self growth

Some Sunday Selections

I normally (er… used to normally?) hook up links to my blog during my www. Wednesday feature, but since I’m SO far behind, I figured I’d roll ’em all out here on this lazy Sunday. Or, if you’re like me, you’ve already been up for three hours listening to the Arctic Monkeys and planning blog entries.

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+ I LOVE short stories. There is something about them that is so special; here’s a list compiled by Refinery29 of 30 you need to read… bookmarked and ready to go over here!

+ My friend S posted or sent this McSweeney’s article to me forever ago, and it just knocked me off my feet. It’s a perfect picture of our mental health care system right now, as written by a lady writer whose been through it all. She’s also witty as hell, so read it if you like charming-as-hell writing.

+ Not that I know anyone like this (cough… me), but I’ll just leave this here for anyone who might understand the 11 struggles of being a highly sexual being.

+ Through pure chance, I am apparently a combination of two of my lady heroes’ body-type wise: KimK (hourglass) and Angelina (carrot), and I could not be happier. I also adore how many body types they address in this article. #Refinery29JunkieForLife

+ I will never tire of this highly paid teachers salary math problem floating around on the Internet. Spoiler alert: teachers are so, so, SO underpaid.

+ BLESS THIS POST: 15 things you don’t owe ANYONE.

+ Just sayin’, this dude ain’t a marriage counselor for nothing. He understands why women (or men) leave and/or cheat on the ones they love: lack of attention/gratitude/listening.

+ Because I miss it every day, here’s a compilation of 26 Office quotes that will make you laugh. There are thousands more if you just WATCH THE SHOW!

+ I was appalled to find that the Neutrogena products I’d been using for YEARS were exposed as being horrible for you/NOT WORKING this year, especially since I’m (for the most part) vigilant about sun exposure. EWG has an extensive list of sunscreens that actual work, while also being good for your body.

+ God, I hope this scientifically-proven method of decreasing procrastination works on my concrete-stubborn procrastination tendencies.

+ This beauty article makes me feel so validated about my brow tendencies. Here’s how to keep your brows on FLEEK… and get ’em there if you don’t feel satisfied yet 🙂

+ Please enjoy this puppy photo to brighten your day, or you know, make it brighter.

via jjae

via jjae

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Hopefully I’ve caught up enough to jump back into the www. Wednesday pattern later this week! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, lovies ❤

Perfect Alignment

Not too long ago, I wrote about my struggle with success in my passions, pinpointing this blog as a major piece in Strugglecity, USA. I’m not suddenly signed to an agency or unexpectedly inundated with advertising deals, but things lately seem to be simply falling in the holes that once riddled my career plans. Though there are many still to fill in, the change has been healing, noticeable.

First, there was the job search gone bad. As Maria said, when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. I took the rejections as a chance to jump through that newly opened window to focus on the job I’m trying to cultivate.

During a trip to the beach for a cleansing mini-vacay, I read six variations of my horoscope*, all of them telling me that my chance at career happiness was near. Like within the next month near. *(Whether or not astrology is actually a thing is yet to be determined.)

Though plenty has gone wrong – losing Robin, phone loss, housing ups and downs, one very sick pup, and all the minutiae in between – there has always been someone or something around the corner to pick me up.

An “it’ll come through, babe.”

A beautiful day filled with sunshine and creativity.

A “you’re going to find what you want, I know it!”

An article that says no plan B means no failure.

A sign.

So many signs.

As I walked into my Saka class last night, I was feeling the strain of the little shit, the things that shouldn’t get me down but do. Patrice looked around and lingered on me for a moment before speaking.

“I just want to… I just want to say something tonight. If you’re like me, if you’ve got a passion for something and it’s just not working out, whether that be a business, a friendship, or a marriage, I’d like you to put all your faith in that. I’d like you to put your whole heart into what you’re passionate about. I’m doing the same thing with this, and I want you to do it with me and see what putting your whole faith in gets out for you, for all of us.”

I held back the tears while smiling. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

When I got home, I caught up on my usual blogs, and found this quote on TSC:

4

The Skinny Confidential

Fate.

For once, things seem to be perfectly aligning on their own. And for once, I’m just going to follow the alignment instead of trying to take control. For once, I’m going to put my full faith in.

Get ready, readers.

I know I am.

How-To: Get Back to Yourself

Life throws us loops. Some are amazing, while others are absolutely devastating, but most loops fall in the massive, massive gray area in between. Regardless of where they lie on the scale, all these changes can take us out of ourselves. We start freaking out about something great happening two months away or we stress about where we’ll find money tomorrow. It’s like an anxiety record playing on a loop constantly, and eventually, it’ll catch up. My own stress, good and bad, has caught up to me big time. I think it’s important to remind you and I of all the best ways we can get back to being ourselves.

1. Take a day. Hell, I don’t care. Take 3 days. Take as many days as you need to feel like you’re not a live wire fallen in the middle of a rainy road. Do whatever your body tells you to do those days, and most of the time, it will tell you to sleep and drink a lot of water.

2. Do something you love without apology. Have a movie marathon. Read lots of books. Take a long walk alone. Sing at the top of your lungs to Beyonce. Combine all of these things at the same time. Whatever it is, do it only if you love it, and do it for you.

3. TREAT YO’ SELF! This doesn’t have to be a lucrative purchase, but on the other hand, it can be. You call the shots! Take yourself out to a movie or get your hair done. Go shopping with your friends. Make yourself realize you’re worth it.

4. Start some lists. You should at least make a list of things you enjoy doing and are good at doing — these won’t necessarily intersect, so make sure you’ve got two columns or some fancy Venn diagram. Next up: to-do lists, goals to achieve, goals for those goals, etc.

5. Hone in on “your things.” The point of all those lists is to try to rediscover what your happiest self enjoys doing, both for hobby and for money. Once you find these things again, focus on them intensely and deeply in an effort not to lose sight of the elements that leave you fulfilled and essentially yourself.

6. Plan and schedule. In order to keep your head about you after taking time for yourself and rediscovering your passions, try to plan and schedule not only your goals and happy activities, but time for yourself to recharge so you won’t burn out again… at least not any time soon.

7. Organize and purge. Once you have a plan and goals, make sure you don’t have any obstacles — physical or mental — in the way. Organize your desk, dump toxic people. Basically, clean house in every meaning of the phrase.

8. Slowly emerge back into society. If it wasn’t clear, steps 1-7 should all be done alone. These are things that shape YOUR life and no one else’s, so you should be solo for a while. However, it is important to incorporate your loved ones back in as soon as you’re done being a self-growth vampire.

9. If you’re still struggling, get advice. NOW is the time to ask your pals for a word or two. Seek answers from your parents or a therapist. Use the magic of online forums. Whatever it is you choose, just make sure you are 100% sure about where you’ll be going from here on out because…

10. Do “your thing(s).” …in order to properly do your things, aka LIVE YOUR LIFE, you need to be sure in yourself and your decisions, at least for the moment. You can tweak your plan, but only after you’ve begun to execute one.

If you’re a visual person, this is basically what the plan looks like:

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Regular Monet, right?

Weight Loss Journey

Two years ago, J and I decided that we needed to make a move on our physical appearance, lest we continue to fall off the wagon, no longer noticing the figures in front of us in the mirror. We had both put on holiday weight, so we got a joint gym membership and planned to eat better every night.

It didn’t take long for me to really get into it and drop 20 pounds, putting me back down in the 120s. I was happy there, so I wrote about my journey at that point and expected that would be the end of that.

I didn’t realize then that weight loss and overall healthy living is a continuous journey. You should never stop. And no, I don’t meant that in an unhealthy, exercise-addicted way. I mean that you should always be living a life where you feel strong and damn good about yourself.

After I wrote that initial entry, I was pretty good for at least 6 more months. I didn’t exercise as frequently, but I still ate well and did get my gym on at least once a week. I maintained.

Shortly after a little break-up (which always curbs my appetite), I also found myself smack dab in the middle of a hospital room for FIVE days after I incurred a CRAZY infection post-wisdom tooth surgery. I had to undergo another surgery to drain it out, and just like that, I lost 5 more pounds because I could barely eat or drink.

This put me right at or a little below 120, which is as far as I’m comfortable going according to my BMI. If I go lower, it’s too dangerous. With that thought in mind, I got out of the hospital and immediately started eating ALL THE THINGS! I ate all of the sweets I had been missing for months because I needed to gain some cushion weight. In other words, I like having a window between me and that way-too-low BMI. I like my body to work, not suffer.

It took me about 6 months to gain the 5 pounds back. But oh, when I hit that 5 pound mark, MAN, DID MY METABOLISM SLOW DOWN! I stopped being able to eat whatever the hell I wanted without seeing it. And guess what? I wasn’t working out or eating well because I was finishing my first semester in grad school, moving into a new place, applying for jobs, trying to balance fam + bf + friends, and trying to, you know… SLEEP. That left no time for anything I wanted to do for myself, so I sacrificed taking the time to work on my body.

Right after the semester ended, I finally found a job for a nutrition program. I learned so much about the data of our food. It truly freaked me out, and I started being conscious about what I was eating again. I learned all the sneaky names of the shit ingredients they put in our food AND what the long terms I could never pronounce actually meant. I also picked up a new gym membership to put to use once they opened in September.

By the time October rolled around, I had gotten a handle on my ingesting of crap and my exercise regimen. But by October, I also finally, finally landed a teaching gig. Whew, boy.

For the first couple months, I kept going to the gym when I could and ate well. But any good teacher will tell you that you start sacrificing things for your students as you get to know them, and the easiest thing for me to sacrifice was my health plan. I started letting them come in during lunch to vent to me. I would stay up too late grading/planning and forget to pack lunch, then sleep in too long and not have time to eat breakfast. I would walk around the classroom all day, rarely sitting down. For about two months, I subsisted solely on what my students brought with them to the classroom and items from the vending machine. My body started giving me signs that nothing well was happening inside; my old health issues were returning with each pound I put back on. (Yeah, not giving your body supplement makes you gain weight, which is why I hiss at my girlfriends when they say they’re going to stop eating. It’s not healthy AND it doesn’t work.)

It probably won’t surprise you that in the middle of all this malnourishment and stress, my depression returned. It made it hard for me to do anything, especially go to the gym when I felt so anxious and sad. My SSRI kicked in about the same time my own common sense did: as much as I love what I do, I love me more.

This all culminated in February 2014. I was able to function again thanks to my medication, and I started going to the gym again. I decided to stop focusing on what I was eating until I, you know, FOUND TIME TO EAT! A month later, one of the other teachers made life 1000% easier by bringing Saka Dance into the workplace. This meant I could have more time to myself, and I would fill that time with eating instead of more grading. The papers could wait.

With my favorite combination of healthy eating and consistent, fun exercise, I finally made it back to the spot where I feel most healthy. I’d tell you the number, but frankly, it’s none of your business because you know what any person’s health journey should be about? Being the healthiest you, and not giving one damn what people think!

weight loss

So, here I am. It’s two years + some change later, and I feel great. That’s not to say there weren’t ups and downs, but it was all worth it. You know why? What I notice most about the last photo doesn’t really have to do with appearance, in a vain way at least. I notice that I am happy, laughing about J and I both trying (and failing) to push each other in the freezing water. I notice that I am running, something I wasn’t able to do for years. And while I’ll never be able to do much more than sprint, at least I finally can.

I will never stop making myself healthier than I was the day before, but I am happy to say that I’m happy where I am. I feel better now than I did 10 years ago, mentally and physically. Most of the change you see is an internal one shining through to the outside, one that I will strive to maintain for the rest of my life.

My best advice to those struggling is not to give up; life’s gonna throw you weird curve balls, but you’ll eventually catch one. Read the labels on your food and steer clear of anything you can’t pronounce that isn’t a vitamin. MAKE TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR HEALTH! Most of all, make sure what you’re doing is healthy, feels good, and is for you and ONLY you.

xo

www. Wednesday

Have you ever had one of those days that ALWAYS felt like another day? Yeah, well, today was “Tuesday” to me… so here I am, realizing I almost missed www. Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.

