I’ve been waiting on something extraordinary to happen, so I could fill the world in with what new “adult” like things I have learned. And not to say that I haven’t learned anything noteworthy, rather… More
A theme I’ve seen lately is that everyone I know, sometimes even including me, is just miserable. Maybe we are miserable because our kids are bouncing off the walls or financially we are miserable because no matter how we save we can’t seem to get out of debt. Maybe, and perhaps the worse, is that we are miserable because of our job or our relationship- two things that take an enormous chunk of time and emotion to deal with.
I’ve struggled with these feelings as well, and I think it’s pretty normal for the ebb and flow of how life goes. One good day, two bad. One good kid, one kid mooning their kindergarten teacher. Such is life.
But being miserable? That is not a part of life.
Let’s clarify. If your hamster dies, you can be miserable. That’s sad and it hurts, and then after some time it’s not so painful and no longer miserable. BUT. If your relationship makes you miserable because Nancy accidentally made that dinner you hate or Will was abducted by a demigorgon (sorry, playing Stranger Things the Game right now) those are not “miserable qualifiers”.
Here’s why: if Nancy made you dinner and you hate it, make your own dinner. If Will was abducted, go find his stick self! If your boss gets angry because you were late turning in a project and now you’re in trouble- don’t turn in late projects! This isn’t to say that we need to do everything ourself for things to work out- this is to say we need to take some responsibility for our own happiness and stop waiting around for other people to fulfill that.
Now I know it’s not that easy, especially with kids. Your child will continue to stick boogers under the table while you’re not looking- that’s their sole job right now. They will “accidentally” forget to clean out their lunch box for the 6th time in a row and you really shouldn’t be surprised by that.
Kids will be assholes. Bosses will be assholes. Sometimes partners will be assholes. AND THAT IS NORMAL. (I bet even sometimes you’re an asshole too. It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone)
The thing is- you can’t change a freaking thing about this. You can’t hold your kid upside down until they promise to clean their room, or force your spouse to take out the trash if they don’t want to.
But this is what you can do.
- Find a new job
- Talk with your spouse (likelihood they know they are being an ass is pretty slim)
- Find a creative outlet where other people don’t mess up your beautiful things and you can find something to cherish within the world of assholes.
- Realize you can’t control others or make them do anything they aren’t willing to do
- Learn that any change you want to see starts from within
- Stop expecting to be happy all the time and stop beating yourself up when you have a bad day
- Know that everything is temporary
- Know that things really aren’t that bad, you’re just in the midst of it and so it seems bad.
- Stop making excuses and blaming other people for your downfalls and start taking initiative.
You see. You can’t change Nancy, or Will, your spouse, boss, friend, kid, parents. You can only change YOU and the things YOU do. The sooner we realize that and start to take some initiative the better things will be.
If you’ve been here a while you will know that I am usually quite active on my blog. The past three weeks or so I haven’t done anything with Adultish. Not because I want to quit or because I am over it, but because I am in an area of growth. Almost like when you have a baby and they go through a growth spurt and they need extra cuddles and sleep and they get cranky. Yes, it’s exactly like that. I have been really introspective lately and just trying to search deep for what it is I feel I am missing. Sometimes I feel like I am just missing coffee, and other times I have to stop myself from driving to Canada when I am supposed to go to work. We are going through some things, that is for sure.
I wrote this a while ago, and while searching for whatever I felt I needed at the time, I found this draft tucked away when I was thick in my feels. Interestingly enough, I am in the same state even now, weeks later.
“I’m putting my life on Do Not Disturb. Not that I am saying “don’t talk to me”. But that I am saying “slow down”. I woke up and I listened to the birds, I felt the cool morning wind on my face and it was exhilarating. I watched bunnies pop around with their white tails and I just sat in complete peace. I have been learning how to be in the “now” as Eckhart Tolle explains in his book, The Power of Now.
It’s the concept of transcending the worry or the pain in your body and being fully present- something he explains far better than I can. It’s magical- the ability to transcend what seems to be hanging over you.
