Somewhere Over the Rainbow | Eight

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To be honest, I’ve written at least five drafts of “eight”. There is so much to say and I guess I have no idea where to start. I’m at this surreal place in my life, where after the storm, after all the nightmares and bad days, I’m actually in a good place. And it’s so wonderful that I’m at a loss of words.

When you’re sick or something is going wrong in your life, most people will talk about “the light at the end of the tunnel”. But the thing is, depression is essentially the big semi truck that blocks that light and makes it impossible to see. Anxiety is the knowledge that it should be there, but somehow isn’t.

Recently a youtuber who I watched back in high school, posted a video after years of silence. It was about her struggle with depression and how it has affected her life in the past years. So much I could relate to, how depression closes out your heart and head to your true feelings and makes you this person who you really aren’t. But I think the point that hit most to home, was how she talked about how negative the world is. Now she is aiming for a more positive life.

Examining my personal life, I know I’m working towards a better life. It won’t be perfect, but maybe I will at least be happy. Looking back, I was at a place where there was no beginning or end. Just this paradox where nothing moved and it was horrible. I don’t want to live my life like that. I don’t want to be hoping for an impossible future or dwell on the mistakes of the past. Just think about how things can work for me today.

There is an awful lot that we can’t control. How does depression or anxiety even begin? How does it end? But maybe if we stop focusing so much on the “perfect” future or the horrible past, maybe that will help us take one step at a time. This year has already been difficult for me. I can honestly say I have tried and tried, I have given my best and nothing has shown for my actions yet. But in spite of this, I am determined to believe that something good is coming. I just have to be patient and work on making today a good day.

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Stay As Sweet As You Are | Seven

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I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of changing for someone. What motivates you to finally do it, and what keeps you maintaining that change. I think in life we hate the word change, so much so we associate anything with it as a negative thing. But is it really? Is all change bad? And if we do consent to change for someone, where do we draw the line?Is there a point where it becomes too much and is too demanding?

Growing up with my parents, I see them both adjust slightly to please the other person. My mom would try to have more patience, my father would try to clean up more, and together they seemed to create this music of making small accommodations to create harmony.

It is interesting though, how all our lives we are told not to change for anyone. It’s the typical theme in most motivating lectures given to us by our mothers or fathers. No relationship is worth changing yourself for. So I find it a little peculiar how when we are close to someone, we are urged to change for them. Whether it’s the pet peeves… I wish you wouldn’t chew so loudly, the personality traits… why do you always role your eyes when I criticize you, or something really serious… you need to not have a job that overpowers mine. 

Now I’m not saying change is bad. I actually think encouraging change in your partner can be a really good thing. Sometimes the change we demand, isn’t so much the dreaded change, but improvement. I’ll admit it, I have bad habits. I swear when I get mad, I procrastinate deep cleaning, and I start movies but rarely finish them. Someday I may have a partner in life who will inspire me to quit those bad habits. But something I’ve been thinking about is how we need to be more clear about what is and what isn’t a good level of change. Because honestly, there are a lot of relationships that are broken because of that problem.

Million Years Ago | Six

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I have this nasty habit of about once every couple of weeks I have one day, one godawful day; where I am haunted by memories. I would use the word nostalgia to describe the feeling, but that isn’t an accurate description. Nostalgia makes it sound like a positive experience and that is not the experience at all. This feeling makes me on the brink of tears.

It’s not necessarily something horrible or life ruining, but it always makes me over think everything, which is not always a good thing. Today, is one of those days. So I thought I would share with you a sample of what’s going on inside my head.

Why have so many relationships fizzled out into nothingness? Why have I not moved on from my problems? Why does it hurt so much to think of someone I almost forgot? What is this feeling, is it something natural? Why do I regret so many things? Why don’t I feel accomplished, though I do have some achievements? Why am I still alone.

It’s one of the most fascinating mysteries, at least to me, what your mind allows you to forget and what to always remember. Today, I am haunted by memories.

A Hopeful Transmission | Five

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One of my favorite movies, Lost in Translation is about two characters who find themselves in a strange city, dealing with depression. I watched this movie for the first time my freshmen fall semester and I remember feeling exactly what the girl, Charlotte, was feeling.

We make a lot of choices in this world that affect our future and our lives, but then again, a great chunk of our life is the way it is, not because of a choice. I’m going to community college and that certainly wasn’t a choice I made. Ever since high school I’ve dreamed about moving out of state to a college and town that I really truly loved. Yet here I am.

Charlotte in the movie, is in Tokyo because of her husbands job. After she goes and visits a temple, she calls up a friend of hers crying saying,

 I went to this temple and all these monks were chanting and I didn’t feel anything. John’s been using these hair products and I don’t know who I married anymore.

While I don’t have a husband and I haven’t experienced a temple with monks chanting, the thing that gets Charlotte emotional- I do understand. It is the terrible feeling of nothing at all. Not feeling anger, sadness, or frustration. The feeling of being lost in your life and having nothing inside. No sense of self. It’s painfully, relatable. At least for me at this time.

Summertime always infects me with wanderlust. I want to go places, see things, meet people. But the reality is I’m stuck here, at least in this part of my life. But something I forget, which my best friend reminded me of recently; sometimes even if you do travel to escape depression, you only find yourself depressed in different places. Which is the problem Bob and Charlotte have (the main characters of Lost in Translation). 

Something about the movie that has always stuck out to me, is the ending. The fact that it’s not a super duper sunshine and unicorns ending. It’s actually very straight forth and honest ending that sometimes, life doesn’t just fix itself. We get sad, we get anxious, we get happy, we get depressed… and life goes on. We must go on. No matter where we are.

 

Take Care | Four

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This part in the year marks an end, or an almost end. Graduations, end of semesters, last day of classes, we all experience at least one of these. This year and this month of May marks the end of my fourth semester in college.

In one of my all time favorite books “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, one of the characters talks about how college semesters are kind of like dog years. Each one is only a brief amount of time and yet it feels like a year has passed because so much happens. And it’s true. Instead of saying in conversations “oh last year,” I find myself saying “remember, last semester?” So much happens in such a small time that at the end, you feel like a new person.

Looking back especially to the beginning of college, it’s like looking at a completely different person. The people I spent my time with, who I was in love with, my goals for life, even down to my own happiness; it’s all different. But difference isn’t a bad thing.

I look back at myself and see a young girl with innocent hope for the future. Not really confident in who she was, but was desperate for love and attention. A young girl who just wanted the stereotypical college experience.

And here I am now. If I was asked to describe myself in a complete 100% way, this is what I’d say…

I’m weak, I’ll be the first to admit it. The last four semesters and the time in between have really taken a tole on me; physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’m not innocent anymore. I know things I wish I didn’t, I’ve learned things in the worst way. I pick the people in my circles more carefully than I ever have in my life. I’ve been burnt too many times now and I’m trying to prevent it from happening again. I’ve lost a part of myself. The part that has empty hope and wishful thoughts. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing though. I hope that what’s replaced that is realism, with a touch of a feeling I don’t know how to describe. I think it’s an unspoken acceptance of whatever comes.

If I would say that I did something wrong in the past, it’s not believing that bad things happen in the future. I would paint this perfect future and then end up completely shattered when it didn’t happen. Now I look to the future for something good, but also excepting that bad things happen. It’s a part of life.

So goodbye to my fourth semester. Take care of everything for me.

One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) | Three

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Some days are good days. Then there are days like today. Where it feels like everything is broken and nothing can be fixed. You know that old saying “don’t fix what isn’t broken”- well if there’s a proper feeling of being broken, that’s where I’m at right now. And no one if offering to fix anything.

It’s one of the most shameful things in our society I think. The fact that we mourn deaths of people who have died from suicide and depression, yet when people say they are depressed, we reply with “nah, you’re just overreacting.” How can we ever hope to put all these tragic deaths of people of all ages to an end, when we won’t even give them the simple courteously of believing that what they’re going through is real.

When you’re bleeding, someone doesn’t come up to you and say “you must just be imagining this, everything is really okay.” Yet numerous people, myself included, when we mention anything related to stress, anxiety, and depression, a response is given saying “yeah, well the world is crappy- so just deal with it.” What kind of sense is that?

So, we mourn the deaths of people who have fallen. Robin Williams. Marilyn Monroe. Kurt Cobain. And so many others who only in death, get the proper support for depression.

I’m not saying it’s easy. With the way we talk so passively about mental illness –  oh, that’s so depressing, or you gave me a panic attack! – it’s hard to truly understand what depression is and whether or not you have it. But let me say this.

Feeling empty inside is not natural. Feeling no motivation to do anything is not natural. Loosing sleep is not natural. Having panic attacks are not natural. Wanting to kill yourself and/or die is not natural. Wanting to simply not live, because of the extreme weight you feel everyday is not natural.

So no matter what anyone says, this isn’t their disorder or illness it’s yours. It’s your life. And if you’re someone who hasn’t struggled with this, but know someone who has then, be a decent human being and give them some fucking support for what they’re going through. Don’t ask them to explain themselves or their illness. Love them, help them, and be there for them.

 

 

As the Stars Fall | Two

This post comes in two parts.

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Part One –

Star Wars Day. Just go up to any Star Wars nerd and ask them if there is anything significant about today. I’m sure they’ll offer up a big smile and reply “May the fourth be with you!” I myself, am a huge Star Wars fan.

I’ll admit, when I was younger I was afraid of the movies, especially Darth Vader. Whether that was because the images were genuinely scary or it was just me focussing all my stress and anxiety onto this fandom- I’m not sure I’ll ever know. And I’ll also admit that the only reason I watched the movies was to impress a boy I currently had a crush on, four summers ago.

While the boy didn’t last, the movies did; and I proceeded to become one of the biggest fanatics of Star Wars. I don’t play the video games, I don’t read the books, I don’t have any lightsabers hiding in my closet, but I do have a deep passion for the movies. Does that make me a true nerd? I’m not sure, but all I know is that these movies have been there for me when it seems like nothing else has.

My favorite character- R2-D2. For sure. I have a pez dispenser of him, a piggy bank, a necklace… heck, even a dress. Maybe because he doesn’t get that much attention, but he’s fiesty as all get out. Sounds like me.

So thank you George Lucas. One of the greatest joys of my life has been your movies. The characters, the adventure, and the world you created.

 

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Part Two –

My love for Audrey Hepburn began at a young age, ever since I saw the movie My Fair Lady. I’d watch it on the floor in my living room and sing along to the classic songs like “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” or “I could have danced all night”. The older I got though, I fell in love with her for more than her pretty face.

Audrey Hepburn was so much more than what she is remembered by. I didn’t truly learn that until I got older and I think more mature. She wasn’t just a beautiful woman in terms of her face and body, she was had a beautiful heart. She was an introvert and someone who hated seeing others in pain. She’s more than Holly Golightly, Eliza Doolittle, or Sabrina Fairchild. She’s Audrey Hepburn. A beautiful soul. A beautiful face. A beautiful person.

Now, years later, I still love her. And I have the honor of being compared to her by my friends and family. Maybe it’s the haircut or the face shape I have. Or maybe it’s that I love her so much I can’t help but try to emulate her. I want to thank God that she was brought into this world, so that people like me might have someone to look up to.

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”