Life or Something Like It

As many of you know, I’m having a rough go of it lately with respect to finances.  I don’t really know how to handle this situation mentally and emotionally – I don’t want to come across as a whiner, or like I’m some sort of a ‘victim’ of circumstance.  I also don’t want to be one of those people who sits around not DOING anything to change their situation – generally I’m a fairly pro-active person.  But the way things are now, well – the whole issue is tricky, and not easily solved by just ‘doing something.’  First, there are so many options (and if you’ve been reading for a while, you know me and options = anxiety): I could get a roommate.  I could get a serious part-time job (not just hours here and there with Clinique).  I could sell and buy a new, smaller, more affordable hole-in-the-wall place.  I could rent my condo and then rent an affordable apartment to live in.  Everyone has great suggestions for me, and are trying to help the best way they can.  Problem is, I am the type of person that can see merit in just about any idea a person has, so every new suggestion seems like ‘The Best Choice.’  And every option has a downside, which makes it easy to cast aside.  I like my space.  I like my free time.  I love my condo – maybe not the location, which (as much as I like the area) means I’m terribly isolated from almost everyone I know, but the actual building and unit itself is damn near perfect.  SO.  What the heck do I do?!?

Essentially since I returned from New Zealand I’ve been a lesser version of myself.  I’m tired often, I’m unproductive, I’m generally uninterested (in reading, in work, in running, in being social, in romance – take your pick)…I just feel overall blah.  And everyone around me has all these great things happening and going on, and as truly happy as I am for them, what it seems to mean for me is that no one really notices that I’m struggling, that I’m trying to maintain this joie de vivre that I’ve always had, but that I’m failing.  And I’m not interested in bringing them down with me.

Note: I can write all this here because the majority of people in my life don’t read my blog.  Typing that sentence feels kind of shitty, actually, when you think about it.  But I don’t hold it against them; the reason I started the blog and then continued it was because it was so amazing to me to actually meet other like-minded individuals, when I truly thought there were none.  So they really have no reason to read my ramblings on makeup and beauty. 

Last week I realized that I spend almost 100% of my free time looking at makeup etc. on the internet.  I come home most evenings to just sit at my computer and stare at the screen, making lists upon lists of products to try, and then repeat the same behavior every single night.  I’ve been pondering this behavior a lot and trying to figure it out.  Sure, I’m kind of obsessed with beauty and I sure do love makeup and all the pretty things that come out here and there.  But I’ve never taken it this far.  It’s never taken over.

I think the reason I’m behaving this way, is because it gives me something to hope for.  Even on a small scale, regardless of the fact that ‘hoping’ for more makeup may be sad, and pathetic in it’s way, nevertheless – making wishlists of beauty products allows me to imagine a time when I might have more money to actually indulge myself, sort of like acting in a self-fulfilling way; if I write these products down, it’s like saying ‘I will be able to purchase that, someday’. It’s not to say that I don’t buy makeup at all now – obviously that’s not the case (see all the posts over the last 6 months!).  But every single purchase comes with a price: guilt.  And just like anything else, once I deem something as a ‘no-go,’ it tends to be all I think about.

Anyway, that’s a little bit of what’s going on with me lately.  Sorry to be a downer, but you know everyone has low points in their lives, and this just happens to be one of mine.  While this blog is dedicated to beauty, it doesn’t mean I’m a robot without feelings, and blogs by nature are a place to express yourself.  It just so happens that my expression today is sadness.  Additionally, sometimes its easier to confess to those you’re not as close to – for the most part I’ve been keeping my feelings under wraps with my loved ones, as I find those who care about you most want to give you advice, rather than just be an ear.  And I think right now I’m kind of maxed out on advice.

I will return to the regular light and fluffy posts now – in fact, I’m just about to write a review on Chanel’s quad in Vanités.  If you stuck through this whole ramble, I applaud you.  Life isn’t always fun, but you have to have some lows to appreciate the highs.

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  1. #1 by Brijit Elouise on February 18, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    Oh hun, I’m so sorry to hear you are down. I’ve been through some rough patches myself, so I really can empathise.

