Take the 'Re' Out of 'Reacting' and Get On With Your Bad Self

I felt like such an idiot this morning. After getting a terrible night’s sleep (brain was on energizer bunny mode after an 11-hour day and the bedroom was too bright and too cold), I woke up earlier than usual for my usual Thursday 8:30 call time. I drove all the way to work (a thirty-minute commute) and had almost parked my car before I realized I was the only one there.

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Goodbye, Fab Feminist and Hello, Untrendy!

I’ve embodied the Untrendy lifestyle since I was old enough to stick a finger up my nose during a dance recital while my mother sat shaking her head from the audience. It’s a choice I’ve made before I even had the word “untrendy” in my vocabulary.

When I realized that Fab Feminist was limiting the content I wanted to put out in the world, I started brainstorming a name that would be empowering but not trite. I thought of other brands that I really identified with (shoutout Ban.do and Manrepeller) and realized I wanted to give fewer f*cks.

Fab Feminist couldn’t BE the all-encompassing mecca of intersectional feminism that I wanted it to be. With a full-time day job and a couple side-hustles, I couldn’t put out the content that our brand name lent us to. I couldn’t do it fast enough and I couldn’t do it well enough. When Giuls came on board, we both started organically shifting our focus to mental health: navigating the process of caring for our sad brains and anxious hearts. Amidst that, we’d found our own niche within the broad umbrella of feminism.

After that, changing our brand became the obvious next step. But what to? What was more aligned with our purpose? Big Magic taught us that inspiration will hit you with a Big Idea without warning, and that’s exactly what happened.

“What about ‘Untrendy?’” I asked Giuls one day. We’d been going back and forth about a new name for our brand. I don’t still have the message thread, but I’m pretty sure “Hmmmm…..I like it,” is a reasonably accurate response. Discovering "Untrendy" was like slipping on a pair of cheap, pink sunnies and flipping the hibiscus flowers attached to the frame like windshield wipers, saying, "Ohhhh, yes! This is Untrendy and this is the way I LIKE IT." It felt natural and it felt like us.

We started noticing HOW MUCH OF OUR LIVES was influenced by the secret undercurrent of Untrendy. Like, wearing a midi dress to work without shaving your legs first. Or ordering a glass of Chardonnay. What about Jen Gotch’s dorky-thrift-store-kid-clothes style? Or Racial/Social/Gender Justice Disruptor, Ericka Hart’s photos of her mastectomy scars? Women and people all over the world are living their AUTHENTIC, purpose-filled lives that are decidedly *not* trendy. And that’s the kind of life we want to live, too.

We, the Untrendy, live life on our OWN terms. We set our OWN priorities and live by our OWN moral codes. We don clothes that we feel good in regardless of what the fashion industry tells us is trending. We ignore beauty conventions. We do not dress our bodies to please anyone but ourselves. We speak our beliefs especially when they go against popular opinion. We do not buy into consumerism’s mantra that in order to be happy, you must accomplish X and buy X and do X. We don’t wear Gucci leather belts or ‘smile!’ when men tell us to. We KNOW that to be human is to be sad sometimes or a lot of the time and we don’t hide it. We are UNTRENDY.

We are here to shake up personal development with honesty and humor, offering people the tools they need to live their most fulfilling lives on their own terms.

Elizabeth Gilbert made me a Relaxed Woman

A love for Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the many unifying bonds that Giuls and I share. Giuls introduced me to her after reading Big Magic and listening to the follow-up podcast, Magic Lessons, where Liz helps creative people push past their personal obstacles and Do The Thing. I loved the podcast, bought Big Magic on Audible, and then bought a used copy of Eat Pray Love. Then I made Giuls read Eat Pray Love. Then Giuls made her friend, Megan, read Eat Pray Love. I don’t even know where my copy of the book is, but it’s out there doing what it needs to.

We both follow Liz on Instagram and when Liz announced that she was leaving her husband to be with her dying best friend who she realized she loved, Giuls told me. And when I saw that Liz was coming to Maimi to speak, I (naturally) texted Giuls in all caps to say that we were going.

