A lot of people advise to choose a word to embody your intention for the new year. I saw that all over social media last month – and that practice has never really felt like it fit all the way for me. Sure, I could jam the puzzle piece in the spot if I needed to, but choosing one word just didn’t feel like me.
I was scrolling through TikTok as one does and found this video and I immediately felt like it was made for me. And I remembered that “fuck it” was something I’d repeat to myself and it helped me overcome my anxiety and helped me kinda take back my sense of confidence. So we’re bringing that back!
I’m working on accepting my body as it is. I’m very early on in this process and I’m not a fan of most things about my physical body. But once I changed the narrative in my mind and started calling it my “meat bag” or my “organ vessel” or something like that, my focus started to shift from the way it looks to the way it feels. My worth as a person has absolutely nothing to do with the way I look but about the way I am. So if I’m wearing an outfit that I think looks good on the bed but then not that great when it’s on me? Fuck it – I’m going to wear it anyway.
There was a day the other week where I felt so anxious. I felt anxious about future plans – and I was really getting worked up about not knowing what was on the agenda. And I talked with myself about deep breathing through the anxiety and trusting that everything will work out and that I don’t need to have a minute-by-minute itinerary of what I’m going to do. 1. That’s an old version of me wanting control – the version of me that I’m aspiring to be and cultivating now goes with the flow; and 2. I was making assumptions and getting anxious about scenarios that weren’t even happening. And that’s usually how it goes, right? So what did I do? I asked. “Hey – is such-and-such happening this weekend?” and “Hey, this is my plan so far, what do you think?”. Fuck it – the only thing I can do is ask.
This works with a lot of things too. If it’s cold in the morning and I know a long walk before work will feel good but I’m not sure if I want to put in the effort – some days it’s “Fuck it – don’t be lazy and go for the walk” and other days it’s “Fuck it- there’s always tomorrow. Rest if you need it”. If I think someone is upset with me – it could be “Fuck it – their opinion is not my problem” or a “Fuck it – just ask them”. If I want to go to the grocery store and spend $10 on sushi just because – “Fuck it, you only have this day once” or “Fuck it, save your money and get something this weekend instead”.
Fuck holding yourself back. Fuck putting other people above yourself. Fuck making assumptions. Fuck holding onto expectations that nobody knows about. Fuck living your life for somebody else.
All of these things and more are things I defaultly do. Whether it’s a trauma response or my societal conditioning or whatever – I am a people pleaser. I tend to care more about what other people want or need from me than what I want or need. I tend to hold people to standards that I never verbalize and then get upset when they don’t meet those expectations. I tend to overthink and blow things out of proportion. But I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be held back by myself anymore – fuck that.
Maybe some of you do like to choose a word for the year. Maybe some of you made New Years Resolutions. Whatever the case may be – the number of the year does not determine the quality of the year. I’m writing this post on New Year’s Eve (🤓), and my social media is flooded with people saying “I can’t wait for 2021, it’s got to be better than 2020”. Does it? Do you really think that the clock changing and the calendars going to the next year is going to *snap* magically make everything better?
We have to put in the work. Trust in the universe/God/your higher power to provide, and put in the work in the meantime. Pandemic aside, a new year is not going to automatically bring a new you. We all don’t have a software update that’s installed on January 1st at midnight. If we have a resolution to lose 50 pounds or save $5,000, we need to put in the effort to get there, regardless of the date.
So yes, this “fuck it” motto of mine was inspired by the new year, but I’ve been making changes to my diet, my exercises, my mind all year long.
Of course – you do what feels right for you. But a friendly, tough-love-no-bullshit reminder that if you want something different to happen, you have to do something different to get that. If you want something to change, you have to change.
And if you’re just not feeling it? Fuck it – do what will feed your soul in that moment. Sometimes it’s a run, sometimes it’s a nap, and there’s nothing wrong with either.
As the New Year hype starts to die down – just remember that you live your life for you. Fuck it – do what you want 🙌🏻✌
Hello, all! Happy 2021! I feel like the end of 2020 has been a long time coming and yet also kinda feels like a weird prank. In any case, I hope you had a safe and fun New Years and overall holiday season!
