the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

What you see.

Bee ButlerComment

What you see is definitely not always what you get. 

I am one of the best examples of that, and I can tell you right now that it's almost unbelievable how different an image online can be from what's going on in someone's head.

Here, you have a picture of me, circa 2014, smiling and laughing with a friend of mine at a restaurant. There's a drink in my hand, and we're reminiscing and talking about the future, and a song comes on over the loudspeaker.


And that's where the truth sets in.

Your mind races to the drive home that you're too drunk to make. To the walk up the pavement and the swing of the glass door, the dog who wearily greets you, and the turn down the hallway where you'll probably bump into the wall as you reach for the bathroom door frame. 

You walk to the bathroom, lift the toilet lid, flip on the tap, kick the door shut, flip your hair back, and shove your entire hand down your throat. You bring back up the liquor, the soda, the meal you spent so much time "eating like a normal person", or at least what's left of it, since you secretly purged in the bathroom at the restaurant.

Once you get it all out, you wipe your mouth, look in the mirror, and see a drunken, sloppy mess. You want to cry, but you're too tired.

It's been a long, hard day, and you're ready to go to sleep.
Your bed is empty. The person you're desperately in love with doesn't love you anymore, and you can remember days where you'd be anywhere but here in this moment, days and nights spent in other beds, happier... and just like that the memories crash down on you so hard you would swear it was raining thoughts on your head, and you can feel them, really, actually feel them washing over you in waves so heavy they pull you along the undertow and they ache.


Because you can remember how every single moment felt. You can pin down every single instance and put it to a timeline, pulling it all together like some sort of mix cd. We felt this way during the summer of '07, when this song was on the radio and my hair was down in the truck and we drove around and sang along, and I looked over and right then, I know that right then is a moment I could go back to and point at when someone asks what it looks like when I'm happy. Was that the last time I was happy? It doesn't end that quickly, does it? Maybe just go back to that point, rewind to there and hit play and do it over again and I'll do everything differently and I won't be here right now, at least not alone, and... I can't. You can't move time around like you're scrolling through your TIVO. This isn't a rewind and replay and skip/delete/STOP. You can't do that, but if you could...


And now that song from that summer is stuck in your head, and it's pounding in your ears, reminding you with the kickdrum of every beat exactly how you felt then and comparing it effortlessly to how you feel now, what happy was like and how this isn't it. That. Keeps. Playing. In. Each. Lyric...and you can't stop. And the heavy feeling of those memories is still heavy on your head and your heart, flooding in and out and weighing down every step you take.


You walk past a photo and see it. Childhood. My god, it was so much simpler back then. Maybe instead of rewinding to the poin in the truck, you could rewind to then, to you at that age and that silliness, the carefree manner you used to have, maybe that would come back and you could go from there to a time when things were better, because you'd know then what you know now, without the pain or having to go through it, and the cute little face in the photo is still innocent, but you're smarter because you have this knowledge and so you should go back to then and... you can't go back. Can't cut/copy/paste yourself across the universe. Now that image of yourself as a happy child is slowly fading in and out of view in your mind while the song plays and the waves rush over you and god, you are so tired.


Because this is how it is for you. It is like this all the time, you are always weighed down and empty and full at the same time. You cry sometimes over nothing, but not in front of people. And it's been building for years. And you're alone like that, because that person you love isn't with you anymore, and there is nothing you want more, but you can't let yourself go there, "there" being a world without them in it, because you don't know if you could handle it. And if you couldn't handle it? Then what? 


You don't make enough money to pay off your debts and the bills, and you watch your friends in similar situations, and you joke and reminisce to when things weren't like this, and man wasn't it great when you didn't have to grind yourself down to the bone to scrape by. And man, did you hear how happy so-and-so is? And there's a baby on the way...


