Be You/Be Mostly You

I got to thinking about being yourself… being you. It’s important to express yourself wholly and always be who you are.

Right?

Sometimes I don’t think that’s true. Sometimes I think we have to hide ourselves under a fa├žade. Maybe this is at work, or with people we don’t know. Maybe it’s just to be friendly and get to the point. Maybe we don’t always have to 100% be ourselves 24/7. It can be exhausting to express ourselves fully all the time. Sometimes we just don’t want to get into an argument. Sometimes we don’t want to show who we are exactly for fear of rejection. It feels impossible to always be ourselves. We just have to be mostly ‘us’ and not worry about being who we are at every moment. Or so I’ve noticed as a working professional trying to make new friends in this world.

So be you. Or be mostly you. See how it goes. See if you’re happier or not. See if you’re friendlier. Just see what happens. And love yourself, no matter how it goes.

Adults = Children?

I got to thinking about adults acting like kids. Or rather, children–that word seems more appropriate. As a child, you think that adults are these highly superior beings who are confident and mature. You think that adults will be and act like adults. You think that they’re holding themselves (and others) to a higher standard. You think that petty and immature behavior will go away. You think that life will somehow be easier because you’ll have it all figured out. And people won’t gossip or act in malicious ways. Adulthood is full of people who have your back!

But I don’t think that’s true. And that’s one of the weirdest things about being (and becoming) an adult. I always assumed that adults would be mature, respectful, and kind. And I am not saying that I am perfect. I am saying that I have seen behavior from adults that is appalling, and childlike. It’s so strange. It’s not the world I imagined twenty years ago.To say that I am disappointed is quite the understatement.

Are (some) adults just big children?

Doing things differently

I got to thinking about what I do differently than others. It’s a lot. I tend to gravitate toward “being different” and fighting against being a lemming. Sure, I am conventional in a lot of aspects, but I like to be different and forge my own path. For instance, I decided to have a childfree wedding. This isn’t revolutionary. This isn’t something that won’t be done again and again and again. Lots of weddings exclude children, for a multitude of reasons.

But for some reason, this was controversial to some. Even though it was our day, our choice, it was controversial and we were verbally abused and harassed by a select few (I will note that most people were very supportive, and that was so kind). It ruined many aspects of the engagement and wedding. But we still held our ground, as it was our celebration. And you know what? It was still the right decision. Even though some people hurt us, and those people have no place in our lives, it was the right decision. Sometimes standing up to others is being different; we’ve all done that. I think the lesson here is to make childfree weddings, celebrations, life choices, and whatever else more friendly and accessible. Sure, it’s different. But it’s not new. It’s not unconventional. It’s just different. And my hope is that more people in this world accept those differences in the future.

What things do you do differently?

Going back to work

I got to thinking about anxiety… and the anxiety of going back into work. COVID-19 has been awful in so many ways. But the upside? Working remotely. As an introvert, who becomes more and more introverted every year, I have loved the solace and solitude of working remotely. It’s changed me in so many ways. The downside of working remotely? I feel like it’s impossible to let go.

I haven’t gone back yet, but going back into the office, the large office where I have to socialize and smile is daunting to me. My introverted self would prefer to just cocoon inside my apartment for the rest of my life. Is anyone else having utter anxiety over this? And how are you coping? Are you coping? Whenever I think about going back, I have chills. I have a panic attack. I don’t want to do it. I am scared and terrified, yet I also know that’s inevitable.

Do I just have to put my big girl pants on and suck it up? Will I be okay? Will I cry in the bathroom the first day? Will I hate my commute again? All of these questions scare me. Sometimes I feel like my anxiety is taking over my life.

Happy for their success

I got to thinking about being happy for others’ success. I don’t want you think I am a green monster, full of envy and anger. I am not. But sometimes, watching over people succeed is tough. It makes us examine what we’re missing; I certainly do plenty of this. I always ask myself: When will I have that success? Will I ever? Am I just not good enough? Am I not lucky enough? Talented enough? What’s wrong with me?

I hate going down this road. I utterly hate it. Green is not my color. But sometimes, I need to feel envious for a minute; sometimes it makes me push myself. And when I can overcome those ugly minutes or sometimes hours, I can be happy for others and their success. It’s a good thing, and I know it. There is space for all of us to be successful. We just have to find it.

How do you deal with envy? Does it take over? Do you find yourself being happy automatically?

Fork in the Road

I got to thinking about decisions. Deciding between two things. You know the expression: “fork in the road.” How do you decide what’s right? How do you decide which path to take? And why must there be so many paths in life? (I guess this is a positive thing. I should be thankful and counting my blessings. But it’s also overwhelming and I will not discount that for one moment. It is okay to be thankful and overwhelmed all at once.)

I didn’t sleep at all last night. I am overthinking things. I am at the fork in the road. I have to make a decision–and quickly–that will and can change my life. It will most likely improve my life, if I decide one thing. But what if the other thing, that I’ve romanticized for decades, is the right choice? I just don’t know.

How do you make life-changing decisions? Do you? And do you have regrets? Do you worry that life will sneak up behind you and not tell you? Do you have anxiety over your decisions? I feel as if my life is a constant swing from anxiety to anxiety.

But maybe, just maybe, I have to take a leap of faith. Go to the fork that I’m afraid of. Maybe.

Writing a Children’s Book During COVID — Update

I wanted to update you all: I am writing a children’s book! Well, I haven’t started writing yet. I did a detailed outline. I have my characters, themes, and premise. But I’m excited! I finally started writing during COVID. I’ve been struggling with writing because everything in the world around me frustrates me. Usually, that is good ammunition to write. But not this time. It’s been tough. I know it’s been tough for most of us. Are you struggling, too?

However, the fact that I have a solid outline makes me proud. Everything around me is such an utter distraction that I didn’t think I’d accomplish this, but I did. Sure, I need to start writing the book itself. That’s the next step. And I’m not there yet. But I think we should all applaud ourselves for starting something during such unpredictable and scary times. Nothing is easy, including writing. We just need to remember that putting something down is always a good start!

What is everything else writing?

What matters?

I got to thinking about what matters in life. Does fighting for what you believe in matter? Does fighting for others matter? Does your college degree matter? Does your job matter as long as you make money? Does anything matter at all? Are we just here for a small amount of time and we can’t control much?

I recently had someone tell me that things don’t matter. It just matters that you do the things that you love. You can’t save the world, so don’t try. Just be happy where you are and with what you’re doing. Do you think that’s true? I have a hard time believing that we can’t do something to fight for the world, fight for others. For instance, I’m vegan for the animals, for my diet, and for the environment. I try to reduce as much as possible. For the things I can’t, I recycle. Am I helping? Or does it not matter? Is the world too far into climate change? I am hopeful that it is not. I am hopeful that we can all do things that can save each other and the world. I think it matters. And it makes me happy. And didn’t this person tell me that’s what matters?

Do what you can. Fight for what’s right. And hopefully that brings you happiness too. That’s what I’m doing.

The Difficulty of Writing in Quarantine

I got to thinking about this COVID-19 quarantine. I’m very upset by everything going on in the world around me. It’s devastating to hear about so many people dying, a leadership that doesn’t care about fellow Americans, people who won’t wear masks, travel being halted, and employers not taking this seriously enough.

As a vegan, this is all especially difficult. COVID-19 happened because people are still eating animals. Period. There’s nothing more to it. It breaks my heart that animals are still dying because humans want to eat them, exploit them, and thus, leading all of us into a pandemic that has killed so many. It’s heartbreaking. I’m not here to preach on veganism, but I hope that people start to take a look at their diets moving forward. There are wonderful resources out there on the change to veganism. I would start with reading Nutrition Facts by Dr. Michael Greger.

Because of COVID-19 and my depressive feelings about the future of humanity, I’ve found it hard to write during quarantine. I haven’t traveled or lived the life I love for the quite some time now. Most of us haven’t. Most of us feel stuck or lonely. Inspiration hasn’t struck. I’ve been reading a lot and often, but it isn’t the same as writing and editing my own words. And it’s devastating. I challenge everyone reading this to focus on what hurts, what makes you angry, what makes you happy, and to focus on writing. I’m going to make myself break this self-imposed writer’s block this week. I need to write. I need to express myself and stop feeling so depressed about everything. I bet you do, too. Let’s do this together. Let’s write. Let’s be the writers we’ve always been. Best of luck.

Your voice can shake

I got to thinking about this quote, “Speak the truth. Even if your voice shakes.” I cannot recall where I heard it or read it, but I love this quote. It validates any sort of fear that I have when speaking out. Sometimes we avoid speaking the truth because of fear. Sometimes we let things go (and sometimes we should do so) because we don’t want to deal with the confrontation. But I want you all to know that it’s okay to speak the truth. Let your voice shake. Let the fear come out. I can tell you from experience that the fear shutters once the truth is out. It will be okay. Trust.