Swiping right into hopeless love..

Why is it so seemingly hard in this day and age to want someone and have him or her genuinely want you back? To manage a relationship void of games and bologna. Just two people with common interests who like each others face enough to see them more than once a week. Dating nowadays doesn't make sense to me. You have this person you are semi interested in, and then you have the slew of other people you're also interested in, and you want to see all of them all at once. What happened to just being with one person and that being enough? We want so much to be different that we have made love a game of how many hearts can I put in my jar until it bursts? 

I want one heart in my jar. I want one person that I can call my best friend who will eat pizza at three am in the middle of the kitchen floor in just the refrigerator light. Someone who will chase me in the grocery store making silly faces, or spend a whole day talking in accents to each other. I want to dance and sing to disney music in the dining room and end the day in bed talking about the existence of aliens or whether or not they live in the parts of the ocean we have never explored. I don't want complicated. I want genuine, simple, beautiful. Real.

Although this generation I inhabit picks tinder over meeting someone in line at target or a coffee shop, I do believe the love that I crave still exists somewhere. For now, I shall wade through the new norm of 2016 dating life swiping right. 

Why I Stopped Putting You First

    When you’re with someone, you want to be consumed in them. I know I do, at least. I want to share my two am thoughts and I want to know that my good morning text made you smile. I want to know that when I am not there you reach your hand to my side of the bed in search of my own and the thought of me not being there at least brings you a little sadness. I want to feel secure in myself as well as in us and not be worried that I am going to be replaced or that someone takes my spot when I’m not there. I want someone who wants me regardless of my scars, regardless of the things that haunt my past and linger into my present. I want to be wanted. I don't want unanswered texts and mixed messages. I don't want to lie in bed at night and wonder why I am not good enough or what I could do to make myself more appealing for you. I shouldn't have to live in a “wanna be” relationship feeling more alone than when I was at my lowest.

     And that is why I can no longer have you as a priority, because to you I am only an option. And that is not an option to me. I am not a thought that crosses your mind when you turn over to see the spot next to you bare. You only care about you. And that is why I have to let you go. And that’s okay.

    I have spent years catering to others, hoping that one of the times all the things I do for this person or that person would finally fill this emptiness inside. I deserve the type of love, and the type of relationship that feeds my soul, not drains it. After falling face first into the hard concrete of tough relationships I think it is time to take a step back and take care of me. So I am choosing to stop putting you first, and to give myself a shot. I come from a long list of insecurities, each a little less pretty than the last and I am looking to change that. I am not looking to make the list longer. I want to wake up in the comfort of my own company and not have this burning need to text someone. I want to tell myself good morning and feel the sunshine on my face and know that I am okay. With or without you, or anyone else for that matter.

    So I am vowing to myself, to let go of those toxic relationships that allow my insecurities to weigh me down like two pockets full of rocks. I vow to embrace the potential relationship with myself and work as hard as I can on looking at myself in the mirror and knowing in my heart that I am enough. 

Learning to Breathe Underwater

I have feelings, a lot of them.

I’ve been off medication for about two months now, and life is a little weird. Okay, a lotta weird. I am dealing with a whirlwind of emotions that have remained dormant for the last three years of taking a tiny pill that ensues a wave of comfortable sadness. I forgot how hard it was to live in a state where feeling emotions, real emotions, was a thing. And right now I hate it. I know I can do it on my own but its a lot harder than I initially thought it would be. I have all these things inside of me, these feelings and emotions that I don't really know what to do with. For the last three years I have experienced what I call surface feelings, they were there but I never really experienced them. I forgot what true anger felt like as it welled in my chest creating this burning urge to slam a door. I forgot what it felt like to feel the sun on my skin, and appreciate its warmth. I forgot what it was like to be genuinely hurt because I spent the better half of the last three years only half experiencing things, pushing them to the side, telling them they could wait. It wasn't until I returned from feeling unbelievably numb in a place that I thought would fix my nothingness that I realized that this mind fogging medicine was forcing me just to survive.

