Rest In Peace, Grandma

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My grandmother, Joanne, passed away last Friday. Therefore, I would like to dedicate today’s post to both remember and pay tribute to her.

When I think about my grandmother, one of the first things that comes to mind is her ability to overcome obstacles. My grandmother was 21167183_10214128900644899_7406489053310996333_odiagnosed with Polio Disease when she was younger. Although she made a full recovery, she still had roadblocks. Despite them, she still had two children — something she was told she couldn’t do — as well as had a long lasting career.

You go, grandma.

But, what I remember most about her, is the pride that she had for each and every one of her grandchildren. She wanted to be there for all of the big moments — birthdays, holidays, high school graduations, college graduations and proms.

One thing I will never forget is when I graduated college. She — along with my grandfather — watched the livestream on her home computer since she couldn’t make the commencement. I remember as I was walking onto the stage, she tried to Facebook Message me to tell me that she was watching. She instead video-called me instead, which I did decline. Later on, she shared every post that I had, just to tell her friends that her granddaughter had graduated.

But, while the big moments are great, she was also there for the little ones — conversations on the phone, her picking me up from class or bringing me to driver’s ed, and Sunday dinners. While I can’t remember the date of those little moments, they are woven into the fabric of our relationship.

While my grandmother loved her human children and grandchildren, she also had a special place in her heart for her furry children. I can never remember my grandparents without a dog — Callie, Max, and Bandit. She loved all of her dogs, and showered them with love, as well as treats and toys. She had even bought Bandit a Coach collar and a raincoat.

What’s devastating to me about the loss of my grandmother, is that there will be no more little moments and even the big moments. I will never again hear her voice say “hey Nat” at the other end of the phone. I will never again visit her with flowers and eat cookies with her after Christmas. I never really visited my grandmother towards the end of her life, and that’s something that I will always regret. I would give anything just to tell her one more time that I love her one more time, or for one more text message on my birthday.21105547_10214128900444894_873189239676249748_n

While I will miss my grandmother, I know that wherever she is now, she is in peace, and watching QVC in heaven with her dogs by her side. And, she’s probably wearing the high heels that she always wanted to wear.

 

Rest in Peace, Grandma. I love you.

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The Importance Of Being Your Own Advocate

One of the hardest things for me is to speak up for myself. Meaning that, whenever I am faced with a conflict, I always find it hard to say that I am in fact not okay with the current situation, and instead just go with the flow.

This happens so many times to me, leading me down a path where my feelings are pushed aside. I don’t know why I do this — maybe it’s fear of conflict? Or, maybe it’s because I am worried that some negative consequence would happen to me if I spoke my mind. Whatever the case may be, I’ve decided that I need to be my own advocate.

While I don’t know the source of how this became a habit, I do know what I can do to break it. First, I can try to say how I feel. This was always a struggle for me. I often worry that when I say that I’m not okay with the situation, it comes off as complaining. However, it’s not the case if you do it right. For instance, if you use words such as “I feel” or “I am not comfortable” versus exploding and yelling tends to get you somewhere. Additionally, making sure you don’t use accusatory statements when trying to get your point across. Those always tend to end badly, because it quickly makes the other person more defensive — which is never productive.

Furthermore, it’s important to use the word “no” and create boundaries. There are many ways that this could be done. For example, if you are working on a group project — whether you are in school or at work — and someone is making you do more than your fair share, speak up. Or, if you have someone in your life who constantly wants you to go above and beyond for them — but whenever you need them they are nowhere to be found. You want to say no — but you feel bad. Therefore, you say yes — no matter what the reasoning may be. And, when you say yes, in some cases you become unhappy.

In this situation, I’m learning the importance of standing my ground — and sticking to it. Why? Well, if you’re not seeing yourself as important, then no one else well. And, if you’re not listening to what you want, chances are at a certain point, you’ll become miserable.
And, you don’t deserve that.

Remember when you were in elementary school, and you were bullied on the playground? Well, if it was important to stick up for yourself then, then it’s even more important to stick up for yourself now as an adult.

So, the moral of all of this?

Learn to listen to yourself — and stick to your guns. Believe in yourself, and become your own advocate.

Guess Whose Giving Up Buying Books for Lent — Again?!?

Last year, I decided to give up buying books for Lent. The reason why was because I wanted to dip into the many books that I already had purchased and actually read them. This actually wasn’t that hard, and I was able to read 11 books that I had lying around and figure out if I want to keep them for my library or get rid of them.

As tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to do it. However, as I organized the closet where most of my books are kept, I realized something. I have over 25 books that I haven’t read yet.

 

Needless to say, I figured out what I was giving up for 

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Wandering around the Barnes and Noble Young Adult Section last year.

Lent this year.

However, what differs from this year is the fact that I won’t have ‘cheat days.’ Last year, I had allotted myself one or two trips to the bookstore to replenish. Usually, those would be special occasions, such as finding a book I wanted for a good price or to celebrate Saint Pat

 

rick’s Day. While they were few and far between, this time around, I want to ensure that I actually stick to it. And, get to those books.

So, as of tomorrow, I’m going to once again give up buying books. In that time, I hope to read at least ten of the books that have been lying around for a while. Some of the books I hope to read include: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned by Lena Dunham, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Carrie by Stephen King and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Furthermore, I hope to get to A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

But, before I tackle those books, I have some library books that I have to finish. However, after that, I’ll dive right in and get to those.

So, hopefully, at the end of this, I’ll have created some room with the books I don’t want to keep, and have gotten to some good reads. Wish me luck, folks. I’ll need it. 

Looking for a Valentine? This Could Be Why You’re Still Single.

Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away, and the hunt is on to find your valentine. However, some people may be wondering why it’s difficult for them to find love.

But, let me say this. I fully believe that one doesn’t need to have a significant other to be happy. In fact, there’s a benefit to being single for an extended period of time. It gives you a chance to focus on yourself. This time is crucial, because you do need that time to do you. It gives you a chance to grow, find things that you love about you, and figure out what you want in life.

And, I will also add that everything truly happens for a reason. So, the reason why you are having trouble finding love could very well be that it’s not your time yet.

But, if you’re still trying to figure out why it’s hard for you to find a partner, here’s a few reasons why. However, I will point out that I am not an expert — just a casual observer. Therefore, take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

You’re too picky.

The number one reason why people have a hard time finding the right person? They are too darn picky! Which, don’t get me wrong, can be a good thing. You know what you want.

However, let me point this out — when one is so picky that they have a list a mile long of requirements in a partner, it could dismiss a thousand other equally awesome candidates because they don’t have that one.

So, if you fall into this category, go grab a pad and pen, and write a list of all your requirements for the perfect partner. Then, go through it. If there’s anything that involves looks, income or level of fanciness on the date, then delete it. But, keep anything that involves personality or the way that they treat you. Those are the important ones.

You’re not open to meeting people.

To find someone, you truly need to be open to meeting people. You can find people in a number of different ways. Sure, you can do the basics — you go to bars and go online. But, that only scratches the surface of finding a great partner.

With that being said, there’s so many other ways to cause you to meet people — whether it may be joining a club, taking a class, or even going to a book signing. Just being open to meeting people and being social is the perfect way to help you find a special someone.

You’re too desperate.

You can always tell when someone’s desperate to meet you — or anyone in general. Therefore, tone down your desperate to meet someone. Trust me, it’s a major turn off.

Furthermore, this desperateness leads to clingines. Also a turn off.

Therefore, balance your life with other things than finding a mate, and trust me, it will happen.

You’re negative.

Are you always complaining about someone? Or, is your Twitter compiled on negative tweets? Newsflash — not many people like to hear that negative. In fact, they tend to shy away from that.

So, do your best to try to think positively. Trust me, not only will you feel better, but you’ll attract positivity as well.

You think you’re too good for anyone.

It’s one thing to enjoy the finer things in life and that you deserve the best. It’s another to have the attitude that you’re the best thing since sliced bread. Chances are, if someone sees that, they are going to run the other way, because this screams high maintenance with big, bold, capital letters. And usually, that makes a guy run for the hills. 

Definitely a turn off.

So, while you may have a high opinion on yourself — just remember that you too have your faults.

Let’s Keep Talking, Folks!

I haven’t written much about my anxiety for a while, which is odd because this blog was formulated as a way to get talking about mental health issues. Part of the reason why is because I felt like I was always saying the same thing over and over again, and let’s face it — not everyone likes to hear the same thing over and over.

However, today I would like to discuss the importance of awareness for mental illness. Yesterday, there was a huge movement on social media — the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. The day raised $6,919,199 and created a huge conversation.

While that’s awesome, we should be talking about mental illness and mental health every single day.

Truth be told, we need to erase the stigmas that float around in the universe. We need to move towards acceptance and towards a world where one doesn’t need to be afraid when saying that they too are struggling.

Mental illness is much more common than you think — whether it’s an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. And those are only a few of them. With a physical illness, you can tell that someone is suffering. However, with a mental illness sometimes you can not.

I have anxiety. Having anxiety sucks to be honest. It’s something that is similar to falling down the rabbit hole into Alice’s trip to wonderland. Unlike Alice, my anxiety can stem from anything. I deal with panic attacks — I guess you can say it’s my superpower.

As I grow older, I’ve gotten better at managing it. I learned that situations do change, anxiety does not. After all, what gives me anxiety? Stress. Fear of not getting enough done. Too much to do in little time. Anxiety can float in all situations. It hasn’t changed since my college days avoided my therapist at the school counseling center.

But what did change is my thinking pattern and how I think about a situation. Then — and only then — it gives me the power through it. Thank you to all of the books I read, my therapist and the people who remain to guide me through it.

With anxiety, though you worry. You worry how people perceive you. You worry that you’ll be judged. And, sometimes people kick you down. They tell you to suck it up and it will get better. Let me ask you this — if someone was throwing up would you tell them to still go to work? Or, if you broke your leg, would you be asked to stop limping around?

No you wouldn’t.

Therefore, mental health is just as important as the physical. Therefore, let’s change the way we talk about it.

However, let me say this. We need to erase the stigmas that come with mental health. How do we do that? We talk. So, let’s start a conversation. Let’s get talking.

That’s the first step to getting better.

It’s Takes Two To Tango

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the specific role that one plays in the relationship. What are the roles that I speak of? Well, you know. Those old fashioned ones, such as the man is the one that drives and pays.

Those are the ones that existed over fifty years ago. And, yes. As a woman, I will say it’s nice when a man does those things for me. In particular, the wooing stage of the relationship is when it’s crucial.

Let me ask you this though — what happens when you’re in a relationship? You know, a steady and stable relationship?

I think that’s the time when you begin to realize one thing — it should be 50/50. Relationships are a two way street. Both partners — no matter what their gender is — should want to put equal amount of effort into it. After all, if you both are in this thing together, you both should work at it together.

There are several ways to which this could be done. For example, you can rotate who does the driving and whoever doesn’t do the driving pays for the meal.The only exception to this would be if someone’s car is in the shop, or if it’s someone’s birthday. Or, you can both split the check — meaning that one person pays for dinner, and the other dessert. It depends on what works for your relationship, so it’s on a case by case basis.

Furthermore, I honestly don’t understand why those ideas exist in the first place. I think it’s important for both parties to go out of their way to make their special someone smile. That’s what keeps the relationship going and growing.

And, ladies let me ask you this — sure it’s important to be spoiled by your guy. But, he wants to be spoiled in return. And, he deserves it. After all, he’s a guy. Not a personal ATM. But, that’s a whole different argument altogether.

Therefore, I think if you’re going to be in a relationship — man, woman or agender — then you should be prepared for the effort it takes.

Guilt Manifesto

There are too many I wishes in life.

Too many regrets,

too much time reflecting on what could be done,

and moments where you wish you can do something differently.

 

I should have known this was going to happen.

I should have come by,

I should have said “I love you more,”

I should have tried to move on past 20 years of mistakes.

 

Only I did not.

Now it may be too late.

I remember why I’m angry,

and realize that maybe the angry isn’t worth it.

I realize that I may never get a chance to call you, or talk to you.

I realize that maybe I was wrong to push you away and dismiss you.

 

But, then I remember the fact you didn’t try to move past it too.

You still did your actions in an endless cycle.

You still took sides.

 

Maybe we’re both at fault here.

Maybe we’re the victims in the devil’s selfish war path.

Maybe we’re unsure how to act,

so we’re taking our sides based on what’s safe.

Maybe we’ll never be perfect,

but perhaps somehow we can erase the devil’s handiwork.

 

If we did it earlier, maybe we could have been better.

But the maybes in life are not reality.

But, that’s all we have left —

the comfort of what could have been.

 

If you ask me, it’s better than reality.