Life Is So Much More

Life is so much more than settling down. It’s so much more than searching for love in another human being. It’s so much more than following society’s norm — than following the crowd through every step, forward or backward, throughout your twenties and beyond.

Life is so much more.

Life is about time. Time to figure out who you are as your own person. Time to navigate through your passions, your curiosities, your ambitions. Time to be scared. Time to push your limits. Time to be alone; to see the world; to find your happiness. Sometimes, all you need is time to simply be. Something that’s never enough, yet all too sudden. Time is to be learned, accepted, desired, and cherished. Time with yourself, with friends, with family, with places, with strangers, with this world.

Life is about experience. Experiencing different people. Experiencing different cultures; different ways and walks of life. Life is about opening your eyes; embracing this world as one. It’s about welcoming change, the unexpected, and unfamiliar. Life is about adventure and exploring — following your intuition and diving head first into wonder, curiosity, and passion. It’s about making mistakes and learning to not be ashamed. Learning to say, “So what?”, learning to say “Yes”.

Life is about possibility. Life is about paving your own path; drafting your own playbook; creating your own set of rules. It’s about branching out from the norm; following your dreams and facing your fears — tackling and pursuing every unanticipated setback; leaving your mark on this world and your surroundings, because you can.

Life is about spontaneity. What’s the fun in living a comfortable, ordinary, mundane life? The most beautiful right we have as individuals is independence; is having a choice. The ability to create something out of nothing; the ability to take imagination and transform abstract into something tangible. The ability to buy a plane ticket to Neverland and just go without having an agenda. Going someplace, somewhere to find a new perspective; to find a greater purpose.

Life is about taking chances. There are two types of people in this world — the ones who fear love and the ones who aren’t ready to share it completely, just yet. If you’re afraid of love, branch out of comfort and fear, and take a chance on opening yourself and your heart to the world. If you’re sick of dating, then stop and just live; just be.

There seems to be something wrong with just wanting to live your best life, alone; single; solo. Well, there isn’t. Start taking chances — start pushing back on what society says you can’t or shouldn’t do. Start bringing your own passions, your own talents to the forefront instead of hiding them in the shadows. Start making this world your world; make this world something that challenges you — something that keeps you striving for greatness and inspiration.

Life is about being alone. And not the “alone” that society has placed an apathetic stigma on. People have either grown to fear the concept of being alone or just simply don’t know how to be alone. Being alone, being single, is not something one should fear, but something to be embraced. It forces you to be your own backbone; to be your own superhero. It teaches you how to communicate with the world; to understand it in a different light. It teaches you self-compassion and compassion for those around you.

Life is about the fight. In a world comprised of terror, darkness, and evil, there is always an option to fight; to rise above. In the face of all obstacles, you learn — you have the option to fight your own fight; to fight the right fight. To stand for your individual beliefs and values; to stand for your aspirations; to stand for your to-be-continued journey. The ability to walk on water, brave the storm, stare into the eyes of your biggest fears; stare into the eyes of darkness — and win.

Life is about purpose; it’s about forgiveness. Life is about believing; it’s about dreaming big, and aiming higher. Life is about finding your forever.

You have one heart; you have one life. One that beats for you. Whatever it is in this world that makes your heart beat faster and smile harder, do it. Whatever it is that makes you want to fly higher, do it. Whatever it is that makes you feel like you are your own superhero — do it. Find it. And hold onto it forever.

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Your 20-somethings Are For Choosing Self-Love Over An Almost Love

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E.E Cummings 

I used to think by 25 years old, you should have your shit completely together. I used to think by 25 years old, you should have a better understanding of what career path is meant for you. I used to think by 25 years old, life becomes less about finding yourself, and more about finding “the one”. I used to think by 25 years old, you should have already met the person you’re destined to spend the rest of your life with.

Boy, was I wrong. 

The term love has so many different meanings to so many different people. For some, it’s an emotion; for others, it’s a physical act; for most, well, we’re still trying to figure that out.

What I do know about love, is that it is not something that should take away from your own individual passions. It is not something you should yearn for in order to feel wanted or accomplished; to make you feel complete or whole. It is not needing to be with or share every waking moment with someone else; taking away from the ability to pave your own path of exciting & unique experiences; taking away from the ability to navigate through your own life as your own person.

What I do know about love, is that it should not keep you guessing, wishing, or questioning. It should not be jealous or boastful. It is not a shared identity. It is not guaranteed. Love has no timeline; it has no expiration date. Love is not for one person, and one person alone. To only be able to share love with one person, is to not be willing or able to share love with anyone. Love is not something you can aim — it is not a target one can throw a bullseye, hit a home run, or catch a hail mary for. Love is not addiction or infatuation. Love is not just one thing.

What I do know about love, is that it is kind — it is supportive and aware; thriving through shared and opposing interests & passions. What I do know about love, is that it is selfless. It is allowing, rather than seeking. It is letting go, rather than grasping. It is healing; it is healthful; it is genuine and natural. What I do know about love, is that it is living life on the pitcher’s mound in the center of all the action, or tackling what’s to come in life as your own Safety. Love is putting you and your passions at the forefront in pursuit of happiness and gratitude.

Love is the ability to face your personal fears. Love is taking a chance; adventuring through the road less traveled. Love is the ability to have the confidence to conquer this life and its series of events. Love is finding passion, courage, and bravery through overcoming each triumph, failure, and setback. Love is fully investing in your ambitions. Love is passionately compassionate — it is something to be shared with yourself, with friends, with family, with strangers, with places, with things, with this world.

What I do know about love, is that it is just one part of life.

There are over seven billion people in our world — over seven billion individuals searching for — finding their greater purpose; diving into unexpected passions and journeys; becoming who they’ve aspired to be; finding love in unique ways, in a variety of forms. There is more to life than love; there is more to you than love; there is more in this world for you than just love.

There is more to life than finding it, there is more to life than keeping it. There is so much more

At 25 years old, it’s okay to still figure out how to get your shit together. At 25 years old, it’s okay to continue to learn, experience, and find what could be right, or wrong, for you. At 25 years old, life should become a playbook for simply living your best version; your own unique version. At 25 years old, self-love becomes more cherished than any other form of love.

Your 20-somethings are for choosing self-love over yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s almost loveBecause when you come face to face with self-love, you come face to face with love in its purest, most honest form — in every way one could imagine possible.

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Your Art Matters

Writing is an art; in its purest, most honest form.

As a writer, we somehow manage to find even the slightest amount of beauty in the world — even when we’re standing face to face with darkness; standing face to face with fear. As a writer, we overanalyze even the simplest phrase or concept, looking that much deeper and that much further into the world and our surroundings in order to find the perfect story to tell.

As a writer, we are forced to embrace every part of life’s daunting moments — the triumphs, the failures, the sadness, the heartache, the undiscovered. We spend countless hours repeatedly assessing each unique experience — what do we want to share with the world? Why do these words matter? Why does this story matter? We attempt to sort through the millions of thoughts and emotions; the millions of words, in order to find the perfect words; the right words.

In order to find the perfect story.

As a writer, that is the definition of who we are; we are perfectionists. Even so, what we quickly learn is that there are no perfect words. There are only words. But, the world relates to words. The world relates to honesty, bravery, shared experiences. The world relates to the unspoken truth — not perfection.

As a writer, we find passion and excitement in embarking on an unknown journey through paper and words alone. We master the art and task of creating something out of nothing; creating a world filled with grace, beauty, and wonder from a blank sheet of paper; creating a world that resembles hope and serenity for ourselves and our universe.

As a writer, we write in search for answers to our own doubts and worries. But, when putting pen to paper, our words suddenly transform into a poetic art — translating into words of encouragement, becoming answers and guidance for someone, somewhere in this world. We become inspired by people we’ve never met; stories we’ve never read; places we’ve never seen. We become fascinated with this world and everything it embodies, in creating an imaginative story; a place to start anew. Creating something wonderful from something nearly broken.

As a writer, putting a pen to a blank sheet of paper; putting our fingertips to a backlit keyboard is invigorating. As a writer, our minds tend to wander at 1,000 miles per hour, sorting through different aspects of our lives and experiences — sorting through what our next words will be; what next story we’ll share with and inspire the world around us.

Figuring a million and one ways to tell the story of a first or third-party experience or emotion becomes second nature; it’s exhilarating, it’s our passion. We as individuals are no longer in control, but our wandering, adventurous minds now being steered by our fingertips. 

As a writer, we become our own superhero, and our creative minds along with a blank sheet of paper become our sidekick. We are not afraid of third-party opinions because quite frankly, it’s what motivates us to seek out the next story; the perfect story, the greater story. Our hearts and our minds become one in the same; allowing us to believe in where our journey will take us on another blank sheet of paper. Finding our next perfect story to share with our hearts and our world, as one. 

Find your creativity. Find your passion. And when you do, share it with the world. Because your creativity matters; your art matters.

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[en-dure] verb: to withstand with courage

 The truth: I am a writer. And as a writer, I write what is honest and real, even if it’s painful to see, read, or hear. 

The purpose: I write to encourage; I write to inspire. I write to let someone, somewhere in the world know that they are not alone. I write to be the voice saying it’s okay to hurt; it’s okay to be brave; it’s okay to stand on your own. 

The story: I am genuinely a happy person. I wholeheartedly believe that the way we get through life in one piece is to smile; to laugh; to not take ourselves and our surroundings too seriously.

The reality: Sometimes, we don’t have a choice but to believe otherwise. Sometimes, given the circumstance, we have to do and feel the way we believe is best in order to continue moving forward; to continue living; to continue surviving in one piece. 

Ever heard of “repressed memory”? It’s a haunting concept — one that happens for a reason. It happens because the individual has suffered from a high-level stress or traumatic experience, leaving the human brain to unconsciously block out the event because it is not one we want to remember, be associated with, or recall. Ever again.

The reality is, although our minds have blocked the event from our conscious, emotions ranging from across the board still exist within our subconscious as an everyday distraction. That is until someone, or something, triggers a distant emotion, touch, or smell causing the memory to resurface.

For a while now, I have been experiencing high-level anxiety, sometimes for no particular reason. I have been suffering from amnesia in my everyday life, not being able to remember or recall even the simplest of things. When it comes to new faces, or dating for that matter, I have not been able to bring myself to be somewhere alone with someone in 1:1 settings — only a large group out of comfort and zero room for isolation. When it comes to my everyday emotions, my everyday life; I am happy and I have chosen to be happy because that is how I have been able to move forward in crisis situations. But outside of the happiness I’ve chosen, I feel empty; I feel absent; I feel numb.

Now, I understand why.

But, what is different now? What is different now is that everything makes sense that didn’t before.

Earlier when I referred to triggers — mine was a Neurologist. Odd, right? Not really. We talked and went through your standard physical and cognitive examinations due to the symptoms I had been experiencing. I still didn’t realize it at the time, or even understand it, but my Neurologist mentioned the symptoms I had been experiencing seem to be due to a distraction that my conscious mind was not aware of. I was then referred to see a Neuropsychologist — and next thing I know, pieces slowly started to coming together.

I now understand why I have a tendency to shy away from 1:1 situations. I now understand why it’s so hard for me to be vulnerable. I now understand why I have wanted to take control and feel powerful when it comes to men, and my life as a whole. I now understand why it’s so hard for me to feel; I now understand why it’s so hard for me to feel anything: love, hate, anger, sad — I now understand why for so long I have felt numb when it comes to an emotional and physical touch.

Nearly two years ago, I started writing for the first time in many, many years. Now, nearly two years later, I finally understand why. The confusing and unsettling pieces have slowly been coming together — my emotions have been all over the place, but I’ve found some level of comfort in finally being able to just understand.

I’m still trying to sort through how I feel, because as anyone could guess it’s not an easy thing to overcome right off of the bat. But once again, you can overcome; you will overcome.

This is the part of life where your limits are tested and you have to simply let yourself feel. You let yourself sort through every emotion because you are allowed that much. But once you do, you keep telling yourself that this is your comeback story. The brokenness you feel right now? It won’t last forever — because this is the fight. This is your fight. And you will win.

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#MeToo

I am brave. I am honest. I am strong — at least, today I am.

Sexual assault. 

Two words that make people feel ill-at-ease to see, hear or say out loud.

Maybe you’ve experienced it too. Maybe you have a similar story to share. Maybe it wasn’t you, but your best friend who had to experience it. Regardless of the situation, you are not alone. I am not alone. We are not alone.

Growing up, I became familiar with the topic surrounding sexual assault through various health courses and books. The one thing I didn’t know, until afterward, was how it truly affects you — mentally, emotionally, physically. Not just with one person, or yourself for that matter, but with everyone who falls into and surrounds your world.

To be sexually assaulted is to be broken, in more ways than one. Initially, you feel strong enough to fight, but when that amount of force — a force so demanding, so powerful —  is thrust upon you, your mind immediately shifts from defense mode to shock and numbness. You feel empty, confused, overwhelmed. Not knowing how to feel or what to do. You feel cowardly for not fighting back, even with the repeated attempts and screams of “no”.

You feel like you’ve just lost control of everything in your life. Your emotions continue along this teeter-totter of extreme, out of control, and seem all over the place. You try to feel love. You try to feel hate. You try to feel happy, sad, and everything in between. Something, anything. But your mind and body won’t allow you to feel anything but empty and insignificant. You feel foreign in your own skin.

You fear for your present and future; not being able to completely and fully let someone into your heart and your world again. You fear that you will never be the same. You fear you will never be able to experience trust and vulnerability the way you did before — with family, friends, and a significant other. You prefer to only be around new faces in large groups, where there is no possible opportunity to be isolated by another individual. You fear not wanting to be intimate with another person. You wonder whether or not you will ever want or enjoy sexual relationships again out of fear that being sexually intimate may remind you of the assault. You wonder whether or not you can, ever again, because it’s no longer an act out of love and/or genuine intimacy. To you, it has now become an act out of power and aggression. It no longer encompasses the meaning you believed in up until that moment. It’s just emptiness accompanied by a bruised heart and body.

I intentionally blocked that memory out, creating this temporary window of amnesia during that time, so it seems. I have this tendency to prefer to struggle through the big stuff on my own; trying to put together and mend the broken pieces on my own. After this incident took place is really the first time I began writing in many, many years. Immediately following this incident, the only way I could really move past it was to write — to write it all down and see where my healing journey took me on paper; to see if I could create a new world for myself outside of this shadow of darkness I had just come face to face with. Writing is what helped me sort through my teeter-totter emotions of guilt, anger, confusion, fear and everything across the board. It helped me believe I could see the good in the world again, even with this permanent scar. It helped me envision this new world, where this shadow of darkness was just that — a shadow’s past.

Most of my publications are uplifting and genuine, because that was the broken writer within me, giving myself advice on how to pick up the broken pieces and move forward with my life.

It takes time, but you can get through it, you will get through it. Each person handles a crisis situation differently — think of the things that help you get through difficult times in your past. Be compassionate toward yourself; give yourself time to heal. Find the things that bring happiness and passion back into your life, things that make you feel like you can take control, once again. You will need time and you will have this memory with you in the back of your mind through every encounter moving forward — but you will be okay. You will overcome.

I don’t want “I’m sorry” and I don’t want pity. I’m not broken; no matter how often the hurt resurfaces, I refuse to be broken. I’m simply putting my broken pieces back together and sharing my story with everyone else in this world who needs guidance through theirs.

Your story doesn’t have to end with the broken pieces and this darkness following your every step forward. Let this be the beginning of your comeback story — the one that allows you to feel alive and free, once again. Today and all of the days following, I am brave. I am honest. I am strong — today and all of the days following, you are brave. You are honest. You are strong.

 

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