30 Days of Gratitude

These past 30 days I chose to do a gratitude challenge to remind myself of all the incredible things in life there is to be grateful for.

30 days of gratitude challenge: https://pin.it/juwrhlffx7knol

September 18th, 2019

Day 1: What are you most grateful for today?

Today, I’m most grateful for how far I’ve come. My mind is clear. My heart is clear. I am satisfied with who I am. I’ve made full peace with past mistakes. I’ve made peace with all of my past. I’m focusing on a better future. I’m always doing things that I love to do and I’m practicing being happy and fully myself all of the time. I’m keeping my commitments and I’m the strongest mentally and physically that I’ve ever been. So, I guess I’m most grateful for myself. Because I never gave up on myself and I stayed as positive as possible even when it was only to say that it’s ok to feel bad at a point and that I wasn’t always going to feel that way. So I’m proud of myself.

September 19th, 2019

Day 2: What Technology are you most grateful for?

My phone is probably the most important piece of technology that I’m grateful for. Because it’s what I use most for everything. Music, Reading, writing, gaming, video watching, socializing. Everything’s on my phone. Pictures of memories. My financial applications. I used to do online college from my phone. So it is the technology I am most grateful for.

September 20th, 2019

Day 3: What food are you most grateful for?

I love a good tamale or pupusa. But, I think I’m most grateful for Del tacos bean and cheese burritos. They’ve been a go to non-expensive food item that have kept me fed many many times since I was little. That and McDonald’s chicken nuggets, which are also a childhood favorite.

September 21st, 2019

Day 4: What memory in life are you most grateful for?

I’ll never forget the moment as a little girl coming home from flying on my own and running into my dad’s arms after thinking I’d never see him or the rest of my family again. He hugged me so tight it hurt, but I will never forget that hug. It reminds me that no matter what I will always love my family.

September 22nd, 2019

Day 5: What item in your home are you most grateful for?

I’m picking a mundane item for this because that is how I want to interpret this question. So the mundane item in my home I am most grateful for is the family coffee pot. Really recently, my mom finally purchased a coffee pot and since then I’m always drinking coffee. Recently, we’ve had pumpkin spice as well as red velvet flavored coffee that has been delicious. So I’m really grateful to have the coffee pot.

September 23rd, 2019

Day 6: What in nature are you most grateful for?

Literally all the animals! Animals are a gift to us all. They are so human and every single one of them is a unique blessing. I adore them.

September 24th, 2019

Day 7: What book are you most grateful for?

This is a very difficult question. I am grateful for so many books. I guess I have to say Twilight because it is the book that got me into reading in the first place. My life would be very different if I never read that book. So despite it not being the best book, I owe a lot to it.

September 25th, 2019

Day 8: What lesson in life are you most grateful for experiencing?

Day 8 is getting a bit heavy. The end of last year and the beginning of this year were some of the toughest months of my life. My mental state was not the best and my dad was in the worst part of his illness. I felt lost and utterly and completely alone. I found in myself such inner strength from dealing with all of that. I now find myself genuinely happy. I became very independent during this period and I learned how to be my own anchor and I also learned how to not take what other people say or do personally. Even things that my family would say that hurt. I learned to change my perspective. To stay grounded in who I am and what I believe. To do the best I can no matter what. But I also learned to follow joy wherever it is found. I don’t think of my dad’s illness in the same way. I don’t feel hopeless. I don’t feel alone. I understand myself better and I understand being human better. I am different now, but also very much the same. So I’m grateful for how the hard times teach the most valuable lessons.

September 26th, 2019

Day 9: What place have you traveled that you are most grateful for?

When I went to San Diego and swam with the dolphins when I was a kid. That’s such a bucket list experience and I was happy to have had it. It was a really amazing experience.

September 27th, 2019

Day 10: What are you most grateful for in your childhood?

I’m grateful for God’s hand in my childhood. I don’t speak much about religion. I’m not here to preach or tell anyone how to live their lives, but I cannot deny God’s hand in my life. Before I was born, my family made a decision to move to a specific place not realizing that that was where they would meet me. I came into their care in a daycare and in so many ways I’ve never left. I’ve always felt guided. I also always felt like I could trust that everything would be ok because I was put where I was for a reason. Especially one experience where I was bit in the eye by a dog and they got my eyelid completely but missed my eyeball. I’m grateful I have sight in both eyes because of that. If that wasn’t a miracle I don’t know what is.

