Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

Merry Christmas & What’s to Come! ūüéā

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 1.51.20 AMHey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Merry Christmas to all of TNTH’s readers who celebrate! I hope you are spending it with the people who love you the most, and with people who love you! Twelve Days of TNTHmas was an absolute joy to do and I’m so glad that we got to do it again for the second year in the row. So, with that being said: we’re also going to be celebrating TNTH’s second birthday in January!¬†Which also means…

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TNTH’s Anniversary Blogging Celebration starts on TUESDAY, January 1st, 2019!

Like last year, we will be daily blogging every day until January 9th; TNTH’s (as well as mine) birthday! So, that’s the¬†good¬†news. The bad news is: TNTH will be on a mini-hiatus until then! Typically these posts take a lot of preparation to do so I would like for my time and energy to be solely on this, as I want to make this year better than the last one!

I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks! Although this year was a rocky one, I appreciate anyone who still supported the blog in 2018. I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for me personally, professionally, and creatively. I hope everyone enters the new year with a refreshing start and cheers to new and better beginnings!

See you in 2019!

-Liz. (:

 

Self-Reflection, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

Christmas Eve: A Retrospect of 2018.

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Last year during the Twelve Days of TNTHmas, I wrote a post doing a retrospect of 2017, and now that we are now a week away from a brand new year, I wanted to share some things I learned during 2018.

To say the least, 2018 was an unexpecting year. I entered the year on a good note, I spent my 24th birthday with my partner in Poughkeepsie, I was preparing my Masters’ graduation later in the year; I was determined to make 2018 a much better year than what 2017 was.

Things don’t always work out the way you want them to, do they?¬†In a nutshell, 2018 was a very informative year, which was something that I personally needed to experience in order to understand and put the necessary things out in the universe in order to live life the way I want. In other words, I had some growing up to do.

  1. First and foremost, I learned that it’s okay to experience the spectrum of emotions like an actual human being.¬†I always took pride in being the “strong one” within my family, and emotions like sadness and confusion didn’t belong in my body. When it came to my own mind, I considered voicing those emotions were a sign of weakness; that I wasn’t the happy, bubbly person I’d like to be 24/7. But life happens. I’ve had issues in personal relationships in my life, I was experiencing untreated anxiety and depression for half of the year, and I lost my grandfather to cancer during the summer. Through therapy, I am learning that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, confused, and most importantly: it’s okay to grieve passed loved ones. I do find myself not allowing myself to feel these things and voice them out at times, but I’m learning little by little. It took me a while to really enforce something like this.
  2. The people in your life aren’t going to completely understand how your anxiety works, but that doesn’t mean you should minimize your mental health for the sake of others.¬†This is also something that took me a while to learn because there’s such a fine line between giving those in your life the benefit of the doubt for not completely understanding, and then still wanting them to understand it? In other words, there’s a difference between understanding it and respecting it. I learned that people aren’t going to take your mental health seriously if you don’t take it seriously, in all honesty. It’s so easy to make an anxiety joke or a quarter-life crisis type of joke, but if you put that energy out there about it, that’s the type of energy you’ll get back. So make it known that your mental health is important to you and that you deserve the people you love the most to respect that.
  3. BE ASSERTIVE WITH YOURSELF.¬†One thing I used to tell myself in the past is that I needed to be more selfish with myself. Don’t keep friends that treat you poorly, know when to say no to things and to people, and take care of your mind and heart. Although it is important to know and see your own worth, the word “selfish” felt like a word that was¬†too one-sided¬†for me. When I started to voice these things to my therapist, she brought up the word “assertive”. While selfish is more of a perspective projected from other people, assertive is an action that you are in control of. Once I started to keep being assertive at the back of my mind at all times, I was able to be more vocal about some of the wants and needs I may have needed from those around me, and for myself as well. Being assertive simply meant that I needed to speak up and use my voice in situations I’d be too afraid to use it in.

 

2018, in a nutshell, was the year of self-awareness and self-courage. It was the year that I swallowed my pride and started to take care of myself in ways that I needed to. It was the year that I learned my limits, my morals, my beliefs, and so much more. The person I was leaving 2017 this time last year is someone that I don’t remember, but I know that this time next year, I’ll be able to look back and see that I’m where I’m at because 2018 me took these steps to get there. I hope 2019 brings me happiness, stability,¬†a job, adventures, and more self-growth.

