• Speaking My Mind

    Decisions, Decisions

    I’m now a certified vinyasa yoga instructor! I’m so proud of myself and so grateful to have been able to earn this certification. It has been life-changing and eye-opening.

    I’ve been wanting to write about my experience for forever, but the last two weeks have been unusually busy. Two weeks ago it was July 4th weekend and I was studying for my yoga final and spending some much-needed quality time with my girlfriend. Last week was the final week of my training and then we had a party to celebrate on Friday. Saturday I attended my step-grandma’s nephew’s wedding (weird? I know, but it was fun!) and then my parents left for a 10-day vacation. My weeks aren’t usually this eventful.

    Now that I’ve graduated both from college and this training program, my days have slowed down a bit, thus I’ve resumed the arduous and depressing task of applying for jobs! Also, yesterday I spontaneously purchased a new member pass to a local yoga studio to become more acquainted with the yoga community. I also am hoping to teach at this yoga studio. I have some other studios in mind too though in case it doesn’t pan out.

    Something needs to pan out though because I desperately need to work. The stress that comes with job applications has unfortunately returned, despite it being managed better due to Yoga as well as my wonderful girlfriend’s insight. I’m so pleased I got a month pass to attend an unlimited amount of yoga classes though because it will provide some much-needed structure until I figure out the job stuff. Plus I love yoga and I am trying different styles of yoga through this studio! It’s awesome.

    Some things I’ve been thinking about lately, other than jobs, have been doctorate programs and whether to create a website just for yoga stuff.

    In regards to the first thing…I still have to look at program curriculums but right now, I am interested in pursuing a doctorate in Women’s and Gender Studies. I feel nervous for being interested in that type of program though because it’s a relatively new field and aside from academia, I imagine job prospects to be bleak. That may not be the case but considering I have been having a difficult time getting a job with a degree in economics as well as WGS, I expect to deal with similar or worse challenges if I specialize in WGS only. On the other hand, because it’s a new field, I could be part of groundbreaking work such as helping to establish it as a notable field as well as being one of the first teachers in WGS to have studied WGS (currently, most WGS professors have diverse backgrounds of study ranging from Africana studies to economics to sociology).

    The other thing I’ve been pondering about is the development of a professional website. This website that I’ve been using for four or five years now is quite personal, so I feel uncomfortable sharing it with people that I know and using it to advertise my business…it’s not a business website anyway, it’s my personal website. I should probably make a professional yoga website but websites are not cheap and as I’ve mentioned before, I need a job.

    The lack of a job is making me nervous for next month because I don’t know what I will do. Will I be working a 9-5 an hour away from home? When will I have time to do yoga then? Will I get a job that will force me to relocate? How can I advertise for my yoga services if I can’t afford to make the website and if I have a job and can afford to make the website, how will I provide services if I’m working full-time?

    I’m uncertain when I should invest money to make money and when I should save it I guess. I mean..I invested money to get the training so maybe I should save it now and make a free yoga website until I am able to upgrade? Any thoughts?

    I keep revisiting my dream life scenario where I have my PhD so I am able to conduct research and teach, and then also teach yoga. To achieve this dream life though, I’ll definitely have to undergo some uncomfortable shifts of time-management and I’ll also have to do things I don’t enjoy. Or…as what Yoga philosophy argues…I may not expect to enjoy it but I should find contentment in what I’m doing regardless.

    I really want to write posts about yoga, which may be more suitable for a yoga-focused website. One cool thing though is that I will be able to write for a yoga teacher’s website! I was introduced to her through the famous yoga Facebook group I always mention and she was looking for guest writers! Whenever my article is posted on her site, I’ll let y’all know!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Bullet Journaling My Finances

    Last year when I went on a 5-month hiatus from my blog because I was struggling with grief and depression, one of my best friends from my hometown recommended I Bullet Journal to help me deal with my emotions.

    For those of you who don’t know what a Bullet Journal is, it’s a method of organization for a ton of different things such as daily to-do lists, mood tracking, gratitude lists, etc. There is an official journal you can buy, or you can use whatever journal you have, you can even create your own with scrap paper!

    I personally used a random notebook for my BuJo, and I used it quite a bit for several months until I finally returned to my online blog. It never became the cutesie journals that you will find online if you search “Bullet Journal ideas” in Google Images because I just used different colored pencils and pens to create lists. Regardless, it helped me get through a difficult time, thus I am picking it up again! This time, I’m going to use it to help me keep track of my finances. (I’m also not using it in lieu of blogging.)

    As I’ve mentioned previously, I have been a bit stressed out about money. Although I am making a small income, I somehow spend outrageously every month. The months leading up to graduation were particularly expensive due to many nights spent celebrating and…honestly I don’t know what else.

    Anyway…I was inspired to pick up my BuJo again because in my email inbox recently, there was a message about Bullet Journaling and Finances. Intrigued, I clicked on it and read a helpful article about how someone used the Bullet Journal to get out of a $240K debt! Thankfully, I don’t have such a large task to tackle; I want to save more money, spend less, and budget.

    After reading the article, I adopted two of the prompts that the writer of the article, Seth, used! Below is my version of what he had done.

    IMG_7339
    What I buy

    The prompt above is to track my everyday purchases and my income. This will help me determine what I need to scale back on so I can save more money. Off the top of my head, I suspect that I spend a lot of money eating out and on alcohol. I also spend quite a bit doing spontaneous shopping on Amazon (books are my greatest weakness!!) and at the mall for yoga items (speaking of which, there will be another yoga haul soon!).

    IMG_9337
    Habit tracker

    This second prompt I copied is a habit tracker for the month of June. All the days of June (except the 29th and 30th…I ran out of room) are included as well as the day of the week. The vertical column consists of habits that I want to break and make. For example, I want to read at least 20 pages of either one or of multiple books per day because I have a bunch of reading to do for the yoga training as well as a huge pile of half-read books I’m dying to finish. For some reason though, I always get caught up on YouTube or reading different lifestyle blogs, which is better than YouTube I suppose but I would prefer to finish a book.

    Other habits I want to create that would help me achieve my long-term goals include researching PhD programs, applying to at least two jobs/day, meditating with my mala, writing, studying (for yoga/GRE), doing yoga, 10 minute cardio, save $20, clean/organize 5 items in my room, not spend money, and research a car to get. Some habits I would like to break include not buying coffee, not buying alcohol, and not buying food (unless it’s from a grocery store).

    When I do a habit I want to create, I will put a smiley face on the date. When I don’t do a habit I want to create, or when I do a habit I want to break, I will put a frowny face.

    I have many habits in the vertical column, so I don’t expect them to do them daily; however, I hope this tracker will encourage me to practice these habits more frequently than I have been. Currently, I’ve been avoiding many of these tasks and I expect this tracker will help hold me accountable. This will ultimately help me achieve my long-term goals!

    At the end of June I will update y’all on my progress with this.

    Do any of y’all Bullet Journal? What prompts do you like to use for finances or in general?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Savoring the Moment

    My thesis advisor emphasized that I should savor these moments because they end quickly. Right now, my graduation days seem weeks away but it’s only a matter of days before I walk. Once it’s over, I can’t get it back. So that’s what I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks and that’s what I’ll do until my last commencement.

    I’m experiencing all of the feelings lately. I’m simultaneously nostalgic, suffering from senioritis (although I think I’m done with exams unless I have to retake one…), nervous, excited, eager, worried, and sad about the impending end of my undergraduate career. On Mother’s Day, this Sunday, I will officially be done. I have some immediate plans for “what’s next?” but I still have to figure things out for after July. Hopefully, my yoga teaching program along with doing my own research for ideas will be helpful.

    It’s surreal how four years have come and gone and I’m leaving with my Bachelor’s. It’s also surprising and impressive how much I’ve accomplished in those four years…I have three cords to wear at graduation and I wasn’t expecting to wear any. It’s amazing to reflect and see the growth that I’ve had as well as the impact I’ve made at my University and in my own life.

    I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go to college and I’m grateful to myself for making my four years productive. Four years ago, I went through a horrible breakup but in hindsight, that breakup further propelled me to get involved on campus to help me cope…which allowed me to be open toward meeting new people and making friends. There are tons of different instances throughout my four years at college where the ending of something became a new door to go through and explore what was beyond it. I know graduation is just me going through a new door but it’s uncomfortable to leave familiar spaces behind.

