The Pursuit of Happiness.

Since I was little, I’ve been a chaser. You’d think I’d have better stamina by now. I’ve chased people, dreams, the sun, and like many others – happiness. I’ve been chasing, yet never fast enough.

Lordt, I am tired. And I got a bum ankle.

Standing in front of Zara the other day, I had a full blown moment. The kind of moment where had it been a movie, it would’ve been filmed in slow motion over dramatic music. I watched seemingly affluent tourists, businessmen and women walk past me carrying their designer bags, getting picked up by black car service, and taking business calls. And I asked myself, “Is this all there is?”

I had just accepted a job offer, and was shopping to celebrate. Yet, in that moment I no longer felt jubilant. For the past few years, I’d been chasing a better company to work for, a better position, a better paycheck, and I got it. But that feeling of what I assumed to be happiness when I got the job offer was fleeting. It made me wonder if I’d be spending the rest of my life chasing the “next best thing?” Until what? Until when? Am I ungrateful?I’m not dense. I know money isn’t everything and it doesn’t guarantee happiness. So WTF was I waiting for then?

It was in that moment, I realized that the true meaning of happiness for me, is finding your purpose in life and sharing it with the rest of the world.  I could be wrong, but I believe my purpose is to use my writing to help people feel like they’re not alone. Some may argue that I’ve been doing that, but my big picture goal has always been to write a book. This is something I obviously haven’t done yet. It remains just another empty promise I made to myself. A purpose killer.

The idea of being miserable until I write the book did cross my mind. Trust me, I do miserable so well. But instead, I decided to find purpose in everyday. In every moment. In every morning stretch, in every good night kiss. In every celebration and in every rejection. Instead of beating myself up for every moment I’m not doing something to contribute towards my big picture, I think of the little picture and wake up everyday thankful with intent. That way, I can find joy – whether big or small, in everyday. Even the hard days. Especially the hard days.

This concept of finding purpose in everyday isn’t anything new, but it is new to me. Sounds simple enough, yet it took me 37 years. Am I happy since my new discovery? Not yet, I’m battling 30+ years of reprogramming here. But am I less miserable, ungrateful, and negative because of it? ABSOLUTELY. I hope you all find your purpose, and maybe – just maybe, some happiness along the way. 

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The woo woo type shit.

I have a secret to tell you, and to be honest I’m a little embarrassed. 

I’ve written at least three drafts of this post by now. Adding and deleting then adding then deleting again. Wondering if I should even write it. Feverishly attempting to sound enlightening without sounding corny. Wanting to inspire without being cliche. It’s a hard thing for me to do. Mostly because I know how stubborn I can be, and I know that there are people out there just like me – if not worse. 

Have you ever tried talking sense into someone stupid in love? Have you tried to make someone who didn’t think they were enough, believe they were worthy of happiness? Have you ever attempted to shed light on a cynic? It’s no easy feat. In fact, it’s damn near impossible. I know this to be true, because I was and sometimes still am all of those things I mentioned above.

I’ve never considered myself a spiritual person. I don’t believe in karma or the afterlife, and can’t tell the difference when Mercury is in retrograde under the house of Lannister or whatever. Yet, there I was at The Scarlet Sage Herb Company spending $35 on crystals that looked identical to the rocks I had in my 4th grade rock collection. I find myself poking fun at my newest obsession in an attempt to feel less silly. When really, there is nothing silly about self-preservation

It’s not the secret that’s hard to admit, it’s the truth. And the truth is I finally got over myself . Most people relate ego to arrogance, but ego can also be a lack of self-confidence. It can be anger, it can be insecurity, it can be any false belief you project to be true. My ego thinks I’m inferior and the world is against me. It struggles with acceptance, harbors resentment and refuses positivity.

The “secret” which has been around since the early 1800s and hasn’t been a secret since 2006 is the Law of Attraction. And it’s hard – almost painful, for me to admit that for the past month I’ve thought about something every night and watched it materialize into something tangible. I’ve finally, genuinely embraced the option to manifest positive thoughts into existence despite years of being told to do so, and now I don’t know WTF to do with myself! 

While I’ve always admired spiritualist, I never wanted to be one. Correction: I thought I was incapable of being one. About four years ago in the midst of my depression, a spiritual healer came to my house. In a desperate attempt to “cure” myself, I sat on the floor in the middle of my living room surrounded by pillows as he proceeded to do his thing and a shell of me followed along. I really, really wanted it to work, but I wasn’t ready. My ego didn’t think I deserved to be happy, my ego didn’t think I was enough. And this ego of mine still exists.

Thus, I’m going to refrain from getting too woo woo on you. I went hippie-dippy on one of my friends the other day and she looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead. People don’t do those things because they’re told to, they do it because they want to. Most people despise or ignore unsolicited advice, but there’s a reason you’re still reading this. So I’m not going to tell you to buy crystals and light up some palo santo. I’m not going to tell you to think positive thoughts or read The Secret. I will however, tell you that ever since I embraced the woo woo, I’ve been happier, kinder, calmer and more empathetic. So much that I’m not even mad at myself for not starting sooner and saving myself years of anger, stress and anxiety. 

I don’t expect this post to get you to start following the law of attraction and I don’t expect you to X out your browser and go straight the the crystal store. But I do hope it gives you hope seeing a cynic think positive for once. The good thing is the universe is ready when you are, and it will wait for you. The not so good news is YOU have to decide how long you’re willing to wait before you do something to change your life.

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The Shit List.

This is not a “sexy” humpday post, but it’s a real one. Considering men like to pretend women don’t take shits and ladies don’t like to talk about it – maybe too real.

I was sitting shotty in heavy traffic when my girl’s stomach started hurting. She began squirming in her seat, and rolled down the windows because she started to sweat. I looked at the road ahead of us in horror at the long line of brake lights and sympathized. I knew the deadly stages of shitting yourself, I had them not too long ago when I downed a cup of coffee on CalTrain knowing I still had at least 6 stops to go until my destination. 

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Thankfully, we made it to a hotel with a public restroom and individual floor to ceiling stalls t(here is a God) just in time. Roughly 15 minutes and three pounds later, she walked back to the car with a huge smile of gratitude on her face. I had never been so happy for someone else’s asshole. 

Thus, began our conversation about how taking a huge shit is similar to having an orgasmI told you this isn’t a sexy humpday post, just a real one. 

Just hear me out though. Close your eyes, and think about passing that last chunk or stream of shit. Then, think about the moments leading up to an orgasm. It starts with tension building up, proceeds with a pleasurable release, and ends in euphoria. You let out a deep exhale. You’re relieved. You’re at ease. Maybe you even need a cigarette. 

I’ll be the first to admit that comparing sex to taking a dump is gross, but I found one person who agrees with me and know there’s more. I shit you not. 

 

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WHY?

I woke up to a text this morning from one of my best friends saying, “Not Bourdain too”. With the suicide of Kate Spade just days before, I immediately knew what she meant. Every death, every suicide is tragic. But this one hurt more than it should. Maybe it’s because it was the second high profile suicide in a week. Maybe it’s because I, too have been feeling depressed lately. Or maybe it’s because Bourdain’s story of struggle and success helped me during my move to NY in 2012. 

Regardless, the biggest question for me still remains: WHY?

Why did he do it? Why couldn’t be be stronger? Why couldn’t he fight it? Why couldn’t he see how much people loved him and wanted him to be around? Why didn’t anyone stop him? Why didn’t anyone notice? And to be fair, why was he so stupid? These may sound like selfish questions, but they are real questions that I think a real person like him would answer if he could. These are the same questions I asked in my head when I attended the last four funerals of friends of mine who had committed suicide. FOUR. WTF. WHY?

I don’t know why, but I know howI know how it feels to be sad. How it feels to be really sad. And then how it feels to be depressed. I know how it feels to know the exact steps you need to take to better yourself, yet still not taking them for whatever reason. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and struggle to say one kind thing to yourself, and I know how it feels to beat yourself up even more because of it. I know how it feels to reach out to your friends, have them be there for you, yet still feel so alone, and then feel even worse for seeming ungrateful. I also know how it feels when it just hurts SO bad that you’d consider the unthinkable just to make it go away. They say sleep is the cousin of death, and I know how it feels to wish you would never wake up just so you didn’t have to endure another day of living with your demons. 

I ain’t good, but I’m BETTER. I have to forcefully stop myself right there: I’M BETTER. I’m fighting with myself to not add a “but” after that. I’M BETTER. That’s it, that’s all. I’m better, and you can be too.

I may not know the answers to “Why?” but I can still ask the question. So why don’t you ask for help, and why don’t you reach out to someone who may need help but doesn’t want to ask for it? It’s a crazy world out there, we need each other to survive it. 

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The Look for Less.

::EDITORS NOTE AFTER JUMP::

I’ve noticed that a lot of single men put “looks” at the top of their list of what they look for in a partner. And I get it. With the exception of one ex, I’ve been physically attracted to all of my boyfriend’s before getting to know them. A pretty face and bangin’ body are usually what make men do a double-take, not a beautiful personality. But I’m going to be real here when I say that you shouldn’t be asking for more than you can give. That was me being nice.

What I wanted to say was unless you look like Chris Hemsworth, have Safaree’s dick, or Jeff Bezos’s bank account, you need to humble yourself and quit praying for a supermodel to fall in love with you. 

What I’ll actually say is: you don’t need to wish for looks. 

I know you want your partner to be attractive, I’m just saying you don’t have to wish for them to be. When you meet the right person, shit just clicks, and you’re so grateful to have them by your side, they all of a sudden become the hottest person in your life. Well, next to Michael B. Jordan that is. I already think my man is handsome, but sometimes I’ll just watch him working really hard on a project for work and he gets twice as dreamy. 

Flings and one night stands are different, but when it comes to having an actual relationship with someone, their physical appeal almost directly correlates to my mental and emotional connection to them. How many times have y’all saw an ex of yours who you once thought was God’s gift to Earth, and then just felt disgusted looking at them once you broke up? See what I’m sayin?

Ultimately, who you want is who you want. Just know that there’s a difference between settling for less and having fucked up priorities. Besides, there’s so many better characteristics to wish for in a partner. Like good credit. 

Continue reading

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To Health and Back.

Over the weekend I hiked the 8.4 miles to Alamere Falls to get in some cardio, enjoy nature and yes – take an Instagram photo. While the trail itself wasn’t hard, I underestimated what 8.4 miles felt like and the view was underwhelming. Nevertheless, it was a good challenge and what I valued more than the quintessential “Look at me, I’m so active I hiked to a waterfall!” photo was my HEALTH. 

There were a few times during the nearly four hour trek that I gave gratitude to the free Empower classes my work graciously offers, the gym in my apartment complex, and my commitment to being healthy. I felt lucky to be able to confidently climb up and down cliffs and last the entire hike without struggling. I’m not that strong, I’m definitely not fast and my stamina sucks, but my biggest muscle is my brain and it’s too stubborn to quit (I’m sure the gym helps a lot too lol). 

I’m well aware that everyone’s bodies are different. Some people were born with medical issues that prohibit them from partaking in certain activities. It’s not something they can help. Some people have created entire human beings with their bodies, and are never quite the same afterwards. We all move different. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s a beautiful thing. I was reminded of this during a text conversation with my girls the other morning. 

I loved reading about the different ways my friends took care of themselves, how they inspired each other, and the little changes they were making to better their lives. Living a “healthy lifestyle” can sound like such a buzzkill, and with social media it can seem intimidating. When really, it’s all about doing what works best for YOU. While my girl loves Soul Cycle, it hurts my vagina and while I love bikram, my other girl rather run a half marathon (WHYYYY?). 

I wanted to share the conversation I had with my girlfriends, so that you could see the many ways one can be healthy. You don’t need a fancy gym or expensive membership to some trendy class just to keep up with the Jones’s. You don’t have to be like @alexia_clark or @massy.arias or wear waist trainers or drink special teas (unless you want to of course). Being healthy is a choice, and how you choose to be healthy is entirely up to you. It’s not about the number on the scale, as long as you’re healthy. So cheers to longevity, whether you’re taking a wheatgrass shot or shot of Hennessy. 

And if you want to see my “meh” health routine, click after the jump! Continue reading

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and also with YOU.

As some of you may or may not know, the affluential DJ and producer Avicii died on April 20th of this year. Inferences I made from news articles and captions made by his friends and fellow DJs, lead me to believe it was suicide. On May 1st, my suspicions were confirmed by a public medical report. 

Having obscene amounts of money is an easy excuse to dismiss depression, but depression, as we know is powerful. Like on some Thanos type shit. We see herewith Avicii that it trumps money and success. He had all the resources to get help, so either the pain was so unbearable the help didn’t work or he refused to utilize it.

I thought that once I was in a healthy relationship, my depression would go away. Instead, I learned that it never truly disappears.  For me, it’s like a little monster that has permanent residency in my head. It stays dormant when I’m taking care of myself, but is subject to metastasize given the proper environment.

Right now, my monster is small and sleeping. But every so often, I have a little slip and I can see the monster wake from its slumber and slowly open one eye just to see if its been summoned. 

Sometimes we think that if we just have “this”, “this”, and “this” all of our problems will disappear. I’m not going to lie, it helps. Sometimes a lot. But that final “this” you won’t be able to find anywhere else except for within you. That’s why I still find myself feeling sad and having anxiety despite having a great job and man that makes me feel worth the effort. And that’s why the world is without Avicii and Robin Williams and Heath Ledger and Faye. 

As an outsider, this is also hard to comprehend. I’ve been in a relationship where my boyfriend suffered from depression as well. I thought, “Why? I’m a good girlfriend. I treat you well. We have a great relationship”. However, his depression had nothing to do with ME, and that was hard for  me to understand. I thought that if I treated him good enough, he would be happy. There’d be no reason to be depressed. 

So I reiterate: Happiness starts with YOU. It ends with YOU. Outside factors may influence how you feel, but it’s all YOU. It’s always been you and it will always be you. 

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