Writing to write

Unlike most of my posts, this one doesn’t really have a set purpose or theme, I just woke up today and really wanted to write on here. I also just drank some coffee so I am feeling really, really good since I normally don’t drink coffee on the weekends, as usually a good night’s sleep is an equal substitute for caffeine for me. But today was one of those days where I really needed a boost and tea wasn’t enough so here we are.

A lot has happened in my life recently. From changing jobs, quite drastically too – I went from being front desk at a dental office to working in the mortgage industry, to telling my parents about my secret (almost) 7 year relationship and the fact that I’m moving out, to actually (just yesterday) signing for our house and starting the process of getting things in order, it’s been a whirlwind of change. I like it though, because it feels like my life is going forward and things are happening, so even though it’s a bit overwhelming at times, it also feels really good to finally be doing things I only dreamed I would be able to do. It makes me want to work on more goals, and make those happen as well.

And I’m trying to, slowly but surely. Even with writing – two years ago I went from wishing all the time that I could properly sit down and write for a period of time to actually being able to do it. Of course this is a back-and-forth process, as can be seen from my posting history. Two years ago I learned how to sit down and write in general, and now my challenge will be to learn how to write while I am employed and have less free time.

Because it was when I got a job last year that I stopped writing because I would be so tired from work and wanted to spend all of my time either watching TV or going outside. But writing is important to me to, it feels so rewarding to put words down on paper, whether it be with pen or me typing on my computer (as I am right now). Because my words are my voice, and it is something that is truly my own, that does not exist until I express it.

I’ve recently started writing in the morning before work, my morning pages. This is in a journal just for myself, as one of the books I am reading recommended writing in the morning as a way of getting rid of the “mental junk” swirling in your head in order to have better focus on tasks throughout the day, consciously address unconscious thoughts, and as way of having some solace and a time of meditation before venturing out into the busy, bustling world.

Although this means I have to get up about half an hour earlier than I usually do, and I loooove sleeping in, I’ve actually have really enjoyed the experience of writing my morning pages. I’ll be sitting in bed with my tea and oatmeal besides me, enjoying my handwriting as it appears on the page and the light of the morning on the paper, swimming in the world of words I create. It’s also given me more time to properly “wake up” before I start my day, instead of heading to work with my mind still half asleep.

One of the goals I’ve had forever, since about junior high, has been to write a novel and I think that this is the year I will finally attempt it. Two years ago, I started seriously working on my self-discipline because before that I really had none, which is why in high school and college I would leave studying for exams, working on essays and projects until the very last minute, or not do them at all. All of my goals seemed incredibly difficult to even start on and hopelessly unattainable, and I just felt helpless. But I kept telling myself things that others had told me: you just need to start. Once you start, it is easier to keep going, but you need to start.

Around that time in my life my body started feeling pretty weak because my lifestyle was really sedentary, and I really disliked that feeling so I started pushing myself physically. I actually wrote about this in one of my earliest blog posts, how in the morning (or whenever I woke up), before eating breakfast, I would get up and go for a walk or a bike ride, forcing my body to move and exert effort before it had eaten. Although it was really difficult, breakfast never felt more rewarding.

I took this physical exertion to the next level in the fall by joining the gym. I had never thought before that time that I would ever join the gym, I was just not that kind of person. But the gym helped me immensely. I was unemployed during that time and had lots of free time so I would go to the gym. I loved it right away, because even though it was really difficult for me, the endorphins I would feel afterwards were wonderful. I also loved going to the classes they offered – that’s when I started my yoga class that is now something I look forward to every week and never fails to make me feel amazing.

The gym is what really taught me discipline and the importance of routine. It also wonderfully tired me out so that I didn’t lay awake for hours and hours with thoughts swirling in my mind, I was able to fall asleep. Which in turn helped fix my sleep schedule so that I was no longer waking up at 3pm, 4pm. And all of this combined helped me start writing on here. And once I started writing on here, and writing became less of an overwhelming thing, I started writing cover letters and applying for jobs. And got a job.

Which is unfortunately when my writing stopped – around March last year. The job was a good for a short time, but quickly became very stressful. It was an incredibly negative environment. My co-workers were cliquish and cold, my boss negative and blaming, the training inadequate. I had my first panic attack ever my first month of work, at work no less. It was horrible.

Things did improve eventually, I eventually became quite friendly with my coworkers and boss and learned how to do everything perfectly, but it was still an unnecessarily negative environment with all the office politics. I was going to quit completely last fall, but my boss offered me more money so I stayed part time. I was happier and considerably less stressed for a while, but eventually key changes, especially the loss of certain personnel made it clear that it was time to leave.

And I found a new job and did. And it’s wonderful (so far). Unfortunately the pay is not great, but the environment is wonderful. I made friends faster here in 2 weeks then I did at my old job in 6 months, people here are more positive, friendly, and mature enough to not create drama in the office. It’s been wonderful and now I’m at a point where I feel at a good enough place mentally to seriously start working on projects outside of work, like writing.

And so this year I will be working on writing blog posts on here, a novel, and a poetry book. I have other projects I want to do as well, and that I will hopefully start soon, but these are the ones I want to really focus on.

And now after writing this short novella of a blog post, I am going to head outside and enjoy this lovely sunny spring weather. 🙂

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Toxic friends

Toxic friends
burn like stomach acid
when you’ve thrown up.
Even with them out of your system,
a rancid taste lingers in your mouth.

Your stomach is empty and hungry,
begging to be filled.
But while it may be quick and easy
to fill it with chips and cookies,
only a nourishing meal
will truly satiate it.

