2018 > 2019: The Transition

2018 truly tested my resilience, my self-esteem, my ambition and my patience.

At the start of the year, I was working a dead end job, involved in what unfortunately became a dead end relationship, out of shape & straight up exhausted, mentally and physically.

On July 7th, I found myself single for the first time in six years due to my (now ex) falling out of love, still working at a job that I despised, and living back home with my mother. I was in an ass-load of credit card debt, still out of shape & exhausted, with no creative outlets to help me cope. At that point it seemed that I had forgotten that I had ever enjoyed anything at all. I was in a weird, depressive state of mind for the next two months straight; I felt worthless and alone and like I was no good at anything or for anything at all.

By September though, I had had enough of that bullshit and finally began to realize that, much to my dismay, life doesn’t just stop when I am feeling sad or unmotivated; it just keeps on moving, whether I am able to keep up with it or not. Once I accepted that as fact, that was the start of some crazy self-reflection. “Feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to help me accomplish a damn thing,” I wrote in one of my notebooks, over and over again, until it finally stuck. It took some serious convincing, but eventually, I got myself there.

That being said, since then, I have tried with all of my might to start addressing the following issues:

1. My lack of self-esteem: the amount of negative talk that I used to give myself daily was honestly disgusting. Breaking that habit has posed much more difficult than I anticipated, but I am working on it. I did not realize how low I let myself go; the only option now is to work on building myself back up.

2. Co-dependency issues: after July’s breakup, I felt beyond useless and defeated. I found myself looking for some kind of attention, which to my knowledge, I had never felt I’d needed before. The thing with that is, as soon as I found what I THOUGHT I was looking for, I realized that it was the exact opposite of what I needed/wanted. What I NEEDED was to become more comfortable with myself. Work in progress.

3. Sugar-coating things: I have been guilty of this in the past, so often in fact, that I almost forgot that I am actually allowed to voice my personal opinions without feeling relentlessly guilty after the fact. How I feel is how I feel and that is that. Another work in progress.

4. Trying to fix everyone that I met: everyone has their shit and it is not my job to problem solve for them. It is my job to accept and support them in any way that I can, but that is where my responsibility needs to cap off. I have drained myself emotionally so many times over the years and it was not until this year, that I realized it was because, subconsciously, I wanted to feel like a hero; like I was worth something, and that just brings me right back to addressing my own lack of self-esteem. I should not be measuring my self-worth by the number of people that I have or have not been able to “fix;” all that accomplished was setting myself up to fail.

2018 was a lot of give & take. Despite all of those less-than-favorable self-realizations, I have done a lot that I am proud of in the last few months as well!

1. I finally worked up the courage to take a pay cut and started a new career that I am actually passionate about.

2. I started getting myself out on dates again

3. I started writing again.

4. I made some serious headway on paying down my credit card debt.

5. I finally got back into working out regularly and I have lost 15 lbs since.

I am very proud of myself for all of the above, and I can honestly say that it has been a LONG while since I last felt legitimately proud of myself. It is a feeling that I am still getting used to, but I do not hate it. It is a welcomed change but I am still battling my brain on that matter; my head keeps using the terms “proud” and “arrogant,” interchangeably, but I am finally beginning to realize that there is a VERY BIG difference.

2019 is going to be the year that I stop talking down to myself. 2019 is the year that I will start pursuing what is important to me. 2019 is full of promise and that makes me PROUD.

Fall is here!

Good morning and happy* Monday everyone!

*Okay, honestly, I always have mixed feelings about Mondays, but they’re not the worst thing in the world – it just feels like it sometimes.

This weekend was eventful and very productive. I changed out all of my Summer clothing for Fall/Winter items yesterday. The process was long, as I did not realize how many fall items I had, but that’s what happens when you put stuff away for half of the year, I guess. Great news is, I was able to get together another box of clothing to donate! Additionally, some of the items were name-brand and in great condition, so I’ll be able to sell those items to a consignment store and make some cash, which I intend to use to replace my more-than-worn winter boots from last year. Here’s some photos of the process! (If you follow me on Instagram (@lindsliveswithless), you may have already seen these!)

BEFORE:

AFTER! 

