Adventure

5 Songs That Move Me Right Now

This doesn’t come from the Hemingway Deck, but music is and always has been a huge part of my life. If I’m in the car, I’m listening to music. If I’m in the shower, I’m listening to music. If I’m in my room writing, I’m listening to music. Here are some of the songs that have really affected me lately.

You Say by Lauren Daigle

I realize this song was probably written about a romantic partner, but honestly it just reminds me of my Mom and the way she is always supporting me and telling me how loved and special I am. It says, in part:

“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me.”

Strip by Little Mix ft. Sharaya J

This song is the reason I haven’t stepped on a scale outside of a doctor’s office or worn makeup in months. While there are likely people who think that’s a bad thing, I don’t think it’s negative to finally FINALLY start to be able to love myself as I am instead of as I wish I was. The lyrics say:

“Take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it
Rub off all your words, don’t give a uh, I’m over it.
Strip!
Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this.
Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident.”
and
“I’m a woman, don’t test me.
Baby, I’m growing, my stretch-marks are sexy.
I don’t owe you nothin’.
Nah, I don’t give a uh, no, not anymore.”



More Than Words by Little Mix ft. Kamille

This is another one that was probably written about a romantic partner, but it makes me think about my best friend, Tiffany, because the lyrics say:

“I need you more than words can say. Oh you’ve shaped me in ways that I can’t explain. Always been there for me, now I’ll do the same. Oh I need you more than words can say.”

Perfect to Me by Anne-Marie

This song started out as “Perfect” by Anne-Marie on her debut album Speak Your Mind (Original audio can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vzLH36L68A) It’s another one that has really helped me with body image and loving myself. The chorus goes:

“Don’t feel like putting makeup on my cheeks
Do what I wanna
Love every single part of my body
Top to the bottom
I’m not a supermodel from a magazine, mmm-mmm
I’m okay with not being perfect
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me”

Mean by Taylor Swift

There are a few specific people that this brings to mind that I won’t name for obvious reasons, but the realization that someone who is mean to you is doing it because of them and not because of you is a huge and important one. It’s a lesson that it took me decades to learn, but the truth is that people who have been hurting you for a long time are unlikely to change, so it’s best if you can change your perspective about them.

“Some day, I’ll be living in a big old city and all you’re ever gonna’ be is mean. Some day, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me and all you’re ever gonna’ be is mean. Why you gotta’ be so mean?”
“All you are is mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean.”

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Adventure, Random Life Things

2019

As I wrote about in my post about writing, I got myself The Hemingway Deck by Best Self Co. as a tool against writer’s block. This year, I will attempt to make my way through at least part of the deck on my blog.

What do you need to do by the end of the year to make this year meaningful?

-Hemingway Deck By Best Self Co.

By the end of 2019, I would like to have a stable full-time job with benefits (specifically health care). I will travel to Scotland, spend time with the people I care about, and love on my dog. A job won’t directly make this year meaningful, but getting a job means that I am and can expect to continue to be mentally stable, and that would be very meaningful indeed. By the end of the year, I hope I have not been hospitalized for my mental health (or for any other reason)! I hope I have made new friends and nurtured old friendships. I hope I have volunteered my time to causes I am passionate about.

In trying to figure out what would make 2019 meaningful, I find myself reflecting on 2018 and all of the amazing moments I have had with the people I care about. From lobbying for Amnesty International with River in Washington, D.C. to screaming at the top of my lungs at the Taylor Swift concert with Monica to thinking, for a few minutes (and until I saw his teeth in the photo I had taken), that we had just met Ed Sheeran with Tiffany, 2018 has had some really amazing moments. I got to spend a week with my family at the beach, got to spend a weekend at the beautiful Lake Fontana with my parents and brother, saw SO MANY concerts, went to NYC with my best friend, had Breakfast at Tiffany’s, had tea at The Plaza, was there for a live recording of The Daily Show on election night and saw Michelle and Barack Obama speak in Washington, DC. I got to spend time with my cousins, parents, brother, best friend, and friends. I started babysitting for three children who I enjoy spending time with. The year may have started a little rough, but by May, things started looking up, at least for my mental health and my social calendar.

To be fair, 2018 certainly had it’s challenges as well. Politically, it’s been a rough year. It’s been a tough year to be a woman. It’s been a rough year to be a survivor of sexual assault. I’ve had to avoid the news as much as possible while still remaining as informed as I can with print media. I struggled with depression and anxiety and gained back almost all of the weight I had lost from 2017-2018. I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and found myself not wanting to leave the comfort of my bed. I let things get so bad in my room that it looks like a bomb went off in here. I spent more money I didn’t really have to spend on things I didn’t really need to own that I’ll just end up getting rid of in 2019 when I hopefully get my act together and declutter my room.

I hope to travel to new places and smile more and dislike myself less. I hope to fear less, love more, and stop being so afraid of life that I miss how magnificent it can be. I hope to stop judging myself about every single tiny thing I think I do wrong and start having faith in myself that I can succeed and do hard things. I hope to grow in my friendships and my relationships with my family members. I hope to be more patient and to stop absorbing every mean thing people say to or about me. I hope to remember, all the time, that there are many people who love me and want to see me succeed. I hope to maintain the fragile mental stability I have seen since starting to see a new psychiatric nurse practitioner in May. I hope to grow by leaps and bounds in therapy and learn more about myself and the person I’d like to become. I hope to talk to myself the way I talk to people I love and treat myself like I’d treat a friend.

I think that for 2019 to be meaningful, I need to pay attention to the small moments. I need to learn to love and appreciate myself as I am instead of as I wish I was. I need to revel in the laughter of my friends, the smiles of my parents, the barks of my dog, and the look on my brother’s face when he steps into Scotland for the first time. I want to read more poetry, read more novels, write more blog posts and articles, spend time playing board games and going to movies and smiling with friends, take River on walks, bake new things, and practice gratitude for the many overwhelmingly wonderful moments in my life.

Adventure

The Importance of Writing

Last night on Twitter, I lamented the fact that if my resolution for 2019 had been to write every day, I would have already failed. Thankfully, I’m not big into resolutions, but I would like to be more active on my blog this year. I got a set of writing prompt cards called The Hemingway Deck that I think will help with that.

I also tweeted out asking for writing prompts for me to use today. I got two suggestions and loved the idea of writing about why writing is important to me. The other suggestion was something I didn’t quite understand anyway.

Writing is important to me because it is the most effective way for me to communicate. When speaking, I often stumble over my words or say the wrong thing or put my foot in my mouth somehow. With writing, I can take the time to carefully go back through and read what I’m trying to say to see if it makes sense and truly communicates what I am trying to say.

Writing is also important to me because it’s a way to share my story and what I have been through with others, hopefully helping people in some small way. I feel that being open and honest about my Bipolar Disorder is the best thing I can do to help reduce stigma and raise awareness because it helps people understand that Bipolar Disorder is something I have, not something I am. It also shows people I know that someone they know and care about experiences the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and isn’t the stereotype the media would have you believe about people with mental illness.

To me, writing is an outlet. It’s a way to express myself and my feelings in a safe way. It’s easy for me to put things out here on my blog because I know that people are only reading it if they want to- no one is forcing them. Sometimes when I talk about my mental health with people in person, I feel like they wish they could get out of the conversation or that I would talk about something else.

If I could get paid to write, I would do little else. I started working on a memoir a few years ago (and by started working on I mean I started gathering blog posts and journal entries to include), but that sort of fizzled out when I wasn’t doing well because I wasn’t writing many blog posts and stopped keeping a journal. I would like to be better about writing more often and journaling so that I have records to reflect on since my memory is so terrible.

So in 2019, hopefully you will be hearing from me more frequently, even if the posts are shorter than they have been in the past.