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Real Talk

26/4/2020

Creativity is a funny thing.

 

I've had to drag myself away from watching the latest episode of Lego Masters.  If you haven't had the pleasure of watching either the first or the second season, I'd highly recommend jumping on the web and checking out the episodes.  I wonder sometimes what would happen if we didn't limit the level of creativity that we had as a kid.  There's always a time in our lives where we get told to "grow up", or "that's for children". You start to slowly cut out and starve those pieces of imagination in your brain.

 

If I look back ten years ago, I was a very effective and creative writer. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had many fans of the very abstract prose and poems I'd come up with.  Half of the time what I wrote made no sense, and I go back from time to time to read them, and hand on heart, there is no way today I'd be able to come up with the writing I did back then.  Half of the time I can't believe it was me that wrote it. My pen name hasn't changed, and my old accounts remain the same. Those words must have come from me.

 

I also brought up the archives of my photos from seven years ago and wonder where the sense of freedom disappeared to that I once felt like I had.  The truth is that technically nothing has changed. I could go and create them if I wanted to, but I still can't.

Everything evolves with time.

I might not have the same skill and freedom in my writing as I did in my teenage years.  My photography may also not be the same as it was when I first picked up my camera.  This isn't a bad thing necessarily.  We need to embrace that things change.  That we, as individuals, change. I may not be able to write about eating disorders and depression in cryptic metaphors anymore, but I can highlight in factual posts with more elegance the importance of speaking up about those issues.

 

I read a quote a few days ago that said:
"Once you're told that you can't fly, your brain loses that ability to try forever."

 

So I may have lost my ability to build lego dream houses that my mini figures would be proud of, but I can build tiny houses instead that my Sims can thrive in. I might be a little bit scared to step out of my photography creative zone because I dislike the way I look and feel about myself - but this might just be a way for me to push the boundaries of what I can do.

 

I'm optimistic.  We continue to develop our sense of wonder under new lights and new experiences. Sometimes that light has dimmed, and we can't see ahead quite as far as once could.  From time to time, the process is foggy and it takes a while to be able to see clearly.  There are times where it just damn does not work even when you turn it off and on again several times.  But then sometimes a firework explosion goes off in your head and you run very quickly with whatever path that inspiration takes you.

So my inspiration hat is on at the moment, and I'm keen to try and keep it there as long as possible.  I hope to see that magic again soon.

Clairesupersmall

14/4/2020

Midnight

 

I've become the adult equivalent of an unsettled baby.  Grizzly, uncomfortable, and becoming increasingly frustrated that I'm unable to communicate exactly what it is wrong with me.  Another day's gone by and I'm feeling the pressure on myself that I had done absolutely nothing with it.   The action plan to go and start a new diet?  Didn't happen.  Going for a 30 minute walk? Nope.  Desperately craving some form of vegetable but had Maccas instead?  Yep.   I can feel myself going down hill and having an internal argument that we're stronger than this - but yet still can't grasp on how to fix being so overwhelmed.

 

 

Five Twenty-Two AM.

 

I know this because this happens to be the sixth time I've looked at my phone in the past half an hour.  I should have been asleep somewhere around three or four hours ago.  This isn't to say I haven't tried.  I absolutely did;  my brain was all ready to switch off, my eyes hurts - there should have been nothing preventing sleep.  Yet there was.  I'm 90% confident I'm allergic to the smoke from our woodfire and where blissful sleep should have been - I was yet again re-jolted awake with a runny nose and continual sneezing fits.  I wonder how many clarentine tablets you can take before you overdose on them?  Honestly I wasn't  in the mood to find  out.

 

 

One PM

 

Somewhere along the lines, I've fallen asleep.  I also awoke to a tissue stuffed up one of my nostrils,  so apparently the whole runny nose business got to me at some point during the last few hours.  I still feel groggy as all hell and start to consider how much I'm not appreciating this sleep schedule.  In fairness to my body - I'm getting my five to six hours, just not at the right time.  I tell my Mum about it,  she suggests I should probably get sleeping pills.  I don't disagree.

 

Five PM

 

Productivity today has so far been that I found three new species of fish on animal crossing, and planted a new row of trees.  Again, I ponder of the fact that I should be up and walking around.  That I spent an ungodly amount on work out gear that's just sitting in the bedroom.  4KG weights aren't fun to trip over, yet that's the apparent purpose they're currently serving.    There's a lot of judgement.  Not to anyone else, but only to me.  Why exactly can I not get up and actually leave the house and do what I need to do to feel better?  Why am I having consistent arguments about how things should go in such a time where everything is all topsy turvy?  A better question is why am I even talking to myself?  Surely it's from being stuck inside.

... which. Could be fixed.
By going outside.
Which I still can't seem to do.

Eight-Thirty PM

 

The blog post that was originally meant to be posted on Sunday sits awkwardly in my drafts folder.  It talked about how Easter didn't feel all that special any more, and whether or not that you needed to have little ones to respark that magic.

I feel like I need a lot of magic at the moment.
My sparkle bar is sitting very low.

 

I've given up trying to find a different photo to display for this post, and lazily accept that getting up to find my hard drive is too much effort. Everything just seems like an effort.  I keep looking for silver linings throughout the day -and there's been plenty of them.  Like how one of my plants has sprouted new leaves, and I've sort of taught Wally a new trick.

But there's just this ongoing overwhelming blanket that smothers the good bits.  I'm getting snippy towards the people in my family, and just wanting to get out and speak to others.  I'd kill for a coffee date.  On the flipside, I know how many messages are currently sitting in my inbox unanswered as I just don't have the energy to reply to the people who have so kindly reached out.  I feel like a failure wrapped up in a few extra layers of weight.  (The new stretch mark on my stomach confirms that.)

 

The colder months already bring out the worst of my anxiety and depression, and I'm cautiously suspicious how this year is going to go.

 

 

I'm exhausted already.
I just want some form of normality back.

 

Clairesupersmall

I’ve got chills – and they’re multiplying into a sweat rash. #ARealTalkPost

(Y'know what, this face was the exact moment my legs had stuck together and I wasn't moving anywhere from my spot on the ground, and the sweat behind my knee caps had just squelshed. Yeesh. Welcome to #RealTalk)

One of my most favourite things about being a teenager in the 2000's was the fact that I got to see emo bands come out with ridiculously long titled songs that made nearly no sense, but were somehow awesome.  I actually managed to transfer this concept into a lot of my old poetry I used to write titles like; "This could have only been four words but is now a whole paragraph avoiding sweat: the novel"

sweat

Growing up - I was acutely aware that I sweated more than most people. Like - it was super gross, and is still, super fucking gross.  I'm a plus size girl. I always have been. It's not like I can honestly sit here and write an article about sweat and glamify it, regardless if it's a perfectly natural thing or not.

 

The point though that it IS a perfect natural thing.
That doesn't stop it being hard though.

 

GOING BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL DAYS

I know coming out of P.E. back in high school it was rough. Particularly after any class that featured that horrifying excuse of exercise called the BEEP test, (Yeah, you know the one.  I had nightmares about it. Level one, one. bee bee beep)  Finishing that class, I broke. I'm talking about full face red, wheezing, and sweat dripping down for days. Okay maybe not days. There's a thing called a shower which was readily available after school, but that was the thing yeah?  In Australia, (or at least at my high school) whilst we had showers available,  blow me down if anyone ever actually used them after sport.  I have a list of things I'd tell my younger self. Advocating for time to allow the option to actually shower off is certainly one of them.

 

A NUMBER OF ISSUES

 

There's a number of issues with sweat. <br>Firstly, it smells.   Yes, I know that technically it's meant to be that way. Apparently it comes from the idea that people with opposite genes find it attractive, and therefore will be more likely to have a better gene pool.  Or something like that.

Let's be honest though, sweat and the smell is pre' gross.  Especially when if and when it gets soaked into your clothes.

If you had P.E.  first up on a day, and you were stuck in your clothes for the rest of it, Good luck to your parental figure for getting that stink out.

I know even in my current uniform that I have for work, I have to double wash my clothes just to be on the safe side, and even then, I'm wearing $7 kmart tops because I know eventually all these are going to be good for are the bin, which is a horrid waste of money and waste to the environment.

Then you get into the embarrassment piece. Who knows that you sweat?  Who can see it?  It's like when you're casually walking up a hill for the whole of two minutes and it looks like you've just run a half marathon, who's out there judging you?  That feeling of being fearful of wearing anything light coloured to the gym, because you know that your sweat patches are going to be SUPER evident and don't want people to stare. Not to mention your whole entire wardrobe rivals archers closet with the amount of choices of black you have.

Credit: Archer |  FX & Netflix
Credit: Archer | FX & Netflix

Do you know how much I'd LOVE to add my colour into my wardrobe?  Seriously, there's only so much you can do with dark clothing, and we all know that I love white and pinks, but not so much the see through when wet factor.

 

Don't even get me STARTED on being called out on your sweaty problem.  I'm aware that I'm gross. I feel gross. There is only so much spray I can put on before I start smelling like a perfume shop, (and actually I'll get to that in a moment) -  but at my last job - I had FOUR different people approach me at different times telling me that they had complaints. I was mortified, and I legit bawled my eyes out. It was the most humiliating thing to ever happen.  "Is your washing machine broken?  Maybe there's some mold?  Do you actually wash them...?  Have you tried xyz product? FUCKING YES I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING LEAVE ME ALONE IN MY OWN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT PLEASE AND THANKS.

 

 

Let's also not forget one of the worst things about sweat.
SWEAT. RASH.

 

I'm talking about that AWFUL feeling of sweat under your boobs and butts. You know about that horrible chafe you get between your legs and you have to waddle for at least two days and sleep with a pillow between your legs because it hurts.  I want to say I'm a stranger to all of this, but I'm not. Which sucks so freaking much because I'd love to be a sweat free type of gal.

Now, I don't want this post to be all up in the negatives.

So instead I wanted to quickly put some things up that maybe people didn't know - or are just things I've come across that I can appreciate.

 

1. Antiperspirants, deodorants, perfume, and body spray/mist - are not the same product.

Dove has a really quick and neat post here about some of the differences between antiperspirants and deodorants. If you can't be bothered clicking, here's a quick recap; Antiperspirants are designed to kick butt against sweat and odour, (especially when active), whereas deodorants do a good job when you're more chilled back and enjoying life in the slow lane.   Perfumes, body spray and mist, on the other hand, are there to make you smell pretty.  They do nothing for your sweaty butt.

So if you're at the supermarket and needing to choose between Lynx Africa and Illusions by Impulse, Lynx Africa is actually going to be more your friend.  (Full disclosure, I was actually going to make fun of Africa here, but apparently it's a full antiperspirant so who knew?)  Which I'm sure is just a shock to you as well. If you're finding that you're still being super sweaty, then there are MANY others out there with a stronger anti-sweat effect.

 

Talking about this, if you've read any of my posts recently, you'll know I've been raving about the My Shay product I've been using.  Honestly - I love it to pieces.  I still think I might need something a bit stronger, but compared to everything else I've tried over the years, it's been such a blessing in disguise.  I particularly like the smell because it's just amazing, and Tara (the kickass lady who owns the company) has made them in super sensitive ranges too. Yay!

*I promise this isn't a sponsored post, I'm just really passionate about stuff that works for uncomfortable situations.

2.  3B CREAM

I've talked about this one before but 3B Cream has been a life saver on so many of my trips.  I swear upon this stuff for anything to do with chafing. I legit went my whole last Darwin trip with ZERO rash, and I was sweating like mad.  Could not rate it highly enough. It works great for your upper body, lower body - and absolutely between yo' thighs, too.

 

Another one (depending on the heat and your sweat level) that I've recommended in the past, is the dusting powder from Lush which I found smelt amazing, but again, sweated off pretty quickly in a Melbourne heatwave. I think if you were just wearing it again on a chill day,  that you'd do a bit better.

 

3. CHAIR BUTT SWEAT IS A THING. AND IT'S OKAY.  

The worst part of going to the gym I find, is the fact that whenever I'm on stationary equipment, (For example the leg press, or seated rows - or whatever,) I leave a butt sweat patch.  (Okay, look, it's the motivation to go in the first place, but this is a close second,) It's pre' gross.  Like, oh look. That's exactly where my butt was.

 

I also hate going out to dinner, or basically anywhere that has a plastic seat because trying to cover this up is horrible and awkward.  I personally found taking a small thing of disinfectant wipes with me, and do a quick wipe over before I leave makes me feel a bit better.  Generally you can pick some up that sit super well within a bag, and defo in a backpack.  I'm a little less self conscious now. Generally I won't hide what I'm doing. If you're not quite there though, you can just say that you've spilled something from whatever you were eating and wipe it away that way.

 

Let's be honest though, it's NOT something to be ashamed about. Whilst not everyone has this issue - I reckon a whole bunch of us do and it's just a part of you that you've just gotta embrace and be like BAM.  I'm being pro-active about it.

 

 

 

BONUS TIP

If you're an adult who has their skin routine down pat, first of all, I applaud you, and secondly - you'd hopefully know a bit more of how to do said routine than I do, however in a moment of being an adult, I placed moisturiser on my face before leaving the house.  Low and behold, it was a total heatwave inside my car, and the moisturiser I'd so lovingly put on my face 10 minutes early obviously did not have time to soak - and had now re-surfaced and started running down my face, and more importantly to this story - IN. TO. MY. EYES.  I was in the middle of town, in rush hour, driving nearly blind, crying more poor eye(?) out because it stung like hell. Nearly died that day.

Do not put moisturiser around your eyes before leaving the house if it's a hot day. This goes for any other time you know you're gonna sweat it out, before it sets properly into your skin.

This also goes for sunscreen, which has also happened too many times that I care to admit for.

 

sweat
SO TO WRAP UP

all my fellow sweaty people, you are not alone. I feel you. (From a distance, because let's be honest, you don't want anyone touching you when you feel like that.)  Plus understand the frustration of trying 10000 different types of sprays and creams to assist.  I get the humiliation you feel. I'm okay to talk about it - because if it makes one person feel less alone in the world - AMAZING.    It's a natural thing. Like boogers and snot.  Whilst it might be natural, it doesn't make it less gross. At least you know there are others out there.

I'd love to add more tips into the above for suggestions on how to combat sweat anxiety, or to embrace it (more or less) - so drop a comment in the comment box below!

Clairesupersmall

What happens with Christmas doesn’t feel special to you anymore?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Do you remember when you were a little kid, and you'd try to stay up late to see if you could see Santa, but fail miserably and in the morning the cookies would be eaten, the carrots you left out were nibbled on and your stocking was filled with Santa gifts?  Hopefully you do, those were the good ol' days.  Christmas was absolutely magical.  I loved counting down the days, getting the advent calendar out, decorating the tree.

 

When I got a bit older, (like circa my early 20's) - I hit a bit of a road bump. I was in an abusive relationship with my boyfriend at the time. My home relationship was non-existent.  I didn't really celebrate Christmas for a number of years (that I can remember. Joys of depression and forced memory loss.)   I was happy to work my retail and hospitality job because, why not, right?

 

But over the last few years I've tried to make a bit more of a conscious effort.  I figured - why should Christmas lights and presents only be restricted to those with little kids and big families?  So I bought this pretty cool Kmart tree, bought some fairy lights and a few decorations and put it up in my room.

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to today.
It's Christmas.

And I just feel, defeated.

I didn't think, even with everything that has happened over the past few years, that I'd ever sit in the statistic that looks at the numbers that are shared on social media for those doing it tough over Christmas.   Realistically, I feel terrible for feeling so.  There's really nothing stopping me from not having a great Christmas, but it's just the fact that it's been such an overwhelming year.  I feel lonely that I don't have the people that I would normally expect to be here celebrating with me.

My Dad, bless his heart, gifted me some tickets to a cricket game coming up in a few weeks which I asked for, but added an extra ticket along so I could bring a friend.   I had to withhold myself from breaking down is saying I realistically didn't have anyone else to come with me. Again, weighing up the idea that people I want to be with, have chosen not to be there.

I think that might actually be the worst part, when you're trying so hard to have a life and reach out to people who you think should be in your support network, and not have those people live up to the expectations in your head.

 

Today just feels like another day.
Another, rather long, and stressful day.

I'm grateful for the things I've received, but I'll be more grateful to put this holiday season behind me.

 

Merry Christmas.