#HappyNewYear

How was your New Year’s Eve, dear reader? I spent mine having a panic attack.

After a series of unfortunate events this past week (well, in all actuality, after a sub-par year), I decided to ring in the New Year’s downing shots of tequila and chugging a bottle of champagne on an empty stomach. I have to admit that I become an asshole when I drink. I allow myself to get wrapped up in unspoken thoughts and focus on all the wrong things in my life. My inner green monster comes out, spitting hate, anger and jealously. That monster quickly morphs into one of self-pity.

That’s where I found myself Friday night, sobbing about uncertainties and how my life doesn’t look “perfect.” They’re topics I cry about often. I don’t sit well with feelings of fear but it rules my life. Despite being consistently told that I’m brave, I feel constantly broken.

A couple of months ago, I was out with friends, talking about these same fears and insecurities. We sat on my favorite bridge, smoking cigarettes and looking at the Austin skyline. The topic of choices made it into our conversation as we talked about mental health. While I agree that part of my negative sense of self is partly biological, there are choices that I make throughout my day that fuel my anxiety and depression. I still play safe in my (teeny) comfort zone, refusing to be vulnerable out of fear. I keep a lot of things to myself. I like to hide. I mask that by trying to take care of everyone else in my life while refusing to take care of myself in the ways that I need to the most.

I am the queen of self-sabotage.

But I also know that I’m a good person who is capable of positive change. I am smart and determined enough to make some constructive adjustments in my life. That means noticing my behavioral patterns and doing something about them before I spiral out of control. That means I need to stop drinking. That means being more trusting of others and stop pushing people who love me away. That means building healthier attachments. That means being completely honest and clear about what I need, especially when I need help. That means actually learning from my mistakes and holding myself truly accountable- self-care includes self-discipline.

I’m not the one who sets new year’s resolutions- frankly, I never keep them. Who does? But I’m trying to be more intentional this year. I spent most of my 35 years on the planet getting in my own way. I know that I can experience an infinite amount of love/success/happiness- I deserve it all but I need to put in the work. I can choose an upward spiral.

Have a safe, sexy, successful and satisfying 2022. May this be a year of positive growth for you.

#FillthOver

So, I lied. To myself and you, dear reader. In my last entry back in August, I vowed to write more and that obviously didn’t happen. Not so long after writing that post, I found myself in a deep depression. Normally, I experience a deep void around the holiday season (despite being a complete sucker for Christmas). Said void came earlier, at the end of September. I hated my job, my life and myself more than usual. I felt stuck and alone.

One of my favorite things I love about myself is my resiliency. I’m always able to pull myself out of deep holes of despair. Yes, it takes time to do so- often weeks as it did this time around. But I’m now out. I climbed out of the hole, navigated my way through the clouds of stagnation and am wondering what to do next. I have to credit my friends and my father for extending their hands of hope as they reached in with their words of advice.

My dad said something that really resonated with me. I called him late one night to vent, sobbing that I didn’t make enough money to buy a car and how mentally exhausted I was. He reassured me that inflation prices will eventually adjust so I’ll be able to afford my dream Prius. Then he asked me, what I was doing for myself? I had to think hard. I was working a job that I desperately wanted to love during the day, and job hunting at night. I was working a second job, behind a bar four nights a week. I wasn’t riding my bike. I wasn’t writing. I completely abandoned my hobbies and my friends. I started drinking a lot.

I can’t remember the particular moment of that Friday but something triggered me at work. I walked to one of my favorite bars, had four of their strong frozen margaritas and then, texted all the numbers in my phone, saying that I hated them all. I started crying in the Lyft that picked me up and took me home. That crying continued into the night. I was angry about everything. My best friend, Clarissa, once old me that depression is anger toward inward. Once inside my apartment, I passed out and woke up a few hours later to 50+ texts of concern. That drunken moment left me ashamed and embarrassed, and I fell deeper into my depression. I was so incredibly mad at myself.

I thought for a long time on how to make amends to the people that I texted. I tried a little harder at work. I donated cash to the homeless man who slept at my bus stop. I tried to smile more. I was still feeling like shit. I don’t often take my dad’s advice- we just don’t have that kind of relationship. But I was starting to think that he was right. What was I really doing for myself? I thought that working so I could afford my bills was “something” for myself. I thought that job hunting for a better tomorrow was “something” for myself. No, they weren’t. Yes, they were helping make my life a little easier… But my life drained me. My soul was sucked out. What was I doing to restore it?

I didn’t want to go to my parents’ for the Thanksgiving weekend but I needed to get out of Austin for a while. I rejoined my Thursday night bike riding group. One night, at a pit-stop on one of our rides, I asked my friend, Stephanie, if she wanted to go to New York City for Turkey Day. We had the best time, exploring the city, meeting friends and seeing snow. My heart was so happy. Lesson learned: take all of your PTO.

As I look to the new year, I ask myself, How will I take care of my whole self? Lately, I’ve been really into horoscope readings (I’m a Pisces with stereotypical “fish-y” traits). My most recent one said that 2022 will be a year of massive gains for me. It will be filled with traveling, wealth, love- all the good stuff. I think about where I want to be at the end of next year and I think about all the work I need to put in. But within that work, I need to have some fun and do something for me.

What are you doing to fill your cup, dear reader?

#ThisIsForClarissa

I haven’t been writing- and I kind of hate myself for it. 

I want to blame both writer’s block and my work schedule but that isn’t the truth. For the last month, I been updating the same draft over and over. I’d reread my words, delete paragraphs, rewrite those paragraphs just to do the same thing over again for a few days later. An editor’s notes can be rough but self-editing is literally hell. 

I always thought it would come to this point, where I would finally hate my writing. I hate the tone of voice I use for this blog. I hate my lack of vocabulary (even though the dictionary is right there at my finger tips). I learned to hate WordPress. I mostly hate the things I write about. As I reviewing my the #Greeting30 pieces that I’ve written over the years, I feel like a Karen in written form, using my words to bicker and complain about the state of the world and the state of my life. I knew that I wanted to be a professional writer when I was sixteen years old. High school Andrea didn’t want to complain- she wanted to tell the truth about love and politics and and fashion and war and other important issues. She knew how big the world was and wanted to tell everyone who couldn’t explore it about the wonders she experienced.  

But I am a writer. It’s one of the few things that I’m good at (it’s probably the only constant thing in my life that I’ve been good at). Despite my current frustrations, writing will always be one of the loves of my life. It does bring me joy and a sense of comfort, whether or not I’m published. As I’ve gotten older, I feel my spoken voice wavers each time I open my mouth. My thoughts and opinions don’t come out as clear as I want them to- I don’t “speak smart,” putting together proper verbal sentence structure (I like to thank my anxiety for that). But I certainly write well- and smartly. 

tenor

I just need to grin and bear it; dedicate a few hours a day to getting something out… I’m gifting myself the myself the challenge to write at least 300 words a day on this blog. I say, “gifting,” because writing is gift, a gift that own that I often take advantage of. When I write, I can escape temporarily from my current reality. I’m able to connect with myself on deeper level; the parts of me that are not work, my relationships and the fact that I need to vacuum my bedroom. 

I’ve been exploring how I can improve the way I write. I want to expand past the complaints and negativity by using writing prompts and diving back into my daily newsfeeds. I want to share myself using an honestly that I’ve always held back due to fear of exposing my true self. I want to write. I need to write. 

Anyway, here goes nothing. Here’s to more writing… Fingers and t’s crossed. Enjoy, dear reader.