Tuesday, March 1

How To Prep For Your First Tattoo

What Mandy Thinks: Words of Advice post via www.whatmandythinks.com
I finally did it, guys: tattoo number two is done and DONE!  (Shout-out to Che at Current Tattooing in San Jo.)

Each tattoo I have / plan to get will have at least two meanings.  "ODD SOUL" in this case has the first, most obvious meaning for the Mutemath fanatics out there: the song and title of the band's 2010 album, all about going your own way when you're pressured to conform.  The second meaning is one I've always wanted in at least one of my tattoos: pride in my personal uniqueness.  I like how it looks like a stamp or brand on me like I'm labeling myself to the world before anyone else can.  I always have been an odd soul, and always will be.

Tuesday, February 2

5 Tips To Transition Back To Office Life (Again)

What Mandy Thinks: Words of Advice post via www.whatmandythinks.com
Most of my 2015 was spent working from home.  My boss was gracious enough to let me work from home to be readily available for more time zones than my own, which meant pj days ALL THE DAYS and crocheting during conference calls.  I took naps during the afternoon and submitted project requests at midnight between an eating schedule of "whenever I got hungry" and "happened to be awake."

When this boss moved on at the end of the year, my from-home days were numbered.  Now I'm told I have to... *shudder* drive during commute hours to sit in an office?  Dressed in normal person clothes and normal person makeup?  Away the whole day without naps?!  Like a NORMAL PERSON?

My cat, pajamas, and crochet hooks are sad to see me go as I'm back to the old grind after the gloriously lethargic year.  How am I dealing with going back to reality?

1) Making use of all my separation time between work and play.  I'm getting up earlier than I'd like to have more alone time awake in the morning.  I'm eating lunch in the office kitchen at a socially acceptable time to watch silly videos on my little screen so I'm not tempted to work and eat simultaneously.  I'm taking a walk outside at the lull of mid-afternoon to keep my motivation up throughout the day and get some fresh air.  I know myself well enough that I'm gonna burn out of if I have too much of one thing for a long stretch of time, so keeping things separate frequently like this utilizes each piece of my day to its fullest.

Tuesday, January 5

What A Start To The New Year

What Mandy Thinks: Real Person Chronicles post via www.whatmandythinks.com
If my newly-2015-self, who just went through a lethargic New Year's to send off 2014, was told my next New Year's would be exponentially better for 2016 - and the way it was better was because of a BOY - 2015 Mandy would laugh you out of the conversation then secretly sign up for online dating again because WHAT IF IT'S TRUE?

2016 is starting off strangely wonderful, and I didn't see it coming.  I'm the most oblivious person I know excluding my family members (genetics are strong), so the position I'm in now is foreign territory; scary, exciting, new, fast, mushy, and the best thing that's happened to me in the past year if not the last few.

Ok, I'll cut to the chase: I've started dating one of my best friends!  And if you can guess who it is already, you knew more than I did back then.  I was just trying to be a good friend who wanted to also use the friendly "social situations" (now known as the "practice dates") as an excuse to make myself feel better over the anxious year that kept getting worse and self destructive.  Long story short: I swooped in to help heal an unfortunate situation without realizing I was healing us both.  We're so much better as a duo than we ever were being two separated introverts flanking the more extroverted friend group with social awkwardness and unintentional quiet moments.

Did we ever spend any alone time together to realize this?  In the EIGHT years that we've known each other?  Pff, of course not.  Why would we find this happiness so easily?  (Do you sense the sarcasm?  Ugh.)

2015 was hectic, overwhelming, and should have been so much easier if I wasn't so hard on myself.  He wasn't having the best year ever either to be nice and vague.  Now we're figuring things out and trying not to "blow up."  By this I mean our current happiness has a lot of risk involved but a worthy reward.

P.S: The new year is the greatest excuse to reflect on all the craziness in life and filter through it to be a better self.  Part of my filtering for this year is pairing down my blog schedule for What Mandy Thinks from a handful of posts a month down to at least one.  My value focus is off the screen more lately - ahem, you can now understand partly why after reading this post - so I'm making it easier on myself to not stress over blogging.  Don't hate me because I'm starting to get a life for once haha!  See ya next month. :)

Monday, June 29

Guest Blog Alert: "5 Ways You Will Better Yourself With A Second Language"

What Mandy Thinks: Words of Advice post
The largest piece of my heritage pie chart is 1/4th Croatian.  Now I'm finally beginning to learn the language.  This month's Never What You Think blog is all about how learning a new language will benefit you in being a more complex, accessible, well-rounded human being.

Here's an excerpt and link to the rest:

"Too bad I only speak one language because I would be well-rounded in many more ways.  Sadly, I am the majority. Only one out of five Americans speaks a second language other than English. How do we bridge that gap? Maybe the best way is to spotlight the benefits.  Learning a second language will..."

Click here to read the rest!

Friday, May 8

When is the best time to get a tattoo?

What Mandy Thinks: Words of Advice post
The summer of my eighteenth year, I was ready to get out of my hometown with my acceptance letter to art school, a pixie haircut, and my first tattoo (a peace sign in the top part of my left ear).  From that moment on, I was ready to start my new adult life in the Bay Area to be a web designer, finally live on my own, and get a few tattoos along the way.

Five years later, I have my second tattoo confirmed and a spreadsheet log of the ones I want next or have thought of over the years.  There are over a dozen ideas and a handful of nixed concepts, but only six so far on the list are definite's and the rest as maybe's.  My goal is a total of at least six pieces by my thirtieth birthday.  Why am I waiting so long for my second if I only have a few years left on my goal deadline?  It's not because I was scared of the pain or the commitment or the taboo of it all.  Money was part of why I'm waiting, but mostly...

I'm a notorious flip-flopper.  A pattern of impulse and immediate regret haunts me through poor choices of either youthful nativity or downright stupidity.  Tattoos are FOREVER - unless they're "removed" or covered with another piece at a cost and time commitment much higher than the original tattoo itself.  I can't let myself flip-flop over ink, so I'm holding off in increasing my ink number until:

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