And it hits you. So-and-so got married right around when you think you should have with that person from your past, and so if you'd stayed on track, wouldn't you probably be a parent by now, or have a baby on the way, at least? God, you both wanted that, and it was going to be amazing and you'd make such fantastic parents, and now... but you can't go there. Because you can't handle it. But what does that mean - 


It seems like all the people who are happy are unfairly so. They've never seemed to do anything but skate by, while you've known nothing but this kind of thing, and it's gotten worse as you've grown older. God knows if you did have a kid they wouldn't be skating by like happy people get to do, because there would never be enough money and everyone these days is so entitled and selfish. It's unbearable to watch. When you were growing up, it wasn't like this. Nobody did things like this. You were a respectful kid and you remember all of it so well, memories. Flooding. Back. You did so well and never asked for much and you know that you were like your friends, and occasionally those "bad eggs" got gifts they didn't deserve and they were always getting more than you, but back then you didn't care, 


And now they're married.
And they're still spoiled and rich.
Better off than you, anyway.


And now you can't help it, you're THERE.

But you can't go there. You can't think all of these things and focus and dwell on them, because it hurts too much. And it hurts so much that you can't bear the pain, and you don't know how to make it stop and it's never ending and...








this is the part where I admit that every single word of that was true for me in the night of that photo. What is written up there in what seems like such a sloppy state is pretty much a word-for-word and moment-by-moment capture of my life, and of someone else's near and dear to me that many of you know who is also struggling. And that strangely written piece is written that way with that kind of jarring punctuation, because it's really that rushed and harried and fast-paced. It's difficult to navigate when I'm on medication, and without my meds it's damn near impossible. And it really hurts, and it's really heavy, and those memories and pictures and songs are constant. Sometimes I can shift the station a little and dwell on positive things, but usually it's based on where I am, what I'm around, etc. I struggle with my college-aged-self and problems from that area as well as some of my biggest triggers (breakups and formings of relationships) when I'm in Abilene. I get slapped in the face by my childhood when I traipse around Mesquite, the "better days" when I'm in Sunnyvale, and I remember the absolute worst moments of my life when I'm in Garland or anywhere near my old doctor's offices. Sometimes I can remember those things vividly as though someone has brought up a specific incident, when in reality someone two tables over at lunch casually mentioned a name that belongs to somebody I used to know. And just like that, I'm in the midst of the storm I wrote up there.


That was real for me, and much of it still is; songs and images and words trigger memories in my brain that are too loud and too sudden and too overwhelming.

That's why I take so much medication every day.

My brain doesn't function like normal, and I have to fuck with the serotonin levels and drop down the bass and the treble of my anxiety with little yellow pills. I do not have the luxury of waking up and being myself; I have to reboot my system each day with prescription personality programmers that snap me back into place like a rubber band.




This is why I don't drink anymore.
I don't throw up anymore, either.
I do still struggle, and my heart hurts, and I need you to understand something.


The pretty pictures on Facebook and Instagram are bullshit. Sure, sometimes people are genuinely happy, and not every smile is forced. But if you think for one second that the record of life you see online is anything more than someone's highlight reel, you're kidding yourself. 

You can wish your life away, dreaming of being your friend with the pretty rock on her finger, but you cannot imagine the world inside her mind, and if you got a glimpse, you might beg for YOUR life back.



Pretty and perfect, two words I aspired to be.
Genuine and intentional, two things I'm becoming.


Remember that,

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Why am I ashamed?

Bee ButlerComment

I have made a post, a blog, a brand, a business... a LIFE, out of being unabashedly honest about everything in my life. Often to the chagrin and displeasure of my family, and, occasionally, my friends, my upfront and in-your-face writing style has been a major part of who I am.

I talk about mental illness. ALL OF THE TIME.
I mention, divulge, and occasionally word-vomit my way through my multitude of diagnoses and medications, and sometimes I give unrequested commentary on current events related, in any way, to the mental health world. I TALK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.

So why, upon getting into college, traveling out into the world, moving across the country, TRYING TO BECOME WHO I WANT TO BE, did I completely clam up about the longest-running theme of my life, the very thread which holds together every part of my being?

I have, in the last few years, literally run from the idea of speaking, publicly or otherwise, about God. About Christianity. I have not set foot in a church in over two years. I have avoided saying the words, "bible study" or "ladies group" or "bible class", and I have let someone who is incredibly close to me frequently refer to the denomination I grew up in as a cult.