    I won’t pretend to know the answer, but remember it won’t last forever. Maybe with spring around the corner, things will turn around.

    Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need to vent. It’s very true that talking to someone you don’t know can be a great help.

    • #2 by Latoya on February 21, 2013 - 4:27 pm

      Thank you Brijit, I really appreciate your kindness! It never ceases to amaze me how many lovely people I’ve met through blogging :)

      Sent from my iPhone

      • #3 by Brijit Elouise on February 21, 2013 - 4:29 pm

        I wasn’t just trying to be nice, you really can get in touch if you feel the need to vent. I can’t offer any solutions, but I can listen (or read an email) – you have my email address hun

  2. #4 by nawi on February 18, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    I agree with Brijt everybody has their up and downs in life (although most do not dare to say it out loud) I certainly know what you mean I get obessed about beauty and cannot think of nothing else and read everything I can find on the internet and in magazines etc. I think its just a way with not having to deal with the daily problems and pressures that life contains. Sometimes I just watch a soap opera that always help me as well and is al lot cheaper :-). Hope you feel better soon thanks for sharing.

    • #5 by Latoya on February 21, 2013 - 4:29 pm

      It’s nice to know you relate Nawi, and get where I’m coming from. I HAVE been using cosmetics as an escape, but saying it out loud really helps! I’m sure in time it’ll get better :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. #6 by Sarah on February 18, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been feeling this way, and I sincerely hope that things start to look up soon. I fully understand what you mean about lows and highs, but that’s not always much comfort when one is in the middle of a low.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch (I think you have my personal email address) if you ever want to vent. I’d also love to send you a care package/(intact) cookies/whatever if you’d like; just let me know!

    • #7 by Latoya on February 21, 2013 - 4:33 pm

      Sarah – that is so kind of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Kindness like that makes me feel better in itself! Your cookies were DELICIOUS (broken or not) so I definitely would not say no to those!!! And thank you for offering an ear – I make take you up on that some day :)

      Sent from my iPhone

      • #8 by Sarah on February 21, 2013 - 10:18 pm

        Send me your address! I will send you a little pick-me-up.

  4. #9 by Sparkled Beauty on February 18, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    Believe it or not, my situation has a lot in common with yours. I have used makeup and my blog as outlets since friends aren’t around often, family is too far away. I have lost interests in lots of things in life and it sounds like I’m not really living a life. Still struggling to change this but I don’t even know if I want to :( Let’s have lunch some time

    • #10 by Latoya on February 21, 2013 - 4:36 pm

      I’d love that, Anh, that sounds lovely :) I’m sorry to hear you’re going thru it too, but I firmly believe we CAN overcome it – I think just acknowledging it helps a lot. It has for me!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. #11 by Linda on February 18, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    It sounds like you’re depressed.Can you talk to your family Dr?Or confide in a good friend,that would make a difference,Trust me,those who care about you would want to know.

    • #12 by Latoya on February 21, 2013 - 4:39 pm

      Linda, I’m sure you’re right – I think what holds me back is that I’m often then sounding board for people, so when I’m the one down the world is out of balance and sometimes people don’t know how to deal. But I will try!! :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. #13 by judit1661 on February 18, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    I know sometimes you just want to vent, you don’t want a solution or any advice and I’d bet all my money, both dollars that you feel better just writing it down and posting.?
    You are a smart, bright, beautiful young woman, you will come out of this and look back and think, now that wasn’t so bad. I promise you.
    Xoxo
    Judi
    MiddleAgedBeautyQueen

    • #14 by Latoya on February 27, 2013 - 7:48 am

      Thank you Judi – you’re right, just writing it down made me feel infinitely better! And I know that in time this will just seem like a small hiccup in life – just have to live it out :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. #15 by Amy on February 18, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    Oh, Toya, I just want to give you a big hug! I’m so sorry you’re feeling so down. Have you considered seeing a therapist? I know it’s hard to justify when finances are tight (though possibly your insurance covers it?), and it can be even harder to get the motivation to make the appointments and go to the appointments and recuperate after the appointments (speaking from recent experience), but it can be *really* worth it. And your family and loved ones would, I’m sure, want to do whatever they can to help you out! Sometimes it’s helpful just to tell people that things are hard; even if they can’t do anything about it, it’s like having part of the weight lifted. Though of course, you’re always welcome to just come talk to us about it! Lord knows I use my blog for completely non-beauty-related emotional issues all the frickin’ time, and find it to be definitely a good source of support.

    So, basically, BIG HUG, and we’re here for whatever you need! Hang in there––it will get better, I promise <3

    • #16 by Latoya on February 27, 2013 - 7:57 am

      Everything you said is spot-on, Amy. I think I SHOULD talk to someone (it is covered by insurance), and even just saying it here has helped immensely. You are all so wonderful and supportive, it makes all the difference. Thank you!!! <3

      Sent from my iPhone

  8. #17 by M (crumbsncashmere) on February 18, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    Bravo for non-fluffy talk. It’s good to express yourself, and this was a heartfelt and emotional post. I suggest talking to someone who has a proven track record of beating debt or a tight income. Formulate a plan with them and just plug away at it. The important thing is to get out and be among people or breathe some fresh air. I have a tendency to do the same thing in my free time. Just make yourself move! You deserve to focus on your emotional health. I completely empathize with you and hope you aren’t low for long. Thanks for opening up to your readers! P.S. I don’t think many of my friends and family read my blog either. So don’t feel like that’s shitty!

    • #18 by Latoya on February 27, 2013 - 8:02 am

      ;) Thanks Maura :) I’m glad for your support!! I have been taking your advice and just getting out and away from home, being social, and it’s helping. It’s hard because my inclination is to be home, but it has to be done!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. #19 by Liz (@Reductionista) on February 18, 2013 - 9:59 pm

    Toya, you sound the way I felt most of last year. And it’s totally understandable that it would make its way out here. After all, this is a space you created to express your thoughts and feelings, be it about makeup or otherwise. I tried to keep it out of the blog too but realized it helped to use it to vent a little. I don’t think anyone here sees you as a whiner. All this has been pretty stealth though I think we knew what was going on in a very superficial way.

    And to be perfectly honest, well wishes mean a lot, but I also know that these words only go so far. There are no solutions to be had here except for solid financial advice and our hopes that you’ll pull through without damaging yourself somehow. I struggled for months trying to think of a way out and it resulted in feeling pretty broken up by the time New Year’s came around, after working myself to death with two jobs, one of which I despised. There are a lot of good advice being given in the comments right now — and if you don’t mind, I’d also like to add that if you need to ask for help from your family or close friends, it’s okay to do so. I resisted sharing my burden with them for a long time, but it got to the point where I couldn’t handle it on my own. I had a hard time accepting that I wasn’t capable of superhuman feats (eyeroll :)) but it felt so much better to be able to come clean with everyone and try to find a solution collectively.

    Anyway, you’re a smart woman and know all this already. We’re here when you need to talk and I know it’s only a matter of time before you make some decisions that are best for you. Hang in there!

    • #20 by Latoya on February 27, 2013 - 8:06 am

      Thank you Liz – I know you totally get it, and it helps to feel like someone can relate. Since posting this, I have shared how I’ve been feeling with family and friends, and most were actually a lot more supportive than I imagined. Not that they have or can do anything, but saying it out loud has made a world of difference. I’m going to have to make some big decisions and I need to get into a good mental space to do so. I’m getting there :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  10. #21 by Larie on February 18, 2013 - 11:52 pm

    I feel like you’re always so capable and self-assured, so I know you can handle everything. But you know, that’s what we have friends and family for. It’s okay to touch bases with them and ask for help if you need it. I have issues with that, too, but it’s something that can be done. Just take everything at your own pace and you’ll be okay, yeah? :)