September 28th, 2019

Day 11: What movie are you most grateful for?

This is difficult. Only because I’ve rarely ever thought of movies in a way of being grateful towards them the same way I do for books. But, I have to say that recently it was Endgame. Spoilers: when I saw that Captain Rodgers actually did get to live out a full life with Peggy when I thought that was impossible it released a wave of both happiness and pain inside me. Or rather it transformed pain into joy. It gave me hope to know that in life what’s meant to be will be and that the universe works in incredible and mysterious ways. Most of the time not in the way you think it will.

September 29th, 2019

Day 12: What 3 people in life are you most grateful for?

This is an easy question. My mom, dad, and my sister. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Even if we don’t always get along perfectly, my life would be radically different without them. I love them with all my heart.

September 30th, 2019

Day 13: what season of the year are you most grateful for?

I am super grateful for fall. The weather is cooler. Things get spooky. I feel more alive and there is Halloween to look forward to and Christmas is not too far behind. It’s one of the most exciting times of the year.

October 1st, 2019

Day 14: What rejection in life are you most grateful for?

In my life, I have experienced many rejections. Mostly from people.. and I’m not just talking about crushes. But, I think the rejection I am most grateful for is the very first one. I don’t like calling it rejection, but my biological mom gave up her rights to keep me and gave me to my grandmother on my dad’s side. From there my grandmother in a way gave me to a family during daycare and while she was in my life after for the most part that family raised me. I wouldn’t be who I am without that first pass off or from the second. It was like baby hot potato. But, I have a family who raised me from love so I’m glad for it. I don’t know if I’d like who I am if I was raised elsewhere. I love the life I was granted. I would never have wanted my life to be different.

October 2nd, 2019

Day 15: What about your body are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful for all of my body. My ability to see and hear and touch and taste. I’m grateful for how my body heals. I’m grateful for my brain. I’m grateful for my bodies ability to adapt. To strengthen itself and show me that I’m capable of far more than I often believe. My body has gotten me up everyday and has experienced many beautiful things. I have learned to treasure it. I didn’t always feel that way.

October 3rd, 2019

Day 16: What band are you most grateful for?

The only true answer to this is Linkin Park. Even if I feel like in a way I shouldn’t be allowed to say so. It deeply reminds me of someone I care about and I don’t really know how they feel about me now, but Linkin Park is their favorite band and so I’m not sure about saying this answer even if it’s the only real answer to me that is true. Linkin Park’s Music is beautiful. It’s pulled so many people out of darkness. I even saw a video of a woman who used their lyrics to save a man’s life from committing suicide. Music that saves lives. Music that inspires people to walk in the light in a way that doesn’t shut out the fact that the dark exists. That’s incredible music. I am immensely grateful for it.

October 4th, 2019

Day 17: What about your job are you most grateful for?

I am grateful that I have it. That things have gotten better within it. That the majority of the people are worth working with, especially when it wasn’t always like that.

October 5th, 2019

Day 18: What trait do you have that you are most grateful for?

I am grateful for my sense of loyalty. Not necessarily just to people I care about, but to my ideals. I do my best everyday to be the best person I can be and to treat others well. The very basis of who I am is someone who wants to do some good in this life. Sometimes I mess up, but that’s ok. It all comes with being human.

October 6th, 2019

Day 19: What splurge item do you own that you are most grateful for?

I’m not lying when I say I never splurge. It’s not because I don’t want to it’s more that I convince myself that I’m better off saving for something for someone else. Or for an emergency. Last month I went to go by pants for myself at Forever 21 and I got these great pants for only $3.90 and they look amazing, but I got them for a very low amount. I’m really good at getting nice items for low prices. This includes books (which often come to me for free). I’m probably one of the lowest maintenance people out there. But, I have to admit if I see some shoes from Aldo or some sweatshirts and clothing from hot topic I want to buy them. Especially now that hot topic has this Hocus Pocus sweatshirt with witchy sleeves for $80 and I want that so bad. But, with Christmas coming I’m not even allowed to buy myself stuff. Talking about this makes me want to do a little splurging on myself. Maybe I’ll make a point of it after the year ends.

October 7th, 2019

Day 20: What are you most grateful for in your daily life?

I’m most grateful for the food I have to eat. Everyday I always have something and it’s usually something pretty tasty and the fact that I can eat everyday and try new foods when I want to is a wonderful thing.

October 8th, 2019

Day 21: What small item that you use daily are you most grateful for?

My earphones. They allow me to watch and listen to whatever I want without bothering anyone else with what I’m watching. They also help me to concentrate on one thing, especially if I’m listening to music while writing.

October 9th, 2019

Day 22: What Thanksgiving memory are you most grateful for?

Weirdly enough when I was a vegetarian for two years and this one thanksgiving my grandmother took me to her friends home for dinner and everyone tried to convince me to eat meat and I kept saying no. I’m grateful for this memory because it’s one of the first times I decided something about myself for myself that wouldn’t be changed because others thought it was strange. I may not be vegetarian now, but I do miss it. I never really learned how to do it properly and having to eat out quite a bit in a world where there isn’t always a vegetarian friendly option (looking at you in-n-out) I don’t really push it too much.

October 10th, 2019

Day 23: What use of your phone are you most grateful for?

The use I’m using right now. The ability to write blog posts and connect with others who share the same passions as I do. The amount of blessings I’ve received from blogging have been infinite and I will never ever regret one second of the journey I began 3 years ago! I truly am grateful for the friendships and opportunities that have opened up for me since starting and I know that there will be many more in the future!

October 11th, 2019

Day 24: What about social media are you most grateful for?

This is mostly a reiteration of yesterday. Because the social media I am most grateful for and that I care most about is WordPress. Blogging is an incredible thing. It’s changed my life multiple times. I know it will continue to in the future.

October 12th, 2019

Day 25: What are you most grateful for in your city?

That I live in a place with such a diverse amount of people and how you can go down a single street and see many different cultures and people living alongside one another.

October 13th, 2019

Day 26: What meal did you have today that you are most grateful for?

Both breakfast and lunch. My sister made food both times and when she makes it is always delicious. I had oatmeal in the morning and a meat soup with garlic bread for lunch. Both were amazing!

October 14th, 2019

Day 27: What are you most grateful for in your country?

I’m going to give a real answer for this, because I’m not always super patriotic and politics makes me angry and I can rant about certain things in politics for ages and get nowhere so.. that’s that. What I’m grateful for in this country is the people in it. No matter what craziness is going on the majority of Americans are good people who want to fight for what’s right. It’s the unity that I see in those who protest and who see injustice and call it out that truly make me feel good to be an American.

October 15th, 2019

Day 28: What about your home are you most grateful for?

I’m most grateful for having a home. A place to sleep. A place to keep myself clean and fed. A place where I feel safe. There isn’t really anything about it I’m more grateful for then anything else. All of it is precious to me.

October 16th, 2019

Day 29: What bill are you most grateful to be able to pay?

All of them? Rent is huge because without it I would have no place to live. My phone has everything and if I couldn’t pay that bill no one would be reading this now. Bills are such a necessary thing. The basics of living so I’m grateful to be able to pay them all.

October 17th, 2019

Day 30: What experience this month are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful for having dedicated myself to doing this and my yoga practice. I’m grateful because I’ve noticed that through these two things I’ve been able to reduce my anxiety and depression and to feel myself again. I’m so much happier today than I once was and I did that myself and for myself. I’m excited for the future and I’m excited for each day and that’s the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Real Talk

I know I do this a lot. But, for me it’s the easiest way to process a lot of the stuff that’s going through my mind. As well as sharing my process into becoming the best version of myself I can be, because I think that’s helpful. To hear about healing and growth from someone who is still figuring stuff out.

Also, to know that you shouldn’t have to figure everything out at once. I feel like we all put so much pressure on ourselves to be one way or another, but it’s all not necessary. If we all just do the best we can at a moment. Even if our best is simply showing ourselves a little self-care then that’s golden!

Im my life I’m proud that I’ve gotten to a place where I’m more often happy then not. Honestly, a majority of my life wasn’t like that and it wasn’t my fault. I’ve realized a lot of things that I thought were terrible parts of me aren’t actually so terrible.. just human. This isn’t to say I don’t make myself accountable for mistakes I made, but I no longer define who I am by my mistakes. I course correct. I remind myself to do my best in every situation and to be kind and I move forward.

But, more recently I’ve added be happy to that too. To follow anything that adds to my happiness. And the weird thing is I’ve realized that people actually prefer me happy. That might be a weird thing, but in my mind I didn’t really think people much cared or noticed if I was happy or not, but they do. It’s also interesting that the happier I am the more blessings that follow. The other day I found a 5 dollar bill on the floor and no one else seemed to see it. My coworkers often offer to share food with me (which is a thing in itself.. I swear people always offer me food). A random customer gave me one of the perfume samples she got after I complimented her perfume. I’ve also had more coffee in the past few weeks then I’ve had in my whole life.

It’s like being happy=more things to be happy about. I’m not complaining. It’s opened a whole new world before me. The past few days I’ve sorta been not focusing on it as much as I should only because I’ve been working so much. But, talking here is helping me to refocus and think about how things are working out in a beautiful way even if I can’t see how in various situations yet. Sometimes there are blessings that come from the shadows and your perceptive shifts in an instant and everything changes.

Anyway, I’m headed to sleep, but this was a nice little thought bubble post. Your input is much appreciated.

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 0

An Observation of Happiness

I have gone through a lot of personal transformation in my life recently. Technically this is something that is lifelong, but I have felt one of the first noticeable shifts in myself in the past 3 months.

The most important thing that has caused this shift in myself is my continuous decision to be happy no matter what is going on in my life. When I made this decision I immediately looked to find self care and self love practices to add to my daily routine. I knew it wouldn’t be an instant thing and it wasn’t. It took me some time to choose happiness and to let go of thoughts that didn’t add to my happiness.

It was a huge choice that lead to me realizing how deeply I truly value myself and I noticed how over time all negative situations and people began to leave my life and I’ve experienced more and more happy situations and positive interactions with others as well. But, most importantly, I noticed I was genuinely and peacefully happy and it wasn’t attached to anything outside of myself.

I feel like I could handle any situation in a peaceful way now that I’ve started the creation of this unbreakable peace within myself. This doesn’t mean I don’t get sad or angry or feel negative emotions, but more that when I feel those things I notice it and I ask myself why I feel that way and gently guide myself into looking at the situation from a higher perspective. This is especially noticeable for me when I think about the future. When I notice that I want to paint all the obstacles of what could be and I start to feel bad about what might be, I can easily get lost in those thoughts. However, I notice it now and I can flip the script and turn that negative thought pattern into a more positive one.

It’s to where I feel like I’m exactly where I am supposed to be in my life and that I can be at peace even if things aren’t exactly the way I’d want them to be. I’ve learned to deeply and truly appreciate every morsel of good in my life. Even the most mundane of things. Like being grateful that I have a chair to sit in or for the shampoo I use to wash my hair or for the face wash that keeps my face clean. Every single part of my reality that aides me becomes something extraordinary and wonderful. Something worth appreciating.

Especially my own body. I’ve noticed that I really truly have come to love and appreciate my body. Even my nose (a part that I’d disliked heavily for years and years) is now something I love about myself. I feel good in my own skin. I love the muscles that are forming in my arms from work. I love how I look in clothing I try on at the store. I love that I don’t care if what looks good on me is an xtra large or a medium. I used to cry sometimes when I saw something I thought was cute didn’t look good on me in the store. Forming a healthy and loving relationship with my body is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given to myself. I fully appreciate what makes me unique.

I no longer talk about mental health in quite the way I used to. I don’t because I know that for my own mental health I need to discuss this topic in a positive way or not at all. I no longer tolerate in myself the feeling of self-pity. I don’t meant that in a harsh way, but in a way of being a good friend to myself and treating myself the way I would treat one of my friends if they were feeling down by lifting them up.

It feels good to wake up and feel happy for every single small joy in my life. To be happy just to be alive.

Thank you all for reading! Thank you all for being a part of my journey. You are all incredible people. I hope you all have a blessed day and a wonderful week ahead.

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website!

-Till next time!

August Goals

Every day recently has gotten better and better for me. Mostly because I decided a long time ago to be happy and grateful no matter the circumstances and so far that’s really been working for me. It’s the simple stuff. I’m putting more things that make me happy as priorities in my life and letting be whatever gives me a sense of pain.

One thing I’ve oddly turned to has been making food. I never liked the idea of cooking. Mostly because I don’t like the mentality that a women’s place is in the kitchen and that turned me off of cooking for years. However, I’ve gained a lot of independence in my life recently and part of that has been making food for myself.