Part of me thinks that yeah, maybe a little bit, my specific church and groups and the things I got caught up in... they were a tad cult-ish. Except the thing we were worshipping wasn't a batshit idiot like David Korresh. We were, quite literally, worshipping the God of the ancients, in a Judeo-Christian sense.

[I would like to add here that an absurd amount of study, which is also somehow a complete lack of complete knowledge, has added to this issue. I went to a Church of Christ private Christian university and took in-depth, honors-level biblical study classes. I have been a church-going, bible-reading, memory-verse-competing religious dork since the day I was born. I know quite a bit about what it all means and where it came from and I am somewhat afraid of where I feel like I'm going in relation to it. So, yeah.]

I curse. A lot. I am terrified of consequences (thanks, Relient K) and I hate being in trouble. I am super loud and over-the-top, and after an abusive relationship I have learned quite a bit about the world and myself in relation to it that scared the living fuck out of me. I am trying to become someone, something, anything... a person or being who matters.

I believe in science and I would gladly sit at the feet of Neil deGrasse Tyson for hours in a way that inappropriately mimics a certain Bible story. I know that global warming and climate change are a huge issue. I am a loud, proud, liberal-out-the-ass democrat, and I think that part of that system of beliefs stems from an upbringing that focused quite largely on Jesus and the hippie, love-on-another, give-to-the-poor, shirt-off-your-back lifestyle. The dude was a nomadic Woodstock ad half the time, but the people I grew up with somehow took that and became hardcore GOPers. 

What the fuck. Go figure. 
(And go read Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne)

I love arts and crafting and making friends and all kinds of other toddler-esque crap. I quit drinking, on purpose, for good, in March of 2016, because I was quickly becoming a used-up, slutty alcoholic that nobody would take home at the end of the night. 

I don't want to be that girl.

I'm sitting here, writing all of this, and the things I'm explaining the most or rationalizing or just plain "covering" for are the least significant, most obvious and simple things about me.

I am a Christian. I was born and raised in the church, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I have spent my entire adult life running back and forth, to and from God, in a desperate attempt to find happiness. When His way wasn't fast enough, I would run myself into the ground trying to prove that "my" way was superior. It absolutely was not. Not once. In fact, I got myself into one hell (ha, God pun) of a pit out here, and I legitimately attempted to give up God for good.

It lasted all of an hour.

I am not sure what happens next. I'm not sure why I'm so scared to tell people that hey, I actually believe that Jesus did what the Bible says He did, and I capitalize all of His pronouns because He was GOD. I have faith, as small as it may be at times (insert mustard seed joke) that He died for my sins and redeemed me in the eyes of the Lord, who will take my soul into the place He has prepared for me, Heaven, for the rest of eternity once I am dead.

I do not believe that "this" is it. I don't think dying on earth means everything ends. I don't condone the notion of a silent black nothingness, post-mortem.

I have been holding all of that in, scared and anxious, because I have friends out here (and some not-even-close-to-friends who have far more control over my wellbeing at the moment than you would believe is humanly possible) who are not Christians, do not condone the lifestyle, or find it too absurd to deal with. It might be a dealbreaker for them. It might not. 

I have been too scared to find out.

What if I Jesus so hard that they run? 
Will I ever accept the church again after the shit it pulled when I was 17?
I have so much baggage to unload and I don't know what happens after this.


Why am I ashamed of the only thing I have ever been sure of in my entire life?




Tonight, I had Air1 playing in my car as I drove home from work. I cried a little when "Home" by Daughtry came on, because that song has some deep roots in my life. As it ended, I wondered, how am I supposed to do this, be a real Christian out here, alone, with no church and no clue as to what it looks like anymore without being a full-fledged granola weirdo?"

and it happened.

A song came on that I knew, honestly, had to be for me. Because God does that in my life and it reminds me that He is listening and that He genuinely cares, and however narcissistic you find it that I believe the Creator of the universe gives a fuck about my feelings, it is true.

Please listen to this.
This is me, right now.
If you want to meet me where I am and go forward, please do.
I can't afford to be ashamed anymore, though.


God and I, I'm sure, have plenty to discuss.
Like, you know, the cussing.


