Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's talk about bliss

Many people have dreams, but the desires which make up those dreams are often shelved by those very people, with a million excuses:

  • It's too expensive
  • I don't have the time
  • I'm focusing on my career right now
  • That's meant for other people
  • I'm set in my ways
  • I can't go there, they have tsunamis/earth quakes/monsoons/hurricanes/ice storms/volcanoes. 
  • I can't find a baby sitter/house sitter.
  • It's not my style/it won't look good on me
  • I won't like it
  • It will take too long
  • What would people think?
Because of the above mentioned, a myriad of trips, vacations, concerts , new restaurants, movies, etc etc remain on the bucket lists and are never experienced. Simple example: years ago the thought of sushi freaked me out. I mean, a lot of the menu items include RAW fish, and fish eggs, and stuff like EEL. It simply sounded wrong and unappetizing.

But then one day I told myself: "Woman, you used to hate olives and feta cheese, now you're favorite salad in the world is a Greek salad. Man up, put on your big girl panties and try the freaking raw fish. It won't kill you to TRY." And by golly, I tried it. And I loved it. Today it's my guilty pleasure, a sinful pleasure. Not chocolate, not ice cream, but sushi. It never would have happened if I continued to place self made barriers before me. 

Now, my dreams are a little bigger, a little grander, and perhaps a little harder than simply tasting a new cuisine. But they are in no way impossible. I wish to travel, extensively. I've already done some research, and with a little savvy, one can see the world without breaking the bank. I wish to own my own house. Busy doing the research, next step is to simply go to the bank. I wish to finish my articles and become a hot shot in my career. Busy with it, 3 subjects to go, in less than a year's time, I will be very much well on my way. I wish to have adrenaline filled adventures, bungee jumping being first on the list, and by golly, it's available less than 500km from my home. I simply need to once again man up, put on my big girl panties and do it.

The list on top illustrates the "reasons" people don't follow their bliss. I see it as excuses. With every excuse you as a person put up walls which make the achievement of your bliss that much more difficult. We, homo sapiens, are our own worst enemy. We have no one else to blame if we're not living the dream. No one but ourselves.

So, get out of your own way and bust a move. Go to that open house. Go test drive that car. Look at those tattoo designs that you've been thinking about getting since you were 16. (Side note: If you do get inked, make sure you LOVE the design and pick a good spot, you'll be living with it for a very very long time. ) Go on that blind date. Go try that new restaurant in town and go see that movie. Go have a chat with your bank manager and then book that foreign trip. Send your resume to every company that may have your dream job and take that chance. Try new food, listen to new types of music, adjust your wardrobe a little, get a haircut, let your hair grow, live your life. Get our of your own way, find and follow your bliss. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mid month check in

So, at the beginning of the month I set myself some goals, both personal and hair related. And today I felt the need to check in a little bit about how it's going and to see if I'm making headway regarding the hair related issues.

I'll be 9 weeks post in 2 days time and my new growth is quite noticeable, especially in the middle of my head. Around the hairline I can clearly see and feel it as well, but it's soft and manageable, and trained to a certain degree, because glory hallelujah, I've been a good girl and have slept with my silky wrap almost every night. Once or twice it slipped off my head in the middle of the night, but still, I did not subject my hair to friction against cotton and linen pillow cases.

I also moisturize and seal more frequently since I've given myself a list of goals, although I think it can still be stepped up a notch or two, since there have been days that I skipped the process. I need to thus recommit to doing it EVERY DAY.

I'm unfortunately still in that styling rut. I am however planning to try something new this weekend after my DC process. Speaking of DC, I have succeeded in doing both a dry DC and a post wash DC this month, one being protein and the other moisturizing. I've also succeeded in pre-pooing before every wash, even though once it was not as long and intense as I would have preferred due to timing constraints.

