Life is Beautiful

I’ve talked about my life a lot on the blog. I’ve talked about some of my deepest struggles and some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve talked about my relationship with mental illness and my bouts of depression and anxiety as well as feelings of things just going horribly and unchangeably wrong at various points of my life.

It took me many a break from blogging and from productivity in general to pull myself free from negative thinking and negative cycles. Because no after how many things go wrong in life its how you deal with it that matters and for a while I couldn’t see past my own pain and grief to see all the good that life has to offer.

Life is all about perspective. Sometimes there is value in letting yourself feel hurt, but becoming the hurt and the guilt doesn’t serve you or anyone else. One of the things I’ve worked deeply on in myself is not feeling like a victim. Letting go of the idea that anyone else’s actions have anything to do with me and accepting my situation for what it is so that i can make the best of it.

One thing I despise is pity or being in a state where everything feels like it sucks. I was once in a point of my life where that’s all I could see. The awful line up of events in my life that came up one after the other, but I’ve given up my power to them for way too long.

Life is beautiful. I am not defined by the things that caused me pain. Especially not the pain that was self-inflicted by my own mind. Which, truly was the biggest part of it. I am not someone who will ever choose to stay stuck. I might need to simmer in my sadness for a while, but I always come out of it. Without exception.

I am making my happiness my main priority. My marvel posts and posts like this one are a big part of that. I take care of myself with so much more care then I once did and I value myself so much more as well. For once in a very long time I feel whole.

You can choose to dance with the darkness in yourself or become one with it. I choose to dance with it. To understand it and to remind it of all the light the world has to offer. This world is so beautiful. Full of creatures that live their lives to the fullest. Full of nature and music. Full of reasons to laugh and be joyful. Full of reasons to dance.

That is what I am choosing to focus on. Enjoying friendships. Enjoying the ability to try new things. Enjoying a new found sense of peace. I get to create the story of what is to be my life and I want to make it a good one, not only that, but a happy one and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make it so i go out of this life with a smile. Because life truly is beautiful and there is so much to be grateful for.

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

-Till next time!

Ten Things That Bring Me Joy

I’ve been feeling a little down recently. Going to the hospital the last time while it was long, but not the worst experience, brought down my energy quite a bit. Sometimes, when things get me down I need a little break to rebalance myself and think about things (which sometimes gets me to be a little more on the sadder side, but I digress).

Anyway, I really don’t want to continue in that feeling for very long. So, I’m going to talk about some things that bring me a great amount of joy instead.

The following is in no particular order:

1. Seeing/touching/being with Animals!

I adore watching animal videos. I love seeing animals. I don’t really care what kind. I’ll talk to a lizard or a turtle in the same way I might talk to a puppy. I just appreciate and love any and all animals. No matter how derpy. No matter how spooky. No matter how gross (I’m looking at you blob fish). If it’s a critter and it’s in my presence I’m filled with so much love and joy just to be around them. That’s just who I am.

2. Eating Ice Cream

I’m a simple human. I love me some cold and delicious sugar cream. I love to try out different flavors and combinations. I love adding toppings to it. I just love ice cream.

3. Reading a good Book

The girl who has a book blog cannot have this list be completed without mentioning the thing she never shuts up about. I love books. I’ll never stop loving books. I’m so happy that I’m reading again, let me tell you, I was so not ok with the fact that I couldn’t read for a while. I’ve been heading out to buy books recently. I’m almost finished with an arc I’m going to review. I’m just so happy to be reading again.

4. BBQ Sauce

This is where I probably deviate from many of you, but I love this sauce. I had it once as a kid and since then every time I have it, it makes me feel like a kid again. Honestly, this sauce is my drug of choice and I know it’s probably not good for me, but I could put it on almost anything. It’s my addiction.

5. Good Music

I have a deep love for music. Growing up I didn’t really feel that way. I would only get to hear the radio stations my family enjoyed and it was all older songs for the most part. Then in elementary and middle school I found I had a love for Hannah Montana that since died, but also during that time I first heard songs from David Guetta and since then I’ve had an intense love of EDM music. But my tastes are pretty widespread and I’m not afraid to branch out at all. The only genre I didn’t like at all growing up was country (and some rap), but I’ve been trying to give it a chance recently (it’s a minimal chance, but still a chance). Either way, I love listening to it and it will always be a deep part of my life.

