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!
Depression is something I have been experiencing for a long time now. I believe for me it showed up in middle school and has followed me into adulthood.
The first signs started in middle school, when I first learned that my parents really fought and that my dad was and abusive man. To top it off I was dealing with changes my body was going through and the new found weight of societal expectations for teenage girls; what it meant to be beautiful, intelligent, and valued as a female.
But it wasn’t that big of a deal… right? Everyone deals with this stuff.
By the end of grade 10 my grades started to reflect a significant decline. I was tired all the time, had a hard time focusing on homework at home. This was out of the norm for me. I was a curious kid and always enjoyed learning. Despite the changes I still managed to keep up with AP classes, Varsity sports and Choir. I was an involved kid. I like it that way. The less time I had to spend at home the better. No big deal. Normal teenage stuff… right?
Slowly though the things that mattered to me all became muted, lack luster and lost meaning. I found myself being associated with descriptives like “lazy” and “fat” from family. But I didn’t see myself like that at all. I was trying… it just wasn’t showing for some reason. I became a source of frustration for my parents because they couldn’t figure out why on earth I couldn’t get my act together despite having everything I could possibly need handed to me to be happy and successful.
And I couldn’t figure it out either. Why was it so hard to just do it (Nike swoosh). I knew I was more than capable in many ways yet all my energy seemed to be drained by trying to be ready to be ready. I would try to reason with myself (even up until a few years ago) by citing all the opportunities and support I have received through out my life from friends and family. But it would only frustrate me and fuel the torch that I was carrying that I did not have a valid or good enough reason to be depressed. I couldn’t be depressed. That was something that only happened to the weak of mind… right?
It became a vicious cycle that never led to any improvement. And to make matters worse people close to me fueled that flame further by re-iterating the “facts”. That I had no reason to be depressed. I was too “strong” and had so many cushiony things to be thankful for.
I don’t blame them for giving me bad advise though. People just didn’t know better. Honestly, most still don’t because it is the same mindless advise handed down to them. Although there is a shift taking place, most people are not being educated on mental health.
Till this day, as an adult that struggles with depression, I hear this misinformed advise pop up in conversations often. It usually takes form in the guise of a well intended pep-talk. ” Don’t be silly. Look on the bright side! You have so much to be thankful for (insert job, car, house, etc.) You just need to work a little harder, be more motivated or stop being so sensitive.”
Really? Its maddening. For many different reasons. But the main reason is that there is this pervasive notion that someone has to reach a subjective standard of being in a truly shit circumstance to be worthy of being able to feel or be depressed. Furthermore if you manage to jump that hurdle you better be prepared to jump another one to get over the stigma associated with seeking help for it. And if you don’t meet the subjective acceptable levels of being in a rough spot then be prepared to dawn the label of being a drama queen, someone that doesn’t take ownership or just being plain lazy.
Look I’m not advocating for depression to be a scapegoat for individuals who happen to be carriers of the not so great attributes listed above. But there is a difference between being plain lazy and being depressed. It may or may not be so obvious at times; but thats were the aid of your friendly mental healthcare practitioner or simply spending time researching the topic would come in handy. Mmmk.
We don’t question someones validity to be sick when they are diagnosed with a cold or especially with something like cancer. So why do we question them when they are experiencing a form of psychological illness? It makes no sense.
Colds and Cancer don’t discriminate. Neither does depression.
It doesn’t matter what your socio economic class is, how tall you are, what color your skin is, what your age is, what your sex is, what car you drive or what your home mortgage costs every month. Depression can happen to anyone. It is not some right you have to earn to be justified in experiencing it. It just happens.
You are allowed to feel it, talk about it, and most importantly seek help for it no matter who you are or what your life circumstance is.
Friend: I really appreciate your friendship with all my “wrongs”.
Reply: We all have “wrongs”. Continue reading message if you’re in the mood for a positive rant… lol
It’s easy to get carried away feeling guilty when we aren’t operating at our best or when we fail at something. But the good news is each of us has a choice to try to move towards or away from the person we want to be every minute of everyday. And ALL of us fail and succeed at that every day. And we all have our own unique battles. And no one battle is better than the other. B/C it’s all subjective if that makes sense. And the battles we fight don’t define who we are and or our worthiness of friendship/love/and compassion. Neither do the things that happen to us b/c of the choices we make. So basically what I’m saying is keep your chin up and lover yourself and believe in yourself matter what! You will fail over and over, but you will also grow each time if you let yourself. Don’t waste your time being mad/upset/sorry for yourself (I know easier said than done cuz I do this shit all the time 😛 #workingonit). Those feelings don’t serve you. You can have the support of an army but it won’t do a damn thing for you if you don’t love yourself and believe in yourself. There is no reason to believe that you aren’t a powerful badass being. You just have to allow yourself to be 🙂
…end rant. &hearts ♥️
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 😉
♥️ 💜 ♥️