Essentially, I think it's going well. I'm not checking off products that were finished yet, that I'm leaving for the end of the month check in. I must say however, that since I've been on this journey, I am enjoying my hair much more than in the past. Not with regards to styling or wearing it out, but I actually enjoy taking care of it and seeing the fruits of my labour, even when it's a little slow going. This journey is teaching me the art of patience, and I am appreciative of it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pub Quiz

A little tradition has developed in my circle, that of a Pub Quiz Night every Thursday night. Due to LOGISTICS we have not been able to enjoy this little ritual for two weeks! And I'm having some withdrawal symptoms. Two weeks!!

Here's the deal. There was an awesome venue where the quiz nights were held. They served awesome cocktails, the ambiance was fabulous and we all liked it there! Now the venue has changed. Not the biggest deal on earth, except that other events often coincide and thus class with our beloved ritual. Which is again the case. Some hypnotist is performing and thus NO QUIZ NIGHT. My gray matter already feels a little dull, it would have been nice to be challenged and to spark things up again.

Speaking of which - in the past we used to have nights of playing 30 Seconds, which does not happen anymore. Yes, we still have sporadic poker nights, but I miss the intellectual stimulation and hilarity and frivolity that went hand in hand with 30 Seconds. Essentially, Quiz night ended up being the solution and NOW logistics are messing with us. And it's no fun at all!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Status Quo

I have a friend. Years ago I described her as a good friend, in fact we've been friends since the 4th grade. We literally grew up together. We graduated high school together and we even went on to law school at the same time, albeit at different universities.

Then there came a time that I felt that she didn't appreciate me as a friend. I felt that I was the one calling her up all the time, whilst not receiving a phone call in return the next week. I felt that my ideas were never good enough, because we always ended up doing what she wanted. (Granted, she was the only one with a car at the time, but damn it, even the girl in the back seat would like a choice in the matter once in a while) I felt that I was doing all the work, that she wasn't putting in any effort into the relationship, and slowly but surely I started forming a new circle of friends and spent less and less time with her.

And so the years went by and times changed even more. Now she's married with two beautiful daughters and although I'm engaged, I'm nowhere near the domesticated wife and mother that she has become.(Irony, she's still a career woman as well. But yeah, my point is that my life is more than just my work and my home.) I have no regrets, and I certainly do not wish that I had her life, great as it might be.

As the years went by, I actually forgot why we drifted apart in the first place (I felt neglected in our friendship) and put it on the fact that our lives are solar systems apart. Today, I start to wonder, am I perhaps doing the same thing to other friends that I perceived her doing to me? Even back then, our lives were already very different, so did she "neglect" me because she had other priorities and I didn't see it? And am I now neglecting people due to a shift in my priorities? Do they feel neglected? Is the status quo reasonable? I do not regret where am in my life, and I do not regret who I am and how I got here. I'm just wondering if I'm doing the right thing, right now, regarding my relationships.

Tomorrow my doubts may be gone, like the fog before the sun. But today they're plaguing me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April focus

Ahoy! It's the 4th month. Amazing. Just the other day it was Christmas. I mean, I have a gift I got for Christmas that I have not used yet! Time truly flies, and if one isn't careful, life would have passed you by. Yes, Chris Rock is right. Life is LONG. It's the longest thing you'll ever do. But truly living is an art. Really truly living, not going through the motions half assed because you're scared or have created self limiting obstacles for yourself. We have the crippling ability to get in our own way. Therefore I have devised a few focus points for this fourth month of the year 2012. I want to LIVE my life, even if it includes what other may deem nonsensical. I don't care, after all, it's my life.

