Feeling Good

You know what’s great? Getting up at 5:30 am and still feeling amazing! My mood has steadily gotten progressively better over the course of the past two months. At this point, I wake up and nothing brings me down.

I’d talked before about being happier then I’d ever been, but I don’t think I discussed how easily I’ve discarded every worry I have in the process. I don’t worry about much of anything anymore (except my dad, I won’t ever stop worrying about my dad). Life doesn’t sound like something to fear anymore. I am more then willing to embrace every little ounce of joy that comes into my life now. It feels amazing.

I feel that anything that life has in store is something I can handle. Recently, I’ve felt like ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone it truly feels like a new Dawn, a new day, a new life.. and I want to grasp at it and dance and laugh in the light of it. I’m having trouble fighting my smile right now. In truth I think I’d been tired of living my life the way I had been. I wasn’t letting myself enjoy anything. Now, I watch movies and listen to music as much as I want to and I don’t feel guilty. I let myself have fun.

Even this blog has changed quite a bit. I was kinda unhappy with it before. I took a lot of breaks from it because of that. When I first started I wrote what I wanted every day and I didn’t have to think about it. I missed that greatly. Now, I find myself doing so again, but now in an even more authentic way because I’m being open about my love for things that aren’t just books. My Halloween posts this month have been some of my favorite posts to write that I’ve written in AGES. It makes me sad that I never discussed how deep my love for horror always was on here before.

I think what’s changing in me is that I’m becoming more willing to be authentic to myself. To who I am as a person. I have ALWAYS loved books. I ALWAYS will. I read everyday. My passion lies in writing. However stories are everywhere. I see it in art. In music. In movies and tv shows. In our memories with the people we love. I want to celebrate how stories touch our lives in those aspects too.

So this blog is to be a testament to that. To all the things that deserve celebration. To share my thoughts and my dreams. To connect with all of you who wish to celebrate in much the same way. To talk about whatever I’m feeling. I think that’s the only way I can happily root myself in my blog again. To create a space for myself to be open about anything. This months posts have been a testament to this. I’ve been having a blast.

I’m feeling amazing. Not good. Not fine. Not just ok. I’m feeling amazing! I feel like I can be true to myself in a much more authentic way lately and I don’t ever want to stop.

So thank you. All of you. For being with me on my journey. For talking books with me. For being there in the ups and downs that have come to pass these past two years. New and old I thank you. It’s been wonderful. I know it will continue to be so.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

In Response…

A few hours ago.. before I went to sleep I got a very special notification. My favorite person in all the world Andrew @GroovyGlasses whose name has become quite a common occurrence on this blog lately had sent me an email.. which is typical as of late.. we talk a lot. Anyway, he told me he had written something for me and of course it didn’t matter that it was 1 am.. I HAD to read it. So in a haze I excitedly took to WordPress and started reading his latest post he titled A Special Post for a Beautiful Person.

When I tell you all that no one and I mean no one had ever done something that meant as much to me as this post did to me I truly mean it. I had to bite back tears. Andrew is the sort of guy that books are written about. Those guys that you wish existed, because if they actually did you’d fall in love immediately and live this incredibly beautiful life. He is that to me. Except he is better then any fictional character I’ve ever read about.. actually better and not just because he is a real person, but because of who he is.. because his soul is the brightest I’ve ever seen.

You know what’s the most insane part? We’ve only known each other for two months. Talk about a cliche ya romance. I had my doubts that that was something that could really exist. It’s real and it’s so so beautiful. I am so lucky. So incredibly lucky.

Andrew is a musician. He writes these amazing lyrics and I know that his musical composition is amazing too. He likes to think that he isn’t this amazing person.. but he is. He is really special. He talks in his post about how he believes I will become this amazing author and I’m here to tell you I don’t know if those are shoes I can fill, but I’m going to try. But, if he doesn’t think that through his music he’s not going to touch so many peoples hearts he is delusional. He works so hard. More then anyone I know. By dedication alone I know he will make it further then he ever imagined. That he’ll become one of those people the world admires and doesn’t quite understand how his existence is possible.

Already, I don’t know how his existence is possible.

For once in my life.. someone has made me truly incapable of finding all the words to fully express what they mean to me. Because the full words for it simply don’t exist, not in English or any other language. Feelings like this, they can only be felt, not written or heard or seen. This blog.. it’s nowhere near the biggest blog in the world or the best (sorry Andrew.. I just can’t even think to claim that), but it has been really good at bringing people to my life that I genuinely connect with. Andrew being the one human being on this earth I don’t understand exactly how or why.. if anyone let me I’d talk about him like Ned talks about his wife on Buzzfeed.. my feeling for him are that gushy and infinite.

I was floored last night. I am still floored this morning. If I could.. and I probably will.. I would try and become one with my flooring just starting at the ceiling and wondering.. is this real? Is anything real? Is Andrew real? Am I real? And being able to answer yes to every single question.

The odds of him being the one to stumble upon my blog. The odds of his first comment to me. Those are some odds that go beyond infinite. It’s truly something I will never be anything, but grateful for.

To Andrew. You are the light of my life. I can’t believe you exist. I can’t believe you wrote that for me. I will forever be grateful to you. Thank you for being in my life. Even if neither of us were expecting or particularly trying to be in the others life. That’s what makes this so special. I have no idea what’s in store for us, but I know this.. it’s going to be beautiful.

Thanks for reading! I feel weird about wanting to hear all your thoughts on this, but I do.

-Till next time!

Creating the Ultimate Halloween Playlist

I woke up this morning feeling so good.. Recently, I’ve woken up like that a LOT and it feels fantastic. Honestly, right before October I was in a huge Christmas mood and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fully get into the spirit of October, but I needn’t have worried. I am in such a horror mood right now and I am loving it!

Honestly, there is one song in particular that inspired me to make a Halloween playlist for the first time.. it’s called ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ by Avenged Sevenfold. Anyone who knows me in real life would ask me what happened to me that I ended up listening to bands like this and started really enjoying them. I mean, EDM will always have my heart, but it really does feel good to rock out to some of these songs. Anyway, when I heard ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ for the first time I smiled from ear to ear, because it was perfect for Halloween. Absolutely perfect! I highly recommend giving it a listen..unless you don’t like songs that have strong language then don’t give it a listen, but you have to try and listen to those first few notes and tell me that it’s not pure halloween music.

Anyway, after that I had to make a playlist of songs that made me feel like I was in a Halloween experience. Songs that brought memories of going to freight night and dressing up as a kid trick or treating. Songs that brought to the surface what Halloween represents to me. A dark, celebratory time of facing fear in the eye without blinking. Of letting ourselves accept fear as a part of our lives that we shouldn’t turn away from. A time where we are a little bit braver. A time where there is a very real twisted magic in the air. Where our darkest imaginings walk free. A time where we are open with ourselves and each other that yes we are terrified. We are all terrified of something. Yet, we can express that terror and laugh about it and enjoy times with people we care about.

So this playlist is something special to me. I don’t know if I’ll be ‘done’ with it.. I don’t think I’m ever ‘done’ with a playlist. But, I will send you all the link to it here!

It has some classic Halloween songs. You can’t have a Halloween playlist without Thriller or This is Halloween. If you have any recommendations of some of your favorite Halloween jams to add to it let me know. Listening to this playlist makes me feel so happy. It feels so celebratory of a part of me that doesn’t come to life, but a very short time of a year. No matter what I want to enjoy this time. So I will. Because life.. life is far to short to let go of what’s good when it’s found.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoy the playlist. I hope that it reminds you all of the joy of Halloween. A time where belief and reality have a very thin line. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! Have a wonderful spooky month ahead!

-Till next time!

Actually Returning to Productivity

So as many of you know September was like a beautiful dream for me. A beautiful dream and a mostly unproductive one. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but I also took a lot of naps this month? This also meant that I read very little.. and I’m really sad about that.

However, I am doing as I do best and taking today and making it the day that I get back into productivity. I’ve already almost finished what I want to do today and it’s just barely 8 a.m. I’m telling myself that if I can finish everything early I can let myself listen to all the music I want later. Music has always been a HUGE love of mine. I write to it. I listen to it at work all the time and I have always had a love for it, but recently it’s been rekindled into something really special. But again, I’m saving it for later.

The only thing that can and will ruin this is the fact that if I decide to lie down for two seconds I will fall asleep and I won’t wake up for at least two hours and that’s not the best of habits for me right now. I wouldn’t change a thing about this past month for all the world, but as usual life keeps moving. I have to move with it.

I just miss talking about books with all of you. Of actually reading them. I’ve watched far to many tv episodes and YouTube videos and movies this month. I’m excited to get back into a place of normalcy. I’m also very excited to get back into writing my psychological horror novel which will put me in the perfect mood for October.

Right now, mentally I feel really peaceful. It’s been a long time since I felt that way. I feel really motivated to write and do everything I need to do. It’s a really wonderful feeling!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Fresh Ink: A Review

Fresh Ink by Many Authors

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 it’s an ok cover. A bit generic. I think they could have done something really cool with graffiti art showcasing some really great art of people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. I think it was a missed opportunity.

Publisher: Random House Children’s

Publish Date: August 14th, 2018

Number of Pages: 208 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.”

Musings:

Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds

““I love you.” It slipped easily from his lips. Like breathing. Like usual.”

This was a sweet little story. I didn’t realize that eraser tattoos were a thing. It was a pretty little slice of life and I loved it. The writing of this little short story was beautiful. It really drew me in!

Meet Cute by Malinda Lo

“Tamia cocked her head at Nic. “Is gender-flipped Sulu gay too?””

This was another really cute little story about the art of subtle.. yet not so subtle communication. I thought it was cool to see the curiosity of meeting a prospective love and wonder if they were of the same sexuality as you on top of wondering if there is actually any interest in the first place. I also loved that this took place at a comic-con.

Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth

“He glanced down at my paper. “I see. Hubert. But you know, the assignment wasn’t a self-portrait.” “It was, if you’re white,” I said.”

This story is one of my favorites. I so enjoyed seeing race depicted in this way. A lot of thought went into this. I could see in my mind very clearly what this would have looked like as it played out. Very well-written.

Be Cool for Once by Aminah Mae Safi

“He pulled out a Chap Stick and swiped it across his lips. Like he’d decided to draw shining arrows to all of Shirin’s favorite parts.”

I loved this short story! Shirin and the way she thinks of the guy she’s been crushing on is exactly me. I really loved how her thoughts were written.. with that dramatic flavor of a girl in love. It all put a huge smile on my face.

Tags by Walter Dean Myers

“BIG EDDIE works hard at his tag, which is the letters spelling out smoke sitting on a bed of flames.”

This story was oddly powerful to me. It felt so real. Which is something because it was set in the afterlife. I liked the style of it, written like a play. It reminded me of the sad reality of gang violence. The lives that are lost and for what? It’s a culture of kill or be killed that should never have had to been a part of reality.

Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan

““You don’t apologize for who you are. I’m an old lady now and perhaps that doesn’t mean much in the world we live in, but I exist and I shouldn’t have to be sorry for that. As a woman, you have to know that. Don’t ever apologize for who you are,””

Another super sweet little story. This one made my heart all happy. I loved seeing so much cultural influence in this story. The food and the places it all felt rooted in a experience totally different from my own and I loved that.

A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older

“Gather, my children, I have a story.”

I feel like this story could have been made into a much longer one. It was packed with great description and full of adventure. I really liked it!

A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G. Flake

“Slaughtering pigs and wringing chicken necks did as much to chase me toward books as any teacher ever did.”

Again I could see this being a whole book. I really liked the character and I loved seeing how he dreamed. This was a really cool historical set short story!

One Voice: A Something in Between Story by Melissa de la Cruz

“I wanted everyone to see the truth—that even Stanford wasn’t free from this kind of hate.”

I loved this story. It made me feel like going out there and spreading my truth in such a beautiful way. It made me want to stand up and hold hands with people of all kinds and show that in my mind we are all valid, worthy, and wonderful people. Every day I see people of all kinds. The community I live in is so diverse and I think that if the diversity wasn’t there it would be colorless. I would feel empty from the lack of beauty. Hate is out there, but the more we choose to stand against it the more it weakens. That’s what I loved most about this story.

Paladin/Samurai by Gene Luen Yang, Illustrations by Thien Pham

“Aaand I’m Japanese.. hm, I wonder what a Japanese Paladin is called? Wait lemme think…That’s right we’re called Samurai!”

This was such a fun read. It made me laugh and it made me feel happy to see people standing up for what they believed in. It was super short, but I loved the drawings especially the fantasy parts!

Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar

“I used to dream of getting breast cancer.”

This was my favorite one. I can say wholeheartedly that this is the story that pulled at my heartstrings the most. It was so real and so full of the emotions of what it is to live life in the body of someone who you aren’t. That line above tore me up.. I love to hear stories from the trans community. To me they have a struggle that is one of the hardest because they are just trying to show themselves and the world who they are inside and be strong when there are people from all communities and walks of life standing against them. I have mad respect for the people of the trans community they have some of the toughest armor out there.

Super Human by Nicola Yoon

““I won’t hurt you,” he says. Which is ridiculous, because that is the whole point of her being here. He is going to hurt everyone.”

Wow… just wow. I don’t have the words for this one. It gave me chills. This was such a beautiful heartbreaking story. I wanted more.. so much more and yet it was perfect in its length. So.. so good!

Final Thoughts:

Our stories matter. All of our stories matter. I am so tired of living in a world where we look at each other and our difference is all we see. We all feel. We all love. We all are trapped in the same cells of bodies that we must walk with everyday. We all have issues. We all have dreams. Every book store. Every library. Every show. Every movie. Every piece of art. Should be filled with the experiences of all of us. With all of our passions. So many of us feel forgotten by the world. So many of us feel like we don’t matter. But we matter. We all matter. I am tired of living in a world where it’s all about just pure survival. I am tired of living in a world that for many compassion is forgotten. A lot of the time the weight of it all just makes me tired. Yet, still everyday I wake up and I try. I get so angry at some of the stories I read sometimes. Stories where people get so full of themselves that they lack basic respect for fellow human lives. Where they judge like their opinion is the only one that matters. Like how they were wronged is the only thing that matters. It makes me so angry and so so very sad. Sometimes I want to shake people and tell them to open their eyes.. and see.. look at these people.. look at how they dance.. how they laugh.. how they cry.. how they celebrate…how they kiss.. how they hug.. how they scream and shout for what they believe in.. and show them don’t you do the same? Don’t you laugh and cry and celebrate and work and keep taking every day step by step… don’t you see that them living their lives the way they want to does nothing to make your life any less. Reading Fresh Ink reminded me of that chip in my soul that angers for all the wrong. That just wants to see the world be a place where we could all be peaceful and happy. That even if I can’t do much on my own.. I can work to be compassionate. That maybe, if I could inspire one other person to do the same (all the time not just some of the time) that it would all be worth it. We need more anthologies like this. More inspiring works. More words that shake the people who read them and remind them of what they are fighting for.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

A Journey in Weightloss

In what has been the craziest 2 years of my life emotionally I went through many avenues of change, mentally, physically, and environmentally. Every time I think of the sheer amount of stuff that has happened I go nuts. In the same two years I hit one of my lowest lows and now I’ve reached the highest point of happiness since I was a little kid. However, that part of my journey is for another time. Right now, I want to talk about something that fills me with pride. The fact that I took control of one of the few things I have control over and worked hard and got noticeable results.