+ The Skinny Confidential, who I only recently discovered, not only throws out some truth bombs about quitting yer’ bitchin’, but shows me that you CAN incorporate your personality into your blog, even if that personality happens to cuss a lot.

+ Grace Chon captures her son and her dog together in the cutest damn portraits you’ve ever seen. Prepare yourself for aviator googled babies and pets!

+ 25 things you should never stop doing for yourself. I think we could all benefit from reminding ourselves of these every morning! … though I will probably still wake up 15 minutes late after hitting snooze 79 times, so when will I have time for something that healthy and inspiring?

+ Just because this is an ad doesn’t mean it doesn’t hit all sorts of amazing soft spots in your soul. Watch these two women (who are strangers!) take their first flight together. I hope I can be like Ria all my life!

+ Fellow bloggers: someone’s been spying on us and compiled a list of how to avoid the trap that is laziness to stay motivated.

+ This bipolar article about Muppies really bothers me, which probably means I am one. What bugs me most is the coupling of the snobbish attitude of the author (talking shit about an entire generation of people, classifying us into categories half of us don’t even use or understand because we DO NOT FALL INTO THOSE CATEGORIES AT ALL) paired with her 180 degree turnaround at the end. I got whiplash. She went from saying we are little bitches wearing Lululemon (something I could NEVER AFFORD) to telling Boomers to “accept us for who we are” as “#innovators.” Yeah, we are hashtagging innovators who do things differently. And yes, there are plenty of Boomers, like my parents, who really ENJOY these differences among our generations. Generalization and flip-flopping, however, are not things either generation is a fan of. BUT in the spirit of TSC, I’ll quit my bitchin’.

+ And now, cute sloths squeaking.

From z-o-l-a.tumblr.com/

Snow Day Stream

Here in the south, we’ve been blessed with yet another snow day. I’d be happy for the day off if we didn’t have to take the loss on the first day of spring break, a day I desperately need since my current lease is up at the end of March, and for the first time, I’ll be living 100% alone.

Not mostly alone because my roommates ducked out of the lease months early or were never home anyway. Not mostly alone because I was broke or single, and everyone else had money or a man to go out with. No, not this time. This time I will be completely, totally, absolutely alone.

And you know what? For the first time in a long time, that thought brings me a sense of balance and comfort. I used to fear I’d die alone by choking on a ham sandwich, but now I realize I could choke on a ham sandwich anywhere with anyone, so it might as well be in the comfort of my very own room. After all, as Virginia Woolf said, a woman needs a room of one’s own………. as I’m sure a multitude of lady bloggers have also said thousands of times by now. Still, it holds true; we need a place to call our own. I need a place to be my own.

I need a place to feel safe, to feel loved, and to feel in control. Even if that love and safety comes in the size of a furry li’l beast, or even if there’s no one there at all, it’s nice to know that I will have not just a house, but a home at the end of every day.

Over the years, I’ve had good living situations and bad ones. I’ve had utterly blissful homes and horribly distressing prisons I had to keep residing inside. I’ve had great roommates, bad ones, ones who tried to be bad, and ones who tried to be good, but I’ve never had just me, myself, and I to answer to.

Now, whatever way it goes — up, down, sideways, or to hell — all of it will be on me. The outcome will be because of my actions. It’ll be because I did or did not do something. I will no longer hold responsibility for other people’s actions or inactions. Whether I fly high or sink ship, all of it will be what I made happen alone.

And while that might be horrifying to some, it is absolutely freeing to me.

I can’t wait to move in with my new roommate.

xo

Copyright Rachel Noel

Positiveville

Taking a cue from the lovely K, I’d like to take a break from my regularly scheduled blogs filled with (oft-negative) venting and life-coaching (from myself?) just to write a nice, thankful, happy entry. I suppose it would have made more sense to ensure this coincided with Thanksgiving, but to hell with it all! Everyone tried to skip right over one of the most scrumptious holidays this year anyway…

AH, negativity abounds already! Stopping, turning around, and heading back toward Positiveville.

Yay! Happiness is fun!

I really enjoy having positive arenas on the Internet to run to as a safe haven on bad days. I don’t particularly know or care if that sounds strange because I have met some of the best people via (mostly) positive places like Tumblr and Blogger. It’s nice to have a community full of people who love the same things you love, write about the same things you do, and support and love you without even meeting you. They see the raw nerves you bumble out onto some digital paper and still want to get to know you. How cool is that? I wish more people would embrace the positive community that DOES exist on these endless pages of web.

Speaking of, one of my old co-workers is doing it up successfully and creatively in the Big Apple. She writes a blog all about love, her addiction to it, her journey to overcome that addiction, and her relationship with the city. She recently featured me, along with many others, on her blog (another example of the Supportive Internets), allowing us to vent to a person from our past or present romantic life. Here’s that entry; I’m the fifth one in the list!

Building off of that entry (so you should probs read it), I just can’t further explain how thankful I am for my partner. I’ve written about that gratitude often, though not too often, as I like to keep most of our life private. But without him having my back, even on my shittiest of days, I don’t know how I’d get through such a trying time in my life. Without him coaching me from the sidelines, yelling “Get back up, sports fan! You’re not done yet,” I would be weaker, less brave, and apt to quit. Even when I don’t want to tell him he’s right because of my bulldog-level stubbornness, I know he’s the one person who has the same intensity to help me succeed in my self-proclaimed need for evolution. At the end of the day, he’s the man I dream up ridiculous Vines with. That’s that shit I DO like.

While some aspects of my job are… less than stellar… I so enjoy my students. They are hilarious, smart, and much more intriguing than half of the adults I’ve met over the course of my life. Even if we have a bad day, they are so astute; unlike most of us “grown-ups,” they are ready and willing to apologize, move on, and still have a professional relationship. I hope they all keep that openness in their hearts as they go out into the world because it will get them so far in life. I can’t wait to watch them grow up; I hope I can be a mentor to them for as long as they need me!

It’s really pleasing to finally see a career path (or rather, paths) I can maintain and find happiness in. For a long time, I thought a lot of me is what needed to change. It’s only recently I realized that while I do have to work on aspects of myself like my impatience and hot-headedness, a lot of what I saw as a schism in myself was just the void from never knowing what I really want to do for a living. For a long time, I had shut out my dreams and desires because everyone, from complete strangers to my friends and family, had dictated what “success” looked like. But now that I’ve stopped focusing on them and prioritized myself, now that I’ve gone through the career-wringer, finding out what fits me and what doesn’t, what my strengths are and what I could use some help with… I see myself a little more clearly. Weird how we define ourselves through external things, only to realize that if we pay a little internal attention, we can find a wealth of clarification.

There’s a lot more I’m happy about, like being able to spend copious time with my family over winter break, being able to afford heat in such a cold winter, and my new gym opening at the time of the year where I can use it the most. I could sit here all day and wax poetic about the positives in my life, but I have to return to the stressful, strenuous life of an always-tired, always-working, full-time student AND teacher……..

LAWD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL! And please, try to remind me not to be such a Negative Nitwit Nancy.

Hi… Meet Me!

You think you know me after reading this blog for years, and you’re probably right. There’s a lot more about myself you might see in my words than I can in the mirror… but lately I’ve been having to learn that as often as people tell you not to defend who you are, it will take them less than a second to turn around and make you do just that.

Luckily, I’ve been on a new path of self-discovery. Over three years ago, I figured out who I was. Now, I’m figuring out not only how to deepen that person, but how to live as that person in a world that doesn’t really want individuality, no matter how many times it says it does.

I’ve talked about being unapologetically you, but I forgot that constantly saying sorry isn’t the only way you do yourself a disservice. Always being angry and offended because you have to defend who you are every day is another way to quickly squash your self-esteem and progress.

Since I’m trying with all my tiny might to stop letting people give me shit for being who I am, let me remind you of exactly what people are telling me to hide from the world.

I am observant. This is often confused with being “ultra sensitive,” but I suppose that’s the price I have to pay for always noticing the small things. I can sense people’s moods, hear changes in their voices, know what they really mean and try to play off as a joke, and see the glances they exchange. For a long time, I thought I was being an asshole and just projecting my wild imagination on people. However, I recently realized that people simply don’t like to get caught. They like to be able to get away with shifty behavior. Most people live their lives by being secret assholes; some are even 007-level bastards… so when I call them out on their behavior, they turn the tables on me for diversion. It’s okay. I get it now!

I have high expectations. There’s some bullshit, pink, curly-cued meme floating around the Internet about “not being high maintenance, just having high expectations…” but the two are not interchangeable in any way, so it’s when the latter occurs that I have to defend my expectations. But hey, these things should honestly be common practice – I’m just not afraid to continually say so: I expect people to treat other people kindly; I expect people not be racist/sexist/etc. assholes because it’s the incorrect reaction to other humans; I expect people to understand one another as being mere mortals with many flaws; I expect other people to put in as much as I do, and to ease up when one of us can’t. I expect a lot, but I also believe in the ability of everyone to meet those expectations.

I am vulnerable. I have always chosen my vulnerability, though I’ve often had to defend that choice. I believe in being open, in saying sorry, in crying, in letting people in. I choose all of that because it makes me stronger than everyone else. I have walls upon walls of steel-like strength from all those times people took advantage of my vulnerability, but if I’m crying, I often have to defend those tears like they are some sign of weakness. I wish people knew the courage it takes to be an open nerve, but it’s yet another thing unworthy of defense funds.

I am different. I have invisible disabilities. I care so, so much about everything and everyone because I have a heart full of compassion. I am able to do a lot of stuff other people cannot, but also limited in many other “everyday” ways. I love things most people deem unimportant. I need time, love, and a home, but not a house. I need loyalty in a way that can drive most people away… and even if it’s all weird or out of place to others, it’s what lies within me. All of the big and little things that piece together my odd little puzzle should never be put up for negotiation, so I’m tired of finding myself in the midst of a battle for whether there is a “rightness” in being me.

There it is, dudes and dudettes. I know the project of “myself” will always be an evolving, living, breathing thing, but even on the days when my features become inconvenient, I couldn’t and wouldn’t have it any other way. And just like I said I would stop saying sorry so much, I’m going to stop defending just being Rachel as well. I will change as we all do with time, but it will never be at the suggestion from an outsider that who I am inside just isn’t good enough.

Hoping everyone finds the courage to let go of the anger and give into the joy of just being yourself. I know it’ll take some time for me, but I also know I can do it.

P.S. If you’ve been missing me, I blog (anonymously) on the regular about my new job. Email imgonnadothatgirl@gmail.com if you want the link!

The Girl Who Gave Up Her Dream for Love

Well over a year ago, a girl had a dream of sparkling city lights, late night celeb-schmoozing, and a glamorous career in journalism. This girl couldn’t wait for it. It was her DESTINY, and then Destiny slapped her in the face and said “WHOA, girl, sit your pretty little butt down. You’re not going to that Big Apple, it’s just not in the cards.”

So the girl came home defeated but determined. She would wait, save, work a job she hated to get a job she loved in the city she was meant to. She would make it happen, and Destiny couldn’t tell her no.

Ah, but Destiny is tricky. One night a month after her failed city-scursion, Destiny took off the blinders she’d been secretly holding in the girl’s peripheral. The girl suddenly saw him, a man who had been on the borders of her life for years, a dashing man whose smile was so inexplicably intoxicating. The girl couldn’t help saying “WHOA, Destiny, WHO IS THAT?”

Destiny giggled and pushed them into a room together. She pushed the girl forward, and the guy forward even further. She wrapped her arms around them both and kept inching them closer and closer over hours at first, then days, then weeks, then months before the girl was like “Destiny, what are you trying to tell me?” Destiny laughed again before pushing the man up to the girl’s ear where he whispered, “I think… I love you.”

The girl was overwhelmed, so much so that she didn’t say it back, but her return kiss was enough for the man to know. Destiny danced a wild jig and watched over months and days and even a full year as these two loved each other and laughed, cried and sometimes fought, made it work and then it didn’t.

The girl, sobbing through another night, screamed “Destiny, why did you do this?! I had everything I’d ever wanted, but you threw him in the gears and KNEW I would love him. Now I have nothing! How could you do this to me? You took away my dream!”

Destiny stared at the girl. She gazed and gazed until the flicker of light shimmered across the girl’s eyes. Destiny smiled and put her arm around the girl as she began to cry again.

“I didn’t have what I wanted, did I?” the girl asked

Destiny shook her head, maintaining her calming smirk.

“Because my dream, Destiny, wasn’t a city or a job or a lifestyle, my dream was him. My dream was love.”

Destiny smiled and embraced the girl. The girl who had given up her dream for love, only to find that love was her dream all along. Because she could write anywhere. She could live big and dream big no matter what city she was in. But here, here… this was the only place she could love. Love him, the man Destiny chose for her.

The girl was heartbroken, but knew that she was exactly where she wanted to be. She had always picked love, and this one, the greatest love of all, was her dream. Her love, him, the man was her destiny. And Destiny has a plan for them, even if the girl and the man don’t quite know what it is yet. They’ll figure it out. Together or alone, they’ll figure it out.

Maybe Destiny is waiting just around the corner to nudge them together again. Maybe not. But Destiny is the only girl who knows for sure.

How the Real World Killed My Creativity

Even now as I try to write this blog, things keep pulling me away. Articles, stupid and informative. Noises, loud and soft. Issues, big and small.

I’ve been programmed to keep my eye on a prize that I don’t want. Thanks to that programming, I have some mutant form of adult ADHD, brought on by years of procrastination, overstimulation, and worst of all, keep-what-you-love-on-the-back-burner-while-you-take-care-of-what-you-need’ism.

Now that I’ve gotten the requisite education and some experience under my belt, I’m trying to unleash my long-abandoned creativity into outlets that will do something for someone somewhere. Unfortunately, thanks to those multiple years of different “You have to be responsible!” messages shoved down my throat, I’ve kind of lost the art of making the internal external. I’ve actually forgotten how to do the only things I’m good at doing.

I am not good at selling things because I can’t fake my way into believing in mediocre, half-functioning products. I am not good at talking to strangers who don’t automatically understand things. I am not good at kissing ass, pedaling junk, or sitting inside a claustrophobia-inducing cubicle in front of a computer, overusing that devil contraption called the telephone.

I am good at writing… most days. I am good at memorizing useless facts. I am good at creating weird little crafts. I am good at planning things that are fun, organizing items before they are a mess, and endless other “non-important” tasks. However, I live in a world that doesn’t grant those things merit. In fact, this world stifles them.

I won’t say that it’s not fair, but it is certainly counterproductive to live in a society where we scold people for wanting to do things outside the box. Sure, we award that pesky 1% for their films, television shows, music, clothing lines, etc., but the rest of us are expected to fall in line and work ourselves to death in an impossibly dull job. Even worse off are the people in countries who have two equally dire options and will never know the joy of doing something they love, not even for a fleeting moment.

This has to change. We have to fight against the powers who dictate our happiness. We have to let it be known that we aren’t okay doing what we’ve been assigned. We have to remind them that we’re individuals who long to simply be.

So I’ll begin my part of that great journey. I’ll start the long and arduous process of retraining myself to think how I was literally born how to think. Because I find myself in this time of unjust prejudice against art, at least as a serious subject, I have to push myself harder than I ever have before to reclaim the mind in my own head.

It sounds like a paradox. If I’m already me, it should be easy to stay me, right? No. It’s going to be insanely difficult to reattain the creative programming that I was lucky enough to have at birth. It’s been so stifled by so many that the hours I spend relearning my own brainwaves will be endless. I will have to structure my life rigidly around retraining my brain not to be a boring corporate asshole.

And you know what? I’ve never been more excited about a new job in my whole life. Me, meet me. I’ll be here forever.