A Life Lesson from the Kentucky Derby

I’ll be honest. I don’t really follow the Kentucky Derby, nor do I really feel the need to gamble on that. I mean, how do we really know the horse just isn’t having a bad mental health day? What if they don’t want to run? Alright, I kid. You guys get the point though. This year, I heard that the winner has a pretty good story for those of us in need of a good life lesson.

The Background of Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit was as underdog as you can get when it comes to a big event like the Kentucky Derby. People will pay a pretty penny for the best bloodline of a horse that offers the best chance at winning the Derby. Media Spirit, however, was bought for only $1,000.00 – that’s cheap even for your everyday family horse!

The trainer that would eventually win with Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert, said the horse had “no fucking chance to win.” In fact, he was even pleasantly surprised that such a small and meager animal had made it to the Derby at all. He got on the horse expecting to beat by another horse in the competition.

My client, Lorraine Beato, just made an awesome post about this – check it out below:

The Win

To everyone’s surprise, the small horse purchased for one thousand dollar started in the lead and maintained it through the finish line. Medina Spirit’s worth became $1.85 million dollars on May 1st, 2021 despite even his trainer’s thoughts. 

So, What’s the Life Lesson Here?

There were a lot of people betting against Medina Spirit – literally. There were millions of dollars put on other horses in the race purely because of the horse’s size, muscle mass, and background. Still, the horse ran. The person they depended on most, their trainer, said they had no chance. Still, the horse ran.

There are going to be times in life where the people that we want validation from the most are our biggest naysayers. We still are going to have to run. People are going to scream hatred because of what our bodies look like, what our minds can do, and what our past has been made up of. Still, we must run.

It’s not for the people in the stands or the trainer. The others who raced against you will want to flex that they know you and your story. Running forward despite the setbacks, however, is for you. It’s to prove that the only person on this entire planet that can really set your worth is you. If you choose to show up as a $1.85 race horse, then the world will know you by literally nothing else.

Short and sweet. What are you going to do to show up and set your worth this week? Connect with my on my socials above!

Don’t Pop My Bubble!

2021 has been the year of the boundary. Well, it’s been a work in progress, but that’s the overarching goal of this year. Last year, everyone was put through the ringer when the world practically stopped turning overnight. Everyone is still wading into “real life” that it’s hard to have goals, be productive, and set healthy boundaries. I’m really moving forward with the mindset that I have a bubble that should never be popped – not for friends, followers, or family. Allowing myself to have boundaries that keep me comfortable and aware of my own mental health is necessary to be the best possible version of myself that I want to present to myself. So, whatever you do, don’t pop my bubble!

Healthy Boundaries at Work

As most of you know, I’m my own boss. It comes with a huge pile of advantages, but also has some disadvantages that go hand-in-hand. For a person who’s a little fixated on control and success, like me, working from home can be really toxic. I’ve been known to wake up and do a couple hours of work in the middle of the night. I can’t get myself to sleep without feeling more productive when my head hits the pillow.

This year, I’ve started to set some boundaries when it comes to working. For one, I’ve stopped lowballing myself, my experience, and my time. I was creating contracts for people for a couple hundred dollars a month that would go for thousands if I was at a private PR agency. Stepping away from corporate life was my choice, but it doesn’t mean that my experience or education level is different from my counterparts!

I started to charge closer to an industry average. When it gets to be too late, I’m only on social media of my own for pleasure, rather than work. Physically, I outlined what I do (or what I expect to do for work) so that I had an extremely clear answer when someone approached me for work. All of my contracts were rewritten and rephrased to have more boundaries like: times in which I can be available, hours I’ll work, and other contingencies I just didn’t have.

When I Didn’t Fit, I Left!

My clients were all really receptive and appreciative of these boundaries. Not only did they benefit me, but they clearly defined my role in their business as well. Prior to this year, I was so concerned about making my business a success that I would stay in contracts that might not have fit what I envisioned my role being with EmyD. After creating these boundaries, I fulfilled contracts and then professionally stepped away when I felt that I wasn’t a good fit for the position, rather than forcing myself into the position!

Healthy Boundaries Online

I’ve written a blog about sharing online already. You’ll definitely come across some bloggers that find a lot of comfort in sharing their story online and hitting publish (like me!) You’ll also, however, find bloggers who don’t produce a lot of super personal content. Is either one better? Absolutely not. Blogs fulfill the needs of those writing them and those reading them, so what’s your cup of tea might not be mine! 

This year, I’ve realized the need for even more boundaries online as my following grows and more blogs are written. I’ve had followers find my personal number and send me sexually explicit images and texts. I’ve had people call me just to “talk”. It’s made me feel unsafe and a little icky. Though most people are very receptive when I express this, I have to constantly emphasize that though I may speak about mental health, it’s not healthy for me to take others’ mental health issues onto myself. I’ve had to clearly draw the line between “influencer” and my real life. Without it, I felt like I was living just to take photos and share them with people I didn’t know. Life was starting to feel catered to social media, which I never want to happen.

Healthy Boundaries with Loved Ones

You all know I’m an empath through and through. Breathing a little differently in my presence could cause me to ask you what’s wrong…even if nothing is. This is also thanks to a little friend I call anxiety, which makes me rethink the words and actions I have for what feels like forever. The lack of boundaries when it came to loved ones was starting to drive me a little crazy though. 

This year, I’ve been really trying to only spend my time and energy on what makes me feel good. That includes the people in my life. For so long, I was terrified of being alone and friendless that I wouldn’t speak up if I felt mistreated or upset. Recently, I’ve realized that I would rather be completely alone than feel upset in a group.

Being social doesn’t just happen everyday for me. Listening to my body and mind about whether I actually WANT to get on the Zoom or go to drinks has been life changing. It’s made me feel a lot more autonomy over my body. Also, when I do see my loved ones, its really really great because I feel good about being there!

Mindset to Help with This

Creating a bubble between you and the people you love is difficult! But, in order for you to be a great friend, sibling, boss, coworker, or whatever else you are, you need to advocate for yourself! One mindset that has really been getting me through is “If someone is mad at me or upset with me, it’s none of my business until they tell me”. It’s one of the first things you learn in Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass”!

It’s much easier said than actually implemented. Those of us with anxiety, however, it can really benefit making boundaries and sticking to them when it comes to advocating for yourself! If someone is unwilling to address a problem with you and validate your boundaries, why would you spend any amount of time thinking about it?! Remember, though, the same goes for your loved ones from you! If you’re unwilling to advocate for your boundaries or speak up about your problems, don’t expect them to spend anytime thinking about it!

The Takeaway

Boundaries are really really cool. As a society, we’ve started to think that social media, television, or gossip is the all-access pass into someone else’s life. At the end of the day, though, we all deserve to feel safe and calm in our own thoughts. Take it from someone who has told the whole Internet what her mental health chart says. Allowing yourself a healthy space so that you can feel autonomy, comfort, safety is essential. Boundaries make you a better person all around and much more empathetic when people are in need of you! So, I’ll say it again, don’t pop my bubble!

Trying to set boundaries? I want to hear about them! Connect with me on any of my socials!

Sunlight’s Effects on Mental Health

The sun has been shining in Wisconsin for the last week or so and I have been in a really good mood. Not only that, but I’ve been full of energy, ready to work, and productive when I’m awake! There is snow still piled up outside and it hasn’t passed the 40 degree Farenheit mark, but it feels more like July than February over here! I started to wonder why this part of the year makes an annual dramatic shift in my day to day life. Clearly, the sunshine helps a lot, but what are the benefits of sunlight on mental health?

Not Sunlight, Actually Vitamin D

Though sunlight feels really good on your face after a long winter and brings out those cute freckles, it’s not actually sunlight doing all the hard work. It’s Vitamin D! It’s fairly common to have a slight Vitamin D deficiency. According to Healthline, nearly 42% of adults aren’t getting the right amount of Vitamin D. These small deficiencies can lead to depression, lack of sleep, and issues with eating. Big deficiencies can actually end up causing larger skeletal problems and mineralization in your bones.

I’ve been taking a Vitamin D supplement for some time at the advice of my doctor. But, why is this one vitamin so powerful? What does it do for mental health overall?

Vitamin D and Depression

There’s a huge correlation between vitamin D levels and people reporting they feel depressed. Those diagnosed with depression are more likely to be within the 42% of people who have an ongoing deficiency. Also, the receptors that intake all the Vitamin D are biologically in the same place as those that we study for depression. Coincidence? I think not!

Sunlight and Our Everyday Life

In general, sunlight dictates a lot of our routines and rhythms. If you’re in a place where days get shorter/colder during some parts of the year, you know how weird your routine can get with even the smallest of changes. It’s easier to get up when it’s light outside. It’s easier to get long, restful sleep when it’s dark outside – simple as that!!

To recap: Sunlight encourages a normal sleeping pattern which encourages a normal routine! If you haven’t allowed a self help podcast, blog, or book to infiltrate your brain yet, one of the first things they’ll recommend is establishing a routine that you feel confident in to be productive. In most people, increased hours of sunlight usually means an increase in productivity throughout their day. 

The Takeaway

I like to leave you guys with something to take away from the blogs. It might be something new that you didn’t know, maybe it’s a tidbit of information that makes you approach the world differently, or maybe it’s just a little something to make you smile!

As I finish this blog up, it’s rainy and dark outside. The opposite of everything I’ve been talking about in these last few paragraphs. In 2021, I hope that I soak up the sunshine – not just physically, but I soak up the serotonin that it feeds my brain. After a year of what felt like endless rain, we can all remember that sunlight is possible. We can look for the sun’s effects on our mental health every single day!

How is the weather making you feel? Tell me at any of my socials below!

** This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through one of the links!**

Acne At 23 Years Old

I don’t know which beauty guru God I pissed off, but I’ve been having some serious cystic acne in these big breakouts throughout the pandemic. Acne has never really been a huge problem for me – I swam competitively for years which effectively burned every skin cell on my face. My hair too. The years when everyone else was struggling, I skated by pretty easily. Now, though, I’m feeling the pain because I’m getting acne at 23.

My Skin Type

 should probably tell you that I have combination to oily skin depending on the time of year. I get greasy pretty quickly. Finding a setting spray that actually keeps my makeup from melting off has been a work in progress that I’m still not totally confident in. 

I’m also a picker. Big surprise here: I’ve got some crazy anxiety that manifests itself in some hand fixations. While other people smoke or pop their gum, I’ve always been that annoyance that clicks the pens, picks, and cracks my knuckles. It’s not at all cute. On the brightside, it’s made me a very quick typer and therefore, a good content creator. Conversely, it makes healing blemishes a little difficult.

Stop Obsessing…PLEASE!

I feel like I’ve tried everything when it comes to healing my skin. It’s so cliche to have a big zit that makes you not want to go out in public, but I’m going through that as a full-blown adult! A respiratory pandemic that required masks has made it easier to literally mask some of the acne, but not the annoying (and painful) forehead breakouts. 

Men and women who have struggled with body dysmorphia or self consciousness in some form or another can understand what I mean when I say I’m very aware of myself. I am aware of the space I take up, the vibe I give off, and the cystic zit that sits right at my hairline. Like I’ve said before, the odds of anyone having the time or energy to care about the size of your forehead zit during a Target run. 

Just like with everything in life, the moment your mindset shifts from obsession over the ugliness and hatred for the natural things happening on your face to action or self care is when things start to change. 

Healing Time!

Considering that most of my generation gets their skincare advice from strangers on Tik Tok, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t possibly be the only experiencing frequent breakouts along with her quarter-life crisis. My dermatologist recommended a face wash in the shower called Panoxyl. It’s over the counter but pretty harsh – so be careful! It’s been a game changer for my oily skin, especially when I was in school and touching my face in exasperated sighs all the time. 

Big disclaimer: what works for me, might not work for you; even if our skin types are the same! I used a lot of cheap drugstore products to wash my face my whole life without problem. Now, however, I need to be a little more careful about the things that I’m putting on my skin. I’d encourage you to look up the long words that are in the ingredients list. You don’t have to spend heaps of money on good stuff either!! Brands like The Ordinary are available at Ulta for less than $10. 

I just posted this on my LikeToKnow.It profile! (liketoknow.it/emydblog) where you can find all the things that I use in my routine & where you can get them!

The Takeaway

As I get older, I’ve realized just how much the outside world affects my skin, my hair, my allergies, my appetite, and everything in between. I’m not sure if it’s because we become more introspective as we get older or maybe, it’s because I’m just absorbing too much of what’s around me. Though change in our routines can be scary, it’s sometimes necessary! Unfortunately, I can’t use the same products as when I was in a pool for 4 hours a day because it’s not my lifestyle anymore. 

Along with all of this though, is the reminder that your skin is imperfect and blemished just like every other person’s. We use makeup, apps, and software to make it look perfect… but you’re not unworthy of a photo or event because of a bad skin day. Even the beauty gurus that pop up on our Explore page don’t go through life without a breakout. I’m so tired of hiding my whole face because a blemish makes me feel unworthy. If we’re going to preach body positivity, it better be about the whole damn thing. 

Struggling with acne? Have a to-die-for solution? Connect with me on any of the social platforms below!

** This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through one of the links!**

Who Am I? Journaling Idea!

Who am I? I could get specific and spout of my ancestry or where my distant relatives came from. I might even divulge that sulfa-based medication gives me hives. Give me a couple drinks and I just might whisper some secrets. But, who AM I? I mean, who am I really in the grand scheme of things?

Events That Answer “Who Am I?”

Believe it or not, a global pandemic helped make this question not as intimidating to me. I realized that it’s a question that doesn’t have to be answered in one day or a moment. That from the moment we come into this world to the moment we leave it, we’re working on answering the question. There are events in our life that help us a little more than others in the solution, of course.

For me, COVID-19 was a big one. It helped me to realize that living my life wasn’t dependent on the opinions of my friends or how many times I was invited to the bars each week. A happy life isn’t dictated by the amount of social engagements on the calendar, but by your ability to love, respect, and find happiness within yourself. At the start of all of this, I couldn’t find those things within myself. I really thought I could, but I relied too much on the validation of outside forces to find love on the inside for who I am.

At the end of the day, who you are is a big melting pot full of the people you’ve met, the things you’ve been through, and the beliefs that were instilled in you from those most important. All of us would like to believe that our melting pot is the best of the best, right?

This year, especially, I’ve tried to be understanding. I’ve tried to empathize, forgive, and understand as never before. I’ve tried to wrap my head around things that just stemmed from hatred without any luck. All the while, I’ve been asking myself where I fit in all of this?

As 2021 began, I was numb. There is not a doubt in my mind that 2020 was the most difficult of my life by far – and I spoke zero words to my ex! I was extremely negative about what 2021 had to offer me as cases of Coronavirus raged, our politics remained hateful, and we were surrounded by really heart wrenching things. I began to realize, however, that 2020 is not me. It’s not any of us.

It’s a chapter, maybe a long one, in our story that affects the overall plot. It takes our character arch through a loop that we never expected. If I didn’t let it, though, it didn’t have to alter who I am.

I’ve started journaling a lot more in 2021. My original journal entries were only so that I had evidence of all the ugly things that my boyfriend at the time was doing to me. As we broke up, it became a place that I could cry. It was essentially a book about a man that hurt me a lot. Now, my journal is a place in which I grow, learn, and wonder about myself and life around me.

My WHO AM I Journal/Goal Setting Prompt:

Who am I, right now,  in 5 describing words? Are these words that I would like someone else to use when describing me? These words are constantly changing. Always and forever. Is there a word that you’d like to change sooner? How has the stuff that made you feel not so good been ways to make you realize who you are? Who do you want to be?

Do you journal? Share with me at any of the social profiles below!

The Face of Agoraphobia

Before actually getting a diagnosis, I wasn’t really aware of what agoraphobia meant. It seemed like people who avoided leaving the house were like the brother in The Benchwarmers – not people like me. It was even harder to verbalize the panic that I felt outside the comfortability of my bedroom. I was diagnosed with agoraphobia at 19. This is the face of agoraphobia.

About Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is characterized as an anxiety disorder in which one fears locations or places that might induce panic or anxiety. For those with social anxiety, this is A LOT of places and can quickly spiral into something that’s difficult to cope with. Rather than feeling the stress when you’ve entered the place, you actually begin to get anxiety anticipating the location. 

Usually, you feel this anxiety because you’re aware that there’s no “out”. For example, people might feel symptoms of agoraphobia before going on a bus, train, or subway. There’s no easy way to get off and out of those situations.

Agoraphobia in My Life

I started to notice the symptoms of agoraphobia as a college student. I was walking into these huge lectures and being overwhelmed instantly. Worry about a power lecture would start the night before, rather than when I was planted in the seat. That’s a LOT of worrying about one 75 minute class. What if I had a panic attack in the middle of a row of lecture chairs? What if I missed something that was on the exam because I was trying to breathe in the bathroom?

To me, leaving the house was just a chore that I didn’t want to have to deal with. I’ve always been a homebody – but this was on a next level. At 19, the diagnosis of agoraphobia was officially added to my chart. It made sense; a lot of sense.

Treatment of Agoraphobia

Treating agoraphobia is similar to the treatment that one goes through for anxiety. You can be prescribed medication, like I was, that takes some of the edge off of entering those anxiety-inducing locations. You can go through therapy, also like me, to try and restructure your thought process surrounding these stressful moments.

In my life, treatment of my agoraphobia went hand and hand with that of my anxiety. It’s fairly common for those with panic disorder to suffer from symptoms of agoraphobia. Truthfully, I feared attending class, going out, and just leaving the house in general. I guess I really just feared having a panic attack in public. 

My Life Today

As I’m writing this, I no longer have agoraphobia on my medical chart. It was absolutely not something I just woke up without. There were a lot of therapy appointments, uncomfortable desensitization, and  I still have moments where I experience a lot of anxiety prior to certain events. There are other locations that trigger anxiety within me. It’s been really important to learn coping mechanisms and self-imposed boundaries for the most comfortable living. 

For the most part, though, I don’t worry about working a shift before I have to go work it. Like everyone else, I dread going to the grocery store because it’s lame; not because I’m scared of not having an out. Since most of my panic has subsided, I’ve seen a huge decrease in my agoraphobia symptoms as well. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by places outside of your room, home, or comfort spot, PLEASE reach out to a professional. There are so many options and treatments that can be used to combat those feelings. You should never feel like the world is smaller for you because of your mental illness, but if you do right now, you’re absolutely not alone. My name is Emily and I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. This is the face of agoraphobia. 

What are your thoughts? Link up with me on any of the socials below!

Seven Things to be Thankful for in 2020

It’s weird to think that this year is going to be in the textbooks’ of the next generation. There’s so many things that went horribly wrong, that it’s hard to list the things that are actually going right. We all had to adjust to a different way of living, loving, and learning. Hopefully, the vaccine makes things go a little back to normal. It’s important to list the things that we feel thankful for and really hold onto them in a bad season. Here are seven things to be thankful for in 2020.

1. Dogs, Always Dogs

I already posted on my Instagram that I am so so so thankful for the dogs in my life. My roommate rescued Matilda Mae, who we call Tildy, in the end of September. Not only has she made one of my best friends so happy, but she’s made our apartment feel more like a home. My family dog, Cooper, hasn’t been feeling the best and it’s made me realize just how grateful I am to have had to guard my food from him for all these years. Nala, my personal shadow, has been the emotional support I desperately needed more times than once. Dogs literally love us more than we will ever love ourselves. For that, I’m pretty damn thankful.

2. Brands that Align Themselves with My Clients and I

This one is not as relatable, but it’s something that I’m thankful for! Not only have I been able to stop working my day job, I’ve been able to help other influencers do the same. We’ve been able to find brands that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. They are brands that we actually want to post about and it’s things we really believe in. More importantly, the really great brands see us as valuable resources and treat us accordingly!

I’m very thankful that my writing on my WordPress page has turned into something that can sustain me. Scribbling the most emotional things of all time in a journal has prepared me to make a living and change other’s days by sharing!

3. Heating pack (Just me?)

This one is a little materialistic, but I’d like to have a specific shoutout to heating pads. I’ve made a lot of purchases in quarantine – a lot. One of my favorites has been a heating pad that wraps all the way around my back. 

Have a stomach ache? Heating pad. Does your back feel like it’s cracking in half, like mine? Heating pad. Menstrual pain? Heating pad. We were given the magic bullet of pain relief and I’d just like to say that I’m thankful for that. 

4. Our Ability to Change

Listen, I’m not going to lie here, sometimes this is not so good. There are things in 2020 have have been handled terribly. It’s pretty cool, though, just how fast restaurants, hospitals, and other businesses were able to transition to life within a pandemic. 

These days, we have contactless delivery. Drive-up options at department stores as going to be utilized for those who need them even after the vaccine is administered. There are people who are going to be able to work from home forever, and live wherever they want, all while doing their dream job! One of my clients is a real estate agent. She shared with me that up to 23 million Americans are moving as a result of being able to do work from home! 

Call it what it is – this year was really shitty. In the midst of all that, it’s important to remember that even when the world did come to a screeching halt… it really didn’t. 

5. Our Health

I know that I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to say this. At this point, more than a quarter of a million lives have been taken because of COVID-19. So many people have lost loved ones and millions will have complications due to their battle with coronavirus for years to come. If there’s one thing that 2020 taught us to be thankful for it’s good health. 

When you wake up in the morning and can take a deep breath or you can get restful sleep, that’s something to be thankful for. We can think back to all the times that  we could be blissfully ignorant about the germs we picked up in public places because we didn’t have the constant reminder of a mask on our face. 2020 has taught us that being healthy is never something to take for granted as you never know when you won’t be!

6. Actual Self Care

I started off the year being able to put my problems on the backburner. When I got overwhelmed, I could go to the bars with my friends. When I felt inadequate, I could pick up some more shifts at work. In other words, it was a lot more convenient to deal with the easier stuff. 

2020 made us face the hard stuff head on. It forced us too. When I felt negative feelings, I couldn’t just run to the bar and forget all about it. It was much harder to separate those feelings from the realities of quarantine. 2020 made us value self care so much more. Now, we know that we can spend time alone – for months – and still prevail. We can be thankful to 2020 for helping us fall in love with alone time a little bit more again.

7. The Autonomy of Being Social

With that being said, it’s been a big lesson to us homebodies and introverts too. For the most part, I don’t feel a ton of FOMO about the bars. However, everything that has happened has made me thankful for plans that I can have, the people I am able to see, and the social time I have.

Am I crying every night in boredom? Honestly, no. This has finally validated my love for staying in and watching Netflix. It makes me thankful for the times when I have autonomy to make those decisions though

2020 Kind of Sucked

There are a lot of things to come out of this year, though, that remind us how resilient we are in the face of dark days. If anything, this year showed us just how good we are adjusting when we need to. It’s made us want to do better in 2021. Which we will.

What are your thoughts as we wrap up 2020? Connect with me on any of my socials below!

What I Learned As a Big Girl

I’m at the point in my quarantine where I’m back to watching movies all day everyday. My list is pretty exhaustive, even if I’m rewatching some old favorites. One that I watched for the first time was “Dumplin”. Originally, I thought it was just about a chubby girl who wants to do pageants, but I was so wrong. It brought up a lot of trauma I didn’t know I had. Weirdly enough, it helped verbalize what I learned as a big girl.

It’s Not ALWAYS Like the Movies

Watching people scream “Fatass,” down the hall made my heart break for the girls in the movie, but it wasn’t something I could relate to. Sure, I had my fair share of venom spit at me, but I wasn’t innocent in the words I let fly. People said hateful things about my weight on anonymous forums like Ask.fm – a place that it was easy to be mean without owning up to your words. Every teen’s nightmare, if you ask me. Little did they know, though, the biggest bully about my weight was me. 

I looked in the mirror and silently repeated worse things than anyone could ever say. The names that I called myself were never actually verbalized. No one took my lunch money because I had thunder thighs. Nah, it’s not like the movies in that way.

 In the movies, it’s like the outward force is the only one that needs to be overcome. You have one Masquerade ball where the hot guy kisses the chubby girl and everyone suddenly thinks she’s also hot. What if that’s not everyone else you have to convince that you’re hot? What if it’s yourself?

The Scars Run Deep

As I literally sobbed at a Netflix movie, I realized that there was still a lot of damage from negative inner dialogue for so long. The scars that I gave myself trying to fit into an unrealistic mold ran much deeper than I thought. I’m heads and shoulders above where I was, but it takes a long time to unlearn that much hatred in your own skin, your muscles, and your being. 

It’s something that I have to bring up in new relationships. My need for validation isn’t because of something my partner is or is not doing. It really boils down to my disbelief that I deserve affection, attention, and love in this form. Like Dumplin said to the cute boy at work, I spent so long thinking “boys like you don’t end up with girls like me,” that it’s hard to unlearn that. 

Cute Boys Don’t Make You Feel Better

I used to think that if I could just get someone to dote over me, all body image issues would just melt away. I held onto a pretty toxic relationship for a long time because if you’re with someone you have to be kind of desirable, right? I’m aware of how humiliatingly desperate that sounds. When you’ve trained your brain that being wanted equates to being beautiful, you’ll take what you can get. 

That also translates to the dating apps. As much as you want them too, having 45 conversations going on Hinge isn’t going to make you feel less self conscious. I’ve learned that no matter how many people you have telling you that they want you or how many comments you get on your photo. Life starts to change when it’s you that’s telling yourself those things. 

It’s Not Forever

Like with everything in life, there are good days and bad days. There are days where you could not get me to wear anything besides a 3XL sweatshirt and leggings. Other days, I will wear a dress and put on lashes. You have to unlearn the habit of talking to yourself like you’re less than. 

I had to learn how to make myself feel good first. There’s songs that make me absolutely feel like a million bucks. I’ve bought lipstick just to treat myself. When all else fails, I remember what I would say to someone I loved going through the same thing. 

I would remind them that the number on the scale doesn’t dictate your worth in everyday life. The way that your arms look in a photo doesn’t mean that the love of your life will leave you. I would remind them (and me) that confidence in the face of vulnerability is the most beautiful thing in the world. We are beautiful today. We’d be beautiful 200 pounds heavier – even if it wasn’t very healthy. God damn it, we are worthy of loving our being – big girl, small girl, nonbinary pal, short guy, tall guy, or anyone in between. 

What I REALLY Learned as a Big Girl

I’m pretty damn special because I’m me. It’s irrelevant to my weight or the way that my stomach looks in a swimsuit. I learned some things about body image the hard way, but my favorite thing I’ve learned is that being me is better than anything else I could be. 