I thought I knew what it felt like to lose it, but nothing compares to sitting in the middle of your bed at three am trying to quiet the noise in your head because for the first time in years its more than just a whisper. It’s yelling in all different tones about seven different things that I just cant wrap my head around. Deciding to take ahold of my life was more like losing it all over again but in the most tragically beautiful way. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of myself, not knowing how to deal with these new feelings that welled inside, but its simple. You take it one step at a time, slowly learn to breathe underwater. Push through the confusion and realize you can't make sense of nonsense. Appreciate the ability to feel, and feel deeply. That is one of the most beautiful things about living, feeling things. Whether it be a smile when you receive a compliment, the warmth that builds in your belly after a first kiss, or the tinge of pain in your heart when it breaks. Take these experiences, learn from them, grow from them. Realize that you aren't alone. You are alive and you are meant to feel, you are meant to live and experience and flourish. 

It took me many nights of endless tears debating on whether or not a life of comfortable sadness was better than feeling too much all the time to realize that a life without feeling is not a life worth living. To feel means to grow, and to grow means to take a stab at thriving. You can't expect a flower to sprout without sunshine. I was tired of living in the dark, rolling through the motions of every day life with a half smile on my face that refused to ignite my willingness to live. I didn’t even know what I was missing out on until I threw away everything that I had built and left. I experienced life and although it kicked my to the ground and snickered like a playground bully, I did it. It awoke a part of me that had remained dormant due to mind fogging medication that refrained me from clear thinking. Blinded me and pushed me to drag through life like I was just meant to survive. I am meant to live. And living will be done.

Waves pull me out to sea, and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. But slowly and steadily I am learning to breathe underwater.

So be it

There is a point in your life when you get sick of people expecting you to have it all figured out. You get frustrated with yourself for not having it all figured out and it just pushes you to the edge. I am standing at that edge. While trying to allow myself to be okay with not having it all figured out, I have people left and right scrutinizing me for not having a better paying job, an apartment of my own, be able to pay for this or that. I am one person, and I am trying to do what I can to get to a place where I am able to do all of that. Having humans in your life that consistently tell you how lost you are for not having that sparkling new apartment overlooking the lake, or that fancy paying job that will make you miserable but solve all your financial woes, only pushes you father from the path. 

    I just want to be happy. And I am trying my hardest to get there, but I need to get there without the scrutiny and negativity of those who just expect everyone to have things figured out the way they do. Everyone works at different paces, peoples lives pick up at different times. I could go out, get a loan, and leave my house but owe the bank thousands. Or I can continue to try and put myself together and do it without having to beg borrow or steal. 

    “How are you ever going to support yourself?” 

Well, in all reality, I do support myself. The only thing I do not do is pay rent or car insurance. But that doesn't make the bills I pay currently any less important. I am working to move into a state of being where I am able to balance my money, job, life, in a positive and healthy manner. What those people in life that put you down don't understand is that they are hindering you, not helping you. By reminding you consistently that you don't have it together or that you are falling behind the rest of the people in your “generation,” they are just pushing you further and further away from reaching your goal. What sucks is one day long ago words like such would motivate, but nowadays, they just hurt.

    “Where are you going in life? What is your plan? Why aren't you pursuing something more practical?” 

    How about this, you work your 9-5 job that more than likely makes you miserable, and I will meander through my “messy” life finding happiness doing something I love. You can’t force success, you can’t force progress, things take time. I made a promise to myself, that I would never compromise my happiness for dollar signs, and that will remain true. If that means there are things I live without, then so be it. I would rather be broke and happy than rich and miserable. Money can't buy you the feeling that wells inside when you do something you are truly passionate about. Money is just paper. And although in reality it seems to be the only thing people care about, call me old fashioned but I believe truly in finding something that ignites you and pushes you towards true self happiness. Believe it or not, money isn't everything. And for those who insist on scrutinizing those who are still on the path to figuring it out, shame on you. Because once upon a time, whether you will admit it or not, you were in their shoes. You were a little lost, and if a hypocrite is what you wanted to be when you grew up… Congrats, you made it. 