We almost didn’t make it to her talk, though. I had obligations at work that I didn’t know if I could get out of until the day before. Giuls was having a Hard Time getting her life in order to leave Gainesville and drive down to West Palm Beach. We’re both broke. We’re both feeling uninspired to follow our art. We had to navigate rush hour traffic on a Friday night. We risked getting both of our cars towed in two completely different cities to see this woman speak, and for once, I wasn’t freaking out about being late to something. We crept in (probably 10 minutes after Liz started speaking) and were immediately transfixed by the soothing yoga voice coming out of Elizabeth Gilbert’s face hole telling us about the revolutionary idea of a Relaxed Woman existing. Specifically, a Relaxed Woman existing outside of the very temporary state that is a hot stone massage.

“I am a relaxed woman,” I said to myself (and everyone else) for the next 48 hours.

Liz also spoke about this idea of how Hustle Culture insists a woman must always be tired and stretching herself thin doing Too Many Things All Of The Time to be good. I don’t know about y’all, but I do not want to live my life that way anymore. My time is worth more than the hustle for a buck.

She spoke about Perfection and how it kills all joy and followed that up with my favorite quote of the day: “Perfectionism is Fear trying to disguise itself in pearls and mink.” WE HAVE NEVER HEARD A TRUER THING. Giuls and I have spoken a lot on the blog recently about our own experiences with perfectionism, and her words were a healthy reminder that perfection is not a quality to be lauded; it’s just Fear being Fear.

If you have the opportunity to hear Liz speak, Giuls and I both STRONGLY URGE YOU to make time to do it. You can check out her tour schedule here: https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/tour/and by God, if you have not read read a book by Liz Gilbert yet, go f*cking do it.

5 Self Care Steps You Should Take Right Now

Happy Sunday, Fab Feminists!

I wanted to share something that I've been practicing when I feel like my life is running me and not the other way around: treating the five senses. I've found that if I take a couple minutes to focus on the needs of each of my senses, it takes me out of my stress-bubble and allows me  to ground myself quickly and effectively. Do one activity for each sense in whatever order you feel like! Combine them into one activity if you want, but make sure to spend equal time engaging each sensation.


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Recent Experiment Proves Millenials Capable of Budgeting, Utilizing Buddy System

 
Illustration by Lindsey Ashley

Illustration by Lindsey Ashley

 

So you blew your budget on swimsuits and a bottle of Patrón before your vacation even started because you #ballsohard. We get it. But now you're destined to spring break like a #peasant, and you're suuuper bummed about it. Don't fret! Your fairy finance mother is here to teach you how to broke-girl vacation step-by-step. I brainstormed and executed the following strategy this weekend and didn't blow my budget ONCE! THERE IS NOTHING SO EMPOWERING; LET ME TELL YOU.

Step 1: Plan your itinerary. This inherently makes planning for spending WAY easier, plus you get the added bonus of not having to waste precious vacation time deciding the fate of said vacation. 

Step 2: Gather some supplies. You'll need a writing utensil, as much cash as you plan to spend (plus 20 percent of that number if you're able) in small bills, your tongue, and a few envelopes -- three will PROBABLY do. Don't get those big-ass envelopes; get the ones that are the same size as... money. See where I'm going here?

Step 3: Prepare one (1) container with enough liquid to cover a 3"x2" object. Submerge your debit and/or credit card. Place container in freezer.  Affirm that you will stick to your budget by chanting, "I am a fiscally responsible adult," as you spin around with your forehead on a bat.

Step 4: Remove your bullshit hat. I am 100 percent serious. Grab it by its invisible rim and set it on your invisible table. Shit's about to get real. If you think this sounds ridiculous, just remember that a second ago you were spinning around on a bat chanting about how fiscally responsible you are.

Step 5: Find a Buddy. Budgeting by yourself is hard and not fun, but budgeting with a buddy makes it all bearable. Walk your Budget Buddy though steps 1 through 4.

Step 6: Decide together how much you're going to spend on each activity. Your numbers should all be the same bc this is a BUDDY SYSTEM. You will stick to your guns more if you've got a friend sticking to theirs. Grab two envelopes each and write "S.O.S." and "Travel" on them. Put that extra 20 percent of funds we told you about in those envelopes. NOTE: TEQUILA ONLY COUNTS AS AN EMERGENCY IN THE LAST 24 HOURS OF YOUR TRIP. Lick those envelopes shut!

Step 7: Divvy up the remainder of the cash between the last two envelopes, and write on both of them how much you're allotted for every activity. Don't try to thrift evenly across the board -- you'll be more likely to stay on budget with only $20 at the bar tonight if you've got $40 to blow at brunch tomorrow.

Step 8: Once you get there, lock that cash you're not using in a safe, and have a great vacation!!!