On a hundred roller coaster rides that terrified me, I was able to reach a state of nothing. I know maybe that sounds so stupid, but it was amazing. If I am upside down three hundred feet in the air and can be “nothing”, what’s stopping me from doing that with emotions and physical pain? My spine is bruised from ten hours of roller coaster rides with BK. I have a headache from being dehydrated and that “sun poison” feeling you get when you’re out too long and close to death. But I am nothing.
Nothing- but not in the way depression makes you feel “nothing” but rather the ability to almost be out of body a bit (I know, total freak) and control what I am spending my mental energy on.
I am on Do Not Disturb- I simply can’t be disturbed. Sure, work disturbed my zen like state, but only when I let it.”
This resonates with me as I just came back from a vacation and just walked back into reality. I am still learning how to be okay with things that I can not change. I wholeheartedly believe that your reactions to situations can change everything. If you are okay on the inside and at peace you are more able to positively react to what is going on in the outside. Every situation has both positive and negative potential, and your reaction makes that determination. Being in a zen like state, or choosing happiness in your life sets you up to react in an edifying way. So while we can’t put our jobs or relationships on do not disturb, we can mentally decide what we allow to have hold over us.
I grew up in Texas and lived there in all the Southern Glory until I was 18. Then I moved to what is arguably the opposite side of the world, San Diego. Stan The Man, BK and I went on a cruise leaving from New Orleans, Louisiana and then stayed a few days once returned to explore good old NOLA.
It’s important to note that I have never considered my self a “southerner” and I’ll gladly take someone calling me a “valley girl” as a compliment. But I guess it’s true, you can’t take the south out of a southerner. And here’s why:
When you’re raised in the south
You say thank you, to everyone, all the time. It doesn’t matter if you hold the door open for me or if you scan my boarding ticket. THANK YOU.
When you’re raised in the south you greet everyone. In the elevator, the hall, on the bus- everyone gets a smile and a hello. It’s just the nice thing to do.
When you’re raised in the south you instinctively know (especially if you’re up against the Gulf of Mexico) that you need to pack shorts for the hot hours, a sweater for before the storm, umbrella for the storm the weather forecaster didn’t mention, and then a bathing suit for an hour later.
When you’re raised in the south you don’t straighten your hair. You scrunch it or put it in a pony tail because humidity is real. Or you pay lots of money for good anti-frizz products.
When you’re raised in the south rain is nothing special. And you’ve likely stood outside during the beginning stages of a hurricane as a child. It’s what you do.
And lastly, when you’re born in the south nothing scares you more than an old granny because you know she can go from sweet cookie maker to devil worshipper in 3 seconds flat.
Let’s paint a picture, shall we. You know those super cute wrap dresses that are all the rage right now? Basically a bath towel with a string in the midsection that’s supposed to stay nice and tight and keep you covered. I think they are really adorable, and I have always been a huge fan of dresses anyway- no pants needed and it’s just one thing to pull out of the closet. So I bought one (okay six) and I love them! Comfortable, not restricting and, like mentioned, no pants needed. Well it looks great from the outside. This super cute dress with a cinched in waist, falls a few inches above the knee and has just the perfect V-neck. To the outside world, I got it going on!
But realistically- this dress comes untied eighty-two times a day. One swift wind picks my dress right up and I am not very covered at all then. When I sit down the two pieces of fabric that aid in the “wrapping” are never together. One has fallen on my desk chair while the other is creeping up my leg and I am left constantly moving this damn dress so I don’t get written up for a dress code violation at work. I can see it now “Came to work in hooker apparel”. Let’s not.
But I do LOVE this dress- it’s cute and comfortable and easy and it looks good! This all got me thinking about society and what we think we know about other people. No one knows I am constantly correcting this dress- they just keep complimenting me on it! Just as no one knows last week was incredibly rough for me, or how I struggle to get out of bed sometimes. All they see is what I let them see- this 24 year old in a wrap dress and cute shoes always super (moderately) positive.
A lot of times we assume we know the lives of others. We paint this picture in our head “nice clothes, nice car, always looks put together, lives in an expensive part of the city…” and we just assume things about them. I’m guilty of this. I assume that those people who live in the nice gated communities with the Infinity SUV or the Lexus convertible are super financially stable and “have their shit together”. But little do we know they are swimming in debt, or their parents bought that Lexus and its 6 years old. We don’t know that they worked so incredibly hard and they have also had their years of eating boxed macaroni every day. We don’t put things into context- we just assume.
