Ghosting.

I have been ghosting on this blog pretty hard lately. With everything going on (i.e. school, work, politics, mental health), my blog as taken a back seat. School has mostly been the cause of my disappearance. I have about 4 weeks of school left so suddenly I have a million papers, projects and presentations but not enough time! I do however, have a plan for the next couple weeks on the blog:

  • I have another post queued up and will be published on Saturday!
  • mid-December I will be starting back up 52 weeks of gratitude.
  • Come January I will be back on track posting at least 3 times a week 🙂

Also I need ideas! I finished my 6 week challenge, and officially joined the gym, but I am looking for more activities to try. Spiritual, physical, whatever! I am ready for a new adventure. Let me know if you have an idea 🙂

 

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Thirteen

This weeks topic is: A challenge you’ve overcome.

The biggest challenge I have ever overcome is my depression and anxiety. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was in middle school. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in high school, and didn’t start medication until college.

That meant A LOT of years of trying to figure out what was wrong, thinking I was crazy, and just plain giving up.

Over eating, not eating…over sleeping, not sleeping…cutting, and even a suicide attempt, were all actions of my mind trying function and make its way though a tangled path of darkness.

My lowest point was in college when I turned to smoking weed, and dropped out of school. Weed was the perfect escape for me. I could feel nothing, yet everything at the same time. It allowed my brain to acknowledge there was a problem, but just as it was acknowledging it, the problem drifted away as the next thought approached. Smoking gave my mind and emotions a chance to slow down, and allowed my body to slow down and relax. I stopped cutting because being high gave me a different kind of control; For a little bit anyways.

After a few months of smoking, my anxiety became heightened. Anxiety attacks became panic attacks, and soon I could not emotionally function unless I was high. I hated it but did not know where else to go from there. For two years I was stuck in that rut.

After a turn of events, I ended up moving back to my hometown where pot wasn’t readily available. I went weeks with out smoking, and gained a little clarity on what I was doing to myself. I did not plan on being completely sober, but then a guy (My boyfriend now) told me he didn’t date girls that smoked. I could already feel he was a good guy, and that if I was going to go after him, I needed to be a good woman; That he deserved the best, so that’s what I was going to try and be. So I stopped altogether.

I started working harder at my new job, and got promoted to full time. I started doing online classes at the local community college. –I still didn’t trust myself to walk into a normal classroom with out a panic attack.– I finished 2 semesters online and then made the jump to a classroom. Suddenly options were opening up again. I had a few classes until I got my A.A. then I could transfer back to a 4-year university.

Fast forward to today, right now…. I’m sitting in the Starbucks on campus of a 4-year state college, working on my blog because I finished my homework. –Yes, I know I have other things to do, but hey I’m human!– I am back where I want to be with school, I only have 2 semesters left until I have my first bachelors.  I don’t smoke. I am off medications. I feel like I could take on the world now.

The last thing I am working on that has been affected by my anxiety is my weight. I have already talked about what I am doing Here and Here!

I am so proud of myself for overcoming depression, and I do feel I have actually overcome it. I still have rough days, but I am no longer turning to self-mutilation, or substance abuse to deal. I am keeping my chin and heart held high, and dealing with the speed bumps as they come.

5 years ago if you would have told me I would still be walking this earth today, I would have laughed at you. Now, I not only look forward to my future… I am excited about it.

Life is good.

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Eleven

Okay, so clearly my timing is still off. But I promise, I am working on it!!

This weeks topic is: A person who inspires me.

I think a  part of me has been putting this off because I can’t think of a specific person that inspires me. Of course my friends, family, and significant other inspire me, but it’s random strangers, moments and conversations that truly move me.

Some of the most profound influential moments I have had, are when I stumble upon conversations with strangers that go way below the surface.

It is the people that take the time and effort to open up to a stranger and talk about topics that leave them vulnerable to judgment.

It is the conversations where someone is talking about something they are passionate about. Their eyes light up, their voice becomes heightened, they use their hands to bring their points home.

It’s the moment I connect with a stranger on a soulful and spiritual level. And when I say “spiritual” I don’t mean religious.–although that can apply, too.–What I mean is: when our spirits begin to take over; when the consciousness of the world around us has disappeared. When small talk and polite chit-chat becomes standing in some store for an hour  discussing life, love, loss, happiness, and anything in-between.

