When You Get Laid Off From Your Job…

When you get laid off from your job (a year in reflection)…

Exploring my personal journey and list of Things to Do and Things NOT to Do.

It’s okay to cry (even if you hated that job anyway)…but you’ve got to stop feeling bad for yourself as soon as possible. Other people will feel bad for you but they’re really just judging you. So get your shit together ASAP.

Do travel if you have the opportunity to get somewhere while you don’t have a current commitment. Go wherever you can. I got laid off in the middle of April 2015 and headed to the west coast the first week of May. Get the F out if you can, it’s great for soul searching.

Do spend your money wisely. You aren’t officially guaranteed any significant amount of money after your severance package runs out (if you were lucky enough to get one) and unemployment money is not even close to enough to allow you to afford to live. Remember: you’re still going to have all the bills you had when you were working full time.

Do eat out every meal for the first few days with your friends and loved ones. I mean – they’ll probably buy your breakfast/lunch/dinner/drinks because you just lost your job and they’re gonna feel bad for you. Just remember to pay it forward if this ever happens to them and when you get a job again in the future.

Don’t continue to eat out every meal to comfort yourself to way too long. It gets WAY too expensive and you’ll get WAY too bloated because of all the salt that’s added to food.

Review what you learned from this job and be thankful for everything it provided. Use all your resources. Revise your resume… a million times. I think I have about 17 copies of my resume and about 52 specific versions of cover letters that I’ve sent to companies saved on my Macbook.

Realize that if people have never asked you “what you do for work?” before, they will immediately start asking you a million fucking times what you do for work. Be prepared to craft an interesting enough response to this annoying question because saying you’re “unemployed” is both boring and makes you look completely unable to be hired. Make sure your crafted response is not longer than a few sentences because in reality the person doesn’t actually care.

*PRO TIP: If you really hate the person who asked you, “What do you do?” or “What are you up to nowadays?” you can fib and tell them you’re “freelancing in NYC and the money & flexibility is amazing,” as you end the conversation and walk away.

Do ask your friends and family for help getting interviews / suggestions of companies to work for – you’ll be surprised by how much they can help.

In the same breath, do not expect ANYTHING to come out of what you ask for help from friends and family. Many people have much less power in the hiring process than they assume to have. It’s not their fault, but people help you much less than they’ll actually tell you.

“Yeah, send me a copy of your resume and I’ll pass it along.”

For some reason, this statement irks me more than anything! It’s a bogus response when a person doesn’t know what else to say… typically if they actually have something for you or know of something or have the power to do something, they would provide a more informative response or detailed information. That being said… my reaction to a statement like this is:

1. Don’t even bother sending a resume because I knew people are insanely unreliable.

2. Actually send a resume. They typically had a pretty negative return on resume investment. But I guess depending on how desperate you are or how bad you want it – it’s always worth a shot! So the better option is to… send it along!

*PRO TIP: Don’t trust strangers from Craigslist in NYC that make you meet them in person at the Ace Hotel in midtown for a “casting call.” Do not pay them $400 for head shots needed for guaranteed work. Especially if her name is Dylan. After her persistence for your payment wears off & if you actually pay her, she’ll literally ghost you and you’ll never hear from her again. (Embarrassingly true story). Ughhh..

Do take time to work on things that you previously never had time for.

Do find things that will bring you joy for very little money. There are so many really rad things to do for very little money or free in this world. Find a friend who’s weird enough / down enough to do different things with you and you’re golden.

Do try to find your passions and re-work your resume so that you can find work in a field that you like.

Don’t take any old job that you know you’re going to hate. You’ll be much more miserable than you were when you didn’t have a job at all. And not having a job is sort of miserable if you aren’t independently wealthy. Or if your parents don’t support your lifestyle with a trust fund or other means of endless cash.

Do network with as many people in your industry (and different industries too!). You should’ve been doing this all along tbh, BUT – if you haven’t reached out to those random people you met at that last networking event – now is the time. NOW is the best time because you actually have the time. Find out what they’re up to, ask them questions, ask for advice or suggestions. Step outside your comfort zone – because it does feel uncomfortable to cold email people. What’s the worst that can happen? Literally – the worst thing probably is – they don’t respond. And honestly, that’s not that bad. Move on to the next person – BYEEEE.