6. Dancing

I love to dance and it’s probably why edm is the bulk of what I listen to. I’m not really a good dancer. I remember being in a dance recital in kindergarten and loving it, but I haven’t had any other sort of formal training at all since.. so basically it’s at zero. But, I move based off of how the music makes me feel and the joy of it is all that matters to me. It’s so freeing and there really isn’t anything like it.

7. Going on Roller Coasters

I am a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. I will go on pretty much any roller coaster at this time and I have no fear of heights so a lot of the time it’s just a super joyful experience for me. The wind in my face looking down at beautiful scenery. It makes you feel so alive. That’s what I love about it.

8. Watching people create art

I’ve always loved art, but most of all I love to see how it comes together. I love seeing the decisions being made right in front of me. The creation of something from nothing, but the person’s imagination. Artists are Incredible. I’m fascinated by them. Especially when I’m so bad at creating art myself.

9. Sitting/being outside

I really love being in nature. Especially at a park and seeing all the birds, animals, and bugs just living their lives. Especially if I find a rolley Polly in the grass. I love picking up rolley pollies. I don’t care how childish that is, I love the little grey bugs.

10. The Stupidest YouTube videos I can find

Sometimes I try to hide how dumb my sense of humor is and how low a bar it has, but it exists and it brings me joy and that’s all that matters.

Thank you all for reading! This post was a joy to write. I’d love to hear some things that being you all happiness in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Some Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and Blogging

I really don’t know why I wanted to discuss this right now. Maybe, it’s mostly just so I can remember that I have made progress in my life even if technically looks pretty similar to what it was only a year ago.

I have big dreams for my life. I want to be an author and share stories with anyone willing to read them with the hopes that my stories would effect someone’s life the way stories have affected my life.

One of my biggest issues has been wanting to do everything all at once and not making things manageable for myself. I have a tendency to want it all. The success, the many finished books in my back poker, the “perfect” relationship (mind you my definition of perfect in this case is pretty imperfect, but explaining this would take way too long.. mostly I just want to have a relationship where someone works side by side with me and we both support each other), to have my family relationship to be good, to feel good in my own skin, to be fluent in a second language.. and the list goes on. There are so many goals I have for myself and chasing after all of them causes me to burn out more often then not.

Life has thrown many a wrench in my life and from this challenges I’ve learned to slow the hell down. I don’t know how long I have on this earth and it’s part of the reason I feel the need to move quickly at times, but it causes me to want to jump to the end of things instead of enjoying every step of every part of my journey. It’s so important to take the time to put your full attention to each step of something and not just the beginning and the end. Sometimes grinding is necessary. Sometimes, rest is necessary. Giving the time needed for each part of something will make a better whole in the long run.

But, the most important thing of all is to remember to truly live your life and not get into the habit of just existing. Honestly, it’s the reason I never started freelancing, because even if I do believe it might be a lucrative venture for me in the long run.. writing about stuff I don’t care for isn’t something I ever want to do. However, I have a delightful announcement that I’m going to make at a later date that is a venture that I’m proud to begin.

I feel like I’ve touched on something of this from my life Update post, but with my home situation being what it is, I’ve learned a level of patience that I never thought I’d learn. My level to get annoyed by something has increased dramatically. My ability to understand has increased dramatically. The amount it takes before stress gets me to break down has increased. Even my tolerance for my own failings and my patience with myself has increased a ton. When I think about where I am now from where I was I feel like I’ve evolved from Mew to Mew 2.

As far as lessons from blogging, I’ve learned when to take breaks. I’ve learned also to plan things out, but also to write whatever I want when I want. I know that if I structure things too much I end up getting bored and that’s not what I want to happen with something I love doing so much. I try not to plan posts more then a day ahead. I may have types of posts and set projects, but when they go up is kept as loose as possible.

