“Tone it Down”

For some reason, this bothered me so much.

For context, let’s talk about what the phrase “tone it down” means. Normally people use this phrase when you are too loud, or too emotional.

In either situations, the phrase “tone it down” is never truly helpful to anyone. Whether you are in a public space or a private space, someone that has a heightened emotional reaction, won’t be listening to “tone it down”.

Now, let’s be reasonable. If you are in a life threatening situation and your hiding, you should probably be quiet, but this is not the case.

Whether the person is validated in feeling the emotion or not, telling them to shut down because they are reacting too emotional not only creates a barrier between you and them, but shows a lot about the person saying “tone it down.”

When you are focused on how loud someone is, whether they are crying or angry, and you’re focused on their reaction and what people will think of the reaction, or if the reaction is making other people stare and, or be uncomfortable, you don’t care. You either:

  1. Care about all the stranger’s opinions that you don’t know and will never interact with in your life.
  2. Care about people that are okay, rather than the person who is actually in pain.
  3. Care about yourself and your self image and how other people see you.
  4. Feel entitled that an emotional reaction means a weak, uncontrolled person.
  5. Are focused on the external factors rather than using your words to help reassure someone to feel the calmness that you are trying to get them to feel.
  6. Are not focused on the actual issue.

When someone is feeling an emotion that needs to be vented out or communicated out, and they are too loud, at that point, you have not been listening, or that person has not been heard. So automatically their natural instinct is to speak louder. If you want to be a safe place for that person, then know that they will tone it down when they have felt heard. If you are in a private space and they are venting loudly, you should identify that volume as the level of pain and grief that someone experiences.

Telling them to “tone it down”, immediately makes the assumption that they are in a superior position to tell you what to do, that you are not a safe space because you don’t care about the issue and the pain, you care more about the environment that you are in and the people in it. Or you feel that the expression of emotion is something to be embarrassed about or it’s an uncontrollable, unattractive reaction.

but it’s not.

Yes, there is a time and place for everything, but there are so many things you can say other than tone it down. If you want to de-escalate an emotion, then you need to show them that you are listening, that you want to listen. And if it is not the time and place, you let them know that you are so sorry about what is happening, and would love to be there for them and ask if there is a time that you both can talk about it.

Not only does that person feel heard, their emotions de-escalate, they feel safe. No buts, no comments saying that this is an “inappropriate place to speak loudly”. Just purely, you wanting to listen, but wanting to find a place that we can safely talk.

So rather than telling someone to “tone it down”, LISTEN. Listen to what that person has to say, feel the emotion and the pain that came from the volume of their voice. Be that person they can feel safe with. And if there needs to be a better place, let them know you want to be there for them, and talk about when you can meet them in a safe place.

There is nothing wrong with your emotion. There’s nothing wrong with being an expressive person. Pick people wisely.

What does “Look for Joy in the Small Things” Mean?

For the longest time, this statement seemed like a useless tactic. Look for joy in the small things. So you’re telling me to ignore the very issue that is creating a whole shift in perspective around me? Nothing is normal around me, and you expect me to just, look at the flower and think, yeah, because that pretty flower exists, I am probably gonna be okay.

It just seemed pointless to me. I felt like, people who say this, must have not had it really badly if they can just say, look for joy in the small things. But that, in fact, is not the case.

What does it mean to “Look for Joy in the Small Things”?

It means that we need to understand that life has its seasons. When you have storms, you are going to have struggles, and they will come and go, but they will come and go on their own time, not yours.

You will be in the midst of that storm and you will feel that storm.

Photo by – – on Unsplash

Now, I don’t want to say all this to make you lose all hope entirely. I say it to validate what you are going through. It is not easy. If it is not easy to you, it is not easy. That is all that matters. So don’t entirely dismiss that. Don’t dismiss it, don’t compare it, don’t undermine it. It is what it is, and it is what you are experiencing.

It is difficult. Nothing that is new will be easy the first time. Especially when you have to do it alone.

When you ride a bike for the first time, you wont be a speedster. When you draw your first picture, you wont be Picasso, when you play your first instrument, you wont be Mozart at it.

When you deal with a negative experience for the first time, you won’t know the best way to react and deal with it. So it is okay that you are not okay, even if it may seem easy to someone else. This is your moment to figure it out and go through the initial hard moments.

Photo by Melanie Stander on Unsplash

So first, be forgiving on yourself. It isn’t easy and it won’t be easy for a while to deal with these emotionally draining situations.

Second, don’t think about the big picture. Don’t think about how to solve the overall problem. This may cause anxiety over the long run of what may happen in the future. Stop it. Don’t think about that. Just think about the next best choice you can make for now. The next best choice, the next right step you can think of in your current state.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Third, this will be a trudging time for you. It may be hard to keep your head up. The end of the tunnel may feel too far. But just find joy in the small things. A laugh with your friends, a beautiful flower that you have never seen before, your dog curling up next to you on a quiet Sunday morning, support of people you love, or maybe a hobby that gives you joy. It can be any of these. But taking time to appreciate the small things that make you happy is like a little less weight on your shoulders.

And I want to make this very clear. I am in no way saying that you need to be grateful for the little things, or you need to be more positive, or you are missing out whats good around you because your so focused on your problems. That would be toxic positivity. Just trying to control your behavior rather than actually getting at the root of the problem and fixing it from the ground up.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

You are allowed to feel sad in the situations you feel sad in. You are allowed to feel like you are struggling, and you are allowed to validate your struggle. But when it gets too heavy, remembering the joy in small things helps you make it to the end of that tunnel. These small “pick me ups” are exactly that. They are ways to pick you back up and give you some small strength to keep going for an unknown amount of time.

Because remember, it is a season. Time will keep going with or without you. People around you will talk with or without you. Life will be unpredictable with or without you. But you can take it step by step, and just like long winding stairs, or a long race, the end of it has to come one way or another, and the season will pass. Your job is to keep those legs moving and do what it takes to keep walking.

You got this.

Check out my podcast “Mentally Okay” or Anchor and Spotify!

How I Furnished My Dream Apartment for $510

As an Asian American woman that had parents come from Korea and started their lives from the ground up as adults, we did not value interior design. We would collect furniture off the street, or get the cheapest things purely for function. As long as we had something to put our clothing in, and a place to sleep and study, it really did not matter what it looked like. That being said, I have grown up believing that decorations were a waste of money, and as long as your furniture works, that is all you need.

Because of that, I have never put value in putting time and effort into your environment.

To give a preface about me, I tend to need obsessions time to time, and my obsessions change. I tried to change this about me, but I have learned that this is just the way I am. So I have decided to manage my obsessions in a way that is not damaging financially, wasteful to the environment, or damaging to myself in any way. Hence, furniture shopping seemed to be the safest obsession. Sounds expensive, right? That is where our creativity comes in.

Decorating your apartment to fit how your mind functions, really helps your environment at home (so get to know yourself). I love color. I used to love the beige and white aesthetic, but it was too dull for me. I needed mental stimulation. Some people love the clean beige, white aesthetic, and that gives them their satisfaction. Let me emphasize that everyone is different. For me, the colors give me happiness and safety for some reason. When I switched up my environment, it went from being a storage place where I just sleep and do things, into a safe place that gives me peace and joy.

I am telling you, there is power in interior decorating.

Furnishing your apartment the way that you like will always be a long term game. Whether you are buying everything new, or getting it already used. Every single piece that you buy is going to be a hunt. Which comes to my first point: to furnish your dream apartment, you will need patience.

1. Patience

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

No matter what, you need to be patient with all your finds. Do not settle. You may feel like you want the perfect aesthetic place asap, but if you want to save money, this has to be a long term game. It is a search. You paying full price, is you paying for time. So pick your battles.

2. Places to Shop

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Stop going to furniture stores and seeing their sales. If you want the nice things for a discounted price, you need to go to thrift stores, facebook marketplace, Mercari, and yard sales.

Thrift Stores: There are stores that sell furniture at discounted prices. These wont be as modern and new, but you can paint over it with a 6 dollar paint can from home depot.

Facebook Marketplace: You need to go on Facebook Marketplace as if it is a social media platform. There are rich people who have clean and new stuff that just want to get their stuff out of their house ASAP. Those go out fast. You need to make a list of what you need, and watch it religiously. You can find some really decent things for cheap prices, but you need to move fast.

Mercari: Very similar to Facebook Marketplace

Yard Sales: These can be really great or really bad, so you gotta just find your charming treasure pieces from yard sales. It doesn’t hurt to check it out!

3. DIY Projects

If you have a couch that is sold cheap because of a stain, go for it and invest in the furniture stain cleaner.

I have this one. It is definitely a little expensive, but in the long run, is way cheaper than buying a brand new piece of furniture. But make sure the furniture you are getting isn’t so bad that its going to waste a lot of your time cleaning it.

Paint your furniture! You don’t like the color? Get some wall paint and gloss, or get some acrylic paint to spice up your furniture. Many wooden pieces are free, and you can just paint over it and save so much money instead of paying over a hundred dollars for a furniture piece.

4. Cheap Decor

You guys are underestimating Five Below. The amount of solid decor from Five Below that is new, is surprising. I paid $20 dollars for each of my couch pillows (paid a total of $120), and then I found perfectly good pillows from five below (cute and aesthetic) and could have gotten a ten dollar bag of cotton and just shoved some more cotton in it to reach my pillow standards!

My Experience

With all of these tips, I got a

  1. L-Couch for $80
  2. Brand New Ottoman for $30
  3. Modern Blue Dining Chairs for $125
  4. Brand New King Size Mattress for FREE
  5. Wooden Dining Table (That I repainted) for FREE (Paint and supplies is +$15)
  6. Bought a NEW Bed Frame for $100
  7. Dresser for $20
  8. Big Floor Length Mirror for $20 (Acrylic Paint for $1)
  9. NEW Couch Pillows for $120

Which comes to a total of $510. Which is less than the price of the couch in it of itself. It just takes patience and work, but your wallet will thank you in the future, and your mental health will also thank you in the future.

Let me know how your furniture scavenger hunt goes!

Back to Blogging (3 Month Hiatus)

I am back to blogging!

So those of you who may remember me, I am a lifestyle blogger that aspires to help many people, and I wanted to make this blog my whole life. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay the bills, and I was discouraged from the success of this blog because I was focused on surviving, rather than making this blog a creative space that will be able to help others.

After a three month hiatus, I got a job (operations manager – for right now I have just been content creating a website for a startup company, which has been amazing because the only real experience I have in that area is building this blog and website), My mental health has increased and I have learned to manage myself rather than change myself (another blog to come) and I learned a lot about what is important in creating a safe and happy space for your mental health.

That being said, my website is finally up, new and improved with a different look, and I am no longer scared of color! Yes, I know that sounds weird. I am no longer obsessing over niche but sharing overall advice that I have learned over time, and I can do it freely because I am financially supporting myself at the same time.

If you are seeing this post and you’re like, who is this random person, I don’t know when I followed them. I ask that you give me another chance, because I have so much to share, and if you need encouragement and guidance, this blog is made for you. I know my blog is called the feminine pages, but if you are a guy. These can be applicable to you too!

This is Liz Masu, Season 2.

Growth isn’t aesthetic

I have always been told to do my best, be my best, and when you hear everyone’s growth stories, you see people rise out of the ashes to become some beautiful strong swan from the trenches of darkness.

That’s what it looks like.

But you miss all of the in between stuff. All the behind the scene stuff.

I have grown so much and I have had so many people change their minds about me and admire the growth that I pushed myself through in such a short period of time.

