Listen Up…Part 1

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In my last post I mentioned that I have been listening to audiobooks and podcast. Ironically the podcast that started the frenzy The Jillian Michaels Show is one that I no longer listen to. Nothing wrong with the podcast I simply had my fill. I can be a little OCD about things that are part of a series…if I’m reading a book that is part of a series I MUST start with #1 regardless of whether or not the author says I have to. When I listen to a podcast if I can find it I WILL start from the 1st episode. Jillian’s podcast was on for a few years and is about fitness and motivation…at some point she repeats herself…therefore I got bored.

Yet I still HIGHLY recommend listening to it if you want some brutal honesty about fitness and ways to change your life.

Below is part 1 of my list of podcasts that I think are worth a listen. I’m a fan of comedy, true crime and storytelling. Note, I am already a fan of Serial and Undisclosed ;-).

*These are in no particular order*

The Generation Why Podcast – Aaron and Justin talk about true crime cases, unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies. I enjoy this one because Aaron and Justin often give different view points on the cases they cover and the format is somewhat informal.

Sword and Scale- Mike Boudet delves into the world of true crime and the response of the criminal justice systems. This podcast is not for the faint of heart. Several episodes have made me cry, made me angry and have cemented my belief that some murderers deserve the death penalty.

The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast- I don’t even remember how I found this podcast. It must have been one of those days when I was looking for something that would help me better understand why I was depressed when I felt I shouldn’t be. Kelly, the host discusses how the world around HSPs affects us and it isn’t us “just being too emotional”. As a HSP I found this podcast a breath of fresh air because for once I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me.

Lore- Aaron Mahnke has a bi-weekly podcast about true life scary stories. Each episode looks into a uniquely scary tale and uncovers the truth behind it. This one definitely leaves me going “Hmmmm”

The Mortified Podcast- This podcast is hilarious. People share funny, most times (if not all) embarrassing childhood journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, etc. This one is so cool because it takes me back to a time when we were all awkward thinking we knew what the world was about but really had no idea.

The Friend Zone- Assante, Fran, and Dustin discuss pop culture, news and how to get your “mental hygiene” in check. Living in the world that we do stress is a factor we can’t ignore but sometimes we do…saying “that’s life”. This podcast reminds me that you MUST take time out for yourself even while keeping up to date with what is going on around you.

Tea with Queen and J- Queen and J. are two funny women talking about pop culture, politics and whatever else pops into their heads during tea time. I found this podcast by being followed by Tea w/ Queen and J on Twitter. I barely use Twitter. I had no clue who they were. From episode 1 I have been hooked. HOOKED!!! Every episode makes me laugh out loud. At work, walking, on the train…I am laughing at something they say.

*Side note…The Friend Zone and Tea w/ Queen and J. speak on pop culture and news that mostly pertains to the African American community*

Here is what I was (still am) listening to a year ago.

Part 2 and a post on my recent audiobooks coming up in the future.

If you have a podcast that you like that isn’t listed, comment below. I love finding new podcasts 🙂

Until next time,

xo

Welcome Back

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Hellloooooooo, anybody here?

I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if I lost the few readers I have.

I apologize for not blogging. I kind of let my mind take over. I don’t have any interesting updates…My absence was me standing in the shadows. I thought about blogging/writing. Between my own personal life, work, and the world itself I had material.

But

Somewhere between my last post and this one I fell into a dark hole. Like times before that fine grain of quicksand had me in a blink.  I was doing good one moment. Enjoying my Summer then like a fine mist I felt my moods getting darker, my emotions flashed between flood of tears or fiery rage. I stopped caring about things. Going to work was all done on auto-pilot. If I wasn’t sleeping I was eating. My plan to spend the summer working out amounted to less than 10 trips to the gym.

Gaining weight is always good for depression, right (insert eye roll)

I hung out with friends (waves to Mark, Rebekah, and Jessica), went on literally two dates. Great dates (still good friends with one guy) but I felt like I was simply doing what was expected. Summer is my favorite season. I looked forward to summer all winter. I had all these plans to get out and socialize and I made zero effort to do many of them. I blamed my inactivity on being busy at work.

I was busy alright…busy fighting my demons. Forcing my mind to focus on the fact that I had no reason to be depressed. I have a job, friends, family healthy. But depression has a way of taking those things and twisting them.

I have a job…yet it’s a place where I am pulled in many directions. My responsibility doesn’t match my paycheck. Feelings of being used and taken for granted washed over me.

I’m healthy…yet I’m fighting a disease (diabetes) that is a struggle. My weight gain was due to my insulin intake and my lack of physical activity.

Like many with depression I also suffer from social anxiety. You know that mental paranoia that when in social settings EVERYONE is mocking you, or you are fixated on making some faux pas. Some days the anxiety was worse than the depression. Imagine wanting to go to the gym, needing to but you don’t because you think you will be judged for it.

I judged this bout of depression as mild because I wasn’t waking up wishing I hadn’t. I knew with time it would pass.

I needed to flood my mind with something other than what my mind felt it was missing. I began listening to the Jillian Michaels podcast. I started to listen hoping it would drown my social anxiety and motivate me. I wanted to get out and be in the season I loved.

It worked. I got out more, dated, saw my friends, family. More importantly I mentally I began to see things differently. I began to see that happiness is something I can formulate.

So I did.

Saw my responsibilities at work as a learning experience that would match my salary one day or not. I focused on being thankful for that.

Started working out at home (a little, lol)

By the end of summer I met the guy I am currently dating. I went on the date not thinking past it. I hibernate during the colder months. But we are a month and a half along so maybe I have a hibernation partner.

Of course being around someone that does what family and friends do (care about you, feed you, make you laugh) plus the desire to have sex with you can and does increase the happiness level. Lift you up an inch out of the quicksand.

One day while looking at files on my USB drive (I wanted to share my writing with New Guy) I found a story that I had no memory of starting. Not surprising, I start and never finish a lot of stories but this one was different. A couple, on their wedding day, discussing why they shouldn’t get married, with an underlining plot of a soap opera (bride pregnant with another man’s child).

Watching soap operas as a kid is where my creative mind grew. I was reminded of my first love…writing; my life line when quicksand would get me. Even though I didn’t feel like putting pen to paper yet I listened to audio books. I finished two within a month. If I wasn’t listening to audio books I was listening to podcast. I don’t know that sound of other voices, other opinions, other people’s endings connected with me.

Today I woke up and said “I’m going to write a blog post.”

Well…how did I do?

Until next time,

xo

I wrote a book

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I wrote a book. I co-wrote a book with my friend, Corey Marshall.

We published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

“Sugar, a gunman for a crime organization is counting down to the day when he walks away to live out the rest of his life, living his dream with….
Honey, the girlfriend of Sugar, fears the dream is nothing more than a bedtime story. To Honey every turn towards the dream is fought with disappointment and heartache.
When a betrayal threatens not just the dream but the lives of Sugar and Honey, together they prove that their love and devotion holds surprises for everyone involved…at every turn.”

I got a text from Corey saying he is sending me an email. I check my email and

BAM…the book we created IS there IS real IS live.

People can buy our book, or get a sample of our book.

I’m still a little in awe. Ok, I’m in a LOT of awe. I don’t feel like this is real.

I gave up the idea/dream of becoming a published author about a year ago. It wasn’t something that I did with a heavy heart. I came to realize that I wasn’t devoting as much time and focus to my writing that I should. I didn’t like calling myself a “writer” because I wasn’t writing.

So I stopped calling myself a writer. I stopped thinking I was a writer. But this book, The Turn, had been finished in 2011. All that was needed was a thorough proofreading (done countless times and still not enough 😦 ), reformatted for presentation purposes and through the wonderment of self publishing I could be a published author.

To describe how far removed from writing I feel…this blog post as been a draft for three weeks.

The book has been out in the world for three weeks and I have only told a few close friends (i.e. my FB friends-the ones that actually read and respond to status updates), and my sister.

My Dad got a printed copy I specially made for him.

A few weeks before this all went down my Dad called me to say “Hi” and tell me he had been reading some of my work and that I should focus on my writing. That I shouldn’t abandon it.

Corey and I wrote the book as such a book 2 and 3 are warranted.

Time to shift gears…

If you know me (or have been reading the blog for a while) you know that May is a very hard month for me (Mother’s Day and the anniversary of my Mom’s death). I didn’t realize that Corey and I finished the book in May of 2011, and it was live on Amazon on May 31st.  My Mom was a HUGE supporter of my writing.  I think in a way she still is 😉

I WROTE A BOOK!!!!!! .

It is available to purchase HERE.

Until next time,

xo

Style #83

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Style #83

Lace shirt
lookbookstore.co

Paige Denim jeans
stylebop.com

Dorothy Perkins thong sandals
dorothyperkins.com

Tory Burch leather tote
jildorshoes.com

Forever New chandelier earrings
$12 – forevernew.com.au

Prada sunglasses
net-a-porter.com

Nudes…head to toe

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Nudes...head to toe

Chelsea Flower silk wrap top
$125 – theoutnet.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors zipper purse
$460 – vanmildert.com

Olivia burton watch
$105 – harveynichols.com

Hinged bangle bracelet
$10 – newlook.com