    • #22 by Latoya on February 27, 2013 - 8:08 am

      Wise words, Larie – I think like Liz said, sometimes you think you can achieve superhuman feats alone, but you need help sometimes. I can’t do it all, but if I go at my own pace as you said, I’ll get there. Thanks my dear :)

      Sent from my iPhone

  11. #23 by Makeup Morsels on February 20, 2013 - 12:34 am

    It’s true that you need lows to really appreciate the highs, but I hope this low comes to an end soon for you, for what it’s worth. And you don’t even have to worry about coming across as a whiner, because we all know you’re not! I have zero life experience and thus zero advice, but if you ever want someone to talk to, I’m here! And while it’s true I know nada, I’m told I’m not the worst listener in the world. Probably the most useless comment you’re going to get on this post, huh? Love you, Toya! And you’re upbeat personality is great and one of the reasons why I read this blog daily, but no one expects you to keep that up 100% of the time. You’re human, not a stick figure! :)

  12. #24 by Makeup Morsels on February 20, 2013 - 12:34 am

    fffffffffff wish I could go back and edit that. Your. Not You’re.

  13. #25 by BeautyReflections (@BeautyReflectTS) on February 20, 2013 - 3:26 am

    Ahhh, Toya I feel awful for you. I’m going through some scary finances myself, trying to figure out how to pay for college for my kid. It’s an awful feeling I know. If you want to talk some time with a fellow broke person, let me know. I’m here for you! HUGZZZZZZ

  14. #26 by Lili on February 20, 2013 - 4:59 am

    So Sorry you feel this way, Toya.
    I am hopeless at offering sage words of advice but will say you are not alone. I too recently felt ‘blah’, uninterested in everything and used my love for makeup as an escape from the darkness that had settled on me. Spending hours online drooling over makeup was the norm but I had to force myself to quit buying because of my financial realities. It’s not been easy and I have slipped up but I’m hanging in there. I realise that I was shopping to fill a hole or emptiness in me, I have a lot of makeup and didn’t need more yet I craved more. Not saying this to make you feel bad, each of us has their own reasons for what they do.
    Now working on understanding and accepting myself, as well as touching base with those who I love. I am planning to spend a couple of weeks with loved ones soon which will give me a chance to rejuvenate and reflect. I hope things work out for you and this difficult time will pass. Your post touched a chord in me for your struggles mirrored mine so much. I hope we both come through and back into the light soon.

    • #27 by Latoya on February 24, 2013 - 12:05 pm

      Lili – it sounds like you really get where I’m coming from, and while I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through your own hardships, I appreciate you sharing so much and knowing you can relate. It’s funny how everyone has their escape – I didn’t even realize I was using makeup as a crutch until recently, and since then I’ve been trying very hard to engage in other things as well. It sounds like you’ve been working hard to pull yourself out of this, and I think spending time with loved ones for a while will do you a world of good. I think just being honest about everything and opening up will make all the difference – I have a good feeling that we’ll both be in a good place and happy again soon enough. I’m wishing you the very best!! :)

  15. #28 by amanda p on February 20, 2013 - 8:02 am

    I know exactly how you feel about finances and the crazy burden they can make. All the advice here is good, and I can’t add much…but I know from my own experience that being open about it with someone really helps. I had a truly oppressive amount of credit card debt at one point towards the end of my graduate school period. I was spending on credit without guilt since it was just to survive (my financial situation changed mid-program when it was too late to take loans), but it still created this horrible cloud of anxiety over everything. And then I’d get invited out to dinner or something at a place I couldn’t/shouldn’t afford, and I’d go spend $30 or $40 on dinner, then I’d buy something else, all to feel momentarily in control of it. This doesn’t really work! What really helped — aside from old fashioned budgeting and just plain patience (even the smallest imbalance of income over expenses rights the wrongs over the long-term) — was coming clean with my aunt, who is an accountant. I realized I had never told anyone the amount of debt I was carrying, ever, and finally telling someone exactly how much it was was so freeing.

