But I know how to turn my mood around

Yesterday I came home and was sad, frustrated, done with life and the world. I hated my job, my life, my situation, etc. I was having the biggest pity party, and no one was invited.

I opened my computer and ran into old Design work I had done, old videos, old pictures. I realized I don’t give myself enough credit, I have made a sport out of it. I am a good designer, I am a good eating disorder battler, I am a good warrior. My obsession with perfection and my expectations are what keep me blindfolded.

I blindfold myself from the progress, my achievements and my current situation. Maybe I wanted to have EVERYTHING figured out by the time I turned a certain age. But I have reached a certain age and I don’t have it all figured out (nor have I the husband, the house and the perfect job). And that’s ok because life is about figuring things out, about getting better, stronger, wiser and smarter. Life is a learning journey. I still have a lot to change, and a long distance to walk but with all I have done I’ve paved the way to move faster in some areas. The difficult ones are those lessons I have yet to learn.

But Erika, come back here whenever you feel like you’ve run out of hope. Keep dancing, keep laughing and keep creating because that is your essence, not bingeing or feeling down.

I love you, and me, and you.

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What inspires me…

It seems like all I talk about are my binges and setbacks but, to be quite frank (and fair), I lead a very happy life. I also think I am used to enhance and highlight my failures because it keeps me stuck, stuck in my comfort zone and falsely “safe”. I wanna share images and stuff in general that keep me inspired, feed my dreams and make me wanna get out of that mediocre comfort zone.

Beautiful clothes

Beautiful clothes

 

Impeccable design

Impeccable design

Self-love promoting quotes.

Self-love promoting quotes.

Powerful, successful women

Powerful, successful women

My beautiful family

My GORGEOUS family

Vicious Cycle

I opened a Graphic Design business over a year ago with 5 friends from college. I was sick of my job, the miserable wage and had just quit to embark on a 1-month long trip with my current boyfriend. To be completely honest, sometimes many times I make decisions out of impulsivity (what a surprise, huh? coming from an emotional eater). Opening a business was one of those things.

I have no accurate recollection of when, why or how I agreed to start a business, sign papers and commit to a “marriage” with 5 other people. Yes, they are my friends but did I want to sign those papers? On the moment, I thought I did. Did I know what I was doing? Certainly not.

Fast forward one year, 3 and a half months later. I am writing a post at 2:02 am on an attempt to understand how I got myself into a situation I can’t seem to get out of. You see, starting a business is not like eating half a box of cookies and then deciding to barf them or to go for a run on the treadmill to avoid a guilt trip afterwards. Eating half a box of cookies is a lousy decision, an impulsive decision, especially when the thing you dread the most is gaining weight. But, even with that dread in mind I have eaten half a box of cookies, hell I have eaten much more than that in a matter of minutes for a LONG time. Making irresponsible decisions and then “erasing” them by fooling everybody (myself included) became a sport. I chose to make the mistakes but desperately tried to avoid the consequences. I got used to it, to “eat whatever I wanted” and still lose the 4 pounds my nutritionist expected me to after giving me a no carbs, no sugar diet. I even realised that by barfing before I went to visit him, my body fat appeared to reduce a large percentage. I was the perfect patient. But the biggest scam was on myself.

So, back to the business part. I decided this week I am definitely not happy working with my friends, working independently. I have had that epiphany many, many times before, maybe even more times than you’ve heard Rihanna’s “We found love” on the radio. I feel like we’re not disciplined, not committed and not hungry enough to make this business a successful one. At first I thought I was being pessimistic but after a year and a half, I know I don’t have yet what it takes to make this business successful. My heart’s not in it, my mind’s not in it and I feel blocked, stuck, frustrated.

On an attempt to save the business, last month I attended some entrepreneurship conferences. I LOVED them and became inspired. On a specific one, I entered a contest to win a scholarship of Professional Assessment for Small Businesses. It turns out I won the scholarship and a consultant visited us today. He interviewed us all and asked us, amongst other things, why we wanted the Assessment, what were our goals, our weaknesses, our strengths, etc. As he kept asking, I kept thinking how much I don’t want to be there, how afraid I am to say it out loud but mainly, how much I don’t know what I want or what I would do instead. My main fear to coming clean to my partners is crushing them and not knowing what I wanna do instead. There is this little voice inside me saying that I shouldn’t keep working there, it has been there the whole time but I have ignored it because I feel the decision will bring pain and conflict.

