So, that’s why they call it chemistry?

Hello friends, glad to have you back & happy to have you here/hear.

In my previous post I referenced some pretty heavy moments- suicidal ideations, depression, and lack of functioning. If you thought it was a lot reading it, imagine living it (I’m sure some of you can).  I am happy to report that within this last week it has been a lot more tame and stable. I’ve felt alert and present and able to complete daily tasks. Life seems more manageable. Thank yeezy for that, because I was not ready to handle another week of that.

This past week, while much easier to handle, was still full of moments I thought about sharing with you all. I had a lot of processing time, friend time, down time, bachelor nation time, and dating apps time. You may find yourself more interested in some of those things over other things on that list. I could go on for hours about the most recent bachelor season, but I won’t bore those of you not interested in it. To sum up my opinions though- they all suck, including Peter. Let’s wrap it up…

Speaking of one loser dating a bunch of people- this week I want to to discuss my dive back into dating. It’s what I get the most requests for, so I shall oblige the masses. I also like that I am being really ballsy and jumping back into dating during mercury retrograde. What an adventure. I had made it a personal goal to not date until after February, but you know, V Day came and I was like let’s just see, which then turned into scheduling dates. It all happened so fast. **Not really, I knew exactly what I was doing, so whatever. My main goal with taking a break was to clear my head and stop feeling so bogged down. I was ghosted twice in December and it took a toll. It is not cool to be ghosted during your birthday month. There should be a rule against it. But while I was treating myself on Valentines day, I thought you know what, I’m ready to get back out there and jump back on the ol’ dating horse. The wind blew, as I wrapped myself in my sheer sweater on the beach porch, just a single, 40 year old, divorcee, ready to date again. Sorry, went into my own little romcom there. Let’s get back to reality.

Because in reality, this is not a romcom at all. It would be like if a romcom removed all the rom, and only included com – that is how I would describe dating on the apps. The good news is though, that I am a big fan of comedy. Messages about my figure tend to take the lead. “MMM love those curves,” appear in bold letters, like it’s supposed to make me what? Drop my pants for them? I screenshot for my friends and occasionally insta and then don’t engage. Second funniest dudes are the ones who like to say hello and then nothing else for 4 months. Not exactly a ghoster because I didn’t invest any time in them, but like what are you doing? Why did you say hello? So mysterious, so funny. Then there are the people that literally didn’t read anything on my profile and ask me everything about what is already there. “So, where do you work?” Bro, it’s literally the first piece of info on there. Less funny, more annoying. This now leaves like 2 people who I actually have a conversation with. Eventually we meet and then we mutually decide if we want to keep meeting or play the disappearing act. Ooh, maybe it’s comedy and some mystery, a commyst™ if you will.

Like I said, I oddly love it. Not just the comedy of it all, but the whole meeting new humans and figuring this all out. Don’t quote me on this if in a year I’m still on the apps and it isn’t working and I am ded. Truly, my favorite part of the apps are the first few month or so. I’m just so full of hope and my grade A detective skills back online. Full systems go. No, I don’t mean detective work like stalking their social media, I mean in the sense of who they are and who they are in reference to me.

Each date, each person I meet or talk with, I learn more about myself. What I want and don’t want. I also just love meeting new people. I am the type on the apps (because everyone is a different type) to be like ‘lets meet up ASAP’. Yes, I am that girl. I want real conversation and I want it right away. You would be amazed by how many people are great at texting and not so great at talking and vice versa. Plus, I’ve seen catfish. Don’t even try to play me like that. Little tip for those in the same app boat, I highly recommend the coffee date. It’s the easiest, most low-key way to get to know people. One hour, over yummy drinks, without alcohol impairing judgement. Plus, to me it feels like a lot less pressure. It’s not this big formal date I have to dress up for. I’m getting coffee with a potential friend. Because what is a partner if not a friend that you also do romantic stuff with? (romantic = sex)

Even as I am writing this I am realizing the change in mindset I have had since taking my break. I’m trying to look at dating as more experimental than definitive. I am molecule A and I am adding different molecules to my equation until I find one that seems to make sense. Ya know, I really loved chemistry as a kid, so this is all making a lot of sense to me. Woah, is that why they call it having chemistry. What a lightbulb moment. I love when things just seem to come together.

