When Fantasy isn’t Reality: Random Musings for the Day

Funny to think that many of my fantasies stem from the Disney films I watched in my childhood. Unfortunately, losing sight of reality happens way too often.

Nearly every night, I fantasize myself to sleep in order to overcome the mild bout of insomnia that keeps me from falling into that pleasant spell of unconsciousness the second my head hits the pillow. Most of these fantasies are happy, but after a while, I recognize the dull nature of my imagination, and falling asleep becomes a struggle again. Fortunately, I have yet to pull an all-nighter, so as dull as some of these fantasies get after a while, they still manage to put me to sleep whether it be twenty minutes after I’ve gotten myself in bed or even a couple hours. On the note of fantasies though, here are a couple of my thoughts on what they’ve done to me.

Fantasies have warped my sense of reality

While I still understand what my reality is, sometimes, depending on how badly I wanted that fantasy to become true, it becomes so extremely difficult for me to see that reality has yet to happen. For me, I typically fantasize about my future, and more specifically, the happy romantic happily ever afters found in pretty much any classic Disney work.

Now that I’m fully thinking about this, Aurora didn’t know her prince at all. Literally. As romantic as it was made in Sleeping Beauty, marrying the stranger who kissed me in my sleep without my permission is pretty preposterous. Isn’t that sexual harassment?

On a more serious note though, I often fantasize on having a perfect love life where there are no problems whatsoever even though I understand that’s guaranteed to be impossible. Perhaps the fire fueling that fantasy comes from my inexperience or complete lack of being in relationships. Honestly, I’m afraid that should the time come where I am in a relationship, I’ll fantasize about whoever this special someone is and forget about his actual, real self. That’s an issue that I’ve read about between couples who found themselves dating their fantasized versions of themselves, and I know that falling prey to idealization is just way too easy for me. However, that’s just going to be something that I’ll try to keep in the back of my mind so that I can be constantly reminded about reality as it is.

It becomes difficult for me not to believe a strong fantasy. 

Most times, these come from dreams that I have about what’s going to happen the next day. Usually, that “next day” has something important to me going on, and I’m either worried or excited about what’s going to happen. The night before a music competition I did a couple weeks ago, I found myself dreaming over and over again about making it past the semi-final round and into the final round. What was worse about this particular dream was that I had it over and over again throughout the night. In a way, it may have been good because I felt that I had the potential to make it to the finals, but it was also worse because in the hours leading up to my semi-final performance, I felt so much pressure from this dream. While this dream did come true, and I was elated to be in the finals, it was still difficult for me to reconcile myself to the pressure that it brought along.

Bad fantasies have me scared of my future reality.

Perhaps this stems from my pessimism, perhaps this stems from my internal acknowledgment of the great uncertainty that lies ahead, I don’t know. At first read, a “bad fantasy” doesn’t seem to make any sense, and it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t actually had bad fantasies of my own. What happens for me at least is me zoning off and fantasizing about something happy and then all of a sudden finding myself landed circumstances that seem to have turned one-eighty degrees around, and all of a sudden, I’m trapped, vulnerable, and scared. Most importantly, being trapped, vulnerable, and scared render me utterly powerless as I continue with the dark sequence of this fantasy until I either manage to get a grip on my consciousness or somehow just completely slip out of it. My worst fantasy involved me attending a college party and then recognizing that I was in an unhealthy environment that I couldn’t get out of. Having never attended any college party or attended college for that matter, this fantasy in particular almost felt like a sort of warning for some ominous storm cloud ready to pass over my head as I enter college next month. Hopefully reality will have better plans for me in the next four years, but for now, I’m still feeling weary and really not all that excited to move into college life.

That’s it for today’s random musings where I go off and put some of my thoughts into words. If you have any comments or feedback on what I wrote, please leave me a comment down below, and if you enjoyed this post, please give it a like. Otherwise, I hope you all a good day! Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Tips for Using Poshmark to Ensure Sales: Making Money from Home

Poshmark

A rapidly growing community of people passionate about fashion, Poshmark is an application for Apple and Android that allows registered members to buy and sell products from each other. Simple as it seems, selling, however, definitely takes time and effort on your part in order to get that extra jingle in your pocket. In today’s blog post, I’ll be going through my five tips for how to become a successful seller. By the way, at the bottom of this post, I have included a code that you can use to get $5 off your first purchase from Poshmark!

1. Follow, follow, and follow!

As Poshmark places heavy emphasis on its members and growing its community, it’s important to involve yourself in order to gain recognition and visibility. Whenever you check someone’s page, there’s always an option on the top right to “follow” that person in a similar fashion as you would for Instagram or Pinterest. Now, what if you don’t like that person’s sense of style or don’t find anything in their closet interesting? For me, I would follow anyways because if I really were to look for something to buy, I would search through the site rather than explore every individual person. In addition, when you follow someone, they will receive a notification of that follow, and they may check out your closet and perhaps buy something from you! Even if they don’t buy from you, they may share your items, another point that I’ll get to in point number two.

Posher Page Posher Page Followed

In this example, tapping the blue follow button changed the top right from “follow” to “following.” Since this posher (the affectionate name that people within the Poshmark community call each other) has 137k followers, you can use that as an advantage to follow a whole mass of other people. Below I have included two pictures detailing how easy it is to follow more people by tapping the area that has the number of followers that she has.

Before FollowingAfter Following

In my experience, people with more followers tend to be the ones getting the sales (unless you’re selling dirt cheap!) because of the huge network that they’ve developed. Much of this comes from first following other people, so now, I try to follow as many people as I can. Typically, around 25-50% of the people who you follow will follow you back, so you can be sure of being able to grow your base by following other people.

2. Share yours and other people’s items.

Taking on the likes of many other social media platforms out there, Poshmark allows users to share listings from their closet and from other people’s closets. Similar to following, when you share other people’s listings, they will receive a notification that will get notifications of people sharing my items, and I try to share their items as well. The biggest benefit of sharing listings is that all of your shares will appear in your followers’ feeds.

Shared Listing

As you can see in the image to the left, this posher who I’m following shared one of their listings, and I saw that listing in my feed. The feed is similar to a Facebook newsfeed in which you get the latest updates from your followers. Now, if someone else shares your items, that share also gets broadcasted to all of their followers which is highly beneficial for exposure especially if that person has follower numbers in the thousands.

3. Update listings on a regular basis.Updated Listing

Really similar to sharing in respects of exposure, followers can also see in their feed when you update your items. By simply scrolling through my feed, I already saw multiple instances of people who updated their listings.

Besides increasing visibility for your listings, it’s also a good practice to have your listings updated since Posh always lists when you last update them. Many times, I find myself looking at products that were last updated months ago with unanswered comments which basically tell me that the person is probably not going to sell that item. By the way, you don’t actually need to update an item per say in order for the time stamp to change, you can either choose to edit the listing and publish as is or you can share your own listing to get it to be more recently updated.

4. Use high quality photos and descriptions that are to the point.

Often times, the people who have hundreds of thousands of followers have flawless photos in their listings. At this point, I almost assume that listings that contain stock images are being sold by very successful poshers. Of course, finding stock images of your old clothes is not always possible, so try your best to get high definition photos. Since you can only upload pictures and edit listings from the application itself, my suggestion would be to use an actual camera, snap photos with great lighting, send those photos to your phone by email, and then upload them to the listing.

Sold Scarf

Descriptions go hand in hand with your photos, so be clear with what you’re trying to convey with selling your product. Personally, I like to detail the perks of the product within a sentence or two first below bullet pointing additional features of my items. I have found that many successful poshers will use emojis as their bullet points in the description as it provides charming aesthetic qualities as well as a very neat layout of things potential buyers should know. Although, my one sentence description isn’t as catchy as it could have been, this scarf to the right sold within a day of listing!

5. Be friendly, polite, and respectful in all circumstances.

As mentioned before, Poshmark is a community of people with similar interests in fashion that relies on a lot of interaction between members. One of the interesting features of Poshmark is that there is no way for you to private message other poshers unless you comment your email address and they contact you through email or something. Simply put, if poshers have questions or concerns about your item, they will typically comment on your listing.

Comments Conversation

Whenever someone comments on my listing for the first time, I always make sure to tag them in my responding comment by typing @usernameofposher before welcoming them to my closet. By ensuring that they feel comfortable chatting with you, you increase the likelihood of them visiting your closet to purchase items in the future. As you can see from the conversation on the left, although I didn’t end up selling that item, I was still able to have a pleasant conversation.

And… that’s a wrap!

I realize this is a pretty long blog post (it took me quite a while to write!), and as a reward for reading through it or skipping to the end, you can get $5 off your first purchase from Poshmark if you sign up and enter my referral code: PPAOH. If you found this post helpful, please give it a like, and if you have any comments or questions, leave them down below so that I can get back to you as soon as possible. Even better, if you’re already on Poshmark and would like to get connected, follow me @ellesmuse!

Ortho-K Lenses Overall Review

While I neglected to update my progress with using Ortho-K lenses for the last week or so, I definitely think that my vision has seen drastic improvement. There have been a few days in which I could go perfectly fine without any of my old glasses, but for some reason, my right eye (which has worse vision than my left eye) still suffers from some degree of blurriness. Part of this may be resulting from the fact that I just went on a week long camp and did not wear my contacts for the first couple days, so it took some readjusting for my vision to be better in the day.

In the couple of days that I have worn the lenses at night, I’ve had an incident in which the lens slipped down to the white area of my eye while I was trying to pluck it out (I had gotten the lens on the plucker but I then shut my eye for some reason and the lens stayed in my eye). The worse part about that was the fact that my eyes tear up really easily when irritated so I had issues with trying to keep my eye open when all I wanted to do was shut my eye. Most people I know don’t have eyes that tear up as easily as mine so hopefully, trying to get the lens out shouldn’t be that big of an issue. However, just seeing the lens in a different part of the eye can be rather upsetting, and for me, I began to hyperventilate and more tears started streaming from my eye in that process which wasn’t helpful at all. Fortunately, I was able to get the lens out with a little progress and after screaming at myself inwardly to stay calm.

So, what are the pro of wearing the Ortho-K night lenses? The most obvious one would be 20/20 vision during the day without having to wear glasses or day contacts, and that’s why I got them. After having worn glasses for the last five years, I grew tired of always having to push up my glasses (my nose is pretty flat) especially in performance situations where I seemed to notice my glasses slipping the most. In addition, I had heard from friends that wearing these actually helped stabilize vision so that it didn’t get as progressively worse than it would with other vision aids. Whether that is true or not, I really do hope that rumor will be the case for me. Another benefit that I see from getting these is that I’ll finally be able to do eye makeup better since both of my eyes will have the same vision, and for me, trying to do eyeliner on my already different shaped eyes with two varying degrees of vision was extremely annoying.

On the flip side, what are the cons then? For someone like me who has eyes that tear up really easily, these sometimes get annoying for me because I sometimes want to give my eyes a vigorous rub, but I can’t do that without having to remember to be gentle when these lenses are in. Perhaps, that’s a reason why I didn’t want day contacts because I know for sure that I need to rub my eyes in the day. At night, not as much. While wearing, I do feel some discomfort in my eyes, but I think that I’ll get used to it after wearing them for a more extended period of time since I asked my friends who wear night contacts, and they told me that they don’t feel any kind of discomfort.

All in all, I’m very pleased with getting Ortho-K lenses, and I’m excited to see (apologies for the pun) how my vision will fare in the long run!

Adventures with Ortho-K Lenses Day 2

Because I had such a hard time focusing yesterday and because I really wanted to use my computer, I ended up popping the lenses in around 9:40 PM way before I went to bed to avoid the headache that I could feel coming from not being able to focus properly. This time, putting the lenses in was much easier than it was the previous day, and my eyes already felt at least a bit more accustomed to having them inside.

On top of all the discomfort I experienced with my eyes, I also had two of my wisdom teeth removed yesterday afternoon, which made replacing the cotton pads in my mouth torturous. I kept staring at the mirror in attempts to see if the pads were placed correctly, my eyes couldn’t focus properly, blood was leaking out of my half numb mouth… I think those details are enough to give a sense of how badly I felt. Thankfully, I could still eat all right by chewing on the left side of my mouth (my right side wisdom teeth were removed and the left side ones will be removed in a couple weeks) so at least eating not a painful process.

Fast forward to this morning, I actually woke up around three in the morning due to pain around the area where my wisdom teeth had been pulled and sort of tossed and turned until five when I finally decided to get up and watch The Proposal, which I have to say was cringetastic. I’m definitely not watching that movie again. Around seven thirty or so after having finished the movie, I used the little plunger appliance to remove the contacts. Unlike yesterday, it took me one try on each eye to take out the plunger, and there were barely any tears leaking out of my eyes. In addition, when I took out the contacts, my vision was significantly better than my regular no contacts/no glasses vision, and I was happy to find that I could actually focus my eyes on my computer screen today. My eyes had not completely adjusted to the contacts, but with a weaker pair of glasses, my vision felt just right.

Now it’s already late afternoon, and while I feel like my vision may have gotten worse through the day, it hasn’t been anything significant, and I have resumed all of my regular activities now that my eyes are properly functioning, and the extraction sites where the wisdom teeth had been pulled are healing up nicely.

I’m hoping that by tomorrow my eyes will be able to see with the same clarity as they do with the contacts on at night given today’s leap in progress from yesterday, but the doctor told me it usually takes a week to fully adjust, so I’ll have to see about that. Until tomorrow!

Adventures with Ortho-K Lenses- Day 1

Thankfully, I didn't do that

Yesterday, I hopped into the car to go to get my eyes checked out, and two hours later, I got out of the car with a little bag of ortho-k lenses. Ortho-k or orthokeratology lenses are hard lenses worn at night that are supposed to serve as temporary LASIK (laser eye surgery)since the effects of wearing them for eight hours will allow you to go about your day with 20/20 vision. Technically they are not contact lenses because they are not soft and do not need to be worn in the day, but a lot of people including me call them night contacts because that’s what they pretty much do.

This morning, I woke up after having worn my night contacts for nine hours, and I was about to reach over and grab my glasses when I realized that I could see everything pretty well. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the sensation of having the lenses in my eyes as I could still feel them, and I had to fight the urge to vigorously rub my eyes before I got them out. Last night, with mixed excitement and dread, I had managed to pop the contacts into my eyes in around fifteen minutes including the time spent cleaning them with solution beforehand. Today, it took me around forty minutes to get them out, and that process felt terrible to say the least. One thing I should note is the fact that I have never worn any sort of contact lens before so my inexperience most definitely contributed to my clumsiness with getting the lenses in and out (plus, I hate having things near my eyes and always want to blink or just completely shut my eyes if there’s anything close to them). Thankfully, my doctor gave me a little suction appliance to use to get the contacts out since I literally cannot reach in and grab the contacts with my fingers, so after forcing my eye open with one hand, I reached towards my eye with my other hand with the suction, and with a little pop, I was pleasantly rewarded with the sight of a little contact on the tip of the suction.

Unfortunately, right after removing my left contact, I quickly realized that my vision had significantly gotten worse, and I found it difficult to see with my two now unbalanced eyes (my right eye contact was still in). This imbalance made taking out my right eye contact torturous, and that step alone took at least twenty minutes along with a stream of tears in order for me to get my right eye contact. In all honesty, while trying to remove my right contact, there were multiple moments when I freaked out and thought that the contact had maybe moved somewhere else and was not on my pupil anymore. Thankfully, that was not the case.

With both contacts out, I gently washed my face and dabbed at my teary right eye before finding that I could not focus on anything. Frankly, while writing this post here, I can make out what I’m writing, but all the words are blurry. The doctor advised me to use a really old pair of glasses and even gave me another pair of glasses that she thought would fit me in case I did not completely adjust to the night contacts, but as of now, not a single of my five pairs of glasses seem to work on me. A few of them make things a tiny bit clearer, but my vision up close is just as bad. It’s normal to not adjust properly the first day, but I’m not sure if the blurriness up close may be caused by my minor case of astigmatism.

Although my vision sucks right now, I do think it’s significantly better than my regular no glasses vision. I wish that I would be able to see up close so I can stare at my computer screen properly, but I think that my eyes will adjust to these lenses over the course of the next few days since I was told that it takes about a week to reach twenty-twenty vision after taking them off.

Update: Now that it’s 5:42, I feel like my vision has stabilized more as in my vision is getting to be just as good as my original vision without my glasses. Translation- my vision sucks. Fortunately, my focusing is slightly better, but wearing glasses makes focusing even worse for me so I’ve settled to continuing to write and read without them.

Monthly Favorites in Music: September 2014

Having seen many videos of beauty gurus making “monthly favorites,” I thought it would be appropriate for me to make my own monthly favorites post on what I love, music. I have been listening to a number of pieces in these last two weeks, and I have listed my five favorite songs/pieces down below.

5. Concerto No. 3 in D Minor for Piano by Sergei Rachmaninoff

I absolutely cannot get over how beautiful this piece is. From the many things that I have read about it, I can understand how people would rank this to be the hardest concerto for a pianist to be able to play well. Approximately spanning forty-two minutes in length, the piece features dazzling technical runs as well as lyrical sections filled with such raw emotion. The orchestral accompaniment is written just as exquisitely as the piano part is, and it is just so lovely to hear them complementing each other so well. Of the many artists who have performed and recorded the piece, I am currently loving Martha Argerich’s rendition which I have included below.

4. Reminiscences de Don Juan by Franz Liszt

This piece never ceases to “wow” me every time I hear it. Naturally, I have a tendency towards fast, technically challenging, overly extravagant, pieces, and this particular composition by Liszt satisfies all of those inclinations. Over the summer, I took a look at the music score, and I was pretty intimidated by the myriad of tiny notes that filled my vision once I flipped to the first page. In my spare time, I have been trying to learn it, but unfortunately, I am nowhere near the level of this amazing performance by Tiffany Poon:

Every time I hear a performance of this, besides feeling envious over their evident mastery of the piece, I am always filled with amazement and delight at all the twists and turns that this piece has to offer.

3. Sinking Deep by Hillsong Young & Free

Asides from classical music, I love listening to worship songs because their lyrics are always able to positively affect me in some way. Hillsong Young & Free’s Sinking Deep definitely has that kind of an effect on me with its beautifully crafted lyrics. My favorite verse from the song come from the bridge:

Your love so deep, Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek, you are my everything
Jesus Christ, You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry, to know you all my life

This verse is really great in reminding me of where my focus should be and also of the fact that I am being cared for by my ultimate savior, Jesus Christ. In addition to the lyrics, I love the energy in this song with its drum build-ups and repetition of certain verses. I think that WorshipMob does a wonderful job of covering this song and bringing out that kind of energy:

Fast forward to 2:20 if you would like to jump right to the beginning of the song.

2. Wake by Hillsong Young and Free

You will never fade away, Your love is here to stay
By my side, in my life, shining through me everyday.

You wake within me, wake within me.
You’re in my heart forever.

This is a pretty upbeat song that I first heard during a Hillsong United concert last year. I love this song because it has so much positive energy in it, and it always makes me feel more positive whenever I hear it. One of the main reasons why I love worship songs so much in general is because they have a way of sticking to me and offering me encouragement and comfort especially at times when I can’t seem to remember what I read earlier during my devotionals. Plus, Taya Smith flat out rocks.

Here is the official video for Wake released by Hillsong Young & Free:

1. Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong Worship

Taken from Hillsong Worship’s newest album, No Other Name, this song contains lyrics taken from the traditional Amazing Grace except with a different melody. I thought that the twist with the original Amazing Grace lyrics was done exceptionally well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Hillsong lyrics that were written around it as well as the tune that they sang it to. Like the other two Hillsong songs that I listed, the lyrics are so very true and encouraging.

You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your love in me

This song is much more peaceful in comparison to Wake, and even though I usually prefer more upbeat songs, I feel like this particular song has been my overall favorite for the month so far. I have actually made my own cover of this song on the piano, and I have played it for myself a number of times during practice as a refreshing break. Unfortunately, I have not made a recording of myself playing it (otherwise I would post it!) so I have linked the lyric video for Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong Worship below:

Those are my monthly favorites in music for the month of September, and I may come back and change a few things if I feel like I am loving something new later on in the month. I hope that you enjoy a few of these songs as well or got to enjoy them if you had not heard them before!