Let’s Talk About Anxiety

I woke up this morning in a sweat. My heart was racing as I jolted awake from some sort of nightmare. I immediately started thinking about things that make me nervous about the future, and how the heck I’m going to get through it all. My stomach dropped deep down into my abdomen as my heart leapt straight through my chest. Apparently you sometimes can’t even escape anxiety in your dreams.

Anxiety is a cousin of depression. They’re close in the sense they both can be based on fear and uncertainty, but they give two very different feelings. Depression is hollow and dark. It feels like a rainy day in a swamp, with fog as far as the eye can see. You know it’s a wide open space, but you can’t muster up the energy to move around freely. You are curled up in a ball, only vaguely noticing that there is a world around you. I think often with depression, the person in the middle of the fog can really only see a few feet around them and can’t tell that there is light and beauty outside the dark swamp. In fact, there are still beautiful flowers and little glimmers of light while you are there, but they can be difficult to see if you give up and stay curled in your little ball. Rays of light come in the form of good friends, puppies, working out, and helping others. There is always a reason to keep fighting, but everyone understands if you need to take a break for awhile. It is exhausting when you feel like you’re alone and don’t know how to pull yourself up off the ground.

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Anxiety paints a different picture. Instead of being a more introverted feeling, anxiety is the craziest extrovert you’ve ever seen. It is wild and red, and hot to the touch. Anxiety makes you feel claustrophobic in your own body, and creates a strong desire to run away from yourself. With depression, you would rather be able to get back in to your own body and figure out how to find yourself again. Anxiety makes you want to forget everything there is about you and run away to create a new life. You want to turn your brain off to stop thinking about anything and everything and find a way to sleep again, but you can’t take a vacation from your thoughts. Both depression and anxiety can create a pit in your stomach, but they’ve often settled there for entirely different reasons.

I have tiptoed along the line of depression sometimes, but I think having some down days is part of the human experience, so it’s very different than it was being in the darkness I have only been in once before. Anxiety is a much more familiar feeling I let sneak into my heart. It starts by catching the door with its foot, then shoves its way in guns blazing. “You’re not good enough,” “You won’t be able to handle the future,” and, “You can’t do the thing” are all lies anxiety screams as loudly as it can. It makes up elaborate and unlikely stories of what your future is going to look like, but speaks them with confidence and as truth. It’s a lot easier said than done to choose not to believe the lies, as a simple, “just don’t worry about it,” or, “calm down” won’t ease an anxious person’s heart. It is possible to find peace, but takes a lot of swallowing your own pride, accepting help from others, and being gentle with yourself.


Anxiety and depression are both so prevalent in today’s world. I don’t know if the age of social media has caused a rise in mental health issues or we’re just more open about them now, but I’d say more people than not have had a taste of these feelings, even if they haven’t been officially diagnosed with anything. I think we underestimate how not-alone we are in the world and how similar our feelings are to one another.

Talking about anxiety makes me anxious. I still think people are quick to judge, label, and make assumptions about people they don’t know. Despite genuinely believing most people have a good headspace about talking about mental health, I know there is still ignorance and confusion in this space of the world. I know that therapy is still stigmatized, and that people don’t always love and support things they don’t understand. So many people, though, who you would never guess are fighting difficult battles by themselves. Sometimes the most beautiful, smiley rays of sunshine have a darkness that is clouding their heart, and I am so thankful that celebrities and people in the limelight who have platforms are speaking up about their struggles more. Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Mindy Kaling, and Stephen Colbert are all people who live to make others laugh, but struggle with anxiety. Jim Carey, Owen Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sarah Silverman have all been very open about dealing with depression. It isn’t just comedians who struggle with mental health, though. There is an enormous list of people who range from athletes to astronauts who have been affected by depression or anxiety. Even Abraham Lincoln is thought to have had severe depression and anxiety; they just didn’t have a word for it then.

My purpose in writing this is because I think it’s so important that we realize we are never alone in our thoughts or feelings. People need to be taught from a young age that it’s okay for everything to not be okay sometimes. People should realize that we all have battles we’re fighting, that we can share our struggles with our loved ones, and most of all, to be kind to everyone we meet. I am not “Instafamous,” do not have a large group of followers, or a particularly captivating life to share about, but I want to open my heart to the people who do read this in hopes it makes someone feel less alone. I see you, and care about you. We need you here, and you are important. Please don’t ever forget that.

TJ’s Tuesday Fall Favorites

Alright, so I still have not done a pumpkin post, not because I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s lately, but because there honestly isn’t as much pumpkin stuff as I remembered in the past. Sure there are a few sauces and baking mixes, but I remember years before having a million pumpkin things I was excited to try. One of these weeks I’ll muster up the energy to find five pumpkin things I’d like to try, but until then we’re going to do a few of my favorite fall items.

1. Envy Apples
Envy apples are freaking amazing. Like, they’re the best apples you’ll ever eat. They’re super crispy and taste like a more tart version of their cousin, the Gala apple. Trader Joe’s is kind of cool too because they charge you by the fruit, not by the pound, so you can just pick out the best apple of the bunch and feel like you’re getting a great deal.

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2. Cinnamon Bun Spread
Have you ever smelled a candle and wished you could eat it? If candle eating resonates with you, this jar of cinnamon might just be your thing. The texture is almost like melted wax and if I could waft the scent around my home, it would smell like fall potpourri. I’ve read quite a bit about this cinnamon bun spread before, but never tried it until a couple of days ago. When I was at TJ’s contemplating this purchase, I saw that the first ingredient is honey, which I’m all for. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but I’m kind of glad I got it and I have a feeling I’ll crave this spread anytime I light a fall candle in my home. It should last me the entire season. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with a better way of eating it than on the back of a shortbread cookie!

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3. Organic Strawberries 
Fall isn’t necessarily known to be strawberry picking season, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I smelled how fresh the strawberries were from over a foot away. These ended up being so good that I ate the entire box in two sittings — and already went back for another bundle I’ve almost finished.

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4. Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Halloween is coming up, which means it’s time to break out the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Except these are even better. I sometimes get a stomachache from eating too many, so be careful how many you let yourself have because they’re addicting!

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5. Pumpkin Dog Treats
I think it was a real missed opportunity not calling these Pupkin Treats, but it is what it is. Jax and Macy both love these dog treats that are made with real pumpkin. As I was writing this I thought about how I was going to tell you that they smell just like a human pumpkin snack, and it dawned on me that I might be able to take a bite and tell you whether or not it tasted like one, too. I went to check the ingredients and here’s what I found:

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Okay, I know what wheat is and despite being gluten-free, a little won’t kill me. Pumpkin is fine, so is cane molasses. So far so good! Typical Trader Joe’s, making dog treats something good enough for humans to eat. Bravo. Canola oil is another check next to “human ingredient,” and so is ground cinnamon. I don’t know what citric acid is, but I’ve also seen it on my own nutrition labels before. What in the world is “Mixed Tocopherols?!” My laptop is recognizing it as a word, but I certainly don’t. First possibly scary ingredient, but I’m assuming it’s a pretty typical preservative (which, in anyone’s defense, can be scary in human foods too). Lastly, Rosemary extract. Something I am familiar with. Well, I guess I gotta go for it then! For the sake of the blog.

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I took a bite on my Instagram story earlier and it was totally gross. Despite smelling like a biscotti I would be happy to dip in my coffee, it tasted like crunchy, wheat flavored cardboard. I have no idea why Jax and Macy love these so much, but I see why in my 28 years on earth I’ve never had the desire to try a dog treat. I could have gone my whole life without making this weird decision.

Anyway, I know I posted a little late today, but I hope you find something new to try next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. Please don’t let my poor review of dog treats and candle flavored cinnamon goo deter you from trying something new or getting a treat for your pup while you’re out. I promise they’ll like it!


Read more about other Trader Joe’s favorites here

TG It’s The Weekend

Man, I have a bad headache. I think it’s from my neck pain. Typically when it gets bad enough it goes straight up my vertebrae to the top of my head. Ugh!

I’m currently really in the mood to write, but not really equipped to sit at my computer that long right now. I also can’t think straight because of the aforementioned headache. I figured I’d tell y’all what I’ve been working on lately, though. I’ve been doing some more deep writing lately. I’m going to be posting about anxiety, social media, and how problematic I think Hollywood has become. Please hold me accountable to this. None of it is very fun to share, but I think it’s all important and there is a reason I’ve felt pushed to write about it.

I’m also working on creating a weekly email you guys can subscribe to — so I don’t have to do random little updates like this on here anymore. I am undecided between MailChimp and Constant Contact. Any thoughts on either?

Finally, I have a few recipes and shopping trips that are begging to be posted. Sadly, my local Trader Joe’s hasn’t gone crazy with pumpkin stuff this year and I’m just not feeling most of it. I got Jax some pumpkin biscuits the other day, but I haven’t gone crazy yet. There’s still plenty of time for that though, right?

My Proposal To The Bachelor Franchise

There is plenty of footage from The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise that we never see. We all know there’s a lot of editing done so that the producers can make people look however they want to add to the drama each season. My guess is, though, with a house filled with people all trying to date the same person, there is probably enough drama that you don’t really have to do that much to curate it. If the casting directors step up their game and really choose people wisely, problems will ensue, drama will happen, and the audience will eat. it. up.

Did you know football is on Friday, literally all day on Sunday, and Monday nights? That’s just the NFL. College football is probably on every day of the week, so you’re pretty much screwed if your significant other cares about all the sports. There’s also baseball, which feels like it’s on every day except Christmas, and the NBA preseason games start in the beginning of October. Like, what is the difference between preseason and the regular season? They’re all 2+ hour games that you want a specific team you’re rooting for to win, whether or not it counts. Hockey starts sometime in the next few months, and again, baseball is on basically year-round, so there is always something taking up space on the television at home.

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Something I think is VERY problematic, is the timing of the bachelor franchise. Football started this week and on Tuesday Bachelor in Paradise ENDS. Like, who even comes up with this?! WE NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER, BIP. I was looking forward to having my own game nights where all my friends come over for pizza and baked goods to cheer on the Nicoles and Clays of the season, and wonder what the heck Caelynn is going to do with Dean coming back when she’s already begun a new relationship with Connor.

Honestly, life isn’t fair in a lot of ways, but this is something human beings can change. We can fight to get ABC to play more of the trashy TV we have grown to love and leave other networks to host sports. I tried to create a petition that people could sign. to get The Bachelor on our television screens on football nights, but I guess Change.org only really accepts petitions for things that really matter.

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I’m sorry, but I need this every night football is on. I want someone to cheer for, and people to root against when they’re sleeping with a handful of the franchise girls at Stagecoach. I want to find out if Hayley and JPJ are meant for each other and can somehow make things work, despite all this inner conflict about falling for Tayshia first.

If Fleiss and friends are scared of the competition of sports, I say, bring it. The franchise has a big enough following that dedicated fans like me will turn on ABC instead of ESPN, and even if they lose a few people along the way, at least the diehard fans are happy, right? We’re the ones who will keep the show going, even through the Arie Luyendyk and Jake Pavelka’s of it all. We stick around during the boring seasons so that we know everyone going into the next show and can root for our next bachelor or bachelorette to find love.

Please consider my plea. I seriously need some sort of break from watching men hurl an oval ball back and forth, and would appreciate all the drama I know you can create for me. Take a page out of the Big Brother handbook, and have live feeds for us. If nothing else, at least put The Bachelor on a few nights a week whenever there are big sporting events. PUT MY ENTERTAINMENT ON MORE OFTEN! It only seems fair to add an emotional competition to all the physical ones we have on television every night, right? Will you accept this proposal, ABC?

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5 Things My Husband Doesn’t Know About Me

Yesterday Robert grilled some hot dogs for lunch, and he actually asked me if I wanted mustard on mine. Gross! How did he not know I am not a fan of condiments, particularly bright yellow mustard? It got me thinking about how funny it is when you learn new things about someone you know really well. I really racked my brain to think of a few other things he might not know about me, and here is a short list:

  1. When I was a preteen I had a bright blue bellbottom tracksuit. No, bell bottoms were not in style or cool in the 90s, but I loved the comfort and style of this getup, and it would be a miracle if I dodged getting pictures in this, because it was seriously my favorite thing ever at the time. This is to date my worst fashion faux pas, and I’m certain I’ll never be worse off than I was back then.
  2. I. Will. Not. Try. Cottage. Cheese. I’m sorry, but the texture freaks me out so much that I cannot bring myself to try a bite. Why are there lumps in it? Is it more like cheese or yogurt? I’ll try pretty much anything, but cottage cheese is a no-go. I’m borderline scared of it. cheese.png
  3. I won the school science fair twice — once in elementary school, and then in the bigger pool of competition in high school. The first was testing out properties of bubble gum which were, in hindsight, not all very scientific, and the second was an experiment with photosynthesis. I don’t even remember what all the findings looked like, but I still have a medal from it.
  4. Ryan Seacrest was my first celebrity crush. I thought he was charming and funny on American Idol, my favorite show at the time, and thankfully this was before social media so I didn’t have to be a Ryan stan defending him against Internet trolls.
  5. I was a weird little kid. I’ve always loved the English language, but I also have made up words since I could talk. A name for something I love? Teedlehopper. That little dip that’s right below your nose and above your lips? Well, I’m glad you asked, that’s a Parison!

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Now I’ll have to post this and wait to hear back from Robert if he knew any of this, or if I’m correct in thinking we’ve never discussed any of it before. I honestly can’t think of anything else he doesn’t already know, particularly about me now, but I’m sure there will be plenty more mustard moments in the rest of our lifetime together. ❤

Friday Favorites

Man, it’s hard keeping up with writing on here! Not because I don’t have the time or even the energy, but more so because everything I write I end up wanting to keep private or don’t have the heart to finish. Today I figured I’d go back to writing about a few of my favorite things. I was tempted to post five different dogs, but I thought this list would be a little more helpful.


Tony’s Chocolonely. I honestly haven’t had anything better, and they’re a really cool company because they focus on making chocolate humanely. Did you know that slavery is still a huge problem, particularly on cocoa farms? It’s crazy to me that one of my favorite foods is actually hurting others, and I love that Tony’s is committed to making all chocolate become slave-free. Go get a bar of the milk chocolate sea salt caramel today. It is a new necessity for me “that time of the month,” and I’m happy to add it to my survival kit.

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Jax is obviously my favorite chocolate thing on earth, though.

Billie Eilish — specifically “Bad Guy” featuring Justin Bieber. I didn’t know if I should put him as a favorite too because honestly his lines are so darn catchy and remind me why I liked the Biebs so many years ago. Billie is an interesting entertainer because she totally breaks the mold of anything we really see in the pop music world. I like that she seems to be unapologetically herself and hasn’t conformed to what Hollywood thinks sells albums.

 

Colorful flowers. I love having them to brighten up our home, and Robert got me some really bright and fun ones from a summer collection a few weeks ago. I used to always say Gerbera Daisies were my favorite kind of flower, but now I like pretty much everything under the sun.

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Crime Junkie. I am a huge fan of podcasts, and Crime Junkie happens to be one of my favorites. Granted, it’s made me a little wary every time I go to the basement to do laundry, but overall the mild paranoia is worth listening to Ashley and Brit tell us about famous — and not so famous — cases. It’s a great thing to listen to during a commute or while doing household chores; just don’t listen late at night when you’re by yourself unless you want to be up all night listening for intruders.

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Finally, Taylor Swift released her song “Lover” last night and I am OBSESSED. She’s back to writing her beautiful love songs and I couldn’t be more here for it!

Friends S1E1 Recap

Welcome to my first recap of Friends! There will be spoilers, but since everyone and their mom has already seen this show a thousand times over, I don’t feel the need to say that before every review. Soon, everyone in America will have seen the show Friends, and I’ll feel a lot less alone in not getting normal 90s references. Okay, starting my live recap: NOW.


Wow, what the heck is up with everyone’s hair?! I am literally 20 seconds into the show and they all have insane volume and shine. I’ve never seen anything like it! I don’t think their hair is normally like this, but I could be wrong. Go back and watch the episode because this is crazy and they all have to be wigging out. Joey looks like he’s in a 90s punk band or channeling Pete Wentz.

Courtney Cox and Chandler are sitting next to each other and don’t even know they’ll be married one day. Ew, and what the heck is up with the way Courtney treats her brother?! I remember them being all creepy in another episode. “You OK, sweetie?” she asked as she gently touched his hand. I do not like the chemistry between these two actors. They make Friends have a hint of Thrones, if you catch my drift.

OMG. Ross is already complaining about being single. “I don’t want to be single, I just want to be married again.” What is his deal?! He’s already blown through a wife (or two, or three) by the first episode?! Yikes. I know he’s known for getting married a bunch, so I guess they needed to get the first out of the way before the series even begins.

Rachel just walked in in a wedding dress! Ahh I don’t know anything about this storyline. Was she married once already too? She might be perfect for Ross if she can knock out a couple others before she and Ross get together.

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Photo Credit: NBC

Courtney Cox’s name is Monica! That’s right. I don’t know why I forgot that. Now she’s wearing an outfit with suspenders. I feel a little weird about them.

We’re watching the friends watch television while Rachel shrieks on the phone with her dad. It’s kind of boring right now tbh, but I’m hoping this episode is all just telling us about the characters and stuff.

Joey is hitting on Rachel. I have a feeling these characters will all kind of cycle around dating each other. It’s not very realistic that they’d all be able to be friends after that, but I think it’s going to be one of those kinds of shows.

Phoebe is my favorite character right now. She pulled out a bunch of her eyelashes on accident and then sang a song from The Sound of Music while Rachel was having a panic attack. I think she’ll be a pretty funny character, but not everyone’s cup of tea.

Rachel is crying on the phone now. I honestly am so annoyed at the show and it’s not very funny yet. Since it’s the pilot I’m going to keep pushing forward, though. I think it’ll get good.

Monica is on a date with a guy who looks really familiar. Some sort of nineties dad or something who is kind of a doofus in a show. I can’t for the life of me remember what movie, but it was something along the lines of The Parent Trap.

Ew! Ross is complaining AGAIN. He’s so whiny. I know I’m being harsh because his heart is broken, but I told you it was going to be hard for me to give Ross a chance. Ok, calm down Krista, he’s grieving. Ew!! But now he’s talking about wanting to ask a girl out again right after ending his marriage. “Even if I had the nerve, who would I ask?” ROSS. TAKE A BREAK FROM WOMEN AND LET YOUR HEART HEAL. Goodness gracious; he really cannot just be by himself.

Monica is kissing the 90s dad in front of everyone now. They all watched creepily and it felt like they were acting for a play on Broadway with their exaggerated stances. Then Joey of all people tries to act cool when she comes back to the table to join them. I think he’s a player and supposed to be the “cool guy” on the show, but he’s just giving me brunette Draco Malfoy vibes. His outfit is really cringeworthy too. Black pants and some sort of jeans-y fabric muscle shirt. I need to keep in mind this is the 90s and maybe he was cool and stylish. I just have a hard time believing it.

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Same straight side swoop.

Now Monica is upset that it turns out the 90s dad is a player. Phoebe decides to offer to rub her feet in a coffee shop, and Ross stares at her longingly. SHE’S YOUR SISTER, ROSS. Please don’t act like the Lannisters.

EW!!! Ross is trying to flirt with Rachel. Get away from her!! He’s making me so mad right now guys. I can’t. NOW HIS ARM IS AROUND MONICA. NOW SHE KISSED HIM BEFORE BED LIKE IT’S NORMAL. I wish I could make this font bigger because I was just double shocked and am not well.

Ew. He’s splitting an Oreo with Rachel now. Okay actually he’s being a little cute. He’s saying he used to crush on her in high school. I didn’t really realize they knew each other before. Wait, no, he ruined it. He just asked if it would be okay if he asked her out sometime. Ross, you need to take some time for yourself, don’t bring Rachel into your messy life right now! No wonder he has been married six million times; he forces himself to move on way before he’s ready. He was literally just talking about how he didn’t know who he’d ask out and that was when it was obvious it could be Rachel.

Chandler was barely in this episode and I think I remember liking him in a few episodes. He was just kind of boring, but got a dumb joke at the end.

Hmm overall not impressed with this first episode of Friends, but I think most of us usually feel this way about the pilot of a TV show. To their credit, they need to set all the characters up and start the storyline somewhere. In my defense, they made Ross really freaking annoying in the first episode, so if this trend continues it’s maybe not my fault for knowing spoilers. Who is your favorite character on Friends, and if the answer is Ross, please explain and defend him. I’m going to give this show a season and see what it’s all about, then we’ll go from there.