Merry Christmas (eve), everybody!

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

SAS: Eat in Public, Fat Folks! (12/22/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Let’s get straight into the post: During my TAship this past semester, I usually sat outside in the lounge area before the class started, minding my business, eating some sort of snack because¬†ya¬†girl was hungry af.¬†Every time someone passed by, they either didn’t pay no mind to me or just glanced at me and kept it pushing. Me? I got very self-conscious and thought they were looking at me eat. I would¬†try to hide the fact that I was eating in public, thinking that people who passed by me thought it was a crime for a girl my size to be eating in public. Then, I had to ask myself, “well, who gives a shit if people see me eat in public? I’m a human being that gets hungry too?”¬†Hence, this post came about.

I feel like many of our full-figured folks have an insecurity of eating in public and even in front of people that we call our friends. It’s cool and quirky when a skinny person can eat like Jughead Jones in the original Archie Comics, but it’s a sin for a fat person to eat for the sake of eating in public? Why do we believe that the act of eating determines just how fat we are when in reality, most people aren’t fat because of eating in the first place. Why do we starve ourselves in public for the sake of saving us embarrassment or shame for being fat when eating is just a basic human activity and need to do?

How did this idea become so common for fat people in the first place?

While it’s hard to break old habits and ideologies and think more progressively,¬†please remind yourself that you are human and you’re allowed to perform basic human needs in public.¬†Yes, say that you are hungry and should stop at a place to eat. Yes, get something that you want and not opt out for a “salad” or something that you know isn’t going to fill you up for the rest of the day. Yes, eat your food and feed that body of yours because you’re fucking allowed to.

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Personally, I know how hard it could be breaking that toxic cycle. It took me a couple of years after meeting my partner to finally feel comfortable eating how I want and what I want in front of him; prior to that, I used to lie and say I wasn’t hungry when¬†clearly you were able to hear my stomach growl for food. It’s not easy to not automatically say no to eating in public when you’ve been that way so long, but it’s so important to break out of that mindset. Continuing to live your life in fear of eating in public is only going to develop into possibly not eating at all/purging behind closed doors. In a nutshell, an eating disorder can begin to develop.

So, for your own safety and health: listen to your body. Listen to its signs of when you need to eat; don’t let social anxiety or shame seep in the way of your basic human needs, especially during the holiday season. Remember, fat people are humans, and we are entitled to fulfill that need of food when hunger strikes. You’re not fat for eating in public, you’re taking care of yourself by eating when its necessary!

Best to believe another snack was eaten every single Thursday night until the end of the semester!

-Liz. (:

Creative Pieces, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

The Interrogation Room: A Short Story.

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

So, here’s some context to this post: I’m currently coming down with a cold, and I really didn’t have the energy, nor the time to put something together for day eight of TNTHmas. I wanted to write something creative like a scene or a Stories I’ve Been Working On¬†post, so I decided to share something that I actually wrote for a fiction class during my last semester as an undergrad two years ago.

The inspiration of this story leads from an unfinished full-feature film I worked on called¬†The Fire Remains¬©,¬†which was about a detective whose daughter went missing when she was eight years old, and nine years later, gets a lead that she may actually be alive and well. This story begins where the script left off; the main character, Hudson, gets a phone call from a distraught girl after making an emergency broadcast in hopes to reach out to his daughter. Thinking he finally found his daughter, he goes to the scene to then find a runaway kid named Rosie. This is where the story picks up. There’s actually more to this short story, so if you’re interested to read the other parts, lemme know!

Without further ado, here’s¬†The Interrogation Room¬©.

Continue reading “The Interrogation Room: A Short Story.”

Monthly Favorites, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

December 2018 Highlights & Favorites!

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

So, December was actually a really good month for me, and I truly believe that it was because I actively got myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do. You know that expression that people say; something along the lines of “say yes to every opportunity”? I’ve pretty much have been saying yes to a lot of things in life, and because of it I’ve been on many adventures and made tons of memories doing so. Also in my time of exploring, I’ve gotten to try many new things, some in which are now some of my favorite things of the month.

