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?

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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 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.

Posted in Poetry

Where I’ve Been

(A poem explaining my absence lately)

 

I owe no apology for taking a break mentally or emotionally

to anybody who picks and prods into my whereabouts

I owe no apology for living this life the way I choose however

I owe an explanation for the way my body has changed

I owe an explanation for the way my mind has grown because maybe

someone could learn from me when I walk into a room and

I no longer think I am the ugliest or the dumbest

I owe an explanation for this growth that sprouted from

planting myself in the dark, in the silence, alone

Light coming in from slats, reaching me in the deepest corners so that

when I stepped out

my wings unfolded.

I owe no apology for taking a break but I do want to let you know

you can take one too.

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry

I AM FINE

We are all guilty

of saying those two words that mean so much while being so small.

Those two words

“I’m fine”.

Behind smiles we hide and behind words we close the door to

anyone who may want to enter and reach out a hand

to anyone who might try to climb in a window

we board up every entrance with those two words –

harmless.

“I’m fine”.

So they’ll stop asking and

when they stop asking how we are,

what is wrong,

we can stop smiling so much

we can let our shoulders sag a little when we walk

we can slump down in our chairs because

“we’re fine”.

When they stop asking we can stop pretending to be

so happy all of the damn time because if they ask again

we’ll just say

“I’m tired”

“I had a long day at work”

“I’m just stressed”

“I’m fine”

When we are the farthest from fine but we think

who wants to hear about my problems.

Who wants to sit here and watch me cry over things

I can’t even change.

So we ignore those hands scratching at our walls

We ignore those voices trying to reach our ears

We ignore the ladders placed at our gates

and we repeat

“I’m fine”

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry

Brave

You wake up to the sun high in the sky and you only wish to crawl back under the blankets because at least there it is dark

When you finally drag yourself out of bed and close the blinds to shut out the light you sit in the black morning and hang your head

Your mind has been screaming at you for months and you have finally given in to the echo telling you

that you are worthless, that this body is not enough for such a beautiful world, that everything you give will always be too little

but I think you are brave for waking up.

I think you are brave for closing the blinds. For huddling in the corner.

I think you are brave for living this day even when you don’t remember how.

I think you are brave because you could easily give up – but you haven’t – there is a strength in that.

I think you are brave for letting the voice in. You haven’t let it over power you as it so easily could.

I think you are brave for breathing. I think you are brave for choosing to wake up each day even if you never leave the house.

I think you are brave for trying – and that has to be enough.

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Introducing Me

Me

Truth be told, I haven’t felt the confidence to take a selfie that I actually wanted to post to any form of social media in a couple of months. Anyone that knows me, knows that’s strange. But they’ll also know that Autumn is when I seem to wake up every year, so it’s no coincidence that as the weather starts to get cooler and the leaves begin to fall, I begin to get my swag back. The meaning of this post however is not to ramble on about selfies, but to introduce myself a little more to our tiny growing community.

I am a young woman in my mid-twenties, somehow stumbling through life. I was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, United States. I have two sisters and the most amazing of parents, as well as the best friend a girl could ask for. I am in love with my boyfriend of three years, who somehow is just as goofy and crazy as I am. I love food, working out (when I make it to the gym), I work a lot, and I have an obsession with books and writing. I also love decorating and a majority of the time I can be found binge watching my favorite TV shows on repeat.

My number one passion in life is poetry. What I will post mainly to this blog is poetry, and I hope you all can find the same refuge in it that I do, if only for a couple of moments at a time. While I could post this to an about page, just like seasons and humans alike, this blog will be ever shifting. While poetry will remain my focus, I can’t promise that a post like today’s or maybe a review of my favorite active wear or even a display of my fall decor might not pop up in the future. This blog is for now my outlet, and I hope also that anyone who has stumbled here today can find the peace and escape they may be looking for.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life. A majority of my poetry will be based in these struggles and also in my moments of recovery. My main focus will be to help anyone else that may be struggling, because I know this life can be hard, and it’s okay to need help. Poetry has lifted me from some of my darkest times, and if even one of my poems can do that for someone else, I have succeeded here.

If you so happen to enjoy what you read here, please take a moment to look around my blog and read some of what I have to offer. If you feel so inclined, give A Kinda Pretty Mess a follow and become a part of my little family. I usually post once or twice a day, sometimes missing a day or two when life gets busy.

I would love to get to know you, so please stick around and introduce yourself.

I will leave you with today’s thought of the day: you are only as weak as you think you are. You are only as strong as you think you are. Your mind is a powerful tool. Do with it what you will.

-CM

Posted in Poetry

Let’s Run

You don’t need me to tell you that suicide is not the answer.

You don’t need me to sugar coat this story either with promises of

a better tomorrow and a light at the end of the tunnel.

Since the moment you admitted your depression to the world everybody

has been telling you that it will be okay.

Every last stranger and friend has told you to keep your head up.

I could easily hold your hand and walk with you in this dark

if that’s what you need.

My arms will create a barrier between you and the negative thoughts

if you need someone to protect you from yourself.

I am not here to tell you that everything is going to be fine.

I am not here to tell you to keep your head up.

I am here to tell you that you are not alone

I am here to scream at you because you stopped listening to your own voice

months ago when the alcohol stopped numbing the pain

and no matter how loud you cranked the music

the voices in your head would not shut up.

I am here to yank you up off your feet and

out of the shadows.

I am here to run with you until our legs give out and we fall

and find that the ground

is a perfect place to start building again.

I could easily tell you that suicide is not the answer.

I could say the words as easily as anyone else because they are true.

But we both know you won’t listen to me.

You’ve forgotten how to really listen and that’s okay.

I don’t want to tell you words you aren’t going to remember.

I am here to show you

that this life is worth living.

I am here to show you all of the things that you forgot.

So let’s call out of work.

Let’s go on that trip you always wanted to take and if we don’t have the money

let’s just drive until we get lost and when we get lost

let’s park and stare up at the sky

talking of nothing

and just cry because sometimes

crying is the only answer

and sometimes

there doesn’t have to be an answer

or a reason

or a promise of a better tomorrow.

Sometimes there just has to be a tomorrow.

And another tomorrow. And another.

I am not here to make empty promises you won’t believe.

I am here to show you all of the possibilities

all of the happiness and light your life could hold

if you make it to another day and then another week

and then another month and eventually

another year.

Tomorrow might be horrible.

Or it might be the best day of your life.

I have been where you are right now

but I am not here to tell you my story.

I am here to tell you that yours is not over.

Don’t let it be over

this is not how your story ends.

 

-CM

 

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Anxiety

I was never good at math in school but I learned the basics of algebra.

I was taught every step to drafting an essay from start to finish.

I could recite to you four poems I was instructed to memorize and

I could also draw you a picture of the back of that boys head in my English class,

the one I sat behind for a year,

because it was at his head of hair I would stare when I couldn’t breath

but the teacher continued speaking anyway.

It was not her fault. She couldn’t feel my world collapsing.

I can still hear the steady ticking of the clock drowning out the mumble of my classmates,

can still feel my palms getting sweaty when the walls closed in one me –

there was never a class on how to exist in this body.

I was never taught how to breathe when all of the oxygen has been sucked from the room or how to claw these words out of my throat

they tell me it’s anxiety

that I have a problem that can be solved with some breathing techniques and maybe a few pills a day but I still walk down the halls and feel like a ghost of myself

sometimes

I can see myself walking and hear myself talking and feel myself breathing

but I am not there.

They never taught me how to deal with this urge to run

not when the going gets tough but when surviving takes more energy than living.

I can’t walk into a room without scanning the room for exits,

I can’t join a group of people in casual conversation without first convincing myself they don’t hate me,

I can’t ask you how you are because of fear that you’ll return the question.

But at least I can find the value of x.

 

-CM

 

Posted in Poetry, Videos

Trying Something New!

What Depression Feels Like – A Poem

Today, as I explain briefly in the video, I thought I would try something new for me. I’ve always liked the idea of reciting my poems rather than just typing them out for you all to read. I thought I would start off here. I didn’t have this poem memorized, so I am reading it off the screen, which explains why my eyes are moving so much. And the camera quality isn’t great. But those things aside, I hope you enjoy this, and let me know which you prefer!

I love spoken word poetry, and most of my poems are written with the intent of being read out loud. If you all like this, I would be interested in playing around with better camera quality and lighting, and reciting poems that I do have memorized, in a bit of a more practiced, and not so relaxed setting. Let me know what you think!

 

I’ll also leave the poem below in case you would rather read it.


The first time somebody asked me what depression feels like

My tongue ballooned inside my mouth

They asked me

“Are you just…sad all of the time?”

And I nodded

Instead of screaming No!

If I was merely sad all of the time

Why would my face twist into this upside down frown

Why would I tell you I am

Fine when you ask me how I’ve been lately

If I was merely just sad all of the time why

Would I push them all away

The hands that reach out to help me

Why would I touch their fingertips for a brief moment

Before closing my eyes and forgetting how good it feels to be needed.

I don’t blame you.

You unknowing examiner simply curious

What does depression feel like

I lived in the same house for most of my childhood

I could tell you where each coffee table and arm rest sat

I could trace for you a map of each safe walkway from door to door

But when the lights are shut off and the darkness swallows

I stumble into corners

I know that if I turn right now I will find a lightswitch on that wall

But I turn a second too soon and my hand finds a jagged edge

Of a picture frame inside of the light switch

This is what depression feels like

I have lived inside this body my whole life

But sometimes

When the lights go dim

I can’t seem to find the light switch.

 

-CM