To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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Why Do Loneliness and Hungry Go Together?

Olaf cupcake

Olaf cupcake

For some reason, certain emotions seem to be linked together more often than others. Happiness and relaxation, sadness and tiredness, stress and irritability.

Another pair that I often link is loneliness and hungry. When I am lonely, I get hungry often. This does not seem uncommon from what I can tell. Others seem to eat when they are lonely or feel unloved.

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Thanksgiving Away From Home

Talking to Mickey Mouse

I am so thankful for my wonderful boss, Mickey Mouse.

I never liked Thanksgiving very much. Most times, my social anxiety made me sick and caused me to hide at family functions.

Today, however, being away from family stinks. I cried when I saw families at Disney World and thought of my own. All I want is to be with them right now.

Still, there is so much to be thankful for today. Here are my blessings, the same number as my age:

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Too Scared to Watch TV

Baby in pajamasGrowing up, I was always too sensitive to watch certainly movies. Maybe I should even say “most” movies. Even cartoon violence scared me.

Now, my fear is still similar. When friends or roommates watch The Walking Dead or even a PG movie like Tomorrowland, I cower in my bedroom.

Is this fear good or bad? I am not sure. It certainly makes me an outcast. Now, I just feel lonely and stupid. Poor Anna Rose, too scared to be a big girl. After all, it’s just TV, right?

But what if I have a point? What if all that violence touches a part of me that most people ignore? What if my fear should be listened to instead of silenced?

 

Breaking the mold hurts.

I understand this so well. Doing new things does hurt as does pushing yourself. Yet, it does become a bit easier with time. If only that empty feeling would go away and stay away forever.

BlueHero

Alone- Edmund Dulac

Lately I’ve been spending much more time doing new things. Things I’ve never got to do in a long time. Going out to eat, or spending the day watching movies and video games with a friend are amazing experiences for me. However I can’t help but feel empty when I go home. It’s as if the happier the time I have, the harsher the it feels when it’s over. Am having a hard time processing such feelings. At the end of the day my loneliness still finds a way to haunt me.

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What Loneliness Taught Me

Selfie in mirror at Disney

Being alone can teach you about yourself and others.

“Two is a pair. Three is a crowd.”

That saying might not be true, but I have certainly experienced it at times. Children pair up, having a best friend and sometimes even a second best friend. Girls giggling with others while passing me by, being picked last for a team, roommates making plans while I watched – being alone has been an important part of my life.

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Depression – Real. Talk.

People sometimes ask me what depression sounds like or seem confused about how mental illness feels. Here is a great example of what the voice in your head constantly says. The sad thing is that you begin to think it is the only thing that will be there for you always.

surviving the specter

quotes_depression_002

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Why Are People So Blind to Others?

Who Will Love Me

The biggest disease this day and age is that of people feeling unloved. – Princess Diana

So many people are struggling in the world. Just think of a five people (coworkers, friends, family, etc). Then think about what they are dealing with right now. You will probably notice that most are dealing with something difficult. Those who are not currently will in the future or did in the past; either that or you do not know about their current difficulties.

If that is the case, why are people so blind to others? How come instead of reaching out to each other, we draw back in fear? Why are others so closed to seeing the pain of those around them?

Lately, this has bothered me a great deal. Whether I am congratulating others for getting into a show and they fail to ask about me, nearly in tears over confusion with my faith, or working while others chatter with friends, I constantly feel alone. When no one reaches out to me, anger boils up inside as bitterness towards the whole human race increases.

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One Thousand Thanks: 977 – 987. Joys of Singlehood

Releasing Your Captive Imagination

Being single can be ok and even a blessing.

Loneliness is one of the worst feelings in the world. It brings hopelessness, misery, depression, and lack of motivation.

Lately, this sense of being lost without anyone has been difficult. From everything that I have read, this is typical of Aspergers. Just because I know about part of the cause of my loneliness does not make it any easier.

Since being single has been a huge part of my current sense of sorrow, I decided to look at the wonderful parts of not being in a romantic relationship. Please add any others that you think of in the comments.

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Recovery in the Media: #65. Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods

This novel depicts a young girl who slowly realizes the need to open herself up instead of staying locked in pain.

65. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Growing up can be a challenging time for any youth. However those in the foster system face many difficulties that those with loving families do not. Few books touch on this element as honestly yet tactfully as Pictures of Hollis Woods. Although written for children, the themes and emotions in it apply to all ages.

Synopsis: No one wants to care for orphaned Hollis Woods. Not only is she already 12-years-old instead of an adorable toddler, her isolated and stubborn temperate make her a less than ideal child. Hollis’ life changes, however, after she is brought to the home of a retired art teacher named Josie. Healing begins to enter the preteen’s life as she discovers her creative skills with Josie’s guidance. However, the elderly woman’s forgetfulness and the girl’s deep pain begin to threaten the new life for which Hollis deeply longs.

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