I guess all of this is to say that we humans put a lot of pressure on ourselves all the time. Do this, don’t do this, feel this way, don’t feel this way and I just want to call some bullsh*t on it. Do I want to find someone special that I want to spend the rest of my life with, I don’t f****ing know. I don’t even know what I am doing this weekend, I’m not really interested in thinking about a lifetime. I don’t even know how long my lifetime is. Do I want to find a friend to do romantic stuff with who only wants to do that romantic stuff with me (still talking about sex)- yeah, I do. Am I over feeling bad that I don’t have that yet- absolutely. Which is precisely why I chose the featured image that I did: That feeling can kiss my a**.

To the ones that already have it, I hope it is a friend that you feel safe and healthy with. To the ones that don’t have it, I hope that you feel safe and healthy with yourself and try not to let society tell you that you’re doing it wrong, or that you need to be with someone, or that you need to feel a certain way. You’re doing great and you are exactly where you supposed to be right now. Be easy on yourself… and maybe review your chemistry notes from high school, could find something useful in there.

Oh, and if anyone, yourself included, is mean to you, tell them to kiss your a**. And that’s advice for everyone.

A[wo]men

 

Black History Month’s featured Black Artist:

“‘I woke up in this
In my skin
I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it from me
My brown skin”

Melissa Jefferson (Lizzo), My Skin

My Skin was released by Lizzo in 2015 on her album Big Grrrl Small World. Lizzo is a fierce advocate for people and her song My Skin was born out of the desire to stand up against racial profiling. She has also made a lot of strides in fat activism often referring to body positivity in her music. Her references to self-love were a major influence in my life as soon as I listened to her. She has this way of making me feel beautiful in any light. No matter what I am doing, when Lizzo comes on my playlist it feels like she is a friend, telling me not to talk down to myself- ever. And lest us not forget that Lizzo, the queen, is single.

P.S. Excited to bring you our upcoming brave and honest story teller next week. She’s been through a lot and has a learned a lot along the way. I hope you come back to read her beautiful story.

P.P.S Yes, that is my butt.

Diving into Love

C/W suicidal ideations

Welcome back, loves. Glad to be here, even if only 5 days ago I would not have said that. Went through a small spout of depression this week. The bad kind. The kind where I could barely get out of bed, brushing my teeth was considered a victory, and the idea of disappearing sounded more ideal than anything else. Haven’t felt that down in a long time. Luckily, the feeling didn’t stick around too long and I am out on the other side.

While it was hard to be in that state, I did get to reflect on some pretty cool self improvements. First, I recognized what was happening. I didn’t try to pretend it wasn’t there or act like I couldn’t explain it. It was a feeling I knew well and I jumped in. I thrust my body off of the diving board, gracefully crashing to the bottom of the pool. Second, when I hit the water and was gasping for air, I listened to that. My body told me to breathe and I took long, deep breaths. It said rest, so I laid on the couch all day on Sunday. It said eat, so I ate. It said don’t eat, so I didn’t eat. It said take a walk, and I took a walk. That is a huge improvement. In the past, I felt as though I couldn’t trust my body; my body was the enemy. If my body said eat, I would say “why are you trying to make me fat?” A gross statement in and of itself. Now, when my body says eat, I say “what are we craving? What type of fuel do we need?” What a relief to find trust in my body. Finally, I didn’t let it hang around too long. I had previously wrote a post about needing to fight. That we need to fight when things don’t feel worth fighting for anymore. This is where listening to your body can get a little complicated, because if I let it my body could stay under water for a very long time. It’s easier to not kick and just stare up at the surface through the water seeing a blur of what life used to look like. It’s safe down there. But see, I had to kick because my body also screamed for air. That line is understanding desire vs need. I spent a few days below the surface before breaking through- pushing my legs and arms as hard as I could to in order to reach the surface. What did that look like in reality as opposed to this diving metaphor?

It was crying and telling myself that all things change. It was saying that this feeling, as hard as it is to feel, will indeed change. It was saying that this is not how I want to live. It was hiding under that covers and then coming out from under the covers. It was going to work, after 1100 ‘snoozes’ of the alarm.  It was doing things one step at a time. It was everything I could muster. It was reaching out for help; it was me telling my friends I’m drowning. (Can’t seem to escape the swim metaphors *shoulder shrug emoji*.)

At one point, I started to feel like a burden. That is a sign for me that I am reaching the lowest place, the place that is hard to come back from. The place with suicidal ideations. I had to repeat to myself that I am not a burden and that people love me. I was sitting in the dark, my arms wrapped around myself, fighting that feeling when all of the sudden there was a bright light in my face. My best friend was calling me. I picked up sobbing into the phone. She said her “best friend spidey senses were tingling”. She knew I need her more than I realized I needed her. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours. When I first answered I was crying, barely able to breathe, feeling like I couldn’t go on. By the end of the conversation I couldn’t remember why I was upset to begin with. It was like my soul had been restored. A simple conversation from a friend who sat there with me and said “I wish I could do or say something, but all I can say is I love you.” The thing is… that was all I needed. I needed to be reminded that I am loved, I am loving, and I am lovable.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I know, it was a really lengthy way of getting here, but I am dramatic and had to build it up. But seriously, it’s that time of the year. If you’re sitting there confused, I’ll fill you in. LOVE TIME aka Valentines Day aka hallmarks holiday. This Friday is that day that romance gets shoved into our faces and us single folx are reminded that we are not in a relationship. Okay, that may have sounded a little bitter, but honestly I am not bitter about it. I love Valentines Day.  When people ask me why (which is just rude, tbh) I always respond with “why would anyone hate a holiday that celebrates love!” I mean I know why, but I LOVE love. Yeah, I’m annoying like that. Every year I make a point to celebrate the love I have for myself. This year I am treating myself to some takeout and a bikini wax! I also believe I owe myself extra because last year I spent the day crying into my pillow because I ran into my ex with another girl. Gotta make up for that disaster. I think I see a massage in my near future.

This year though, I want to make it a point to celebrate even more love. This year, I want to remind the people that I love that I love them, because Valentines day isn’t just about your romantic partners- it’s about having a day dedicated to reminding the important people in your life that you care. My friends, as is evident from the story above, are life saving humans. My family lifts me up and gives me so much support. This type of love, well, its unlike any other. It gives me power to get through feelings of suicide that can lead to me forgetting I was even having those feelings in the matter of two hours.

I refuse to be bitter on a day about love because I am luckily enough to be surrounded by it. That is a gift I will never take for granted. When I was sitting in the dark, crying, asking someone to make the pain stop I got that prayer answered. I am pleading with you this year, for Valentines day, celebrate all the people you love. Pick up the phone and call your friends, family, dog, neighbor. Spread it around like it is bursting out of you. You may just answer someones prayer.

And I know one day isn’t enough, we must say it continually. So, staying on theme, I am just going to dive right in: I love you, my dear reader.

A[wo]men

Black History Month’s featured Black Artist:

“Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.”

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Published in 1982, The Color Purple focuses on the life of a black women in America the 1930’s. Alice Walkers way of writing is done in a way that nothing else matters while I am reading her material. The book was also adapted into film and a broadway show. I saw the broadway show and it was hands down the best performance I have seen thus far. I cried… hard. Alice Walker herself is a brilliant mind that graduated valedictorian from her high school. She grew up struggling with personal difficulties and would find comfort in writing poetry and reading. The Color Purple was one of the first books I read when I started reading for pleasure (I was a late bloomer in that aspect). It will always hold a special place in my heart.

Good Intentions With Negative Impacts

Hello friends, fam, and all around lovely humans. Happy Black History Month! As an artist I would like to pay tribute to the amazing contributions from Black artists that have influenced me as a person. I will end each of my posts this month with works from Black artists that I’ve been impacted by and think you should check out as well. I hope you will enjoy them and please reach out to me if you have any of your own suggestions for things I should check out.