It look like a whole heck of a lot, and that is because I recently had to buy a bunch of new work clothes because…I AM DOWN 10 LBS! (Before & after pictures below!) Zumba is really paying off! (And it is so much fun!!) I am very grateful to have finally found a type of exercise that I actually enjoy doing. The search was long! Trust me! haha!screenshot_20180924-093042_instagram1699404042940257288.jpg

Exciting, but more expensive than I’d like! haha! But let’s lay this out – so, in my newly organized closet, pictured above, the left side is all interview/suit & tie items. After that is my shoe rack and in the middle are all of my dresses, blouses and cardigans. the storage next to that is all of the sweaters and casual wear that did not need to be hung up. And, LAST but not least, since I do live in New England, the right side is strictly jackets and outerwear. The other two pictures are all undergarments + workout & pajama items.

For those interested in an itemized list of my closet items, what I have there is as follows:

Jackets: 1 denim, 1 black denim, 1 motorcycle, 1 wool coat

Smart Business Items: 1 black pencil skirt, 1 pleated skirt, 3 pairs of black slacks & 2 suit jackets (1 plaid, 1 black)

Dresses: 1 black & white striped, 1 long-sleeved t-shirt, 1 short-sleeved t-shirt with neck line detail and 1 plaid

Blouses: 1 leopard print, 1 maroon, 1 dressy tank and 1 black

Cardigans: 1 black, 2 yellow (gifted one, had already bought another, but I wear them often, so I’ve kept both)

Shoes: 1 pair each of – black booties, Toms, Vans, workout sneakers, leopard flats, low-heeled black pumps and (not pictured) nude flats (which I keep at work)

Aside from that, there are a few comfy sweaters (that can be dressed up or down), 2 vests, 3 camis, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of jeans and some scarves for the colder days.

In other news, I am proud to announce that my love for de-cluttering may be starting to rub off on my mom! She did a kick ass job de-cluttering her kitchen this weekend and we are going to get her closet done this coming weekend! I am so excited!

ALSO, I have an interview this week and I am crossing my fingers! Please, wish me luck!

I think that is all for now. Hope everyone has a great week!

 

What’s in my wardrobe?

So, I’ve been slacking on getting this post up, but I put in some work today! I did another de-cluttering purge this morning and wound up with a whole other box full of clothing, bags and shoes to donate.

Let’s get down to it! What’s in my wardrobe? WELL, a lot more than I realized originally, TBH, but that’s beside the point. Let’s start with all of the photos that I took today (almost everything is pictured somewhere below, but I am definitely missing a few things #sorrynotsorry).

Before: To start this whole process, I emptied my closet & all of my drawers entirely and threw everything on my bed.

During: I created 2 piles – “KEEP” & “DONATE” – pretty cut and dry. I folded (or hung up) each piece as I went through everything one by one, to 1. create less work for myself later on & 2. to avoid wrinkles to the best of my ability. Additionally, I jotted down a total tally for each group of items (sweatshirts, pants, jeans, etc.), so I’d know what I had left at the end of the process. I like lists. There, I said it. I like them and I’m not ashamed!

After: Once all of the folding, sorting and decision-making was through, I put everything that I wanted to keep back in its place & packed all of the donations into a box. I felt very zen after that part was over. Organizing makes me feel like I have my sh*t together. Haha!

This is my year-round wardrobe. I haven’t gotten to a point yet where I’ve been able to create seasonal capsules, solely because I live in New England, where the weather can be 90 degrees and humid one day and back down to 40 degrees and rainy the next, (or f*cking snowing.) We New Englandaahs  just never know what’s in store for us next and that is a reality that I’ve come to accept. That being said…

THE LIST: 

Business-Casual Slacks: 1 black, 1 gray
Jeans: 2 dark wash, 1 black, 1 black distressed, 1 light wash distressed
Shorts: 1 black, 1 lighter-wash and 1 Bermuda-style
T-shirts
: 1 gray, 1 black, 1 white, 2 graphic, 2 striped
Long-sleeved Casual: 1 black, 1 gray
Crop-tops: red & white striped
Button-ups: 1 long-sleeved chambray, 1 flannel & 1 white collared button-up
Sweatshirts: 1 cropped, 3 hoodies, 1 zip-up, 1 pull-over
Over-sized Sweaters: 1 colored, 2 neutral
Vests: 1 olive green utility, 1 black w/ brown trim zip-up
Cardigans: 1 black, 1 red, 1 yellow
Camis: 1 black, 1 grey, 1 white, 1 white w/ lacy print
Dressy Tanks: 1 yellow, 1 black, 1 navy/white striped
Suits
: 1 black suit
Skirts: 1 yellow pleated (knee length) & 1 black pencil skirt
LBD(s): 1 dressy (tank) & 1 casual (long-sleeved, knee-length)
Other Dresses: 1 black & white striped, 1 short-sleeved maxi

Bags/Hats/Accessories: 1 reversible belt (1 side black & 1 side brown) + Bags: swimsuit bag, beach bag, “fancy” work bag, casual tote, small leather over-the-shoulder bag, waterproof backpack, runner’s wallet, carry-on suitcase + 5 pairs of earrings & 4 necklaces (not pictured) + Hats: 1 beanie, 1 scally cap, 2 baseball caps

Shoes: 10 pairs – pictured above – 1 casual sandal, 1 dress sandal, toms, colored flats, running shoes, fashion sneakers, black heels, boat shoes, all-weather boots and black heeled booties + one pair of nude flats that I keep under my desk at work (not pictured)

Workout Clothes: Too many t-shirts, not enough pants (LOL – Guess I’ll have to tackle that next)

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. For a chick living in New England, I’d say less than 50 pieces of clothing (give or take outer layers & workout clothes not listed) for the whole year isn’t too shabby! This means that over the last few months, I have managed to donate OVER HALF of my stuff. Before I started this process, I had 125+ items sitting in miscellaneous draws and closets, many of which I never even wore or thought about. This is HUGE for me! And what a great feeling it is to rid myself of the excess!

As things wear out & I have to replace them, I intend to narrow my collection of clothing and accessories down even more! Investing in quality over quantity is the over-all goal. The end goal is to get myself down to a 35-piece wardrobe, inclusive of shoes & outer-layers, that can been worn interchangeably, year-round. I’ll be giving myself some time to work on that. I am not planning on replacing anything or buying anything else until these items get too worn out to be socially acceptable. Three exceptions to this rule include: 1. if I need to buy any bridesmaid dresses (highly likely); 2. if/when I achieve the weight loss goals that I am gunning for and these items become too big for me; 3. if I end up being selected to move forward with one of the jobs I’ve applied for, I’ll have to buy another suit. Life happens & we all have to adjust accordingly! 🙂

I am SO excited to see where this journey is going to take me. I already feel like so much stress has been lifted! So far, this has helped simplify my morning routine, which has allowed me to actually enjoy commuting into Boston, and boosted my self-confidence, because I have only kept pieces that make me FEEL GOOD. It’s been pretty eye-opening, that’s for sure.

That’s all for now! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Traveling more, with less.

Good morning everyone! I am currently on my way to New Jersey. I’ve never been and I am looking forward to it!

My trusty little carry on bag and I are on the Amtrak now and ready for 2 days of concerts and the Asbury Park boardwalk. Bring it on!

I only packed essentials this time around, just like I tried to do for my last weekend get away to NY.

Here’s the list of stuff I’ve brought along for the trip:

2 plain tank tops

1 fancy tank top (concert attire)

2 pair of jeans(1 I’m wearing now + 1 backup)

1 pair of shorts

Bathing suit

Beach towel

Flip flops

Sneakers

1 bra

1 bralette

3 pairs of underwear

3 pairs of socks

Sweatshirt

Lint roller

Phone charger

Chambray button up (which I’m using as my beach cover-up)

Travel-sized shower things + travel sized hair spray & make-up wipes

Sunscreen (!!!!)

1 pair of sun glasses

Hair brush

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Basic make-up (cover up, foundation, mascara, lipstick)

Aside from my book and my headphones and phone, that’s it!

Packing less has made the entire travel process so much less stressful and my carry is good for any form of travel – trains, planes,automobiles. It’s versatile and it works so well for me!

I am looking forward to roaming about in a new area with my friends! Should be a great time! Enjoy the rest of your week!