Blogust 2018: The Series, Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: News Culture Could Be Playing a Role with Your Anxiety. (8/4/18)

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Hey, guys, welcome back to TNTH.

I wanted to write this post because I believe this affects a lot of people in our generation; not just those who suffer from anxiety disorders. I’ve recently been watching a lot of people online and in my neighborhood discuss various things that have happened within the last month, and these things have been happening since the year started, to be honest. We could all pretty much admit that the first major thing in the year that had everyone’s eyes wide open was the mass shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida at Stoneman Douglas High School back in February. Since then, things have piled on top of each other since then. The latest event that has everyone in complete shock is the fact that a four-year-old girl got ran over by a car who didn’t even think twice to turning back to see what they had hit, while the mother of the child was simply tieing her shoe. Also, it’s been said that the person who ran over the kid has a family member who is in authority, and threatened the mother to call ICE on her if she pressed charges. Whether it is true or not, it’s still a goddamn scenario that could easily be played out.

One thing that hit close to home was of the incident that happened in The Bronx on June 15th. Fifteen-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was brutally murdered in front of a bodega by a group of guys with a machete and left him on the sidewalk to die. This 15-year-old kid got himself up, ran down the back where the hospital was, and died inched away from the hospital. On top of that, the entire thing was recorded on cameras outside of the bodega with people passing by, looking at these guys drag this boy outside on the sidewalk. It’s disgusting, and extremely triggering to anyone. 

What sickens me the most about these type of news events is that there is always a video of the violence happening on camera. There are two videos of two different children getting killed all over the internet, and nobody is looking away. 

The news culture has become a place of the grotesque; it’s now a game of “who can report the most gruesome events of the day faster“. We see people getting shot and murdered in videos, we see people getting stabbed to death in videos, and I guess we reached a new low: watching children get killed.

As a person who constantly thinks of the “what-if” scenarios on a day-to-day basis, these type of things are extremely triggering to my well-being. Those kids in that high-school shooting didn’t know their Valentine’s Day was going to end up the way it did. Junior did not think he wasn’t going to see the next day when dropping off bus fare to a friend down the block from where he lives. That mother did not know she was going to lose her child when she put the laundry together and took her to do laundry with her. These people did not know their last days would be like the way they ended up being, and I know I am not any different. Events like this make people not want to send their children to public schools because they’re afraid that their child isn’t going to return home from school at 3pm and instead receive a phone call from the police asking to identify a child they found dead. In all honesty, people are more afraid to go out to fun events (especially after the Manchester shooting in England after Ariana Grande’s concert) because these fun events could come with a price of your life. I’m not saying things like this haven’t happened in the past, I honestly believe it’s the way news outlets report these type of things.

Let’s take the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013 for instance:

After reporting the Boston Marathon news for almost a week, most news outlets interrupted their regular programming to report live at a literal hide and seek game between the bombers and the SWAT team. They tracked the guys down and followed them, found them, surrounded them, and killed one of them in an entire day. It was literally like watching a scene from an action movie. To this day, I never understood why it was necessary to report minute by minute on a tragedy that affected hundreds and their families. Yeah, it’s news (and important news) at that, but showing such triggering an unsettling footage isn’t “letting the news be known”. It’s (to an extent) glorifying the event. It’s why so many recent mass shooters who stay alive after the incidents claim they are inspired by past mass shooters who had their name known for weeks on end and now for the rest of everyone’s lives.

Our news culture is extremely unhealthy for everyone, especially those who suffer from constant thoughts of these worst-case scenarios actually happening.

I’ve been terrified to go to certain places in my life because of the stories I hear and see on a day-to-day basis. I avoid certain areas in my own borough in NYC because of all the crazy and violent things that I hear happening there. While there are people who are able to watch these kinds of things and still live on with their lives, there are people who live in fear because of them, and it causes us to develop conditions that you wouldn’t even think of happening a couple of years ago.

I mean, I was told that I could be a possible agoraphobic. 

Now, I’m not saying that you should be oblivious to the outside world and not care what goes on; that just shows your ignorance and avoidance to some really serious issues going on in the world. Plus, it’s impossible to avoid the news in this day and age where the news is on every platform and screen you interact with. Sadly, it’s something you can’t just avoid and to all intensive purposes, you shouldn’t.

What I’m saying is that if you deal with constant thoughts of worst-case scenarios and you function the way you do because of these scenarios, take some time to breathe and recollect yourself. You don’t have to read pages and pages of breaking news. You don’t need to watch these videos of the violence on every social platform. You don’t need to know, hear, and see everything about a very triggering event, and that’s completely okay. Knowing every little detail and having knowledge about an event are two different things. Inform yourself, don’t harm yourself.

As to those who still get very affected by these events and don’t live with these “what-if” scenarios constantly on your mind, just turning away from the media once in awhile is good for your mental health. Take time for yourself during these moments of negativity. Also, know that you can’t live your life completely avoiding the world, and we as people can only hope that we are able to live on to see our dreams and futures potentially playing out in reality.

As for those like me, we’ll be alright.

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Your Life Has Just Begun. (6/30/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Before we get into this post, can you believe we are halfway through the year already? I mean technically, July 2nd is the 182nd day out of 365, which is literally half of the year, but you know what I’m getting at. How many of us can say they felt like they did live six months of 2018 already and felt like it’s been six months? I don’t know about you, but it feels like it was just yesterday that I was in Pennsylvania with my family ringing in the new year. It feels like it was just yesterday that my partner and I spent a weekend in Upstate New York for my 24th Birthday. It feels like it was just yesterday I was starting my last semester as a student, beginning to rewrite my entire thesis, and juggle reading poems and books for my two courses. It doesn’t feel like it’s already been 6 months of 2018.

And that’s been a reality for me ever since I turned 18 in 2012; the years have been passing by like it’s been nobody’s business, and when you take time to actually think about it, you sit there in awe and wonder how did you manage to make it this far into life? I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it to see past 18, yet here I am, a 24-year-old woman with two degrees and a whole life ahead of me.

But with time going by so fast, sometimes we take it for granted. Sometimes, we don’t see the consequences of having time move so fast.

We don’t realize that since we’re getting older, the people around us are too. Our friends who used to share their building blocks in Kindergarten are now proud parents of a Kindergartener. Our siblings who we once shared a room with are now living in their own apartments and houses. The parents who were lively and energetic are now older and prefer to relax on their days off. The family members who you use to see every other week are now only available for two holidays a year. And the grandparents aren’t grandparents anymore.

I’m writing this with a lot in my heart, especially since today would be my childhood dog’s birthday. His birthday, in particular, reminds me of all the beings in my life who passed away thus far. In the last four years, I lost two family members and a childhood pet and the process still isn’t completely over. I think back to when they were here and I remember how young I was. I still remember the day my family and I got Pal at the Animal Rescue in Manhattan 17 years ago. When you realize just how much time has passed, you wonder what will happen in the future. Most of the time, it is extremely hard for me to even think what life would be like for me in 10 years. It’s extremely hard for me to even think about what life would be like in 2020.

I apologize for this “Self-Appreciation Saturday” being such a downer, but I know there are people my age, younger and older than me, who feel this way. They may not go into such detail as I do, but adjusting to a life you’re not familiar with after being comfortable all these years is terrifying and difficult.

But, it isn’t impossible.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this post (and here’s where the “self-appreciation” in “Self-Appreciation Saturday” comes in), is that for many of us, our lives have just begun. Whether or not you’re still at home, a career or job or degree, or whether or not you’re about to start a new family with kids of your own, our chapter in adulthood is beginning and we need to embrace it and accept it for what it is. Yeah, I know how scary it is to picture a life without the people you’ve grown to love and trust since the moment you were born, but adulthood comes with that acceptance that every day with those people (or pets) is valuable. This chapter in our lives is all determined by us and us only; we are adults in the real world making real-world decisions; we are a new generation of adults who now get to live life the way we’d like to. 

I know I sound ridiculous and I swear I’m not writing this during witching hours, but thinking and feeling this way is such a huge problem within our generation because we’re just so afraid of change within ourselves nowadays. It seems like with everything else in our lives we are more than ready to change something, but let it be our age and how we live life and we all shut down, even if I’m just speaking for myself at this point.

At the end of the day, you and I shouldn’t fear the future. Yeah, the unknown is scary and creepy, but the unknown could be full of opportunities and blessings in which we could miss out if we fear change too much.

Your chapter of life has just begun; write it the way you’d want it to be.

 

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: I Don’t Want to “Settle Down.” (6/9/18)

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

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I just graduated grad school. I can’t lie, not being a student anymore is an extremely scary thought. I’ve been in school since 1998; literally for 20 years. Many of us don’t realize just how much being a student becomes a part of our personality and how it contributes to our work ethic in the long run. I know that being in school shaped me into the person I am now, and it’s scary knowing I’m going to be living a life now that doesn’t involve me being a student anymore.

I technically have to learn how to be an actual functioning adult.

I give props to those who are older (even younger) than I am and already on paths of being adults in the outside world. Many of you are living in your own places (alone or with your partner), many of you have children you absolutely adore, and many of you are either engaged and planning for a wedding or already married and living happily ever after. It’s amazing that many of you are living life the way you want to live and doing it happily.

I don’t want that type of life for myself.

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be the person to get married, have kids, live in a big house; y’know live the type of life we thought we were able to have when we were little kids. It wasn’t until recently I thought about it again, especially being in the chapter of life I am currently in. I realized I wanted more than that for myself. I realized that getting married before 30 and having kids is just not my way of a “happy and joyous life”. I realized that just because I don’t want to have kids or get engaged right now doesn’t mean that won’t change in the future. Maybe it will, and maybe it won’t, but I realized I shouldn’t feel ashamed of wanting a much more different life than the majority of people out there.

I never found myself to be the type of woman who constantly cooks, cleans, and takes care of kids. I’ve always known I wanted to be the one who was career-driven and successful and have someone who shared the same work ethic as me. I always knew in some type of way that I was meant to only take care of myself, and not because I’m “selfish”, but I literally don’t know how to take care of anyone in the way I know how to care for myself. I still have mad love, I still care about those who care about me, but I accepted that at this time and age, I do not want to have the family life everyone strives to have.

I want to be the type to travel the world. I want to be the type to be with a person who doesn’t care about getting married anytime soon or having children anytime soon and just cares about the present. I want to be the type of person who enjoys the rest of her 20’s being a bad-ass independent bitch. I want to be the type of person to be with my partner watching Family Guy until 8 at night on a rainy day eating snacks and all and not feel pressured to be talking about marriage or kids. I just want to live my life the way I know I want to live it.

So yeah, I don’t want to settle down. That doesn’t mean I want to jump in and out of situations with random dudes because “I’m too afraid of commitment”. That’s not at all what this post is about and those who share the same life goals as me shouldn’t feel like saying this is a bad thing. I’ve been with my partner for almost 9 years; commitment isn’t something foreign to me. When I mean “settle down”, I mean settling down to finally being ready put your own priorities in the back burner and care for another human being, let alone a child, anytime soon. I barely had time to get to know myself while being in grad school, I just know I want the rest of my 20’s to get to know myself better.

If you’re one of those people who feel pressured into settling down in your 20’s and feel like you have to pop out a kid because your “biological clock is ticking”, let me reassure you that you’re not the only one in this world who feels they physically and emotionally cannot take care of children, let alone their own. It’s okay to feel career-oriented and focused on yourself. It’s okay to want to wait maybe in a couple of years to have children. Maybe in this present day, you feel the way you feel and nothing at this moment is going to change that. There’s nothing wrong not wanting to settle down at this very second. Your decision is yours only and nobody has a say in what you want to do with your life.

Everyone has different paths of life, and it’s okay if yours isn’t like everyone else’s. Let’s be those “boujee aunties who travel the world and gives their nieces and nephews secret money at family gatherings to be the cool as fuck person” together!

Hey, it’s a thing.
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-Liz (:

Monthly Favorites

Favorites & Highlights of May 2018!

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

This “monthly favorites” is going to be quite short; I didn’t really have the time to explore new things or pick up some new hobbies during the month of May, but a lot of exciting things did happen!

So without further ado, here are some things that happened/I enjoyed in the month of May:

1.) Twice

In a world where K-Pop boy band BTS is winning the hearts of millions all over, I found myself obsessing over a K-Pop girl group, which they call themselves Twice. Twice was formed through a survival show competition entitled Sixteen where 16 female JYP trainees were fighting for the 7 spots of JYP Entertainment’s new girl group. JYP is known for forming groups such as GOT7, 2PM, Miss A, and The Wonder Girls. After deciding to make the group 9 members, the official Twice members (according to the order on the photo) are Tzuyu, Jeongyeon, Sana, Jihyo, Nayeon, Chaeyoung, Dahyun, Mina, and Momo. I first heard of the group actually once while in the laundromat in my neighborhood, and the music video (as well as the song) were both very catchy, and I decided to look further into them. When I tell you that their fanbase is massive… it’s insane. Although they aren’t as mainstream in the U.S. as BTS, Twice is internationally known and have the potential to become just as big here as the boy band. I don’t know what it is about K-Pop groups, but they work immensely well compared to American groups. So yeah, check them out if you like cute, girly, catchy K-Pop songs!

2.) Highlight #1: Submitting my Thesis

The submission of my MA Thesis was a bittersweet one. Even weeks after doing so, it’s only until now that I feel like the piece is officially complete. Working on my thesis for two straight years is something I never did with a body of work in my academic career, and letting it go to officially submit felt like sending off my 18-year-old child to an out-of-state college. No, I don’t know how that would feel, but I can imagine it felt like the way I did when I submitted my thesis. At first, I was really determined to get honors on my thesis, but when it only passed, I was grateful that it did even that. My thesis was a controversial one, and there were professors that fit the criteria of the “type” of Professor I wrote about who had to read it. I’ve got comments back having them feel quite defensive of my words, but in the long run, I spoke my truth and now that truth will be published as a scholarly work, which is unreal to me.

3.) Highlight #2: The Graduate Research Conference.

After submitting my thesis for review, I quickly had to put a 5-minute presentation together of it and discuss it in front of an audience. It was an extremely stressful week to say the least, but I got up there and possibly did the best presentation I’ve done in my entire academic career. I was so beyond proud of myself for getting my thesis out there, and for having my thesis advisor support me while I was doing it. It was a great way to end my studies as a grad student, and it’s a moment I won’t be forgetting.

4.) Highlight #3: My Mental Health Journey

I decided to add this in here because my journey towards positive mental health played a major role in May. In early May, I got diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I’ve been going to therapy every week. I decided to seek out professional help because I felt myself not being able to handle my anxiety by myself anymore due to the fact that my anxiety was now about long-term things I had no control over. Grad school made my anxiety a lot worse, and it’s not going to go away now that it’s over. It’s a process to overcome certain obstacles when there’s anxiety involve, and having to speak them out loud instead of having them circulate in my mind has been extremely helpful. Therapy and going to get your mental health checked isn’t always about getting meds and calling it a day. It’s about taking ownership of your own life instead of allowing your disorders or illnesses take ownership of you.

5.) Highlight #4: Graduating Grad School

I won’t speak about this in detail since there’s already a post on this, but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the most important day of 2018 for me. Almost a week later, it still feels surreal that I’m a Masters Grad, and I’m considered a “Master in English”, and it probably won’t feel real until I get my Masters Degree in my hands but it came, it went, and I couldn’t have had for a better graduation. Despite the weather being rainy and cloudy, I have to say this graduation was a lot better than my undergraduate one. It was seriously just one to remember and cherish as my last graduation ever… that’s if I ever go and pursue my PhD, which isn’t in the picture anytime soon.

 

So yeah! Hopefully, there are more things to try & to do in June; I mean, I definitely have all the time in the world now. ^__^

-Liz (:

Self-Reflection

What Grad School Taught Me: The Masters Grad Edition.

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

A year ago, I published a quite negative post regarding how the first year of my grad studies treated me. You can read that here if you’d like.

This time around, I am a recent Master’s Graduate and my perspective on it has changed for the better.

Liz, “Master in English”.

Yesterday, I attended my departmental ceremony and officially graduated grad school. 130 undergrads graduated with their Bachelors in English, and 7 grads graduated with their Masters in English. Within the ceremony, our MA Director did something that was quite touching; she acknowledged all 7 of its graduates and shared to the English Class of 2018 all of our MA Theses titles to acknowledge our hard work during our journey in grad school. For my moment, I felt like my hard work paid off, and it felt great to just have the title of my thesis read because it’s such a body of work I am immensely proud of. I honestly wouldn’t have had the passion and drive for it if it wasn’t for my thesis advisor, Professor Carlo.

Professor Carlo & I.

Professor Carlo’s class was one of two courses I took during my first semester as a grad student. I was 22, I was naïve, and I was extremely timid and shy to even speak in class. In the duration of her course, I began to see writing in such a different perspective, and I began to express myself in a classroom in a way I haven’t been able to do so since the acting courses I took during undergrad. I felt a sense of freedom and began to get a sense of what my voice was, and I honestly believe I wouldn’t have known this without Professor Carlo’s class. I knew since the moment she said “if you’d like have your final paper become a thesis”, I instantly knew she was the professor I wanted to guide me to the end. And she did, and as a thank you for her dedication, time (and ears whenever I rambled on and on in our meetings), I gave her a bouquet of flowers. I cried giving them to her, she cried as I cried. And that’s the thing: the last time I truly cried at a graduation was in middle school, a time where I was at the happiest in my life and that I knew I was truly going to miss being there with my friends. I cried at my Masters’ Graduation because I was sad it was over and that the journey that I once felt was going to last a lifetime, was now over.