This assumption leads us to comparison. We begin to question why our peers have nicer things than us, or go on vacation when we can barely afford a pedicure. But that’s just the same. You don’t know their finances, their secrets, the ins and outs of their lives. You only know what people let you see- and usually that’s all fluff anyway! No one is ever going to tell you that they have to debate between groceries and gas, but the Coach purse was a gift from their grandma for graduating college. Spshhh- they are going to tote that beautiful purse like the awesome gift that it is because that’s what makes them happy!
Now, I don’t have a Coach purse, a Lexus or Infinity, I sure as shit do not live in a gated community. My purse is from Kohls, I drive a Toyota and I live in a room of fairy lights. It hasn’t been but in the last year when I have had full control of my finances that I began to buy “nice” things. A skin care line from Clinique, too many Ulta points, a gel lamp and polish from Amazon that saves me money on manicures and one Kate Spade wallet (bought at Nordstrom Rack). Those are my “nice” things. But let me write a blog post or take an Instagram photo of my wallet, my Clinique filled counter top and see me at work with perfect nails at all times- you will assume things as well.
We are all living our life like a wrap dress in the wind… super great on the outside but low key, we know at any moment we could shock the world. So don’t compare yourself to others based on what you see on Instagram or Facebook, or by what their clothes say. Regardless of if they look poor, or rich, look like they have their shit together or not. It’s exhausting to compare and it really does no good.
Instead, focus on yourself. If you see someone went on Vacation and you want to go don’t envy them, think about saving or planning a trip. Ask them where they went and what they loved about it instead of talking to others about how you never get to go anywhere. Use these moments when you could compare yourself to instead grow yourself.
Adultish will be a year old in September and I am pretty excited for her birthday! In essence, I have a one year old. I spend a lot of time checking in on Adultish, cleaning her, feeding her new blogs, interacting with her through all of you guys… A blog is a commitment- at least if you want to do it right! And chances are, if you stumbled across this blog you too want to do it right! Kudos to you for doing some research, you’re ahead of the game!
1. Find a few blogs to follow that you consider to be inspiration. Personally for me this is a toss up between Damn Girl, and Kalyn Nicholson’s entire life. To do this, search for any like minded people in the Discover area and sort by DATE not by relevance. Apparently (learned this through research) the first hour your blog is live is super important. Being able to find other peoples blogs will give you a community to talk with but also it also gives you fresh perspectives on how to live your own life or things that you might want to implement.
2. Invest in your blog. I will always recommend investing in what you believe in. Invest time, invest money in books, money for a cute blogging atmosphere, and of course money for COFFEE. Cause you will need lots of it. Think about it like a class, you need to study, do some research, and spend some time digging deeper so that you can get the full picture. Blogging is the same way and if you want something you have to work for it.
3. Find your niche. Find the one thing that sets you apart from other people, and be unapologetically you about it. This could mean that you are a feminist, a straight laced Christian, or a divorced 24 year old who loves Jack and Coke and the F word (but also puppies). You don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea- but you do need to be true to yourself.
4. Take a ton of photos! This is something I don’t usually do unless I am on vacation, but your readers want to see what you’re up to, and a picture is worth a thousand words (words you don’t have to type).Take outfit photos when you’re amazed at your style skills and take photos of your disaster room and show the world because that’s YOU being YOU and that’s exactly what people want to see.
5. Pay it forward. I will always be one to feature other bloggers on my blog because if I love them, I know you will too! Featuring other bloggers is a way to cross followers and build your own following while helping a friend out as well. I read a lot of other blogs and it helps me become a better person. Maybe I can tell you How To Kick Anxieties Ass, but another blogger can tell you About Anxiety to begin with. We all work together and each of us are able to speak to different people, on different levels, about different things. You sharing a blogger might be the way someone learns about dealing with depression, or having a positive mindset.
