Love, Everywhere.

Last week, I shared my typical morning routine. It was intentional, and meant to be. But sometimes, we fall into routines without even realizing it. Some are good, some are bad. I’ve come to realize that me and my boyfriend have a “Turn down” routine. A few elements are deliberate, like meditating and no electronics 15 minutes before bed. However, I noticed that at some point of the night once we’re done with our individual tasks for the day, we always share a moment on the couch to snuggle and watch TV.  

These couch moments of watching shows neither of us wants to really watch, but we watch anyway for the other person – are some of my favorite moments. Doing absolutely nothing can be everything. During last night’s “nothing” moment, my boyfriend caught me Googling “How to escape waterboarding”. You know I can see you right? I jumped when he asked me. I did not know he could see me. (Also, I could not find a way to escape. Please let me know if you do) 

I ended up going on Instagram instead. On the top of my feed was a post Miley Cyrus dedicated to her husband Liam Hemsworth for his birthday. I read it in its entirety. She talked about the reasons she loved him, and the special silly and sweet moments they share. One in particular – “I love having a teeth brushin’ partner,” made me smile. Me and my boy friend both have electronic toothbrushes, so when I sleep before him I ask him to brush his teeth with me, so that he doesn’t wake me. Now, we brush our teeth together regardless of what time the other person goes to sleep. Sometimes, I’ll pre-paste his toothbrush. Last night, he did a stupid dance behind me while I rinsed my mouth. 

It was heartwarming to think that Miley and Liam were doing the same thing we were too. Different people, different couples, different lifestyles, doing something as simple as brushing their teeth and being in love. Obviously there were other couples doing the same thing too. Cooking while the other washed dishes. Meditating. Reminding the other to take their vitamins. Asking Alexa to tell them a joke. Taking a walk to the mailbox. Sharing their fears. Sharing their dreams. Taking Spanish class. Picking out baby names. Not so subtly hinting what kind of ring they want. Arguing. Making up. Taking edibles. Laughing. Crying. LOVING. 

Love is happening everywhere. All the time. Including right this very moment. And if you’re reading this, I hope it’s happening for you too. 

 

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2018 Beauty Picks.

The following are a few new products I tried in 2018 and have made the cut over to 2019. 

Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser: This is by far my favorite product of 2018. I wanted a face wash that could take off my makeup and was still gentle on my skin. I found all that and then some in this product. Not only did it take off my makeup better than my Biore wash that has exfoliating beads, but it was less aggravating and smells really good. You can buy it HERE.

Eskinol Pimple Fighting Cleanser: I’m weary about Eskinol products, because they’re known traditionally as skin whiteners and y’all should know by not that I am a better person when I’m tan. However, I’ve noticed that this specific product does in fact keep my skin feeling clean and deters it from breakouts. I don’t like the smell (it doesn’t stink, but it can be momentarily strong), but it does wonders for my skin and cost nothing if you get it in PI. Shout out to Ness for the assist! You can buy it HERE (or go to the Philippines and buy 5 for $11 lol).

Makeup Eraser: My cos-sign for this might be a little preemptive considering I only used the sample cloth that came with my Birch Box (thanks Codi!), but I’m assuming that the full size cloth is only better. The reviews are true, it’s like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for your face. I used a  tiny square of it and was able to take off my waterproof eyeliner better than soap and water. It’s reusable too! You can get it HERE.

Sephora Fresh Peach Lip Gloss: really wanted Nars’ Orgasm lipgloss, but couldn’t justify paying $28 for a product that you could barely see. Instead, I asked the Sephora rep for a dupe and I ended up with this at half the cost, with an almost identical sheen/shine. It’s for those days where you don’t want to wear lipstick, but have slightly more oomph than just a bare lip. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: Since I can no longer find my original favorite liquid liner, which is made by Rimmel, I crossed over to the darkside of name brand liner and found my new favorite liner of all time. The brush on this is so precise, yet easy to use that I’m able to create the sharpest cat-eyes ever. I wasn’t able to wear eyeliner for most of the year due to the Thanos of all styes, but when I risked it all for this eyeliner during a few holiday parties. 

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In Your Feelings.

There are a lot of things I let bother me (I’m working on this). Something that never fails to get my blood boiling are people who use their past as an excuse to treat others like shit. In most cases, it’s a valid excuse, but at some point in your life you need to stop using the victim card to victimize others. A lot of people will realize this, yet continue to use their past as a crutch.

The saying is hurt people hurt people, but after a while that shit gets old and at my age it’s getting harder for me to empathize. Y’all need to grow the fuck up and be better,  or you’ll spend your future living in the past, living with the pain, and ultimately – living alone. 

We all have our reasons for acting the way we do, and we are all entitled to feel the way we feel. I’ve learned that you should never apologize for the way you feel, it’s what makes you, YOU. Your past makes you special, but it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. So if there are people who’ve experienced similar setbacks (and trust me, there are plenty) yet were able to overcome them, be better because of it, and NOT treat people like shit, you can do the same. To think any different is narcissistic.

Know that when I write this, I am also applying it to myself. I’m sure I’ve used my childhood to explain myself to … myself, and that’s exactly it. What’s happened in your past is only an explanation – not a justification

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The Grow Up.

I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I’m growing up. Kinda. I say “kinda” because I finally picked out my medical benefits all by myself … yet still managed to get cake all over my shirt this past Sunday. It’s hard to say. I’m the same girl I was when I started this nearly a decade ago, but I’m also not. Strangely, I have a feeling you guys get what I mean by that.

Looking back, I’ve found that my most popular posts next to ones about 9-inch dicks and anal sex, were about love. More specifically, heartache. While happy posts about the “glitter and the gay” were a strong 3rd place, ain’t no better Mary J. than …

What’s the 411? Mary J.
K-Ci from JoJo Mary J.
Sad Mary J.

Alas, I couldn’t be sad forever – no matter how many views it got. And I hope y’all don’t want to be sad forever either.

I’ve also been coming to terms with the fact that my readers are growing up with me. Look at y’all falling in love, having careers and shit. Your boyfriends who’ve begrudgingly read my articles in the past have turned into your husbands, and if they were horrible people – have turned into your ex. Either way, mama is proud.  Just the other day I received a DM from one reader who started following GATNB when she was 18 – she’s now 25. One: where’d my graduation invite go? Two: HOLY SHIT, that’s love.

It’s bittersweet. On one hand, it’s a reminder that I’ve had my blog for so many years yet feel like I didn’t hustle hard enough to have it reach its fullest potential. On the other hand, I’m grateful to have even made a difference in one person’s life. 

If you’re a Day 1, the change in my blog content should be apparent. I went from writing about anal sex and cheaters to plants and crystals, and I’m sure some of y’all want a refund. Naturally, the direction may change as I change – as we change. However, my mission to let you know you aren’t alone will never waver. Not never. You can’t have the glow up without the grow up. Otherwise, all you’re doing is getting old. And you know I ain’t having that. 

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Words to Love By.

Throughout the years I’ve given a lot of advice that I never could take (that would just be silly, come on now!). If there was any advice I wish my younger self would’ve stuck by post-break up, it would definitely be the list below.

1. You cannot be friends with your ex.  YOU JUST CAN’T. We all want to think we’re mature enough to remain friends with an ex, but it’s not even about being mature. It’s about being honest with yourself, and the truth is feelings don’t end just because a relationship does. Exes are exes for a reason and it’s not to BE FRIENDS. At least not right away. Not until you both know there are absolutely no more feelings involved, and even then it’s all fun and games until one of you gets involved in a new relationship. Just trust me on this one.

2. Don’t go back on your word. This is where you have to be really, really honest with yourself. Be careful when you say the following:

  • This is the LAST time
  • I’M DONE
  • Leave me alone

Especially if you know you don’t really mean it. Our minds like to pretend we mean it, but deep, deep down inside our hearts know we don’t. The moment you tell the other person this and then go back on your word is the  moment they know they can disrespect you. Your word is your bond. The next time you say something you don’t mean, think about your asshole ex telling you “I won’t lie/cheat on you again” and check your integrity.

3. YOU DO NOT NEED CLOSURE. You do not need to go to his house for that one last conversation to get all your questions answered. To get that apology. To get a box of your stuff, etc. etc. Because sometimes you’ll never get that apology you deserve, you don’t even wear that shit anymore, and let’s face it – this isn’t an attempt at “closure” it’s an attempt at opening once last door to making it work. You know how many times I’ve met up with a man to get closure and actually got closure? ZERO times, which leads me to the next one … 0

4. STOP HAVING SEX WITH HIM. Just. Stop. You won’t get over him if you’re still under him. And don’t give me none of that, “At least if I’m having sex with him then I know he’s not having sex with someone else” or “But I already know him, I don’t want to fuck someone else”. This is why you don’t need to see him/her for closure. All closure gets you is into another bad relationship cycle or a dick in your mouth – or both.

