Blogust 2019: The Series, Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Day 13: Let’s Talk About Non-Binary Pronouns.


Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

I’ve might’ve said this about 20 times on the blog already, but we really do live in such a progressive time. A lot of changes (good and bad) are being made, and a lot of our ideologies about things are not simply black and white anymore; instead, they are gray.

A lot of the gray areas that are now being discusses is the concept of gender. It’s always been that at birth, you were born as either a boy or a girl; penis or vagina. Many of us grew up with that ideology and when it was questioned (i.e. being transgender or dressing in drag), many of our younger selves mocked it. I mean, the Maury Show used to have a whole segment on drag queens trying to guess if they are a man or a woman? Don’t lie; your younger self loved that shit. 

But, we grow up and we decide to start thinking for ourselves. We start questioning society roles and society’s rules about everything, and when you join a group that relates to the struggles you may be having as a person, you then finally feel like you belong in a community that is just like you.

I can only imagine how many guys and girls grew up feeling like something was wrong because they didn’t feel like a guy or a girl.

Although I am a cis, straight woman, I do have a non-binary sibling, and it’s been extremely hard to not slip up on their pronouns.

My sibling has been open about their identity for a few years now, and when the process first started to happen, it was really hard to accept just because on the other side, you feel like you are losing someone that you knew your whole life. While I am now more acceptive of the pronouns and become more aware of the non-binary ideology, it’s still a concept that you definitely have to train your brain to learn. Many of us do identify others and their relationships simply by their gender/sex, and when the person tells you it’s otherwise, it feels foreign. But, I know at the end of the day, it’s not about me and how I feel, it’s about what makes them happy and if they feel like they are finally being seen as them, then that’s all that matters about the situation.

It’s easier to catch myself slip up when writing about my sibling and using their proper pronouns, but verbally speaking it’s still a challenge. Yes, “she”, “her’s” and “her” still slip from my mouth when referring to my sibling. Yes, I call them my sister. Little by little I am trying to show my sibling that I am supportive of their identity and that it’s going to take some time for me to get used to their pronouns, but it does not mean that I don’t care or don’t listen if I slip up.

If you are anything like me, a person with a sibling that identifies as non-binary, then please be respectful of your loved ones who identify as such. I could only imagine how difficult it was for them to open up and discuss a concept that many of us are not familiar with and one that many people do not accept. Be gentle, kind, and respectful. Also, don’t treat them any differently! Just because your sister or brother uses the oppositely signed pronouns, it doesn’t mean that their interest and the things that bonded you guys in the first time disappeared.

We, as a society, have to stop thinking that male and female are forms of identity. Maybe they are to some but to others, they don’t mean a thing. No, your reason to not respect your child’s wishes to be called the opposite or non-binary pronoun because “you gave birth to a boy/girl” is not valid. Your feelings as a cis person do not matter in these situations.

If you truly love someone, whether it’s a family member, friend, spouse, whatever they are to you: you would accept them for all that they come. Nothing is truly changing about them, just their unofficial society-written concept of gender.

Love you, Meg. ❤

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

My Truth About Healing From Trauma On My Own.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Now, I’ve tried to write this post a couple of times during the month of June, but quite frankly I wasn’t in the mood to talk about this, but I also feel like a letter like this could help a lot of people out with their own individual traumas in life, because I know I didn’t have anything (nor really anyone telling me) that helped me at least start my healing process from my traumas.

Now, there are a lot of things in my life that was quite traumatic for me to experience, but this letter will focus on the trauma that I’ve normally talk about: my eighteen. If you’ve been an active Letters Reader (even when it used to be TNTH), you know that I’ve been open and honest about the things I’ve experienced and the raw, personal feelings and emotions I felt during that time, and even after. Although there will be times when I feel like talking about it makes me uncomfortable and uneasy, I remind myself of a quote an author said at her reading at my college during my sophomore year of college:

In order to help people survive, you must tell the story of your own survival.

To this day, I really do live my life with this quote in mind, even after all these years.

The truth of the matter is is that people heal differently. Some people are very private about their traumas, others neglect ever thinking about them, some move on from them in their own ways, and me? I write about them.

