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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Move With the Tide

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

alternative style blog

Suggested reading: How Roller Skating Gave Me a Huge Confidence Boost

For as long as I can remember, I've been a planner. Spontaneity has always sent me into a slight panic and usually gives me stress-induced headaches. I've been set in my ways for a very long time and it has ultimately been more harmful to me. Since I started skating, I've had the confidence to go out of my comfort zone more and more often-- plus I've been presented with quite a few opportunities that forced me out of my comfort zone.

Especially over the past month, I've had to do a few things that really made my palms sweat and my heart race. I agonized over the things I had to do, as I always do, but in the moment and afterward, I felt so calm and couldn't believe how anxious I had been. Just like with skating!

new england style blog

I really do feel better than ever. I feel more confident, more comfortable in my skin, and when things pop up, I'm okay with shifting gear. I've never felt like that before, and for the first time in a long time, I genuinely feel very hopeful that things are going to keep getting better.

And yes...I do indeed have an unfortunate sunburn. That's what happens when you're super pale and you sit on the beach for an hour in capri yoga pants. It actually happened the first weekend in May and all the aloe in the world can't seem to make it go away. I thought about editing it out, but you know what? This is what I currently look like and I just can't be bothered. I'm just goin' with it.

green day nimrod shirt

Shirt: Hot Topic (old, shop their current selection of Green Day merch here)
Skirt: ASOS
Sunglasses: ASOS
Sandals: Target (old, similar linked below)
Purse: ModCloth (old, similar linked below)

What's your favorite Green Day album or song? (There are no wrong answers!) Are you a planner or more spontaneous? 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Maine in Bloom

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

acadia national park blueberries

Last week my best friend Mary visited for the first time since fall 2017. I was so excited and had a million plans for us, of course, all revolving around being outdoors. Mary arrived late Saturday night and so did a ton of rain and fog. There were a few moments when the sun would peep through, but mostly it was dark and wet the entire time she was here. The whole time she was here, I was griping about the weather, constantly wishing aloud that it wasn't so foggy and constantly trying to reassure her that where we were did indeed have a beautiful view when there wasn't fog as thick as peanut butter covering the coast.

maine beachcombing

Mary kept telling me that all the places that we were visiting were beautiful and she was having fun, but I felt like she was just saying that to be polite. I brought her to Owls Head State Park because I wanted her to see the view of the nearby mountains from the beach, but they were hidden. We ended up beachcombing for a while and I found sea glass at Owls Head for the first time ever-- since this is a popular spot, the beaches are usually picked clean and I've never had any luck in the past. But on this day, with the weather being a little stormy, I found a handful of beautiful sea glass...and some shellfish.

owl's head state park maine summer

Mary and I climbed down the back of the hill that the lighthouse is on and I complained about how muddy it was the whole time. Meanwhile, Mary kept exclaiming about all the blooming tiger lilies, how good the air smelled (pine trees & sea salt-- I wish I could bottle that smell), and the schooners passing by through the fog. 

maine tidepools

During her visit, Mary and I spent a lot of time by the ocean and looking in tidepools. I was complaining because I could only find the same 'ol things in the tidepools-- barnacles, periwinkles, and blue mussels. Mary was intrigued because she lives in Florida, so she isn't used to rocky beaches and tidepools. She was perfectly content climbing all over the rocks and exploring for hours.

cadillac mountain acadia national park

By the time we visited Acadia National Park, I toned down the Debbie Downer attitude a bit. Acadia is always beautiful and it's difficult to be grumpy while I'm there. Sure, seeing the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain is stunning, but being up there in the fog is so calming, especially when you go off the paved walkways and down the mountain a bit. The dense fog helps you forget the hundreds of tourists at the summit.

