Dear Future Husband

Recently, I’ve read this article on the Odyssey called “To The Boy I’m Going to Marry.” The article was inspired by another blogger, who wrote a letter to her future husband. I decided I wanted to write my own letter to the lucky person I will eventually get to marry. So, without further adue, here’s my letter:

Dear Future Husband,

As I am writing you this letter, I am curious about your identity, and our story. What is your name? How did we meet? What is our love story? Are you tall? Are you agnostic? Are you in my life now, in 2016, as I am typing this letter to you? Perhaps you’re even reading this letter and wondering what I was thinking when I was writing this (and if you are, hi darling how are you?) Well, whoever you are, I am looking forward to meeting you, even if I have yet to meet you.

I sometimes think about you. I sometimes wonder if I will ever find you, as I swipe left and right for dates. I wonder if you’ve thought about me, who I am and how you’re going to find me. However, as I think about you, I realize that I’m not actively searching to find you, as I am not fighting the impossible currents to reach a guy that is not meant to be. Instead, I wait for you to come to me, and work on being a better me, for well me. You’ll come eventually, so why should I stress out about finding you?

However, this doesn’t change the fact that I still wonder about you. But, even though I am about to graduate college, and head into a new phase of my life, I realize that despite not having a solid guy in my life doesn’t mean that I’m never going to find you. It just means I haven’t found you yet.

So, whoever you are, if we haven’t met, then I can’t wait to meet you. If we have met, then I am surely looking forward to it. I am looking forward to the excitement of our first dates, the touch of our lips that very first time, and the countless smiles and laughter. I am looking forward to meeting you, as you will be the person who helps me float, rather than is the reason why I sink. I am looking forward to learning about you, why you laugh the way you do, and what you like the things that you like. With that being said, I hope you are enjoying your life, whatever you’re doing. If you’re in school, I hope you don’t stress out about it as much as I do. If you’re done with school, I hope work is something that you actually enjoy, versus a place that you dread to go to every day.

And most of all, whoever you are, I hope you are just as excited to meet me just as much as I am to meet you. But, until then, enjoy life.

With love,

Natalie

Can You Please Respect My Privacy?

For over two months, I had a boyfriend. For privacy purposes, we’ll name him Mike. During those two months, I neglected to update my relationship status on Facebook, nor did I share a single selfie  of the two of us on Instagram (which is unlike me, because I’m constantly sharing content on the app).

The reason why I chose to keep my relationship private was simple: I just wanted something real, without the constant interruption of technology. Often times, when I hung out with my friends, one thing that we would always do is post a selfie to Instagram or Facebook. After all, if it wasn’t on social media, did it really happen? Therefore, when it came to my relationship, I felt like it was better for me to keep it offline (this also had to do with not wanting to broadcast it to several members of my family who I haven’t spoken to or seen for a while). It had nothing to do with my boyfriend or how I felt about him, it’s just I wanted the privacy of growing together away from the digital spotlight.

I feel like with the constant use of social media, we lose that sense of privacy. It is as if we have out own personal set of paparazzi following us around every time we go somewhere. Only, unlike celebrities, we are actually asking for this attention.

According to an article from Science Alert, people who over share about their partner are likely to have low self esteem. And to some degree, I agree with that, because of it correlates with some of the friends I encounter with on my timeline.

Adding onto that, I’ve heard some conflicting statements about relationships and social media from friends and family. Some people say that by not updating your Facebook relationship status, you are in a sense trying to hide the relationship from family and friends, and are ashamed of the other person. Others say that by posting too much, you’re basically trying to put on a show, or trying to put on a false front for others to see. After all, no one can see past the screen, right?

With that being said, I would like to also like to add that with social media, it’s something that I think that you should do on your own terms, not on what other people think should be done. I have quite a few friends who are in relationships, however, I don’t see them post about it every single day. Despite the fact they don’t constantly update their status 24/7 about it, those same friends still have an “in a relationship status” on Facebook, as well as a picture of them with their significant other as their default. I have other friends that are also in love that did not change their Facebook status whatsoever, but they have each other in their profile pictures. Both of these couples are couples who are in it for the long haul, and it works for them.

