Posted in Adventures

First Time Living On Your Own – Tips

Over a year into living in a home that’s not my parent’s, I feel like I have finally found a place of comfort. The first half of a year was terrible. I cried almost every night. I was sure I was not cut out for this “adulting”. For someone who never went away for college, I was 21 living with my boyfriend, four hours away from everything I knew for the first time in my life, and I was terrified. But moving away from home was also something I had always wanted to do, so I had to find a way to enjoy it. That didn’t actually happen until almost eight months after moving.

My first tip is to make your house your home. One of the hardest parts of having your first apartment with little money is the comparisons you make between the one bedroom you’re living in, and the beautiful three bedroom your mom kept. Push around the furniture in your living room until it’s exactly how you like it. Decorate the walls anyway your management allows. I hung white and blue Christmas lights around my living space to add a softer lighting, which made me feel more at home on nights that I was seriously homesick. Buy a cheap throw blanket and toss it over the back of your couch. My first couch came from a retirement home auction and a bean bag chair serves as my lounge chair. I found cute throw pillows at Walmart and made sure our bean bag chair was one of my favorite colors. Make sure your living space makes you feel at home.

My second tip: explore your town. It’s tempting to stay inside and watch Netflix all day, I know, I’ve been there. But, step outside. Even if it’s only for an hour a week. Even if it’s only five minutes. Find someplace to explore and make a list of each you enjoy – that way you can always go back to one if you’re feeling complacent. You don’t fall in love with a place by sitting on your couch.

Next, don’t be afraid to fall in love with your new town. Sorry, no pictures for this one, but it’s probably the most important on my list. I self sabotaged for months after first moving. No matter how much I left the house, I always found something to ruin the day. I was always too tired, too hot, too cold – until I realized the problem was me. I was too afraid to fall in love with a place that wasn’t Vermont. What I had to learn over time was that a person can love multiple places at once.

Find things that remind you of home and fill your new place with them. For me, this was pumpkin spice candles and brewing a fresh pot of coffee every morning. I decorated my walls with pictures of my family and places back home I loved. This way I could always be reminded that those things weren’t gone from me, just a bit further away.

And finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “nail” this right away. Often it appears that people move away from their parents and are instantly living their best life. That’s rarely what actually happens. Living away from home is hard. Crying is okay and completely normal. Calling your mom at one in the morning because you just wanted to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and you can’t remember what her special ingredient was is totally fine. Take this day by day. Keep yourself busy.

Living on your own for the first time can be the most beautiful thing you’ll ever experience. You just have to get through the rough patches first. You’ve got this.

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Posted in Poetry

Two Halves of Two Broken Hearts

Your body is in perfect working order in regards to your physical health still

your heart feels as if it may shatter into a million unrecognizable pieces without warning

so I have bought you some duct tape. I have called out of work and canceled my meetings. I have brought with me some wine and my collection of mixed CD’s that were collecting dust and I have brought with me my heart.

My heart isn’t working right either. With each breath I can feel the pain slowly inching closer to my chest, working it’s way into my emotions but I am still breathing.

You are still breathing. We are both broken. Maybe alone, broken beyond repair.

You get a little tipsy and start whispering to me about suicide. It’s not a mistake. The words that roll off your lips are intentional, your eyes well up with tears.

Your heart is splitting and it can’t take much more.

So I am going to reach into my chest and break my heart in half and gently, I am going to do the same to yours, and we can trade because maybe having a friend with you with every breath you take is really the only thing we need

and if I can save you maybe I can also save myself

if there is hope for you maybe there is also hope for me

so take this – the only thing I have to offer and

do with it the best you can

the best anyone can with two halves of two broken hearts.

-A Kinda Pretty Mess

Chantelle

Posted in Poetry

Stay Alive

You say he was your only reason to be happy but there are infinite more reasons to stay alive than because of him – remember

your happiness does not reside in the heart of another.

Stay alive for belly laughs that leave you out of breath

for sunsets so brilliant you almost forget how dark the sky gets when it rains

but also live for the rain because it can bring rainbows and

live for the smiles of children so innocent and pure and for

puppies that just want a bit of your attention and love.

Stay alive for your favorite book that will probably be made into a TV show

and then stay alive to binge watch that TV show.

Live for hugs so tight you can feel the pain easing for just a moment,

for late night talks with your best friend.

He may not love you anymore leading you to question if he ever did so

stop basing your right to exist off of another human being.

Exist because tomorrow has the potential to be so beautiful but

who will know if your not around to see it.

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry

What Anxiety Feels Like

When I was a little girl the monkey bars at the school playground were my worst enemy

They were out to get me, I know it because

All of my friends could crawl across them like they were born to scale buildings but

When it got to my turn the bars became fire and my hands were sticks

At the first touch I would burst into flames

Imagining falling three hundred feet to my death with no one there to catch me –

Of course –

When I did fall, that one (or ten) times

There was always someone there who would catch me

In their outstretched arms as if they knew the whole time

That I would not make it to the other side

Now the other side is my own happiness

And the monkey bars, the dreaded monkey bars

Are my own mind

A burning fire living and breathing to take me down into the depths of an ocean

And I can swim pretty well

But I never learned how to stay afloat above waves ten feet tall

I don’t know if I can get across

But shouldn’t I be able to? – because all of my friends did it

On their first try

They are smiling and I don’t think they have to think about how to move their face muscles into the correct position just to prepare themselves to do it

They are talking and I don’t think they have to prepare themselves five minutes for the simple interaction of saying Hello

My worst enemy now lives within me

Getting to the other side looks like it should be so simple

But I have felt the heat of the flames too close for comfort licking at my hands

And what if I catch fire?

I hear “Someone will be there to catch you when you fall”

I can see them below me

With their arms outstretched

An army of ants swarming beneath with the sole intent of breaking my fall

Before the fall breaks me

Why do I need a safety net?

Shouldn’t I be able to cross without the help of these warriors who seem to be able

To handle their own lives so well – why do they have to handle mine too?

My mind, this anxiety, these monkey bars stretch before me

It is not that I don’t want their help

I have depended on others for too long

The fire is licking and the ocean is raging and my heart is pounding

But for fucks sake I am going to make it across this time

And I won’t need anyone to catch me

– Chan Eliza