But I will not be put down, for I am taking the steps necessary to achieve the happiness that I deserve, the happiness that comes from inside myself. I will find it, and it will be beautiful. And if that takes baby steps, then so be it. 

stagnant

I have this recurring dream. I am standing in the middle of the sidewalk on Michigan Avenue and my feet are stuck to the concrete. I can't move. I struggle and fight and there's just no getting them to budge. Around me time passes fast, I see the people I know in life growing older and gaining importance in life and I just stay the same. I wake up crying, this happens twice a week. 

Stagnant, still, motionless. The fear of never truly moving forward sends shivers down my spine. 

No one wants to feel stagnant, void of forward movement, or rather movement at all. I know first hand what it's like to feel stuck, and stuck leaves you feeling helpless, hopeless, without purpose. But realize, you do have purpose and you can accomplish amazing things. It's all about swimming through the rut, seeing it through, and making it out on the other side a better version of yourself. Realizing, you are in control. The power lies inside of you. 

So often we forget the talent that lies within us, and most importantly, that we are capable of anything we set our hearts on or minds to. I know for sure I don't want to feel sluggish or stuck any more than the next person. I feel that it is a real fear within all of us, and its up to us to overcome it. I have learned, the hard way, not to compare my successes or lack there of to anyone else in life. Because each person's journey takes off at its own pace. Everyone has a path, and sometimes that path is rocky and bumpy. My path seems to have disappeared, but I'm confident I will find it sooner or later. 

I wasn't born with the patience gene, but my mother always said patience is learned. I am definitely on a path to learning. 

Life behind the counter ain't all that easy.

what should matter.

Lets discuss people, 

I stand behind the counter and just marvel at the diversity swimming along in my cafe. I have always been astonished with the vast differences between certain humans in the world. I think being different is amazing, and more people should embrace it, however, there is a large reason why that doesn’t happen…

People and their utter need to be terrible to each other.

I am a college graduate, worked full time throughout all college years, and managed to pull of a beautiful GPA at graduation. And yes, I work at coffee shop. I slave away day after day to provide the world with sufficient amounts of caffeine and yet I get told that what I do isn’t a real job and that I’m not good enough. 

“When you get a real job, sweetheart, then you can talk to me about working 40 hours a week and being tired.” - Suburban Mom

To say that statement infuriated me, would be an unbelievable understatement. I am working as hard as I can, slaving away at a job that barely pays my bills, but pays. But its not a real job? No, its not my career and I don’t plan to slave coffee the rest of my life, however, who are you to constitute this as a “fake” job, or a job any less than a real one?  The problem with the service industry is three fourths of your customers whole heartedly believe you are there to serve them. Your main purpose in life is to work this “fake” job, that is getting you by through whatever you have going on in life, and you aren’t worth anything more. We wonder why people in the fast food industry want more money, does anyone realize what we go through? I mean granted, there are exceptions to everything, so don’t jump down my throat for that one. 

I stand behind a counter and I make coffee for a living, currently. But its more than that, because aside from the stresses that come with the job itself, we now deal with the stresses from customers. 

“This is too hot” “Theres too much foam” “I said iced” 

We smile and make it right because thats what we are paid to do, we are paid to make your coffee with a smile. However, I can tell you that I am not paid to sit and take your criticism when you tell me that this isn’t a real job, or that I am no better that those “burger flippers” at McDonalds, or that my job is so easy a child could do it. I don’t get paid for you to tell me I’m not worth anything, or good for anything because your cappuccino doesn’t have the absolute perfect milk to foam ratio. 

Why has this world become so terrible to one another? When did criticizing people get you father than encouraging them? I think more people need to take  a step back and evaluate their actions and words before they speak. Because words hurt as much as punches, and they stay with you longer than a bruise. 

I am a college graduate, trying to work a job to pay my bills while I figure out my calling in life. Please, respect that and know that I am doing my best and that is what should matter.  

#What should matter#coffee life#barista#angry#rant#barista problems#writing

 

Writing through the rut...

Neil Gaiman once said,

“If you only write when inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist”

That stuck with me all morning. I spend so much time searching for inspiration because I feel its the only thing than can fuel great prose. But I am finding out that seeking inspiration only delays the writing process. I am realizing that it is okay to write crap, because its easier to edit a full page of terrible writing vs. an empty one. Empty pages house no progress. I need to learn to accept that. Rationalize that I need to write every day, even when I’m not feeling it. It's during those times that some of the most beautiful words happen. Somewhere amongst the terrible string of sentences you come across a thought and that thought becomes something worth continuing. I had a friend ask me why I wasn't confident in my writing. And I didn't know how to reply. I guess we really are our own worst critics.

He reminded me that what I create means something, and that I need to be confident in that.

I am learning a lot about myself, my writing, my life. What I want and don't want, what I need and what I can do for others. I am putting together a life here. I thought for sure I would be caught endlessly in the idea that I am leaving. Well, I think I may just stay awhile, see what Chicago has in store for me.

forward

Ive been thinking a lot about life, once again. And I feel lost. It’s weird because I feel like its normal to be lost right now, but at the same time I feel like I should be past the lost part. Like I should have something, anything, figured out and I shouldn’t feel like I am trying to navigate a crowded room in the dark. I am sitting in a parking spot, too much of a baby to go into this meeting too early. I am nervous but at the same time I’m not. Which I don’t know if its a good thing or a bad thing. 

What do I even want? Do I even know? Or is this what my problem is? Am I just lost completely because I don’t have direction? Do I not know where it is I want to be and who I want to be? There are all these versions of myself in my head and each one of them is happy in their own way, but I don’t know how to get to those versions. Hell, I don’t even know which version I want. Do I want to move up at Starbucks and live the life of a coffee slave? Or do I want more? Do I want to put my portfolio together finally and start sending out resumes? I think I am afraid. I think fear keeps me from doing these things because I already don’t feel good enough, what happens when its just one disappointment after another? How do I gain enough confidence in the skills that I have obtained to make something of myself? 

I am sitting in my car, its thirty degrees out and I am scared. I know I am good at what I do, but I hate interviews and I hate being put on the spot and I hate feeling like I need to prove myself consistently. But if this is what it takes to move forward, then so be it. Forward I will march. 

Little Victories

Its strange to think that one day long ago certain things that I did every day didn’t seem that significant. That getting up in the morning was just getting up. That remembering to return a movie was just simply that. These little things I did every day weren’t anything more than what they were. This all changed the moment I let the darkness in and depression took ahold of me.

I went through months of not being able to eat, sleep, or function. I let my body waste away and I sat motionless in the center of my bed staring off into space because being human just seemed too much. I lost myself, completely, and it seemed like there was no getting me back. Every day things just seemed to be pointless and getting out of bed was a task I could no longer conquer.

Slowly I started to fade out of that, and return to every day activities, but I still felt hollow. It’s a strange feeling, to go from feeling so much to nothing at all. You feel vacant, like the person inside said to hell with you and jumped ship. I went through months of that as well. One day, I was watching slam poetry videos when I came across one that focused on the meaning of a good day. How you and I both have different meanings and something inside of me changed. It was like a light switch went on and my brain suddenly functioned again. That’s when I created the “little victories.” I was learning to love life again through the celebration of small things. Everything you do is a victory some way or another.

I started with waking up. I went through so many months of disappointment when my eyes opened to see sunshine. But that changed, because there was so much to be grateful for. The following morning I woke up and the first thing I thought was “this is a little victory.” And it sparked from there. Every day things became victories, reasons to celebrate. The reason is important though. I went from hating everything, including myself where there was no celebration for getting up. There was no celebration for brushing my teeth or putting on clean clothes, and it was all disappointment for me. Implementing the victories helped me work towards taking ahold of my life again.

A few months following that I finally felt like myself again. Breathing became easier, and it felt good to open my eyes and greet morning with a smile. I felt victorious because through celebrating the small things in life, I regained a hold on mine and kicked the darkness to the ground.

So for anyone who struggles with the hassles of every day tasks, just remember, it’s a victory. It’s something you couldn’t do yesterday. Tackle a new one every day because that is how you work towards becoming you again, a better you, and a healthier you. Be victorious.

Even reading this is a victory.