Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

I Dropped Out of College: Why it is the best decision I ever made

This past weekend marked what should have been my college graduation. Class of 2019. I still get the Facebook group notifications even though I dropped out of college two years ago. My feed has been flooded the past few days with pictures of my friends in cap and gowns, and I can’t help but feel if just for a second, that I should be in those pictures with them. When I first felt that throb in my chest, that guilt and jealousy, I found myself quickly rewinding and checking myself because the simple truth is, dropping out of college when I did was the best thing for me.

Not for one second do I regret my decision to leave school. I was at the top of my classes, I was getting straight A’s on every project, on every assignment, I was the person to beat. But I was miserable. I was working a full time job, juggling a long distance relationship, trying to convince myself that I was happy studying a major I had no interest in. I was appeasing the system that had placed me in higher education, and I was miserable.

Do not get me wrong here. I think College is very important. I think any person who has dedicated their time and energy to getting a higher education is strong and beautiful and wonderful, and should be very proud of themselves. I am not here to bash anyone who has made that choice; they are very admirable and extremely necessary in society.

All of that though does not change that college was simply not for me. I am a happier, stronger, and still very well educated person today because I dropped out of college.

Let me explain.

I did not go to college because I had a passion for something. I went to college because that is what everyone was telling me to do. Teachers, advisers, family members, friends – almost every person in my life convinced me college was the best option. At times it seemed college was the only option. Coming from a small town, to some people, not going to college is much like a death sentence.

Still, college was not for me.

There are people who when I tell them my story, tell me I picked the wrong major. It would have been better for me if I’d picked a different major. I picked the wrong college. It would have been different for me had I picked a different college. I disagree with all of these statements. It wasn’t the majors fault. It wasn’t the college’s fault. It was all on me.

I studied hard. I got good grades. I had amazing professors. I learned plenty. I didn’t fail at college by any means. But I was a terrible human being during those two years. I was miserable. I got up every morning dreading life no matter what I had planned for the day. I knew I was going to have to sit in class and pretend to enjoy the lectures I was sitting through. I sat next to people with fire in their bellies, people so passionate about the subject that they would stand to answer questions and I remember thinking – “give me some of that fire”. I remember just wanting to feel something, but that’s not how it works.

The day I dropped out of college, the only thing I remember feeling was relief. I expected to feel anger at myself for quitting. I expected to feel ashamed of myself. I expected to feel regret or fear looking at the loans I was still going to have to pay off. But no. All I felt was relief. And to this day, all I have ever truly felt about my decision to drop out of college is relief.

I have no idea where I am going to end up. I may go back to college one day. I may decide never to go back. But at this point in my life, I have a job. I pay my own bills. I am doing something I love to do. I have plans for the next couple of years. I am happy. And above all, I am not ashamed of the choices I made to get here.

Going to college is a choice so many people make, and for so many people, it is absolutely the right decision. Also though, there are plenty of people who choose not to and still live abundant lives and are no less a member of society than those that have a degree.

I will end this post by saying simply this: be you. Choose what makes you happy. Do what makes you happy. As long as your bills are getting paid, you aren’t breaking any laws, you aren’t hurting anyone else, and you are happy, then who should be a judge of what is right in your life but yourself?

Posted in Uncategorized

A Perfect Life is a Messy Life

I read an article today titled “How to Feign your Life is Together”. What was in the article isn’t necessarily important – only that what followed was a list of ways to fake looking perfect. Upon reading the title, I had prayed this was some sort of joke; the author must have been poking fun or creating satire. What I read was quite the opposite. The author of this article fully believed that faking a life that was perfect on the outside, would make you happy on the inside.

The little girl inside me began to cry.

It is important for people of all ages to see other people like them struggle. Struggling is human. Struggling is essential to succeeding. Looking perfect all of the time is not only impossible but also insane. But most importantly – looking put together on the outside will not make a happy inside.

Social media portrays this lie over and over again, shoving the idea down our throats until we choke on it’s absurdity. I was not surprised then to stumble across this article, but disappointed.

Having perfect hair and nails will not make you happy. Wearing perfume every day will not make you happy. Not allowing yourself to cry will definitely not make you happy. These lies work because they are beautiful, but that’s just it – they are beautiful because they are lies.

Napping when you are tired will make you happy. Crying when you are sad may not make you happy, but it will make you feel better. Wearing the same outfit you did yesterday because your body is too tired to pick a new one and you have no where to be today besides the couch with your cat will make you happy. None of these things are pretty. None of these things are “put together”. But they will make you happy. Over and over again, tried and true, they will make you happy.

Forget looking put together. If you’re not put together on the inside, there is no need to look so on the outside.

Posted in Letters to..., Thoughts and Opinions

Starting Over

No beating around the bush, no long intro explaining myself, no poetic words of enlightenment; I am going to cut right to the point.

Over the past few months, I have been reinventing myself. One morning while driving into work, I realized that I was unhappy with my own mindset and view of the world. As I drove over a bridge overlooking the ocean, driving my new car, listening to my favorite song on the radio, I still wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t okay with that. So on that Thursday morning while everyone else was looking forward to Friday, I decided I was going to change.

So that is where I have been, and what I have been up to, and it has been beautiful.

I decided not to tell anyone about this breakthrough. Not my boyfriend, not my parents or my sisters, my friends or my coworkers. I decided this was going to be for me, until I felt as if I had made some progress. So here we are. I feel like now I’m ready to share where my mind has been and who I have become.

I am taking more time for me. I find time every day to exercise, whether that means going for a walk for twenty minutes or going to the gym for an hour. Sometimes it just means squatting and doing planks in my living room. Whatever fits and whatever feels right.

I have been more aware of the foods I am putting into my body, and this has made me feel amazing. I love greasy foods and fast foods as much as anyone, and some days when I’m running low on time before work, I still swing through the drive through and stuff my face with chicken nuggets and french fries. And I love those days. But most days I am eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and enjoying flavors instead of just choking them down.

I have been more aware as well of my impact on the environment. I no longer use plastic bags or plastic straws, as much as I possibly can. I was always that person who asked, ‘how is one person going to make any impact?’ because my actions seemed so small compared to the actions of the whole world. But that’s just it. They are my actions, and at the end of the day, the only actions I can control. So I might as well start there.

I look in the mirror differently now. I don’t always love who I see there, but I now try to find at least one thing I do love about her. Whether that be her eyes or her nose, some days it’s just the way her finger nails are the perfect length. Some days the only thing I can find is the birth mark on her stomach to fall in love with, and that’s okay. At least it is something.

I am learning to accept the things I have done wrong, and forgive other people for the apologies I never got. I am moving forward and trying to be done with the past. This one is the hardest, but I am making progress. I am trying to reach out to people I feel like I have harmed in some way, and make amends to the best of my ability. Once the words are out, all I can do is move forward, because there is no going back and changing what has already been done. I am finding this one of the most important and helpful things I have ever done for my body and mind.

Overall, I have just been growing. I have been living in my own being instead of in the being I thought I was supposed to be. I am continuing to find new things every day to try and to experience, and I am loving every minute of this journey.

I will leave you with that. I hope you find time today to adopt one of these ideas into your own life. I hope you find a way to enjoy this moment.

Posted in Uncategorized

Not the Toughest but the most Persistent

As a young girl I was told if ever I was scared

Find the toughest looking man in the room – he’ll have muscles and probably facial hair and you’ll know he’s the one because you will quake in fear at the thought of approaching him –

Walk up to this man and ask for his help.

They told the girl afraid to talk to strangers that the only way to be safe is to find a man big enough to save her

Instead of telling her to work out.

Take a defense class.

Learn how to say no.

Learn how to scream.

Learn how to throw a punch with your fist and kill them with your words.

When I was a young girl I learned that not every man was as kind as my dad. I learned that sometimes the man they tell you will save you

Is the man you should be running from.

So now they ask me why I go to the gym if I don’t have interest in losing weight.

They ask me why I frequently brush up on self defense videos and constantly have my dad remind me just where to bring my knee.

When I was a young girl I was told I couldn’t possibly save myself, so find someone bigger than me who can.

I’m going to tell every young girl I can, if ever we’re in the same room and you are scared, come to me. Maybe I can’t take on the man with the muscles and the beard, but I am always going to be the one who tries.

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

Bad Days: Normal?

Yesterday I woke up with some different kind of pep in my step. I looked in the mirror, bed head and bags under my eyes, and I felt like a Queen. I picked out the only push up bra I own, my tightest pair of jeans, and I completely made up my face with gold eye shadow and red lipstick, all while jamming out to Cardi B. Mind you, I work at a group home, so this level of getting ready was completely unnecessary. But I also knew I needed to take advantage of this feeling. I texted a good friend of mine and said ‘ever just wake up really feeling yourself, cus same’, and she replied, ‘feel it, feel all of it’. I was reminded in that moment that we are allowed to have good days and we are allowed to have bad days, and we should completely revel in and feel both.

