Dating, Life, Uncategorized

Living with Trauma

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Trigger Warning: For anyone who has been abused verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually please be advised. 

I have struggled with repressed trauma my whole life but hadn’t become conscious of it until a few years ago. Last year in particular it became very present because of the mask mandates which made me have negative reactions. It took me a long time to figure out why when I put on a mask I got anxiety, shortness of breath and a loss of motor skills. When I tried to express this to people a lot of times I was told that I am selfish and just making it up. “Just shut up and put on the mask” they’d say.. “For other peoples health & safety” they claim. There was no compassion for me so I struggled to express myself and understand the root of the problem. After sitting with this for months and realizing that I am not alone, it finally made sense. My mother was an alcoholic with what I can only describe as (undiagnosed) borderline personality disorder. She would never admit she has a problem so seeking a diagnosis or help was never an option. All I knew was that growing up was very confusing. She would be really fun and happy but after a few beers she would get angry, then cry, then yell and sometimes she’d get physically abusive. I never understood how she could flip her script on the drop of a dime. She would tell me things had happened that never happened or say I did something that I never did, which always left me questioning my reality. She believed herself so much that it made me wonder if *I* was crazy? I became hyper observant due to this because I wanted to know the difference between what was real and what was imaginary. One time in particular she had me pinned down and wouldn’t let me leave. While I was under her she called the police to “turn me in” and while on the phone with dispatch she screamed “OUCH SHE’S BITING ME, SHE’S BITING ME!”… In my head I thought what in the hell is she saying that for? I am literally pinned underneath her and can’t get away! When the police arrived they split us up in order to get each story. They asked me why I bit her and I said I didn’t. Then they informed me she had bite marks on her inner arm, close to her armpit. I was shocked to realize she went to the lengths of biting herself in order to try and send me to juvenile hall. I told the cops I didn’t do that, she bit herself and they should test the dental marks to prove it. But they must not have believed her because ultimately they left and I was not arrested.

My mother would lock me in my room about once every week and berate me for hours while I’d sit on the floor trying not to let her words seep into my subconscious. She would tell me how awful of a daughter and person I was. That no man would ever love me and I would always be alone. That I wouldn’t amount to anything. I knew that if I spoke up and responded to her verbal abuse or defended myself it would start the clock back over so I had to sit there and endure her venomous words until she tired herself out. I’m not sure where I went during these hour long episodes but I think part of me repressed the memories in order to survive. All I could do was breathe and imagine that I was somewhere else just to stay sane. This trauma has manifested in a couple ways and has affected my life & relationships. Whenever I feel trapped, whether it’s in a relationship or a confined space or at a job or when I’m unable to speak, I feel like I can’t breath. I get claustrophobic and need to get away. I need a level of freedom to feel safe. I can’t even look at pictures of people in caves because it gives me instant anxiety. With masks I can handle them for a short while because I have to in order to go into a grocery store but after 20 minutes I start to panic and can’t think straight. I will bump into things and lose my whereabouts. I think the shortness of breath is partly psychosomatic and it intensifies the longer I wear them. It also changes my personality as I become angry and upset at my surroundings. Fortunately I work for myself and rarely need to endure them but I have a lot of compassion for anyone who is forced to wear them for long periods of time. I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a decade now. Mainly because I needed to break the cycle and not allow my children to grow up in that toxic environment. It’s unfortunate but necessary for my health. 

My last relationship was about 5 years ago in which I met a man who I fell in love with very quickly. Within the span of one week I was seeing him almost daily and within a month he already asked me to move in with him and asked me to marry him several times. Every time I told him “no” but I did end up getting talked into moving in with him. My living situation wasn’t the best and he had a bigger house with a basement so he sold me on the idea of giving more space to my kids and providing them a better home life. My lease was up so it made sense.. We could split rent and that would save us both money. Against my better judgement I jumped into that relationship with no floaties and before I realized it I was drowning. This man was lots of fun and openly expressed his love for me but after about one month the “honeymoon” phase wore off and his true colors began to show. He was an ex-military Army Ranger diagnosed with 100% PTSD and a 10% traumatic brain injury. Adding alcohol alongside his diagnosis made him turn into an entirely different person. We would be having a great time and out of nowhere he would become verbally abusive. He was very jealous of my past life and he’d stalk my Facebook profile while I was at work then send me screenshots of pictures of me with men and ask who they were, if I slept with them and why I would leave these pictures up? He would later berate me for hours on end and tell me I was a dirty whore, a slut, a hooker and tell me that my life is an embarrassment. He’d tell me that it’s coming from a place of love and that it hurts him to know I slept with other people and that I’m still friends with them. He even got to the point of harassing my ex boyfriends online and making a very public scene by tagging me and a list of partners I previously had been with then threatening to murder them. It was an out of body experience in which case I found myself hovering over my body thinking how did I get here? How do I get out? I genuinely thought I would have to die in order to be free. He wouldn’t allow me to leave unless I calmed him down and told him everything he wanted to hear. Unless I committed more to him. I ended up deleting my Facebook and discontinuing a lot of friendships just to appease him. After all of that he just progressed and got worse over time to the point of breaking my possessions and even becoming physically abusive. All of this transpired in the span of 6 months in which case I couldn’t even see my kids because I was afraid of them witnessing an episode. It was summer time and my kids liked to stay at their dads where they are closer to neighborhood friends so they didn’t notice too much, however when I started going a week without seeing them they knew there was a major problem. I could only see them if I took them out and then dropped them back off. My co-parent was the rock for our family at that time and it took me months to finally admit what was happening to me. I will save the details of this story for another blog but let’s just say it was as if I chose a partner who reminded me of my mother. He was great, until he snapped. In my head I kept thinking he was going to kill me but I knew that I needed to keep my mouth shut & pretend to be in love with him while I found my escape route. I finally broke free when he took a trip to Burning Man and I didn’t have to speak to him for a few weeks. I got my own place and blocked him from every platform so he couldn’t pull me back in. My life was in shambles and I knew that I had major healing to do. He was my ultimate rock bottom. 

