Playing Dress Up

Every one has their down days, weeks, months, or even years. Every so often life seems to pin wheel out of control sending us on a dead end road in the middle of no where.

You know the times I’m talking about?

When even as you’re standing in a room completely full of people, you look around and think “I am so alone right now”. And every little thing makes you want to burst into tears for no logical reason.

I’ve been feeling that frequently over the passed couple weeks. No matter what happened or what I tried doing, I just couldn’t snap myself out of it.

This last Saturday, I stepped my game up. I threw on some comfy, warm (because it’s fall and everything after dark is like stepping into a freezer) clothes and took myself out to a concert one of my favorite bands was playing.

The first half hour or so was spent with that alone feeling. I was texting one of my best friends and my boyfriend, but still it sat in the pit of my stomach kicking my anxiety levels into gear and making me question why I even bothered going.

Then a band I like, that I didn’t realize was playing that night, came out, and that empty feeling fell away.

Music has this crazy, beautiful way of uniting a room full of strangers. I know I’ve said it before, but you can’t sit around and wait for someone to feed your happy. Recovering from an episode sometimes takes doing it yourself.

After the band played that I was there to watch, I left because I had to be up early. When I got back to my car I was overwhelmed by this feeling of… Me. I felt like me for the first time in a long while. I hadn’t realized I had missed that full part of me for as long as I have been.

I was unconditionally happy. Every worry I had been holding in had left. The fights I had that were weighing me down felt lighter.

The next couple days seemed to be easier to get through. I decided to get dressed up when my boyfriend wanted to go to dinner: dress, heels, full face of make up. That hadn’t been on my list of priorities in like.. months.

Taking that first step, putting on real clothes, getting out of my comfort zone for an evening, helped kick start a process that nothing else was turning over.

When we were younger, we’d play make believe. Pretend we were something we weren’t. Live out a fantasy as something magical, or what we wanted to be when we grew up. Somewhere along the line, that stopped. Why? We’re older. We know things we didn’t know back then.

Sure, our definition of make believe has changed.

That doesn’t have to stop us from dressing up and doing the thing that’s out of character for us.

Go do the thing.

People and Change

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of stories about people “changing”; I wanted to use this as an opportunity to share my views as to why I think that’s all bullshit. Now I know you’re thinking “Oh boy, a negative rant is coming” but you’re wrong. I believe there are different levels to the human psyche and what people call “change” is really just an evolution of something that is already there. Or on the reverse side of the spectrum, it’s a ruse.

We are all the product of the nurturing that was given to us as children. There’s so many stories out there about successful people coming from broken homes and abusive parents. When you dive in and look at these stories, there’s always a positive in there like an idol or a hobby. Young boy may have taken up basketball and because that made him feel good, he honed his skills and received a scholarship or whatnot, or a young girl could have had a nice neighbor who she grew up to do something similar as to become a productive member of society.

There’s also those that took to the substance lifestyle, and because that made them feel good and welcome, they became addicts. When those addicts “turn their life around”, they’re only holding the bad behind a curtain that could come crashing down at any moment.

A child that grew up in, let’s say, a cannibal colony grows up thinking that cannibalism is an acceptable thing. Colony gets raided, child moves out into the real world where he learns his definition of right and wrong isn’t the societal definition of right and wrong. He’ll grow up knowing it isn’t okay to chow down on his best friend, but if that wall shifts that he had built over that part of his life, guess what? His little friend could become dinner.

Someone in prison, who grew up surrounded by bad can move his focus to the positive in life and get his shit on track. That negative thing still lingers in the hallway of his brain, though. He looses that positive focus and ends right back where he started.

I have a friend who when younger had friends that influenced him negatively, and as he got older, made more positive friendships and was able to switch everything that was negative in his life over to something more positive. That “change” wasn’t an actual change. I knew his “before self” and could tell all of the drive was there waiting to be unlocked.

Take me for example, in high school I thought I had to find “The One” at an early age. My whole focus was on men and trying to make myself be whatever they needed. I was fortunate to find a mentor at work, which led me to turn my focus to just finding the love for me and making myself be the best version of me that I needed.

There’s also the fact that I have never believed in marriage. Every marriage that I had to look to when I was growing up was either broken or didn’t last. Meeting my boyfriend, that focus changed. The positivity he brings to me and the support he has given me so far had adjusted that view point to where I could see things going that way. However, there are days I still don’t want to go through with it,but at the end of the day when the negative has cleared, I still see that.

The term change in and of itself is terrifying for people. Usually, when that is the case, it’s because they literally don’t have it in them to change. There isn’t that other door there to be opened. A positive force can push and push and push, but doorways don’t just magically appear in areas where there is no give. And even when they do, it’s like an unstable cave waiting for collapse.

A friend once told me “You can’t fix stupid”. I think that perfectly applies to trying to “change” when you just can’t.

If someone internally has that other side to them, with a positive or negative turn of the focus, people grow into their true selves. No changing involved.

Focus is the key.