Reminded again when I woke up this morning bloated, feeling sluggish and greasy. I looked in the mirror and although it was the same girl looking back at me from only twenty four hours before, I didn’t feel the same. Cardi B wasn’t getting me hyped. My hair wouldn’t stay styled the way I wanted it to, and I had no energy to apply more than just mascara, and even that was a struggle. I didn’t want to wear jeans – so instead I pulled on leggings and a baggy shirt because that’s what I felt comfortable in today. Old me would have slumped her way to work, dreading it every step of the way and feeling like a hideous monster who shouldn’t have been let out of the house.

Instead, I thought about yesterday. I thought about how I felt when I looked at myself, how it was me looking back, and how good that had felt. And I did the same thing I had done then. I allowed myself to feel ugly. I allowed myself to feel broken and gross. And then I moved on.

You are not going to feel your best every day. No matter how many times you go to the gym, no matter how healthy you eat, how many self help books you read, how many times you meditate, you are never going to feel today the same way you feel tomorrow. That’s beautiful, and something we should take more time to fall in love with, instead of being angry about. It’s easy to wake up today and feel terrible about yourself and try to change it. That’s what I used to do, and would spend my entire day miserable because even though I was looking at the same girl who felt great about herself the day before, I couldn’t bring myself to feel that same way today.

Don’t try to change how you feel, thinking that might make you happier. You are feeling how you are feeling for a reason. Feel it. Live with it. And then let it go. Acknowledging that you are feeling this way about yourself gives the power back to you – a strategy that can be used on so much more than just how you feel about your looks.

If you feel good about yourself today, own in. If you feel bad about yourself today, own it. Just know either way, tomorrow you are going to feel completely different than you do right now.

Posted in introduction, Thoughts and Opinions

Hello Friends!

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Our tiny family here is growing! Hopping on here this morning and realizing we had hit 120 followers, I decided it was time to make a post about what I am doing here. I know 120 isn’t much in social media terms, but for me, a small town blogger who never thought she would get over 5 followers, that number makes my heart happy.

My blog has been a bit all over the place as of late. And this is because I started this blog purely because I love to write. I love to write but sometimes I don’t feel like adding to my novel or scribbling down a short story. Sometimes I have a thought my brain needs to get on paper – this blog was my solution for that. A place to write down my little ideas in hopes that maybe a couple of people might read them and agree, or perhaps feel a little less alone in this vast world, as I myself have when reading blogs written by others.

Over the past few months of adding posts here however, I have found a common theme in my ideas, and thus, in my writing. I am very passionate about self love, mental health, and supporting other woman. I always have been. Since my own very first struggle with depression as a Freshman in High School, to my now 22 year old self, I have thought mental health was a topic not many people feel comfortable enough to contribute to. Most of us struggle with loving ourselves, with depression, or some other form of mental illness, but many of us don’t think it is our place to share our opinions.

That is what I am here to do. Since before High School, since a little girl in middle school bullied by the more popular girls, the girls I always dreamed of being but who seemed to hate me, I have known I was put on this earth for something larger. I knew that all of this pain and suffering had to add up to something.

I don’t care how many people this blog reaches. I don’t care if I get zero reads a day, two reads a day, or ten. I really do not care. Because I am writing this for myself, and the one lonely girl behind her screen who feels no one gets her. I get you.

I am not promising that from here on out each post will make perfect sense and will fill you with some sort of purpose for your day. I am promising that I am here as your big sister, as your friend, as your cheerleader. And I plan on continuing to shower each and every one of you with the love that you deserve.

Thank you for reading my little update and I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Posted in Letters to..., Thoughts and Opinions

Perspective Makes Me A Stranger

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Two questions for you today – have you ever looked at someone and wished you could be like them? And – who do you see when you look in the mirror?

Stay with me here.

We have all been the person a stranger wanted to be.

Read that again. And again. Now let it sink in. Believe me.

I am willing to bet you have looked in the mirror and saw a person you never thought you’d see staring back at you. Maybe you thought you’d be stronger, skinnier, healthier, smarter – maybe all of these things. I am willing to bet you have looked at that reflection and hated every single thing you saw. To say this is normal is sad, but it’s a reality. We can never be perfect. You will always see more flaws in yourself than anyone else will ever see in you.