Until next time,

On designing a site outside your comfort zone.

Bee ButlerComment

As you can see from yesterday's post, I finally completed the site that I've spent a year working on for my sweet friend, Katelyn, at Pretty X Twisted. When the project started out, we finished a site in a few weeks time, and it was beautiful. I loved it. Katelyn like it, but it just wasn't HER.

The design was simplistic and focused on a lot of shadow and light, with small pops of color from the pieces Katelyn created. This is VERY MUCH my style, albeit with different fonts. I have a font addiction, and using generic fonts makes my brain itch. I sent Katelyn the final site, and she lovingly said that she like it, and it was pretty. I could tell, though, that it just didn't fit, and I am not the kind of person who says, "I finished the site. If you want to start over, it's gonna cost you". I am not the kind of person who believes that her work is the end-all be-all of perfection and glory. Sometimes, my work sucks. Other times, I think it's great, but my client (or client/best friend) doesn't feel it, and in that moment, the hippie/karmic believer/genuine desire to do the right thing by people I care about kicks in. I was making this site for her, to showcase her talent and help her monetize a business that had so much potential I could barely wrap my head around it. She is that good. I wanted her site to be THAT GOOD. 

And so, we started over.

I made a ton of mock ups, a lot of which she never even saw, because I kept catching myself using MY design style instead of hers. Katelyn has a vision of what she wants, and that makes her the most ideal client on earth. She came to me with some suggestions, and was almost hesitant to criticize or even bring up things she didn't like, but she found her voice as I pushed her towards taking the reins, and yesterday, pre-launch, she sent me detailed instructions on little things she wanted altered. Completely sure of herself, using her vision and her style and her intent for this website and her business. I was so absurdly proud of her, and I knocked out every single thing she asked without a second thought.

Katelyn had a big advantage in that she came to me with a logo already designed. I didn't have to do squat in that department, and it was fantastic. Look at this. Seriously, I am blown away by it, still. 

Katelyn came to me with this awesome business card and logo design by one of her friends, and I was ALL ABOUT IT. This kind of thing is one of the toughest parts of my job, so having it done already was fantastic. It also gave me the chance to play with the logo, incorporate it in different space, and utilize it in banners and the Welcome page, because she had the original PDF files of the artwork, and I could convert it to whatever image form I needed. PNG, by the way, is the way to go on SquareSpace. 

From there, at our "starting over" point, I asked Katelyn to show me what she was looking for. And man, did she deliver. 

(This is every designer's dream. She literally drew it out, and that is EXACTLY how it looks now)

(This is every designer's dream. She literally drew it out, and that is EXACTLY how it looks now)



Loving that she's embracing her personality and pushing to incorporate it in the site. We did it, too.

Loving that she's embracing her personality and pushing to incorporate it in the site. We did it, too.

This is a perfect example of taking charge of your site design. She knew what she wanted and she asked for it. We did do away with that cover page, and it looks infinitely better without it.

This is a perfect example of taking charge of your site design. She knew what she wanted and she asked for it. We did do away with that cover page, and it looks infinitely better without it.

I freaking love her for this. She sent me actual shots of the site on her computer and pointed out exactly what she wanted to change.

I freaking love her for this. She sent me actual shots of the site on her computer and pointed out exactly what she wanted to change.

This is why working with her was a dream. 

This is why working with her was a dream. 

Can I just take a moment to say that anyone having a site built should take notes from this girl? She took a little time finding her voice and speaking up, but once she got it, she ran with it, and the final site is so much more HER because of it.

Katelyn is someone I hope to keep designing for for the rest my life. This site has become my baby, and I'm sure we will continue to tweak, rebrand, and expand it whenever an idea strikes. I don't mind that, because it has been such a learning experience and such a beautiful way to further my business and hers.


I am now booking clients over on my business site, Caged Bird Media, and you can look at my portfolio over at Caged Bird Portfolio.

Caged Bird Media is currently undergoing construction, so feel free to email me at to get started, or comment on the blog!


Thank you to Katelyn for giving me the opportunity to work on such an amazing project. 
I can't wait to keep going, and I'm excited about all the new ventures coming up!


