Posts Tagged ‘ growing up ’

Mind Over Matter.

I’m back to reading self-help/self-improvement books again because, well, I just feel so damn good while reading them. They give me things to think about and help teach me new ways to keep my mentality positive.

Anyway, I’m reading Jen Sincero’s new book, You are a Badass at Making Money, because I loved the original You are a Badass [which I highly recommend. It changed my life, go read it if you haven’t yet], and yes, I’m reading a book about making money. Why not? I’m twenty-five, fresh out of college, the world is my oyster, and I’d like to have the means to do the shit I want to do.

So one of the things she writes about is how our subconscious view of money can impact the way we feel about making money, and because I am the way I am, I set the book down and started applying that same idea to basically every part of my life that I’m still struggling with.

The brain solidifies what occurs the most. For example, I wound up in a string of relationships that all ended badly. So for the past five years I haven’t bothered with dating because I’ve just assumed it’s all going to be the same bullshit and I don’t want to go through with it again. I stopped looking for dates. I just kept my head down and convinced myself that relationships are overrated.

All is fine until life throws you a curveball to knock you out of your comfort zone. Then you find yourself spending half a semester fighting an internal war about how the cute guy sitting next to you is probably an idiot or a douchebag so there’s no point in talking to him, and if by some miracle he’s neither an idiot nor a douchebag, he’s probably not interested because you’re not that attractive or intelligent anyway.

I’m sorry, WHAT.

I’m so neurotic sometimes it makes me want to scream and then start laughing at myself because of how ridiculous it all is.

Just because all you’ve known in relationships is immaturity, lying, and manipulation, doesn’t mean they’re all going to be that way. Growing up helps, learning to pick better partners helps too.

At one point in time, when I was practicing multiple hours a day, I was a really talented musician. However, actually admitting that was incredibly hard for me because I felt like I was bragging. It shouldn’t really be a shocker that the performances where I amped myself up by telling myself how talented and kickass I was before I walked out on stage went SIGNIFICANTLY better than the ones where my backstage thoughts were about how I had no business performing this incredibly hard piece that only seniors play (I was a sophomore.) When I thought that I was good enough to do it, I nailed it. When I felt like I was a fraud, I sucked. Obviously this was all going on during my mental health decline so that didn’t help much, but you get the idea.

Mentality plays a huge role in everything that you do.

Decide it’s going to be a good day, and it will be.

Tell yourself that you suck and are never going to have your shit together, and you’ll probably be right.

What’s that old saying? “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right,”? Maybe there’s something to that.

Let go of the past. It’s over. It happened. Learn from it and move the fuck on. Don’t let shit that happened when you were nineteen affect the way you view the world and live your life at twenty-five.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just had a lot of thoughts so I started typing and now I’m here. That’s probably enough for now. I’m gonna get back to this book. Also I’ve had way too much caffeine today, so I apologize for any run-on sentences. Peace.

 

Declutter.

I’m about a month an a half away from moving out of an apartment I’ve been living in for the past two years. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in the same place, and it’s pretty easy to say that I have acquired some shit while living here. Exhausted from browsing through job listings and applying for a few new opportunities, I decided to do something that always makes me feel a lot better: clean.

The thing is, my apartment isn’t that messy. But I realized that I should start going through the shelves in my closet and also everything I’ve stashed in my storage closet, just to make the move a little easier.

I finally parted ways with six pairs of old platform heels that have stood atop the Bohemia bar on several occasions. Those shoes were so damaged, and they weren’t cheap heels either. However, they look like crap and I only wear heels for special occasions nowadays, so it was time to finally throw them away.

I also packed up some clothes that aren’t my style anymore. I held onto them because I knew eventually I would lose enough weight that I’d be able to wear them again, and I was right. I can wear them now. But I tried those old fitted Express button down shirts and looked at myself in the mirror, and it just wasn’t me anymore. So they’re in a donation bag.

I wasn’t ready to be done with my decluttering expedition yet, so I decided to take on my storage closet, which currently resembles Monica Geller’s secret closet. It’s the place I throw things that I don’t know what to do with. I saved boxes from moving in, and also have saved other boxes over the past two years for when I decide to move again. I started pulling things out and came across a box full of random things: some Nyquil that had expired, a lint roller, Christmas bows, and a small silver ring box.

I knew what it was, I had just completely forgotten that it still existed.

I think I threw it in the closet when I first moved in here, because I had no idea what to do with it. It didn’t feel right sitting on my dresser with the rest of my rings and jewelry, and I didn’t know if I should throw it away or try to sell it. So I put it in a random box and threw it into the whatever closet.

I actually put it on, and it’s still my size.  Silver ring with three heart shaped amethyst stones: the ring that I had picked out when a man I once loved promised that one day we’d get married.

It’s comical now. The ring doesn’t look anything like something I would currently wear. Nevermind the fact that my entire life, with the exception of the two years I spent in that relationship, I had/have always thought promise rings were kind of stupid. It’s a precursor ring to your engagement ring. What’s the point?

But I was eighteen and thought I had found the one, which actually just made me laugh out loud while typing that. I remember the day he made that heartfelt speech. I also remember the months that followed. I remember growing up and feeling more like a babysitter than a girlfriend. I remember it all falling apart, along with my belief that love is real. It was a breakup that took a few years to recover from, and I didn’t even realize that I needed to get over it until a couple of years later.

It’s just funny how life works out. I’ve spent the past hour going through clothes that I can’t believe I ever wore, and throwing out shoes that I’m not entirely sure how I used to dance and prance about Kirksville in, so it’s kind of fitting that I would come across a ring that also looks nothing like me.

My life could have been so different if I’d just been a little more traditional. Hell, I’d probably be married by now.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

Real talk though, what the hell do I do with this ring? Toss it? Sell it? Throw it into Mt. Doom?

 

Quit the bullshit.

I think one of the most interesting things that has happened to me as I’ve gotten older is my shift in perception. I feel like I view everything so differently than I used to. And yes, obviously some of that is just typical growing up and forming your own opinions, but it’s also a product of the things that happen to you. Nobody makes it to twenty-five without something that changed them. Mine is obvious, it’s something I’ve written countless pieces about and still makes me look at the world a little differently: my war with mental illness. I’m still getting used to living in the sunshine that only exists in a mentality that doesn’t suffer from clinical depression.

One thing that tagged along with my depression was some severe body image issues.  This has been something that’s affected me for a long time, and part of that is being female, and the other part is being a perfectionist who always wants to be the best.  Newsflash: perfect doesn’t exist.

If you’ve known me for longer than about three years, you would know that I gained some weight. Sixty pounds over the course of a year, to be exact. There are reasons this happened, but none of them matter for the purpose of what I want to talk about, or really at all. People gain weight, shit happens.  I had personally never weighed that much, and it freaked me the fuck out.  I went into denial about my weight.  I avoided scales, mirrors, and fitted clothes.  I was so ashamed that I had gained so much, and I truly began to hate my body.  This also lined up with the time that I swore off men, which shouldn’t be a shocker: I was terrified of being naked in front of someone.

I didn’t really start to lose the weight until I got to a much healthier mental state.  It took a while, and that weight lingered and some came off just naturally.  I transferred to a school with a big ass campus that made me walk exponentially more than I was used to walking, and I lost some of the weight just by walking to class.

Eventually I got to a place where I accepted myself. I let go of the demons of my past and I began to let myself start over.  I’ve lost 40 pounds since then. This isn’t really about my *transformation,* it’s just hard to get to my point without giving some background.

I bought shorts last week for the first time in… six years?

I’m not even kidding.  The funny thing is that at one point during those six years where I was refusing to wear shorts, I was the thinnest I have ever been in my life.  Not healthy whatsoever, but thin as fuck.  I remember thinking I looked so fabulous and sexy, and I look back on full body photos of myself from being unhealthily thin, and I am lanky as fuck.  The thing is, I’m not really tall enough to ever be lanky, but that’s just how thin I was.

I’ve gotten to this point where I’m so happy with myself and with my life and what is going on right now that somehow, I have managed to love my body.  It took me twenty-five years, but I did it. I’m not sure I’ve ever been authentically myself until recently, and it’s so liberating and refreshing.

I still want to be stronger.  I want to be able to run farther without stopping and be able to lift higher weights and throw harder punches. But I’m so sick of being hot in the summer from wearing jeans when everyone else is in shorts.  I’m sick of comparing my body, my athletic af, 5’9″ frame that has, what I like to call, linebacker shoulders, to the bodies of my 5’0″ friends who barely hit 110 pounds.  You know when the last time I weighed 110 was? 5th grade.

I was hardcore bullied throughout school for being so pale that I blinded people.  I’m a natural redhead, ya’ll. I’m really white. I get it. But I should still be allowed to wear shorts during a midwestern summer.  I manage to get a little tan, but I never try too hard because it usually comes after burning a few times.  So I didn’t wear shorts because I was too white, and then I didn’t wear shorts because I thought I had thunder thighs. No matter the reason, I was still sweating my ass off during summer.

It’s just bullshit.

I’ve been writing some poetry-esque stuff on my tumblr, and I wrote this thing the other day that I really connected with as it poured out of me.  It was basically about giving up bullshit, and I realized that THAT was the difference between the new and the old me.

I’m over it. All of it.

I’m a very blunt, sarcastic person who likes to poke holes in people’s logic and is a boss at Zelda and tbh, like most people, I’m really fucking weird.  Because that’s what makes us unique as individuals.  I dance, a lot.  I almost always have music playing and I’m always dancing.  I have conversations with my dog, and I’m pretty sure she knows what I’m saying.

Around March or so, maybe early April? I stopped hiding.  I started talking to people who I felt like I had something in common with. I started being more honest about who I am.  I started really getting into my workouts and appreciating the things my body is capable of.  I started loving myself unapologetically.

Fun fact: there was a point in time where I regretted my tattoos because I wasn’t sure that I could actually pull them off, and I felt like I looked stupid.  MY TATTOOS.  You know, the things that I got to mark significant events in my life and things about myself and who I am.  The fact that I have tattoos means I can pull them off.  Plain and simple.

Embrace who you are. Love your body, whether you’ve lost weight or you still want to. This isn’t about some transformation where I now love my body.  That transformation happened because I started to accept myself. Wear what you want, what makes you feel sexy, what makes you feel good. For me, that typically means wearing vans when everyone around me is wearing heels.  It doesn’t make me less feminine or beautiful. It just makes me, well, me.

Love yourself and the world will follow.  You don’t have to have it all perfectly together and know exactly what you’re doing. Embrace the unknown.  Figuring out what happens next is the fun part, because it can be whatever the fuck you want.

I thought I was out of vices to quit, turns out I had one left: bullshit.

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Transparency.

So, I’m writing again. Which is interesting, because for the past year I haven’t really had any inspiration to write anything.  Yet here I am, back to my normal soap box about mental illness with my 13 Reasons Why post, and over on my tumblr I’m writing poetry because I met someone who inspires me quite a bit.  Which is weird.  I’m in a new place that I haven’t ever been before, and I’m going to write my way through it.

If you missed my twitter rant about my current mental health, let me recap: I’ve been slowly losing my mind with the last month of school.  My anxiety has been the highest it has ever been, and my mind has been spinning stories of failing to finish online classes and the internet crashing for a week, and I started losing sleep, a lot of sleep.  I maybe got 2 hours a night for about 12 nights.  It was rough.  The day after that 12th night of horrible sleep, I had to hand in a draft of my capstone paper, and present/lead a discussion on one of my sources.  My stomach was in knots, because as you all should know, I have horrible social anxiety and I hate standing up in front of people and talking.  Somehow, I managed to not only stand up there and talk about this research study, but I was able to do it well.  Really well.  I’ve sat through everyone else in the class giving these presentations.  You can always tell who really understands their study and who doesn’t.  You can also tell who is really into what they’re talking about and who isn’t.   Well, I knew my study really well, and my topic is one that I’m super passionate about: the positive effects of gaming.  The class got to the point where they started asking me general questions about gaming and what else my paper covers, instead of just discussing the one source I was presenting on.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that sleep deprived in my entire life, but I still managed to absolutely rock that presentation.  And, not to toot my own horn, but I got a 100% on that presentation. toot toot.

I’m still medicated.  Klonopin.  I get to add a new drug to the list of everything I’ve ever been prescribed.  Back in the day no doctor dared to give me a benzodiazepine, because of the abuse risk.  So I’m obviously making progress.  And this is just a short term thing to get me through the end of the semester without having a heart attack.  I’m actually a big fan of this low dose. It doesn’t make me sleepy. I’m just mellow. My stomach isn’t constantly in knots and I can actually think coherently because I’m not trying to focus on 1000 different things at once.  If this is how people without anxiety feel all the time, I am insanely jealous of all of you.

Social media is full of people posting their life highlights:

I’m so blessed and honored to announce that I have accepted a position at XYZ company!

I’m just kind of over it.  People struggle. With mental illness, with family, with relationships.  I want to be real.  That’s what this blog started as, and even though I was delusional at the time and writing things that didn’t always hold up to facts, writing here helped me, and I know some of the things I’ve written have helped others as well.

I’m two weeks away from what I’m referring to as THE GREAT UNKNOWN.  I gave my official two weeks at my crappy retail job today because I’ve been there for a year and I just can’t keep doing it.  If it were more fast-paced, I think I could, but being bored for hours on end is just mind numbing to me.

I’ve decided to stay in Columbia.  I was originally thinking about moving to STL and taking this great paying retail job at Neiman Marcus.  I turned it down.  I want more out of my life than that.  I want to do something that actually matters. There’s so much bad shit going on in the world right now and I want to help people in some way.  I want to make an impact.

I’m looking at graduate programs.  I’m not entirely sure where I want to go or what I want to do.  I’m very interested in neuropsych.  The human brain fascinates me to no end.  I know I want to do clinical work, because I’m not a lab rat. I need to connect with people and not just hole up in front of a computer reading data for hours on end. I couldn’t do that.  So I’m applying for clinical jobs, and I’m going to volunteer at various places.  I’m terrified, because there’s no solid plan here, but I’m happy and excited and I feel like for once in my life my past isn’t holding me back anymore.

For a long time I held back because I felt like the world was waiting for me to fail.  It’s so interesting the effect that time and self-reflection has on your perspectives.  I’m so indifferent about people that I once used to loathe.  Things change.  Time really does heal.  And people grow up.

So this is my journey into the great unknown.  I’m graduating college on May 13th, and then I’m just gonna wing it.  What else can you do?