    I don’t feel ready to work full-time and I don’t feel ready for graduate school. I have to get ready for something though because I need to continue to grow, and those are the two most viable avenues right now. Perhaps I can travel too but I would only want to travel domestically.

    Anyway…I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my accomplishments as well as my failures because those failures meant that I tried and “trying” is how I’ve been able to have had all of my experiences. I already know I’m going to continue trying new things because I’m doing the YTT and I also have this blog! I’m eager to see what else I will be trying too.

    xx Vic

    PS! Once these moments are over, I will resume posting twice a week with some awesome content. I feel kinda bad about not meeting the deadlines I’ve made for myself for this blog, but I want to change my perspective because I didn’t create this blog to stress myself out. I created it to express myself, to connect with others, and to have fun! Right now, I’m having fun with my friends and my girlfriend before everyone moves away after graduation. I’ll write about it for next Wednesday as I reflect on it all! By then, I will have graduated three times, I will have moved back home, and I will be…on a plane!

    I’m going on a quick family vacation/graduation celebration for a couple of days! More on that later, stay tuned…

    My girlfriend got me the beautiful flowers above and wrote me a sweet letter to celebrate all of my hard work! <3

  • Speaking My Mind

    Creativity & Balance

    First- an update! I just registered my blog with Bloglovin, so you can follow my blog and other awesome blogs there! You can make an account for free with Facebook or you can create your own account. You can also search for blogs by topic or by name! Follow my blog with Bloglovin 😀

    Now, let the post as scheduled commence!

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    I’m feeling good today! This is the best I’ve felt in awhile, actually.

    Part of my joy is because I submitted my thesis yesterday, which initially, wasn’t as satisfying as I was expecting it to be. When I submitted it, I mostly felt nervous and stressed because I’ve been working on it for a year and then suddenly, I was done working on it. I feel like my feelings are somewhat similar to a pregnant mother finally giving birth…just that idea of creating something and then one day, it is done growing. I definitely don’t regard my thesis as fondly as I would a child, however, this is the biggest project I’ve worked on thus far. It’s uncomfortable finally being done.

    Those weird feelings were yesterday though. Today I feel relieved and excited because I’m most likely going to be presenting at a state-wide Women’s and Gender Studies conference! (My thesis was in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department). It’ll be a great experience, especially considering that I’m interested in pursuing a doctorate degree.

    I’m unsure what field I would want to do but when I was talking to my aunt today about it (she has her PhD), she told me that I’ll figure out the field I am interested in at the right time. A couple of months ago, I would’ve scoffed at her genuine response, but this time, I agreed with her. I have more trust in the universe than I did before, and I’m excited about the journey I will be taking.

    Another thing I’m excited about is that because I’m done with my thesis, I can spend more time on my blog now! I have a bunch of ideas in a little notebook, so I’m looking forward to executing them. I’m also excited to use the camera my girlfriend bought too.  I’m trying to have one of my friends teach me some cool, photographic techniques.

    The last thing I’m enthusiastic about is yoga! I can’t wait for the yoga teacher training to begin, although it’s not starting until June. It’s an intensive, month-long program, and it’s going to be great! I feel like it’s going to be a summer yoga camp because it is in the summer and it’s an all-day program too. It’s going to be transformative, and I’m so ready for it!

    Anyway…those are all of the updates I have for now. I’m feeling good, both physically and mentally. Although I have some tweaking I want to do with my diet to help me feel even better physically…more on that later though. I’m still figuring out what I want to do exactly.

    How are y’all? Are you ready for April?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Virgo Full Moon Ritual – March 2018

    I tried my adaptation of the Virgo Full Moon Ritual in the morning after I did my daily yoga session. I decided to do a Full Moon Yoga flow, followed by stretching because last time I did it, my hamstrings were killing me for several days afterward. Then I did the ritual.

    Part of the ritual was to feel and think about what makes you feel like you are on task. I interpreted that as…what makes you feel fulfilled? What goals do you want to achieve, and what can you do more of to help you get there?