Hang out with every single person you know. It will make you realize who is important to you. Who you decide to see more and were actually happier seeing less of. Who you want to see more of and realize how much you really missed them. Who you didn’t want to see more of, but decided to see more of because you were feeling open and trusted the feelings but ended up just getting your heart blown out, for the fifth time.

When you do start a job though after being pseudo unemployed for an entire summer, culture shock will ensue. Be prepared.

Sometimes it takes like 1 week to find a job and sometimes it takes 3.5 months to find a job. Sometimes the job you found after 3.5 months is not viable to sustain your life or support you financially. But you still take this job because it’s something. If this job is not going to support you financially again, do not hesitate to take any and every interview you can get.

*PRO TIP: Beware of what you say in front of co-workers and who you share particular information with (mainly regarding interviews). Also beware that it looks ridiculous when you are constantly going to “doctors appointments.”

Even when your job searching is a completely ridiculous and terrible experience and you go on 25-30+ interviews and second round interviews and meet the CEO interviews in a 9 month period – you may still not find a job. You may find a job that you hate. Or you may find a job that you like. Or you may find a job that will grow to love in time… that’s where I am right now.

Sometimes you have to choose a lower salary with better quality of life to sustain some of your own personal goals. Obviously there is a lot to consider when making career decisions – the choice must be financially viable, but also healthy and your well-being should be a factor you consider.  In the end you’ve got to do what works well for you, what you can afford and where you see yourself moving forward with growth potential and mental clarity. Sometimes it takes being unemployed or being in a place that doesn’t work well for you to see the light.

Talking about money can be difficult conversation for practically every person reading this essay. I’m not going to tell anybody that it’s not difficult. But what I will say is that being more vocal about it really does help. “Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask and you won’t ever know what you didn’t receive.” – modestly changing biblical quotes, OK? Main takeaway is that it’s a challenge to find people who are looking out for you. You’ve got to look out for yourself. So, do that. Ask for more money. It’s #EqualPayDay today, April 12th, 2016, so let’s celebrate it.

Being laid off at 26 was a challenging time in my life, but the lessons learned and the growth that came along with it was well worth it.

#WorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWork

Maven

Recently tried out this new-ish app (available in the App store) for women’s health – it’s called Maven. It’s legit very easy to use, basically immediate and super efficient! (things I LOVE – duh). The concept is like going to a urgent care health clinic, except it’s in an app…

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I spoke to a nurse practitioner and asked a nutrition question I had about sugar in alcohol – but you can ask them anything at all. Like weird things you don’t want to make a doctor’s appointment for (I took 4x the recommended dose of Vitamin C and can’t stop going to the bathroom)… normal, easy things like (my medication is causing weight gain and I’m concerned). Maven practitioners can prescribe you medicine – like birth control, or if you have a UTI, cold/cough, all the basics of what you’d want and need.

Maven is exactly like going to an “urgent care center” on a Sunday when your doctor’s office isn’t open…except you don’t even have to physically GO! It’s basically FaceTime with a doctor. on YOUR schedule. Your appointment can be over in less than 10 minutes. And there’s no waiting in the waiting room forever. AKA this is awesome! I’m obsessed.

You can get your first appointment for FREE if you use my code: ASHLEYBVIP on the home screen of the Maven app.

So literally Maven does not cost you a thing – they ask you to enter credit card info so if you do like it and continue to book appointments they have a place to bill. If you want to use the service again or continually, the prices are fair and reflective of typical urgent care centers. Takes ultimately no time to book your free appointment using my code – do this while you’re sitting on the couch between commercials, lol.

• Download the Maven app on your iOS device by searching “Maven Clinic” in the app store, or visiting this link.

• Enter code ASHLEYBVIP on the home screen. (This makes your appointment FREE!)

• Book an appointment with one of the practitioners. Ask them any health question you want – it doesn’t have to be complex. Something like: Is my breakfast healthy enough? Should I be taking medication for that? Basically all of the health questions you’ve been asking Google, you can ask an NP or doctor. You can book with any of the NP’s and the appointments last 10 minutes – SUPER EASY. You get one free session with my code!

The lady I met/FaceTime’d with was super nice – her name is Maya Freidman and she was under the “Nutrition & Physiotherapy” area of the app. There are lots of practitioners and they all have their credentials listed on the app, obv. The next appointment I’m planning on setting up is within the Mental Health section with a therapist because I mean#problems. 😉

If you have further questions, definitely direct message me, comment or e-mail. Make sure to use my code for your free first appointment on Maven.

Diva Cup, OH. My. God.

Dear All Betches Everywhere:

An open letter about menstruation. Read further if you dare. If you don’t want to read about a potentially uncomfortable topic I would suggest you stop reading now. Men especially. But women, you’re welcome…maybe? Whatever. Here we go…

A few years ago, one of my BFF’s informed me of a product called “Diva Cup.” Basically, that she started using it and that it is life-changing, once you get used to it. She uses it, has been for quite a while and apparently loves it.

Click the Diva Cup link above or just Google it if you want to learn more about specific details.  Basically, Diva Cup is made for females as an alternative to using tampons or pads during menstruation.

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It’s a silicone “cup” that you virtually insert inside of yourself and it captures the blood. Benefits are that you can leave it in for up to 12 hours, it’s a 1-time cost of under $30 and lasts for a few years apparently (instead of spending a lot of $ on tampons/pads) and sort of saves the environment (less waste) and your septic systems! Score! Win! Great, I’m interested… let me find out more! Headed straight over to Amazon.com to order this puppy and give it a try… and by heading straight over, I mean I contemplated doing that for approximately 2 years and finally did when I had an Amazon gift card over the summer and was bored because I didn’t have a real job. Whatever…

I tried this product, not one time, not two times, not three times, but FOUR freakin’ times. I think that should suffice as me giving it an actual try… and certainly not just “giving up.” Even though, that is essentially what I did…. every. single. time.

Maybe for some women, Diva Cup is the end-all, be-all solution to menstruation. It does offer some great benefits. The problem with those benefits, are that I don’t exactly give a shit about them. I mean – I tend to be on the eco-conscious side of things in life – however, I don’t really 100% care. Do you? Do you really think that not using tampons is going to save the world? OK, fine if you do. Next, I want my body to be 100% healthy and try not to willingly induce tons of toxins inside of it, but I mean – I’m not 100% convinced that TSS (toxic shock syndrome – from keeping tampons in for too long) would ever even happen to me. I have to switch my tampon far too frequently for that ever to be a problem… so in reality, there is not a specific cause that’s leading me to really want to use this product. So I’m having no or low expectations and just giving it a whirl.

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Photo found in Google images so whoever deserves credit for it, thanks!

All of my viewpoints are speaking from a “first time user” perspective…. and after the 4th month of trying Diva Cup, I still feel like a “first time user”…. which is already saying something. Yeah, things may get easier and you can get used to it after time passes. But this was not easy to “get used to.”

Inserting Diva Cup is not easy in my opinion, AT ALL. On the instructions paper (yes…) there are 2 diagrams of 2 different techniques to “fold” the cup so that it inserts into your vagina in an easier way. I tried both. Several times. And failed. Several times. It’s also worked. Several times. But then later failed. Several times. (I’ll get into that later…) It’s also bigger than a tampon… when folded. So like, enjoy shoving that up into your vagina. I was considering using lube, but then….what? no, Ashley – bad idea. What? UGH. Didn’t. 

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Photo from Google Images

If you’re lucky enough to get the insertion correct, GREAT JOB! Woohoo! You got it in and this silicone cup is now up inside of your vagina – score. Basically your vagina eats this thing up and good the fuck luck trying to get that puppy out again…. (those were my first thoughts). But then the instructions go on further… saying, now you must ROTATE this cup 360 degress! UM….. WHAT?!?!

