Blog post, News

It’s been a while

I haven’t blogged in over a year. A lot has happened in that year, but any time I thought about blogging I felt afraid for some reason.

Now, of course, so many of us are quarantining ourselves at home, and I have a lot on my mind, so why not write something here and tell you what’s on my mind.

I’m as okay as a person can be during the time of COVID19. It’s a shame that it took a pandemic for me to finally get the chance to work from home. I’ve wanted a wfh job for years, and applied for several before I landed my current office job in July 2017. Since then myself and a few others have mentioned to our management that we want to see it implemented in our office. We’re in telecom, and our job duties don’t require us to be physically present there. Now a pandemic is going on, and suddenly all of us were authorized to take our entire work PCs home. I’ve only been working from home a day and a half, but it’s been nice.

Things are changing so fast. The way our government and health professionals and educators are handling this is a strange mix of impressed and disappointed. My friends in education are doing their best for their students and school districts, and I’m so proud of them. I look at our healthcare system and wonder why there are people who still don’t support universal healthcare. I look at our government who can funnel over a trillion dollars into the wealthy elite’s pockets but can’t find the funds to support public college or healthcare, or support those who have been let go and laid off from work due to their place of employment closing.

I see no reason we can’t always make these accommodations for people, to take care of each other the way we are now. People in other countries are performing concerts on the balconies and singing to each other. Rounding up supplies for those who can’t leave their homes to get those things themselves. Washing our damn hands. Free educational materials that used to be locked behind a paywall. Allowing people to work remotely (something people with disabilities and immune issues especially benefit from).

So far I’m doing okay. Being alone isn’t that hard for me; as an introvert, I have prepared my whole life for this moment. However I have slacked off in my prepper habits, so in that way I’m not quite as prepared in that way. I have food, and toilet paper, and a tiny washing machine so I should be good for a while before I need to order anything for pick-up.

Mostly I’m worried about my friends who can’t avoid working near other people, and can’t work from home. I worry that the people around them won’t be careful. I worry about this getting worse before it gets better. I remind myself that worrying doesn’t change anything, and in a way, worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen. Sometimes if you expect the worst then the worst will happen, so I’ve been trying to focus on the good things. I look forward to it getting better instead of worrying about it getting worse, which takes effort, and it is something I have to intentionally do, but it’s helping me.

We can be good to each other, and we can do better. We’re getting there. Take care of yourselves, and take care of one another. If you can, donate money to your local food bank. Look out for our most vulnerable folks. Drink lots of water and wash your hands.

I love you all. Be safe.

Blog post

2019 word of the year and goals

Hello, my loves. I don’t know if these are necessarily resolutions, but I do have some goals for the year. My word for 2019 is “faith.” Faith in the Universe (or Spirit, or whatever you want to call the divine) that everything is happening as it should be for my highest good, that answers and solutions are all around me, that I already have the resources and tools I need to accomplish and create the things I need and want. Faith in my friends and loved ones to be there when I need them, and that my love and affection is valued by them, and that it is not a personal failing of mine if I need help from time to time with things. Faith that one day I’ll be loved romantically, and in the mean time continue being happy with myself and doing my thing and enjoying how supremely excellent I am.
 
My goal is to keep writing in my gratitude journal daily, and declutter the apartment. I’ve been writing nightly in my journal since the end of November and only missed a handful of days. I’m just listing things that I was grateful for that day. Sometimes it’s as simple as being thankful for love and friendship everyday. Sometimes things like “this person thought of me today and that made me smile,” or “I got paid” or “warm blankets.” Yesterday “plowed roads” made it on the list. I’ve only been doing this for two months, but it’s nice to sit at the end of the day and think about the good things that happened and the things I’m grateful for daily.
 
Decluttering won’t be hard. I just keep putting it off, and don’t look forward to the process of carrying things downstairs when I’ve finished organizing and getting rid of things. I’ll feel much better when it’s all done, though. My place will just have the things I actually want, less clutter, and easier to pack whenever I’m able to afford to move into a better living arrangement.
 
