the burden is not light

The girl in the pictures above looks happy, light, and care free. But it has taken quite some time to feel comfortable in who she is, flaws and all.

Talking about mental health and working through those issues is hard. But discussing it in the south, seems even harder.

Almost two years ago I realized my anxiety was something I couldn’t control on my own anymore. No matter how much I tried to remove stressors from my life, practice self-care, or pray about it, I just couldn’t do it on my own.

I was worrying over minute details. I was always exhausted, but couldn’t seem to find any rest in my body or my mind. Concentrating on tasks at work was hard. I became irritable over the strangest things and would allow these moods to ruin my day because they were controlling my life.

I finally decided to do something about this and sought medical help for a prescription. While it took some trial and error with different medications and took my body some time to adjust, it improved my day-to-day life tremendously. I could finally function again.

But oddly enough, I felt embarrassed I needed help. I felt ashamed every morning I pulled my little green pills out to take one. I grew up learning people who sought assistance with something like anxiety or depression basically just needed to toughen up and pray about it.

Many will say, “Oh God is just testing you, He never gives more than you can handle!” or “Your mental illness is a punishment for sinning.” I prayed and pleaded with God for so long. I felt as if something were wrong with me or I was doing something wrong and that is why I couldn’t shake the feeling of anxiety constantly overwhelming me. So why wasn’t God “fixing” me?

The prevailing culture of silence along with misguided attitudes and erroneous expectations often cause suffering believers to feel shamed, blamed and very unsupported. *raises hand*

It look me quite some time. But I finally became PROUD of myself for taking the initiative to do something. Through this journey, I have even found a therapist I love (who I should definitely visit more often.) I know some people laugh that I pay money to express my thoughts and concerns with a “stranger” every few weeks. But whew it is money well spent!

I encounter this stigma around mental health often living in the south. The idea that the disruptions in our brains can be simply solved with prayer. I have to pause and say that my faith is very strong and real and I believe in the healing powers of Jesus. But He also created modern medicine and the will and sense to utilize these resources. We get confused when we think we can’t take a prescription because it would mean we don’t trust God enough.

So friends if you are going through it or have been there before, please know you are not alone. I am so proud to see how progressive the mental health movement has become and the openness a lot of my friends and I have about needing a little extra “help.” Let’s continue that momentum and encourage others to take care of their mental health in whatever capacity they need.

baby got goals

Did you make a resolution at the beginning of the year? Did you “fail” a week in or not even try at all?

Just because we only have four months left in 2019, doesn’t mean it’s too late to get started. Instead of waiting until next January to crush your goals, why not start now?

Improve Health and Wellness

Health and wellness go beyond your physical body. It also includes your mind and soul, so be sure to think beyond your waistline as well. Do you need to start practicing more self-care? Have you been struggling with depression or anxiety? Don’t wait until next year to take care of yourself! I started doing yoga earlier this year and dropped all of my other gym memberships because not only is it good for my body, it is also good for my mind. It also is more feasible for my body to do multiple times a week since endometriosis makes a high-impact workout painful!

Save Money or Get Out of Debt

This is something I started doing mid-yearish. I knew I wanted to save more and spend LESS! I looked at my bank statements to see where I was spending all my money! You may not think much about a $3 burger here or a $4 coffee there, but these little things add up quick. I started doing the Dave Ramsey envelope system and now I see what all the hype is about!!

Get a New Job

If you loathe your current job or have been wanting to make a change for years, start doing things to get a new job today! Don’t wait around several months and continue to be miserable when you could be doing something about it!  Freshen up your resume. Update your LinkedIn. Make a list of the companies that you would love to work for and reach out to them or sign up to get job opening alerts.

Making SMART Goals

Whew, I hear about SMART goals all the time in my professional life! But they are the key to accomplishing any of these goals. SMART goals are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

Keep track of your progress month-by-month and take pride in each and every step you take. As you achieve your mini goals, reward yourself well. Do you have goals you’ve made progress on lately? Or are you setting new ones before the year is over? Let me know in the comments!

This is the only life you’ve got—let’s finish this year well no matter how it started! 

Hot Girl Summer

Does everyone feel it’s too soon to browse pre-fall outfits or is it just me?! Walked in one of my favorite boutiques over the weekend and it was FULL of fall sweaters and I thought whew, I can’t even think about buying these right now! Even the lightweight ones aren’t wearable until Octoberish here in Alabama!

Since this hot and heavy weather seems to be sticking around a bit longer, I thought I would talk about some of my favorite makeup products that stay put for 12+ hours during a full day of activities!

#1 Elf Poreless Putty Primer | First of all, ELF has come a long way since it’s original days as a cheap, low quality makeup brand! I have many things I love from this brand, but this one is my latest fave. Feels light on the skin and creates a great smooth canvas!

#2 Makeup Revolution Full Coverage Foundation | Oil-free yet creamy and comfortable formula that dries down to a long-lasting, demi-matte finish. Totally full coverage and doesn’t settle into fine lines!

#3 NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator | Even in this extremely hot summer, this stuff gives a luminous and healthy goddess glow. I promise it won’t make you look a sweaty mess. Also looks great under makeup or alone!

#4 Smashbox Spotlight Palette | An easy-to-use, 3-well highlighter palette that spotlights your favorite features, adds dimension and gives you a buildable glow. This palette is my FAVE for traveling because it has 3 different levels of highlight perfect for daytime and going out wear.

#5 Laura Mercier Undereye Brightening Powder | A transparent, weightless powder to set under-eye concealer, brighten dark circles, and diminish the look of fine lines. Need I say more?

#6 Essence Lash Princess Mascara | My lashes look like falsies when I wear this and it is typically less than $5!

#7 NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray | I purchase this stuff over and over again! Every time I stray from it, I come right back. It will lock your makeup in place for hours. Even in this terrible heat!

#8 MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick | I love a good lipstick. One that stays all day, has high color pigmentation, and is under $10 seems like it would be too good to be true. But this one is it! This stuff does NOT budge. Like at all or all day. You can purchase online for swing by your local Walgreens to find it in stores.

#9 Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream | This stuff provides all the hydration and no shine. Plus it’s a safer beauty product and doesn’t contain anything that you don’t need to put on your skin and in your bloodstream. I am trying to transition to cleaner living. It’s hard, but this brand makes it a little easier!

I hope these product recommendations work for you. Give them a try and let me know if you’re going to make them a part of your daily rotation to beat that dreaded makeup melting off in the heat look!

High High Hopes

If you didn’t know already, I love a solid black outfit. One that can be worn to work, dinner with the girls, or just on a casual shopping day. I typically don’t think I look great in a peplum style top, but this one from Rent the Runway, is super comfortable and flattering. Seriously – the fabric is stretchy but sucks you ALL in! It is great for every day wear and can be easily dressed up.

This week I ventured out to the this civil rights mural depicting Bloody Sunday and the civil rights marches in Selma beginning at the corner of Lee and Montgomery Streets. (Mural painted by Sunny Paulk.)

Sometimes in my day-to-day life in Montgomery, I forget how rich the history is running through these streets. I will run out to grab lunch and see tourists walking around downtown and I am instantly reminded of the stories and places that gave rise to a movement and created change.

Standing in front of this mural, I couldn’t help but think how great change can come from peace and hope and that the world still needs a lot of people bringing about peace and equality for all. I am inspired by the stories of those who came before me and the courage and sacrifices of each of them.

This theme of hope is rampant in our lives daily. We constantly speak in what I call “hope language”:

  • I hope I am healed.
  • I hope she isn’t mad at me.
  • I hope my prayers are answered.
  • I hope I can pay my bills this month.

The issue isn’t whether you hope, but what holds your hope. Remember these things as your attach your security, your sense of peace and rest to something every day.

  • Your hope is in something – What are you placing your hope in right now?
  • Hope is a lifestyle – You always live your hope in some way, it isn’t just something you do with your mind.
  • Most of our hopes disappoint us – When our hopes disappoint us, it is a sign we’ve put our hopes in the wrong thing.
  • There are only two places to look for hope –You rest your hope in the hands of the Creator or look to the world for hope.
  • Hope in God is sure hope – Hope placed in God is well placed and will never disappoint.

I hope this blog post inspires you as enter into a new week. Let me know you keep your hope well placed by commenting below!

Prevail

prevail [ pri-veyl ] – prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious.

This week I am talking about another one of my favorite spots –– Prevail Union –– Located on the first floor of a building from 1898, which was home to the S. H. Kress & Co. department store, Prevail is a craft coffee shop focusing on delivering fresh roasted coffee and unique drinks while in a comfortable, cozy environment.  Hip and industrial, it resembles a coffee shop that one typically wouldn’t expect to find in downtown Montgomery.

I’ve been going to Prevail since my first day of work in Montgomery. Back then, it was located in a smaller spot at a nearby building. I fell in love with the honey vanilla iced latte and the homey environment where I could cross things off my to-do list.

Prevail sends a subtle, yet consistent message which constantly reminds us that alone, we may endure, but together we prevail.

No no matter what your situation in this season, if life is hard, love harder, be slow to anger and quick to forgive, and you will prevail. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, but you will win! 

Recent Posts:

Cry Pretty

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I’m a crier. Oh lawd, I am being so serious.

Everyone shows emotions differently, but that’s okay. You may call your best friend when you’re stressed. You may hit the gym for a good sweat session. You might pour your favorite glass of Cabernet and grab the container of Ben & Jerry’s out of the freezer while carefully trying not to spill either on your white couch (this is a talent ok, trust me). You might eat Hot Cheetos knowing how terrible they are for you. You might do all of the above (guilty).

You may cry. There’s really no wrong or right way to do it.

But hold on.

Why am I even talking about this?

I’ve been feeling like a basket case of emotions lately and I’m seriously considering investing in a good waterproof mascara. I’m a crier. I feel better when I cry! I don’t always have a meltdown or anything.  Just a frustrated tear after feeling defeated, a happy glisten at my eyes because I heard some fantastic news, or a hysterical, tears streaming down the cheeks because I’m laughing with the person I love at our favorite television show.

Now sometimes I do have a breakdown. Like full-on, ugly tears, expensive mascara running breakdown. If I feel comfortable enough to do this around you, you’re stuck with me for life!

Heck, I cry at weddings. At funerals. At baptisms even. Then I look around and realize no one else is crying. I’ve even apologized for crying before! Used to, I figured okay Ang, you’ll grow out of this. You’ll be an adult.  Younger Ang didn’t know what being an adult was like.

In essence, a whole lot of stuff where the tears are justified. And so are the glasses of wine.

Nine months ago, my life was a lot different. I had a different job, lived in a completely different city, had different friends, and so much more.

Fast forward to now and things are like day and night kind of different. Between then and now I’ve cried plenty of tears (and gained a few pounds).

One day at my current job, I broke the streak. I cried over something that happened that I felt was going to be the end of the world.

One day I sat on my bathroom floor crying until I made myself sick. It felt like the end of the world.

One day I let myself be vulnerable and ugly cry in front of someone I love deeply. It felt like the end of the world.

Spoiler alert! It wasn’t the end of the world.

It’s ok to be a real, functioning human who had some pretty heavy stuff happening.

Lock ‘em up is what many of us do. We press them down, stifle our feelings, suppress any emotional expression. We tell our friends to do the same. Chill. Relax. Put on your game face. Try to be cool no matter what is happening in your life.

Many of us have the impression that emotions are bad. Some were raised in families where people didn’t express much emotion. No one ever said it was wrong to cry or to get too excited about something. But then again, no one ever did.

When we suppress our emotions, it weighs us down. It’s as if we are lugging around a heavy bag with us wherever we go. We all know what happens if we have to carry that bag for an extended period of time: The longer we carry it, the heavier it feels.

So it is with an overwhelmed soul. The longer we bear it, the heavier it feels.

Friends, let it go today. Call a friend, make time for a workout, pour your favorite glass.

Have emotions and don’t ever be ashamed of them.

Ange_Sig

 

work diaries: my everyday #OOTD

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OUTFIT DETAILS

BLACK TIE WAIST TOP (I bought mine from a local boutique-True South- but this one is similar)BLACK JEANS (on sale) | CLASSIC BLACK HEELS  

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OUTFIT DETAILS

BLACK JUMPSUIT (Facebook shopping is the best!)CLASSIC BLACK HEELS  | EARRINGS

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OUTFIT DETAILS

BLACK SILK CAMI ($17.99 find!!) (I throw a light jacket on with something sleeveless like this)BLACK HIGH-WAISTED JEANS | EARRINGS | HERMES SANDAL DUPE 

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OUTFIT DETAILS

WHITE RUFFLE SLEEVED TOP RIBBON BELTED PANTS | EARRINGS |CLASSIC BLACK HEELS  

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OUTFIT DETAILS

MOST COMFORTABLE JUMPSUIT EVER 

 

I can’t believe we are already half way through September!! The months have flown by! I have been at my ‘new” job for almost SEVEN months now! I guess it’s not truly new anymore, but I feel like I just started.

Life has been a little CRAZY lately to say the least, but life is still so, so good.

I am required to dress business professional every day for my job. But pantyhose and shoulder pads really aren’t my style, so I have to get creative with my work looks.

I wear a lot of black as you can see and I love finding a good deal. I love shopping at local spots, (like True South here in Greenville), Facebook shopping (Trilogy and Lavender&Lily) [this is addicting y’all be WARNED], or my favorite online boutiques (VICI and Blue Door Boutique are two fab ones!).

I get a lot of remarks about wearing so much black, but I can mix and match pieces easily, plus I can wear statement earrings or a bold lip (two of my favorite things!)

My room is often a mess and I need to up my mirror pic selfies, but I hope this gives y’all a little bit of #fashionfriday inspo!

Happy Friday lovelies!

 

Ange_Sig