You guys, I love me some crises.
It’s a personality flaw, I know.
And I’m working on that.
Having crises is not the best way to live. If you ask me to name any year, I can tell you what the Big Question was during that time.
Would I ever be able to survive the fact that my parents had just moved me to a place where there was NO SNOW?
As an eighth grader, I found there was nothing more poetic and profound than four REAL seasons, and unfortunately for my high-maintenance, fragile little soul my parents had just melted that parade by moving us from Boston to South Georgia.
Would I EVER kiss a boy?! Was I going to be the LAST of my friends?? *gasp*
Spoiler alert: yes, to the first question. I was fifteen and a half and felt like I may as well have been eighty-seven, but it did eventually happen.
And as far as the second question goes, I think poor [Name redacted] claimed dead last and I was second to last. Or perhaps it was periods that I was second to last? I don’t remember. I’m going to talk more about periods in a few though. Also, I wonder what *problems* I have now that I won’t remember in 12 years.
Should I join a sorority? Am I truly a sorority girl at heart?
Oh Lord. After exactly 57,863 hours of soul searching, I decided no. Then after meeting a number of really cool sorority girls my Freshman year, I decided definitely.
Fast-forward a year. After the initial confidence boost of landing a “top tier” house, I decided sorority girls were mean and terrifying and gave me anxiety. After a particularly nasty occurrence, I quit in a self righteous rage (as I’ve talked about before, I had such a “victim” mindset when I was younger), THEN missed the 92% of the girls who weren’t actually mean and terrifying so I rejoined, and then semi-quit (got “early alumna” status) going into my particularly busy Senior semester.
Holy guacamole. Indecisive/dramatic much, Maya?!
DOES MY SUMMER FLING WANT TO BE MY BOYFRIEND OR NOT BECAUSE I REALLY DON’T FEEL LIKE HAVING MY HEART STOMPED ON BY SOMEONE I’VE HAD A CRUSH ON FOREVER AND REALLY LIKE, OKAY?! When is he going to ask me to be his girlfriend? WHEN?! We’ve been talking for two and a half weeks; I feel like this needs to be official!!!
Verdict: He liked me as more than a summer fling. “He” was Stephen.
Ugh is Stephen going to propose soon? I know like three engaged people and I’m twenty-two so basically this needs to happen RIGHT NOW. The term “boyfriend” makes me feel like I’m in middle school. We’re so much more serious than that. I don’t feel like a girlfriend! I feel like a wife! Have I mentioned I love diamonds?!? HURRY UP STEPHEN.
(Poor Stephen. He’s dealt with so much crazy over the years. But he likes it… right babe? 😉 Just this morning I referenced a funny video about women’s cycles and why we’re emotional during the PMS point, and he cheerfully replied, “You’re emotional all the time. But that’s what makes you so intriguing and so difficult.” He said both words as if they were compliments and I about died laughing.)
Anyway, there have manymanymany crises.
I’ve had plenty when it comes to my absolute dream career of modeling, too. The income is unpredictable, and it can be hard that it directly correlates with how you look, most specifically your weight. I mean, yes, most women want to stay fit. But say you’re a lawyer and you’ve gained 5 pounds and then you win a huge case. Saw you’re a high school teacher who’s gone up a dress size, but one of the troubled students you’ve been mentoring gets into college and even gets an unexpected scholarship. Say you’re a doctor and you’re struggling with some adult acne, but you just saved the life of a 42-year-old man and his wife is crying thanking you, grasping the hand of their young son.
Okay these are getting dramatic.
Drama Queen Maya strikes again.
But I actually learned about this phenomenon in my Women’s Psych class at FSU. Basically there have been studies that showed career moms are more emotionally stable than stay-at-home moms because there are more avenues for joy and fulfillment. If a stay-at-home mom is in a fight with her husband and her kid is on the verge of getting “held back” from third grade, she might feel like her world is crumbling. Whereas if the same is true for a working mom, but she’s distracted by emails and meetings–or even better, just slayed a business deal!– her week isn’t going to be as rotten. Plus she might have her stay-at-home husband to deal with the situation or she might have an au pair to help calm things down (visit Cultural Care Au Pair if you want to learn more or become one). There are simply more factors influencing her happiness.
(There is a part of me that wants to delve into the “happiness comes from within” lecture right now…. I will spare you, though. Mostly because I’m currently so bad at that, that I wouldn’t even be able to take myself seriously. Happiness = booking a great modeling job. Happiness = a hot date night. Happiness = when my makeup turns out perfectly. I’m not quite Eckhart Tolle yet.)
Granted, one could argue those studies show a somewhat one-sided evaluation of things. I’m sure plenty of stay-at-home moms are happy with the arrangement, partially because they don’t have the added stressors of work on top of the already very heavy workload of being a mom/cleaning lady/chef/chauffeur/schedule-keeper/barista/interior decorator/moral support provider/etc. Plus if you have 2 or 3 kids these days, you’d have to have a pretty high paying job to even make it financially “worth it” after subtracting daycare costs.
Ideally, I don’t want to be a purely working or stay-at-home mom. I’d love to continue to model part time as a mom. If we stay in St. Pete, that would be pretty plausible for me too. Bealls, HSN, and all the Orlando resort/cruise clients need 30- and 40-something year old models just as much or more than they need us young thangs. In fact, I can’t even refer to myself as a “young thang” at 26… at least not in Model Years.
EDIT added on June 12, 2017 : You guys… I know I said this was a free write but 2.5 weeks later and this is killing me: The stay-at-home mom example wasn’t originally meant for me to go on a tangent evaluating the one-sidedness of the study and whether or not I’d want to be a stay at home mom. I actually wanted to talk about the “having more than one thing going on” aspect. The reason I thought about the study in the first place is because models can relate to that study. In the same way that a SAHM’s job and family is one and the same, a model’s job and looks are one and the same. So, unlike the hypothetical lawyer/teacher/doctor, we can’t have adult acne AND have a career triumph like when the physician saved a patient’s life. Like the stay at home mom, our Life Eggs are in one basket. (There is of course, a positive side to that too. Because in a way, we’re also being paid to stay fit and attractive–things that most women want to do anyway. A friend once said, “I’d love if my skin and gym routine were technically part of my job,” and I totally get that too.)
ANYWAY, as a writer, I just can’t stand that I didn’t explain the main point of me mentioning the study. Even though I got some really positive feedback on this article (thank you!! <3) it was killing me. So yeah... here I am on a rainy Monday night sneaking in this little explanation. Okay everything after this is free write content from May 27 again! 🙂
Anyway, now that I’ve gotten off on sixty-three tangents, *eyeroll emoji* let’s chat!
Life crisis for Spring 2017:
Should I stay on the birth control pill?
I finished Accutane about three weeks ago, and I plan to stay on birth control at least another month because I’d want to know that–worst case scenario–even if I got pregnant RIGHT after getting off the pill, I could keep the baby. (For those who are new to the blog and don’t know that getting pregnant on Accutane causes horrendous birth defects: getting pregnant on Accutane causes horrendous birth defects. It’s basically a mandatory abortion.)
I don’t think there’s any real danger of unplanned pregnancy though. First of all, we’d be utilizing other methods of not getting pregnant. Second of all, I just don’t think I’d be the most fertile of women right out of the BC gate. I mean, I’ve been on the pill for over a decade now. That throws your body out of whack for sure.
I know, I know. Everyone’s thinking of the one or two women they know who conceived the month after “pulling the goalie.” I know a couple of them myself. But I feel like they’re the exception rather than the rule.
It’s like in college where one of your girlfriends is trying to convince you that they guy she slept with on the first night is going to call her and want to take her to an expensive dinner and be her boyfriend because “So’n’so and her boyfriend of two years actually met at the bar and slept together on the first night and now they’re living happily ever after” and you’re trying to nod along and be positive but in your mind you’re like, “Oh honnnnneeyyyy, so’n’so and her BF are definitely the EXCEPTION not the RULE. The guy from last night is probably never going to call you because at the end of the day men are hunters and want a challenge,” but you can’t say that outloud because it’d make you sound like you’re un-feminist and from the 1950’s and a bitch to boot.
But yeah. I’m pretty sure immediate pregnancy after getting of long-term pill use = EXCEPTION.
