My First Time blog tag

I don’t think I have ever done a tag on this blog, but I saw this on Jenny’s blog Jenny in Neverland and I just had to try it myself. this seems likes a fun way to tell people a little bit more about me. I’m just going to have fun with this post and answer to the best of my abilities, some may be silly and some may be serious. I encourage everyone to try this tag out as well, tag me in it I would love to see your answers. Also make sure to check out Jenny’s post, the entire inspiration for me doing this blog post.

  1. First app you check when you wake up in the morning?  It really just depends on the day, usually facebook or twitter though. Sometimes I just go with whatever app I was posting on last so I can catch up on notifications.
  2. First broken bone?I have never broken a bone, so lets keep it that way. Though with yoga and standing on my head, I might have one coming soon. (Hopefully never)
  3. 1506585_10201606659873340_830321865_nFirst foreign country you ever visited?In college I went to Israel, we stayed in Bethlehem and learned about the effect of the conflict in the area. We also got to see all of the classic sites with some shopping in old Jerusalem as well. Definitely worth a trip there just to see all the sites.
  4. My first make-up item?Does nail polish count? I remember having some dollar store nail polish specifically for kids when I was about 5. It peeled right off as soon as it dried but I loved it.
  5. My first ever tape or CD?Pretty sure I got the Narnia soundtrack, or some top music hits. One of those. I wasn’t super into CD’s or my own music until I got an IPOD.
  6. My first car?10704076_10202938198640977_750207243588231594_nPrepare yourselves for this. I had a pink PT Cruiser, I got it from my grandma who was obsessed with pink and custom painted her car. It even had bubbles, like a rolling bar of soap. It was a good car though.
  7. My first Celebrity crush?Whoever played Oliver Wood in Harry Potter- OH BOY he was my favorite. To this day I think he is the cutest actor (okay Draco shaped up quite a bit in the last movies as well) I had good taste as a kid.
  8. My first cooking experience?Me and my sister would take the sauce mix from ramen and try to spice it up. It did not taste good, I have since improved my skills.
  9. My first ever boyfriend/girlfriend?There was this kid that started going to our church, I think I was a freshman, we never actually went out but I would borrow my friends phone and text him ALL the time. I think it lasted like a month tops in which he moved, found another girl and later in life settled down with a family.
  10. My first ever mobile phone?s-l225I had this little slider phone from Virgin Mobile my brother got me for Christmas. I had to buy those phone cards and everything and eventually the screen went nuts from too much sliding.
  11. My first fear?Dying, as a kid it seemed like such a huge problem and that as soon as I grew up I would kick the bucket. While dying still doesn’t seem super fun I realize I have so much life to live.
  12. My first internet activity?Neopets, I played games for hours trying to save up for new pets and cute clothes for them.
  13. My first job?I worked as a camp counselor for a summer, as a junior counselor so I would help the main counselor. It was a great experience and great summer. Eventually I moved to childcare, and now Yoga.
  14. My first language?English, I failed at Spanish, and then was almost fluent in German. But English is it for now. I want to learn more eventually.
  15. First musical instrument?1936585_1116193630063_4307061_n.jpgTrumpet. In 6th grade it was pick an instrument or do choir. I hated singing so I played trumpet all through middle school and high school. I hated it.
  16. My first pet?We had this evil cat that only loved my mom and spent time terrorizing all the kids. We all hated that evil cat.
  17. My first piercing and when did I get it?I had my ears done as a baby, I believe I was a month old. It was a cultural thing we do in my family and I love that I had them done my entire life. I know this is a tricky topic, but what’s done is done and I am happy it was done.
  18. My first tattoo?I was 19 in Chicago and I got AGAPE in an Ichthys. You can read the full story in my first tattoo blog.
  19. My first soft toy?A little stuffed Platypus, I loved it so much. However my brothers tossed it around, chucked it in a lamp and told no one. So when my mom turned the lamp on it burned and she didn’t find it until it started to burn up and make a nasty smell.
  20. My first thought today?SHUT THE ALARM OFF!! I really like my sleep.
  21. My first time on a ship?I haven’t been on a ship but I have been canoeing and kayaking and when I was a teen we took a boat out on our local lake.
  22. The first book I remember reading?I have been reading for as long as I can remember. My mom read us Little house on the Prairie, I would read various picture books as a child and Harry Potter is the first big book I remember reading. Or the American Diary series. I can’t remember which came first.
  23. The first concert I ever attended?I saw Family Force 5 when we went to DC as part of a Christian conference.
  24. The first film I remember seeing?Star Wars the Phantom Menace. I was so young I couldn’t even read the scrolling titles (I think because it was too fast) I loved it at the time but I realized later that it was kind of crap.
  25. The first person I talked to today?My husband, saying goodbye for work.
  26. The first text I sent today?To my husband lol, he always texts me when he gets to work
  27. The first thing I do every morning?Watch a youtube video just to wake myself up a little more.
  28. The first thing I do when I get home?Grab a snack, I’m usually coming home from a class and haven’t eaten yet.
  29. The first time you ever got drunk?Lol do I even dare with this? I was in college with friends and I had mikes lemonade. Pretty sure I got tipsy off that one drink because I was such a lightweight. I don’t enjoy drinking too much though just the occasional glass of wine.

