Popcorn & Prosecco: Rooftop Cinema Club–Los Angeles

About a month ago, I purchased tickets for my (at the time) boyfriend and I to see an older movie “Heat” with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on an outdoor rooftop building in LA. I figured this would be a fun and trendy date night for us, and I wanted to do something nice for him.

I purchased the more expensive love seat tickets, which included a 2-person chair, blankets, pillows, endless popcorn, and a glass of wine or beer each (still only $30 per person). Unfortunately though, we broke up before we could enjoy this special night together.

As the independent and strong woman that I am, I decided I didn’t depend on him in order to go myself. I invited my best friend Ally to accompany me on this new girl date night. Although I was slightly disappointed that this night didn’t go according to plan, I was very happy to have my trusty and reliable best friend be my sidekick for the night.

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We dressed cute, and headed out. Of course, we made a pit stop at Taco Bell before getting stuck in the all-too-expected LA traffic (UGH–why I hate LA right here). We finally made it to the destination: Level Furnished Living. This place was no joke. They only offered valet (no self-parking), which we were not informed of on the tickets or website. We ended up spending $16 to park for a few hours, but later realized that there are a ton of other, cheaper parking structures close by (note to future self). We asked the concierge what the price was to live there, and were told it costs $4,000-$6,000 per month. Holy cow.

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We headed on up to the rooftop which, disappointingly, was not as high as the building was. We thought we were going to be about 30 stories high or so, but came to find we were only about 10 stories up. Sigh, first world problems.

On the bright side though, the venue was freakin’ adorable. Despite not being that high up, the view was still pretty cool. Little lights surrounded the seating area, which was full of little lawn chairs on a bed of grass. A giant movie screen was set into the side of the building, for easy movie viewing from even the back rows. We were all given individual headphones, so that we could hear the movie despite the city noises. Before sitting down, we loaded up on popcorn and prosecco. We then crammed on the tiny 2 person chair–love you Al, but that was a little too close for comfort! Unfortunately the seats were not the most comfy, and the flying bugs were a slight distraction as you tried to focus on the screen. We were less than enthusiastic about the 3 hour movie that we chose, so we decided to duck out early after an hour of watching.

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We then headed over to The Yardhouse for some pints of cider. Have to admit though, it was 10:30pm and I was already getting sleepy (did I mention I’m a grandma?)…so we headed home shortly thereafter…although not without hitting a ton of frustrating 11PM LA traffic.

So the question is: do I recommend going to the Rooftop Cinema Club in LA?

Yes. The venue is adorable, and perfect for a date night or girls’ night out. Take selfies and enjoy your glasses of wine & popcorn as you look out at the LA skyline.

Tips:

Don’t valet the car. Self-park in one of the nearby parking structures (walkable distance).

Know the movie you are seeing. Read reviews, see one you already know and like, or just seriously cross your fingers. Since there are more distractions outside than in a real movie theater, you really have to enjoy the movie to be invested.

Wear warm clothes. Even if it’s 90 degrees during the day, it gets much cooler at night time. Especially since you are in a shaded area, you experience wind and chills. They do provide blankets, but it’s definitely nice to come prepared.

Don’t purchase the loveseat. Honestly, even if you’re going with your “honey”, I guarantee you will both be a million times more comfy in your own individual seats. Plus! It’s cheaper that way. General admission is $19 per person. To learn more about the rooftop cinema experience and see their movie schedule click here.

Well, that’s my review. Hope you enjoyed.

 

xx allie

The Beauty of Today

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This morning I woke up early, before my alarm went off. I always love when I wake up at 5am, as it’s the best feeling knowing that I still have an hour and a half more to sleep. Today is also the best day of the week—it’s Friday…and for the next two days I don’t have any responsibility. I am trying to appreciate my free weekends right now, before I am occupied with papers and homework once I start grad school in August. The sun is out and about today, even along the coast, meaning it’s going to be a great weekend for tanning/hiking.

As I drove to work, I came across zero accidents. Phew. I checked my snack drawer as always, and noticed that someone had left a “Take 5” candy bar inside. I’m not sure who put it there, but I am absolutely grateful for their generous gesture. I always try my best not to purchase candy bars at the store (despite my contact desire to), but since this one randomly appeared in my vicinity…I am stoked. Thank you Universe.

