22 June 2017

I’ve been speculating a lot when it came to this blog. I think for a while I forgot why I was writing in the first place –- or why I started this whole “rewind” and “unwind” mantra when all I wanted to do was let go of my past.

When I think about it, this will be my first post in 2019, but I haven’t left my writing behind. I had a job writing eight hours a week for a company that didn’t fully appreciate the talents they had within their teams. I wrote a novel for my thesis, which you can find at my other website I started while neglecting this one. I did a lot, I graduated my Master’s program, started my career hunt, and traveled all while I put off my hopes and dreams for a blog that I love –- all while putting off making this something I am passionate about.

Then, in the heat of all the stress from all the above coming to a close, I found myself wallowing in my future. So as all New York self-pittiers do, on June 19, I sat down in Central Park to think about the fear that was rising in the pit of my stomach. What was to come now that I am no longer a student, but rather a human drowning in debt and without a job? So, I did what I did best, I opened Notes on my iPhone, and I began to write a post for this blog. On, June 21, I was going to sit down, edit, and post that blurp I wrote, starting the revitalization of this blog, but then I remembered what today, June 22, meant for me in the past.

Oddly enough, but not out of the ordinary for me, on June 22, 2017, I felt the same weight of human suffocating from the thought of my future. I remember not sleeping more than an hour between the night of the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd, to spend the dawn researching and calling any option of help. I remember lying on the shower floor for hours while my tears mixed with the lukewarm water spraying above me. I was a mess, a bigger mess than I am right now, but none the less a mess.

This day, I was forever changed about how I viewed myself and my future. It was the day that broke me before I moved away to New York. I was scared. I saw my dreams of grad school slipping through my fingers like warmed sand. I thought about my life of wanting to write and how that would shift with these changes if I didn’t find the solution fast. I thought about my options and how the last thing I ever wanted was to see the person that hurt me ever again. I saw my parents, friends, and families disappointment, but above all, I saw the disappointment I had in myself.

I started to believe I wasn’t capable of overcoming this obstacle. I found myself in a hole far darker and scarier than any hole I had been in before. I told little to no one about this situation. I often wonder if those who know ever think about it, or have told other people, but I know that I have done everything I could to move on from June 22, 2017.

I started this blog in July when I needed to reflect on what had happened in June and what I would be going through in the coming years. I knew the journey I was meant to be on was never easy, but it was my path, and I was going to make it through. Fortunately, I can write this uplifting passage today because I found a way to make money while I continue my career search, but part of me always believes everything will work out. I like to say it’s my realistic side because I should always stay positive when I view something that I want to be my reality.

That post will come shortly as I work out what more I have to say about the month of June, but for now I am thankful I took a moment to start this blog. I inherently allowed myself to see my growth during the times where I feel so lost and out of control. I don’t regret my older posts about past relationships and heartache –- they have become buckets of inspiration while I write more and more novels. I know I need to keep my buckets full, so in honor of the day I thought my future was changed in such a negative way, I will try my best to overcome my obstacles and change the future of this blog.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

With my educational background rooted in psychology, I feel personally connected to this cause. I began this journey with this blog to improve my own mental health as well as impact others. As my personal health declines, my post became less frequent until I reached the point of having too much on my plate that there was no time for me to write.

Now I get paid to write. I head into the office and from 8am to 6pm I am sitting behind this very keyboard somehow finding more time to write than I ever had before. I will admit, occasionally the last thing I want to do after writing for 9 hours, is come home and write, but this is my platform.

This is where I can speak about myself and what is on my mind. This is a safe space for me to talk through my struggles and triumphs and reach out to those that follow my blog. My mental escape was and is this space. It is the therapy I could attend when I was in a new city trying to find my way.

My mental health record has been far from perfect. Occasionally I slip into depressive attitudes: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I don’t deserve the best. For the past year, I have found myself struggling with anxiety and becoming overwhelmed and instantly shutting down.

However, it is October. For me, thinking positively always brings me back to the surface. October is my favorite month. I am finally in a city with the chilly days greet me in the morning when I step outside. I look in the mirror and feel good enough, smart enough, and that I am deserving of the best.

Talking out my insecurities or destructive thinking has always brought myself to the surface and helped me see a more positive picture. I urge you all to reach out if you ever need a person to speak to. I would not be the person I am today if I did not care in the ways that I do.

Mental health awareness is so important. You are not less than someone else for. The stigma does not exist. Together we need to shed light on days like this to break the idea of a stereotype even surrounding the idea of benefiting your health.

First Year: Done

Finally, it is summer. The completion of my finals may be enough of a sign, but the humidity in the stale New York air makes it feel real. I successfully completed a full year of graduate school at New York University. My first semester, school-wise, went fantastically. I received great marks on my papers and presentations. The new world of grad school was being conquered and I was the victor. The adaption to New York and all of the curveballs with mental health made the Fall, altogether, kinda ehhhh.

Fast forward to the rebooting I did during winter break and feeling better in my new habitat: my second semester, happiness-wise, went fantastically. I was involved in a beautiful relationship, had an incredible support system of friends, and felt overall overjoyed. The curveballs some of my more difficult classes gave me, made the Spring, a bit more than what I am used to. 

I was enrolled in classes that were out of my element. I was being berated for my writing styles and it made finding time to write a task to be fought against. I was losing my passion. For a moment, I no longer wanted to write. I had excelled in all of my classes before, but suddenly I was average. This instructor had no words of advice that ever helped, and all I was hearing was I would never be good enough. I let it get to the best of me and I took it all to heart. I felt like everything I ever wanted did not matter anymore.

It has been only a few days since the completion of my final exam of the semester. I spent the remaining days running around for a new job, interviewing for multiple internships, and trying to stay a float in all of my other tasks. I received an offer for an amazing internship, and came in second for the dream internship.

However, it was the circumstances for the dream internship that got me thinking. A woman working in Human Resources reached out to me on a professional website, in regards to if I had any interest in an opening at their company. I was immediately floored and ecstatic. I hoped on a call with the senior editor, and she asked “where have I seen your writing samples?” I was immediately torn, I had not sent any in, and now I felt like anything I had written in the past was not good enough.

There was a little silence on my end, and a bit of worry surrounding if she had found my old freelance work I had done during undergrad. Then she listed out my blog, this blog, and told me that she loved my style. Firstly, it was so strange to hear that because not even my boyfriend has read any of my blog, but then for a moment, I felt blissful. No one in my personal bubble knows about this space, so meeting someone who knew it was exciting.

I was always recognized by the writing I did in the past. I felt so good blogging, but during school I left that part out of my life. I placed it on pause. However, with the summer upon me and my first week heading into the work place of New York, there is a lot of change to be coming in my life. The relaunch of my blog, will follow, because I have so much to share.

Thankful.

’tis the season to take a step back and view what it is you should show gratitude for. 

I will always gravitate towards a selfless ideal in order to recognize that so many individuals deserved to be thanked in my life. I am thankful that my parents who continue to show myself and my brother unconditional love in our daily lives. I am thankful for my friends, new and old, who continue to share laughs and smiles no matter the distance between us.

I am thankful for the opportunities that have been presented to me. I am thankful for my health, although I have been quite under the weather for some time, as per usual. I am thankful that the world is still turning through all the sadness and disasters that have shaken it a bit. I am thankful that I have been able to travel and view even more of this beautiful Earth this year.

What I need most this year though is to be thankful for myself and be selfish for a change. Self-love does not get enough attention, and I am thankful that this month I have made even more strides in the direction of loving who it is that I am. I have struggled recently with what it is that I love about myself. I lost parts of myself and I tried relentlessly to gain a sense of wholeness for far too long.

Except there are parts of me that will remain changed and different and I have become mindful of that. I see what it is that I “need”, and how what I “want” should follow second so I can achieve what is the most important to have in life.

I have set my little goals and my mental and physical health have improved tenfold. I have limited the toxic activities and focused on the positivity. There are boundaries I have mapped out and I am protecting myself in ways I truly deserve.

Finally, I am thankful that I can forgive myself.

For a moment I felt like I deserved less, that I would give myself for less, and that the credit I deserved should be lessened. I weakened myself to fit the mold that is too small for me. My heart continued to overflow as I tried to shrink.

I have one life with these two feet below me, and I should be living as intentionally as I can. So when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t hate that I looked and saw someone less than what it is I am, I forgive myself and know there is so much more to who I am.

I may have made mistakes, I may not have received the best criticism, I may have not taken myself out of negative situations fast enough, but I forgive myself. I know there is a strength that comes with recognizing that. I have spent my time feeling the lows, and now I will give myself the time to build towards the highs.

I am thankful that there is an internal strength inside of me and thankful for all of those who have been there for me throughout it all.

 

 

 

11 August 2016

I have been known to go the extra mile throughout my journey. Whether it be in my education, relationships, or daily tasks, I have gone further and would continue to seek an above and beyond mentality to better my days where I could. However, I tended to exhibit perfectionist ideals while I strongly believed there was something more I could do, or do differently, because of the extra mile I was and am willing to walk.

I have learned to not let that ideal weigh heavy on me. I am aware that I do not have to be, nor will I ever truly achieve perfection. I have settled with unperfected pieces in school and life even if I shouldn’t have. I allowed first drafts to be seen and I did so to protect myself and my mental state from wavering under the pressure. By doing that, I allowed for mishaps in order to lessen the outcome of stress and have grown in a new direction.

I internalized the bad grades and worked at time management and performance in academics to excel. I noticed where my efforts were needed more and where they could falter a bit for balance and cohesion in life. I became selective with the company I kept. From the imperfections, I saw my strengths and weaknesses under a spotlight and I became a better person because of the lessons I learned.

A year ago today, I was given a lesson on my heart. It was different from the lessons that I became accustomed to. I had not hoped to learn a lesson from it, rather learn and grow with it. I laid the foundation that provided me a way to strengthen my needs, desires, and feelings. I was making sure they were met first by myself and then through others, I had relationships with. I was not aiming to perfect this, but not half-ass it in a way that I had been previously.

I openly discovered parts of myself that had been left overlooked. I used to neglect my needs and did not put enough effort into what made me the happiest. I had a voice, and I used it occasionally, but I also had an internal sense that spoke to my hopes and desires, and I finally had no choice but to listen to it a year ago.

There were often times in the past where I subconsciously did not settle for “unperfected pieces” when it came to partners because internally something felt off. I did not know it at the time, but I was able to keep myself at a distance from them and protected my heart doing so. Together, I and another played Operation and we found the points that made me buzz. Finally, there was someone who encompassed more than what I could have ever expected to find because I found what I deserved with him. 

I literally drove the extra miles to have a chance at this evening, but never could I have dreamt its outcome when we planned the trip. In turn, I left no distance between our souls and by doing that, I found myself. I began to understand why I overlooked everyone else before this moment. I learned why I walked away so often, and I did not question why I felt my feet beginning to firmly cement down. He was not perfect, but he was doing a damn good job at making me feel incredible about who I was.

I still am learning from this evening a year later. I am more in tune with my needs in all variants of relationships I encounter. I have been told to remain single until someone who completely cherishes my compassion comes along. To find someone who regards my intuitive side as a strength and where my care-taker abilities are not exploited. This night I felt thoroughly cared for. I felt an unsurpassable passion then and he was emotional enough to validate me in ways I needed. I stayed single until I met him, and it made all the difference in understanding my heart.

Woman Behind the Words

We all do it—live that is. I mean sure eventually life happens and then ends, but that isn’t what I am blogging about. If there is a blog space after the end, then I am sure you can follow-up on my eternal life there, but until then, here is where I rewind and unwind on my times in this life.

I view the past rather simply: we are built from it, but it does not necessarily define us in our present and future lives. We achieve different goals, overcome obstacles, and transition, if you will, into the person we destined to develop into. I recognize my past, as well as the past of others, to see the person we became because of it, but it isn’t a tool used to judge another.

I have grown, bloomed, and flourished in my days. I am not adorned with perfection, I recognize that my stem has thorns scattered throughout its leaves. There are rough patches that we feel we need to protect from others. We are guarded creatures, afraid of pain and fear that could be derived from complete openness and having someone else abuse the trust.

I learned a very valuable lesson in life, relationships whether they be romantic, platonic, friends, or family relations deserve vulnerability. Distancing ourselves from others can lead to painful moments of feeling lonely and unsure if anyone is truly there for your wellbeing. Understand what is okay to be shared and thrive in relationships that are filled with trust.

I have been there. I am a pusher I tend to distance myself when it comes to dealing with difficult times. It, in turn, leads me to rarely ask for help, but when I do I hope the person recognizes how much I need it if I asked. That isn’t always the case though. Sometimes you fall and feel lost because you need some help, but cannot find it.

I believe you never have to do anything alone if you do not want to. I am consistently evolving into a woman who aspires to share her heart with as many souls that I can because I have become someone who so many have felt inclined to open up to. I encourage you all to write me, reach out to me, and develop a relationship with the woman behind the words.

Time provides for perspective on the past. It really is quite a troubling and complex concept that we have a love-hate relationship with. Either you want time to slow in moments that take your breath away, or you stare in disbelief at how slow a microwave minute actually is.

I find myself setting short-term and long-term goals for myself. I collect dates and reflect back as years past and notice what has changed. I rewind, if you will, and see how I gain a new understanding of where my life is now.

When life happens it is really easy to get wrapped up at the moment, and that is where I need to unwind. You can encounter life changes at any moment during any day. There really isn’t any standard on how to prepare for life, you just kinda have to get through them. As lackluster as that sounds, there are definitely lessons to be learned and tips that can be shared.

My life lessons and tips won’t perfectly match for everyone, but I feel the stories behind it all are worth sharing. I aim to write my thoughts out and dive deeper into myself in the hopes that someone somewhere can relate and feel supported while they encounter life.

I have an expensive piece of paper focusing on mental health and another on societies, and I am pursuing a more prestigious piece of paper, but equally as expensive, that will allow me to combine more disciplines and produce creative outlets from my findings. I have traded sandy beaches, for mountain ranges, and now cityscapes and skyscrapers are my surroundings. I travel and broaden myself by experiencing new cultures whenever I can. I date and get serious with the ones that truly impact my life. I am careful to fall fast but have changed by my past experiences with falling in love.

I venture through life and dabble with vegan/vegetarian/whateverelsegoodfoodismadeoutof from time to time. Everything will find a place on my blog like it does in my life. I end up just writing it all out in a dairy, so an online one isn’t so far out from my norm. I welcome you all to come along and share in all of my trials and tribulations throughout my years.

Finding Your Light: The Onset

The self-doubt I surpassed and rose against a few years ago flooded my bloodstream with toxic feelings at such force recently. I became crippled under the weight of fear and ached every time I tried to pull myself back up. I struggled, still struggle, daily with the events surrounding the changes in my life.

I am starting this multi-part series to invite others to gain insight towards mental health by providing personal experiences that I hope, in turn, will promote more to gain an understanding of the significance of mental health. You are not alone, there are so many resources out there to better yourself. 

It would be most natural to point fingers and blame others for the mess I found myself in, but self-awareness goes hand in hand with understanding the events surrounding the feelings. My personal mind was the one filling me with doubt. I attributed one instance of where I fell apart to correctly reflect upon all of my future endeavors.

There was no way I could succeed. I poured so much into a significant piece of my life, and not through my own doing, I lost it. That scared me. I could sit and feel as if I did everything right. I was complimented to the point that I was perfect at what I contributed, and still, I was left feeling lost and confused to the point I could only reason with the feeling I should have done something differently.

What shifted? 

I would spiral. I would emphasize the fact that I could do everything right with life, and suddenly one thing could pull the rug out from underneath me and leave me on the concrete floor crying for salvation. I came face to face with forces that existed solely to pin me at my wrists and keep me down. I attributed that to the rest of my life, I would always be hurt. No one was telling me that this failure would keep happening, but I kept telling myself it would.

I am the epitome of an over-thinker. I process every word, and I usually rise to incredible clarity. More times than most, I reach groundbreaking realizations by being calculated.

I have a demon who resides inside of me. It seeks to comport in my body, and I am the dummy to his ventriloquist act. He feeds me with dark clarity that keeps my eyes wide at night.

When I am strong, when I am happy, he is lost in the contents of my soul because I internally illuminate and radiate. He thrives on darkness, and when my light broke during this previous occasion, the glass exploded into the fine and fragmented pieces I amounted myself to. I became broken glass and dust, and he took control.

What happened? 

I would consume myself with my future, and he told me I was going to be a failure. He would tempt me and wake me from my sleep so I would hear his words that I tried to avoid with sleeping pills and strangulation by a blanket. He starved me quite literally and figuratively regarding fulfillment in my days. Somedays I resisted and tried to tell myself I was okay, but I was losing miserably and lying to myself most evenings.

I was so overwhelmed one day that I amounted myself to nothing. I was ready to throw everything in, and I wasn’t sure how far I would take, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

I usually overcome my demon on my own. I would never recommend this to anyone and strongly urge assistance. I, myself, am educated and regarded by therapists as aware of my mental health. Pain has existed in my life and has, in turn, been my biggest motivator. I can allow myself to feel uncomfortable, and talk to others through the process of getting help and move away from the pain I let myself feel momentary.

I wasn’t moving this time. I was scared that “this” broadly defined life. I never once felt my life was better off ending, so when I said that statement aloud and couldn’t amount what “this” meant, I moved. I was not helping myself this time, so I needed to bring in positive forces to be reminded I wasn’t alone.

To continue reading, check out Finding Your Light: The Action.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, I urge more to feel comfortable asking for help. Bearing the weight of your friends in times of need is not meant for everyone. If you are in a space in your life where you can be there for others, I hope you utilize your gift as I have in the past. If you personally cannot handle that role, help yourself, and help others to seek personal help. There is nothing shameful about wanting help. Hug more and remind those in your life that you love them, it will make a significant impact on your well being.