Friday Vibes

I don’t have anything too profound to say today, but I really wanted to share some positivity that maybe others, myself included, can look back on when in need of a little pick-me-up.

No matter our own situations, we all have those days of just not feeling great, when you feel like you’re just barely hanging on and basic functioning brings about challenges as big as Mt. Everest. We might not even have a real reason for feeling bad. We just do.

And that’s okay. Every single emotion that enters our mind is valid and is worthy of feeling and acknowledging. In those times, treat yourself to some self-care. Do whatever brings you joy, whether that’s a good book, a face mask, or a night out with friends.

If you’re searching for comfort, it’s probably not going to come straight from an inspirational quote on Pinterest. As great as those are, those don’t do too much to our mental state. You have to find what resonates with you.

Perhaps just make a list of whatever you’re grateful for and/or what brings you happiness. I know, cheesy, but in that list are all the reasons why life is worth living. Why we can and should carry on. For my list, I’m beyond grateful for my wonderful family and friends, for videos of baby animals, for my faith in God, for the beauty of nature, for books, for music, for coloring books, for blowing bubbles, for warm sweaters and blankets, for simply having modern amenities like fresh water and shelter, and for so much more.

I am also grateful for humanity’s potential. I wholeheartedly believe we are not just random organisms randomly existing. We each have the capacity to make a difference in the world. We are born with a natural curiosity, full of hopes and aspirations. Treasure those and hold them close. You are worthy and capable of making your dreams reality, of living a life that is nothing short of joyous.

If there’s something in your life you don’t like it, accept it or change it. Even if you’re not spiritual, I find great peace in the Serenity Prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Let us see our trials and tribulations as necessary lessons and stepping stones. Without them, we would not appreciate the beauty surrounding us, nor would we celebrate times of accomplishment or contentment. Through our pain, we can empathize with and help others. We can grow stronger and more resilient, teaching others to do the same, even in the darkest situations.

Even in the dark moments, they are only temporary. Just like life itself, nothing lasts forever. Impermanence reminds us negative emotions are fleeting and positive ones are all the more precious. We might as well smile and emphasize the good than dwell on the setbacks.

And you are so much more than a number, a label, a diagnosis, a single quality or trait. You are a plethora, a kaleidoscope encompassing an entire spectrum of knowledge and ability and love. Your physical embodiment determines nothing about yourself but serves the crucial purpose of protecting your soul. Your true appearance comes from your soul radiating a mind and spirit so valuable to this world.

No matter what, you are never alone. You are never so isolated or secluded that the world has left you behind. Maybe it’s just one person, or just your dog, but you make a positive impact on someone else. Their life is better simply because you exist. There is always somebody there to turn to.

Do what you need to take care of yourself, whether that’s putting on a face mask, reading a good book, or going out with friends. Allow yourself to rest. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions pass by. Make yourself and whatever speaks to depths of your soul a priority. And look beyond yourself to see all the people who care about you and love you.

If any of my rambling today made any sense, let it close on a wish that you are all reach a point where you’re not merely existing. You, created in the image of God. You, made with the same energy as that of the trees and stars. There is so much more to life than barely scraping by. I hope you thrive. I hope your life sees more up’s than down’s. I hope you hold on through seemingly impossible challenges in your way and find the dawn of a brighter day. I hope you think of at least one reason for getting out of bed every morning.

You are a gift. A member of the human race. A loved one and friend to many others. A source of inspiration. A teacher and a student. An organism ready to bloom and flourish. A unique individual. A warrior.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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Triple Digits

Although this occurred last week, I still wanted to make sure I wrote a little bit about it, and that is me officially reaching one hundred followers on this blog.

It was a goal of mine this year to get into the triple digits and continue spreading my outreach, and I’m blessed enough to have the foundation already early in the year for me to jump from.

I write about this thought often, but I had never originally intended much for this blog. Honestly, I had to start it to write some posts for a social media marketing class, but it quickly became a new passion. I never went into blogging with the intention of gaining followers or having much of an online presence. I didn’t have much of a plan at all. I just found how much I really enjoyed writing posts about topics I care about and sharing my thoughts and experiences with others. I looked at the logistics every day and was so excited to even have just five people view my blog each day.

When I was in twice-a-week therapy sessions for anorexia, the therapist suggested that I begin devoting more time and energy toward passions and projects that really interested me, both to take my mind off of the excruciating process recovery is and seeing myself and my worth beyond my mind’s closed perception. Years earlier when first facing this demon, I kept it completely secret I even had a problem. But instead, I realized that I could not dwell inside this darkness alone, but speak out and stand up against it.

From there, I’ve talked about a plethora of topics. I’ve reignited my interests in so many areas and have found a greater purpose in helping others, especially by being direct and honest about mental health. My blog serves as everything from a prospective career opportunity to a public version of a journal. I love how versatile it is, how I could truly say that this is my own work. I have built up this blog from the ground up and strive to continuing improving with every word I type.

I have also come to love whenever I receive a comment on a blog. I am reminded that it isn’t just me talking to a brick wall; there are now at least one hundred people subscribed to what I have to say every weekday. How crazy is that? And then hearing your feedback and insights on certain issues and feelings I bring up, I feel so fulfilled. My ideas can turn into a conversation, an exchange of perspectives, and that is so beautiful.

And here I am, not even a year later, still writing five posts a week, still as motivated as ever. For someone who can struggle to keep the momentum going on a project, especially one this potentially time-consuming, that is an amazing feat for me. This place has become so much more to me than just a side hobby. I put my heart and soul into what I do, and I take this all very seriously. It has inspired me to not only write a book featuring many of my posts and ideas, but I also now have some sense of belonging, that all of my worries and doubts when it comes to “What are you going to do with your life?” can mean something. There’s a place for me in this big wide world. It might not have a cubicle desk or fancy job title, but it’s out there.

Even though all I do is write words, words themselves cannot describe how blessed and grateful I am for even writing this post, knowing that some random person has found others who want to stick around, who care about what I have to say. Every like and comment mean the world to me. And this is just an early stepping stone on the journey, my friends. I know there is so much more to come, and I hope you’ll be right beside me. Who knows what the future holds? I’m just hopeful, too optimistic to some, yes, but hopeful nonetheless.

If I can leave with anything today, let it be this: do what you love. Whatever it may be. Don’t let others tell you that it isn’t worth doing, that you must set aside your true passions and settle for what society expects of you, what makes the highest salary, what feels like an easier or simpler decision. Listen to what you crave and work toward it. Life is too precious not to even try following those instinctive aspirations because from there, everything just falls into place.

Take care, and keep the faith. Every single one of you. -Allie

Excuses, Excuses

I like to think of myself as a very open person. I love learning about new ideas and perspectives and making the most of my environment. But in the face of many new things or experiences, I start to overthink. Despite being an advocate for change, when I get myself into a routine and have a plan envisioned in my head, it’s hard for me to steer off that path.

A nice way to put it is that I’m just not spontaneous. I like plans. I like knowing what I’m doing now and throughout the day. And my go-to response to anything that doesn’t fall into the day’s designated schedule? An excuse.

Over the years, I’ve become quite good at making excuses, which I really see a downfall in myself. No matter how much I tote the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone, I’m very much a hypocrite. Whether it’s been new social situations where I knew it’d be crowded or loud, or places I knew I’d feel uncomfortable because food and eating would be involved, I shied away. I let fear and anxiety take over.

There have definitely been exceptions where I truly felt the urge to just go out and never want the night to end. To just get in a car, drive for hours and not care where the destination ended up being. I feel like that’s a normal desire, more common for some than others.

I both admire and am dumbfounded by spontaneous people. How they can volunteer themselves to an unfamiliar task without hesitation. How they can, at a moment’s notice, just go out and see where the night takes them. How they can meet someone new and immediately take them in their social life.

I often see my methodical thoughtfulness as a benefit. It’s my strength to not just blurt out the first thought that comes out of my head, but dwell on it enough to take in every detail and observation. In a fast-paced world, this quality doesn’t always end up feeling appreciated, but I use it to try and provide another perspective for those quick to decide.

This quality also leads me to overthink too often. Rather than just listening to immediately draws me in, I hesitate. I’m cautious, but maybe too cautious. I think of all of the possible repercussions before even saying yes or no. I over-complicate every decision to the point that I would just rather have someone else decide for me or at least narrow down my options.

No matter how much I talk about mental health, I even use my own struggles as an excuse. Kind of feeling depressed or anxious? There goes my day. It’s far too easy to dwell upon how restless or hopeless we feel to the point that we’re just asking for pity, or we put ourselves into a victim role, that we are slaves to our imbalanced neurotransmitters.

Just explaining my tendencies feels like a giant excuse. I know how I am, what I gravitate toward in everyday life, what I find as easy and comfortable, and I expect it for myself. I expect it so much, I forget the reason why I’d avoid certain situations in the first place. I have improved upon my “woe is me” mentality, but I still find myself sometimes just thinking and worrying and dwelling relentlessly. Maybe I am sometimes a helpless victim, but it’s my decision to empower myself and rise against it.

Admittedly, I enjoy when things like social events are cancelled just so I can spend more time reading or spending too much time online, but I can enjoy it too much. When you use excuses too often, as the automatic response to anything outside of the norm, they easily become missed opportunities. What seems like more time devoted to “self care” can turn detrimental to actually taking care of yourself.

Sometimes, self care doesn’t look like a face mask or evening reading a good book. Sometimes it looks like uncomfortable situations and being spontaneous. It’s not letting depression or anxiety get in the way of you having a great day, and putting yourself out there even when mood might usually vote against it. We cannot make the same choices for ourselves and expect the consequences to change. We cannot wish hard enough for something different in our lives if we don’t decide to act in a different way. This doesn’t mean changing ourselves into new people; it means that we are open to life’s twists and turns and not always let fear dictate each day.

I hope this year to feel empowered by a desire for something new. To not always read too much into every little detail. To take the unexpected path. To just live, no excuses.