I’ve enjoyed making myself bean tacos and finding different recipes on Pinterest I’d like to try. I’m making some popsicles out of ingredients I find around the kitchen. I like making different recipes my own and being surprised by how good they actually taste.

One of my goals for the month is to continue exploring that new aspect of my life and trying different things.

Mostly, I want to keep my goals as loose as possible. I’m feeling really good about myself and I want to follow that feeling and take things one step at a time. I talked already in a previous post that I’m really going to be focusing on finding myself a better job during this month. So I’ve been applying around and figuring out where I’d prefer working and what the best step forward is for me.

I know that my focus has been more about internal and practical stuff, but that’s what I’ve needed to focus on recently. I will always be a bookworm. I will always find joy in writing. But, I needed to choose myself and focus on being better as a person so that when I write it’s something that I can give my all to in a positive way.

I may write this month. I may read this month, but my main focus is on my own happiness and peace of mind. I don’t want to bite off more then I can chew and restart old patterns that weren’t healthy for me. I know I can handle a lot in my life. I’ve handled plenty, but I’m working on making all of my dreams come true one step at a time and I realized even just today that as good as I’ve gotten at letting things be I can still get worked up over certain things and I need to continue refocus on the positives.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle Website!

-Till next time!

I Feel At Peace

I am a person who often has a lot of ideas and a lot of dreams and will often wish those things were in my reality now, but I’m feeling that is something that’s changing in me. Yes, I have my dreams. I have them and I know they will come true in the time they are meant to.

In 2019, I have sat for a very long time in my anxiety. In a way where I learned more and more where it came from and why I felt that way. For me, it stemmed from never having anything truly solid to hold on to for over 18 years. I didn’t know where I was going to be at any given moment. I didn’t feel safe having friends. I didn’t feel like anything I had would remain.

You take that feeling and you enter a new stage of life where it’s now about working and making your own way and being responsible in a way that has consequences that affect so many others and also dealing with seeing someone you love rapidly aging from illness in front of you causes a very real chaos in your emotions. Yet I’m proud of how far I’ve come. My dad has cancer and that’s not going away.

I’ve already experienced falling apart over everything. Back in November I experienced one of the lowest points in my life if not, the lowest point in my life and the emotions made me physically sick. I had an aftermath of months of feeling heavily depressed and very anxious and I did what I needed to to heal that in myself.

I am no longer holding on to all of that. I’m trusting that my future is going to be ok. That I’m going to be ok, because if I can get myself together after feeling that much pain I can get through anything. In my life right now I’m going after what makes me feel good. I’m making myself a priority. I’m caring for my body and eating healthier foods. I’m continuously letting go of the past and thanking it for the lessons it’s taught me. I’m moving into a time in my life where I’m accepting only the best for myself.

I haven’t felt this peaceful with where I am in life in probably my entire life. I’m becoming a better version of myself in every part of my life. I think that even though I haven’t been productive in terms of career and writing I’ve found something even more important in really focusing on myself which has been my self-worth and peace of mind.

I’ve stopped blaming myself for things in general. I’ve stopped beating myself up and instead have been more focused on being my own best friend. I’ve found that I’ve actually been pretty positive about everything this whole time, because I always felt like my sadness was temporary and it was. Anytime I feel sad now is temporary and there is always happiness to be had up ahead. I feel good. Not just a temporary I feel good a lasting I feel good. That’s something special. I guess it’s like Endgame.. no matter how crappy you feel you have to keep moving forward and living your life and never giving up on the fight. Because even if there’s the smallest spark of something living to fight for the fight is worth it.

To everyone reading, I send you all the peace and love in my heart. I truly wish you all well in life. I wish all of you success and happiness. Even to people who aren’t reading this, people who have touched my life in any way at all. I wish all of you peace. I wish you all the deepest happiness you can find within yourselves. I wish you all experience great joy.

I am not nor will I ever be jaded by life. It’s hard enough fighting everyone else when the biggest fight you’ll ever have is at times the one with yourself. I’m tired of resisting my own life’s path. What’s meant for my life will come.

Thanks to all of you for reading! This was a bit of journalistic sort of thought process post for me. I hope you all enjoyed it!

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Till next time!

Feeling Proud

I haven’t felt this way in a very long time towards myself. But, I feel proud. I’ve been posting daily and I have a better way of going about it so that I still get a lot of time to be in my own head and do things I’m happy to do.

I have goals that I’m working on getting to accomplish. I have a much more peaceful time at work and I enjoy my coworkers. I feel at peace with my situation and am dedicated to my own happiness. When this goes up I will be at six flags with my family after not having gone for a few years and I know I’m going to really enjoy being there.

I also make sure to put myself first more often. To let others help me when they offer to. To truly be present in the moments I have. I’m proud. Proud because there was a time not so long ago that I didn’t go very long without crying. Proud because I give myself the proper space and time when I do want to cry. Proud because I am valuing myself and valuing how I feel. Proud because I’m honoring my feelings while maintaining that the next moment will be a brighter one.

I feel I can say now that I am happy. That I’ve grown emotionally and mentally in ways I never expected. I’m proud because I’m expecting a brighter future. I’m expecting good in my life and a whole lot of good has already come. I have people in my life that I care about. Not just my family, but friends too old and new. People who genuinely care about me as well.

I have people I’ve met on here that I love speaking with whenever I get the chance, people who have been of great support to me and who have raised me up.

I normally don’t mention religion in my posts, but I feel closer to God as well. I feel his guidance when I need it and with each step forward I feel his encouragement and I am grateful for it.

I feel good. Really really good. I feel like that’s something worth talking about and celebrating.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. You are all amazing and beautiful people. Thank you for being a part of my blogging journey! Without all of you, I’d be in a much different place in life.

-Till next time!

Goodbye Yesterday

I wanted to write this as a poem, but I stopped myself, because really the title is the poem itself. It’s all that I want to express in this moment. To say goodbye to every moment of the past as it exists and say goodbye. Because, my future does not exist in memories and it’s time to move forward and create new life for myself while honoring what was, but saying hello to what is and what will be.

For a majority of my life I held on to my past with a tight fist. All the pain of living a life constantly worried about where I was going to be the next day and if I’d be able to be with my family or if I’d have to face saying goodbye to them forever. I held on to a time where I lived in complete duality. Being one way in one situation and another altogether in other situations. But, I’ve grown up and that need to be afraid and that need to live my life wearing a mask is gone. My past doesn’t haunt me. Not anymore. I’ve wholly forgiven myself for every choice that I’ve made back then. I have forgiven those in my life who have caused me pain.

I say Goodbye yesterday, because I’ve spent enough time thinking about what was and I’ve let myself heal. Now, now I choose my actions in order to start creating a future for myself I can be proud of. In the past, I often moved too quickly and expected too much of others. I set myself up for disappointment and even expected way too much of myself. I want to be successful yes, but I’m not going to practically kill myself to get there.

All there is in life is the present moment. I’m no longer going to try and force something to happen when the time isn’t right. I’m going to enjoy what comes as it comes. So, goodbye yesterday and Thank you yesterday. You’ve taught me much. The future has endless possibilities. I intend to meet them.. one moment at a time.

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

-Till next time!

Just a Life Update

It’s currently 1:00 a.m., I’m writing this from the E.R. mostly to keep awake, but also because I have some stuff to share and maybe in some way this could help someone else who has experienced or will experience a situation like my own. Just so no one freaks out.. currently everything is fine. I’m not here for the same reasons I have been in the past.. where my dad was not able to see and was hallucinating due to a mini stroke and with me having no clue at the time what was going on. This visit was mostly planned. However, I expected it to happen in the morning not at midnight.

I even have stuff prepared so I don’t use up too much of my phone battery. I got my Write The Story Book with me and a book to read. I’ve been here for over an hour already.

When you visit the E.R. enough times you learn a lot of compassion for other people. Because it is the great equalizer, you never know when your going to get sick or injured and need help like everyone else does every once in a while. The first couple of times I’ve been here with my dad it caused me quite the bit of grief and anxiety. It’s hard to see a parent wither away so quickly. It’s even harder when it’s expected of you to remain calm and collected about the whole thing when your mind is anything but.

This time though I don’t expect to hear anything I don’t already know. I’m just hoping my dad doesn’t get admitted again… especially when I know it’s not going to last because they are just going to say there isn’t much of anything they can do.

This blog and work has been my saving grace these past couple of weeks. On those levels things have been going well for me. Mentally I’m so much stronger then I was before and putting a concerted effort into something I have a passion for has done wonders for my mental health. When you have a loved one that has major health issues it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. To work at things that make you happy, because I know from experience that running over and over in your head all the pain and sadness only causes more of it.

