Advice

Sharing, WRITING LETTERS

DEAR STRANGER,


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I’m writing to tell you that I see you.

It’s possible you wouldn’t care in the least bit if you knew. It’s also possible this message will seek you out in a moment of need.

Either way I hope you come to know that YOU are not invisible to me.

I think about you and wonder who you might be, what you must be thinking and where you are headed. Sometimes you are an elderly woman waiting for the bus as I speed by to catch the light. At other times you are a child walking with a back pack miles away from the nearest school. We never cross paths (at least that I’m aware of), I never get to acknowledge your presence with a smile or even ask you what your name is.

But you choosing to BE has a magnificent impact on me. Even if only for a few moments at a time. For those moments I am truly thankful for you.

You see, you being you makes me wonder and wonder is the catalyst of life. You give my life context with the juxtaposition of your circumstance next to mine. You help me connect to myself and the grand design.

With that said, I hope these words find you when you need them most.

Much Love,

Elysianish

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QUIET ACCOMPLISHMENTS


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Reflecting on 2018 I asked myself what I was most proud of last year. Looking around in my mind I couldn’t find anything substantially rooted in the material that reflected an obvious accomplishment or even a token of some goal achieved (cuz umm honestly last year was not my year for goal setting, ya feelin me…) Anyway, the most beautiful answer came to me despite the nuclear panic in my mind. A little voice was brave enough to speak up and say, “I am proud of the friendships I have allowed myself to curate”.

I thought to myself “Damn girl! That’s some real depth! Good for you! That is so true!” Ha!

Although, some of these friendships have come and gone with the seasons (totally okay and normal). I think some are meant to be that way. Some have lasted a couple of decades and continue to grow. But the ones that matter most, no matter the time span, are in-explainable and leave a lasting impression.

It’s cheesy I know. But I don’t care. It’s the good stuff in life! Literally Gouda is one of my fav’s (hehe). Seriously though it can be really easy to dismiss quiet accomplishments that are not written in bold in your obituary, like getting that house or college degree, but they are just as important. Actually, I think the quiet little victories are more important but what do I know. lol

Keep your chin up darlings!

Love,

Elysianish

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THE UPSIDE OF BLUE


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I really do believe that I AM an optimist at heart. However, sometimes it gets really hard (like really hard) for me to remember that. Especially lately. And I know I’m not the only one.

You know that feeling you get when you pull yourself out of the dumps? It’s a pretty good feeling right!  Do you also remember giving yourself a celebratory pep talk that went something like, ” I will never let myself come to a time like this again!” Fast forward a few years and here you are again in a similar circumstance and a similar mindset. Now your back to the bottom of Sisyphus’ hill.

Well my friend I’m here to tell you it is A-Okay! I mean I know it doesn’t feel like that, but that’s kind of  the point. Let me explain.

After years of scolding myself for letting myself get down, I recently realized something.  Contrary to popular advice of pushing through, sucking it up, and essentially ignoring my feelings because they were just a form of weakness that I needed to push through like a cross fit work out: I have arrived at the conclusion that it is OKAY to FEEL sad. In fact it’s more than okay, it’s actually probably helpful and maybe even necessary. I know, I know.  You are probably thinking “what gives lady? How is being sad helpful? Clearly you must be abusing Valium or have never really experienced a crap life circumstance.” While neither of those are true… I understand the knee jerk, eye roll response. I had the same reaction. But hear me out.

As annoying and debilitating as the emotion of “sadness” is, don’t you think it too deserves a silver lining? Think about it. What purpose does sadness serve? I don’t believe that it is some perfunctory creation of our biology or consciousness. Everything in nature and its very design (which we are a part of) is amazingly efficient and highly organizational. Meaning that every thing and being and all of their cells have an efficient purpose and function. So why would our biology be any different? Assuming that emotions arise from biochemicals, why would they be an exception to the rule? And even if emotions aren’t created biologically,  but rather come from some other part of us that we are not able to yet measure, they still function within our physical-ness (…biology). My point is we are not an exception to the highly organized and efficient nature of nature. See what I did there eh eh… Anyway my point is that we are not above it all. We too are nature. And somehow we as a species have forgotten and/or may have been actively fighting this fact. But why?

Really though…WHY?

You see it takes way too much energy to produce emotions for me to believe sadness is just this storm of nonsensical neural activity driven solely by potentiality based on a meaningless influx of neurotransmitters generated by chance reactionary circumstances. Yeah.

What if our emotions, good and bad, are the equivalent to one of our other senses and not just residual from a reactionary process. Acting as feelers for when we are in alignment with what we essentially want to create and experience. For example, we use our other senses to help us navigate the world to either move towards or away from what we perceive to be good/bad, pleasant/unpleasant, safe/unsafe experiences. So perhaps our emotional states serve the same purpose and then some, creating a bridge between the physical and the inner mushy place(aka. soul, inner being, energy).

Now I’m examining sadness specifically, although I do suppose our many other emotions would serve us in the same way as well, but sadness is a quirky little feeling. People mostly find it annoying and it kind of gets neglected on the list of emotions to be grateful for. But what if it’s just misunderstood. What if it’s purpose is to let us know when we are creating or trending toward an overall emotional state that we may not be in alignment with. What if sadness isn’t so much a reaction to an event we just experienced but rather a reaction to the emotional reaction we feel to said event… still with me?

Let me break it down. Say for example you have a goal to lose X amount of weight before a tropical vacay because you plan on feeling fabulous in that super cute bikini that has been stalking you on IG. But then all of a sudden you feel like time decided to slingshot you to a week before the trip and you are no more fit then you were at the start. You start to feel uneasy, anxious, and maybe even resentful toward yourself for not having the will to get it together like you said you would…and now you feel sad. You think you feel sad because you’re not going to look like that IG model did in that bikini or because you essentially failed to meet a goal you had set for yourself. But what if the sadness was actually being generated in response to the negative self-talk and negativity you are creating for yourself in that moment. What if that is your inner beings way of telling you, “Hey! We are starting to go down a path that we don’t want to. A path far away from the truth”. And the truth is you are fabulous and you have a choice to feel amazing in that bikini regardless of how much you weigh. The truth is you are already whole perfect and complete and now you are forgetting that… and perhaps that is why you are feeling sad now. Because you are out of sync with that little inner voice that is a relentless cheerleader for all things made of rainbows,glitter, and cotton candy clouds.

What if we stopped fretting about the inevitable negative emotions, like sadness that we WILL experience, and embrace them instead as a hint or sometimes strong nudge trying to point us in the right direction. And by embracing them we can stop running from them. We can start recognizing the power behind them and learn how to utilize it to move forward instead of getting stuck in a ditch that we keep digging deeper. And if we stop for a second, then maybe we can collect our thoughts for a moment, that may just lead to a foot hold that we can use to pull ourselves out. And then maybe,just maybe we can start feeling better much sooner.

Now I do recognize there are major life events such as the loss of a loved one or a major tragedy that hits us out of no where. And naturally we feel sad at those times. How does this theory of sadness fit in here? Honestly, I am not entirely sure. Mostly because it’s hard to wrap this up in a neat explanation in the face of a tragedy and the ungodly things that people face everyday. So for now I will humbly say I don’t know. And that’s okay. Because really no one knows. We are all just trying to figure it out using our feelings mostly because logic kind of floats away when it comes to comprehending the big why’s in life. No one really has the rules or the answers to this game.

I realize this may sound overly simplified. However, it’s worth a shot trying on a new perspective even if all the details aren’t figured out ahead of time. Maybe somethings can only be revealed to us by the perspective we gain from participation and not from the sidelines.

Either way it’s an interesting thought.

✌️❤️

Elysianish

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PSST… I’VE NEVER HAD A VALENTINE (AND IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL)


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Dear Valentine,

Where the frack are you? I have been waiting sooo firkin long for you to come out of the wood work of cascading first dates. Year after year of being starry-eyed after the clock strikes New Year thinking I still got a chance b/c there is still the entire month of January to turn around my singledom (I make up words) before the heart ❤️ shaped confetti whirls around me on the 14th of February. Where is my grand romantic gesture? Like the ones you see in all the rom-coms that I adore. Maybe you’re a secret admirer? Well come on then. Make a move! Like a spontaneous romantic weekend getaway ? The torrential rain fall kiss that catches us off guard in downtown? Maybe we will lock eyes across a Vegas dance floor and bear our souls when we make it to the middle. Perhaps a late night research project turned to a date? I mean C’mon even an edible arrangement will do. You could have been anyone of those guys. Is there something wrong with me?… Oh wait. I’ve already had all of those experiences…Just not on V-day. So I’m going to continue to pout and make it mean all kinds of ugly things about me.

That’s pretty much how I used to relate to Valentines Day before I came into my own as a person and as a woman. For the longest time I felt mentally bulldozed by popular propaganda that if I was alone on V-Day it meant that I was lacking something. Even though I have had many wonderful dating adventures, somehow it means there is something wrong with me because I don’t have “A” valentine or a ring on my finger. If you are a girl and alone on V-day it must be because you’re not attractive enough, not skinny enough, not curvy enough,  not sexy enough or intelligent enough to attract a mate. Maybe it’s because your too confident, too unapproachable, to goal oriented, too picky or too independent. These are all rationalizations that I have heard women ask themselves and impose upon me. And now I look back and think “SERIOUSLY?” How in the world did I ever think these dialogues with myself and other women were ever acceptable. That there was something lacking in me that needed to be corrected before anyone would ever fathom being with me. Furthermore, I was roped into the belief that it was something that wasn’t happening to me. A circumstance that was created with out my participation or personal choice. That I had to be chosen by a man and deemed worthy instead of me calling the shots. And by being chosen by some other’s subjective perspective, then and only then would I be deemed worthy defined by beauty, status and success. Otherwise I would basically be failing at Darwinian selection. The horror! Thankfully women like myself are waking up to the bold face lie.

YOU CAME INTO THIS WORLD WHOLE, PERFECT, AND COMPLETE.

Here is a concept. I don’t have a Valentine because I choose not to. What?! I know right! It’s a mind-blowing concept in the 21st century. And no I’m not saying I’m choosing to be alone. I would actually love to be in a relationship. However, I refuse to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I refuse to settle for a lackluster experience when it comes to being in love. And I’m not interested in wasting my energy faking it when that same energy could be used to create other things I find meaningful in this life. Nope, I want fireworks! And don’t even try to tell me that doesn’t exist. Because I have seen it. And if it exists then why can’t I have that too? Exactly, there is no good reason why I can’t if beck with the long hair can. Same goes for you. So tell me I have my head up in the clouds. I don’t care. I rather be alone than basically hand my heart to someone while saying ” You’ll do”.

Also, whats with this lingering misconception that one must be paired up with a suitable mate to truly be happy and fulfilled with one’s life? Does my life, the things I have created, the non-romantic relationships I have fostered, and the experiences I have allowed myself to feel joy in not amount to a damn thing if I’m single? Is it really hard to believe that I can experience the same level of happiness, joy and contentment as my paired up counterparts? I don’t think so. So do your single friends a favor people. Stop feeling sorry for them and trying to set them up (unless they want you to). And if only for a moment, believe them when they say “I’m good :)”.

So ladies if you are single on Valentines please don’t fret. Enjoy the day, celebrate love, or ignore it because it’s just another consumerist holiday. Basically do whatever you want. Just don’t get yourself down about it because it doesn’t mean a damn thing about you. And if you do have a Valentine than that’s awesome too. Do all the things mentioned above. Just keep in mind it also doesn’t mean a damn thing about you 😉

Happy V-DAY

♥️ 💜 ♥️

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THE CASUAL MAN


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Sooooo the past couple of months ( 6-ish) I have been talking to this guy. Let’s name him “Roger” for the sake of anonymity. I met him on a popular dating website and right away made it very clear that I was looking for more than just a hook up and was aiming to find something more substantial. He said he felt the same and so with a leap of faith I jumped into the untested waters of Roger.

In the beginning it was great. We had great chemistry over texts and the conversation was easy and flowing… and so we texted, and texted… and texted… and wait its been a few weeks since we started talking… shouldn’t this guy be asking me out by now? At first I thought it was nice that he wasn’t pushing anything on me but then quickly the thought became frustrating. Like why the hell wasn’t this guy trying to make plans to meet up if he’s so in to me? So naturally I asked him, “Dude? Why haven’t you asked me out yet?”. His reply, ” I didn’t want to seem pushy and figured you would ask to hang out when you were ready”. Damn I hate it when I can’t argue with someones reasoning when it makes sense. Initially I thought wow thats so sweet and considerate. But at the time I had also fallen victim to the rose colored glasses I put on a week ago. You know the ones, obnoxious heart shaped sunnies that blur all sense of intuition and well reasoned judgment.

Anywhoo we ended up meeting up ( a plan that I initiated) and had a great time and blah blah blah. We continued our conversations and stayed in touch until one day I found myself so annoyed at the realization that this guy had literally never put in any effort to initiate any meet ups or dates. Although he made himself available to me when I initiated conversations or made plans to hang out (which by the way always ended up being at his place) he never made the effort to make plans or move the relationship forward in any way.

Shortly after a two week span of not hearing from him (yes I was testing to see if he would reach out if I wasn’t the one perpetuating the conversation) I decided to put an end to this game. I explained to him I wasn’t really getting what I had hoped for out of our interaction. And so we ended it. And that was that or so I thought.

About two months later I get a text from him explaining that he missed our interaction, and that he would be better about giving me what I wanted and so on. I made a case for my hesitation to jump back in. BUT being the hopeless romantic that I am, I decided to give it another go.

I should NOT have done that. Hind sight is always 20/20 right? Going forward the second time I made it very clear what I wanted. And by no means were my expectations unreasonable. I explained I expected the same amount of energy being put into the relationship as I was investing. No one sided crap where I was always the one doing the work to make plans. I wanted to feel wanted and missed equally. These are not unreasonable expectations people! And he said he totally understood and promised that going forward things would be different. But were they? Nope. During the second time around I was scheduled to have a minor surgery for some health related issues. The day before the surgery we were texting and I was talking about how nervous I was. Forward to the day of, and the day after, and the week post surgery; I had not received a single text from him asking how I was doing. At this point I felt like I could have been dead and this guy would not have cared. Where was the friendship, where was the interest, where was he?

You see Roger is the type of guy that is always there when you want to hang out. Does wonders for your self esteem when you are talking to him. He makes you feel like your the only girl in the world when your with him. He’s not titling around on his phone,  makes you laugh, can hold intelligent conversation, likes to talk about his family, and definitely knows how to give you all those warm wonderful feels that you mistake as proof of a building relationship. Yet he is also the type of guy that never initiates plans, somehow always manages to steer the conversation so it ends on a sexual note, and when you do hang out it always ends up being at his place where he cleverly mixes the right amount of hanging out that inevitably leads to “netflix and chill” time. When your with him every thing feels great.  But as soon as you leave a giant “WAIT WTF IS GOING ON?” hits you smack in the face in the form of a face palm. And since you agreed to a casual interaction with a “lets see how things go” clause, you never really can justify your irritation. But when someone can’t even extend you the common curtesy of following up with you post surgery to see how your doing, that says something about their level of involvement with you (not a high bar dude). And that was the moment I knew where I fell on his social ranking list. It was an interaction of convenience for him. If a good time in the form of me came his way he wasn’t going to reject it, but he also didn’t see the worth in working to keep it going.

To say the least Roger has been a mind F@!#. He made me feel like I was investing in a relationship/friendship that had potential. More importantly he made me feel like our relationship was of value to him. However, in reality there really never was a “we”; just a string of casual interactions that were no different than a casual activity to him. He was wrong in all the right ways, positively uplifting, making it extremely difficult for my ego to shut him out. At first it was light and fun. But then I started noticing the offset balance of attachment and the absence of an actual friendship between us. Once that became clear the interaction quickly spiraled downward and proved to be too taxing on my patience and the frustration ended up outweighing the fun I had when I was with him. Roger had to go.

From this experience I gained clarity on a very important realization that has been dying to get in the spotlight of my mind. I DESERVE to be a priority. And I will not settle for anything less from the people that want in on my inner social circle. Especially the someone I am considering being in a romantic relationship with. Don’t sell yourself short. Ever.

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IT’S JUST LIFE BABE


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So I am in an interesting head space lately. I just turned the big Three-O a few months ago and all of a sudden I’m beginning to feel all sorts of social norms and expectations being imposed on me. I am not sure if these feelings are entirely of my own making or if I am indeed picking up on social cues. I have a strong feeling it is a mixture of the two.

For clarity lets get acquainted  with some facts that are fueling this fire. By the way this is going to make me cringe while I do this. Because these facts are precisely the parts of me I am far from being proud of. Also, they are the source of the flattening of enjoyment I experience when I meet someone new (a type of experience that I adore(d)). Incidentally these encounters have also become the primary source of the feelings of judgment I am experiencing. But inevitably these facts are necessary points that we discuss with strangers. And often times these are the typical facts we use to size people up to some arbitrary measure of “worthiness”. Because ultimately they do mean something…right?

  1. Age: I am 30.
  2. Housing: I have been living with my parents for the past 6 months.
  3. Occupation: Graduate Student/Misc. Job
  4. Transportation: I do not have a car.
  5. Relationship Status: Single.
  6. Financial Status: Broke AF

First of all let me say what a bizarre feeling this is to reduce myself to these categories. Like I really really hate it. Yes I would love to improve myself in ALL of these areas. Trying to do so is something I find gratifying. However, being measured up by social status indicators alone and not the journey, or the passion, or the effort that is being put into improving myself is truly disheartening. Looking at just the facts I amount to nothing short of a scrub (in the words of TLC). According to this game the only cards I hold are: I am pursuing a degree #ambitions,  and  my age is something I have no control over #life ;P. However, none of these external validators are constants. And to solely rely on them is detrimental to maintaining mental fitness. This is not a fun way to engage with myself or life. There is so much more to a person than there age, occupation, living arrangement, relationship status, and financial status. And these categories isolated out of the context of the life they belong to are far from the reasons we actually decide to build relationships beyond the first meet and greet with a stranger. That is exactly why even after knowing there is much more to me, I still struggle with shaking the feeling of inadequacy.

I have always sort of done things on my own time. Never really one to be motivated by external pressure. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely feel the anxiety pile up at times.  But that usually happens when I get caught up in the comparison game (the most pointless game ever). I guess meeting new people as of late forces the dialogue of comparison in my mind. And it does not resonate well with me at all. And that is because I am not 100 % happy with myself. I can admit that. And when I’m not at my best, like most people, I enjoy the occasional pat on the back in the form of an affirmation from someone other than myself that I am on the “right track”. Walking on the tight rope of external validation can be tricky though: it’s easy to tip right off into the deep end.

The more I look into this dialogue with myself I am quickly becoming very aware of the fact that no one can give me the validation I crave other than myself. People will have there opinions and share them just like I do. But at the end of the day the only two things that should be on my list of concerns in all of this are the following:

  1. Loving Me, Myself, and I.
  2. And showing myself compassion in the face of any perceived short coming.

The truth is you and I are already enough. I just need to remember that. Everything else is just embellishment. Do I think life would be more enjoyable if I improved all of the items mentioned in my list above. Definitely! And all I can do is try and try harder. Just not at the expense of loving myself. Loving myself is a much more fun and productive head game to play than the comparison game. And showing compassion to myself is key to healthy self-evaluation and self-improvement.  And when I think about it, I only want those in my space that want to bring more love than doubt into my life. As a result of this attitude I find my list of “close friends” dwindling and my social interactions shifting from quantity to quality. It was scary at first. But when I realized this pruning of people in my life was actually a marvelous space for growth I welcomed it with open arms.

I learned that I love myself and the possibilities in life way too much to allow myself to give these insecurities too much significance. I still have days and weeks where I really struggle with applying this mindset. I can only trust and hope that it will get easier. Sometimes I wonder if I will “wake up” in my old age and think “well S%&t, we really messed it up this time around!”. For now I’m hoping that learning how to focus my energy on creating and cultivating the most joy that I can for myself will in time help the rest of the pieces of my life come together in the best way. Let’s see shall we 😉