Fast forward to this week. I spent years figuring out what happened to me, both in my childhood and my last relationship, reading books, processing my emotions and learning how to love myself. This year I finally feel like I am ready to start dating again. I have been on 8 dates out of my goal of 21 in 2021. Most of them are lackluster and I am very picky so I usually know after the first date if there is potential. There was one man I have been casually seeing for a couple months but he hasn’t put much effort into texting or talking to me between dates. We hung out a couple weekends in a row followed by him only texting me late at night asking what I was doing and if I wanted to hang out. I was always busy or about to go to bed so it took a month for him to realize he had to ask me on a real date in order to see me. We went to dinner and drinks which he paid for followed by going to his house for a movie after. I told him I needed to be home by 10pm to work on music for my gig this weekend. After the movie ended he asked me if I wanted to continue the conversation in his room. I told him “no” and that I need to get home soon. He said he wanted to snuggle for a while first and again I told him “no”. When pressed, I further explained that I didn’t really like that he only texts me late at night and I am not interested in being his potential booty call. I said I was being intentional about dating and looking for something more than just physical. Then I mentioned that he wasn’t the only person I was seeing and I am not trying to be promiscuous. Then he said “Wow, you just want to sleep with a bunch of dudes”… and I responded “Umm… that’s not at all what I said, I said the exact opposite”. He then said “Well you don’t have to sleep with me, lets just go lay down for a bit”. For the 3rd time I said “No. I don’t want to put myself in a situation that could lead somewhere” and he said “Too bad that you’re just the kind of girl who can’t control herself”. I started shaking and instantly got up, grabbed my things and left telling him only that he triggered me and I had to go. I went to my car and started crying but not your standard cry, it was a full blown emotional meltdown including sobbing while hyperventilating. All the trauma from my mother and my ex who both verbally abused me and said awful things like what was just said to me, was right in my face again. It felt like I was back in my room being yelled at and told I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was reliving the abuse as if it was currently happening. After 10 minutes I accidentally honked the horn as my head fell into the steering wheel which snapped me back into reality so I drove home, still sobbing the whole way and struggling to breath. I got home and laid on the floor in the fetal position for another 20 minutes crying until I could finally catch the words to tell myself that I was safe now. I held myself and repeated out loud “You’re ok, you’re ok.. You’re home, you’re safe. You don’t ever have to go back there.. I’ll take care of you, you’re safe”. Even writing this brings the tears back to my eyes. 

I finally got up and tried to reach out to a friend. I just needed a warm & familiar voice to calm me down. It was late but my dear friend answered and she just held space for me while I cried and vented to her. She would take very intentional deep breaths which truly helped center me. When I woke up the next day I realized that I had my first panic attack and began to replay what happened in my mind. I realized that the trauma is still very real regardless of how much work I have done to move past it. It is something that I will have to live with my entire life and need to learn ways to cope. I also realized that what happened with my mother carried over to my choice of partner. There is a book I listened to after that relationship ended called ‘Getting the Love you Want’ that resonated with me. It talks about how we choose partners who remind us of our primary caregivers, both the good & the bad aspects. We do this unconsciously in order to fill the void of not getting the love we always wanted but never received. We think these people who remind us of our caregiver will fill the void. The only way to overcome this is by intentionally learning about our shadows and choosing something different. I came to understand that my traumatic relationship was the Universe offering me the idea of “love” from someone who might be able to fill that void. I also realized that this new man I was dating had many of the same attributes as the last and that the Universe will keep putting you in situations until you learn the lesson.

I am actually grateful that this happened and that I saw the pattern so quickly. I was able to get myself out of a bad situation the moment it happened and no longer need to fill some imaginary void with more toxic relationships. I have learned my lesson and I will never let someone treat me that way again. I have filled my own cup and don’t need a person to make me whole because I am my savior. People treat you how you treat yourself and you only get what you’re willing to put up with. Needless to say I will never speak to that man again and I don’t feel bad for leaving with no explanation. He tried to reach out but I have not responded and don’t plan to. The funniest part is that after I left he seemed so clueless that he actually sent me a text asking if I could Venmo him my portion of dinner. The dinner that he ordered and said was too much for him and wanted to share. I laughed out loud! I thought about sending him a bill for my awesome company as my time is valuable and he wasted it… Or sending him a dollar and telling him to buy himself a clue… but I figured that there is no point in speaking to deaf ears and this would make a really good blog post as it is.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have struggled or are struggling with an abusive relationship please feel free to reach out. I have been there. You are NOT alone. There are resources that can help.