However, one of the saddest lessons I’ve had to learn has been not to post about what I plan to do.. meaning TBR’s or saying I’m back for sure or.. I’m going to write this much for this long.. it usually just doesn’t work out. Proclaiming a certain level of productivity doesn’t work. I mean sometimes it does, but a lot of the time I just get tired of routine. It’s probably why I’ve never really completed a Nanowrimo. I try.. I say every time that this time will be the time it works out and after a few days everything comes to a hault.

Manly, the lesson I’ve learned is to chill out. To take my time. Not to rush anything. To give everything it’s own time (just like the song). To take care of myself and to have fun.

It’s all about balance and sometimes letting yourself be. It’s getting up and trying again and again and again. Forgiving yourself for past mistakes and letting yourself change. It’s accepting that perfection of any kind truly doesn’t exist and that its ok and even good to fail. It’s about accepting yourself as you are and accepting yourself as you change and letting yourself change. It’s about not letting the past prevent yourself from having a beautiful present and future. Most of all, life is about truly living and truly loving with all of you in every moment and being authentic to who you are in each moment.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this reflective post. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Write the Story: One of the Best Purchases I’ve ever Made

I’ve been in and out of the works with my blog and pretty much everything else for the past several months and really I’m no longer upset with myself about it, because my reason for it has been pretty solid and I’ve gotten to a immensely better and more positive mental space because of it. So really, I’m pretty proud of myself. For once I let myself rest and truly rest. For once I listened to my body when it said enough. I listened to my mind when it needed to heal from feeling sad about the circumstances of life that befell me. I got to a place where I could take care of myself and let myself binge movies I wanted to binge and let go of reading sad stories for a long time because I couldn’t handle it.

But, this also meant I wasn’t writing. When I’m upset I do mostly end up writing, but it becomes dark and spun in a way where you can read back and literally see what a negative thought spiral looks like in my head. Spoiler alert it isn’t pretty. Most of the time they stem from having an argument with a family member or someone else I love. Or even me being sad about a problem in someone else’s life. Or feeling in general like I’m not doing enough. Sometimes, writing dark can bring out more darkness in me and I will feel more pain and more sadness then I need to. So, I stopped writing.

However, that didn’t make the passion for words in me die. It didn’t mean I was going to stop reading and writing forever. Honestly, I can’t think of a worse reality for myself. But, getting back to my passion I needed a way to take baby steps and I found the solution without even looking for it or realizing truly what one of my problems was in the first place. This wonderful book I found with no price tag on it at Barnes & Noble called: Write the Story.

This book was heaven sent. It has the quickest little prompts and words you should use in each story with just 1 page to write each with. It is a challenge and a blessing all in one.

Right away I decided to write my first little story in it and I plan on continuing on and writing in this unique booklet each day.

Here is my first story in my not so pretty handwriting:

I hope that this was readable for all of you. Also, please excuse any spelling/grammar mistakes I tend not to be the best speller.

I am writing this at 1 am and that’s just how excited I am to have something fun to put my energy into again. Plus, having a gateway back to reading and writing and the possibility of getting to a place where I’m generally happy and excited about being alive again is a wonderful thing.

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

If you guys are interested, I could make a post once a week of all my little stories I write in this book. There’s a ton of pages and it could take me years to get through, but I think it’d be a fun addition to my blog.

As always,

-Till next time!

I’m Still Learning

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past couple of months. I temporarily lost myself in the wake of everything that was going wrong. I reset my mindset again and again and I found new truths and let go of old ones and found hope and lost it and found it again. What went right I didn’t hold on to and anxiety won out.

All of this helped me to see how powerful anxiety can be. It also helped me to see who I really was and what I wanted for myself. Helped me to finally see myself as Tiana the individual and ultimately see that it’s ok to want things for myself. To be selfish. To want to experience love.

To see for the first time the life I want to lead clearly. To see too that it is possible to get there. That there is nothing wrong with dreaming of it. But, to also realize that the only control I have is over myself and my actions and reactions.

I also learned that I can be a bit irrational at times. That fear can make me create situations in my head that are very unlikely to happen even if I believe it at that time. That sort of delusional state is what caused a lot of the problems I encountered in the recent past.

Since realizing this I’ve done my best to resolve the problems that I’ve been encountering. Inwardly and outwardly. One of the best things that has come from this was from a ted talk I found that talked about regret. I forget what it was called but, I saved a quote from it that I will always keep in mind, “If we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or loose them we should feel pain when things go wrong.”

Our regrets and our guilt are not our enemy. It is what tells us what we’ve done that was against who we really are and who we want to be and it teaches us lessons on how to be better as people. I made some majorly stupid decisions that hurt someone I love dearly. But, the regret and the hurt I feel from the aftermath have taught me something of who I am and who I want to be. I’m stubborn. When things go wrong I panic. I want things to work out with all parties involved and I get scared when things go awry to the point that I make things worse because I’m no longer reacting from a rational place. Then upon realizing my mistake I punish myself mentally because I think “how could I have said that? How could I have done that? I’ve ruined everything.”

Because, at the end of the day I’m not a person that gives up on people I care about. I’m the kind of person that stays. I’m the kind of person who will be there for someone even if I hadn’t heard from them for years. I’m not the girl that anxiety creates me to be. I’m not the girl that depression drives me to.

These past few months I had the lowest point in my mental health journey ever and I came out of it. I faced myself and realized that yes I’ve made some bad decisions and yes I’ve caused unnecessary pain, but I’m still learning. I learned the lesson I was meant to learn and I take pride in the fact that I will never make the mistake I made again.

I learned from the pain what it was to really love and not just love another person, but to love myself. Because, even through it all I have myself to keep me stepping forward through every experience life has in store for me.

The weird thing is that while writing this I feel so hopeful. I feel excited about what life has in store for me. I feel for the first time that I’ve truly seen my deepest flaws and accepted them. Accepted myself even though that’s not what this post is about. I’m stubborn and anxious and emotional and impulsive, but all those things come from a place of wanting to be a good person of wanting happiness for myself and those around me and sometimes that means taking an approach that is wrong, but stemming from good intentions and really maybe I’m not so bad after all.

Maybe it’s not that I need to truly change to be the person I wish to be, but to let go of all the negativity towards myself. All that beating myself up. All that misguided self-hatred for feeling like I’m some sort of menace towards the people closest to me. It’s more like I’ve been a temperamental child that took too much on her shoulders and released all the hurt in any way she could trying to keep myself sane and keep everything going right instead of reacting calmly when things went wrong. For the first time, I feel that there really isn’t anything wrong with me. That there never has been. That all the pain I let build inside all that guilt is unfounded. I’ve suffered enough. I don’t need to continue hurting myself mentally anymore.

I know this post has gone a little off the rails and it’s very existential, but I’ve just had one of the most important realizations of my life. I feel free in a totally new way. I feel like myself in a wholly new way. I feel like I can move forward in my life in the best way possible and take on anything that comes my way because I see who I am wholly and I don’t hate myself anymore, because I did.. I did for a long time, but I can see myself for who I am totally and I can see that I’m just trying to do my best with the cards I’ve been given. Yes, I’ve reacted badly, but I know why I had those freak outs and panic attacks and at the center of it all it was from thinking I could do it all on my own and make things better, but that was not in my control. I see myself now and how badly I want to start over and to just live well and love the people I love and not take life for granted. That I deserve to start over. That I deserve to give myself another chance at dancing through life and going with the flow instead of trying to keep everyone happy. To let myself want. To let myself hit a brand new reset button and fully live life authentically as me and know that no matter what it will be beautiful because I won’t be fighting internally anymore. To finally have forgiven myself for everything. To accept myself with all the pain, anxiety, sadness, and all the good, happiness, and hope and see that I truly love myself. To realize that no matter how hard I’ve tried I’ve never truly loved myself like I do in this moment. To know that I’m going to love myself in this way for the rest of my life. To know that I’m going to be my best self from today onward and I’m going to grow so much and love so much deeper from finally accepting myself and loving myself truly from now on.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been on a very huge rollercoaster of a emotional journey recently and I’ve shared it with all of you in the hopes that maybe something I’m going through can help some of you in some way. This post was cathartic and unexpectedly wonderful for me to write. I feel that this was what had been holding me back from living the life I wanted for myself for so long. To know that I’m over it now means that there are infinite possibilities ahead. I’m excited to see where life takes me going forward.