Grad school taught me more than how to research and analyze text on a scholarly level. It taught me the lessons in life I was too afraid to learn on my own.

Bachelors in English.

Prior to grad school, I graduated college not really knowing what the real world was like, and I wasn’t ready to face it because let’s be honest, I didn’t have a hard time completing my bachelor’s degree. At first, I accepted CSI’s “fast-track” into the Master’s program because I felt like I wasn’t done. I felt like I wasn’t done learning, growing, and getting degrees in all honesty. My aunt is the only other person in the family with a Masters Degree, and it was about time that a millennial in the family got one as well. But to be even more honest with myself, I started the program because I was scared of not having a plan, and going to grad school felt like the security blanket that I thought was going to protect me a bit as I got my own shit together.

In a sense, it worsened me.

With every journey comes with some hardships and particularly, grad school gave me a lot of them. I lost most of my friends (old and newish), I lost a lot of my social abilities which created this comfortable bubble of just me writing and getting work done, and it became a reason why I am now seeking out therapy.

It’s how I found out I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

But even with all of this, I’ve learned how to look at it through a positive lens. For instance, I would’ve never gone to seek therapy in the past because I never allowed myself to believe that I was sad/unhappy enough to the point where I needed outside help. Grad school, without a doubt, made me more responsible and more willing to manage things, and with that came this ability to become self-aware of my behavior, actions, and my fears. It made me see myself in a way that made me feel very exposed, and I didn’t have any help trying to get “comfortable” again.

Grad school taught me how to be self-aware of myself & how to acknowledge even the most uncomfortable things in my life. Whether it was me having to wait near the bridge for my bus at 10:30 at night, or writing two 12-page papers in 3 weeks, I was very uncomfortable during my journey. Half of those things caused my anxiety to worsen; half of those things taught me how to cope and make this a temporary “new norm”. There was no compromise in the middle; it was either go for it or let it get you. And I think that’s something so important to know when dealing with an anxiety disorder and/or dealing with life in general.

The future for me is unplanned, and I am learning to be okay with that for the time being. I made it this far, to see this day, to see yesterday, and I know I’ll make it see the future. Grad school taught me there’s no room to be afraid to do something; you’ll never truly know what could be in store if you don’t explore outside of your comfort zone.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable teaches you more about yourself than being comfortable.

Here’s to life as a Master in English.

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Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Not Sharing Your Feelings is Selfish. (5/26/18)

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Man, I really don’t mean for these titles to be so clickbait like, but I swear: hear me out on this one.

I am one to avoid confrontation with a 10-foot pole. For the past couple of years, I never tried to bring up things or how I feel in situations because I’m always worried about how a person will respond to it. Instead, I try to just ignore my feelings and carry on with my day. While I thought doing so was a selfless act (I mean, I’m not hurting anyone’s feelings by doing so; I’m actually doing the other person a favor of letting it go), I slowly realized just how backward my logic was.

I went to see my therapist for my weekly appointment, and we discussed this concept of being avoidant. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the type of person to think before they speak (or at least try to). I will always think how the other person would feel if I brought up something that was random and serious all of a sudden. Many of the time, I see myself continuously doing this because I am simply afraid that my feelings or my thoughts will create an even worse situation than I intended to do.

While it is always right to consider how a person might feel when deciding to talk about how you may feel, keeping how you really feel to spare the other person’s feelings isn’t as great of a deed you think it is.

It’s actually worse in retrospect.

Now, I’m not saying tell your friend that her dress is ugly after she told you she feels really good wearing it. I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is that the more you bottle up your emotions for the sake of avoiding conflict and/or discussion, you’re hurting not only yourself, but the person you are interacting with.

Personally, I find it hard to bring up my feelings about conflicting issues because the second I decide I want to bring it up, I constantly think “well, what happens if that person doesn’t take it well and it results in you guys fighting?” Instantly after that, I’m back at keeping it in and ignoring it. Doing so is such a temporary feeling to a long-term issue, and in all honesty, you’re not allowing the other person to have a say, hindering their opportunity to express themselves.

