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!”

final-14-2

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.

final-12-2

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.

final-9-2

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.

final-4-2

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.

final-19-2

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.

Untitled-5

Advertisements

I Think, Therefore I Can.

When our universe began, it didn’t just appear through some kind of advantageous happenstance. There wasn’t some large explosion that unpacked our space systems either.

Our universe began as a very hot, dense, single point in space. There were no stars, no planets, no form, and no structure. The forthcoming potential of it was still awaiting the opportune moment to burgeon into the cosmic spectacle that it is today.

In the event that we know as the “Big Bang”, the singularity that our universe was began to expand. From this expansion, atoms began to bloom into the star systems and galaxies that we know today.

In our universe, everything is designed for a purpose. The breathtaking system of our cosmos and all its stars, planets, and galaxies works in a sophisticated and interwoven way where everything just makes sense.

In short, our universe is pretty darn awesome.

final-1

As astrophysicist and brilliant mind Carl Sagan wrote in his book The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective:

Our Sun is a second or third generation star. All of the rocky material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star stuff.

We are made of the same awesome stuff as our universe. Knowing this, it’s necessary that we treat ourselves and think of ourselves as such. Why sell ourselves short of the realities we know we deserve?

At times, I forget the power my thoughts wield. A la Rene Descartes: I think, therefore I can create an amazing life – or a completely sub-par one.

The thing about our thoughts is that what we think, is what we subconsciously deem to be our truth. This is why it’s paramount that we present our thoughts in the most positive light that we can, so we can give ourselves the glorious realities that we deserve.

final-5

It can be laborious to try to fashion our thinking towards a brighter reality. We all endure our own circumstances with life that can cause us to be stiff-necked about changing it. Sometimes life is too good and we think it can’t get any better. Other occasions we’ve tried far too many times to take a leap and change our lives, only to find ourselves flat on our faces.

If you want change in your life and if you want it really badly, you’ll find the will to make it happen.

The issue is that we can get so comfortable with the fallacy that life now is what life will always be. Any attempt to come to terms with something other than what we see as our truth seems impossible.

As British philosopher and self-help dignitary James Allen stated in his book As A Man Thinketh:

Mind is the Master power that molds and makes,

And Man is Mind…

We are made of the sanctified power that created us. We are literally fashioned by the thoughts we process – our characters are the complete sum of our thoughts.

 

This is our power. If we give our minds the opportunity to be as boundless as the cosmos, we can take our realities to the places we desire most for them to go. If we never attempt to look beyond the horizon, we’ll never give ourselves the opportunity to behold the cosmic spectacle of our universe.

Our universe could have stayed a cold spot in space, but here we are within it getting to enjoy the beauty of its expansion. You’ll allow yourself to be who you want to be, that’s your choice as a human being. The sky will stretch as far as you let it. For the sake of your happiness, choose to live as luminously as the cosmos.

There are galaxies inside you. Let them sing.

Untitled-5

 

 

 

 

You Have The Most Fun At 21.

The other day my mom was looking through old photographs that we had boxed away. She found one of me at twenty one. I was with my sister and my cousins at the Empire State Building in New York, We’d gone to the city to celebrate my 21st birthday.

It was such a wonderful adventure. To start, we had breakfast at a really posh restaurant, did the whole Empire State Building experience, then indulged in some of the yummiest macarons at Ladurée near Central Park.

That day has always stood out to me as one of my happiest memories from being twenty one.

Having such a good start to a year gives way to setting high expectations for the rest of it. On my flight back to Florida, I watched New York’s skyline fade away with an optimistic smile. If my birthday trip that marked the beginning of a new age in my life went so well, the rest of the year had to go just as smooth, right?

Sometimes I wish I could travel into the past just to smack myself in the head for my constant overoptimism.

IMG_1900

It only took a couple of months for things to begin to go awry. I had encountered your typical bumps in the road:

  • Unexpected school expenses that I couldn’t handle. (I thank my lucky stars for the supportive parents I have)
  • Going to Urgent Care because one of my eyes wouldn’t open.
  • Being too shy to give myself the opportunity to hang out with this guy I thought was cute before he left the city.

Nothing that I couldn’t get over in a week, but still annoying to deal with. Life can’t always allow you to be great, right?

We all go through personal trials that test our limits every age, I naively thought these were mine. I didn’t know that my troubles would go deeper than that.

At the time, I sincerely believed that being twenty one was the official marking point in life where you cross the threshold of becoming an actual adult. You’re allowed to drink, get into more bars and clubs and people call you legal, so that means you’re an adult right?

Please, take as much time as you need to facepalm or shake your head at my twenty one year old stupidity.

IMG_1903

I was the typical mold of your average twenty one year old idiot. What made it worse was that I hadn’t fully come to terms with being comfortable with who I was, so I just did what I could to please people and to fit in. All of this doesn’t get any better considering that I’m one the most stubborn people you’ll meet.

Have you ever felt so distant from your actions that it seems as if you’re watching someone else? Doesn’t it suck when you tell yourself “Oh no, that really is me!”.

Twenty one year old me, was not who I truly am.

I don’t drink a lot, I hate clubs because there’s so many strangers all at once (and they smell terrible), I think the idea of hookups is weird and pretentious people anger me. Yet there I was, indulging these things.

Remembering everything about who I tried so hard to be at twenty one always makes me so angry. Sometimes I think about if there were ever a year that I could delete from my life, it would be twenty one.

As much as that age hurts me, I wouldn’t get rid of any of the memories it gave me.

IMG_1901

All the bad of becoming someone so outside of myself was a lesson. I didn’t want friends that only liked me because of what I showed them. I didn’t want to be with guys who made me feel that there was no reason to go past the surface of who I was. I didn’t want to pretend anymore.

I just wanted to enjoy being me.

It took a lot for me to learn how to step away from the herd and stop being a sheep. To this day, I still can’t believe that the moments I sacrificed being myself and exercising self-care just to please others are moments that were real.

The day I realized that it was time to step out of this personality I had adopted was simultaneously the most empowering and embarrassing day of my life.

The Embarrassing Part of That Day: I was crying in my sociology class and walking in and out of the classroom to scream at someone on the phone in my school’s parking lot over something really stupid – a boy.

The Empowering Part of That Day: I realized all at once that I was worth more than who I pretended to be.

IMG_1902

As much as I despise everything I did – and I mean everything – at twenty one years old, I’m grateful for what I learned from my actions.

I’m now twenty four and I’m not only comfortable with who I am, but proud of who I keep on becoming. I’m a young women driven towards her success and happiness. I still have my quirks, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m always going to find room to improve myself.

I’m closing the chapter of looking at who I was at that time with distaste and moving on to accepting my actions. I can’t change those memories. I’ll never get rid of them, but I can accept that was who I was at the time and who I am today is growing to be better.

So to my bad memories, thank you. You’ve taught me who I don’t want to be.

 

Untitled-5

 

 

 

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.

 

final-1-2

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!

final-7

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.

final-1-5

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.

final-8 copy.jpg

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.

 

Untitled-5

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.

final-11

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. 

final-4

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?

final-7

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.

Untitled-5

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

final-1

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.

final-1-2

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.

final-1-7

A Letter To An Overthinker, From an Overthinker.

final-1

As 2017 comes to a close, I can’t help but look back on what this year has been like for me.

To put it simply, it’s been an adventure.

I began 2017 with all my energy focused on getting to the next chapter of my life. I set up a plan that I put my heart, my soul, my everything into achieving. By doing this, I had  sacrificed so much. I put a lot of what I love on the back burner because I stuck myself too deep into the future to focus on what was happening right in front of me. I hadn’t realized that I put a great deal of my life on pause because of the blinders I put on while working towards the future. I thought I had everything laid out exactly as I wanted it, and all the moves I was making towards these plans for my life would work out as I’d hope for them to.

In the great words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, “Life, uh, finds a way.”

As much as I wanted things to work out my way, if life has other plans, than those plans will find a way to coalesce when they are supposed to. My life has always been lived by plans and self-made expectations. It’s to the point that I forget to focus on what’s most important: Me. My mental health, my emotions, my mindfulness.

I was in a place that things got so bad, I refused to acknowledge and actively blinded myself to what was in front of me. Every day I woke up, and my soul felt heavy. Doing what I love felt like a chore. The me that used to wake up and want to shine every day became okay with being an empty vessel, submitting to a rhythmic and mundane life, all for a plan.

On the outside, I was rapidly making strides towards the next stage of my life. I worked two jobs and saved a good amount of money every month, and in my eyes and to everyone else around me, it all seemed as if I was doing really well with getting where I wanted to go.

The more I lived my life like this, the more I let the light within me dissipate. By the time I left my other job, the light within me evaporated to almost nothing. I only realized how settled into a routine of misery I had gotten once I left.

You don’t just build up a dilapidated house overnight. Especially if the foundation that it stood on had some cracks in the first place. Once I realized how truly far gone I was, it took me a while to figure out how I could rebuild myself. I was terrified. Taking on the task of rebuilding something so broken is obviously not easy. I faded away, and I drifted from the light of who I was, but one thing I realized was that I wasn’t destroyed.

I’m here. The plans I’ve set for my life will still come to pass, but I’ve changed something that I’ve needed to. I’ve changed the way I take care of myself by beginning to actually do it.

For years, I’ve put taking care of my mental health to the side and just jotting it down as a phase that I could get through. Two years ago, I realized that you can’t call a constant a phase. I realized that I needed to speak to someone for the first time, and through my growth, I’ve learned different ways to ensure I live my life as the best version of me possible.

This year has given me experiences that have put me on both the highest and lowest points of the spectrum of my emotions. I began so low and empty the first half of the year, but the past six months have been an elevation of my emotions, my sense of being an adult, and my drive towards my happiness. 2017 may have given me a rough start, but with a full heart I can say that I’m closing out this year completely satisfied.

I’ve learned so much about myself that has pushed me further into understanding adulthood. I want my life to be one filled with love, adventure, and continuous learning.

At the beginning of the year, I said that 2017 would be the year of me. The year I finally learn about myself and how to be the best version of that person possible, and how to lead out a life that makes me feel whole. I feel the light within me nearly bursting at the seams. I’ve learned so much about how to give myself the good life I deserve, and now it’s time to finally do it.

A friend of mine told me earlier this year that I overthink. They were right. I take in so much about how to be a good person and lead a good life, but I think too hard about what I need to do to get there, but it’s simple – just go out everyday and work on what you want to live your best life.

Stop thinking about the minuscule specifics of how to get somewhere.

Stop thinking so hard and overanalyzing and just do.

Do what makes you happy and allows you to live your best life.

2017 was my year of learning.

2018 will be the year I take what I’ve learned and put it into action.

 

Time to be brave.

final-1-7