In the spirit of new beginnings, I thought I’d use this blog post to reintroduce myself. There are actually some new people who are following my blog and social media accounts. Which is super cool…and also super weird. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad and grateful. I want you guys here and I want to reach more people, but it’s been kind of humbling/Imposter-Syndrome-inducing/another feeling I can’t quite place.
So I started my first blog (the one I had before this one) because of The Perfect Man. Think back to 2005 when Hilary Duff was in all the movies, sang all the music, and did all the things (or at least that’s how it felt for me). In the movie, she sets her mom up on an elaborate blind date and also has a blog. I immediately fell in love with the whole ~writing a blog from my laptop on a fire escape~ vibe, and knew that at some point, I’d want to write one too.
In 3rd grade, around the same time this movie came out, I won a Young Authors competition. Went to a big conference hall, won an award. Needless to say, I have loved writing and reading since I learned to read and write. I am a writer by nature. I say affirmations and a decent amount of them surround my writing career.
I started That Writer Jenna last year as a “rebranding” of myself. This time, owning the fact that me, Jenna, is writing this blog. That Writer Jenna (TWJ) will eventually evolve to be a part of big things I accomplish in my life. I keep up with this blog and I have a little corner of the internet for my writing because I want my words to reach people. I want to help heal people with my words.
And I realize that sounds like a big deal. But I mean it to be. I have big dreams for my career. Some of which I haven’t even admitted to myself yet. And part of that is my drive to help people feel better.
Within the past few months, some of the people that have been reading my posts are people that I know. Which is so cool. But also a little shocking and outside my comfort zone.
I tend to imagine myself writing into the abyss of the Internet. I write these posts and a few people read them and maybe someone comments, but all interaction is with people I don’t know. So I am writing into the abyss and strangers are reading it. But now the abyss is meeting my real life and it’s….weird. It’s weird because it’s REAL. This isn’t just something that I do in secret that no one knows about, so it’s not the same as before where it felt like it didn’t matter if what I was writing was good. It’s kind of like a wake up call, ya know? If I’m going to actually carpe meae (seize my life), then I need to do the work. I can’t keep being timid. And this “weird” is the best feeling – because it means that as my space grows, my work is making an impact. Already I have had people I know in real life tell me what I’ve written about has helped them, which is absolutely incredible.
(But fair warning that I will probably still blush and get awkward talking about this in person🤷🏻♀️)
In any case, my space over here in the abyss is an open space to talk all things relating to mental health, spirituality, philosophy, personal development, general wellness, and whatever other topics I think are interesting. I speak about things from my experience, and I hold space for ALL experiences.
I’m an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community (aka alphabet mafia for my fellow TikTok fanatics) and the BLM movement. I’m an ally of any and all religions, bodies, abilities, neurodivergencies, gender identities, sexual orientations, etc. I am a feminist and think boys shouldn’t be taught to not cry. I support the Second Amendment. And honestly, it doesn’t even matter. Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about any of that. Let’s get past all of the superficial shit and the divisiveness and just speak soul to soul, okay? That’s more my jam.
I welcome discussion. Just because you’re reading something online doesn’t mean it’s true and that you have to agree. Because you don’t. But just like I have the right and freedom to have my little corner of the internet over here, you also have the same right and freedom to tell me you don’t like what I say. Or that you love what I say (what I’d prefer, in all honesty). Or you don’t have to interact at all. Just like I don’t have to answer a comment that is rooted in ignorance or rage. All too often, I see people say “I don’t tolerate hate on my page”, and I’m not saying I tolerate or welcome hate, but also who am I to tell you what you can and can’t say just because you’re here in my section of the internet?
So what does all of this have to do with TWJ?
I have meditated on, and thought about, how I wanted to handle my corner of the interwebs this year. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll keep my same schedule that I’ve been following the past few months. Two blog posts a month (on the 5th and the 20th), and social media posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. My goal is to build a company and work for myself under TWJ, but I have to start somewhere. This feels like a good fit for now. I work a full-time job and have other obligations. I can’t schedule inspiration and I don’t want this to feel obligatory or overwhelming at all, but I also need to have a little discipline. I need to build a solid foundation, and this feels pretty solid to me for right now.
That’s my plan for That Writer Jenna in 2021. Build a foundation, create a routine that is consistent and of good-quality, and see what the universe/the future has in store.
I hope all of you had an amazing holiday season and I’m wishing you a safe, happy, healthy, fun, amazing new year! 🍾
Happy Winter Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Yule and all other holidays!
I had the plan to write out a post explaining the Pagan origins of the Christmas holiday many of us celebrate and also include how Christianity adopted it as their own. But honestly? That’s not where my heart is at right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and learning more about the traditions and all. But something that feels more prevalent is the topic of mindfulness.
To be mindful is to be aware of the present moment. Not thinking about what you need to do later today or what you should have done yesterday, etc. Just being 100% present in this moment.
This is tough, honestly. It’s a lesson I have been learning for years, and only most recently do I feel like I’m truly understanding. And understand that I truly struggle with this lesson.
As someone with anxiety, a lot of my unsupervised mind is focused on “what ifs” and the future. As someone with depression, a lot of my unsupervised mind is either focused on the past or on my flaws. For many years, I was only living life through my unsupervised mind’s eye. Practicing mindfulness teaches me to let go of the future, the hypotheticals, the shoulds and should-nots, and teaches me to just be. That’s it, to just be.
Let me emphasize the fact that this is hard. Like, really fucking difficult at times. Because it is SO damn easy to start daydreaming about my goals, which then turns into me comparing my life now to what I want it to be, which then just snowballs into me being overwhelmed with anxiety (if not also anger).
This holiday season looks different for each and every one of us (in America, at least, where COVID is still very relevant). And it is all too easy for me to think about how I wish it looked like and how I want it to look next year and what I’m going to get everyone next year and how I need to plan ahead better and…yeah, it’s exhausting. And unhelpful!
A therapist I had years ago had tried to work with me on mindfulness. We did exercises during our sessions, but it felt very difficult to implement this. I was in a point of my life where my conscious mind was asleep. I was living on auto-pilot, and that auto-pilot flew me right into a shitstorm of feeling unsettled, to say the least.
Now I don’t want to come across like being mindful is unattainable, because it is very attainable. I personally think being mindful is the key to living a truly happy life. Think about kids, for example. There are not many 4-year-olds thinking about yesterday or tomorrow (unless it’s Christmas or their birthday). They are just in this moment, and that’s it. It’s so refreshing when I get to see my fiancé’s nieces, ages 9 and 4 (almost 5). They’re the sweetest girls, and just so present.
That childlike oblivion to everything isn’t necessarily always realistic, because we do have to pay bills and honor responsibilities and all that. But, be honest with yourself. How often are you doing something and you’re not really present with it?
Probably a lot.
And that’s fine! We are having this human experience, and being preoccupied with all the external factors that come with this life are going to happen. But. We also owe it to ourselves to really drop in to what truly matters to us and what we can actually do right now.
Without going into too much detail, my fiancé and I had a little disagreement a few weeks ago. On the surface, I felt unsupported and unheard. I felt like he was casting off what was important to me because it didn’t matter to him. After some sleep and some honest tough-love self-talk, I realized that I was not being present and I was being impatient.
Y’all don’t have to agree with me about this next point, but I sometimes forget that the circumstances of my life are unfolding the way that they are meant to. I do have control of my destiny and I am the creator of my reality, but I also can’t build Rome in a day. I can’t *snap* have the life I see in my dreams, I need to give it some time. I need to take the steps to get there. I can’t just jump the whole damn staircase, I have to go in order. (I know that’s vague, but hopefully you get what I’m saying).
Bringing that back to mindfulness: It will feel aggravating and frustrating and anger-inducing, but be honest with yourself about what you can actually do about a situation in this present moment. Most likely, there’s not much you can do about the big-picture in 1 day. You can make an effort to move in the direction of what you want, but more often than not, you need to let go of what you think things should be and just make the most of the way they are. And understand this is how they are for now
Your holiday traditions probably look different this year. With the risk of COVID-19 still rising, family gatherings for the holidays might not be happening. And it sucks. But, this will pass. We live in a wonderful age of technology, where Zoom/Google Meet/any other video chats can still bring people together. And it’s not the same, videochatting is not the tradition that many of us know, but stressing out about how we think things should look like is not doing anything other than stressing us out and wasting our energy. Or maybe you want to get your degree, but financially can’t swing going back to school right now. Or maybe you want to move somewhere, or change jobs, or get a new car, or whatever. You can take conscious steps to help you move towards what you want, but it’s important to remember that if you’re not happy along the way, you won’t be happy long-term once you get whatever it is that you want.
As we embark on this new holiday season, I wish you and your family good health, tidings of joy, and also a peace of mind that this storm will pass.
Allow yourself to have bad days, but make it a point to not wallow in the negative.
Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and Happy Holidays! ❤💚
This time of year can be hard for some people, especially for people who find themselves experiencing SADD. Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder affects a lot of people! Essentially, it is when people experience depression during the winter months. Part of this is caused by the decreased Vitamin D accompanying the lack of sunlight, and sometimes also the holidays are hard for people.
2020 has already been an intense year, to say the least. And if you are finding yourself feeling depressed (or more depressed than your usual amount) during this, you’re not alone.
So what can you do about it? Especially during this time of stay-at-home orders?
Give yourself a fucking break.
Seriously. Put off for tomorrow what does not need to get done today. Let yourself have an extra 30 minutes of laying in bed. Eat what you feel like having. We are literally living through a pandemic, y’all. Our normalcy is being rearranged – and depression (seasonal or not) has a metaphysical reason for demanding rest.
Something I’ve read about briefly is ayurvedic medicine. Within this medicine is the idea of your body being closely aligned with the sun, that our bodies naturally need less sleep in the summer and more in the winter. Our eating habits change seasonally as well.
This is not me saying “depression during the winter is natural, just deal with it”. BUT I am saying that one of the healthiest things we can do is listen to our body. Give yourself the grace and give yourself the space to do your best every day, no matter what that looks like.
Sometimes my best is waking up early and doing yoga and exercising before the sun rises. Other times it’s waking up at 9:30am and eating cookies for breakfast. Life is all about balance, and it’s important that we hold space for ourselves.
So what are some winter activities to do during this time?
❄ Drive around and look at Christmas lights
❄ Make hot chocolate at home and have a game night
❄ Sit in front of a fireplace (in real life or on YouTube) and cozy up under a bunch of blankets
❄ Watch Christmas movies
❄ See if there’s any local Christmas light “events” (In New Jersey, the PNC Bank Arts Center has a drive-thru Christmas light show and they charge a small entry fee per car)
❄ Read one of your favorite chapter books from when you were a kid. (The Inkheart trilogy is my go-to)
❄ Have a movie night (Harry Potter is my go-to!)
❄ Do your favorite winter activities safely!
Remember, you are entitled to your feelings. Right now does suck. But this stork will pass. It might pass like a fucking kidney stone, but this too shall pass.
Hello! We have 11 days until Halloween! I know I’m super early, but I’m excited 😁
Normally I don’t really care about Halloween. I’m all for the candy, and Halloween parties are fun because (pre-COVID) it served as a way to get drunk in a costume that for me was some sort of comfortable. But I’ve been very excited for this Halloween in particular.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, then you’re familiar with me being spiritual. Part of my spiritual journey has led me on the path of learning more about Paganism, witchcraft, and spirituality philosophies.
On the Pagan Wheel of the Year, Samhain is the Pagan tradition that is their “Halloween”, but really I think is more like Day of the Dead. Samhain is a celebration of the harvest and is meant to be a celebration of the harvest with all loved ones, living and those that have passed.
Also, in addition to the reflective time of Samhain, this Halloween in particular is a powerful time energetically speaking. On Saturday, October 31st, Daylight Savings Time ends, so we “fall back” the clocks and gain an hour. Also, there is a Full Moon on Halloween and it’s a blue moon. Blue moons happen when there are two full moons in one month. Having a blue moon on Halloween is exciting because it doesn’t happen often. The last time this occurred was 1944, and won’t happen again until 2039!
I don’t have much information to share more on Samhain specifically, or on the moon energies. Frankly, there are a lot of other articles online written by people more knowledgeable on both of those subjects.
“So why write this then?”
Because I’m excited. I’m excited for the cooler weather. I forget how much I truly love sweaters and autumn until it’s 50° and I’m bundling up in cardigans. I’m excited because this is the first autumn I’m engaged. I’m excited because I’m feeling inspired about my life! That’s amazing y’all, because for awhile there I was feeling pretty lost. I know that Halloween is over a week away, and as of this point I don’t even know if I have plans yet (socially distance, COVID safe plans), but I’m excited.
I hope you all can find something to be excited about this month! 🎃
This past New Moon peaked at 1:39 pm EDT on Friday, May 22nd. As with all new moons, during this energy is the best time to reflect, create manifestations, start new projects, etc. Typically, a New Moon’s energy can be felt the day before, the day of (obviously), and the day after. So just to be sure I didn’t miss it, I had my crystals charging since Thursday morning through Saturday night, and I used my moon water soap for my showers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Yesterday I spent some time journaling about what my life looks like in 10 years. I chose 10 years specifically because I use Rachel Hollis’s Start Today Journal and I have been feeling like I need to revamp my 10 dreams. At first they had me on fire but then the more time went on, the more I’ve been embracing my spirituality and getting to my true roots, the less those dreams felt like mine. So I journaled a lot yesterday. And my life 10 years from now as I see it today is, I think, a modest, nice life.
I’m going to spare you all the details (because 1. that isn’t the full point of this post but 2. I want to keep most of it for myself), but essentially I am married to the love of my life, my boyfriend that I’m dating now. We live on 10+ acres in a nice 3 bed 2 bath house (not fancy or extravagant), in my head I see as a barn house/log cabin style. We have two healthy happy kids, a boy and a girl. And I work from home as a writer.
The reason I set the scene like this is because I had a thought weeks ago that has been on my mind ever since, and I want to get y’alls perspective.
So I want to be a writer, and I am a spiritual/mystical person. I have a half dozen or so book ideas as of right now, but I had the thought that the book that will be most successful first is the book that I’m living right now.
So let me go through that a bit. The book ideas I have are in the YA, thriller, and personal development genres. The YA and personal development books are based on my life and the thriller book is an idea I had when I was little, so these ideas are near and dear to my heart and personal. But I have a feeling that the lessons I’m learning right now, the growth I am experiencing, is going to be the book that is the easiest to write and also the one that starts off my journey as a successful writer.
Once I sat with that thought, I honestly felt lighter. I have been feeling such a pressure to write (from myself). I feel like I cannot call myself a writer until I have written manuscripts, I cannot call myself a poet unless I am up until 4am every day writing poetry, etc.
The truth is…I write, so I’m a writer. I write (and sometimes think in) poetry, so I am a poet. In this day and age of labels for everything, sometimes it can be daunting to embrace a label for yourself. It can feel naive to call yourself something if you have a standard as to what that something should look like.
So why did I feel compelled to share this? Because only YOU know YOUR truth. All too often I see people open themselves up to validation from others or offer unsolicited advice to others. We need to understand, and remember, that people can only understand something from their own level of perception. So their “advice” may not fit what you were expecting, and that could cause discouragement. But keep the above in mind.
For example, a very good friend of mine is still in contact with her ex. I’m not a fan of this, I don’t like him for how he treated her when they were together, how he treated her during the break-up, or the few weeks after. Personally, I would have cut him off completely. But I also was not in their relationship. I don’t know him well, I met him once or twice and then through stories of when she would talk about it. But I was not there for all the good or all the bad. I have never been through a break-up in general, much less one after being with the person for 2-3 years. So how can I give her advice? I can’t, and shouldn’t. (I did multiple times, and eventually realized that I was telling her what I would do if I were her. She never asked for advice or what my opinion was, so who the fuck am I to offer it?).
Let’s try to think of advice as dick pics. No one wants it if they don’t ask – it can be hurtful, off-putting, and completely change your perception as the recipient of the thing if you didn’t ask. And if it is asked for, then it should be handled tastefully and only within the bounds of the recipient’s consent.
Maybe that’s a stretch of a comparison, but honestly I think it holds true.
So with this in mind…the majority of the people that you meet, will continue to offer advice and their opinions even when you didn’t ask for it. And these comments will be from their level of perception, which is crafted based on their own experiences. So if Aunt Sally thinks you need to go to college to be successful and then you talk about a brand ambassador deal you were offered, Aunt Sally is going to say some hurtful things to discourage you. Aunt Sally does not mean to be nasty, but her perception of what she would do if she were you, is she would go to school to study medicine. And maybe Aunt Sally has been through some shit, and she never got to pursue her dreams of becoming a veterinarian, so to hear her 20-year-old niece “throwing her life away” is going to set her off. And while having this context does not excuse Aunt Sally, it does shed some light on her actions. You cannot change Aunt Sally or control what she says to you, and you probably aren’t able to tell her straight up “I don’t care what you think” because it’s going to start shit with your mother and grandma and the whole gang, BUT you can tell her “I respect your opinion but I still feel like this is right for me.” and then walk away. And you have the control to not hold on to whatever she says to you.
(Note: I don’t have an Aunt Sally. I was never offered a brand ambassador deal. This is just an example. However, I do have a friend who talks to her ex who I gave unsolicited advice to, so I do have an idea of what I’m talking about here).
To conclude: deep down in your gut, past the recycled expectations of others and your worries and fears and “junk” – you know what you want for your life. You know what is best for you. Take what other people say with a grain of salt, and trust yourself.
Also, consider that maybe the season you’ve living right now will make way to something amazing in the future. I have always felt that the good in life outweighs the bad, so if that doesn’t feel right for you right now, then the good stuff is still on it’s way. ☯
It’s no secret that we’ve all, collectively, have been going through something within this pandemic. We have all been affected by this time. Curfews, grocery restrictions, changed plans, stay-at-home orders, to say the least. Everyone has been grieving the loss of their normal routines in different ways. Some people are acting as Facebook News Reporter, sharing every article and “researching” every statistic. There are other people who are cleaning everything all day. Others are binge watching TV. Others are just ignoring all the rules and still having friends over. Others are complaining about not being able to go to concerts, watch sports, go out to eat dinner, etc.
Can we all agree on one thing, perhaps? That the way things were before all this started, was not working? That the way we handled our lives – was not working for us?
“I don’t know why you’d say that! I think things were just fine before”.
Really? Then why can’t you sit still? Why are you so uncomfortable with silence? What are you ignoring that you should face? What trauma have you been pushing down that you need the distraction from? Why are you so damn eager to go back to the rat race and the hustle-and-bustle and the diversions from you having a relationship with your mind?
So many of us never process our feelings. We push down our wants, our dreams, our desires, and follow a path that doesn’t feel right. We follow something that’s expected, or that doesn’t match our ideals anymore. We choose divorce over working on something that isn’t even broken. We push our kids into any and all activities to get them away from us and out of the house. We ignore our neighbors. We disregard our friends and family. We choose drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, video games, absolutely anything possible to numb our feelings because it’s easier to ignore it than to face it. We go through our days on autopilot and our nights numbed or altered. Now that we finally have the free time to just relax, we can’t handle it.
What are you running from?
(I’ve said this before and I’ll say it as many times as I need to. I don’t have my psychology degree (yet!). I’m not a psychologist, therapist, shaman, guru of any kind… but I research as much as I possibly can and I love to learn. And just because I may not have any accreditation does not mean I can’t still be right.)
“So what do you do? Just stare at the wall all day? I need to be DOING something”
No, I don’t stare at the wall all day, silly. I write. I journal my thoughts. I do yoga and meditate and move my body. I read. I also work from home. I pray. I research places to visit, things to do, recipes to try, etc.
But, I get that. I used to not be able to sit still for a full minute. (I’m serious, my boyfriend made me try. Multiples times, and I would fidget after 15 seconds). Because my anxiety, my learned trauma, made me feel as though if I wasn’t productive, if I wasn’t actively doing something at all times, something terrible would happen. I would be wasting time. I’d be wasting the whole day if I didn’t get every single thing done. And that’s how most of us live. Constantly on the go, “the rat race”. Chasing productivity with a blind eye to everything else. And now, things are still. We are still. We have food, shelter, technology, etc, but we’re worried about football? We’re worried about not having new seasons of TV shows?
I gotta say it. That’s bullshit. These are clearly first world problems, but we cannot think outside of ourselves to see the big picture.
Well, I can help with the big picture.
Think of Every. Single. Thing. you could possibly be grateful for. And if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, try to imagine yourself from 10 years ago. What do you have in your life now that you used to dream about? Imagine yourself at 10 years old. What lessons have you learned since then?
I have my list below. It’s not everything (that would be way too long and boring for y’all. You’re welcome), but it at least should help a little bit with gaining some perspective.
This took me not even 10 minutes. And I feel happier thinking of all the good things I have around me. Like breeds like. If you focus on the negative, negativity will surround you. If you force yourself to think of the positives, you’ll be open to seeing more good things. (This thought process is Law of Attraction 101 that has been said many times in The Secret, The Four Agreements, and most religions).
I know this feels hard right now. But if all you are asked to do is stay home, then this isn’t difficult, this isinconvenient.
Of course, those of us with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health afflictions may be feeling this harder. And to these people, I say that you are not alone. Not only is the entire world going through the same situation, but I understand the struggle. I have had anxiety for my whole life and depression for most; I understand the sneaky, sly ways they warp your brain. Which is why it’s especially important for us to surround ourselves with positivity. To take away the strength of our mental demons and build of walls of good in our minds.
Emotions, any/all of them, are meant to be felt. So if you’re feeling depressed, then sit with that. If you’re feeling anything, sit with that feeling. Talk through it (even if to yourself, I’m talking out loud to myself all the time). Write about it. But remember that all emotions pass. Don’t hold onto the negative ones, let them pass.
So I’m going to assume that you’re in a better head space now. You’re feeling grateful, you’re feeling grounded and less stressed. What’s next?
Being a sports fan or a reality TV show fan or an anime fan or a fan of any show (or anything, really) is nothing to be faulted for. You should have interests and you’re allowed to be passionate about things that make you happy. We all should have hobbies and things that bring us joy. But, in all reality, we can live without most of the things we have in our life. We CAN live without sports. We CAN live without TV. We CAN live without Netflix, festivals, etc. Granted, it may not be as fun or as enjoyable of an experience, but life can still be done without the extras. And realizing just how little we need to live is important.
“Well if I’m not watching baseball during baseball season, then I’m not living.”
Yes you are. You are breathing, and your heart is beating. You are living.
I think an issue society faces is all we see is what is shown to us, rather than thinking for ourselves. And we tend to fall into routines and habits, which is a natural thing to do. But we usually forget to make time for being outside. For mindfully eating. For calling our parents or our kids. We forget to be intentional. Why do we do what we do? What is it even that we do? How does that make us feel?
Maybe self awareness isn’t something you’re interested in, and that’s fine. I support whatever makes you happy. (I mean if you don’t even know yourself then you can’t really be happy…)
“So you said that the way things were before wasn’t working. How do you think they should be, then?“
I think we should prioritize happiness. And love. I think that we should stop complaining about bullshit, petty crap and be grateful for another day. Be grateful you have xyz to complain about.
I’m not going to get into much about politics, but I do think we need to start prioritizing the human beings and living things on this planet. I don’t think money should be more important than health. I don’t think greed should be more prevalent than nature. I think we need to take a step back and realize that we won’t be able to argue about politics if we don’t even have a sustainable environment to live in because we took everything we could from Mother Earth.
Everyone is struggling right now. And everyone is allowed to feel sad during this time. 99% of the world’s population has never lived through, or even seen, a pandemic. It’s scary. But instead of getting angry about not being able to watch sports, check your priorities and remember why you like them. Think about the traditions, the fun, etc., and find a way to incorporate that into your life now. Play catch with your kids, watch old games on YouTube, etc.
To sum up, I kind of can’t stand what this time has brought out in people. It’s replaced common sense with stupidity, it’s replaced logic with fear, and it’s scary to see how many people cannot think for themselves. How their only thoughts are what they’ve read online, and how asinine of an idea it is to challenge what they’ve read instead of just accepting that as truth.
So accept this as your truth: I am reading this on something that is internet-enabled. I am able to access the internet. I am grateful for all the internet can show me – all the good, all the lessons, all the history and miracles and wonders of the world. I am grateful to have electricity, to be breathing, and to have <fill in the blank here>.
Challenge yourself to go past the walls you’ve built to keep everyone else out. Read books. Go for a walk. Sit out on your front step. Meditate. Write in a journal. Have some damn perspective. This is not going to last forever, and the way you handle this is going to be how you handle every obstacle you’ll face from this point out. So do you want to be negative, be scared, and complain? Or do you want to learn why you think the way you do and how you want to start thinking? Do you want to accept life as it is, or pursue more? Do you want to push yourself to the best of your ability, push yourself to reach your highest potential? Do you want to stop running from yourself and finally find some peace?
I want to thank all of the healthcare workers (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, Doctors, Techs, CNAs, LPNs, Transporters, etc). I want to thank the teachers. I want to thank the delivery drivers and grocery store workers and those in the food industry. I want to thank the artists and musicians and small businesses for doing things a bit differently. I want to thank all the essential workers and those of us switching things up ans do I want to let the parents know who are now home school teachers that y’all are killing it. I want to acknowledge all the sense of community we’ve been extending to one another. May we find peace during the chaos. May we find love in ourselves, and may we treat our minds as well as we treat our possessions. Wishing you all peace, love, strength, and perspective during this time.
I promised myself I’d keep my typing fingers still when it came to the coronavirus/COVID19 craziness, but I have some thoughts that I haven’t seen shared much that I think are super important in a time like this.
Side note: I am a spiritual person. I study teachings from the major religions and have been studying more of spiritual teachings, witchcraft traditions, etc. I don’t really identify as any one particular school of thought, as I find that the themes of most of these ideologies are the same. Love your neighbor, love yourself, treat others how you want to be treated, etc.
Also, I’ve been working from home for almost a week now. It somehow feels like months and also like a shorter amount of time than a week at the same time. Time has always been something that hasn’t been the easiest on my anxiety, but I have been making an effort to keep myself at peace during this crazy time. Limiting my time on social media, only following uplifting accounts when I do go on, spending more time doing hobbies (reading and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in case you were wondering!), and keeping a routine as best I can.
With that being said, I’ve also been pushing myself to really determine what is important to me. My priorities, my goals, my intentions, my dreams. What do I want my life to look like after this storm passes? And that has been a tad overwhelming, because my perspective has been zoomed out to a global scale (which is not helpful, as I cannot do anything about what the world does. I can only control myself and my actions, but anxiety seeps in to everything. Perspective is key!). However, below I have some lessons that I hope, as a international community, we can take with us when life returns back to normal.
I hope we remember to take care of ourselves. Eating well, drinking water, washing our hands, being mindful of personal space, etc. I hope we remember that our bodies deserve to be taken care of always and not only in a pandemic.
I hope we remember to value those in the medical fields. EMTs, paramedics, doctors, nurses, CNAs, techs, etc. May we remember to respect them, to treat them well, and to compensate them fairly. These are the people with kind, selfless hearts and smart minds who take care of us during emergencies and during illness, and they should be revered as such.
I hope we remember to value our teachers. May we remember that not only do they teach our kid, but they teach probably 25 more kids every day. Middle school and high school teachers educate dozens of students a day. These people are the ones who inspire our children, who teach them, who lead them. May we treat them with respect, may we trust their judgement, and may we compensate them fairly as well.
May we not put so much emphasis on our neighbor’s race, religion, political views; may we care more about their well being.
May we learn more about ourselves – unpack our traumas, learn about things we’ve always wondered about, get back in touch with ourselves and our interests.
May we value our relationships. May we learn about our partner’s needs, their “tells” for when they’re stressed, their interests and priorities and goals. May we continue to fall in love with them every day. (For those in abusive relationships, may this time of isolation be the needed enlightenment to leave a toxic situation).
May we continue to support small and/or local businesses. Spending an extra dollar or two to support the corner store is nothing compared to a family losing their business to competition with chain corporate stores.
May we continue to come together as a community, to check in on the elderly, to support one another through hard times.
May we continue to appreciate nature. May we continue to take care of Mother Earth. The decrease in human activity lately on the planet has done great things for so many ecosystems, may we start to be mindful of the impact we have on our home.
May we remember the strength within us, within our communities. Illnesses are scary, but we have come a very long way as a global society. May we continue to choose peace, love, and light with all things. May we remember to prioritize our mental health. May we continue to not be wasteful with toiletries or food.
Most importantly, may we remember that we have all been through difficult times and have persevered. May we continue to look at the positives, to live with hope in the forefront of our minds, and be grateful for all things big and small.
I am sending every single person who reads this good, healthy, peaceful energy 💛