First world problems

I tried Twitter again but it turns out they don’t want me

Jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam

I have never successfully stuck with Twitter very long. I think a couple months was the best that I did and that was only because the person I was dating was on Twitter 24/7. It seemed to make sense to have a Twitter account for each of my websites, branding and all, so I have an Instagram and a Twitter account for my professional career, my makeup and beauty blog, and I decided I’d start a personal one for this blog. I am trying to be more regular with posting everywhere so I thought why not give Twitter a try?

I broke Twitter

So I started a new account but it didn’t let me choose a username. Apparently there’s already a staceysthoughts (there’s also a Not26anymore too which is why my beauty account is Not26NEmore) so it assigned me staceythoughts1. Definitely not good for branding purposes. Maybe this is where I went wrong. I’ve read through the Help section three times and I cannot pinpoint exactly what I did for Twitter to “shadowban” me.

Twitter won't let me follow people

Twitter shadowban

All I can figure is that by following too many people all at once – it was a BRAND NEW ACCOUNT GUYS – they labeled me an “aggressive” follower. I could truthfully be called an aggressive driver. I can often be an aggressive applier of eyeshadow. I’m fairly certain I wasn’t an aggressive people follower. Since it was a brand new account I followed some of my contacts from email and I followed some of the suggested accounts. I tweeted some shit. I focused on my workday because I’m pretty busy. Then I tried to follow one of my other accounts and Twitter told me that I am not allowed to follow anyone. My follower count shows as 0.

This was not the most successful attempt at becoming a regular user of Twitter.

Why did Twitter ban me

Following the Help section took me into a mad loop of unhelpful stuff. They are really vague about how many people “aggressive” following means. I assume that is so they can apply it in any situation they want but there must be something that triggers an automated ban. I have absolutely no idea how many people I followed but I know it was not 1,000. (The daily limit.) I only follow like 800 people on my largest Instagram so there’s no way I tried to follow more than 50 on Twitter. I follow all my makeup accounts on Not26NEmore. Even though I only followed the contacts they took out of my email and 2 or 3 of the ones they suggested, I guess I followed too many too quickly! Shouldn’t there really be something that lets you be exempt for the first 24 hours after you open an account or something? I mean obviously you’re going to follow a bunch of people when you start an account! I didn’t even follow half of my email contacts either. I’m very WTF about this still.

Why won’t Twitter let me follow anyone

Their Help is super unhelpful because it talks about “aggressive follow churn” which is repeatedly following and unfollowing and I didn’t unfollow anyone. It also says “if you see a message that your account features have been limited due to aggressive following read about locked and limited accounts for more information” but that’s just where I started going in a big help circle, back to the same things I had already read. I also didn’t really get an error message, just one saying I can’t follow anyone but not what to do about it. It even super unhelpfully says “…but if you don’t follow or unfollow hundreds of accounts in a single day and you aren’t using automated methods of following accounts, you should be fine.Clearly. Not.

Twitter help is not helpful

It takes days to hear from customer support

So I sent them a message because if there’s something in the Help as to what to do to fix this other than that, I can’t find it. Then it tells me it can take SEVERAL DAYS to get a response.

I think I’m just going to quit Twitter before I waste even more of my time on it. I was probably going to stop using it anyway so why spend a week or a couple months doing it? I’ll stick with Instagram where I have no issues and it’s prettier to look at anyway.

I really feel like Twitter is overrated unless you’re on your phone 19 hours a day and or a complete attention whore.

Wedding DIY

Wedding DIY

I got engaged on my birthday!

Check out our wedding website here!

Why are weddings so expensive?

We are having a small wedding but as you might know, weddings are expensive no matter how small. As soon as you say “wedding” to a vendor, they see dollar signs. We have a strict budget and I would love to come in under budget (ha!) because whatever is left over is going toward the honeymoon trip. One thing I am is a compulsive researcher. The first time I got married, I found awesome deals on just about everything but I was young so I did get sucked in to a lot of “must haves” and “must dos” that I am not doing this time around.

Plan ahead to get deals

We actually decided about a year before we got engaged that we were going to get married. My sister announced her engagement Christmas 2016 and I had remarked that I wish she had an engagement ring because as a woman I think we are programmed to say “let me see the ring!” as soon as someone says they are engaged. As it turned out, Jon had been planning to propose to me and didn’t know he needed to have a ring first… so it took a little longer because he was saving up for a ring. Because I have wanted an autumn themed wedding since I started my pinterest board years ago, I asked Jon last fall if we were getting married in 2018 because if so, I wanted to buy a lot of decorations when all of the fall decorations went on clearance. He said yes, 2018, so we started buying some decorations before we were even engaged! That felt kind of weird, honestly.

So many stores have tons of stuff left on clearance so after Thanksgiving was over there were deals everywhere on fall decorations and autumn leaf print items. I had to keep myself in check because it was hard to resist so many great prices!

Keep your wedding affordable by DIY as much as possible

Because I am so organized, I love to craft, and the wedding is not going to be giant, I have decided to everything I can myself. DIYing a wedding does save money but what it takes is time and ability. Looking at bridal crowns on etsy, I have decided that me and my hot glue gun can handle that task for way under the $40-$150 that sellers charge. I don’t want something that I don’t have the skill to accomplish, so I’m taking that one on myself. I found this blog post on Lauren Conrad’s website that is a good start on what tools are necessary.

My inspiration:

 

Be honest about your crafting skills – don’t ruin your wedding

The trick with DIY is to be honest about what you can and cannot do. I have made a wedding cake before and I love to bake, so I am considering doing the cake myself. What I am absolutely not considering doing is making my dress. I can hem some pants and add a button but I am no seamstress. I’m great with a hot glue gun so the tiaras are not a stretch but it would be insane for me to try to acquire the sewing skills required to make even a basic dress between now and my wedding. You have to be honest about your skills. If you’ve never successfully made a cake, don’t try to make your wedding cake. If you burn everything and can’t boil water successfully, don’t decide to cater your own reception. If you hate crafting then don’t attempt your own decorations. Weddings are stressful enough without having to find someone last minute to fix what you messed up.

My do it yourself wedding and reception list

My current plan is to do the following myself:

  • Flowers/bouquets/boutonnieres
  • Most reception food
  • Reception punch and drinks
  • Bridal headpiece crown tiara
  • Music
  • Champagne glasses
  • Cake stands
  • Nails, makeup, and hair

Undecided on:

  • Cake
  • Favors

Things I am paying others do to:

  • Invitations and save the date cards
  • Wedding dress
  • Reception main course
  • Venue for ceremony and reception
  • Photography

Things I am skipping and not including in the wedding:

  • Guestbook
  • Unity candles
  • Possibly favors, if I do favors they will be edible
  • Flower girl, ring bearer
  • Bridesmaids, groomsmen
  • Gifts for groomsmen, bridesmaids, parents, bride and groom (seriously the wedding industry is crazy. I got an expensive engagement ring I don’t need a gift from the groom! My parents are paying toward the wedding, they don’t need me to use their money to buy them some cheesy gift…)
  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties (I may take a girls weekend trip this summer but it won’t be right before the wedding)

In my opinion, and Jon shares this, a wedding is about celebrating your love and your desire to make a lifetime commitment to each other, with the people you love most. It should be fun for everyone, the bride and groom included. It should not include people you haven’t seen in years or don’t really know (aka friends of parents, coworkers, etc.) It should have food that is good that people actually want to eat – cake included. The average American wedding costs between $19,182 and $31,970 and that’s just crazy in my opinion. I’ve been to those big expensive weddings and it’s usually rubbery chicken, lukewarm lasagna at $40 a head, everyone is stressed out, something always goes wrong and “ruins” the day, the cake has a thick layer of fondant you can barely choke down, all in all if you want a truly magical day it takes Kardashian level money to pull off. Everyone else pays tens of thousands of dollars to fall very short of magical. I’m not looking for a perfect day, I want to have a fun day with people I love, to celebrate my love. ❤ I’ll be posting more details about all the above things I’m doing and not doing, as they unfold.

Food for thought

What makes us, us?

Recently, I started listening to the book Things I’ve Learned From Dying: A Book About Life by David Dow. Because I work in patient’s homes, my job involves a lot of driving, so listening to books and podcasts is a great way to pass the time and entertain myself or learn something. It may seem excessive to be listening to a book about dying when I work in hospice care but what I have found is that the subtleties of grief and grieving are even more nuanced and complex than even I realized. I may decide to review the book once I finish it but what started me thinking was actually a part of the book in chapter eight. The book itself is David’s account of his work as a death row lawyer, his own experience of his father-in-law’s battle with cancer, his last days with his aging dog Winona, and letters that his father-in-law wrote while dying.

In one of the letters, Peter, David’s father-in-law, writes:

“I know what is happening to me, or what used to be me…”

He laments that he no longer understands a piece of music that used to move him. He says he understands that this means his brain is slowing down and therefore dying and he goes on to say later in the letter:

“Thankfully, I can still tell from moments last night that I am changing, but this too will not last. Soon I will not know myself and nor will I be myself, and I will not know that I do not know.”

This passage made me think of something that happened recently with my mother. After a particularly crushing appointment with a doctor who gave her some news that she could not handle hearing, she had what I believe to be a panic attack and lapsed into what the doctors decided was transcient global amnesia. In other words, her brain stopped residing with us in 2017 and she essentially “lost” five years of her life, believing that it was the year 2012. My father, the only other person who was there when this happened, said that she yelled, “I’m having a stroke! I’m having a stroke!” as they were driving home from that appointment and he turned the car around and took her to the emergency room. Those hours were some of the scariest that I have lived in my life thus far, answering the same questions literally dozens of times as my mother laid in a hospital bed hysterically crying and telling us that her current address is the house I grew up in – a house they had sold over eight years ago. Thankfully, that night they admitted her to the hospital and when she woke up she remembered the previous five years, just not that day in the emergency room.

A month or so later, at dinner, she said “I don’t know who that person was. I don’t know what person that was but it wasn’t me.” Perhaps more accurately it was just the person that she used to be, five years prior. It started me thinking though, what is it that makes us, us? Simple answers to that question might be a soul, or spirit, because many spiritual and religious people believe the “us” is what is inside the body and it continues to exist even when the body dies. Yet, here we have a person who experienced amnesia and a man who is dying with cancer that has spread to his brain, and each are describing a person that it somehow them yet not them. Is it our consciousness that makes us, us?

In my job as a hospice social worker, anywhere from one third to one half of my patients at any given time have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia. I have heard literally dozens of people describe the way that their loved on used to be and reflect on how differently he or she acts now, many times like a different person. People explain that someone who never cursed suddenly begins using foul language or someone who was always very gentle is suddently having violent outbursts of anger. This is usually what is most difficult for family and friends to deal with, someone whom they love acting in a way that is completely unlike themselves. We think of who we are, our personality, ourselves as something solid and even if we believe in changing and growing there’s still something concrete that we view as “me.” I know that for myself, I have changed and grown very much and I believe that learning and growing is an imperative for becoming the best version of myself, but I do still believe that there’s an underlying ME to that. Me is a person who for example has never liked mushrooms even though she’s learned and grown into someone who can better process emotions. It’s frightening to think that the underlying “me” inside of all of us is much less infinite than we believe, that it might be possible somehow to lose the “me.”

I don’t have an answer for the question, what makes us, us? Except that it perhaps more complicated a question than we can truly answer even using science or spirituality. Those are just my thoughts on this particular subject, at this moment.

-Namaste-