Quick aside: I came across the most adorable succulent garden last night at Trader Joe’s, and simply cannot get my mind off of it. I will be going back this weekend to purchase those potted plants for my room. I love to add life to my living space. They literally look like this and they’re only $6.99 apiece:

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I am leaving work early today to go make a business relationship, and try samples of nuts and dried fruit (strange I know). Things like this make me grateful for the job. (Also so stoked for my solo business trip to Bend, Oregon next month! Woo!).

Tonight is a fun event, as Ally and I are headed to an LA Rooftop movie w/ wine and popcorn included. We are definitely going to get trendy and dolled up, as we rarely have a reason to go downtown on a Friday night. More to come on this..

Today I am full of energy and liveliness as it’s a beautiful day to be alive, and I am SO stoked for all that is to come. I am ready for the next chapter that the Universe delivers. I am ready for new adventures and learning experiences. Bring it!

xx allie

Creating a Cozy Room

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After graduating from UCSB a few years back, I moved back in with my mom to save money while working. Expecting it to be a relatively short transition period between my school apartment accommodation and getting my own place, I did little to decorate my room or “make it my own” so to speak. I took little pride in my room, and never felt good spending extended periods of time in it.

A few months back, I was accepted into a 2-year Master’s program that ultimately led me to decide to live at home for a little longer to avoid losing money over paying rent expenses. While it was tough to make this decision at the time, looking back I am really relieved that I did.

That being said, I felt compelled to transform my room into a cozy and inviting space for me to relax or study in. Although it’s not completely done yet, I already feel SO much better about my room and how far it’s come along. I now take pride in my room, keep it spotless and clean, and look forward to getting home to it at the end of every work day. It’s my cozy comfort lounge.

Here’s what I did:

Paint Color: Alright this was somewhat of a difficult choice. I knew I wanted something calming and warm. So for me it was between a very light yellow, coral, or mint. I decided to go with coral, as I feel this color is girly and happy. Side note: be careful when choosing your color from a swatch! The color always looks a few shades darker on your wall once it’s done. Also, you should definitely watch some painting tutorials on YouTube if you’ve never painted a room on your own before. There are tips and techniques for making your walls smooth and even. My life would have been 1000x easier if I had done this before myself.

Pillows: Essential. An assortment of pillows with different patterns and materials makes for the cozy illusion that you want. How can a bed truly be comfortable without pillows? Not only do they add to the coziness factor, but they also add toroom11 the deco. Use them as an accent or statement to give your room more pizazz and character.  You’ll also need a soft throw or blanket to lay across the foot of the bed: it’s an optional piece of extra coziness. I purchased mine at Ross.

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Rug: Specifically if you have wood floors, you will definitely be needing a rug. The rug should tie in with the other decorations around the room, but is mainly there to keep your feet warm as you move about. You’ll never want to leave your bed if you’re anticipating a freezing cold floor! Worry no more. I bought mine at Home Goods for $30.

Lamp: Lighting/Fixtures are important. There are literally thousands of styles of lamps. They can be modern, vintage, sleek, unique, and everything in between. The style of lighting you choose can really make or break your room and its theme. For my room, I chose a Himalayan salt crystal lamp. These have a ton of added health benefits, but also emit a dim pink hue that is not too distracting or obnoxious. I liked it because it adds to the calm, peaceful setting that I was going for with my ambiance. I got mine from Home Goods for only $15.

Candles: Not everyone is a fan of candles, but I happen to love them. They come in any scent and color, and never fail to relax me in the evening when I light them as I read. A nice scent is vital in a room, as it truly adds to the aura it presents. Pro Tip: Go for the Soy Wax Candles, as their smoke isn’t harmful for you to breathe.

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Living Plants: Living plants are always a nice touch. For my room, I chose a baby orchid plant that I’ve put on my bedside table. It’s totally thriving right now, and makes my room seem alive! Watering the plant and keeping it healthy also makes me feel like a proud plant parent. Hehe.

Reading Corner:  I am obsessed with reading good books. For me, a good book is one on self-help practices, relationships, communication, psychology, the brain, or mental health disorders. [Duh—I’m getting my Masters in Counseling Psych].  So personally, a nice space to read is vital. I had a vacant corner of my room that I decided to devote to this cause. I went to Target and was able to get a very soft seat ($70), which I’ve draped with a fuzzy throw ($30) and the latest edition of Psychology Today. Overhead is a 36” white feathered dream catcher that I purchased on Amazon for $15. Arguably my favorite section of my room.

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Wall Deco: Take your time with this one. It is important to find a painting/picture/canvas that you truly truly love. After all, it is the centerpiece of the entire room. It took me a few months to find something I loved, but I finally found this colorful elephant from Cost Plus World Market, that I just had to have. It was $100, which was a little more than I was willing to spend. I left the store without it, but the next day, I looked online and found the same canvas from Burlington Coat Factory for under $50. I bought it immediately. It currently resides over my bed and I absolutely LOVE how much brilliance it’s added to my room.

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While my room is still in the process of its transformation, I am TOTALLY excited about the progress I’ve made so far. I still need to purchase a flat screen TV for the wall across from my bed, a mirror to hang on the wall above my dresser, a floor plant for an empty corner of my room, and some mini lights to hang over my bed or window (have decided which yet). I feel confident that by my room’s conclusion, it will be the cozy and relaxing space that I desire and look forward to.

xx allie

On Integrity

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In·teg·ri·ty

inˈteɡrədē/

noun: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

Synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principles, ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness.

As I grow older, I am discovering the value of integrity in others. Not every person we meet has integrity. Not every person we meet is authentic, and true. There are many people who struggle with being honest and trustworthy. There are many people who feel a strong need to fabricate in order to win acceptance from others. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the truth is often uncovered, making the acceptance and belonging that was so sought after, virtually unattainable.

As social media becomes more central to society, it seems that integrity as a trait is declining. Now I don’t have proof or statistics, but I’m just describing an overwhelming observation.  More and more people are beginning to obsess over how others see them. More important than the true nature of a person, seems to be the façade that they create for themselves and protect at whatever cost or expense.

What exactly is a façade?

Façade: an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

What’s more, they are more or less unaware of (or in denial about) how unauthentic they are being. Not only are they not being honest to others, but more importantly they are not being true to themselves. What happens as a result? They live an unfulfilling life. They cannot be wholehearted. They cannot be at peace within their soul. They will constantly work to uphold the image they’ve created, and a false one at that. It’s like running on a treadmill that never lets up. Running and running, but getting nowhere. Trying to catch up with their lies, but coming up short every time.

More than anything, I feel sorry for the people that don’t feel “good enough” to just be honestly themselves. They are afraid of criticism or rejection. They are afraid of judgment. But what is worse is that they are harvesting superficial relationships that are not built on a foundation of integrity. People like and accept them for the façade they are displaying, but not for the true person that they are. They are illusionists–sometimes so good at creating the illusion that they start to believe it themselves. That’s where the problem ensues. But deep down they don’t have a choice. They’ll do anything to feel accepted. They’ll do anything to feel belonging. They don’t realize that they are only hurting themselves. They are only sabotaging all that the universe provides to them.

To the outsiders that aren’t fooled by the façade, we get angry. We wonder how people can be so foolish and conniving. We wonder why they could lie to prop themselves up, at the expense of others. But instead of anger, it is best to harbor compassion. It’s time to notice their struggle and acknowledge their powerlessness in defeating it. Or moreover, their unwillingness or incapability to notice it themselves. They are afraid of being vulnerable. They are afraid to step out from under their veil. They are afraid to have integrity.

Be Honest. Be True. Be Humble.

xx allie

The Light Between the Cracks

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“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

-Leonard Cohen

 

One of my favorite courses that I took while attending UCSB was “The Dark Side of Relational Communication”. Not because I am a dark, sadistic person (because I’m not), but because the main premise of the class was that even the worst aspects of our relationships, and the sometimes harsh ways that they end, have a silver lining.

You cannot begin to appreciate the light without darkness. I have been struggling with a very difficult life transition lately. But despite my less than enthusiastic mood and notes of negativity, my support system is rockin’ it. I couldn’t be more grateful for a fantastic group of friends (who are basically family), and family (who are also friends) who have taken it upon themselves to rush in and comfort.  Despite the changes that occur in life, my support system has always been a constant. They are there through the best of times, and the worst of times. They are there to rise up my spirits, and remind me of my worth. They are truly the real MVPs, as they never let me down in my time of need.

I am able to be real with every single one of these people, and they are able to be real with me. They are the foundation on which I stand. They talk to me about the finer things in life, the things that are not always easy to discuss. They question my intentions, my values, and my aspirations, and challenge me to do what’s best. They are what make my life beautiful. They are what make my life deep.  Because that is what life is all about: human connection and belonging. I feel 100% connected by their presence and company in my life. I feel strengthened by their very existence to me. I am incredibly lucky, as not everybody gets the chance to meet life-changing people like these. They truly add to my life, and inspire me to always be my best self.

It takes a loss sometimes to be reminded of all that I have not lost, and never will. The people that see the light in me, will want to remain in my life. They will feel enriched in my presence, as I do in theirs. They will feel inspired by me to be a better version of themselves. To me, a thriving relationship is one in which both parties feel the value of their counterpart, and acknowledge it to them. There is a give-and-take exchange, where both parties feel balanced from the equal reciprocity among them. There are equal parts gratefulness. Equal parts love. Equal parts understanding. And equal parts patience.

There is not always agreement, but there is acceptance for the other side. There is respect, in spite of controversy. Not everybody is willing to make the sacrifices that must be made to cradle a relationship and solidify a bond. Not everybody is willing to endure the darkness, to appreciate the light. I am beginning to see the beauty of the cracks. I am beginning to value the presence of the dark.

xx allie

QUEEN

“Be careful how you play your cards when you have a queen in your hand”

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I know that what I want in life is not impossible. I see it every day. I see men posting appreciation photos of their girlfriend with the caption, “luckiest man in the world”. I see engagements occur every couple of months, when the man knows with 100% certainty he never wants anybody else. I see young married couples holding their children’s’ hands as they walk to the park. But in waiting for my happy ending, I am beginning to lose some hope.

I found a guy that I really fell in love with. I don’t fall often, but when I do, I fall hard. While I feel lucky to be able to love so strongly, it’s hard to fall without inevitably feeling some pain. I let myself be vulnerable with him. But trust me, it wasn’t easy. I remember crying as I looked at him, so overcome with gratitude and joy that it was almost sad. It almost didn’t feel meant for me. The feeling that I had wasn’t “luck”. Because luck is too stupid. Luck is too dumb. It was much more than luck. I felt more than lucky. It felt like being handed a million bucks, and when asked what you owe in return, the person says, “Just accept it”. While it seems like an easy enough request, it wasn’t. I struggled with accepting it. It felt so good, it almost hurt. It felt so right, it didn’t feel right. You spend so much time hoping that life gives you everything you’ve always wanted one day. But do you ever wonder what it feels like when that day actually comes? It’s the scariest thing you’ll ever come to know. You panic. You cry. You shake…for fear of losing it all unexpectedly. Or even expectedly. Anticipating the loss is almost worse. You want to feel relieved that you can finally revel in having what you’ve always wanted. But you simply can’t. It feels too good to be true. It feels like a sick joke from the universe that you hope never reaches the punch line. Because this punch line would hurt.

This should have been the red flag. The sweetness never should have also felt bitter. Looking back, perhaps this sick joke was intuition. Nothing more. I was the only one feeling overcome. I was the only one feeling this obscene amount of gratefulness for what the world had offered me…my so called million bucks. I was the only one struggling to accept this love. Why? Why? Why? I asked myself a million times. Did he not love me as much? Was I not as special to him, as he was to me? Was I a dime a dozen? Had he had greater loves before me? Was I a let-down? Did I not match up to his self-made construct of a future wife? Did he always know it wouldn’t be me?

Or maybe he just didn’t know a good thing when he had it. 

I’m not sure why things changed so unexpectedly, but I have to believe that it’s for my highest good. I guess the universe can take the reins on this one.

Despite it all, I know that my time will come. In my own mind, I am a queen. I will always be deserving. I will always be special, and valuable. I will always be enough. And one day, my king will appreciate his hand, and never let it go.

xx allie

The Courage to be Vulnerable

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Nobody is perfect. We can’t pretend that we are. Everybody has something in their past that is painful to think about, no matter how long ago it occurred. Becoming self-aware, and facing the difficulties of our past is often not the first thing on our agenda. In fact, many people spend their entire lives in denial or avoidance of their deep-seated trauma. They unknowingly let it affect their patterns of behavior, coping mechanisms, communication style, and relationships. They are held hostage by their ignored inner conflict, and are inhibited from operating as their best self.

To me, this is the biggest shame of all. A hesitancy to want to look within is the greatest self-sabotage a person could inflict upon themselves. They are hindering their own self-growth, and are therefore not making the most of their human experience and emotional capability.

So why would a person refuse to look within? The vulnerability. It is scary to look within. It is scary to uncover the dark truths of our past, that we have worked so hard to suppress. Why should we dive headfirst into our painful memories, if we have the option to avoid them? Why shouldn’t we just bury those thoughts into a dark corner of our mind, that we never revisit again? Because, try as we might, they will continue to affect us as long as we choose not to face them.

Therapy is a practice that is accepted by some, and refused by all others. While many people have come to believe that it is vital to their mental wellbeing, others believe it is a stark sign of weakness. No matter what state they are in, their sense of pride convinces them that they are not a candidate for therapy and would never benefit from sharing their emotions with a stranger. I am here to dismantle the latter notion.

Since nobody is perfect, then we can all agree that there is always something that a person could learn to do better. There is always room for improvement. If you know you could improve at something, then wouldn’t you want to? If you could strive to be a better you, then what’s stopping you? If you are in agreement with this, then already everyone is a candidate for therapy.

Why would you want to talk to a stranger, when you don’t even feel comfortable talking to a loved one or friend? This stranger is not just someone you’ve picked off the street. They are a professional, who has been trained to guide you through your subconscious and help you to face the daunting and crippling ghosts of your past and present. They have your best interest in mind, and will do anything they can to help you on your journey of becoming your best “you”. They will provide a safe space for you to speak and think without restraints. They will push you to be vulnerable, but hold your hand along the way (so to speak). They are always on your team.

In psychology, there is something called “the stranger on the train phenomenon”. This is the idea that sometimes a stranger can be our most trustworthy confidant. It is called the “stranger on the train phenomenon”, because people who meet on a train can often talk for hours getting to know each other quite well and sharing some very personal secrets, simply because they know that they will likely never see the person again. To me, this is kind of like a therapist. While of course you will likely see them again, they are not at liberty to discuss anything that you tell them with anyone else (much like the benefit of never seeing a person again). Your therapist can be your stranger on a train.

While many people believe that therapy is for the weak, I would have to disagree. Therapy is for the courageous. Therapy is for those people who have the strength to look within, even if it means being uncomfortable and facing your biggest fears. Therapy is for those who are ready to be a better version of themselves. Therapy is for the humble–the people who know that they are not without flaws, and are willing to work to be better. I admire the people who go out of their way to do something courageous and difficult for the better. For the better of their relationships. For the better of their self-concept. For the better of their future.

xx allie

 

“13 Reasons Why” Review (Mild Spoiler Alert)

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I honestly don’t even know how to begin this post. This series had a lot of shock-value, but the strange thing is, it was wildly realistic. The series starts off with a recording of a young high school girl, Hannah Baker, explaining that by the time anyone hears the recording, she will have already killed herself. She then proceeds to explain how she’s recorded 13 different tapes, outlining the 13 reasons that led up to, and caused her suicide. She has requested that 13 people (all who contributed to her suicide in some way) listen to the tapes and pass them along to the next one on the list after finishing.

If you aren’t a fan of dark shows, then you probably won’t like this one. However, I couldn’t help but be drawn in as I witnessed a likeable and charismatic young girl suffer from the constant bashing and bullying of nearly everyone around her. And while she isn’t always the target of the antagonists, she unfortunately must bear witness to some of the awful things that occur behind the scenes of the high school setting.

She quickly learns that her peers only care to look out for themselves, and will easily throw her under the bus to avoid criticism or confrontation from others. She learns that making friends is not an easy task, and that even the people she considers friends at one point or another, make poor decisions and betray her in the end. She is objectified by the students, and has to endure unwanted attention towards her body, and inappropriate ass-slaps by boys in public settings. She has loving parents, but they are constantly swept up in their business, getting by from paycheck to paycheck and in turn paying little attention to their daughter, who is clearly not okay.

The romance in the story is sweet and promising, but unfortunately Hannah pushes away even the boy she secretly loves due to her fear of being used and hurt yet again. She loses trust for everyone around her, and ultimately feels alone and empty. She makes efforts to participate in school activities, like the “Dollar Valentine” or the poetry club, but even those backfire and she’s left in despair. Hannah stands up for herself in many occasions, and faces the criticism head-on, but towards the end she loses the battle and ceases to care about anything. After trying so desperately to get through the drama that has become her life, she comes to believe that the world would be better off without her in it. She cries for help, and even visits the school counselor as a last ditch attempt to save her life, only to be disappointed one final time by his lack of support and professionalism.

Hannah Baker, although not a real student in the real world, has a story that is shared by many. Many students feel afraid to go to school because of the extreme peer pressure and disparagement that exists. And while students should be supporting one another and lifting each other’s spirits, it is exactly the opposite in too many cases. Although one bad-mannered comment may not mean much to the person who says it, it could potentially be the comment that causes someone to pull the trigger. We can’t pretend that we understand what others might be going through. Everybody has their own story, their own past, or their own family issues. There is more to life than meets the eye, and kindness and compassion can mean all of the difference to someone who is struggling with the will to stay alive. This show truly mastered the dangers of teenage life, and the everyday challenges that so many kids must face. While it is a difficult show to watch, the message is quite profound. The show encourages parents and schools to pay better attention to those children who may be struggling. It encourages children to be kinder to one another, and more accepting. It is a devastating portrayal of the sorrows of life growing up, but the sad part is that it’s hardly an exaggeration.

The show concludes with a lot of questions unanswered, making me squirm with anticipation for the second season. Although the ending is sad, as you are made aware from the very beginning, there is still hope for justice to Hannah’s family and a sense of humanity for those people who come forward to make things right for all of those involved. Nothing but amazing things to say about this show and its impact on me, and hopefully on others. Take a chance & give it a watch. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

xx allie

Appreciation Post: Hot Water

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One of the main reasons why I live a happy and fulfilling life is because I have learned to be grateful for even what seems like the smallest of blessings. When you take the time to FEEL grateful and actually count your blessings, even the biggest of disappointments begin to feel small.

Recently, I was given a reason to be EXTRA thankful for easy access to hot water. Our water heater malfunctioned, and left us without hot water for nearly a week and a half. While this may not seem like the biggest tragedy (and, of course it’s not), it was definitely a large inconvenience that I had to learn to adapt to.

I make it a priority to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. When you’re breaking a sweat and getting dirty, it’s absolutely essential to shower. Every day that I went to the gym while our water heater was out, I had to pack a shower bag: clean clothes, shower flip flops, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, hair brush, detangler…the whole shebang. While this was undoubtedly a hassle to me, it made me feel grateful for even having access to the gym showers. Because no matter how many germs were infesting those shower walls, it still beats a watering hole in murky, muddy water that must be the solution elsewhere in the world. I showered happily and contently in those showers, thinking about the lesser alternatives that I might have if I lived in a different, less fortunate country. In fact, I began to see the bright side of my gym showers: a feeling of nostalgia for my college days, when bringing my shower caddy to the shared bathrooms was the norm.

I was also fortunate to be able to shower once or twice at my boyfriend’s house—thanks Ben! I even had multiple friends who offered to let me borrow their showers, if I preferred (thanks Noosh and Al!). My predicament was a reminder of the fortune and kindness that surrounds me when I need it.

