You are Strong!

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Take a Breath

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Yesterday, I had an impromptu conversation with my mentor at work. I’ve been feeling really burnt out, and unable to find a balance between my personal and professional life – whatelse is new. While I was speaking to him, he said something that really stuck:

You’re doing too much.

I’ve always been ambitious because I always strive for better. I’m grateful for what I have, but I am always challenging myself to be better, to do better, to grow. 

In spite of my ambition, he did a really really good job at breaking things down for me and putting things into perspective. He was absolutely right, there is A LOT going on in my life:

  • I’m still learning my role at Indeed – I’m only 6 months in
  • I moved 2 months ago
  • I’m maintaining 2 blogs
  • I’m taking online courses
  • I’m cultivating a mindset of gratefulness and peace
  • Lastly, who could forget the 40+ hours of TV  shows I watch a week. Although, it really seems like that amount is going to have to decrease due to all of my other passions in life.

There are a few other things happening, but you folks get the gist. He was right. At this point in time, I am doing a lot, maybe even too much. BUT, that doesn’t mean something has to give just yet.

Once he was breaking everything down for me, I realized what I needed – a schedule/plan. It’s so easy to push things off until a later date. It’s so easy to put a figurative pin-in-it and forget about it. It’s easy to say you’ll “do it later” especially when later never comes.

I’m not at the point where I want to dial things back, but I do need to slow down and reevaluate my life and figure out my next steps. I need a plan, and SMART goals, and fucking time management. I need to take control over my life, and stop letting myself get eaten by this day to day hustle.

I love choices and options. My friends hear me say it all the time – why should I have to choose? Nevertheless, I’m starting to realize that there is power in choosing. There is power in deciding what’s valuable, and deciding what you put your energy towards.

I’m not ready to slow down YET because my job brings me joy and happiness; my blogs feed my passion; my courses help me grow; meditation and energy healing feed my soul; and TV, yes, watching that much TV makes me genuinely happy. The things I’m choosing to put my energy towards is making me happy. It’s feeding my spirit and it’s showing me I’m on the right path.

It’s a lot, I won’t lie. It’s overwhelming at times, but that’s why I’m so grateful for this conversation because it came at the perfect time. It reminded me that it’s okay to slow down, to amend your dreams, to take time for yourself throughout the day.

I definitely need to take a breather, but what I need more is to be me – the me-est of them all.

I will create a schedule. I will find time for my passions without feeling overwhelmed. More importantly, I will be me.

I Feel Pretty

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I must admit, I’ve been avoiding watching the movie I Feel Pretty.  I really liked the concept of the movie, but I really really really don’t like Amy Schumer. However, I’m currently in the process of watching  the movie and I must say, it’s something.

This notion of self-confidence through mindfulness is amazing. As is the idea that “you are what you attract.” If you think you are worthless and ugly others will too because you are vibrating at a low level. BUT, if you think you are awesome and worthy of abundance then you’re life and company will reflect that because of your high vibrations.

“You know who you are and you really don’t care how the world sees you.” -Ethan

The quotation above sums up the beauty of this movie. It talks about Self-Confidence, Body Positivity, and Acceptance in a way that media just simply isn’t doing yet.

We live in world where the shift to mindlessfull and happiness is dramtically changing into a value that is intrinstic instead of extrinstic. I’m grateful that media representation is starting to capture this shift in media, as well.

With that stated, this concept of self-confidence is probably the only thing they did correctly throughout this movie. This idea on a whole is about the only positive outcome. Nonetheless, I’m choosing to focus on the good, and this:

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If not, this post might just turn into a rant about white societal ideals on beauty – blond hair, blue eyes, and white. Point is – If everyone just abandoned their negative notions of why they aren’t beautiful enough, smarter enough or rich enough, and just accepted that you are enough – the world and you would be a much happier place.

Timing is Everything

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Everyone is different. The way that people react to things are different. You could think about every possible outcome, and still have the conclusion be completely different from the scenarios you pictured because you can’t account for people’s behaviours or reactions.

I’m a pretty open book about what I expect from the people in my life. Honesty and Communication. Plus the unpopular thought, omission is lying to me.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an empath or if I’m just wired this way, but I feel things really strongly. I’ve been called overly emotional, sensitive, and some other not so classy words. However, I’ve ALWAYS been this way since I was kid.

Fast forward to today I got some pretty upsetting news. Someone I considered to be my close friend is moving away to Quebec. I think under normal circumstances that information would be upsetting. Nonetheless, I was also told that she was leaving on Tuesday.

Let’s just put this aside for a second, and give you some context.

I haven’t seen her since June. We’ve been trying to see each other but busy schedules, it’s something you come to accept with old age. Today was one of the only days we could meet. We had plans to go clubbing, let loose. After the week I had, i was REALLY looking forward to it. I needed this. I had already started drinking and smoking – getting ready for our night out, but when I got to the hotel. She told me she was leaving on Tuesday.

It’s not just the news that’s bothering me. It’s the fact that I felt lied too again by someone who’s suppose to have my back. Why led me to the hotel with this vision of having a fun night out when she knew she was going to tell me this? Why not tell me before so we could have one night of fun before she left? Why tell me before we were supposed to go? I wonder if she thought she would tell me and we would go out and still go clubbing. Lastly, why tell me 3 days before you’re supposed to leave when I’m supposed to be someone you value?

Again, everyone is different and she had her reasonings. BUT I’ve been in that exact position before – getting summoned to have fun only to be told bad news when you weren’t expecting it? Especially when I’m living with PTSD/anxiety, frigging control is sooo important to me, and it was the third time this week that that was taken from me.

I tried to get myself under control, but I couldn’t. She tried to get me to stay and talk to her, but I couldn’t. I was in the midst of having a panic attack and I had to leave, so that’s what I did. I had to leave to take care of myself. To get myself under control, and to not lose control on her when I knew I wasn’t just upset about this situation. When I knew I was upset about my missing friend, my breakup, and my other-friend crossing a line. When I knew having news dropped on me like this reminded me of a time someone else did the same thing, but she waited till we actually got to the club because telling me on the dance floor what was happening in her life.

Everyone is different. Moreover, you don’t know what’s happening in someone’s life. The idiom goes, “Its the last straw that broke the camels back. Maybe if this wasn’t the only thing happening with my friends, then I could have handled it better. Nonetheless, that’s not what happened. In reality, her news was “the last straw” for my back and I broke.

I wish I could have handled the situation better, but I did the best I could. Furthermore, she might not agree with me, but I’m proud of myself. If this was old-me, I would have said so many things I couldn’t take back, instead I removed myself from the situation – something my ex has been asking me to learn for years.

Yes, leaving and not talking about the situation is bad. BUT exploding and not being able to take back the things I said is worst, and I choose the ladder.

Timing is everything. I wasn’t read to have that conversation at that moment, maybe that was selfish of me. As time goes on, I’m starting to learn that sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. Sometimes being selfishness is the only way to take care of yourself. Frankly, I’m tired of being put in the position where I have to either choose to be supportive or choose to do what’s best for me. I was selfless for the majority of my life, I think it’s time I start doing me.

The Power of Affirmations

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There has been a lot of changes in my life recently: new-ish job, new-ish basement apartment, and recently single. There is something about changes and big life events that make you want to be wild and explore the things that were once not an option.
For me, a lot of these things were not an option, and not because they weren’t available, but because I put all these limitations on myself. We create this image of who we think we are, and eventual the perception becomes our reality. We spend so much time trying to fit in and hiding our real selves that we don’t even recognize ourselves. Or, even worst, we do not know what it even means to be ourselves.
For example, I always associated affirmations with religion. I did the same thing when people talked about mediating or charkas – I associated all with some form of religion. Little did I know that this subconscious association was stopping me from exploring their potential. I rebelled so hard against religion growing up for various reasons. I still consider myself more spiritual than religions. However, this rebellion was limiting me.
Since my break up, I’ve been expanding my horizons, and I must say – I have noticed a shift. I’ve been doing things that old-me would consider weird or wonky. The shift isn’t just in my emotional or spiritual well-being, the shift is in my entire mindset. I’m not sure if its the aromatherapy, the meditating, the healing stones, or the affirmations. Whatever the change is from, I love it and I tend to explore more.
All I know is that for the first time in a VERY long time, I was able to be the bigger person because I knew the Universe had my back. More importantly, I was told that they weren’t worth it. Growth. We never really know what causes it, we’re just happy when it happens.

The Beauty of Modern Medication

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When I was first diagnosed with GAD, I was absolutely reluctant to get treatment. I did my research – and by that I mean – I googled it, and I knew there were option two options.

Option 1: Talk about my sexual abuse and PTSD, in order to find ways to cope.

OR

Option 2: Get on pills.

Honestly y’all, neither seemed like a viable option. However, you know what was – tree. It was so much easier and socially acceptable to be a stoner than it was to admit that I needed treatment.

Fast forward into the future, and I decided to get treatment. Oddly enough, talking about it with a social worker didn’t help. So, I went with Option 2. I am maybe 4 months in, maybe longer or shorter, and I feel great.

It does suck to have to pop pills everyday, but that’s a small price to pay for all that I’ve gained. To not have random panic attacks, days of not wanting to do anything, days of being overwhelmed while doing absolutely nothing. So many days lost feeling like shit. I told my partner that I didn’t feel like myself for almost 6 months. 6 months of me walking into the world, and interacting with people acting like I was okay. 6 months of me feeling like I was silently drowning in thoughts.

Nonetheless, those are days I can’t get back, BUT being on treatment, I feel like myself. I feel like this is a good thing, even if it took modern medication to get me here.

The Boy Named Jeff

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Yesterday after work, I was waiting for my friend to pick me up. I took a seat outside my office building, and chilled until he came to get me.

Suddenly, I see a guy approaching me directly. I was racking my brain to see if I knew him or not. When he finally made it to me, he told me that he wanted $2 to get something to eat. I responded by saying that I didn’t feel comfortable giving him cash, but if he wants, we can go somewhere and get him something to eat, and I’ll pay.

He agreed to my condition, and we made our way to the nearest Pizza Pizza. While we made our way over, he told me about his life. He recounted how he and him girlfriend are both homeless. He disclosed that he had some money on him, but was saving it for his girlfriend. As a result, he couldn’t afford dinner.

My skeptical readers are probably shaking their head, and asking:

How do you know he was telling the truth?

Honestly, that’s a great question, and my answer is “I don’t.” He could have been telling me a fable, but I choose to believe him.

He continued and stated that he was a recovering drug addict. He appreciated that I didn’t give him cash, and instead offered a meal. Once we arrived at Pizza Pizza, I offered the world, and he only ordered a pepperoni slice and a drink. A grand total of $8.

The boy I met. His name was Jeff. Jeff is experiencing homelessness, but he is so much more than just that one circumstance. It fucking SUCKS. It’s fucking MIND-BOGGLING to know that people are experiencing homelessness in a country as privileged as Canada, and in a city as proud as Toronto. He is a person. There is a whole theory dedicated to discussing how no good deed is selfless because the very act of doing a good deed gives one a feeling of euphoria. The question arises, if doing a good deed makes you feel good is it selfless? (I am totally getting sidetracked. We can discuss philosophical questions later – back to Jeff. )

This whole interaction didn’t last longer than 10 minutes. However, that’s 10 minutes that made a memorable impact in my life, and hopefully I had the same impact on his life.

As a black woman who wears outrageous hair colours and is way too bubbly for her own good, I find it important to show people, especially people experiencing homelessness, kindness and decency. You never know how a small act can effect someone.

With all of that being said, I challenge you to do a good deed, selfless or not. Go out of your way to make a positive impact in someone’s life.