The Happiness Project: Power

It’s a new year and I thought power would be the perfect theme for January. I have a friend who always calls me a superhero, and I never really believe her but I’m trying to. So this month has been all about taking my own power back and taking care of myself. In fact, Andrea and I did a podcast episode about how we’re going to take better care of ourselves in 2020, that you can listen to here.

Back in 2018, I got really into makeup. I’d also been into it, but I got really into it. I would spend hours watching makeup tutorials on Instagram and youtube while trying to perfect the perfect cat eye and learn what the hell highlighter was. 2019 was the year I got slightly obsessed with skincare. Suddenly I did more than just wash my face and slap some moisturizer on (if I even remembered to do that). I had a routine and more fancy skincare products than I could even name. This year it’s going to be oral hygiene and haircare. I brush my teeth daily (though twice a day could be iffy sometimes), but that was about it. I’ve been trying really hard to not only make sure I brush them twice a day, no matter what but floss and use mouthwash as well. For low spoon days when choosing between showering and brushing my teeth is just too much, I have a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in my shower so I can do both at once. I’ve set a reminder on my phone every night so I actually floss. It may seem overkill, but oral hygiene is really important and I’m just trying to get better at it. Is JVN proud of me yet?

As for hair care, I’ve been pretty brutal to my hair over the years. It’s already curly and very dry and damaged, to begin with, and then I’ve also spent the past ten years of my life, dying, bleaching, straightening, and doing everything else that’s bad for it. I’ve finally decided to give it a break. I’ve been bleaching it blonde for cosplays for a long time now, and I’m finally letting it grow out into it’s natural mousey, dishwater blonde state. I bought satin pillowcases, were are much better for curly hair. I regularly do hair masks and use products designed for damaged curly hair. Another thing I’ve been doing is trying to be more mindful of how I tie my hair up. With unruly hair, it’s so tempting to just throw it up in a tight elastic and forget about it. I’ve switched to gentler methods of putting up my hair such as these types of ties, or the fun spiral ones that look like old telephone cords. I’m also trying to wear my hair down more. As for bedtime, if my hair is wet I put it in a braid, but I’m trying not to sleep with wet hair as often, which is a bit of a challenge since I’ve always been an evening showerer.

Food and fitness is another goal of mine. Not going to lie, I’ve been failing at fitness this month. I’ve kind of been working out, but not really. So that’s a thing I definitely need to work harder on. As for food, I’m cooking at home more and really loving my new crockpot as well as sheet pan recipes (both are incredibly low spoon). It’s snacks I’m more focused on though. I always buy good food for meals, but I never think to buy snack food and then when I get hungry between meals I end up resorting to going and getting junk. So I’ve filled my kitchen with nice healthy snacks, and am eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. I feel a lot better and it also has the added bonus of seeing my pet rats happy because I share my healthy snacks with them.

I’m trying to make more healthy choices for my mental health as well. I usually watch all the movies nominated for an Oscar (you can read my blog post about lasts year’s here), but this year I’ve finally decided to not even attempt to watch them all and to just watch what I want to watch. First of all, the Oscars are earlier this year so there is less than a month between when the nominations are announced and when the award show airs. It’s a lot of work to watch 30 something movies in a month and it’s kind of stressful. I wasn’t about to do it this year in like three weeks. Also, there were movies this year that were nominated that I didn’t even want to watch because I knew they wouldn’t be good for my mental health (I’m looking at you Joker!). I’m not saying I’ll never watch all the movies nominated for Oscars again, but this year I’ve just decided it’s not for me. Besides, it might be fun to just guess what’s going to win at random.

I’m also starting to prepare for some big life changes. I’m looking for a new job since my contract is up in April. I honestly don’t really know what I want to do yet, so I’m doing some self-searching to see what might be a good position for me. I’m also starting to clean and purge my apartment since I will be moving in with my girlfriend over the summer. I know that’s a ways away, but I’m a bit of a hoarder so it’s going to take a while to go through all my stuff. Anyways, big things are happening.

Higher Further Faster: What Captain Marvel Meant to Me

I’d like to begin this by saying that this isn’t a review of the movie and is spoiler free.

Last night I went to see Captain Marvel and I’ve never felt so empowered. For so long we’ve waited for a woman-led Marvel movie and they finally delivered, and it was everything I wanted. However, I’m not going to talk about the movie. I’m going to talk about how it made me feel.

To be honest, I’ve had a rough week. If it could go wrong it has, and on top of that my mental health was so bad this week that I definitely spent more than one day unable to get out of bed. But I’m not here to whine about my life.

Carol Danvers is a fighter. She’s smart, witty, powerful, and yet still so beautifully human. If you’ve seen the movie you know there’s a sequence (and this isn’t a spoiler) where she keeps getting up. The odds have been stacked against her and yet she just keeps getting up.

I had a friend compare me to Carol lately. I was having a particularly bad evening and while I cried on her in her car for the umpteenth time she told me that I’m strong like Carol. That I keep getting up and that I’m a superhero. I normally struggle to believe her when she tells me these things, because clearly she sees things in me that I can’t see in myself. This though, this one I’m going to take to heart.

A superhero is all I’ve ever wanted to be. I’ve loved comics every since I was a kid and I’ve always looked up to characters like Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Kitty Pryde. However, I never thought I could ever be a superhero. I’m not special. I’m just human.

But it isn’t her powers that makes Carol Danvers special. It’s her inner strength. I know that might sound a bit cheesy, but hey, I meditate, do yoga, and light a candle and journal daily, so what do you expect from me? I may not have powers like Captain Marvel, but do you know what I can do? I can keep getting up.

Having a powerful woman superhero for little girls to look up to is so important. I know a lot of white men have been complaining about this movie, but it isn’t for them. They’ve had their movies, and it’s our turn. Every woman deserves to feel powerful, and this movie certainly made me feel this way. I may not be able to fly a plane or fight like Carol, but I can fight for myself. I can keep getting up. She gives me so much hope. That’s why these movies are so important.

Thank you Marvel and Brie Larson for giving us such a powerful film about female empowerment.

Also, if anyone wants to get me Goose, my birthday is in August.