3 ways I went from being miserable to being a slightly decent human being

I was going to attempt to write a witty introduction to this post, but it’s the Devil’s asscrack degrees outside and I don’t have the brain capacity. Have you Googled an online recipe lately? It legit takes at least one minute to read past all the mumbo-jumbo to find the ingredients alone. It’s nice that this peach cobbler reminds you of your Great-Gamma Emma back in Georgia, but I do not care for a detailed description of your the first time you picked a peach in her backyard dammit! Having said that, let’s get to it shall we?

Meditating. This is nothing new. Hundreds of thousands of people have attested to what the wonders meditation has done for them for as long as I’ve been alive. Meditating is one of those things that is easier said than done. It’s such a simple task: Take 10 minutes – even 5, to make peace with yourself in silence. Yet, it took me 5+ years to embrace and do consistently. Meditating is also seen as one of those silly, hippy-dippy exercises that only people who believe in Mercury Retrograde follow. Whatever it is, believe me when I say that meditating has prevented me from throwing things across the room, getting into fighting matches with my boyfriend, having a nervous break down at work, and going into full-blown panic attacks in public. Tell me that shit’s silly now. Meditating is different for everyone, but for me it’s a way to recalibrate. A way for me to get out of my head and look at things objectively.

Being a plant mom. This should come as a surprise to NO ONE. A little over a year ago, I succumbed to the Instagram trend of houseplants as decoration and now I walk into Home Depot for pliers and come out with ferns. I’m kidding, I don’t own any ferns (at the moment). But I do own 20+ other plants that I’ve named and talk to on a weekly basis. What started out as a risk considering I killed all the old office plants along with 6 succulents, turned into a full fledged obsession LOVE. It’s true when they say that taking care of plants can be therapeutic. You give something love, and it returns it. In addition to making your place look beautiful, they’re also air purifying. Can’t recall the last time pliers did that.

Giving gratitude. My 34yo self wants to slap my current self just typing out the word gratitude.  I used to have a love/hate relationship with it. Back then, acknowledging the positive in my life only made me feel worse. It only emphasized that I had so much to be thankful for, yet was still depressed. I also argued that there was nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself. In short, the concept of gratitude made me feel resentful towards the universe, other people, and most of all – myself. In reality, I wasn’t in the right mindset to fully understand what gratitude was.

Once you truly understand and appreciate gratitude, you realize how beautiful life is. You begin to appreciate even the tiniest things. At acupuncture today, I thanked the universe for those 30-40 minutes of solitude. That then, lead to being grateful for the beautiful 80 degree day – the health and wellness benefit to pay for acupuncture – the job I had that provided the benefit – the bosses I worked for – my co-workers – catching up with old friends – other friends that were there for me – THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE. It was cray for me to have an upward spiral instead of a downward one.

Back then, I thought that if you gave thanks for what you already had, the universe would give you more. I learned that that’s not how it works. The fucked up part about it is, once I gave thanks just to give thanks – I started to receive more. 

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Found this photo by the awesome Jaime Poquiz and thought I’d use it ‘cuz I looked seemingly happy lol. This was originally for the relaunch of this blog that obviously hasn’t happened yet. At this rate, I’m going to need to take a whole new set of photos.

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do not love a lovable woman.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s smile, and then get mad when people smile at her.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s laugh, and then get mad when someone else makes her giggle.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s humor, and then get mad when she tells a really, really good joke.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s wittiness, and then get mad when she outwits you.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s beauty, and then get mad when someone else admires it.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s independence, and then get mad when she wants to be alone.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s strength, and then get mad when she flexes it.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s sexuality, and then get mad when she feels sexy.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s words, and then get mad when she says something you disagree with.

Do not fall in love with a woman’s passion, and then get mad when it’s not you.

Do not fall in love with a woman, and then punish them for being all the things you fell in love with just because you realize that other people love her for these things too.

Do not love a lovable woman, unless you don’t love yourself first.

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A Woman’s Hurt.

I don’t know much, but I do know about a woman’s love.
It’s selfless.
Vast.
Unconditional.
Boundless.
Passionate.
Intense.
Full.
Unyielding.
Obsessive, even.

But what I know even better (unfortunately), is a woman’s hurt.

It’s knowing that something is off, but not being able to pinpoint it. Feeling him slowly pull away and knowing it’s just a matter of days, but him saying nothing is wrong. Questioning anything. Noticing everything. Then, fighting with your instincts. It’s him being so distant despite being inside of you. Forehead kisses, so that he doesn’t have to look you in the eye.

A woman’s hurt is watching it all unravel. Having all your speculations confirmed. Wishing you hadn’t given it everything you had just to end up with even less than you started with. Resenting those who said you were crazy for questioning that hair tie, bobby pin, late night text message, funny feeling, or sly smile from “just some girl”.

It’s feeling your stomach drop, your throat tighten, your heart beat faster, eyes burn, and ears get hot as if it’s happened to you. Remembering a pain from years ago as vividly as receiving an “I have to tell you something” text from your girlfriend just yesterday. It’s feeling sad and hating men even though you’re in a happy, healthy relationship with an amazing man.

It’s reaching out to a complete stranger, because when a woman is really hurt. Like, really, really hurt – another woman can feel it too.

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80/20

When I was younger, a co-worker I looked up to advised that I never ask the universe for a man to love me as much as I loved him. Reason being, a woman’s love is just so selfless. So vast. And so unwavering, that even if a woman loved a man just a “little bit”, it would be equivalent to a man loving a woman “a lot”. Ultimately, a woman’s 5 would be a man’s 8 on the love scale. 

At the time, I knew it made sense and secretly, I agreed. But I wanted to be “fair”. I was and still am a strong believer in never asking for what I couldn’t give in a relationship. I wanted that 50/50 love. Partly because it seemed like the just thing to want and sadly, because I felt that asking for anything more would be asking for too much. 

As far as I can remember, I’ve always tried to be objective even though it’s gotten me in trouble. Apparently, you are supposed to pick sides sometimes. I’ve also been one to follow the rules more than not, which is a surprise to even myself. I wait for a green light before crossing the street, and hate cutting in line. So naturally, I still believed in having a 50/50 relationship. Until recently. 

I am in what I believe is my first “adult” relationship. It’s great, but we are nowhere near perfect.  We annoy each other. We say fucked up things we don’t mean. Hell, we say fucked up things we do mean. And we fight.

A lot of the time, it’s about not feeling supported when it comes to making our house a home. To some, it’s as simple as him not putting things back where they belong or cleaning up after himself in a timely matter. To me, it’s the bigger picture. It’s being an example for our future kids in the event we have some together. I felt like we were on a 2-person paddle boat where he would only pedal when I asked him to. I was giving 80% and he was giving 20%. 

When I don’t want to push him off the boat, I want to jump off and swim back to shore solo. Then, I remember I can’t swim. I also remember that there are days where I am the 20% and my man is the 80. There are days when I am paralyzed with anxiety, feeling useless and defeated … yet there he is, somehow saying and doing all the right things. Even when it means doing/saying nothing at all. 

As much as it pains me to admit it, relationships aren’t always 50/50. Like a meme I read said, “Some days a person will struggle. You suck it up and pick up that 80/20 because they need you. That’s love”. It’s not jumping off the paddle boat, because you remember how he never let go of your hand when you went scuba diving in Maui. It doesn’t mean you’re settling or being taken advantage of. It means a healthy compromise, putting aside your ego and picking up the slack when necessary. Everyday won’t be 50/50, and that’s OK. Long as you can look back and honestly say you both gave it 100/100.

 

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Babies R Everyone Else But Me.

I’ve been in a funk. Does a decade count as a “funk?” Whatever, I’ve been feeling funkier than usual lately. I want to write. I love to write. I live to write. Yet, it’s the one thing on my To-Do list that never gets crossed out. Everyone says I should just write. Regardless of the mood or the topic. JUST WRITE. So here I am writing.

There’s this girl I follow on Instagram. She somewhat recently had a daughter, and she’s in that super cute stage of baby where they are growing into their features and no longer look like little opossums. That part of their life where they’re growing, but still need you. They’re learning to coo and laugh. I am obsessed with her in the most non-creepy way. It’s not even that she’s the most adorable baby in the world (although she’s pretty damn cute), she’s just the highlight of my highlights in my IG stories.

I watch her mom as she takes her daughter out of her Snoo in the morning, and can’t wait to do the same. Minus the Snoo, cuz that shit is $1,500+. I see cute little outfits and feel psychotic at the thought of buying a specific cheetah-print onesie with matching headband for fear that it may not be available when I finally have a kid of my own.

My favorite part is watching her sooth her crying baby. Whether it’s by giving her milk, or simply holding her. It makes me wonder if someone will ever need me like that. I’ll relish in knowing that I am the very key to my child’s content. And I feel really fucked up admitting this, but I imagine giving my child her bottle just 2 seconds longer than necessary, so I can see this currently imaginary human rely on me longer.

Is that crazy? Thoughts like this make me question my sanity.  But this is what happens when you write just to write.

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Higher Unlearning Pt 2

Throughout my mental healthy journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. But I’ve had to unlearn even more. In the next coming week(s) I’ll be posting blogs about the top three things I’ve had to unlearn. I hope you’ll learn a little something from them.

I’ve had to unlearn the mantra, “Sleep is the cousin of death.” Obviously, you need sleep. But I never knew how important sleep actually was until I didn’t get any. Last year I went a week with an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night and couldn’t function properly at work. I was depressed, anxious, angry and felt physically ill. If sleep is the cousin of death, then hello darkness my old friend. Sleep should be a necessity, not a luxury.

For years I wanted to be THAT girl. The girl that did it all, or at least tried to. I envied women who were booked back to back to back. Who woke up and went to the gym, then went to work, then volunteered, then went to happy hour and still had time for a bubble bath, book and wine at night. All while having an All-Star lineup of bootycalls on deck or being married with a kid. I soon realized that some of these women were still unhappy, and that most of these women didn’t actually exist. 

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Still, I felt that I had wasted so much of my life being a loser that I had to overcompensate until I caught up to the person I thought I should be at my age. It got to the point where I couldn’t sit in my living room and just chill out, because I felt guilty about it. I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time, I had focus on 3 and still have 3 more things going on in the background. The worst part was I wasn’t doing anything impactful a lot of the times, I was just staying busy for the sake of being busy. Then, came the “self-care” movement, which basically told me that everything I just learned to do was WRONG. 

I’ve since learned that even the busiest, most successful people give themselves a break. I’ve (re)learned quality over quantity. To not feel bad for stepping away from your desk. To stop what you’re doing when you’re feeling overwhelmed. That no job is worth your sanity. That it is OK and sometimes necessary to absolutely nothing. And that sleep is actually the cousin of … productivity, happiness and health. 

 

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Higher Unlearning Pt 1

It’s 10 days into Mental Health Awareness month, and yet here I am with no post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, it’s that I have so much. Throughout my mental healthy journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. But I’ve had to unlearn even more. In the next coming week(s) I’ll be posting blogs about the top three things I’ve had to unlearn. I hope you’ll learn a little something from them.

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During a Sol Sisters workshop, I participated in an exercise where you let the other person talk for 3 minutes without saying a single word. Not even an, “Mmmhmm” in solidarity. You know how hard –  not to mention awkward it is to do that? I felt that without any verbal cues of confirmation, there was no way the other person could tell I was actually listening. I tried to smile and nod my head, but am pretty sure I looked like I was having a stroke instead of silently saying, “Girl, I FEEL YOU”. I learned that it was just as awkward for the person to talk for three minutes straight. 

This also meant that I had to unlearn the habit of sharing my own stories in an attempt to find common ground with other people. Apparently, it shifts the focus from them to me. The intention was never to make it about me, it was to let the other person know I can empathize and that the advice I give is coming from experience. This also includes giving advice (unless asked). For a long time, I thought that part of being a good friend meant giving fire ass advice that lead to ideal results. While this can be absolutely true, you can still be a good friend by simply listening.

Ultimately, I’m unlearning the way I respond to those who come to me during difficult times. Now I just have to learn how to be patient and compassionate with myself in the process. 

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