So you wash and peel and chop the vegetables,
grease the frying pan,
throw down some garlic and spices,
listen for that sensuous sizzle before
adding zucchini, red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes,
while in the other pot you have rice cooking,
and in another pan a fat fillet of salmon
needing to be turned over,
lemon juice squeezed,
black pepper ground.

Time and effort pay off
and deliver you a meal that satisfies all your senses.

Time and effort make you forget
that rancid meat
that looked so appetizing on the surface,
so delectable to chew,
but once inside you,
poisoned you.

Time and effort bring friends into your life
who are nourishing,
and nontoxic.

Family

I often wonder what it’s like to live in a supportive household. What it would be like to have parents who said things to encourage me instead of to tear me down. What it would be like to have my actual efforts acknowledged instead of having my inadequacies thrown into my face.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m in between jobs and not sure of what I want to do career-wise (which has made it so difficult to even decide which jobs to apply to), working on cover letters and applications, cognizant of my student loans that have to be paid, and yet all of that, all of those very real concerns, do not compare in the slightest to how stressed I feel when I interact with my family. I’m at a point where I literally can not tell them absolutely anything about my job search, because anything I say, even if it is positive like the fact that three companies have reached out to tell me they are reviewing my application, will be thrown back in my face. Every single thing that comes out of their mouths is negative, and makes this whole process incredibly more difficult. Because now I not only have to juggle job searching and applying, I have to juggle my mental health as well. I have to fight against the self-doubt, the feelings of hopelessness, the emotional and physical exhaustion, and the general apathy that sets in when they talk to me.

I am naturally a very positive, cheerful person. I am naturally an optimistic, hopeful person. But all of that completely reverses after interacting with my parents. All of that falls apart. And then for the thousandth time I have to pick myself back up, I have to remind myself that I’m doing this work for me, not for them. I have to do my best to bring back my mental stability, my mental clarity. It’s like I’m fighting an uphill battle, and I’ve also got a bull that’s trying to push me off the hill at the same time. It’s exhausting.

That’s what’s happening right now. But it’s the Spring Equinox, and I’m hopeful for a change. I will keep working hard, and I am hopeful some good will come out of it.

Rumination

Rumination is an intoxicating drink
that makes you want to think and think and think
because maybe if I think enough I can solve this,
he will love me,
she will forgive me,
they will give me another chance.

Rumination, empty sensation,
a tangled knot that won’t unravel
no matter how much you tug on the string.

Rumination, hurricane of worry
with an Eye so calm the air is paralyzed,
while self-indulgent chaos destroys genuine action,
thoughts spiraling out and out
breaking connections.

Rumination, where obsession becomes your possession,
cherished and played with all day
while life is gradually swept away.

Let go of the spinning top
and let the momentum settle,
there is only so much you can do,
the rest is up to Them.

 

via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

We’re drying up

Like locusts swarming wheat,
they poured into the watering hole,
filling it up with their heaving, desperate bodies
and purging it of that precious liquid
that once lazily laid
in trenches, canals, channels,
soaking in its own molecules
indulging in its own wetness.

Now that once moisturized earth has chapped lips,
dry and cracked from drought
and overuse, misuse, and pollution
of her most precious resource.

 

via Daily Prompt: Swarm

Doubt as a positive force

When I started looking up quotes on doubt to inspire me in writing this post, I found most were negative about doubt itself as a concept, or saw doubting as a negative, even harmful action. And to an extent these sayings are valid. The saying “Distance doesn’t ruin a relationship, doubts do” is true in that physical distance itself isn’t enough to destroy a relationship, there have to be strong thoughts/feelings which lead people to decide to dissolve their union, and these thoughts/feelings can indeed be doubts about the person or the relationship itself. And of course, in some cases it may be personal insecurity or jealousy that births these doubts, but sometimes doubt forms from just taking a honest look at a relationship and realizing you just aren’t compatible with the other person, that you each have different needs and goals that the other person can’t fulfill because of who they are as people. So definitely, doubt can be harmful if it comes from a place of insecurity, but it can also be helpful if it comes from a place of wanting honesty and clarity.

I believe that doubt can be a really beneficial tool when used in the right way. I believe that it is especially healthy to practice a degree of doubt when you examine your own beliefs and ideas about the world. To scrutinize your religious, social, political, cultural beliefs and ask yourself “Why do I believe this? Where did I get the information for these beliefs? How do I know that the source(s) is trustworthy and valid? What evidence have I seen that contradicts my beliefs? What are some of the different opinions about (x) topic? How much of what I believe was taught to me from birth and echoed around those in my family/community, whether explicitly or implicitly?”

Doubt can help us better ourselves as human beings by realizing which beliefs we hold are harmful, which beliefs are false, and which beliefs need to be changed if we want to live in reality. By trimming away these harmful or false ideas from our consciousness, we help ourselves flourish as more positive individuals and become fuller, more complex-thinking human beings. 

 

via Daily Prompt: Doubt

Finding my center

Finding my center of balance
I wiggle
wobble
and fall
face down onto the floor
Face pancake
Face red, face stinging, face making mountains of wrinkles,
Face broken into tears.

“It’s okay. It’s okay to fall. You don’t have to be perfect,
Try again.” My yoga teacher says,
her soothing voice sashaying
through my center,
finding my center.

I stand,
Tree position,
left foot against my right thigh,
palms together at my heart,
feeling my center.

My center is rooted,
steady,
and stretches like branches
through my head and legs.

via Daily Prompt: Center