Now, the tougher one. We all know the girl in the coffee shop who’s wearing the black pants void of cat hairs and perfectly pressed. Her top is tucked into her pants, it isn’t causing any lumps or bumps on her hips. Her bottoms aren’t rising up causing the dreaded camel toe. Her top is showing just the right amount of cleavage. She’s staring at the menu above the barista’s head, probably reading, considering what she’ll order today, and in the moment, you would give anything to be her. You glance down at yourself and see your jeans that should have been washed two wears ago and you’re shirt wrinkled from being in the hamper half an hour before – the sniff test deemed it okay to wear one more time. You look at yourself and you are disgusted. Why can’t you be more like the girl in the black pants with the perfectly clean hair, gorgeous face contemplating the menu like it’s a work of art?

What you didn’t see though, as you looked down at the body you have labeled as ‘gross’ and ‘unworthy’, was the Goddess before you running her eyes over your body, wishing with every ounce of her soul that she could be more like you. She woke up two hours early to wash her favorite pair of pants. She tried on five different shirts before deciding on this one, all of the others showing too many rolls. She stood in front of the mirror for an hour applying and reapplying her makeup until it was perfect. She cried for ten minutes over her eyeliner wing not being just right. And now she’s standing here staring at the menu with an anxiety bubble forming in her chest, hoping she doesn’t start crying while telling the barista she would like a small latte. She looks over at you as you glance down at your own body, and she wishes she didn’t care what people thought. She wishes she could look as effortless as you, as beautiful as you do.

But you both look up and go on with your day without ever knowing that you were that stranger. Without knowing that you are perfect just the way you are.

Let’s revisit my second question, but let’s revise it a bit this time. Who are you going to see tomorrow when you look in the mirror? You see, who we are is all about perspective. You can choose to see the bags under your eyes and see the hours of sleep you didn’t get showing on your face, or you can see the nights you stayed up laying with your boyfriend or cuddling your baby. You can see the way your clothes fit too tight and beat yourself up about the weight you’ve gained, or you can think about how much better your a** looks, about how full your tummy feels, about how good the food tasted.

It’s not easy. Change never is. But next time you look in the mirror, try seeing yourself as a stranger. If you saw you on the streets, what would you think. Because I promise, some girl has wished she was you while you would have given anything to be her.

 

 

This post was inspired by a real interaction I had with a former co-worker. The story was too long to share in this post, and storytelling isn’t my normal content, so I decided not to include it. But if you’d like to hear the story, please let me know in the comments! 

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

You are perfect just the way you are

You are perfect just the way you are. I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but if you do, please keep reading. Wipe your face. I see those tears, tears for a person you think you’ll never be, tears for a person you once were – I want you to look in a mirror. Wipe your face and take a good long look – who do you see? On a good day, you might say you see a girl with brown hair and green eyes, a girl with a smile and too many freckles. Today though, you tell me you see defeat. You see a girl who has tried so hard and just doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. I will tell you now to look again. 

What I see is a girl who has never given up. I see a radiance that is only born through being knocked down over and over and standing up every single time slightly taller. I see a smile that has seen shadows, yet still steps into the light and allows the sun to shine on it. I see a spirit that has been nearly broken, yet is still chugging along each day. I see a girl who is enough.

If you look in the mirror today and this is not what you see, please just take a seat and listen to me. You don’t have to feel perfect every single day. You don’t even have to feel okay every single day. All that I ask is that you remember you are enough. Remember that when people look at you, they see a completely different person than you are currently seeing in the mirror. Remember that I believe in you. You can do the hard thing. You can take this life by the horns and you can live it in a unique way that only you can. And if you don’t see that today, that’s okay.

Look in the mirror again tomorrow, and maybe then you’ll see it. If not, read this again. You are perfect just the way you are.

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

Self Love Is Messy

People love to romanticize self love. Everyone does it – and recognizing the importance of self love is a huge step, but romanticizing it can be destructive, and here’s why.

In the romantic version of self love, we see bubble baths and wine glasses. We see facial masks, nail polish, silky robes and a romantic comedy on Netflix. While at first glance, this self pampering seems like the ideal pinnacle of self love, it isn’t the reality for most people. Here is my example.

When I think about self love, my go to is a night alone, me in my apartment in fuzzy pajamas, sitting on the floor in front of my TV watching the same movie I watched last week, eating a jar of pickles and drinking a can of diet coke. My nails aren’t painted, my hair is piled in a bun resembling that of a pineapple on top of my head, my boyfriend’s sweatshirt adds five pounds, and my face hasn’t been washed since early this morning. It isn’t pretty. If someone was to look in my window, they wouldn’t think this was self love. They would probably think I was self destructing. But here is where I am my happiest. I might pass out on the carpet, wake up with a half eaten pickle in one hand and my cat curled up on my chest, but I will wake up happy.