Not every situation will have a good turnout. There will be times where the other person will not agree with what you have to say, and that’s completely fine. Communication in social/personal/romantic relationships is such an important device when hashing out issues you may overall have. Plus, you never know: the other person might feel the same way you do as well.

You never know if you don’t talk.

Talking about your feelings and letting them be known to whoever is around you isn’t an act of being self-centered. Talking about how we are feeling creates honesty and compassion, and it makes you extremely self-aware of who you are and what makes you happy, sad, mad, etc. I’ve learned that anyone who is willing to call you self-centered or selfish because you share how you feel without a filter isn’t really interested in who you are as a person; they are typically just people who want to be around for a good time.

Be unapologetic for what you are feeling. Allow your thoughts to open up a conversation that might be needed in order to move forward with something. Give back what you want from people and listen to what they have to say; you would want the same thing in return.

And the same thought goes with hiding your feelings; you wouldn’t want someone who you care about just hiding how they are feeling when they are clearly upset over something. Also, you would want a chance to talk things out and move forward with whatever you and the other person are going through.

The next time you feel like hiding your true feelings about a situation for the sake of the other person involved, remember that you’re just showing them that it’s okay to shove things under the rug without resolving it, which will only come back up whenever you guys are in another sticky situation.

So start the conversation.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Dealing with “Period Depression.” (8/19/17)

 

Courtesy of Seventeen.com

Yes, “period depression” is a thing.

When I was younger, my period never affected me drastically. What I mean by that is whenever I got it (and even the weeks prior to getting it), I acted normally and the symptoms of my cycle never negatively affected me. I specifically remember Obie telling me when I was younger that he never knew whenever I was going through my cycle because I never really had the stereotypical mood swings that came along with having a period.

Honestly, I think within the last 4 years, it’s gotten worse as I got older.

I think I’m one of those girls who are very in-tune with their cycles because, well, I am a woman who doesn’t neglect her period cycle for many apparent reasons. If you still are confused: I know the signs and symptoms of my cycle so well so that I know it’s my period that’s coming, and not anything else. But I digress.

Anyway, because I know my body so well, I’ve realized that as the months go by and I get older, there are better months of my cycle, and then there are absolute-shitty months that make me feel all of the things in the world. On the good months, I am able to go through my PMS week and my period week without any shift in my attitude, behavior, or emotions. On my bad months… I have to be careful about not making any rational decisions while going through it and I’ve honestly made some dumb decisions during it. Cue constant dying/bleaching/cutting my already short hair. 

During this time of the month, I constantly have to tell myself that I’m feeling like this because of it. It’s not because I hate my life, it’s not because I feel ugly, and it’s not because I’m unhappy. It’s literally because the chemical imbalance in my body is completely off and it’s making me go bonkers. 

But the one thing I find myself doing is being “sorry” for feeling the way I feel. Whenever I feel like I’m bothering something or being too harsh or mean whenever I’m going through my time of the month, I instantly feel bad and blame myself. In reality, whenever I’m going through my PMS and period stages, I really don’t mean what I say or how I feel. I just feel really annoyed and bothered and I think negative things whenever it’s that time, and there are only certain people in my life who understand the way I get whenever my period comes.

But even when there are people who understand your mood swings during this time, you still feel bad for being depressed and moody. Personally, it sucks.

I know it’s extremely difficult to not feel like a nuisance when you’re dealing with emotions, but you shouldn’t feel apologetic about the depression you experience during your PMS and period stages. It’s completely normal to be a little on edge– hell– to be a lot on edge, during this time of the month. It doesn’t only happen to you, but it happens to a million other women, hence why it’s completely normal to feel the way you do when you’re on your period.

What you shouldn’t do, is use your moodiness as an excuse to treat people like shit. I know for a fact I try to be aware of how I talk to people on my monthly because I hate, and I mean hate when other women are mean and nasty to me whenever they are on their periods. Also, you shouldn’t have to deal with your depression and just wait it out. Those couple of days of just pure mood swings is exhausting and draining, and no one deserves to spend a couple of days out of the month feeling like that. Take some time for yourself and actually do things that ease your mind.

Take it easy, and take care of yourself when you’re most vulnerable and uneasy.

 

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: The Best Advice for the Planners in Life. (5/20/17)

I am a planner.

