing my success speak to the shitty people that have been in my life, rather than feeling the need to justify my actions.

Thank you in advance for interesting, successful research, which will lead to opportunities for papers and consulting gigs.

Thank you in advance for diversifying my income, and for working smarter, not harder.

I am grateful for my power of observation, my wit, analytical skills, and my ability to see things others miss.

Thank you in advance for a long, healthy life, and body, please forgive me for being such an ass hole to you. We need a solution to this chronic pain, but eating healthy is hard (lolol).

Thank you in advance for an amazing week!

Setting Intentions for the Week

Thank you in advance for your time.

Thank you in advance for finishing my current book. What did it teach me? How does it serve me? How can I implement what serves me into my life?

Thank you in advance for starting a fresh book and engrossing myself in it.

Thank you in advance for feeling more at home on my blog, and for publishing 3 times this week.

Thank you in advance for 10 likes this week.

Thank you in advance for proactive laziness.

Thank you in advance for good health for Patrick, the babies and and I.

Thank you in advance for clarity and getting my ass into gear. Thank you in advance for creating for setting my priorities and creating an actionable plan by planning backwards.

Thank you in advance for job call backs.

Thank you in advance for new glasses.

Thank you in advance for financial prosperity.

Remember: I am in exactly the right place at every moment. Don’t lose faith.

Supine Flu

Supine Flu Do you struggle when the alarm goes off every morning? If you have a really hard time, you could have something called dysania. This means…

Supine Flu

I have been experiencing this off and on since the beginning of the Pandemic; my poor snooze button is worn out. Side note, I think it’s morbidly funny that “pandemic” is a new part of our daily vocab.

Some days it doesn’t even feel worth it to get out of bed, since at the end of the day, we’re not that far from it in the first place. I find myself working from bed more and more, and shortly after, sprawled out and probably napping.

I have a whole new respect for stay-at-home parents and people working from home before this bull shit begun. How do you do it?

What kind of things can I implement to make me get out of bed (and making it doesn’t help)?

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!

Cracked

When I look in the mirror,
Any mirror,
There’s always a crack;

It cannot be fixed,
Buffed out,
Or filled in.

The more I touch it,
The more it grows.
It seems to follow me,
And lingers
In every mirror,
At every age,
At every size,
In every lighting.

Living with this crack is exhausting.
I’ve tried covering it up,
But it always shows through.

The Elusive Female Orgasm

So many of you have heard of this phenomenon, the female orgasm, but many of you may not have experienced one during sex and or, for some, at all. Statistically speaking, roughly 58% of women have had some type of issue with orgasms; a smaller percentage, something to the effect of 5-10% have never had an orgasm at all. Ever.

Does that shock you? It shocked me when I first heard the statistic many many years ago, mostly because I’d always heard that women were supposed to have multiple orgasms, and I’d never had sex before, so I didn’t realize how big of an impact it would be on a woman’s life.

Fast forward to being sexually active, I was pretty distressed that I had never had an orgasm during sex. I could have one during foreplay, but never during sex, and then I would have to lie to the guy I was with when he would inevitably ask, “Do you…?” I’d immediately answer “yes”, sheepishly, mind you, because, you know, that’s what I was supposed to do, right? And orgasms were just supposed to happen, right?

Eventually, I just started focusing on their needs, because I was too embarrassed to admit that I was broken, so if I just focused on them, they wouldn’t pay attention to me trying to thinking myself into an orgasm.

Then, I met him. He, and we shall call him Chad, bragged that he could usually make women have multiple orgasms. We were together for just short of 2 years, and in that time, made me feel so incredibly broken (in more ways than one, but that’s for a different day). He just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t make me have orgasms, and that I must be the problem, not him, because he could do it to other women. And god forbid I try to buy a vibrator; it sent him over the edge, and NOT in the good way.

After Chad, I began exploring things I had always wanted to try, but Chad had no interest in. I also began hanging out with people in the BDSM community. At first, I was terrified and judgemental, I will admit. I had always been taught that BDSM was bad, and that “those people” were perverts, and so, being the dumb twenties something that I was, decided to check it out anyway. I started asking questions, reading, and trying to just understand how all this stuff works.