    The three things that came to my mind were my girlfriend, my blog, and school.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Domino Effect

    I stopped crying daily. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying daily until my girlfriend was talking about the “getting-an-internship” struggle. I empathized with her and said, “Yeah, that process sucks. It used to make me sad, but not nearly as sad as how I’ve been feeling now that I’m graduating and in need of a job.”

    Then I stopped for a moment because I realized that I hadn’t cried about graduating and needing a job in quite some time. I haven’t been excessively stressed to the point where I make myself physically sick, nor have I been excessively distracting myself from reality. I’ve been productive and calm.

    She asked me how and why I’ve been so much calmer lately and I surmised that it was influenced by my daily yoga practice.

    She agreed and pointed out how before when I wasn’t doing it every day, I would regret not doing it that day.

    I added that I feel a little more…confident in myself. By that I mean, I know I’ll be okay after graduation. I’m unsure what I’ll be doing yet but…I think when I invested in myself by upgrading my blog, I’ve begun to see more of my value. Although I’m still working out the goals for this blog as well as what I want to do to achieve them, I feel more confident than ever that I will get to where I want to be. This feeling has manifested in other areas of my life, including my thesis. I’m more confident than ever in regards to me being able to complete an excellent thesis.

    It’s awesome seeing how one small decision to practice yoga daily has affected so many areas of my life. The online yoga community I’m part of has helped inspire me to start taking action, also fueled by the fact that the ending of my undergraduate career is the perfect time to take some risks! I am not tied down to anything, I don’t have a ton of responsibilities yet, and I’m young. Now is the time to take my passions further!

    I’ve been considering to invest more into my yoga practice and I am also considering higher education again. I haven’t thought about it since September but doing my thesis (and killing it!) has reinspired me that maybe conducting research is one of my callings. I’m unsure still, but I’m open to the journey!

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Speaking My Mind,  unzipped lips

    Investing in Myself

    Welcome to the first official blog post on my new domain! Wow!

    I never expected to take my passion for blogging further by purchasing my own domain, but I did it! My supportive and loving girlfriend was part of the process toward believing in myself and taking that leap of faith…the Truth + Dare Podcasts have also been instrumental in me reaching this point.

    All of my posts were uploaded from my free WordPress blog yesterday, and then I played with the design, edited my “about” page, and created an email and wham! here I am! I was super excited yesterday to see it all come to fruition…to be honest though, now I’m a little nervous.

    Although I’ve mapped out some goals I have for this blog as well as some unique blog post ideas, I have no idea how to create an online presence. Yes, I’ve blogged on different platforms before but they had a social component where almost everyone else that viewed the site was also a blogger…so it was a supportive community. Now I feel like I’m on some island by myself, trying to figure out how I can get back the mainland when I have to create my own boat and/or bridge. I will probably have to get wet. By that I mean…I won’t succeed right away. I may have to do things that make me uncomfortable/nervous to reach my goals. I may even have to reevaluate my goals.

    It feels cumbersome researching methods for marketing your blog to gain an audience, considering how I’m now doubting any previous success I’ve had with blogging before. I suppose I just need to refocus the intention of this upgrade.

    Unzip These Lips’ Purpose

    I blog to express myself; to put language to my feelings and experiences and to help me take action. I want to connect with people that can relate to this struggle as well as to my experiences and feelings. I would like to create a dialogue about issues and challenges we face. A successful blog would consist of several followers that communicate with each other and with me to share ideas related to the topics I write. A successful blog would develop a community. My blog is like a personal lifestyle blog but an intimate one…which makes me unique to other blogs. So I would connect with people through the intimacy I share to help them and to help me.

    This is a very long purpose but for now, it is sufficient.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Cawfie

    I want to upgrade my blog. I don’t mean that I want to redesign it, which I usually do about every year to some degree…but this time, I actually want to invest in my blog. I want to take it more seriously and I want to rebuild the community I used to have.

