madisen kuhn

blog

the love club // mostly about journaling
 
 
love club transp1.png
 

Hey, you.

 My therapist pointed out to me during a session that I hold my breath and become very still when I feel tense. It’s like, I’m so focused on whatever is burdening me that I forget to breathe. After she brought this to my attention, I began to notice it all the time. Now that I know that this is a Thing that I do, I also know to take a few deep breaths as soon as I’m aware of it. I feel my body relax. My heart slows a little. My shoulders lower away from my ears. It’s an easy fix.

The same way I hold my breath, I also hold in what I’m feeling. I let it whirl in my head on a loop. It feels heavy in my chest. I get so caught up in the painful feeling of confinement that I forget that it doesn’t have to be this way. I can let it out. I can breathe as soon as I notice I haven’t been.

IMG_8024.JPG

Journaling is my tried and true ritual for purging weighty thought and emotion. I can look back on my life and see that the seasons in which I was regularly journaling brought more peace and clarity. Simply taking time each day to focus on YOU is a rewarding act of self-love in itself, but the revelations that come with thinking “out-loud” (on paper) are invaluable. When you give yourself the opportunity to follow a train of thought without judgment or a sense of urgency, you find so much more in your head and your heart that could’ve sat idly—full of potential, but neglected.

I try to journal at the same time every day to reinforce the habit, which used to be before bed, but I’ve switched to in the morning (around 8 or 9) and like that much more. I can unload and move on with my day feeling lighter. I’ll often go to a café and really milk the “self-care” stereotypes just to make it fun for myself. And this may go without saying, but it’s also important to me that I really like my journal. I’ve bought a few impulsively that I never finished because I got tired of the journal itself. They were either too big or too small or too eccentric (textured parchment is nice, in theory, but annoying to actually write on.) One time I decided to buy a yellow journal. I only got maybe ten pages in because I began to hate the shade. Sounds silly, but when you get a journal, make sure it meets your aesthetic and practical needs. I just began an unlined one for the first time and love it, but in the past I always made sure my journals were lined because I really cared about them looking neat and tidy. (I’ve grown to embrace the mess.)

 
IMG_8027.JPG
 

I love journals that are minimal in design. My favorite, easy, go-to journal is Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 (in black, of course.) The one I just started I found in a little shop (7115 by Szeki) on Rivington St. in New York. It comes in a standard size and a pocket size. I bought the pocket size to easier carry it around in my purse. There’s a space behind the binding that fits a pen perfectly. I also care a lot about my pens. My favorite are the gel pens from Muji. I’ve found that journaling in pencil is messier (I’m a lefty) and begins to fade overtime, which makes saving them kind of pointless (isn’t it everyone’s hope that our journals will be admired post-mortem, like Sylvia Plath or Eliss Grey? Just kidding. I save mine for sentimental value, to have an accessible timeline of my mental health, and to hopefully show my children one day.) 

When I finished my Moleskine, and switched to my 7115 journal, there was a shift in my journaling patterns. I had been recounting my days in detail and writing down my plans for the immediate future, almost like writing in an agenda, but when I started this new journal, I began to write more introspectively about life-themes and feelings, rather than events. That’s what reminded me of Sunday Love Letters. It often feels like journaling when I write these emails.  

I want to get back into the habit of writing emails, but this time with less structure. They may not come weekly or on Sunday’s. I might send out three in one week and none the next. I think the conformity is what has tripped me up in the past. I’m a perfectionist. It’s exhausting. I want to let myself exist with less self-imposed limitations. 

Something feels more intimate and personal about these emails than sharing thoughts on social media. There’s less pressure for them to appear a certain way because it’s not displayed on a (semi-)permanent, public feed. I think it’ll be a good way for me to tap into some creativity. To embrace a more uninhibited mode of expression. I probably won’t edit them either.

