Why Can’t I Just Start a New Book

Since I’ve been out of work my anxiety has been in overload and my motivation has been stuck in park. Usually I write poetry or blog posts, or take pics to motivate me. My dream is to be a travel photographer and blogger. Even though I have turned my life upside down and went all out to make my dreams come true, nothing has materialized.

One of the things that helps take my mind off the world is reading. In the last two months, I’ve read over 30 books. I usually average about 2 to 3 books a week. One thing I’ve noticed is my taste in books have changed. I usually go for romance novels but that hasn’t been satisfying me, so I switched to fantasy and mystery. Mostly books on angels and demons or assassins. When I tell you this has opened up a whole new way of enjoying books for me, man…let me tell ya. Now, I watch a lot of movies and tv shows on the subjects that’s why I gravitate to romance with books. But, reading the books allow me to immerse myself in the world and get more enjoyment out of it.

I know you are wondering where I am going with this and I’m about to tell you. I asked myself, why can’t I treat my life like a book? Why can’t I treat my interests like the books I read? Maybe I’m too focused on the things I’ve always liked and gravitated towards. Maybe it’s time to pick a new interest (book) and see where it takes me. Or just, look at a different genre, like romance with assassins…lol. Yea, I know it may sound crazy, but you know what I’m getting at. Photography will always be my number one love, but maybe I need to explore something else besides nature photography. Maybe it’s time to try a new book. OR, just maybe I’ll start writing the fantasy book I’ve been reading in my head.

Is it time for you to start a new book? Tell me about it.

 

Meet My Friend – Anxiety

I’ve known anxiety for over half my life. We first meet in high school. At first it wasn’t so bad. She would show up every now and then and only hang for a couple of minutes. I would have little flutters when she showed up during important events (important for a teenager..lol) and as quickly as she came, she would leave. As time went on, she started hanging around longer and longer. Our interactions changed from flutters, to sweaty palms, to mini asthma attacks, crying attacks, and constant overthinking.

I’ve tried to break the bond with anxiety many times. We’ve gone months without interaction and at times years. The last couple of years we’ve really been hanging out a lot. I try to end things but she just keeps coming back. You know like the pesky little gnat that won’t stop flying around your ear. At times I’ve let her control me to the point I missed out on taking changes on things I really wanted to do. My constant overthinking had me over analyzing every situation to the point I would talk myself out of having fun, receiving and receiving love, and following my dreams.

As I’ve gotten older and placed more importance on self-love and balance, I’ve learned to handle her a lot better. I don’t let control my emotions or thoughts to the point I become paralyzed with fear. My attacks have become less frequent and my over thinking is getting better. Being out in nature has really helped with finding balance and identifying the things that contribute to anxiety attacks. I also found acknowledging and expressing my feelings during or after the attacks helps with the emotional stress.

Lately, our bond has not been as strong. I’m not saying we have completely ended our relationship, but I’ve learned how to manage and release the control she’s had over me for so many years. So, while she doesn’t visit me as frequently as she used to, I know she’s still around and now I’m more prepared to handle her visits.

Do any of you have an anxiety, and if so, how do you handle it?

 

 

 

Tired of being positive

Universe, I’m tired of being positive. You know sometimes it seems like shit just ain’t working. No matter how positive I am and matter how hard I try, shit just ain’t working out. I say this because I’m tired. I’m depressed because I’m not making a breakthrough. For the past two years my life’s been turned upside down. Nope, scratch that. For the past 12 years, my life has been put through the wringer. I’ve lost everything, multiple times. When I say everything, I mean everything. My home, my income, my savings. I’ve been down to my last so many times it’s ridiculous. Everytime I pick myself up, get it back together, and start to put some money away, some bullshit comes and bam, it’s gone. After so many years of ups and down, you would think I would have given up by now. But nope, I stayed positive, sure that things would work out for me. They would for a while then the Universe would take it all away, leaving me to start from scratch…again.

I’m always the positive one in the bunch; the person others can lean on to have a good word or give good advice. I’m the one who says things are going to get better or think of the good in the situation. Even for myself, I just saying hold on and things will get better. You’re following your dreams and things will work out. The Universe will align things for you. But you know what, I’m tired of being positive and nothing is changing. I’m tired of putting in the work and nothing is working out.

Today, I woke up this morning crying because I can’t take the pressure anymore. For the first time, I let my daughter see me cry. For the first time, I didn’t care anymore. I’m tired of being the strong one and holding it together. I’m tired of holding it in because I don’t want her to see me weak. I’m at my last both mentally and emotionally. I’m in a place where darkness it taking over and I don’t see a way out. I have nothing left to give. To make it worse, my daughter held me and said mommy don’t cry, I’m here, and I couldn’t even look at her. I couldn’t look her in the eye and reassure her that everything is ok. That I’m ok….because I’m not. The pain, hurt, and disappointment has got me in a place and I don’t know if I can move. I just need a break. I’m not asking for much just a break where things better and I can get off this rollercoaster. I’m tired.

I Welcome Advice from People without Kids!

I had a kid later in life, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t around kids. I have nieces and nephews, god kids, and tons of little cousins. There’s literally a kid born in our family every couple of months. For some reason, even when I’m out in public, kids seem to be drawn to me and tell me just about everything. One thing I learned, being surrounded by kids, is if they trust you, they will open up to you. They will tell you about their fears, dreams, and bodily functions. Most of the time, all they want is someone to listen, give them some time, and pay just a little attention to them.

I am an observer by nature. I’m that person who sits back and watches what’s not being said. I watch for clues or gestures. When someone is talking to me, I listen to what they are not saying. I listen to their body language. This has helped me be a great aunt, cousin, and godmother. My young family members felt comfortable coming to me, even though I had no kids of my own. They said I made them feel safe and not judged. That meant so much to me. Even their parents would come to me with concerns about their kids. Not because I was this wonderful parent, but because I was a great listener and observer. I was the person who see the things they didn’t see. I was the person with whom their kids shared their thoughts and they respected me for it. And, I was a kid, so I was a kid of understand how kids think.

As a parent, I don’t know everything about my child, and I never will. I will never say what my child will or won’t do, when they are not with me, because I know kids act differently when they are not with their parents. I know my child will not tell me everything and I will never completely know what is going on with them. This is why I welcome advice from non-parents who spend time with my kids. People who observe things I may miss, because I spend so much time with them, I may overlook small things.  Those small things, may turn out to be big things. I welcome the advice because they may say something that will help me be a better parent. Maybe they have some insight as to why my child may be acting or feeling a certain way. Maybe they struggled with the same thing as a child and have guidance that could help make my life easier.

It takes a village to raise a child and in that village there are childless people. Being childless does not make your opinion invalid. Being childless does not mean you can’t identify problems or issues that arise in children or families. Most childless people I know have parented a child in some way. I will never mark someone’s opinion as invalid because they have not had kids. With any information I am given, I take what I need and leave the rest. As a parent, it is my responsibility to do what is best for my child, and sometimes what is best is to listen to someone who may not be a parent.

 

 

 

 

Healing the Village and Community

Our village is hurting. It’s crying out for help. We are experiencing grief, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. This leads to isolation and lack of communication. The village used to be a place where people could come to get information, education, rights of passages, and love. Now, it offers no words of encouragement, wisdom, or support.

There was a time when we all came together to do what is best for the community, for its people. To help look after each other, to feed the hungry, and support the dreams of the youth. There was a time when kids could approach the elders and get words of wisdom, but now they offer words of dread. There was a time when the hungry could go to corner store or the neighborhood grandmother and be offered food and comforting words, now he is turned away with words filled with hurt and hate. We used to look out for each other, now we turn a blind eye to the destruction of the community. We stopped communicating and now we’re deaf to the screams for help.

For so long, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re immune to the diseases and illnesses of the outside world. We’ve falsely believed depression, anxiety, and mental illness didn’t live in our homes. People laughed at the child, who showed signs of mental illness, for acting a little different. Instead of offering help, we offered ridicule. We protected the uncle, who molested the family members- telling everyone he was just being friendly. We allowed him, and others like him, to shatter the innocence and joy of youth. Instead of giving them justice, we gave them indifference. Instead of giving the one with big dreams the tools and wisdom to reach those dreams, we gave him negativity and doubt while laughing at his aspirations.

We are failing our community because we are scared to admit we need help and to get help. We’re afraid to communicate for fear of judgement and ridicule. The world we live in shames us for admitting we need help, have struggles, and for being less than perfect. We’ve built a mirage that life is always about being bigger, better, faster, flashier, more, more, more… We’ve no longer appreciate the little things in life, the small comforts, and gestures of love and hope.

The village has tried, for so long, to hide its hurt and pain behind this illusion and now it’s rearing its ugly head with a vengeance. The village is no longer able to care for and love the youth, because we don’t know how to care for and love ourselves. Love, wisdom, fun, and fellowship are no longer valued in the community. The sad part is, we know help is there, we’re just scared to seek it. How can we heal if we can’t admit we need help? How can give the youth hope for the future, when we can’t admit and get help for the hopelessness of the present? In order to heal, the village must admit it is sick. In order to heal, we must raise our voices and ask for help. Until we are able to do this, we will continue to suffer in silence.

Old School Cool

Adidas Sweat suit – Journeys Kids – $40
Adidas Shell Toes – Journeys Kids – $40
Glasses – Claires – $5



Just Like Me! Box

As a mom, I try to find new and interesting things to keep Della occupied. I was browsing Instagram one day and came across the Just Like Me Box. It’s a monthly subscription of books and other gifts for kid.  I like the box because it’s filled will books by authors of color and it’s books I would probably never come across in stores, while book shopping.

Della loves the stories and she gets to see pictures of little girls who look like her and her friends. The first book we read was My Caribbean Grandma.  D really enjoyed it even though it was longer than the stories we usually reads.  After a while she got impatient, but as I started asking questions about the little girl in the book, she calmed down.  These aren’t your typical princess books you usually see for girls. The kids in these stories go on wonderful fun filled adventures and really use their imagination.  As a parent, I love the promotion of family, friends, forgiveness, imagination, and play. Also, I can use it as part of homeschooling.

Each month, D will receive a box filled with goodies. This is great because she’s always complaining no one sends her any mail and she gets something she loves, BOOKS! Check out the website, using the link below, and see if it’s something your kid may like.

https://www.justlikemebox.com

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Celebrating My Mistakes – A Chance to Get it Right on the Next Take

Mistakes are just a chance for you to get it right on the next take.  Lately I’ve been feeling like the only thing I’ve been accomplishing is making mistakes. No matter how hard I try or put for the effort it seems nothing is working out the way I want.

Starting my own business was and is a big step outside my comfort zone. Even though I wasn’t happy in my former career, I was comfortable doing it. Being comfortable didn’t help me grow. I wasn’t learning anything new, meeting new people, or making huge mistakes that helped me look at my work in a different way. I was just doing it.

With this new path, I am finding I’m making so many mistakes and it’s causes me to have fear, anxiety, and some sleepless nights. But you know what, it’s what I need. It may not be what I asked for, but it’s what’s going to help me grow, stretch, and learn. This path I’m on is helping me become a better version of my self that is needed to succeed in the world in which I want to create.

So, with each mistake, I celebrate. Because it means I did accomplish something. I put myself out there; I tried something new. I looked at things from a different perspective, and even though it may not have worked out, I learned what not to do next time. I am becoming more confident in myself and my abilities. Yes, the fear, anxiety, and sleepless nights will continue as I grow and stretch, but that means I’m doing something that’s pushing me to become more. Pushing me to grow. And that is worth celebrating.

Snowball Fight!!!!

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We finally got some real snow and what better to do, than have a snowball fight! Winters, in North Carolina, can be interesting. We are known for our bipolar weather. We can get all four seasons in one day and it’s not many winters that we actually get enough snow to have a snowball fight. Usually, when the weatherman calls for snow, we may see a dusting or an inch. Nothing to really get excited about, but yet, the state still comes to a stand still.

Last week, it snowed a whole six inches, in one day. Other towns, around us, got up to a foot of snow. So, with some actual measurable snow, we had to have a snowball fight. Della loves the outdoors, and even when it’s freezing outside, we have to play.  It was so beautiful and COLD, but we still went exploring.  We picked up her cousin and started on a winter adventure.






The walk, through the woods, was liking walking through a winter wonderland. The kids thought they were in the movie Frozen. Yes, I will be so glad when they let it go. We made our way to the pond and kids was so excited to see it was frozen over. Nope, no ice skating for us; we just admired the beauty of the snow.

Did you guys get any snow? How do you enjoy the winter? Any travel or winter ideas you would like to share?

 

Winter on the Beach

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Tagged: art, creativity, earth, fun, inspiration, life, nature, nature photography, photographer, photography, south carolina, travel, travel photography, traveler, wanderlust