Currently I’m Loving…

Currently I'm Loving

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When I first heard Taylor Swift was releasing a new song, I was skeptical. I have a love-hate relationship with Taylor Swift’s songs. There was something about her songwriting formula (i.e.: You did this, it made me feel like this) that rubbed me the wrong way. Now before the hardcore T-Swift fans come to murder me, I will say that I do not hate her. I actually love her. I mean, I don’t know how you can hate her, especially after her Graham Norton Show appearance in London.

That being said, I actually love Out of The Woods. Yes, 1989 might be more of a pop record than a pop-country record, but I loved the vibe of the song. It brings back memories of something I went through. I might grow to hate it when it becomes the most overplayed track on the radio, but I like it now.

This post from Marielle about The Whiteness Project. I was always the native informant whenever we studied Japan in school. I didn’t grow up in Japan, nor have I ever lived there, and there was a point where my Japanese was nonexistent, but I was somehow expected to know everything about Japan. Don’t even get me started on that. I could go on for days.

This might sound cheesy, but I’ve been incredibly grateful for my friends and words of encouragement that I’ve been getting from them. I’m always amazed at how the little things someone does can make your day. For me, that little thing was a reminder that it was okay for me to take a chill pill and not be so hard on myself.

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments!

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Bullying: From Victim To Badass

Culture & Society, Learning To Love Yourself

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Originally posted on Honesty For Breakfast

We’ve all heard that classic saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever coined that needs to call me. I have a really big bone to pick with them. When I finally track them down, I’ll give their number to all you ladies out there who want to give him a piece of your mind. Just ask me for it.

All jokes aside, bullying sucks. When you’re growing hair in weird places, and sporting glasses AND a metal railroad across your teeth it gets even worse. I remember crying a river when all the lights were turned out as I replayed the school day in my head. I got a lot of phone calls from my classmates. But those calls weren’t to discuss homework or arrange the next trip to the movies. They were prank calls. They called so often that I became afraid of the phone. One thing led to another, and I eventually found myself on a therapist’s couch dealing with a cocktail of emotional issues and sporting a huge label that said I was disabled.

The bullying continued every day for 2 years, until I made the decision to switch schools. The new school was a much better fit, but the damage had already been done. I could spend the rest of my life wishing I could jump into a time machine and do everything over again with what I know now as a twenty-something college graduate but what’s done is done, and honestly, I think that the most painful experiences of your life can be the most powerful teachers. And bullying is no exception. Looking back now, I’ve realized that it’s made me grow in more ways than one…

It Makes You Develop Empathy For Others You’re probably thinking I’m insane right now, but yes, you did just read that headline correctly. Anyone who’s seen the documentary Bully knows that bullying is damaging. It can make you cynical. It can make you a recluse. But it can also make you empathetic. It allows you to relate to others and put yourself in other people’s shoes. Being bullied isn’t a prerequisite for being empathetic, but if you understand that everyone goes through pain, you can be kinder to yourself and others. And who doesn’t love a nice person?

You Develop A Thick Skin That brusque lady who snapped at you as you waited in line at the grocery store? Maybe she had a bad day. Maybe there’s something going on in her life that she’s distracted by. Maybe she’s just not a morning person. This is not to say that you’ll never be bothered by ANYTHING that is said to you if you’ve gone through bullying. You’re a human being, not a robot. Words can (and do) hurt. But you get good at picking your battles. You take in what you want to take in, and let the rest roll off. Easier said than done, yes. But I find that it’s a hell of a lot more fun going through life without worrying about what sort of ridiculous rumor the resident Regina George started about you behind your back. And all that experience dealing with your school’s version of the Plastics has given you plenty of practice, wouldn’t you say?

You Get to Focus on What Makes YOU Awesome Just because your bullies call you fat doesn’t mean you are. I mean, come on, not all of us have Cara Delevingne’s brows, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t just as awesome. Break out a piece of paper and pen and write down the things you love about yourself. Do you speak 2 languages? Love how beautiful your hair is? Are you unwaveringly loyal to your friends? Keep adding to it. Ask your closest girlfriends what they love about you, and add those things to the list. Put it up where you can see it. Focus on it. Re-read that list when you’re feeling down. Focusing on what makes you awesome not only boosts your self-esteem, but it’s also the most powerful “[insert expletive of choice here] you” to your haters. By focusing on what YOU rock at and pursuing your dreams, you can go to bed knowing that you busted your butt to get to where you are. And it’s still entirely possible that those bullies are still camped out on their couches looking for someone else to pick on. Who knows? You just might appear on their TV when they sit down for their next channel surfing session. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

It Shows You Who Your Real Friends Are You might have 500 Facebook friends, but that doesn’t mean that they’re REALLY your friends. When you’re being bullied, it’s easy for those around you to drift away. Not because they’ve suddenly decided that you’re worth less than their morning Starbucks, but because they’re afraid of becoming targets. Not everyone is going to stand up for you when you’re being bullied. But the ones that do? The ones that support you? They’re special. They’re the ones you should keep around. Actions do speak louder than words. Knowing who your real friends are keeps you happy. And when you’re happy, life is just better. And as for those who drift away? It’s their loss. You’re awesome.

Currently I’m Loving…

Currently I'm Loving

currentlyi'mloving

The #fireworkpeople Twitter chat

I discovered the #firework Twitter chat through She is Fierce and attended my first chat this past Tuesday. As someone who struggled with self-worth in the past, this chat made me feel amazing. Check out a snippet of all the amazing discussion we had.

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That feeling of knowing you’re with people who really GET you

I’ve talked a lot about finding your tribe a lot on the blog. Yesterday, I attended a going-away dinner for a friend who is moving abroad. Although I was only there for a few minutes, those few minutes were invaluable. Sometimes when you’re in the loony bin, getting out of your head and being around people who really get you can screw your head back on properly.

I had been feeling pretty uneasy the entire day; those few minutes with friends and talking to them screwed my head back on straight. You don’t need to do any explaining. The people around you will not judge you. And that’s an incredible feeling.

Shiba Inu Puppies

If I didn’t already have an adorable Labrador/Akita mix for the family dog, I would love, love, love, LOVE to get a Shiba Inu puppy. How can you not love that face?

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Sofia Coppola films

Lost in Translation, The Bling Ring, Somewhere…I love all of her films for such different reasons. In an industry that seems to be dominated by male directors, it’s very refreshing to see someone like her out there. Her aesthetic is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love the fact that she seems to understand the power of silence.

Ed Sheeran

Okay, let’s be honest. I’ve loved Ed Sheeran for a while. I know I’ve said that I’m not a Top 40 pop kind of girl, but I really love him. In this day and age where auto tune seems to be everywhere, I think there’s something to be said for being able to create so many songs using just a guitar.

I can’t pick just one favorite song of his, but I have been listening to Give Me Love on repeat recently.

What have you been loving recently? Let me know in the comments below!

 

How To Help Your Loved Ones Deal With Mental Illness

Culture & Society

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Last week, I publicly thanked my friends for saving my life. Messages poured in from friends and fellow bloggers. While I loved seeing the response the post generated, the most interesting comment I got was a question from a friend. She wrote the following:

 

“What did (or didn’t) your friends say that made a difference to you when you felt that way? What advice can you give us for how to respond, or just be, with friends who are in a similar way?”

 

Depression can be a tricky subject. Not everyone wears their emotions on their sleeve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help.

 

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Let Them Know That You’re There For Them

 

If you’re concerned about someone, or if you just want to say a quick hi, contact them. Text them. Call them. Sometimes a simple “Hi, how are you?” will be enough to save someone’s life.

You could say that it’s petty to care about little things like a text, but for some of us, the little things matter. They are proof that people care.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held off on reaching out for help because I was afraid of judgment. I was afraid that my girlfriends wouldn’t be able to handle what I had to say.

A month ago, I got very close to hurting myself. I told a girlfriend about it the next day and broke down in her car. She made it clear that she was willing to listen to me, and she asked me to contact her if I ever felt that bad again.

 

There are no adequate words to describe how grateful I felt.

 

If a friend is suffering from depression, make it clear that you’re willing to listen. It means the world to those of us who are in a bad place to know that we have someone who’s willing to listen to us, someone who thinks that we’re worth something.

 

Just Listen

 

If you’re anything like me, sometimes it can be difficult to restrain yourself and refrain from interjecting an opinion into someone’s conversation. But there is a time and a place for everything. And when someone’s in the middle of pouring out his or her heart…well…you know where I’m going with this.

Sometimes we don’t want to hear other people’s opinions; we just want someone to lend an ear.

 

Do NOT (under ANY Circumstances) say, “Just get over it.”

 

I hate the word “just” in any sentence, but I particularly hate it when the next three words are “get over it.” Depression (or any mental illness is not something that you can “just get over.” It is a daily battle.

I can’t speak for everyone, but whenever I have heard those 4 words, it’s only made me feel more isolated. And it’s precisely because people have felt isolated, like no one cared that they’ve turned to suicide.

 

Just don’t say it. Please. There are better ways to respond.

 

Not Everyone Responds The Same Way

 

One of the best things to keep in mind is that people will respond to your advice in different ways. Tailor your advice depending on your friend’s history and personality.

 

The best way I can explain this is to use me as an example. My friends know that I have had an unimpressive track record with my attempts at therapy. They tend to offer me practical advice, like writing in a journal, or listening to music, things they know I will actually do instead of saying, “You should go into therapy.”

 

Some people respond well to things like, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “ The best is yet to come,” but I don’t. If you can’t tell, platitudes take the number 1 spot on my 10 Things I Hate The Most list (along with olives).

 

We’ve all heard about the power of words. When you have a loved one dealing with depression or any other mental illness, they become even more important. What you say can have a lasting effect on someone. I don’t care if the thing that bothers you was said a day ago or a decade ago.

 

We all respond to love, though. Just show us that we’re loved in the best way you know how.

 

What’s the most helpful thing someone has said to YOU when you hit rock bottom?

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