Friday, February 12, 2016

40 Days No Make Up

I haven't posted in 516 days. That's uncool. I don't want to ignore that fact but I also don't want to cling on it too long, so lets move on shall we.

I've given up makeup for Lent. It seems like a silly, girly thing to do and I'm sure I'll have my haters saying I'm only doing it for this reason or that, but here's the real reason...

Makeup and I have become very good friends over the years, such good friends in fact that I don't like to leave the house without her. And I kind of have a problem with that. When I look in the mirror sans make up I don't like what I see, and that's a problem for me.

These next 40 days will be a challenge to myself to be comfortable in my own skin without hiding behind a mask of eyeliner and concealer. I have blotchy red Scottish skin and it's beautiful because it tells the history of the strong line of woman I come from. I have light eyelashes that most likely root from there too. My brown eyes pop with or without eyeliner and yet I don't like what I see without it. And why?

I could launch into a myriad of reasons that are just excuses, media tells me, my momma told me, my friends told me, but none of those people have been painting my face for 15 + years. I have.

So this is my challenge to myself, to love my face without makeup. To allow photos of myself to be taken without makeup. To not delete 15 photos because the lighting wasn't right. Lets see what happens. Follow me on the Instagram (@Janice_Lynne) if you'd like to see my selfie per day. I'm excited / nervous / in over my head. But, you know, in a good way...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Don't Trust The Mirror

Don't trust the mirror. If there is one thing I've learned over my years of yo-yo dieting, it's that you cannot trust what you see because it's being processed through a brain that already thinks you're fat.

When I was at my lowest weight, I still "looked" disgusting to myself. And when I yo-yo-ed back up and look back, I see the fitness level that I wish I was still at. (Just read this throwback. )

So when I say don't trust it, I don't mean ignore your eyes when they say those shoes don't match that shirt. Or that when you're all dolled up to go out with your girls, but you don't feel fabulous, you shouldn't try something else on. Change, be comfortable and fabulous, otherwise we all know it'll ruin your night. Am I right Ladies?

What I'm trying to say is, don't put all your eggs in that one reflective basket. Just like you shouldn't cry over added pounds after a few weeks of weight training. Guess what, it's muscle baby!

Anyway I digress, back to it ...That moment right before you hop in the shower? The one where you bare all to am empty bathroom and inadvertently catch a glimpse of the bod you've been sporting and you think "eee gads? is that really it?" THAT moment. Do not trust it. It is a liar. A big fat one.

I'll say it again, those eyes and brain that are seeing your body already think you're fat, so that is what will compute. They wont see the truth.

Try instead to concentrate on other things that you're doing well right now. For instance, are you eating better? Do you just plain feel better? Are clothes more comfortable? Are you more comfortable in general? I also find that when I'm on the right kick, I need to be active during the day. I set aside the time and find the time instead of dancing around and sitting on my butt watching reruns of whatever happens to be rerunning (and now with Netflix and Amazon Prime - forget it!) I get out and do. You just have to make it habit.

I have a love / hate relationship with mirrors. That spot on my body that always pops in pictures and mirrors is my belly. Ugh! Why is he always there?! (Oh, yeah, I name my food baby Louis C.K.) I'm working on not caring. Because, here's the thing, no one else does. I'd bet the bank that no one else even notices it. I kind of love the mirror because I'm pretty. There I said it and I don't care who judges me for it. I have enough body image issues that I can be confident in the fact that my face is pretty. F the haters. Oh and my boobs are rockin' too.

I started working out and eating better at the end of August. I took an after workout selfie then, and another a few days ago. I've already noticed changes... no one else might see them but I do. I'm the only one who gets to see my body every day, so little things pop. And they absolutely make the work that's waiting for me in the upcoming weeks more exciting. Because if those are the changes that have happened in 3 weeks of hard work, imagine what'll happen after 3 months.

All the while, I keep my eye on that little bastard The Mirror, I know he wants to buy me a drink and then take another girl home. The liar.

So here's the word... work towards better while not hating now. Because now is kind of awesome too. You're body is capable of amazing things, why dislike it?

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Letter from a "Chubby" 8 Year Old

Dear World,

Could you please stop talking so very much about what people look like & start talking a little bit more about what they are like. Are they kind? Are they considerate? Do they make you laugh? Do they offer a helping hand? Are they very smart? Can they fix a car? A computer? A heart?

My parents are teaching me a lot of things. They're teaching me to say "please" and "thank you." They're teaching me to share and to think about other people before making choices that could possibly hurt someone. The world is teaching me things too. I'm learning that family can mean many different things, not just the ones you're born with. I'm learning that sometimes people can be mean. I'm learning that we cannot always get the things we want. When I say it like that it sounds like the world is pretty mean & my parents are pretty great. Which I guess is kind of true.