Always ready to work,

It's pretty and twisted, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Bee ButlerComment

When I was in high school, I sat next to a girl in Algebra II that made me incredibly nervous. I was loud and outspoken, full of fire and opinions and a need to be accepted. My biggest fear was the "popular people", who looked better and lived better and seemed to have everything I did not.

The girl I sat next to was very, very popular.

Today, I know for a fact that she didn't realize how popular she was, and she probably didn't know how much she influenced my words and actions and even the way I dressed that year. We weren't close, but I admired her in a strange way, and I wished that someone like her would want to be friends with someone like me.

I didn't realize it at the time, but it was already happening.

Fast forward from 2006 (my Algebra II year) to 2012 (post-first-Cali move, living back in Mesquite). We'd had a little contact since school, but we didn't really talk. I added her on Facebook, and the spark appeared. 

We had casual chats, but eventually we realized that we were completely in sync with each other, and I started reaching out to her for everything: life advice, recipes, and, of course, tattoos. Her boyfriend is a tattoo artist, and he's talented. When it finally came time to reconnect in person, we did it the awesome way that basically explains our friendship.

Her boyfriend gave me my anchor tattoo, I accidentally left my Nikon at the shop, and my friendship with Katelyn was cemented. After that, we got together more often, and I started to sense that she was one of those people who will change your life.

We look like we're practicing for our MySpace profile pic... in 2013. 

We look like we're practicing for our MySpace profile pic... in 2013. 


Katelyn is kind, but she is fierce. She gives so much more than she gets, and she exudes love and joy and peace and strength. Being around her makes you feel brave and bold. Katelyn pushes you towards the person you are supposed to be, and I don't think she even realizes she's doing it. She and I have had deep talks, cried over big losses, and I cannot imagine my life without her. Some girl in my math class who I was TERRIFIED of has become on of my closest friends.

So, what does all this have to do with a blog post?

Katelyn has a talent and a way to share all the incredible things that she is, and it's finally time to unveil it. All that energy, that focus, the peace and love and the hope for a happy future for everyone she meets? She puts all of that into beautiful pieces of jewelry, and it's incredible.

I know all of this seems contrived and bit much, but Katelyn is kind of an enigma, a one-of-a-kind person that not everyone gets to experience. That uniqueness is part of why her jewelry is so special. I could say a million things and never really get across what you experience when you spend time with her, but I'll try my best:

Katelyn is the kind of person you spend your whole life wishing you could be. She's untouchable but real, perfected, but raw, and she is in touch with her emotions in a way that allows her to be her complete self around everyone who meets her. All of that insight and beauty and the strange and powerful allure of this girl come together in each and every piece she creates. She spends hours perfecting each wrap, charges the crystals, researches and explains the meaning and intention, and then gives away a little piece of her heart and soul with each purchase. There is something inside her that is inextricably connected to her jewelry, and once you buy a piece, you'll understand.

A mutual friend of ours bought one of my favorite pieces a little over a week ago, and I thought I'd let her tell you how it went.

I currently have three beautiful, unique pieces from PrettyxTwisted and I love them all. My first, a very large, arrow shaped golden sheen obsidian necklace, I previewed in her Instagram page when she picked out the stone. I was attracted to it immediately. When I saw how it was wrapped with wire and left to its natural state, I knew I needed it. It has been staple in my wardrobe and leaves me feeling so powerful when I wear it. And that has to be one of my favourite thing about all of my PrettyxTwisted pieces - other than the customization (Katelyn offered me countless options and ideas on how to incorporate the tiger eye stone I wanted, it was almost difficult to choose - her creativity knows no bounds!) - is that I can trust the energy and intent of the person behind it and know my stones will come to me positively charged and free of any residual negativity as they might from the wrong jeweler. My pieces are each one of a kind and as spiritually empowering as they are different!

In a world that has exploded with opportunities to "sell handmade", there are lots of venues, outlets, and sites to choose from. Pushed towards Etsy by everyone and tired of hearing "where can I buy a necklace?", Katelyn came to me. She didn't want to make an Etsy shop. At first, I was confused, since that would be the most profitable and time-friendly choice... then I realized, this is Katelyn. Etsy would be wrong.

Katelyn makes each piece one at a time, individually, lovingly crafted specifically with someone or something in mind. She doesn't make ten identically necklaces and list them for sale, she makes one, just for you, and puts all of her time, love, and good intentions into it as she lets out her inner perfectionist and creates something beautiful and perfect specifically for you. When she's done, she moves on to the next creative endeavor; the packaging is perfectly Katelyn, too. She ships things out, she reaches out and asks if you've received it, and she genuinely wants to know how you feel about it. She's invested something in that piece, and she needs to know if its right for you.

I could stare at this all day and never get sick of it.

I could stare at this all day and never get sick of it.

The best part of her work is the range of style she's able to create with a handful of different items. There's everyday, there's romantic, there's hippie (my favorite), there's gothic, and there's something you'll love, guaranteed. 

There are no words for this one. I can't explain it.

There are no words for this one. I can't explain it.

It's who she is. It's what she does. It's cosmic and crazy and it's incredible.

I took all of this, my love for this wild girl, her work and her intentions and her ideas, and I designed a website. It's been a crazy, running project that I wish I could devote more time to, because there is nothing I want more than to give her exactly what she needs to spread her love and talent to the world. We finalized the last few little touches today, and it's time for her to launch. 

We did a soft launch a few months ago with the first draft of the site, but the timing wasn't right. The Universe knows where and when things come together, and tonight, after over a year of planning, Katelyn's baby, PrettyXTwisted, is live.


There is no way I can express how much I adore this girl, these pieces, and how much of my heart I put into this site. It is simple and open, and it looks almost like I didn't do much. The gallery holds photos of past pieces and gorgeous custom-made items, all of which you can use as inspiration for your piece. She'll talk to you, give you ideas, share rough drafts and plan out exactly what you want and need, and the entire process is simple and easy. When the mail comes and your jewelry is finally in your hands, you'll realize that something beautifully complex has come out of this "seemingly simple" site, and you'll be a friend of Katelyn's for life. She's one of those people you cannot let go of. You'll see what I mean.


I present to you, 
Find your bliss there, and have fun.

This process and friendship have changed my life. It seems silly that a tattoo, an Algebra II class, and a necklace could bring such a huge tidal wave and drastically alter the course of my life, but that's just Katelyn. She's a hurricane. She's pretty and twisted, and that's why I love her.

You will, too.

Grateful and happily yours, till next time,

On finding the source.

Bee ButlerComment

Have you ever known someone with a strange little idiosyncrasy, something funny they did, like licking their finger before they turned a page, or clearing their throat a certain way, or muttering some absurd little saying on occasion? Something that you noticed because it was odd or out of place, and it always stuck with you. Then, one day, you meet their parents, or their grandma, or their uncle or older cousin, and BOOM, there it is. The source. The originator (for your friend, at least) of that weird quirk, in all their oddball glory, clearing their throat or muttering that old adage, and you realized, hey, that's why they do it.

Sometimes, that thing is less of an odd little idiosyncrasy and more of an emotional detrimental behavior that both infuriates and terrifies you. Sometimes, it is something you don't know how long you'll be able to bear. Maybe it's something you desperately beg that person to stop, something you point out that they refuse to believe that they do, or something they turn around and blame on you, as if the fucked up thing they repeatedly do is somehow your fault.

You spend so much time analyzing, wondering if you're crazy or if you really are the cause of their problem, and you occasionally have to reassure yourself that this behavior can be dealt with and will go away.

And then, in one life-changing moment, you find their "source", and you realize that not only will they never stop, but there's even a good chance they'll unintentionally pass that trait on to their kid or someone else impressionable, and you realize in that split second that you are truly fucked.


That happened tonight. Someone in my life has a habit that makes me cringe and scream and it is something I have, at length, mulled over and attempted to dissect, only to find out that it was something they picked up from one of their parents. And now, I cannot really see how on earth I was blind enough to think that this was something I could change. 

This behavior is ingrained in my friend's DNA at this point. People our age don't change things like that. Certainly not because someone viewed the way they view me said to. And I know now, without a doubt, that this person can no longer be in my life. And that is so heartbreaking in so many ways. Some part of me always knew that, but I think that this was the nail in a long-closed coffin, and I am at a breaking point I never thought I would see again. I didn't think I would ever say "enough" because of how close we used to be, but this time, I need to love myself more than I love everyone else in my life and say, "Hey, get the fuck away from me and never, ever get close again".

Be careful who you allow into your inner circle. Never ignore your gut feelings. Most of all, meet everybody's parents, because there's a good chance they have some sort of behavior or worldview that they've passed on, and if it's something terrible, you're giving yourself a chance to run before you get to close.

Fuck, man.
I hate growing up.

On credit where credit is seriously due.

Bee Butler1 Comment

When you encounter a person who does something extraordinary, someone who goes above and beyond, not just excelling in their work, but as a human being in a world that is often cold and unfeeling, it is my personal opinion that you should recognize them for it. In this case, leaving feedback with an employer didn't feel like enough, so here you go.

If you ever want to know what bank to work with and live in the North County San Diego area, go to the Chase Private Client banking branch in Carlsbad. James Vasquez will be your hero and your savior if anything goes wrong, and if all goes right, just a nice and helpful advocate should you ever need anything.

I’ve been through an extraordinary amount of crap lately involving my bank and the theft of my identity, eventually equaling over $1,000. I had to get a police report, present paperwork, continually come in to the branch, and make an absurd amount of calls to get my refund, as the money was provisionally credited, taken out due to an error in processing, and then re-credited. It would have been a nightmare.

It wasn’t, though. The entire time I had a branch employee on my side as an advocate, a constant update source, and a never-ending driving force behind getting that cash back into my hand. James Vasquez, my personal banker out of the Chase Private Client Bank in La Costa Town Square (3440 Via Mercato, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92009), contacted me diligently, kept me in the loop, left positive and encouraging voicemails about my case (and yes, he always asked if he could call me back or leave voicemails, it was never a problem or an annoyance to receive a call from him) and made sure I had the money by 9AM today, after several weeks of work. I truly feel like I was able to keep my cool about this and avoid a lot of headache and worry because he was the one handling all of the backend work on my claim.

Yesterday, August 19th, 2016, James and I talked 5 times. Ordinarily, that would be way too much, but we did so because there were some frustrating things going on, and every step of the way, he was letting me know what was happening and how he was working to resolve it. He initially left a voicemail during the day to inform me that the claim had officially been resubmitted, and to assure me that he had my back and was doing everything he could to get things finished up, because he knew I needed my money. That voicemail almost made me cry, because I had been concerned about getting the funds, but I didn’t want to seem like a pain in the butt or bother anyone about it, and hearing him detail the process and go out of his way to let me know that he was advocating for me and didn’t mind doing so was exactly what I needed to hear. When the fraud team deposited my money in the wrong account, I called back to let him know, and he IMMEDIATELY got on it. He detailed what was going to happen and let me know that it would show up as a transaction, so I never freaked out about the weird things going on in my account as I tracked the funds on my mobile app. When there was an error in the server and the money didn’t deposit correctly between the accounts, James called to let me know, apologized profusely even though it wasn’t his fault, and assured me that the cash would be in my account and ready to use by 9AM today, August 20th, and that if I had any questions, I could call him. The money was deposited right when he said it would be, and he called to confirm that it had gone through. I cannot tell you how happy I am right now.

This case was transferred to James when my previous contact at the bank was busy. He had this mess thrown in his lap at random, and despite a number of hurdles, mistakes, and frustrations, he has been nothing but kind, cheerful, apologetic, and helpful. He is legitimately the best banker I have worked with, ever, and has gone above and beyond in every single aspect of this case. The best part of all of this is that he never once asked me to give him a positive review; I had to ask him if there was a way for me to do so yesterday, because I WANTED to let Chase know that they had an employee who deserved recognition. If this guy is the person representing Chase, the bank looks good, as an institution, and as a private branch. If James Vasquez is the type of employee you’ll encounter as a customer at Chase, you will never want to put your money elsewhere. Please do something to make sure he never has a desire to leave his job with you, because losing James to any other company would be a major loss for you, and a major win for them.