Not only was it difficult to wash my body while the hot water was out, but it was also difficult to wash the dishes! My mom was able to boil water every morning to get the water hot enough to wash our dishes sanitarily. Inventive…I know. Lucky for us, we have large pots and fire that enabled us to boil the water so easily. While it was definitely an extra step in the process of cleaning the dishes, it was an extra step that we were ABLE to do.

While lacking hot water made life a little bit more difficult, I am actually grateful that this happened to us. It was a good reminder of how easily things can be taken away, and how lucky we are to be able to adapt. Losing the hot water made me prioritize something so simple…finding a place to take a shower. And yet, I have a newfound appreciation for the simple things in life. Because what seems simple to us, is not simple to everyone. And what is standard to us, is by no means standard to everyone. Be grateful for your hot water, today and every day. You never know when your tables may turn.

xx allie  

Update: 10 Months on Lexapro

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It’s been 10 months that I’ve been on Lexapro now, and let me tell ya, time flies when you’re happy.

Lexapro has undoubtedly changed my life. On only 5 mg, I am a different person. I am finally me. The effects of lexapro were, and continue to be, astounding for me. I see the world through rose colored glasses, and glean positivity from most all scenarios. Things that would normally bother me, still do, but I no longer ruminate on them and allow them to ruin my day. Small problems stay just that…small. Things no longer escalate into catastrophic emotional turmoil or a downward spiral with no end. Responsibilities no longer feel  daunting, overwhelming, or impossible. I welcome my responsibilities more readily, and do not feel angry or resentful to have them. I am more confident, as my self-esteem has greatly increased. Make no mistake…it is not inflated, but it is finally normal and exists! My irritability and anger has subsided, making my interactions with others much more pleasant than before. I am no longer guilty for carrying so much negativity around everywhere I went.

Lexapro is like a magic wand. It’s science, but it feels like magic. I didn’t doubt it’s ability to help me get through my depression, but I never imagined how drastically different I would feel in my day-to-day life. A good day before Lexapro, is a mediocre day on Lexapro. The bad is never as bad as the good is good. I still get sad. I still cry. I still care about all of the same things I used to. But now, things don’t seem as drastic. If something upsetting happens, it’s not the end of the world. I am more equipped to handle disappointment. I am more motivated to finish tasks I’m not excited to begin.

The positive effects of Lexapro last over time. I have been on 5mg from the very beginning, and have never felt a reason to increase my dose. My body does not get used to it, and then need more to get the same effects. The right dose is the right dose, period. (Or at least in my own experience).

Lasting side effects:

When you’re depressed, you often lose your appetite. Food isn’t appetizing, and it doesn’t taste nearly as satisfying either. As the lexapro kicks in and diminishes the depression, your appetite comes back. Food becomes enjoyable again. To me, this was a good thing. I had lost about 20 pounds while depressed (mostly because I was eating 1/3 to 1/2 of my normal portions). In the last 10 months, I’ve gained about 10 pounds back. I feel that I am at my healthy weight now. Do I think the Lexapro caused me to gain weight? No. I think getting my appetite back caused me eat regularly again. My body restored healthy weight back to my body. I’ve also been more motivated to work out lately, meaning muscle weight is most likely included. Lexapro didn’t cause me to gain weight. Lexapro restored my appetite.

Sleep: I have not had one night of bad sleep since I’ve started taking lexapro.  Sleep was never an issue for me even before taking the Lexapro, but it’s drastically improved nonetheless. I sleep very soundly throughout the night, and hardly ever stir. I struggled with crazy bad dreams up until lately, but they’ve slowly settled down and become less frequent. Night sweats were also relatively frequent after starting the Lexapro, but those too have become less frequent with time.

That’s about it. Lexapro has provided me with so many amazing benefits, and next to no long-term side effects. If you are struggling with depression, and have been thinking about trying an antidepressant, I would highly recommend trying Lexapro. One of the best parts about this pill is that it’s also an anti-anxiety pill. My anxiety has decreased substantially, and no longer gets in the way of my life. I am now living without any unnecessary or crippling constraints. Lexapro has given me the freedom to live my life happily.

xx allie