❤ Malia

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt. 2 ~ Getting Clear about what you Want

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I’m new to the dating scene. Typically I would live my life and if a person of interest crossed my path, I would “throw caution to the wind” so to speak. I would go with the flow, ride it out and see how the chips fell. After a handful of unsuccessful and short lived connections, alongside one traumatic relationship, I realized if I truly wanted to find someone of substance, how unrealistic of an approach that was. After my traumatic relationship a few years ago I listened to a Book called “Getting the Love you Want” which really resonated with me. It was written by Harville Henreix Ph.D. and he explores how our childhood plays a role in who we are drawn to in relationships. How we seem to be drawn to people that remind us of our primary caregivers and for those of us who didn’t have positive childhoods this can hinder our ability to select people that are good for us. We tend to seek out someone who reminds us of our parents because it both makes us feel comfort while simultaneously seeking the love we always wanted but never received. 

My mother was beautiful, wild & fun (yet) crazy and volatile. We used to sing and dance while playing dress up as she made me feel magical and told me I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to… Until things got dark for her and she would become verbally abusive and hurtful. My father was gentle, kind and the light of my life. He loved me dearly but left at the age of 8. As a result, I have been drawn to men who are either wildly fun (but often imbalanced) or avoidant/unavailable. I have a mix of codependency alongside abandonment issues. The “normal” ones always seemed so boring to me and I unknowingly craved excitement in order to fill the void of not getting the stable care that I needed as a child. The difference between me and most people however was that I recognized I had a blockage and my desire to overcome my circumstances was far greater than my need for immediate gratification. I have worked extremely hard to understand my traumas along with learning how to overcome them. At this point my self love teeters on the border of narcissism. I say that jokingly but my best friend makes fun of me for it. I think because I didn’t get the love I needed, I had to manufacture it myself and over time I learned how much of a badass biotch I am and how I can’t rely on any man (or person) to give me that love. It resides inside of me and I have to own it! The love I have for my avatar is so strong that now I am ready to share it and I seek a worthy receiver. 

I casually dated a male model a while back and learned that what they say about models might be true… super hot but there isn’t much going on upstairs… he was super sweet but after a few fun months I ended things with no explanation. He later confronted me to ask why I broke things off. He said that it felt like a business transaction and that maybe he wasn’t putting in as much so I cut him off as if he were a business decision. I realized that he was 100% correct and as insensitive as I may have been to his feelings, it wasn’t working for that very reason. I wasn’t willing to be the investor anymore. I wasn’t willing to put all my time & energy into someone or something that wasn’t bringing me a return on my investment. At this point, I am not willing to start something that doesn’t make sense long term. I am not willing to humor deal breakers in hopes the person will “change”. They never do. I am not interested in fixing anyone as I’ve tried that repeatedly only to be left feeling used and drained. No, no.. I am embracing my power and I realize ALL relationships are transactional, whether you recognize this or not. Some people want companionship at all costs and are willing to forfeit their dignity to avoid being alone. Some people want sex, some people want arm candy to make themselves look or feel better, some people want safety or security… NONE of these wants are wrong as every person deserves to be true to themselves and their needs. However being clear with yourself and those you date is imperative for a long lasting and balanced partnership. 

What I want is far deeper. I want true connection. A best friend and a lover. Someone who I can confide in and who will push me to my limits while catching me when I fall. I realize that I am a Queen and I need to own this, like mama taught me. I want my love to find me beautiful, fun & exciting (while) being able to handle my crazy, as we all have it. To be fair, I am pretty reasonable but trauma is trauma and I’ll be the first to admit on occasion it creeps up and I revert back to patterns that are hard to break. For example; if I think someone is going to leave me, I leave first to spare myself the uncertainty. I need my man to give me a minute to catch my breath, realize how ridiculous that is and then be my rock and pull me back in. Again, it’s rare and embarrassing when this happens but I need a strong man to hold space for me when I can’t hold space for myself. After all, as Marilyn so eloquently put it “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. 

Getting clear about what you want is a process but something worth embarking on. Here are a couple lists to start with that you can adjust over time as you grow to know and love yourself:

Write down ALL the things you desire in your partner. Start the sentence with “My partner *IS*… Avoid saying I want him/her to “be”. Don’t use future tense but rather write your list as if they are already here. Example; 

My Partner IS

~Kind to my kids (and all kids). He wants to get to know them and be their friend. 

My partner IS

~Thoughtful: Thinks deeply about things & contemplates life.


~Mindful: Present in his life and considers his impact on others.

~Well articulated: Knows how to speak, write, communicate and express himself.

~Emotionally intelligent: Listens to his heart, knows himself, what he wants and has empathy for others.

~Supportive: Encourages me to pursue my goals & pushes me to be my best self while being able to catch me when I fall. 

~Healthy: Cares about what he puts in & on his body. He likes to workout frequently, be fit and be active – he’ll even try the things I enjoy like yoga or acro yoga and even be silly with my hula hoop once and a while. *Whilst* not being too obsessed with always being healthy…just most of the time… everything in moderation including moderation.  

