Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (5/6/17)

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I’ve always lived by this mantra that the most important thing to be in life is being yourself. When you’re showing your authentic self to the world, people will classify you as being “real”. Now, I’m not saying that’s the only reason why you should be yourself, I mean there are many other reasons, but the most important factor of it all is that when you know who you are and what you represent, everything else in your life becomes more clear. You know the important things to worry about in life, the relationships you have with people will be more real, and there just isn’t error for you to make mistakes because you just know better. 

But it’s not easy to get to that point in life. My reinvention of myself was 2 years in the making, and even when life came crashing down on me, I had to start from scratch and reevaluate the new things that impacted my life.

But reinventing yourself isn’t impossible.

  • First things first, throw out any unnecessary things that you feel like are weighing you down. A week ago, I had gone through a big box of old notebooks and journals and found a ton of things in there that I forgot I even had. Most of the things got thrown away because not only were they taking up so much space but some of those things were things I didn’t want to sit and look back on. Like, why would I want to remember all the times I was bullied in 6th grade in my 6th-grade journal? Why would I want to read about the things my own best friend made fun of me for having epilepsy in my 4th-grade journal? I just threw out anything that I knew that I didn’t want to see years in the future when I stumble upon it while going up to the attic of my house. After throwing out all these things that I kept for years, I couldn’t help but feel mentally “lighter” than before. There’s something about throwing old things away to make room for new things that feels like hope. It’s weird, but it makes sense.
  • Revamp your hairstyle or fashion style. So, when I first met Obie, he rocked an afro. In a school where buzz cuts or waves or whatever that was in for guys, he had a little fro that made him stand out. At the end of 2013, he decided that with the little hair he had, he was going to grow out dreads. Officially in 2014, his hair finally locked, and three years later, he has long, almost mid-back length dreads. He always mentions the fact that getting dreads was the best decision he made because it changed something in him and being around him during this transition, I could sense the change in him too. People don’t realize that there’s some psychological reason in why people dye or cut their hair and somehow feel different. I know when I went blonde a couple of times, I felt like a completely different person; even when I went black I felt the same thing. There’s something about a new look in hair or wardrobe that gives you that extra boost to help you reinvent yourself completely.
  • Go over what matters to you. If you were to ask me 5 years ago what matters the most to me, I would say how people perceive me and my friend’s judgment about me. 5 years later, I’m nothing like that anymore. When I was in the early stages of reinventing myself, I had a couple of people in my life who were dead weight to me. But because of my need to be there for people no matter how they treated me, it took longer than expected to completely eliminate those people out of my life. Instead of wanting approval from my friends, respect and support from my friends became what really mattered to me. Instead of worrying about what people thought of me, authenticity and honesty became what really mattered to me. As you grow older, you soon realize the things that you thought were so important in your life as a teenager was actually immature, baby shit that has no real impact on the world.
  • Identity isn’t always positive things; embrace your negatives. There will be a time in your life where you don’t know where you fit in and that’s okay because it’s a learning experience. For awhile, I thought I was an extrovert because in my younger years I was one. Once I became a teenager, I realized just how much I was actually an introvert because I was always in my head. To this day, I’m very much always in my head, and I’m timid and shy in certain settings. These things are far from being positive things to identify with, but after I stopped trying to change that part of myself, I felt better. Being shy and quiet is something that will always be with me, but I’m also trying to not let it hinder my social experiences and interactions with people. Identity isn’t always positive things because no one is perfect. I think the want to be perfect is a negative identification within itself, to be honest.
  • After reinventing yourself, don’t forget where you came from. In the midst of cleaning out my things last week, I stumbled upon my high-school yearbook. I looked through it for a few seconds and really thought about tossing it out because it represented a part of my life where I was severely depressed, suicidal, and lost with no hope in life. I saw all the people who were my “friends” at the time, I saw all the people who fucked me over, and all-in-all, I just had to ask myself if I’m just keeping this piece of shit just to be normal and say that I have my high-school yearbook. I took to Facebook to express myself, and the overwhelming responses that I got to keep it surprised me, actually.

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The fact of the matter is that no matter how bad an experience was, it is always good to know where you came from, and how far you’ve come. The difference between my high-school yearbook and the other books I threw out is because my elementary school years didn’t make me the person I am today. My bad experience from high school made me want to reinvent myself into a better, kinder, smarter, wiser, and honest person. People who completely reinvent themselves usually do it so that they can forget the person that they once were. Sometimes, your bad experiences humble you. They remind you why it’s essential to be kind to others, why you are the way you are. Long story short, I decided to keep it. Maybe in the future, if I ever have kids of my own, I’ll show them that if I could overcome it, they can do.

-Liz (:

 

 

Topic Tuesdays: Advice

What Grad School Taught Me.

I’m the first one within my immediate friends’ group and family to be attending grad school. Ultimately, I didn’t plan on going to grad school for my Master’s because I thought four years of college were enough to last me for a lifetime. I knew I wanted to expand my studies in Cinema because I wanted to become a scriptwriter for awhile, and I needed more studies in film and television if I wanted to pursue that as a career. I applied in Fall 2015 to attend a film school in Fall 2016. I got rejected due to limited spots within the program, and by that point, I felt extremely discouraged and told myself that grad school was officially out of the picture.

Until CSI granted me the opportunity to continue my studies in their MA program for English. I felt blessed to have this handed to me without having a backup plan after the film school rejected me, so I decided to stay at my college and study English (again) as a grad student.

I am currently wrapping up my first official year of grad school. I will be graduating this time next year.

Boy how time flies.

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If you were to ask “22-year-old college senior Liz” what grad school would be like, I would tell you that it was going to be tedious, but nothing that I can’t handle. I still remember my last famous words being “I did 5 classes for two semesters straight; how hard could two classes be?”

Dear “22-year-old college senior Liz”, you played yourself.

Prior to attending grad school, I planned to do a lot of things with the spare time I thought I was going to have. I wanted to be more involved with my school’s drama club, I wanted to write a lot more scripts and potentially make them into short films or scenes, and I definitely wanted to finally get a job. After realizing that I had a project already due the first day of grad school, I realized just how intense grad school was going to be.

Grad school is definitely a different type of commitment you make than regular college. Nowadays, it’s ideal to go to college after high-school; most careers and jobs require a Bachelor’s degree. Going to grad school and getting your Master’s isn’t as common, hence why it’s more a commitment. The reality of it all is that you don’t have to go to grad school; you could be perfectly fine with life with just your Bachelor’s degree. So when you decide to pursue grad school and it becomes too much to handle, the question of “do I really need to do this?” definitely comes up. I know it did for me.

Grad school, especially studying English, requires a lot of research. You’re writing 20-page final papers, you’re putting on presentations for 4 different projects, and your vacation days and breaks that you have are strictly for doing work.

Grad school has definitely taught me a lot about my work ethic and how to properly handle my time management. My undergrad years I did my work very last minute, especially in classes that I really didn’t like. I went through many semesters not reading any of the books for my literature course and still managed to pass all of them with A’s and such. Grad school… a completely different ball game. The readings are longer, dense, and require a lot more of your time in order to engage in class discussions and most of all, you’ve made it this far. People don’t understand that at when in a grad-level class, everyone made it just as far as you. People are a lot more intellectual, and the people who may appear like they don’t do much in class are the same people who are honestly just low-key geniuses.

The truth of it all is that you have to physically prepare yourself for grad school and even then you’re not fully ready. People assume that grad school is just going to be a little bit harder than undergrad (or even easier) when really, two classes feel like two full-time jobs. Grading is different, attendance is different, the work is different, and yes – even the stress is different.

In my bad habits turned to good ones’ post, I explain how I had to revamp my time management skills by pretty much using my calendar to write down even the days that I have to do work. Grad school work is nothing like undergrad; YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT FOR THE LAST MINUTE. It’s impossible, to say the least.

Last but certainly not least, you have to change your attitude towards school if you want to pass grad-level classes. Specifically, at my school, I have to keep at least a 3.0 GPA (in other words, a B) in order to graduate. My GPA right now is a 3.3, which honestly can change with just a simple bad grade in one course. The pressure that comes with exceeding in grad school literally wears you out, and if you don’t have tough skin to handle the ups and downs of grad school, then grad school isn’t the place for you.

It’s the honest truth.

Of course, grad school isn’t just this horrible place of negativity and anxiety. If anything, grad school has made me into a better writer and has been teaching me the reality of what it takes to be respected in academia. In the near future, I’ll be writing a post about the writing/rhetoric composition side of writing I learn in grad school that I never knew even existed; but that’s beside the point. As a grad student, you are granted this freedom that you don’t get as an undergrad. In grad school, you are allowed to have your own ideas and explore all these different things without having your professors tell you you’re off-topic or some shit (of course, some professors are just naturally one-sided). As a grad student, there is this certain respect you get from your peers that you don’t necessarily get from undergrad because the classes are just overly crowded on the undergrad level. You also get to connect with professors better when you’re on the grad-level (honestly, Professor Carlo has been such an inspiration for me while on this grad school journey, so thank you for making me a better writer).

All in all, grad school is a risk that you should take if you believe that you can do it. It’s okay if you know deep down inside you can’t handle it; it’s not for everyone. I didn’t know that it was essentially for me, and I’m still trying to cope with the new surroundings and identity being a grad student. Yes, at times I feel like the stress and anxiety do take over me, but personally, I feel like grad school has made me grow into myself and to perfect my craft as a writer.

So, if you’re thinking about grad school, I say go for it. There’s nothing wrong furthering your education. If you’re not thinking about grad school, don’t sweat it. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to.

-Liz (:

Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: All About 2014.

2014 was an amazing year for personal growth. The year before was a rough one; I was very much still dealing with lingering depression from high school, my freshman year of college wasn’t the greatest experience ever, and I was holding on to toxic friendships that were ruining the friendships that meant something real to me. Starting my sophomore year of college, I had a better head on my shoulders, and 2014 is still a year I very much look back at and hope to have another year like it.

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20-year-old Liz on her 20th Birthday.

Continue reading “#TBT: All About 2014.”

Important

Just a couple of minor thoughts.

