My Mantras

22 September 2015

I am typing this up from my listing in Oslo, where I have decided on a night in, off of my feet and away from the bustle of the city. I should be out, enjoying the city and soaking up everything while I can. But I don't want to. It's my vacation, and I live life my way. Which happens to be one of my mantras.

I am joining up with Liz to share my five mantras. Solo travel tends to give me lots of time for introspection, and Liz's post struck a chord with me. As I wind down my vacation and face returning to my normal life, I am taking a moment to consider my five mantras.

Be a Weeble.

When I was going through a significant bout of depression, this became one of my mantras. When you're depressed, getting out of bed becomes an incredibly difficult task. Making it through a day at work without tearing up for no good reason was damn near impossible. At my worst, I would remind myself: "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down. Be a weeble."

Choosing to be a Weeble meant getting out of bed, despite wanting to wallow beneath my duvet for days on end. Being a Weeble meant stepping into the restroom when I needed a good cry at work. Most of all, the Weeble mentality meant constantly fighting the depression and not allowing it to win.

Now, whenever I feel like giving up, I remember this mantra. For me, it is absolutely perfect that it sounds silly because that's me in a nutshell- seemingly serious, with a taste for ridiculousness. It's a lot easier for me to remain determined when I remind myself to be a Weeble. It also reminds me to laugh when I'm wobbling.

I live life my way.

One of the luxuries of being someone over the age of thirty is not giving a f*** about the "rules" of life. There are countless blog posts proclaiming the rules of what to wear (or not wear), how to eat (are we supposed to be eating clean now? what even is that?), how to be successful (with a rather narrow definition of success), and so on. If I see another "article" proclaiming the 10 Things All Emotionally Stable People Do Every Day, I think I might scream. In reality though, I'm more inclined to rant about them to my boyfriend, sister, or anyone else who will listen and then scoff at their ridiculousness. I live life my way! F*** the rules!

In life, you are going to encounter lots of people with lots of different opinions about how things should be done. I recently wrote about the way I travel because of I talk I heard back in February that completely offended me. I was basically told that if I step foot into a museum, I have failed at travel. Ahem. I minored in Art History. Museums give me travelgasms. I can't help myself. I live life my way, and that means museums.

This also means being ok with saying no or calling it quits when it feels right to me. Like right now, I am exhausted from walking all day. Perhaps I should be out enjoying all that Oslo has to offer, but right now, staying in and enjoying me-time sounds perfect. No, it might not be Instagram-worthy, but my life is not measured by the quality of my Instagram posts. I live life my way, every day.

Own your feelings.

I haven't always been honest about my feelings. In fact, I've spent a good chunk of my life hiding my feelings away within my deepest depths, behind lock and key. Feelings were raw. Feelings usually brought on shame. In short, feelings were bad.

And then I got older and realized I have a lot of feelings, and that I feel a lot better when I discuss said feelings. I feel especially better when I find that others share those exact same feelings.

One of the biggest ways this manifests itself in my life is in advocating for my introversion. Being surrounded by noise, movement, and people makes me feel extremely anxious and agitated. When I don't express these feelings adequately, I am inclined to have a panic attack. But when I speak up, I can let people know that I'm not a jerk who's flipping her s*** for no good reason. I'm having feelings, those feelings are ok, and I need help in processing and responding to these feelings.

Go with your gut.

My current job requires me to rely on my gut on a daily basis. It just so happens that my gut is always right. I'm definitely in the right place.

There have been times when I tried ignoring my gut and things turned out poorly. My gut told me to kick my ex to the curb after the first time he left me. My gut told me that working for my horrible terrible boss a few years ago would not end well. I've since learned that I should always go with my gut.

Then there are the times when I am listening to my gut, but others believe I'm wrong. Whenever I have a yucky feeling about a person, I tell people about the time I had a yucky feeling about someone who ended up murdering his girlfriend. The gut knows, and I trust it.

Don't shine the light, be the light.

This has been my biggest mantra this past year. It's not the easiest one for me to live by, as I am often so wrapped up in my own inner world that I do not notice what I am projecting to the world around me. As an introvert, I honestly do not feel like talking to people most of the time. And sometimes that means putting on a look so that others get that message.

But this mantra has the deepest meaning for me. I was raised Baptist and evangelism was gospel. A good Baptist will preach to everyone they meet about how good God is and that the only way to salvation is Jesus. There's a lot of talk about how Jesus loves everybody. But it was all just that to me: talk.

I came to realize that so many who proclaim God's love do a very terrible job at projecting God's love. It's one thing to tell others what God does or how God feels. In all reality, just proclaiming to know those things is absurd, which is even pointed out in the Bible (it's called humility). It's a completely different thing to truly love others. To act with love toward your fellow human beings, no matter whether you agree with them or not. 

So, in my way, I try my best to live by these words. One way I do this is smiling at people. Or smiling through difficult challenges (I've been complimented on my smile in barre class, when I had no idea I was even smiling). Another way is genuinely listening to people, and making them feel heard. I've found that that is a trait that can go a long way, and one that brings about real connection, even if just for a moment. But I think brief moments of light strung together in time make up for one bright light.

These are my five current mantras. They're not exactly original, but they're true to me. They might not work for you, and that's okay.

What are your mantras?

31 Questions (and Answers)

07 September 2015

This post was written on Sunday Evening. 

1. Where’s your cellphone? Right next to me.

2. Where’s your second half? In the bathroom.
3. Your hair? In a ponytail, and constantly between my fingers (I fidget with my hair).
4. Your mood? Content.
5. Your plan for today? We celebrated Labor Day/my dad's birthday (early) at my parents house with most of the family, then did a little bit of necessity shopping at Target. Not planned: happy hour and darts.

6. What’s the best you know? Seeing an excellent movie for the first time in the theater, and at the end  of the movie, everybody loved it so much they clap. When babies grab on to your finger. Big, fat snowflakes falling softly at night. When he rests his hand on my lower back. Watching my dog sleep. Laughing so hard you cry. Sister time. Warm sand between my toes.
7. Your dream last night? I can't remember much of it any more, but I do remember piling up broken-down Kleenex boxes and opening up a fresh box of Kleenex.
8. Your goal in life? To love and be loved.
9. The room you’re in? Living room/bedroom (we live in a micro studio).

10. Your hobby? Reading, writing, Classpass, hiking, drinking wine and beer.
11. Your fear? Losing my loved ones. Falling down. That my city will change so much that it no longer resembles the place I grew up in.
12. Where would you like to be in six years? Living with Alex in our own small home.
13. Where were you yesterday evening? Hanging out on Mississippi Avenue. First drinks and food at Sidecar 11, then photographs by some photographer taking portraits of Portlanders in a truck on the street, and finished up with drinks at Interurban. I made it a bourbon night.
14. What are you not? Inauthentic, insincere, careless.
15. Something you wish? To live in a cottage in the woods.

16. Where did you grow up? Michigan, Upstate New York, and, mostly, Washington State. In the woods.
17. What was the last thing you did? Put on my pajamas.
18. Your clothes? Pajamas. I love pajamas.
19. Your TV? My trusty 32-inch Sony, directly across from me on an Ikea shelf.
20. Your pet? Lucy, my papillon.
21. Your computer? A Macbook.
22. The best thing you own? Possibly my nude lace bra. It is incredibly comfortable, which is saying a lot for a bra (and coming from a busty gal).

23. Do you miss anyone? My Grandma Louise. I would love to have dinner with her.
24. Your car? A 2006 Kia Optima.
25. Something you’re not wearing? A bra. Because I'm in my pajamas.
26. Favorite store? Target, Sephora, Nordstrom, Powell's, and Trader Joe's.
27. Your summer? Very low-key. Mainly trying to stay cool during our intense heat waves.

28. Do you love anyone? Yes- I have a lot of people that I love, and for that, I am quite fortunate.
29. Favorite color? Not so much a color as a tone- I love jewel tones. Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Amethyst.
30. When did you laugh last? Probably walking home with Alex this evening. He makes sure I'm always laughing.
31. When did you cry last? Last night, when it hit me how much I miss my Grandma Louise.
I wrote this post after feeling inspired by Liz's post (a new-to-me blogger) on Sunday. I'm hoping to get back to writing more as Fall approaches, especially hoping for some inspiration during my upcoming trip to Scandinavia, and so this is a start. If you feel so inspired, feel free to answer a question or two int eh comments below, or better yet, write your own post and share!
Powered by Blogger.