Thanks again to James for getting this all done, should he ever be given the chance to read this. I could not be more grateful.
— My customer feedback on the site, left this morning

I wish I could let you hear his voicemails, because they are seriously the kicker in this whole thing, but California privacy laws dictate two-party consent in recorded conversations, and I'm not gonna try to straddle the line there. Just know that it was the kind of voicemail that you've always hoped to get when you were down, worried, stressed, or sad.

If you've got someone in your employ, work life, school life, or personal life who's kicking some major ass, please go thank them today. You don't know how much they may need it, or who might be listening.

Till next time,

Situational Awareness.

Bee ButlerComment

JoJo has dropped a new single, the internet gave me four more, I have a real, actual, big-girl-makin'-money job, and my bank account should pull out of the negative sometime today.


I swear, this time we're gonna bust it out.
I'm scared to death, I'm not gonna lie about that, but I am so dead set on finally being successful, finding myself and my center, and getting some BALANCE going in this chaotic swirl that's been me for the last (almost) two years.

For the first time since I was 17, I have a 9-5. I'm in school, but it's online. It's gonna kick my ass. I'm terrified, but I am so done failing out of things. I used to be a successful, smart, brave, fierce little girl. And sometimes I think maybe she's still in there. This morning, I'm channeling her like crazy and going full force.


And, like she would, I decorated the hell out of a binder to motivate myself.
I may have coffee and pointed-toe business shoes on, but I am still a 12 year old school supplies addict.

Here we go,

Two Pairs of Shorts.

Bee ButlerComment

My friend Carly (formerly Carlovely, for those of you who are Tumblr fanatics like me) posted this photo today, with the following caption:

this is a photo i took today of two pairs of shorts, both mossimo brand from the juniors’ section at target. i bought the denim pair, a size 0, at the beginning of this summer. the black pair are a size 4. let me repeat that, the LARGER pair pictured here are a size 0 whereas the SMALLER pair are a size 4. same brand. same season. THIS is why women have body issues.

I love Carly, and she has dropped a ton of weight in recent years, so she's fully aware of the utter bullshit that is women's pants sizing. I was legitimately furious at this picture, because WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD TO JUST MAKE UNIFORM SIZING FOR PANTS, DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN.

A bunch of people jumped on my ass when I shared the picture on Facebook, because beauty standards and it shouldn't matter and blah blah blah whatever I'm not in the mood to read those comments today, thanks.

 This is why it matters to me, and to millions of others.

When you've struggled with an eating disorder, the size of your pants can be incredibly troubling. Going from a size five to a size sixteen can make you feel like you're going to die. It's crazy, but that's what fuels anorexia and bulimia; the crazy idea that your value is inherently determined by your size.

While I know that my worth does not come from a pair of shorts, my history with eating disorders makes it impossible not to see the connection there. A size sixteen is not the same or smaller than a size eight, and thus, my pants (or the pants in the picture, or any pants anywhere) should not reflect the idea that they are. Women's clothing is sized in an absurd, eating-disorder-fueling, beauty-standard-enforcing manner, and that is INFURIATING to me and so many others who just want to buy some damn fabric to cover our asses. Mossimo and the hundreds of thousands of other brands who size their clothing in such a dishonest and crazy manner need to be subjugated to criticism and consequences so that they can see the error of their ways and fix the problem in their sizing, as well as in their thinking.

The end. Full stop.



If you cannot wrap your head around that, then please do not ever talk to me about food, or pants, or clothing, or beauty standards, or weight, or actually at all, ever. Just shut up. Because this shit nearly killed me two years ago, and I'm still too close to it to be objective or give a rat's ass about your completely wrong and invalid opinion. Bye.


For those of you who get it and are mad as hell at the struggle and BS that comes along with it, know this: You are beautiful, and Target and Mossimo and everyone else can suck it. They are wrong, and your body is right, and we will keep fighting this until something changes, and it sure won't be our minds.


Until pants sizes are normal,