Honestly, I think the thing that cheered me up the most was that it's blueberry season right now. Cadillac mountain was covered in little wild blueberries. I didn't know if I was allowed to pick them or if that would go against the Leave No Trace principles, so I checked Acadia's Twitter account, and their most recent tweet said that I could harvest one-half gallon. Although I've lived in Maine for almost 3 years, this was the first time I had ever eaten wild blueberries right off the bush and it was the best. I was having a major Blueberries for Sal moment...minus the bears.

midcoast maine summer

Usually I enjoy the dense fog that we get here on the coast but I was so stressed out that Mary wasn't going to enjoy her time here simply because of it. I was convinced that she would think it was ugly here and I want all of my loved ones to understand why I moved so far away, so I want them to see Maine at its best. It wasn't until I started reviewing all of the photos that I took during her visit that I realized Mary wasn't just trying being polite. Maine is still absolutely beautiful in the gloomy fog, and I'm lucky to live here.

beech hill preserve rockport maine

Are you an anxious hostess like I am? What do you do to renew your appreciation of where you live? 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How Roller Skating Gave Me a Huge Confidence Boost

roller skating maine

Back in February I started roller skating again after probably 15 years. I didn't do it alone, I joined an open enrollment "fresh meat" program for a local roller derby league, so it's been much more than just skating, it's also been training for a physically demanding sport. I was beyond terrified. The thought of re-learning how to skate in front of a ton of strangers, falling down, looking stupid, failing, and simply interacting with new people scared me more than I can put into words.

I've wanted to join a roller derby league for over a decade but there was always a reason not to. I didn't have money for gear, I didn't have time, the local league was falling apart, I lived too far from a league, I was moving away soon... but my most recent reason was that I was too scared. I knew about this league for over a year before I finally worked up the nerve to get involved.

As of September, I will have been living in Maine for 3 years and it took me over 2 years to finally start putting some roots down and getting involved locally. It wasn't until after we bought the house in January that I realized how unhappy that was making me. I thought buying a house would make me happy and make all my problems disappear, but instead, I was just a sad person who happened to have recently purchased a house. Something was missing and I knew that if I didn't try roller derby now, I probably never would. So I reached out to the league, committed to coming to a practice, and surprisingly didn't flake out.

The loaner skates I started out with
Instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching during my first practice, I got on skates immediately and didn't make it far before I had my first fall-- I fell hard on my butt when I was only 3 feet away from the chair I had been sitting in. I fell a lot during that first practice and I felt so stupid, inadequate, and like a burden. But I kept coming back to practice.

For about 2 months, each time before I went to practice I would feel incredibly nauseated from my anxiety. There were a couple times that my nausea lingered and I had to sit out at practice for a while so that I wouldn't hurl on the track. I wouldn't want to go but after practice, I always felt amazing.

I usually quit things whenever I experience anything slightly uncomfortable, and I've had lots of uncomfortable moments with skating. I wouldn't have continued to come back to practice if it weren't for my league. Learning how to skate again and learning derby moves has been so nerve-wracking and difficult, but I've had an incredible support network with me each step of the way.  There have been many times when I was stuck on something and I felt like I just couldn't get it-- and there will be many more times like that-- and everyone did what they could to help me and keep my spirits high, whether it was explaining the move to me in a new way or sending me a supportive, heartfelt message after practice.

There have been so many times when I've cried the whole drive home from practice because I couldn't do something and I didn't feel good enough. But the feeling of finally nailing something that I felt like I would never be able to do is incredible. I was really struggling with one thing in particular and I think I celebrated for a full 2 weeks after I finally got it (lots of #treatyoself moments). After I got it down, I truly felt like I could do anything on skates and so much pressure was relieved. I started taking more risks while skating, which led to more progress.

I am by no means a skating or roller derby expert. There are still tons of things that I can't do on skates and I have a lot of progress to make, but I am so excited to keep working at it. It's been a very long time since I've cared about something so much, been so determined to learn something new, felt so confident, and since I've been so proud of myself.

roller skating maine

My advice to anyone who wants to start skating/join roller derby: 

  1. Don't hesitate. If you want to do it, don't think about it, just do it. I highly suggest getting on skates immediately instead of going to a derby practice and watching people skate. If I had sat on the sidelines and watched others skate, I would have been intimidated to pieces and probably wouldn't have come back. I laced up my skates as soon as I got there and I wasn't focused on what other skaters were doing, I was focused on myself and what my coach was telling me to do. 
  2. Falling isn't a bad thing. You will fall. A lot. Everyone else who skates will fall a lot, too. As soon as I accepted that falling was part of the learning process, I started making huge improvements. Embrace falling and don't let your fear of getting hurt or looking stupid hold you back.
  3. Learn with a friend. I went into this knowing nobody, but I quickly got close to a couple people in particular and having them there learning with me always makes me feel better. Even if it's just a friendly acquaintance, it's always good to have someone to skate with. 
  4. Cross-train. When I started, I thought that going to practice 4 hours a week would be enough. Nope. I started seeing major differences in my skating when I started working out in between practices. I am always working on my strength, balance, and endurance. 
  5. Don't feel like you have to break the bank. Getting skates and protective gear can be expensive, which is what deters many people from skating. If you want to join a league, they may have loaner gear for you to use or you can check out the Roller Derby Recyclables Facebook group to find some great deals. (I've listed my gear here in case you need ideas of where to start.)

In a nutshell-- skating is magical, roller derby is magical, and this has made me realize that I am capable of so much more than I thought 🌞
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Life Lately + Link Love #13

Life Lately + Link Love is a series where I talk about what I've been up to and share posts from the blogging community and from around the internet that I think you'd enjoy. You're always welcome to share what you've been loving lately in the comments.

nubble lighthouse maine

Life Lately:

Guess what, folks. I'm officially over summer and I'm ready for Christmas. Before you start throwing things at me, let me explain. I don't have air conditioning (though that will be remedied soon), the traffic is insane, tourists keep walking out in front of my car while I'm driving through downtown Camden, I've realized that I simply don't know how to dress for summer, and things are so busy right now. I constantly feel bombarded with supposedly unmissable events that I feel obligated to say yes to because I know once winter comes, I'll be snowed in and bored out of my mind. #NewEnglandProblems, am I right? 
Today I'm saying goodbye to some friends who are moving to China and then one of my best friends, Mary, arrives for a visit! Mary and I last saw each other in October 2017, so I'm very excited to see her and show her around Maine a little bit more. Plus, she said she would try rollerskating with me, and I can't wait for that. 
This is the first time that anyone has come to stay at our new house and I've been running around in a panic, trying to make the house look as presentable as possible. There are tools, paint cans, ladders, and boxes everywhere you I'm just going to shove it all in one room and tell Mary not to go in there. 
friends monica's closet, the one with the secret closet
Besides all that, look at me, I'm back to blogging somewhat consistently! Now that I'm back at it, I'm really powering through and I already have a ton of posts planned through February. Plus, I'm planning something really fun that I haven't done before and I'm so excited to see it come together. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already. You'll find out what my secret project is before anyone else and get access to other subscriber-exclusive content. 

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Link Love:

  • Lauren and Chris made a Drunk History-inspired video on how they met and started dating, and it's hilarious. If you're like me and could watch Drunk History all day every day, check this out. 
  • Have you heard of the shitstorm with the popular brand, Feminist Apparel? Oh boy. Well, Valery sums it up and talks real feminist apparel. 
  • Instagram. Oh, Instagram. Cathy perfectly details why she doesn't follow bloggers/Instagrammers who cheat their way to those huge follower counts, and why those people are hurting the blogging industry. 
  • Palm oil-- it's in so many products that we use on a daily basis, but more and more people are shifting away from it, and for good reason. Check out Rosie's post on what palm oil is, the problems with it, and how you can avoid it. 
  • I loved this post from Lauren about how exploring fashion helped up her confidence.
  • On Monday Lindsey will be moving abroad and I can't wait to read her posts about this new adventure!

Broaden my horizons! Link what you've been loving lately in the comments!