So without further ado, let’s get into some of my favorite moments!

1.) SparklyWarTanks “Mighty Mic” Event

Participating at Nina’s open mic event about anxiety and depression allowed me to share my story and my journey through my own personal anxiety and depression. For the event, I read “It’s My Turn”: A Dear Jane Letter, which was posted on the blog a little over a month ago and it has become one of my favorite pieces I’ve written in 2018, to be honest. Listening to other people discuss their stories and journeys were powerful, and I’m immensely proud of Nina for providing a safe space for people to open up and speak out about mental health.

2.) Weekend at Tori’s in Pennsylvania

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I won’t go too much into detail about this highlight since it’s already written as a travel diary on TNTH, but seeing my college friend after not seeing her for a year and a half was such a great and amazing experience. Like I mention in my travel diary, this was my first time ever taking a solo trip, so I was so glad that it was a successful trip. Our friendship is one that I know will last a very long time because even after all this time, nothing changed between us. I honestly can’t wait to make this a regular thing in the upcoming year!

Now for some favorites!

3.) Girls’ Generation (SNSD)

Ever since discovering TWICE¬†earlier this year, I’ve slowly started to immerse myself into the K-Pop world. Groups that are in the business right now are considered to be third generation boy/girl groups, so it was weird that I started to gravitate towards an older group, Girls’ Generation.¬†Girls’ Generation debuted in South Korea in 2007, during the era that boy bands were superior and more well-known. They definitely played a major role in putting girl groups on the map, and I could understand why the group was so well-received. They were a group that was able to grow with your audience as they got older, as well as experiment with different concepts without looking or feeling awkward. They were also all well-rounded international speakers, two in which were born in the United States. Although 4 of its members left the agency and the group, Girls’ Generation will probably always be¬†the¬†girl group, and this month I found myself jamming to their hits.

4.) Joanna Ceddia

If you are a hardcore YouTuber like me, you would’ve heard about Joanna Ceddia’s unique uprising within the past couple of months. Joanna Ceddia is a 17-year-old Canadian YouTuber that gained 1 million subscribers in three weeks.¬†Three weeks, yes, you heard right.¬†Whether or not you heard of her, checked her out and found her content annoying or too “Gen Z-ish”, I found myself obsessed with her content. With people comparing her to “relatable YouTubers” like Emma Chamberlin and Tana Mongeau, I find her to be nothing compared to them, in all honesty. Yes, she makes an extreme amount of silly and mindless type of videos, but she carries this aura that lets her videos know that she’s most likely this quirky and weird in real life as well. When she’s not DIYing her wedding dress or Christmas Tree costume, she gives her viewers a pretty clear image that she’s a pretty smart teenager for her age. She raves about books she reads, she is an athlete, and¬†she has a vocabulary much superior to mine, to be honest.¬†She really does represent the type of YouTube that was before the sponsorships, fancy cameras, production companies, and the business YouTube really is nowadays. Say what you want by her sudden overnight climb to YouTube success; she’s pretty funny.

5.) This Brown Purse

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This purse was purchased during my trip to Pennsylvania earlier this month. My friend was showing me around a place called Hobby Lobby, which is basically like a Homegoods and Michaels put into one store (I think for the most part) and I came across this beauty and needed to buy her. Originally, she was 20 bucks, but Tori hooked me up with a 40% off coupon, and this bitch was 12 dollars. TWELVE DOLLARS. Needless to say, there needs to be an NYC opening of Hobby Lobby as soon as possible. My first apartment will be covered in Hobby Lobby decor; I will bet on it!

And that’s about it!

December was such a fun month; I hope January is just as fun!

 

-Liz. (:

 

 

Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

What Not Celebrating Christmas This Year is Teaching Me.

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

First and foremost, I hope everyone is enjoying TNTHmas thus far; I really can’t believe that we are halfway done with it! Honestly, it does not feel like Christmas is only six days away, and there’s a valid reason why for me, it doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Now, this isn’t me being a Humbag of some sorts; I very much do enjoy the atmosphere of the holiday spirit. I love having Christmas decorations up in my apartment, I enjoy looking at the lit houses at night, and I’m a sucker for Christmas music! Around this time every year, I am wrapping up gifts and putting them under my tree to open them on Christmas Eve, and like the overgrown child I am, I get excited o see all the neat stuff my family gifted to me. This year, though, that’s not happening. Actually, my family and I aren’t celebrating Christmas this year the way we usually do.

2018, to say the least, has been very rough for not just my immediate family, but for my extended family as well. in April, my cousins lost their grandfather on my uncle’s side, and in July, my sister and I lost our grandfather on my mother’s side. My aunt’s family, my family, and especially my grandmother lost a lot this year. The holiday season is especially hard for all sides due to these losses that we had over the year. Also, on top of that, my family recently had a couple of health scares, which left us busy occupied on being there for them in their time of need. So, in the most simple way possible: celebrating Christmas this year just doesn’t feel completely right, and I understand it.

Not celebrating it with gifts and the stress that the holidays carry is teaching me that honestly, Christmas isn’t about all of that. It’s not about buying gifts and wrapping them and stressing out about the quality of your gift. It’s not about buying things on sale and having a million boxes arrive at your doorstep in hopes that it’s before Christmas. The holidays have become just this big pile of consumer bullshit that society has fallen under, which makes the holidays more stressful than enjoyable most of the time.

What I’m learning as an adult that the holidays are a hard time financially and mentally, and gift-giving doesn’t equal “love” in any type of way. Once the anxiety of buying and wrapping gifts is over, that stress of Christmas is gone until the following year. I never hear any more just how thankful people just are to be able to see their family at the end of the year during the holidays. After losing someone in my family consecutively every year for the past three, I realize that it’s a blessing if you’re able to see your family make it through another whole year together. I realize that as long as you get to spend the holidays with your family, that’s just an accomplishment all on its own.

I know this may sound completely cheesy and overly dramatic, but you have to understand that some people’s stories aren’t like everyone else’s. Some people don’t get the pleasure of being with their families during the holidays. Some people don’t have families to see during the holidays. Some kids don’t get the pleasure of believing in a Santa Claus because there are no gifts under their trees on Christmas morning. Sometimes, these things really can happen to anyone. This time last year, I didn’t know something like this would happen to our family.

So yes, while the whole act of gift-giving and being happy to see your loved ones adore the gifts you got them, remember that that’s just a small portion of what the holidays represent. Remember that the holidays are for you and the people you love most in life, whether that be friends, family, partners, etc. The people in your life are some of the greatest gifts you’ll have in life. Trust me.

-Liz. (:

The Travel Diaries, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

Travel Diary: Bangor, Pennsylvania.

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Friday, December 14th, 2018 – The Arrival:

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As much as I like the idea of traveling, my anxiety and body absolutely hate it. So, to say the least: I was tremendously nervous to be traveling to another state, by myself. I’m very much a “go on vacation with my family or my partner” type of person, and this was officially my first solo trip. Although it took some reassurance to myself that everything was going to be fine, I was extremely excited to see the¬†only friend I was able to keep after graduating college: my friend, Tori. I met Tori my senior year of college in an acting class, and honestly, the rest is history. Before this trip, the last time I got to see her was a week before she graduated with her Bachelor’s, so setting this reunion was well needed. The hours leading up to this departure flew by; I remember sitting in my kitchen just watching YouTube videos mindlessly until I saw it was 12:30 in the afternoon and only had an hour to get my life together before leaving. Needless to say, I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was but prepared enough to the point I left my house exactly when I was supposed to.

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An hour later into the city, I reached Port Authority Bus Terminal and frantically tried finding my bus gate. I forgot how huge Port Authority was; the last time I was here was when a part of my vocal choir had a show at a New Jersey college six years ago and quite frankly, I was just following the people who knew their way around the terminal. Luckily, I found my terminal through this sign, and the bus driver who probably saw just how lost I looked standing in front of his gate. The jitters and the nervousness finally went away when I took a seat in the waiting area of the bus gate. I was here, I was halfway to Pennsylvania, and now my body finally allowed me to be excited for the weekend ahead.