~Open Minded: We don’t always agree or see things the same but we allow each other the space to explore ideas and ask questions without feeling judged. 

~Fond of travel & exploring new places

~Financially stable: Has the means to do that ^ He has his own career that he enjoys that offers him a lifestyle that we can share weight equally without stress. 

~Attractive: He has good hygiene but knows how to be a man and not be afraid of pheromones. He has some sense of fashion and knows the difference between dressing up, down, business casual and costumery.. He is conscious of fashion but doesn’t really care what other people think of his appearance. 

~Unapologetically himself: He doesn’t let society, social norms or pressure change him. 

~Funny, fun loving and overall a great time to be around! He likes to let loose sometimes and be a free spirit. He loves to laugh and joke around, be silly and spontaneous. He makes trips to the grocery store worth writing home about ❤ 

~Well equipped – if you know what I’m sayin’…. But to be clear, my man has a very nice girthy penis. Not too long, not too short, but just right. 

~Sensual: He is great in bed, an amazing kisser and appreciates the power of touch and giving extra attention to my body.

~Affectionate: Not afraid of public displays of affection & showing me he loves my body.





~In love with ME. Not his made up version of me, not the surface me, not just my body and not what I have to offer but he is genuinely and passionately in love with ALL of me. 

Next, write down what YOU have to offer. Don’t be shy! We all have our strengths and we need to own them! Here are some things I have to offer to the lucky man who catches my heart:

~I am optimistic and cheerful and have the ability to brighten a room and lift people’s spirits. 

~I have a great sense of humor and make people laugh with spontaneous jokes and just being silly or pointing out how silly we are as humans. I can break the ice easily and make people smile.  

~I am patient and kind. I am stoic in times of trouble. I am the voice of reason in difficult or emotional situations and can usually find middle ground or help bring calm & peace to the situation. 

~I am understanding and forgiving.

~I am a good cook & homemaker who enjoys taking care of the people I love.

~I can hold an intellectual conversation and discuss worldly & deep topics.

~I am creative and can transform anything into a work of art. 

~I am well articulated and can hold my own within a variety of dynamics.

~I am smart, hard working and capable of anything I put my mind to. 

~I am hawt with a cute butt and womanly curves, soft skin and nice hair that will make any man melt. 

~Also, I am charming 😉 

So what is it that YOU want and have to offer?

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Part 1: Laying the Foundation

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I have been mostly single since my divorce in 2010, minus a couple short lived exceptions. I never wanted to introduce my children to a bunch of men when they were young and then have it not work out so I kept most of my (almost non existent) dating life separate from my family life. My last relationship was 4 years ago and it scared me away from trying again due to the volatility of that situation. After only 6 months of dating that man, I had to take a huge step back to evaluate what happened to me and why I attracted that type of person. I listened to several audiobooks about psychology, love and how our past traumas and childhood plays a big role in the type of person you are attracted to. I learned about attachment styles, the male brain (&) the female brain among many other personal development topics. I came to understand that relationship as my rock bottom and I knew that if I was going to find the right person worth committing to and ever put myself in another vulnerable situation then I needed to do the work and make sure I was prepared. After many years of growth and discovering who I really am at my core and what I want out of a partner, I finally feel the urge & confidence to seek him. This year I’ve felt compelled to cast my net as far & wide to see what fish are out there. The saying goes that “what you seek is seeking you” and I feel a tugging in my heart. I plan to go on many dates and assume I will need to kiss a lot of frogs to find my King. Yes, I said “King” and not “Prince” because I know that I am not a Princess and what I need is a strong man to meet me in my Queendom. 

I decided to put more effort into online dating and have built up 3 profiles on different dating sites to see which one works best for me and also because I know that in order to find my man I need to take steps towards him. Maybe I’ll meet him in real life but at least this is my signal to the Universe that I am open. I set up a profile on Meet Mindful as it seems to be more geared towards people who want to live mindfully, health conscious and spiritual lives. However I’ve not had much luck interacting with people on that platform. Possibly because these people are also trying to be present in their lives and thus don’t spend a lot of time in the virtual world. It’s also hard to tell whether we have the same views on important topics that could be deal breakers. The site allows you to program your match preferences for things like height, age, religion, diet, education and a few other categories however there is no way of telling whether you’d agree or disagree on fundamental issues.

I also set up an account on OK Cupid. The site allows you to answer many questions on a variety of topics like political views, current events, likes and dislikes along with allowing you to rate the importance of that topic. You are matched based on how many things you agree on and whether those things are more or less important to you in a relationship. I made sure to answer a LOT of questions to really be clear about who I am and what is important to me. You also have the ability to select criteria like age, heigh & location similar to Meet Mindful. To avoid wasting time reading a bunch of dead end profiles, I have worked out a process for scrubbing potential matches; First I will only humor men who are a 90% match or above. If they pass the initial “cute/hot/attractive” test based on their profile pictures, then I will go one step further and click on the match percentile link to review the things we *disagree* on to make sure there aren’t any firm deal breakers. One thing I often run into that is a deal breaker for me is someone who is sold on the mask/lockdown/vaccine approach to Covid. Not to diminish the pandemic but I am very clear that I want a person who values building their immune system & personal responsibility over pharmaceutical drugs and government mandates. I also shy away from men who don’t like children or animals because I don’t know how any reasonable person doesn’t like them! If I get the impression that they are immature or full time partiers that will also deter me. I have spent enough time in the party scene to know that is NOT the person I am looking for. Finally, I can’t handle the “Woke” culture so anyone who is overly liberal and convinced that America is a racist, awful country is not workable as I love my country and am honored to be here. I have come to realize that despite being socially liberal (classic liberal) I am fiscally conservative and I believe in God, Spirituality and the individual over the Government, tribalism and bureaucratic science. I am NOT a Communist nor Socialist but I do care about volunteering, sustainability and locally managed social programs that help our communities. I certainly don’t fall into any political box and I am seeking someone who is a bit more open to alternative ideas. 

