"She had a lot of hugs to give, but not enough people to give them to."
-Sundays at Tiffany's
-Sundays at Tiffany's
I've been absent from my personal blog for a while, BUT I have a very good reason for it. I am now writing and representing my college via The Odyssey Online! Well, I'd like to think that's a good enough reason for going ghost but in reality, it's because I'm bad at multitasking. So if you see posts on here that I've written for Odyssey or vice versa, don't be alarmed! I'm not copyrighting myself! It's because I'm a busy girl who needs to meet deadlines who sometimes can't come up with anything fresh at the moment. And I'd rather have my content shared on multiple platforms, anyway. If you love Buzzfeed-style listicles or lifestyle articles ranging from mental health to college life, look me up!
Peep my Odyssey page and articles here! If you relate to my writing or just wanna show some love, share my articles on Facebook! I'd love to spread the reach my articles have. Much love!
I'm sitting here and - quite simply - trying to decide what to say and how to say it. This is not the first time I've had to create a monologue in my mind - I've mastered the art of conversing with myself, plotting all the paths the conversation could go towards, creating multiple endings to the narrative. It's a tricky, yet somehow simple, topic.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Those three words shattered my world apart, and I'm still - slowly but surely - gluing the pieces back together. It's something I've dealt with for as long as I can remember. Recently, I participated in a video documentation of various mental illnesses, sharing my story with a small pool of YouTube viewers. Although I remained anonymous, it gave me a bit more courage to share my struggle in a more direct way. Here.
It's an illness, something that doesn't go away. I will have OCD all my life; it's engrained in me. Through exposure therapy, I am able to overcome my fears, but it's painful. Not physically, but mentally. I am in a much better place than I used to be. I was drowning in depression as a result of this disease, and was barely maintaining normal physical behavior. Eating was a task, leaving my room was nearly impossible. I was scared of the world. That's changed over time, thankfully.
Something that people don't realize is that OCD isn't just a way to explain how "anal" or "picky" you are about something. It's an actual fear or obsessive thought. It eats away at your mind, redirects your focus from the more important parts of life like family, friends, and fun. Please, if you don't have OCD, don't say you are "OCD" about something.
I guess what I want to say is this: OCD is real, it's challenging, it's life-ruining, but it's not life-ending. You can overcome it. You are stronger than it.
I finally did it. I am exposed. Even if it's just me that reads this, I will have jumped a major hurdle: I was not afraid to admit out loud that this is me, this is what I have, and this is what (no longer) defines my life.
If you have questions about my OCD or want to share your own experiences with me, send me a message. I'd love to talk!
I've included links to some helpful books.
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I wake up every morning to a tiny sound. Far-off at first, but growing louder as my eyes flicker open.
My pulse quickens, my eyelids dilate. Who texted me? Who commented on my Instagram picture? Who messaged me on Bumble? I roll over, unplug my phone from its charger, and center the screen between my fingers, hoping it doesn't free-fall towards my face.
I have been trained by technology. It's a part of my routine. Wake up, check phone, brush teeth...check phone. So I tried something miraculous: I turned off my phone one morning and waited. Nothing bad happened, no hand emerged from the screen and slapped some sense into me. It was quiet in my room, save for the air conditioning. No notifications, no alarms, no texts. I got breakfast, but the clouds didn't part and send lightning to strike me down. It was peaceful without having to worry about responding to an email. Out of sight, out of mind.
Of course, I turned my phone on later in the day. But for that brief period of time, I was truly enjoying tuning out. I was able to lie in bed and just think. I wrote in my journal. I snuggled with my dog. And life kept moving on.
Sometimes you need to escape from technology and just enjoy the small moments to yourself. It clears your mind and gives you a chance to think clearly for a little while. In a technological world that's keeps our heads constantly down, try taking a break, grab a coffee, look up, and watch the world go by.
"I'll call you later."
"Sorry, we'll talk tonight for sure."
"I've just been so busy, I'll FaceTime you later, I promise."
Don't make promises you can't keep, I think to myself time after time.
When it comes to priorities, I'd say mine are pretty skewed. I should put working out, eating healthy, and spending time with my family at the top of the list. Instead, I focus on constantly being available for people who couldn't care less. I am grateful, of course, for the few friends I have who are always there for me in return, no matter what. I'm thankful for my family - my mom always tells me I'm her number one priority, tied of course with my twin sister. But something I've noticed recently is how low on the totem pole of priorities I am for a decent number of people. So why do I stick around? Why do I keep giving them chances to prove me wrong?
I'm not saying I always need to be everyone's number one priority: that's not realistic. But to be the priority every so often would be a welcome change.
Jennifer Aniston makes a very good point. We deserve to be listened to, not just heard. If you are putting someone at the top of your priorities list knowing full well that they aren't doing the same, then maybe you should rethink your choice. Friendship is a two way street. Don't let someone confine you to a text every four days or a late response claiming they didn't see your message (even though read receipts says otherwise). You are a priority. You are important. And if someone doesn't treat you as such, then understand that someone else will.
I was clearing out my desk one morning when I stumbled across a small, virgin notebook. Yes, virgin. I'm not just talking unused, it was clearly untouched. There was dust on the cover and some of the pages stuck from being pressed together for so long. I blew the dust away, gave the notebook a good flip-through, and settled into my chair with a black pen in hand.
This will be my bullet journal, I thought proudly.
[There are plenty of cool journals on Amazon, like this cute cactus one
I've wanted to have one for a while. Bullet journals seem like the elevated, grown-up version of a diary. They're creative, uninhibited, AND cute to Instagram! So there I was, pen hovering over the first page, about to take the notebook's virginity, when I remembered: bullet journaling is some tough shit. You not only have to mentally prepare yourself before writing something (because it's pen, there's no erasing), but you have to write perfectly. I'm talking perfect penmanship, perfect scrolls and perfect pressure. I was altering my handwriting to make it look more like the tumblr pictures. I started believing that it was like a holy grail, akin to a Gucci belt or those red-bottomed shoes. I wasn't writing to-do lists to keep track of my day, I was writing them simply to make a perfect check in the perfectly square box. I was taking the joy out of bullet journaling. My expectations were too high.
Bullet journaling should be something fun, not a task. It shouldn't give you anxiety or make you not look forward to writing each day. It's for you, not Instagram. Sure, if you want to share a pic, go for it. But bullet journaling IS journaling after all.
It's personal, it's private, unless you want it to be public. And that's the beauty of it. It's all about what you want to do with it. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be #goals. When did everything become about how it looks on social media? Why can't we enjoy the simple things in the privacy of our rooms anymore? And it's not like someone's holding us at gunpoint, making us snap that Instagram picture; we're doing it willingly. I'm guilty of it, hardcore.
So I've made a vow to myself: bullet journal because you like it, not because you'll get likes.
"Did you ever like someone, but the timing was off? Way off?"
-Mary (The Wedding Planner)
I like a boy. Shocker, I know, but let me get to the good (or rather, bad) part. This boy is in a relationship.
I'm going to stop right there. Before you get worried, let me assure you that I am not about to wreck a relationship. I, for one, don't see myself being better than the girl he's dating (she's hot AND she seems nice) so I wouldn't be capable of being a couple-wrecker anyway. The point of the post is this: bad timing.
I knew this boy when he was still single. We had become friends, actually. But one night when he was drunk, he confessed that he didn't think he'd want a relationship anytime soon. Cue backing off.
Fast forward to now, and after not talking for a while, I discover he's in a relationship...ugh. Now, I do realize that when he drunkenly stated his opposition to a relationship, he could have been directing the notion at me. But drunk people aren't that clever, so I ruled the possibility out. I'm going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and say, sure, I might have at some point in time been a contender for this boy, but then I decided to up and move schools, leaving him to find someone else.
That leads to thoughts along the lines of "If I hadn't left, would we be dating?" But something I've learned over these past 20 years of living is...you can't dwell on the what ifs. BUT you can sure as fuck complain internally about how much it SUCKS to have feelings for someone in a relationship.
And let me tell you, it sucks. Now here's a funny picture I found on tumblr.
Thought of the day: a fun and interesting fact about me is that I'm a fucking idiot.
I have some time before the Jergens self-tanning mousse dries (60 seconds my ass) to explain. Sometimes, we make mistakes. Other times, we make PRETTY BAD mistakes. Here's an example: I was driving home a few nights ago after working a nine hour shift at Anthropologie when I noticed the brake light was on. I immediately called my mom, worried that there was something wrong with the brakes. My mind flashed back to Drivers Ed when they told us what to do if your brakes ever stopped working: flash your headlights, honk the horn, and scream in sheer terror...okay, maybe not that last one. As I readied myself for the worst, my knuckles turning white from gripping the steering wheel, I heard my mom's voice become clear again.
Is the parking brake on?
I left the parking brake on. For nearly the entirety of the half-hour drive home...on roads going up to 70mph. Let's just say, after taking the car in for inspection, the brakes (and the bill) were not pretty.
I'm not going to say how much it cost, mostly because I'm still extremely shocked, embarrassed, and mad at myself for making that mistake. I thought my mom would be pissed, overcome with rage and storming around like Godzilla after being woken up from a nap...but she wasn't. She looked over at me, smiled, and said,
It happens to the best of us. We all make mistakes. But you learn from them. Now you'll never make that same mistake again.
If there's one thing I've learned this past week, it's that you can get yourself into some sticky situations. Especially after you use self-tanner. But if you learn from them, that's all that really matters. Sure, you might lose something, but you gain something, too. Life experience, for example. And a lot of friendly reminders before driving away.
"It's like I'm bubblegum. As soon as I lose flavor, they spit me out."
I was lying in bed - window open, birds chirping, candle burning on my bedside table - when something dawned on me. I'm addicted to being used.
I repeat: I'm addicted to being used.
I love to feel important. I enjoy the rush, the tingling of my skin when I know I've made someone smile or provided comforting words to a friend in need. I hungrily feed off of others' praise and acknowledgement. I am the ultimate people-pleaser. It's my achilles heel. I allow myself to be used for attention, for reassurance and ego-boosting. I am the ugly that walks alongside those who want to appear more beautiful. And I accept it. I choose it.
The first step is to admit you have a problem, right? So here it is: I have a problem.
Our generation simultaneously spreads positivity to others while tearing ourselves down. Side note: nearly everyone I disclose my depression to has admitted they have it themselves. That's not okay. Neither is allowing ourselves to be used.
We aren't tissues or sticky boobs or pads. We shouldn't accept being thrown away after we've served our purpose to others. Don't offer yourself up to someone who will take advantage of you. We should not be taken for granted. I've been tired for so long, tired of unrequited love, tired of a silent phone. If they don't care about you as much as you do them, then it's time to reevaluate.
Let's start this blogging thing off with a classic topic: boys*
*or girls, love is love
We've all been there. We search forums, desperately ask friends, and consult the magazine of our choice to find answers on this one, timeless question.
Is he into me?
Based on my own research and, unfortunately, personal experience, I thought I'd share some insight on why he may NOT be into you. Kind of like 'How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days' (from Andie's perspective).
If there's one thing that drives me up a wall, it's ghosting. Yet there's no clearer way to see that he's not into you as a person let alone a prospective partner. Just recently, I got back in touch with someone I had met my first semester of college. I thought things would be normal, just pleasantries and catching up. But something unexpected happened...he started flirting with me. My excitement rose at the signs I was receiving from the then-taken-but-now-single hottie. And yes, I knew his relationship status because I Facebook stalked him, as any self-respecting millennial would. I texted him all night and all the next day, which led to HIM asking me for my snapchat. It was almost surreal.
Then things started going sour.
My fatal flaw has always been impatience. I'm not one to follow the "no double texting" or "don't text first" rules. So there I was, filled with a child-like giddiness as I snapchatted AND texted him the next day...and got no response. What's worse? He opened my snap. Oh how that irks me. A few days later without hearing from him, I regrettably sent him a drunk text asking why he hadn't responded. And surprise surprise, he ignored me completely. I haven't heard from him since.
What had gone wrong? Why was he interested one day and dropping me the next? The annoyingly honest answer? I was too impatient for my own good. I sent him one too many snaps and didn't give him a chance to text first. Gone were my chances of even being friends. I scared him off, simply put, because I'm a dumb fuck.
II. Who Are You?
If you're anything like me, you can be a bit overpowering. Your personality is strong and you come across even stronger. Sometimes you say things you should've saved for much, much later in whatever relationship you were attempting to form. (Don't bring up your dead Dad. Just don't do it.)
Downfall number two: I overshare. Like Carrie Bradshaw once said, "I was emotionally slutty." Sometimes it can be a turn-off to guys if they aren't familiar enough with you. You can, again, scare him away.
But in this instance, there's really nothing you can do. If he can't handle you, then honey, you're just too woman for him. It's a sad reason for him not being into you, but it happens. The tell-tale sign that he isn't interested? He doesn't over-share back. Or share anything about him, really. If you still don't know the person you're talking to after talking for some time, then he probably isn't committed to getting to know you.
But here's the catch...are we really so sure? Can you ever know for certain that he's not into you? The answer to that is...no. Unless you ask him straight up of course.
Every case is different. Just like Andie's friend, Michelle, there may be that one guy who goes against all the signs of not being into you and is, in fact, into you. So far, I've had no such luck. My intuition is usually right. But here's hoping that, despite my oversharing and quadruple texting, I'll find a guy who loves me for me.
Way to end on a cheesy note, Laura.