Welcome!

Hi!

Thanks so much for stopping by Wild Red Explores!

Wild Red is all about finding yourself by trying new things, breaking out of your comfort zone, and conquering your fears. In whatever way that means for you!

This could be something like thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail solo, cliff diving, swimming with sharks.  AND it could be flying for the first time, trying a food from a different country, going to a party where you don’t know anyone.

Breaking out of your comfort zone, living a wild life, is different for all of us. That’s what Wild Red is all about. I hope you stick around to see where this all goes, and become a part of a wild and fun community.

Stay wild and always be kind.

A Note on Suicide

Hello, my darling!

There has been a lot of discussion about suicide lately due to the events of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Maybe you’re tired of seeing all the things about it and don’t need my part of it. That’s okay – you can stop reading now.

I thought, “maybe I am too deep in it right now to talk about it so openly.” “Maybe this isn’t something to discuss so openly.” “Maybe not everyone needs to know.”
But these are all the things I am working to change! I think we do need to talk about it. We need to feel okay to talk about it. And if I have to be one of the ones who breaks myself open and shows my vulnerability to the world to help others feel brave enough to do the same, then that is what I will do.

Very recently I was very close to suicide. The closest I have ever been. I think that suicidal thoughts are more frequent than most of us think. They can range from just “omg. I want to die,” to “If I were to kill myself, here’s how I would do it,” to a constant nagging thought that the world would be better if you weren’t in it.

Sometimes it’s a strong belief that no one would actually care if you died, that no one actually cares that you are alive, that no one actually cares that you are in their life… so why even bother having a life. This is where I was am.

And here’s the story I am telling myself about what you will all think of me telling you this:
They are going to think I am just asking for sympathy. They will think if I was really depressed, I would have done it and not be talking about it. They think “just get over it, just decide to be happy.” They think I am just feeling sorry for myself.

All of these things ARE things I have heard in the past – to me, about others, about depression and suicide in general. And maybe for some, it can be true. But here is a very important thing to remember about everyone: YOU DO NOT KNOW THEIR TRUTH.

Accepting sympathy and care is actually super difficult for me, and for many others who live with depression. Depression is just a part of me, my other parts help save me and help me be able to talk about this now. If I could just “get over it” and “decide to be happy” I fucking would. And – damn straight I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for all who have ever felt this way.

When someone is reaching out about this, even if you think “it’s just for attention,” pay attention to that. Yeah- they need your attention right now. Don’t just blow it off. It takes a lot to reach out.

Okay – back to my story. And not that it should matter, but I am telling this for those who have been there- to know you are not alone. For those who might be there – to know how I am getting through it. And for those who do not understand it at all – so maybe you can see a little bit into what it’s like to go through it.

The true beginning goes back years, which is not the point of this post, so we will skip ahead.  The few months leading up to this, I kept falling deeper and deeper into this darkness.
The few days before, I felt almost nonexistent. I was able to go through the motions of my life, went to work, saw some friends, took care of my dog. But inside – I was nothing.

The day of, I woke and was hit hard with no being able to go through my day. I knew I would be useless at my job, so I called to say I couldn’t make it in. I knew I’d be useless taking care of my dog, so I dropped her off at daycare. I was back at home. My husband was away for work. My dog was at a good place. I was laying there thinking “this is the perfect moment just to do it.”

Next:

“This is the right time for it.”
“You should reach out to someone. But don’t tell them why.” So, I texted my sister just a hello. No response.
“What will happen to everyone else if you go through with this?”
“They’ll be sad, but they’ll be okay after a while”
“I am just a burden on everyone. I bring everyone down. Their lives will be better without me in it.”
“Okay – you need someone to talk you down from this” So, I texted a friend with more detail.
“No – it’s better if you go. Here’s the plan. Just don’t fuck it up like you do everything else.”
Sent a vague message to my husband, almost saying goodbye.
Felt a strange calm rush over me. Like – “now it will all be okay. This is the right thing.”
Got up to go get the supplies I needed.
Collapsed onto my couch terrified.
Called my mom. I was hysterical. She could barely understand what I was saying, but she understood enough. “I’ll be right over”, she said.
Husband called and I said “My mom is on her way over – it’s okay”
Friend called. I said “Just talk to me until my mom gets here”
I credit my mom to why I am here writing all of this to you.
The rest of the day was spent with my mom, sister, niece. It was a nice day, and the support I received from everyone was overwhelming.

I am still in the thick of it. The thought is ever-present in my mind, but I have my resources. I have my mom, sister, husband, some friends. I have my therapist, who also gave me numbers for crisis centers. I have my actionable items. These are so important. Some are so simple, but they just help get you out of that mindset.

They include:

  • Coloring (yes – it’s truly awesome)
  • Going for walk
  • Just going and sitting by a tree (nature is most healing)
  • Splashing my face with cold water
  • Yoga
  • Imagining what I would say to a friend in my situation (really helps if I write it down)
  • Giving out kindness
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Drinking a favorite tea
  • Writing
  • Reading

There are so many things you can do to break your mindset from where it is. I have my list written down and with me all the time. I also have a list of my V-People (people I can be truly vulnerable with) right next to my bed. These things are reminders to myself of all I can do to get myself back to me.

It’s a process, as are all things, but each moment I am working through it. Of course, we fall again, but each time we are able to pick ourselves back up a bit more easily because we put the work in before. And yeah – doing all this work sucks, and it’s exhausting. But it is worth it because we all have so much to give to the world.

Find what it is the world needs from you (as opposed to what you need from the world), and hold onto that. It doesn’t have to be something major. You don’t have to be president, or Elon Musk, or Bill Nye to save the world. Simply going through this work is incredibly important because it shows the path for the next one to go through the work.

Simply being who you are is incredibly important. It shows others they, too, can be who they are!

There is just so much on this subject, and I have been living with it, failing, learning, growing, failing again for so long. It will be a life long process, but the great thing is – it will be a life.

I hope that if you have a loved one going through this, you let yourself be there for them as you can. Know that you don’t need to “fix” it or change anything. You can’t take away their pain. Being there for them to talk to and lean on is enough.

I hope that if any of this resonates with you, you know that you are not alone. That you reach out to the V-People or the professionals in your life and that you get the support you need.

Look up your local crisis center.

Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Crisis Hotline.

Text CONNECT to 741741 if you are in the US.

Want to chat?  You can reach out to me in the comments, Instagram, or Facebook.

Please reach out if/when needed.

You are a beautiful being and the world needs you. 

 

Live Your Wild Life,

Mandee

 

 

Phrase of My Year

What’s up, sugar-snap!

Maybe you’re supposed to choose your word or phrase of the year before the year starts, or at the least in January. Some say to plan your year, or decide on  your goals early on. There’s a bunch of awesome advice on the change of the year and how to make the most out of the new year.

But here at Wild Red, we don’t do things just because we’re supposed to do them that way.  We do them because they feel right to us, they’re good for us, others, and the world, or just because they’re fun. Yeah, sometimes we do things because we’re supposed to that may not really excite us – like eating vegetables and paying bills – but we know they’re right for us and they’re good. (or maybe we don’t but then deal with the consequences)

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How to Have an Adventure Daily

Hey there, explorer!

There are those people who have these incredible jobs that take them all over the world, doing what they love, climbing, hiking, photographing, looking at birds, flying planes, out on the ocean researching marine-life, whatever else, so much else. It’s amazing!!

Most of us, however, do not. We work at a desk, or at home. Some might have the option of working anywhere in the world, but for some different reason are pretty much in one place all the time.  Not that we have bad jobs (some might). I, personally, like my job a lot.  And I’m not that staying in one place is bad. Many like or prefer that.

I am not one of those people.

I am a creature of habit. I typically order the same thing when I go to specific restaurants. I have the same morning and nighttime routine. I fall into habits easily. I think most of us are creatures of habit to some extent.

Although, I am one for habits, the same daily/weekly routine makes me CRAZY! I get so bored. I feel like I need constant entertainment and/or stimulus. I reach for ways to get it. Most times, I’ll reach for a snack. When I can, I just go to sleep. Not really the best options…

I really don’t handle boredom well.

There is more behind why I don’t handle boredom well and my need to escape it, but that’s not for this post.  (and maybe it’s just that I’m a damn millennial)

Since realizing this and being so aware of it when it happens, I’ve started to look for other ways to find excitement.

I can’t am not going to turn my life upside down in a day and be in a different place every day. I like my life how it is. I just needed to see it differently. I wanted to find the adventure in every day.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far:

  • Wake up earlier.  Okay – this is not always easy, but when I do it, I love it. Try it. There’s something magical about being up early when the rest of the world is quiet.
  • Try a new coffee or tea. Lately I’ve been drinking only white and herbal teas (trying to cut down that caffeine). I found some really amazing teas. Right now my favorite is Mighty Leaf’s Camomile Citrus. It turns my water a pinkish color and tastes beautiful. It’s a most lovely experience.
  • Read a book, magazine, or newspaper that’s outside of your typical genre. You might be surprised what incredible and interesting things you’ll find.
  • Take a different route to work or home. I don’t do this often, but every now and then I have to take a different route for some reason, and it’s nice to see different things on the way.  And who knows, maybe you’ll find a better way.
  • Ask a friend a random question. This is one of my favorites. I love learning about people and some questions can lead to really interesting conversations.
  • Read an online article (or blog post, anyone :wink:.). There is so much to learn and so many easy and fast ways to get to new information.
  • Go for a walk and look for 3 new things. This one started when I was walking my dog, and trying to walk “mindfully”.  I noticed she is always mindful, always looking at what’s around. I thought “walk more like the dog”.
  • Plan a treat. My co-workers and I made a plan to order something good for lunch twice a month (on pay day).  It’s something fun we all look forward to. You could do something daily, like have one piece of chocolate or almonds other small snack at 3pm, or something similar. My favorite right now is an apple with some almond butter.
  • Try a new food. This one took me a long time (most of my life) to do, but it is one of the greatest things I have ever done.  It has opened me up to so many amazing flavors and experiences.

There are such diverse ways you can find excitement in your daily life. You don’t need to jump off cliffs everyday to have an adventure (although rock on if that’s what you do!). All things are incredible in there own way if only we take the time to look.

Creativity

If you seek it, and you put just the smallest amount of effort, adventure can be found everyday.

 

What do you do to find excitement in the every day? Have you done any of the things mentioned? Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Stay Wild,

Mandee

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Hike Alone

Hello, darling!

I started hiking because of my husband (although he was not my husband at the time). Just to clarify – he did not make me go hiking. He liked hiking, and I wanted to see if I did too because… you know, try new things, baby! Turns out, I did like it… A LOT!

From this love of hiking, and generally just being out in the forest, I started going out alone. This caused much concern in some people.  I heard things like, “It’s dangerous out there.” “I don’t like you going out on your own.” “You never know what could happen.” “There’s crazy people everywhere.” And the like.  Now- these things are all true, and to the people who said this to me: I love you. Thank you. I hear you.  Also- This post is for you.

Why I Hike Alone

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Not Fearless

Hey there my darlings!

If you know me, you know I love doing things that scare me (and I also hate it).  It’s thrilling as hell (and it’s frightening as hell).  But I do it, and afterwards I feel amazing.

It’s not about being FEARLESS. A lot of us throw this word around… fearless. We want to be fearless. We have no fear. We’re fucking the fear. But that’s not the way to think about it.

Fearless

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Listen Up!

Hello Sweetcakes!

This is not what you’d expect of a typical Wild Red post.  I know I’m just starting and I’m “supposed to” stick to one niche for now. That’s what “they” say. But… I’m not here just to do what “they” tell me I should do. That is very much NOT Wild Red. There is a lot going on in the world right now, and this is something I feel very strongly about. So, read on, if you please. 

 

There is so much hatred in the world. I suppose this could have been said throughout history, but I think we all feel it a bit more strongly right now. We feel so separated. At least, I feel so separated. There is division everywhere. We are divided in our country, in our communities, in our homes even, and we’re getting farther apart. I feel it. You feel it. We see it everywhere.

Hate is shoved in our faces. Every day. All day. From every which way.  Thanks to this amazing thing called technology, we are now able to witness hate like never before.  Our lives are immersed with screens. Everywhere you go there’s a screen. We carry screens in our pockets. And that’s fine, but it’s adding the the separation, and to the hate.

We talk about it constantly. There are opinions everywhere. We are all screaming from our fingertips, “HEAR ME!” Yet the only people we actually listen to are the ones who are saying the same damn thing we are.  This validates our convictions. It gives us a sense of righteousness.  “That’s exactly what I’m saying. You get it. I get it. Why don’t they?

The people we need to listen to, though, are the ones saying what we are not. The people who have different opinions about these issues.  The people with a different lifestyle or culture.

And I mean truly, honestly, compassionately listen.

Take your damn thoughts about the way you think the world should be, about the way it is, about who you are and who you think this other person is, and put these thoughts away. Keep them in a box. You can bring them out later, fine. But right now, you just need to listen. Give the person the benefit of the doubt that they are coming from a place of love. That they want the same thing you do – to be happy (enough), safe, and everyone to be okay. Isn’t that what we all truly want at the core?

Just listen. Don’t worry about your response. In fact, you don’t even have to respond.

Maybe you think, “Well they don’t listen to me”, and yeah- you’re probably right, but IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT YOU! You can’t make anyone else change. You can only change the way you react and feel about them. You are the only person in the world you can change, sorry to break it to ya.

So change your attitude and attention towards those with different opinions and values from you, and just possibly you’ll understand their points a little better, and I have no doubt you’ll hate them a lot less…if at all.  Maybe you’ll inspire them to listen to someone with opposing views, and so on, and then maybe we can diffuse this divide just a bit. Person by person. Conversation by conversation.

Until we all start doing a lot more of this, and a lot less of the screaming, the divisions between us will only stronger and wider. Listening is the only way to peace.

We will never all agree. We should never all agree. Opposing ideas and views are what make progress and growth and innovation possible.

We need to all think differently. We just shouldn’t hate each other for doing so.

Go out there in the world. Find the people who are different from you. Learn their stories. Listen to them fully. Spread love and compassion to the world.

We are all a part of this amazing earth. We are all human.

We are all different. And we are all the same.

 

Sending Peace to All,

Mandee

 

 

 

 

Go After Your Dreams

Hey there, darling!

Do you have a big dream? because I have a big dream.

Does it eat away at you? because it eats away at me.

Are you taking steps to make it reality? because I haven’t done much at all. But maybe that’s about to change…

Let Go of the expectations

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