I don’t have any medical evidence to back that up. Feel free to correct me if you’re a medical professional and I’m wrong. I’m actually curious to know more…
Even aside from the 11 years of on-off (but 92% ON) birth control, I don’t think I’d be a prime candidate for immediate accidental pregnancy because I’m on the thinner end of things AND have struggled with some less that healthy times with food. When I went off the pill summer of 2015, I didn’t get my period again until I went back on it 14 months later.
Yes, 14 months without a period.
I like to throw in that little fun fact because sometime I still get insecure about my decision to “just” model in FL instead of going back to high fashion. (Yes, that was a decision, btw. I haven’t talked about it on the blog, but I had the opportunity to lose weight and go back to NYC and said I’d prefer to stay in St Pete.)
People thought my life was really chic when I was in New York and Milan and in a way, I fed off of that. Sometimes I still miss the external validation and perceptions of glamour. And those are the times I sometimes need to tell someone, “I was so skinny I didn’t get my period for over a year” and watch their eyes widen in shock.
I know. It’s a little embarrassing that I am sometimes still act on that childish combination of insecurity and need for attention. That I secretly crave the shock just a little bit.
But sometimes I still want the external validation. The shock over the days I ran 8 miles, did PureBarre, and only ate 700 calories. The nods and “Oh my gosh, I’d miss my husband so much if work took me away for months at a time. I would want to work in Tampa/Orlando too!” The FB likes on my Florida modeling pictures. My family and close friends affirming me.
Living for myself rather than what others think has been an ongoing struggle for me; I think it is for a lot of people. But I think affirmation will always feel good.
I should stop with the 14 months of no period anecdote though. I don’t want to ever seem even halfway ungrateful for my time in the high fashion world, a time that fulfilled lifelong dreams, took me to new cities, connected me with the most amazing people, and–sorry to resort to cliches but I’ve gotta say it– made me the woman I am today. I wouldn’t trade that for all the periods in the world!! 😉
Not to mention that it made my Florida modeling career (which so far has been absolutely AMAZING and feels extremely “best of both worlds” and “have your cake and eat it too”!!!) possible. Or at least jumpstarted it in a HUGE way.
Okay, but you get the point about not being concerned about getting pregnant before I want to.
- I’m thin.
- I’ve struggled with eating disorders a little.
- And I’ve been on the pill for 11 years.
My bigger concern that I try not to think about is actually getting pregnant when I do want to.
So here’s the current crisis: (Oh, you mean we’re just now getting to the real crisis a half hour later? Hey now, you know I’m long-winded! I’m just letting this be a bit of a free write…)
The real crisis is Skin Vs. Weight.
Despite having done Accutane, part of me is terrified the acne will come back. I hate that I’m terrified. But I am.
I got totally off track earlier when I started talking about career and looks being separate topics for most people, when I talked about the attorney and schoolteacher and physician.
I realize all these hypothetical women want to look good. I’m not trying to dismiss the body or skin (or hair or nose or eyebrow insecurities or anything else) of non-models. I had plenty of things about my looks that I struggled with and/or wanted to change long before they had anything to do with my job. Things that made me feel Earth-shatteringly insecure. Things that hurt. Things that bummed me out. I would hate to sound like I’m making some kind of high-horse point about my model skin being more important than non-models’ skin.
BUT the fact remains is that acne impacts my life more than it does most other people’s. It has the power to hinder my income. It has the power to slow my career. It has an influence over when Stephen and I will be able to buy a house and start trying for those aforementioned babies. Acne genuinely scares me. Scares the shit out of me.
Right now my skin looks fantastic. Thank you God. Thank you modern medicine. Thank you Stephen for paying for my Accutane and letting me take a year off work. Thank you body for tolerating the drug without major side effects. Thank you friends for letting me mention my Accutane with the frequency of a little old lady talking about her health problems.
But would the fantastic-ness of my skin change if I stopped taking the pill? Would it be Summer 2015 all over again?
Right now I have no way of knowing the natural state of my skin. Did the Accutane bring it from a D- to an A+? Or did it just bring it to a B and good old Trinessa is what’s boosting the total?
Also, if birth control is part of what’s keeping me clear, do I want to know? I could bury my head in the sand and just stay on the pill with perfect skin until Stephen and I are a little closer to actually wanting kids.
But then what happens if I break out again when I hypothetically get off the pill in a year or two? I’d have acne right around the same time I’m embarking on a huge life journey. Trying to get pregnant, and then being pregnant, and then actually having a baby -> toddler -> kid around is going to be stressful. Wonderful (!!!!) but also stressful. Do I really want Acne Round 3 to plague me right before/during all that? Wouldn’t it be best to know now if the acne is actually gone for good? Burying your head in the sand is almost never a good idea.
Then there’s the weight factor.
Florida has way more easygoing body standards, which I love. But being on birth control definitely cripples my body maintenance. Like I said in the My Skin Struggles post, I gained TWENTY POUNDS when I first got on the pill. And I lost weight when I got off it two summers ago. This was in part due to my unhealthy habit of replacing most of my daily calories with black coffee and a pinch of nicotine…. but also because I was off the pill.
Birth control has just always made me hungrier, and made fat stick to my butt and thighs.
Like I said in Part 2, I’m well-aware than there are plenty of women who are on the traditional, hormonal birth control pill and able to maintain a slim figure. In fact, most people would probably say I’m one of them. My agents even said the other day that I’m “the perfect size” and to “keep doing what I’m doing”.
But I work HARD, both in good ways and bad ways. The good side is that I work out a lot and eat healthily for the most part, but the bad side is that I think about food and fitness for far more hours of the day than I should. It’s not mentally or emotionally healthy.
I know part of that needs to be cured in my brain and heart, but I can’t help thinking things would be a little (or even a lot!) easier if I weren’t on the pill.
Here are two good analogies:
Say you have a class where the highest grade you can get is a 93. “That’s not fair!” you say to the professor.
“Don’t worry, if you make perfect grades on all your assignments, AND do the extra credit, you can still make a 100,” he replies.
Say you have a job where you make $25 an hour and work 40 hours per week. Your boss decides to drop your pay to $20 even though you’re doing great. “That’s not fair!” you say to your boss.
“Don’t worry, you can work 50 hours a week and make the exact same amount!” she says.
That’s how I feel about BC.
I can work my ass off, but a little extra fat will still stick to it. I’ll be a little hungrier. And that kind of sucks.
Sure, I could do my extra credit and work more hours, but those are hours and thoughts and emotions that could be spent on other things.
And I’m hoping I start having LESS time in my days because my bookings increase. Right now I’m still establishing myself here in in this market. But as time goes on and I prove myself, I hope I’m busier.
I want to be able to skip a day or two at the gym and be okay. I want to be able to be full after my big, healthy dinner without needing an 11pm bowl of oatmeal because I’m scared I’ll night eat (talked a tiny bit about that in this post) if I go to bed with my stomach growling. I don’t think my stomach will growl a couple hours after a big, healthy dinner if I’m off the pill.
It’s not that I can’t maintain my weight on the pill. Because I can. But who would want to make $20 per hour and work 50 hours if they had the option of working 40 at $25?
Here’s another thing: I don’t gain weight evenly– ESPECIALLY not on the pill. I have always been bottom-heavy, and for the most part I’m okay with that. I’d rather have thighs and booty than gain weight in my arms or stomach, but it’s a bit excessive. If I stopped going to the gym and ate a bunch more, my lower half would probably hit size 14 around the same point my upper half was getting up to a size 6. I’m not planning on doing that, but I’m trying to make a point about how naturally bottom-heavy I am.
Seriously, it’s THAT lopsided. One of my problems in NYC was that when my hips were high fashion model sized, my upper body was so skeletal it scared the clients. But if I gained a bit of weight, my butt and thighs were “too big.”
That was in part my fault. I say “fault” loosely because I’m not trying to blame myself, but I was never athletic growing up. I had zero arm muscles. Zero.
I got proactive and finally started working out my arms, but it’s been a process. And now that I’m back on the pill, I’m hindering my muscle growth by about 40%.