And of course, the ever-present, putting more money toward paying off student loans, forever and always. The joys of being a millenial, amirite. Unless any of you know of a generous millionaire who likes paying off people’s student loans, then let your girl know, okay? Otherwise, I’ll just keep chipping away at them slowly but surely.
Blog post, Sharing

Trust in the unknown

Hello, loves. I’m still going through a lot of growing and changing. It’s been a great journey so far, these last couple weeks. That’s not to say that it isn’t still scary, but it’s in a good way?

I finally acknowledged that if I continued to tolerate and accept disrespect, then I would continue to receive that. I acknowledged that I cannot keep protecting my heart and my ego while at the same time expect to attract love and romance into my life. I acknowledged that I’m never going to have all the answers and that I just have to be thankful for the things I don’t yet have in the material world and trust the Unknown.

I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about my love language, and how that impacts the way I interact with and/or react to people. Not just how I express romantic love, but also platonic love. My main love language is “acts of service.” Although for me, it’s not just doing nice things for me, but also showing general respect? Like, things that have hurt me deeply in the past are times when people told me they’d be there and weren’t, or I explicitly asked that someone stop doing something (or start doing something) and they continued to do the thing that I told them upset me (or declined to start doing the thing I asked).

This is also how I show my love and affection: I want to help people carry things, or decorate, or clean, or pack or unpack. I try not to be in the way, and be mindful of people’s personal space, and avoid using words or phrases that are upsetting. This doesn’t mean those other four languages aren’t important to me. The second one is probably physical touch, followed by quality time, words of validation, and gifts.

Keeping this in mind has been really helpful in reflecting on how to improve my interpersonal relationships, how I perceive my friendships, and how I expect to be treated. I don’t want to over-look my friends’ kindness because I’m looking for actions, but they’re using words or gifts to show they care.

I also realized that this carries over to my writing, and how I approach it. It comes from a place of pain, and feeling like I have something to prove. It shows. I look forward to seeing how things turn out when they come from a place of healing and love. I don’t want to prove a point, or write “out of spite.” My goal is to share stories because it’s what I love, and I want to give back to this massively important part of my life. I want to help people heal, either from fiction, or just being there for them.

I’m pretty excited for this stronger version of me, and for where I’m going to go, how I’ll keep changing, and the new strengths I’ll find along the way. If you’ve read older posts, you’ll know that a friend of mine inspired me to choose a word that I wanted to define my year. 2017 was “change,” and holy crap was that accurate. I chose “strength” for 2018, but I didn’t feel like that had resonated with me until the last month or so. I already know that 2019 is going to be “trust.” I’m ready to trust the Unknown to bring the things I need and want into my life, to trust my friends with my vulnerability, to trust that my loved ones will be honest with me,  and to trust that the love I give will come back around.

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You make me stronger; hand me my armor.

I wrote a post last month about an old set of armor. The subject line probably sounds familiar if you read that one. Thank you if it did. Thank you for taking your precious time to read my words.

That armor is being retired, though. Recycled is maybe a better word. I don’t want to forget where I came from or lose appreciation for how far I’ve come.

This time of year always makes me feel guilty. I’ve spent the last 11 years feeling like a terrible daughter, because society as a whole thinks that I should still let toxic family members be a part of my life. It makes me feel like a bad daughter, a bad older sister, a bad younger sister, a bad aunt. In some ways I am. In many ways I’m not, though, and I’ve been punishing myself for getting away from my abuse for 11 years. That guilt and fear are my old armor, and I’m ready to be done with it.

I’m not 100% over it. There are things I’m still afraid of. There are still people I’m afraid of. But damn, I am so tired of carrying around those fears like shackles. I am so done using them as a crutch and a shield to deny myself happiness.

Like. Wow. Wow, this is such a good feeling. I’m sitting here crying alone at the keyboard, but I’m crying because this feels so good. I have never felt this good about myself in my life. I caught a glimpse of it when I was 21 and realized that I didn’t need to keep my abusers in my life. But this is feeling? Of letting myself be happy?

I wish you all felt this. I know many of you do, but I know that some of you don’t, and only you can do that. I hope you get there some day. Because honestly, I wouldn’t feel this way without any of you.  If you’re reading this, you’ve shown me what an actual family feels like. You make me feel safe, like if those people tried to hurt me that I wouldn’t have to be afraid. Like I don’t have to be so damn stubbornly independent, like it’s okay to ask for help. Like I don’t have to rely on my own strength for everything, like I can be vulnerable. You make me feel valued, and like I’m not a waste of space, like I have a voice that matters.