When to Let Go

There’s a moment in the quiet when you wonder if it’s worth it.

Is all of the happiness worth the small moments of sad?

Is it worth it to constantly question your worth when you already know where you stand?

When you care about someone or something so fully where all you want to do is fight through all of the bullshit. You wade through all of the shit hoping your thoughts and feelings will be seen and heard just as much as you take in the opposite thoughts and feelings.

But when do you stop fighting?

A person can only put up with so much of something before they’re ready to just walk away. No matter how much it’ll hurt to leave, staying might hurt even worse.

I preach the whole “Find yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re less” topic. But I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t always live by that. And I hate it. I hate it more than anything in the universe.

I spent years dealing with shitty relationships and shitty people.

I spent years building myself up from rock bottom.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made my voice known, and at the end of it, it feels like all of that was for nothing.

You put so much of yourself into something that even when you’re 86% happy, the thought of leaving that situation seems so impossible.

The good always outweighs the bad. But at what point is the bad just too much to handle?

Is it growing up when you allow yourself the moments of miserable? Or is it knowing the miserable moments and being able to say “Yeah, okay, I think I’m over this”?

New Adventures

People tend to get set in their own ways. We develop these routines, or even just have our own specific interests that we vehemently hold onto and only do those things.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s been shown that as we age, our interests change. If we aren’t out there expanding our horizons and learning new things, there isn’t room for growth. Sticking to a set of specifics gets tiring. I believe this is a cause for depression.

Over the last few months, I’ve tried so many new food places and listened to such a wide variety of music than what I usually do. I feel so much better than I have before. Seeing the world through new eyes has gotten me to come out of a rut that I didn’t know I had fallen into.

I still struggle some days, but it seems to be a smaller window of down than it has been before.

Putting yourself in a new, unfamiliar environment can be terrifying. Believe me, I have passed on quite a few opportunities just for that fact.

Risk can be rewarding, though.

You might fall in love with a new culture, or scene, or even just a person.

If you’re constantly doing or listening to the same things over and over, make a change.

A boring life isn’t fulfilling.

Hit up a new restaurant.

Check out a different type of concert.

Spread your wings and fly, Sweetheart.

When You’re Down

My biggest hope in this life to is to breach someone’s silent scream for help. There doesn’t need to be a full audience. Just one person to walk away saying “I needed to hear that”.

I am unashamed to say I am not happy where I’m at in life, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And I’m constantly working to better myself and my surroundings to be even happier.

There’s always dark within the light, though.

Depression is a dark cloud that likes to rain down even on the sunniest of days.

And it’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to feel down when you know you should be shining bright.

The inexplicable onset of sadness is okay. It doesn’t shape who you are in your moments of happy.

War wages within each and everyone of us constantly. Joy and melancholy constantly fight for the upper hand.

Sometimes Joy wins.

Sometimes Melancholy wins.

Struggling means you’re alive.

Sometimes you can’t pinpoint why you feel either.

Today was one of my good days. I felt content with myself and the world around me.

Tomorrow might be different.

And that is okay.

Let the dark cloud hang if it needs to.

There’s always sunshine waiting to ring in a new day.

Persistence is Key

What are your dreams?

What do you strive for?

Are you working towards your goals?

Have you hit a roadblock and given up? Why?

If you’re not happy with where you are in life, make a change.

Start chasing your dreams.

You’re never too old to pursue your passions. If you’ve always wanted to do something, but it seemed like you never had the opportunity, and now you’re at a point in your life where you could change your entire way of living, don’t hold yourself back.

Make that leap.

Anything good in life won’t always come easy. There’s always going to be some sort of a fight to get from point A to point B. Your plan A may turn into a plan J when you run into different roadblocks.

Push through the obstacles.

You only have one life to lead, why wouldn’t you strive to make it the best one for yourself? There’s always going to be a different path that you could have taken. You may get a lot of negative feedback from people you thought you could trust.

Ever seen that one Will Smith movie where he wants to make a better future for his son? How hard did he have to work to make his life the way he wanted it? Why wouldn’t that be said for us in real life?

Start your own grind.

Write down your dream. Whatever it is: starting a company, buying a house, writing a novel, moving across the world. Write that down. Do some research if you need to. Make a list of anything and everything you need to do to obtain that dream.

Make your dream your reality.

Plan for your ideal future.

Stop standing in your own way.

For a long time, I let someone hold me back.

Myself.

There was a point that I didn’t want to be where I was anymore, so I made the change that needed to be made.

Right now, I’m building my foundation for the life I want to have.

Anything is possible.

Story Telling

Stories have an impact on our mental well-being.

Throughout the years, humans have always shared stories whether it be about something that has happened to you during your day, or sharing information to help someone’s health.

I enjoy people’s stories.

Where are you from?

What’s your favorite thing in your life right now?

What has happened to you to form you into the person that I’m having this conversation with right now?

Everyone you see has a story. We never really know what someone is currently going through.

That’s what makes us unique. We might be able to relate to something, but grasping the full effect that something has on someone’s psyche is something we will never actually understand.

Isn’t that beautiful?

When we make friends or start a new relationship, our first conversations are spent learning about the other person and giving lessons on ourselves. You’re intrigued with this person. You want to know everything about this person. You want to know why they move a certain way or what they want for the future.

You want to make their stories your own.

You want to make new stories with this them.

Inside jokes start to form. When you attend a family function, you tell stories to your family about this person and stories with you and this person.

The human race thrives on knowledge. We’re always searching for more information for us to absorb. The thing that no one realizes is that this search doesn’t just include math or literature or medicine. We learn about other people, our favorite actors, the band we’re currently listening to , or the person living next door.

We grow with the stories of those surrounding us.

It also helps us to tell our stories. We get to know ourselves a little bit better.

Take the time to learn about someone you interact with.

Limit Not Met

Limits. Our worst enemy.

We give ourselves limitations that we don’t even realize we do it.

I’m not talking about all the restrictions our parents gave us growing up, which if you’re still holding onto those you should probably grow up. Go eat ice cream for dinner or stay up passed 9 to watch your TV show.

This is a little deeper.

Self doubt has led us to believe that we are only capable of doing so much in our lives.

“Well I’ve never sang in front of a crowd, so I can’t.”

“I’ve never eaten this type of food so I’ll probably hate it.”

Wrong. Do all of the things you want to do.

Limitations should be thrown out the window. Let’s be brutally honest right here: the only thought that should ever go through your mind when deciding if something is right or wrong for you to do is “will this kill me or be harmful to my mental health?”. Example: don’t jump off a building without safety precautions or eat something you’re allergic to or poisonous. You will die and that’s not what the aim is here.

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to our mindsets.

Think about it. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t? What is your reasoning for not following through? Is it because you’ve told yourself you would fail? Or has someone else told you that you’d fail and instead of realizing how ridiculous that thought is you held onto it and turned it into your own thought?

Take a look at yourself in the mirror, remind yourself that you’re an amazing individual and are capable of magical things. Might take a few tries, but your negativity will eventually turn positive.

Go out and make memories. These experiences are beautiful.

Screw your negative inner monologue. Go climb your own mountains.

Scar Tissue

Open wounds hurt. They sting. They bleed. After a given time, they just stop though. Sometimes we bandage them up to help them heal faster, other times we let them breathe and hang out for the world to see what happened.

This can also be said for our emotional wounds. Whether it be a broken heart, the loss of a loved one, or even a rough time we’re going through, everyone handles their pain differently.

We drown ourselves in alcohol, therapy sessions, sad retail shopping, or the love of everyone around us; those are our bandages. And that is okay. Not everything can heal on its own.

Other times, we hold it in and suffer in silence. Which can be okay, too. Sometimes toxic, though.

Pain is only a temporary state of existence. Yes, time can heal all wounds, but time needs to have help and the patience for it to do it’s job.

The greatest part about flesh wound is, after they’ve stopped bleeding, stopped hurting, had their time to heal, they leave behind scars to remind us of a period in time. They remind us of where we’ve been.

Remember that time you were walking your friends dog and he got too excited and knocked you over?

Remember that time you were working, not fully paying attention, and knocked a pile of boxes on top of you?

Remember when you got in the middle of a dog fight?

Remember when you were playing your favorite sport, tore a ligament and had to have surgery?

When you were longboarding and ate shit on a hill?

Or the time you went camping and caught a burning marshmallow on your arm?

These are all points in your life leading up to your now. They’ve all helped to mold you into who you are in some way or another.

Some of these memories may still burn when you see the scar that came from it, but the best part about them?

Scar tissue fades, too.

Change Of Plans

Five years ago, I decided to give up the pursuit of relationships. Yes, I dated here and there, but overall I chose to focus on me. I learned to love myself. Work became my main priority. Basically, I became that bad-ass independent woman every woman out there strives to be. To be completely honest, I’m pretty sure the only reason I even dated was to get laid more often.

A little over a year ago, I felt fulfilled in my single adventure. When I moved back home, I met a guy and things went….well they went okay for a little while. When we split up, I realized how much of myself I had lost in that relationship trying to get back out there. That realization made me rethink everything. I put my big girl panties back on and just deal with myself.

My ex, a different one from many years ago, moved back into town, and I heavily considered settling down and throwing in the towel so I could go back to focusing on work.

This story comes with a point.

About a month into “dating” (if you could honestly call it that) the ex, I met someone. Someone that totally swept me off my feet, leaves me breathless just thinking about him, and makes my insides turn mushy and tumble out in a wave of giggles.

Obviously, I had to let the ex go.

Meeting someone that you have an instant connection with is a rare occurrence that usually only happens in movies, or once upon a time with our great grandparents. Letting that slip passed would have been the worst fairytale ending.

Moral here: sometimes things happen when you least expect it. Things can fall into place when you turn a corner.

This is more of a To Be Continued..