    • #29 by Latoya on February 24, 2013 - 12:00 pm

      Hi Amanda – thanks for commenting! Financial stress has got to be one of the worst things ever, and I know almost everyone has gone through it at one time or another! So far I haven’t gotten myself into any debt over it, but it’s been difficult to live such a frugal life because it really cuts me off from the people I love. Opening up about it has helped a lot though, and hopefully if I can get to a good mental space I can finally make a decision on how to handle it all. I’m so glad that you were able to overcome your own circumstances, it’s wonderful you were able to turn it around! Good for you!! :D

  16. #30 by Angie on February 21, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, I feel the same way. Maybe not the same issues, but the feel is mutual. (Plus I’m obsessed with beauty products too!) It’s good to get it out. I think it helps in working through it all. The good news is if we are thinking and talking about it, it won’t be long before we work it out. Good luck.

    • #31 by Latoya on February 24, 2013 - 11:55 am

      Thanks for your comment Angie :) I agree 100% with you, once we start talking about it and getting it out, things start to look up. Honestly, getting into it in such depth on the blog wasn’t my intention, but as soon as I did, I felt so much better, and found the courage to talk about it to my friends and family too. Already I feel more positive just in that action! I wish you the very best of luck as well, and I hope you work it out and pull through it soon. Thanks for taking the time to share :)

  17. #32 by Becca @ The Beauty Sample on February 22, 2013 - 5:14 am

    Toya–it seems like you have already had a lot of advice/well-wishes from many you care about you on here, but I will add my two cents anyway. I know I’ve said this before but I can’t tell you how truly thankful I am to have met you and discovered your blog. You are so bright and have a sparkling personality and are so much fun. I love reading your blog because, as you’ve mentioned before, it seems we have a very similarly transparent passion for beauty (as apparent by our ability to ramble on and on about a single product we love :P). This may sound cheesy but in the relatively short time we’ve known each other, I’ve come to really feel like you are a true friend so I hate to hear that you’re going through such a hard time…but I understand. This is coming from someone who has struggled with (and continues to struggle with) depression, anxiety, and is a BROKE COLLEGE STUDENT! :P I know firsthand how hard it can be to reach out and even just say how you feel, much less ask for your help but taking that small step (like you have done by posting this) makes it much, much easier. I hope you know I’m being sincere when I say you can reach out to me at any time at all–I would like to talk to you/help you even if just by listening. And I know this is something you’ve heard a lot but honestly, it does get better. Sometimes even just talking it out aloud with someone will help you see things more clearly, thus perhaps helping you come to a decision on how to best deal with your situation. Anyway, the doors always open. Let me know! Hugs darling! <3

  18. #33 by Eugenia on February 25, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    First of all, I’m happy that you took the time to write down all this, and you want to know why? Not because it’s some kind of cry for help, but because it means you opened up and that act in itself will allow you to let your brain work, instead of spiralling into some kind of anxious paralysis. Keeping things in, never solves anything but contributes to even more stress and I have every faith that someone as analytical and smart as you, will somehow find a way to figure everything out.

    I have had my share of financial burdens, believe me (and on that day we all get together, I’ll let you know just how bad it got) so I can understand your distress. It seems to me, however, that you may have already hit on part of the solution; Toya, if you’re condo is draining your financial resources, and since getting a room mate is not your preferred choice plus the fact that while “perfect”, it’s isolated, you may want to seriously consider selling it. That way you could alleviate a good chunk of the money problems, and hopefully find someplace closer to your loved ones and/or friends. Still, easy for me to say, right?

    All in all, this little slice of the internet is yours to do with as you wish and you’re also right about A) finding it easier to talk to “strangers” and B) getting things off your chest with like-minded people — both those facts go a long way in sometimes helping you see the trees from the forest, and find a fresh new perspective of looking at a particular issue.

    No matter what, I do love you tons and I’m always willing to listen and help you find ways of helping yourself — all you need to do is say the word! Giant panda hugs, my friend! xx

  19. #34 by Melanie on March 20, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    Hi Latoya,
    I just stumbled upon your blog via a link from another blog I follow, and I enjoy your writing so much that I started reading your blog backward and got sucked in. You’re an excellent writer, by the way.