It’s so freeing to know that I’m allowed to like myself, and love myself, and be happy despite mistakes I’ve made. I can’t change those things, but I can learn and do better. I’m allowed to admit I’m a good person, and I deserve to have amazing people in my life, and I deserve love, and I deserve to feel pretty. Maybe one day I’ll feel beautiful. I’m getting there.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep taking care of myself, and treat myself right, and expect other people to treat me well too. I’m going to take care of my nearest and dearest, because I can, and because other people took care of me when I felt like I was at my worst, and because my purpose on this earth is to love and support people even if I accomplish nothing else. I’m allowed to rely on other people when I need it, because I don’t get to choose what other people are willing to do, or what they feel, or what they want to give and share with me. I don’t get to choose how much they like me or love me, and I don’t get to tell them they shouldn’t spend their time on me.

I’m tired of being the person who used her sad story as a reason to settle for things. I’m tired of being a girl who almost settled for a guy once because he was handsome and paid attention to her, but was only nice when he was sober. Thankfully I was strong enough to cut that out early. Apparently he turned out to be the sort of guy who hit his baby’s mom, and I’ve already been someone’s punching bag, and my whole family were alcoholics. I’ve already decided never again. I deserve someone who is going to lift me up instead of push me down. I’m allowed to let my friends help me with things. I’m allowed to start growing some roots instead of being ready to run.

Maybe one day I won’t feel like I need to hide behind a pseudonym online, and I’ll stop being afraid of being found because I have amazing people around me who will be there even if I’m afraid. There are still things I’m working on, like student debt, and getting healthy, but those aren’t a reason to cling to the mistakes of a scared 21 year old girl. It feels so good to put my trust in my friends and the Universe.

I’m ready to treat my apartment like a home and not a pit stop. Everything I have is either easy to pack or easy to part with. Even when I lived with other people, I felt like I was just a second-rate person. I’d like a real home. My small community makes me feel more secure every day. Thank you for these happy tears.

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I put my armor on

I could be thinner.

I could have more muscle, and be toned, and have the sort of legs people stare at.

I looked like that, once.

Because back then, in Once Land, I wanted to be noticed, and did bold things like wear shorts and shave every day.

Back then, I was proud of my legs, and my posture, my six minute mile, and how long I could hold a note.

I wanted the world to think “Wow” when they heard my name.

But things change.

I’ve been told I would be pretty if I lost some weight, and I heard all the unsaid implications: I would be sexually desirable; people would be happier looking at me; they would take me more seriously; I am unlovable as long as I look this way.

You’re full of shit,” I think, even as I wonder “but what if that’s true?

Maybe the people I’ve been interested in wouldn’t be so out of my league if I were thinner,” I think, and immediately hate myself, because I am worth more than the soft flesh I hide beneath over-sized T-shirts, and I know that thinking otherwise is playing into some toxic patriarchal idea of the perfect person, and I should punch myself for perpetuating it.

Those thoughts are poison. A poison which has already set in, and the only cure is dedicated, deliberate corrections, and they are so hard, so hard to internalize.

Because when I walk down the street, or into a store, or exist in public, I see other girls (thin girls, chubby girls who are fat in the “right” places, curvy girls) get cat-called.

And it fills me with rage on their behalf, because they don’t exist for someone’s viewing pleasure, and how dare those guys think otherwise, and yet-

And yet

It is a foreign experience for me. For a split second I am jealous of those girls, of the attention they receive, because their bodies look the way I wish mine would, because my curves are in the wrong places, because they were noticed and I never have been, because no one has ever looked at me and vocalized their immature, self-entitled, egocentric sexual desires onto me, and-

And-

And fuck those guys for pulling me back into that poison pit. Fuck them for making me want that sort of attention for even a millisecond, for tricking me into feeling insecure and small and unworthy.

And that’s just it, isn’t it?

I know what I’m doing.

My appearance is all very strategic.

Because if no one notices me, no one will want me, and if no one wants me, then my head and my heart and my body are safe.

Safe from what?

From embarrassment, insecurity, vulnerability, rejection, from seeing a look of disgust cross someone’s face, from caring too much.

Maybe that’s why I always want the ones who are out of my league, because it’s safe, because I will never be able to reach that high and touch them, because when they are intangible then I will never have to fear them touching me, or telling me that my mind, my heart, and my body are too soft. I will never have to see the look of regret when they see me naked.

I already know all that.

It makes me safe from wanting to be someone’s forever, from feeling like I deserve to be a priority, from wanting to be someone’s number one, from getting my hopes up. But it also makes it so easy to feel like my flaws dictate my value, that I’m not deserving of affection because I don’t meet certain aesthetic requirements.

I know that’s a line of bullshit. I know that’s false. I know it can happen to anyone, no matter how they look. Because some of those things already happened to me. It doesn’t matter that my experiences are on a much smaller scale than other women I know. I’ve had a boy feel me up and stick his hand down my pants to grab my ass even after I told him no.

So no, trying to be invisible doesn’t work 100% of the time. In many ways it has, though. I’ve allowed the need to stay under the radar dictate how I interact with people I was interested in. I let it tell me to keep my mouth shut, to hold back, to sit and watch them notice and desire and choose other women. It’s no one’s fault. I don’t blame those other women, and I don’t blame those people for not noticing me in that way. I’m the one building and sustaining the anti-visibility barricades.

But as much as I want someone in my life I can depend on as a life companion, partner, significant other, I tell myself that I don’t deserve than until I have everything perfect, so that I won’t burden them with my debt, my emotional baggage, my physical body. Anyone who could ever think I’m worth their time deserves to have me at my best; I want them to have me at my best. I’m trying to give everyone in my life my best version of me, and it frustrates me when I’m not.

Blog post

I deserve good things. So do you.

I left this long, rambling comment on a YouTube video, and thought that I might share this with the rest of you. I’m going to preface this with: I’m not going to debate the legitimacy of the Law of Attraction with anyone, whether it is a real thing or not, etc.. That’s not what this space is for. If you think it’s some hippy, magic, witchy, weird, fictional, nonsensical thing, that’s fine. I’m not trying to convince you otherwise. If you want to debate it, go find a forum for that.

Onward with the rambling

~*~

I’ve seen a few people in the comments struggling with LoA (Law of Attraction) working for them. I’m not a famous person, or already financially wealthy. But that wealth is out there for me, and it’s on its way to me. I believe that. Since stumbling into this, I can see LoA already having an impact on my life in just the last few months. It takes work, because it really is a mental and emotional shift. It’s not as easy as saying a positive affirmation one time and then seconds later a million dollars drops into your lap, or your health problem vanishes immediately, etc.. It takes a lot of deliberate action on your part. At least, it has for me. I’m creating new habits for my mind.

When I catch myself getting angry at the person who cut me off on the road, or almost hit me, or some other traffic issue, I let myself feel the frustration and anger for a few seconds, and then tell myself, “Universe, I am so thankful that I saw that person in time and that I am safe, that nothing happened to either of our vehicles, and no one was hurt.” Maybe that person was in a hurry and thought they could make it, or trusted me to stop in time, or didn’t even see me at all; regardless, the point is that NOTHING HAPPENED, and I want to control how I expend my energy as much as I can. I would rather celebrate the blessing (again, NOTHING HAPPENED) instead of sit and stew in my annoyance at “what could have happened.” Maybe that other driver gets ahead of me, and I notice a pattern of irresponsible driving decisions on their part. Well then hey, thank the Universe that I see that and can keep some distance between myself and them and be glad that I am alert and safe. Right?

LoA is working for me. Change takes time, and patience, and practice. But I see it working. I got more back on my tax return than expected, and I got a small check in the mail that I didn’t expect, too. When those things happened to me, I expressed my gratitude, and look for ways to spread that gratitude around. Every time pay day comes around, I check my bank account and express my thankfulness for that, too, and I’ve extended that to thanking the Universe when I check out at the grocery store. “I’m so thankful that I have the money to buy the groceries I need and want.” It’s changing my view on money, and my emotions toward it. Rather than stressing about wanting and needing more, I’m using my energy to celebrate what I have. And honestly? I feel better. I’m happier, and my anxiety surrounding it has decreased so much.

There is a lot of overlap with LoA and Impostor Syndrome, too. Impostor Syndrome can keep us feeling miserable and unworthy. Once I heard of Impostor Syndrome, and realized, “Oh my god, that is me,” I saw just how much it impacted my life. I didn’t feel like I deserved to have good things happen to me, like I was unworthy of romance, or money, or respect, and that if I DID accomplish something that it was “just a one time thing, I’ll never be able to achieve that thing again” or “oh well I had help, so I don’t really deserve praise for my work and involvement in this thing,” or “well I made mistakes in the past and hurt people’s feelings, so I don’t deserve friendship or love because I should punish myself for my past mistakes for the rest of my life.” Wow. Toxic, right? Those were just a few of the things I was telling myself. Then when I learned that this isn’t just something I do to myself, but it’s a thing that many people experience, I realized just how mean I was being to myself, and how much I was getting in my own way. Rather than punishing myself and denying myself happiness forever, I need to forgive myself and move on. I made those past mistakes because I was acting out of fear, and because I was young and believed what manipulative people told me. But I’m not in that situation anymore, and yet I’m still giving them power over me? I decided NOT ANYMORE! I’m almost 32, and damn it, I am so ready to be free of all that. I’ve grown, and changed. I’m not a teenager, stuck in a toxic house with toxic people anymore, dependent on my parents’ income and shelter. I’ve found a wonderful support system of new friendships and creative minds.

And you know what? You all deserve good things, too. Your past mistakes don’t get to control your bliss for the rest of your life. Acknowledge your mistakes, ask forgiveness if you can (with the caveat to be safe; don’t go back to an unhealthy place if it will put you in danger), and FORGIVE YOURSELF! And be honest with yourself, too. Are you carrying guilt and holding yourself back because of something you actually did wrong, or because you feel like you need to hold yourself back because you don’t deserve good things, because someone else deserves to shine more? Because if you’re holding yourself back so that someone else can shine, then you’re hurting more than just yourself. The world is big enough for you to shine, too. The more light the better. I also suggest looking up the “two cakes” comic someone drew.

TL;DR version: Once I made the conscious effort to start unwinding Impostor Syndrome from my mind, it was so much easier to let LoA into my heart and mind, too. I do deserve happiness and prosperity. You deserve it, too. And once I let myself believe I deserve it, and started expressing gratitude for what I have, it got easier to express gratitude for the abundance that is on its way to me.

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2018 Word: Strength

Choosing a word for the year worked out so well for 2017 that I am doing it again for 2018. Thank you again, Carma, for the idea! I stumbled a lot in 2017, and made a lot of mistakes, but I sure as hell had a lot of change, and I’m ready to aim in a better, healthier direction.

My word for 2018 is “strength.”

I want to become physically stronger by improving my health and eating better.

Mostly, I want to grow stronger emotionally and mentally. I need to be more assertive, to take an active role in achieving my dreams, rather than reacting to my circumstances and sitting passively, wishing and hoping and giving up.

I’m just so tired of settling. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t deserve happiness, that I don’t deserve love, or kindness, or comfort. I’m tired of getting in my own way, of the self-sabotage, of punishing myself over and over and over again. I’m tired of hiding, and letting fear guide my choices. I’m tired of feeling invisible, and over-looked, and forgotten about. I’m tired of creating barriers for myself in the name of familiarity and safety. I’m tired of feeling like I have nothing, like the things I can offer are things other people can already provide so much better than I can. I’m tired of feeling like a person who is just there.

I need to speak my truths, and stand up for myself. I need to be present, and create my own reality, and shape my own destiny. I need to be active, to find my momentum, to stop giving away my power. I need to seek opportunities and seize them, and stop fearing the possibility of success. I need to conquer my demons, and empower myself to achieve, to create, to build, to accomplish. Rather than being a stubborn bull who refuses to budge, I need to be a charging one.

So, 2018, I welcome you with wide open arms, and look forward to all the beautiful things you have in store for me; more art, more love, more adventure, more power.