All posts tagged: Personal Growth

Collecting Those Relationship Blueprints

It would be so nice if in third grade we all sat down, opened our Relationship Textbooks, and started learning a set of skills. But, unfortunately, that shit doesn’t happen. In childhood we aren’t all taught the skills necessary to build solid, strong relationships. For the majority of us we learn how to “relationship” by what we see and observe in the relationships around us. I know, personally, that my anxiety often rattles around in my brain with negative thoughts. My skull is a gumball machine, my negative thoughts are hideously moldy gumballs, and they love to try and accumulate. Over the years I have spent way too much time thinking about all the things I “should” be doing better or that I “could” have done differently. I have spent a lot of time fixating on what “might” go wrong in the near future/distant future/hypothetical futures. And when it comes to my intimate relationships and the years I spent trying to enter into the dating world I spent a hell of a lot of time hating myself and my …

Discussing Mental Health on a First Date

The New York Times recently shared a question that was sent to their “ethicist.” The reader is back on the dating scene again after ending a lengthy relationship. The reader also lives with a complex mental health past and is uncertain about when if/when to discuss this past when entering new relationships. What I love about this short little piece is that it acknowledges the grey area of getting close and intimate with another person. It explains: “on dates, convention holds, you’re not obliged to lead with your weaknesses. The best way for someone to see that you’re doing O.K. is not to assert it but to show it. AKA walk the walk, yo. Show what you are capable of on a day-to-day basis, let them see your best self. While you may feel your shadows are bigger than you, the truth is they only feel this way from your perspective. Remember you have a say in how you are perceived. You are writing your own story; make sure you’re the protagonist of it. However, the …

Rebuilding that Confidence like an OG

As I sat and read through more and more of my statuses from 4, 5, 6 years back I found myself repeatedly asking, “Where did she go?” I disappeared from my personal facebook page for almost all of 2015. I was learning to juggle in the new circus of freelance writing, was planning a wedding, and had already felt like facebook was no longer a place where I felt safe and/or happy. I’ve slowly been stepping back into the shallow-end of the facebook pool, but the water is still a little cold. It still feels like I might swallow some nasty water. And there are still people lurking in the deep end who are wearing plastic dorsal fins. But something interesting happened. I started to read through old posts I wrote years ago, back when I was in college and graduate school. It’s been a bit like peering into the windows of your neighbor’s living room. While you recognize the people, they look utterly foreign in this new intimate environment. I seemed so much happier, so …

How to Keep Going in Those Moments of Doubt

I still remember pacing back and forth in the parking lot, seagulls shrieking overhead and fishermen walking past at the end of their day. I’d driven out to the ocean, to my favorite pier, because I wanted to make sure I was in a space that felt comforting to me. I had to do something difficult that day. I had to call a boy I liked. I was in college at the time, nearing my twenty-first birthday, had still never kissed someone, and I’d recently been trying to Facebook flirt with a handsome fiction writer in my Southern Lit class. That afternoon he’d left me a voicemail seeing if I wanted to hang out. And that meant I had to call him back. It made me sick to my stomach. I’d been on edge of panic all day. My body was flooded with anxiety and adrenaline and I was weighed down with a heavy cloak of fear. I stood near the water as I dialed his number and with a shaky voice told him I …

Just Breathe.

“It’s sad, I don’t want to,” I said, turning away from his outreached laptop. “Just watch it, it’s cute!” “I already know what happens. He loses his candy and can’t find it. Sad.” As Jared tried to get me to watch the latest viral animal video, the one of a raccoon who loses his candy (or so I inferred from the tweets and facebook posts I’d seen about it), I kept refusing. I already know what happens. The adorable creature loses his candy. He’s confused. It’s a metaphor for all of humanity. The truth is, I’ve been feeling more raw lately. A little more sensitive than usual. A little less tough. I don’t think I could handle this raccoon. I’m not sure if it’s the recent holiday season, the scrappy nature of my current career, or the fact that our wedding is less than two months away (*screams internally*) but I’ve felt a little bit like a porcupine on its back: vulnerable. I’ve struggled with blogging about being engaged and planning our wedding, since the last thing …