I am a writer after all, and that’s my truth on how I’m healing from my trauma.

The very first time I wrote about my trauma was during a creative writing workshop class in college. Our first assignment was to write a creative non-fiction piece, which in other words like a memoir piece. I don’t know what prompted me to write about one of the worst days of my life, but I did.

I wrote about the day I ran to my guidance counselor’s office as I was having a mental breakdown during school.

Not only was it nerve-wracking have to relive that day as I wrote down the story, but it was even worse when it was my turn to share my piece with a group of writers during our workshop. It was the first time I told a story about my trauma to a group of strangers, who didn’t know me as a person outside of these classroom walls.

I don’t know how my story got across to these people, but the workshop then turned into this supportive group that kept telling me, “it is all not your fault.” And I truly think that was the beginning of this healing process over my eighteen trauma; I had to take responsibility for the shitty things I’ve done, but I shouldn’t put all the blame on myself.

I’ve had other creative opportunities to write about this time in my life and share with our writers who also possibly shared their own life secrets in their writing. I’ve written theater scenes about my trauma, perspectives between me and the parties involved during this time in my life; it was the singlehandedly the only thing that would pop up in my head when I got the assignment to write about something that affects you to this day.

And I’m still writing about it.

I don’t write about this time in my life to get attention, or because I feel salty about it. I could honestly care less about the past because it’s just simply not a representation of the person I am currently. I write about it for myself before anything else, to heal my soul and come to peace with what I went through, and then I write it for the people who feel like their trauma clouds their happiness. I hope that whoever may be reading this, feels confident enough to overcome their traumas and see that things do get better, and life does go on.

Of course, growing up and letting time pass has helped the process a bit. Therapy also really helps with my healing process; our session two weeks ago was solely about this time in my life and I’ve come a long way from where I was even a couple of months ago with this trauma.

And that’s my point: I’ve been working it out without that “closure” everyone thinks will heal them permanently from their trauma. Some of us are lucky to get that closure and officially close that book for good, but also there are some of us that never, and will never get that closure.

I never got that conventional closure. I never got to tell the people who hurt me most that what they put me through damaged me for years. I never got the chance to express that although time has passed and I’m getting better, the trauma still exists, and for years it has hindered some of my abilities in life, that it took a long ass time to love the person I am and to forgive the person I was, and even then, I’m still healing from the past and I’m learning how to honor the girl I was because Lord knows if I gave up and lost faith in myself back then, I’d probably be dead by now. 25 wouldn’t have been here to finally see how it feels like to love herself.

I got my own closure when I started to write about it and not be so afraid to talk about it anymore. 

Writing may not be for everyone, so I hope that if you are going through any sort of trauma and want to begin your healing process that you find a healthy and helpful way to kickstart your journey. Mine took years to start, and it’s taking years to end – but as long as you’re coming to term with what happened and that your trauma will never win and define you, things will get better. You WILL get better, and you will come out stronger than you were before.

I’m still here because I write.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

SAD: One Year Later.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.

It’s crazy to believe that we are already in month six of 2019, and about to start the summer season in a couple of weeks. It just comes to show just how fast time goes, and the same is true reflecting back on this time last year.

On June 6th, 2018, I was officially diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety is probably one of the biggest disorders people have nowadays for many different reasons. While social anxiety can be “cured”, there are some cases where it can’t be; it’s chronic. My social anxiety is chronic.

I wasn’t surprised when I first got the diagnosis; a part of me always knew that I had some form of social anxiety, and as the years went on, it just got worse. To finally get the diagnosis didn’t really change how I felt, it just made a lot of things more clear – especially the things I was confused about.

It doesn’t mean that life got easier.

To be quite honest, the diagnosis made things a lot worse for me because it was hard for me to adjust to the fact that this wasn’t just “anxiety everyone deals with”, I experience anxiety on a clinical level, and adjusting to that while trying to explain to my loved ones what was happening was a difficult transition.

After many confusing nights and days where I felt misunderstood, I started to regret even getting the diagnosis. You got the diagnosis and just ran with it, Liz.

