Thanksgiving 2022

I am grateful for another year of growing and learning about myself. I am so blessed to have a loving, supportive life partner who lifts me up, and who makes me feel seen and understood. I am grateful for the genuine friends who cheer for me while I cheer for them. I am thankful for my family, whether near or far they always make me feel loved. There are so many people in my life who truly mean so much to me, and I am forever grateful for everyone.

When it comes to me and my current goals, I am focusing on growing and striving for happiness in my everyday life. As I’ve said before, practicing gratitude has been very helpful in keeping a more positive perspective and attitude. I am working hard to practice the art of letting go and realizing when I am worrying about things beyond my control. I am also focusing on trusting myself and my intuition, and not feeling guilty for setting boundaries or speaking my mind.

Everyone else in the world has no problem speaking their opinions, so why do I silence mine? Especially when I feel that those with good intentions and empathy should be speaking out more. In his podcasts, Jay Shetty often mentions a quote by Martin Luther King Jr: “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” I am taking this time for me to get organized in my own thoughts for my own inner peace, because I deserve to be at my best, just as my loved ones around me deserve me at my best.

Celebrate Yourself

Today is Friday and I am so excited for the weekend! My boyfriend and I are attending a friend’s wedding tomorrow, but other than that I am free to relax and take some time for myself. After how busy last weekend was for me, I am happy to be able to slow it down a bit while still having the opportunity to see friends and have a good time!

I was doing a bit of reflecting yesterday and I am honestly so proud of how far I have come on my mental health journey; I was thinking about how I was when I first moved out with my boyfriend and it truly feels like night and day. I still have plenty of work to do, but now it doesn’t feel so daunting and impossible!

When I first removed myself from an environment of constant chaos and unpredictability, my body didn’t even know how to handle the calm, peaceful life I was entering. My nervous system was stuck in a state of turmoil and I always felt like my mind was racing and I was running with it! I could never sit still and relax, instead I’d hyper focus on tasks that “needed to be completed,” and I’d feel out of control if I ever took a minute to breathe.

I still have days where it’s hard for me to sit down and unwind, but now my boyfriend and I both have learned how to handle it better. For example, earlier in the week was rough for me- I was starting my period and this time around my hormones felt super out of whack and I was feeling depressed. I honestly haven’t felt that low in quite a while, but instead of giving into that feeling, I was able to remind myself that this is temporary and has a lot to do with my cycle. I didn’t sit and think that I was going to be depressed forever, and I didn’t give myself a hard time for it.

I had told my boyfriend that I was going on a walk, which he encouraged, but I kept stalling and saying that I had things to do around the house and he could tell I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed. He looked at me and said “you need to go on your walk, and only think about your walk while you’re on your walk.” He was right, and I knew that already but just hearing it from him and out loud was something that I needed. I ended up going on my walk and I felt so much better when I came home. I cleaned up what I needed to, I showered, and then he helped me cut up veggies for the big salad I was making for the week.

It’s incredible how much of an impact that walk had on me, and I understand why everything I read and listen to about mental health says it is important to move your body every day. For me, just walking for 30-40 minutes made life feel so much more bearable, and it was nice to take some time to myself.

I feel so very blessed every day to have a wonderful man by my side who has grown with me over the years, who has learned how I operate and how to help me when I am struggling, and who loves me every step of the way. I used to feel like my brain was on fire and I was such a raging b*tch to him even when I didn’t want to be, and I knew he didn’t deserve it which made me hate myself/my brain quite a bit.

Lucky for me, he always saw the real me underneath all of the anxiety; and now I can finally see me as well. I am forgiving myself for past mistakes as I now understand why I was the way I was, and my goal is to continue healing and keeping this relationship strong, as I know we will have a solid foundation for our future together and our future as parents. That is still a couple years down the road, but that just gives me more time to work on myself!

Make sure you take time to look at who you were five years ago and then look where you are today; we all love to hate on ourselves and feel like we aren’t moving forward, but it’s a much nicer habit to celebrate yourself! Look at how you handle certain situations compared to how your past self would! Give yourself credit where it is due, and make a plan for the things you still want to work on. You deserve a happy life!

Another day, Another post

Today was my second Wednesday off after starting my new schedule! I got breakfast with a good friend for her birthday this morning, and once I was home I did some dishes and laundry. I made sure to get my groceries yesterday after work instead of today, so I had the whole day free to do whatever!

I listened to a few podcasts, went on a walk, and even was able to join Gabrielle Bernstein’s zoom call where she recorded an episode of “Dear Gabby!” I honestly almost chickened out, but I was so glad I didn’t! There were about 80 participants in the meeting, all of us could chat and we remained muted unless we were picked to ask her a question!

It was nice listening to other people and remembering that we are all truly so similar; imagine what we could accomplish if we’d just take the time to listen and have real conversations with others. I honestly even cried listening to her speak and answer questions, and again it was just happy tears feeling like I was where I was supposed to be!

Over the weekend I picked up a couple of Gabby’s books, one of which my mom was nice enough to get for me as an early birthday gift! We had gone out for breakfast together and went to the bookstore afterwards, and that’s where I picked up “Judgement Detox,” and then I found “Happy Days.” I was originally looking for “Happy Days,” so when I finally found it my mom said that would be my gift from her and my dad for my birthday, and I am so grateful!

I haven’t started them yet, as I am already currently reading two books, but I am ready to dedicate time to reading more again so I can move onto her books next! I have been feeling good lately and plan to keep it that way; I had to mute some accounts on instagram just to escape from some of the negativity and drama, and honestly I am proud of myself for setting that boundary.

For a while now I haven’t followed any news or radio shows, because I am tired of consuming tragedy after tragedy and feeling like everything I see is horrible. I’d rather feed my brain with positivity, growth, and happiness. I prefer to not be ignorant to the current events, but I can also seek information out on my own and try to find unbiased sources, rather than believing everything that people share on social media.

Social media definitely has major impacts on mental health (just google it), which is why I do my best to keep everything on my page positive and I like/save positive posts to help the algorithm share more of those things to my feed. We choose what we consume on a daily basis, make sure you pay attention to what you feed your brain.

Check in/Reflection

How am I feeling? I’ve been having some obnoxious PMS the past few days; the on and off nausea is what’s bothering me the most. I’ve been so irritable and emotional and my period is supposedly coming in a few days, so I’m hoping that all of this goes away. I was going to go out to the bars last night with some friends, but decided to stay in since drinking would definitely not help my nausea. I also have just been feeling like I want to be alone lately; I need to do some self-reflection.

I recently was thinking about how I wasn’t always the nicest person as a kid, and I still find myself being judgmental of others. I was super critical of myself when I was younger, and that also made me critical of those around me. As I’ve grown older and been on my self-love journey over the last couple of years, I’m realizing that when I am being judgmental of someone else, it’s because I am seeing something of myself in them.

Often times how we feel about others is a reflection of how we’re feeling about ourselves. For example, money is a huge trigger for me/my anxiety. A lot of my sense of worth and control is revolved around money, which is another thing I am working on. If I find myself being judgmental of how someone is spending their money, it’s because I have an issue/insecurity about myself and my money habits. What someone else does with their life is none of my business, I can only control myself and my mindset.

I also know that I am a very empathetic and understanding person; I can very easily put myself in someone else’s shoes and get an understanding of why they make the choices they do. It’s also helpful to realize that most people do have unresolved traumas and are the way they are because of that. We couldn’t control our childhood or how we were parented, but today we can control how we parent ourselves.

Diving into what we truly need and finding out how we can give that to ourselves is extremely important. I need loving, healthy relationships, whether with my boyfriend or with friends or family; I can no longer tolerate those who do not respect myself or my boundaries. I get to choose who I spend time with and who is in my life.

I need to feel healthy, and how I do that is try to get my body moving every day, even if it’s just a bit of stretching. I try to balance making sure I get my veggies and fruits in everyday, as well as protein, but I could definitely be better at that. That is something I can try to spend more time/effort on so I feel that I’m living true to my values.

I need to feel knowledgeable, and I have been listening to podcasts more recently as well as reading! I was on a good streak for reading but kind of slowed down within the lag couple months. If I dedicate time to get back into reading, I will feel more fulfilled as I know one of my goals is to write a book one day, and this will definitely be helpful in getting me there. The more books I read, the more knowledge I’ll have and be able to apply to my life and maybe even my first book!

I enjoy experiences, but I also like to do so on a budget. I could look into more local free events and see if friends want to attend, or maybe even just go alone. An experience can really be anything; going to a farmers market, checking out the local library, walking on a new trail… there are truly endless options. Something I could do is set a goal to do at least one new experience a month, and if I want to increase frequency, I can!

I want to heal my traumas and learn how to manage stress and my emotions. I still see my therapist every once in a while, and I make it a point to listen to healing podcasts and follow self-love accounts on instagram, but I know there is more I can do. Writing this blog post is something that is so important, because it is allowing me to talk to myself and figure out my true wants/needs.

I think we all have an idea of what we want, but when we look deeper we find that we aren’t really living a lifestyle that is in alignment with our desires. I want to live a life that is in alignment with my values, and I feel like I am already doing this! However, I also feel that I can dedicate more time to myself and my desires, and I deserve that. We all deserve to live our best lives as our best selves!

Growing

As I am growing, I am learning that I need to stop muting myself. What I mean by that is I often won’t say what I’m feeling in fear of hurting others, but in reality I know my intention behind my thoughts and I’m never trying to be malicious at all. People even often tell me how nice I am and how I’m great at talking to people, but I don’t always feel that way with the people closest to me.

I just saw this post that said “Let’s normalize asking questions for clarity, instead of moving based on the story you’ve created in your mind, which may not be true;” I feel like I want that from my friends, but how I can expect that when I don’t do it! I want to start vocalizing when I have questions or thoughts that come up, so that I don’t sit with them and ruin my own inner peace or growth.

For example, one of my good friends recently reached out and asked if she could express something without causing problems/drama, and of course I said yes. The conversation went well and we are good, but now I am the one who is wanting to express my feelings about it and I feel like a scared little kid who is avoiding confrontation.

I know that my feelings are valid and I also know I can express my thoughts without being an asshole, but at the same time I never know how people will react and that is what gives me the anxiety. I would hate to unintentionally make someone upset, but at the same time, I can’t make myself upset by holding in all these feelings/thoughts.

My boyfriend has always been very direct and he’s still very polite and easy to talk to- and I don’t just mean with me, I mean with all our friends and family as well. He always asks questions when he wants clarification because he knows he’s not trying to hurt anyone, he’s just trying to understand; and that’s my goal as well! Talking to him definitely helps, but if anyone else has any tips or tricks, please feel free to comment!

Thank You.

I’ve been on a path of self-growth and gratitude, and it’s truly amazing how much saying “thank you” can do. I’m was reading a book called “The Magic,” which is a daily practice book- meaning you only read a few pages each morning and you follow the steps in the book. I did fall off of reading this when my mother had her stroke, and honestly I haven’t picked the book back up yet, but I have made sure to still do one of the practices daily.

Every morning I was writing down ten things that I’m grateful for, why I am grateful for them, and then said “thank you” three times after each one. After a while I got tired of writing them in my phone notes, so now I actually say them aloud in the car on my way to work. I’ve been noticing some “magic” (and/or coincidences) happening already!

For example, every day a lot of the ten things tend to be the same, but I switched it up a bit and said I was thankful for coffee. I am grateful for coffee, because it tastes good and gives me energy and just makes my day that much better; I spoke this into the universe, said “thank you, thank you, thank you,” and kept driving to work. When I got close to my destination, the line at the nearest Dunkin’ was short, and I actually had time to stop before work! So I went into work happy with my iced coffee, and then one of my coworkers shows up with another iced coffee for me! I was shocked, but boy did it make the day even better LOL!

Today I told the universe I was thankful for money, and then my boss surprised me with a $100 Visa gift card for not getting any “points” (basically penalties) against me for the past year of work. What’s even crazier is that I actually had left this job for a few months and they brought me back in when my other job didn’t work out like I thought it would, and she still rewarded me with the gift card! Again, I know these can be coincidental, but at the same time, believing in a little magic can be fun!

Using free time to remember things that we are grateful for can truly make a world of a difference in our minds. It’s all perspective and mindset; as my mom always told me “mind over matter.” I used to get so mad at that phrase when I was a kid, but wow do I appreciate it now. It’s crazy to think that there truly is a bit of magic everywhere, we are just too distracted and busy to see it. Being aware and present in the moment can really open up a whole new world within you!

I hope everyone has a magical weekend! Abs thank you for being here. ♡

Empathy

A couple of weeks ago I was very emotional and had really felt like I was taking on other people’s emotions. I have often felt this in my life and have been learning more about being an “empath” and a “highly sensitive person.” I have resonated with a lot that I’ve read/listened to, but recently I came across a quote on a post that made change my perspective a little bit.

I follow a few “self love” and “positivity” accounts on Instagram, because if I’m going to continue using social media, I am taking more control of what is in my feed and what I want to consume daily. Well, one account had posted this quote that they had written and it really stuck with me: “Empathy can often be confused with projection. It may seem like you feel other’s pain deeply, but the need to heal them comes from your own wounding. There was a time when you needed protection, so now you try to save everyone” (@VexKing on Instagram).

Now I read this and was like “Okay I am being attacked right now,” but in reality, I truly needed this realization. I feel like looking at situations where I felt someone’s pain or emotions, I can now dig deeper within and see where I was feeling that pain in myself. Sometimes it’s hard to hear certain things because they can feel harsh, but honestly those harsh truths can be so liberating when you take a good hard look at yourself.

When I was feeling my friend’s pain from her dealing with her best friend passing, I was feeling my pain from when my close friend passed a few years ago. When I feel stressed about how my friends are handing certain situations, it’s because of the way I’ve handled things/been handling things and I’m protecting my own insecurities onto others. When I am upset at family members for how they act, it’s because I can usually see myself in them during those times.

It’s amazing how simply reading a few sentences could completely opened a whole new perspective and avenue for healing for me. Psychologists explain how we are to work through our triggers and how explore therapy can be quite beneficial for a lot of patients, and we have to be very honest with ourselves in order to do that. Avoiding our triggers and our bad thoughts is only delaying our healing; and we deserve to heal.

Therapy.

I just finished up speaking with my therapist! Much different from our last conversation considering a month ago I had finally been setting boundaries and felt like I was sticking to them, and then today I feel like I’ve gone completely backwards and didn’t actually do anything that I thought I did. Hearing her say that this is kind of a “curveball,” made me feel somewhat better in a weird way; maybe just because it seems like anyone would be struggling with this and I feel less alone in it? I don’t know if that even makes sense.

We talked about a couple goals for me, one of which is journaling. I do write on here weekly, I guess sometimes more when I’m going through shit, but the act of physically writing down my thoughts/experiences will be beneficial for me. I actually used to write a lot when I lived with my parents, and it definitely was an escape/coping mechanism for me. Since being on my own with my boyfriend, I live in a much calmer environment which hasn’t required that need to escape.

I need to write out what I’m feeling in order to help myself understand it better. I feel it’ll help organize my thoughts as sometimes I feel like I am taking on other peoples’ issues and I’m not as good as I thought I was at determining what is “mine” and what isn’t. Another goal is to have subtle boundaries. I do NOT have to answer my phone when a friend/relative calls if I am not in the right headspace. NO ONE needs instant access to me, and me setting boundaries is NOT meant to hurt anyone, it’s meant to help myself.

I know I have a lot of work to do, but I am ready. I am tired of making myself physically ill my own stress, and honestly even over other people’s stress. I want to regulate my nervous system and find peace within myself, and I deserve that. More reading, more meditating, more breathing.

Triggered.

A close friend of mine is grieving the loss of one of her best friends. I knew the girl who passed as well, but wasn’t very close with her. Needless to say, this is upsetting, however I think it has also caused me to fall physically ill. I’m having similar issues to what I last March: random nausea/vomiting that comes out of nowhere. I’m having weird cramping as if I’m going to get my period, but it ended four days ago. I’m negative for covid and my doctor just ended up giving me nausea meds again to help, but I need to do some deep diving into healing because I cannot live like this.

Talking to my friend as she vents about her grief is actually physically affecting me. I am having a hard time, because this is bringing up a lot of memories of when a good friend of mine passed away a few years ago. I’m also sad about this current situation, but I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about my friend and she recently was in a dream of mine where I told her about this girl who just died.

Now obviously I need to be there for my friend who is here and dealing with her best friend’s death, but how can I do that without feeling so ill and depressed? I’m taking a break from my crafting/small business as I need to take this journey into healing myself from the inside out. I have been in therapy for years, but I clearly haven’t been doing enough work.

I recently read about the importance of silence and meditation and I am going to try to mediate again. This time will be different, because I truly have a goal here: healing. If anyone has any advice/experience with being empathic/highly sensitive, I am all ears. I see my therapist tomorrow as well which I’m looking forward to, I’m sure she will have some tips.

Anniversary Weekend

Today my boyfriend and I are celebrating 10 years together! He’s currently driving us back home from our yummy lunch at P.F. Changs, and we are just going to chill together for the rest of the day. It’s so crazy to think that we started dating at 16 years old, and here we are 10 years later living the best life together.

My boyfriend and I moved out to our first apartment together when we were 19, and we bought our townhome together at 21! Over the years here we have had to update some pretty big ticket items around the house, but luckily this will benefit us later on when it’s time to sell or rent it out! There are still quite a few things we want to update around the house over the next few years, but for now we’re focusing on paying down the debts from those unexpected updates.

People are always asking when we’re going to get engaged/married/have kids/etc, and honestly it doesn’t bother me as I know we have been together for a while, but I don’t really even have an answer for anyone. I know that my boyfriend is trying to get me a ring that is too expensive, and with what we are trying to accomplish with our budget, I don’t know when that will be possible for him. He won’t budge on his decision, even though he knows I’d take a $500 ring, but that’s his choice.

I’ve always said my minimum age for having kids is 28, and I just turned 26 a couple months ago, so I am still on my timeline for that! Of course I always have that fear that I won’t be able to get pregnant, but luckily there are options like IVF and adoption! And if it comes to those options, I am blessed to have my wonderful man by my side for those times. I am so happy that we have come this far, and I know we will be able to handle anything together.

I honestly was kind shocked when I had a friend reach out to me yesterday – she told me to let her know if “anything happens” today, meaning a proposal. I let her know that it was not going to happen today, as my boyfriend and I already talked about everything, and her response was “I’m sorry.” Sorry? For what?

In my head, I was thinking “do my friends just feel bad for me? they think I’m not happy until I’m engaged?” I think it really just threw me off as she has known me for longer than I’ve been with my boyfriend, and I am very content with my life, which makes me think that she thinks I shouldn’t be. It may not be the case, I mean she’s already married and has a child, but I don’t compare my life with everyone else’s like most do, so I guess that could be why she assumed I’m unhappy? I really don’t know, it just didn’t really sit right with me.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts and realizations lately, which is making me want to just cut off a bunch of people. I feel like it’s better to hang out with people who want to share ideas and life goals, and try to make plans to make dreams a reality. I’d rather not be around people who just want to talk about other people and judge everyone. I’ll be 100% honest, I have been a judgmental person, and I don’t want to be that way; I’d much rather take the time to understand where people are coming from and why they make the decisions that they do.

I’ve always had empathy for others, and I have always fallen in the middle of most debates and issues as I can literally see both sides of pretty much everything! I feel like that is also a majority of people, but we get lost in our social bubbles and the influences around us. I feel like it’s important to be open and understanding with all people, as when we ask questions and try to understand where people are coming from, we often learn new perspectives and ideas. Isn’t that what life is all about?

There is an overall lack of empathy and understanding in the world, and it will be detrimental to us all in the long run. I really want to do something to encourage more open discussions and ideas; my boyfriend and I have talked about doing a twitch stream and that may be where this starts. I’ll keep you posted on that! I hope everyone is having a good weekend!