What do you want for Christmas?

Photo Credit: earth.com

I find this question really interesting to ask people because there are so many different ways a person can approach this question.

There’s people who’ll say “a million dollars” and people who’ll say “I don’t want a thing”. There’s people who’ll say items that they really know and love, and people who’ll provide practical options they know that person can afford. Some people even ask for donations to be made in lieu of gifts.

Honestly, to me, what people provide as an answer tells me a lot about who they are. Not that any one answer is better than another. Well, perhaps some answers are better than other’s. If you told me you wanted to kick a puppy for Christmas then I’d think you’re a bad person But, that was a huge tangent and I should get back on track. For the most part, when people answer this question, I really think it tells you a lot about who they are. I read a lot into what people ask for Christmas.

Me? People look at me oddly when I say it, but I tend to tell people that I want the staples for Christmas gifts. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, makeup remover… these types of things. Is that weird? Possibly. My thoughts behind it is, if people give me these things as gifts, and I can use them for the next 3-6 months (or longer depending on what they give me) then that’s expenses that I don’t have to worry about. It’s practical to me. And I think that’s really thoughtful. I mean, whoever buys me those things are going to be giving me something that I’ll like and get use from.

Decorative blankets are great and all but there’s only so many of them a girl needs, ya know? And heavens, I’ve got enough clothes, shoes and accessories. I don’t need any more. Of course I’m always thankful for someone thinking of me, but if someone is going to go ahead and spend their money on me, I just hope they’d take me seriously when I say I want thinks like shampoo and toothpaste, etc…

I’m curious to know, what do you want for Christmas? Are you the ‘ask for everything’ type? Are you the ‘ask for something I know they can afford’ type? Are you the ‘I don’t want anything’ type? Or do you prefer experiences over tangible gifts?

Letter to a thin-skinned soul

Dear Self,

As hard as you try, not everyone is going to like you. That’s a fact of life. And that’s totally okay. Don’t break your back over someone who’s opinion of you is never going to change. Quite frankly, their opinions don’t and shouldn’t matter to you. What should matter to you is who you choose to be, day in and day out.

Be yourself. Be authentic. Be true.

Those who know and love you will appreciate you for exactly who you are. Those who don’t, well, don’t waste your time or worry on them. You’re perfect just the way you are.

And if you do change, don’t change for anyone but yourself.

Sincerely, Me

Questions for you!

I’ve been interested to find out more about the people that read this blog. If you’re reading, and can answer, please do. I’d love some more insights (the analytics nerd in me just really loves this stuff)

  1. How old are you?
  2. What generation are you a part of?

For reference (for the second question):

  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (73-90 years old)
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old)
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old)
  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old)
  • Generation Z (Post-Millennials): Born 1997-Present (0-21 years old)

Oh mother

Today my mother told me that I’m way too focused on being sad all the time and if I put half as much effort into being happy, I would just be happy.

‘How do I do that?’ I asked her.

‘I don’t know. You just be happy. It’s easy.’ She said.

I try not to fault her too much because she really doesn’t understand mental health issues whatsoever. She’s never dealt with them so she doesn’t know that they’re very real and very difficult to overcome. And, if you’ve never dealt with them before, I can understand why it would be hard to grasp the complexities of it.

The thing is, though, it’s not as simple as she makes it out to be.

I can’t just think happy thoughts and become happy.

I can’t just be happy.

I’m not trying to be miserable. I’m not trying to be sad. I’m not trying to feel anxious. I’m not going out of my way to make any of this my reality. And I think when people stereotype it as a choice, that’s what makes it harder for people to talk about their mental health.

I want to laugh because something’s funny, not because I feel a social obligation too based on the people that I am around. I want to smile without having to think about it, without having to force it, because of the people that I am around. I want to just ‘be happy’ as she says.

But, if I don’t face these issues that I have, these internal struggles that plague my mind, I fear that they’ll plague me for the rest of my life. If I just grin and pretend they’re not there, they’re never going to go away. They’ll be there… probably forever.

Mental illness is a difficult subject for people to talk about. If someone breaks their leg, people can see it. They can see the physical injury and understand that person must be in pain because of said injury and they provide well wishes, support and hope to said person with broken leg that will invariably help them with their recovery. But, you can’t see an anxious mind. You can’t see a depressed soul. You can’t see a distraught heart. And if you’ve never felt something that you can’t see, this is, I think, where people struggle with helping those who suffer from mental illness.

You’d never tell someone to ‘just walk it off’ if they had a broken leg. So why are so many people so quick to say ‘Just be happy’ to someone who struggles with anxiety, or depression or bi-polar, or any of the other mental illnesses. Because they can’t see it, so they don’t understand it.

Talking helps. Sometimes it really can. If you feel safe and are able to open up to someone, sometimes talking can really benefit your situation. There are people who, though they’ve never been through it, do all that they can to try to understand.

But then there are people who won’t ever understand. Because this is the kind of thing that, unless you go through it yourself, is difficult to grasp.

To everyone in this world suffering in silence, I’m with you. I understand. To everyone being told to ‘just walk it off’ or ‘just be happy’, I know that life doesn’t work that way. Please, take the proper time and resources that you need to find yourself healing. Because, just like a broken leg, you need time to cope and to heal.

I’m wishing you peace, and for family/friends that understand. But, even if they don’t, I’m wishing you time to cope, to deal and to heal. Because everyone needs that – whether your hurt is physical (and visible) or not.

Blogging 106: Writer's block? Here are some simple subjects to write blog posts about.

With the exception of a very select few, every writer/blogger has been there before – when you want to write but you don’t know what to write. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings you can go through, writer’s block. And when you’re there, you’ll give anything to get out of your rut. How do you? You write. Write about anything. Write about everything. Write about the things that you may think are stupid and do all that you can to ensure those words hit the page. Write everything down. Even if it’s never going to leave your drafts folder, put those words on the page.

Here are some subjects that you can write about, things that you can share your opinions on, things that people enjoy reading about;

Write about how you wound up in the career you’re in now. Whether you have a common job – such as a nurse or a teach, or an uncommon job – such as a cardiothoracic surgeon, someone somewhere in this world is wondering what it takes to become a professional in your field. Sharing the story of how you got there could help a lot of up-and-coming professionals.

Write about the most incredible trip you’ve ever taken. Whether you’re a world traveller, or a one-and-done type of person, travel is a subject with one of the broadest audiences on earth. Even if someone is not going to the location you’re speaking of, they still will want to, and enjoy, reading about tales from your adventures.

Write about your hometown. Where are the best places to eat? Where are the best places visit? What are the funnest activities to do while there? Whether you live in the largest city on earth or a small town in the middle of nowhere, people will travel through your hometown each year. Why not give them a guide of things to do and places to see while there? Categorize it as ‘Travel’, because, while yo might not be travelling there, those that are travelling there will be the ones reading it.

Write about mental health, self-care, recovery and coping. This is one of the most broadly discussed topics on WordPress. If you have experience with mental health issues, either with yourself or a loved one, share your perspectives. Not only does it lessen the stigma, but it helps other’s feel less alone in their present situations. This might sound like a sad statement to say, but it’s nice to have a community, or friends, who understand what you’re going through.

Share your talents. Can you play the piano? Can you play the guitar? Can you kick a field goal as easy some people get up in the morning? Share that with the world. And, if it’s a talent you have that is teachable… something that others can learn, share. Pass on that wisdom. Millions upon millions of people take to the internet to learn new skills… even things as simple as the different ways to tie a tie. From second languages to second natures, if you’ve got the skills and wisdom to do it and patience to teach it, use your blog as a platform to teach it.

Talk about celebrities. People love to read other’s perspectives of celebrities. It’s quite literally why the Kardashian’s are famous. Share your opinions on celebrities. If someone agrees with you, they’re going to love your take and if someone disagrees with you, they’re likely going to want to talk about it. And, since this is the perfect opportunity, use your blog as a platform to remind people that two people can disagree with one another and still treat each other with respect.

Talk about true crime and mysteries. Does true crime fascinate you?Whether people admit to it or not, true crime fascinates a lot of the world. People disappearing, seemingly off the face of the earth fascinates people. There’s a natural wonder and curiosity within many people that wants to know what goes through someone’s mind when they commit murder. There are Youtube Channels of people just giving their take on different murders from around the world and these channels have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. On Sept 30 a woman in Anchorage, Alaska found an SD card on the ground that was labeled ‘Homicide at Midtown Marriott’. The SD card was filled with photos and videos of a man named Brian Smith sexually assaulting, murdering and then disposing of a woman’s body. I read a blog post a few weeks back about this story in which the author merely shared their opinion of what they think on the subject matter and the post had 3,200 likes on it. The post had more likes than the blog had subscribers. Why? People love crime.

Write about another blogger. Someone that you appreciate, or admire. Someone’s content you read on the regular. Spread the love. That blogger is going to appreciate the shout-out, and your community could possibly find themselves another blogger to love as well!

Make lists! People love lists because they’re short, easy to read and to the point. What are the ten best things about being female? What are the ten best things about being a male? What are your favourite songs of all times? What are your top travel destinations for 2020 and why? Make a list. They’re quick to read, allow you to share your opinions and are posts that people frequently like to comment on.

Whatever you’re writing about, write with your heart, passion and soul behind it. Authenticity is important in blogging. People will see if you’re passionate about what you’re sharing or if you’re just blogging to get attention. They can judge your character, even if they’re a stranger. So always make sure that you’re blogging about things that you love.

Write it.

Write it all down. Put it in your drafts folder. Some of it might be stupid, sure. Hell, I’ve got a lot of stupid posts in my drafts folder. I can promise you that after it’s written, you might realize that some of it’s pretty freaking awesome.

Anxiety is

Anxiety is waking up with a fear that something is wrong, without having talked to anyone or seen the world outside of your bedroom. There need not be proof, or even an explanation, that fear that something is wrong always takes over.

Anxiety is jumping to the worst case scenario without reason, rhyme or hesitation because you can’t do anything but. It’s second nature. Actually, it’s first nature. It’s what you do, no matter how hard you try to break the habit.

Anxiety is being worried that you’re going to say the wrong thing to someone who really doesn’t care one way or another.

Anxiety is needing to check one, or two, or maybe even three more times to make sure that you locked the door when you leave.

Anxiety is trying to deescalate the angry customer at the register ahead of you because, while nothing is likely to go wrong, there’s always that ‘what if’ running through the back of your mind.

Anxiety is not wanting to answer the phone if it’s not in your recognized callers list because… how did they get my phone number?

Anxiety is wanting to go, getting ready to go, but not allowing yourself to step foot out that door.

Anxiety is staying quiet, biting your tongue and keeping out of the discussion or argument because… people will think you’re an idiot if they hear your opinions. They likely won’t, but you think they will and that’s enough to keep your mouth shut.

Anxiety is laying awake at night because this isn’t done and that isn’t done, she hasn’t called and he hasn’t checked in, something isn’t right and while you just can’t quite put your finger on it, you know that you don’t get to.

Anxiety is not believing you’re good enough for them, to be around them or to be loved by them. It really doesn’t matter if you actually are, you’ll never feel good enough.

Anxiety is pretending to be self-deprecating so people don’t think you’re quite as insulting towards yourself as you are.

Anxiety is not being able to explain it to them because, you know it’s irrational, so how could they possible understand?

Anxiety is believing in your heart of hearts that the stranger three tables away, who glanced at you for three seconds, is judging you. Whether it’s your appearance, your mannerisms or your clothing, or ANYTHING else, they’re just judging you.

Anxiety is believing the worst in people because it’s better to believe the worst in people and be prepared than to believe the best and be disappointed, heartbroken or hurt physically, mentally or emotionally.

Anxiety is so hard to explain. It’s… debilitating, frustrating, all encompassing, difficult to see past, through or around. The fight or flight, the constant sense of fear, it’s different for everyone, and I think that’s why people have such a hard time trying to understand. You can’t wish it away, you can only learn to cope. And hopefully, if you’re lucky, if you’re really, truly luck, someone in your life will bear with you and try to help/ease your mind.