Stargazed

There’s something about stars in the sky that gives me a glimpse of hope, of happiness, of peace.

About six years ago I became fascinated with the subject of stars. I even took an astronomy class my second year of college. Although it was interesting to learn about galaxies, stars, constellations, the sun and cosmology, I took a more spiritual approach to my fascination.

It started shortly after my Great Auntie Sharon passed away in 2012, less than two weeks into the new year. My friend, Katie, posted on my Facebook page a picture captioned with the Eskimo proverb “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”  My friend was with me when I found out about Sharon – she knew how hard I was taking her death. But I’m not sure she knows how much her post lit up the darkness in my heart.

In 2015 I lost a dear friend of mine, Jake. As with Sharon, I believed he was shining his love down from the sky letting us all know he was okay. That was how I remained okay.

We find ourselves struggling to fall asleep at night, starring into the darkness, reminiscing. Should I have just skipped my psychology class to see Sharon one last time? Maybe I could have said goodbye. What if I would have just messaged Jake that day to see how he was doing, halfway across the county? Maybe I could have saved him.

Then we open the blinds, look up at the sky and see the speckles of light that ease our minds.

I’ve obtained an obsession with the stars – I keep my loved ones memories alive through all things stars.

So, I suppose the galaxy print fad is a good thing for me. I have my PlayStation 4 theme as “particles,” I have the Nintendo 3DS XL – Galaxy Style. I couldn’t have been more stoked about Breaking Benjamin’s new Dark Before Dawn album. Also, Avenged Sevenfold’s The Stage album cover made me smile – it features the band logo in the galaxy. I write poetry about the stars.  In a story I’m writing, there are multiple worlds and one of them is only lit by starlight.

Although the proverb says “perhaps they are not stars,” I believe they are both. I believe they are stars in the sky and our loved ones shining down letting us know they are happy.

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m just stargazed. Maybe I, like others, want something to believe in to know our loved ones are okay – are at peace – so we can be too.

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PANDA EYES [black eyeliner, continued]

As promised, here is the continuation of my previous post. (And just for coming back, here’s my Instagram — take a glimpse into my world, with and without eyeliner.)

People always asked me why I wore my eyeliner the way I did. My default response was usually “because I do.” That was the truth. I didn’t wear it to rebel. I didn’t wear it to stand out. I painted my face the way chose, the way I liked. My black eyeliner was me.

Most people told me to stop hiding my beautiful face. Most people said I looked better without it. But I liked my face better with heavy black eyeliner. That was all that mattered. Honestly, the only reason I stopped wearing my thick eyeliner is because I knew, after college, I’d have to get a “big girl job” and in big girl world my panda eyes would be deemed unacceptable.

I can’t tell count how many times people said I looked like a raccoon, whether they said it to my face or whispered it in someone’s ear. I just wish people would have been more original with their attempted insults.

My friend Ajax (my given nickname to her) said I looked like a panda. That comment actually made me smile. You see, pandas are cute and our mutual friend Nani loves pandas. Nani passed her love of pandas on to me, the humanized panda.

I miss my panda eyes.

Not only were they my panda eyes–they were my pirate eyes, my Taylor Momsen eyes.

This past weekend I got my eyes back.

My boyfriend, my best friend and I went to see The Pretty Reckless at The Sandlot in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was one of the best nights of my life. My love caught me a drumstick!

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Call me silly because I’ve never met Taylor Momsen, but she just might be my third favorite person. I mean just look at her rocking that stage.

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She looks about as happy as I was when I got my face back.

When Momsen knows she’s being photographed, she rarely smiles. People wonder why. I don’t, though. I think it’s the eyeliner.

Once Upon a Time: Black Eyeliner

So, I’m going get a little more personal in this post.

Once upon a time, I used to wear heavy black eyeliner every day, for years. I religiously wore my eyeliner starting my freshman year of high school until I was a senior in college. So, about 10 years. And boy, did I receive some negative comments and ugly looks. Some include:

  •  “You’re emo. Go cut yourself.”
  • “Did it hurt when you got punched in the face?” (Not offensive, just way overused)

Most of the people who gave me nasty looks and rude comments were adults in their 40s and 50s. Sad, isn’t it?

On a lighter note (ah, the contrast), I also received some delicate comments.

When I was in college and working in retail, this little girl, about 4 years old, turned to her dad and said “Daddy, that right there looks like a pirate.” Little did that sweet girl know, I was (and still am, actually) obsessed with pirates.

It’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking that the nicest compliment I received was from a 4-year-old.

There was also my former co-worker and the occasional person who said I resembled Kesha. For that, I was also flattered. I love Kesha, for many reasons.

But then there was Taylor Momsen. Ah, yes, Taylor Momsen. My favorite idol.

I’ve been a fan of Momsen ever since she starred as Cindy Lou Who in the 2000 version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I grew up with Momsen. She’s only a couple of years younger than I am and she was/is in everything I was/am intoThe Grinch, Gossip Girl and, my favorite, The Pretty Reckless.

Soon after her role as Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl ended, she started focusing more on her music and her band. I discovered she was into heavy metal, rock, classic rock–and so on–as was I. And then…Her. Black. Eyeliner.

I was overjoyed that she, of all celebrities, painted her face the same way I did. I’d never met or knew of anyone else who did that (aside from the rock bands back in the day…) I may not know Taylor Momsen personally, but as soon as I discovered she wore heavy black eyeliner too, and the music she was into, I felt like I knew her a little better.

The only way anyone could somewhat understand is if they too, once upon a time, wore–or still do–heavy black eyeliner.

PS
My next post will be a continuation of this post. It will be about Taylor Momsen, my first time seeing The Pretty Reckless, and that same way I “paint my face.” So, please, stay tuned!

xoxo,
the woman in black

decorating with black.

Sick of the interior decorations in your home? Thinking of changing it up for a bit? Have you ever thought of decorating with black? I know, sounds weird, right? Black? Black, and darker colors in general, usually make a room seem smaller. But if you decorate carefully enough, black decor can make a room really stand out. I will share some tips with you that I found from articles online.

According to articles from Homedit and About.com, it is best to allow natural light to flow into a room decorated in black. You don’t have to have every piece of furniture black, or paint the walls black; a touch of black here or there will do. I have posted some examples below. You can also find additional examples on the links above.

Huffington Post explains "Why Dark Walls Rule" here.

Huffington Post explains “Why Dark Walls Rule” here. There’s more than just black walls found in that article but still great examples of painting walls dark.

This is an example of using black window trim. You can learn more about this trend on a different blog.

This is an example of using black window trim. You can learn more about this trend on a different blog.

Another trend is black and white, particularly black and white stripes. Seems bold, right? Well if you’re into black as much as I am, you’re into making a bold statement–even for decorating. I mean the black and white stripped trend is awesome.

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Clearly all these rooms were all inspired by Beetlejuice. I mean, how could they not be?

77777Want some more great tips on decorating with black? Check out this article from Setting for Four.

(all images were originally found on Pinterest)

wearing the absence of color.

I believe I was put on this planet to inspire others to wear (and love) the color black, which technically is the absence of color, but that’s not the point.

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(found on Pinterest)

Black can be worn from head to toe (like I do most days), black can be just part of your outfit (like mine every other day), and it can accent your outfit. But whatever it may be, black will simply make your outfit better. I mean, come on, it’s just a given.

Wearing black isn’t merely a “gothic” or “emo” thing; there’s so much more to it. Black is elegant, mysterious, chic, classy. Still don’t believe me? Think wearing black is boring because you might blend in? Well, perhaps Angela Tofoya will help me convince you that you can stand out wearing the absence of color. Check out her thoughts on her 5 Non-Boring Ways To Wear All Black.

Still worried you might look goth instead of chic? Even though this article has more summery outfits, it still makes a good point on the chicness of black. Shani Silver explains in her article How To Wear All Black And Look Chic, Not Goth.

Perhaps showing you some of my favorite celebrities wearing black will change your mind. And they seriously rock the (absence of the) color black; and you can too!

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Meghan Trainor (Pinterest)

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Kesha (Pinterest)

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Taylor Momsen (Pinterest)

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Taylor Swift (Pinterest)

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Skye Sweetnam (Pinterest)

You don’t need a reason to wear black, there isn’t a certain event you can or cannot wear black to (even weddings, stay tuned for a future post about that), you can pair it with almost anything but simply stated: just wear black! I suggest wearing black everyday. You can always add a pop of color if you wish.

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(found on Pinterest)

If not everyday, once a week will do. On Wednesdays. Oh come on, at least do it for Wednesday Addams.

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(found on Pinterest)

black surrounds us.

It’s inevitable; black is everywhere. And I love it.

Perhaps black is your favorite color (as it is mine), or maybe you’re required to dress professionally and find that black is a respectable color, or you choose to wear black daily–and unprofessionally for that matter–(as do I), or your vehicle or motorcycle is black, or you find yourself decorating your house with black things, or making recipes involving blackberries, maybe your dog is even black. But whatever it may be, we come across the color black everyday.

All the things I listed above, and more, you will find me happily blogging about, because after all:

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(found on Pinterest)

I can’t stress enough how much the color black means to me and how it’s become an obsession, if you will, but perhaps this will give you an idea. Here are some of my recent posts from my Instagram where I incorporated two of my favorite things: shoes and, of course, the color black.

One of my favorite pairs of shoes.

One of my favorite pairs of shoes.

Ah yes, my Juicy Couture black and sparkly shoes. They are awesome.

Ah yes, my Juicy Couture black and sparkly shoes. They are awesome.

Always gotta own some Chucks. My friend and I wearing black Chucks on Valentines Day. Because, I mean, what better color to wear that day?

Always gotta own some Chucks. My friend and I wearing black Chucks on Valentine’s Day. Because, I mean, what better color to wear that day? I, of course, am the one also wearing black pants.

But don’t let my obsession with the color black discourage or misguide you, for the image below describes me perfectly.

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(found on Pinterest)

Also, a HUGE thanks to my dear friend Charlene Dungan who inspired the topic for my blog and who helped with the second part of my title, “the woman in black.” Check out her blog and her website on PTSD.