A lifestyle.

I always say I’m going to write more, and then I don’t. But hey, I’m doing it now and that matters. For the past 10 days I have been strict on my new low carb diet (and yes, that includes on thanksgiving day). I am doing the ketogenic diet, but as of right now I haven’t been getting enough fat in my diet, so it’s basically just low carb.

People always freak out when they hear “low carb” because who doesn’t love bread? Or pasta? Or sweets? Trust me, I love me some carbs. Mac and cheese is basically my favorite food, next to fettuccine alfredo and olive garden breadsticks (yummmm). But the thing is, when I eat a lot of carbs I feel like shit. Granted, I’m not exactly eating the “good carbs,” but regardless I have felt much better after cutting my carb intake.

The thing I like about being on this diet is that the cravings for carbs literally just go away. Not only that, but I feel full after what seems like a small portion but it’s a normal one! I also do intermittent fasting, and I do 16:8. So everyday I fast for 16 hours, and I eat within the same eight hours of the day. This honestly works perfectly with my current work schedule, and not only that but I finally feel like I have a routine!

During this diet you are trying to get into and stay in “ketosis,” and keeping your carb intake under 50g of net carbs a day (carb-fiber=net carb) is how you can do this. Ideally though, you should keep your net carb intake under 20g a day. I decided that I will let myself go up to 50g of carbs on the weekends, but during the week I stay strict at 20g. I have done this diet before, but I would always let myself have cheat weekends and I’d basically binge eat a bunch of garbage and feel like shit and it would reverse my progress. Not this time!

Even though I’ve only been on the diet for 10 days, I’ve lost 7lbs! I think I was able to get into ketosis after just a few days! I am starting to add yoga/stretching into my routine and I think I’m going to start walking and/or going to the gym next week. I want to get toned and feel good again! Not only that, but I want to get healthier and develop better habits. ♡

I’ve been working on myself and that’s the most important work (even if you don’t get paid for it).

I haven’t written in a while, and this is going to be brief. I have been in a good, positive state of mind lately. I’ve been reading a self-improvement book (Better Than Before by: Gretchen Rubin- highly recommend to anyone and everyone). I have been trying to stretch/do yoga every day, even if it is only for five minutes. I have been helping people when I can, which makes me feel good. I’m just hoping I can keep this up.

Winter is basically here now, considering there is snow all over the ground. Which means it’s time for seasonal depression (whoop whooop)! It’s so hard to fight the darkness sometimes… I feel like every couple of weeks I slowly sink back into my hole. I’m not motivated, I feel tired constantly, and I never want to do anything. Of course, I still go to work, but that’s because I have bills that have to be paid, and my anxiety would never allow me to take a day off for my depression.

For now I will try my best to focus on the good, and be more active with my blog and other blogs as well. I always feel good after I write, even if it isn’t a lot. I need to remember the small things that bring me joy, and try to incorporate it into a daily routine. Maybe I’ll start to work on that too. ♡

You can hear it in the silence.

I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t done anything in a while. I mean I have gone to a couple of pumpkin patches, and I did survive a haunted house… but other than that I haven’t been motivated.

A few weeks ago I was reading a couple of self-improvement books, I was writing in journals, and I even tried an aerial yoga class. I was feeling motivated and good, but then I kept getting stuck in my head. My best friend and I weren’t talking and it was really bothering me, and making me evaluate myself as a person. I starting thinking that maybe I am not the greatest friend. I don’t go out a lot, because lately I have been liking being home. I don’t feel motivated to be helpful, but then I sit around at home feeling guilty. I just kept thinking these terrible thoughts about myself, and then I was attracting negative energy.

I ended up not going to see Mayday Parade because I was bailed on, and all of my alternative options fell through. I also had misplaced my favorite ring that my boyfriend bought for me last year (which has since been found), but I was feeling super overwhelmed. I was becoming so upset and I decided I’d open my fortune cookie that I got from Panda Express earlier that day, because I love fortune cookies. I took the plastic wrapper off and cracked open the cookie, only to find nothing inside… so naturally I burst into tears. “When it rains, it pours,” is the truest shit I’ve ever heard in my life.

But luckily for me, even thought I didn’t go to Mayday Parade, I was able to hang out with a good friend of mine and go through a haunted house (although it was absolutely terrifying). Not only that, but my best friend ended up reaching out to me and we had an open line of communication and we were able to work everything out. I plan to start reading again, and journal-ling, and I would like to start practicing yoga and/or meditation more often, but I wanted to start here. ♡

A facebook post.

“You’re being selfish.”

That one hurts the most.

It hurts because we already feel guilty for “being selfish.” We feel guilty when we can’t help. We feel guilty when we cancel/bail on plans. We feel guilty when we don’t respond to messages. To be told that we don’t care enough about others, or that we only care about ourselves is hurtful; especially when we do care. Sometimes we care so much about others that can be physically/emotionally exhausting. Sometimes, we start to actually feel other people’s emotions, to the point where we hold them and cannot separate them from our own. Sometimes we NEED to take a step away in order for us to heal ourselves. And trust me, we overthink saying “no” or canceling anything because we are so focused on how others are feeling and making sure everyone else is okay. And when we finally say “no” after weeks/months/years of constantly doing everything to please others, just know it took a lot to do that. For some of us, it may feel like an accomplishment to say “no.” So to accomplish something and then to be told that you’re being selfish, just brings back those feelings of guilt and self-hatred. & I know I am not speaking for everyone, as we all have our own minds & not everyone feels this way/experiences this… but I share this in hopes that there are others like me who can relate. ♡

“I just need a way out of my head.”

When I first heard “Come back to earth” off of Mac Miller’s album Swimming, I knew that I wasn’t alone. So when he passed away, it felt like I lost one of the only people who knew what I was going through. Mac’s passing has been super difficult for me, and I never talk about it because I feel like people just think I’m bring dramatic or I’m lying. I know that is a dumb reason, because I shouldn’t care what people think, but I think the issue for me is that I know they don’t relate or understand. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people were hurt by his passing, including fans like me; but I just feel that not many people I know are hurting like I am. I cried when he died. I actually cried several times, over several days, and even two nights ago I just broke down in tears. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I just keep seeing it all over social media, but at the same time, it is more than that. I grew up listening to Mac Miller, and he only continued to get better and better throughout his career. Swimming has changed my life, and I will forever be grateful that he was able to release this album before his death.

I think the hardest part for me is realizing that even though he was making music and pursuing his dreams, he still carried pain around with him. I believe that he was doing drugs to numb the pain, because expressing it through music wasn’t enough to actually relieve his misery. That terrifies me. It terrifies me because I know my life isn’t bad, and I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to love; but I never truly feel happy, and I don’t know if I ever will. Lately I have been isolating myself, as well as arguing with myself in my head, and I feel like I can’t stop. I have been trying to practice self care by doing little things such as painting my nails, doing stretches/yoga, and eating better. I even signed up for an aerial yoga class, but I feel like even though I am physically doing things, my mental state doesn’t reflect the same progress. I am the person who knows me the most, and I don’t even know how to make myself happy. The more I think about it, the more I feel like I could end up like Malcolm (Mac). Luckily, I rarely drink alcohol and I don’t do drugs, however I feel like I could easily become an addict if I ever took something. But I mean that’s easy, I just won’t try anything, it just scares me to know that if I did, I would likely spiral out of control. My parents are both alcoholics, and I’d definitely say I have an addictive personality, so it just scares me to know that a dumb decision could really change me/my life.

As I have stated before, my house is always clean. Even as a child, my room was always organized, and there was never anything on the floor that didn’t belong there. When I was in school my locker was always organized, and in elementary school my desk stayed neat. In general, I am a very clean person, but the other day my boyfriend made a comment about how he doesn’t understand how I am so messy (referring to me eating Doritos with nacho cheese). He has made many comments over the years about how I am such a messy eater, and he is absolutely right! But for some reason, that night I couldn’t help but think about how that was a metaphor of my life. I always make sure everything is neat and perfect around me, but I don’t care enough to do the same for myself. I rarely wear any makeup or “dress-up”, other than my business casual work attire. I rarely buy things for myself, other than iced coffee, because whenever I do I just feel guilty or feel like I didn’t deserve it. At this point in my life I need to stop people-pleasing, and start focusing on what I want and need, I just don’t know how to get out of my head.

“In my own way, this feel like living. Some alternate reality. And I was drowning, but now I’m swimming through stressful waters, to relief.” ♡

Moving on and getting over.

Today I read an article titled: “What it’s like to have ‘high-functioning anxiety.” After reading the first two lines, I knew that I was meant to stumble across this post. It starts off stating that high-functioning anxiety looks like Achievement, Busyness, and Perfectionism. Well, I’m a 23-year old college graduate and home-owner who has been in a healthy, happy relationship for nearly 7 years. I drive a car that I like, I have a job at a successful, growing business, and I am able to travel at least 1-2 times a year. I do not have any student loans to pay off, and I am making enough money where I can still contribute to my savings, while also being able to treat myself to my iced coffee every day. Looks like achievement right? The perfectionism comes in when you start digging into each of those “achievements.” I have been at my job for just over 2 years and I have been promoted twice. The upstairs of my house pretty much just looks like staged rooms, rather than an actual home where people live. Downstairs is a bit more “home-y,” but I am constantly straightening up and cleaning to try to achieve the same look we have upstairs. Now all of this may sound really appealing to people, which I understand. Doesn’t everyone want to have a clean home and be progressing in their job? Well there is a lot more to that.

The article goes on to discuss the nervous habits of people who suffer from anxiety, and also the social aspect of being anxious. For me, I would not say I am socially anxious, because I feel like I can get along with people easily; but I will say I have to mentally prepare myself for any event. With that being said, last-minute plans are hard for me. I am used to a routine and making plans, and when something disrupts the plan, it is difficult for me to adapt quickly. In the article, the author writes: “The panic that flashes through my eyes when a plan changes. When anything changes.” That, right there, is what hit me. About a month ago, my boyfriend and I had left a friend’s house and when we were almost home I realized I had left my purse at their house, and I immediately started to panic. My heart was racing, I became sweaty and I was very agitated. My boyfriend was calm and was telling me it was not a big deal (I mean we only live about 20 min away from each other), but for me it was, because that was something I wasn’t anticipating. This is just one example of many.

The problem with this type of anxiety, in my opinion, is people think that you don’t need help. Sometimes I feel that people are just seeing a responsible perfectionist who has everything in order, but there is so much going on underneath the surface. There are times when I feel that my friends are only taking me at face-value, and maybe the problem is that I am not open enough about these feelings. I have been really in my head these last few weeks, and I am evaluating myself as well as my relationships. I have been beating myself up, wondering if I am a good enough friend or a good enough person, but I have realized that no one should feel that way in any relationship. Although I may still be working on my mental health, I still know that I am a good person, and I can’t let others allow me to doubt my self-worth. I am genuinely compassionate towards others, and I am always putting everyone else first. The problem is, that is where I can lose myself. As I have mentioned before, I can get too wrapped up in people’s emotions to the point where I will set mine aside and completely ignore them.

In addition to ignoring my feelings, I also have a bad habit of holding in a lot of feelings/thoughts I have. I do this for a number of reasons, the main one being I never want to hurt someone’s feelings. Now, I am not saying I have a bunch of hurtful, malicious thoughts towards people, but I am saying some of the thoughts I have can be taken the wrong way. A vague example is when I told my friend an idea of how to make things less stressful for her during this situation she is going through, but with the way she responded and the fact that she has not talked to me in weeks, I think its safe to say I offended her. A couple of years ago another friend and I had a falling out, and at the end of the friendship I told her that I felt like she did not appreciate her parents or everything they did for her. Well, she decided that was me saying terrible things about her family. All I was doing was sharing an observation, considering she fought with her parents in front of me all the time, but apparently it was more than that. So with all of that being said, I just keep thoughts inside.

As I have been evaluating myself and my friendships, I will say the one thing I regret is not being more open and honest about certain things. Even if there is that possibility of them reacting poorly, there is also the chance that they will take on a different perspective and try to understand where I am coming from. I have come to the realization that I cannot have friends who make me feel like I need to walk on eggshells around them. If there is something bothering me, I cannot pretend that everything is fine in order to spare feelings or avoid a fight, because in my opinion, that is being a bad friend. I should be able to be open and honest about my thoughts with my friends, even if that means having a conversation/debate. I should be able to explain why something hurt me or bothered me, without feeling guilty about having those feelings.

Ultimately, my goal is to be happy and free. I do not want to be questioning my thoughts or my friendships. I do not want to feel guilty or feel that I cannot open up. If that means ending certain friendships, then that is what it means. We all continue to grow and to learn, and sometimes you will discover that not everyone is beneficial to your life or to your progress, and it is okay to move on. I am the only person guaranteed to be with me until my dying day, so I have to do what is best for me. ♡

Getting coffee.

Today is a good Monday. I took advantage of this Labor day by doing exactly what you should do: labor!  I started off my day cleaning the house. I swept the upstairs, cleaned out the bathtub, did the dishes, and vacuumed. I even washed our bedding and was done with everything by 11:00am. I decided to re-paint my nails since one of them chipped yesterday, and I took a long, hot shower. Not to mention I ate a decent amount of carbs today, but hey, we all need it sometime. I started looking into some fun fitness classes so I can really start working on myself and do something I enjoy for once. It truly is incredible what a little bit of self care can do for the mind, and I really needed this today.

I’ve been in such a slump lately. I am sure the rain has a lot to do with it, but I’ve also been feeling overwhelmed. My best friend hasn’t talked to me in weeks, and to be honest I miss her a lot. In our last conversation, she was not the nicest person and I don’t feel like I should reach out to her at this point. I have to let her come to me, if she even wants to. I feel like if I reach out, she is going to think I automatically forgive her, which is not the case. Honestly, I am tired of being stepped on and I am tired of being guilt tripped all of the time. It is already hard enough for me to be around certain personality types for too long, but to have passive comments thrown at me when I cannot make a last minute plan makes me feel like shit. I sit and start to overthink, and I end up blaming myself and hating myself.

This past week I have been arguing with myself in my mind whether I am really a good friend or not. I can say that I genuinely care about people; so much so that I literally can feel what they feel. I recently read a post that said “I am not a consistent friend, I am a dependable friend,” and I couldn’t have related more. I may not be at every event that you invite me to, and I may want to stay home by myself on days that you want to go out, but I am always there when you need me. If you are having a hard time and need to talk, I will make time to talk, even if it is just on the phone. Or I will make sure we plan a day to go get coffee or lunch so we can talk about you and what is going on. I want to help people the most I can, but I also have to pay attention to myself and how I am feeling.

Ironically enough, during this time of my best friend’s hiatus from me, my ex best friend reached out to me. She just basically prefaced it with telling me she found something that reminded her of me, and she said she hoped I was doing well and loving myself/life. Of course at this point I have been down for several days and not really loving myself/life at all. I just responded and said I wished the same for her and I hope her family is doing well. That was it. At first I was thinking maybe I should ask her to meet up so we could talk. I just kept thinking about when we were having our falling out I told her “maybe in a couple of years we could get coffee,” and we just hit two years of not speaking. However, my boyfriend and a couple of other friends were offended that this person did not apologize to me when she reached out, which I agree with completely. This friend literally had no respect for me, and by the end of the friendship it was apparent that she did not care about me. Just because a couple of years went by, it does not mean that she has grown or changed. What further validated this for me was I went on her twitter feed shortly after she messaged me, and she had posted that she was listening to her horoscope and reaching out to an old friend… Well, in that case I am also going to read the signs here and steer clear.

I am a good person, and I am proud of who I am. I am not manipulative, nor vindictive. I am not selfish, nor conceited. I have compassion for humans and I know that everyone has their own shit and hard times they have gone through. I care about the people I love, more than they even know. I cannot tell you that I will be the friend to come over to your place every other day, or even every other week. I may not be the friend who is involved in planning events or going out every time, but I am always here to listen or to offer advice when you need it. If that is not enough, then it is what it is. I have to focus on my mental and emotional health, as does everyone. I want to continue working on myself and moving forward in life, both within me and also in my career goals. If that is not something you want to encourage or be a part of, then maybe in a few years we can get coffee. Until then, I will continue to work on being the best version of myself. ♡