    As I was reading this post I felt such a connection to you. I understand completely how you are feeling, and am feeling the same way now to be honest. It’s a talent to be able to hide your true feelings from those around you, and I’m quite expert at it, too. No one would know that I’m feeling down from the outside, but it truly is the inside that counts. So I’m not sure this a talent I’m proud of. :)

    But I just wanted to write and tell you that you are not alone.

    • #35 by Latoya on March 29, 2013 - 5:09 pm

      Hi Melanie – that is such a compliment, I’m so glad you got ‘sucked in’ and enjoy the blog!! That really makes me feel good :)

      I appreciate so much you reaching out and being able to relate to where I’m coming from. I have found such strength from readers like you and even just opening up made a world of difference. I think that it’s good to let people that care about you know when you’re having a tough time, even though I didn’t want to burden them, I found that once I let them know how I felt, it was easier to get by. Not that they can do anything, but it was less of a burden, you know?? I hope that for both of us, these hard times pass and that we are stronger for it – I wish you all the best!!

  20. #36 by Danielle on August 22, 2013 - 11:06 am

    Hi Toya!

    I know I have been so absent from the blogging world (well, on and off the past year) but I was browsing all of your posts for the past few months (and now have items added to my wishlist, thank you) and came upon this one.
    I know it’s been months since you wrote this and I’m hoping that everything has evened out and settled down for you. I will echo what everyone else said above and say that you are such a kind and open person. Brave for sharing your feelings with us (and I understand why you felt you could) in the beauty community. Having a place to share your passion in all of it’s iterations is one of the many reasons running a blog is so much fun- as well as why it’s therapeutic. Last year at this time I was in the thick of it. I was in a several-years-long relationship and saw myself slowly fading into the background destined to be unhappy unless I did something about it. I was paralyzed with fear but one day I took action. I moved out and it was painful. I still miss the dogs I helped raise and there are no hard feelings to be had but it was a difficult thing to admit to myself and my friends/family that my relationship hadn’t worked out after so much time and emotion and effort. Then, I was unhappy with my career and the position I had been in for 3 years. I was looking for more and felt like I was settling in yet another area of my life. I started running miles every day and it really helped me go through my thoughts and feel empowered. I guess we cling to whatever we can in order to escape the endless waves of guilt and hopelessness that seem to batter the shores of our brains when we go through things like this.
    Anyway, I ended up meeting someone by complete chance who is in the same field as me and we hit it off. I made the decision to leave my job, my family and my home and relocated to Chicago to start somewhere new. I can now say that looking back on how I felt last year and how I feel 365 days later- what a difference! I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been. My new job is awesome and my new relationship is the one I’ve always wanted to have.
    My makeup addiction? Well, I haven’t found the cure for that but then… if I’m honest I haven’t been looking for one. I’ll just continue to enjoy reading blogs like yours and connecting with people in ways that make me smile.
    All the best dear, you have such wonderful blog and I look forward to visiting often :)

    • #37 by Latoya on September 23, 2013 - 7:36 pm

      Hi Danielle! I’m so glad to get such a sweet, heartfelt message from you :) I’m sorry it took me a while to reply, I wanted to take the time to address your comment fully! I think that post may have hit home for a number of people. We all go through ‘down’ times in our lives, and they are incredibly tough while we’re in the thick of it, but when we come out the other end, I think it allows us to more fully appreciate the ‘up’ moments better! It sounds like you and I went through something very similar, and also have recovered similarly too – you said it exactly by writing that your new relationship is the one you’ve always wanted to have. I totally agree!!

      I’m really touched you took the time to reach out and share your own tough times with me, because that was partly the reason for that post – to reach out, and share a part of me that isn’t just makeup and the more lighthearted things, and to know that even in my dark moments there are still people out there who care and who support you through it. I’m so happy to hear that you came out the other end stronger and happier as you are such a wonderful person and you more than deserve a little (a LOT of!) happiness :) Here’s to a continued bright and shiny future my dear!! xx

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