The Depths of February

I don’t know about you, but I f*cking hate February. It’s always when I’m at my most depressed and least motivated, usually because of the snow and the dark and the general are-we-ever-gonna-make-it-out-of-this-alive feeling of the month. 

But right now, for once in my lifetime full of Februarys, I feel empowered. There were a lot of variables that contributed to this being the case. 

It started with this: Friday night, I was driving home from seeing Hidden Figures (holy cow talk about EMPOWERING), listening to Being Boss, a podcast I've been obsessed with lately. This episode was my favorite by far, as they were discussing leaving your day job. And while I'm not quite ready to do that yet, something they said made me realize I'm mentally ready. 

They said, if you are working a day job and beginning your side hustle, you are already working two jobs. That's when it hit me. I have a day job, a “side hustle,” and I'm getting a bachelors degree. I’m working THREE jobs. I may not technically be my own boss yet, but I'm ready for it. And sometimes you just gotta give yourself credit for all that you do. 

In that same vein, as I mentioned last week, my goal for February is to get out there more. Do things, with people. This is hard for me because #1, I have recently discovered that I am an introvert/empath (I know, I know. Leave me alone.) and being around people literally drains me. Not all people, of course. (#NotAllPeople) But too many, or the wrong type of person, and I find that my mood literally will change out of the blue. I'll feel drained, depressed, lost and confused, even about things I have been sure of my entire life. That’s because my body does this cool thing where it takes on the energies of the people and places around me. So if someone has bad energy, it literally makes me feel bad. Therefore, it’s hard to force myself out into the world on days when I don’t have to, and put myself at risk of feeling bad. But on the flip side, I also remove the possibility of feeling good… #2, I live 30 minutes away from most things, which is both a good and bad thing. Bad because it’s, again, hard to force myself out and commit to being in the car for at least an hour, if not more. Good because, it’s a nice little cozy home away from all the stress-y things in the world. This all results in one thing: me, in my apartment most evenings/days off, wearing sweatpants and no bra, chilling with my boyfriend and roommate, usually watching HBO. 

Excuses and reasons aside, staying in all February was not my goal. My goal, as you’ll recall, was to GET. OUT. So on a snowy-ish Sunday this weekend, I did not one but TWO things that didn’t take place in my apartment. First, I went to a yoga class. As we all know, I usually do yoga on my bedroom floor, with Kelsey’s cat staring disdainfully down at me from the comfort of my bed. But I decided to do it from a new location this weekend, allured by a class titled “AromaYoga,” taught by someone I know, and the description including balancing of the chakras. Oh yeah. Talk about hippie shit like chakras and I am THERE. But I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I haven’t been to a yoga class since high school, and definitely not since I started doing it on my own again. And I’ve never been to a two hour class. But it was AWESOME. It felt incredibly laid back, more like an easygoing group yoga and essential oil workshop than a scary, intense workout class. I smelled so many amazing oils, got out of my comfort zone a little, and by the end of it I was so f*cking zen that when Eli picked me up I was almost asleep. (Sidenote: if you're interested in learning more about these particular essential oils, hit me up. I can hook you up with the deets.) And I felt empowered. Empowered when, in the class, I looked in the mirror and noticed that I looked strong. Felt strong. I felt empowered on the drive home when I realized that I did something positive for my mind and body on my day off, instead of huddling in my home, clutching my free time to my chest and wondering why (and HOW) it was slipping through my fingers so quickly. This is going to sound hippie as hell, but I honestly feel that by having a looser grip on my day off yesterday, it felt longer and more luxurious. I did GOOD things with my time, and I didn’t feel like I had “wasted” a second of it by the end. 

Second, I socialized. I literally cannot recall the last time I went to a party. Do family parties count? I spend most of my time with my boyfriend Eli, a cat who doesn’t even belong to me, and my best friend, with whom I can sit in silence and discuss absolutely nothing (or you know, our relationships and world peace in the same breath) for hours. I don’t mean to do this, to be the kind of girl who hangs out with her two best friends, a cat, and no one else. It just comes naturally. Before I met Eli, Kelsey was the only person I could hang out with who didn’t drain the hell out of me. And we would still only hang out for a few hours at a time. We’re just solitary people, which is why living together is so harmonious for us. But when I met Eli, for the first time in my life I didn’t want to be alone. I never wanted to leave him, because he didn’t drain me. He simultaneously energized and calmed me. It is therefore only natural to gravitate towards someone who does that for you. However, my goal was to get out. To be with other people and to try new things. So when my friend Siobhan invited myself, Kelsey, and many of the other ladies in our social circle to a Galentine’s Day party, I jumped at the opportunity. Challenge myself, fulfill a lifelong (and by lifelong I mean since the first time I saw Parks & Recreation) dream, AND spend time celebrating awesome ladies? COUNT ME IN. I can’t describe how good it felt, especially with our political climate being what it is, to sit in a room full of gorgeous, intelligent, badass women, and celebrate female friendship. To celebrate being women in a time when it almost feels like we’re being penalized for it. 

Let me describe the atmosphere of last night. A table full of vegan baked goods, talk of makeup and the patriarchy, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on the record player, Shirley Temples, a faint scent of Lush and sugar in the air, and a Nasty Women sign on the wall. It was empowering just to be in the presence of so many inspiring women. And sure, when I got home I was tired from being around so many people all day, but I also felt SO GOOD. I took off my makeup and felt even cuter than I did with it on. I snuggled with the cat and FaceTimed Eli to say goodnight, and I felt so proud of myself for trying, for getting out of my comfort zone and succeeding in staying there. 

And today I have a snow day. A second day off to be entirely alone, back in that comfort zone. Kinda feels like a gift from the universe.

-Fran

P.S.- If you wanna learn more about essential oils (and these Young Living oils in particular) don't hesitate to reach out to me!