  • FOCUS during class in the afternoons. Actually pay attention, it will pay off in the long term. And re-do my class notes. Prepare more diligently long before the exams - have the long term memory do its job. 
  • Listen to music as often as I can. It's as if life is a slice of bread and you spread some chocolate spread on it. Everything is more palatable with a decent soundtrack. I can't tell you how often a mediocre movie stood out and seemed AMAZING simply because it had a kick ass soundtrack. There are so many haters in this world, you cannot allow yourself to wallow in thoughts that originated in the mind of a hater.  An instant cure against that for me is the music. 
  • Be more healthy. I'm gonna start right now by getting a BIG glass of water and drinking it, and repeating that action at least once every two hours. I have always been a person who doesn't drink enough water, and then I curse the Universe for my acne (when I was teen) or struggling with my weight loss plans, whilst I KNOW that more water a day will assist me in a huge way. 
  • Easter is approaching and I plan to indulge completely, with hot cross buns, curried fish and chocolate. I also plan to spend some quality time with friends and family, specifically visiting my uncle in hospital, who have been released from the ICU. I can only thank God for keeping my beloved uncle safe and with us, my uncle himself being a man who has an amazing zest for life. 
Generally my point is that it does not matter if people look at you funny for doing something that you want to do. As long as YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE, doing what brings you joy, what makes you feel happy and fulfilled, and do what is good for YOU then it's all good.

And now to some hair focus points. Yes people, the obsession continues, and it will continue to exist until I reach my goals. Because simply put, having long hair is something that will bring me personal joy. Realistically speaking, yes I know, it'll take a couple of years to reach that magic mid back length, but I KNOW that it is possible, and I will not give up on my dream, as superficial as it may seem to some. To start off, here's the current list of hair care products in my stash:

  • Pantene Silky Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner 
  • L'Oreal Elvive Repairing Conditioner 
  • Avon Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner for dry and damaged hair
  • Avon Overnight Elixir
  • ORS Aloe Moisturizing Shampoo
  • ORS Hair Mayonnaise
  • ORS Replenishing Pak Conditioner (1pack)
  • ORS HAIresque Deep Conditioner (1pack)
  • ORS Olive Oil Moisturizing Lotion
  • ORS Olive Oil Moisturizer Hair dress (tub) 
  • ORS Hair Fertilizer
  • Dark and Lovely Ultimate Cholesterol Deep Conditioner
  • Dark and Lovely Anti-Breakage Conditioning Repair Mask
  • Dark and Lovely Beautiful Beginnings Normal Relaxer Kit
  • Dark and Lovely Oil Moisturizer Spray
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Pure Glycerin
  • Kair Light Serum
  • Bone Straight Wrap, Blow and Setting lotion
  • Self made leave in consisting of Protein Feed Conditioner, water and glycerin. 
Here's the kicker. EVERY time I enter a shop, I wander down the hair aisle, and contemplate getting something. I thought that I have restrained myself, but clearly, looking at this list, I have not succeeded. SO, hair goals for the month of April would include the following:
  • FINISH at least 3 products. 
  • Sleep with the damn SILK BONNET. I have been slacking and I can clearly see breakage. My hair should not have to suffer just because I'm in love. Heehee. Seriously though. Sleep with the bonnet!
  • Experiment with some other methods of styling. I have fallen in a styling rut and although I can see general length retention,  I can also clearly see breakage around the edges which might dissipate if I attempt some styles which are lower in manipulation and which are more protective. I'm thinking...a thick hairband...reduce combing the edges, cover them up, drastically reduce manipulation, still look cute...I should check it out. 
  • Moisturize and seal EVERY DAY! Yes, I can say that my schedule has become so hectic and that it's the reason behind my laziness, but that is NOT an excuse. If I want to see serious results, I need to step it up and commit!
  • Properly pre-poo before every wash, and deep condition more often this month. I'm currently 6 weeks and some odd days post, my previous relaxer ended up being a texlaxing and I'm working with 3, count 'em, 3 different textures, and the new growth especially is THICK (which is also an indication of scalp health, so yippee), so I need to make sure that it has all the moisture and protein it needs to last until May. 
  • There are a bit more than 5 weeks left until my planned day of relaxing. I'm in the stretch now, and I am still VERY serious about retaining 3cm in length. I need to step it up and be vigilant. 
So, there are the goals and focus points. Now, I will go and DO THEM