Let’s talk high school graduation. In 2016 I graduated high school with honors. I hadn’t been playing volleyball anymore or doing to much exercise wise and I weighed 158 pounds back then. For my body that’s not so bad because of the places my body carries fat and because of my height which is about 5’6″. At that point I didn’t really want to gain more and I wasn’t exactly happy with my weight, but for the most part it wasn’t something I thought about too much.

In my first and only year at a physical college I gained a little weight getting to about 162 pounds. I started to worry about it a little, but the end of that first year was when shit hit the fan for me at home and I could no longer afford to go to the university I was at and instead started college classes online so I could work.

Transitioning from college student to working girl at the age of 18 was really hard on me. I didn’t really know how to handle it emotionally. Things were no longer about the good times and working towards the future I wanted. They were about struggling every day to make ends meet, working pay check to pay check, and trying to figure out how to breath underneath all that stress. At first, I didn’t deal with everything all that well and at that point food became comforting to me… especially junk food. Before I turned around I was 168 pounds looking in the mirror and realizing that if I didn’t do something and do it right then and there I was going to end up really fat with a lot of health problems like my grandmother and with a whole plethora of body image issues.

At first I didn’t know what to do. I had never ever lost weight before. Growing up I was pretty much always at the right weight for my body and didn’t ever have a weight issue until that point. The one thing I knew was to watch what I was eating. At the time whenever I was even a little hungry I would snack. I didn’t pay attention to what I put in my body and I suffered for it. However, the big starting point came from a video buzzfeed did 7 months ago called We did 100 Squats a Day for 30 Days . I watched it and an idea started brewing in my head and I thought why not try it?

It took me about 2 weeks, but eventually I decided to give it a go. At first, I didn’t notice any changes in myself and really it didn’t matter. What mattered was the action of doing those squats everyday. I was only going to do them for the 30 Days, but I realized that I liked doing it so I never stopped. Of course, I have days I don’t do them. Sometimes I feel a little lazy or my life is being hectic, but most days I get up and do them.

About 2 months into it I started thinking seriously about my food intake (which I feel is the major factor in me loosing the weight). I downloaded a fitness app and looked at my caloric intake and turned myself into a science experiment. For a while I tracked everything I ate. Doing so allowed me to realize just how much food I was eating and how many calories some foods had and not others. It taught me something about portions and eating just enough for my body. Now I don’t use it anymore. I’ve gotten to where I listen to my body and know what is and isn’t too much.

At about month 4 I had a lot of change in the way my jeans were fitting.. they began to be looser.. then looser still.. then much looser and I had to buy new jeans.. and then (they are the jeans I wear now) I noticed they too were not as tight as when I first put them on.

Then two months ago I added 100 crunches to my daily routine because I was loosing more on the bottom then around my stomach and I wanted to change that. It wasn’t long till I started to see that my figure that had once started to get boxy now has a waist. Even my face started to become noticeably thinner.

Today, I am back at 158 pounds. Back to where I begun. 10 pounds in 7 months. It’s not some crazy weight-loss journey. But it’s my very real journey of change and it is still ongoing. I’m still loosing weight. I don’t really have a goal. It isn’t even really about the scale number. All I wanted was to feel healthy in my own skin again. To have the ability to have the clothes I liked to fit and fit well. To feel strong and confident in my own skin again. That is something that I’m happy to say I’ve feel like I’ve accomplished.

I am still continuing on with this journey. This isn’t something I want to give up on after all the hard work and progress. So in the next few months I think I will be able to say that I look and feel better then I ever have. That my body would look better then it did in high school. That I took control of one of the few things I had control over and took something I’d been insecure about for so long and made a change for myself. I’d always wanted to have an athletic build. To feel powerful in my own skin. To do everything I needed to in a day and not feel so exhausted. I’m actually getting to that point.

From now on, I am making it a point to put my health first. To continue shaping myself into the person I always had the potential to be. One of the greatest parts about this journey has been this: it taught me that small steps can have a huge impact.. that if you want something to happen you have to work for it.. that when you take steps towards a healthier you a healthier mindset follows.

It gives me a feeling of great wonder to see in the next 7 months where I’ll be.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Freedom

Taking the slow steps of a doe out of a cage and into the forest legs shaking, mind wondering, fear showing in the quiver of matted fur, the mind questions if it is all a trick?

In the grand expanse of a world beyond pain a nose picks up the scent of fresh grass for the first time.

Slow steps forward follow slow steps back until finally the doe is out of the cage and the doors shut behind her.

Every sound is awash with twin thoughts of skittish fear and awe.

The world seems almost too bright for her; the music of the wind, so soft causes her panic.

Yet every moment brings new peace and slowly she walks until she comes upon a stream.

Her nostrils flare and she bends her head drinking fresh clean water for the first time in her life.

Finally she allows herself to bathe in the shallow stream and as the water cleans her fur she starts to prance her heart beating fast with hope.

Her tail wags and her hooves clack against the stone bottom in a happy dance.

Into the night she finds herself shelter and food to eat.

She sleeps a peaceful sleep and her nightmares are chased away by imagined days of prancing.

At last.. At last.. at last the doe is free.

The hunter far away.

The doe dancing in a world where she’d never be seen again.

Thanks for reading! This is a poem that has been one of my absolute favorites to write. When I found the first words everything just started to flow. I miss feeling like that while writing poetry.

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!

-Till next time!

Stepping Away From Self-Sabotage

All my life I’ve felt the need to celebrate the small victories. To reward myself for being productive. To celebrate any moment where my mind felt like it was on a path to healing. However, every time I let myself share when I’m feeling really good about myself.. I would immediately regress.

Any moment I would share that I woke up early or that I did something around the house without being told or made myself from breakfast would be followed by me refusing to continue the positive pattern later. It’s ridiculous actually. Sometimes I just wont let myself accept when things are good. I don’t know how to handle good in my life. I feel like I have to balance everything out when life usually has no problem with giving me problems.

I’m working on accepting the good in my life. I’m working on allowing myself to be happy without feeling the need to sabotage that happiness. To let myself come to the understanding that I deserve to be happy. That things don’t have to be about struggling all the time. To choose to accept the good, because recently its begun to outweigh the bad.

I don’t think enough people talk about transitioning from a life of heaviness to a life of lightness and happiness often enough. No one talks about what it’s like for someone that has a lot of bad things happen in their lives to suddenly feel like there isn’t wolves waiting to bring them down just around the corner. What it feels like to feel safe and comforted when all you’ve known is what it was to have to be the only person there for yourself. To accept that beautiful change. To let yourself feel free.

All I want right now is to accept the incredible change in perspective that I’ve had in my life. The past month has been more beautiful then difficult. I’m not used to that. My family and I are still struggling, but I see my future with new eyes. It’s so weird to move forward without the fear. My need to make things more difficult for myself bothers me. I want to take the gem I’ve been given and never let it go. I don’t want to feel undeserving. I don’t want to sabotage myself anymore.

So I’m just going to shake off the old way I’ve thought all my life. Let it fall away from me like water. To take up my newfound happiness and share it with whomever I can. Maybe I could take it and inspire something wonderful in other people. That sounds like a much better plan then trying to undo it.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been a lot more personal on my blog recently. A lot has happened good and not so good in recent times. I feel myself changing a lot and in really great ways. Or maybe I’m just finding myself becoming the person I always was beneath the surface. I want to take this feeling and run with it with no regrets.

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

What I’ve Learned By Taking Time For Myself

I think one of my biggest problems was always not valuing myself. I always equated that with selfishness and equated selfishness with being ‘bad’. At home, this created a situation where I was either fully immersed in my own world and berating myself for it or the days after that happened where I put my everything into trying to be better and doing everything I could to ask my family for forgiveness because of what I would say when I was sad, angry, and frustrated with the things life gave us.

It got to the point where I had this all or nothing mindset.. I either was perfect that day or I wasn’t. I either did exactly as I should or I didn’t. I either fought against my thoughts or let them consume me. I didn’t know what balance was. All my life in front of others it was always easy to present myself as a person that had nothing wrong with her. When I look at my yearbook and the things others have said about me it touched my heart, because it showed that at least in public I was the person I wanted to be. That people could tell I tried. That I cared. Even when I thought I wasn’t much noticed at all.

If it always easy to show that other side of me in public why was it that I have always been so reclusive at home? What is it about being in my own mind that made it think that I was doomed to be a person that I hated? An angry person. A jaded person. Someone that could barely stand to look in the mirror.

When I am at work or when I go out and speak to anyone.. I always think to myself that if I could I would be kind. Everyone has something going on beneath the surface and we all deal with it differently. If I could make someone smile or lift some small burden or make them feel good for a moment I would always make sure to do that. Yet.. even if I knew that meant that I wanted to be someone good I couldn’t stop thinking that I wasn’t, but I think I realize now that it’s not something I could or can control, but that it is a lie. You’re own thoughts can lie to you. They can tell you you’re ugly. They can tell you you’re dumb. They can tell you that you lack worth. They can tell you that who you are at a basic level is wrong. Those are all lies. When we believe the lie that we are terrible and unworthy we do things to prove that those things are true till we believe them.

I see that when my sister (the most well dressed person I’ve ever known) looks in the mirror and changes outfit after outfit thinking that she doesn’t look good when she always looks beautiful. It makes me upset. Why do we lie to ourselves? What causes that? How is it that there have been countless times that I had convinced myself that I didn’t belong in my own family when I know that they love me?

It makes me upset because even as I am starting to come out of the lies I’ve told myself.. I want to scream at the girl that wrote the most desperate heartbreaking poetry that it would be okay. That she was going to be okay. That she could handle what was coming and that she wasn’t awful. I want to hug her. To tell her that her sister loves her. That her mom accepts her for who she is. That even as her dad seems like a whole different person that she would always be his little girl.

I always wanted to prove that I wasn’t my birth mother who couldn’t raise me and gave me to my grandmother whom took the little girl I once was and all the love I wanted to give her and crushed it.. crushed it by saying I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t matter, that the person I was raised to be was too much like the family that she sent me to live with and not enough like her, that gave me conditions to her love, that thought that the only way to get what you wanted in this life was by playing dirty. Everything in me that was like her I hated. How sometimes I held a pen between my index and middle finger when I signed my name, or how I would sometimes stand with one of my feet pressed on the inside of my leg, or the competitiveness in me that at times went too far, or that I had to have an explanation for everything.. had to analyze everything, I even came to hate my own smile the way my lips were thin like hers, or that the shapes of our faces were undeniably similar. To feel that way constantly.. it’s no wonder I turned to YouTube and movies and tv shows to drown out the sound of my own thoughts.

These past few days.. these past few months of just trying to be kinder to myself. Of trying to find happiness in my struggles. Of actually being happy. I can see the lies. I am not my grandmother. I will never be like her. Being this happy. I’ve been able to let myself take care of me. I’ve found value in myself. It reminded me that there are things on this blog I’d like to do. Things like actually reading the Bible and sharing what I actually think about each chapter. Things like returning to Beyond the Surface and doing posts on books that discuss mental health and what it feels like to live with the weight of it. Things like poetry. Or talking about music and shows that I’ve watched. Being as spontaneous with my blog as I once was when I first began.

I want to say that I feel like a different person, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I am the same as I always was. My mom always told me that I was too honest. That I trusted people too easily. That I wasn’t careful. Maybe, I have always been honest with others, because all I ever did was lie to myself. “Always be the change you want to see in the world.” I took that to heart. I’ve always wished that people could be more honest and open with each other, more understanding. I do that in public, but the irony was that I didn’t keep that truth for myself. I think that so much of my life I did whatever I could to make myself believe my own lies. I gave into them, but not completely. I was my own worst enemy.

I knew that the day everything fell threw and the relationship with my grandmother ended.. I had already forgiven her, but I hadn’t forgiven myself. In the things in me that were like her I couldn’t forgive myself. But I think now. I think now I have or at least I’ve started to. My grandmother let the things that happened to her turn her into someone that carried her anger like armor, shield, and weapon. I could not touch her, but I can choose to be a different sort of person. Who set anger aside and picked up compassion instead. Someone who could choose love for herself and for others, for the family that raised her. I can choose to be happy. To let myself feel that I deserve it. To watch shows that make me laugh, to learn from video games that tell stories (like Detroit become human), to be present with my family and joke with them, to take time to enjoy every moment.

Living life in anger and hatred and self-depreciation isn’t living.. it’s a life trying to imitate the motions. I want to share who I really am and live in every single moment. I want to love. That’s what these beautiful few days have taught me. To take every good thing as an opportunity for happiness and joy and every bad as a opportunity to respond with kindness.

We all need to value ourselves. To value the heart that never stops beating. The lungs that bring us air. To value our passions and dreams. Our desires for a better world. To remind ourselves that sometimes we are the ones that lie the best to ourselves. That sometimes we need to step back and let ourselves enjoy being alive.

I never expected for this to happen. To feel like the part of me I carried that was damaged and broken would start to heal itself. That it was starting to heal itself not just these past few days, but slowly over these past few months, but accelerated by the past few days.

I want to thank all of you. Every single one of you that likes one of my posts, reads it, comments on it. This community has given me the world. I would have never felt like this without all of you. I would have never felt so much like the real me. You are all so beautiful. The lights of friendship that I will always hold dear.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts as always.

-Till next time!

Getting Back Into Routine

To many of you, this post might seem a bit odd. I’ve been pretty active with blogging recently and I’ve fallen back in love with the process of it and in general have spoken about my overall productivity being pretty good recently.

A few days ago, I wrote about Saying Goodbye to my Current WIP with the full intention of diving straight into my next project, but on day one I only ended up writing about 600 words (which isn’t bad) and I ended up shaving off part of my fingernail on accident and I took all of that as a sign to take a mini break. Plus, in general I wanted to celebrate a lot of amazing things that have been happening in my life recently. Including the biggest reason I wanted to celebrate being finding the most amazing person ever. (Actually this was more brought on by my happiness with them then..you know…finishing a draft) I’m going to pretend I just needed a break.

So I decided to give myself a few days of just doing as much as I’ve wanted and letting myself watch some movies I’ve wanted to see and generally not being upset if I don’t end the day with everything I usually would have done..done. This means that I’ve posted on here every day and written poetry and read, but just didn’t force myself to complete every little task I would normally take care of.

It’s been a time of such pure happiness. Even when I’m at work I’m not fazed by anything that might normally bring down my mood. I’ve laughed and enjoyed time with my family in a way that hasn’t really happened since I was a kid. I didn’t think that happiness could fuel others happiness like that. In the face of these past few months I feel like I’m a different person.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep this minimal schedule for a few more days and to start working on writing my new draft then. After that it’s back to my stricter schedule, but hopefully there will still be time left open for general enjoyment. I’m just going to take everything in and let my creative well fill up.

I’ve decided that my new horror WIP draft is going to be a 90 day rough draft due December 7th.. 10 days before my birthday. That way I can do something like this with a little extra stuff to think about celebrating. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

Sometimes a lack of productivity isn’t failure. Sometimes it’s an act of self care. Sometimes it is the need to celebrate life and what beauty the world has given you. Especially in light of darker times. I want to bask in this feeling I have right now. I know that the feeling is going to stay for a long time, but I really want to revel in it. We all deserve that at one time or another.

If any of you are interested in what my schedule is actually like and the tasks that I commit to doing let me know!

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear all of your thoughts. Do you ever feel the need to have a week or a few days to let yourself do as you please? What are some things you do for self care?

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-Till next time!