Mental Health

I'm angry.

Something happened after church on Sunday night that made me incredibly angry. And, I don’t mean I was irritated or annoyed; I mean I was seething. I contemplated calling Matt and asking if I could crash on his couch so I could not have to sleep at home but could still get to class on Monday.

But, Matt and I are not quite that good of friends, so I stayed home and seethed. I ranted to Pup on the phone for a solid hour.

When we got off the phone, all I could do was think. TV annoyed me and my hand shook too much to write properly in my journal. I had only my mind to occupy me.

So, I thought about being angry. I thought about how angry I was at having to be beholden to another person, at having to–either consciously or subconsciously–bend and accept their rules for my behavior on some level (even if I resist, and I do resist, there is a part of me that bows much more often than I think this other person realizes). I thought about how angry it makes me that, at nearly thirty years old, I can’t just decide to do something and then do it, because there’s this other person who will totally freak out if things do not go according to the plan they’ve come to expect. I thought about how angry I am that someone else’s fears dictated how I lived my life.

Then I thought, who’s fault is this, really? Can I really be angry at this other person for doing exactly what I know they’re going to do?

I’m the one allowing this to happen. I’m the one who has accepted these limitations. I’m the one who’s put myself in this situation.

The only person I can be mad at is myself.

And I am furious with myself. I’m angry at myself for letting me stray so far from what I wanted, from what I need. I’m angry at myself for letting me become so dependent on others and for being so afraid of growing up that now I feel like I’ll never make it.

It needs to end.

This is my life, and I’m the only one who can live it.

And goddamn it, I’m going to.

I love you all.


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College, Mental Health

What would it be? One-third life crisis?

It’s not a food post, but whatever. I’m having a lot of feelings right now and it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want!

s-l300

I’m writing this for queue at just after 5:30 on Thursday. So, when I say “today” I really mean “yesterday,” but that feels really weird to write, right now.

Today, I had lunch before class with Matt, who I feel like I haven’t seen in eons, but it’s actually only been about a month. As I’ve mentioned in the past, he’s delightful. Not really relevant to the post, but I felt like throwing it out there because he bought me lunch and I appreciate that.

Anyway, today at lunch, I mentioned to him that I’m about to turn thirty and I’m feeling rather dissatisfied with where I’m currently at in my life. Of course, Mercury (the planet of communication) is in retrograde, so I did so in a much less articulate way, but I think he got my point. As I’m about to hit thirty, he’s about to hit thirty-one and assured me that nervous, anxious feeling will pass.

I’m inclined to believe him. But, in the meantime, I’m a bit of a wreck.

I feel so very… not adult. And, I don’t mean that in the funny, meme-y way where I haven’t done my laundry in a month and ate an entire bag of Oreos in a sitting and “ugh, adulting is hard.”

I mean it in the I’m unemployed, uneducated, and have no real plan to change that in the near future. I thought I had all this time, but I’m looking around and I honestly don’t know what would happen to me if, Heaven forbid, something happened to my parents. *knocks on all the wood* I have no prospects. I would have to beg to sleep in my best friend’s parents’ guest room and try to find a job.

No wonder I’m single; I’m such a catch, right?

It’s scary. I’m scared.

At lunch, I asked Matt how close he is to transferring. Pretty soon, it turns out. Of course, in conversational reciprocity (and probably some genuine interest), he asked me the same.

“I switched majors last semester from English to STEM. I’m basically starting my college career over.”

Which is and isn’t true, I suppose. When I looked at my educational plan, I do have a number of general education classes that transfer over from one major to another (my social sciences, I’ve met my English requirement obviously, a history class). But, when I look at the number of classes I have to take–high level math and science courses for which I still need to take numerous prerequisites. I’m looking at another two to three years at the community college level. Then, three years at the university level.

When it comes to the number of classes I need to take, I’m basically a freshman.

Meanwhile, all my friends are either getting ready to transfer, or they’ve already graduated, or my little sister is less than a month out from getting her Master’s degree I’m so proud of her I’m bragging on her behalf I know I’m sorry I’ll stop now.

I know I shouldn’t compare myself, but it’s disheartening.

Marketing would be faster. English would be longer (because I want an MFA), but more fulfilling. But, Dietetics lets me make money while keeping me out of a soul-sucking corporate job.

Not to mention, I look at my transcripts and see all those dropped classes and just feel sick to my stomach. That’s going to look horrible when I try to transfer.

I really, really need to buckle down and get this done and worked out. Which I should probably start doing now, instead of writing a blog post about how I need to.

I love you all.


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Spirituality

My Year of Endings

When I went to see my spiritual counselor at the beginning of this year, she told me that on my birthday I will be entering a year of endings.* This is a good time to get rid of things, habits, and relationships which no longer benefit me. It’s not really a great time to start anything new.

The last few months, I’ve really been on a spiritual journey, but I still feel like I’m holding myself back. That needs to end.

So, as I’m preparing to enter my Year of Endings, here are some things I would like to let go of in my thirtieth year on this planet:

The need to fit a label. I am a witch. Since I started looking for religion, I have been a witch. Like many things, I am very open and accepting of however people want to apply that label to themselves… until I look in the mirror. When it comes to myself and my own beliefs, I still hold onto old and narrow definitions of what does and does not make me a witch. Despite the years I’ve spent on this path, I still worry about not being “witchy enough.” It is time for these limiting and outdated definitions to go.

The need to qualify. I am very scientifically minded. I want things, including my system of beliefs, to make logical sense. But, I’m learning that belief systems don’t always make sense and I can’t force them to be logical. Not everything can (or may even be meant to) be understood.

The fear of being wrong. This is tied to my need to qualify and understand everything. I think a part of me is afraid to look beyond the beliefs which make sense to and comfort me, because I don’t want to find contradictory information which will cause me to question the accuracy of my beliefs. But, this is how we grow. And beliefs are beliefs; part of the reason they are there is to bring us comfort. Just because I find contradictory information doesn’t necessarily mean I have to stop believing what I do or stop worshiping the ways I do.

Letting go of mental blocks is never easy, but I’m going to try my hardest. I know that doing so will open me up to new experiences and knowledge that otherwise I wouldn’t receive.

I love you all.

*These years (there are three; endings, creativity, and the third I always forget) are tied to one’s birth date and are varied for everyone. Just because I am entering a year of endings doesn’t necessarily mean anyone else is.

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Mental Health

Mercury Retrograde and Social Depression

I’m chalking the negative feelings I’m having towards some friends up to Mercury Retrograde and the fuckery it’s conducting with communication. I don’t usually “feel” Mercury Retrograde, because communication and decision making is always a nightmare for me (thanks, anxiety), but I’m feeling this one, I think.

I’m just really sick of some of the people in my life having to be contrary all the time. Especially on Facebook, where I would say probably half of my friends there are people I’ve never actually met, but have known online for 10+ years. Lately it seems like the only times people want to comment on something is to rain on the parade. Continue reading “Mercury Retrograde and Social Depression”

Food, Health

Getting Healthy and Making Changes (Recipe Request)

Honestly, I think at least part of the reason I feel hesitant to continue pursuing Nutrition as my major (aside from all the awful, awful math I have to take) it because I feel like such a raging hypocrite. I have the worst diet, witches. Seriously, awful. And forget exercise (who even has time for that???). Since my catabolism* ran away from home when I turned twenty-two, I’ve gained a lot of weight and turned into a lethargic blob.

The weight I don’t mind, really. If I’m fat, I’m fat, and that’s just how it is. That just means there’s more of me to be awesome. But, I wouldn’t mind being awesome and healthy. It’s not the fat that bothers me; it’s the lack of energy and pain that I have a problem with.

And with thirty looming on the horizon (holy sh–!) I really need to get my health in order while I’m still young enough to do so.

So, I’m trying to make healthier dietary and fitness choices. Which is kind of a bummer, because healthy food doesn’t taste nearly as good as cupcakes and cookies. Nor do any of the healthy recipes I have look particularly blog-worthy. Oh, baked chicken and steamed vegetables! Many wow! Such amaze!

Except, you know, not really. It’s all pretty boring, standard stuff.

Which is where you come in (hopefully). Drop your favorite healthy (preferably low-sodium) dishes in the comments. Hook a witch up!

Meanwhile, I’ll be off in the abyss of my bedroom, digging my stationary bike out from under the piles of clothes.

I love you all.


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*Catabolism is the part of metabolism which breaks molecules down into smaller molecules and energy and is what most people talk about when they talk about “stimulating your metabolism.” Science has ruined the casual use of the term “metabolism” for me.

**The other part of metabolism is anabolism, which uses energy to bond smaller molecules to form bigger molecules. This is the process which builds muscle (among many other things). SCIENCE! WHEE!

Spirituality

Encinitas Meditation Gardens

This post contains affiliate links. Please click here to read my disclosure policy.

(I really, really hope the pictures are showing up. I have been having crazy problems with pictures for this post.)

Okay, so, meditation isn’t exactly “witchy” in its own right, but there is a lot of crossover between “new age” folks and meditation, perhaps because meditation is most commonly associated with India (where it’s believed to have originated) and the Buddhist religion which originated there (fun fact: only 0.7% of India’s population is Buddhist, despite that being the religion’s country of origin). Many modern pagans and witches incorporate aspects of Buddhism into their practices, so meditation can be witchy, if a witch practices it.

(Not a stretch at all, right?)

I practice it, at least. And, even if it’s not meant to be a “witchy” place, the Meditation Gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, CA is certainly a magical place.

Image of a small man-made waterfall lined at the edges with large rocks and surrounded by ferny plants.
Print available at Society6

Whenever I feel overwhelmed and anxious, this is my first destination. It was built to be a calming and spiritual place, where anyone of any religion can come and be in the presence of the Divine. That intent has carried on over the decades since Paramahansa Yogananda founded it in 1920.

It’s difficult not to find some measure of peace amongst the lush and varied plants which live there, sitting on a bench in the sun or shade and smelling the sea breeze making its way up the cliffside. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty, wrapped in California warmth and surrounded by beautiful flowers. I love looking out over the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and reminding myself how small I really am—how small my problems really are—compared to all the world.

Image of the Pacific Ocean and a blue sky with low white clouds. The coastline can be seen in the distance and green plant life can be seen in the foreground.
Print available at Society6

The Garden is also home to some beautiful koi. Another favored spot of mine is a bench beneath a tree, overlooking one of the three ponds. It’s shaded and cool, and a good spot to really surround myself in the elements.

Small alcoves and many small, two-person benches are scattered throughout the garden, providing ample space to those who wish the sit and meditate (or just rest and enjoy the bounty of nature). If a bench isn’t your thing, there are also grassy expanses where one can sit and really feel the earth beneath them. It’s an amazing place to sit and journal, to reflect on life and spirit, or to just take a break.

It’s a popular place, so I recommend going during the week to avoid crowds, if you can. I can tell you from experience, it’s hard to block out the rest of the world when a screaming toddler runs into your backside.

To learn more about the Self-Realization Fellowship’s founder, Paramahansa Yogananda, I highly recommend picking up his autobiography:


Autobiography of a Yogi

I’ve read it twice and couldn’t put it down. Even just reading about his life gives me a sense of calm in the storm.

I love you all.


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Coping Mechanism, Mental Health

Tips for Dealing with Unavoidable Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links. Please click here to read my disclosure policy.

In a perfect world, everything would come with a trigger warning. Before you walked into that restaurant, there would be a sign saying, “You will be seated next to a family with four screaming toddlers. May cause sensory overload.” In a perfect world, your boss would speak softly to you when you made mistakes, because they care about your struggles and don’t want to cause you anymore undue stress.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work like that. Sometimes, the only safe space you have is your bedroom and it’s far, far away.

Sometimes, you can’t avoid anxiety-inducing situations. But, you can manage them in the moment and come out the other side relatively unscathed. Continue reading “Tips for Dealing with Unavoidable Anxiety”