The last dating site that I created a profile on is eHarmony. They seem to focus more attention on the compatibility levels between people and use psychology to get to the root of what builds a successful and long term relationship. They ask questions more aligned to how you are within a partnership, your love languages, personality traits, attachment & relationship styles. What I gather from this site is that it’s good for people who are seeking a long term & committed relationship or marriage and family building. The only downside is that you have to put a lot of skin in the game. In order to even see a potential matches profile & pictures you have to be a paid member and it’s rather expensive. For example, Meet Mindful was $50 for 3 months of membership. OK Cupid was $30 for the first month and $60 every month after (or you can do an annual subscription that has some savings). eHarmony is more based on the length of commitment as it requires a minimum of 6 months at $42 per month (or $250 for 6 months and $350 for a year). For now I decided to start with the cheaper short term commitment sites to see how I like them and will consider eHarmony later. 

OK Cupid seems to be working for me the most. I’ve only been on the site for 2 weeks but so far have made a handful of connections and have had 3 in person meet ups. The first man I met is a 96% match and we get along great! He is a lot of fun to be around and we seem to agree on so many things and the conversation flows very well. I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him at first but mostly because he asked me to meet him at a local dive bar and the setting was not exactly my cup of tea. During dinner we got to know each other more and found a lot of commonalities so he became more attractive to me. We have hung out twice now and both times were a blast! He met my friends and fits in well with them which is important to me. The only possible Red Flag is that he’s slightly younger than me and I tend to be mature for my age. I am looking for a man who is very emotionally intelligent and is fully established in his life. This isn’t a deal breaker and so far I enjoy his company enough to see how things play out. He also lied on his profile about being a smoker and that has always been a hard “no” for me, although I have dated men who vape and smoke on occasion. It’s not something I will be able to tolerate long term as it makes me sick to be around. When I asked him why he lied he said because A) He is trying to quit and wants to be around good influences who don’t smoke and B) Most women won’t even give him the time of day if he admits this. I do understand addiction is hard and to be fair, I didn’t disclose the fact that I have children. Not to “hide” that part of myself but I also don’t know that I want to attract other parents with young children. I am not closed off to the idea and I actually adore children… It’s more that I have taken care of people my whole life and I am at a point where as my responsibilities with my kids lessen and they get older, I have a strong desire to travel and be free for a little while. I’m not exactly looking to build another family or raise more kids..However I’m not opposed and always saw myself having a girl, even if she wasn’t mine. I feel like this is something to reveal in person with some added context. I also don’t want any man to think I need a father figure as my kids already have a dad. I want my man to be kind to my kids and get to know them while not trying to be their father figure. 

My second date was with a guy who upon meeting clearly lied about his height… and not just a little, a whole 4 inches! We met in a park to play with his dog and he proceeded to tell me all the things wrong with him and said multiple times that he is boring and his life is basically all about his dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but if the only thing you do everyday is walk your dog and then go home to your apartment I can tell you right now that I would suffocate in that dynamic. He also smelled potent like he wasn’t even trying to impress me and had gone on a hike with his dog earlier that day. There was zero attraction or chemistry so I kindly told him I was cold and he walked me to my car. Word to those meeting a date for the first time; maybe try to tell your date the interesting things about yourself first and not bore them(?). Also if there is no time to shower, try deodorant!

The 3rd date was interesting because I found myself thinking about the date I had the night before with the 1st guy and how much fun we’ve had the last 2 dates… I wondered if this 3rd guy would be as much of a bore as the 2nd and was almost dreading the meet up. Upon first sight all I thought (and said) was “Ohh, you’re handsome!”. He was dressed casual with a button up top and jeans but smelled nice and had a warm smile. He hugged me and I could feel he was very strong. He also came to pick me up and got out of the car to come to my door which I liked. He has a nice (and clean) car. He paid for my drinks without even allowing me to try and he was quite the gentleman. For the record chivalry is NOT dead! The conversation started slow at first but as we got more comfortable I realized he is very thoughtful and deep. He asks a lot of great questions and wants to know who I am at my core. We talked about our past relationships, careers, childhoods and more. I felt that he was much more mature than my younger date and has established his life & career to a point that I feel he could add balance & stability to my life. He basically hits everything on my list and the physical connection is equally as strong as the mental one, if not more so. The only possible Red Flag is whether he will understand my artist lifestyle as he is in functional medicine and seems to be very healthy. I like to be 95% on point with my goals, career and healthy lifestyle however every couple weeks or so I like to let loose, stay up late and party! I wonder if he will fit into that dynamic or if he’ll be the partner that stays home while I go out. He seems to be open to new things and asked me a lot about Burning Man along with letting me take him to a local college bar and gay bar just to try something new… So I feel good about it and truthfully have had a smile on my face since our date. At this time I know that I can’t settle too fast and need to continue to meet more people and let things develop naturally. I will say however that he is not shy to tell me how much he likes me and it’s refreshing to meet a man I can connect with on multiple levels, who is not afraid of expressing feelings and who is actually available. I’ve heard there are a few other dating sites worth looking into, which I will. I am in no hurry and nothing good ever came easy 😉 For now I am single and just enjoying my freedom!