This was super fun to do, and I think I might do more of these so you guys can get to know me better. Share your similar tags with me as well, I would love to see everyone else’s answers. This is just a fun blog post to do.

 

 

Accepting the Silence in a yoga practice

I already touched on how beneficial your Savasana is in practice, but what about those awkward silences during practice as well? You know, the ones you get when you hold a pose or when you begin to wind down the practice? Once the teacher has given all cues, maybe a couple jokes and has successfully guided the students into the pose that now needs to be held for a few breaths, even up to a minute. Now you’re sitting in your runners lunge, maybe even all the way down in lizard pose and your teacher has stopped giving any cues and has seemed to have completely forgotten about you. While you should only do what is comfortable in your body-and moving out of discomfort is definitely a good thing-your yoga instructor has most certainly not forgotten about you. And while the silence seems super awkward to you and you really don’t want to sit there for 3-6 breathes stretching out your hips in runners lunge, there is a purpose and it’s not just to make you sit there.

And I 100% guarantee you that your yoga instructor feels a teensy but awkward during the silence as well. Especially when it starts getting to those quiet down poses at the end of practice. We have spent the whole practice talking and guiding, making sure that we give the perfect amount of time for each posture and making sure each side is even. Suddenly we are supposed to sit quietly for seconds, even minutes as the class winds down and begins Savasana. We sit there helping people wind down, just waiting for them to be done. Often times for me I feel like something needs to be said, or it’s just too long of a time to be in a pose or maybe I wasn’t even enough with each side. But the silence is a key part of yoga, and often times it’s too rushed.

Silence, especially at the end of practice, is a wonderful way to wind down. Sure, guide the pose maybe add some flowing movement in but do so gently and once you say what needs said let the silence flow in. Once we begin to embrace the silence and learn to bring the silence into our own minds we can really begin to cool down and find some peace. Often times our minds are going a mile a minute during practice, but if we can embrace the silence and clear our minds we can begin to come to a more intense and profound practice.

I see so many people thinking that yoga is just the postures. Sure breathing is involved, but a lot of people just see those two aspects of yoga. They fail to see how much more yoga is.

For me yoga is a space I can go to on my mat, a space to clear my head and get into the zone and forget every other worry on in my life. This is how I am able to teach even as a social recluse. Once I start I am in the zone and I forget everything else. This is why instructors will sometimes encourage the sighs and long releases of breath. Yoga is the release and when you really get into it you begin to sigh out everything bothering you with life. This is also why teachers being with a simple pose, asking students to focus on breathing or clearing their mind.

When we tie in the silence with our breathing and holding of  posture we begin to come to this place on our mats where we feel safe and in control. We feel free, at peace and wonderful all at the same time. And once we come to the silence we can clear our minds and just enjoy the clear minded freedom, preparing ourselves for the rest of the day off of our mats.

So next time your holding your pigeon pose, or a supine twist, and you feel your mind wandering to the “is the DONE yet??” mindset take a deep breath and clear your mind and let everything fade away. Welcome in the silence and just take the time to sit with yourself, because when else are we going to take the time to sit in silence during our day? We need this time for ourselves and welcoming in the silence is one of the best things that you can do for you and your practice.

My tattoo experience Part 1: My first tattoo

So I have 3 tattoos, done by 3 different shops. And while I love each one, I do have thoughts and feelings on each experience and things I have learned along the way through my tattoo journey. I am not claiming to be an expert and I still have A LOT to learn in the ways of tattoos, but I have learned quite a bit and wanted to share my tips and experiences from the tattoos that I do have. I want to share the ups and downs, dislikes and likes, and mistakes I have made in getting tattoos. This will be a 3 part blog post as there is a lot to talk about with each shop and tattoo that I visited/have. This will be a fairly long blog post as well, I have a lot say about my first tattoo.

My first tattoo:

IMG_5719My first tattoo is one I love a lot but also one that I am not as found of. I was 19 when I got this one and quite honestly just wanting a tattoo in general. While I did think a lot about what I wanted, I feel like if I had waited a little longer I would of learned more and came to a more decisive decision on what I wanted and not just gotten something for the sake of having a tattoo.

First off, I was living in Chicago at the time when I did get this tattoo so I had pretty good options for getting tattoos. But me being me, and being young and naive I went and walked into tattoo shops, showed them my design and asked how much. There will be more on the design later. This in itself is not a bad thing, especially since I could give the shops a solid design and how large I was wanting it and the placement(I knew right away I wanted this on my hip, bold placement for a first tattoo). But I have since learned it can be a little rude to basically tattoo hop and find the cheapest price. Plus you might now always want the cheapest anyways. The piece was small enough and simple enough that it qualified for the base price. So I basically just walked into tattoo shops and went off price and how fast they were able to fit me in. I have since learned, contacting before hand is probably best, and while I didn’t just hear the minimum  price and go “no thanks” and leave I could of had a little more tact in the ways of walk in tattoos. I was also with a friend who had several tattoos and was experienced in the ways of getting tattoos so I think that helped me to be a little less rude than some people are in the situation of tattoo shop hopping. This isn’t to say that you CAN’T walk in and ask the questions that you want and get what you need. You should ask questions and get exactly what you want in the way of permeant body art, but I led the shop owners to believe I would be back but instead found a place that was cheaper and cancelled on them when they did call and say they now had time for me. When getting tattoos learn to have some patience, and also go with the person with the best portfolio not just with the best price.

Now onto the design. I was new to this, and what little I did know of tattoos I learned from a friend in high school who designed her brothers tattoo. She told me that tattoo shops would not accept printed off pictures so she had to draw his up, and proceeded to trace a picture she found online. So honestly, I didn’t know that tattoo stealing was even a thing. So when I was looking for inspiration for my tattoo, I knew kind of what I wanted and looked on Pinterest for a design I liked and was inspired by. I already knew before I began looking what I wanted. I wanted the word AGAPE (geek word for one of the many definitions of love; commonly referred to as God love because it is the most powerful or intimate love. Usually refer to love for children, spouse etc.) with some type of inclusion of the ichthys (the fish symbol tied to Christianity) and I knew I wanted it in black and white. So what I did was go onto Pinterest and find exactly what I wanted and I redrew it so I could take it in. I didn’t have access to printing so I couldn’t just outright trace it. While I didn’t steal something already tattooed, as it was just a picture (still not an excuse however), and I didn’t just trace the design I still found a design online and used that. There wasn’t a link to who originally drew it or any connection to the artist either so in all honesty I couldn’t have tracked down where it even came from. I have since learned that this is not the best way to go about tattoo designs, in reality I should of taken the original in and asked for them to design something similar or tell them what I would want. I didn’t realize until much later on that this could be potential theft. And while tattoos like mine are classified as tattoos like a heart or infinity symbol and are common and can’t really be changed it’s something that sticks with me.