    My girlfriend has been urging me to do it, but I dismissed it until about two weeks ago. I think it’d be a great idea because I’m graduating in a couple of months so I’ll be able to invest more time into it. Also, if I get a job, it’ll be a nice outlet for me. I will continue to write no matter what I’m doing, but I think it’s about time I take it seriously, just for myself. I want to be able to be more creative and have more control over my blog.

    Although this sounds fantastic, the only thing that is preventing me from pursuing it right now is that I have no knowledge of the blogging world. I’ve been doing some research on it but I don’t have too much time to do that since I’m also finishing my honors thesis. Perhaps I’ll spend more time looking at it this weekend and next weekend…I would like to start working on it in February but I don’t know if that would be too overwhelming.

    Some things I’ve been considering is using an outside provider, like SiteGround, to provide me with a premium WordPress account. One blogger that I love uses that site and I talked to a representative and they were immensely helpful. There are different providers though and they charge different prices and have different packages…it may help for me to figure out what type of package I want in order to make my decision. I don’t know what the goal of my blog is, though.

    I’d like to continue to do pretty much what I’m doing now, but vamp it up a bit. I like how my blog is a conglomerate of different types of writing. I feel like aside from writing more frequently and diversifying my post mores, I really want the writing community back. What I wrote about years ago, when I first started this blog, was how I was previously using an app called Opuss, which I believe is no longer in service. But it was a tight-knit community of writers and we collaborated a ton, it was fantastic! I miss having that type of interaction with people…so…I’m going to attempt to regain that. Soon. The changes will occur soon.

    If anyone has any suggestions or input into the world of upgrading blogs, please comment to let me know!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    “When These Open Doors Were Open-Ended”

    Tonight will be my second to last day of work.  I’ve been at my job for over a year now, and I am actually going to miss working there.  Aside from missing the great discount on food, I will miss the friendships that developed in between dealing with rude customers and long hours of physical labor. 

    When I first started my job, I was feeling kinda depressed and lonely…I’m now leaving this job with amazing memories and inside jokes that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My job became a safe haven for me when I was having trouble at home…I also fell in love at my job and had my heart broken too.  I have learned valuable people skills, money and time management, and how to make a killer milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard.   

  • Speaking My Mind

    I’ve Got Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

    Seventeen magazine had said that in January I would be flirting with two hotties (which I was: my manager who I started talking to two days before I saw my horoscope, and my former best friend who I’ve been reconnecting with for awhile and is straight) and that one of them is compatible with me. On the 26th I was supposed to know which person is for me.

    I don’t believe in horoscopes. I like to read them though because I think it’s cool when they are somewhat relevant to my life, and I wonder how many other Scorpios (that’s my horoscope) relate to the horoscope, which in turn means that they relate to me. It’s a connection of astrology. I find it neat.

    Regardless of my fascination with horoscopes, I have never believed in them nor have I ever deemed horoscopes to be correct. Except for the one that I stated above. Then again, my horoscope was actually not correct because I had known she was the one that was most compatible with me after a few days of talking, regardless of my questioning our compatibility when I found out that she smokes pot. Pot irks me.

    Anyway, today is the 27th and I forgot that the 26th, the official day that I was supposed to know if she was the person for me, has passed.

    Did anything happen yesterday that reaffirmed that she was the person for me?

    ….no. I spent most of yesterday not talking to her because I was studying or…”studying”. I did text her later last night during the Grammy’s though. I confessed to her that I had died inside (in a good way) that one time that she had gotten mad at work and almost whacked me with the door because she had grabbed my waist…she was all: omg Victoria you just melted my heart I didn’t think I could make anyone feel that way…

    Other than that, there was nothing that happened on the 26th that screamed “VICTORIA YOU ARE MEANT TO BE WITH THIS GIRL!!!”

    However, there have been other times, before the magical 26th and after that has caused me to like her even more than I did when I was just admiring her from afar a few months ago.

    We have a lot in common, my girl and I. We have little things in common, like favorite ice cream flavor, favorite music, etc. But we also have similar values, such as honesty, family, work ethics.

    We have a lot of differences too. She loves wrestling and football (specifically the Patriots) and I don’t watch sports (except for tennis sometimes). She enjoys romance movies, I prefer comedies. There are others too, but I didn’t want to make a list about her here. I want to talk about…Thursday.

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