Boyfriend/Anxiety/Vicious Cycles

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 it’s just taken me an incredible amount of time to understand these lessons.

I searched a long time for inner peace. I worked really hard at being comfortable with where I was in my life despite some of the “uglier” things that I didn’t like. I was good, life made sense and I had my shit together.

And then all of a sudden life didn’t make sense. And I didn’t have my life together. I met a guy that totally flipped everything on it’s tail- and in no negative way at all. Suddenly I was in a place where I “missed” someone. I wanted to tell him things that were exciting or sad or happy or just tell him what I had for lunch. The little 24 year old divorced person became a 24 year old and “holy crap is this guy real” person. And that was a shock to my system.

My weekends were routine, and as were my work days. I knew the desires of my heart, and I knew what my soul needed at all times. And then it changed. My weekends became a delicious blur of two people playing in a kitchen and talking for hours. Work days became sprinkled with funny or sweet texts at the most opportune time and I was *living* for it.

Everything was perfect. So why didn’t I feel like it? I felt like I had met the most extraordinary man, someone who could be the literal definition of perfection, and yet I was struggling more than ever. And then it clicked- I wasn’t protected anymore. The little ice walls I built around myself after my divorce came down quite easily with this new guy. I let the walls come down without a second thought.

Once I realized I really liked this guy and that the feeling was mutual, everything became terrifying. Almost like a “this is too good to be true” type of feeling. For weeks I was overanalyzing things that people were saying to me, I could barely sleep, I was having a hard time being positive in my everyday life. It’s like subconsciously I decided that things were going amazingly and that now was as good a time as ever to self-sabotage.

This self-sabotage thing is so common for people to do. And we all do it, in one form or another, all in varying degrees. It basically stems from anxiety, fear and a belief that you are not good or important enough. For weeks my apartment was unbelievably messy. I was behind on laundry, behind with my blog, and just mentally not who I had been. *disclaimer, I was also quite sick for about two weeks during this time which didn’t exactly help the mental state* I was self-sabotaging my happiness, relationships, and even my laundry at that point.

And then, once I realized that self-sabotaging stems from anxiety and that annoying belief that you are not good enough I had an epiphany. Like anxiety and depression, this was a classic case of “vicious-miserable-cycle”. Example- you go home miserably sad and unmotivated and you lay in bed. You look at YouTube or go to sleep and neglect laundry or your responsibilities. This in turn only adds to the list of responsibilities you have and buries you even farther in your miserable state.

The only way I was able to break this cycle (with a lot of Tylenol and open conversations with my boyfriend) was to GET UP AND GO. I had to force myself to pick my room up, clear my email, deep condition my hair, and literally get my shit together. Sometimes we fall so far off of the path because we are sick, or going through a tough time. But it was comforting to know that I was not alone in this. Once I started in on the things I knew I needed to do it almost seemed like I was uncovering myself a little bit at a time. I didn’t let the stress or anxiety of what I was feeling control and dominate my life. Instead I pushed past that. I had to make a conscious decision to act against my anxiety and do the things I feared. Everybody has their ups and downs- but you have to appropriately deal with those low moments in order to truly get over them.

If you find you’re also in this slump, where you’re not depressed, but good lord you are just DONE for a bit, I recommend the following.

Do your most daunting task. And yes, it’s going to suck balls, but if you can get that one thing that’s keeping you awake out of the way, then you will be able to defeat ANYTHING.

Talk with a friend. Lay it all out on the line and just explode in your gross reality and listen to them when they say it will be okay.

Eat some good food and drink tons of water. You’re already dealing with stuff emotionally/physically so at least try to make sure you are trying your best to deal with your blood sugar and hunger pains.

Get out and go for a walk or a hike. Fresh air will do wonders.

And of course, always feel free to reach out and share how you have dealt with hard times too.

Exhausted Because I Am Growing A Hippocampus

No but really it’s true. In my psych class right now we are studying all sorts of strange things. One project is a case report on a 7 year old girl. Now I suppose I could pick issues out left and right with the textbook by my side and I could diagnose this child with a million things. But one, morally that feels quite strange, and two… she’s 7.

So in reading pages upon pages and doing so much research I found that we have a hippocampus (okay, I already knew this exhisted, but bear with me). The hippocampus is largely in charge of aggression, emotion and memory. The hippocamps regulates emotion. So it’s kind of an important thing, right?

Well turns out it develops with you until you are about 285 when it is fully developed. So *basically* we have been making decisions with only have a brain for the first 25 years of our life. I feel like this explains so much.

All jokes aside, it was a interesting moment when I realized that we are still physically and emotionally developing. Maybe this gives excuse to our crisis break downs at 20 and how we can’t logically think through some tough areas in our life.

The hippocampus, though located in the limbic system therefore associated with emotions, memory and motivation is most highly involved with our memories.

Let’s do math. Memories + Under Developed Emotional Capabilities + Stress= 20 year old life crisis. This explains so much.

This explains how it is possible to be so emotionally exhausted. We are searching for answers our brains don’t even have yet. Working with undeveloped organs.

Even though we are adulting and kicking asses and taking names- we are still tired. It takes a lot of work to grow a hippocampus (I mean, probably. Not a scientist or anything). Just think about these things the next time you’re pissed because you don’t know why you feel a certain way or why you can’t emotionally work through something. And then blame your under developed hippocampus.

When You’re Raised In The South

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.

Refresh Routine

After 4 flights, 8 hours of layovers, more than 20 hours of travel and only showers with minimal water pressure- I was aching for a refresh of sorts. I find myself seeking a refresh in two times. One is when I have had a really long week and I begin to feel as if the week is swallowing me whole. I tend to lose myself, rational thoughts, and my positivity after a while. Two is when I have neglected my responsibilities or been away for a while and have to jump back into reality.

This blog is all about number two. Cancun was so great, but reality always smacks you in the face. Having severe anxiety I plan, replan and over plan the things I will do from the moment I get home to the moment I go to sleep- exhausting I know. There are different types of refreshing though, depending on the need.

You can mentally refresh- which I find myself doing on the weekends, or on Friday nights as my work week comes to an end. I find so much importance in making sure you are mentally in a good place, as it sets the tone for the day. A few ways I do this (I guess because I am a Californian/hippy/millennial/freak) are to diffuse some essential oils. I like to make sure my surroundings are clean, and free of mess and clutter. I will take a long hot shower, write a blog not to be publish (there’s a ton!) or even do some yoga. Some times I will just listen to music or have a little dance party in my room- whatever makes me feel free, and clear, and happy.

I have always loved and appreciated the saying that “a clear home is a clear mind”. It’s taken me a really long time to be able to keep my place at a constant state of clean, and most of it is sheer laziness and maybe 2% time. I always like to start my week off with a clean home, clean clothes, I will clean out my purse- any task to just get rid of the old and in with the new I fully embrace. Isn’t it always nicer to wake up and come home to a clean house? I think so.

Then there is the emotional refresh. This is tricky for me, always. Because I struggle with anxiety I find myself constantly wrapped up in the “what if’s” and those thoughts steal your happiness. Sometimes, because I am a child apparently, I really just have to tell myself “it’s okay, you’re okay, everything is okay” (told you I was a child). Emotionally this just lets me release what I am freaking out about move on to what really matters- like coffee and cookie dough.

Considering I am experiencing a vacation hangover to the Nth degree right now, I’ve implemented all of these steps. It can be hard to transition from a work week to weekend, or vacay to work week- but positivity is the key. You just take that hangover, smother it in essential oils, give it a nap and some coffee- you’ll be good as new.

How To Survive On A Plane | Adultish

I am not one to blatantly complain (who am I kidding, yes I am). However, long flights have to be my absolute DEMISE. Recirculated air, wearing a seatbelt for hours on end and cups of water the size of a shot glass. I researched long and hard to make sure I would be sufficiently prepared for my trip- and boy I am glad I did!

Socks and a blanket were my token items. Two plane changes to and from, so a total of four boardings- each time I reached for socks and a blanket. I am also constantly cold, so maybe take the blanket as merely a suggestion.

I could not have survived if it weren’t for my iPad. Secret- writing this on the plane now as some stinky person is ripping farts right and left; gag. We watched movies, played solitaire, I worked on a ton of blog posts, listened to music- totally worth it.

Snacks Snacks Snacks. Did I mention snacks? They pass the time, keep you from getting hangry and hey, who doesn’t like chocolate.

Be comfortable. I wore leggings, flip flops, a camisole, T-shirt and had a zip up hoodie. This worked really well for me since I was really cold in the airports and got pretty warm towards the end of the flight. I was able to take my T-shirt off when I got too hot and instead wore my cami and jacket. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Pack for practicality. Make sure you know exactly which pocket your headphones, chapstick and socks are in. It’s uncomfortable enough to be on a plane and crouching down to get things, save yourself the trouble at know where things are.

Last but never least- know that you will eventually get off that plane. Sure, everyone stinks and it’s hot, you have to pee and hate public bathrooms (oh, right that’s me)… your flight will be over eventually and you will get to use normal restrooms and not be subjected to other peoples ass gas.

Keeping it real here.

24 Things Learned In 24 Years

This year was funnnnn. NOT. 23 was not at all like I expected it, and yet I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. So many things happened in just the past 12 months, but I feel like I am 10 years older at the same time. Let’s recap shall we.

  • Got divorced
  • Got my license
  • Moved out
  • Got my first car
  • Got my own place
  • Went to Vegas
  • Vegas Friend and I became “Vegas Friend and I”
  • Started paying all my own bills
  • Went to Palm Springs
  • Flew to Texas
  • Advanced in my job
  • Started school again
  • Made a shit ton of mistakes
  • Started Adultish
  • Sperm Donors release

You get the picture. It’s been quite the whirlwind. But along with all of the crazy bad and crazy good lies the lessons I learned.

  1. Everything happens for a reason. Even if you know the reason or not, things have a way of working out and that’s all you need to worry about.
  2. The stigma around “divorce”is a lot worse than the actual divorce. Religion, expectations and judgements are what make divorce hard. The glares and nasty comments from people tear you to shreds, not your ex.
  3. Forgiveness is key. There is never a good enough reason to harbor unforgiveness. Nothing should steal your joy from you.
  4. Self care is essential. Take that bubble bath, read that book, eat the ice cream. Life is only fun when you break the rules.
  5. Sleep is a necessity. I am someone that can’t live on minimal sleep. I need at least 5 hours a night  on a continual basis in order to survive and not be  a basket case.
  6. Don’t let your gas light come on. There is no reason for that amount of anxiety if you can prevent it. (ps- I really should get gas)
  7. Sometimes buying the more expensive thing saves you money in the long run. This comes especially true to face care and clothing.
  8. The realization you don’t know anything. It’s kind of sobering, but also freeing at the same time.
  9. Knowing when to say you’re not okay. I used to just push through when my depression was really bad and I wouldn’t open up to anyone. But I learned that if you tell someone you’re struggling they keep an eye on you- and sometimes that’s enough to pull you through.
  10. The importance of making your bed. It sets the tone for the whole day. Plus, when you come home your place looks all sophisticated (kind of like you have your life together, except, you don’t. At all).
  11. The best way to overcome your fear is to face it head on. Be it a fear of heights or (like me) a fear of driving- the only way to get over something is to come face to face with it.
  12. Traveling is always the answer. If there’s one thing that I could change in recent years, I would have traveled more.
  13. You will never be in a situation you regret as long as you’re constantly true to yourself. I strive so hard to make sure situations don’t change who I am in my core- sometimes it works better than others.
  14. The “F” word is the best. That is all.
  15. Cooking is a gift. Some people have it, and some people do not. Like me.
  16. Not everyone is going to like you. Which works out really well, because you’re not going to like everyone either.
  17. Nurture the relationships that mean the most to you. Send flowers for no reason, buy someone lunch, say sorry when you’re a jerk.
  18. The importance of your past. Where we come from has a lot to say about where we are going. Everything we have done is because of our past- don’t shame it, embrace it.
  19. Know that people make mistakes, and they don’t know it. This one sucked to learn. EDF made mistakes. But she did’t know it, didn’t understand it’s impact, thought it was the right thing to do. Parents don’t come with instruction manuals, they are just winging it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
  20. “Being cool” is never worth it. You should never change who you are just to fit in, or for someone to like you.
  21. Chocolate is life. Only dark chocolate though, move over milk chocolate.
  22. Wash your dishes immediately. Seriously, there is nothing worse than dishes that have sat and have hardened food on them.
  23. Deciding you don’t want to have kids is YOUR decision. And should you ever change your mind, that’s okay too.
  24. The beauty of healthy relationships. Having genuine, real, safe relationships are so vital to your growth and well being.

If you made it to the end of this— DANNNG I am impressed. Three of my fingers fell off while typing this long thing. Be sure to check out Day 1 and Day 2 of May Blog A Day.

What have you learned in your advanced age?

signature

If I’m Being Honest |Adulting is Hard

Then I would say a lot of things that would make you think differently.

Because honestly I have no clue what I am doing in my life. And honestly I almost quit 7 times today. And I want to find some sort of happiness in the day and wine seems like it would do that. I want to go to sleep and have a dance party at the same time. I want to buy all of the things that I have seen lately because society tells me that it brings joy.

But honestly I am just writing a blog, doing laundry and watching my phone blow up about things I don’t care to read. Honestly I won’t drink a sip of wine because I know it doesn’t solve shit. Honestly I am blasting some weird song that has an appreciative amount of bass while contemplating eating nutella for dinner.

And honestly I have succulents and cereal in my trunk, a sock on my table and not a care in the world.

If I am being honest then I have grown so so much. I asked Mom/ Ass Kicker if I could dye my hair black and get my nose pierced. She said no… But I think I would. And maybe get a tattoo. Buy tarot cards, more crystals and a magic 8 ball because it brings me joy.

The journey of finding yourself is really weird when you start to change all over again. Everyday I want to be at the beach and blast music, everyday I want to paint or run 52 miles. I just W A N T so much- and not a person or any particular thing- but experience.

I want to go travel some more this year. I have no upcoming trips planned and I think I need to change that.

Today at work I got so frustrated with a huge project (magically due today) that one of the Program Directors made me tea (she’s British and tea fixes everything). She said if this is you frustrated I would have never known- you’re still calm, quiet and chipper. And it kind of brought me back to reality. No matter what I “feel” has changed about me, it doesn’t change the ME inside. I am still kind, caring and strangely obsessed with English Breakfast tea.

And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.