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 (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Let’s Talk about Triggers. (4/28/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Last week, I wrote a post talking about speaking up about mental health and becoming more aware of it so that the process of seeking help wouldn’t be as difficult. I admit that it took me years to finally put my pride to the side and to reach out for professional help for some anxiety I’ve developed over the last couple of years. With that being said, I wanted to talk about something that was once the running joke on the internet: triggered.

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I personally don’t know where this “joke” started, but I started to notice a lot of the YouTubers that I watched starting to mimic the joke, or simply use the word in everyday conversation in the context that the joke was portraying it as. At first, I will admit, I didn’t see the harm in it. I didn’t see the harm in it until people started to use it in the context that if they saw an actual person “triggered” in a situation, that person’s trigger was looked at being a joke. Many people who deal with mental illnesses and have their own triggers started to speak about and express their distaste for a joke that clearly wasn’t funny. Just like everything trending on the internet, it eventually died, and “shook” took its place and all seemed right in the “internet trending meme world.”

But to some degree, triggers will never be taken seriously because of it and it is up to you to surround yourself with people who will.

Continue reading “SAS: Let’s Talk about Triggers. (4/28/18)”

The Travel Diaries, Topic Tuesdays: Random

Travel Diary: Poughkeepsie, NY.

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View of “Walking Across the Hudson”: Poughkeepsie, NY.

Friday, June 14th – The Departure

After spending most of the week preparing and getting nervous for going away with Obie for the first time, it was finally time to leave and start our 3-hour ride to Poughkeepsie. My bag felt like it was overpacked because, by the time I left, I felt the almost 20 pounds weighing on my shoulder. We met up halfway to Grand Central because – let’s face it – Grand Central Station is huge. When we finally met up though, I felt the butterflies in my stomach. This was my first getaway trip with Obie; and for an anxious person like myself, I’m always thinking the most impossible “what if” scenarios whenever I do something for the first time. Anyway, we got on the subway to Grand Central, and thankfully found the ticket booth. Obie and I looked up at the departure times and saw that The Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie was departing in 5 minutes. We looked at each other and booked it to Track 33; we made it just in time.

The actual Metro-North train ride there wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Obie was asleep for most of the ride, and I just listened to music while looking out at the view. It was cloudy on Friday, so when the train was near the Hudson River, it was foggy and cloudy and the water was calm and untouchable. I regret not taking a picture, but it really reminded me of the scenery of The Killing. Oddly, it was satisfying and beautiful to see. It was as beautiful as Obie described it.

By the time we got to Poughkeepsie, Obie and I walked over to the infamous store that he kept talking about when he went to Poughkeepsie previously. This corner store on the outside gave me some serious Pennsylvania vibes. Anyway, we got all the snacks that we needed for the night, all the drinks as well, and then we finally walked back to his niece’s apartment. When I tell you the apartment is possibly the most legit apartment ever… yeah. It’s a two-floor apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a nice little kitchen and dining area and living room. It was really such a chill place. She has two kids, so the kids have their own room, she and her boyfriend have the third one, so Obie and I slept in the living room on the couch. I don’t know we did it, but we did it. Friday we all just chilled and watched movies and rap battle and just macked.

Saturday, July 15th – The Sunburn and “Lituation”

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8:57am: A Sleepy Obielocks.

Obie and I woke up around 9 in the morning, and we just relaxed and ate before we all decided to go to the park down the road with the kids. Not realizing it was going to be like 90 degrees, your girl had on a vest and jeans on. On top of that, the park that we went to had absolutely no shade, so I ended up with a slight sunburn on my face and my arms. I don’t know how the guys played basketball for 2 hours in that heat, but they were playing 2 vs. 2 with some other ball players in the park. I can tell when Obie gets competitive on the court; he moves more carefully and gets pretty rowdy, but it was a good couple of games. During the time I was sitting there and burning my skin off, Obie’s 5-year-old nephew, Cam, gave me a cute tiny flower. He is such a little sweetheart.

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12:35pm: The tiny flower artsy picture.

 

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Basketball Court in the Park: Poughkeepsie, NY

After being in the park for the entire afternoon, Obie and I were the first to leave to head back to the infamous store (we went in there like 5 times in 3 days, to be honest), and go back to the apartment. We automatically took our well-needed showers because hello – he was sweaty from basketball and I was sweaty from baking out in the sun. 

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2:39pm: The best Obie pictures are the off-guard ones.

We both ate some lunch and immediately knocked out on the sofa together for a couple of hours… we’re that couple that sleeps most of our hours away together. Later that day, all four adults played Spades. Prior to this weekend, I’ve watched Obie play Spades with his friends back at his apartment and never played because I didn’t know how to play. So, Obie had to teach me and his niece’s boyfriend had to teach her. At first, I made some minor mistakes, but after playing a couple of games I was getting really good at it. I mean REALLY good. As #TeamCozy, we won most of the books in the game and now I’m slightly obsessed and want to play more. After that we all made dinner and everyone went upstairs while Obie and I chilled in the living room and watched some Netflix before quickly knocking out.

Sunday, July 16th – Relaxation & Going Home

Obie and I woke up around 10 o’clock in the morning and literally just relaxed until we couldn’t take the sounds of our grumbling stomachs. We both got dressed and went to the infamous store one last time to pick up a couple of goodies for our ride home later that night. Side note: Obie has been raving about these chips since this prior trip to Poughkeepsie and telling me how amazing they were. I finally got to try them and my god they are amazing. They are called “Rap Snacks”, specifically this flavor is his favorite. 

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The infamous Rap Snacks from Poughkeepsie.

After picking us up some Rap Snacks, we walked to the train station to get our tickets just so that we don’t have to rush when we finally decide to take off. We then got some pizza to take back to the apartment and from there we just chilled in the apartment until it was time to leave. Again, we took like a 5-hour nap that afternoon, and by the time we woke back up, it was time to get our things together to head back to the city. His niece took us to the train station, and from there we got on. We were heading back to the city; the vacation was coming to an end.

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8:50pm: Train ride back to the City.

We got back into the city at 10:30 at night, and from there we took the subway back into Brooklyn where Obie had called me an Uber to take me home. The Uber came, he kissed me goodbye, and the rest is history. I got home roughly around 11:30, and I was literally so tired that I ate some dinner and knocked out.

Reliving the weekend through this post is really making me think just how much fun I had this weekend. It wasn’t anything extreme, but I literally felt like I came back to the city as a brand new person. It almost felt like a cleanse; all the negative energy I had in me due to my surroundings and situations just washed off of me when I was in Poughkeepsie. I think I’ll always remember this weekend as one of the greater days I had in a really long time, and I hope from here Obie and I go on more trips together. We talked about going back to Poughkeepsie one day and do the things we didn’t get to do; one of them is to walk on the “Walking Across the Hudson” bridge. This weekend made me realize just how much I want to use my summers as a way to go on road trips and travel all over, and honestly, the only person I’d want to come with me is Obie. I want to see the world together with him. Cheesy, but so honest and true.

And that’s how my weekend in Poughkeepsie went.

 

-Liz (: