Been a While.

So, a lot has happened since my last post. Good things, but things nonetheless.

So, I moved. I fled the nest that I’ve known for 27 years of my life. It was very scary at first, and I don’t really think my body and mind have settled into the anxiety, but I did it and I’m ok with it. I am truly out in this world. Luckily, I moved close to my sister, and my dad, so I am not completely in this big state by myself; however, I still feel a level of independence from the world I have known my entire life. So far, I have been the “new kid” for about a couple weeks now and I’m itching to become a “regular”, but I know, all things in due time, lol.

It was shockingly bittersweet to say good-bye to my hometown; something that I thought would actually be easy to do, since I felt I had outgrown the place years ago. But, somehow, when I pulled out of my driveway on 6/21 for good, I felt a little down for a while. The place where I had made so many memories was now in my rear view. I was off to make new memories and make my mark in a new town; one I would hopefully plant my fully grown self and make a life. It’s definitely an adjustment, from living a few hundred feet from your parents, to now hundreds of miles, but I think it is for the best. It was high time for me to move on and spread these wings of mine, but I also feel that when it was time, I was put in the right position to move to the next chapter in my life.

So far, I am about 2 and a half weeks into my new job, which isn’t much different than my last job, except things feel a lot more relaxed here. I am currently doing training, which are a little redundant (especially because I know the basic structure of child welfare work, this is more like a 6-year refresher). There is not a lot of authoritative pressure and (dare I say it) bullying. I won’t get into that negative period in my life though; I’ve moved on, lol. So far, I’ve developed quite a bit of a routine that I am pleased with. I’ve joined a new gym (go Gold’s!) and gotten back into my lifestyle routine and I am happy about that. I think at this point, I’m just cruising and still getting to know my new place. So far, I have no complaints, and although the thought of how huge my county is, I think I’m up for the challenge now.

Look out NC, here I am.

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Choose. Yourself. Every. Time.

So, a lot has happened in the last 12 weeks or so, things that have made my begin a transition into a new chapter in my life that I am so excited for. It also taught me a valuable lesson about myself.

So, in April, due to my own personal mental health, I took a leave of absence from my job. There were several things (most importantly the environment and that’s all I’ll say) that we’re getting to me professionally and personally and I needed a break. Well I took a very healthy break from that place. 10 weeks. In that 10 weeks, I realized that I had to start choosing myself, my family, my life, my health first. So I made the decision to finally cut ties with the job I’d known for almost 5 years.

May 28, I said goodbye to my old job; no second job lined up, no real plan. But i knew that I needed to cleanly break away. So I told them that after my leave was completed, I won’t be returning. I’m sure there were whispers, rumors, discussion about me; but I don’t care. This decision was made because of that kind of behavior and I was not about to walk back into that.

May 30, I had an interview with another state agency, same position but better pay. I went and interviewed, and that day I received a call that they wanted to move forward with me; only 2 DAYS after I quit.

Yesterday, after all the formalities, I got my official job offer from the state of North Carolina. I start in a week and a half. All it took was 12 days to secure my new plan. I’ll be in the same field, but in a different state and I’m thoroughly excited.

When I quit my job, I asked God to put what is for me in front of me. He wasted NO time. I thought I’d be sitting around with no job for months, but He knew all I wanted was to be in a positive environment doing what I love.

What I learned from all this was this: in life, sometimes you have to take a leap; a leap into the unknown and it’s very scary. It took months for my family to convince me that this was the best option for me. It took even longer for me to convince myself. I’ve wanted to quit my job for over 6 months, and i finally gathered the strength in May 2019. You have to trust that whatever is meant for you, is waiting on the other side of you to release whatever is toxic and negative in your life. Toxic energy and new beginnings cannot both fit into your life comfortably. And I’ve made the choice that toxicity has no place in my life. Plus, the people who want worse for you always end up LOSING in the end.

Please, don’t hold on to negativity. Release that crap and get what’s yours out of life. I wasted too much time holding on to negative things; fear, doubt, worry, that I have let life pass me by and it only led to mental health issues. Not anymore.🖤

I can’t wait to start this new chapter of my life. I also need new work clothes…lol.

If I took anything from this experience in my life, and all the emotions tied to it, it is this; CHOOSE YOURSELF EVERY TIME. I’m done doing things out of the approval of others. I have started a life where I choose myself and I’m very happy with it. Now, onto the next chapter in life.

Stretching my Creative Muscles

Lately, I’ve had the urge to do more with my creative brain. Currently, I am a writer; I write poetry, prose, short stories, novels. That brings me peace, but I also want something that can make me explore and expand my creative ideas. I have been thinking about painting and photography mainly, as those are two things that I enjoy doing. I know there are so many different means of being creative, so the possibilities are endless.

I have been trying to do more of listening to my intuitions and following what my spirit is telling me. I have wanted to get into another hobby of sorts, and figure out what can evolve from it. Maybe I will start taking pictures and realize that it ain’t it for me, lol. Or I will realize that painting is an art form and a talent that I will never possess. Either way, I’m willing to give anything a shot.

So, I guess we shall see where this newfound urge to expand will take me :). Does anyone else experience this? Are there any other forms of creativity you have launched in your lives as a result of this feeling? I’d love to hear about it!

“You Don’t Look Sick” – Why You Should Stop Saying This

A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor to discuss an extension on medical leave that I had. I had a conversation with him about what I was experiencing in relation to my depression and anxiety. During the conversation, he made a statement to me that sort of bothered me. He said “you don’t look like the typical person to have anxiety. You look pretty put together to me.”

My response, which was a bit laced with sarcasm and irritation, was, “well, I’ve learned to live with it; and that’s not been the best solution to the problem.”

Now, I understand that this was 1. Not a psychiatrist or psychologist, and he probably didn’t mean it in a way that would have been condescending to me, and 2. He hasn’t been the one seeing me for the past five months, so he’s gauging his interaction of me off one visit; however, it did bother just a bit, because this is a statement heard all the time in a community of people suffering with mental illness, or an illness that doesn’t mean you “look sick” all the time.

I rarely did speak about the anxiety and depression I have gone through for this very reason. Because it was something that was not apparent, or something that was physical in nature, I continued to minimize it; even saying to myself, “well you’re not really sick, you’re just having a bad day.” I allowed myself to do that, all while putting myself through mental and emotional hell for not addressing it properly. Today, that is something I’m not very proud of, and wished I would have addressed these things sooner. I would possibly be in a better place on how to address it. For a long time, I refused to talk about what bothered me; most of the time I could not even develop a “valid” reason for my emotional mood swings or anxiety. Before I could allow anyone else in the help support me, I first had to choose myself and begin to find the healing in myself to accept that what I was going through was real, it was valid and it does require support, encouragement and daily motivation to get past.

I don’t really hold any ill will towards my doctor, but I honestly do wish that people would understand that anxiety and depression are very silent mental illnesses. A lot of people internalize their pain and symptoms. If they are like me, then they continue to move through life daily, doing what they have to do, sacrificing everything they have for others before helping themselves. I’ve always been like this, and only recently did I gain enough courage to admit to myself that I’m not ok sometimes, and that is something I shouldn’t be ashamed of. I’m proud to say that I have spoken up more about my anxiety, I’ve let friends and family know when I’m not having a good day emotionally, and I’ve received respect and understanding of that.

I know there are many people in this world who may suffer; some reading this post, and others who may know someone who suffers in silence. All I ask is that for those who know someone, please support them. Don’t push them too hard, but just be there for them. They need support more than anything because these illnesses are not easy to accept, nor are they easy to talk about.

Also, please, don’t tell someone who may be suffering that they don’t look like what your traditional ill person would appear to be. Just because an illness isn’t blatantly present, doesn’t make it any less real and serious.

Taking it one day at a time. 🖤

🖤🖤

Lessons vs. Lifetimes: Using Discernment in Meaningful Relationships

We all have encountered many friends, associates and experiences in life, but how do you know whether or not someone was placed in your life to teach you a valuable lesson, or to be there for a lifetime. I believe there is true discernment in allowing yourself to differentiate from the two. A lot of times, we find ourselves (for whatever reasons) holding on and letting go to the wrong people. I experienced this in my life first-hand.

I can remember a time when I allowed someone to stay in my life for longer than they needed to be, and also let someone go in my life that was meant to be in my life for a lifetime. In my opinion, it is important to discern who in your life is there to benefit you for just a period of learning a life lesson about yourself or about the world and the people in it, versus those who have planted a foundation in your life to be there for a lifetime; people who are meaningful, bring value to your life and uplift you in good times and bad.

With age, experience and time, I have been able to evaluate within myself who in my life has taught me a lesson; someone i no longer need, versus someone who has been placed in my life and i know will be there for the rest of my days. Here are a couple of things I have experienced in this area myself.

  • Life Lesson relationships:
    • they teach you things to take with you for the rest of your life;
    • they show you the positives and negatives about yourself,
    • when looking back, you will see the message that those people put into your life, and you are able to identify the very reasoning why they were in your life and what you learned from their impact in your life;
    • when the time is right, those people will drift away from you.
  • Lifetime relationships:
    • plant seeds that are built for longevity,
    • consistent positive influences,
    • able to hold you accountable when you are not holding yourself accountable, add necessary value to your life,
    • have a legitimate meaning to your life,
    • are able to be there consistently when needed,
    • no matter what happens, these people never waver or drift apart from you.

Do you know if you have the right people in your life for a lifetime, or are those people that are only there to teach you a lesson; but you continue to hold on to them, hoping they are built to be in your life for a lifetime? I believe now is a good time to sit down and evaluate the friendships and relationships in your life. Make the necessary determinations as to whether or not the people you have surrounded yourself with are people who are exhibiting qualities of someone you would want to be a lifetime person, or just someone who is here to teach you a lesson about life.

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy

I’m sure we have all heard the quote “comparison is the thief of all joy.”

We as humans live in a world where comparison happens without knowledge. You see a person with a better job, better car, better house, etc. and sometimes we cannot help but compare our lives to others.

What we don’t realize is, when we do this, we take small bits and pieces of our joy away from us. Constant comparisons to other people’s lives does nothing but put you in a position to be pessimistic about your life; or on the flip side, it can cause you to look at others’ lives as inferior to yours (if you are comparing what you have that is better than someone else), and that is a negative trait that no one should want to inherit.

Count your blessings more than counting what you lack: it’s all about your mindset. If you focus on what you have, you will spend less time talking about what you lack. What you have in your life at the time in your life is tailor made for your success. Comparing your life to someone’s else’s doesn’t bring about any positive feelings, because no one’s life is the same, and the timeline for what you want and need in life is not the same as another person’s.

Focus on your goals and how to achieve them: instead of comparing yourself to what others have, try focusing your energy on achieving the goals you have for yourself to project

Happy Birthday.

My child,

Please forgive me, for I may not always do my best by you, but I would give my life for yours at a moments notice.

I may not always know the rhythm of your existence, but I will dance beside you anyway.

My timing may be skewed; when you need me I may be distant and when you seek independence I may hover,

But know it is because the beat of my heart changed to match yours on that sunny afternoon in April.

You may find it odd that I stare at you for countless minutes while you sleep.

Or want to hold you even when you don’t want to be held,

But I know that you will live on past me so I need to take any opportunity as a chance to make memories with you.

So when I’m gone, you can always have our moments to put on repeat in your mind.

I knew you would always be a part of the reason I lived, so I tried to make better efforts in your name.

I hope one day you can look back and say you were proud of me, that you were honored that God made us soul mates.

When I watch you, you know, those times when you don’t notice me watching you,

I wonder if God made a mistake.

Did He really believe I was able to handle the amount of love I have for you in this lifetime?

Because my one fear in this world is that I won’t have enough time..

I won’t have enough time to give you every ounce of the love I have for you in this lifetime.

I only pray that I tell you I love you enough.

I hope that I hug you enough,

That I give you enough kisses,

That I make you laugh enough.

And even if I gave you enough of all of these things to last 5 lifetimes, I would still feel like I need to do it all just one more time for good measure.

I don’t know if there’s enough love to go around after you’ve stolen my heart.

As I watch you, even when you don’t notice me watching you.

Praying that you know that I’ll always love more than my soul could possibly take.

My child,

Always remember that our love is the happy place that I’ve longed for,

And I pray one day you will know this love all your own.

K.N.C