It is important to recognize this as self love too, because for many girls, self love isn’t bubble baths and facial cleansers. I love a bubble bath as much as the next girl, but if I need a night to really relax and find myself again, I will be on the carpet with my pickles and coke, not in a bath tub smelling pretty and looking nice.

Self love isn’t always pretty. Most of the time, it’s sloppy. It’s messy, greasy, fuzzy, and dirty. Self love is the feeling you get when you are complete. Self love is treating yourself like a priority, instead of an after thought. On a normal day, I go to the gym and I eat a good breakfast, I wash my face and I listen to good music. I do consider this self love. Loving the only body I get was the best decision I ever made. This is my every day.

And then I have nights of pickles and coke, nights when bubble baths and silky robes aren’t doing the trick. These nights, I need something else. I need to remember what makes me feel whole, what makes my heart sore and my skin tingle. It’s a rare feeling, a feeling people usually dedicate to finding your true love – my first true love was in myself, as it should be.

Take bubble baths. Do face masks. Let social media advertise to you it’s ideal of treating yourself. But also have your pickle and coke days. Let yourself fall in love with just being sloppy, being alive, being messy. Let yourself feel – that is in fact, the whole purpose of self love. Remembering to breath, remembering to live, remembering what a blessing being alive truly is, and then allowing yourself to feel it. All of it.

 

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

What is that bump on my stomach?

As many young woman, I have always been focused on perfecting my body in one way or another. Whether it be finding the perfect face wash to rid my complexion of every blemish, or working out morning and night to smooth out those rolls and lumps and bumps. From my hair to my toes, I have in one moment or other, nitpicked the f*** out of every little part of my body. These past few months, I am not shy to admit, it was the added rolls on my stomach from extra donuts and chips that I had begun to focus on.

Until I started seeing the red, brown, and white marks all over my body. Not a normal rash, not my normal skin, I had no idea what I was seeing. So of course, like most people would, I took to the Web. Where I found I must have skin cancer. Without a primary doctor in this new city, and feeling silly bringing such a ‘small’ problem to the ER, I spent the next three months watching as this mysterious new passenger on my body grew and spread to other parts of my body. The rolls on my stomach quickly took a back seat as I convinced myself I must have a terminal illness with mere weeks to live. Dramatic I know – but I am dead serious. My anxiety was through the roof. I was losing weight but not in a good way. I was cutting people off and letting areas of my life slack. I was falling apart over the unknown.

Finally, I decided it had gotten out of hand. Looking back, and as advice to anyone reading this, please, please use me as a cautionary tale. Thank the Heavens, my trip to Urgent Care revealed to me I had developed a none life threatening, relatively normal skin condition brought on by (surprise, surprise) stress and hormonal changes. But it could have been so much worse.

Please, if you see something of worry on your body, go to the Doctors. Do not worry about looking silly. Do not worry about feeling silly. Take your health into your own hands – this body is the only one you get. We are so quick to stress over the tiny imperfections on our bodies, so quick to go to fixing them, trying everything we can to erase these things we find wrong with ourselves – I wish we could have the same concentration when it comes to just keeping ourselves healthy.

I got lucky. But I should have went to a Doctor months ago. Not only would it have saved me so much time and stress, energy and worry – it could have been so much worse because I let it go on for so long. It could have been something completely different. If you catch a problem early, you have a much better chance of solving it. And that stands for anything in life from your health to that small pile of clothing in the chair in the corner that next week is going to be a mountain. Address it now. Fix it now.

I know this is a much different post than my usual. But it is a topic so important, so necessary, and not talked about nearly enough. I am not a doctor. I do not offer medical advice. I am just a normal girl talking to more normal people urging you to please, please take your health seriously. Take it into your own hands. Don’t be like me. Don’t be like the whole list of people I have talked to that tell me they have done a version of the same thing.

You are important. Your life is important. You need this body to live this life – this body with every roll and lump and bump and imperfection that is perfect the way it is, carrying you from day to day, happy and ALIVE.

I know there will be those of you that will read this and think, wow, she’s dramatic. And yeah, I am. I am not going to argue that. But it’s better than not caring at all. It’s better than ignoring things that matter.

Take care of yourself. Your body. Your mind. Your physical health and your mental health. You are worth it.