What’s inspirational to me, is when a stranger has such great passion in something, I catch it like a disease. I want to experience what they are talking about. I want to feel that passion. I want to help their cause, and see them succeed.

Sometimes my deepest conversations are with people I have only known for 20 minutes, and it’s absolutely magical. I walk away thinking about the conversation for hours, days and even weeks. I internalize it.

Monday was my last day at the yoga studio, so I had to train my replacement. It’s only a four hour shift, but this girl and I rattled on so much about life and what it means to us.

I think when you are in that open mindset, it puts off a vibe because soon enough a gentlemen walking out of class stopped to say goodbye, but with in minutes we were talking about mindful living and consciousness. (I plan to write about this conversation soon!)  We acknowledged how rare it is in today’s world, to connect with people and have meaningful conversations, and what we can do to improve quality of life by REALLY connecting with our community.

An hour later we were forced to stop the conversation because the shift had ended, and we all had to move on to the rest of out days. Its been a few days since that exchange, yet it  is still with me. It inspired me to be more mindful of myself, my time, my actions, my words, my connections.  A stranger inspired me to be a better person!

To open yourself up to wisdom, knowledge, love? And face to face, not online. Online is great, but a deep connection face to face is so different. The body language alone sets it apart. Can you imagine living in a world if everyone made at least one connection like that in a day?

The next time you are  out, start a conversation with someone. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Ten

Happy Friday!

This week I held of on posting on Monday, because I really wanted to hold the focus on my post about the 5k. If you have a couple bucks to spare please go donate! the proceeds support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

This week’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is: 5 things  I like about myself.

I think its so so so important that we love ourselves. If you don’t love you, life can get incredibly hard. You doubt all the good things going on because you think “How in the world can someone like me, deserve all this happiness?” and then you sabotage it all. Its not a good pattern. It has taken me quite a bit of time learning what it means to love myself and all my quirks. Heck… I am still learning! So here we go…..

  1. I like that I am a passionate person. Being passionate can be hard to deal with because all my emotions are heightened. When I am happy I’m ecstatic, when I’m sad…well you better open the floodgates. But the best thing about being passionate is that I am the kind of person that if I care about something or someone, I will give 110% all the way through.
  2. I am empathetic. If someone is going through a hard time, I won’t be that friend that says I’m sorry this is happening to you… I will be the friend thats sitting next to you, crying with you because when you are in pain, I understand and feel it too. I am able to pick up vibes and make deep connections with the people around me.
  3. Im a bookworm! I love to read! I think reading helps me keep an open mind, and be susceptible to different ideas and outlooks. Reading exposes my heart to be accepting of people of all walks of life.
  4. Hardworking. I take a lot of pride in my work ethic. It doesn’t matter if I am going to work somewhere for 3 months or 3 years I try to give my all during the entire time I’m employed. I would like to think that this trait makes me valuable to my employers!
  5. Im an introvert. I am thoughtful, reflective and analytical of myself. Am I making strides to be the best version of myself? I like this trait because it lets me keep myself in check and on the right path.

If you aren’t feeling great about yourself, take 20 minutes and think about the things you like about you. Why do you like those traits, how do they make you different? We should be embracing ourselves and celebrating who we are and how we affect the world. Maybe if we all took time to love ourselves, we would be more open to love others.

Choose love.

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Nine!

Okay I’m late again…. I really need to get back on track, guys. My life has been chaotic. I had 3 jobs, plus helping out at the yoga studio. Then I quit two of the jobs, but then picked up babysitting for a few weeks. Now I have started school, have only one job, no babysitting, and working at the yoga studio ends in 2 weeks. So now I would like to think I will have more time, but I know school is basically equal to two jobs.

SO: I PROMISE to plan my time better so I’m not neglecting my blog…because let’s be real here, I’m pretty sure my 9 subscribers aren’t going to die if my blog fades away, but I might. If you are a first time reader… subscribe! I’m not this much of a hot mess usually. –Okay…you caught me, I am… but still…aren’t we all?–

Alrighty, now that I have given you a plethora of excuses, let’s move on to 52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week 9…How I feel then, and how I feel now.

I am really stoked about this post because I have noticed an immense difference in myself since I have started this.

How I felt then: ummm… I was kind of an angry ungrateful human being. I think I was just unhappy with where I am at in life. I had expectations of myself that I didn’t meet, and I think I kind of hated myself for that. As I mentioned in my very first post, I was kind of an eff-up for 3 years. I saw old classmates graduating, starting careers, getting married, and having babies. They all partied, but now they were successful…I was mad at myself for not being able to do the same.  Once I decided I wanted more in life than alcohol, weed and boys, I was already super far behind with my life plans. Nothing that I had or did was ever good enough for myself. I had a really hard time finding a silver lining, so it was really easy to be negative. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy that I had the courage to try to turn my life around, but the anger towards my past decisions overshadowed all the good stuff.

How I feel Now: Of course I still have my hard moments, but that’s all they are; moments. Since I have started my blog and 52 weeks of gratitude I feel so much happier. To take time once a week to think about what I am grateful for, has opened my heart and mind up to self love and outward love. —I don’t know if that is a real phrase…”outward love” …I’m going to define it as it sounds: Love towards everything and everyone outside of yourself.–   Now I find myself, through out the day, thinking about all the people, things, events, etc. that I have to be thankful for.

Let me tell you… If you are ever having a poopy day, just make a list of everything you have to be grateful for and just keep writing until you don’t feel so poopy. I used to bottle my emotions up —I mean for YEARS.– and then… I think when I found someone who truly loved me for me, I just let everything go and all these emotions have just been flooding through ever since. I never knew how to cope with them. All I knew how to do was instinctual to the human body…AKA: Cry. Now that I have started writing —even though I am not spilling all my dirty secrets–  I have learned how to digest my feelings and emotions and process them like a semi-normal human being (most of the time).

I am so so so so beyond grateful that I found that little 52 weeks of gratitude picture on Pintrest because I believe it has made me a better person.

“Emotions make us human, Denying them makes us beasts” – Victoria Klein.

Choose human over beast. ❤

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52 Weeks Of Gratitude: Week 7

Hello!

I know its Tuesday…I’m slacking! I got a new job,  so I have been training while still working my other two jobs. After next week I will officially have only one job!! —and then of course school starts up again in two weeks.

OKAY! … 52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week 7: A friend.

I am going to talk about this friend via two short stories.

Background information: We have been friends for 15 years, so she is more than just a friend to me. She is a sister.

Story one:

I had a day off this last Monday, so rather than netflixing —Yes, it is in fact a verb– alone all day, I decided to call my best friend to see if she wanted to hang out with me. She was doing some stuff around her house so asked if I wanted to come see her instead.

Now… I LOATHE the drive to her house. She lives about an hour away and the only way to get to her is by using three different freeways and a bunch of winding back roads. Oh! And her drive way is so steep that when I try to drive my little 5-speed car on it , my car overheats and shuts off.

Regardless of all this, I decided to shove my anxiety of driving aside, and said “okay!” I am so happy I did. It was such an outstanding day! We went swimming for a little bit, then drove into town —Im not kidding..she lives in this charming little country town– so we could stroll around and enjoy the shops. We found an adorable book store that was a maze of walls filled to the brim with books. At every turn there was another pathway of bookshelves that led to another room with more bookshelves!

After an afternoon of walking she asked me if I wanted to go see her boyfriends parents ranch; I thought… sure why the heck not?! Again, I am so glad I did. It was beautiful. We got to hang out with her guy for a little while. I got to pet the horses and play with the dogs. —I felt like a little girl in a candy shop!—

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Then…. (Story two):

On Wednesday we decided to have a little mini-road trip and drive to Santa Cruz for the day. One of the things I love most about her is that she is always down for an adventure. There have  been times where I have called her and said “Bri… I need the beach. Now. Wanna go?” And she will hop in the car and drive 3 hours with me just to sit on the beach for 2, and then drive back home.

I think the drive to the beach is what I subconsciously need. We spend all three hours talking about our past, present, and future life… The choices we have made that have led us to where we are… Where we want to be. And of course there are the minutes where one of us goes “Okay no talking I like this song!” and then you find two girls belting some Dixie Chicks song at the top of their lungs and cracking up at the goofiness of it all.

Both of us are people who are always going non-stop. For her its living every moment like its her last…Never stopping, and always looking for the next adventure; sometimes a little recklessly. For me..I’m always looking to the future, planning my next step to get to my goals and sometimes I forget to live in the moment.

We actually have matching tattoos. Hers says “you keep me safe” and mine says “you keep me wild.” She reminds me that its okay to just let go sometimes and be a wild child. I remind her that even though living each day like its her last is fun, that she needs to make sure she’s still being safe. —I would like her to be my friend for at least another 15 years!–

When we finally make it to the beach there is some light talking, but that’s our few hours to slow down and soak in the beauty. I think we are drawn to the ocean because it is this alluring, powerful force that is the perfect balance of recklessness and reliability. There is an element of fear when looking at the ocean, yet it has the power to calm your soul at the same time.

I feel like the ocean understands me. It is this captivating energy that looks all put together with it’s steady rhythm of waves but there is so much more to it than that. There is the undercurrent, chaos, darkness but also beauty and light. There is so much the world knows about it, yet there are things that it still hides away, that people have to dive really really deep to find.  —I promise that is the most hippy thing you will read from me….okay probably not!— And I think my friend can relate to that as well.

Needless to say… I am so thankful for this girl. We bicker like sisters and drive each other crazy, but she is my everything. She has outlasted any Boyfriend I have ever had; she has outlasted my own family! She has been there for me 100% through every step forward —and backwards!— in my life.

“A friend is the person who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week 5

It’s Monday again! I can’t believe I have been doing this for 5 weeks already!!

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is:  Something someone gave you.

I was trying to think of something someone gave me that had a big impact on me, but then I realized it’s not going to be one specific gift that means anything. It is all the small gifts and surprises that are significant.

Here’s a little story…

On weekends I wake up at Four in the morning and after working two jobs, I get home around nine-thirty at night. Yesterday, during my second half of the day, my boyfriend and I were texting and talking about how I was reviewing his mom’s resumĂ© (If you guys need help, hit me up!) and he says “I have something else I need for you to read when you get home.” Im thinking…. Oh crap, what did I do!  So I say “uuuuh… okay? what is it?” Do you know what this wonderful man of mine replies with!? A PICTURE OF THE NEWEST HARRY POTTER BOOK!!!! He had bought it for me earlier that day. I hadn’t even mentioned to him that it was out, or that I wanted it. —We are working on this thing called saving….yeah I’m not really sure how that works either– But there it was when I got home; sitting on our kitchen table.

And you know what? This isn’t uncommon for him. There have been times where he has worked long over-night shifts and woken me up with my favorite CD and candle, —Any Luke Bryan fans out there? Y’all know what candle I’m talking about!– randomly bringing books home for me, flowers, food, etc.

While he has gotten me some pretty pricey gifts —Including this beautiful mac he gave me for my birthday a couple years ago..I know I know: IM SO LUCKY!– and I am so extremely thankful for them, it is the random thoughtful gifts that mean so much to me. It shows me that he’s thinking about me and just genuinely wants to see me smiling.

People can buy you a gift once or twice a year and don’t get me wrong, I get some pretty cool gifts from distant relatives every now and then… but the ones that matter to me are the non-obligatory “I was just thinking about you” gift.

I also love giving those gifts. There is nothing like meeting up with your best friend for coffee, and being like “oh hey, I saw this and It made me think about you, so I bought it.” I promise you that person will feel so warm and fuzzy inside, you’ll want to do it all the time! We should all show our gratitude towards loved ones by giving them surprise gifts every now and then; like adele says “to make you feel my love” –I’m just kidding…but it really does make someone feel how much they are loved by you.–

I am grateful for all the little moments in my life that show me how much he loves me.

Keep loving, giving, and being grateful.

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My New Harry Potter Book. 🙂

52 Weeks Of Gratitude: Week Four

Happy Tuesday!

Yeah yeah yeah… I know I said every MONDAY, but one of my good friends came into town so I slacked a little yesterday. 🙂

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is:  A Family Member.

Last week I talked about gratitude towards family. This week I am going to write about a specific family member. This person isn’t technically family by blood, but they are definitely family in my heart. The person I am talking about is my boyfriend’s mom.

I am so grateful to have a person like her in my life. She is the kindest, most caring person I have ever met. She has treated me like one of her own from the beginning, and I know she is there for me 100 percent.

When I am upset, or venting about something she is always able to have an honest conversation with me, offer me a different perspective, or just support and listen.

She inspires me to be a better person; a more loving and understanding person.

She is so strong, and a lover of life. When she wants to do something, even if its scary, she pushes through and just does it. She motivates me to look past my fears to pursue the goals and dreams I have.

I am also grateful that she raised a man who, like her, is  caring, loving,  and understanding. I have never met someone who so openly loves me like he does, I think I have her to thank for that.

She has been there through a lot of my biggest steps forward in life, supporting me, motivating me, and always cheering  me on. She has been the one watching me work crazy hours, seeing me have meltdowns at the kitchen table during finals week, and cheering me one when I pull off good grades at the end of the semester.  I can’t wait for the day I graduate and have her there in the crowd celebrating with me.

I  wish I could express in more words how thankful I am for this woman, because I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life.

Family isn’t always about blood, it can be about what’s in your heart.

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Two

My SO and I celebrating our first year together

Last week I introduced the 52 week gratitude challenge and explained why I am incorporating it into my blog. Therefore I consider my post from last week to be “week one: Why start this challenge.”

That being said, Week two’s topic is: Spouse/Significant Other.

I am so incredibly thankful for my SO. Get your vomit bags ready, because he one of my favorite topics to write about! He is the bee’s knees, the peanut butter to my jelly, the ink to my pen.

I tell him quite often how thankful I am for his existence in my life, but I really don’t think he has any clue how much I truly appreciate him. Everyday he supports me and encourages me.

If it tell him I want to start a blog, and then almost spend FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS on a sketchy website, and then want to throw in the towel because “how in the world could I even have a sucessfull blog, If I can’t even set up the blog to start with”…he just laughs and tells me that I will find the right website (thanks WordPress!), and that I shouldn’t give up.

This man loves me unconditionally and apologetically. I know I’m a hot mess sometimes –okay more like most of the time!– yet, I never have to apologize for my emotions. One of the things I struggle with is that I am an emotional person; I wear my heart on my sleeve. Most days I hate being that way because many people around me view that trait as a weak one.

A couple weeks ago I was complaining to him about me always being a cry baby… and do you know what he says to me? He says that one of the things he loves about me is that I am not just passionate about one thing, that I am passionate about everything and that’s what makes me who I am. –This is the part where you make a vomit noise and grimace at the cuteness.–

The word “emotional” has such a negative connotation. It feels reactive, as if I have no control over it. –which I will admit.. I don’t always have control!– But the word “passionate” It is active. It is empowering. I am grateful for the way he empowers me.

When we first started dating I had just moved from Monterey, California to Sacramento, California. My life in Monterey was a mess –noticing a pattern here?…Im pretty much a mess of a person 24/7.– I was making poor decisions, and going nowhere in life. Regardless, it was still a hard move because: UM HI!?! I LIVED NEXT TO THE OCEAN!!! But also because I knew I was leaving a life of partying and moving forward to the unknown life of this thing called responsibility. –Yuck.–

Anyways… we had been dating for maybe a few weeks and I had told him how much I missed the beach, the next day he sends me a picture of a sea-side resort in Southern California with a text that says: we are going on vacation! But that is the kind of person he is. Thoughtful. Loving. AMAZING.

Even when the relationship was brand new I never had to wonder if he was seeing a bunch of girls, or if he was playing games. There was an immediate friendship with him, and therefore a deep trust was established. We are almost at our three year mark, and I am so in love with my best friend. Of course relationships are never perfect, things come up… but we continue to build on what we have through a lot of love, and a lot of communication. I will be forever grateful for my man. He saved me from myself, and showed me how a woman should be treated. And he continues to rise me up, and show me that I can be that better person I’m always striving to be.

Gratitude is so important in any relationship. “Thanks yous” are far and few between. Maybe if we spread more love and said thank you a little more often, people would see that you don’t always have to push someone else down to be lifted. I don’t know about you, but I feel great after giving a genuine thank you! Making people feel good, makes me feel good!
I’m thankful for the people that read this!

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52 Weeks of Gratitude

I think something that I personally struggle with, and something my generation struggles with, is being consistently negative, and not being thankful for what we have. I saw an Instagram challenge called 52 weeks of Gratitude, and I would love to incorporate it into my blog.

I think it’s important for me on this journey to not only seek change within myself, but be thankful for the aspects of my life I can’t change, and recognize the aspects I don’t want to change.  Each week on Monday –Because who doesn’t struggle on Mondays… be sure to check back on my “52 Weeks of Gratitude” page to see my most current post!  I included a screen shot of the challenge, so follow along with me! I would love to see your submissions.  🙂

Let’s all focus on happiness, instead of hate ❤

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