6. Let people know what you’re doing! Vegas Friend was completely unaware that blogging was an actual thing… and now he takes 99% of the photos you see. My friends read my blog and some even share them. It’s nice to have support. It’s also nice for friends to read a blog and get a download of your life and stay in touch. When you are on your blogging platform, go back to the search tool and look for blogs like yours- comment something true and authentic and lead them back to your blog! I have found that people who are true and authentic are always ones I feel comfortable reading.
Above all, remember to love what you are doing and be passionate about your blog. Readers sense fake people, and nobody likes a fake person! Once I truly opened up on my Coffee Catch Ups I was greeted with a lot of compassion and “omg, me too!” comments. It was nice to let the guard down and just be real about my current life happenings. I hope these things were helpful to you and that you (at least) implement one of these items into your blogging goals.
This wasn’t the blog I planned to put up this week, but when life gives you lemons… you call your mom-thing and cry. When I started Adultish I wanted everyone to be able to gleam a bit of wisdom from my mistakes, follow my journey and only experience the lessons and none of the hardship. I wanted to learn the shitty things and then tell you all how to better deal, or avoid those situations. I put so much focus on maintaining goals, being “adult”, having your shit together… being “perfect”. And while I do believe that growing up and paying your bills is undeniably important, I don’t think the way I have been doing this adulting thing is very realistic. Let’s rewind, shall we…
When I was married I was a totally different person. Very in my feelings and emotional, very pity-party and not really fun. I didn’t have my license, didn’t try too hard to get it, and I didn’t really strive or work towards anything at all. I counted on my husband very intensely, and that’s what “worked” in our relationship. Until, it didn’t work anymore. This all happened, probably, when I started to realize there was more in the world than what I was doing. I wanted to run again, and read controversial things, go to friends houses… I think I was starving for something new and exciting and that was not the person my husband married. Now, of course, I don’t know if this is why I went from married to homeless, but I am sure it probably played a pretty significant role. I don’t think I will ever know the reason why- but I do know I was starting to get very restless with the same thing everyday.
Now I have always been extremely hardcore. For most people there is black, white, and gray. For me it’s black and white. I either master something or totally screw it up. When budgeting I will either not spend a dime for 27 days, or spend an entire paycheck in an hour. I really have zero middle ground. . When I was married I was super dependent. And now that I am divorced and on my own I am stubbornly independent. The moment I moved out a switch flipped and I told myself I couldn’t screw up again. I felt like I had a second chance to do things and make something of myself. It’s like I got so scared of ever depending on someone or messing up that I made a vow to only count on myself and work my tail off. I honestly think if I was on fire I wouldn’t ask for help some days. It’s annoying, even to me. I think all of these responses to life trauma are extremely normal…
So let’s come back to the present moment where I am newly 24, divorced for about a year and my day dreams occupy an incredible amount of my time. I am obsessed with trying to save money, finish my degree, excel in my job, keep my place clean, trying to sleep 8 h/night, get A’s in my classes, keep up with Adultish, and be a nice person. All of these things are incredible, and absolutely imperative to work on in order to be a functioning human being. But I had a conversation that shook me to my depths.
*set the scene: me in tears (because I had lemons for lemonade but someone had better lemons… or something like that)*
Me: “But I am just agitated! I am working so hard, trying to do all of these things, and I’ve only made it this far!”
Magical Human: “You have only been on your own for a little over a year. You got a car, your license, saved, started school, moved into your own place… You’ve done the best you can with what you have… I mean what is it you think you are missing or lacking?”
And boom, like a ton of bricks crashing into my mediocre lemonade it hit me- I have some severely unrealistic expectations. In trying so hard to better myself and work towards the next thing, I have starved myself from reality and being appreciative of where I am. I really do remember crying and hurting because I wanted to have some money saved, and I wanted my own car, and the freedom a license brought. Now I have that, and so much more but I am only looking at what’s next. All I can think is how I want to advance in my job NOW, and move into a bigger place NOW, and get my degree NOW. But when we become so consumed with what we don’t have, it mentally destroys us.
I have a whole time line in my head of how things will work out, but most of these things take a considerable amount of time, like saving X amount and finishing my degree. These are excellent long term goals, but I need to focus on short term goals that help me get to the long term ones.
Of course I still totally believe in the importance of bettering yourself and getting your shit together. I will always be the person to try and make everything perfect- that’s just who I am. I will always rearrange my place 6 times a month and need to buy a new pair of shoes to spruce up my life. It would be a cold day in hell the day I didn’t want to update, organize or better something.
If you take anything from all of the tears and hydration I lost learning this lesson, it’s two things…
One- Long term goals are great. Short term goals help you keep your sanity.
Two- Sometimes the ability to see where you are versus where you were is the lesson it’s self. Always be grateful for where you are in life- even if it’s still miles from your goal.
Hello lovelies, and welcome back to Adultish! Now as you know if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time I am about as anxious as they come. I’m talking I can’t tie my shoes if I am hesitant about my breakfast choice kind of anxious. Anxiety is such a complex “thing” (let’s not call it a disorder just to be nice). Nicculent has done an amazing job at outlining what anxiety is, and how to tell if you have it. This is a collaboration we have worked hard on and to get the full effect make sure you check out her blog on this as well! In this blog we will talk about ways to manage your anxiety… and let me tell you, I have definitely found some tricks along the way!
Firstly, I think it’s really important to come to terms with the idea that you are anxious. I don’t believe in hiding your feelings and hoping they will go away. That’s the equivalent of putting a blanket over a pile of laundry and pretending it’s folded- while we have all been guilty, we are just lying to ourselves.
Now that you know you’re an anxious little bundle of emotions, try to rationally think about what it is that’s making you anxious. Take your anxiety as an opportunity to reevaluate your current situation and ask yourself what could be done to resolve the problem. This takes a tremendous effort to step outside of the “feelings” box you are in and enter a happier place.
This happy place can be whatever you want it to be. Think beach, forest, at home with your partner, with your parents, or alone in a bath tub with a bottle of wine (guilty). When you become anxious think about this happy place, it will lower your heart rate and allow your thoughts to swim a bit slower so you can actually *think* about what is going on.
While you are rationally thinking about your life and visualizing yourself in a tub as big as the Ganges river, your thoughts can either be happy or good. Usually when we are anxious we are also mean to ourselves. Thoughts like “why didn’t I do this, ugh so stupid!” swim around and that hammers us into an even more anxious little ball of emotion. Instead of letting your “mean voice” control the scene, allow the positive voice to come into play. Think “I know this didn’t go as planned, but what can I do now.”. When we think negatively we charge the vicious cycle of anxiety. When we think positively, we calm the cycle, we ground ourselves and become more realistic in our thinking.
Now of course not everything is that easy, and it takes a very strong mind and heart to implement these steps as they are mentally challenging. But what you already know about anxiety is that certain things will serve as triggers to your anxiety. For me, I am most anxious when my apartment isn’t clean, or when I don’t get enough sleep. Situations out of my control that make me anxious is when I think someone is mad at me. These things I might not have complete control over and to think my apartment can be immaculate at all times is just a psychotic thought I have given up on. So instead, I learned to change my approach. If I think someone is mad at me, I rationally think if I have upset them, and even if I have, I tell myself I can not allow it to steal my joy.
It’s not like everytime you are experiencing severe anxiety that you have to play along with these mind game mentioned above. Sometimes you need a quicker, more realistic “fix’. This is when I recommend the following:
- Talk to a friend, let them in, and maybe cry a little. It’s good for your soul and you will feel lighter- I pinky promise.
- Go for a walk outside. Sunshine helps with your mood so much, and getting your body moving will make your mind stop.
- EAT. Make sure you eat something throughout the day. I have noticed if I accidentally skimp on meals that my anxiety is 10x worse. I think it is the sugar crash.
- Write it out. Take all of your anxious little feelings and thoughts and give them another home other than your mind. As the words form on your paper let them stay there, and do not give them permission to come back into your thoughts.
- Talk to a doctor. When my anxiety and depression was at its worse I went to the doctor and was prescribed medicine that helped me SO much. I was still able to function, and it gave me the ability to live my life. When I got off the medicine I was left with a better understanding of which situations should instill anxiety and which one’s my brain was taking too far.
I hope this blog was helpful to someone! These were my tricks along the way to becoming a less anxious person, and how I think I was able to really overcome being diagnosed with anxiety. I hope you check out Nicculents blog as well and show her some love!