Thursday, March 23, 2017

Inspirational sites and why I dislike how-to guides

I remember when I came back to goth and would scour the Internet for inspiration. I came across many "How To Guides' or many lists on "what every goth should have in their wardrobe" sort of articles and videos. I remember remarking on the sheer volume alone of these posts and wondered why so many people even bother publishing such content. This is a personal preference but wouldn't a how to guide or even educating people on how to build a basic goth wardrobe kinda counterproductive? Isn't the point of goth to be individuals and not some carbon copy of someone else's point of view? Isn't it illogical to point out that a good starting point for any goth wardrobe is black jeans, a t-shirt, and boots? I mean... well...yeah...DUH!

I get it to a certain extent. This can come in handy for any new comer. For an Elder Goth like me, whom I like to think I have a pretty good knowledge on the subculture and knows how to dress goth, well, I used some of the advice for inspiration. I didn't bother so much with the how to guides, mind you but I love looking at people's outfits. I still do to this day. I admit, I even love clothing hauls on Youtube because I like seeing shit other people got! I like seeing how other's mix-match their clothes, what accessories they use and how. Sometimes, I get inspired to do my own thing. Sometimes, I may think something looks cool but decide it isn't for me. I never used these as means to mirror what these people were wearing, I just used it for my OWN ideas. There are many youtubers or bloggers that I simply ADORE but I wouldn't want to dress like they do. That's just me.

There are a few downsides to these guides/outfit posts unfortunately:

Some of us are afraid that looking goth is the only part of being goth. I admit, sometimes, I am afraid of this happening too but I think if people are genuinely interested in something, it tends to stick around. Or if they are like me it goes away but comes back! For me personally, when I was a teenager, I was labeled a Goth without knowing exactly what a Goth was. I got curious and decided to participate in the subculture for the hell of it and I got hooked!

It can be over-done. How many how to guides and wardrobe essential articles do we need? How many more subsets do we need? (Nu-Goth, Pastel Goth, etc.) No wonder some of us are afraid that goth is becoming simply a fashion without anything else to supplement it. In my opinion, if it means anything, it kinda takes away from the fun experimental years. You know, like some of us had a Mall Goth phase? I used to do my makeup like The Crow and even used Halloween makeup! I laugh at it now and to be honest, I have some pretty fond memories, embarrassing, yes, but they are fond memories nonetheless. In fact, I sometimes even regret throwing away the old photographs! I like to think that by experimenting with clothes, I learned about what worked for me and what didn't. Back when I was younger, I went out to clubs and saw what other people were wearing. I got my inspiration from there - which leads to, outfit posts can be a great source for those who are not as fortunate as I was to grow up in the city!

When I came back to goth in my early thirties, I made a few embarrassing mistakes. What looked good on my twenty year old self (before baby weight no less) did not necessarily look good in my thirty year old post baby body. I also work in an office. I want people to take me seriously. It is kinda hard for people to do so when I look like a 16 year old! I wanted something office friendly but showed my Goth side. I don't work in a conservative environment and the first blog that really spoke to me was Meagan's, from Coffin Kitsch. She helped me in those early years because a lot of her clothing is so beautiful and elegant. She reflects a lot on the style I wanted to portray at that time. She was a lifesaver and a huge inspiration for me. I was used to super toned down corporate (black dress pants, nice top, pointy boots was my go to look) and now I had a chance to up it a little. Meagan's blog helped me "up" it without risking any workplace infractions. Don't get me wrong, there were other corp goth blogs around at that time but personally, while they were inspirational, I found them too conservative for my office environment.

I think the Internet can be a good thing - to a certain point. As much as I make fun of Health, Pastel, Nu Goth, I think perhaps, I shouldn't be so closed minded about these styles and just take a peek at what they are wearing. Perhaps I can do something fun and creative on my own by taking their inspiration?

I am by no means trying to imply that Goth is simply a style. We have a very rich heritage that I whole heatedly embrace. I love the music, I love visiting cemeteries and I love to read. I think it is equally important to participate in the movement as well as to dress the part - something, thanks to my chronic migraines, I have not had the chance to do much of in the past. I am hopeful this will soon change!