-Till next time!

Choosing to Live Life Fully

After being sick for a while, I forgot once more the state of mind I had gotten myself to just before I got sick. For some reason, being sick brought out a lot of the anxious thoughts and emotions I had been feeling for a while prior. But, it is time to let those thoughts go. To set them free and give them away. They are not serving me any.

I’m living my life to the fullest this year. I may have stumbled at the start, but I’m not going to let that stop me. There is so much in this life to appreciate and enjoy so I’m going to enjoy them.

I just needed to write this to remind myself of the path I wish to take. To live my life fully, unapologetically, and without regrets. It might be a while till I can embrace this fully, but I’m going to try and try until that is my reality. Because, I want to live the life I choose.

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

-Till next time!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad’s birthday. I want to take this time to talk about how much my dad means to me and the importance he has for my life.

My dad was my idol from when I was a little kid. I would follow him around wherever he went. Helped him with whatever I could. Looked for bugs in the dirt with him. When I was little I would listen to story after story that he would tell me with complete awe.

My dad’s health right now is terrible. Thing after thing came up and I honestly don’t know how much time I have left with him. That’s why on days like today I take a step back. I look at the people I love and I pray for as much time with them as possible.

If I’ve been taught anything due to my dad’s sickness it’s that you don’t give up on people you love. You hold onto them. You cherish them and every moment you have, because you don’t know when they may be gone from your life.

My dad will always be my hero. Today and every day going forward I’m going to cherish him. It’s been hard to see how his sickness has changed him, but the man that he always was to me will never change.

I may become different things to different people in the future. A friend, a love, a co-worker, a mentor, or what have you, but I will always be my dad’s little girl.

Happy birthday dad. I love you. May we have another wonderful year together. I hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for reading!

-Till next time!

Watching: Incredibles 2

I have to admit I’ve been a little lazy lately. Getting up late. Watching whatever I feel like watching. Going to work and coming back to watch something else I feel like watching. But, today is the last of that. Or at least I’m going to be awake long enough to complete my daily goals. We’ll see how long that lasts.

But, this post isn’t about that. It’s about a little movie called ‘Incredibles 2’ and how I feel so proud to finally have watched it.

I watched this movie out of pure nostalgia. I loved it. I enjoyed that it took place right after the original film and that it had so many nods to the original film.

Most of all, I loved the pure excitement I felt when Edna came on screen.

Just look at Edna. She’s amazing. I never fully encompassed why, but I always loved her. Her character always made me laugh, but at the same time I always felt this immense respect for her. She is a boss lady. No doubt about that. I love that even when Mr. Incredible in the room she still holds the power even when it looks like Mr. Incredible could crush her in 2 seconds, it’s Edna who holds the real power. I love that. So, I’m not ashamed of saying that her part is my favorite of the movie. Although, there is a lot that could be said for the rest of it.

Incredibles has always been known for the family aspect. Everyone coming together to fight crime. In this movie I loved that a lot of the most pressing issues didn’t even feel like they were coming from the villain threats, but just Mr. Incredible dealing with how to be a parent. Not only that, but how to be a parent to kids with powers. Which has to be 1000% harder. I loved seeing him get frustrated. I loved the realness of those emotions. Love isn’t easy, but you do your best everyday, because at the end of the day that feeling when you look at your partner, friend, or family member in the eye it’s all worth it. I loved that this movie showcased that.

I also have to say that Jack Jack was MVP.

Just look at him. He was a full on terror. However, some of my other favorite parts were Mr. Incredible dealing with Jack Jack. I would not be able to deal with this little one. He’s a lot to handle, but I love him just the same. If I wasn’t afraid he was going to burn me alive I would definitely give this little one a big hug.

If you haven’t already. Go and see Incredibles 2. Especially if you grew up watching Incredibles like I did. It’s wholly worth the experience even just for the nostalgia.

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

-Till next time!

Hello 2019!

This year is going to be crazy. It’s going to be different and I’m going to call it right now, but it’s going to be beautiful. This is a year where I refuse to live in any other way then the way I choose. Where I find my own path and live life unafraid.

2018 was a year of fear. Even in the most beautiful part of 2018 there was still an element of fear and it ruined everything for me. I’m done with fear. I’m done with following a normal set path for myself. I want to write my own story. Not only do I want to, but I’m going to do it. Because fear and sadness have done nothing, but hurt me. I don’t want to be sad any more. I don’t want to be worried anymore. I don’t want to live life in a way I’ll regret it anymore.

So here are some words I wish to live by in the new year:

In 2018, I let anxiety and hurt rule me. I didn’t let myself believe and what I knew in my heart to be true. I let myself get caught up in how things should happen and didn’t let things happen as was right for me and not necessarily right for others. All these things caused me to make choices I do regret. Which, is something I never thought I’d do to myself. 2019 and beyond is a time in my life where I don’t want to do that ever again. Let me clarify.. It’s something I’m never going to let myself do that again.

Fear has kept me from all the things I truly love in life. Kept me from taking the chances I needed to take. All of it causing a time of great sadness and I ended up hurting myself the most. Anytime I can I’m going to do what’s best and right for me. I’m going to follow my heart. I got way to much in my head in 2018. I’m done with that. I’m going to give my heart the reigns in the new year and just see what happens.

I don’t know what to expect this year. There are endless possibilities. But no matter what happens I’m going to make sure that it’s one of the best years of my life. I’m going to write this year. I’m going to read a lot of amazing books this year. I’m going to live life this year. I’m going to make sure that it is truly a year to remember.

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

Check out my Twitter and Instagram!

Check out The Candle Caffe website!

-Till next time!

A Random Encounter for A Fantastic Day

Today was surprisingly a fantastic day. I haven’t had a fantastic day like this is a long time and I had to share it with all of you.

I started my day and exercised for almost an hour. It’s this MMA style workout from Les Miles to some fantastic music that makes me sweat like nothing else. About 40 mins or so in I got kinda dizzy so I had to cut it short. I wasn’t expecting to workout so it was fun to have it happen.

Then I did some meditation that caused some weird feelings in my body out of nowhere and a lot of emotions got purged. It was one of the strangest experiences I’ve had while meditating. After, I had a nice bath and got ready for work. Then I finished writing and posted my 2019 goals post. I read some chapters from Wicked Saints and ate some food. Then I got to work.

Today would’ve been an alright pretty normal day, but I got to work register today and because of that I got to meet one of the Youtubers I’ve been watching for 5 almost 6 years and I freaked out.

Yep, that’s me with Rafi Fine from the Fine Bros. This is one of the coolest pictures I have on my phone now ever. I never meet people that I actually am super excited to meet and when he came up to buy some pretzels my brain went haywire. I’ve been watching react videos for so long and it was an honor to meet a creator whose content I have such respect for. The first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘you do YouTube’ and he nodded and we had a nice short conversation while he was ordering with his date and I admit I was a bit clumsy about the interaction and it wasn’t one of my ‘finest’ moments. His date too was really nice and was the one to offer to take the picture above to which I replied ‘I can have a picture?’ Which was something that’s cool to me, but didn’t think to ask myself because I don’t like to be a bother. All in all it was one of the coolest randomest interactions ever and I’m so stoked about it. (Also, because Rafi doesn’t show his face that much in FBE videos in my head I couldn’t place exactly what YouTube channel he was from and it drove me crazy for a while). I’m glad though that the short conversation didn’t suffer for it.

After that, I was in a state of happiness for the rest of the day and I was smiling really widely at customers for a while and managed to receive a good amount of tips thanks to that. Then at the very end my coworker gave me a belated birthday/Christmas present of two gift cards to some food places that I am very grateful for.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. It was a random day. A weird day, but a fantastic one. I felt almost blissfully happy today and I’ll take that feeling any time I can get it.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all don’t mind the double post for today. I had to share this with all of you. It was too awesome not to share.

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Check out The Candle Caffe website.

Till next time!