Not that I want to get beefy, but getting beefy doesn’t happen by accident. Trust me when I say buff women WANT to be buff, and they have worked their butts off for it. I just want to be somewhat more evenly proportioned. I want my underbutt patch to go from small to nonexistent and the extra bit of “fluff” to melt off my hips. I want to keep the same perfect-for-the-FL-market measurements but feel a little more toned and confident in a bikini.
The point I’m making is that while part of me is like, “Hey, Florida body standards are so friendly! Your weight is fine! Your agency said so! Life is great! Chill the f*ck out for once in your high-strung life, Maya!” I still feel that being on the pill is still cheating myself a little bit.
If I got off BC, I would still work hard and still eat right overall, but it would perhaps facilitate my relationship with my body and food and fitness becoming less obsessive. It would make instances of that “I could eat 17 Nutella sandwiches, wash it down with a bottle and a half of Shiraz and still go for a post-dinner tub of fro-yo” hunger less frequent, maybe even stop them entirely. In German you call it “heisshunger” which literally translated means “hot-hunger.” I think almost everyone has had the feeling at least once or twice.
We should come up with an English word! “Ravenousness” isn’t quite as linguistically satisfying as HEISSHUNGER, you know?
I could get off the pill in a month and just see what happens.
Part of the reason my acne got so bad two years ago is because it took me a long time to even realize WHY it was flaring up. This time, that obviously wouldn’t be the case.
But then what? Do I get back on BC? Talk about messing with the reproductive system over which I am oh-so-protective.
Of course, part of my motivation for wanting to get off the pill is my reproductive and heart health.
I’m still convinced it’s easier to conceive a baby if you’ve had a “buffer zone” of being off the pill– especially if you’ve been on it as long as I have. I’ve heard stories of other women who were on BC for a decade having an out-of-whack period for a year after getting off it. I may get all dramatic about my 14 months of no period sometimes, but maybe that would have happened even if I had been a normal weight at the time. Who knows. I doubt my low weight helped the situation, but still.
Anyway so that’s my crisis.
This was long and so tangent-y but at this point I regard my blog more as a journal than anything. So I might just publish it as my first total free write. I know I’ve certainly had some “Dear Diary” posts, but I polished and edited those (and deleted loads of tangents, believe it or not lol.)
I think I’m going to do that!
Congratulations!!! You just read the first free write in the history of Maya UnMarketed!
Okay time to go… I’m kind of nervous about publishing my first free write. Usually I like to edit things 37 times and worry if anything could offend anyone. (For example, part of me is worried that referencing the study about career moms being happier than stay-at-home moms could offend the latter. But I hope it doesn’t because if someone told me “Maya, modeling is out of the picture, and you have the choice to be a stay-at-home mom or work a 9-5 job,” I’d probably pick SAHM. Probably. Maybe. I hope I can continue to model and never have to decide.)
And I would never want to offend any of my fashion industry friends by my blunt talks about eating disorders or other hardships that can come with the territory. Honestly, I made some poor choices. I continued to lose weight even when my agency told me to stop losing. I went rogue and got a little obsessive and unhealthy. I can own up to that.
And maybe the sorority stuff was harsh, too. Although I was just as hard on myself as I was on the girls I said were “mean and terrifying and gave me anxiety,” right? And then I clarified that was only like 8% of the girls.
But at the end of the day, I’m also a bit paranoid. I don’t want that to hinder my honest voice. There is also a good chance I didn’t offend anyone! In fact, if you are a stay-at-home mom, in the fashion industry, or a former/current sorority girl and you weren’t offended by anything I said, please leave a wink emoji in the comments or on my FB share!! 😉
I feel like I’ve lived a lot of my life in fear and worry. I was able to shake some of that during 2015, the simultaneously hardest and best year of my life, and I need to get back to shaking it back off a little more.
Plus this blog has just turned into a complete hobby rather than a “this will hopefully be a business one day” so it also doesn’t really make sense for me to triple quadruple octuple edit and have anxiety on a Friday night.
HusBAE who didn’t stomp on my heart and did propose to me is playing video games beside me and one of my best friends’ bridal shower tea party and drag show bach bash are tomorrow. I’m SO excited!!!
At the end of the day, life is just so good.
I hope yours is too! Happy MDW and thank you to the brave men and women who’ve allowed me the freedom to have silly life crises about kissing boys and acne and birth control.