A Letter To Be Better.

Hi there, it’s been a while.

About four months, actually. So much in that time has affected my emotional balance. I find it compelling how we can realize that we aren’t exemplifying our most ideal versions of ourselves until we take a step back and look at our emotions. 

These past couple of months have been filled with questions like:

  • “What on earth is wrong with me?”
  • “Why can’t I talk to people the way I used to feel comfortable?”
  • “Why do I all of a sudden feel like the best thing I can do is pretend like I don’t exist for a little?”

Take a moment to think about this. If you had to ask yourself these questions, would you be able to answer them as quickly as you’d like? I’m not a woman of patience, so it should be quite obvious that not being able to answer these questions about myself was easily a huge frustration for me. I just want to look at the sky and scream “GIVE ME ALL THE ANSWERS!”

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I know where I want to go and my heart is dead set on making sure I get there. It’s the how and when that kills me.

How will I get there?

When will it happen?

I was speaking to my therapist last week and she raised a good point about my personality:

“You draw yourself in when things don’t go your way right when you want it.”

– Dr. Cool Woman Who Has Lived The Life I Want To Lead And Holds Me Accountable For Being The Overoccasional Wuss

Damn right I do. When I want something, I work my hardest to ensure that I get it. Not particularly in the storybook way that most people work towards things though. I’ll ask my closest friends and family for advice on getting where I want to go, and I’ll run amok trying to find ways to give myself the happiness I want from the next chapter of my life as quickly as I can.

Here’s the problem: There’s no consistency.

All the stubborn bits of my personality make it so hard to say this, but in achieving my goals, I haven’t been consistent. I’m really good at looking back and saying “Why Me?” when things don’t happen the way I want them to. (I’m working on changing that!)

Like my therapist said, when I don’t get what I want, I don’t treat myself or others how they deserve.

So I’m sorry.

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I’ve grasped at the straws of so many different ideas about how to live a better life that it’s shortstopped my way of getting there, and it has made me angry.

It’s changed the way I interact with people. Knowing myself, I know that I can do better than what I have been.

I’ve been a person that I don’t like. I’ve closed myself off to the world around me and don’t let people get used to my happiness. It doesn’t make you feel like a good person when you hear “I don’t know how to act around you because I don’t know if you’re angry with me or not.” over and over again. (True Life: It sucks, really really badly.)

How do you explain that you’re being a brat because you’re not getting what you want in life? In truth, you really don’t want that to be your explanation either.

Life isn’t a straight path of serenity where everything goes your way, and it has taken some time for me to come to terms with that.

What does make the crazy ride that life is much easier though, is consistency. Stay the course, as rough as it seems.

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I’ve said so much about how I’m going to make my life better, but really, what work have I done? (It’s embarrassingly minimal at best.)

As much as it sounds like it, this isn’t a self-deprecation post. I just want to be honest here.

I’ve been an impatient asshole these past couple of months, and I’ve been taking it out on others through passive-aggressiveness.

It’s almost the end of August, so I’ve really got only three more months of this year to do right.

I’m going to work on being a truly better me, and make my actions count, and more importantly, be genuine.

I know I have all the potential to be a good person and impart the talents I have to the world around me, but I need to be consistent in my steps from now on.

I need to say less, and do more.

I’ve got to think more before I act.

I need to rationalize more.

I need to enact consistency in my life.

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I want to be good not only for those around me, but for me. There is a light that I’m running towards, and no matter how hard or tough the road may seem, I just have to keep going.

I have to keep trying to be a good person.

I’m gonna get what I want. Maybe not now, but my these past months have taught me to be consistent with my actions. I’ve learned that consistency requires quite a bit of holding yourself accountable. I need to stop making excuses for why I shy away from making better decisions for myself, and work towards taking the risks I need to live a better life.

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So what I’ve learned these past few months is that life ain’t easy, especially living a good one. It requires work, and I can’t be lazy about the life I want to live.

I’ve got to look at consistency like a mantra. I don’t want to lose course on getting towards my best life.

So here’s to more patience and consistency for the rest of 2018 and onward.

I only hope to write about how they help me get better as a person moving forward.

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Growing Pains.

Which do you want? The pain of staying where you are, or the pain of growth?

– Judith Hanson Lasater

Growing up is really hard. I remember when I was in my early teens and wanted so badly to be an adult. I couldn’t wait for the day I turned eighteen.

I lived such a sheltered life. I was the friend during senior year of high school that had to be home by 9 p.m., even on a Friday night. If you think that’s bad, I wasn’t even allowed to watch television during the week. I could only watch it on the weekends if my homework was done. The life of a kid raised by an award-winning teacher.

I just wanted to break free. I got so tired of my life being so safe and by design, I needed to do something that would shake things up and bring some color into my black and white world. When the chance came to spread my wings and fly away to my dream city to study Mass Communications for my undergrad, I got cold feet and stayed home.

The worst part about it? I didn’t chicken out because of what others were saying college life and being away from home would be like, I thought of every single negative “what if” situation that made it easy to put it all in reverse and back out of the plan of moving to Boston before I committed to anything serious.

 

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On the surface, I made it seem like my decision to stay home for college was made because I was happy at home and content with the city that I was in. When people asked, that answered sufficed.

On the inside, internal rage and suffering were battling it out to see who could make my day worse by reminding me of the choices I didn’t make towards being an adult and more importantly, being happy.

The thing about my life that I’ve found disappointing is that with all that I’ve done within it, everything seems so tame. I’ve traveled a lot and I go on adventures that make it seem that I’m living my best life, but all those adventures are fleeting in the grand scheme of what I’ve given to myself as an adult.

Have I ever lived on my own? No.

Have I ever tried to settle down with someone? No.

Have I ever committed to something as an adult? Kind of. I bought a car on my own! That counts!

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The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared to put myself in a situation where I’ve tried my hardest, and I fail.

I keep on thinking about all that I feel like I’m ready to do in life and all that I can do in it – it’s all so exciting. Then, the dark smog of fear slowly permeates the sweet air of my dreams, and all that I believe that I can do with my life is masked by an unnerving haze.

Every “I can” becomes “I could have”, and we move on to the next big plan that I set out for myself, only to let my fear get to me, and I back out before I even allow myself to see if I succeed or fail.

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I am so sick and tired of my overthinking. I’ve told myself that my fears were right for so long. It’s beyond an acceptable point and I’m just done with it all.

I can’t keep chickening out on taking adult risks. I told one of my best friends earlier this year that this is the year that I won’t be a little bitch. I think with the strides I’ve made this year, I’ve been keeping to that statement.

It’s time to keep that going.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been trying to move to Boston. There have been two significant times that I’ve told myself and others that I would commit to moving to my future city.

I’m still in Florida.

With both of these times, I’ve learned valuable lessons. I do plan on keeping to the statement that I told my best friend early this year, but not being a little bitch doesn’t mean I should act like a dumb bitch either.

I don’t want to jump on something I have to commit to and have to run home because I did it wrong.Commitment takes thought. Growing up takes learning. Both of these things take time and planning.

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I will continue to make this year about getting what I want. I want to move to Boston.

I’m going to suck it up and do the best I can to make the adult decisions I need to make to get there. This is the most ready I’ve felt for making this move and the moment I get there, that will be the moment I’ve reached the beginning of my adult life.

I need to stop hiding in corners for safety and giving myself an average life. I want to live freely, I want to truly feel like an adult, I want my own place so I can walk around with no pants on because it’s my damn apartment and I’ll do what I want.

I’m at that point where I was when I was a teenager. I want to be an adult. The difference this time around is that I’m open to learning about what it takes to make adult decisions and to pull the trigger at the most opportune moment.

It’s obviously not going to be easy. I see friends and family go through adult trials and tribulations and it’s nerve-wracking to witness, but the good they go through is really good. Most importantly, they have freedom.

It’s time to give myself my own freedom.

 

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photos taken by the lovely Taylor McGhee and Carolina Londoño. Ladies, support your lady friends.

You’re Just Too Comfortable In Chains

Here’s a sad story: I’ve always had a penchant for tender-footing around valuable decisions that move me towards living my best life.

I’ll see what I want in front of me, but with my deranged methodology of being a little punk, I’ll find someway to chicken out of doing what I need to get what I want.

It’s really annoying.

When I was younger, I held a very flippant attitude about my inner “punk ass”. I thought it was okay to divert my life’s course away from what I wanted for myself for the sake of sensibility.

  • I got an acceptance letter from Boston University for undergrad. This city has always been my favorite city. Did I go? No, I went to a local community college.
  • I always wanted to get a pixie cut, even in my teens. When I finally felt brave enough at sixteen to get a pixie cut, my hairdresser said that a cut like that would be too unconventional, too bold for someone my age. I just let her give me a trim.
  • I did whatever I could to hang with the cool kids in grade school. I never thought it was stupid to adjust my personality so I could be considered “cool”. I sat with the popular kids, even though my real friends were seated at other tables.

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In my mind, doing what was conventional was what should have kept me happy. Even though my heart cried out for the opposite of what I was giving it, I still kept on living on the terms of what was orthodox.

I was giving myself the most passive life.

Being a boring teenager evolved into becoming a droll adult. In my early 20’s I still felt as if I was incredibly commonplace and so far from the utopian model of a young woman happy with who she is, and what she was doing with her life.

I just think too much, this overthinking has always made me uptight.

When I was alone or with my family and closest friends, I felt loose enough to try and let myself be me. 

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Even around my family and closest friends, it was very tough to relax and be comfortable with letting all the elements of my personality shine. It made me very passive-aggressive, and it only grew worse the more I distanced myself from my portrait of happiness to connect myself with everyone else’s.

I’ll blame it on my youth for living that imprudently for so long. Wisdom and experience over time has taught me that what makes everyone else happy may not be for you.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve made strides that I consider tremendous towards my own nirvana. I’ve learned that the first vital step to take towards bliss is to stop caring so much about others and their thoughts.

Why should it be important what people who don’t play a considerate role in my life think about my choices and what makes me happy? So what if I cut my hair and it’s not conventional? So what if I decide to move 1200 miles away to a city that makes my soul burst with pure enchantment?

Why should I care about anything that doesn’t make me happy?

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No one should ever have to feel that they should skirt around their happiness because embracing it wholeheartedly would be discordant to what is conventional.

I’ve realized that putting myself in a mold that I don’t belong in is no fun and it’s not easy on the heart. I’ve grown from looking at life from the comfort of a safe ground, to stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the time to learn how I can live each day being a better me and learning to be confident in who that woman is.

It doesn’t matter who the rest of the world says you should be. If you’re singing a different song than the rest of the choir, as long as it makes you happy – keep singing.

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If I Leave All My Sorrow, I Don’t Know Who To Be.

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Earlier this week I was having a conversation with one of my best friends Helene about mental health and how far I’ve come with mine.

At sixteen years old I began to feel a subconscious awareness that the excessive uneasiness I felt about a considerable amount of things was abnormal. When you feel these things at such a young age, it’s definitely nerve-wracking to sort out how to address it. It didn’t make it any easier that there was a mountain of stigmas blocking the way to me figuring out how to feel better.

There is a mass of stigmas that exist about mental health and disorders that hold up people from focusing on their better purpose in life. It’s a sad truth that most individuals at some point in their lives have been blamed for their conditions. They’re made to believe that their symptoms are “just a phase” and a product of their own choices.

This is the unyielding power of stigmas. For so many who already are carrying the heavy burdens of their emotions, it’s a damaging addition to the pain they’re already going through.

Despite my background awareness of what my mind was going through, I couldn’t bring myself to go see anyone about it.

What would people think of me? If I go talk to someone, am I admitting to myself and everyone else that I’m crazy?

The only thing crazy about me was the fact that I took so long to finally do something.

I had let my anxiety seep into every aspect of my life and control what I did and how I reacted to it. I constantly was tense and felt an overwhelming disquiet within the realm of my emotions.

I cried too much, and then I couldn’t cry at all. Not until everything I had bottled up had burst open into my consciousness. So I would end up on my bedroom floor, screaming and crying with no way of sorting out how I could end the attack of emotional pain that seemed endless.

My anxiety ruled so many parts of me that it gave way to depression. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Things that would easily excite me didn’t do much for me, and in front of family and friends, I had a very hard time playing as if everything was okay.

I got to a point that I had enough. I couldn’t allow myself to be this way anymore. At what now feels like the absolute right time, I was told the life changing words that began my journey into properly managing my mental health:

“You go to the doctor when you get sick. If there are imbalances in your brain that make it not work as it should, how different is seeing a therapist than seeing a doctor for when you’re not feeling well?

From hearing those words, I felt courageous. After six years of trying to keep my anxiety and depression suppressed on my own, I finally decided to go see a therapist.

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After years of having slight notions of what my mind was going through, it came as a relief for my therapist and psychiatrist to confirm it for me. This wasn’t just something I was “going through” this was an imbalance in my brain.

I’ve come to accept how I’ve been scientifically designed – I’ll never be perfect. I can’t say that I’m always going to have good days, but the good days I have I try to make the best out of. Every experience of my life has contributed to where I’m at with my mental health. Through my journey I’ve learned that rejecting the cards that life has dealt for me does nothing to better my head space.

It’s been two years since I’ve started going to therapy, and I can say that I am in a much healthier head space than I was before I started. In the moment, taking that step to take care of myself was so incredibly terrifying. But I don’t want to just exist in life as someone who is tense and unfeeling, I want to live and feel every experience as deeply as I can.

Everything I experience is a part of me. The good, and the bad. Through my journey I’ve learned that without either, I wouldn’t know how to be me.

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Last Cup of Sorrow

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Letting go can feel so bleak. No matter how you slice it, it’s never something you can get used to doing.

I’m the type of person that letting go is hard for me to do. I keep to myself a lot, and I like to keep a small amount of people around me.

Continue reading Last Cup of Sorrow