I went to the Royal Flesh tattoo shop in Chicago, IL. The tattoo shop I went to was incredibly nice though, and while I didn’t have anything to compare it too I was very pleased with the price, the service and how the tattoo turned out. We ended up changing a few more things on the tattoo and making it nicer/cleaner to be tattooed. I was tattooed by an apprentice, he was super nice and did a really decent job especially since I paid 65$ for the tattoo. I did tip pretty well too, though I can’t remember exactly what I gave as a tip.

After care and many years later is a little bit of a different story however. I was young, again I cannot stress this enough. This was my first, against I cannot stress THIS fact enough, and I honestly had no clue. Each shop has slightly different directions but the basics are wash the area gently about 3 times a day with NON scented soap and lotion up to 5 times a day with NON scented lotion. Each shop will tell you what brand they believe works best and each shop has different instructions for how long to leave it bandaged. So this shop told me to leave the bandage on for like 4-6 hours I believe and wash with a bar soap and gave me a brand of lotion they thought was best. I can’t remember exactly the brand but I have since learned aquaphor works pretty well for tattoos. (again I am NO expert so do not hold me to that, that is just what helped my other tattoos heal and they turned out way better than the first one years later).

I have had this tattoo for 4 years, I got it in 2014 in the spring. So at this point it’s been around a while and has had some sun damage and general wear. I picked at it while it healed, which made it patchy. So don’t do that. At some point I need to go get it touched up. It also has blown out some in the lettering, especially where it is thinner. Which is quite common especially in thinner lined tattoos. While I still really love this tattoo a lot, I do regret being so naive about tattoos at the time. And if I had a re-do I would probably ask to see examples of work and pick someone based off of work and not price. I also wasn’t told that thin lines can blow out and fade, so some more research on my part would have been better. There isn’t really a way to know if it’s because of who tattooed my or the price but maybe if I paid a little more and gotten done by someone who had more experience the lettering wouldn’t have blown out. It could also just be the placement (on my hip) or how badly I cared for it.

All in all, I love this tattoo and it means a lot to me. It’s a great reminder and has a deep meaning in my life. Did I do things a little unconventional? Yes. most likely. I should of asked for a custom design from the shop, and while I picked a tattoo known as common and re-drew it myself to the best of my abilities (thank goodness for tattoo shops being able to clean up drawings) it would have been much nicer to tell them what I wanted and get something custom. Had a done this with someones actual tattoo and ripped off a custom design I would feel much worse about myself but I have since learned a little more tattoo etiquette. I encourage anyone looking for tattoos to get their ideas from other tattoos but bring in what you want and get something custom made or have someone custom draw the design for you. It’s not a huge matter with popular tattoos like hearts, stars, infinity signs, deathly hallows etc because that is a flat design that no one can customize really. But for something like a pretty detailed piece that you love, get your own custom design based off the design.

I have also never shared this design before online, ever. Mostly because my parents didn’t know at the time (heck they still don’t know about this particular tattoo) that I had gotten it done so I never shared it. Not many people know I got this done. Also partly because when I began to realize tattoo theft was a thing I was still unsure if mine qualified as such. However, while I could of done things better I don’t think I ripped off anyones actual tattoo and I think about it like this; if someone wants this design then they are welcome to it. My other tattoos though have deeper and more personal meanings and are uniquely designed for me so they better stay mine and only mine. This  tattoos in itself is a very common design and not like a unique piece designed my another artist in shop.

Also, disclaimer, I know that this tattoo healed fairly poorly and that is 100% my fault. I picked at it way too much and made it fade and look patchy. At some point I will get this touched up and fixed so it’s not so faded and patchy looking. The tattoo shop did a wonderful job and the only blame here can be placed on me. Blow outs do happen, especially on something that small with that tiny of lettering. I still love it and honestly it could look much worse considering how much I picked at it. DO NOT PICK TATTOOS! I beg you, just don’t.

All in all I think I learned a lot from this experience, and while I don’t regret getting this particular design I know I could have improved my experience. If you are looking to get your first tattoo definitely do A LOT of research, look at reviews and look up you tubers who have gotten a lot of tattoos like treacle tatts, qcknd and katrin berndt who just have been doing this for a long time and have a lot of stories and tips to share.

If you have a first story feel free to share with me, I would love to know other peoples experiences. If you have any other questions about my first time, feel free to ask me and contact me. Please keep comments kind, I was rather young and naive and didn’t know all of the etiquette that went along with tattoos. I have since learned and changed my tactics and am in no way advocating my behavior either. I just wanted to share my experience and what I have learned. Look for part 2 in the near future.

 

Cover image used from pixabay free images 

Repeat Yoga Days

As a yoga teacher who gets the privilege of making all of my own flows and classes, I was terrified of doing a repeat class. What if the class remembered the flow, what if they were wanting something totally new. Some weeks it would be a struggle to put something together and most of the time it would be some variation of the other flows anyways. But just this last week in my class we did a pretty challenging flow, and while my class really loves these I don’t want to make them do something super challenging each class. So as sat there thinking what I would possibly make up for them, what I would possibly be able to do with them to give them some sort of break, I thought back to the basic power flow that was taught to us in teacher training. It had been a while since I had used that particular flow, and it was still energy building but without all of the work that the last flow had offered. So it would be a nice break.

But somewhere in the back of my mind I was terrified of using something that I had already used before, because somehow it felt like I was cheating or not doing the work that I should be. And honestly, this is a mindset that I would love to just kick to the curb.

For one thing, a lot of studios offer the same basic class. Which is why I was taught this flow in my teacher training because the studio used that as their beginner class. As they taught it to us they told us to learn in and go use it in our own classes. It’s not a bad thing to use something again and again, and some people really enjoy having a solid flow that’s the same thing every time. I mean, studios that use that method are clearly doing pretty well for themselves so something must be right with having a basic flow.

But I could not for the life of me think of a flow that would be a suitable change after something super challenging. I kept coming back to the basic flow. I mean it’s a good flow, it hits all the things you’d want in an energy flow yoga class and it really brings out the physical side of yoga without being too much work.

So why is it such a huge deal then when I want to do a repeat? And where did this mindset come from? Since clearly that is not what I was taught in training. As a yoga teacher, it can be a little nerve wracking getting up in front of people each week and presenting something that you made. Especially for me, the teacher training that I took did not spend a huge amount of time on the actual how to for making flows. I think we spent like 2 hours on that. A day at most. Which really, it should of been one of the main things we went over. So, you’ve got to make this flow and you already are like “what if they don’t like it?” and then you feel like you should of gotten more training in actually making your own flows as well.

Plus, not every flow is going to be a winner. It just isn’t, everyone is different and everyone likes different things. It’s natural that your flow just won’t resonate with someone that week. It happens to me sometimes as well, I just don’t like the flow and it’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the class or doing yoga but it’s not what I would have chosen for myself. And to cater to several people and all of their different likes, it certainly is a challenging career. I love yoga, and I love making flows. But it’s also really difficult at times as well.

I’m also not a huge social person. I’m just not. I’m not sure how I got to be a yoga instructor, and having to spend an entire hour talking to an entire class but I am. But it’s still hard for me, and I am human so I have all these doubts in my head about how I am teaching and how people like it. I’m sure as I teach even longer I will be okay, but for now it still feels new and fresh and I’m like “okay who trusted me to teach people this stuff.” so it can be slightly scary.

But once I let go of how people will perceive me, and I just go with what feels the best for class this time around, I get the best flows and ideas. And if a repeat is needed, then it’s needed. A huge part of it is just coming to terms with what I am feeling that week. What will feel the most right, what is going to be the best? And then I go with that.  I also base it off other weeks, while we are an energy flow class I do not want to make them work super hard each time. So if one class was more intense, the next one will be more mellow.

And in reality, repeating a flow that I used 3 months ago, isn’t going to be the end of my class. Yoga instructors have fears as well, however yoga really helps to focus on other things and not just the fear. And overcoming fears and doubts is a part of the teacher life. And chances are the class will really love the flow anyways, and most likely will not notices its the same exact flow. No one is THAT good at memorizing something they’ve done once. It took me ages to get that flow down and it did it everyday for months.

So, never be afraid to use a repeat flow. Never be afraid to take a repeat flow. Sometimes some repetition can be the best thing we need in life.

 

The importance of breathing in yoga

Honestly, I get this question a lot, way more often then you’d think. And even from people who have been doing yoga for ages. “Why is the breath important?” Or some variation of this question. Like, “you give a lot of breath cues, it takes away from the flow.” Or “Do you need to say every inhale and exhale?” Which I mean, no I really don’t need to say to inhale to table top or exhale to sit. But the breath cues play a huge role in the practice and yes I really do need those inhales and exhales for twists and other postures that you don’t just dump yourself into.

So why is it that the breathing is such an important role in your yoga practice? And while I was taught in a very active from of yoga that requires breathing cues the entire time, it’s still a key element to every practice. Look up any well loved, and respectable, yoga instructor on youtube. They take a few minutes at least to chill out before practice and come to your breath and honestly its for good reason too.

Okay so let’s break this down then. First off the very definition of yoga is literally postures to breath. A form of active meditation, and honestly the postures are just a tiny bit of the yoga. A huge part of yoga is actually the breath work, meditation and all in all a good mind set and solid focus. It’s main goal is to bring in relaxation and meditation, maybe calming someone after a stressful day or bringing the focus that they need.

yo·ga
ˈyōɡə
noun
  1. a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

I mean, the google definition of yoga is literally just that. Breath control, its a discipline for specific purposes. The thing is, breath is the LEAST talked about in a yoga practice. Like sure, we do little breath warm ups before we start, take some time coming to a good solid (deep) breath that will guide through the postures. But we don’t talk about it. And honestly that’s something that should be talked about, but when people come for a class that is 45, 55 or even 60 minutes long they don’t want time wasted talking about the breath. Because all in all, it’s not what matters to them and it’s not why they came. But it’s something that is huge, major, so important so we should at least mention why we do the breath and not just guide people through it hoping for the best or hoping that it somehow sticks.

Okay, so we know the definition, we know that technically it’s super important and huge, but why is it that way? Why is our breath the key?

First off, it does help your practice. Like a lot. Focusing on the breath can bring in a sense of peace and calm and really bring a person to that meditation mindset. Which sounds so cheesy, but honestly the best practices that I have had are the ones where I focus on my breathing and get into that mind set and just let everything else go. It’s empowering, and just really ties a practice together.

Second, it takes the focus off what you’re doing vs what you need. So instead of focusing on the posture that you need to hold for a frustratingly long time, you breathe. And while it’s still not a simple task to chill out in side plank you can at least breathe through it and in turn strengthen yourself in the long run.

Third, strength. You could hold your breath during your side plank, but then your muscles are kind of just chilling out super tight. But if you add in the breath work, it’s just that. Work. Your muscles end up doing even more work, and while it doesn’t actually seem like it you can see results. I have had so many great side planks when I just remember to breathe it out.

Fourth, it actually makes postures easier. GASP! I know that this kind of ties in with the second point, but have you ever done crow pose and just couldn’t do it? Yeah, same. I struggled with it so much. Or a headstand? Yeah those too. But once I learned to breath my way through it (also ENGAGE those abdominal muscles) then I found my balance to be much better and more steady. I am a pro at crow now, and while it took a ton of work to get there my breath work certainly helped me a lot.

Fifth, it literally matches flowing or vinyasa yoga perfectly. Each breath you take you do a pose. Inhale rise, exhale fold etc. It makes the practice flow quite beautifully, and while the constant reminder to breath during your practice seems tedious and quite annoying there is a point to it. Trust me, yoga teachers aren’t just saying it for kicks. If you’re into vinyasa style yoga then you need to have the breath, otherwise your just moving around on a mat.

All in all, breath plays a huge role in yoga. If you’re simply just looking for a workout that is fine, yoga can provide that as well. Breathing can help make it more intense for you though. But if you’re looking to expand in your yoga practice then work on the breath. Explore the different options that are out there and find the best one for your practice. It will make all the difference.

Why I stopped using a menstrual cup

Okay so true to the title this blog is in fact about menstrual cups, more specifically why i stopped using one. So, fair warning, but if you don’t care about this topic at all or just don’t want to learn about this stuff or know it just skip this one because I will be describing why I did not like the cup, what a cup is, how to use it and all of it’s functions.

Now there there is a lot out there on menstrual cups, the majority of it good reviews. Raving about how great it is and all that. And I am not discrediting those, because it is super awesome and works amazing for so many people. But everyone is different and not everything will work for everyone. And while the cup is a great alternative to other disposable products and makes less trash during our periods, the cup just isn’t going to work for some people no matter how many times you try it. And that is fine, but too many times I have seen some nasty comments telling woman to get a different size or do something better because they just have to use the cup to save the environment. Huge no, physical and mental health are super important and if you need to use pads or tampons for that go ahead. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to use the cup or reusable pads or anything else. Helping the environment is important but so is our health. Again, everyone is different and this is just my experience with the cup. Yours may be better or worse, but I figured I would share since there isn’t a whole lot of negative experiences with the cup.

When I first got the cup I was thrilled, I wasn’t going to pay 40$ for one so I got 2 off of Amazon for a great price. This in no way affected my experience at all and was not the cause of my dislike. I just need to say that, I know different cups give different results but I loved my cup to start with so I know that the model that I got was not just a knock off. It takes a lot of getting used to though and it took me a couple periods just to get the hang of it. But once I did I had leak free periods and it felt like nothing. When I first tried I followed the instructions which said to fold the cup in half but I found that way to be too invasive and big. I googled another way and you can scrunch the cup up even more and it fit much better. I was good to go. However, I didn’t stay on the birth control that I was on and I feel as though that may have affected things quite a bit.

I was on a low dose of the pill, which I should know but honestly it’s been a year so I don’t remember. And then we used condoms for a bit and THEN I switched over to the depo shot because I felt like it would be easier and I didn’t get a period for like 6 months. And then we decided to ditch all forms of birth control and I stopped getting my does of the shots(this was in October of 2017). I had taken two of them so that was 6 months and I didn’t go back after the second. It can take up to a year to become regular again after the depo, which sounded nice at the time but it’s really not when it’s happening. So even after I had stopped I was still only spotting a little bit and didn’t even get a full blown period until January 2018. Also note that we were using condoms up until New Years so I’m not entirely sure if switching birth control around so much affects anything especially when your cycle is already on the fritz, who knows?

So wow, after that wild ride of indecision and what works best for us, I hadn’t used my cup in quite some time. Come January when I am actually getting my cycle back, I have to re-figure out how to use the cup. And this time it took much longer than my first time. No matter what I was trying, I couldn’t get it in comfortably. I would fold it as tiny as I could, I would relax as much as I could (which is super important because if you’re not relaxed it’s not happening) and pretty much anything else that I could try I tried. It wouldn’t suction no matter what, it would always be leaking and I could constantly feel this pressure of where it was. It sat too low, but if it went any higher it would hurt.

And I knew how to do it, I had done this many times before perfectly. It was just not working this time around. After several more periods, and several more days of frustration and leaking I was at my wits end. I also could’t tell how heavy my flow was until the very end. Which that question in itself had already caused a massive controversy on a zero waste page which I have since unfollowed. After finally getting a period I was wondering if it was actually a period of just some irregular spotting, so upon inquiring to see if there was a better way to tell how much the flow was than a cup I got a massive amount of hate for wanting to check more often than 12 hours. Seriously, no joke. Also this is why don’t do facebook groups because honestly those people can be massive jerks and act all righteous about something they don’t understand. But apparently I was stupid for wanting to keep track of something better, like if I have one spot of blood during the day its spotting and if it keeps going thats the flow. You can’t really tell that with the cup though, hence my question. Also another reason I wasn’t really liking the cup very much anymore, I wasn’t able to conclude if I was actually having a flow or spotting because I couldn’t feel anything. Usually that’s not important but when you’re trying to get regular again, it can mean everything.

The latest call of mother nature led me to pull out that cup one more dreaded time. At this point I was sick of the discomfort and pain. It would take me so long to even get it in and it would take several re-tries as well. Plus even if it was in and not leaking I could still feel it. I just was not a fan. So I am already super stressed out  having to do this again, still having issues trying to get it to fit, and all in all just not a fan. Go to put it in, it hurts. It’s uncomfortable and I can feel it. Everything that it’s not supposed to be. I took it out and just used rags instead because I literally had nothing else. And I was done.

Now maybe this is users fault, and maybe I needed a different size. But I got the recommended size for my demographic and I had been using it for a while with no issues. So I honestly don’t think it was either of those. I could try a different brand, but I am not paying more money to try something that I was hating anyways. I honestly just thing that something so large causes some stress upon insertion. It’s tricky and takes some maneuvering and honestly just a lot of work to get used to. And as we continue with our family planning and aiming for a family I just made the choice to remove the cup from my list of products. I wasn’t getting it to work, it was causing a ton of stress and with the discomfort and pain I just felt like it would be best to keep stressful things out. Its a personal choice, and honestly I think it’s the best one. I’m not a huge fan of tampons either, but I live an active lifestyle so when I do need one I use the Lites, which are the smallest they have, and then remove them as soon as I need to and go with other collection methods.

I’m not overly thrilled about this, I was happy to be done with period products. But with the return of my flow and cycle things seem to have changed and I need to do what’s best (and stress free) for my body. I may return to using the cup eventually, but for now it does not seem like a great option right now. I want to remain healthy and conscious of everything going on in my body and if using the cup is causing that much discomfort and stress then clearly it’s time to move on. But they are amazing tools, and wonderful alternatives for our periods. I loved mine so much until it began just not working out for me. And there are so many types that pretty much any woman is bound to find the one that is right for her. However it sucks that we can’t find out which one is best without first spending a ton of money. And there isn’t a lot of sizes for us either. Apparently, we only need 2 sizes of cups. But again, everyone is different and we all need to make the healthiest choice for our bodies. It’s more important to keep ourselves healthy then listen to the opinions of what others think we should be doing.

 

To the brother who never visits

To the brother who never visits

To the one who never even texts back

The one who never comes to Sunday dinner

And the one who hardly comes for holidays

Your family doesn’t even know you

We growing up, growing old

And you aren’t even here to see that

Your nephew is growing up fast, and he doesn’t know his uncle

Our mom is hurt she never sees her son, though she wouldn’t dare admit that

You only hang out when you feel like it, and you aren’t even the same person anymore

And your wife, doesn’t even like us, yet you can’t seem to see that

Goodness knows if you did, you’d never even tell her off

You always go to her family for holidays

Forgetting about your own

Like we aren’t good enough, like we mean nothing to you

You don’t get that we miss you, that we want to see you

But one day, it won’t even matter anymore

Because we will have grown up and moved on

Soon your nephew won’t be little anymore, and you will have missed his life

Soon, you will have more than just the one nephew but you will have missed their life too

So all those texts that you ignore, the family you never visit

Soon we won’t be around anymore

And while it hurts us

It’s going to hurt you more

We know your marriage is important

But marriage also isn’t at the expense of your own family

Marriage doesn’t mean you blow your family off

And it doesn’t mean you ignore us

Because families talk

Siblings hang

And we act like we care about each other

So remember us then next time we text

The next time we ask to hang and you refuse

The next Thanksgiving that you promise to show up at, but never actually come to

Because we won’t be here forever, but we’ll wait as long as we can