But both the world & my parents have something in common. They talk, a lot, about how much people weigh. And I don't really understand.

How does the amount of fat on a person, make them a bad person?

And I'm sure the same goes for other kids who "look" different.

While you're at it, could you also stop saying things about other people's physical difference as well. See I hear you when you judge someone because they're 'too fat for that outfit' or 'too tall for that shirt' or 'too cellulite-ey for that skirt.' (whatever that word means) and it makes me worry.

What about me isn't good enough? It kind of makes me feel like I'm worth less than other children, just because I don't weigh as little as they do. Which isn't a nice feeling.

When you say those things I lock them away. Like a little girl who overheard her father say that no man could ever find an overweight woman attractive, who turned 30 and still wonders if anyone could find her pretty.

Just, as an example.

And I know that when I get older, kids will get meaner, they already tease me. But imagine if their parents did the same thing.. and they never were taught that because I look different from them, they have the right to mean to me? Imagine how awesome that would be?!

Please just remember that my ears are always listening. That I'm always learning. And I'd love to learn that my personality is more important than my pant size.

Thanks in advance, I guess. See you in a few years.

Janice (Age 8)

Oh & just so you know, I am an active kid, I just won the gene lottery. So before you tell me that it's unhealthy, maybe think of a better (kinder) way to say it. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Just Trying to Find Out "Why?"

I think I've decided to officially change my middle name to Pathetic. Janice Pathetic McCrostie. I think it has a nice ring to it. Thoughts? Concerns?

The thing is this...

I think God decided to hold a mirror up for me and I didn't like what I saw.

I've been lazy about my future. I've been expecting something to fall into my lap. I'm thirty for Christ sake! Grow the fuck up, McCrostie.

I've just become something weird. Something I'm not sure about.

I feel like Charlotte Lucas, I'm absolutely a burden on my parents.

I know I'm lucky and blessed and a bunch of other mushy annoying words, but I'm sure my parents would rather have their space and their money to themselves. My mother has wanted to swim with the dolphins for years, I like to think some day I'll be able to take her. But in order to that, I have to be proactive in my life.

Why don't I finish one of my novels? Why am  having such writers block? What the hell am I so terrified of?

Failure? If I don't ever try, that's a failure. If I live my life in fleece sheets, that's a failure.

Life isn't  a spectator sport.

The Oscars were on the other night and I always feel forlorn when I watch them. Somehow I feel like I missed my chance to ever be on that stage. That was my dream. My fucking dream and I just didn't even try.

And my dream has changed now but my M.O hasn't. I want to be published, produced, READ! And I prefer my PJs? Who does that?

Who does that?

Pathetic people that's who.

Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, begins the Lentin Season. Tomorrow I'm going to challenge myself.

For 40 days I have to write every day. Whether it's this blog, or one of my novels. And if it's a novel then I have to post on here, telling you all that's what I did. For 40 days I have to do something for my dream, because why else am I even here?

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
 ~ Mark Twain ~

God I hope I stick to this. I hope I can pull myself out of the dregs of patheticism.

At least if nothing else, I made up a word.

Please hold me accountable. Please. If you're out there. If you'r reading this. Hello? Is this thing on? I need you. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

I Don't Know What to Title This

Just so everyone knows... just so we're clear...

I don't need to be reminded that my life is a mess. I don't need to be reminded that I'm 30 years old, single, unemployed and living with my parents. I don't need to be reminded that I don't actually know what I want to do with my life.

I don't need to be reminded that the most productive thing I've done in the last few days is the dishes.

I want to write and have people read it. I want to make a difference. I want to do something that means something to someone.

This past week I've fallen into a bit of a slump. I blame the weather 78% and my psyche 22%. Maybe my math is off. But I could feel myself falling victim to the dark side this week. I didn't want to do anything.

I'm slowly climbing out.

But for some reason I don't even want to pretend to understand... Valentine's Day is hitting me extra hard this year. It's never phased me one iota, but this year, every commercial makes my chest tight and my eyes water.

I just really want an edible arrangement this year.
A. it looks delicious.
B. it's the perfect gift because it's chocolate AND fruit. You can't get too angry for falling off your diet.


Anyway. It's dark down here. Which makes working on my own writing frustrating.

Plus I have this stupid cold. The kind of cold that's a bit debilitating but also you feel like you should be doing stuff. Ya know? Gross.

So now, here I am, watching my thousandth episode of Bones / Castle / SVU and I can't help but wonder...

What the hell am I doing? How do you find a job when you don't know what you want to do? Every job that I find in Theatre either does not pay OR is something I don't want to do anymore OR I'm completely unqualified for it OR I'm depressed and the thought of traveling into the city to work sounds like the worst when happy me actually would find it to be the best.

I don't know.

I'm just tired. My body and my mind are tired.

I need to get back to Kickboxing. The weather and my cold have left me kind of... pathetic.