In simpler words, I didn’t know how to live with this new information and accept it for what it was. It took me getting on medication and some intense therapy sessions to finally realize and ultimately tell myself that I am not my anxiety, I just have it, and it’s going to take a long time to adjust being more aware of my own unique patterns and behaviors regarding my anxiety.

A year later, and I’m definitely doing a lot better, and I really have to thank the process of going to therapy and taking my medication. I say this, in all honesty: yeah, I’m going to have my episodes where I don’t want to do anything but lay in bed and escape the stressors of the world, but those days don’t last as long as they used to.

Quick story about the epiphany I had about my progress: Last week in therapy, I explained to my therapist that the day before my partner’s birthday, he had a couple of family and friends come over to ring in his birthday with him at midnight and although being in a social setting like that with a handful of people would normally be overwhelming for me, that night my anxiety didn’t even cross my mind. Talking about it made it more real for me, and before even speaking about it it didn’t register as progress, but I left her office feeling so proud of myself for being able to socially interact with other people without feeling any sort of anxiety. It’s definitely moments like that where I feel like I made the right decision to seek therapy a year ago.

Of course, I am far from the end. My mental health journey does not end once I conquer just one aspect of my anxiety. I’m still a working progress, and I hope that with the months to come in 2019 that I am able to conquer those other aspects, and truly see the growth from now, until then.

Of course, my experience with therapy isn’t the ideal experience for therapy; it’s uniquely my own. Not everyone is going to have a positive outlook on therapy and maybe therapy isn’t in the plan of their own healing. I still do believe, though, that everyone who is going through a hardship in their life that they can’t get through on their own should at least try therapy to see how it feels for them. Some will be successful, and others may not. It’s about how the process works for every single individual.

Personally speaking, it’s been some of the hardest work I’ve done, yet some of the greatest work I’ve done in my life.

I really do have to thank my sibling, Megan, for continuously telling me I should seek out therapy for the issues I was having late 2017 into 2018 due to grad school. Of course, I wish I took their advice earlier when I was actually in grad school, but things happen for a reason, and I believe I had to go through what I went through in grad school to get where I’m at now.

I also want to thank my therapist, Cathy, or getting to know me as a person and telling me without a doubt the truth to the situations and behaviors I was experiencing. She taught me a lot on how to fight my inner demons and I’ve told her some of my darkest trauma secrets, yet she is still there to help me get through them along the way. Although she is now on maternity leave for the season, I really cannot wait to show (and tell her) the progress I’ve made since she’s been away.

I also wanted to thank my temporary therapist, for the time being, Andrea, for taking the time to get to know me and try to pick up where I last left off. Although it took some time to get comfortable with her and allow her into my “world”, as I say, she’s has been a major help and always keeps the atmosphere lively and energetic. I’m definitely in the right hands until I return back to my regular therapist.

And the support I’ve gotten from my family and my partner: it means the world to me that I have people in my life willing to understand my SAD, depression, and not judge me for it. I appreciate the efforts that you guys go through to understanding and support.

So, with that being said, here’s to going on year two of bettering myself and my mental health.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

One Year Later: A Reflection.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters from Liz.

It’s kind of crazy to sit here and reflect on where I was and what my life was like this time last year. I strongly remember winding down on my final semester as a grad student, wrapping up my thesis writing process, and being immensely anxious to the point of no return basically. I wasn’t excited for the future, not even graduating in May and being done with the one thing that caused me a lot of sadness and anxiety. I was worried about everything that was coming, and I remember not being able to handle it anymore. So, one day last April, I decided to seek therapy

Starting therapy was a major step in the process of getting myself back together. Not only was I trying to just get some professional guidance about finding a job after grad school and learning how to be an adult in life, but it required me to dig even deeper than that, and talk (and relive) some parts of myself that were so deep-rooted, I forgot they existed. Still, I went to my weekly therapy session every Tuesday, which then switched to every Wednesday, and to this day, I am beyond grateful for taking that step towards therapy.

If you’re skeptical about going to therapy on your own, I know how you feel. You feel like you’re so fucked up in the head that now you need a professional to help “cure” you or you feel like seeking therapy is considered a sign of weakness. I know how difficult it is to seek out therapy; for pride’s sake, for hereditary sake, or masculinity sake. It’s extremely hard to swallow your ego and pride and call out for help, but believe me when I say that therapy helps you organize and discuss things in a way that no other individual in your life is going to speak to you about these things. Don’t always assume that your experience with therapy is going to be like everyone else’s, hell, even like mine, but you will never know how it will be if you don’t at least try it out. Sure, therapy isn’t for everyone, but you will never know what type of help you may need if you don’t seek out options for it.

A lot of the anxiety issues I came into therapy with are now things that I’ve overcome. Last year, I had a really bad case of travel anxiety, to the point where I became too afraid to leave the house because I was afraid bac things were going to happen to me. Now? I mean, I don’t travel as late as I did when I was in grad school, but I’m not afraid to get on trains anymore and travel to places even during the day. Of course, with an anxiety disorder, it’s never going to be a “one and done” type of thing; there’s always going to be something that I’m anxious about and that I’m fighting against. But, I’m working through them.

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Therapy, in the simplest way possible, has forced me to come face-to-face with things about myself and my life that I never knew still affected me to this day. It has also given me a platform to discuss some of the darkest things in my life to someone whose job is to help me decipher it and help me understand what may be happening. It’s allowed me to carry important mantras in life, like learning to be more assertive and being able to stop seeking approval from others.

To be honest, I really don’t know where I’d be today if I didn’t seek out therapy a year ago. I only have an idea on how life would’ve been like for me: me being extremely happy, extremely anxious, and probably feeling immensely stuck in life and unmotivated. I’d also be engaging in very unhealthy coping mechanisms like hiding my feelings, my emotions, and just being very passive towards everything and everyone in my life. Knowing where I was heading, I would’ve been suicidal for a much longer time, feeling like a burden to everyone in my life and having no one to talk to about these issues without feeling shameful or judged about it.

A year later, and I’m still actively trying to improve myself and be a better person for myself. There’s always something to talk about and work through, there’s always going to be something that I realize about myself that I’ve kept to myself for decades, and there’s always going to be a way to get through the tough times in the most healthy way possible.

I am immensely grateful for my therapist, Cathy, who has been helping me for the last year through some of the hardest and most difficult things in my life. She has been extremely patient and willing to get to know me as a person, and she quickly became such an essential part of my weeks, as well as my life. Although she’s on maternity leave for a couple of months and I’m slowly transitioning to seeing my temp, Andrea, I am still very grateful that these women are available for me to speak my mind, and allow me the platform to finally feel heard.

I’m able to grow into the woman I’m supposed to be with the help of therapy.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Mental Health Advocacy is NOT Your “Clout” Opportunity.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Before we move on to the context of this week’s letter, I want to remind you guys on some of my background regarding mental health: I am not a licensed psychologist, I am simply a person that deals with Social Anxiety Disorder & Major Depression and uses my platform to help decrease the stigma that mental health carries. I am in no means making any money off of the posts I write on WordPress, and I simply write about my experiences for the sake of sharing my story in hopes of helping others.

Without further ado, let’s talk about how YouTuber The Rewired Soul is a prime example of a person that uses mental health advocacy as an opportunity to gain “clout.”

Lemme explain…

Continue reading “Mental Health Advocacy is NOT Your “Clout” Opportunity.”

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Discussing “Trauma Secrets”.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters from Liz.

Before we go forward with today’s letter, I should put a disclaimer: this letter, in particular, can be triggering and/or uncomfortable for some readers who are sensitive to the topics discussed in this post. If you feel like you can’t read on, then I advise you to skip out on this one and come back on Saturday for a new SAS post.

Without further ado, let’s get right into today’s letter.


Continue reading “Discussing “Trauma Secrets”.”

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

How A Curiosity in Rhetoric & Writing Studies Became A Passion: A Story.

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They said that I wasn’t supposed to be in English Honors or in AP English in high-school due to my poor testing scores during the Citywide testing days.

Despite my ongoing challenge in grammar, speech, and reading comprehension, I still loved English as a class. I’ve read some of the most amazing stories throughout my 20 years in school, and I’ve come to create some of the most amazing stories from simple freewriting prompts back in public school. Although I wasn’t much of a reader, I was very much a dedicated writer. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and after discovering how it allowed people to hear my voice and express myself without people judging me one lunch period in the seventh grade, I knew writing was all I ever wanted to do.

Of course, I always thought there were other people better at writing than me. I knew that some people who didn’t care for writing were always praised more for just being more efficient and grammatically correct. But I knew I had something that only a few of us in this world have for writing: I had the passion for it. But with your teenage years comes doubts, worries, and people telling you that you should think about doing something else.

They said that I wasn’t supposed to major in English in college because of my speech impediment, my “slowly-but-surely-getting-better” grammar, and the fact that I didn’t need a degree to write. 

Yet I finished my BA in English and went on to get my Masters in the same exact thing. But, this time was different. I entered grad school learning about rhetoric and writing composition.

My first semester as a grad student I took a course called “Teaching of Writing”. I knew I didn’t want to become a teacher anytime soon, but I figured if all else fails, I’d want to teach other students that writing is such a powerful tool that many of us take for granted. I came out of that class knowing more than how to teach a couple of students how to write; I come out of that class knowing what, how, and why I take writing so damn serious, and how I can help other students that I once was like, feel heard in their specific field through writing.

Rhetoric & Writing Studies are more than just “common sense of what and what not to do in an academic environment”, it’s active learning and acknowledging issues and developing ways to improve on said issues to make writing a much more efficient and useful tool in a student’s life. In a way, it’s like learning the sociology of a classroom, and learning how to make it equal and fair for everyone in it.

I related to a lot of the issues we got to discuss in that class because I was once one of those students, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, etc. I was a student who was washed out and not heard. I was a student who couldn’t get an “academic voice” packed down in their academic writing. I was a student who was ignored a lot of the time because I was always afraid of not being good enough, I was afraid of being looked at as “the student who gets pulled out of class to attend speech therapy”, I was afraid of not writing what the professor/teacher wants me to write, and I was once a student who was never heard because of my speech impediment. That feeling lasted all the way up to grad school.

So, when I decided to write my Master’s Thesis on this topic related to rhetoric & writing studies, I knew it was more than just a paper for me. It was my first piece of work that spoke my truth that I had to hide inside of me for 20 years. Because of that class, that thesis, and my professor who showed me what that world was all about, I am now a confident writer, an expressive writer, a passionate writer. 

And all it took was checking out the curiosity I had for rhetoric & writing studies.

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What rhetoric & writing studies taught me was that there aren’t a lot of people (especially educators) that have the background needed to run an efficient and equal classroom. There are observers of strict and traditional teaching who go into teaching and believe that’s the right way of teaching when really it’s an outdated way of doing it. Like everything else in the world, things change and things evolve to be more progressive, and yes – that does include teaching and how we run our classrooms! There are so many different techniques and ways to keep students engaged and interested in writing without forcing them to do it. I always believe that a student should always put themselves in their writing because it’s truly one of the only ways you will have students be proud of their pieces and their hard work.

Although I’ve been out of grad school for 10 months now, academics still hold a very special place in my heart because of this newfound passion I got to discover during my time as a grad student. It has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t go for it, and it wouldn’t have given me the certain drive I have to help future college students in the way I know I would’ve liked when I was an undergrad.

For where I am now: I’m looking for jobs that relate to the whole academic/college setting because I feel like it’s a place I belong to. It’s what I know, it’s where my passions lie, and it’s a place where I believe needs someone like me that continues to have that drive to change old habits and old ways. It may not be teaching yet, but I know that I want to encourage a whole new generation of writers that may not know that writing is the way to get people to listen to you, and it’s truly one of the only ways to dedicate change, speak of change, and express of change. I want to show writers that despite people telling them writing isn’t a real thing, they come out of it writing more powerful than ever.

And I owe all of my passion to that one rhetoric class, and to my former thesis advisor, professor, and now friend: Professor Carlo. Thank you.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Why I Honor You, Eighteen: A Dialogue.

Eighteen. How can you dread a number so much? 

Eighteen to me means darkness. Mistakes made, depression, loneliness, and hardship. It means suicide, it means being afraid for maybe not ever seeing nineteen. Eighteen, to me, is a burden.

Eighteen, for most teenagers, was “semi-legal adult”. It meant going to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent, sneaking out to go to 18+ parties in the city on a Friday night, drinking, thinking about college, the beginning of your independence and your life. Some of you may wish to relive the memories of eighteen; I wish I was able to hit my head so hard in the pavement that I could permanently never have to remember. 

Eighteen holds many of my demons, my insecurities, my inability to love myself and accept me for what I am in twenty-five. Twenty-four. Possibly even thirty. 

I repeated this story in detail plenty of times: through creative non-fiction, poetry, journal entries, and even during therapy sessions. I tried to tell my story to help heal me. So, why do I dread eighteen? Why can’t I let eighteen just die?

Because I never got to honor you, eighteen. I never sat down and celebrated how you got through it. I never saw you as my literal hero, because you chose life before you were able to choose to be defeated. You allowed me to live to see twenty-five. Twenty-four. Yes, even when it’s time to be thirty. 

Because eighteen, you deserve to know the following:

  • You found a way out from the emotional/mental abuse you were experiencing because deep down, you always knew there was a life that was better for you out there. You fought through the manipulation of another human being, despite what was being said, and got through that shit. You were patient and kind enough to see good in everything and everyone, even when you were constantly being pulled down to the ground. You lasted long enough to see you deserved happiness and what you were in wasn’t true happiness. Through the drama, death threats, abuse, and all that you took; you were able to say enough was enough.

  • You graduated high school in the top quarter of your class and made it through despite hating going to that hellhole five days a week. You solved those Pre-Calculus questions, you studied for that AP English exam, you learned every single second soprano note on every sheet of music for vocal, and you showed up despite the embarrassment and humiliation you faced. You did everything you could to finally get out of that place and never see those people in your life again. You were able to put everything aside: the depression, the constant suicidal thoughts, the cry for help, everything that would destroy you to get the work done. You showed me that no matter what happens to you in life, you have to get through shit to get to the other side.

  • You made mistakes, of course, you were young, but you never lost your morals and values, despite feeling like you were not worthy of having any anymore during eighteen. I don’t call you lucky after you escaped a situation where you could’ve potentially been raped, and honestly, that day had haunted everyone to twenty-five like it was yesterday, but some entity protected you that day. Maybe it was those morals and values you hold so dearly to your heart, maybe it was God; either way, you came out of dangerous situations alive, remorseful, and stronger. These things needed to happen to one of us in order for us to learn, and you were brave enough to go through it as young as you were. Thank you for risking your life for us; the twenty-five, the twenty-four, and even the thirty.

  • You kept doing what you loved despite being called worthless, useless, and horrible at your craft. You wrote poetry to get through the sad shit, the bad shit, and the depressing shit, and despite being told that you weren’t good enough, ever, you kept going. You kept that major your freshman year of college despite being told you weren’t good at even speaking English and didn’t need a degree to write, you continued to love a passion despite people wanting you to take a more “realistic approach” to what I wanted to do. You’re the reason twenty-two got that bachelors degree, and that twenty-four got that masters degree. You never gave up on doing the thing that makes you happy, and I applaud you for keep going.

  • At the end of each day, when you cried on the bathroom floor at 3 in the morning, cutting yourself with your sharp nails until blood started to run down your arm on its own, thinking you were this horrible person that deserved everything that happened to you and just wanted to die, you still went to bed every single night hoping the next day would be better. I know how badly you just wanted to get hit by a speeding car when you walked home after a long day, I know you just wanted to kill yourself so that the people who drove you to such insanity would feel bad that they did such thing, but you chose to take on life instead of taking it away from yourself. As much shame as I may carry around about you on my shoulders whenever I’m forced to think about you, I know you are a lot stronger than I give you credit for. You went through shit without anyone’s help, and that’s a challenge all on its own. I honor you for your will to live through such a dark time because twenty-five would not have been able to honor you. Thirty wouldn’t either in the future. There would not have been a Liz if you didn’t fight through your demons, those who lived on the inside and those who tried to destroy you on the outside. Thank you.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

The Time(s) I Were Born Again: A Story.


Driving in the backseat of my grandfather’s truck with my family in Pennsylvania, I remember the windows blowing in the warm, summer breeze throughout my short, ombre hair. It felt nice. Something about the Pennsylvania trees in the summer was soothing this time around; possibly because it wasn’t the noisy city back home, full of the demons that I carried on my back for the last two years. The grass felt different on my feet, the sun felt comforting on my skin, and the wind: it was quiet. I wonder how am I still here after all this time finding my depression from high-school and my first-year of college? I wonder how I wasn’t dead yet after everything that has happened to me. Just a couple of days before my trip, I had experienced one of the scariest nights of my life: a close friend was contemplating suicide and had left me a goodbye text. I think about it, and I know I did the right thing, despite what that friend had said. That night was the last straw of many things: I was tired of holding on to toxicity that allowed me to feel the way that I did. I questioned if something was wrong with me. Did I need to see a therapist? did I have Borderline Personality Disorder? Was I really this lousy person that my friend made me feel? I was tired of living my life like I had to owe something to someone, and I was tired of allowing others to dictate my happiness and my worth.

Something changed me during my time in Pennsylvania that weekend. I was happy. I was smiling. I felt present for once in a really long time. And I came back to reality that Monday morning when coming back to the city. I knew I couldn’t ignore the thoughts and demons I was returning to, and because of that – I set up one last meeting with this friend. It was our goodbye: bye from my life, bye from controlling me, and bye from everything else I should’ve let go a long time ago. I saw this friend walk away that one night, and I felt free. I felt born again.


I stared at the four dollar box of hair dye sitting on my kitchen table, and then looked at myself in the mirror I had in front of me. Was I doing the right thing? I brushed my ombre hair and remembered just how long this color has been my sense of identity for the last three years. Black hair meant sad and depression in society’s eyes, and maybe I felt myself going down that path again. Maybe this was just me being sick of looking at the same girl over and over again every morning. But maybe I was sick of my hair as my source of identity after so many years. I mean, I thought about it: I had a really awesome group of college friends, I was graduating college in just a couple of months and for once, I felt extremely happy. So, why was I here with a box of black hair dye if I was actually okay? Because my sense of control still felt like was missing. I still felt scared making decisions for myself. I still felt afraid that if I changed something about myself, it meant that I was changing, and not for the better. But, I was ready for a change: I was ready to try something new. So, I opened that box of hair dye and dyed my hair black. THere’s a reason why I could never go back to anything else. This was me. It complimented me, I looked healthy, I was born again.



Something told me to record myself. The last time I recorded myself just talking about how I felt was during 2013 when the videos used to be 10 minutes long of me just ranting because I had no real friend to vent to at the time. This time, I was pretty much on the same boat, or I thought I was. It was a couple of days before Thanksgiving and things on my mind were quiet for once in a really long time. I had made a huge decision in my life that at the time I thought was the right one, but still, I was feeling empty and not completely there. I kept looking at my phone to see if I wanted to do it; if I really wanted to record myself talking. But something told me that I needed to do this, not just for my present self, but for my future self as well. She needed to see for herself that me, as the present, was able to go through something so heartbreaking, and still go through life as it came. I needed to remind myself that everything was going to be alright at the end of the day, and because of that, I recorded my 5-minute video, reminding myself that suicide was never the answer to my problems, that things will get better because bad days are only temporary.

A little after that, I wanted to gain back control of my life by crossing some things off my bucket list: I arranged to take my first solo trip, and I cut my hair into a pixie cut. Despite looking like a new person, I felt like one too. I felt like I was able to forgive myself for the hardships 2018 put me through. I was able to bring more awareness to my mental health, and knowing that it doesn’t define me, but that there will be days where it does consume me. I felt like I was growing into myself more and more each day, and for once in a really one time, I felt excited about where my future is heading. Not scared, not anxious, but excited. I felt free, I felt fresh, I felt born again.

This post was inspired by Tiffany Young’s new song, “Born Again”, which has been speaking to me on a spiritual level lately. 


-Liz. (:

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

How I’m Learning to Embrace my Womanhood.

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Last Tuesday, I published a post talking about how in society, we pressure women in their 20’s and 30’s into motherhood because motherhood supposedly is essential for all women on this planet. Can’t relate, as Jeffree Star once said. 

That post made me think much deeper about my person individual womanhood and what it meant for me to embrace it more now that I’m now entering my years of being a woman rather than just a girl.

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Anyway,  the following night, I had a conversation with my only girl-friend about a very controversial and “taboo” topic: the debate regarding pro-choice and pro-life. While we do share the same views about the topic at hand, it did make me think about my womanhood as a whole and the things I’m embracing about it as I’m getting older. Personally, it’s very refreshing to have girl talk at times because it reminds you that the things you may be struggling with as a woman could be things that other woman can relate to. So, shoutout to my girl, Tori who drew this amazing drawing after our conversation about womanhood Sunday night! 

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Drawing by StrangeBird, aka Tori.

As I’m learning what it means to be a woman in my own personal life, I’ve learned a lot about how I define my own and how to embrace it instead of following what society teaches us to be when we are young girls.

Womanhood is unique and non-traditional in the 21st century.

I truly believe that we are a generation of women who want to be more than housewives and more than just “so-and-so’s wife”. Don’t get me wrong, we still want to be loved by a man/woman and be someone’s significant other in life, but I feel like many women want to be just as successful. We want to work hard, we want to be breadwinners, and we want to be able to have our own names on this earth. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a woman’s womanhood being more traditional, but in this modern-time, each and every woman’s womanhood is completely different and uniquely designed to fit them personally. Some womanhood involves them loving both men and women romantically. Some womanhood involves them being career-driven and successful, and so forth. We want to be recognized as women, not as just another “inferior species” to man.

My womanhood includes me realizing it’s also humanhood.

As a woman, I realized just how beaten down we get when we show emotion or put feeling into something; society thinks we fall under pressure and can’t handle things without becoming emotional about it, that because of our more emotional sides, we can’t do the job of a man, i.e possibly one of hugest reasons why Hillary Clinton– despite her experience– did not win presidency in 2016; society wasn’t ready for a woman in power. In hindsight, we are taught to care for other people’s feelings before our own and to be as “perfect” as possible, especially when it came to dating and being in relationships with people. Personally, it’s been extremely hard to break out this cycle of belief for me, and I tend to forget that WOMEN ARE HUMAN AND ARE ALLOWED TO EXPRESS HOW THEY FEEL AND SHOW EMOTION WITHOUT BEING RIDICULED FOR IT. There are no “angry black women” or “overly dramatic drama queens” or “psycho white/Hispanic girls” when we express our feelings and emotions. We are humans that have emotions. End of story.

My womanhood involves tattoos, piercings, and decisions I make with my body.

This one is something that I’m personally learning to embrace because frankly, I’m tired of feeling ashamed for what I decide to do with my body and how I want to live in it. Once again we are taught at a very young age that we need to be presented a certain way that is appealing to others in society because a woman’s purpose seems to only be mannequins and dolls in a toy store called “the good and pure ones”. So by saying that, when you present yourself being a woman with piercings, scars, tattoos, short hair, even being a fat girl for God’s sake, you’re looked at differently as being “impure” or “ugly” and “not desirable”. I’ve had other women tell me that my nose piercings were “too busy” and “loud” for me, and I’ve had other women look at me and say they felt prettier when I was around because I was the “fat friend” of the group. Yes, even our own kind are feeding into this twisted ideology that we need to look, act, and be a certain way to be accepted into society, and it took me a while to finally say fuck it, I’m getting any piercing, tattoo, and haircut I want, and then going out to lunch afterward to eat anything I want. 

To be honest, it took me cutting my hair into a pixie cut to realize that even with this body and with this hair, I am just as much of a woman who is opposite of me. What I decide to put in my body and place on my body is my decision and my decision only; this body that I live in is going to have the time of its life because I’m choosing to do things that make it happy and make it feel more like me.

At the end of the day, these things may seem like basic “common sense” things, but they do take experience and observation to finally recognize and be accepted to these things that are not taught when we are young girls. More than ever, we are voicing what makes us women of the modern-day time. We are speaking up to the issues and injustice of how we are treated, how we are viewed as, and how we are supposed to be to be accepted in society when in reality we are progressing!

Embrace who you are, not try to be what you’re “supposed” to be.


-Liz. (: