Chasing, Gaining, Losing, Desiring Dreams

Cherry blossomsDreams are etched deeply into part of our being – our memories, minds, or spirits perhaps. They influence many vital decisions and alter the courses of our lives. You can choose to stifle them deep inside, never allowing them to see the light and grow into a branch of your life. Alternatively, you can take a wild chance and follow them, knowing they might lead to pain and difficulty. In the end, you will always wonder what would have happened if you never give those dreams a chance.

Still, chasing a dream and catching it only to have it crumble in your fingers is agonizing. Having a fleeting idea fail or not enjoying a temporary situation is frustrating. Yet, realizing your dream that you fought for is a thing you no longer desire wounds much deeper.

Continue reading

Updated Bucket List 2017

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

Here is the fourth version of my bucket list. There are some things taken out and some added. Dreams come and go with time, but many have stayed the same.

Teaching and living in China is the biggest change since the last update in August 2015. However, I also transitioned to a new role at Disney World before coming to Asia and grew to a more confident and happy person. Continue reading

Losing Sight of Yourself

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." - Benjamin Franklin

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know yourself better than any other human.

Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.

Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.

Continue reading

Can You Ever Fully Escape Your Past?

Imagine meeting an old group of friends or classmates. One person constantly belittled and even bullied others while growing up. Now, she listens well and even apologized for past actions. Another person, on the other hand, was shy and insecure. He still struggles to speak and usually complains about himself when he does speak.

Situations like this happen to me all of the time although not always in the same day. I meet people from the past who have changed tremendously while others are nearly identical. The questions arise, “Do people change? Can someone move on from the past? Are some people able to forget who they were?”

Continue reading

I’m No Longer Human; I’m Just a Patient

Water lilly

The doctor saw me less than 20 minutes. In that amount of time, he prescribed me two medications and told me to stop taking one I had been given less than a week earlier. One of those medications cost nearly $150 with insurance even when using the generic instead of the brand.

He didn’t say a word about the cost. Just gave me the slip and sent me on my way.

Continue reading

When the Shaking Starts

Meeting Kylo Ren

Meeting Kylo Ren

My feet are firmer on the ground than previous times in my life. My heart does not trip over itself while scrambling to get away from a new person quite as often. My smile usually feels real instead of plastered onto my face.

Yet, there are still moments when the shaking starts. When my head begins to whirl and my breath comes in rapid puffs. When I feel like if I see another person or anyone touches me, I will break down in tears.

Continue reading

Am I Anyone without a Smile?

Some days, the smiles just don't want to come.

Some days, the smiles just don’t want to come.

From theater to Disney, my life has constantly been filled with places where I need to smile. I enjoy smiling. When I see others smiling, my heart feels lighter especially if I helped bring about their joy. I don’t mind keeping a smile on my face for hours on end when I see it positively influencing others.

However, I sometimes feel more like crying than smiling. Then, I realize that people think of me as someone who always smiles. Who would I be without my smile? This haunts me.

Continue reading

Keep Treading the Water

Willows over water

Living in recovery (or at least attempting to) is strange. At times, the current sweeps you under and pins you under the water until you feel your lungs about to burst. Other times, the water seems like a calm pool, perhaps even enjoyably cool and refreshing.

Then there are days, weeks, months, years when you are just treading the water. You aren’t about to drown, but your feet certainly do not touch the ground to stabilize you. Each recovery-based choice takes considerable effort and seems like a waste most of the time. However, making those healthy choices is not impossible.

Continue reading

It’s Not a Big Deal…Or Is It?

It's Not You, It's My PTSD

Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.

When people warned me that he wasn’t a good friend, I just smiled sheepishly and shrugged. Sure, he was not perfect. Yet, a quirky, introverted, socially-anxious preteen girl took the friends she could get. So, I told myself repeatedly, “It’s not a big deal.”

It’s not a big deal if he tells me to shut up. I do talk too much.

It’s not a big deal if he belittles my dreams. They won’t come true anyway.

It’s not a big deal if he slaps my face. It was a gentle hit to keep me from being too weird.

Continue reading

Where Do You Feel Your Anxiety?

Girl sadly thinking "what now"

Anxiety and depression are so similar but also so different. 

Lately, I have been trying to pay attention to where I feel my anxiety. Often it buzzes in my head or clenches my rib cage. Sometimes it inches its way across my body to another location.

However, everyone experiences anxiety differently. Where do you feel anxiety? All people experience it even people who are not diagnosed with anxiety. We all have our moments.