Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

As someone who has dealt with homeless twice before already, the very thought of unemployment has always been a major anxiety trigger for me. So I’ve become the kind of person that needs to have some sense of financial stability and control in order to hold my fears and anxiety in check. Financially, I am in a better place than how things were with my family back when I was a kid, however, like most people I know living in NYC, I still live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the most stress-reducing situation. Just missing one paycheck results in a financial setback that will take months to recover from.

So when I got the news in April that I was furloughed, I broke down and had one of the worst panic attacks ever. My mother, who is getting through lockdown along with me, didn’t know how to help but she tried her best to calm me down, embracing me until I stopped crying, shaking and hyperventilating. (My mother has never experienced me having a panic or anxiety attack firsthand and I know this scared her but I appreciate that this is how she chose to handle the situation in that moment because I managed to recover much faster than I would have otherwise.) I was unconsolable for days. I was angry at all those “we’re in this together” messages circulating everywhere. Yes, we’re facing the same storm that is COVID-19, BUT we’re all experiencing different journeys because we’re on different ships. Some of us aren’t even on ships at all, just doing the best with our inflatable life raft, if that.

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A Weekend in Witch City

I can finally cross something off my bucket list because I got to Salem, MA over the Columbus Day Weekend.  The only downside was that a family emergency came up so we were only able to stay one night instead of the original 3 days of sight-seeing, museum hopping and some light shopping I had planned, however, we still managed to cram as much as we could into the few hours that we had.

This is a trip that I’ve been wanting to do for a while and I am so happy that I even managed to go so during Halloween (aka the entire month of October), all the while looking my “bruja(witch)-best” in pieces from Torrid.  Here are some highlights from the trip. Sure, the (official) spooky season may be coming to an end but there’s no time limit on travel and fashion inspo, right?

*This is a post sponsored by Torrid and features gifted product I selected.*

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Sacred Heart Moto

One of the most popular kinds of tops in plus size fashion has got to be dolman sleeve top. I’m not exactly sure when or how that trend got started,  but it is so common that I stay away from it as it tends to be a boxy cut and usually made of a chiffon fabric.

That is until this one caught my eye while I was scrolling through the Torrid site. Admittedly the print is one that  you have to try on to really see the appeal and that is just what I had to do for me to fall in love with it. You may be wondering, what is it about this sacred heart print that got me interested to begin with. Well, for those of you that may be new to my blog, I’m actually an Art and Design historian who specializes in 17th and 18th century Baroque Art. Moreover, the sacred heart is a traditional Catholic symbol created in sometime during the Middle Ages/Gothic period but was prominently used during the Baroque period to encourage devotion and mediation upon the graces of Christ among the illiterate members of  their congregations.

Typically this symbol is depicted in art as a heart with flames pouring from the top, like a symbol of intense burning love.  It is a Baroque theological referent that was part of the blending the form of light and performance that defines the artistic style of that time used in order to inspire people to accept the Catholic faith, and by extension, Western culture during their conquests.  As you can tell I literally can go on about this for hours, hahaha. I mean I even have a PowerPoint presentation in my external hard-drive on the use of such symbols and the role they played in the Spanish conquest of Latin America. Continue reading