I hope you stay subbed. And please, feel free to reply to these emails whenever you have something to say. I would love to hear your thoughts on whatever I’ve written. I would love for this to be a conversation, not just a shout in to the void.

Love you, mean it.

Madisen

PS.

Here’s a playlist of songs I’ve been digging lately (I’ll be adding to it throughout the month.)


madisen kuhnComment
a forever favorite
FA1D2C11-9F4E-4E77-AAC2-9E003EC6E863.jpg

period-proof underwear that works

i got my period when i was 12, a month before my 13th birthday, and went on birth control when i was in high school because my symptoms were so severe that no amount of advil or time with the heating pad would help. some days i couldn’t even make it to school. the only thing i could to to escape the pain was sleep, and sometimes it was so painful i couldn’t even do that.

i’ve been wearing THINX period panties for close to 5 years now and every month when i pull them out of my drawer, i am so happy they exist. periods suck, but these make them suck less. instead of feeling gross with a pad or in bloodstained granny panties reserved specifically for my time of the month (did anyone else do this too?), i actually feel sexy in my THINX!! what! I love being able to cuddle with my boyfriend at night and not feel like i’m wearing a diaper.

srsly feel so cute and comfortable and confident in them that i was able to do a photoshoot in my undies to show ‘em off! (these are the organic cotton briefs.)

owning THINX feels like an act of self love. while i’m still attracted to minimalism, there is still a lot of excess in my closet, but these are not one of them. these are essential. i have six pairs and zero buyers remorse. and extra brownie points for them being good for the planet as well.

and because my friends at THINX are sooo amazing, they’ve gifted us with a $5 off coupon code (cue angels singing in perfect harmony) Use MADISEN5 at checkout to save on your panties. you also save more the more you buy! And if you want even more info about why I love them, check out my previous blog post that includes a Q&A and #menstruatingfacts.

customize a cycle set

10% OFF when you buy 3 pairs or more
15% OFF when you buy 5 pairs or more
20% OFF when you buy 7 pairs or more

love you & love THINX.
& i hope you love both of those things as much as i do!

xoxo,

sig.png
 


madisen kuhnComment
to make monsters out of girls
IMG_5294.JPG

this morning, i sat in bed while the rain dripped outside and devoured an iced latte and amanda’s newest book in one sitting.

'to make monsters out of girls' is a darkly whimsical narrative of a person who, despite past abuse, is able to cultivate a self-love that blooms and welcome in a romantic-love that nurtures. she learns that there is intimacy in the world that heals instead of destroys, and conveys the importance of portraying mistreatment candidly so that others are validated in their own, messy chronicles. 

it’s so easy to look back at chapters of our lives and tell them with the hindsight bias we have now. i appreciate the way amanda thoughtfully inspects the monstrous relationship and acknowledges her own faults while still holding the abuser completely accountable. no one is perfect. but no one deserves cruel manipulation disguised as love.

my favorite pieces/quotes:

i can’t tell the difference between you & the dead of winter. - at least winter makes way for spring.
— amanda lovelace, to make monsters out of girls
in the spring, the thawing began. with a hand clutched to my chest, i stumbled down that overgrown path, dug through the softened dirt, & took that beatless thing back into my hands. i leaned in & whispered to it, “please don’t give up. not yet. there’s still someone you should be beating for—me.” somewhere in that darkness, the faintest sparkle of light bloomed.
— amanda lovelace, to make monsters out of girls
my new love— he’s got a green thumb. where you neglected me & let the weeds overtake, he’s always so very nurturing. & you’ll never guess what— he made for damn sure he repotted me where i could stretch towards the light & finally outgrow you.
— amanda lovelace, to make monsters out of girls
that girl belongs to the coffee shops & the bookstores & the treetops— but mostly she just belongs to herself
— amanda lovelace, to make monsters out of girls

the vulnerability + honesty in this collection inspires me. amanda's brutal, unapologetic poetry makes me want to harness my own power and boldly declare my strength + my truth. i will be waiting impatiently until march for 'the mermaid's voice returns in this one'

IMG_5296.JPG
madisen kuhnComment
period better with THINX

organic cotton undies 

for people with periods

in collaboration with THINX

Period-proof panties > any other period product.