Speaking of amazing artists there is something that I would like to talk about that was ignited by the halftime show- our need to comment on other peoples bodies. This thought first started to linger in my head as headlines scattered across my screen following the Super Bowl half time show. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl and I only watched the half time show after it was posted all over my feeds. I don’t really care about it unless the Packers are playing, so sue me. (GO PACK GO.) After watching the half-time show I remember thinking what’s the big deal? Why are people so concerned about these people? What is it about skin that freaks people out? Is it the fact that it is brown skin? Is it the fact that it’s the skin of people with vaginas? Is it because it’s “old” skin that “looks young”? Their art, and it was beautiful art, was clouded with judgements about their appearance. It just didn’t sit well with me.

I didn’t realize how much it didn’t sit well with me, until today. I was out for my daily run and a person insisted on yelling loud enough for me to hear over my loud AF headphones: “It’s okay honey, thick is good. THICK IS GOOD.” I think their intentions were kind. I think they didn’t want me to think I had to run. BUT, and pardon my language here, F**K YOUR INTENTIONS. As I continued my run, I thought about how they don’t know me or my body. It didn’t make me feel good, it made me feel violated. My body is not for anyone else and I don’t want advice or comments or anything else about it. That shouldn’t matter if I am famous or poor or rich or naked in the middle of the street.

I spoke to my friend about it who said, “it’s good it was you, a person that feels confident in themselves [most days]. Imagine it was someone else, who’s whole day or progress could’ve been brought down by that.” My day isn’t ruined and in fact I love being thick. Heck, my insta bio specifically says I’m a ‘thicc NYC babe always’. I just think about the lack of disregard for what people are experiencing and how we shouldn’t be assuming anything about people. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez may have their lives documented in the public light all the time, but we don’t know anything about them. Just because they are famous, doesn’t mean we have the right to say things about their bodies. They, as much as we forget sometimes, are humans. We are all just humans.

As humans I want to urge us to move forward with more intention. When the intentions are good and the impacts are negative we must be able to sit with that and work to remedy it. We must also being willing to speak up about those negative impacts. When they yelled this to me, I smiled and moved along, not wanting to make waves. I always fear making waves, believing that they will swallow me whole, rather than believing I can ride them. I want to be better about speaking up and telling people when I’ve been hurt by their words or actions. I want the people around me to do the same.

In fact, some of my favorite moments in my work is when people tell me how I might have misspoke or misinterpreted or misjudged. I don’t love messing up, the Type A in me actually hates it, but I do love it because of the powerhouse sitting in front of me. No, I don’t mean the mitochondria, that’s the powerhouse of the cell. I mean people acknowledging that they want better. They are recognizing their worth and their need to be respected in the way they want to be respected. That energy when I see someone speak up is power. They are power; you are power; I am power. I am channeling that power moving forward.

I actually felt some of that power this week when I had a lovely conversation with an acquaintance from high school. She reached out to me via FB to discuss some of the feelings she was having about the halftime show. She was honest and brave and we had a beautiful dialogue about what it means to be a person in this society and how that gets interpreted and what that means for others. I bring this up because it is moments like this that I am speaking about when it comes to being powerful. You don’t have to be famous to make an impact. There is power in talking, texting, putting words out there, even when it seems scary or overwhelming. Every time you tell someone what you are thinking, feeling, needing, wanting, scared of, excited for, worried about- the world is a safer and kinder place to be.

Be brave. Be honest.

A[wo]men

“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.”

-Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom

Published in 2013, this book explores Maya Angelou’s relationship with her mother. It is raw and beautiful and made me bawl on an airplane in 2016 when I first read it. Maya Angelou was a human of many talents and her art is something that will always make me feel so many things. I highly recommend Mom & Me & Mom but in all honesty just get anything done by her and you will feel things you didn’t know you needed to feel.

The Battle of the Secrets

Hello beautiful souls. Welcome back and I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts of 2020 thus far. I just wanted to start by saying that I will not be having an interview piece for the month of January, but they will be back and better than ever starting in February. Which reminds me, if you are invested in telling your own story feel free to contact me and let me know.

Okay, now that housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get to the goods. I have been feeling some type of way and I’ve enjoyed exploring those feelings more as of late. Interestingly, I have started a new form of birth control that I swear has evened out my hormones. I know a lot of people say they feel more mood swings with the pill, but I have never felt more even keeled. I am sure there are a lot of factors that go into why I am feeling like this, but I really think that is one of them. Now, when I say more even keeled, it does not mean I am not emotional. I still cry on the regular, don’t you worry y’all, gotta get that release somehow. However, those low-lows that I used to have, get less and less. I haven’t had a real low-low in about a month, which is impressive, if I do say so myself. Plus, that low was triggered by alcohol which I have been avoiding as well. So, I am sure that has helped a lot. While I do feel more stable there is an area of my life that is bringing up a lot of feels and a lot of what I’ve been exploring this past month.

Ey-yo, low self-esteem check! (Tiktoc reference, for you oldies. JK I’m old, but I like to stay up-to-date on what the cool kids are doing). But seriously, I’ve been feeling not very powerful and it has been really interrupting my groove. As someone with a history of eating disorders, the new year is the hardest time. Everyone around me is talking about their diet; the weight they have gained over the holidays; the desire to be thinner, thicker, taller, shorter, beefier. Every “I just need to loose 5 lbs, 10lbs, 100lbs” scatters about me and I don’t know how to respond. I oscillate between wanting to be happy with who I am and wanting to be thin. Should I want to loose weight? Should I not? How do I feel about myself? So many thoughts constantly echoing in my brain. “The Biggest Loser” flashes across my screen and  brings me back to the image of fat people puking while a thin person berates them. I play Demi Lovato’s new song Anyone on repeat while I think about all the things she has overcome and how glorious she looked on that stage at the Grammy’s.

Last night, with Demi in mind, I stared into the mirror and I saidyou are worthy of everything you want’ and I began to cry because I didn’t know if I believed it or not. Everyday I wonder if I am loving myself correctly. In this instance, is self-love admitting that I want to change? Is it wanting to feel okay in my current skin? Is it both? I think it is both… No, I know it is both. Why can’t I have a desire to change while also loving who I am? Both can exist at the same time and both can be a beautiful admittance. My worth does not depend on whether I want to change or not. My worth is a value that comes from  inside of myself, even on the days I get self-love wrong, I am worthy.

This morning I stared into the mirror and I said ‘you are worthy of everything you want’ and I began to cry because I knew it was true whether I believed it or not. That’s thing about being gentle with yourself. It’s okay to be exactly who you are at all times, even when it feels like you might be a walking paradox. It is hard to feel worthy, unless you start to accept pieces of yourself that might feel scary to accept.

In light of this revelation, there is a secret I have been keeping to myself that I feel I need to let out. I joined Weight Watchers again and typing that is really scary for me. There it is, out in the open. Even just typing it out loud feels liberating. I think this is scary for me to admit because it feels like I am failing in some way, like wanting to change means I don’t just fully embrace who I am now and that means I am doing self-love a disservice and everything I’ve said before is a lie. The thing is though, that I do love myself as I am today and I want to be able to eat more reasonable portions and I wouldn’t mind losing weight. I do not want to feel shame or guilt in that. Weight Watchers, to me, is a place where I find community, where I can talk about my struggles with eating and feel no judgement. It feels so good to not be holding that in any longer.

Keeping secrets is a heavy weight to carry around. As a social worker, I think the number one phrase I’ve heard in my position is “I’ve never told anyone that before“. After they say it, their change in body language can only be described as amazing. There is always a deep breath and a feeling of relief. The power that I witness firsthand in letting out a secret is one of my favorite parts of the work I do. I feel that feeling each week as I sit at my computer. Each post accompanies a deep breath and feeling of relief.

There are pieces of me that are hard for me to admit, but with each blog post, with each conversation with a friend, with each confession, I feel more and more worthy of what I want. It all starts with ripping the bandaid. Telling your secrets to the air, your pet, a piece of paper, a computer screen, a trusted friend, a stranger, your therapist – is powerful. Scream it out or whisper it quietly. Secrets that we keep inside are the real parts of ourselves that we need to battle. Today, take out your sword and be brave- tell a secret you’ve been holding on to. If you don’t have anyone/thing to tell, you can tell me. Just go to my contact page and if you want to remain anonymous just make up a name and email. I just want you to know that you have a place here that is safe. I feel safe in telling you my secrets and I hope you feel the same in return.

Today I am going to be brave alongside you and I am going to tell three more secrets before the day is done. You will be able to find them on my Instagram page.

A[wo]men

i feel the aching-

today in my chest,

yesterday in my bones,

tomorrow in my stomach.

it will always linger,

always want out.

i close my eyes,

open my mouth,

let the words

escape my lips

i’m free.

-letting go of secrets

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers to the ordinary and mundane

Hello, my loves. Hope this post finds you dreaming glorious dreams after last weeks post and if not, I hope good dreams are just on the horizon for you.

This past week has been a week of some of the most lovely, mundane moments. While mundane is often thought of as synonymous with boring, for me I live for the mundane moments. Part of this stems from my trauma history. When living in trauma, we are often operating at a high level of survival mode at all times. Healing from trauma means that not every moment in my world do I need to feel like death and/or pain is lurking by. I can sit with friends, family, strangers and just sit. Before, when I was running on survival mode, sitting and just being with others was near impossible.

The lingering questions were always: Do they hate me? Am I safe with this person? If I make a mistake how will they respond? Can I be myself? Is it safe to be myself? Am I being too loud? Too opinionated? Too timid? Too awkward? Will they hurt me? Even just writing those questions I am exhausted. These questions though, were trying to keep me safe. However, in exchange for safety, I was willing to live without peace. What is safety without peace? It is a shell. It was a shell that I am grateful for. Regardless of how I was doing it, I was living. Without that shell, I wouldn’t be here today and I know that. However, now I am living in a different way. I now understand that peace can coexist with safety. Healing the injured inner parts of myself has allowed me to revel in the mundane because I equate mundane to peace.

One of those mundane moments was a recent conversation with a Lyft driver. He was a kind man who was late picking me up because he had stopped to help someone that had fallen. This person, who was still in the car, was clearly drunk. They became irate that he wouldn’t take them to their stop first. He was trying to explain it to them, but they got out of the car spewing something based on their assumption of his race. His cheeks became flushed as he tried to explain the situation to me, sharing he was fearful that I would report him. “I just wanted to help” he kept repeating. I could tell, he really did just want to help. I assured him that I had no intention of reporting him.

After he realized I would not be reporting him he appeared to be more at ease. He changed the conversation to more small talk. A fun fact about me is that I love talking to my Lyft drivers, some of the greatest conversations I have had have been with my drivers. Where are you from/what do you do type questions is how it started. Then, he became very intrigued when I said I do crisis counseling.  This driver, we’ll call him Frank since I don’t have permission to use his real name, said “what does a crisis counselor do? Can you give me an example?” “Well” I said, “for example if someone feels suicidal, I help assess them. Perhaps help them work through the feeling or try and get them more support if they need it.”

He paused for a moment. I could see him thinking a lot of thoughts all at once. His face was full of curiosity. He continued “Can I ask you about that more? I have a lot of questions, but you can stop me at any time.” “Of course” I responded. “Why do people get this way? Why do they want to die? Is it something in their head? Are they sick? Is there medicine they can take? How do I help people that feel this way?” His questions went on and on. He was not kidding when he said he had a lot.

In the name of honesty my first thought before allowing him to ask his questions was ‘Frank, please don’t make me work today. I am tired and don’t want to social work’. Then I took a deep breath and thought ‘what else am I going to talk about for the next 20 minutes, might as well talk about something I know’… and I was so glad I did. We talked about stigma and sitting with hard feelings and all the things I am passionate about. As I left the car, Frank said that he was glad to learn something new today and happy that he has more ways in which he can help others. I thanked him for the conversation and for wanting to help others. I also thanked him for the ride and tipped him graciously and made sure to give him 5 stars and a good review. Frank was a good dude.

I smiled as I exited the car thinking about those simple moments in life. Those moments where we can connect, human to human, and those walls that I used to so fiercely put up now closely resemble foam pits that I sometimes dive into or sometimes gently walk over.

This, my friends, is the power of healing. Unwarranted fear becomes the mundane. Simple conversations no longer produce anxiety. Mistakes are no longer the worst part of living, but rather a simple fact of life. The question of ‘am I safe’ often answered with an affirmative answer- yes.

It’s wild because this time last year, I was at rock bottom. I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I was hurting and years and years of untreated trauma, depression, and anxiety came to a head with the ending of my relationship. I didn’t know how to trust people. I felt safest under my covers and even then my thoughts were so dark that I would need to put my headphones in to drown them out. My roommate would come home to find me on the couch, unable to move, trying to coax me out, in any way she could think of. A year later, with some really significant changes and hard work on my end, writing about those days when there was no such thing as the mundane sounds like a horror movie I once watched. Did Alfred Hitchcock take over my life script for a moment there? Who knows.

What I do know is that today, one year later, I feel ordinary and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This post is an ode to the ordinary and mundane, where life happens- when we are paying attention.

A[wo]men

wake up.

you are safe-

in the dark,

in the light.

in the water

in the forrest,

in the city,

and the country side.

with their thoughts,

with your thoughts

-you are safe.

go to sleep.

wake up.

you are safe-

-finding peace in the day to day

 

Dream a big dream of me.

Hello fellow readers! Did you miss me? Because I sure missed you. Can hardly believe it’s been a month since we last connected. It was a much needed break with time for reflection and connecting to the real world. I laughed, cried, and watched a lot of Gossip Girl. There was also a lot of ‘oh perhaps I will blog about that’ moments. So many in-fact, that I have several pieces of paper floating around that say things like “7 hours in the airport” and “girl skipping”.  Today though, I don’t want to discuss my travel woahs or how sometimes simple things give me the most joy; today I want to write about dreams. I’ve been having a lot of them lately. Some while I sleep and some while I am awake. There is a thread to them all though, the future.

My last blog post was about my goals for the new year and we are officially in it. 2020 has begun and just as any new year, I have started out strong. THE FUTURE IS NOW. This topic of the future though is a big deal to me. In a previous blog post  I discussed this new possibility of living without suicidal ideations. Since that post, I have absolutely had suicidal thoughts, but not in the same way. They are more fleeting and I am able to breeze past them like I am on a boat just passing by a sea creature and waving goodbye instead of it swallowing me whole. Which, of course, makes the future so much more exciting. I have all of these ideas constantly swirling around my brain. Making plans to travel the world. To turn 30, 40, 50, 60. Thinking about how and when I will get published one day.

When you feel suicidal for most of your life the future is this vague idea that, in all honesty, you don’t think will ever really come. I would speak of the future because I had to not because I believed it was real thing. It just seems to be a common topic amongst humans. What do you think your future partner looks like? What do you think you’ll be doing in the future? What kind of house are you going to live in? My head would yell IT’S BLANK and then I would spit out things I had seen in movies. Now, I want to tell everyone my plans. My partner will be kind, I will be a social worker and/or politician, I’ll have an apartment in Brooklyn with exposed brick! Ask me more!

And you know what else, feeling less suicidal has also allowed me to live more in the present. I have all this free’d up space to really witness the hustle and bustle around me. Instead of spending all of this time trying not to feel like I dying, I can now sit in an airport for several hours and observe the beautifully mundane world around me. Airport people are fascinating, btw. The bar was FULL at 6am and there were several kids on leashes. It is just a whole different place, almost felt like I was dreaming.

Speaking of dreams, I would also like to share changes my asleep dreams. Some of them have been seriously mundane. For example, I had one where I just went and got coffee and then walked to the park and sat in the sun and I met this super cute dog. It was simple and beautiful. I rarely dreamt before and if I did it was always a nightmare. I would wake up in panic with visions of me nearing death, often by way of murder. There are a lot of different theories on dreams. Who knows if any are correct or not, but I do know that something within me has changed. It can’t be a coincidence that when my mental health starts to feel more stable I stop dreaming of my imminent death. I must say, it has been one of the many perks of getting valuable help and really diving deep into my own psyche.

I know it’s cliche, but I am writing all of this because it can get better. Maybe right now you are reading this and thinking about wanting to die. Maybe for the last 10 years you have spent most of your days thinking the future isn’t possible. I see you. You’ve been through things and you have extremely valid pain in your life. If your dreams are more nightmares right now, it’s okay. It’s human and it happens. Please, be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the space to unpack the nightmares because they are there for a reason.

If you aren’t sure where to start, try reaching out to someone to talk to- whether that be me, a friend, a family member, a stranger on the subway, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255).

I see you and I love you and part of my dreams includes healing for you.

A[wo]men

my thoughts are silent films

the meanings my own-

to create

& feel

& hold

to rewind

& rewatch

& rewrite

-how i see my suicidal ideations

 

From the Year of Change to the Year of Stability

Hello loves, I would first like to start off by thanking you all for the kind words after my post about Alex Wolf. I am so happy to hear all the people that also want to live their life like Alex. As I continue to follow those words, I would also like to share that this will be my last post of 2019. Taking a bit of winter break for myself and focusing on building more stability and grounding. I will return in 2020 with more to talk about and *fingers crossed* more interviews. So for today, I would like to do my own year in review. Thank you, Spotify, for the idea.

My greatest hits of 2019 include:

  1. Travel Girl  (feat. Hawaii, Rhode Island & Myrtle Beach)
  2. Ending a Relationship (feat. my ex)
  3. Alaska to New York
  4. Goodbye first job, Hello new job
  5. Got a new therapist, who dis?
  6. Dating (half of NYC)
  7. Oops, I got robbed on the train
  8. Forever Missed (feat. Alex Wolf)

I am officially coining 2019 the year of change. There were so many ups and downs. Constant, life changing events were thrown in my direction. I would like to say I handled them with grace and ease, but I absolutely did not because I am human. I stumbled about as if I were a new born dear trying to walk. It was not pretty. I find something quite beautiful in that ugliness of living though. A bit of a contradiction, I suppose. Yet, it simply is the epitome of human life to fall and get up and fall and get up. It is how we learn to do most things in life. How can that not be beautiful in its ugliness?

While I reflect on the past and the ways that I careened through the year, I would also like to look toward the future. Typically, each year I make a list of things I hope to accomplish. I know, v. original. I went back in my blog for 2019 to see what my list said… There was no list. When 2019 began I was in a deep, deep depression. The future seemed bleak and if I remember correctly the only thing on my list was to heal. A to-do that I believe is never quite finished. We are always healing from new marks that find their way to us. Though, as I make my way to the end of 2019, I am in a completely different headspace. I now have the tools to help the healing and the wisdom to know that nothing is permanent. Things change, always.

With that being said, I want to highlight some changes I hope to see in 2020:

  • Learn a new hobby (knitting?)
  • Continue to work towards obtaining my LCSW
  • Reduce CC debt by 50%
  • Travel (Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Maine, Spain)
  • Build strong relationships
  • Run a 5k
  • Fall in love with myself again, and again, and again
  • Write more
  • Scroll less
  • A new president

If 2019 was the year of change, I would like 2020 to be the year of stability. All that change I went through was vital to my own growth; however, I want to feel more grounded as I enter this new year. This is also why I intend to take a break from writing for the next month. I plan to use that time to focus on my goals and come up with a concrete plan. I was a bit willy-nilly with how I moved through the world this year. I was very much reactive, rather than proactive. It is my hope to now become proactive. A trait I believe is curated as we age. In 2020, I will become 30 years old. Another decade will have passed in my life and I hope by the time I get there I understand myself in a deeper way and care for myself in the way I care for others.

They say we are creatures of habit, so I am encouraging us to create a habit of self-compassion this year. Let’s become so in love with ourselves that we can’t help but feel safe and stable in our own arms. Coin this year whatever you feel you need to move forward. Perhaps you need change, perhaps you need stability, perhaps you need something totally different. Just remember that your path is for you. Figure out what you need and let it guide you.

I will greet you all again in January, until then spread love to yourself and to others.

A[wo]men

it’s me

in the dew of the morning

in the dark of the night

through the forest

and the depths of the ocean

in the sunshine &

the moon

love & heartache

growth & regrowth

i am with me through it all

-you are your best partner through life