I guess what I am trying to say, just like when I came back to Goth in my early thirties, I will soon be in the process of rebuilding my wardrobe all thanks to my weight loss goals! Luckily for me, many items can be altered to fit my new body size but I do plan on buying AND DIYing some new items too. Some of the fashion sites (re: nu-goth) that I often scoffed at are inspiring me to push myself a little further and to be more creative with my own personal style. Perhaps I can find some inspiration there? I think we should be using these as inspiration rather the be-all end-all Uber Goth look and do what everyone else is doing. Thanks but no thanks, I don't need anymore advice on how to create a fishnet shirt out of an old pair of tights and I don't want Siouxsie makeup either. Show me YOUR style! What makes YOU goth?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Do you want to build a snowman?

Yes, I just went there and quoted Frozen in my title. I used to love that movie and now I hate it with a passion. My kid decided at one point that it was his most favorite movie and we watched it ALL THE TIME. Sometimes, twice in a row and more if we would have let him! If I hear Let It Go, I am going to scream. In fact, I prefer this version, instead:

If you watched this parody, you would know that it's about a student that is tired of studying for finals! Instead of "Let It Go" Elsa is singing "Fuck It All" and I highly recommend you give the video a go! I am not a student but Philip is in grade one and is already being tested, each week. There are times I feel like this for him, especially when we have to study together.

Humor aside, this is not going to be a goth sort of post but more of a really happy update. In my last post , I expressed my frustrations with my migraines and how I totally flipped out in the Doctor's office at my local walk-in clinic. As a result, I was put on a preventative, an anti-depressant for my migraines.Well, my prescription was for a couple of days as the doctor gave me a small dose, I might have to get something stronger or stay on the small dose, it all depends on my body. These pills can hit you like a tonne of bricks and a little over a week later, it is only now where I am able to handle them! I had to go back to the clinic and requested that they do NOT increase my dosage but to renew my prescription because they appear to be working. Although, she was not the same doctor that originally prescribed me the anti depressants (she wasn't on duty), the current doctor remembered me because I go there all the time! Despite having to go through my whole spiel all over again (I conveniently left out the no drinking coffee suggestion from the previous doctor) and she was very sympathetic. I expressed my concerns that (a) I did not have a family doctor but I am on a waiting list, (b) I knew about how taking an anti depressant all along would help but originally, I didn't feel comfortable taking that route as I wanted to explore other treatments beforehand (logging food, physio, chiropractor, etc) but they did not help. Lastly,  I felt like I had to go into the clinic begging for drugs and this really bothered me because I am so frustrated with being in this situation. These migraines are really affecting my quality of life and that I get over 15 of them a month. She not only reassured me that she never got the impression that I was begging for drugs, she happily refilled my prescription, she gave me her blessing AND she took me as one of her patients. I see her in May for an actual appointment. I was so happy, I hugged her! I finally have a family doctor out of all this mess!

Adding a cute bat photo, there goth points!

Today was a very mild day. We were hit by a huge ass snowstorm earlier this week and got dumped on by 40 cm of snow. Schools never shut down here and I had to take a day off work last Wednesday because Philip had a snow day! Normally, these huge changes in weather causes a migraine and guess what? NO MIGRAINE. I did get a headache when we were hit by the snowstorm but for the first time ever, Tylenol worked! Normally, I would be on my ass! I did get a migraine on Friday but that was because I caught the flu and throwing up triggered one. Normally, when there is such a huge change in weather, I would get a migraine but today I didn't! Not even a headache!I would have been stuck nursing a migraine and feeling guilty because I wasn't able to play with my kid. Not only did I go to the clinic, I cleaned, I did laundry, and I built a snowman in my backyard with Philip! You should have seen his face, he was so happy!

Afterwards, I did some more chores around the house then went for an hour long walk!

It has been a long time that I was this active and it feels great! Told ya, I was going to force-choke this year into submission!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Goals for 2017 revisited

Earlier in January, I wrote what my personal goals were and I thought I should touch base because there has been some progress! Yipee!

(1) Get a less expensive place. Well after giving notice that we wish to no longer renew our lease, we were able to renegotiate our current lease. This is extremely rare but I guess we are well liked as tenants. Plus, we are permitted to have a dog. I once wrote about some particularly difficult neighbor who lives downstairs. He is moving. All around, this is incentive enough to stay.

 (2) Save Money.  The reduction in rent will allow us to save some funds.

(3) Continue to invest in my health. This is going well. I lost almost 30 pounds! I am eating better and rarely got sick this year.  I had a cold that didn't turn into anything serious and the flu. Considering I just wrote all this down, let's hope I didn't jinx myself and I get sick in a couple of days!
As for migraines, this is where it gets sort of interesting. In my province, there's a shortage of family doctors and considering I do not have any life threatening health problems, I have been on a waiting list for a year. As a result, I have been going to the walk-in clinic for the renewal of my pain meds. Excedrin and Advil don't work for my migraines. 

Despite the significant weight loss, after going to physiotherapy, a chiropractor (made my migraines worse) and massage therapy, as well as logging the food I eat, I realized my triggers were things I could not control. I live in Canada. We get all four seasons here and obviously this causes a change in my barometric pressure. This is a huge trigger for me. I know in a couple of weeks, with spring on its way, I am going to have my ass handed to me with these flipping migraines. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I came home from work in tears because I had a daily migraine for over two weeks. 

I went back to the walk-in clinic as I have a pretty extensive file there and thought it would be the best place for me to go and to be honest, I was a complete basket case in the doctors office! I totally dumped on the poor woman. She asked me if I was depressed and my response was perfect "wouldn't you be depressed if you were in constant pain all the time?"  and I totally had a melt down in her office!It takes a lot for to cry, especially in front of a stranger but I did.

The doctor tried to play devil's advocate and suggest certain foods (IE, coffee and chocolate) could be triggers and how I should avoid them.I totally flipped the fuck out. I am tired of this bullshit. I KNOW what my triggers are! Seriously. I cut down on chocolate and I only drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day (sometimes 3). 

Food  doesn't trigger migraines (aside from alcohol but if I stay hydrated, I am usually OK) In fact, coffee actually seems to help me with my migraines. Looking back, I was so strung out by finally letting my guard down, finally accepting how bad my situation is that I was reminded of a Gilmore Girls episode and most probably pulled the same stunt as this the moment she told me to stop drinking coffee:

Yes, I cried and told her that I loved coffee too...oh boy!

Needless to say, she put me on something that could potentially prevent migraines. I am taking an anti depressant. So maybe going ape shit worked in my favour? I know someone who is taking an anti depressant for migraines and she rarely gets them now. I am hoping this works for me. It also apparently helps people with anxiety so I am hoping to hit three birds (migraines, depression AND anxiety) with one stone.

The medication I am on is a very low dose. They are starting me off small because it hits your body hard. I take it at night. It knocks me out and I have a hard time (worse than usual) getting out of bed. It has been a couple of days and I am getting used to them. I go back on the weekend for a stronger prescription. It is sad that I had to resort to becoming a basket case in order to get help (and having my "headaches" taken seriously) but I am thankful that (a) the nice young men in white coats didn't come to take me away and (b) my migraines will be reduced and I can have a "normal" life.

(4) Get some mad DIY skills . I am still working on this. My goal is to lose more weight and DIY some new clothes. I do plan on re-decorating my home so stay tuned!

5) Give myself some credit for my accomplishments. This has been working out for me!

(6) Continue being the best Mom I can be and continue to give myself some down time. Yes, ALL parents deserve a break. Parenting is not for the weak!

(7)Adopt a dog  - I wrote back in January that I wasn't sure the landlady would permit a dog. I got permission!

8) Finally get something published the traditional route. Although I am going about this very slowly, I have something on the back burner.

(9) Invest in better quality makeup. Thanks to my saving money goal, I have only been buying makeup when I run out. I have not needed to replenish anything yet but when I do, I have this in mind!

(10) De-clutter and be more sustainable. Despite not moving, I have so much shit I want to get rid of! So far, my little one donated a huge garbage bag full of toys to charity! The added bonus, he felt good being able to give away toys he no longer plays with to children who don't have many things. It is amazing the amount of junk we keep. 3 huge bags have went into the recycling. These unfortunately couldn't be donated. A lot of it was old art projects from daycare (I kept most of them) and a lot of it was old children's books that had pages missing. Got to love the toddler years, eh? I felt like recycling them isn't as bad as filling up a landfill somewhere! As a result, I only managed to throw out one big garbage bag. In my original post from last January, I wrote that I wanted to continue being sustainable  and I am so happy I am able to reach this goal. 

And because I had fun finding silly memes to entertain you's another one for good measure. I am going to get off the internet now..I promise!

What are your goals?


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