Posted in About the Author

Bullet Journaling and My Journey to Living More Minimally

Way before it became a trend across Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest, bullet journaling was created as a minimalistic way to track to-do lists, be used as a notebook/diary/sketchbook/ calendar. The original idea of Bullet Journaling was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer and author. The original design required nothing more than a dotted journal, a black or blue pen, a ruler (to keep things neat), and a key to help keep things organized and on track while scheduling.

I happened to get into bullet journaling as a way of combining my desire for some artistic expression as well as finding that typical calendars were not quite fitting my needs while in school and working multiple jobs at a time. I watched videos on Youtube of the general concept of how bullet journals worked, found pretty spreads on Pinterest, and then decided to pick up some cheap and simple supplies to get my own journal started. I enjoyed the ability to choose my own materials (I stuck to basics like Crayola markers, stickers, and washi tape), picked up a clearance journal that cost around $5, and set to work on practicing different layouts to see which would work best for me.

It took some trial an error before I realized that I really did not benefit from habit trackers. Aside from tracking my period every month, tracking how many migraines I have a month, and my monthly bills spread, I really could not keep up with monthly mood/sleep/water intake etc spreads that I had seen on so many fancy Pinterest layouts. This eventually showed me how pairing down my journal and cutting out spreads that were not benefiting me or bringing me a sense of calm, were not worth pursuing and helped show me what I really valued and enjoyed focusing my time on.

Just like with bullet journaling, Marie Kondo’s practice of decluttering from her book “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” found its way into my home after seeing the hype on social media. While I appreciated the practice of de-cluttering anything that did not “spark joy”, I also found some of the practices just not practical for my personal goals. Just like with bullet journaling I was able to keep what I found useful and apply it to my life while disregarding methods that would just stress me out and be more of a hindrance to my overall goal. Putting this into practice also allowed me to see areas that I could replace single use items and instead invest in reusable/sustainable options for my every day used items.

Instead of worrying about folding, I found hanging most of my clothes while I sorted to be more practical and useful.

For example, the easiest fix I could make was in using reusable shopping bags instead of constantly bringing home plastic bags. I also found that using a reusable water bottle was just as easy if not easier than purchasing bottled water. I purchased glass straws (while not everyone may find them to be useful or beneficial, I use straws quite often so felt they would be a practical investment). I switched to using a period Diva cup instead of using disposable pads every month. I started doing research and experimenting with shampoo bars from Lush cosmetics to see if that would be a viable option for my hair type (so far, I found that the bar shampoo works well and lasts quite a while on my short hair) and while I have not completely used up my bottled shampoo, it is something to consider in the future. I invested in reusable/washable cloth pads for removing make up. These are all examples of little changes that I have been implementing over time to help limit my waste, organize my space, and eventually have an impact in my carbon foot print.

Bullet journaling and/or living a more sustainable minimalistic lifestyle does not have to cost a lot of money. I did not try to immediately throw away or buy something to replace the plastic or non-reusable items in my home because I knew that that would not be practical nor save me any time or money in the long run. It is a good practice to use up what you have and then invest in better alternatives when possible. The goal is to make small changes over time that will have a lasting effect. I may never get to the point where I can keep all of my trash from the year in a tiny mason jar to proudly display on my kitchen counter. However I will be able to say that I de-cluttered my surroundings, I changed my eating habits, and I implemented organizational tools through bullet journaling that will have lasting effects on my overall health and well being.

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Posted in About the Author, Anxiety and Experience

The House I Built…

I got very good at letting my feelings fester and rot inside of me. My tongue punctured and scarred from biting down to keep from letting the words come bubbling out from my raw vocal chords that spent too many hours silently screaming.

I became a builder of my own solitary confinement. Brick by brick I built walls around myself to protect, to block, and to surround myself with something familiar yet solid. I built a house full of empty promises and lies to soothe my shattered confidence, screaming into every corner and crack, hoping the foundation would be strong enough to hold up my secrets. Keeping everyone else on the outside at a comfortable distance, close but not quite letting them see inside to the wobbly foundation that I had perched my house on. A careful balance of tip toeing back and forth to keep the walls upright.

I learned that so long as you smile, just a little smirk will do, people will find your “I’m fine” more believable. The smile does not even have to reach the eyes. So a deep breath and a smile would get me through this moment, and onto the next five minutes, and the next. Until I could spare a moment to myself to finally let out a heavy sigh and relax my face. With the drop of my shoulders, it feels like the whole facade drops and the foundation of my house shakes. But the walls quickly go back up, the smile put back in place, and on to try to get through the next 5 minutes, and then the next.

Some days I feel my emotions come pouring in and out of me like waves, washing over me in brilliant blue hues and deep dark greens. Other days, I feel uncomfortably numb, like I am standing barefoot in sheets of grayish snow. I feel as though I am not in control of this body, but merely an observer looking out. A well worn traveler with no destination, wandering aimlessly for meaning and creature comfort.

My body is an open book of scars and tattoos, showcasing my journey from self destructive injury to comfortable self acceptance. If not quite love then at least likability in my own skin. My broken and chewed nails showcase my anxiety, the nail punctures on my palms my struggle to keep balanced. My chewed and bloody lips a testament to my inner battle, a desire to keep in the words that so desperately want to come pouring out of me. I am at odds with myself, craving to be positive and happy yet my mind wading into dark waters. I endlessly float in a sea of happiness that I cannot seem to baptize myself in, forever lapping at the shore to be bounced back out to the depressive sea again.

But I always come back home, to my walls of brick and ink. The walls covered with my stories and insecurities, wrapping me in a dark quiet, waiting for the day I can pull the blinds back and let the sun shine in through the cracks. In the corner I sit, wave after wave crashing over me and into me, the pain absorbing into my bones until I ache. Soft music playing, my security blanket, blocking out the noise from the outside.

Posted in About the Author

Fun Facts to get the Ball Rolling

I am 27 years old, self identified introvert, a Ravenclaw, and a Gemini.

I am adopted.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Agoraphobia, have a panic disorder, and have medical problems that are still a complete mystery.

I am a kitty mom to two fur monsters, Sherlock and Watson. #AdoptDontShop

My favorite song is Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg.

If I had to pick favorite movies: Beauty and the Beast, A Walk to Remember, Boondock Saints, See No Evil, and absolutely anything with Tom Hanks.

I use “awesome sauce” and “cool beans” in every day conversation.

I can frequently be spotted in used bookstores. I get lost among the stacks.

I have a bachelors degree in American Sign Language/Deaf Community Studies.

I have been to 10 countries, not including my own, so far. But only been to 7 states. My bucket list includes a lot more traveling.

Posted in About the Author

RambleMeSmart: Getting Started

The purpose of this online space is to compile my thoughts, my interests, my experiences, joys and successes, as well as what I have learned along the way that I think may be helpful to others. I will post lists of music and books I enjoy, products that I use and recommend, stories/poems of personal experiences, erotic stories, and hopefully eventually get to add podcasts and videos. I want this to be a calm spot that can offer a friendly voice and maybe even a spark of inspiration.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretsky

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. I am not experienced but I do have the passion to get the ball rolling. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new content!