So after I had that full melt-down the day before my birthday, I actually had a great birthday. My mentor cut my hair and did my make-up and she and my roommate and I just hung out and bonded for most of the day. Later they blindfolded me and took me to the beach… where my boyfriend threw me a little surprise birthday bonfire. THAT explained why some of the people I contacted “couldn’t make it”.
BUT as silly as my meltdown now seems, I think it was good for me to go through. I was able to let go of all of the expectations and the bullshit I was holding onto about birthdays. Through my tears, I was able to sort out what really matters to and change my perspective to embrace gratitude. I could have been upset the whole day until the bonfire… but I chose to embody the woman I wanted to become. I chose to start acting the way I wanted Year 24 to feel.
Not gonna lie though, I’m still a baby sometimes though. There are some parts of me that may never grow up. And that is okay 🙂
My chest is on fire. No one is going to show up. I’m embarassed and ashamed. I feel like the only person at the loser table in a high school cafeteria.
Birthdays have always been a little bit uncomfortable and weird for me but this year, I have more anxiety and stress than I ever have before.
When I was little, my mom threw a few really awesome parties for me and my friends to celebrate. When I turned 7, I distinctly remember forcing everyone to sit in a circle in the living room and watch me dance. I had a blast but was definitely offended when a few kids who just wanted to run around left my performance early.
In high school, birthdays weren’t a super huge deal, but my friend group had a tradition of going to dinner and splitting the bill for the birthday person’s meal. In college, we partied and decorated each other’s dorms rooms and partied some more.
Now I’m a full grown adult literally crying about my birthday. I HATE planning, I’m afraid no one really cares about me enough to show up, and I think of fun ideas too late to make them happen.
And to be blunt, I’ve noticed that people in L.A. have a hard time showing up for each other. People are busy, yes, but I think it’s more a social anxiety thing. or commitment issues.
Whatever it is, it’s a fear that is more important than friends.
It’s been a real struggle finding people that are consistent, and real and that show up.
Last year for my birthday, I went on a hike with my roommates because no one showed up, except for the guy that had a crush on me who brought me flowers (He’s my boyfriend now). I once had a house warming party that started at 7pm but people didn’t show up until 10pm. Same thing happened to my friend a few weeks ago.
So I was going to lay low because I know it’s hard to gather people together. It truly takes a lot of work – especially 3 days beforehand.
So this year I thought about just using it for a self-reflection/Spa day or something. BUT then people said “You should do something fun!” “Don’t be alone!! Be with your friends!”
UGHthe truth is that I DO want to be with people. I don’t need to be treated like a queen or anything but I want to feel loved by people that I love. (In a tangible way) So I came up with an idea to go sailing for sunset. I’d only need 5 people to join me.
I started extending invites.
And I started getting replies… Most of them are out of town this weekend. Some have work and can’t make the sailing time. Some said they needed rest and weren’t interested in going out.
Only one said “YES!!” (My roommate)
I worked through a list of 15ish people and everyone said “Sounds fun but sorry I can’t!”
And that sucks.
I don’t care what your excuse is – all of them were valid and understandable – but it still hurts to be rejected.
It takes vulnerability and courage to extend an invitation, so it still hurts to hear an “I’m too tired” from people you care about and want to celebrate with.
On top of that, the sailing cruise got booked. I was scrambling to find a new time – messaging the captain to find out another option but that stressed me out. What’s the point if no one can join me anyway?
So I give up.
Instead I’m frustrated, banging my fingers on a damn keyboard and feeling all the feelings that I WANTED TO AVOID by just taking the day for myself.
….Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on it. Celebrate on another day, what’s the big deal? I definitely want to do dinner and maybe a small house party when people are back in town next week, but I believe that there should be something to celebrate the day of. Something small, filled with joy.
Some people say they don’t care about birthdays and I kind of wish I could be like them…But I think “not caring” just a defense mechanism.
I think someone who doesn’t care about birthdays is someone who used to care a lot about birthdays but doesn’t anymore because they got nail files & hand sanitizer for their sweet sixteen (true story).
And I admit my aversion to birthday celebrations has hindered me for showing up for others. And that’s shitty. And if I haven’t shown up for you because of my own fears, I’m sorry. I want to be a better friend.
I want to show up for people because that, to me, means the most.
So on Friday, April 5th, don’t just tell me “happy birthday” – show up for someone you care about. Bring someone lunch, buy someone flowers, give the people you love a hug. Congratulate people on their wins, sit with people in their pain, stop rescheduling the coffee date and just commit.
On April 5th, I want you to SHOW THE FUCK UP. That’s what I want for my birthday.
Eventually, this post will have a longer list of brands and a cute little video, but just in case it takes me way too long to put it together, I wanted to share this list of companies who have supported the #PlastICKY Project and are helping ALL OF US go plastic-free (Yes there are discount codes)
Package Free Shop (Click to Shop) A one-stop shop for finding plastic-free OR alternatives to single-use plastic products. Their goal is ZERO WASTE, founded by the girl who could fit all of her waste from an entire YEAR into a 16 oz Mason jar. The video went viral.
Davids All Natural Toothpaste (Click to Shop) Toothpaste that comes in a recyclable metal tube!! The tiny cap is plastic BUT it is a GREAT alternative if you love toothpaste and don’t want to switch to chalky tablets. They also come with their own little metal key tool to use to squeeze all the paste out! (Also Sold at the Package Free Shop) Use the code “PLASTICKY” for a discount!
Zerovana Plastic-Free Deodorant (Click to Shop) Zerovana is another online store filled with great items to help you go plastic free or zero waste. I’m super excited to try their Deodorant! Use the code PLASTICKY for 15% off of your entire order!
Bee’s Wrap (Click to Shop) This is a fantastic alternative to cling wrap! Not only is it sustainable, but it also won’t leak cancer-causing chemicals into your food while you sleep 🙂
Eco Enclose (Click to Shop) Compostable Mailing Supplies. They have eco-friendly alternatives for tape, bubble wrap, plastic bags – EVERYTHING. This is a really important company that you should share with all of your friends that mail things or have companies that mail products. I’m going to purchase some Eco-Friendly Tape. Get 20% off your first order of $20 or more by Clicking Here or using copy & pasting link: http://ecoenclose.refr.cc/annabelled
Here’s what I’m really stressed out about for this month:
Food. I’m afraid this is going to make grocery shopping really difficult.
Water. I buy plastic water bottles ALL the time. I’m a little bit particular about taste so I haven’t purchased reusable bottles because the plastic ones taste like plastic and the metal ones taste like metal. Also can’t drink the tap water in LA because it’s nasty & not even a Brita filter can clean that shit – plus it’s plastic.
Toiletries. I can’t buy Toilet paper without also buying plastic!!
Other. I understand that there are going to be a lot of products, like pens and toiletries, that I probably won’t need to by more of or replace during this month… but if I want to continue to be plastic-free I’m definitely going to have to find a new place to purchase things. In other words, I acknowledge the privilege I have to start & stop this plastic-free life.
I’m hoping that some of the brand partnerships I’m creating can help me (& you) find stuff to make this transition a little bit easier!
A LITTLE BACKGROUND, AND SOME THOUGHTS ON PLASTIC
My goal is to not create any plastic waste during this month, however, in the case that I do, I’m made it a rule that I CANNOT throw it away. I have to hold onto it until the end of the month and figure out a way to up-cycle it. Throwing plastic away doesn’t make it disappear, it just becomes the earth’s problem… or stuck in the belly of a turtle or a baby bird. And that is something I’m really trying to learn & remember. Our individual disconnection from our culture of consumerism has caused A LOT of problems, for not only our environment but our physical, mental and spiritual health. The first step to fixing it is our mindset & awareness of the impact we can have.
That truly is the secret to everything – you just need to know the power you have and how to use it.
Plastic was made in 1907 for our convenience. We all know plastic sucks but it’s inconvenient to switch. Convenience is the name of the game and I truly believe there is a way to make being plastic free, more convenient than using plastic. Let’s use our power collectively, to do that!!
I laid on the waxing table with my knees spread, trying to keep my tears hidden under the fluorescent lights.
“Why are you doing this to me?” I heard…
I first got body hair around 11 or 12 years old.
I didn’t really notice it until one day in gym class, my friends and I sat in a row with our legs out in front of us. We were observing the stubble on our shins. Some of my friends had dark stubble, some had softer stubble, some barely had any, and others, like me – hadn’t shaved at all.
“If you ever feel like shaving your legs, don’t,” my mom told me a year or so prior to my friends leg hair competition in gym class, “let me know and we will get you waxed instead so you don’t get stubble like me.” Her legs were kind of prickly like some of my friends.
So later that afternoon, when I got home from school, we made an appointment. The idea is that waxing over time destroys the hair follicle and actually makes the hair stop growing or grow lighter. The next time my friends and I compared legs, I won the smoothest.
“They’re so soft!!” They exclaimed. “Did it hurt?”
“Not really” I lied.
The first time I got my bikini line waxed was summer after high school. My friend invited me on a cruise with her family and neither of us wanted to worry about shaving in a tiny cabin bathroom and I didn’t want to irritate my skin shaving every day. Bumps and stubble along a bikini line are not cute… I remembered from that day in middle school that stubble = ugly.
I’ve been waxing since – even though I hate going to the appoints because as you can imagine, having hair ripped from your genitals in chunks fucking hurts.
BUT I was conditioned to HATE my body hair. And I’ve learned how to breathe through the pain of the strip. (Literally, you do breathwork to minimize the pain you feel – it doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me!)
So last week, my 1034th time (or something like that) at European Wax Center, I walked in confidently, made friends with the front desk girl & chatted a bit with my specialist as she did my eyebrows and waxed my lips.
It was my first night back in like 2 or 3 months. Which is a LOOONGGG time since I normally go every 3 weeks. In that time I’ve been doing a lot of work emotionally and spiritually and also A LOT of traveling & moving around.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been here” I warned her.
“Hey there’s nothing wrong will all natural” She pulled the first strip and my chin started to quiver.
I managed to hold myself together long enough to pay and walk out to the parking lot before I totally lost it. The cries that came out of me sounded like they belonged to a scared 10 year old girl. My whole face was wet & each inhale was sharp and I thought I might work myself into a panic attack in the parking lot.
Then I heard it again, “Why would you do this to me?”
Recently I had been learning a lot about “the inner child”. It’s this idea that everyone at their core is this little boy or little girl that wants to play, be creative, explore and be loved. However, as we grow up we tell ourselves “no I don’t have time I have to work” or “no I can’t do that I have other responsibilities to take care of.” Denying our selves of the freedom and exploration we crave makes us miserable. I had just started to learn the ways that I shut myself down when this happened.
Over the last 2 or 3 months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to accept more love for myself and embracing this childlike side of me.
For the first time, I heard little Annabelle speak to me, “Why would you do this to me?” I didn’t know what it meant.
I just knew that for the first time, getting waxed felt like I was being punished. I felt like I had been tricked or lied to.
The truth is, every time I look in the mirror I have to practice gratitude for the body I have and what my body allows me to do – otherwise, I get stuck in a self-loathing pit of doom and the insecurity leaks into everything. And if you want to know the things that adult Annabelle does not have time for, it’s self-loathing and insecurity.
My only explanation for this meltdown is that by after almost 3 months of practicing gratitude for my body JUST the way it is, I rid myself of the insecurity I had about my body hair, and then suddenly, I was back in the waxing room, submitting myself to a world of pain to get rid of a part of me I had grown to accept.
I started waxing because I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to be confident. I wanted to be desirable.
It was something I did because I felt ugly and part of me, I think, accepted it as punishment or penance for existing the way I was made.
Over the past few months, I’ve learned that body hair isn’t really that big of a deal. That a zillion years of evolution left body hair for protection, for warmth, and for comfort.
Over the past few months, I realized that personally, I don’t really care if I have body hair or not.
For the record, I don’t blame my mom for making my first wax appointment, she was preparing her daughter to live a culture that would be cruel to her for keeping her body hair. She was trying to make it easier for me to live in this world.
The sad part about this story is that I still feel like it’s something I have to hide. I know my culture doesn’t like to see women with body hair. And I don’t know if I’m brave enough to shock people with my hair yet.
I hope one day we will raise our daughters to embrace and celebrate themselves and each other. The way they are, the way they were made. And That they take ownership over their own bodies and only remove or alter hair because they want to, not because they feel like they HAVE TO.