The Unwind - May 7, 2018

The bathroom is my favorite place in the house. You get the most privacy, you get clean, and you can relax. Into the Gloss is one of my FAVE sites, so to see a post on how to juhz up your bathroom was just what I needed to see. Lemme keep it cute: I stopped at the first paragraph that said to invest in plant life because I have been wanting to incorporate plants in the bathroom. I remember seeing this Instagram pic a while back and was completely in awe. I never even thought of putting plants in the bathroom like that. I got a hanging philodendron and tried, but its leaves started to turn pretty quickly. I moved it to the living room, and it came back to life. But I never went back to getting another plant to replace it.

Found this on The Spruce – “The Best Houseplants for Your Bathroom” – and it’s very to the point of what you need to know about plants that can do well in low, indirect light. I am looking to possibly get a fern, Chinese evergreen, and bamboo.

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I burn a lot of incense – like, a lot. I can go through almost 500 sticks in three months – maybe even two. I get mine from a local store called Madina, where they make it by hand every single day. I know this because I read it on the website. I used to be so limited when it came to buying incense. Living in Brooklyn, you can pick up a bundle of Michelle Obama incense on the street. I used to roll my eyes, because what is Michelle Obama incense even? I was so confined to my jasmine sticks until I ventured into other scents when I’d go to a metaphysical store. But it really wasn’t until I finally went into the physical Madina store on Atlantic Avenue after walking by it so many times. They have an ENTIRE wall dedicated to incense, including the Michelle Obama – especially the Michelle Obama! (Yes, Barack had his own scent, too.) I got to see where all those street vendors purchased their incense! I met the holy grail. And the best part about it was I could get a dozen bags for less than $5!!!!! I was spending $1.75 for the same amount in a package. What a crock! Never, ever again. Because they’re so cheap at Madina (and last a really long time - about an hour), I like to experiment with the different scents. I mean, if you’ve been to an oil/fragrance shop, you know a lot of the scents are imitation, and that’s alright with me. I love to experiment without the commitment (okurrrr?) and paying the price. So I may not go with Mrs. Michelle, but I damn sure reached for Miss Patti LaBelle! I know she had a scent back in the day, but never knew what it smelled like. It reminded me of White Diamonds (much like Diddy’s I Am King incense). But what I did do, was think about Miss Patti’s businesses so I could get some of that energy. Might sound crazy, but she has an empire. I have everything to gain. I absolutely love the perfume incense sticks, and it lead me to what might be my favorite – Halston.

I never knew much about Halston until I read The Andy Warhol Diaries, where they frequently went to the 70’s designer’s famous and lavish parties. There’s something to say about the incense: it’s fresh, floral, and musky. It’s just delicious! If the incense was that good, then the real thing has to be that much better. I was wondering if it still existed. I gets my Google on, and see that it still does exist, and they sell it at places like Walmart and those no-nameish mall-like online fragrance stores. Which is cool, because I know no one is going to be wearing it, but also that when I roll up to the Rite Aid down the street (because I need to use this 20 percent off coupon I have by, like, TOMORROW) I’ll have to brace myself for all the dust I’ll have to blow off from the top of the box.

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You know I love biographies, right? I had to see what I could quickly read about Halston now that I am ready to take a portal back to the fashionable 70s. Let’s be real: I’m always down for that ride. I came across a 1991 Vanity Fair article, which I discovered came out about a year and a half after Halston’s death. Then I started fantasizing about myself in the 70s wearing a Halston. He was the one who designed Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat. I learned that he had a complicated rivalry with fellow designer and mentor Charles James. It’s worth a read, and it actually comes from one of biographies about his life. Designers back then lived such a glamorous life, and their over-the-topness proved to work in their favor. Always inspiring, even if the “ending” was a tragic one.

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I have been working on releasing judgments of myself and other people. I found this in my Pocketbook, and it’s a great reminder to not make up any stories about people you come across. Ultimately everyone you see is a mirror, so how are you choosing to see the reflection? Here were a few from the 10 that really resonated with me.  

  • Don’t be lazy and make judgments about people. Be kind. Ask about their stories.  Listen. Be humble. Be open. Be teachable. Be a good neighbor.
  • Be present. Be kind. Compliment people.  Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.  This is how to make a difference.
  • We all take different roads seeking fulfillment and joy. Just because someone isn’t on your road, doesn’t mean they’re lost.

I especially took to the “be present.” I notice more and more in the conversations that I’m having when I am present, and when I’m dragging old shit into it. And by shit, I don’t mean it has to be something bad, but it’s just something that doesn’t contribute to the conversation at hand. For example, I’ve talked about not feeling like I’ve been heard, and it was something I struggled with for a good part of my life.

To compensate for that, sometimes when speaking with someone, the other person will say something, and I will then directly relate that to myself. That’s not engaging. It’s a form of tit-for-tat without really thinking about it. If someone brings up a point about Janet Jackson, and I bring up that her concert was my very first, what does that have to do with anything? Or if I bring up her billionaire husband, what does that have to do with the original thought? So I’m noticing that about myself more, and, yes, when I see others do it too.

How I have been overcoming that is just by asking more questions related to what that person is saying. It helps bring up more of a dialogue, and I’m staying present in the conversation. And I’ll tell you what, I notice that more people thank me for listening or they say how good of a conversation it was. And that’s the goal: to feel amazing on the other side. I love it.