To them, it seems inspiring,

To me, it was a dark dark constant messy loud battle that I sometimes concede to, but end up getting back up and trying again.

I’m fighting thoughts in my mind, I’m talking to myself the whole time. You learn to recognize all your failures, insecurities, and weaknesses. Usually people can see them more than you can. And you face each one of them head on.

And you fail. You will. Don’t ask me how I know. You just will. And you will again. But you get back up, screaming in your own head louder to drown out your thoughts.

You keep going even though you don’t believe the change in decision is actually going to do anything.

You keep going and keep making the decision to take every next step no matter how much you think it wouldn’t work. No matter what anyone says about you. Because people don’t understand the steps your taking.

Because people only think life is one step. Before and after. So they don’t see the turmoil that you go through to get to point A to point B.

So they will see it. They will see you make decisions, and make conclusions, and change your mind, and make new conclusions and new hypothesis about life, until you see yourself as the person you always imagined yourself to be.

And even when you get there. Your still gonna fight battles. It’ll look strong to other people because they aren’t doing the work. They aren’t the one making the hard decisions to stand up again.

The strength is to keep going even though your mind feels like it’s hopeless.

When you reach the beautiful point you have always wanted to be. That strong person, it doesn’t mean you are never afraid anymore. Yeah, you may be able to endure a lot. But you are still fighting a difficult fight. Your just able to last through the turmoil and the storm and make it out the other side when it finally passes. It doesn’t mean the storm is any less strong.

Just know, being a beautiful strong person in the end can be great, but not always a free easy feeling you thought it was going to be. Expect that you will always have to get back up again, and last through the end. It’s being able to emotionally self regulate. It is to find hope even though it feels there is none. It’s to recognize that life is just a series of stories. That’s what makes you strong.

See yourself through. Just last through this story. Until you get to see and experience the next one. You don’t have to like this story, but you can use it to define who you really are in times of trouble.

It’s not easy for anyone. No matter how it looks.

Their Processing is Not Your Problem

I used to be very insecure about what people thought about me. What other people may have heard about me, what other people judged me for and what they shared with other people about their judgements of me.

Preface

I have almost lost a good group of friends because of rumors and assumptions about me that were not true. Which has made me paranoid of every conversation behind my back.

I did not know I was undoing a previous assumption about myself until I have pushed past my social anxiety to chat with some people, and I frequently got the response of “You are not like what I heard you were like”. Quite honestly, I have gotten that quite a few times in my lifetime, and it is a bit frustrating because as I am battling with social anxiety, someone else is free to share all of their assumptions about me to anyone they want.

Thoughts

So, for the longest time, I would constantly think about what people think about every action that I made and it was exhausting to me. I would hate living in my own brain.

Until I came to a point where I told myself, The way they decide to process and understand information is not my problem.

They are capable of making their own conclusions. And trying to control the way everyone decides to process and believe things is exhausting. You have to manage your own mind, but you are trying to manage everyone else’s.

If someone decides to assume something about you and proceed spread information about you, they are that kind of person and will proceed to think that way until they are ready to change. They will do it to you and will do it to others, and people will know it.

If someone easily believes everything they hear, they have a lot more than your rumor to deal with learning. If they easily share that rumor, they have a lot more than just their opinion of you to deal with.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, people are people, and they have their own lives and their own issues that they tend to reflect upon others when they cannot deal with and need to heal with it themselves.

Not to say that to put it in their face, but to say that to understand that it is not a fight worth fighting.

The way you should ease your mind is that you should keep holding true to your actions because you are only responsible for your own actions. The people who want to understand you, will take the time to understand you and will see who you are. The people who just want to fulfill a selfish need, won’t, and that is a problem far beyond you.

Keep being kind to others, keep being the best version of you, and your actions will be louder than someone else’s words.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

If you feel inferior

I have felt inferior my entire life. I believed that I wasn’t good enough to be friends with anyone. That I was just an inconvenience in someone’s life. I believed that everyone was doing me a favor by just giving me a job, or speaking to me because they felt bad for me.

Where I got this from? I am not 100% sure but I can get an inkling.

If you are someone who struggles with being inferior, I want to give you some tips about how to get out of that mindset.

1. Understand that it is just a chosen mindset. It is not reality, it is not truth. Everyone should be treated as if they have something to offer and they should never have to fight for it.

2. The way you carry yourself is the way people decide to see you. If you carry yourself as if you know you are a burden to be around, people are going to feel burdened by you. If you carry yourself with confidence, people are going to feel confident in you. If you carry yourself knowing that you are someone who has worth and doesn’t need to prove it, people will sense that.

3. Give yourself exposure to those you want to feel closer with. Naturally people like us feel like we don’t feel good enough to talk to even the average person. But if you have a hard time getting out of that mindset, expose yourself to that person often. People naturally start to feel comfortable with people they are familiar with, and familiarity comes with frequent exposure.

Conclusion

It truly is mindset. There are a million different perspectives in this world and people are living in their different mindsets. Just change your mindset about social construct and where you stand.

You are worth the time. The moment you were born, you should have never had to fight for your worth. You already have it. And once you truly understand that, is when you are kinder to yourself, and you understand that everyone else could be struggling like you.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Just Show Up and Do Your Best

My entire life my dad has told me every single day, “Just do your best. Thats all you can do”. And honestly, for the longest time, I did not know what that meant, because I felt like it meant I had to be the best, and my best was not as good as being the best.

But as I got older, I started to understand that my best is enough because my best efforts is all I can do, and that means I put everything into it.

As I lived through anxiety and depression, and struggled with social anxiety and issues with people, yes, I was sad and suicidal, but at the same time, it was always ingrained in me to always just do my best. And that is exactly what I have done.

To me, my best has always looked like other people’s bare minimums, but I realized that it is because I had more inner turmoil to fight than others. Which frustrated me because I hated that I had to work twice as hard to live than other people. I always just assumed everyone was hiding inner pain, but not everyone is. At least not as dark as I thought.

Conversations

One day, I had a conversation with my friend, just updating her on my life, and her life, and she said some nice things about me, but also said that she admires that I just show up and do my best.

Which was crazy because I have never been inspiring or admirable in my life. I honestly feel like I just trudge through life just doing my best, and the best is still the bare minimum for me.

But the fact that someone saw my struggles, and saw my pain, and saw me showing up everyday and still doing my best in everything I did, really taught me something.

Realization

No matter where you are in life, no matter how much you have to struggle or what chapter you are in your story compared to others, people see the effort and strength you put into yourself to pull yourself out and try everything you can to become the best version of yourself. And it inspires other people to be their best self and be a better person in their life.

And honestly, it becomes a rippling effect. You just being a trooper and doing your best everyday can have a butterfly effect and help many people and you may never know it. Cause when I heard that, I was in utter shock.

Conclusion

No matter how unfair you think life is, and how much you struggle, you can still be impacting people in the small things you say and changing lives by you doing your best to be the best version of yourself everyday.

I would have never, in a million years, thought I could be someone that people would see me as strong and inspiring because I feel like a mess all the time. But I guess the very acknowledgement of my mess and the efforts to not let it hold you back from growing is the very thing that can help someone else get back on their feet again.

You may never ever know how you impact others, so be mindful of your actions.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

You Do Not Need to Attend Every Argument You Were Invited To

So I was scrolling through Tiktok I saw this video of this teacher teaching her student’s some valuable lessons, and was touched by what she shared and wanted to talk about it.

She said:

  1. You do not have to attend every argument you were invited to.
  2. If you are arguing with someone you love, the goal should not be to win, but to find peace.
  3. If you argue to win, you need to be okay with losing part of that relationship.
  4. You are allowed to grow from your mistakes.
  5. Unless you are finding a solution, the one who shouts the loudest is usually the greatest fool.
  6. it’s okay to start over.

I loved the fact that this teacher shared all of these encouraging life lessons because it truly is difficult to live in this world. So lets talk about what she said.

  1. You do not need to attend every argument that you were invited to
    • If someone tries to pick a fight with you, and start something, you have every right not to join in that conversation. You have every right to not be a part of it and take yourself out. Yes, it may go on without you, but it is happening without you. Do what it takes to find your peace. And remember that your own actions speak louder than what people say your actions are.
  2. If you are arguing with someone you love, the goal should not be to win, but to find peace
    • The only reason you would fight someone to win, is if you care more about your ego and pride than the other person. If you truly care about the person that you are arguing with, your goal should be to figure it out, to understand where each other is coming from, and is to find peace in the situation.
  3. If you argue to win, you need to be okay with losing part of that relationship
    • If you are arguing just to win, it may be peaceful after, but the other person has made decisions. They could decide that they no longer feel safe to completely open up to you and they will hide it from you. If you are arguing to win, people may not feel like its worth trying to work things out with you and you will lose meaningful relationships. Arguing to win is purely out of pride and ego, and its not worth losing people over.
  4. You are allowed to grow from your mistakes
    • I think this is the hardest for me because I can be forgiving to my mistakes and others, but because I am also a people pleaser, I feel as though, if people don’t think I deserve to move on and grow, then I should not forgive myself until they do. Which is such a harmful way of thinking. It is nice to receive forgiveness, but at the end of the day, you need to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes to become a better version of yourself.
  5. Unless you are finding a solution, the one who shouts the loudest is usually the greatest fool-
    • What this really means is that, the person who goes around sharing and spreading all their rumors and opinions about someone, is the fool because they are the ones who is trying to convince everyone and themselves of their opinion because at the end of the day, they know its not true or they feel some kind of shame or want to hide something.
  6. it’s okay to start over-
    • It truly is okay to start over and be different. If you don’t like yourself, don’t wait until everyone is ready for you to be different. There will never be a time where everyone will forgive you or think its time for you to be different. Or maybe there is. But at the end of the day, no matter what, you can start over and over and over again to keep trying to be a better person no matter what.

Summary

I know it is difficult to interact with people sometimes, and sometimes, its the hardest to forgive yourself because you are the one living with your mistakes, but you can forgive yourself and move on. You are allowed to start over and change. No matter who is ready for you to change or who will believe you.

Listen to this blog with more commentary on my podcast!

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

“Everything Works Out In The End, and If It Hasn’t, Its Not The End”

There was a quote I heard that says,
“Everything works out in the end, and if it hasn’t, its not the end”

And it really got me thinking.

We are all out here, living our stories and our lives, being frustrated in life because the result.

We begin to make conclusions about our lives, and we are always constantly complaining. We think that we aren’t deserving for more, or good things don’t come to us.

Why things seem like they aren’t working out

There could be several reasons why things may not seem like they are working out for you.

  1. It is not your time yet – Maybe whatever you wan’t, is not time for you yet. You may need to learn and grow in order to be ready for what it is that you want. You may not necessarily be ready and life is holding things back for now.
  2. It may not be the way you think – Just because you want something to work out, does not mean that it will work out the way you want it. Be patient, because things may work out, in an unexpected way. And it may work out even better than you could have imagined.
  3. Patience is a virtue – The best things, truly do not come quickly. As you wait, work on yourself to be the best version of yourself, and in time, things will unravel.
  4. What is meant for you will come to you – If you really want a job (literally me right now), you need to realize that just because you really want something, and it inherently may sound good, it may just not be for you. Or it may! Relax, if it is meant for you, it will come to you. If not, there is something waiting, and you just need to be patient!

What Now?

In the meantime, focus on yourself, your growth, becoming a better person that you would want to be friends with, or be the person that you would want your future significant other to have high standards of, or refine the skills that you would want to hire if you had a job you needed to hire for.

You don’t lose anything from refining your skills and getting better as a human being. You just level up in life as a person, and create more opportunities for yourself, even if the one you want does not work out.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages