Out with the Old, in with the New

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Thanks for joining me!

Recently I’ve decided I need a change of pace, something new and exciting although it doesn’t have to be grand! I just need to change the way life has been going and learn to make myself better. I know that this is a long process but I’m ready to work towards change and growth one step at a time.

I know that it’s that time of year for people to claim their resolutions that usually involve changing themselves in some way… Apologizing to those they wronged, going to the gym, or some variation there of. But I’ve been working on this for a little while and just couldn’t find the way to express it.

I’ve never been a blogger, at least not until now.. But I know that I can’t commit to the time that it takes to make an edit videos like you’d see on a YouTube channel, and I’ve always been better at writing than being in front of a camera. This isn’t the only change to my life I’ve been interested in lately, I am also going through and completely redecorating my room; and I know that may sound stereotypical I believe that the energy you can get from your own space is really important. Mine just needed a change… Hopefully I’ll remember to put something up about what I’ve done to my room.

I’ve also started up journaling, just to see how far I’ve come and have a place with no judgement or worry that I’m saying the wrong things. There are days when I’m having a horrible time and others when I don’t want to bother anyone so I spend time alone. I want to remember those days, so that I might work towards changing it.

I’m spending more time doing the things I love, and being with people who genuinely enjoy being around me, and who do not make me feel bad about myself when I’m with them. It’s a hard thing to learn, something that has taken me a long time to figure out. When you know who your true friends are there is never a doubt and that is important. Vital actually. It’s an on-going process but I’m happy to take as much time learning as I need to.

So here it is, out with the old and in with the new! Welcome to Honest and Unafraid

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My Reality of Love

Yeah I’m scared of love. Are you kidding? I’m absolutely terrified by the idea that you can love someone at the same moment that another person is falling out of the very feeling. That at every moment you’re choosing to be with someone, there is someone else choosing not to…

But that doesn’t matter because as much as I fear love, I also love it. I love the very idea that it holds, that we can truly give so many positive emotions to another person, that we can even fathom choosing them over us. That habits change to slowly sync up to your partner, the fact you can even start to meld into the people you spend time with and love. Love is such a powerful force, and although I believe that negative feelings can effect us more on our day to day lives, I also believe that love is a driving force as strong as the very thing in our universe that drives the oceans to move, the wind to blow and every organism in the whole solar system to adapt. 

When it comes to love, I tend to stray away from your more traditional romances, like Romeo and Juliet or Jack and Rose, no I would rather focus on something more tangible, the little things that make people fall into love instantly or can remind them why they’ve fallen in love in the first place. I would rather put my faith in the butterflies that try their hardest to escape stomachs, looks shared across a crowded room, electricity that is only felt between two people, the pause when you kiss someone before you begin again. 

Now if it’s not obvious, I’m a hopeless romantic, I eat up all these stories tucked between pages and played out in ‘real life’ like movie plots that someone hasn’t thought of yet… I’m even a fan of the ones that have been written far too many times. This is what I mean when I say that I love love. It’s something that is almost more perplexing than any science you could dream up, but it’s also something to fear more than all the monsters in the world combined. Because I know how much weight it carries, and how each person on this planet will not have the same idea of love I am hyper aware of it’s gravitational pull on anything it wishes to interact with. 

I think love just happened to start off well for me, in my personal life. I had a careful introduction to the feeling, and then it was shattered. But instead of jumping back in to prove I could survive it, I took time to do something I’d never done. I took time to love myself, to fall in love with me. It changed how I have both viewed and interacted with love, because it broke the idea down to the very core and allowed me to safely re-learn what it means to love and care for someone.

You’ll find, if you need to take time to learn how to love yourself that you’re much more patient with yourself, softer, more sympathetic and take things far slower. But it will not fix all your fears, it will teach you what to say when you feel them creeping in, it will humble you, but it will not fix all your problems. There are some things that happen in relationships that change us which much be worked out and re-learned in true practice because they have nothing to do with you. And even though it’s been a long time since love has done me wrong, I’m still learning about those little moments that take me back to a a place where I feel unloved, under valued, and small but I have to address those moments and work them through so I can understand and see that nothing is the absolute same. People, memories, moments… They’re all different. 

Take time to learn love, however it helps you. Through whatever extension you need be that yourself, your religion, your partner, whatever you choose will teach you more than I think anyone realizes. And I promise at the end of the day, when your fears become too much, there are ways to work around them, to teach yourself they are only words. Love is the best feeling, when it is expressed in an honest and healthy way. 

Here’s to you readers! To learning love, to feeling love, to being scared out of your mind, and for not giving up on yourself or the idea of love. Relish in the moments when you feel loved! Absorb as much of that feeling as you possibly can and remember it, hold onto it. Cherish it. Love it.

A Way to Stay Grounded

I’ve never been raised in an overly religious family, we went to church when I was younger and my extended family is more religious, but it just wasn’t what we did. Sometimes going on Christmas Eve for a midnight service and always finding myself back inside or near a church during a memorial, but it wasn’t something I did (for lack of a better term) religiously. Because my family did not participate in this often, I never grew up with an understanding about what could make someone so drawn to religion.

Understanding the need for God came at times that seemed only convenient for myself, and even still I was never drawn into the idea that there could be one person out there answering every question there is to ask, with every ability to create whatever he saw fit. I’ve run into a few times recently where I don’t feel grounded, and sometimes a little lost. And because of this I keep going round and round looking for ways to ground myself.

The reason why religion has crossed my mind, wasn’t just because I’ve spent time looking at what it means to be but also because I know that part of the pull to religions seem to be about feeling grounded through something that is big than yourself, to get answers about questions you’ve never had any answers for, to have someone or something out there who is only there for you. A personal friendship that is never unhealthy or wrong, that will never be questioned or given a second thought. But because religion has never seemed to be an option I’m slowly working on new ways to do just that, make myself grounded in ways that are completely my own.

I’ve found that I’m sort of in awe by people who can be so drawn to a religion, either from the start of their life or over their lifetime. I think there is a lot to be said about someone being able to hold that connection and commitment to something they don’t get to see. However interesting I may find it, and however vague I might think it is, I can understand how someone might need to feel grounded. There is a list I’m working on, and will continue to work on, but I’ll share a few of my favorites.

I’ve looked into ways that make me grounded, going for a walk when I can’t think of what to do helps me understand where I am in the world. I drink a cup of tea that might be a little too hot for most people when I want to remember more about who I am. I want to write and draw or read when I need to get away from myself. To focus I need loud music, either classical so my head stops talking, or something a little more intense when I get want to completely get out of it and focus on something other than myself. I reach out to friends when I can’t find ways to distract myself, to my boyfriend when I want to be around someone else to feel grounded. I work out when I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with and when I can get myself out of the house.

This is something I’m still working on, spending more and more time so that I might understand myself better and learn more about what I can do for myself that creates an immediate reaction of some kind. I want to create the feeling of being more grounded by feeling myself respond to something, or have something distract me. Continuing this will be my challenge for this coming year but I’m not giving up.

Something I’ve Come to Understand About Life

I’m very much under the impression that the people around us are images of who we are, and that we attract people based on the way we treat another person. For example, I believe that if you are mean to someone and a person who is close to you hears this, others like them are more likely to react poorly to you. I also was raised in school with the saying, “Treat others how you want to be treated” and I have never wavered in my belief of the painful reality this quote holds.

There is something to be said about the company you keep. Most religious people believe you should surround yourself with a similar connection to God so you will be better able to hear Him and serve Him. Parents worry when their child is hanging out around bad people, out of fear their child will be influenced. So why could the same not be said for friendships, or more intimate relationships? Why would we think that unless there is some other niche tie to another group (like religious groups) we, as humans, could forget the idea that we will be influenced by those around us.

One of the reasons I believe this to be true is a rather personal one, but I’m okay with sharing it because it’s something I’ve grown through and learned from. Freshman year of college is reserved for stress, eating more than you ever had in your life and making friends based on proximity. I’ll be completely honest, aside from my first roommate freshman year, I became friends with all the people around me because they just so happened to be no more than 5 minutes from my dorm room at all times. The difference lies in the ones that I’ve maintained these years later, and the ones that didn’t.

The people who I was surrounded with in my first year of school would not have been friends in any other setting! Maybe one or two of us would have picked to be together but not all of us (for scale that ranged from 8-12 people for any given outing or group event). We were all very different in high school, and it truly is an act of something greater than us that we even met at all! Because none of us really had a large amount in common we were very quick to find ways to create “common ground”, falling into the typical college archetype of a various array of unhealthy behavior.

Unfortunately, because we never took the time to truly understand each other that is what we continued to do, the only person who did not participate directly was my roommate, although she always seemed to know where we could go to find this poor behavior, or was looking to get her then boyfriend to partake whatever day of the week this was. She happened to be the first one to leave most of these situations anyways, if you’re worried about her being uncomfortable or anything of that nature.

To get back to my story I have to continue where we originally left off… When there was no invitation and we felt the need for a little rule breaking there was always a way to keep the ‘party’ closer to home; the same effect without the added travel time. We ended up becoming very unhealthy around each other, bringing up things that were better left buried, under the guise of having something inebriating us, or fell into a circle of never truly talking to the person we hurt.

I had learned bad behaviors before that year, but they were perpetuated during that time and I also fell into a cycle of being not only a bad friend, but also a bad person. I constantly was anxious and irritable, I spent more time being mean to those around me behind their back than I should have and I encouraged the same bad behavior with the people around me. I’ve learned since then, and taken a lot of time to work through both the people and the problems. Learning from my mistakes and making right what I did wrong has done a lot for me in terms of healing and growing. It has also gotten me some of my best friends, and my love. I will have to keep working on this, and spend more time making sure I am good to the people around me, but that is something I know I will do.

Enough about me, the point of this is to say that although there may be situations where you become friends with someone who doesn’t support you, or doesn’t seem to want to hear from you, you will make it past this time. You will find your people, even if it takes time. Never reduce yourself into unhealthy friendships, do not spend time with people who put you down or ignore your feelings. Friends are hard, as I’ve written before, but those friends who stick around and truly care for you will be gold. And everyone deserves these people in their lives. Friends who support you and only want the best for you aren’t always in large supply, but they are worth it in the end. Find and surround yourself with people who know that you are important and are not interchangeable with others.

Although you might have relationships that aren’t healthy for you, and it might take you a long time to realize you should also know it’s okay to let them go. Do not accept anything that makes you feel less than something golden, for there is no one else in the world like you. If you find people who make you question yourself or your beliefs it is okay to cut ties with them and move on with your life. Those who cannot respect you or how you feel do not deserve your time. With time, even the friends that were so important in your lives will choose if they want to stay with you.

Remember that proximity never replaces effort and truly caring for another person.

Patience

They say that patience is a virtue and after thinking about all the people I’ve come across in life, good and bad, I can agree with that statement wholeheartedly. I’ve been working on patience for a long time because often times I’m able to exercise patience, and other times I can’t find an. ounce within me. I want to find a way to learn how to have the same amount of patience for everything in my life, it’s unfair for me to only give it to certain things and not others.

Everyone deserves patience just as they deserve the ability to grow, with or without the people who might have been around them when the growth started. I talk about this a lot, to many different people but then I refuse to allow the idea that people who have hurt me could have grown since then. I guess I really need to be open and honest with myself about my true feelings and while I work on growth I should also work on forgiveness.

This won’t be easy, but I’d at least like to try. Because there are things I’m thinking about specifically while I write this, I have to go through all those situations and find ways to apply both patience and forgiveness in their own criteria for no two situations are ever the same. I’m doing my best to also include more positive things in my day to day life and working on applying this positivity to other pieces of my life.

If anyone has any advice on any of these topics, I would love to hear them! It’s hard to be grounded, not only during this time of year when the weather takes a larger toll on you than you realize, but also when there is so many other things to be thinking about going around in your brain. Patience is a way that I am learning to stay grounded, knowing that everything I do will pay off with time, and even if it doesn’t I’m choosing to do activities that will change me for the better no matter it’s connection to the real world.

Thank you for listening to my quick ramblings about how I’m learning to address the world and the people in it. Maybe this time next year I’ll blog about what this patience has brought me!

Friendships

Friends are a funny thing.
Sometimes they’re there for you whenever you need them to be; other times you’re just a means of convenience to them. The timelines are always different, the emotional connections are different; but you’d still call each and everyone of the your friend.Tell each other too little and they think you don’t care. But tell each other too much and you’re in for the long haul, you’re in for the attempts to hangout, the boyfriends who make it hard to see each other, the times all you want to do is tell them how you’re feeling but can’t. You’re in for the late night drives and checking in even when something isn’t wrong; but some part of you knows it is.

How can anyone argue that friendship breakups aren’t real?
I’ve had my fair share of painful relationship breakups, but nothing hurt worse than losing a friend. Women create bonds especially fast, and with such a high level of connection, we are just wired that way. Years of evolution has given us gossip, it’s created bonds, brought people together and ultimately pulled apart an equal amount. Women speak to each other, we have better interpersonal communication skills, and we use them depending on the environment and context we are in.That’s not to say that my friend breakup to a man I’ve known since 6th grade, didn’t hurt as much as my friend breakup to a women I’ve known since I was in Kindergarten. In fact, I think on some level he hurt more than she did.

Friendships are one giant balancing act.
It’s hard enough making sure your own mental health is in check, let alone someone else (and that’s assuming you only have one friend).

Friendships are taxing.
More often than not, what a friendship consists of is learning about other people’s problems and finding ways to fix them. And for people that can’t help but feel others pain or take on emotions of others because they believe it could somehow lessen their friends pain; friendships become truly draining.Now imagine that same feeling, and unconscious response multiplied by the amount of friends you have… oh and don’t forget to factor in the intensity of the problem a friend brings. Anything from a small fight with their partner, to them feeling so alone that they’re beginning to sound like they want to die.You’re only one person, so you known you can’t really help them the way they need it. And yet, here we are…

My point is that friendships are hard.
They’re not going to be perfect, you’re not going to always be able to do enough. Or be there the way someone needs you to be. Time with them won’t always trump what’s going wrong; in the friendship or in your own separate lives. That being said, I wouldn’t take away the things I’ve learned from all the friends I have. I would try and go back in order to do more for people, find ways to have conflicts with making them catastrophic. I’d say “I miss you” more often and make more time for someone is I had the chance, create more boundaries so I could work on keeping myself healthy. Remind friends that at the time I’m doing the best I can, but some things are far too heavy for me to hold. Forgive the people who should have been forgive long ago, and forgiveness for myself for making mistakes.

Part of forgiving others is forgiving yourself…
So here is to the friendship breakups, the friends on the outside and the friends connected to me until the very end. I hope you can forgive me for any transgressions I may have committed. Forgive me for not checking in when you needed, forgive me for taking too long to forgive you. But understand that no matter what, friendships are meant to teach you something. So I will never forget what I’ve learned from you. I do hold onto the good memories, no matter their comparisons to our bad. Friendships are about give and take, good and bad.Throughout everything, after every ending, during everyday I will never forget that you are my friend.

It’s Been One Month

Date: July 20th 2018

It’s been a month since you passed.. And I know that there was a large amount of time that came before you entered my life, and now because you’re gone, there will be an even larger amount of time where you are no longer in it.

I know that I’m not even close to the person who will grieve the most for you. Your mother, your sister, your brothers. They will shed more tears for you than I ever could. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t missed by someone like me. That doesn’t mean that I can’t feel hurt and cheated by the world that there could be a reality where something like this is allowed to happen to someone as beautiful and caring as you.

But I can’t help wondering how a world could decimate such an infectious laugh. How could it rob the rest of the people in this world the pleasure of seeing your eyes light up while you smile. Miss all your jokes and homemade 2 minute songs. Rid us of the sight of you playing soccer and running up and down the field, heart pumping, legs moving…Your dreams have become our dreams. Your death has brought others closer, making them realize that they want to do it all for you. They want to make it in life for you.I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, I’d let you pull chairs out from under me everyday for the rest of my life if it meant seeing your face. If it meant not hearing your family’s cry, your friends walk behind your body, seeing your face emerging from a white sheet.

So many people have light in their lives because of you, and I hope that somehow and where ever you are, you know that. You know how loved you were, and how missed you will always be. There won’t be a day in this world where someone doesn’t miss you.. Doesn’t think about the light that traveled with you, the strength that sat below your surface.

I don’t want to talk about how much we miss you anymore.. I want to talk about why I miss you; a fraction in the dent that you’ve made in this world.
I miss seeing you in the hallwaysI miss your laugh, and your smile
I miss your happy-go-lucky personality
I miss your jokes
I miss your presence
I miss sitting in classes with you
I miss all the ways in which you tried to get people to laugh
I miss seeing you with our friends
I miss your unwavering support
I miss your random snapchat stories.. sun kissed and Jeylani field
I miss biology with you
I miss when you came over (it must have been 6 years ago now) and hung out, for hours, at my house because my cat had just had kittens
I miss the summer before freshman year of high school when you were always around, playing soccer, making people laugh..
I miss not being able to remember how we knew each other but later figuring out you went to my middle school for a year
I miss pretending to fight with you
I miss your snappy comebacks even though everyone knew you were the sweetest soul
I miss going to McDonalds with you after school
I miss recreating that iconic McDonalds photo right before the end of senior year

The point is that I miss a lot of things about you. I wish I could have reached out more, and talked to you more. I would take out so much more time of my days to tell you that if I could.. But because I can’t, I hope that you get to read this somehow…And if you are, I just want you to know that we miss you. We wish this could have happened at any other time… When you were old and wrinkled, with children and grandchildren… because we know that it is so unfair that it had to be you. At the memorial all we could think was that it was never supposed to be you. Everyone is doing their best to keep their heads up though, I promise all the people who loved you so dearly are moving forward for you. Thank you for changing so many people’s lives.. Rest easy Momo…

*Authors Note: I lost a close friend earlier in the year, and this is what I wrote for him a month later, I wanted to remember him for all the good times we’ve had, not his memorial or hearing about his death. I think about him a lot and know that there are so many people on this earth who still care for him and miss him everyday…