DIY Hair with Malia

Almost everywhere I go, someone compliments my hair and asks if I do it myself… The answer is YES! However I wasn’t always this good at it. In fact when I was in 7th grade and we didn’t have YouTube, I decided I wanted to be blonde and used Clorox bleach to pull the color… little did I know that would turn my hair green under the fluorescent lights at school. Needless to say I wasn’t very popular back then and got teased a lot. Over the years I learned more about how to properly color my hair by sticking to the packets they sold in grocery stores and keeping it simple with more natural colors like Dark red/violets and sometimes black. I worked at a bank for 8 years during my 20’s and they told us we could only have “natural” looking hair, so the week that I quit I decided that I was going to try all the colors in the rainbow!! 

One big factor of why I left the financial industry (along with realizing how corrupt the industry was) is that I never felt like I could be myself. Halfway through my career I went to Burning Man and began hosting community events on the weekends. I was always jealous of people with bright colorful locks and fun vibrant clothes but I was stuck feeling like a blue collar banker during the week and had to limit my creative personality. When I left the bank I decided that I would never again work at any place that wouldn’t allow me to have freedom of expression. While I was searching for a new career that would allow me such luxuries, I realized I needed to manifest what I wanted and the best way to manifest anything is to show the Universe that you are serious by taking the steps towards what you want. The Law of Attraction and all that. I moved all of my banker clothes into another closet and only kept my costumes, yoga gear and the clothing in my closet that made me feel like *myself*. I vowed to never submit to the default world setting… When I met my new clients who I have now been with for 8 years, the one thing I expressed in our interview was that they needed to be ok with my (at the time) blue hair. They said yes and since then I have tried many hair colors, styles and cuts over the years. 

I started with Pink because my brother wanted to try pink hair for a festival so we ventured as a team. Pink faded quickly and my dark roots stood out against the light color so I decided next to try red. Red would bleed on all my clothes, sheets, shower and even on my face so I later switched to Blue. I kept blue for a while as it was vibrant and the color held up longer than the others. After a while however it would fade to a greenish color and the roots would turn a brownish/orange which was just wrong. I began doing  two tones and experimenting with Purple roots & blue ends. That was a brilliant combo and I began to call it “Blurple”.

After about a year of experimenting, I decided I wanted to try going silver. It always looked so cool on other people! Unfortunately for me being of Hispanic descent, this required more bleaching than normal to lift all the previous colors and the remaining pigment of my naturally dark hair. After 2 sessions my hair turned into tinsel! It was so thin and crunchy that the color didn’t stay shiny for very long and after one wash it faded to a dull grey. The ends of my hair were fried from all the bleach which left me no choice but to cut off my locks and start over. I started with cutting it shorter.. Then I shaved my neck and started working on designs for the shaved portion. My hair grows rather fast so keeping it looking nice required a lot of maintenance but I got really good at cutting designs into my head like zig zags, waves and lightning bolts… Maybe this was my way of being cool like Vanilla Ice back in the day…

Eventually I kept shaving more and more and ended up with a fauxhawk. I was never brave enough to try the Demi Moore GI Jane cut and go all the way bald but I got pretty close. I tried a vibrant green color for a while but then realized that green made my face look very pale. Back to Blurple it is! It took me 5 years to grow back my hair to a point where I could actually put it in a ponytail. I am sure this process could have gone faster if I was only willing to push through the awkward phase of shaggy ears and neck… But I wanted to grow it back in style so that required me to maintain the undercut while attempting to grow the top layer that could later be long enough to cover up the shag. Then Covid happened and I decided what better time than during quarantine to endure the awkward phase?! All events were cancelled and not very many people had to see me plus everyone who did see me was also wearing pajamas and had crazy hair days so I fit right in! It took one full year with no cuts to get my long Mermaid Hair back! 

Here is a video of my DIY Hair day & previous colors & styles:

I have been doing this for decades so I don’t follow all the guidelines you see in a professional salon. For example they use foil for the roots but I find it much more simple to just do layer after layer. This can burn your skin if you get too close to the scalp and leave the bleach on too long so beware: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I use Ion powder lightener and 40 Developer which is best to lift color as opposed to depositing it. After turning my hair into tinsel from over bleaching, I only bleach my roots once every couple months and DO NOT bleach the ends. This way my hair stays soft and doesn’t break due to over exposure of chemicals. After one session my roots are strawberry blonde but a deep purple will usually cover this up pretty well. Sometimes I run out of one color and will have to improvise with another tone but typically I stick with purple variations so the tones match well. This time I used Neon Purple for the top & roots and Purple for the under layers. My favorite hair color is Argan Oil from a local Sally’s Beauty Shop because it doesn’t require more chemicals to be added to the base and it leaves my hair super shiny! It is also a thinner formula so it’s easy to spread throughout my thick hair. In the past I have used Ion Semi permanent hair color but the formula is very thick and requires more packets as my hair gets longer. Some of their formulas also require a developer additive which is a chemical base so I try to avoid that.

I always leave the color in for a full hour so the color sticks. Then I wash it out and avoid washing a second time for a few days. One trick I’ve learned over the years is not using shampoo because it washes out the color too fast. I live in Colorado where the air is dry so I’ve noticed soap filled shampoo also dries out my scalp and causes flaking so there is another reason to avoid it. My favorite conditioner is Herbal Essences with Rose Hips. I started using that when I was a teenager because I loved the smell and it leaves my hair silky smooth. Over the years I tried several other products but have never found anything quite as good with a smell that I like. I have been loyal to this product now for over 20 years. 

I do not color hair for other people but I’ve tried and learned that it’s one thing to be good at doing your own hair but entirely different how other peoples hair types will react to what I know.  After all, I am no professional! The best I have gotten for nailing someone else’s hair was my son Josh who has similar thickness to my hair and who allows me to experiment on him.

Please leave me comments on what your favorite “flavor” is and if you found this blog helpful! Also like & subscribe to my page for future DIY days and other fun adventures!


How Audiobooks changed my Life

Podcast Episode 4:

I fell into a slump this year. Before Covid I worked very hard to structure my life in a way that I enjoyed every part of my day. I spent years building routines that made me love my life… but the lockdowns took that all away. Or at least that is the excuse I used. A couple weeks ago I woke up and said this is shit. What the hell am I doing with my life and why am I letting this get the best of me? I realized I needed to get back to the drawing board and recreate new routines. After all “People don’t rise to the occasion, they sink to the level of their training” – Archilochus

I wasn’t much of a reader growing up. I found it boring and considered myself to have a reading “disorder” of sorts. If I tried to sit down and read, I would fall asleep within 20 minutes. Or it would be hard to stay engaged and I’d end up re-reading the same paragraph over and over because I couldn’t focus long enough to retain the information. However I work with my hands all day and happen to have a lot of listening time. What I have noticed about myself is that I need to be both mentally and physically stimulated or I get bored and antsy. When I was learning to DJ I would spend my days scouting music by listening to Spotify or other artist mixes on Soundcloud and then I would Shazam a track when I liked it. Later I would re-listen and if I found it worthy of playing, I would buy the track and make my own mixes. Being able to record and re-listen during the day helped me develop my taste and skills. However when I discovered audiobooks, I became equally as obsessed. 

It actually happened slowly at first. I was dating a man who was emotionally challenging. He drained me of my energy and I didn’t have much headspace to entertain new information. I was overwhelmed. But this man did introduce me to audio format and for that I am grateful. The first audiobook I downloaded was called the 30 Day Sobriety Solution. You see this man had his traumas and when we drank together it would cause massive fights between us. I loved him and wanted to do whatever I could to fix our problems but I knew one of his biggest triggers was alcohol. Things got really bad and I told him I needed him to get sober and that I would do the same. We committed to the 30 Days of Sobriety and to listen to the book together. Sadly, I learned the hard way that he didn’t take things as seriously as I did and after 28 days we broke up. It was messy and painful and not something I will get into at this time but I suffice to say that was my rock bottom. My life was a mess and I was lost. I was depressed and had gained more weight than I like to admit. I moved out of his house and into my own space to get away from him but needed a minute to breath. So I let myself fall apart for a moment. I let myself drink for 2 weeks as I tried to collect my thoughts and figure out how to proceed. After 2 weeks of being a total mess something snapped and I decided that I was NOT going to let this man destroy me. I decided that I was going to take this experience and use it as fuel to better myself. 

I started seeking answers.. I wanted to understand what happened to me. I started with books on psychology and “self help”. I wanted to understand why I attracted someone like him and how I let things get so bad. I knew there were other people out there who have gone through the same thing and I was desperate to get out of it. I took all the time I spent on music and transferred it into education. After healing my heart I realized that there was so much more I wanted to learn and there are so many people who have written books about the things I want to learn. I wanted to learn how to eat better, I wanted to learn how to build my business & how to structure my days for success. I wanted to learn about my psychology and human psychology in general. I wanted to be inspired and learn how other people have become successful so I listened to biographies of successful people and how they did it. I digested a month’s worth of listening time in under 2 years and it transformed every aspect of my life.

I spent the last 8 months making excuses for myself and blaming Covid, my Governor, the system and blah blah blah… It finally occurred to me that I was the one standing in my own way and that in order to be the person I want to be, I need to take responsibility.  I decided to re-listen to the books that had an impact on my life to refresh my memory. Since my kiddos aren’t in school right now I have been letting myself sleep in and that is the first thing I decided to change. I am re-listening to a book called The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs’. This book helped me become a morning person in the past and I wanted to do that again. I am so much happier and productive when I have a morning routine. There are other Miracle Mornings for various lifestyles but they all have the same basic principals. Whether you’re a parent, a business owner or a couple there are things you can do to set yourself up for a good day. Being only halfway through this book I am rediscovering what I love about mornings. Having time to be silent before the craziness of the world and taking time to meditate makes a huge difference. Basic hygiene and taking my supplements and making my tea preps me for the energy I need throughout the day to be at optimal performance. Getting a short jog in before work and having time with my kiddos before I leave jump starts my day! Implementing a morning ritual or routine makes a world of difference throughout the entire day. 

Here are a handful of other books I have listened to and how they made an impact on me: 

The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferris is one of the main books I can attribute for helping me be more efficient. Learning tricks like how to “batch” my work so I spend less time on emails, paying bills and running errands. Learning how tweak little parts of my day here and there and add more time by cutting out the bulls**. Tim has a way of putting things into perspective and it has a lasting effect. He also taught me how important it is to track your progress. Take notes on what is working and why. Ask yourself thought provoking questions. Write down your daily plans, diet, exercises and journal the ideas you have. Being able to critically asses your thoughts can build habits that stick.

Tim Ferris

‘Own the Day Own your Life” by Aubrey Marcus is another book that helped me structure my day. The idea is once you get a routine in place that sets you up for success, then you don’t have to focus on how to reach your goals, you just need to focus on one day at a time. If you can win the day, you have won your life. Things become habitual after a while and you no longer have to think about it. 

‘A Man’s Search for Meaning’ was one of the most inspiring reads that I think about often. It was written by a psychologist & neurologist named Viktor Frankle chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. 

‘The Third Door’ was also an inspirational read and quite the adventure! Written by an 18 year old college Student named Alex Banayan who was supposed to study for a test but instead decided to go on the “Price is Right” gameshow in hopes that he could win enough money to support his desire to write a book (this book). Not knowing anything about the game show, he figured out a way to break through the barrier and actually ended up winning a sailboat! He then sold the boat and used the money to find a way to meet with successful people starting small but ending up interviewing people like Lady Gaga, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Larry King, Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Tim Ferriss, Quincy Jones, and many more. Along his adventures and interviewing these very successful people he realized; “Life, business & success… it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where ninety-nine percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always… the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, climb over the dumpster, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen—there’s always a way in.” – Alex Banayan

I had always wanted to try Ayahuasca based on the profound things I heard from those who have tried it but was nervous based on the stories I had heard of bad experiences and purging so I downloaded a couple books that prepared me for my journey with plant medicine.  ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ (Also known as the Bardo Thodol). This Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death and rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place. ‘DMT the Spirit Molecule’ includes a book by Rick Strassman and a documentary for your watching pleasure. Human consciousness is one of the grand mysteries of our time. How do you know that you are “you”? DMT: The Conscious Molecule goes a step further and asks, ‘is the universe conscious?’.  Finally, ‘The Psychedelic Experience’ is a book about using psychedelic drugs that was coauthored by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert. The original text started as early as 1962. All three authors had taken part in research investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin and mescaline in addition to the ability of these substances to sometimes induce religious and mystical states of consciousness. I highly recommend these 3 reads for anyone interested in taking a psychedelic journey. I truly believe that plant medicine can change this world however not everyone is mentally or physically prepared for the toll it takes on your body and your psyche. I personally had the most amazing, profound experience because I took the time to learn what to expect and I respected the medicine by following my deita.

A couple years ago I took my car into the shop because it was stalling. The mechanic told me my engine was bad and that I needed to replace it. He quoted me $6000 and told me I had no other choice. I agreed to the work and halfway thought he called me to inform me that my turbo was also bad and that I needed to get that fixed for another $3000. After all the work was complete and I paid the bill I was shocked to have my car stall on me the next day. I took it to a different mechanic who discovered the issue was a fuse (a mere $400 fix) and that I never needed to replace my engine or turbo. So I downloaded a book called Getting to “Yes” and I crammed it over the weekend. On Monday I reached out to the mechanic who misdiagnosed my car and by applying what I learned in the book I was able to get him to reimburse me the labor costs in full! Knowing what I know now has made me much better at negotiating and getting what I want. I have applied this to asking for a raise and asking for what I want from a friend or partner. If there is anything you want to learn, there is probably a book about it. In the age of information remaining ignorant is a *choice*.


Finally, I want to mention a couple books that I find to be relevant in today’s current climate. ‘The Lucifer Effect’ was written in 2007 including professor Philip Zimbardo’s first detailed, written account of the events surrounding the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment — a prison simulation study which had to be discontinued after only six days due to several distressing outcomes and mental breaks of the participants. Understanding How Good People Turn Evil is a fundamental part of understanding human nature and what *most* people do when faced with novel power. Most recently I listened to‘1984’ after hearing so many people make references to the book. If you haven’t read this book now is a fitting time due to the level of censorship we are seeing from “big brother”. A dystopian social science fiction novel way ahead of it’s time  – Written in 1949 – I feel that it’s a warning to us all to beware of the “powers that be” and if we do not uphold our basic rights like freedom of speech and freedom of the press we could end up giving all our power away to a controlling and tyrannical system. If you have read it but not in a while I would highly recommend a refresher.