Social Media vs. Reality

I use my Instagram account to post moments in my life that I want to share. The moments in between aren’t captured in that photo, video, or reel. Truthfully, though, those moments are what make up who I am, how I act, and the person that you see in the posts. I try to be as honest as possible on my social media feed. I’m pretty much willing to talk about anything and everything that’s plaguing my day to day life. One thing that I do want all my readers to know, though, is there’s a difference in my social media versus reality. No matter how hard I try, there’s going to be things that I might not find relevant for a whole post, but that happen to me at the same rate as any other 23 year old woman. 

I Have Dating Problems

I have chosen to put my whole life online. In doing so, I’ve shared stories about past relationships and things that are about as un-sexy as it comes. One thing that I needed to learn was that not everyone signed up for this life. I’ve had to be very cognizant to communicate first, analyze, and only share when I’ve actually gained something worth sharing. 

Anyone can pick up a laptop, open WordPress, and type all the grievances they have with their partner. Not only does that make for highly negative content, but it’s also not great for resolving any issues. So, though you might not see a bunch of content on it, I do have the dating problems like most 20-somethings have. 

I’m on the stupid dating apps. I get ghosted from time to time and take it way too personally. I have absolutely said, “I’ll probably end up alone,” in the last year even though I would smack any of my followers for saying the same. That’s what this blog is about. My mindset about life is not always perfect. The actions and words that I have in certain situations occasionally end up being mistakes. EmyDBlog, however, is a place of acceptance past all of the supporting moments in your life so that you can truly enjoy the IG-worthy ones!

I Worry About Money

I’ve absolutely talked about money problems on here, right? It’s definitely one of my biggest stressors in life. It’s not even because I constantly struggle – I just don’t feel like I have the best relationship with money. When I have a lot, I feel like I should be doing something to make more. When I don’t have much, I feel like a failure.

My parents are ready to transfer money to me when I need it after one single phone call, but part of me would rather sell my kidney. Why is that? I don’t post about money often because it gives me goosebumps and truthfully, I look to other people for guidance. 

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that I’m not an expert at finances, saving, or investing. For that kind of information, I go elsewhere. So, unless it could value my followers in a feeling of community, there’s no reason for me to spend time talking about a topic that stresses me out. Be warned, though, when I do finally understand how stocks work and I’m making hand over fist… it’s OVER for you guys.

I Have Mental Health Issues

This is something that I’ve posted a lot about. As a mental health blogger, I’ve been very open about the fact that I have bad days. My bad days are not only the ones that I post online, just like I have a lot of great moments that my iPhone can’t capture. 

Sometimes, my days might be a little too dark to sum up in an Instagram post. It’s not because I don’t want to share it – I feel that’s an important role that I’ve taken on. Nope, it’s because I haven’t always found the right words to wrap round it.

So, yes. I allow you into my struggle most of the time. One of my favorite quotes, though, is “just because I’m carrying it with ease doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy.” In other words, just because I’ve gotten used to sharing and being vulnerable doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still take courage and motivation every single time to get through. 

I Have Body Image Issues

My friends and family are quite literally saints. They’re willing to take one million photos of me just for me to say none of them are good enough. Usually, I hate the angle, the way my chin looks, or how my stomach looks just a little too big. As a body positivity blogger, this is problematic.

Every word I’ve said about loving your body is true. I have learned to stifle out the hatred for my body with love. It doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t have to constantly work at having a positive mindset. I have days where I change out of my dress to wear leggings instead. I have bad days just like any other human being! 

When you see the photos of me being a strong, confident queen, that’s the truth. But, you also need to realize that I have moments where I have to work on my inner dialogue and be nicer to myself that you don’t see on those tiny Instagram squares.

The Takeaway

Social media can be a beautiful thing. It can also be horrendously ugly. Each post is a snapshot of one moment, one event, one memory in time. It doesn’t include all the other tiny things leading up to that photo – both good and bad. 

The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. But, rather than obsessing over someone else’s grass… why don’t we try watering our own? Why don’t we start to love what we’re posting because it makes us FEEL good? What if we operated under the assumption that everyone’s social media is the highlight reel of their life because no one is going to include the embarrassing fumbles or screw ups in there. Even those of us who are willing to share some of the screw ups still can only share snapshots in time. I can’t share both sides, the whole thing, or every emotion even if I wanted to! Social media is not reality, my friends. Remember that. 

5 Tips to Help Seasonal Allergies

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Seasonal allergies have got me absolutely miserable some days. I’m not sure if it’s some sick joke, but on the days I need to be the most focused my allergies seem the worst. I didn’t start dealing with allergies until my late teens, so learning to deal with them has been a process. Unlike kids with a lot of allergies already, I wasn’t used to keeping Claritin or Benadryl around at all times. However, I’ve done some research, suffering, and thriving through allergy season that gives me 5 tips to help seasonal allergies.

Nasal Spray

I’m not a huge fan of things up my nose, but nasal sprays have done me well in allergy season. Any brand of saline nasal spray will work, but I typically reach for Flonase. I have to blow my nose all the time, so any sort of relief is appreciated. 

In this time, we’re wearing masks which seems to make the sniffling even worse. I’ve found that using a nasal spray has been a cleaner way to subside the sniffles and sneezing for an extended period of time.

Definitely follow the directions on the box, though! Every nasal spray has a maximum amount of times you’re supposed to use the product per day. OVeruse may have an opposite effect on your already allergy-ridden nose.

Hot Showers

Hot showers are a year-round thing for me, but they’ve been Heaven-sent for me during allergy season. I had bronchitis a couple of years back which seems to stick with you whenever you have respiratory issues.

Adding some hot water vapor into your life can soothe your airways and it can also relax the muscles that tend to tense up in allergy season. It’s a cheap way of getting the effects of a humidifier without the actual machine & very quickly!

Putting eucalyptus in your shower is also insanely helpful. You can buy it at Trader Joe’s or other grocery stores. Once you set the fresh plant in your shower, it will release essential oils to help you out!

Essential Oils

I’m not overly knowledgeable about essential oils. A simple Google or Pinterest search would answer a lot of the questions on why these things work. I just know that they really do work for me, especially when I don’t want to load up my body with allergy medication. As I said before, I’ve used eucalyptus in it’s all natural form. I’ve only really worked with a couple forms of essential oils, but they can be purchased through actual dealers or online!

My allergies cause me to get tension headaches with which I don’t want to take medication on top of my allergy pills. I’ve chosen to reach for rollersticks that contain peppermint. Again, I’m not sure why this voodoo magic works…but it does. It relieves a ton of tension in my head and neck! I have this one, if you’re looking!

Sometimes, I have trouble getting to sleep as well. I use lavender spray for my pillows along with melatonin to get as much sleep as possible! Allergies can keep you up and definitely make you toss around. This way, I feel as comfortable as possible in bed in a natural way. I tried it for the first time with the Bath and Body Works brand, but there are cheaper options that are a little more Apothecary-like (this one). 

Heating Pad

I actually discovered my undenying need for a heating pad accidentally. My lower back was killing me. I bought a heating pad thinking that I’d use it until it felt better and then it would collect dust. NOPE.

Similar to the hot shower thing, keeping that heat on my back or chest while I sleep has been hugely helpful in easing muscle tension. When I sneeze it doesn’t feel like all my bones are about to break (as much). Plus, it’s super comforting! For single queens like me, it’s nice to have a little warmth in your bed!

I picked mine up at Target! It’s in the size XXL so I can move around and even wrap around my shoulder or my hip if I need to! However, I just found one from Sunbeam on Amazon that’s the exact same size and cheaper. If I can’t get the savings, you guys should!


Since most of these are pretty natural ways of combating seasonal allergies, I also want to include my daily go-to. Allergy medication has pretty much saved my life for a couple years. I personally take Benadryl, Claritin, or an off-brand non-drowsy! 

As I’ve said before on EmyD, I’m not against taking medication when it’s necessary. However, it’s not something I would love to do if there’s other options. There are certain days I wake up feeling like someone is holding my nose. I start those days out with coffee and Claritin.

Even though you can pick up allergy medication just about anywhere, it doesn’t mean that it will affect everyone the same way. Benadryl still makes me unreasonably sleepy when I take it. In fact, I’m so tired I probably shouldn’t be operating machinery. When I first started taking allergy medication, I found that having any residual caffeine in my body along with the pill would make me feel intoxicated. Weird, right? 

Like every other medication, be safe about your use with it! Talk to your doctor if you have concerns when it comes to other medications or your lifestyle! They may even be able to give you something that’s prescription and personalized for you! 

The Allergy Takeaway

Allergies totally suck. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Fall is too pretty to spend it absolutely miserable though! You deserve to get out to the pumpkin patch, go one walks, and have your windows open without feeling like you’re going to sneeze out the contents of your brain. 

Like I said, fall is way too cute to miss out on! Check out our balcony!

This year is even more tricky! We’re trying especially hard not to get sick. On the bright side, though, everyone is being more cognizant of washing their hands! That means tracking a lot of the things we’re allergic to from outside to inside might be lowered. 

If you’re feeling totally exhausted from allergies, I feel you. I hope that you find relief in any of these five tips to help with seasonal allergies. If not, I hope that you find your own way to work through them. (And then share it with me!) We’re in this together!

Do have allergies? Tell me your tips and tricks through my socials below!