The ride wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, to be honest. Whenever my family and I would visit my grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania, the ride felt like hours, and I wasn’t going that much further than where she lives. By the time I arrived in Easton, Tori greeted me in the hugest hug possible, and that’s when I knew that nothing changed within the last year and a half apart. If you know me as a friend in person, you would know that I pretty much suck keeping friendships because of my social anxiety, and I’m so glad that Tori is understanding how that struggle is for me. Plus, I always value a friendship that although you may not see or talk to each other all the time because of adulthood, that when you get together, nothing has changed. That’s how I can tell a friendship is able to last through distance.

But enough of that cheesy stuff:¬†We went to do a couple of errands before finally arriving at her place. Her place is exactly how I would imagine a young, mid-20’s couple would live in: a splash of her Halloween-inspired aesthetic mixed with her boyfriend’s interest in movies and Marvel comics. (Well, that’s also Tori, but still!) Nevertheless, it was an apartment that had an extremely cozy and welcoming feeling to it, and that’s excluding the fact that her dog, Sasha, makes it even better.

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For the most part, we hanged out, ate dinner, and watched a short movie before her and her boyfriend headed for bed. It was still pretty early for me to hit the sheets, so in order to calm my nightly nerves and anxiety down, I¬†pretty much forced myself¬†to get comfortable. Back at home at night, I usually wind down to some Game Grumps on YouTube and pay a couple of games on my phone in the meantime, and I told myself that even though I am not home to do that, I could do that at her place to bring some familiarity that calms me down. I’m learning that having some sort of routine is very helpful in calming me down in situations where I may be getting anxious, so I make it a mission of mine to at least stay on a routine as comfortable as possible. Shortly after, I went to sleep.

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Saturday, December 15th, 2018 – Girls Day Out:

Sasha’s good morning kiss to me was how I woke up that morning. She licked my face as I looked up and saw her looking down at me. I heard Tori in the kitchen call out Sasha’s name, but it was too late: I got the wake-up call I needed. I helped make the living room more presentable by deflating the air mattress her boyfriend put out for me the night before and then hanged out with Tori in the kitchen while she made us breakfast with some coffee. Our morning conversation consisted of us talking about Jeffree Star makeup, which she had some of his pieces in her own personal collection. I am not really a makeup person, but I love watching makeup tutorials and reviews of all these makeup brands on YouTube, so seeing some of these lipsticks and palettes in person was a surreal experience for me.¬†Seeing one of Jeffree Stars highlighters in person was seriously an out-of-body experience. Like, I gagged.¬†Shortly after we finished breakfast, we both got ready for our girl’s day out, which consisted of more grocery shopping, shopping in general, and me¬†popping my Chick-Fil-A cherry.¬†

Ever since our college days, we always talked about how I wanted Tori to give me a makeover. Tori, to me, is infamous for her liquid eyeliner;¬†she’s not her if she doesn’t stab you with her fierce liquid eyeliner.¬†This weekend was finally the time that we had for Tori to do my makeup. Through trial and error (especially my stubborn eyes who rather have the liquid eyeliner in them rather than on them), the makeover look was done.¬†I didn’t get the chance to really take a picture of the finish look,¬†but I FaceTimed my partner to show him. Needless to say, he liked it. After Tori finished her look, we both headed out the door to begin our girl’s day out.

After we did minor food shopping, she showed me around a store called Hobby Lobby. Like I said, I’m a big YouTuber watcher, and a lot of these lifestyle YouTubers rave about how great Hobby Lobby is, so I wanted to see just how great it was. Update: it was amazing. Cute, yet cheap stuff is my middle name, really.¬†I snagged a cute little purse for¬†literally 12 bucks. It doesn’t get any better than that! After that,¬†she insisted that we go and get some lunch at Chick-Fil-A.¬†Bless Tori and her vegetarian heart for taking me to Chick-Fil-A since it’s nearly impossible to try it at the only one in NYC due to its crazy lines.¬†So, we got to Chick-Fil-A and ordered some chicken strips with waffle fries. The chicken was pretty good, but the waffle fries were literally everything. The waffle fries with the Chick-Fil-A sauce?¬†Ugh, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. (Also, you can tell I was hungry and demolished that plate of food because I forgot to¬†yet again take a picture of it!) After lunch, we went to one last store before we headed home.

During our day out, I took my polaroid camera because I never get the chance to use it,¬†and quite frankly the film was about to expire.¬†I never saw Tori’s eyes light up so bright before. She loved the camera, and I will not be surprised the next time I go and visit her that she has one. I was really happy to finally take some pictures with Tori;¬†I’m tired of sharing the same one as her birthday Instagram post; the one we took when we were still freshly college grads when we were babies.¬†I gave her some to keep and I took some back home for memories.

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Once her boyfriend got home, we pretty much did the same thing: eat dinner, watch a couple of episodes of¬†Friends, watched some funny YouTube videos, made some cookies and some bomb-ass ice cream, and called it a night. I was sad that the weekend literally flew by and that the next morning I was heading back to NYC. The anxiety (of course) began to creep up on me and I had to settle back down with my nightly routine. I was exhausted after the long day we had, so going to sleep wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. After having some ice cream, I was sound asleep.

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Sunday, December 16th, 2018 – The Departure:

I woke up from my alarm that was set for 8 o’clock in the morning. Needless to say, I was exhausted and just layed there for another ten minutes until Tori got out of her room with Sasha. It was a chilly and rainy Sunday morning; we mostly spent it drinking coffee and talking about her trip to see her mother down in Florida for the Christmas break. We then got dressed and headed to the bus station back in Easton. We said our goodbyes, and told each other that we had to do this again, especially during the warmer seasons of the year. I went to get on my bus back to NYC, got on, and an hour and a half later I was back in New York City. Another hour later, I was back in my home.

I was immensely proud of myself for putting this trip together on my own. We made the plans to see each other in the month I took off after being really depressed and suicidal for awhile, and I knew that being around friends would help me feel better. I was also really happy that I was putting my “travel aspiration” into gear, because that’s all I want to do while I live my 20’s. I’m still so young; I want to be able to travel to so many places before I settle down, whenever that may be. I want to be able to look back and see that I did what I wanted to do, and I’m so glad that I forced myself to do something like this. This was definitely one of my favorite highlights of this year, and I can’t wait to go back to make more memories next year.

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-Liz. (:

Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

When I Caught Myself Dissociating: A Story.

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October 4th, 2018.

It’s way too hot for it to be considered Autumn.¬†I flipped through all of the drawers of my dresser to find something to wear on this already frightening day. It was finally the day I got up in front of my grad students and spoke about my thesis and grad school experience for the majority of the class. No matter how many times I rehearsed it in my head, in the shower, in an empty room of my apartment; I was still fucking nervous. To say the least:¬†I was an anxious mess in the hours prior.¬†I worried if I was validated enough to even do something like this. Will they like me? Will they appreciate hearing my experience? Will they find me a nuisance?¬†Something bad was bound to happen, I kept telling myself in my head, and I hope that it wasn’t true.

I arrived later to the campus than I actually wanted to;¬†that’s how much of a mess I was for most of the day.¬†By the time I got there, the class was about to start in 30 minutes, and I had just a little amount of time before it was finally time to get up there and share my experience, and how I got where I’m at. I smiled and said hi to all of my grad students when they walked into class, trying to distract myself from what was going to happen. My former thesis advisor walked up to me and greeted me, to in which I blabbered out how nervous I was. Of course, she reassured me, telling me I was going to be fine and that ultimately, this is about me and my process. After one class presentation later, it was now my time to do my thing.

Please let me get through this without any hiccups.

I placed my powerpoint slides on the projector and¬†panicked¬†a little¬†when my former thesis advisor left the room to grab some water and start without her.¬†Shit, I’m basically in control now.¬†I looked out into the classroom of grad students looking up at the board, at me,¬†wherever really.¬†I didn’t know how to start this presentation without it being way too awkward, so I just opened it up with some background of where the hell these slides came from and how much of my thesis I’ll be reading from tonight.¬†I even made a joke about how if I were to read my 40-page thesis, we’d be here until next Thursday. Some laughed. Some didn’t.¬†I took a deep breath and began reading what I prepared.

I began the reading feeling okay about it; it was nothing to be worried about besides here and there where I got nervous and stuttered a bit.¬†You got this, Liz. Fuck that speech impediment and do your thing, girl!¬†I looked up here and there to see if the class was into what I was saying¬†because I’m insecure like that, and noticed that there were these friends who were talking among each other, laughing. Immediately, I felt exposed. Not knowing if they were just having a conversation about whatever to themselves or laughing at me for stumbling over easy ass words here and there, I immediately felt myself disappear.

The words looked blurry on the paper. It felt like my heartbeat was in my ears. I couldn’t hear the words coming out of my mouth. My vision was impaired, my body felt sniff, I felt like I was floating, yet I had no control over what I was doing. My body was not mine at that moment, it just felt like a statue.

Liz, you’re dissociating. It’s fine, it’s cool, just fucking focus. Don’t let your anxiety win tonight. Prove yourself wrong.

I took a deep breath. I made it known that I was extremely nervous. For the most part, the class supported me. They said I was doing great. To keep going. So I did.

I don’t know when I began to focus, and I don’t know when I stopped caring if people were listening to me or not, but I remember¬†looking calm. I remember feeling calm.¬†I remember cursing like a sailor because I tend to curse my mind out when I’m nervous and passionate; good thing you can’t tell the difference in person, but most importantly, I remember reminding myself why I’m there in the first place. I wanted to help others out by sharing my story in a sense. I wanted to give others the guidance and advice I didn’t get when I was in their position. I wanted to reassure them that they will make it out with a damn degree like I did. I also wanted to conquer my own fears of public speaking and challenge my anxiety a bit. Standing up there every week for that class is a constant battle I am fighting against my anxiety.

I challenge my anxiety and sometimes anxiety fights back by having me dissociate from time to time.

Standing up there every week, I find myself dissociating. It may not be publicly noticeable (most dissociation isn’t), but I know when I am. I don’t hear the words come out of my mouth, I get sidetracked, I forget what I’m saying mid-sentence & have to pause to remember what the hell I’m talking about, but I eventually get over that feeling. I began to focus and observe the class. I take mental notes on how I’m doing and how the class is doing and I remember why I’m there.

**Dissociation is something you shouldn’t feel ashamed of if you experience it!¬†Just because you dissociate doesn’t mean you now have DID, so please do not confuse the two! DID is a mental disorder, dissociation is a behavior/reaction due to a very nerve-wracking/anxious environment! Of course, not everyone experiences dissociation the same, so please acknowledge that the way I experience it will be/can be completely different than someone else!**

In other words: it happens, especially when you’re challenging yourself in the environments that trigger the most anxiety. The key to overcoming it, in my opinion, is to challenge it back. Don’t let it take over you and defeat your purpose of doing something. Don’t let it discourage you and hating an experience that didn’t actually go as bad as you think! In my experience leading a class that night, I received feedback I didn’t expect and it felt¬†fucking amazing.¬†

In my self-discovery, I am learning to challenge these parts of myself in order to take back control of my body. Dissociation & anxiety do not own me. Neither should it own you.

 

-Liz. (:

Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

Why I Started TNTH: The Origin Story.

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Can you believe Christmas is nine days away?¬†I mean, wasn’t it just Halloween, and now Christmas is around the corner? Before you know it, TNTH will be celebrating its 2nd year being a blog!

Whether you are a writer yourself, or just a person who likes to read other people’s work, I know how scary and hard it could be to start a new project. To be honest with you guys, TNTH was a blog that just…¬†happened.¬†It wasn’t this big planned thing that I was dying to do for years. TNTH honestly just happened one Friday night out of curiosity and here we are, almost two years later.

Other people who start huge create projects similar to a blog or a YouTube channel or whatever will probably tell you a better reason they started theirs; it’s a passion of theirs, they want to kickstart their business, they want to spread their word around the internet, etc. At first, I started TNTH for me. I had just wrapped up my first semester of grad school at the time, and I began to feel like I had no opportunity to write creatively anymore. In order to keep myself and my writing as creative as possible, I started TNTH. The name TNTH, (or Today’s News, Tomorrow’s Headline), came about because it was the name of my Tumblr blog back when Tumblr was at its highest peak. I wanted to use Tumblr as a real blog, but quickly fell into the hole of just reblogging images from other people. So, in creating TNTH on WordPress, I wanted to share all of these things that I never did before: I wanted to give people tips on how I survived college and grad school. I wanted to talk about the type of music that other people might enjoy listening to. I wanted a platform to express my thoughts on issues without writing a novel-length status on Facebook. As I started to see what type of content I enjoyed writing, I started to realize what my purpose of TNTH really was.

I wanted to be the voice for people who were too afraid to use theirs.

As a person who was once afraid to speak up and express myself, I know how beneficial it is to read and see how other people like me got to where they are. I followed many introverts on their journeys to success and wondered just how they got to the place they are in now. It’s inspirational, it’s motivational, and it feels good to know that there are people out there just like me who are able to make their dreams come true, or just live healthier lives. It’s extremely difficult to break out of patterns you are so used to; you even start to feel if not speaking out is just a part of your personality. But, everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone deserves a chance to express who they are as people and the things that make up their being. It’s so interesting to hear other people’s and their stories; everyone has one to tell. So, I made it my mission to use TNTH as a place to place help people realize that their voices matter and that it’s their strongest and loudest instrument. It definitely became an even stronger mission when I began to struggle with my mental health late last year/this year.

So, I wish my origin story was an interesting one. I wish it was something as storytelling as some famous YouTubers in why they started their channels all those years ago. But, my story and my mission was always simple: I just want to keep my voice going, while showing people that you could have your voice heard.

So, here’s to almost two years of TNTH! Thank you guys so much for being a part of my journey, and for continuing to come back and support TNTH. If you are thinking about starting a new big project, I say go for it. Now is the right time to do something that you’re passionate about. Do it because you can at least say that you tried it out. Do it because you want to!

Just friggin’ do it already. You never know what could happen.

 

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays, Twelve Days of TNTHmas: 2018

SAS: Stop Seeking Approval. (12/15/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

One of these days, I really should thank my therapist for helping me come up with ideas for Self-Appreciation Saturdays; a lot of what we discuss are easily SAS posts within themselves.¬†I say that because, in the recent months, we’ve both noticed a pattern of behavior that could possibly link most of my anxiety together:¬†I’m a person that seeks approval from others.

And she’s not wrong. I know for a fact my anxiety flares up the most when I feel like I’ve disappointed another person for if I’m doing something that a loved one may not approve of, and I constantly worry about bring issues up because I don’t want to upset people in the making. It’s weird though: I find myself doing these things because they just are so natural to me when in reality, there are the same reasons why defending myself and making big decisions in my life are so hard for me to do,¬†but that’s a different story for a different day.

What I’m trying to point out is that seeking approval from others isn’t such a foreign thing to do; many of us do that. Seeking approval from others typically stem from places of self-doubt, insecurities, and low self-esteem. It stems from a lack of self-confidence. Normally, seeking out advice is not a bad thing to do preferably for some guidance through something, seeking approval is pretty much saying that these other people have your life in their hands.¬†You don’t allow yourself to make risky decisions and learn from them yourself. It restricts you from your freedom.¬†

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By seeking approval, you’re losing such important parts of yourself that ultimately make you, you. You’re left living your life like a Sim character, to say the least. Your decisions are influenced by those around you, you’re left constantly telling yourself that you don’t mean shit unless someone tells you that you are validated. Your self-worth is left in the hands of other people, and I’m slowly learning that no matter how much it feels good to have other people see worth in you (I mean, doesn’t that say that to the universe that you’re a good person?), if you don’t feel that and know it for yourself, you will forever be seeking that validation of self-worth.¬†RuPaul said it best: if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else?

As a person who is actively trying to make decisions and seek validation for myself and to myself, I understand how hard it could be to break out of that toxic cycle. I know how hard it could be to not be so afraid of what other people may think or say regarding this big decision or anything regarding yourself in that matter. I know how frustrating it could be to have this desire to stop seeking approval or to had built up this courage of thinking and doing things for yourself and then ultimately regret it because you’re back to seeking that same approval from others. It’s not an easy thing to do, so please give yourself some time, patience, and persistence to achieve something to this degree. Doing this goes completely against who you are as a person and what you learned as a human being. But please, let’s stop seeking approval and start just doing because it’s our life and our decision to make.

Let your journey of self-discovery begin, guys.

 

-Liz. (: