My 2020 Reading List

First, I want to say that, I have always loved reading. In high school I was always walking around with a book in my hand. A lot of times, I wasn’t paying attention in class because I was busy getting whisked away in another land. Falling in love with the characters in these books. As I got older, I found it harder and harder to read for pleasure. I was always busy studying and reading a textbook. This year is probably the year that I’ve read the most since high school and I am so proud of myself lol. I have “traveled” to New Orleans, Nigeria, New Salem. I have been shocked by family secrets, rooted for the underdog, and felt empowered by women and their magic. I have never done book reviews, so this will be a really rough summery of the books I’ve read this year, but I do hope to do this more often. So here it goes…..

IRON LACE

by Emilie Richards

This book weaves together two different generations, two different lifetimes, two different stories. We are introduced to our central character, Phillip Benedict. He’s a journalist that resides in Los Angeles, if you can call a studio with a hotplate, ‘residing’. He comes to New Orleans to visit his mother, a pretty well known Jazz singer in those parts. He has somewhat of a relationship with a beautiful woman named Belinda, but it is pretty obvious that commitment within many things aspects of his life is a difficult thing. Aurore Gerritsen, seeks out Phillip to get him to write her life story for her. She chose him for reasons that will eventually be revealed. She begins her story before she is even able to walk, and it already involved a love triangle, illegitimate children, and murder. It takes the entire book to unwind all of the lives that have been twisted together, all of the loss and the hurt. But in the end, there is relief that the truth is out there and hope that a family once torn apart, can be one day united.

I actually read this book in HS and loved it back then. I decided to reread it before I read the sequel. It is crazy how different you interpret things or how much more you understand from the characters, once you are an adult. I loved this book because it starts off with the drama and then builds the story around it. I love that the overall theme of this story is to take away segregation and unite as a family, no matter what the color of your skin is. There is a lot of history in this story about the riots and war on color at that time. Also, there is an undertone of coming up from nothing to being someone successful, none of which is determined by the amount of money that you make. One of the major loves, in my opinion is Aurore and Rafe. They did a lot to hurt each other, but underneath it all, it was misunderstandings and secrets that broke them. They really loved each other and it kills me even now, to think of how their story ended. There really is a lot more depth here than I am able to speak on. There is racism and sexism and clear segregation of society. It is a lot to unpack, but I did enjoy the book then and I enjoyed it again this year.

Rising Tides

by Emile Richards

Rising Tides begins with the death of Aurore Gerritsen and the reading of her will. She left specific rules to be carried out, everyone listed in the will must stay to hear the entire will over the course of four days and stay together at her summer house in Louisiana or else they will not receive their share. During these four days, more secrets are revealed, relationships patched, marriages broken.

We see Phillip Benedict again, as well as his mother Nicky and her partner. Aurora’s son with his wife and daughter were there although, he really didn’t want to be. I don’t have too much to say about book. I loved it because it was a continuation of Iron Lace, but I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I was in Iron Lace. We get a deeper dive into Nicky’s life after her and Clarence ran away for safety, her struggle coming up in the world and her struggle with love. We get introduced to Dawn, Aurore’s granddaughter and learn of their love for each other and her strained relationship with her dad and bond with her uncle. It is an eye opening story in relation to history, being able to see from our character’s eyes, the hardships they faced with racism and segregation, the war, and the underground ways people were trying to fight for their freedoms. It was a dangerous time to put your foot down and stand your ground. I loved being able to close the circle from Aurore’s life, but I think my heart will always belong to her and Rafe.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics

by Marisha Pessl

This one really had my mind going in circles, in a good way and in an eye opening way. This was the first book in my book club and I felt so bad because I feared the title would scare people away. I always prefaced the introduction with ‘it’s a murder mystery, it’s not what it sounds like’. The book itself is structured very interestingly; each chapter is a name of a book, and I started to panic that I needed to have read these books to get some inside joke, but that panic faded away after the first few chapters. We meet Blue Van Meer and right off the bat, she’t extremely intelligent, well rounded. She narrates this story citing multiple works of literature which also made me panic that I had to read this also or at least look up what these books were, but no need to fear, it is not that serious. I felt like I was getting slapped in the face and reminded that my vocabulary is definitely not up to par. Which, in reality was a good thing because it made me step up my game and work on it. I did have to look up a lot of words while reading this book, but that was MY fault and not the fault of the book itself. Well, we learn right away that Blue has not lived a normal life. She has suffered loss, which I think her emotions seemed kind of detached from, and we are told, that she suffers more as the book goes on. She lived a very nomadic life with her father, changing schools very often, never really living in a place that she could really call HOME. She was already accustomed to not getting too attached to her friends at school. She does eventually become friends with a group at her new school called the BLUEBLOODS, mostly because her teacher Hannah Schneider invited her into it. I don’t want to say too much and spoil the storyline, but for me, the book felt very drawn out for most if it. Events happened that made you question everything, and then all of a sudden, you are rushed within a few chapters with information that came from almost nowhere. It’s like in the movies where they do a sudden reveal, and then go back and show you clips from certain parts of the movie, and it makes you go “ooooh”.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I with that the big reveal was more than the rush of information in the end that we have to piece together, but I guess that is how most mystery plots go. I really wanted more for Blue, and I expected more from her father, but the rest is left to our imagination to hope.

The Girl with The Louding Voice

by Abi Dare

The main character of this story is Adunni, a 14 year old girl, facing the reality of her life in Nigeria. She lost her mom a while back, and is now finding herself being married off for money. She is the girl with the “louding voice” because she doesn’t want to just accept the marriage and bare children, she wants an education, she wants independence. This is a great story on women empowerment and fighting with every bone in your body for your dreams. Adunni gets away from her husband who is trying to force her to have his baby, he is abusive and she fears for her life. She finds herself an escape, where she is again in another abusive household, practically working as a servant to survive. She becomes friends with another woman there that has the same values as she does and wants her to succeed. She helps Adunni out the situation she is in and we are then left to dream of the great things that Adunni will undoubtedly accomplish.

This is a very straightforward story of a girl that is willing to fight for her dreams, even with the world is against her. With an eye opening look at culture in certain areas of Nigeria.

The Once and Future Witches

by Alix E. Harrow

Another book about women empowerment. This book is centered around 3 sisters during a time where magic had become a thing of the past. Magic was more like whispers in the darkness, rather than the powerful being that it was. From beginning to end, this story is all about growth between these sisters. Growth in their bond, growth in themselves as women. There are a lot of underlying themes of needing to burst through confinement, push through being held down and to accept and love who you are. There is love, loss, battles. One of my favorite books of 2020 probably.

So, for my first book review post, I’d like to apologize for it lol . It had been a long time since I read some of them, and I have never written book reviews before, but I was proud of what I read in 2020 and I wanted to share. I’m hoping to improve my future book reviews and not rush it like I did with this.

It is what it is lol ……

let’s see what 2021 gives me….

Never Silence The Madness Poetry Prompt “ERUDITE”

A few months ago, I started a book club, on FB called NEVER SILENCE THE MAD READER. As I was reading this particular book, our first book of the club, I realized it had so many large words that I had to look up. This was a very discouraging realization because in high school, I had so much pride in myself for being an avid reader. As an adult, I didn’t get the chance to read as much, but I didn’t think my vocabulary was as limited as it was. By the end of the first book, I chalked it up to the book itself. I mean, it was called “Special Topics in Calamity physics”, what else was I going to expect?

LOL a bunch of hard words…..

turns out…. It wasn’t the book, because come Decembers book, and I’m still writing down a long list of words I do not know hahaha

Anyway, I decided to write poems for each word to help me engrain the definition into my mind. I thought it would help expand my apparently minuscule pool of vernacular. Once I started doing this, I thought, hey! why not start a poetry group and post poetry prompts, I’m already “prompting” myself, I’ll just share it, and others can join if they want to.

I started a poetry group on FB called NEVER SILENCE THE MAD POET and I began posting my word of the week or poetry prompts. I recently decided, I’ll try sharing it on here as well and 🙏 would love it if anyone would like to participate and tag their ping backs to #NSTMPP

This weeks poetry prompt will be the word “ERUDITE

according to dictionary.com it is an adjective meaning “characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly: an erudite professor; an erudite commentary.

pingback to #NSTMPP

I’d love to read your work.

Not Sure What To Think…

So, a few weeks ago, I had a dream about my mom for the first time in a while. There wasn’t a storyline, just a bunch of flashes. Random scenes and a general overall feeling of panic. The entire dream, all I felt was dread. I had no idea why I hadn’t talked to my mom in a while. I was so confused, wondering why in the world I felt like I hadn’t talked to my mom in a long time. I had flashes at my childhood home, watching my dad change a baby diaper, at Zumba dancing in front of the mirror, at a large property searching for my car, I felt like I was running around trying to figure out how to to talk to my mom again. I was trying to figure out, what app, what her username was, making an account. I just frantically wanted to talk to her.

It was then that I woke up. And for a split moment, I really truly wondered why I hadn’t talked to my mom in so long. Then it hit me, that I hadn’t talked to her, because she isn’t here anymore. An overwhelming sadness came through me because it was as if, for a moment, I was losing her all over again.

I get up, and I’m trying to shake off this feeling. I open Facebook and scroll for a moment and then this ad pops up:

For those of you that don’t know my mother, The wolf was her animal. She had multiple wolf decor at home and she had a wolf tattoo climbing up her hip. She called me baby girl growing up.

Anyway, coincidence or not, I was a balling baby after seeing this. I was so emotional for the rest of the day.

Moral of my story, I will always love and miss my mamas.

In My Darkest Moments, I Have Still been Someone’s light

Today, I was honored to be presented with the DAISY award at my job.  It is an award to thank nurses for their compassion and skill.  You are nominated by patients, their family members, staff, or anyone that experiences or observes your extraordinary compassionate care.  

I received a beautiful bouquet, A hand carved statue called “the healer’s touch”, Cinnabons for myself and my team, but what meant the most to me was being able to hear the words written from the patients that nominated me and how I made a difference in their hospital stay.  

Their words meant the world to me, because some days are harder than others.  Some days you are running around non stop for the entire 12 hour shift.  Some days you are hurting or stressed in your own personal life.  Some days, you really need your coffee but haven’t had time to get it.  But, when you step into that patients room, you have the potential to be the brightness in their darkest day.  

When I decided to get into nursing, THAT was the reason I said  I wanted to be a nurse, to make a difference in someone’s darkest moments, and show them compassion and spread love.  And for my first year working as an RN, it fills my heart completely to know that I have accomplished that.  That even in MY darkest moments, I have still been able to shine light on someone.   

I love my team, because in every stressful situation at work, I have had someone  offer to help, ask if I’m okay, or even take initiative to help before I could even ask.  I have never once felt alone and I have always felt their support on the days that I really needed it.  Being honored with the DAISY award doesn’t just mean that people have viewed me as a compassionate nurse, it means that I have a team that allows me to be capable of keeping my spirits high day in and day out.  They inspire me every shift, in the ways that I could improve and be better.  They give me the tools to never have an empty cup to pour from.  

Some days could definitely be harder than others.  But today I am reminded that every day is worth it. 

When The Anxiety Hits Me

It’s hard to explain really.

It’s a wave of distrust in the people that I love the most.
It’s a moment of suspicion that grew from the seed of the most mundane moment.

Sometimes, it’s the inability to be truly happy.
Sometimes, it’s a sadness that has no reason.

It’s being afraid that one wrong glance can make someone hate you.
It’s worrying that one missed call means that you are no longer loved.

I wish that I could describe it to you in a way that you could read and simultaneously feel, just to understand what a person with anxiety goes through.

Sometimes, behind the silence and the smile, there is an entire hurricane going on inside. At times, it is in the mind. At times, it is in the heart. In the worst moments, it is in both.

It can feel like being short of breath accompanied by the ability to breathe.
It can feel like being tachycardic, but a glance at your heart rate tells you that you are just fine.
It can feel like you are in “fight or flight” mode for hours on end with nothing to fight and nothing to run from.

It can be days of negativity and anger when all you want is to feel love.

I catch glimpses of her sometimes ….. 


The girl behind the anxiety.  


Usually it’s within a candid photograph or mistaken video.


I see her laugh


-minus the  insecurities
-minus the doubt
-minus the worry
-minus the fear 
-minus the overthinking 


And she is beautiful. 


I don’t want you to read this and think… 

Less of me 

Worry for me 

Sadness for me 

Annoyance toward me 

Because the way that I see it…

People that go through this world battling anxiety and still 

-get up every morning 

-want to be the best version of themselves

-have hope for the present and future

-want to spread love and happiness 

-go to work in stressful challenging environments

-encourage and uplift

-LOVE 

Are some of the strongest and most compassionate people that I have ever met.

We go through this world with love and understanding, with empathy and hope.  Even though our moments can be harder to get through than some.  

We can comprehend your hurt, but we can also be your rock, because we have already faced a million thunderstorms within us and we know how to stand strong.  

I guess what I am trying to say, is that I am PROUD of the woman I am.  I am thankful for the  things that have made me become that woman I am today.

But I also catch glimpses of the girl behind the Anxiety sometimes.


AND SHE IS BEAUTIFUL 



I Wish I Would Have Jumped Up As Soon As I Remembered

So, it is currently 2:46am where I am at and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight.  I was jarred awake by an apparent nightmare.  As odd as it was, I was simultaneously thinking of the best opening lines to a blog post about said dream.  

These sentences are not it. Lol 

I laid in bed within those first 5 minutes thinking of the way I’d love to write this post and every detail of the nightmare I just had.  I debated getting up to write it.  I thought, “no, it’s too early to get up, I will write it later”.  At that time, I didn’t even know how early it really was.  

The dream itself wasn’t even really upsetting or interesting in any way.  I was just thrown awake so drastically that I felt like I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I have also noticed, I think I am the most productive, writing wise, late at night.  

Anyway, I looked at my phone to see the time, because I was obviously too awake to fall back asleep and I was in shock.  I feel as though I have slept for at LEAST  6 hours.  I couldn’t believe it was only 2-3 hours.  Falling asleep felt like it was so long ago. 

okay…. Dream time: 

I really should of written this as soon as I woke up because now, the details are slipping me and like I said, it wasn’t that insane of a dream in the first place, but here it goes…

My dream’s cast consisted of some of my elementary and high school friends.  People that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years.  As a matter of fact, over a DECADE.  I guess maybe it was some kind of reunion.  I feel like we were all in some kind of field waiting for something; an announcement, a celebrant.  I go off into a forest or something with my boyfriend and as we are walking,  I disturbed some sort of nest.  I think, I must of killed whatever was in there.  It was a hive of some sort.  We approach a clearing, and I guess, as dreams would have it, there were two folding chairs waiting for us.  My boyfriend sits in one, and I notice the hive mama buzzing around, gunning FOR ME.  

It is basically the equivalent  of a hummingbird sized mosquito.  Or if a hummingbird and a mosquito hybrid existed, this monster was it.  So, it’s buzzing around trying to attack me.  I’m swatting it.  I literally pick up my folding chair and I’m stepping to bat.  I’m not fast enough though because I keep feeling it hit me.  The buzzing of its wings close to my ears, even now, thinking about it, is giving me the chills.  Much to my chagrin, my boyfriend has already sat down and is minding his own business.  So I know that I’ve hit this thing a few times already, but it is relentless and I think I’m getting tired of holding up the folding chair, trying to hit it, trying to dodge it.  I keep feeling it stabbing my neck and hearing the buzzing noise.   BUZZZZZZZZ…..!!!!!!

That is when I jump awake, adrenaline apparently pumping because it is now, 3:14am and I am still awake.  

I should probably go back to bed, since my alarm will go off at 5am.  Goodnight everyone. 

Sincerely,

An introverted dreamer that doesn’t want her madness to be silenced 💋

My Heart Hurts From All the Things I Can’t Do With You Mother

Dear Mother, 

There are so many things that I still wanted to do with you.  We always talked about more dances together.  We have gone out dancing together twice in our lives.  I thought we had so many more late nights left to go.  We joked about loving dancing so much, we would go out, you in your wheelchair, and me with my cane.  I so wanted to do that with you mother.  

My mommy dearest, we had road trips planned that we could sing our hearts out to.  We had vacations in mind.  We had scrapbooks to fill.  We were suppose to find ourselves at some French cafe loving the food but hating the portion size.  We were going to smile and giggle at the cute guys.  We were going to let me practice my one sentence of French that I remembered from High School.  You were going teach me how to truly rock heels like a pro, and get mad at me when I complained about how bad my feet hurt.  

My best friend, we were going to get tattoos together.  We said it so many times.  Even made plans to get one before you left on that airplane, but we never made it.  My heart hurts, mother, because I wanted that experience with you.  

My workout partner, my TAE BO buddy, my Zumba lover.  You were suppose to make it to my favorite Zumba class, I really wanted you to see how amazing he really is.  He’s never going to have that first dance with you mama, and my heart hurts because I really wanted him to have that with you.  

Mommy, I really wanted to pick that dress with you.  I needed you there to tell me I looked beautiful in that one or how horrid that other one was.  Mother, should I wear my hair up? Or my hair down?   Do I wear a veil?   I wanted to see you there, smiling, crying, happy to finally see me walk down that aisle.  Mother, I don’t know how I will make it all the way down that hall without breaking down, I truly don’t.  I can’t see how I will have the strength in that moment in my life.  

My heart hurts from all the things I can’t do with you mother.  There are so many things I still had planned for us.  There were still so many laughs, there were so many songs to sing and beats to dance to.  There were so many chocolates to try, roads to drive, planes to fly.  There were so so many more words to write.  

We still had to pick a grandmother name for you.  Surprise you when you would have a grandchild.  You were suppose to spoil her, you were suppose to comfort him.  

You were suppose to teach me how to cook ….. 

JUST KIDDING 

We were suppose to joke about how much we both suck at cooking.  

Mother, there really were so so many things I had left for us to do together.  It’s hard for me to truly believe that I will never be able to do these things with you.  It is hard to believe that you are not somewhere just writing away or dancing.  I miss you so much mother, you have no idea how much my heart hurts for you.  I love you, my mama. 

May we dance together again one day

With so so so much love, 

Your Daughter, 

Angelique Rose 

Self Love is Where Mirrors Do Not Exist

The funny thing, or not so funny thing,  about our perception of beauty towards others and towards ourselves, is that they are on completely different scales.  I run around all day seeing the beauty in other women.  I hear their insecurities, but think how there is no need for the harsh words they tell themselves.  Only to realize that I am not much nicer to myself.  

It dawned on me recently.  An epiphany , if you will.  That I feel the most beautiful, I love myself the most,  when mirrors are not around to remind me what society expects me to look like.  

Let me try to explain that a little better…. 

In my apartment, I didn’t have a full sized mirror until maybe, last week.  It wasn’t on purpose, I was honestly just too lazy to buy a mirror and when I was out shopping, I just happened to forget to buy one.  In the sanctuary of my own home, with no one else’s judgment upon me and no mirrors to place judgement on myself, I did not feel the burden of my insecurities.  

On top of that, I have a boyfriend that always makes me feel beautiful.  Somehow, I am not sure how he does it, but, he makes me feel like no one else exists, but me.  He makes me feel like I am some model or beauty queen.  With no mirrors around, I begin to have this picture in my mind of what I must look like.  I feel love for myself and pride in my body, in my beauty.  

Sadly, that amount of self love drops a little when we leave home and I’m bombarded with reflections making me feel as though the perception I had of myself was just a dream.  

That is when I got to thinking.  

What is actually making me feel so insecure? 

How can I feel confident one moment, and then so little the next? 

Is it actually me? 

Is my reflection actually giving me feelings of disgust? 

LET ME TELL YOU…. THE ANSWER IS NO.

It is not who you are that makes you feel uncomfortable in your skin.  It is not the placement of your features.  It is not the size of your waist.  

Society…

Social norms…

Generations of the ideal person engrained in others’ minds….

Opinions of others…. 

Judgement … 

These are the things that feed our insecurities.  These are the things that make us think, that freckles were once meant to be disguised and now should be exposed.  These are the things that trick us into thinking natural is beauty but yet, it is better to paint a natural looking beauty on your face than just loving the actual natural beauty that you are.  Social media and the TV convince us that our eyes are too small, our lips are too thin, our hips too slim.  Some want sun kissed, some say stay out of the sun.

We really have to remember that the “ideal beauty” has changed over time, over and over again.  There is no such thing as perfection.  There is no such thing as an ideal look.  

We are all beautiful in every form and we need to love ourselves.  We need to teach our children to love themselves. 

Create goals to be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  

Not to gauge our self love by the number on the scale, the circumference of our waist or the reflection in the mirror.  

Who says that mirror is accurate anyway ❤ 

Angels Show Up in the Most Random Places

After losing my mom, I was flooded with messages from friends and family sending their love and condolences.  I found myself finding solace in talking about what happened.  In random conversation, I would start to talk about my loss, to anyone close enough to listen.  Coworkers in the break room,  friends on social media, any family that would listen.  I was reminded in these moments how much death is an awkward thing to talk about or more specifically, how awkward it is for others to listen and respond to someone else’s pain.  

I think a lot of people thought it was odd of me to talk about losing my mom so casually.  What they didn’t realize was that it helped me somehow.  It gave me peace to talk about her, even if it was about the day I lost her.  Maybe talking about losing her helped me cope and let the reality of it sink in.  I think maybe I kept replaying that day, and the information I learned to try to create some kind of theory about how and why it all happened.  Like some new clue would make things more clear.  

I don’t blame anyone for the way they dodged my conversation or the way they didn’t understand the hurt I felt from losing my mom.  I, myself, do not know how to react to someone else’s loss.  I often revert to the cliche “sorry for your loss”.  

I don’t think anyone can truly understand this loss I feel, unless they, too, have lost a parent or a child.   It’s a very lonely kind of sadness.  

Anyway…

In all my efforts to find comfort, talking to everyone and everything.  I connected with an Angel.   We met a handful of years ago.  She also lost her mother as well.  Talking to her really was a gift.  She gave me hope, comfort, understanding.  

I didn’t feel alone.

My hurt, wasn’t alone.  

What really shocked me was that, although we knew each other.  Knew of each other.  We never really had a conversation, and suddenly, here I was, talking with her about my deepest loss and she was not phased.  She wasn’t afraid to talk about loss or pain.  She wasn’t afraid to keep replying or forced to change the subject.  I wasn’t afraid to tell her how lonely this sadness was or how I was suddenly overcome with the fear of no afterlife.  

Okay,  story time :

Growing up, my mom always had an affinity for  dreamcatchers.  She had one in her car, she had some in our home.  She gave one to me as a kid.  

When my family and I went to the Philippines for my mom’s funeral, we stopped by the beach that she was at when she began to feel chest pain.  We just wanted some answers I guess, as to what really happened that day.  We were told that she stopped in front of a shop and became unconscious on their front door.  As my aunt and I asked a few questions, she looked up at the store that my mom happened to lay down at.  She was in awe, because the store was covered floor to ceiling in dreamcatchers.  She bought a handful of them for us.  It really just made me feel a little more at peace with what happened.   Like there was a touch of my mom wherever we went and that, no matter how devastated we are about what happened, GOD does things for a reason.  He calls people home when it is their time, and there isn’t really anything that we can do about that.  

I told this story to this unsuspecting Angel and one day, this necklace showed up in my mail.   She didn’t have to send me anything, she didn’t have to do anything for me, her conversation that day was far far enough, but she sent me this and it has reminded me every day that my mom is nearby and at peace.  

Thank you so much to the Angels out there that have such giant hearts.  That care when they don’t have to.  Love those that they don’t even know. 

 Just to bring peace to a broken heart.

12 Month Challenge

A few months ago, I saw a challenge going around from Rachel Hollis, the author of Girl, Wash Your Face called the “last90days”.  Essentially it was giving us 90 days at the end of the year to create our good habits and break our bad ones before starting the “new year, new me” that we all try to do every time that New Year Ball drops at midnight.  

At the end of last year, I wanted to get a group of my friends and really try to implement some of these healthy habits together.  These friends of mine are strong, independent, amazing women, and I thought how awesome it would be to have some kind of pact together and support one another on these goals.  

I will be honest, on my end, after a few weeks, I didn’t stay on as strong as I should have.  I tried to continually check in with my friends, but I wasn’t keeping the promises I made to myself to be a better version of me.  I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to be happier and healthier.  

One of my friends, blogger of The Mombie Blog, posted recently that she wanted to really try and implement this 90 day challenge into this year and strive for a better year.  I second that 12 month challenge.  

In her post 12 month challenge she mentions Rachel Hollis’s “5tothrive” list  and personalizes it to her own goals.   

I will do the same…….

As of the new year, I have already been waking up earlier to have some time in the morning to myself.  I work really early.  My three days working in the hospital,  I have to be there by 630am.  Most of last year, and probably, let’s be honest, most of my life, I run late.  I sleep late, I snooze my alarm, I keep my eyes closed for as long as possible before I jump out of bed and rush to work.  

So, I really want the time to really relax into my day, drink some coffee, have a light snack, reflect on my goals for the day, and to put some make up on.  

To achieve that, really my goal is to wake up at 430am on the days I work at the hospital.  It is so hard to wake up that early, it truly is.  But I’m really hoping that I can push myself until it becomes a natural thing.  I also work at a laser clinic about twice a week, and I have to be there at 930am.  So, I’ve been setting my alarm for 630am.

Working out for at least 30 min a day.  I have to say that, in the past, I have been so on top of this.  I worked out at least an hour a day, sometimes two, usually more cardio based.  But as of late, since picking up the second job and not having a car anymore, I can’t make it to my favorite class, I haven’t found the motivation yet to force myself after work EVEN THOUGH MY GYM IS WALKING DISTANCE FROM MY APARTMENT.

Okay, I know, I will definitely have to make at least the treadmill for 30 min a goal for every single day.  Tired is not an option.  

Drinking half my weight in oz of water a day is a lot harder than it sounds.  I’m not exactly sure how much I weigh right now because my batteries in my scale are dead and I haven’t bought any to replace them.  Maybe subconsciously, I don’t want to know lol.  

I am going to guess I weigh close to 165, that’s about 80oz of water a day.  I have a 40oz hydro flask, which I LOVE, but I gotta work on finishing 2 of those by the end of the day.  If I’m honest, I have hardly been finishing 20oz.

Give up a food category.  Not too bad, I did it before and saw results pretty quickly.  I will give up carbs.  I love rice, I can practically eat rice with anything, but, I’ve seen the difference it makes when I truly limit my carbs and I can do it again.  I think under 40g a day is the goal.  

At the end of my day, which, with both jobs, I get home around 800pm.  My goal is to be in bed by 11pm, if possible.  That gives me 3 hours to get a work out in, prep my lunch and uniform for the next day, shower and write a little to reflect on my day and gratitude.  

Wake up 2 hours before my shift starts

Work out at least 30 min every day

Drink 80oz of water a day

Give up carbs, at least stay under 40g

List my gratitudes for my day

Whatever your goals are for 2019, if you feel like you failed 2018 or rocked it, go into 2019 with the mindset that you will make a difference. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and effort and intention is really what makes the difference in achieving your goals.

And love yourself, because out of all the things that I have learned in my life thus far, it’s that loving yourself is the first thing that you need to accomplish before you could even dream of being happy. You need to love yourself to be the best version of you for the people you care about.

As Christmas Came and Went, I Really Missed My Mommy

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there are so many different things to think about and worry about. Traveling, gifts, money, time, family….. This Christmas my boyfriend and I road tripped five hours to spend time with my family. His sister from New Jersey that he hadn’t seen in thirteen years came with us. We really wanted to show her a good time and to take her around. We were so busy trying to fit in as much as possible in the few days we had.

We had two Christmas dinners. One from my Dad’s family and one from my Mom’s.

On the way to my Mom’s family Christmas Dinner, like a semi just ran me over, I was overwhelmed with the reminder that my last Christmas with my mom was at this house. To the shock of my boyfriend, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. I remember my mom sitting at the dinner table laughing, I remember taking pictures together and telling stories. I remember being able to cuddle together.

And then there are things I really wish I could remember.

They say that over time, the pain of losing a love one subsides.
Some say, it never does.

For me, I feel like, the realization of losing her has slowly become more apparent. Maybe the initial heartbreak doesn’t feel as sharp, but I get waves of sadness. I will feel anger, confusion, disbelief.

If there is anything that I have learned from this experience, if there is any message that I could pass on to everyone out there reading this, my loved ones, strangers…

Please listen…

There is no anger, grudge, or fight that will matter once that person is gone. I guarantee that once you lose that person, any negative feelings you might have felt will feel like a waste of time, waste of effort, waste of energy, when you could have spent the time in love and happiness.

My mom and I had a really close relationship, she was my best friend, but there were times that we didn’t agree with each other. Reading back through some past poems or diary entries, I was reminded of the times that we may have fought, or the times that I may have felt some type of negative way about her and it is all so pointless.

None of those grudges matter
None of those negative thoughts hold any weight

When the person you love is gone all that will matter is how much you love them, the time that you now know you won’t have with them, the wasted time that you spent thinking that there was always tomorrow.

So, use the time you have together to love each other. Make the time to visit, make the time to call, tell the people you love them when you get the chance.

And appreciate who they are to you.

Finally!!! We Win!!!

Finally!!! We Win!!! 

This is a product review as well as a life lesson.

Okay, the reality is,  I live in an older apartment building and after moving in, we realized, that we moved into a place that already heavily populated;  Buggies, Roaches,  Ruthless Survivors.  It is an embarrassing situation to be in, I have to be honest.  It was driving me insane.  We tried everything.  

We tried camphor 

We tried raid

We tried roach motels

We spent a lot of money covering all cracks and holes and painted over it all 

We had a monthly sprayer come in 

We tried diatomaceous earth

NOTHING WORKED 

I was feeling so very defeated 

I was feeling like the only solution left was to abandon ship and move

I was told about this stuff called Advion Cockroach Bait.  I bought it on amazon for about $20. I was skeptical at first, because I had tried something in the same family previously, and it didn’t work.  But I have to give everything a try.  

So, first try.  The gel looked a bit dark.  It is given to you in a syringe looking applicator.  I put it everywhere.  The Gel was a bit ugly to look at once applied.  It dried a dark brown and if you over apply, it drips.  

Anyway, 

This first attempt was a fail, I really didn’t see much improvement.  I didn’t see the miracle that the reviews were spouting.  But I already had a second round on it’s way in the mail.  

The second attempt, was completely different.  I thought 

“Hell, why not” 

This batch looked different.  It was a beige color and seemed a tad thicker.  It dried tan as well, and make sure you put it places where gravity won’t take its toll because once it hardens, it doesn’t necessarily stick as well, and some of my lines of application fell off the corners I placed them in.

Let me tell you…this batch was a miracle worker.  

Just as the reviews stated, the day after I set the bait down, the roaches were eating it and dying.  As gross as this might sound,  it was like a roach graveyard on my floor and any roaches that were still alive, were walking around like they were zombies.  

It has been about a week since I put the bait down and I haven’t seen any live roaches.  Even after the dark and turning on the light, NOTHING.  

I’m sure I will have to periodically continue to lay this bait down, because this must be an apartment wide problem considering the age of the building.  But the fact that they were gone in a week is amazing.  

What this has taught me in life, is that, you may get to the point where you feel fully defeated.  The point where you just want to throw your hands up and say, “fine, you win, I give up” 

You may have contributed to it or it could completely be outside forces that you cannot help. 

But don’t give up. 

Because there will finally be that moment where you triumph over the hardships……

and have a home free of roaches. 

The Battle of Feeling Beautiful Enough For a Picture

“She’s so photogenic!”, we say when we see a woman with a beautiful instagram grid full of selfies.  “I wish I looked that good in my candid pictures” we groan,  as these women look effortlessly flawless.   Happy and glistening as they workout or sip coffee.  

At least, these are words I say to myself, when I’m trying to take my own pictures.

There are so many intricate feelings going on in this one moment of taking a picture of myself.  As little as it might seem, the layers of insecurities, anxieties, fears of judgement, self depreciation, and desire for acceptance are canyons thick.  

Let me start with me personally. 

For all of my life, I have hated posing for pictures.  Throughout my childhood, during the time of film rolls and camcorders,  I remember running away from being recorded.  The dread of being asked to take a picture alone.  To this day, I still run and hide at the sight of a camera lens in my direction.  A photoshoot would take a lot of mental preparation and pushing through very awkward smiles and unnatural poses.  Every shot, every video, would bombard my mind with: 

How would I look? 

How will I sound? 

What will people think of me? 

Do I look fat? 

Do I look silly? 

Am I embarrassing myself? 

While it seemed that everyone else looked beautiful on the spot, I felt like I had to take one hundred pictures before I liked one.  The one picture I did like, I felt insecure showing to the world without at least three different filters on it.  

A filter to erase the imperfections.

A filter to brighten my skin 

A filter that thins the face and enlarges the eyes

Showing my body…FORGET ABOUT IT

There wasn’t really a filter to filter out my insecurities of being overweight.

All of this may seem so very, how can I say? … insignificant, when compared tothe vast issues of the world, but it’s actually a really big dent in how we live our lives.  It was and IS debilitating.  It was a fear to be myself.  It was a fear for others to see me as I was.  It was a dislike of who I was on the outside and the ideas of what beautiful was from social expectations.  

It really didn’t hit me, how bad it was until dun. dun. dun. – snapchat.  

I only felt beautiful when I was a cartoon dog.  I only felt like my picture was worth being shown to the world with filters that lightened my skin and thinned my face.  Even if that meant, my face was transformed into a unicorn or given a halo of butterflies, or contacts that turned my brown eyes grey.  How can I say I feel beautiful when it isn’t even me that I present as my profile picture?  

This revelation really made me think.

NO

My profile picture will be me.  The pictures I post will be me.  I will not allow myself to live my life behind a filter, to be afraid to show the world who I really am unless I hide behind a mask.  I won’t let myself trick anyone else into feeling insecure.  Trick someone else into thinking that I am effortlessly flawless because snapchat made my skin clear, made my eyelashes long, made my cheeks thin.  

If you, in anyway feel the insecurities that I feel, the fears that I feel.  I want you to know that you are not alone.  I want you to know that you are so beautiful and that it’s society and social expectations that make us feel like we are less than and undesirable.  I want you to know that you do not need the filters and one hundred takes before you find a perfect picture because you should love yourself the way that you are. 

I wish I could tell you that I’ve had some kind of inspirational transformation, some light bulb moment, and that now I can say “F what anyone thinks, this is my face and here it is, it is beautiful.” But I haven’t.  My confidence and my self love is still a work in progress.  I’ve decided to work on the things that make me feel less beautiful, instead of hiding behind a filter.  I’ve been working on getting healthier and building a skin routine.  I have my good weeks and my bad weeks, but I think being aware and putting effort is a good start.  

I still battle every picture to feel beautiful.  I still feel insecure without make up.   I still like a filter or two.  But, at least it is still me.

Not a dog 

Not a unicorn

Not some mystical mermaid

One day I will beat this battle to feel BEAUTIFUL enough for a picture.  

I will be Bare faced  and beautiful 

I will be flaws and all beautiful 

I will amazon warrior this battle to feel beautiful 

And I will be proud of it.

It’s OFFICIAL!

I received this message this morning as I woke up and the feeling of constant dread that I have had since taking my NCLEX suddenly faded away. This journey to my RN has been an extremely long one. Not just the prerequisite classes that I was taking in my early twenties, but from the beginning of my RN program to now has been a long road filled with ups and downs.

I moved to Southern California away from anyone that I knew to start my nursing program. It was me and my dog, five hours away from where we had previously been calling home. Small studio, no kitchen. My makeshift kitchen was in a small room that I also installed a closet rod in.  I hadn’t thought about it at the time, but it ended up being a VERY bad idea, considering my clothes now smelled of anything I was cooking. I slept on an air mattress for months and struggled to wash dishes in a bathroom sink. It was a challenge for sure, but I didn’t care. I found a job, I was starting nursing school, I was independent, and I was PROUD of myself.

I thought to myself.

“I AM DOING IT”

At that time in my life, I just left a relationship of seven years. I dropped my mom at the airport to move to the Philippines a couple months prior. I physically had never been more alone. I was heartbroken, I was anxious at a new job, and I was excited/stressed about managing my first semester. BUT

I WAS DOING IT

I was finding a way to wake up every morning and be positive. I was finding a way every day to earn my own trust. To learn what it meant to be truly in charge of my own life and focus on me and my well being. I was happy. I was learning how to live my life.

Fast forward a bit, I went through an eviction, repo, heartbreak, frustration, complications with paperwork and school. I went through sleep deprivation, getting laid off from my first hospital job after almost 2 years.

This year alone, I lost my mom super unexpectedly, had 2 car accidents, had a car stolen .

BUT

This journey also brought me love and friendships, adventures, the triumphs after the struggles.
It brought me a new level of self awareness.

This year alone, I graduated from nursing school, went to my little brothers wedding,

PASSED MY NCLEX

My dreams are slowly but surely becoming reality. My list of goals are being checked off.

DONE … AND DONE!

I want to tell anyone out there that has a dream. No matter the circumstances, no matter the hardships, or the roadblocks… you can do it. You can accomplish it. It may take you longer than expected, things may even feel as though they are getting thrown in your path just to make you fail, but, If you want it bad enough, if you love yourself enough to trust in your dream and put you plan into action, you can do it.

There were times that I felt like, everything was just too much. But then I would think..

“If I don’t continue this path to my giant goal, where I am right now, is the best I am ever going to get. This day that I am having RIGHT NOW is going to be the same day I will have for the rest of my life. NO… I don’t want to live this struggle forever.. and that is exactly what I will have to do if I give up”

If your goal is to not work your 9-5 and be your own boss
If your goal is to find a job you love with the talents that GOD has blessed you with
If your goal is to spend more time at home with your family, not missing your daughter’s school play because you had to work overtime

All you have to do is to put that plan in action and ask yourself….

“This feeling of being unhappy, being not content with life, is this the way I am willing to feel for the rest of my life?”

If the answer is NO

Then move your butt and put your plan in action.

A lot of people that I have met, when I tell them that I moved from Northern California alone to LA for school, have said…

“You are so brave”
“You are so strong”
“You have guts”

It means the world to me. But to be honest, being afraid was never a thought that crossed my mind. Needing to feel fear was never in the vicinity of my thought process for this particular decision because it is what I needed to do.

Goal : be a nurse

Step 1. GET INTO NURSING SCHOOL

I did

Step 2. Go to nursing school

Ok

There was no “ifs ands or buts” about any of it. So when I say go for it. Because you can do it…. I truly mean… GO FOR IT

Passing this test has meant a lot to me. It means that all the hard work I put in, all the struggles were worth it. But it is also all very bittersweet. My mom was suppose to be here to see me pass this test. I want anything in the world to be able to call her and tell her that I passed. I want to hear her scream on the other end of the phone and laugh and tell me “congrats babygirl”. I want so much to hear her say that she’s coming home and that we will celebrate.

I know that she’s around me, that she’s proud of me, that she is just as excited as I am, I just wish I could hug her and hold her hand.

I want to thank my mom, for always and forever being my cheerleader. Through all of my life decisions she had her opinion. But she also had my back. She was always the first to say she loved me and the first to tell me she was proud of me. She never skipped a beat to uplift me as a child, tell me how smart I was and that I could be anything I put my mind to. She taught me to dream and to love and all I can say is Thank you for everything. I love you.

I want to thank the rest of my family as well, my dad, my aunts and uncles, my siblings, my boyfriend. For being there for me when times were tough. For having the faith in me, that I could accomplish big things, for loving me unconditionally, even when I made decisions that made them shake their heads. I am a better person because I have all of you in my life. I can’t wait to celebrate this WIN with you. I love you all.

Countdown To The NCLEX

For those of you that don’t know what the NCLEX is, it is a giant test that stands between you and your dream of being a nurse.  It is a test to verify that you have enough knowledge in that pretty little noggin’ of yours to provide safe and quality care to your patients.  It is a test that is the real finish line in the race you started when you began nursing school.  And it’s a hard one.  Your test can be 75 questions long, or it can be over 200 questions long, all depending on how well you are answering them.  You will get questions that give you 5 right answers, you just have to pick the best one and hope that the right answer you picked is the right answer for the test.  It is a $500 test that, if you do not pass, you have to wait 3 months before you can take it again.  It is scary.

So my test is scheduled for October 18th, and a couple of months ago, I was fine, confident.  I wasn’t worried.  Life had thrown me plenty curveballs already this year, and I thought, “all I have left to do to get myself out of this hole, is to pass this test”.

And then came my fender bender, a week later, a car stolen that we had to pay $600 dollars to get out of a tow yard even though it was missing tires, seats, steering wheel, etc.  Now, a month later and we have another accident.

This year, my friends, besides the fact that I graduated nursing school and was able to see my little brother get married, has quite possibly been one of the most stressful and depressing years of my life.  So much of me wishes that I could just pause life for a moment and take a breath.  But life doesn’t work that way.  Here I am,  tonight, sick, 2 days of studying lost because of whatever bug I’m battling, 1000 more questions of studying that I need to do and more because I am not confident I will pass yet, receiving breaking news that our only car was rendered useless.  I am not sure how I will get to work on Thursday.  It is just too much.  But I have to get it done.

I literally have 8 days left to study and 3 of those are work days.  I feel like I should move my test maybe.  But maybe I shouldn’t.  I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m writing because I am overwhelmed.

I wanted to semi document my journey through nursing school, but I never did.  I wanted to document my journey for this NCLEX, but I don’t know what to say really.

Okay, here is what I have to say.

In real time, real feelings, honesty,
A month ago, I had a long list on my to-do list.  After graduation, I just wanted to accomplish it all.  I wanted to stay strong with water intake, daily workouts, eating right.  I wanted to meal prep, and cook, and lose weight.  I wanted to study for my test and pass.  I wanted to start writing more.

But it felt like I was failing at EVERYTHING

There was so much on my plate that everything was dying.  What is that phrase? About spreading yourself too thin, or watering too many plants that you don’t give one enough water to survive?

Whatever

You get my point

I decided a few weeks ago that I had to drop every other goal for now so that I could focus on my exam.  My anxiety was getting heightened and the overloaded plate was making my panic attacks come back.  So I decided “F the eating right, F the weight gain, F the workouts” I need to study and only study until this test is behind me.

Viola!

Weight lifted off my shoulders.  Granted, I’m gaining weight, my skin is a mess, my apartment, I can’t see the floor of.

But I’m happier and no more panic attacks.

Still stressed out,  still worried about not passing this test. But at least I’m not spontaneously crying anymore.

For anyone reading this, for anyone with a list of goals, for anyone with anxiety.

Sometimes, you feel like you have to be superwoman.  Sometimes, you feel like you have to be perfect; the perfect girlfriend, the perfect employee, the perfect housemate, perfect woman.  You want that perfect body and perfect skin.

But sometimes, you have to be okay with not being perfect.  You have to be okay with saying it’s too much and you have to live within imperfection for a while.  You have to let yourself breathe and take care of yourself.

When I told some people that I was going to throw everything out of the window and just focus on studying, most of my feedback, was “why?! You can do it, you can eat right, and work out, and study, and come to work, just do __, __, and ___” and it made me think for a moment, maybe I am taking an easy road out, maybe I am being lazy…..NO

I saw what it was doing to me, trying to be perfect.  Trying to accomplish it all at once.  I am not abandoning all my goals.  I am just pausing some while I focus on one.

The point that I am now trying to make, is that no one knows what you are going through but yourself.  You know what you need, you know how you feel, you know what you can handle.  Don’t let other people push you into running yourself into the ground.

Love yourself, take care of yourself, it is okay to live in imperfection.

Sincerely,

An introverted dreamer that doesn’t want her madness to be silenced 💋

 

P.S. Picture is of my life beside me because I needed theraflu all day, comfort, and hydration.  Not healthy, I know, but I’m sick, don’t judge me.

She Told Me To Love Myself For Who I Am

I dreamt of my mom for the first time last night since the news of her death in April.

 

The thing is, we have both always believed in the afterlife.  Despite what we believed in as far as religion was concerned, we both very strongly believed that our bodies had a soul, a spirit, a life force, and that, after death we would be just as much alive as a spirit as we were in a physical body.

 

When my mom died, so unexpectedly, I held on to that belief.  I thought to myself, “she was my best friend, nobody knew me down to the depths of my soul like she did and no one knew her as much as I did.  If she came to visit me after death, I would know.  If she wanted me to know something, she would find a way to tell me.  If she wanted to be near me, I would feel her.  There is no possible way that her spirit could be near me without me knowing.”

 

And then…

 

A week passed by and I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel, but I didn’t feel her.  I didn’t smell her perfume, I didn’t become overwhelmed with her emotions, I didn’t dream of her, I didn’t get goosebumps, or feel her near me.

 

I found ways to rationalize it to myself.  “Maybe she has unfinished business elsewhere?  Maybe she is angry with someone and is wreaking havoc there?  Maybe she is in some type of transition?”

 

It all might seem silly to someone else reading this.  It might seem completely insane to someone who doesn’t believe in the afterlife.  But, I had to have a reason….

 

“I would know if she was near me, why haven’t I felt her near me?”

 

You hear throughout life, from other people who have experienced loss, that they feel their loved one around them all the time, that they feel them like an embrace from the surrounding air.  They say they feel their loved one walking beside them throughout life and during all their important experiences.

 

“where is she then? Where is this unquestionable feeling?”

 

I spent over a week in a room with her casket.  Everyday, all day, beside her, and I spoke to her.  I searched for her.  Any sign of her.  I was grasping at straws.

 

My mom was an extremely strong woman, filled with fire, energy, and a love for life.

IMG_0826

I thought, if anyone were to be a spirit and want to make her presence known, it would be her.  She would find the strength to knock a cup down, she would.

 

Through all of this, I experienced the normal stages of grief.  Over and over in short cycles.

 

Mostly

DENIAL……ANGER…DEPRESSION… ACCEPTANCE

 

Waves of cycles

 

I began to become overwhelmed with this sadness and fear.

 

“What if I don’t feel her, because, there is no afterlife?  What if, when you die, you are just gone, life is over, there is no checking in on loved ones, there is nothing but -dark-empty-nothing?”

 

I didn’t want that for her, I can’t rely on the belief that there is nothing after death.

 

Well, two months later

 

I dreamt of my mom for the first time since she died.

 

I can’t say one way or another what any of that means.  I can’t say it’s her visiting me, I can’t say it’s anything more than my brain thinking of her while I’m asleep.  I can’t even say that I feel her around me.

 

But…

 

For my own grieving process.

For my own closure.

For my own ability to find peace in losing her.

 

She sent me a message that night.

 

She told me to love myself for who I am.

She told me to take the insecurities and F*** them all.

She told me to enjoy my life and be happy in the body I’m in.

She told me to stop stressing over the little things in life that don’t matter

She told me to always remember the memories, but to walk over the burnt down and broken, and move forward.

 

I can’t be mad at her for that

 

I guess I have some soul searching to do

School is finally out at least until February and a lot of things have been on my mind.  A friend of mine made a comment to me that with school over, now I have time to de-stress …. And somehow .. I am even more stressed, and this is what I have concluded as to why…

 

When I am in school, it is my main and only priority … everything else can just F off.  Apartment turns in to a homeless camp, food in the home is basically non existent, if I’m completely honest with myself, I don’t shower as much as I should either.  I gain weight because I have no time to exercise, and I eat whatever I can get my hands on.

 

So, when school is over, instead of being overwhelmed with relief, I am FLOODED with every other responsibility I have set aside during the semester.  I have to get my finances in order.  I have to work on losing the weight I gained .. Which also means that I have to cook at home and grocery shop and exercise and make healthy choices.  I have to clean the tornado that is my home.  Make time for the friends that I have neglected and prepare for the next semester.  Start writing again because I haven’t been able to.  It all becomes overwhelming to the point that I would rather be in bed doing nothing, than prioritizing the to do list that all seems to be important.

 

So many things on my mind that I can’t even squeeze a poem out, so I’m writing this rant instead, so at least I’m writing something.

 

Hmmm.. I read a post earlier, Spin class stories where they spoke about life spinning out of control and being on an endless cycle.  Initially, I thought to myself, this doesn’t apply to me, because, I’m not on an endless cycle, I am on a path and I am moving forward, but in the midst of writing this rant, I came to realize, I am on an endless cycle.  A cycle of never being content.  I am never celebrating my accomplishments.  My first reaction is always, “why didn’t I do better?” or “when will I reach the day, that it is better?”.  A year from now, things will be better.  But I never stop and say, “you passed that class, you are amazing” I am on this forever cycle of never being happy with what I have and what I obtain.

 

That would seem to make me a pessimist, but I never thought of myself as a pessimist.  I thought of myself as an optimist really.  But, I guess I’m not that either.

 

In the post that I read earlier, they ask, “what are you going to do about it?”

And I think that it is very important that I deal with this now because if I don’t, not matter what I accomplish, I won’t be happy with myself.  This transcends into my relationship as well.  I can be with someone that loves me and cares for me and I will somehow fixate on the one thing that I might not agree with and think it’s a deal breaker.  My friend told me when I was venting the other night about this exact subject, that even with the next person, I will find something to fixate on, and I will never be content.

 

Wow, cycle for sure.  And to think, I thought I was exempt.

 

Anyway, I guess, I have some soul searching to do, some positive affirmations to start telling myself every morning, and the changing of my attitude to become a happier and better person.

 

GOOD NIGHT

Dating Someone with Anxiety

-A boyfriend’s Advice

On a different post, I will dive into details about my journey with anxiety, but right now I feel like this is a post I really want to make.  What I want to say from the start is that, I am also new to anxiety, in the sense that, my awareness of it’s giant impact on my life and my actions is not even a year old.  This video that I am sharing, posted by Day By Daysia on YouTube, is a video that  I stumbled upon while scrambling to find ways to get my boyfriend to understand even a crumb of what I go through and what I need before we completely fell apart.

I want to make it clear though, that I am no way saying that this advice is the end all and be all for All people that have anxiety.  I know that everyone needs something different and expresses their anxiety in different ways.

That being said, for me personally, this video saved my life.  Not every point being made applies directly to me.  But I’ve seen it apply to people I love that suffer from anxiety as well.

Listening to this guy’s list, I learned a lot about myself and what I struggle with.  I felt less alone, hearing that another couple has dealt with the same struggles and have pulled through.  And I felt like I had something in my possession that could help open my boyfriends eyes.

According to Daysia’s boyfriend, these are some tips that he has learned along they way, after falling in love with her.

FYI: The volume on the video is very low, so you may need headphones to hear.

For a partner to someone with anxiety:

  1. Have patience
  2. Don’t judge them for something they can’t control
  3. Break down walls
  4. “your partner’s spoons”
  5. Learning to read a room
  6. Little things/gifts or gestures
  7. Being available
  8. Do not tell them to relax
  9. Stay calm

For me, patience and being available are probably the biggest thing that seem to calm my anxieties.  It’s also very important for my partner to stay calm because if he doesn’t, then we are both feeding off of this escalating energy.  That’s never good and can lead to an explosion.

I’d love to hear anyone’s opinion to this video.  I’d love to hear any tips anyone has from their own experiences .

Goals for 2018

Facing the end of 2017 means a lot of different things to me.  I started this journey in 2014, moving to Southern California alone almost on a whim when I got accepted into a nursing program.  2014 was a year of changes for me.  It was a year of GIANT decisions.  It was a year of letting go and learning how to love myself.  It was a year of learning how to exist when you are no longer one half of a whole…. but the whole.  That was major to me.  I had spent ten years of my life being someones partner and I was all of a sudden faced with time to make decisions solely for my benefit.  I was faced with making choices just because I wanted to make them, not needing to be considerate of how my choices were going to affect my other half because I wasn’t a half any longer.

Fast forward…three years, I went through numerous challenges.  I took some time away from school and now after being on pause for a little while, I am back on the path to graduating.  Coming to the end of 2017, I am filled with joy that I am one step closer to accomplishing this goal that I started in 2014.  I have discovered things about myself that I hadn’t fully understood.  I have overcome a few really heavy bouts of anxiety and I have grown stronger.

Thanks to a blog that I read earlier by Discovering your happiness celebrating the accomplishments of this year, anticipating the marvelousness of the rest of the year, and contemplating the goals of the future, I have decided to put some thought about my goals for 2018 as well.

Some of my major goals are

❤ graduating on time in June

❤ passing the NCLEX soon after

❤ Getting hired as an RN

❤ enrolling in a BSN program

some of my personal goals are

❤ getting some money in my savings account

❤ finally reaching my goal weight

❤ upgrading my laptop

❤ hopefully getting a car

some of my mental health goals are

❤ taking part in a dance class that is a little more advanced than beginner

❤ overcoming my fears and singing karaoke outside of the comfort of my four walls

❤ learning how to feel confident and beautiful without the cover of make up on my face or an app filter to hide my imperfections

❤ realistically maybe being able to minimize the # of  full on panic attacks to like 2

❤ learning how to be a little bit selfish, because I have a problem with giving and giving and then feeling very empty when I’m left to struggle alone.  I’m not saying its bad to be giving, but sometimes a person can put themselves on the back burner because of their love for other people and hurt themselves over and over in the process.  It is time for self love.

okay, all of that sounds like way too much to focus on and accomplish in one year.  It’s giving me anxiety just thinking about it lol.  But hopefully this time next year, I am checking some of those major goals off my list and on to the next.  I’m sure there are more things that I want to accomplish, but as I sit here writing, I don’t want to overwhelm myself with things that I want done.

Thank you for reading my rant ❤

*featured picture is for my grandma because besides the drive to want to accomplish these things for myself…. She is my heart, and my everything, and out all the times I could of wanted to give up, I never could let her down.  She is both my weakness and my strength and 2018 is dedicated to her and all the dreams I know she is hoping for me to accomplish.  I want her to see me graduate.  I want her to see me succeed.  If I could say my goals and choices and actions were for anyone…. it would be for her ❤

 

 

Hydration at its Finest

Does anyone  else have a weird quirk about their water bottles?  I have always been very picky about my water bottles and I have gone through many, many, many, trials and errors.   This topic may be trivial to most, but I went through a long journey to find a “perfect” water bottle.  In my twenties, I discovered the double walled water bottle and I was in love.  The double wall prevents sweating, which is amazing because that means, you electronics aren’t in danger if everything is in your backpack and your desk doesn’t end up with a puddle.  My issue with most water bottles, was the size wasn’t big enough and I knew that if I had to keep refilling the bottle, the less likely I was to drink the amount of water I was trying to drink.

Another thing that was important to me was that I needed a straw lid because I loved Ice water, room temperature water doesn’t taste very good, but the ice was too cold for my teeth if it were get into my mouth.  Silly, I know, but it was still a point in my journey for the “perfect” water bottle.

Obviously, another gigantic thing for ice water lovers, is that the ice doesn’t automatically start melting as soon as you step outside, so I had to look for a water bottle that was well insulated as well.  I thought I had an almost perfect water bottle and I started attempting this healthier lifestyle, packing my lunch, overnight oats for breakfast, a protein shake for a snack, a water bottle, and of course, I needed my coffee in the morning.  This lifestyle change became oddly challenging when I was carrying a lunchbox with 3 giant bottles in it.  Shake, water, coffee.  I started thinking, maybe if I could find a water bottle that also had the ability to carry hot liquids AND had no flavor transfer, I would be in heaven.  I don’t know if you have ever attempted this and realized that you were drinking coffee flavored ice water, it’s not really an enjoyable experience on a daily.

So, if I made a check list, my “perfect” water bottle would be or would have…

 

  • Double walled (no sweating)
  • Straw lid (+ interchangeable lids)
  • Insulated (ice stays ice)
  • Multi use (cold / hot)
  • No flavor transfer
  • Large size (over 20oz)

 

HF

Now [insert heavenly chime noise], I have found a water bottle that checks every box.  The only downside is, it was a little bit more on the expensive side.  With shipping and everything, it came out to about $60 for a 40oz bottle.

 

*FYI, I tested the flavor transfer.  I had hot coffee in it, all day, I rinsed it out.. And put ice water.. NO TASTE OF COFFEE, NO SMELL OF COFFEE … it was a dream ❤

 

Okay…. Nerdy rant of the day over ….

 

Thanks for reading ❤