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Swinger Sunday: Just your everyday semi-crisis.

An amazing Swinger Sunday post by someone I love dearly. I just can't tell ya who! Fun right!? Totally. Either way, leave her some lovin :)
Just your everyday semi-crisis.
By: Anonymoussss.

Holy moly, thank you to the outrageously awesome Amber for having a Swinger Sunday and for letting me treat it as a place to do a little decompressing to a group of readers that I think are just the bomb.

So its springtime…. And I am 26. And unmarried. And getting ready to finish graduate school. And kidless. And business-owning. And big-dream-having. And, well, unsatisfied, semi-unhappy, and totally freaking out about it.  

For me, springtime always brings this sense of compelling change, a freshening and excitement for things to come.

But not this year. This year its bringing me nothing but daily anxiety attacks.

Age 26 might not seem ancient to you, but it sure seems like it to me. Well, its more that I just think that its too old to not have anything figured out in your life, not have anything solid and stable and something you can rely on to be good and true and unchanging.

For starters, I am in graduate school and own a business.  I worry every day that I am succeeding at neither and really messing up both.  I get medium good grades due to the fact that I can hardly pay attention to class, due to the fact that while I am in class all day long, I also have to be dealing with a ton of things for the business. My business’s growth is 100% dependant on, and often slowed down by, my ability/inability to focus on it, due to my school obligations.  So, therefore, every single day of my life I am freaking out about being behind on this, forgetting that, and just not be able to do the things that both typical business owners and typical students do correctly and on time. It makes me just feel like a failure all day every day. Always apologizing to someone for effing SOMETHING up.

Also, I am in a 3.5 year long (and currently long distance) relationship. It used to be great. But, unfortunately, seeing him once in the last six months and having our conversations only magnify the characteristics of him that I really have major issues with and am not sure I can get over has been really difficult for me and for my happiness level with the relationship.  I am also very social with a lot of friends and that has given me occasion to meet other guys. Ones that are fun, kind, funny, (really sexy/hot,) and think I am the bees knees. Turning down men (that I would typically be falling at the feet of) because I am in a relationship that is only questionably healthy at this point SUCKS. And its giving me a ton of anxiety. Because I am a super crazy and fun and goofy human and want to be having fun at all times. So why am I shutting out these guys that I have a lot of fun with and that could be the perfect person for me? It sucks and I feel like I am in a lose lose situation.  

Now that I am back in the state of Ohio, I also have occasion to see my parents more often lately. They struggle to say ANYTHING positive to me or about me. No, really, I am 100% serious. They put me down, mitigate my achievements, and scream at me for minor things. Now, it’s taken me all of my 26 years on this earth to be able to type this in such a matter of fact nature. This used to kill me before I realized that it wasn’t a matter of me perpetually messing up and sucking, but more of their own suckiness. It feels good to be an adult and know that as I grow and make decisions about friends and life, that I will be able to include or exclude that part of my life as much as I see fit. Its an enormous weight off my shoulders actually. They really beat me down sometimes.

I am also moving back to California in May to complete my final internship before I graduate. I am excited to get back there, but feel so incredibly sad to be leaving a ground op friends that I have had for 20 years and that I have REALLY loved reconnecting with while I was spending a year back in my hometown (as I finish school.) I was able to be there when their babies were born and see them for a casual beer or coffee whenever we were free. Being around loved ones is a priceless feeling and is truly the most important thing in the world to me. So the thought of leaving really guts me.

This then brings me to my general lifestyle panic. In the past 4 years, I have been a bridesmaid in 10 weddings. I am now Auntie to the 8 babies that have already been born from these wonderful relationships. My friends own homes and have stable jobs and wonderful, loving, cozy, and inspiring lives.

And the fact that I have none of these things is reallllllyyy starting to get to me. Is my hyperactivity and moving across the country and around the world every 6 months to do new things and build orphanages and try to save the world now sabotaging my ability to chill out and enjoy the only things that ACTUALLY and truly make life worthwhile? I feel like the answer is yes and I don’t know how to fix it.

And now, here we are in springtime, I have all of this change and uncertainty in front of me, and I can’t help but just panic every minute. And it all compounds onto each other. The needing-to-settle down anxiety increases the love life anxiety which increases the work/school anxiety when I then realize that is my only shot at doing something correctly at the current and then I remember that I am doing quite the opposite. So, that is just the play-by-play of my daily freakout, which takes place over deep breathing with my head in my hands at my desk.

So each day I do this. And each day I tell myself that it will all work out and that I should just keep calm, keep my chin up, and spend the day like I would any other day, with a positive and happy outlook on my life and the people in it and a determination to be a good person and make the world a better place.

But my springtime daily freakouts are just… DRAINING. And I am totally trying to work on getting rid of them.

Do you all have any tricks for any of this? Or calming down about it at all?

Thank you for your ears. I really can’t tell you how much it means to me able to just VENT and unload sometimes. (:

Overwhelmed in Ohio.

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Swinger Sunday - Sometimes being GREEN sucks!

I was so excited to be asked to guest blog for Amber! Well, until I had to think about what to write, that is. RockerByeBaby is all cool and edgy and Amber has cool and edgy friends that do cool things.
I’m just a treehugging law school geek! I have no kids and nothing fun to write about!
But then I just asked myself “What is something you wanted to blog about but can’t on your blog?” And then it hit me: I wanted to write about why being ethical and green really sucks sometimes. So, what follows is the bitter rantings of a pretty square business owner. (: Sort of punky and rockery right?
So--- sometimes being ethical and green all the time sucks!
I own a business that really hangs its hat on being the greenest brand out there. We source organic US-grown cotton to make garments made in the US that are then dyed naturally and printed with waterbased inks. I, personally, have collaborated on some technology that makes our garments easily the most eco-friendly out there. We have our garments sewn by co-ops owned by refugees that are supporting their large families on their work with us. We never cut a single corner on greenness or social responsibility.
Yes, this all sounds great and I sleep easier at night and I love looking people in the eye when I truthfully tell them our supply chain and all that.
BUT what these standards do to my stress levels SUCKS. And sometimes I just want to VENT about it
Jodie, our designer, is a genius. She makes cool stuff. And so she sends me a design I love and I am like “YES!” and then send it to our printer and we can’t get the colors right because of the ec-friendly inks we use. So that is scrapped. Or Jodie and I will want to create a certain product but the co-op that does our work doesn’t have the machinery to handle it. So its scrapped, too. And we want to dye shirts but crunched up bugs and plants can only dye so many colors. So lots of color ideas are scrapped.
Our costs are super high because we are 100% USA made. We donate way over 30% of our profits. We basically donate whatever we have in our bank account. I do this because I feel obligated. I have a business that has a bank account, so I should be helping these people. We grow so so slowly because our margin is small and that margin goes to other people. I’ve never taken a cent from the business personally.
So we go to trade shows and these brands that put the “Organic” sticker on their booth have one garment made from like “organic bamboo” (which is very rare and therefore likely isn’t even organic and bamboo is like... as ecofriendly and polyester, oh, but I digress) and they are dyed in a shade of blue I know uses heavy metals and they are printed with white (which ALWAYS is done using plastic or a toxic wax) and they are acting like they are saving the planet. And I ask where they are made and they smile and say “China  and India of course!” THEN because they have the organic stockers and are super cute and have low prices buyers flock to them. And THEN most buyers look at our pieces, that due to legitimate eco- and socio-constraints are more plain and expensive and the buyers think “Pfft.... no way.”
That SUCKS, right?
So on the weekends, as I chat with friends that are also in the kids industry, I realize how different our lifestyles are. They make blankets and clothing abroad for about $4 each, and wholesale for $40 and retail for $80. They are making draws from their business of over 100k a year and are very well dressed and groomed. They spend their day chatting and designing and paying a large staff and getting massages and going to expensive lunches. I spend my day in dirty jeans with a 8 year old t-shirt getting calls from our sewers that all their kids have the flu and they won’t be in all week and our stuff will be a few weeks late. And then calling retailers to explain. And dealing with sales smaller than similar brands due to our high pricepoint. And dealing with our school in Haiti that has barebones structural support and cash reserves to continue due to the additional people being fed by the rice and beans it stocks. And stressing about the slow progress of our new website because we have no money in our bank account (see previous sentence.) And stressing about how we will pay for our Fall catolog to be printed if I need to send our school in El Salvador a check. And figuring out how to pay Jodie her weight in gold (her worth, basically.) And digging out cans and bottles from public garbage cans to take home and recycle because, well, why did someone throw them in there in the first place?
Being green and ethical SUCKS! It makes me work my ass off all day long just to keep the business moving and grooving and for what? So some kids in Haiti can go to school? So some kids in Texas won’t have to drink water with pesticides? Oh. Uh. Actually, YES.  So I calm down and buckle down and keep doing it.
But sometimes I just need to VENT! So thank you for listening.

Hi guys - its me... i know I mention pretty much, well, all the time... how much i love Kyle... she always amazes me... and this right here... this post is exactly why i wanted to start the Swinger Sunday... a chance for people to vent... spill it all here... get it all off their chest... Kyle asked me if this was too "bitchy" haha... I read it, and said nope, not bitchy at all... thats Kyle. Always working her ass off... Never getting a break... and I now see... not even taking any profits for her hard work. Giving SO much more than she gets... This girl deserves a medal. She is easily the most self-less person i know... every time I think im having a bad day, kyle and I rant on gmail... we usually have a 10 minute "bitch" fest where we freak out about what ridicules thing is going on in the stores... take a deep breath, and move on... But every time, i leave feeling better having had talked to her. Kyle, your amazing. I love you girlie!
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Bad business? haha

There are a million diyers out there who i adore... put out great product... and are all around great people. But there are few that I really admire... Kyle @ Barley & Birch is one of those people... she runs such an amazing business that is changing the world one eco-baby at time... and she is damn good at it. Now, there are probably a million ways that Kyle is a better business person than I am... but this is the biggest reason that I have seen so far... emails... She always gives me crap about how OCD she is about her email, and how my inbox is a complete cluster, lol cuz it is... so I am letting down my guard and showing you just how bad it is...
Kyles pretty inbox... clean, organized... functional...
 (click to zoom to see the real deal...)And now mine...   (click to zoom & see the chaos) thousands of emails... even more archived... and hundreds just sitting waiting to be filtered... ugh... how I am able to answer all of the important ones is beyond me... Kyle... HELP!
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