I also think that in order to change my life drastically and turn it around, I must change my surroundings, my friends, my habits, my current situation. I don’t feel I’m where I’m supposed to be in order to break through. I believe we become the average of the 5 people we spend most time with and I definitely wouldn’t want to turn into any one of my partners.

The fear to tell this to my partners has been paralyzing me but the biggest fear is not knowing what I wanna do with my life next!

I don’t wanna make any impulsive decisions anymore so I have to really think what I want and stop thinking about what everybody else wants.

Gotta go to sleep, it’s 3am now. Thanks for reading!!!

Of fashion and body acceptance.

I just came back from yet another high class, fancy ass mall (there are lots of those around my neighborhood). You know the works: 15-year olds wearing oversized bags, m.i.l.f.s EVERYWHERE strutting impeccable bodies covered from head to toe in outfits as if put together by Rachel Zoe and me, Erika wearing old Puma shoes, some ripped (in the groin area) Baby Phat jeans that I’ve owned since 1999 (more like 2005 but whatever) and a not-so-chic “I heart my B.F.” sweatshirt.

Now, I’m a graphic designer whose been interested in fashion ever since I was 13 and wanted to be a high class fashion designer living in Paris or Milan at age 27, (I wrote that on a letter to myself as an assignment in English class) . My career took a different path (a better one) but my interest in fashion has not changed; I even had about 6 albums of pictures I recollected from magazines or newspapers of models, celebrities and fashionistas. I aspired to be one of those girls and used to think that if I closed my eyes, wished really hard and pictured myself being one of those girls, it would eventually come true. I have always been naive to the point where I thought that even though I was 5’3″ tall, by reaching my 20’s I would be the tallest, thinnest and prettiest girl in the world, regardless of my genetic history. The problem was that I was wishing to be somebody else while ignoring and rejecting my current self. Once I realized I wouldn’t reach a 6ft height, a size 0 or have mile long legs, insecurity kicked in. I threw out all of my albums and decided to acknowledge my true self. This is a process I’m still in the middle of and it is not being as easy or as quick as I would have wished it to be.

Two years ago I decided to stop buying celebrity-gossip and fashion related magazines because it did my head no good at all… but about one year ago I ran into an article in a magazine at my boss’ bathroom about fashion bloggers which lead my way back into fashion. So, I started to spend hours, days and weeks going through fashion blogs ever since I decided I wanted to dress better. I decided that in order to become familiarized with trends, designers and the fashion scene without having to buy self-esteem shattering fashion magazines, I would attempt a friendlier approach through fashion blogs.

Little did I know that it would later turn into another not-so-healthy obsession and yet another excuse to feel inferior or unfulfilled. I was going(and still occasionally am) through blogs made by girls my age (or even younger) documenting their fabulously fashionable lives making my own life look as if I lived in a box under a bridge. Like, seriously, what do this fashion bloggers do for a living that they can travel around the world looking every day as if they were headed to a magazine shoot or a catwalk? Where do they get the time or money to look like that every single freaking day of the week? I can’t even manage to not repeat my outfits for the weekend’s special occasions!!! Anyways, so after realizing how this blogs started affecting me negatively, I decided to stop going through them as religiously as I used to and searched for other blogs that would lift my spirits instead of crushing them.

I am really happy I have found this new wave of positive, uplifting, self-love breeding blogs, it has given me so much more and has contributed to my acceptance enormously ; it is constantly reinforcing my self-confidence.

But then, there are days like today where I yearn to have been born with impeccable style and walk nonchalantly amongst a crowd of fashionistas feeling like I belong there.

Naturally, I wanted to go back home and eat the whole fridge and pantry, I detected my intention to eat my feelings of inferiority away. I decided to write a post instead and have a cup of tea. My answer to every crisis is food, so I need to condition myself to release my energy in another way and allow myself to feel :).

I had an epiphany today: being in my design firm is like being in an unhappy marriage. I feel like my calling is living/working abroad, it has always been! I always imagined my job being glamorous and exciting… right now it hasn’t been any of those. I feel as if my whole body is telling me I don’t belong where I am right now, it’s like I’m rejecting it. I need to think things through in order to not make an impulsive decision (as I always do) and come up with a plan and a clearer goal.

I thank this little blog for helping me have a clearer mind.

I leave you with two quotes that fit this post perfectly, by Steve Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”