Huh. Things come full circle sometimes.

Pathetic really is the New Black.

And just for the record, my blog came out long before the Netflix series. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Blessing We Sometimes Curse

When I was living in Glasgow I was as independent as one can get. I walked places, alone, at night, always a little on my guard, just in case. What I did not do was call my mother whenever I got in at night. But still, when my family came to visit and stayed at a Bed and Breakfast three blocks from my flat, I was asked to call them when I got home. 

Now at the time, I rolled my eyes and said "Moooooom" and she still made me do it, knowing how ridiculous it was. And it was all because I was her baby and she knew when I left the B&B so she had to know when I was home safe and sound. 

Now I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, the concept of being worried about. I think it's been on my mind a little more lately because I've been laid off and I know that my friends and family worry about me a little. They really shouldn't because I have an amazing support system, like Spider Man's crazy strong webs, support system. 

But isn't that just nice? What a blessing, what an unbelievable blessing, that I have people who worry about me.

There are far too many people out there that don't have a core group of family and friends who genuinely care and henceforth, worry. And it really puts it's all in perspective. I am so unbelievably lucky.

I'm lucky that people keep asking me how I'm doing and what I am doing and how the job search is and whats new and how's my writing. Sometimes it sounds more like "Do you have your life together, YET?" but what it really is is people caring.

I'm lucky that there are individuals in my life who's brows furrow whenever they ask about my love life. (SINGLE. Still single.)

I'm lucky that my mother still peaks her head into my room in the AM after a particularly late night, and when I go "whaaaaaat?!?!!?" she responds with "just making sure..."

As infuriating as it can be, I'm lucky that I have a father who is prepared to go to battle with anyone who treats me poorly. Down Daddy, down. 

I'm lucky that I have friends who, for right now, will offer to pick up the tab.

I'm lucky that whenever we're out together and I'm chatting up some stud, my brother stands juuuuust close enough that it gives off the right impression, an impression of "I'm not with this girl, but this girl is important to me, so if you do anything I don't like I will pound you."

I'm lucky to get "when will you be home?" texts. (Even though 9 times out of 10 my plans have already been shared and apparently not remembered!) 

So, next time you find yourself rolling your eyes about someone "checking in on you" take a moment, take a breath and remind yourself...

There are too many people out there who never get a "just checking" text or a phone call "just because" so every single one of them are a blessing. It is a blessing to be worried about.

Maybe not for the worrier, but that's their problem, not mine :-P

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Now?

It's been a while since I've posted and a lot has changed. Remember when I said that I seem to write LESS the more pathetic my life actually is, and the irony in all that. Well it's true.

My life got pretty pathetic over the past 2 months.

I got laid off from my job and the "official" reason was because I cost more money to keep on the payroll than the other House Manager. But, if I can't be honest on my own damn blog where can I be, I don't really think that's why.

It's more drama than it's worth to actually get into everything that happened and frankly I really don't want to. But today I had an epiphany. Yes I am between jobs. Yes I'm collecting unemployment. Yes I'm still living at my parents. Yes my car is about to die a quick death, probably on the side of some road without shoulders or in the Wendy's drive through.

But gosh darn-it I am happy. I'm much happier than I was.

Losing my job was a blessing in disguise. It was time for me to move on from there and I wouldn't have on my own because I was comfortable. I was comfortable some place that didn't deserve me anyway, so I'm glad.

What do I have going on now? Well I don't know.

I'm doing a whole lot of dodging peoples questions about if I've found another job, that takes up about 35% of my day. Another 20% or so is spent working out, then I also keep my room pretty clean. There's the sleeping, that's pretty good. Working on the many writing pieces I've started and left abandoned. Oh, I've also got this awesome blog I've ignored for too long. I've also gotten a job with a few hours per week teaching art for after school programs in my town. I love it. I missed hanging out with kids.

I've interviewed for a Teaching Artist position at a local theatre and I'm waiting to hear back about that. And if I do get that I'm going to get a part time job somewhere, because that would not leave a whole lot of breathing room for me to get a full time gig at a  non profit.

Oh yeah, I'm trying to stay in the non profit margin, maybe even find something at a charity I support. Really, what I'd love to do is work for Garden State Equality or something. But that's neither here nor there, for right now I'm just waiting to hear back about that other job.

What the hell was that? I guess I'm not as good as I thought at dodging those questions about my job search.

Anyway, so, I allowed myself a wee break down the other day. Let it go on. Wondered around the house with red eyes and I'm pretty sure a little bit of dinner on my shirt. But as I snuggled down at the end of the day I told myself, I said "self, tomorrow is a new day and you will not be this person tomorrow."

So I brushed it off, got up, went to church, spent some good times with my family and reorganized my brain.

So what now? Well now I get to start my next chapter. Whatever the hell that may be.