Being in the hospital so often also solidified for me something I already knew, that life is short and we all need to enjoy what we can in this life we can, because what’s the point really if all we did was wallow in suffering? I’ve seen so many elderly people lying in hospital rooms just waiting to die alone (not all quite a few have families, but quite a few also, do not) and that’s not how I want to end. That’s not what I want my life to be period. Yes, we have to feel the sadness. I spent a lot of time doing just that, but when it starts to become you, that’s when things need to change.

The strokes affected my dad’s mind. He’s become so angry and bitter at everything. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see. He forgets things.. he has an unhealthy attachment to the news and whatever Trump is doing. He’s not the man I grew up looking up to. I’ve had to mourn that man even while he is still alive.

Sometimes living in an environment where the reality is that someone you love is truly losing their mind bit by bit can become toxic. I’ve learned to deal with it by realizing that my dad isn’t really my dad anymore and to not take anything he says or does personally, because it stems from hurt and sickness and him facing the reality that he is dying. I do my best not to let the truth of the situation make me bitter.. or to not let it make it so I loose my mind with the sadness as well.

So I watch films and post about them, I get back to writing about books I want to read, I hang out with friends when they ask. I choose to continue living. It’s so easy to shut down in a situation like this. To let it consume you. But another truth is that there is so much to live for. So I’m there for my family as much as I can be. I’m there for my dad. I hold myself together sitting in the very lightly cushioned hospital chairs. I try to think about good things. To smile at pictures of cats and puppies and watch stupid videos to distract myself.

It sucks sure, it sucks to have someone you love suffer. It’s even harder when it changes them and sometimes in a not so good way. But, I understand it. I really do. I’ve cried over it, I’ll probably cry over it more in the future, but It’s a balance between compassion for your loved one and compassion for yourself. It’s a fine line and there’s no rulebook for any of this.

I look at my mom and I see how tired she’s gotten. How angry because she’s the one that deals with all of dad’s pain and anger directly. So when she’s mad at me for something small I let it go even if it’s to tell me to do something I’ve already taken care of. Or something so small it doesn’t even matter. I let everything go. Because I’m not going to let this situation cause all of us to start yelling at each other all the time. Because arguments happen and they happen more often then I’d like them to. I’m trying to be someone that doesn’t add to escalating an already difficult situation. I’ve learned more patience and calmness from this situation then any other of my life. I’ve learned not to take things personally from this more then any other. But, I’m not perfect. Not even close. Sometimes I loose my cool and argue back. Sometimes, I sit and the emotions wash over me and I just let myself feel. Sometimes anger comes over me and I have to remove myself from a situation so I don’t say something I would regret. Sometimes I fail to remove myself. But, that’s all part of being human. We have emotions. We hurt. We deal with difficulty. We persevere.

This isn’t at all a pessimistic post. It’s just an honest look at something I’ve been dealing with for a long time now. It’s an honest telling of what I’ve learned from it. I don’t like hiding things. I don’t like pretending like things are better or worse then they are. For me going through this has been hard, but it is manageable and this is not at all a post for the sake of being pitied. Stuff like this happens all the time, but if I can help someone through my experience to deal with their own then I do want to candidly discuss it which is why i choose to write this in the first place.

There is always hope in every situation. There is always something to be learned. I love my family. I love my dad. I wish that none of this would have ever happened, but it’s something that can be handled in a healthy way. It is now 2:00am and I think I’m kinda losing the message I was trying to convey so I’m going to stop here.

To all those who are going through a difficult situation right now, you’ve got this! You are going to make it through. I’ll be praying and rooting for all of you. You deserve the best.

Thanks you all for reading! I send my love out to all of you.

-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!

You Asked for Perfect: A Review

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 9/10 it may not be in a style I typically find to be incredibly beautiful I think this cover is perfect for this book. This story is very School centric and this cover fits that vibe very well for me.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: March 1st 2019

Number of Pages: 288

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“For fans of Adam Silvera and Nina LaCour comes a timely novel about a teen’s struggle when academic success and happiness pull him in opposite directions. 

Senior Ariel Stone has spent his life cultivating the perfect college résumé: first chair violinist, dedicated volunteer, active synagogue congregant, and expected valedictorian. He barely has time to think about a social life, let alone a relationship…until a failed calculus quiz puts his future on the line, forcing Ariel to enlist his classmate, Amir, as a tutor. 
As the two spend more time together, Ariel discovers he may not like calculus, but he does like Amir. When he’s with Amir, the crushing academic pressure fades away, and a fuller and brighter world comes into focus. But college deadlines are still looming. And adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push Ariel past his limit. 
Full of empathy, honesty, and heart, You Asked for Perfect is a story for anyone who has ever questioned the price of perfection.”

Opening Sentence: “My feet pound the ground.”

Musings:

You Asked for Perfect is a fantastic novel. It perfectly encapsulates the anxiety of trying to be at the top academically in school. The pressure school provides on students to be perfect in order to get the best possible future for themselves they can and how that can reck all sorts of havoc on students mentally.

What I Loved:

Honestly everything. Personally this book managed to get me to miss school, but that’s just me. I loved the juggling act of trying to be there for your friends while at the same time juggling school and extra curricular activities. I loved the romantic elements of this novel. I loved how music played a part in this novel. I also loved that Ariel is Jewish and those elements. So pretty much everything about this novel was fantastic.

The portrayal of anxiety. I remember being in school and really struggling in AP Calc and having to drop it because it was too much for me along with my other honors and AP classes. Ariel scholar that he is pretty much aces everything and studies like a maniac. (I admit I was never one that study nearly as much as this character). But, the constant being on your phone. Testing yourself on mathway or quizlet. Reading material or listening to a audiobook while trying to accomplish some other homework assignment. Asking for extra credit (even if you don’t necessarily need it). Pushing yourself and then being super critical when you get a c or even a b. Feeling like a total and complete failure if you dare get an F. (I admit to crying on the occasion I got an F). Thinking each and every moment your in school you are working towards creating the best possible future for yourself. Essentially, this book showcases how in school aiming for perfection can at times bring you to a breaking point.

Ariel and Amir together. Ariel is bisexual and it was super cute to see him fall in love with Amir. Amir has this gentleness about him and this understanding that lets him have the ability to chill out Ariel. He is the one that calms Ariel’s storms and helps him to see that it’s ok to settle down the work load for a while. To have fun at times and to remember that your relationships with other people are just as important as preparing for your future.

The weaving of Jewish Traditions. I love it when books include some sort of religion in it. Especially if I don’t know too much about it. So, what intrigued me about this was the various foods and the times for prayer and the Shabbat dinner mostly. The family practice and unity aspects were very beautiful to me and I felt like I was learning about a different aspect of the religion I didn’t know before.

Remembering that everything is about perspective. Ariel puts in front of himself the need to be valedictorian in order to make it to an Ivy League college and make something of himself. But, he finds that all the expectations have been created by himself and himself alone. He perceives others to expect a certain level from him and perceives his parents to expect perfection from him, but in reality it’s all a response to what he said he himself wanted from himself. In other words his own mind created a cycle of needing perfection and creating that to be his identity and when he isn’t perfect he feels he doesn’t have anything else to show as his identity. This was a really deep and introspective part of this novel that was so interesting to read and think on.

His friendship. Ariel is best-friends with a girl and I love that they have their own little rituals and things they do together. I also love that she was fully fledged as a character and had her own goals and unique background and story. The author did an amazing job of making each character their own and having them come off as 3D full fledged characters.

Final Thoughts:

I highly recommend ‘You Asked for Perfect’. It’s really well written. It has a great story and a great message.

(Side note to those still in school)

I feel it necessary to say that this book really encapsulates what school was like for me. However, having been out of school for a while and having the opportunity to go to college has been taken away from me till I turn 25, I want to say this: you do not know what the future holds for you. So please enjoy the time you have now. Have fun and make friends and enjoy time with them now. Do your best, but don’t get stuck in feeling bad when your not perfect because you will have so many more opportunities in the future. Yes school is important, but it isn’t everything. Live your life to the fullest now and enjoy the opportunities you have now in the present moments. Take care of yourself and have fun. You’ll thank yourself later for it.

About the Author:

“Hello! I’m a writer and freelance editor. I currently split my time between Atlanta, Georgia and Brooklyn, New York. Thankfully both cities have good bagels.

My first novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the summer to care for her younger cousins. My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, explores the effects of intense academic pressure through the eyes of a teenage Valedictorian-to-be as he juggles school, friendships, and family. You can order both books from most retailers or request them from your local library.”

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!