the art of healing

Figuring out how to heal can be hard. Everyone heals differently and healing always takes time. It’s okay to figure it out at your own pace.

In an instant, your entire world can be turned upside down. It’s never easy to feel like your life has been taken out from under you. It hurts to know that everything you planned on won’t happen anymore, that plans you’ve made need to be cancelled, that people in your life will no longer be there in the same way they have been for years.

First you cry, and scream, and feel like hiding, because reality hurts too much. At first you feel like you’re not truly awake all day, and for the first time since you were a child, someone else literally sits and takes care of you while you stare mindlessly at a wall. You think it’s all a dream. The next day you feel numb, and sad and bittersweet. Then you start to make choices purely to avoid the pain. You hide away the memories for now because seeing them daily hurts. You spend the day in nature, surround yourself by the trees and water because it’s the first time in days you’ve truly felt at peace. Eventually you start to care about how you look again and start to try and feel better physically. Then before you know it, it’s been a week and you start to take note of what you need in life. And appreciate the things and people that matter. You learn how to heal.

It’s hugging your family after a long time apart. It’s spending time with your best friends who have never left your side over the years. It’s being surrounded by the people you think of like family when you’re away from home.

You realize what’s important and what isn’t. You start to learn more about yourself and what you want out of life. And you realize that what you want may change and that’s okay.

You begin the process of finding out who you are again. Soon the pieces that make up you and you alone will appear, proving that it’s completely fine to live life with someone else, but not for someone else. You have to get used to making choices only based on what you want.

You relearn what it’s like to be an individual and to live life for you and you alone. It takes time and it’s not easy, the path littered with laughter and tears and frustration. As much as you wish you could skip the pain, you realize how helpful it really is. And soon, you’ll be happy again. It just takes time.

All that matters is that you find the strength to get to that point.

 

 

 

Finding support in Him

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here and as much as that disappoints me, I know the reason for it is fair.

I’ve had a heavy load this semester when it comes to responsibilities and the term has flown by. It truly feels like spring semester just began.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth as there are only a few weeks left until summer break.

As excited as I am to be done with this school year, I know that I still have a lot of work to do before I finish up.

And a lot of the work I need to do revolves around myself.

I haven’t taken care of my own mind and body this year. I’ve found myself drowning in the ever-growing To Do list. I’ve allowed myself to be in the middle of a lot of conflict. And ultimately, I’ve ignored the voice in my head that says to take a step back. From all of it.

Because taking a step back hardly ever seems like an option. If I take a step back, I fail. Things don’t get done. Friends don’t have people to talk to. Work falls flat. Grades drop. Jobs become less of a priority.

I stumble and fall. I hurt and cry. Silently, so no one knows. I become trapped in my own mind. What is happening? Why can’t I get ahold of myself? This isn’t the plan.

Well, things don’t go to plan when the first step is ignored. When the first step is to be healthy.

So while I may have stumbled and fallen, I know I’m not alone. I have support all around me. And that definitely means my family, and best friends, who are a phone call away. My support at school, the friends I’ve made who will drop what they’re doing to check on me. Bosses and professors. I am so incredibly lucky to have all of these people.

But the ultimate support isn’t a call or text away. He is a prayer for guidance, a song of worship, I plea for help when I feel like I just can’t go on.

“God is within her, she will not fall.” – Psalms 46:5

A verse that has meant so much to me for years and means so much more to me now. When I’m close to the lowest I’ve ever found myself.

It’s not always easy calling out to Him for help. Especially when life gets in the way and you fall behind in your walk. But even if you fall behind and find yourself trying to catch up with prayers, devotionals, readings, Sunday’s at church…one thing never changes.

He is ALWAYS there. Even if you aren’t. Even if you’re so caught up in life, haunted by your own demons. He will be there when you open your eyes and ask for help.

I’m opening my eyes to the love and guidance that’s He’s been waiting to give me. And it feels like coming home after being away for months too long. I am so grateful for this love and passion that He provides to me! God is here and alive in me. And He is next to me as I work on making myself the best I can be.

And I couldn’t be happier.

hold on to those good old days

Days seem to keep slipping by.

I’m in my early twenties, should be taking advantage of every minute of each day. But instead, I find myself staring at the ceiling sometimes, just drained – mentally and physically – from the day.

Now, a lot of my friends feel this way. We’re so caught up in being exhausted that things are going by too quickly. Some of my friends are graduating this year. I’m in my junior year, preparing to go into my final year of college. These are times that should be breezing by due to the fun that we are having, not because we are so wrapped up in our schedules that we forget what day it is sometimes.

Unfortunately, being busy is kind of a priority these days, as long as you want some type of future in your career. Albeit, that isn’t true for everyone, but for a lot of us, that is the life track we’re on. Am I on the right one? No clue.

I’ll find out eventually.

But I don’t want to just breeze through these days in my life. These are the days that we are going to look back on, and when I look back on my years in college, I don’t want to think, “wow I never stopped to take a breath.”

So, I’m trying to change that.

I need money but sometimes feel like working during the week is going to take me over the edge and I might crack under the demands of my schedule. So, I try to find the compromise that helps me balance taking care of myself mentally but also bringing in some kind of money.

I got a tattoo with a group of friends, because why the hell not. Sure, should I have saved that money? Probably, but every now and then, it’s okay to give yourself something. We deserve some kind of happiness, so if I wanted to give myself something special, so be it.

Sometimes, I honestly have no idea what I am doing. Do I want to apply to these internships and jobs over summer? Do I want to move home after I graduate? Do I want to continue with school and get my masters in another field? The same field? Are people going to think I’m being ridiculous doing that?

Well, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. At times, it doesn’t even matter what I think. Because half of the time, the words that are going through my head in regards to myself are self-deprecating. Condescending. Everything that I tell others not to think about themselves, I do it.

I’m a hypocrite. It’s a great flaw. But I’m human and I’m working on it.

Sometimes the pain is too much to handle. I feel like I’m slipping through cracks that appear out of nowhere and every day, a new hurdle pops up that I need to jump over. I keep thinking I can help everyone around me, but odds are, I can’t.

I have to come to terms with the fact that I can’t help all of the people around me and I definitely cannot always help myself. That’s where reaching out to others comes in.

I plan to take a moment during the day and appreciate who is in my life. What is around me. Because even if I am struggling, I know I have luxuries that others do not. So I will be grateful for what I have, remember to keep living my life and not letting the important memories slip by. And the utmost priorty, remembering to ask for help.

It’ll be a learning process, but I can do it. And if I can do it, so can you.

Eventually things will turn around, even if not right now. And that’s ok.

“No one knows me, no one ever will. If I don’t say something, if I just lie still.”

Singer and songwriter Milck showed her own vulnerability when sharing these words in her song “Quiet.”

Another line that hits you in the gut: “I can’t keep quiet…a one women riot.”

I want to be that riot. I want to shake down walls and make people realize that the way things are in this world are not always okay.

It is not acceptable for women, or men, to be pushed around like they are property. Obviously as a female, I’ve only experienced how women are treated in public. But that does not mean men are not impacted in a negative manner as well.

Lately, the issues of assault and harassment have been very prevalent in today’s mainstream media. From Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore to Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey. Allegations spreading from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.

Sadly, these moments in time aren’t shaking enough for people to realize how much of an issue this really is. It brings attention to the consistently of assaults, yes. It also shows that not everyone is exempt from being cast in a bad light, justified or not. Movements like #MeToo may bring attention to the gravity of these situations, show how often something happens and how hidden the victims (and perpetrators) can be.

I know for myself, I have felt taken advantage of in various ways. I’m lucky enough to have not been hurt physically in a way that makes me want to crawl into a hole and never show my face again. Because that IS how many women and men feel in the aftermath of their assaults.

But I have felt sick to my stomach, I have felt shaky when I think about situations and certain people. And sadly, I recently uncovered memories of being a child and being treated in a way that was purely physical and very manipulative. But when you’re a child, you have no idea what is right versus wrong. Especially when those around you aren’t adults themselves. When the person acting against you is just a cool, older friend that you want to impress.

It seems wrong to feel uncomfortable and taken advantage of in regard to a situation that happened years ago. But the thing is, it happens more often than we think.

Memories resurface years later. Our minds automatically put up walls to shield us from the unpleasant experiences, be it grief or fighting or assault or hurt.

Without us even realizing it, memories begin to fade, because our brain instinctively protects us, until we’re older enough to handle it.

We experience hurt and discomfort on a daily basis. We hide behind walls, friends, family. And that’s ok. It’s ok to deal with things when you’re ready, because until you yourself are prepared to face your own memories, you won’t get the closure or justice you deserve.

Not everyone in this world is bad. Not everyone is untrustworthy or unreliable. There are people in our lives who love you, who will stand by you until the very end.

So, be a riot. Start a conversation, but be respectful. Remember those different from you could also be your army. And never forget that the most important thing is to still love yourself at the end of the day.

Don’t get caught up in the web of invalidity

When someone comes into your life and they seem to instantly connect with you, the automatic assumption is that you were meant to be in each other’s lives. As friends, partners or even just acquaintances. Usually, these feelings are accurate.

But not always. And that is alright.

When someone takes themselves out from underneath the spotlight, choosing to leave, let them leave. If you feel the need to let someone go, or tell someone to go, because the friendship has become unhealthy in some way, trust your instincts.

I’ve had my fair share of friends come and go. Not a lot, not more than I can count on one hand, but an impactful amount nonetheless. It is always hard and it never stops draining me emotionally. This can be said for anyone who has gone through the same situation. If we’re being honest with ourselves, that is most of us in this big world. None of us are immune to changes in life.

But the point of this post is to share that when someone makes you feel bad about who you are or when you feel taken advantage of, you are in the right to step out of someone’s life.

When someone chooses to implant themselves into your life and share every detail of who they are with you, you feel special. It comes off as though you’re this chosen one that people can trust. It’s human nature to feel that way. But sometimes they just need someone, anyone, to listen. And occasionally, the person they really need to talk to is a licensed professional.

However, I can say for myself and I’m sure many other people out there that I do not like feeling as though I’ve been taken advantage of.

I am not weak and I do not like being pushed around. So one shouldn’t assume that just because I am free-spirited and go with the flow, that I will go along with everything they say. Part of life is choosing your battles and if I feel as if something isn’t worth an argument, I won’t waste my breath. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything that is said and done.

Nor do I agree when I listen to someone verbally bash a person from their past, especially when that one person turns into multiple people. I don’t agree with shaming people based on their mental health.

I absolutely do not condone someone forcing themselves onto another human being. That is called sexual assault and you can’t find a way around that logic. Nor can you argue that pushing yourself onto another when they’re not in the right state of mine is okay.

One thing that some people fail to understand is the concept of time. When someone says they need it, it should be given to them, for however long they need. Things that will only push that person away are actions like incessantly messaging or trying to contact them. Trying to get answers from another person. Using guilt tactics or flattery. All of this is verbal harassment and it is also not okay.

As a human being with, in my biased opinion, a fair amount of knowledge, I’d say that these things listed above are all common sense. Basic information that the average aged human being should be aware of.

However, I’ve come to realize that not everyone has the common sense they need. And I pray that they find it or else they’ll soon learn that things in life aren’t handed to them. The things we all want in life are love, shelter, and food. In whatever order that pleases you the most. Play your cards right and you’ll achieve all three.

So, remember in life that when someone comes and goes, it can be either parties fault. All that matters is that the lesson is learned from and that at the end of the day, you remember that however you feel is valid and no one should be able to steal that from you.

Why be a student journalist?

We’ve all had those days where we’re just done. We are over the day or week, would rather curl up and sleep. Hide away until the feeling of imminent doom has passed.

Okay, this might sound a bit dramatic. But that’s been this week – basically.

My campus has been going through a lot this week and we’ve been dealing with a fair bit of controversy, which is being covered both by our student media (i.e. me and my peers!) as well as local and national news stations.

As a student journalist, these are the things that I live for. Protests? Let me film it live. Huge student forum? You’ll find me and my peers recording audio, live-tweeting, waiting in lines to talk to officials. We’re those students who show up and enter a room 10 minutes before everyone else as media, the ones who have huge bags under our eyes because we’ve been up all night perusing the internet for leads.

It’s exhausting, it’s sometimes terrifying and I’ll admit, it’s sometimes boring.

Yes, some stories require you to sit in big meetings hearing about reports, numbers, stats, etc. Others bring you to the front lines of an issue and you get to report on the next big thing. Your byline will be under the headline of the top story and for a moment, you’ve never felt more proud.

Because even though being a student journalist has those qualities that make the role seem so tiring and daunting, which it can be, every second is worth your time.

Meeting correspondents and commentators from stations like CNN, standing side-by-side with reports from local news channels, having students ask you questions about what is going on because they know they can rely on you to know – these are the things that make every stressful and tiring moment of being  student journalist worth it.

I have met people that are now irreplaceable in my life due to me pursuing this career and I would never change this decision if given the chance. The opportunities I have been able to take advantage of are indescribable, unique and all together amazing experiences.

I say all this to remind people that journalists, and those of us working to be one full time, are here to help. We are hear to keep the public informed, to share the facts and to be as ethical as possible in our reporting. We have a job to do, yes. Sometimes that includes being unable to share certain personal opinions or not being able to print something due to cuts for the printer. These are all things that come with the job because sometimes not every single moment is enjoyable and that can be said with any job.

But it is important to remember that as student journalists, we are human beings first. We have emotions, we feel things. We have our own minds and opinions and we are more than willing to share those opinions outside the capacity of a reporter.

If we seem distracted or out of it, we’re probably focused on a story that has our full attention. We have one-track minds, and by that I mean multi-track minds because we are always working on more than one article at once. However, that one track is still in the name of journalism and that’s our happy place.

We are student journalists because we care about sharing the news, we believe it is important to be informed and that it is our duty to share the latest news with the rest of the student body. I say all of this in my name, not reflective of any other organization I am a part of. Just pure, open and honest me.

We are here for you.

I am here for you.