As it turns out, most of the people in the BDSM community are really cool people who just see life a little differently than most people. The BDSM community taught me that there is nothing wrong with me, that a lot of women don’t have orgasms regularly or at all, and you just have to do what makes you feel right. They’re super into consent too (also for another day), so they also taught me that the way Chad made me feel was wrong, and that his own insecurities were the problem and not me.

I think that it the moment my vagina was like, “Oh shit, really?”, Because almost immediately afterwards, when I would have sex, I would have orgasms. I remember the first one I had without having to sacrifice my left kidney and a third of my soul for; I remember being shocked, and confused and excited, but also very confused, because like, I don’t have orgasms, okay? And then it dawned on me in my naked stupor that, indeed, I had orgasmed and it was fucking phenomenal.

So kids, let’s have a re-cap of what we’ve learned so far: If you haven’t had an orgasm in a long time, you’re not broken! If you didn’t have one yesterday because you were thinking about all of the things you have to do before you die, also not broken. If you have never had one ever, there could very well be a medical condition (I know we didn’t discuss it yet, but just bare with me), but you’re still not broken. Most importantly, though, if someone is shaming you because you can’t have one, they’re a fucking ass hole, and you can tell them I said it too. Come at me bitch.

Now with all of that being said, according to the DSM-5, the diagnostics manual for mental health people, issues with orgasms is called Female Orgasmic Disorder. Yes it is a real thing, it’s like on Google, okay?

Now just to note, I am not a licensed therapist, so I cannot give you advice or diagnose you, nor is this a guide on how to diagnose yourself, it is simply a place for you to start your search. Don’t sue me because I don’t have any money any way.

According to the DSM-V, in order to be officially be diagnosed with FOD, you must meet the certain criteria:
– Happens 75%-100% of time
-Marked delay in orgasm
-Marked reduced intensity of orgasm
-Reduced # of orgasms
-Last at least 6 months
– Must cause distress
-Not better explained by relationship problems, medical problems, etc.

Do any of these sound like you? If so, do something about it now. Like right now. I can wait, but come back, okay?

First of all, anxiety is one of the main perpetrators of sexual dysfunction for all genders. If you’re too busy thinking about willing yourself to have an orgasm during sex or foreplay (guilty as charged), you start to feel hopeless about your vagina’s hatred of your pleasure. Stop thinking so much damnit! Start focusing on the task at hand and just enjoy the sex. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that if he has his penis in your vagina, he’s probably not worried about your boobs being lopsided during sex (note to self).

Also, if you are reading this and you are the victim/survivor of sexual assault, you are not alone and none of this is your fault. It is extremely common for people of all genders to have sexual dysfunction after an incident like that. Take your time and learn to listen to your needs and desires.

Next, are you on birth control or hormone replacements? Or have you noticed weird shit going on with your hormones? If so, you might have just won yourself a trip to the OBGYN, which is the worst prize trip ever, but it could change your sex game up. Hormones can be ass holes and will mess with your sex drive and ability to have an orgasm. They will also make you feel like you’re crazy for not having them. So let’s make hormonal issues not a thing, kay?

Also, are you telling you partner(s)? One of the best things you can do for yourself is have an open conversation with your partner(s). They might not know that you’re struggling, or they know that you’re struggling, but could think that they’re the problem. It’s easy to manifest explanations to problems in our brains because that’s what it’s good at, and sometimes, it too can be an ass hole. You may be able to work through it with them together. A very good friend of mine, we shall call her Veronica, hadn’t had an orgasm at all in something like 6 years. She and I talked about it, then she talked about it with her husband, and now she can actually experience an orgasm and her marriage has become stronger as a result.

You can also go to a sex therapist. While couples counselors are awesome, sex therapists have special training in sexual issues. They often tend to have a lot of couples come to them, but they also see individuals. Most (I hope) will come from a non-judgemental place and can guide you through the process of your struggles.

I hope reading this brought some enlightenment into your life and I hope that together we can break the shame and stigma of talking about female sexuality. Let’s make talking about orgasms at the dinner table okay, because I can guarantee that if there were more orgasms in the world, people would have less time to be stupid. Win win.

#maketheworldabetterplaceoneorgasmatatime #noticemebrenebrown #comeatme