Let There Be Light

Nowadays, I can safely call myself an optimist. You know, someone who sees the light in the situations — awkward scenarios, and life taking unexpected turns that left me thunderstruck. While they were the cause for worry, I always made sure that going in, hey man I try to make the best of that. I try to sit down and come up with a plan to make things better. After all, sometimes it can turn out great? Right?

With that being said, what makes someone an optimist?

To me, someone who considers themselves to be an optimist is someone that always looks to the bright side to things. She is someone who sees the benefits, which outweigh the overall pitfalls. She is also someone who sees the glass as being half full versus half empty.

For example, let’s say you’re asked to work on a Saturday or holiday. Let’s be honest — it sucks working on a Saturday. Looking on the bright side though it’s more cash in your wallet.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about optimism and pessimism. I’ve been surrounded with a lot of pessimists and people that see the downright negative in every single thing that they are surrounded with. Sometimes, I try to be the light in their darkness. Like, if a friend is complaining about something that she frequently complains about, I try to get her to see the positive or ask her what’s good about her day. However, at other times, I just try to shake it off as being an eclipse on my otherwise sunny day.

However, becoming an optimist wasn’t easy. It was the result over a year of therapy. You see, when I first entered therapy, I was as a pessimist through and through. My world at the time was full of darkness, and I wanted nothing more than to poke my heads through the storm clouds and bask in the sunlight.

My therapist taught me how to make my own damn sunlight. She would constantly ask me whenever I would complain about something, well what was good in your day? Eventually, that became a thought I’ve began to ask myself. Sometimes, whenever I would have a bad day, I would go to my journal and write a list of all of the good in my life.

With that being said, I’ve learned that while I am not in control of circumstance, I am in control of how I attack scenarios. Therefore, I try to make the best out of it. I try to smile. I try to think of ways to change it, and remember that everything does happen for a reason. And, I may not know that reason at the time, but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

Most importantly, though, I learned that I can choose to be the light or the darkness. So, I choose to be the light. After all, the sun poking out of the clouds after a lengthy storm is the first sign that it’s over right?

Right. That’s why they call it calm after the storm.

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In Bloom

“Some kind of magic happens late at night

When the moon smiles down at me, and bathes me in its light”

Brand New Day, Josh Radin

Lately, I have been obsessed with the song Brand New Day by Josh Radin. I first heard the song when a friend from high school sent it to me to soothe me after a breakup with my first boyfriend, but lately it has held a new meaning to me.

As the April showers begin to clear up, it seems almost as if everything is brand new. It seems as if there is an endless plethora of new opportunities, all within reach. The mistakes from winter seem to be washed away, and all that is left is just sunshine and beautiful flowers.

I feel almost as if this season is a brand new day for me. For the first time in God knows how long, I truly feel as if I will be okay. I am peace with what happened in the past, and plan to leave it in the past. Now, I am ready to look and move forward. I am ready to seize every opportunity that I possibly can, and to look at the new ones that I am so lucky to have with a new lense. The world is my oyster; I am ready to take the pearl.

So, in some senses, I am in bloom like the flowers outside. I am done hiding the weight of my mistakes, broken hearts, and anxiety. I am ready to leave that behind for the beauty of a new tomorrow. And to quote the song once more, for the first time, in such a long time, I know I will be okay.

And, that my friends, is such an awesome feeling.

Raise your latte cups and let’s celebrate new beginnings. Let’s embrace every opportunity that comes our way, and let’s try to have a clean slate. For some, this may be just a celebrating a new season. For others, it may be more literal, as you graduate and begin a new chapter. Either way, you too will be okay.

You too, will be in bloom.

Make It Happen

My biggest pet peeve is when someone talks about something they are unhappy about in their life that they have the power to change, or make better. This may be in any aspect of life, from where you work, your state of mind to relationships. Chances are, there is something you can do to alleviate that stress or change it. It starts with you.

Throughout my life, I’ve had many shitty things happen to me. To top that off, I also have anxiety. These things were definitely roadblocks in the road to my happiness. Thanks to my therapist and Jen Sincero (the author of You Are a Badassgreat read by the way), I have learned just because I have anxiety doesn’t mean that I can’t change or control what is bringing me down.

Whenever I want something – from a job to a boyfriend to an outcome – I ask myself what can I do to get there? I then ask myself what steps I can take to get there.

For example, I want to write a novel — a daunting task. To get the outcome I want – a completed novel – I ask myself what I can do to get it done. I can do NanoWriMo. I can write a chapter a day/week. I can schedule a dedicated writing time, and progress further and further. I have options. I have a plan.

By having a plan is the first step to completing that lofty goal.

This isn’t the only aspect of life that you can apply this mindset to. I have anxiety, which causes a lot of unhappiness. With anxiety, you have two different options. You can either just accept panic attacks as a reality, or you can do what you can to change them. This same philosophy applies to when you are dealing with an awful situation, whether it may be dissatisfaction in a job. You can change it by finding a new one, or doing whatever you can to change the circumstances.

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You have the power to change that. It’s up to you.

No matter what you want in life, there’s always a way to change it. You just have got to figure out the steps to get there. And, then you do them.

As the weekend commences, think about what outcome or goal you want to get to. Then, think about what you can do to get there. It may be writing a few pages a day to get that novel done. It may be learning to see the good in everyday to make it stand up against the bad. It may be immersing yourself in getting back out there to meet new people.  If you want to go to France, ask yourself how am I going to get to France. Whatever outcome you want, you can make happen.

So, my concluding question is: what’s stopping you?

Attracting Positive Vibes

In life, there are some people who just seem to be negative, and weigh you down instead of lifting you up. Those are the people who often spend their time looking at the glass being half full instead of empty, using the social media as a blank canvas for their complaints, and insert negativity into the world rather than positivity.

I’ve had friends who are like that. Every time that I would go out with them, I would feel ten pounds heavier after. These are the friends who are the drama queens, the ones who get more out of life by trashing others behind their backs. When I was in upper high school and lower college, I would find it amusing. Then, as I began to fall into the rabbit role of the effects of anxiety, I began to see them clearly. Instead of finding my outings with those friends to be amusing, I began to dread them in the way you would a dentist appointment. I then realized that it was because of how I left every encounter, every coffee date, and every shopping trip. Therefore, I realized it was time to leave those friends behind.

Positivity Attracts Positivity

Someone, maybe my therapist or Buddha I can’t remember, once said positivity attracts positivity. I believe that is true. By cutting the negative people out of my life, I am realizing that I am left with one thing – positive vibes.

By cutting the negative people out of my life, I soon evolved into an entirely different person. I became happier, and looked to enjoy the positive things in my life. You see, by hanging out with people who are negative, you become negative. By surrounding yourself with positivity, you become positive. It’s not rocket science. It’s just simple.

However, how can we become more positive beings? Leaving the friends who are negative influences is only one way. But, there is so much more you can do. You can look at the bright side of things, even when there is pouring rain outside and everything is wrong. You can learn to treat yourself well, by spending time alone in libraries and cafes. You can make time to do things that you love, such as reading books or magazines in subjects that interest you, doing crafts, and doing the things that make you smile. That way, you too can become more positive. It’s that easy.

And the more that you fall in love with your life, the less negative you’ll become, which will spread to those who you are surround yourself with.

So, yes Mondays pretty much suck. However, they don’t have to be. Start by looking at the positive in every situation. I can guarantee that you’ll find happiness in it.

Good Vibes?

I am a huge believer in the Evil Eye, Hamsas and good fortune. I wear some version of the evil eye to ward off some evil or ill wishes that may be floating around. I believe in the concept of a lucky jade green necklace, thinking that is the reason why that good thing happened to me on that particular day.

Due to my beliefs in the evil eye, I believe there are some people out there that do not wish me luck — despite their constant assurance that they are happy for me. Therefore, I do not post certain things about my life on social media, such as whether or not I am in a relationship, or if I were to get a new job or car.

When I was in a relationship last summer, I discussed this with my therapist. She began to explore the concept of the Evil Eye with me, and even going onto say while there is a lot of bad vibes out there, it is up to me to counter them with good ones.

Lately, I’ve begun to think about all of the kinds of vibes that are floating around out there. As a millennial, it is my instinct to share – on social media, and by texting. Whenever something good happens, I want to post it on my Facebook. Not for the likes (although I do in fact admit that the feedback is something I gain from doing that), but because I want to say I did something I am proud of. For me. Let’s face it, I deserve to feel proud of myself.

For example, when I first started my job, I posted a status about it. When my mother found out, she said that there are people out there who, like I mentioned earlier, might want me to be successful – at least on the surface.

Underneath all of the likes, it’s safe to say that there are people who do not wish you well. There are people who are jealous of what you may have – jobs, a great boyfriend, or great friends. They may be friends who may not be having such a great time in their life, or people from high school who just want to talk about you.

With that being said, we have a few options — don’t post anything ever, get rid of the friends who don’t wish you well, or counter it with good vibes.

I think I’d go with the latter.

At the end of the day, there are people who are going to be jealous of you sometimes. That is only human nature. Just because there may be someone who wishes us a thumbs down, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t post it. It means that you have to instead put out all of the positive vibes possible.

And how do you do that?

You do that by being positive, by wishing your friends well (and meaning it), and by making peace with the fact that while today it is not your day, your friend deserves to be happy. Just like you.

So, post that status. Post that selfie with your boyfriend. And remember, while you have no control over whether or not someone wishes you will, you do have control over what you wish towards them.

And that is ten times better.

What I Learned in My Jewelry and Metals Class 

During my last semester as a college student, I took a jewelry and metals class. My train of thought was this: Oh, jewelry. I like to bead and do wire working things. I need a free elective. Why not?

It soon became the biggest mistake ever.

I soon realized that it wouldn’t be wire or metal working. Instead, it was using metal, and hardware stuff to make small pieces of jewelry. And, if you know me, I don’t know anything about tools and carpentry.

Needless to say, I struggled. And hurt myself.

There were many times I questioned whether or not I would actually pass the class. I spent several nights at the jewelry lab, desperately trying to catch up with my classmates with their projects. My weekends were spent sanding down my projects for the next class.

And want to know what I told myself?  Well, I’m sure you do, because if not, you would not be reading this. I told myself that it was okay to struggle and not be good at the class. Why? Because I had never even touched this stuff in my life, and it’s something that I have no experience in. So, I was supposed to not be good at it.

By having that attitude, I somehow persisted and got a C. But, that class taught me more than I should never, ever go near power tools again. It taught me to not give up, even though something was challenging for me. It taught me to keep going, ask questions, and try something new when the first thing didn’t go as planned. It also taught me to accept that I am not good at something, and do whatever I can to gain the skills to be good at that very thing.

And, that is the best lesson that I could have ever gotten as an undergraduate. Having that amount of patience with myself has become handy, especially at my job where I have a very limited working knowledge of a clinical mental health background.

So, taking a jewelry class may not have been the best choice for me, and I probably will never use the skill set that I gained again (I think my professor can breathe a sigh of relief.) However, I still am glad that I took the class because I still managed to learn something. How about them apples!

A Note For Those Looking For A Relationship..

To Those Looking For A Relationship,

Don’t. Stop looking. Now.

Okay, so before you all label me as a crazy single lady, please just hear me out. I do not mean stop looking and close up shop to buy cats. I mean stop looking as making it your constant obsession that you need to obtain. Stop looking for it as in stop treating dating as a hunting game, where you are treating the person that you wish to get like a piece of meat, only something to satisfy your desire for a plus one.

Instead, stop looking for a relationship. Stop focusing on why you do not have a bae, and stop complaining about it. Stop dwelling on what you don’t have, and instead, start on something new. After all, there is nothing worse than hearing someone complain about their lack of relationship, or having someone that you are dating by more desperately seeking you. Definitely not attractive.

Start focusing on you. Start doing things that make you happy, whether it may be to go to a ceramics class, or spending time hiking. Start spending time meeting people and getting to know them. By the more people you meet, the more chances you’ll get into being a relationship because you are meeting people that are probably sharing the same interests as you.

Basically, stop looking. It will come. It is just not your time yet to have someone special in your life. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “it comes when you least expect it?” It is true-whether you are taking about relationships or finding that ring that you thought you lost. You are awesome, and it will happen for you. So stop searching!

Sincerely,

Natalie