Today is the last day of #MenstrualHygieneMonth!

I’m so grateful to @shethinx for sending me a new cycle set this month, and for the chance to collaborate with one of my all-time favorite brands. I bought my first pair of #THINX undies in 2014 (I think. Maybe 2015.) They were my favorite #lifehack for not wanting to sleep with a tampon or pad, but now I’ve graduated them to all-day use.

Lately I’ve been really conscious about what I allow in and around my body (and realized that I mostly hate both tampons & pads, and I’m not thrilled about the idea of sticking something synthetic like a menstrual cup up my vag!) I was so pumped when I found out that @shethinx now sells organic cotton underwear.

IMG_0034.JPG

black organic cotton briefs

These are the organic cotton briefs. They hold up to 2 tampons worth of ~blood~. They’re comfortable and functional as hell. The organic cotton line also comes in bikini and thong (and in grey!)  but I like the briefs best because they hold the most fluid.

 

Q&A

do you just wash these when your cycle ends??

I rinse them out in the tub after I take them off, then run them through the wash on cold for good measure, and air dry!

when during your cycle do you wear these?

The whole cycle! The first couple days I change underwear once, but the rest of my cycle I can go all day.

how many do you have?

I have 6 pairs now! 1 sport, 1 cheeky, 1 hip-hugger in the original fabric, and 3 organic cotton briefs. The organic cotton briefs are my favorite. I also want to try out the thong for light days at some point.

*I'm also happy to answer any questions in the comment section of this post :)

 

Some #MENSTRUATINGfacts, courtesy of THINX

  • Did you know? A majority of states tax period products because they aren’t considered necessities. What do they consider a tax-free necessity? Chips, Mardi Gras beads, BBQ sunflower seeds, rolled up fruit candy, Viagra and Rogaine.

  • Reality check: The price of poor menstrual hygiene can be devastating, even deadly. How? In developing countries cervical cancer and infections are rampant because people who menstruate must use filthy, unwashed rags.

  • Fact: Unable to afford or access proper menstrual products, millions of people with periods around the world rely on materials like scraps of old clothing, pieces of foam mattress, toilet paper, leaves, and banana fibres to manage their menstruation – all of which are unhygienic, ineffective, and uncomfortable.

  • No student should miss a day of school or feel ashamed because they don't have access to tampons or pads. Requiring schools statewide to provide students with access to menstrual hygiene products is a long-overdue move that will help remove barriers to learning and the strong stigmas still associated with normal bodily function. -- Linda Rosenthal, Assemblyperson, NY.

  • Reality check: In the US, people who bleed have reported giving up their food stamps for money to buy tampons.

  • Toilet paper is provided as a necessary personal hygiene product for free in schools - and period products should be too.


If you hate...

- bulky pads

- sticking dry cotton up your hoo-ha

- or want to invest in a sustainable period product

... then These babies are for you.


img.jpg

for you!

use the code MADISEN5 any time at shethinx.com

Happy bleeding 〰️

take care,

 
signature+copy-1.png
 
madisen kuhnComment
hometown signing at b&n

i figure the photos speak for themselves here. it was another magical day. i had such a wonderful time sharing my writing and meeting so many of you in the barnes & noble i grew up beside. my friend steven and i would come here in high school and stick little notes in between the pages of random books. my heart was bursting by the end and i'm dying to do more and more until i’ve met every last one of you. thank you to everyone who came (especially, specifically, the girls who traveled a long, long way. you’re amazing + i appreciate you.)

and here i am, maturely picking the nose of my photo on the event sign (which you bet your butt i took home with me to frame as a rare token of narcissism.)

madisen kuhnComment