I feel the most organized when I have things thoroughly planned out in detail for every day of the week. It’s why my dry-erase board calendar is usually full during the month, I currently have a TNTH Schedule for future posts, I just started bullet journaling, and I had two detailed outlines on index cards for my final research papers taped alongside my desk for the last month and a half.

Obsessive? Yeah, but in some odd way, it calms my worries about the short-term things that need to get done.

The long-term goals? Planning those things can actually create the worries you don’t want. I know for me, planning long-term goals are scary because things happen. Things change, interests change. For years, I dedicated my time to get myself more into the cinema scene; I took screenwriting classes to learn my craft and planned the next three years to study screenwriting and film in a graduate school specifically made for cinema. For once, I had long-term plans that I was working towards. But then life happened. I was rejected from the film school and I felt lost with my plans again.

Although I am in grad school getting my Master’s degree anyway, it still feels weird to not know what I want to do after I graduate. I start my second year in the Fall, yet I don’t have any plans after I finish. All of the people I encounter in grad school have plans of being teachers and such, but I know I was not meant for that type of job. I like English for the writing, not for the literature, and teaching English is dealing with the literature. If I can’t do cinema, I would want to do something solely dealing with writing.

The group of people I know and follow on social media tends to be people who are already in grad school, are graduating college in the next couple of weeks, or going into their last year of college in the Fall. One of the things we all have in common at these different levels in our education is that we all either have a distinct goal in mind after college, or we have absolutely no idea what we want to do. Until we all feel like we’re getting somewhere in life, those long-term plans for life are going to be at the back of our minds and make us worry.

And if you’re a planner like me, these worries turn into bad anxiety.

A couple of weeks ago, I was going through a major anxiety attack about everything in life. Literally, everything felt like it was crashing down. I spoke to my mother to talk the worries out and possibly get some advice to help me out. My mother and I have most of the same personality traits, and I needed to speak to someone before I considered talking to a professional. She asked me what were the things I was getting anxiety over, and as I was telling her, they all seemed to be about my long term plans.

As my mother was giving me advice, she told me to “live in the present.”

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Many of us forget that the most precious thing we have in the world is time. We are never granted another day or another year, and I learned that after my Uncle passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. We also tend to worry and stress out about the future so much that we never see the beautiful and wonderful things happening now. I remember my undergrad years as being a time where time just flew by. I was going by each day with the objective in mind of graduating on time that I never really enjoyed my college life. It wasn’t until my senior year of college where I actually started to enjoy my school life and just life in general. Although it’s great to try to have your life all figured out and focused in, it’s good to also enjoy the things around you. Enjoy your family, your friends, the weather, your interests, and hobbies. Also if you have a ton of work that you need to do in the present, get it done so that you can move on to the next thing you have to do. Sometimes, the constant work makes anyone feel robotic. The reality is that whether you like it or hate it, it needs to be done.

All in all, it seems like “living in the present” is a statement that appears to be obvious and cliche, but many of us just forget to do it because as a generation of people in our 20’s, we always tend to focus on the future. Take a step back every once and awhile to enjoy the little things in life.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (5/13/17)

It’s been a rough couple of weeks due to the stress and anxiety of the semester coming to an end and I’ve been trying my best to keep my mind happy. In an attempt to be okay and calm, I came up with a list of things to do when you’re feeling down or anxious about life:

  1. Try to wake up early. Sleeping too late makes you feel like you wasted a good day. Make sure to wake up in the morning and get things done!
  2. Go for a walk. Put on your walking shoes and take a nice walk around your neighborhood. You never know where your feet might take you and see what new things you discover.
  3. Seek change if necessary. Maybe there’s something you want to need to change in order to start anew. Cut your hair, revamp your wardrobe, pick up a new hobby!
  4. No drinking or smoking for awhile. I realized during my time of anxiety, I was beginning to enjoy handling it with drinking and the occasional smoking and after awhile, I realized this wasn’t something I wanted to keep doing. Saying no to any substances, whether in a safe environment or a party setting, helps you gain back some control you weren’t having.
  5. Keep a journal. Keeping track of the things you’re feeling or going through on a day-to-day basis helps you not keep those things bottled up for an extended period of time.
  6. Eat/drink healthier foods. Personally, I feel better whenever I’m eating something good for me like fruits and vegetables and definitely when I’m drinking smoothies during a warm day. Knowing that I’m putting good things into my body helps me think of positive things.
  7. Have a support system. Having people in your circle who genuinely care about your well-being makes the bad feelings go away because sometimes, all you need to do is have someone who matters listen to you. Sometimes in cases with anxiety, people who have it feel worried that when expressing their anxiety to other people feel as if they are annoying them. Just having one or two people sit down with you to talk about it will help you out.
  8. Never leave school work to the last minute. With two 15-page papers being in the process of being finalized and handed in, it’s not ideal to leave them for the last minute. Make time for yourself to finish all your work so that you can finally start your little break away from school.
  9. Laugh often. Laughter is truly the best medicine; don’t deprive yourself of it.
  10. Do what makes you happy. Read a book, draw, exercise, sing, write; whatever puts your spirit in a good place, do it.
  11. Stop waiting for life to happen. Make sure you are doing something every single day that it’s helping you move forward so that the “waiting” doesn’t feel like waiting at all.
  12. Be kind to yourself. Remember, you are not perfect, no matter how badly your mind wants you to be. You are only human, and humans are definitely not capable of perfection, so stop trying to explain to yourself why you feel a certain way or why you’re behaving out. Accept that you are going through a rough time, but never let it take over your life.

if they can do it, you can do it. remember that. focus, determination, passion. invincible.:

-Liz (:

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Pros of Journaling.

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For the entirety of 2016, I decided that I was going to journal write every single day until the end of the year. For the most part, I kept up worth it and the 300+ page journal I kept is now completely full of memories, moments, and simply just thoughts I had at the time. By the time the year was ended, I realize just how much journaling the entire year helped me shape into the person that I always wanted to be.

People dismiss journaling because people classify it being something that “emotional” people do to cope with their emotions. Where, yes, it’s a place where you most likely write your emotions down whenever you’re feeling them, but journaling could be s helpful when things get a little too much to handle. Nowadays, people keep bullet journals to help organize their life and make sure it keeps them on track, so it’s not always about writing to your therapist named “Diary”. I kept a daily journal for an entire year for one reason and one reason only: to make me feel better.

I came into 2016 from having such a rocky and terrifying 2015. I felt like I was slowly losing who I was and I needed to change it ASAP. I decided that I was going to keep a daily journal that would document the year 2016. 2016 was an important year for me because for the main reason that in June, I was graduating college. Who would’ve thought that there was so much more that I actually documented that are now life-long memories? It’s crazy how life works that way.

I don’t know why I stopped after 2016 was over, but I did. I noticed that towards the end of the year, my entries sounded a lot more like Facebook status updates instead of things worth documenting, but even after that – journaling really helped improve my mental health tremendously. I know everyone isn’t a writer and may not feel it be necessary to write in a notebook without a reason, but doing so helps you “talk it out” with yourself with words.

Sometimes, all you need to do is to talk out your thoughts to put them out in the world. Journaling does that while also keeping them confidential, just in case there are just some things you don’t want someone knowing like a family problem or health problem. Personally, I was going through a lot of family problems before I started writing in a journal. Although journaling didn’t help the problems go away, it did make it easier to cope and deal with my feelings in a way that didn’t make me lash out in anger.

I also wanted to start journaling to physically see the change in myself once I finished the book in a year. Although I haven’t had the time to read 365 pages of entries, I know I saw the change in just a few of the posts that I wrote. I began to write about the happy things in my life, as well as look at myself through an unbiased lens. It’s weird because I felt like journaling made me into a “real person” again because the journal had memories and moments told in my perspective, which meant I had to trust myself enough to believe these things happened the way they did.

 

Journals of the past.

 

The fact of the matter is that I was always a journal writer. I’ve kept journals since I was 9 years old, the difference between those journals and the daily one I kept was that these other journals spoke about things that happened because of other people. “Oh, this girl told a nasty rumor about me and I was so close to beating her ass at lunch today.” “Oh my god, my crush finally kissed me in the rain!” They were about moments that involved me, yeah, but these became impersonal because they never truly showcased any growing I did over the years. I actually just recently threw away a lot of my old journals because of this very reason. Why did I want to keep journals that never represented my journey?

Besides my middle school journal, the only other journal I kept was my 2016 journal.

Sometimes, journaling just shows you the journey that you forget about being on once you’ve already been there.

Because it’s already too late into 2017 to start a daily journal for the year, I’m planning to strictly keep a summer one. Because 2018 is going to be another big year for me, I might just start another daily journal then, to document that year’s accomplishments and big events that I can’t wait to actually go through.

Pick up a pen and book and start writing. Trust me, it doesn’t hurt to try. 😉

-Liz (: