Paperback Pharmacy: A Note on Self-Improvement

I don’t know about you, but I want to be freakin’ awesome.

I don’t always feel freakin’ awesome.  January resolution season always reminds me of the distance between myself and alternate-reality-freakin’-awesome me. She’s off in some parallel universe simultaneously eating vegetables and kickboxing while on bluetooth closing sales deals. Late? Never. Selfish? Not that saint. Bad jokes? Still gets raucous laughter.

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If you are looking for me this month, I’m usually in the self-improvement section of Barnes & Noble. I basically shop for books like I’m at a pharmacy. What will it be this time: productivity boosters or spirit supplements…..

There are three books right now that I’m using to medicate my manic millennial mind.

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1) The Social Organism by Michael J. Casey  & Oliver Luckett – Call it a perspective enhancer. This book is a ‘theory of everything’. It takes a look at technology as being as alive as we are. This book is an excellent conversation piece. Essentially a giant metaphor, it illustrates the contagion of ideas and makes bold prophecies about what the future holds for mankind. I recommend for anyone who likes getting into debates with friends. It does get a little political at times, but if you brush that aside, the overall idea will make anyone go “huh!”. Check it out here.

 

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2) Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker – This is like  a wheatgrass shot of awareness for the workplace. A quick read, it talks about finding one’s own work style. Do you learn by doing or writing or perhaps talking? Are you meant to be a decision-maker or a persuader? I recommend for anyone who can write a to-do list but not finish it. Interested? Click.

 

 

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3) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – A creativity laxative-er-relaxer. One of my dear friends texted me to recommend and an hour later it was in my hot little hands. Any book that believes magic is real is a book for me. Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, does a lovely job of bringing her gentle, delighting approach to self-reflection. She playfully begs you to give your inner artist a chance to flourish. I recommend for anyone who thinks they “used” to be creative. Link to book.

 

 

 

Enjoy these brain snacks. Each book is totally different, but all three ask the reader to learn something about themselves. Each seems to hold secrets to the parallel universe of freakin’ awesomeness.

Cheers! To Vitamin B[ooks].

– Caroline

P.S. If you are crazy enough to try one, please let me know!!

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Juice Cleanse Blog: Metamorphosis of a Turbo Ninja Diva

8:30 A.M. – Drive to Juice Nashville and pick up 18 bottled liquids and reusable insulated tote. The juicery is modern and white on the inside, like something out of a sci-fi movie. The lone millennial employee tells me I can eat raw solid foods if I’m feeling compromised. I say “okay, cool” and smile. But on the inside I know I’m not a wuss. I WILL BE STRONG.

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9:00 A.M. – Arrive home. Line ’em up. Decide to start with the one that looks least appetizing. Apple lemon cayenne. Tastes like spicy apple juice. I feel like my face is sweating for a couple minutes. Is this a ripoff? Idk. I start typing this blog.

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3:00 P.M. Feeling a little juicy, I crack open the raw, chocolate almond milk that is 1 of my 6 daily bottles. It tastes dreamy and breaks up the monotony.

5:00 P.M. Really uneventful day. I feel fine, but have been pretty sedentary. Just dumping juices into my body.

9:00 P.M. I drink the last juice. My day was great. I am not in the personal hell feared by many. All of the juices are so sweet, it is like I am drinking mocktails all day. Question: is this insane amount of sugar okay?

Day 2:

New Year’s Eve! Still totally fine, aside from being a little brain-foggy. I saw a couple friends for catch-up sessions and felt like I was only 80% present. Doesn’t feel like magic yet, just a lotttt of sweet liquid.

10 p.m. Bedtime for me. Maybe I’ll catch midnight next year. Feeling more zen already.

Day 3:

9 a.m. Leisurely morning. Apathetic about the juices, and not noticeably different, but whatever just one more day. 

12 p.m. Aaaand then it got real. I feel hungover but I haven’t drank a drop. All of the side effects are kicking in. Sour attitude, longing for solid food, fatigue. I’m in the final inning, though. I can’t give up. 4 juices down today, 2 to go. The cold-pressed chocolate almond milk revives me… kinda. Must stop writing because it is making me even more annoyed at the world. iuehriuwrcesico23q87q8yreius23p958ys

7 p.m. I am not feeling so miserable. I take a fancy bath soak. I read an introspective book. I get a swell of energy and apologize to my best friend for snapping at her earlier.

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Day 4– back on real food:

8 a.m. I wake up. Because the holiday was on Sunday, we have Monday off. First thing I do? Eat, duh. 1 egg, 1/3 avocado, 1/2 grapefruit. I try to keep it really small, knowing there may be a reentry period. So far so great, and I wasn’t hungry afterwards. I go for a walk near the Nashville Parthenon and get coffee.

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10 a.m. Return from my walk, and immediately start singing around the house. (Constant singing is probably #1 reason I choose to live alone– ex-choir kid has to get her kicks somehow, amiright??) As I’m getting warmed up into my voice, it sounds better than normal. I can always gauge my health by how my voice is sounding. If it is that time of the month or I am tired or if I have an illness coming on, I’ll know by how free my tone sounds. I felt so electric, I gave my unsuspecting neighbors a full diva showcase.

 

Maybe it was the endorphins from finally walking. Maybe it was the caffeine. Maybe it was the relief from drowning my stomach in pools of liquid. I felt incredible. And, it has continued through the week. I even tweeted Juice Nashville to let them know I felt like a turbo ninja. Sure, juice cleanses have reputations for making people brag about how amahhhzing they feel, but the best way I can describe it is that I felt alert and in tune with my body. The idea of a cocktail sounded like something that would slow me down instead of calm me down. Endorphins from my walk felt sweeter than normal in my rested body.

Overall, I loved it. I didn’t have to cook for 3 days. I felt energized for 2017. I shed some holiday bloat. And I tried something I’d wanted to for awhile. *self high five*

Cheers! To starting the new year like a turbo ninja diva. 

-Caroline

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Dorky Chick in Nashville: Hey Y’all

Sigh. Tikka tikka. *delete* Tikka tikka tikka. *delete, delete* I missed that soft, unrhythmic percussion of my thoughts leaking onto the internet. Can you believe it has been a year since last we met?

After concluding my final post by clinking cyber glasses to 2016, I disappeared into blogging oblivion. I fell out of love with my craft. I shut the blog down, deleted all the videos, and even cancelled the domain. I wanted to move past the quirky show-and-tell of my early twenties. I was in search of a slick new identity, something evolved. I experimented with a couple writing projects privately, but nothing stuck. And then that damn voice started talking to me again– the one that belongs to a girl with fire-engine red hair and ruthless daydreams. I couldn’t let her go again, so I’m back. 

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Where to start? A recap?

If this blog were broken into seasons, Season 1 would be all about Portland and fashion and finding my voice. In the pilot episode, I dyed my hair cherry red and said good-bye to an old me. I blogged about design classes, outfits, fashion designers, and personal projects. The climax was being an insider VIP host at FashioNxt, Portland’s Premier Fashion Week, and having a brief internship with Project Runway winner, Michelle Lesniak.

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Season 2  I set my sights on writing for Cosmopolitan magazine and chronicled two trips to Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Life conference in New York City. Then there was a sudden move out of Portland and classic bleach/chop/life-change haircut. The season finale was the unique privilege of having an article published on the Cosmpolitan website, through their short-lived contributor network “The Mix”. You can view it here.

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I intend to blog in the present, but I ought to fill you in on 2016.

Season 3– This would be the season that only aired on an obscure cable network, but is important to the plot. In episode 1, I am watching Netflix in my pj’s. It is noon on a Thursday. I’m spending a lot of time googling Manhattan apartments. Bored, I text my dear friends who live in Nashville, Tennessee and ask, “if I got in my car and drove 10 hours to see you, could I stay on your couch for the weekend?” 10 hours later, they hand me a beer. 10 days later, I finally return home. 10 weeks later, I put my life in my car and drive south–one way. (End scene.)

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10 months later, and I just received my Tennessee license in the mail, y’all! If I was still growing, I would be a foot taller. I am a saleswoman with an office. I live in a beautiful apartment with amenities. I have seen more live music in a single year than I had seen in my lifetime. And in between the scheduled things, I learned a hellova lot about starting over, companionship, family, weakness, workplace, music, the human spirit, politics, and even BBQ.

The season finale is clinking flutes of cold pressed juice instead of champagne. Confident that I met my alcohol quota for 2016, I opted for a zen NYE. No sequins,  no bar tabs, and no hangover (woo!). Just clarity, friendship, and optimism. Change is a good thing. 

I’ve holed up in my apartment with laptop open, cruising into 2017 by way of mellow tikka tikka tikka on the keyboard. What will Season 4 be about? There will be more YOLO-ing. There will be more creative projects.  I will continue to chronicle the absurdity of adulthood, and I’ll try and infect you with some of the inspiration that has infected me.

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Cheers, friends! To the voices in our head, the art of identity, and Music City, USA.

-Caroline