Therefore, when it comes to relationships and social media, it’s up to you on how much (or little) you post. And while I don’t know when I will be in a relationship next, I know that I would probably like to not keep so hidden as I did the last time. But, with that being said, I know I would not be constantly updating every one of my 1,471 Facebook friends on every little date or adventure I go on with whoever the lucky guy may  be.

A Single Girl’s Input on National Boyfriend Day

Yesterday was National Boyfriend Day, and suddenly, my timeline was filled with pictures of cute couples, all accompanied by a paragraph explaining why they are so lucky to have their boyfriend in their lives.

As a single girl, one would think that I would want to stay off Instagram or be salty about the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend to post a selfie of. However, that couldn’t be further from the case, as I am happy for my friends who have found that special person that makes them happy, because they deserve to be happy with a great person.

In fact, I believe that having someone that makes you happy, supports you and is someone that makes you a priority is something that should be celebrated, and appreciated. I hate that we live in a society where people in relationships fear that sharing it can be overkill or too much. People in relationships shouldn’t have to feel that way just because they worry that they will become that person. Instead, they should be more focused on sharing that something good that they have found.

And as for us single girls, I think that instead of looking at this day (or even Valentine’s Day for that matter) as something that is excluding us who don’t have a boyfriend, we should instead focus on the fact that we will eventually find someone. We just haven’t found that boyfriend that makes us feel the things that our friends have yet. And, that’s perfectly okay. We’ll get there eventually, so there’s no reason for us to hate on those who already got there.

But, before I forget: happy National Boyfriend Day to the boyfriends out there who are not only are supportive of their girlfriends, but are the reason why this day even exists. You guys are awesome, and deserve to be celebrated. In fact, I hope to find someone with your qualities out there for my own boyfriend.

*Header photo credit

 

8 Easy Ways To Implement Mindfulness In Your Life

There are so many theories on how to live a happy and fulfilled life that it’s even a section at Barnes and Noble. However, I learned that it’s not as complicated as it seems. Here are some easy ways to incorporate mindfulness in your day to day life:

      • Make an upbeat playlist to play when you’re feeling down.
        Whenever I’m having a bad day, I blast my “Upbeat, Feel Good Music” playlist on Spotify, which is filled with several songs that help me feel empowered and happy. Having that playlist helps me not only get out of my bad mood, but is extremely uplifting. For me, my playlist is filled with songs by Demi Lovato and Beyonce, but that song differs for everyone. The key is to have a playlist of music in tow to help you jam out for a while, and essentially just feel empowered.
  • Journal.

I’ve kept a journal for the past four and a half years, and honestly, it is one of the most helpful things for me, both as a writer and as a person with anxiety. Recently, I’ve discovered it’s useful to help me reach a calmer sense of self. Whenever I have a panic attack, or even feel one coming on, I break out my pen and pad and begin to write until every emotion I am feeling exits my body, and is on the page. Even if you’re not a writer, I highly recommend you keeping a journal of some sort if you’re feeling stressed, because it’s helpful for you to reflect on yourself and what you’re feeling. Or, you can even use a journal to create a list of stuff that went right in your day. But, if you’re really stuck on how to start, check out this article by Journal to Wellness with some journaling tips for beginners.

  • Surround yourself with positive quotes.

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this, and every so often, search for some new ones to use as my wallpaper so I can have some sort of affirmation whenever I’m having a bad day. Surrounding yourself with some positive quotes not only makes you feel empowered and inspired, it also helps make you feel more positive. And who doesn’t need a healthy dosage of positivity in your day to day life? Furthermore, you can also purchase notepads and mugs to further surround yourself with some good vibes.

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It’s always good to remind yourself that you deserve the best.
  • Make time to do something that makes you happy everyday. 

For me, it’s reading a book every morning with a cup of coffee. However, for you it can be something different, such as devoting time to do a craft, or something like that. By doing this, you are not only carving time out for yourself, but also finding time to do something that you enjoy. Chances are, even if you only get a few minutes each day, by doing this you are in a sense happy.

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There’s nothing like a great book and a cup of good coffee to start the morning.
  • Check with yourself every now and then. 

Stressful day? Be sure to check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling, and see what you need to do to take care of yourself. This can be simple as making sure you take some time to eat if you’re hungry, or even take a brief break while at work. It’s important to do this, because if you’re neglecting your own needs, chances are you’re only going to be adding to the stress.

  • Drink a lot of water. 

According to this article from the Calm Clinic entitled “Can Anxiety Be Caused By Dehydration?” not drinking enough water can definitely worsen anxiety symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to stay hydrated through out the day. So, before you leave in the morning for a long day of school/work/both, be sure to make sure you packed a water bottle in your bag. Trust me, it’s helpful.

  • Create a “carrot” for you to get through the day/week/month.

Midterms/finals are stressful. However, instead of dwelling on the negative, which is only going to bring you down, think of something that you can treat yourself with, whether it may be a cupcake from your favorite place or a night out with friends. These carrots don’t have to necessarily be material things, however, simply by saying to yourself “all I have to get through is one more day, then I’m going to have a fun girl’s night,” will definitely help you be more optimistic.

 

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Cupcakes make the perfect “carrot” after a long day.
  • When stressed, ask yourself what you need to focus right now.

When dealing with stress, ask yourself what you can do right now to help reach that goal. For example, if you’re stressed out about not being able to find a job after you graduate, be sure to take small steps to get there. This may mean getting your resume ready, or tackling a few applications a day. Therefore, by taking those small steps, you reach a larger goal, i.e. full time employment.

*All photos were taken from my personal Instagram. 

A Response To A Huffington Post Article

Recently, I’ve read this article on the Huffington Post about how marriage is celebrated as being a bigger accomplishment than doing something such as a college graduation or another professional kind of accomplishment. After reading this article, I had given it great thought, as I agreed strongly with the writer’s point of view.

Last summer, I met the band Kansas, which is to date one of my biggest accomplishments. When I posted the picture, I only got a few likes on my Instagram. At that same day, a friend of mine posted a picture with her significant other on a trip that they had. That photo got at least double the amount of social media likes.

What I’m complaining about isn’t about the whole “I’m a bitter single girl” matter, rather than it’s about the whole reframing how we value things as a society. It’s 2016. Hillary is running for president, and she’s a freaking badass for lack of better word. There are larger set of accomplishments for women then being able to slip a diamond around their finger, or walking down the aisle wearing a white dress. No offense to those who have done this, but honestly, there needs to be a larger round of appreciation for those who worked hard for what they want, and actually get it.

As I mentioned in a post I wrote last week called “Single by Choice,” I feel that there is nothing wrong with choosing to be more career oriented versus relationship oriented. Granted, relationships are something that should be celebrated, as all kinds of love should be. However, why can’t we apply that same mentality to accomplishments like meeting a band or graduating college? Why can’t we throw a party for ourselves when someone finishes their thesis or gets the job of your dreams? Those are pretty damn big accomplishments if you ask me. Relationships are all about luck and chance. But, there’s nothing left to chance when you graduate college or get the job of your dreams. That is the result of hard work, determination and the power of will.

So, while the picture of a cute couple will rake in the likes for lack of better word, let’s apply that same mentality to the girls who graduated cum laude, the people who get places because they busted their ass to get to that point.

The Kind of Woman I Am

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the type of person that I want to be and grow to be. This goes past thinking about what I want to do with my life past December 16 (the day that I graduate). This is more of who I want to be as a person, what traits I want to have, and the type of impact I want to leave on the world.

After doing a lot of soul searching, listening to Demi Lovato, and journaling, I have my answers.

The type of person I want to be is someone who goes after what she wants. This person is strong, independent, and knows how to obtain whatever I desire. I want to be a role model to people, especially those with anxiety. I want to be a person who can be able to do things that scare her, and not let fear get in my way.

Basically, I want to be a bad ass.

At the end of the day, it’s the bad asses in the world who are the ones who control it. I want to change the world to make it a place that is more accepting, a place that opens up discussion of things such as mental illness, and a place that is initially better.

Ozzy Osbourne once said “I don’t want to change the world, I don’t want the world to change me.” However, I couldn’t disagree with him any more. I want the world to be changed by me, and I want the world to mold me. Therefore, I want to be awesome, and be amazing.

 

An Open Letter to My Ex Boyfriend

Dear Mon Cheri,

This is probably the last time that I’ll ever call you or anyone that for that matter. I am writing you, well writing this for the Internet to see, simply because I thought about you today. It’s a Friday night, and usually Friday nights were our date nights. They were when you and I would spend the evening in the company of great food and of each other.

I am over you, and carry no torch of romantic interest for you. However, I still wonder how you are doing. How is the process of medical school going for you? How is Dagohir going? Are you enjoying all of your classes? Even though I no longer long for your lips on top of mine, I miss you and regret that we will never talk again.

Since we broke up, it’s safe to say that I’ve become better off with out you. I no longer feel like I am dumb, simply because I phrase something in a way you don’t like it. I no longer feel the pressure of trying to please you, both sexually and as a person. While I wanted to do those things, I am realizing now that in trying to make you happy, a piece of me had always felt that I was lying to myself. I am leading a life that not only excites me, but also has an absence of my anxiety that constantly got in the way of our relationship. I am happy, and I have grown from the person who you used to kiss on top of your bed.

Despite all that has happened, I never once will say that I hate you, nor talk untruthfully ill about you. You were great to me, in terms of my anxiety and in terms of my life. You taught me so much about the world, about writing, and I appreciate having the chance to get to know you. I think of you fondly, instead of illy.  On the other hand, a part of me will always  not agree with the times when you treated me illy, the times when you acted like a snob, and how you broke up with me. With that being said, I will always respect you, because there was a reason why I was dating you, and there is no reason why I should be rude to you.

Like I said earlier, I hope you’re doing well. I hope you find what you are looking for in life. However, I also want you to know that I am doing fine. Actually, scratch that. Better than fine. I am happier, more alive, and I’d like to think that our breakup was the catalyst to help me get to that point.

Best,

Natalie

 

*Writer’s note: This post was written as intended as a way to release emotions/feelings that I am dealing with, and wanted to share. I hope that whoever is reading this can relate to it, or find interest in it. 

Single By Choice?

Six months ago, I would classify being single as being a curse. I wanted a relationship, a boyfriend, a partner. However, six months and a failed relationship later, I now look at my single status as being a blessing, as now I’m taking the time to be alone and better the relationship with myself. Long story short-I’m single by choice.

Before I continue let me say this: if I were to meet a nice guy, I am sure that whole first paragraph will change. However, this next relationship that I will be in with whoever I am meant to be with, I want to make sure I love myself and can make myself happy without having a guy in the picture. After all, if you don’t love yourself, what makes you think you’re going to have a healthy and happy relationship with someone else?

The answer is, you’re not.

A few week ago, I reactivated my Tinder, this time for keeps. I began swiping left and swiping right. I had matched with this guy, let’s call him Bob. We had a lot in common, and soon, we switched from Tinder to texting. After a weekend of texting, I soon realized that I wasn’t interested in that particular person, and began to cut back on the texting. He unfortunately didn’t, and continued to text me for much of the next few days. If I were to not answer for an extended period of time (yes, even though I am a millennial, I do in fact have times when I can’t get to the phone), he would only text me again and again. While I get it that he wanted to get to know me, it honestly creeped me out.  My annoyance quickly bubbled, and I wanted to throw my iPhone 6 against the wall to keep him from texting me anymore.

Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but you’re getting the point.

Earlier that weekend before his constant texting, I had went out with one of my friends. I told her that I had met a few guys using Tinder, and have given one my number. She was excited for me, however I interrupted her by saying that I felt that I wasn’t ready to date after my relationship ended three weeks ago. We went back in forth about the issue for a few minutes, until she got her sandwich.

The point of that story is that my decision to be single for a while has absolutely nothing to do with my ex. It has everything to do with me.

There’s something that is wonderful about improving the relationship with yourself instead of constantly searching for a new one to fill the void. This is starting with living a life that is making me happy. Instead of going on dates with a guy, I go on dates with myself, usually to Starbucks or to get some takeout. I make it a point to spend some time doing what I love to do best, whether that is writing in a journal or sketching in my sketchbook. My anxiety attacks, although I have some days when I’m a bit more anxious then normal, are pretty much gone (even though I rarely had them at the time of my breakup with my ex-boyfriend). I schedule time with my friends (and actually go through with the plans). And, I have honestly never been as happy with the life I am choosing to lead. This shift in happiness was something that came within me.

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My new Saturday tradition is to get a coffee and a bagel. This one is from Whitney Donut, which has delicious food!

So while I may not have anyone to be my cuddle partner other than my dog, I am beginning to see improvements in my relationship with myself. And as for the relationship thing, I’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, I have my puppy, my journal, and some Starbucks. And that’s all I really need.

I Won’t Apologize

Lately, I’ve been doing some reflecting on what’s right for me (in the sense of relationships), the type of person I wanted to be and what I stood for. This person, the new one whose emerged from all of this reflection, is someone whose both confident and set in her ways. And I’m not sorry.

Yeah, you heard me. I won’t apologize.

Sometimes, whether you’re in a relationship or even friendship, you sometimes encounter someone who makes you budge on things that you might not otherwise think about budging on. This can be a good thing, like if someone is trying to get you to try something new to eat. However, sometimes this can be a bad thing, like if someone was pressuring you to try things that you weren’t ready to try. It then becomes up to you to decide whether or not that person is someone that you want to be with or have in your life, especially if they won’t let up about it.

However, I’ve decided that if someone ever asks me to change, then I’m going to ask them to leave. I am me, take it or leave it, and am not going to ever change because someone has a problem with the fact that I read a ton of books or spends too much time taking photos for Instagram. I won’t apologize for my quirks, for my insecurities, and for my loud music. I’m not going to move faster or slower in relationships, just because someone wants something from me that I’m not ready to give. I know what’s right for me, and that’s much more important to me than keeping someone in my life that may not deserve to be there in the first place.

And, I won’t apologize for it.

Counting My Blessings

On 3 a.m. Sunday morning, I woke up to my car alarm blaring. As I raced to check out the outside scene through my window, finding nothing, I thought nothing of it and went back to bed.

Later on that day (or morning), I got a phone call from my mom, who had left the house to embark on some errands. She said she thought someone had hit my car and ran off. I jumped out of bed, put on some shoes and raced outside to find the front driver’s side tire completely dented. Having just taken my collision off of my car (as it was 15 years old), you can say I felt like I was screwed, not to mention upset. What was I going to do? How was I going to pay for this? (Also, keep in mind that I had also just went to get my car serviced only the day before)

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My car post getting hit.

After a police report was filed and my mechanic was called, I was finally able to relax. And then, I soon realized that I was lucky (or as lucky as one could be in this sort of situation). I wasn’t in the car when it happened, nor was I hurt. My car, even though it’s going to cost a bit of money to fix, was still drivable, and wasn’t severely damaged.

While the situation isn’t exactly ideal, at the end of the day, I count my blessings and realize that I was as lucky as one could be in this sort of situation.

And, that’s a blessing.