So there’s a little tube looking piece (you can see it in the diagram above) that would compare to a tampon string and would essentially help you remove your cup when you’re ready to do so. But it specifically states on the directions, do not use this to do your 360 degree spin. I tried, they’re right… basically that thing is not going to spin. So you have to reach your fingers inside and squeeze them up against the sides of your vagina to hopefully grab the cup and do a full “spin” of 360 degrees on the cup. On separate occasions I’ve either done the spin, or I’ve avoided the spin. Avoiding is a poor choice. Basically, you have to do the spin so that the cup “unfolds” and slides into the shape of your vagina and so that it can open fully to catch the blood. If you do not spin it could potentially stay sort of folded inside of you and either not open at all to catch or just sort of open and either way you’re going to get MAJOR LEAKAGE. Which IMO is a MAJOR PROBLEM.

Ok, so say if you complete this step (DOUBLE SCORE!) and you have your Diva Cup inserted. You’re a fucking all star if you’ve made it this far. Now starts my rant about the biggest product flaw that I see with this product. I wish I would show you what I mean by this ,so I think I’m going to draw it. So you can see exactly what I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s confusing. Please hold….

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Dude – This is my SOOOOO not technical and obviously NOT TO SCALE diagram. Hand drawn. LMAO — I actually can’t with this one, and I think I’ve truly out-done myself. I can’t believe this is what I think a vagina looks like. I’m probably way wrong, I don’t care though. This is what I want to tell you!!!

The part of the wall of your vagina still has blood on it that is never going to get caught by the Diva Cup because it just will never have the opportunity to. It’s below the Diva Cup opening. Gravity says that this blood will come out of you… so virtually every single time you remove / re-insert your Diva Cup, you’re going to still bleed out that amount of blood.

I would always recommend using a light panty-liner or thin pad each and every time you’re using this product. Which sucks and is a total fucking bummer and completely defeats the purpose of the whole process at all… am I right?

The purpose of a tampon is to avoid wearing a pad / diaper. Keep it all inside so there’s less chance of a mess on the outside. Diva Cup in theory should keep it all inside and let you go for much longer extended periods of time without having to change tampon or have it pushed out if you use the bathroom in any other way…. so that’s cool. Except it does not.

Further, using this product is fucking gross because it gets you DIRTY. For example, when you do use Diva Cup successfully (me, every time). Or say even if you somewhat use it successfully. You eventually finally have to remove it. Removal will be 100% messy and gross. Aside from that, it sort of will sound like suction cup or plunger when you’re removing it. Think about making that noise with a product that’s coming out of your vagina. And immediately you’re going to want to die / vomit. You pull it out of yourself and try not to get blood all over yourself – your hands, your toilet seat, your floor? WTF, not okay. Then it’s going to be a total fucking murder scene. This thing is going to be full of blood, so you then…. dump it out into the toilet. Great. Now there’s excess blood / tissue, whatever the F is left on it. VOM DOT COM. So what are you instructed to do? Clean it out. So yes, you have to physically go to your sink and rinse this out. Aka more touching with your hands. And you should use a mild soap obviously nothing that will irritate the inside of your vagina because then… other problems when you put it back in there. Worst.

My biggest fear / concern is what if you’re out of your own fucking home? Are you going to change this thing in a public restroom? The noise factor is already a problem here for me. Not okay. Next, when you’re finished removing.. oh let me just flush and go out to the sink and clean out my bloody Diva Cup… which takes a minute or so… and oh, now let me get back in that bathroom stall there and re-insert my Diva Cup.. in whatever awkward position I decided to get into to actually figure out how to get this cup inside of myself. Hopefully on the first try, sometimes on the third try, though. And if there’s a line in this restroom, I’m sure all of those other women waiting in line will totally understand what you’re doing… NOT! They’re gonna be like wtf does this weird girl think they’re doing?! Playing with her period? What is she like a 3 year old toddler playing with finger paint? UGH. Ew. I rest my case. Except, unfortunately for you, I’m going to keep writing.

Diva Cup failed me. Every time I tried it. And I always got it in wrong. Which is painful. I always felt it. Tampons I never, ever feel. Maybe because I shove it far enough up there or just a normal amount because I’m normal? … and I never feel it. This thing I feel when I’m sitting on the couch, I feel when I’m working out or walking around even. Not 100% feel it but most of the time I did. Maybe I was hypersensitive to knowing it was there. But with a tampon, I don’t forget that I have my period. Like I know in about 2.5 hours I’m going to have to change that thing. Just inherent knowledge… and I never felt it.  So Diva Cup, I’m just NOT A FAN.

I don’t want to ever have that feeling where I’m like OMG I’m sitting in the middle of a meeting or somewhere that I’m not close to a bathroom or worse, where I won’t be able to access a bathroom for an extended period of time and feel a leak. Like any girl that has ever felt that…. which is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!! KNOWS! That it is THE WORST FEELING EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! If you think it’s not, you’re a fucking liar and I don’t think you have actually ever menstruated.

Further, I have no reason to ever try to use this product ever again. I do not recommend it if you have no particular reason (environmentally friendly chick, allergic to tampons chick, TSS aware chick). Those girls, I think maybe you’d like to try it out and this could potentially be a better solution for you… that is, if you’re willing to deal with all the downsides of it. But maybe those aren’t that bad of downsides since you’re usually downsides are WAY worse than these anyway… so I guess, Good luck!

One way I think this product may be super helpful is in this scenario: Say you know you’re going to get your period tomorrow. Like you’re a very regular period betch and you know exactly which day you’re going to get it. Unlike myself, when I go to the bathroom some random day and I’m like, “Oh nice! Got my period, sickkkk!!” Ruined another Cosabella thong, but hey at least I got it… better start heavily medicating with Advil to subside the pain. Also, that must definitely have been why I have been such a bitch the past 2 days. Now it all makes sense. Random tangent – sorry. So yeah, if you do know yourself very well, it could be great for you to insert the morning that you know you’re going to get your period to avoid the potential underwear stain if you’re super against a pantyliner or pad or maybe you ran out of them. IDK?

Disclaimer: If you do want to try this product for yourself, YOU MUST WEAR A PANTYLINER OR PAD. I repeat, you MUST. Otherwise, you will 100% leak / stain / ruin beautiful / expensive underwear and I’m not about that life for you, me or anybody!

Disclaimer: If and when you do want to try Diva Cup for yourself, think back to my blog post that you read about it and remember that I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.

If you have any tips or great success stories that you want to share with me… please, please be my guest. I’d love to hear about your fantastic experiences. Maybe I’m doing something totally wrong and you can change my life and I can try doing Diva Cup your way and I’ll love it and live happily ever after.

Until then, I’m team tampon. Signing off as I live out the rest of my menstrual cycle. Until next month, betches…

Catcalling, Meow.

Catcalling. Don’t do this – and if you do, expect to receive VERY expressive, specific insults.

Fuck. You. Get away from me. I’m not interested in you. Shut your mouth immediately.

I once told an ex-boyfriend that I would pay for surgery to have his ribs removed so that he could suck his own dick because I’d never go anywhere near him again. (Unrelated, but I thought it would be a good point to add that in).

If you haven’t already, please meet reality TV personality & model Stassi Schroeder… the violent metaphors ❤

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Watch Vanderpump Rules Season 1 | Stassi’s Violent Metaphors.

The link is my absolute favorite compilation of “Stassi” moments.

…how many people do I know that have told me that I remind them of her? Resting bitch face is on point.

Being nicer is definitely in my near future. Great quote someone sent me recently –

“I try to be nice to everyone because what if they have a hot brother?”

But like…. Don’t whistle at me. Don’t beep your car horn at me while I’m running. Like what was your goal with that? Did you think your beep and yell out the window while at a traffic light would make me sprint on over to your car and flirt with you and get in your car and go home with you and we live happily ever after?! No?! Me NEITHER. That kills my vibe so don’t do it.

Catcalling is like so… 18th century. I almost want to take that statement back because I would 100% rather have a guy approach me face to face (a la 18th century) rather than message me on any form of social media. But an approach/inquiry/courtship is far different than a catcall.

I hate that it’s named after a cat. I don’t like cats. At all.