Monday, January 23, 2017

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry

I won't make this very long because videos are more fun to watch (let's be honest) and I don't really have a ton to say.

"Sorry" is probably one of the most used words in my vocabulary. I apologize for everything. And I can't help it. Here's why.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

10 Quotes to Start Your Day With

I have sort of a love/envy (I wouldn't call it hate) relationship with good quotes. I think they're awesome and inspirational and really help to motivate me, but I also wish that I was good enough to write some myself. I feel like I'm pretty good at getting a point across if you give me several paragraphs, but those gorgeous one-liners are not my forte. 

That being said, I've had countless times I've been motivated with a good quote, so I decided to share some of my favorites with you. 

1. "If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." 

-Roald Dahl

2. "A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." 

-Zen Shin

3. "All our dreams can come true- if we have the courage to pursue them." 

-Walt Disney

4. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." 


5. "Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most." 


6. "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." 

-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

7. "For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." 
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." 
-Mae West

9. "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 


10. "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." 


Monday, January 16, 2017

How My Anxiety Kept Me From Talking About My Anxiety

I've mentioned a couple of time now that lots of people are able to be very open about their anxiety or other mental illnesses, and that is awesome. I think it is so inspiring. But I have not been one of those people who shares very many personal details about my life with others, even though I've wanted to be.

I've always really admired people who have the courage to share their struggles with strangers. I think the biggest thing that divides us as humans is that we think no one else knows what we're going through, so we build up our fear and anger inside and refuse to tell anyone about it. Believe me, I've been there. And a lot of the time, yeah, no one has gone through exactly what you're going through because everyone is in a different situation and has a different background and different fears and worries and prejudices. But I promise you there are more people out there who are going through very similar trials to yours than you think.

As human beings we have an innate desire to connect with others and build relationships. I'm pretty independent as far as they go, and the majority of the time I would rather spend my time by myself than with other people. But even I crave attention from people I love because I'm human. We can't keep focusing on how different we are from each other, and instead we need to start recognizing the myriad of similarities we have.

OK, I went on a little bit of a tangent there. Which brings me to my main point: how my anxiety has kept me from talking about my anxiety. I didn't think about this while I was writing it, but that whole tangent was totally me trying to justify writing this post. While the whole point of a blog is to write for the sake of writing, I still feel with every post that I had better have a fantastic reason to write it or I'm going to waste everyone's time, including my own. Anxiety makes me feel like if I don't have a Pulitzer-worthy article this whole thing is stupid and I'm stupid and people are going to read this and scoff and giggle about it with their friends and I'm going to be that annoying girl who blogs about pointless things for attention.

I just uploaded this video onto YouTube and I have this terrible, sick feeling in my stomach. It's the same feeling I had when I shared my last video and the same feeling I get every time I share a blog post or know I have to speak in front of a group of people or answer something incorrectly in class. And in my head right now is just me saying over and over again, this is stupid. this is stupid. this is stupid. I'm having images of friends popping into my mind saying "She's really milking this thing" or "Ok, it was cool at first but now she's getting annoying."

And I know that sounds kind of ridiculous, but that is my life. That is my anxiety.

This video just shares some of the many, many more reasons I had such a hard time talking about my anxiety for so long. (I apologize that the video begins and ends pretty abruptly- it came from the same 'session' as my last video but I decided to split the two because it was getting really long so I don't have a formal introduction or goodbye for this one.)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Made a Video...

I had an idea a couple of weeks ago to get behind a video camera and talk about my anxiety since I have a really hard time talking about it to actual human beings.

Good idea, Anne, I thought. 

Then something in my head said I should share those videos with actual human beings. 

Bad idea, Anne, I thought.

Yet here I am. I dunno. Maybe it will help me. Maybe it will help someone else. I explain myself a little better in the video, so here you go.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Things Are About To Get Real

I can't tell you how many times I've written and re-written this post. How many posts like this one I've written and then deleted.

I still can't really decide if this is something I want to talk about. I've only talked about it with one person, a person I trust and love very much, and even then it made (and still makes) me feel uncomfortable. I think no matter how understanding someone is or how many times they tell me it isn't going to change the way they think of me, I'm always going to feel a little uncomfortable talking about it. I guess that sort of comes with the issue though.

I have anxiety. 

I haven't been medically diagnosed (because I haven't worked up the courage to talk to a professional about it yet) but it is something I struggle with on a daily basis. 

In my post about introverts, I mentioned that I didn't realize I was an introvert until college because spending almost my entire life in the same place with the same friends didn't really give me a chance to be super introverted. Similar story with my anxiety. It wasn't until about two years ago that I came to the (obvious) conclusion that I had anxiety. Looking back it's easy to see that I've had it for much longer but I always thought it was part of being shy or introverted or that these thoughts were things every person dealt with.

Anxiety manifests itself in everyone a little differently, but essentially it means you worry all the time. And I'm not talking about stressing about school or a couple of sleepless nights. Anxiety is a constant, pounding, never-ending worry about everything. It's not just being nervous about your first day of class, it is being nervous every single time you walk into a room because your mind is going over every possible thing that could go wrong. It makes you feel like everyone is staring at you, and they're not just staring at you, they're judging your outfit, the color of your water bottle, the way you walk. Anxiety is practicing saying "here" in your head as your teacher starts calling the roll, and beginning to sweat and shake as he approaches your name because what if your voice cracks or he doesn't hear you or you mess up? It's not eating a granola bar in class even though you're starving because you're afraid the wrapper is going to be too loud and everyone is going to look at you. It's tossing and turning in bed for hours not only because you are struggling with a relationship but also because you said something stupid to a coworker that they probably forgot about five minutes later, but two days later you certainly haven't.

Believe me, I have plenty more examples to share but for the sake of time I'll save them for another day. If you don't have anxiety this probably seems kind of ridiculous. And yeah, it kind of is. But it's real. It's something I'm working on but ultimately I can't control it and that's what makes it so hard. 

The stigma around mental health has started to decrease within the past few years, and that is awesome. I've wanted to be a part of the conversation for a while but like I said, my anxiety has told me that if I talk about it people are going to judge me and they're going to think about me differently and I'm going to annoy everyone who reads this. And I know that's not true, but that's the thing about anxiety- it blurs the line between what could happen and what is actually happening, and it does a really good job at it.

I also didn't want people to worry about me or think I'm more fragile in some way because of this. I have never liked the feeling of people feeling sorry for me. But I've been dealing with this for years now, and I'm still the same person I've always been. The Anne my friends and family knew five years ago is the same Anne writing this post (more or less). I'm still able to take care of myself and have fun and really enjoy my life. I have good days and bad days like everyone else- mine just probably involve a lot more needless worrying than most people's. I do have days that are much worse than others, where I have to stay home because I just can't get myself to leave my room. But I also have a job and I'm a full-time student and I have friends I socialize with (it does happen sometimes, I promise) and I have hobbies that I enjoy. I'll still finding new ways to deal with my anxiety, but overall I have a great life and I can easily recognize that. 

My biggest goal in life is to inspire people. Over the past couple of years I have discovered some people who also deal with anxiety or other mental health issues who have inspired and helped me more than they will ever know. And I guess if I have a chance to be that inspiration, even if it's to just one person in my lifetime, I need to take that chance. 

More posts to come, and maybe one day I'll get the courage to make a (gasp) video.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

I'm a few days late, but here are my 2017 New Year's Resolutions:

1. Finish editing my book and send it to publishers. Yikes, that's kind of a scary thought. But my first draft is officially DONE so this is the next step.

2. Write on the blog once a week. I'm pretty sure this has been my resolution every year since I started the blog, but I'm going to keep trying.

3. Less sugar, more veggies! Another yearly resolution. Something I always need to be working on.

4. Practice the ukulele a few times a week. I got a ukulele for Christmas and so far I have had so much fun learning how to play it. It's really great to get back into music again.

5. Love myself. I'm doing pretty well as far as self-care goes, but I think this is something everyone, including myself, can work on.

Here's to a great year!

Photo Quote #6