table for one

Dependency is an easy habit to fall in to and a tough one to break. When a kid is never allowed to do anything alone, it’s easy to see how this kid can grow up to never do anything on their own. Calls to the doctor or dentist seem impossible for the first few years of adulthood. Going grocery shopping alone is terrifying. Being in public alone feels humiliating. That’s been the story of my adult life until recently. I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone.

Yesterday I ate alone at a restaurant for the first time in my life and it only took me until age 27. I was genuinely surprised by how pleasant it was. Sure, it was a little annoying how sad and overly-sympathetic the staff acted. Once I thought about their reasons behind it (trying to show empathy, wanting to connect, hoping I feel welcome) I felt much less annoyed and much more thankful.

About a month ago I made myself go to a concert alone. It took a shot of tequila to feel comfortable, but once I did I was pretty happy I was alone in the crowd to do whatever I wanted.

During Comic Con I went completely alone for a day and it was one of the best days of my life. I got to wander where I wanted to, I met some amazing new people (including John Cusack), and I felt more free than ever. I had no one to ask “what do you want to do?” and no one to keep happy. It was all about what I wanted to do and it was liberating.

For all of you social anxiety sufferers out there… try this. Small steps at first, go grocery shopping for a handful of items alone. Try to take your time and go slowly. Enjoy the music (idgaf if it’s your style or not, try to enjoy it), watch the patterns of people weaving between each other, take your time picking out the perfect item for yourself, and get yourself a reward (candy, drink, chips, something).
When you have to call for an appointment, it’s okay to tell the person on the phone that you don’t know what information they’ll need. Almost every place I’ve called with 0 idea in my head of how to proceed has been more than happy to help me out.
If you can’t find anyone to go to an event with you.. just go. Even if you stand awkwardly in a corner on your phone the whole time. It’s progress.

Break out of your comfort zone and one day you’ll realize you’re finally comfortable enough with yourself to take yourself out on dates.

The Greys

It’s finally happened. After all of this hard work and diligence, everything has finally paid off. My head has finally been invaded by The Greys.

I found my first few grey hairs today and I am fucking stoked. I may only be 26, but goddammit, I worked hard for these stripes. They aren’t very visible since my hair is platinum blonde (for now) or I’d upload a photo of my new favorite hairs.

Stress may be morphing my personality in to someone else’s but at least I have these cool badges of honor to show for it~

Underachiever

Everyone has heard the term “self sabotage” but how many are willing to admit they participate in it? I’ve recently been made aware of my fear of success. I slack off at work, I half-ass my school work, I ignore new friends, I refuse to work out or eat healthy, and I just drift through life like a waste of space.

The toughest part is knowing I could excel at anything if I tried.

So why don’t I try? Why don’t I make an effort? Those who suffer from mental illnesses tend to experience resistance towards anything that will help them get better; including taking medication. Despite my awareness of this issue, I still suffer from it and have made no effort to get better. The me that sits in the center of my soul is shouting in frustration for me to just accept help. The outer layers of me are smothered in the dark shadows of depression, attacked by anxiety, and distracted by my failure to improve.

I want to get better, but I also know that the path to a cure is so, so, so difficult. The hardest part is this first step. The first of many difficult steps that will eventually get easier as time goes on.

What I need is a swift kick in the ass to get me moving.

gender roles

“That’s not ladylike!”
“You can’t do/like that, you’re a girl.””Let <male pronoun> do that, you’ll hurt yourself.”
“You <verb> like a girl!”
“Since when do girls <verb>??”
“You’re pretty cool… for a girl.”
“Whoa, you’re like the only girl who does that/knows about that!”
“You’re much more/less <adjective> than that girl.”

Sound familiar?

I’m sure it does, but it shouldn’t.

If you are a female you’re already painfully aware of how we’re viewed. If you’re a male I’m sure you unconsciously have said at least one of these things in your lifetime. You may be plenty aware of this issue as well, however not on a personal level to the extent that women are. I promise I’m not trying to say anything negative towards men; just stating that it’s not as likely that these things bother men on a personal level (since they have their own “tough guy” standards to live up to; also unfair).

From infancy females are raised to believe they need to act differently than males and vice versa. Pink vs blue, dinosaurs vs princesses, Barbies vs Legos, makeovers vs cars, secretary vs CEO, etc. Thankfully, the American society is finally beginning to stray from those ideas but we have a very long way to go from where we are now. I’m going to throw out a few personal anecdotes that I believe I should not have had to put up with in my life.

As a five year old I was playing dress up with the other girls (the boys were playing outside in the dirt; where I much rather wanted to be) when we were suddenly corralled and told we had to leave soon. The zipper on my elaborate, over-sized dress was stuck and the girls had all already changed. (Although I was participating with them, I wasn’t “girly enough” to really be favored by any of them.) I asked a boy to unzip me since my babysitter also could not be found. He politely did so to and neither of us thought twice about it. I simply needed help and he provided it with no hidden motives or teasing. My babysitter found out and went off on how improper it is for me to let a male touch me, god forbid UNDRESS me, without anyone to oversee it. He and I were both incredibly confused as to why we got put in time out for that. My point for this story is that adults may see things sexually but they should not force sexual ideas on to kids like this when we had no idea what crushes or romance entailed yet. Some adults exploit this innocence in some unfortunate cases to gain sexual favors at the kids’ ignorance. Adults need to understand that kids that age should not be forced in to sex specific roles or restrictions. From that point on I learned that boys’ attention was something to fawn over and crave rather than to appreciate like they are a human being as I am.

Another young incident was being told during recess that I can’t like Goosebumps because I’m a girl and that I should be reading Babysitter’s Club instead. The little boy had no idea what he was planting in my mind for the rest of my life. I was pen pals with R. L. Stine (yes, he wrote me back every time). Who is this little ninny to tell me I can’t enjoy the horror genre as a girl when he is not even interested in it as a boy? I can only wonder how his parent(s)/guardian(s) spoke around him at that young of an age. Again, adults should not be enforcing their gender ideals on to children. It spreads farther than just their family and can be damaging to some unaware classmate enjoying their book during recess. If we as a society want equality it is essential to teach the next generation that they can like whatever the hell they want to like.

Moving on to more recent times; I must say I was absolutely baffled that a lot of the men in my life (friends, romantic partner, family) had no idea at all that the US is one of two countries in the world that does not pay for maternity leave. Women are expected to be back at work within two weeks. Two weeks. Not only is this insanity unfair, but men should care for a lot of reasons. The mother of their children can’t care for their children in early developmental stages without taking severe financial cutbacks. The father figure will then be expected to cover all missed income. Not to mention the lack of maternity leave leaves zero chance of paternity leave. Fathers should be just as privileged to spend time with their newborn babies as the mothers are.

Another shocker recently; my boyfriend had no idea that every single woman carries a weapon or a makeshift weapon on her person at all times in case of sexual violence. He didn’t even believe me until I showed him statistics and an art project where women were asked what they carry for defense and photographed. [What Women Carry To Protect Themselves] It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you wear; it is highly likely you will get assaulted. No one wants to believe it, but it is the unfortunate and sad truth that I face every single time I am outside of my home at night. Thankfully I have not been a victim, but that isn’t for others’ lack of trying. I have been very lucky to escape certain situations (yes, multiple) in my life that could have permanently changed me for the worse.

I don’t have a main point here, this was mainly rambling, but if you want a sense of closure take this point:
Raising awareness of the issues we all face is the first step in creating enough empathy and outrage to fix it. Don’t tell your kids “oh he just likes you” or “she deserved it” and definitely do NOT use gender as a reason to praise or insult another human being. Use their accomplishments or their actions. Don’t raise another generation of sexism.

me, myself, and I

Generally, I dislike overdoing the self esteem thing. Sometimes, though, I feel somewhat annoyed that I am a lower class nobody. Many celebs in America are famous for being unintelligent and promiscuous. I work hard each day to make less money than my bills require and I keep everyone around me laughing. How is that not rewarded, too? The world is an unfair place and I am determined to tip the scales in my favor. If I were rich or famous (or both), I would not spring for a lavish lifestyle. I would shoot for the average middle class lifestyle and use my influence to raise awareness of the flaws in our society.

Through empathy, anyone can see how rough the majority of the world’s population has it. Those with the will to change it for the better do not have the means to. Those with the power lack the empathy. It frustrates me to no end to sit back and watch this happen. It’s quite difficult to feel so helpless, so unnecessary, so useless and unknown.

Sometimes, I think I can help change the world one person at a time.

How do you help the world? Big or small, your actions speak loudly. Please share with me how you work to feel fulfilled or how you put effort in to help others.

past lives

I’ve spent a while focusing on getting over the negative portions of my life. Although plentiful, do they really matter in the long run?

My personal theory on spirituality is a mix of many others’ theories; I just happened to come to these conclusions myself before realizing many philosophers and religions mention exactly what I could not articulate. It’s too daunting of a task to sit here and list each of my beliefs on the soul and reality, but one thought in particular has been on my mind frequently today.

Past lives.

I’ve come to realize that most of the population can at least entertain the idea of past lives even if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. So many recollections and encounters that I have read/heard/seen myself are so similar in nature that I can’t deny them in good conscience.

In order to really explain why I am a believer, I need to backtrack a bit and tell a somewhat paranormal story from my childhood. When I had just barely turned five years old I had moved in to a house with my single mom. Having no siblings, I comfortably rested in my very own bedroom. My twin sized bed was against the wall underneath my window. On one evening I woke up cold as ice. Not thinking much of it initially, I rolled over to make sure my window was shut. There was a man laying in my bed next to me fully clothed in professional business attire from head to toe. His mustache was neatly trimmed and his haircut looked fresh. The only thing that kept him from looking completely normal was that he was as white as a marble statue. When he looked at me I could see that his eyes were just white; no iris or pupil. As any kid would, I freaked the hell out and woke my mom up. I spent the rest of the night shivering and clutching her arm while she tried to sleep. Shortly thereafter, she thought it may be a good idea to take me to a psychic that her best friend recommended. I don’t remember anything about the visit other than playing with a zen garden and feeling a warm safe light around me. I don’t know what we discussed or who I thought she was. I had forgotten about it until I was a teenager and odd things began to happen. (That’s another blog entry in the future, sorry guys.) My mom told me the psychic believed I was a young Egyptian boy who was a very, very old soul. A different friend of hers saw a different psychic a few years later. They discussed me and mentioned that I was an Egyptian boy who was an old soul. I had only found out about this encounter after I showed a natural inclination to ancient Egyptian culture.

Throughout my life I have felt memories that I don’t believe are from my current life. The first clear one I remember was quite violent and I had a strong feeling it was in self-defense. I had hair and blood between my fingers with bits of bone fragments. I could feel the horror, the shame, the fear, and the adrenaline. This memory came with the strong thought that I was royalty and defending my family. I was jogging in Phys Ed when this memory struck. It was so random and vivid that I nearly fainted. I still don’t know where it came from or if it was even my memory.

The next memory came in a dream. In reality, I had yet to learn about any geographical wonders like Machu Picchu. In the dream, that is most definitely where I was. The tiered hills were filled to the brim with joyous people in ritualistic clothing. Everyone was drinking out of crude golden goblets and singing to the sky. The sun was coming close to setting and the air felt tingly with energy. A man with bright orange hair like fire (I’m thinking maybe this was ceremonial cloth or feathers) offered me a goblet. It was filled with blood and some kind of wine. I felt at home and excited for the night to come. Years later, I learned about Machu Picchu in school. Upon seeing the photos of this place my jaw dropped. This was not the last time I had dreamed about real places before knowing about them, but the others are so much less significant I will leave them out for now.

After having so many memories that don’t fit my current life, I decided to seek out a hypnotherapist who specializes in past life regression therapy. As much of a believer as I am, I admit even I was highly skeptical. Once the session was done, however, my mind was beyond blown by the detail I could recall. I recognized people in my past as people who I already have deemed my soulmates in this life. Soulmates do not have to be romantic, mind you. The memory drawn out by the therapist was about me being a Native American woman whose tribe was destroyed, forcing me to relocate with the only other survivor. I later married him and had his daughter. He was killed by white men a few years later. Through the memory of the clothing and dwellings, I was able to determine the specific tribes I had been part of and the time I was there. Personally, I have never found American history to be interesting in the slightest. Now, I can’t get enough of it. My daughter is now my little sister who I love as dearly as a daughter. I couldn’t find my mother but I knew she was there. The man I married was recognizable as the man I had started dating only two months or so before my therapy session. Things have gone so easily and so well with him that I have no doubt we have been married before.

Goodness, that took forever to type out!

My main point in sharing this is that each and every life we live is chosen before we are born. Each lifetime has a valuable lesson that your soul must learn before moving to the next lesson. Once your soul has achieved the required knowledge to move on, it does. I don’t know how I know this for certain but my gut tells me it is absolutely true. I believe my lesson in this life is patience. While I know that, I still struggle to achieve it every day. I still have plenty of time to try and try again. The difficulties I endure in this life are crucial to the learning process. I know I get hurt (easily) and things don’t go my way, but that is intentional to teach me to appreciate what does come easily. You can not have light without darkness.

When you are struggling in life, remember that it is only a lesson. It won’t be a problem for all of eternity. Do your best to focus on the root of the problem and how you can fix it. If you aren’t sure you can fix it, meditate on it as often as you can. The answer will come to you.

anxiety won this week

Spring Break is always something to look forward to as a student, even if your time is spent mainly with working extra hours. It’s a week to let your brain relax (or party) and try and forget about your stress.

My spring break (being unemployed) was filled to the brim with exciting and cheap/free plans. All I had to do was write a quick three page essay that is due the day school picks back up. No problem. It’s even on a fun topic; legalizing marijuana for recreational use. I planned to write it on Monday to give myself a worry free week.

My little sister got too sick to go to school so I volunteered to help babysit. This was how I spent my time until Thursday. Poor little thing was miserable and going so stir crazy she couldn’t bear to let my attention wander.

Thursday, finally time to write my paper! I finished it in an hour and began to relax. That night was meant to be spent meeting my friend’s new baby daughter. Friday was going to be filled with classmates watching Pan’s Labyrinth for our Mythology final. Today was an event I’d been looking forward to for three months: a beer tour with my love and our best friends.

Anxiety turned a new ugly trick on me that has completely ruined my plans. I am covered in hives from forehead to ankles. Normally I like to dabble in plus sized modeling, yet I try not to put too heavy of an emphasis on my looks. Even in high school I rarely ever got a single pimple although I never used any sort of face wash. Right now I am struggling with looking like I have an extreme case of syphilis. The doctor’s advice was to take Benadryl and avoid lotions, sunlight, warm water, warm environments, and stress. I’ve been too upset to leave the house as covering the rash with makeup will only make it worse. Best part? This can last for up to two weeks and get worse as it goes. Naturally, stress makes hives worse. Guess how well I’ve been managing this?

Today I had my love sell my ticket to the beer tour and go without me. My day has been spent napping, being too depressed about missing out on fun to even play video games, and feeling sorry for myself. In an attempt to cheer me up, my family took me to Dairy Queen. I was feeling like I didn’t look so bad in a long sleeved shirt and jeans. Once we got there everyone either tried their best not to look anywhere near me or they stared at me with disgust. One old man was staring so hard at me that my grandfather had to confront him. Goodbye, confidence.

I have never had hives before or any type of skin condition. They’ve flared right back up due to my anxiety and embarrassment.

Anxiety may have destroyed my spring break, but next week I will do everything in my power to make every day feel amazing regardless of how I look.

In the meantime, I am painting my toenails and doing my hair. Vanity isn’t my focus, confidence is.