Just Write – Equilibrium

Equilibrium. I have been searching for it. I am looking for the balance I so desperately crave and I’m thinking to myself, maybe this isn’t the season. Colorful leaves, colder temperatures, and midterms. This time is always pretty hectic. Typical of Autumn. Typical of the delicate air this late into the night. It’s just that time of year I guess.

I’ve never really known what that meant, but it helps. A reason for the slew of words pieced together haphazardly without a care in the world to exist. An explanation to the agonizing repetition I’ve noticed. Something to blame when I don’t know what even happened or why I feel the need to blame anything or anyone anyway. Just words that beg for catharsis.

Sometimes it comes. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the catharsis I need is waiting for me. 3 months ahead in the future, waiting for me where I’d least expect it to be… It all flies by too quickly now. I keep finding myself here. Here where I exist and the things that have happened do not exist. Where tomorrow doesn’t exist. Where I’m not sure if I even exist. Somewhere where we wonder when the words ever did make sense.

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Photo by David Maltais on Unsplash

platonic

love like this is simple.
no expectations; just life, lights
and us. simply put, it is perfect.
purely platonic, but this is perfect.
no jealousy or heartbreak
looming around the corner.
just two people, some stories to share
and a good time to be had.
we’re nothing but good friends
so know that I love you.
know that if you have no one else,
you have me.
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Just Write – Jigsaw

I recently watched Daniel Sloss’ Netflix comedy special Jigsaw. It is less of a comedy show and more of a commentary, changing lives and making you think the way only good comedy can. I highly suggest everyone watches it, but for those who get offended easily, you have been warned.

Strip the show of its jokes and at the core, we have a conversation about the meaning of life. Sloss explains that his father taught him life is like a jigsaw puzzle without the box. We all have our pieces and we’re trying to put together an image without knowing what we’re working towards. We start with the corners, things like family, hobbies, work, or religion; we take those and begin to form who we are by creating the outline to our puzzle. Eventually, we begin to construct something stable, working closer toward the image we are trying to discover. The life-changing question that young Sloss asked his father was “what goes in the middle of the puzzle?” His father gave the same answer that America gives us as a society: your other half. Your lover. Your soul mate.

Sloss explains that we are taught from an early age that we are all broken and incomplete, and that we must find someone to make us feel whole again. Bombarded with this ideal our entire lives, we tend to force the first person we find into the center of our jigsaw puzzle, rearranging things to make them fit, moving out the things they don’t like. The thing is, these people aren’t puzzle pieces. They are people just like yourself with their own jigsaw puzzle they are trying to solve.

We all want love so badly that we shove other humans beings into our puzzle and pretend that the end result makes us happy, even if it doesn’t fit. That isn’t to say that every jigsaw with someone else in the center is wrong. For your puzzle, it might be perfect. It just might be the missing piece that you had been looking for. For most of us though? That simply isn’t true. Even if it is, it doesn’t mean it’s the piece we need when we’re trying to jam it in there.

Sloss revealed closer to the end of his special that he believes his father was right, but only partly. He believes that there is a big hole in the middle that needs to be filled, but the missing piece is different for everyone. For someone like his father, the missing piece was love. But for others, it could be a combination of little hobbies, a career, or literally anything else at all. It’s up to us to discover that. It’s up to us to realize that maybe the relationship we are in doesn’t necessarily fit our jigsaw puzzle when it would be easier for the other person to die than to break their heart for what we consider to be no good reason. No one wants to tell someone who has done nothing wrong that you just don’t love them anymore. That just doesn’t happen, but Sloss suggest that maybe it should. We’re too busy sacrificing our happiness for the fear of hurting someone else who doesn’t deserve it, and because we believe this is how love should be.

Love should be effortless. All the pieces in your puzzle should fit together seamlessly, and if they don’t? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what goes there. If we have shoved a significant other in there and kept them hostage despite wondering if this is all love is, maybe it’s time to break up. If we can’t love 100% of ourselves, then how can we expect someone else to? If you love yourself at less than 100%, and someone comes to love you a little bit more, it seems like a lot. But if you love yourself at 100%, then it’s gonna take someone pretty special to come love all of you, the good and the bad, to make you feel even happier.

If no one ever fits, maybe that’s for the best. But if you are happier alone than you are with the person you’re dating, engaged or even married to, maybe your partner piece is not the center of your jigsaw. The center of your jigsaw should be your happiness piece. Everything else will fall in place around it. But if that person that you are with isn’t it? Replace them with the things that do make you happy. Each and every one of us deserves it. Besides, there are 7.5 billion people on this planet. You’re bound to meet someone who fits into your life as perfectly as you do theirs.

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Just Write – Drifting

Ten years ago, I was 11 years old. Ten years ago, my life began to take a definitive shape. Ten years ago…it’s hard to believe it, but a lot has happened in the past ten years. I mean, it’s 10% of a century, of course a lot has happened, but sometimes it’s hard to believe. I don’t know where the rest of you were ten years ago, but I was on the south side of Chicago, either in school or sitting in my front room in front of a computer.

The internet was really beginning to take shape then. Twitter, MMOs, Myspace. Things were definitely different then. Inside of my ears right now, old music from that time is playing. A cover of Alison Sudol’s Almost Lover. Do you know it? Can you hear it? Where were you when I began to really develop my passion for words, setting the stage for the next decade? Meeting the people who I’d talk to on and off; popping in and out of their lives as indiscriminately as I check in and out of my own. Checking out of reality to escape. Getting lost in a book, movie, or maybe a TV show. The medium is irrelevant. I always loved to fantasize as a child. So is the way of people like me: Taureans if you’re into astrology; INFP if Myer Briggs is more of your thing.

I remember reading this somewhere five years ago: every five years 98% of the cells in your body are completely replaced. Every five years we are literally no longer the people we used to be. Actually, thinking about it now, maybe it’s seven years, but let’s roll with five. I am only 2% of the person I was when I discovered this. I am only .04% of the person I was ten years ago when I began to realize who I was as a person. Obviously, life isn’t like that. I don’t become a new person every few years or so just because some cells die, but it does make for an interesting explanation about change.

I’m just writing words though. A stream of unedited consciousness with no real goal beyond being something interesting to read. Maybe the words will make you think. Maybe they’ll make me think. Or maybe they’re just words and we all spend too much time reading into everything…

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Handling Stress (A Guest Post)

Life is hard. I just lost my grandmother, the other day. January 13th,  2:52 AM, 2017. It’s one of those things that you know will inevitably come, but it’s also one of those things you didn’t expect to happen so soon. I love my grandmother. Whether or not I have her physical presence, I will always have our memories together and the lessons she taught me. I am sad. I’m going to be sad for a very long time. There are a lot of things in life that you can never really truly recover from. However, even if you aren’t ready to do so, life goes on.

Today, I’m sharing with you a post by Anna, one of the writers at the fairygodmotherbeautyblog.com. Kassi and Anna primarily focus on beauty. However, health and lifestyle are also very important to them. They are wonderful people, and the piece that you are about to read now shows just how understanding they are. More than ever, I appreciate these tips for handling stress.


Handling stress and adversity

Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes life is very hard.  Sometimes life seems impossible.  Sometimes you listen to a stranger tell you his or her life story and you wonder how they could have possibly survived it.

Truth is, you don’t really appreciate how strong you really are until you have to be that strong.  You don’t know how resilient and flexible you can be until you feel like you are stretched to your limit and are about to break, except you don’t.  You bend more.  And you survive.  And you tell your story to someone and you impress them with how strong you really are.

I had a stressful situation in 2011. It almost broke me.   My retired dad has a very serious brain injury from a stupid and simple accident that happened at his home.  However, this post isn’t about home safety.  I’m also not here to tell you how to overcome a Traumatic Brain Injury.  I’m here to tell you how not to break when you feel like at your absolute worst.

When something terrible happens, your first reaction is to cry and try to find blame. You blame anyone and anything.  “If only my parents hadn’t put that stupid coffee table there, this wouldn’t have happened!” Or, “if the builder had put down softer flooring or there was carpet, or the lightbulb didn’t need changing!”  Yes, I seriously had those thoughts.   This is normal.   But then what?   You have to at some point move on from blame and start dealing, right?

First step is to take care of yourself.  If you are caring for someone else, this will be difficult because your entire world will seem to be consumed by them. In most adversity, it may feel like an impossible task to carve out some time where you are taking care of yourself.  However, taking care of yourself can be as simple as:

Listening to your favorite songs while driving or working

Listening to comedy or watching funny movie outtakes or moments.

Eating a favorite snack

Looking at pictures of things that used to make you happy

Watching funny YouTube videos (my favorite are cat videos)

Watching your favorite movies (once you are able to fully watch a movie. It’s hard when your stress is new and all you seem to do is think about the stress. Watching something for a long time may be difficult)

Doing these easy things can lift your mood.  When you lift your mood, you feel happier, you feel more confident, and you will feel less stress.

Once you have decided to take care of you with those small steps, you can start incorporating other stress reducing practices into your routine. Here are some of those ideas:

Meditation

Exercise

Finding a new hobby

Meditation can seem silly or useless to someone who hasn’t done it before.  It’s completely okay to think so, and it’s also completely okay to not like it once you try it.  If you are interested in trying to meditate here are some helpful tips.

Start with a guided meditation.  Trying to sit with your own thoughts in a quiet room will be very hard and your mind will race.  This is exactly what you are trying to avoid.  Guided meditations will teach you to focus on something else other than your own mind.  There are couple of good apps that you can try for free and provide meditation practice for beginners.  Those are Headspace and Calm and are available for both Apple and Android.

Additionally there a number of videos on YouTube you can try for free.

Exercise is another good stress releaser.  I like it because just as meditation, it makes you focus on something other than your problem for the time being.  The benefits to exercise are of course better health! Start slow, especially if you haven’t worked in a long time.

Walking is a good way to get you moving. Get your headphones, put on your favorite Pandora station and walk.  Lose yourself in the moment.  Enjoy the walk.  Feel the pavement, feel your feet move against the ground.  Feel how your breath changes.  Pay attention to you, if only for 10 minutes.

Find a new hobby.  Or go back to an old hobby you once abandoned.  Di d you used to like sewing?  Make yourself an apron or make one for your neighbor.  Did you used to like to work with wood?  Make a birdhouse.  You can now even pick up a birdhouse kit at a craft store.  Maybe you used to like jigsaw puzzles?  Why not browse the toy section of your local department store and see what kind of beautiful jigsaw puzzles are available.

Managing stress and adversity isn’t easy at first, but once you decide to manage the stress instead of the stress managing you, it becomes easier.

These are just some of the things that worked for me.  I wish you luck on your journey to successful stress management.

Your Fairy Godmother, Anna
fairygodmotherbeautyblog.com