5. YOU WILL GET OVER HIM. You will. I promise. I bet my life on it. You know why I can do that? Because I swore on my own life that I would never get over the man that broke my heart. I swore this at least 3 times with 3 different men. So you see my beauty, YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY GET OVER HIM. 

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Nothing Compares to You.

We are often told not to do certain things. Yet, despite knowing the consequences – we do them anyway. One of these things is comparing yourself to others. Sometimes I do this without even trying and let’s be real here, we’ve all compared ourselves to others at one point or another.

I am grateful to know many amazing women who are all successful in their own rite. So much, that it’s hard not to compare ones achievements, economic status, milestones, passport stamps, and if you’re me – boobs. I’m being dumb, but I’m also being real. It’s not jealousy, it’s admiration. So how do you not be jealous when there’s so much to be jealous of?

Whenever I start to compare myself to others, I remind myself of 3 things:

  1. How deserving these women are. She has all these accolades, because she put in the work. She’s lucky to have found that man, but that man is lucky to have found her too. She has that bank account, because she’s managed her money wisely. She has that body, because she takes good care of it.
  2. The unseen struggle behind every success. Maybe you’re a woman who is a mother that wishes she had a cool job at a fancy office that allowed her to jetset to exotic places like another woman she knows. But maybe that woman jetsetting to her next locale wants nothing more but a family, and has been trying to have a baby for the past 3 years. You just never know.
  3. Karma. Because I’m well aware that there are in fact people who just get lucky, or horrible people that have good things happen to them. If you don’t believe in karma, believe that every minute spent comparing yourself to someone else, is a minute less to focus on being the best version of yourself.

Ultimately, it’s not enough to surround yourself with successful people. Surround yourself with GOOD people. People so good you won’t be jealous of them, you’ll be inspired by them instead.

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The Pursuit of Happiness.

Since I was little, I’ve been a chaser. You’d think I’d have better stamina by now. I’ve chased people, dreams, the sun, and like many others – happiness. I’ve been chasing, yet never fast enough.

Lordt, I am tired. And I got a bum ankle.

Standing in front of Zara the other day, I had a full blown moment. The kind of moment where had it been a movie, it would’ve been filmed in slow motion over dramatic music. I watched seemingly affluent tourists, businessmen and women walk past me carrying their designer bags, getting picked up by black car service, and taking business calls. And I asked myself, “Is this all there is?”

I had just accepted a job offer, and was shopping to celebrate. Yet, in that moment I no longer felt jubilant. For the past few years, I’d been chasing a better company to work for, a better position, a better paycheck, and I got it. But that feeling of what I assumed to be happiness when I got the job offer was fleeting. It made me wonder if I’d be spending the rest of my life chasing the “next best thing?” Until what? Until when? Am I ungrateful?I’m not dense. I know money isn’t everything and it doesn’t guarantee happiness. So WTF was I waiting for then?

It was in that moment, I realized that the true meaning of happiness for me, is finding your purpose in life and sharing it with the rest of the world.  I could be wrong, but I believe my purpose is to use my writing to help people feel like they’re not alone. Some may argue that I’ve been doing that, but my big picture goal has always been to write a book. This is something I obviously haven’t done yet. It remains just another empty promise I made to myself. A purpose killer.

The idea of being miserable until I write the book did cross my mind. Trust me, I do miserable so well. But instead, I decided to find purpose in everyday. In every moment. In every morning stretch, in every good night kiss. In every celebration and in every rejection. Instead of beating myself up for every moment I’m not doing something to contribute towards my big picture, I think of the little picture and wake up everyday thankful with intent. That way, I can find joy – whether big or small, in everyday. Even the hard days. Especially the hard days.

This concept of finding purpose in everyday isn’t anything new, but it is new to me. Sounds simple enough, yet it took me 37 years. Am I happy since my new discovery? Not yet, I’m battling 30+ years of reprogramming here. But am I less miserable, ungrateful, and negative because of it? ABSOLUTELY. I hope you all find your purpose, and maybe – just maybe, some happiness along the way. 

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