These posts seem to be written far too frequent, and I apologize that that’s the case.

I’ve just been feeling really out of place and under the weather for a couple of weeks for many reasons, and keeping up the blog has not been something I’ve personally been wanting to do with my free time. In all honesty, it’s one of the things that I’m starting to consider stressful, especially on top of my schoolwork and all that jazz.

Honestly, I feel like I’m slightly getting lost and slightly depressed. The last thing I would want to happen is if I completely lost myself because of everything currently going on around me.

I personally need some space.

I’m taking a break from TNTH these following two weeks, which means that no new posts will be published until then. I need time to plan out what I want to write, as well as have time to do what I have to do personally and just get myself out of this funk.

I just don’t feel like I’m currently in the right mind space to be writing blog posts about positivity and happiness when I’m personally not feeling that myself.

I definitely am still planning to do the Instagram Livestreams during Spring Break, so yes, TNTH will be back the week of Spring Break, starting Saturday, April 8th. 

Again, thank you guys for sticking around, whether you click on the links I share throughout my social media accounts, or find my blog posts on the WordPress Reader; I appreciate each and every one of you who read my stuff.

I apologize, again, for going on this hiatus from the blog. As much as I want to write and post and create for this blog, my mental health and schoolwork take priority in everything.

See you guys in two weeks.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (3/25/17)

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The word “selfish” isn’t a bad thing to be.

People tend to think selfish people are these narcissistic people who only care about themselves and don’t have any regards to anyone else around them. Yeah, that’s what selfish people do, and it’s a shitty thing to be, but there is a way to be selfish without having the “selfish stigma” smacked on your back.

In other words, being selfish with yourself is not a bad thing.

Continue reading “Self-Appreciation Saturday. (3/25/17)”

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (3/11/17)

Goals are the things that keep us going in life. They are typically used to better yourself and your habits, and to keep you moving forward with the things you want in life and want to achieve.

People will tell you time and time again that goals are easier said than done. It’s great to set goals because it’s honestly something that you want to change, but to sit down and finally change your lifestyle for these goals is probably the hardest part.

In other words, actually starting is what prevents us from actually achieving our goals.

Last year, I made a goal for myself to write in a daily journal every day for the entire year. Once I realized that I actually did what I wanted to do, 2017 became the year where I was going to set life-changing goals. I’m a person who lives in self-doubt because I sometimes feel like I set goals that are impossible to achieve because I just lack patience doing them. I realized that I’m a long-term goal maker, and sometimes I forget to set short ones that coincide with the overall goal I have.

I dedicated to set goals for myself this year and so far, they’ve been going pretty well. Here are some of my goals that I’ve set for myself and here’s how I’m keeping them.

Weight Loss

I’ve been wanting to lose weight for the past 4 years, and for awhile it was working. Of course, I got impatient to actually see results, and losing weight was beginning to get difficult for me because I wanted certain to eat certain food. After getting my gallbladder removed, it caused rapid weight gain in the course of 4 years and I started to notice it in my activity and my size in clothing. In 2015, I joined Weight-Watchers for 2 months and lost 15 pounds, but I didn’t stick to it because of the immense stress I was going through at the time. Since then, I’ve been discouraged about losing weight because I believed I wasn’t ever going to lose it. I realized that my weight was becoming one of my disadvantages in doing things, so I told myself that this was going to be the year that I was going to lose weight. I’ve been back on Weight-Watchers for two weeks, and although it’s been pretty hard, I’m still trying to adjust, and I lost my first 4 pounds.

People tend to think of losing weight being their primary goal of dieting, which really isn’t a goal, it’s a motive to diet. Once you understand that “dieting” is a lifestyle change, then you’ll start to think of it as starting a new habit. The reason why most diets don’t succeed is that you can’t restrict your body for wanting something that you’re not giving it. By restricting yourself from food your body is used to having, you’re just causing it to crave it more. I believe that Weight-Watchers helps me with that, in all honesty. It’s all about measurements and portions, and the points really do help me keep on track what I’ve been eating. Yeah, I sometimes go over my daily points, but the program allows you points throughout the week that you’re allowed to have because the fact of the matter is that it’s not the most realistic thing to constantly be within your limit every day. You should always try to, but don’t feel bad if you do go over your limit. Just know that you’re capable of changing the little things everyday, and always remember that losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re looking to lose a good amount of weight like I am, you have to tell yourself that it’s going to take some time to reach your weight goal. Personally for me, I would like to lose at least 30 pounds by the summertime, whether it be the start of it or the end of it. If I keep my mind focused and positive on the lifestyle change instead of the pounds, than I believe I could achieve my goal.

Finishing Grad School & Staring Life in 2018

I am currently in my second semester of grad school, and this time next year, I will be most likely getting ready to graduate in the upcoming months. As of now, I’m doing pretty good for a first-year grad student, but I’ve heard some horrendous stories of people taking up to 4 years on their Master’s because of the amount of work is needed to graduate. School has always been an easy thing to maintain, but for those who find it hard to balance out school and life, I say to always organize your workload. with grad school being a lot more intense with work, organizing your time management and assignments will help you succeed without the never-ending stress and doubt of not completing school.

Of course, the biggest concern of mine has to do with the fact that I have absolutely no idea how to transition my life from being a student to being a functional adult with a real job in the real world. I also going through this almost quarter life-crisis where I have set goals to do something with my life, but don’t have the necessary resources to do what I want to do. Where yes, it will be harder to get in the field that I want to be with my MA degree, I just have to really start working on my craft and hopefully get in my field without actually getting a degree on it.

Working on my Craft

Eventually, I want to be a scriptwriter, whether it be for the big screen, silver screen, or the stage. I applied to get my MFA in Screenwriting in a film school, and when I got rejected from it because of it being overly competitive, I decided to continue my education at CSI and just get my MA in English. Although I told myself that this will be a solid Plan B if everything else fails, I am beginning to realize that because of it being extremely demanding, I am not writing creatively as much as I want to.

One of the things I’m doing now is as I begin to use TNTH as a platform I can write creatively, I still want to incorporate my script writing into my blog, and eventually start working on a bigger project. I say if anyone is in a place where they want to do something creatively and don’t have the time to do it, you should make the time to do what you love doing. My friend, Tori, is currently a student teacher at a high-school and taking three classes on top of that, and she still finds a way to draw and paint; something she has a passion for. The time people are spending just watching TV or watching YouTube videos (like me), you could be working on a creative project that you’ve been holding off for awhile. Live my the most basic cliche: practice makes perfect.

Personal Growth

Besides my weight and academics, one of my main goals every year is to experience some self-growth. That could mean anything between drinking more water, letting my hair breathe and grow, reevaluating my values, maintaining friendships and relationships, and just keeping positive vibes and happiness in my mind.

Personal growth is just as time-consuming as physical growth, because life happens and it leaves you in unfortunate situations. Your job as a person is to remind yourself that you are doing this for yourself, and not for anyone else. When you take good care of your mind and stay positive, you start feeling good about yourself and your decisions will be more influenced instead of being impulses to make life better.

Goals are all about perseverance, determination, and consistency. Anything can be turned into a habit, whether it be good or bad. Of course, we want good habits to develop, and they can happen if you keep it up. Try to make your goals an actual reality, and see just how proud it will make you feel.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (2/18/17)

Relationships are tricky. They are either beautiful and romantic, or harsh and rough when you’re in them. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, we can all agree as soon as we started to notice the opposite sex and be attracted to them, our want or desire is to be in relationships. I mean, I had friends be in relationships just so they can be in a relationship… but that’s a different story.

Relationships is a form of commitment that take a lot of time and effort to keep healthy and stable from both parties involved. Because of that, people tend to not take care of themselves while putting their time and energy into another person.

Personally, I had to find a healthy balance between taking care of myself and being available for my partner. Being involved with someone means you’re putting in yourself, time, and dedication in someone else.

And let’s be honest, it could be draining for oneself.

Relationships deal with one of the strongest emotions we feel as people: love. If you’ve ever been in love before, you know how crazy it makes you feel, think, and behave. I guess this is where I talk about the different stages of thought in a relationship and all that and how to prevent the crazy that comes along with them.

The type of relationship you are in:

It’s 2017. Just how sexual orientation is more diverse (in a sense where you can identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, asexual, etc.) Relationships are also being changed in terms of identification. There’s monogamous relationships, polygamous relationships, exclusive relationships, and open relationships labeled/unlabeled relationships, and probably even more than that. What all that matters is that you and your partner know what you guys are and compromise the type of relationship you want to identify with. Remember, many people aren’t receptive of the fact that relationships are beginning to be more flexible and solely seeing anything that’s not a monogamous relationship as “not a real relationship.” Tell them to go fuck themselves. Personally for me, I’ve dealt with people, especially people who didn’t know anything about the type of relationship I have with my partner, telling me that just because my relationship isn’t officially labeled, it wasn’t real.

But what defines a real relationship? Love and affection? Dates? Support? Mutual feelings? Consistent sex with just one person? Trust and Loyalty? What if me and my partner do all of the things above? Is it still not real because it’s not labeled? You and your partner should know where you two stand and respect each other’s wishes. Knowing what you guys are is essential; you’re not left in the dark thinking that you’re one thing but it’s really something else. Just talk to your partner. Ask them what’s the deal and talk to them. It’s the only thing that’s going to give you your answer.

Toxic Relationships vs. Healthy Relationships:

Love is definitely blind, whether they are healthy or toxic for you. You may not know the differences between the two once you’re head over heels for your partner, but your intuition always knows. If something in your relationship doesn’t feel right (maybe you can’t communicate to them without feeling guilt, or see them acting weird towards you without no explanation, or whatever the case may be), then something is not right. Healthy relationships don’t have the constant doubts and worries that toxic ones do, obviously. When healthy relationships do have concerns or doubts, they are communicated with each other to work things out. Healthy relationships allow you to still be yourself, while toxic ones make you feel like you’re restricted and robotic, only doing things to please your partner or make them happy instead of making yourself happy. If you’re able to distinguish what kind of relationship you are experiencing with your partner, then you can take the next step into either bettering your relationship, or bettering yourself. In my personal experience with a toxic-relationship-esque in my past, I know just how difficult it is to let your mind take the shots without your heart influencing any say of your decision. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if the person you’re involved with helping you become a better person, or preventing you from doing so?

Self-Care while in a Relationship:

Even if you are in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you stop taking care of yourself (and I don’t mean in a physical sense like weight or looks). Like I said previously, relationships are a commitment that involves you giving at least half of your time, love, and dedication to someone else, which can open up a lot of vulnerability. In other words, relationships can show you just how flawed you may be. I know that time and time again, I can see that the flaw of not being able to cook being immensely more important with the person I am with rather than it just being myself. By myself, I find that cooking for myself isn’t high on my list of things to do because I still live at home and eat whatever my mom decides to make. When I’m with my partner, I know that my lack of cooking skills makes me feel bad because he cooks for me, and I never could cook for him. It’ll change though. Someday. But some other people discover even bigger flaws in themselves; I know my baddest flaw I used to have was that I needed validation from my partner 24/7 or else I wouldn’t feel good about myself. Just because you are now in a relationship, doesn’t mean that other person completely owns you now. You still have to take care of yourself and keep your mind healthy in order to help keep your relationship healthy. If you’re not able to think for yourself or feel appreciated without your partner telling you so, then you have to think about if you’re ready to be in a relationship. Your partner isn’t going to want someone who can’t think for themselves or constantly needs them to baby them. You are a grown ass adult who should be thinking for your grown ass self! That babying thing was so high-school.

Consistency in a Relationship:

One thing that I learned with my partner is that consistency is key. If your partner is consistently holding you down, consistently making time to see you in person, consistently tells you what’s going on in their life, then your partner is going to put their trust in you. A partner who randomly pops in and out of your life isn’t consistent, and that’s when you start thinking about all the possibilities of why they are moving the way they are moving (especially us women). Consistency also eases your mind; instead of questioning is every Snapchat post and where they’re going and what they’re doing, you’re putting trust in your partner because their actions add up. If you have a partner who tells you they love you to the moon and back, but their actions lack of it, then something is not clicking and you will begin to question every little thing. If your partner says what they mean and mean what they say, then you don’t have to always keep tabs on them, and you can live on with your day. Putting your absolute trust in someone else is extremely risky, but you have to know the person you are dealing with and the things that they do. I know for a fact that my partner was once a party-goer. He went to every party he was invited to and stayed out for the entire night. Now that he’s older, he’s more of a home-body that stays in his room and invites a couple of his closest guy friends over to smoke and hangout and be dudes. If he does go out, he goes to the bar with the same group of friends and goes straight home when he is ready. I never have to worry about him trying to pick up other girls or hooking up with them, because his words match his actions and vice versa. Being consistent is just as important as honesty, trust, and loyalty; in a way I feel like all those things come when you and your partner are being consistent. Being consistent allows you to still be yourself and maintain a relationship, because you’re being honest with yourself and your partner, doing the normal things you usually do.

Some people are luckier than others when maintaining themselves and being themselves in relationships. Relationships are never black and white and they differ for everyone, but what’s universal is the fact that it is important to take care of yourself just as much as the person you are involved with. Relationships are just an extension of you; they don’t define who you are as a person and what your interests or hobbies are. You’re still your own person, so make sure to take care of it not just for your partner, but for you absolutely first.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday (2/4/17).

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I am a fat girl, and I’m not ashamed to call myself that.

I never liked to call myself the “F” word because I thought it was more of an insult than a term to actually describe yourself. For years I would call myself chubby, thick, big, curvy, chunky; pretty much any variation of what it meant to be fat. As I started to get older, I realized that I wasn’t any of those things because the reality of it is that I am not just a little chunky. I’m not a little chubby. I’m more than thick and big is not doing it justice. I realized that the word “skinny” is widely used to describe people in a positive light, whereas “fat” isn’t.

I admitted to myself not too long ago that I was a fat girl, and I’m unapologetic about it.

I began to get bullied in the 6th grade; people would make fun of me to the point that I began to skip lunch in school and drink water for 8 hours a day. The bullying was bad to the point that I remember losing it during my math class one day at the end of the year. I mean, it took a visit to my principal and the guidance counselor from my parents to finally stop the bullying, but it doesn’t mean the image of being “the fat girl” ever went away.

Of course, as I got older, I began to gain more weight; it’s life. When I was 19, I had to get my gallbladder removed because I was beginning to get unbearable pain from it, not realizing that once I removed it, it would cause such a rapid weight gain. I gained 60 pounds in a matter of four years, and I am currently at my heaviest. I can share this about myself because I am now trying to get lose the weight that I gained, and not so I “feel better about myself”, but because I want to get healthier.

My weight does not make me ugly. “Fat” isn’t a term you call “ugly girls”. My weight does not limit me from doing everyday activities, although it does make some things more difficult to do than others. I can walk, I can run, I can stand, I can love, I can be sexy, I can have sex, and I can be appreciated in someone else’s eyes.

Fat people are still people.

Fat Girl/Fat Guy Love:

People have this assumption that if you are a fat person, your love life is pretty much doomed. People think that fat people aren’t attractive, so they look over them as potential partners (of course, unless fat people are your cup of tea). I will admit, I tend to look over fat guys who don’t appeal to me, and I can say that guys look at me and say the same thing; but why does it have to be that way? Why is it programmed in our minds that thinner people are more attractive? Why are people so turned off by a stomach and love-handles? The fact of the matter is fat people love just as much as thinner people, and we like people and have crushes the same way as well. I had a boy in my middle school tell me once that he didn’t like me because “I didn’t look like his type” and instead proceeded to ask me if I can talk him up to my more thinner, “prettier” friend. Things like that make fat people feel the way they do about themselves, and end up never loving themselves for more than just their body.

Screenshot 2017-02-03 at 2.55.09 PM.png After all of the years of being rejected by the people who I liked, I finally had a connection with a person who still thinks I’m cute and pretty and beautiful in my own way. He, of all people, knows that sometimes my fatness can make me insecure, especially in times of intimacy. One of the things that I acknowledged that he began doing was whenever we would just cuddle and fall asleep, he will place is hand on my stomach. At first, it make me feel very insecure about myself, and I would actually move it away sometimes. I realized that after he began doing that, I wasn’t so closed in with my body as I once was. I believe it was a sign telling me he didn’t care about it, and that he loved me for me. Every fat girl or guy should feel that revelation that they can be loved too.

Fat Sex:

Stop thinking that having sex with a fat person is a sin. It’s just sex with a fat person. People have this assumption that fat people don’t have sex. “Fat sex looks like it’s complicated, I mean how is she going to ride? How am I suppose to find the vagina/penis? Is it just fat slapping against each other when you’re doing doggie-style?”

Heh, listen.

Obviously in my situation, I am the fat person during sex; my partner is about 120 pounds lighter than I am, and from what we discussed, having sex with a fat person is just as regular as “average people sex”. I mean, there’s just more thighs, more boobs, and a lot more ass. I am able to do anything a thinner person can do during sex, so why do people think fat sex is nasty or disgusting? I don’t know about you, but sex is such an amazing experience for me, and when I’m in it, I feel confident, sexy, and alive doing it. The Nerdy Nonconformist said it best in her blog post, “Fat and Fuckin’“, that “we have sex lives – often, really really GREAT sex lives – and that we are not all just laying in the bed, huffing and puffing, doing the missionary position only.  Or always doing doggie style so we can rest on our elbows.  We can bounce like no other and can put ourselves in positions that are AH-MAZE-ING.” 

She also points out that just because fat people have sex, doesn’t mean that we are having sex just to have it. Fat people don’t “fuck” anyone just to feel desirable to someone. Fat people, especially fat girls, are not having sex with a man who wanted to have sex with her to say “I want to see how sex with a fat girl is like”. Fat people aren’t an experiment. Stop treating their sex lives as one.

Fat People Haters:

There will always be people out there that deem our bodies as disgusting and disgraceful because “we are killing ourselves with their fat bodies more and more each day and it’s unacceptable to be fat.” As much as you want to punch those kind of people in the face, you simply just need to ignore those type of people. Sometimes, it’s hard to look past all the negative things that comes with the word “fat”. It’s the first thing someone will call you if you’re arguing with someone and it’s the first thing people will joke on. It’s also the oldest insult and joke in the motherfucking book. How about you come for something that might actually hurt me? At the end of the day, people who try to put down the fat community are just upset that we are currently in a movement where fat girls can wear “fat-kini’s” in the summer time and a fat guy can be just as smooth as a skinny one. The fat community is beginning to accept and embrace themselves in ways that we haven’t for years on end.

If you defend yourself and love yourself, your body isn’t going to be the thing people worry about. They are going to be looking at you for your intelligence, generosity, and personality. Even the skinniest people can have ugly hearts and personalities.

Becoming healthier for you, not because you’re fat:

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Going back to my story, I am currently on Weight-Watchers because for me, my health matters more. I am not sorry for being a fat girl, and I’ve accepted the fact that at my current state, I am fat. What I won’t accept from it is the fact that now that I’m getting older, my health can begin to take severe downfalls because of the excessive weight gain. I am on this new journey in my life because I want to be healthier and more full of life, not because my fatness is ugly. Stop thinking that dieting is just me trying to lose weight, because while yes, that’s one of the main reasons people do dieting, the other big reason is that people just want to become healthier and adapt healthier lifestyles.

I’m tired of walking up flights of stairs and gasping for breath when I reach the top. I’m tired of not wanting to get the clothes that I like to wear because department stores think that fat girls only wear housewife, looking clothes. I’m tired of not wearing tank-tops in the summer because it’s personally one of my insecurities. Just because I’m tired of feeling this way, doesn’t mean I hate how I look. You should want to change to be healthy. Not because you think you’re ugly.

“Fat” isn’t ugly. It’s natural, and it’s life.

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-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (1/21/17)

One of the hardest things to undergo in life is the aftermath of a friendship that either you or your friend decided to end. It’s not easy not going to that person anymore to gossip or share a good laugh, and it’s definitely not easy-going about your days not spending time with them.

I’ve dealt with a lot of friendship breakups, especially ones that were closest to me. At first, you feel like that person took a part of you away with them, but just like everything else in life, you learn to live without it after a while.

But with friendship breakups comes a lot of thinking and re-evaluating one self, especially if things ended abruptly. Sometimes, you may feel like you’re to blame, and other times you begin to resent your once-called “friend”. Either way, both sides of the lawn are not green in a situation like this.

So, how do you deal with post-friendship breakup emotions?

  1. For starters, don’t convince yourself by saying that what happened “does not matter”.  You know when you break up with your partner in a relationship and proceed to act like it wasn’t a big deal, but really you’re hurt or angry or whatever you could be feeling? The same feelings come through when ending a friendship as well. Convincing yourself that the end of this particular friendship isn’t a big deal is doing you and your friend no justice. Why put effort and real love for a person in a friendship if it “never really mattered”? You’re human and you’re allowed to express emotions. If you’re feeling hurt, feel it. If you’re feeling confused, feel it. Without doing so, you’re just bottling up unexpressed emotions, which is never a good thing to do.
  2. Think back and ask yourself if the friendship is worth fighting for. Sometimes (especially girls and women) we tend to argue and fight and end friendships over irrelevant and immature situations. If you’re mad at your friend because they didn’t invite you out to the bar over the weekend or mad because your friend is friends with a person you dislike, then you need to really think if what you guys are arguing about really that life-changing. At the end of the day, these situations can be easily talked over and compromised. If you guys can agree to disagree for the sake of your friendship, then cool.
  3. Don’t play the victim card. The absolute worst thing to do when there’s friendship mayhem between you and a friend is to make yourself the victim. Playing the victim card is something that teenagers do and when you do it in your 20’s, more drama will come out of this friendship breakup. If your friend tells you that they feel like you haven’t supported them in a while, don’t respond with “I’m always supporting you and I’m now upset because you think I don’t support you when really I do like how can you say something like that…” Blah blah blah. I always say this to people who ask me for friendship advice: if you feel a type of way when someone confronts you with something, then you are to blame. People who own up to their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions have a higher chance of fixing things with their friend. If you’re going to take everything they are telling you and throw it back at them, then your turnout for this friendship is going to end up being really messy.
  4. If it’s a toxic friendship, end it/be glad that it ended. I’ve had my moments with toxic friendships; I think we all have. The last toxic friendship I had ended long before it officially ended, and I promise that many of you may feel like that with a friend right now. If deep down you believe that there are more cons in the friendship than pro, chances are that person isn’t really your friend in the first place. Toxic friendships can be just as damaging as a toxic relationship. Toxic friendships cause you to act out of character just to fit your friend’s perspective of you. They cause you to act differently to your other friends by singling them out of your life one-by-one. They cause you to feel different things that you are not used to, hence changing your traits and personality. If you can admit to yourself that your friendship with a person is toxic, end it immediately before things are too late.
  5. Know your guidelines of friendship from that day forward. Because I used to keep around a lot of toxic friendships, I’ve learned to set a certain guideline for myself to see if a person is just an acquaintance or an actual friend. One of my guidelines of friendship is that no matter long or short you’ve know me, I demand support and respect from you and I’ll give you the same. People will manipulate you and say that they support you and respect you, but nothing speakers louder than a person’s actions. If their actions don’t match up to what they’re saying, then they aren’t really there for you. These guidelines will help you weed out who is truly on your level, versus those who don’t stand tall enough to be on your level.
  6.  Know your worth. A person who has a friend that constantly comes back after endless arguments or who doesn’t think for themselves will take advantage of their friend. That person will view you as simply being the friend “who always comes back”. I always say that the first time you go back is perfectly fine, the second time is okay, the third time is questionable, and the fourth time or beyond is too many chances. I say this being a person who was taken back more than four times, and it all depends on the person who is taking you back. Some people may drop you the first time shit gets rocky, and others will take you back the 10th time before they end the friendship. My preference, definitely three strikes and you’re out. If you keep forgiving the people who are constantly hurting your friendship, that person isn’t gonna think that much of you. And that’s when toxic friendships develop.
  7. Lastly, be open-minded about new friendships. After ending almost all my high-school friendships during college, I had a problem making actual friends most of my college career. Despite not having a normal college dorm life, I never trusted anyone enough to actually reach out and have an actual functioning friendship with them. Most of my college years was just me doing my thing in order to graduate on time, and I guess once I started to be more open-minded about people, I began to make some friends in college, preferably in my Acting classes during my senior year of college. Some of those friendships aren’t as strong as they once were, but I still got the chance to call them my friends, those who have supported me and respected me as a person since we all met. Because of me being open-minded about new potential friendships, I connected with a person who I never thought in a million years I’d be friends with, Tori! Sometimes, you need to just let old things go to let new ones come in. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if you know who you are as person, have guidelines for what a friend is to you, and if you trust yourself enough to start new friendships with new people, then allow yourself to do so! Take the risk knowing that life goes on, you grow out of old friends, and make new ones who fit the person you currently are!

Overcoming something like this doesn’t happen overnight. It could take you a couple of weeks, or it can take you a couple of years like it did for me. Your friends are an extension of who you are, so be friends with people who are just as awesome and supportive like you!

-Liz (:

 

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Importance of Mental Health.

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

Five years ago on January 17th, I had a nervous breakdown. I went to school that day not feeling like myself. I remember my favorite sweater had little blood stains on the sleeves where my forearm was located. The previous night, I had self-harmed myself. I went to my guidance counselor that morning and was too afraid to return to my classes, and when he made me go back, I fell apart. This day was the first of many bad days, and the beginning of a downward spiral I called life.

During the first couple of months into that year, I was severely depressed. I pushed all of my good friends away from me, the people who I thought were my good friends all turned their backs on me, I had a bad reputation with the people I once cared for, and I was constantly fearing for my well-being.

All in all, I was a victim of severe mental bullying.

Because of my severe depression and paranoia over the things that were said and done, I began to make choices and decisions that not only affected me, but began to affect those who were scared for me, and trying to help me out. But even then the people who keep trying to help you, get tired of helping a helpless person.

By April, I felt what it was like to truly be alone. Shortly after that, I had constant suicidal thoughts. “What if I just let a driving car hit me in full speed? What if I drank the entire bottle of NyQuil tonight to help me sleep forever? Would anyone care if I was gone?” 

It was my lowest point in my life thus far.

It took me a very long time to gain back control of my life. The constant fear and loneliness I felt always came back. The recovery stage of my life took years to complete. Sometimes I feel like I’m still at that stage of my life. In some sort of strange way, I can only imagine this is what PTSD feels like. But after it all, I came out of it a better person. Those traumatic events help define me because I am who I am because of them. It’s why I’m an advocate for proper mental health awareness and self-care.

Many people don’t realize that being mentally healthy is just as important as being physically healthy. People will live most of their lives with these problems; some are too afraid to admit that they might be mentally ill because of the stigma mental health has. “People with mental illnesses are dumb and stupid, they’re just damaged goods” is just one of the many things I’ve heard people describe mental illness. Mental illness is just as important to treat, just how cancer, chronic illnesses, and physical illnesses are.

I was lucky to get myself out of my own depression. I know a lot of people who aren’t fortunate enough to handle their depression and get out of it. Depression is so much more than “just being sad”. People who have depression attempt and commit suicide more than any other diagnosed mental disorder. It constantly makes every feeling you have ten times worse; you feel lonely when you’re not, you feel hopelessness and unworthy when you’re not, and you feel sad even when you’re smiling.

All people heal differently. I know my coping mechanisms may not work on some people, and that’s okay. As a survivor, many other people’s methods of coping didn’t work on me. Find your own or tweak some of these universal tips that I most certainly found helpful while coping with depression:

  • Write down how you are feeling in a journal. Keeping strong emotions bottled up inside isn’t healthy for anyone. If you feel like your inner bottle is filled to the rim, empty it by writing down how you feel. Releasing that on pen and paper helps you organize the emotions that you’re really feeling. It puts those feelings out in the world, and not stuck in your mind.
  • Find a hobby. My hobby when I was trying to get over my depression was watching TV Crime dramas, oddly enough. I started to watch The Killing and interacted with the Twitter community that these two women created. That fandom seriously saved my life. Find something that will ease your mind. I know a lot of people who use art as a source of relaxation; so grab an adult coloring book and color. Draw/paint something. Relax your mind.
  • Go for long walks. Every now and then when I need to clear my mind, I get out the house and go walking for as long as I need to. Focusing your energy on walking and being naturally alert of the things around you will help you clear out any lingering negative thoughts you may be thinking or feeling.
  • Always talk to someone when you are feeling down. I use to bottle up my emotions because I always felt like nobody wanted to listen to my issues or problems. When I realized that the only way I was going to get a second opinion on things was to talk to someone else, that’s when I found my one person to always talk to when I’m feeling down. My best friend, Obie, is that person for me. Finding a person who will allow you to talk will be hard to find and trust at first and if you can’t find someone to talk to, there are communities out there dedicated to talking to you when you are down. Just know you are not alone.
  • Always know that this feeling is temporary and things get better. When you experience something that was traumatic or life-altering, at first it does leave an emotional scar on you that could take a really long time to heal; I’m still trying to let mine heal after all these years. Just because you can’t make the scar disappear completely, doesn’t mean you can’t overcome the effect of it. Look at your emotional scars as motivation to come out of things stronger and better.
  • Don’t be afraid to get help. Sometimes, your last resort is to finally go and see a therapist and have a professional handy to help you with any psychological issues. You are not weak for doing so, but rather really strong for admitting you need the extra help. The quicker you accept this and look past it, the faster you’ll feel better about yourself.

At the end of the day, your mental health is extremely important. If your mind is healthy, you will start making decisions that are healthy for you. Your mentality is your reality, so make everyday a great one by simply taking care of your mental health.

I made it my mission to get my mind healthy again. I survived it. You can too.


-Liz (:

*All images included in this post belong to the person who created these wonderful, beautiful statements about mental health and self-care.