This is an update to a post I wrote, holy fucking shit, 5 years ago. I’m not sure what else I can say except that all those things in the post are still true, except now that I’m 30, I feel like I have to do something before I’m 35.
I used to be very good at remembering dates. Attaching importance and sentimentality to dates was something I always did, automatically. I see now that it was a symptom of something.
I do feel like I need to put down some milestones reached in the last few weeks:
- 1 Feb: My 29th birthday
- 28th Feb: 2nd wedding anniversary
- 1 Mar: 7 years working experience (and I used to complain about it being impossible to get a different job until I had 5 years exp)
- 7 Mar: 6th anniversary of starting at Aurecon (wtf)
- 7 Mar: 1 year anniversary of owning a house (wtf)
I’ve also finally, finally, started therapy. After a false start (always go with your gut people), I’ve ended up with a great counsellor who’s been an amazing resource so far. We’ve also been going strong on The Regimen for 2 weeks now, and I know that it’s working this time because my various forms of eczema and allergies are flaring up in response to the dietary change (the same way it did last time, but much worse). I also had the cramps/low mood associated with the instant removal of all junk food, so I know the worst is over.
I hadn’t made any progress on the frizz problem at all since my last update. I resigned myself to having frizzy hair for the foreseeable future. Last week though, I decided that in the name of reducing our water usage even more, I would lose the squish-to-condish step in my Wednesday hairwash, and just do the co-wash. I then applied the leave-in conditioner in the shower and plopped the hair immediately.
No more frizz! Just like that. I still pineappled the hair overnight, despite it feeling more “creamy” from holding onto the conditioner, but in the morning when I loosened it, I had large, well-defined curls with nooooooo frizz in sight. Now I still have to figure out the trick to refreshing the curls by the time day 3 rolls around, but I feel like I’m almost there.
After taking some time away from everyone and everything to mourn the loss of our baby girl, I feel coherent enough to return to the blog and life in general. I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo for almost a year now, so I have decided to have her little name tag and initial tattooed on my wrist. I’ll probably go have it done in a few months’ time, as I’ll need to be strong enough to go the tattoo artist by myself.
As usual, I haven’t done much in the last few weeks. We did go see Lifehouse in concert last night (we left after their half, didn’t stay for Collective Soul) because Rahul’s never actually been to a proper concert before, and we have an attachment to Lifehouse. Their songs kept us going during our long-distance years, we walked out of our wedding ceremony to “Hanging by a Moment”:
and our first dance was “You and Me”.
We had supper at the Hussar Grill before the show, which was a first for the both of us. It was quite enjoyable, we will definitely be going back when the macros allow. It was also my 29th birthday last week. My husband and I have never been big into gift giving, we rather buy each other things as needed/wanted, or save up for experiences. Our rule for birthdays is no gifts, but the celebrant gets to dictate how the day is spent.
I ended up going factory shopping because our freezer was low on proteins, and then chilled with the cats for the rest of the day. Rahul cooked my requested supper (Indian chilli chicken, exactly how they make it in the restaurants in Kerala) and I had seconds while my mouth was on fire and my eyes were tearing. It was wonderful.
We also completed the 3 week transition to the Regimen. I sorted out the snags, so we’re kicking off properly today. I’ll be posting some back-dated blogs as part of my MCU review series as I’ve managed to stick to the viewing schedule.
It’s been 2 and a half months since I started the Curly Girl method. What have I learnt so far? Going natural is hard. It’s been a mission of trial and error, trying to figure out which products and techniques work for me. I’ve mostly found out which don’t.
I’ve discovered that while gel was the only reliable method to make my hair curly when I was using silicones and sulphates, it absolutely does not work for me anymore. My hair becomes crunchy and sticky, and doesn’t curl at all. I lost my shit when I discovered that Clicks was stocking the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie which I’ve seen people worshiping on Reddit. I was disappointed when it was priced much more than the American counterpart, and it didn’t really work on my hair.
That being said, the plopping technique has definitely improved things, and I’ve also added in some cold diffusion with my head upside down to create volume. Unfortunately I have to conduct proper trials, where I only change one product/method per week, and see how that goes before declaring something a failure. I also really want the Shea Moisture range to work because the fragrance gives me life.
Below are the results after brushing my hair out for the first time (I think this was around the 6 week mark and I only did it for a Reddit challenge):
Another surprising thing I discovered is that my R120 Wet Brush Wavy comb (specifically made for curly hair) does not compare to the R15 wide tooth flexible comb I bought at Dis-chem. My current routine (based on washing twice a week, current products in bold):
- Co-wash if mid-week with Noughty Care Taker Conditioner, otherwise shampoo with The Curl Company Sulphate Free Shampoo
- Comb through and squish to condish with Natural World Chia Seed Oil Volume & Shine Conditioner, otherwise use The Curl Company Sulphate Free Conditioner
- Wrap wet hair (no wringing!!!) in a thick microfibre hair turban to retain moisture while moisturising body
- Release turban and apply leave-in via scrunching with head upside down. Currently alternating between:
- Plop overnight by wrapping hair in an absorbent hair turban
- Release hair in the morning by removing turban and cold diffusing. Flip hair over and apply a misting of Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Moisture Mist.
After doing all of that, my hair will start frizzing about 30 minutes later. Eh, what can you do. There are still too many variables in the mix for me to determine what the actual problem is (diet is a big one), so I’m just going to go along with it for now.
… is what I would say if I was an optimistic person. I am not. So instead of saying stuff like “2018 is going to be my year!”, I’ll just say that I hope that 2018 will be better than 2017. I know that if I can continue working on adjusting my coping mechanisms, I can carry on processing what has happened to me, and moving on with my life.
Also, coming home to these babies everyday really helps:
The experience: Going to the movies alone
The location: Nu Metro, Canal Walk
The situation: The husband was working until 20:00, and we currently only have one car. Not because we rode on a slow puncture for 6 months or anything, which caused the tyre to go kaput, which then resulted in the biscuit tyre being put on, and after a few days of that the car is a bit unstable. Nope, it’s for unrelated reasons.
I had some time to kill until he was done, so I thought that I’d go to a movie alone for the first time.
The test: Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle, 17:15 showing.
The analysis: I loved the first one, and heard a bunch of shit about the 2nd, but decided to see it anyway. After struggling with redeeming my movie and refreshment codes (the usual), I moseyed on into the cinema. Turns out I was the only person who bought a ticket for that showing, so I sat right in the centre and went into super chill mode.
The verdict: The movie was good. I get why people were hating on it, because people are always wanting something new and innovative, but people also be cray, so we shouldn’t listen to people. Kingsman 2 basically carried on the story from the first one, and continued using the camera techniques and fighting style from there. If this one had come out first, people would have been as blown away by it as they were by the first one. The movie gets a sin for only having like ten minutes of Channing Tatum.
I would definitely go to the movies by myself again. The ticket dude was all, aw are you here by yourself? I was like, yup, looking forward to it!
What a glorious day it is today. Actually, this whole month has been quite glorious. I view October as a month of rebirth, transformation and renewal. After many months of reflection, I made a decision a few weeks ago and I’ve chosen today to as my coming out day: I am no longer a Christian.
To be honest, I was moving towards the agnostic path already over the last few years. After the big events of last year, I started questioning everything about myself. I’ve made great progress in many areas, but this part still bothered me. It’s only when I took a step back and saw how Christianity was twisted and used as a weapon against me that I realised that I needed to remove myself from it.
I have nothing against religion. As history has shown us, religion has been used for good and evil, depending on whose hands it is in. I need time to process what was done to me, so I can no longer participate in fundamentalist Christianity, nor do I want to.
I have been on a long, hard journey over the past year. My husband has been an incredible source of strength and comfort, giving me the space to find myself and rolling with the changes I’ve made. He mostly benefits anyway – I’ve become much more relaxed, no longer bound by ridiculous rules (self-imposed as well as external) and I’m much more spontaneous now. Case in point – a few weeks ago, I drove us 2 hours to have lunch, and then we drove back. Why? Just because we can, and I wanted to show him how good the food was at that place. I would never have done something like that on a whim a year ago.
The point is, I have undergone significant changes over the past year. My husband says it’s because I’m finally discovering who I really am, that my true personality is finally comfortable with emerging. He also likes to say now that he knew who I was all along, even when I didn’t, which makes me want to pinch him, but then I remember that he told me he would marry me a month after we started dating and I laughed in his face. Is the moral here that I should always listen to my husband? The feminist in me want to say no…
Anyway. The basic tenets of Buddhism have been appealing to me lately, because it echoes how we have been living our lives lately. Basically, question everything (always be learning and don’t just accept things because of “tradition”), be kind to everyone, don’t worry about useless crap like material gain, and strive to live a good fulfilling life. I’ve probably summarised it horribly, but that’s what I’ve gathered from my research. I am very hesitant to put a label on things anymore (yay for letting go of being judgemental!) so for right now I’m content with being “spiritual”.
Or I could become Pastafarian. Who knows what lies ahead!
Last year, I attempted to wean myself off of applying heat to my hair. I lasted about 6 months with 1 or 2 blowouts a month before I started relapsing into my old habits (blowdrying and flat-ironing once every 2 days). Trigger Warning: In this post, I get real about some medical issues and other personal shit.
About 6 weeks ago I discovered the curlyhair subreddit and realised that I had found my people. Two weeks ago I reflected on how my hair got to this state, which included reflecting on how my hair was treated during my childhood, when I had no bodily autonomy:
- Having my hair treated by my parents as if it was not radically different to the wavy and straight hair of my sisters
- Always having my hair blowdried roughly throughout my childhood (I don’t recall a single photo of me as a child with natural hair)
- Not having the right products for my hair and scalp type
- My hair was relaxed multiple times between the ages of 7 – 13 to “make it straight” (WTF)
- My hair was overdosed with oil products to combat the dryness, which just made my hair look dirty all the time
- I was not allowed to cut my hair, and maybe got a home trim of <1cm to “take the split ends off” like once a year
The hair dysfunction that started in my childhood carried over to my adult years:
- I had to quickly learn how to blowdry my own hair once I moved into res in first year i.e. basically tortured my hair with the amount of heat I was applying
- Still didn’t know the right products to use
- Left my hair “natural” on occasion and was never pleased with how it looked because the curls could not come out
- Started colouring my hair and cutting it now that I was “allowed to”
To add to this shitshow, last year I was diagnosed with mild scalp psoriasis, which spreads to my elbows and neck in times of stress, and is related to the dermatitis I always had on my scalp. It was never dandruff, and my parents never bothered to take me to a proper dermatologist when I was younger, despite eczema running in the family. I wasted time and money making my dermatitis worse by using rough anti-dandruff shampoos which never worked, because I never had it.
Once I knew what it was, it pretty much cleared up. I have some flare-ups now and then, but it’s far more under control than it ever has been. Probably because the biggest stress factors in my life are gone!
Anyway, I started the method 2 weeks ago. I chucked out all my hair crap and bought products containing no sulfates or silicons. I’m currently in the transition phase (read: my hair looks like shit), but just like with losing weight, I just have to power through and within a few weeks I’ll hopefully have my curls back (I’m a 2C/3A combo). The method I’m following for now is as follows:
- Sunday: Shampoo + Condition
- Monday: Rinse
- Tuesday: Co-wash (i.e. wash with conditioner) + Condition
- Wednesday: Co-wash + Condition
- Thursday: Rinse
- Friday: Co-wash + Condition
- Saturday: No wash
The rinse days are only to get the sweat out of my scalp after a workout, otherwise those would be no-wash days as well. After each wash, I’ve been alternating between using Aunt Jackie’s Curl Custard and The Curl Company’s Creme Gel as my leave-in. I’m also going to start plopping this weekend to combat the frizz and crunch.
When I started my epic revamp 2 years ago, I was working on finding my balance between work, health, studies and mind. By the end of it, my health was excellent, I got a new job which was a big promotion, and I started doing my Hons after having to wait 5 years.
I did not realise the state that my mind was in though. Some events happened late last year, which took its toll on my body as well, which is why the husband and I have had to embark on a new Regimen.
This time around, I’m focusing on balancing mind, body, and soul. One’s mental health has a much bigger impact than people tend to realise on body and soul. For me, getting my mental health in order has taken priority over the last while.
Which is why I’ve decided that I am quitting my studies. I’m only 6 months away from finishing, on track for cum laude, but I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and decided it’s no longer worth it.
I’ve been learning to let things go. I’ve realised that I’m actually not the uptight person I was led to believe I was. I no longer allow the sunk-cost fallacy to keep me trapped in a situation that is not good for me.
My husband and I spent many years of our relationship as a long-distance couple, because of the small-mindedness, hypocrisy and intolerance of people who are no longer in our lives. Our mental health suffered greatly because of it, and we missed out on many great experiences because of it.
As a result, I cannot tolerate the wasting of time. For too long my time was dictated by others (whether directly or indirectly). Now that my mind is aware of the damage done and the time wasted, I am done.
I refuse to waste more time on a degree that will not let me upgrade my professional registration, and that will have no impact on my career. I am well established in my field, and no longer require a piece of paper to prove what I know.
The old Cindy would never have done this. I always saw things through, no matter what. However, life is short. I could be learning things I actually want to through moocs, I could be drafting the designs for our bathroom makeover, I could be working on our smart home, I could be lying on the floor with a glass of wine and playing with my cattens. All of these things would be a better use of my time.