Benchmark

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So, this happened last night. I hit 100 followers! I wanted to thank all of my readers for sticking around, and those of you who are passing through. I know I only post occasionally so it’s a nice assurance when I do that people like and can relate to what I have to say. I have a dream of my blog being discovered or submitting it somewhere and writing as a columnist or romance/advice person somewhere. The movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days makes writing for a magazine look really glamorous (yes I know, that’s because it’s a movie). But writing as a career is up there in my dream jobs.

I met a guy at a get together on the 4th of July who writes for part of the New Yorker. He’s written fiction but if I remember correctly switched to writing about his life because he knows it best. Which is similar to what I do. When I was a kid I loved writing fiction and filled books with it. I was also dedicated to keeping diaries (there’s of boxes of them somewhere) so it makes sense that I blog. I think part of it is because people are so caught up in memorializing their lives, through photographs, ticket stubs, writing.. etc. Another reason is that writing makes me feel better. It gets the thoughts out, and gives me a place to speak my mind.

I want to know how other people blog. I’m impressed by the people who put out three posts a day, or a few a week, and wonder how they balance that and life. School, work, traveling, kids, pets, relationships.. and maintaining a blog. As I’ve mentioned before I don’t post as often when I’m going through change or am coping with depression and anxiety, though I know I feel better when I do. I’m trying to pick it up at least a little more often than I have in the past. Anyho, thanks again to all of you who are following me. Will be posting more soon!

Update

I do it all the time. I write, I feel better, I fall silent. Repeat. When anxiety hits and my heart starts racing I tell myself that everything is okay. I’m in a better place. I no longer live where I’ll be greeted by an empty apartment I had gotten with my partner. I have roommates to greet me and pets to cuddle with. I like my new school, and I’m making friends. Nothing is really wrong.

Still, I wake in the night with increasing anxiety, and the thoughts won’t stop. Conversations I’ve had, things I should have said, what I have to do. Flashes of moments I’ve overcome surface in split seconds and leave me breathless. Me standing in a cornfield alone at night after getting groceries. Crying because I didn’t want to go back to school. Being sad to leave my family. The dorms I’ve lived in. My ex’s eyes, or face. The brief stab that comes with thinking of him over a year later.

“It’s okay, everything is okay.” I tell myself. Soothing like the way I’d talk to another person or animal. It’s my first semester of junior year in college and it’s said to be one of the hardest at my school. The training wheels have come off and we are left to make art, exploring what kind of artists we are. I’ve been experimenting with what sculpture means to me, and working with a combination of materials that are new and familiar. Sewing, painting, playing with wire, working with caulk..

I’ve been struggling with being torn between writing and art, and wondering if I should have gone to school for writing. What it would be like if I had. Questioning, “what’s the point? Why am I here?” Feeling worn down and not liking that my life revolves around school. That I eat and sleep less. Trying to work through having depression and anxiety. I’ve been meeting a group of girls who have similar experiences, which is comforting to know that I am not alone, but also troubling that so many people I’ve spoken to recently feel the same way. That they’ve thought about giving up and dropping out of school but we’re so close to finishing that we shouldn’t. I read an article recently that said how there is an increase of people in universities who are being seen for mental health, which is reflected in the people I have been talking to.

Since I’m torn between writing and making art I figure I should be posting more often.

Not good enough. Writing 101, Day 17

I can’t. I’m not good enough. They won’t like me, they’ll think I’m weird. I have to act differently, more grown up. I can’t be my full self or they will think I’m weird.

When it comes to self doubt, self care, and what I deserve it all ties together in a ball of anxiety and fear. Thoughts tumble more than one specific fear or anxiety. The way I see and treat myself affects how I feel and interact with others. I’ve had times where I’m surprised people want to be my friend, or think I’m cool. I went on a date with an accountant who was older than anyone I’ve ever dated before and I felt like I had to act proper and be on my best behavior. I thought he would be uninterested if I was how I really am, and our age difference would be obvious. He wears suit jackets, button ups and has perfect posture, which contrasts with my nose ring, other piercings and tattoos. I had never seen someone carry themselves so well or have perfect posture like he did.

On one of our dates I told him about my family and living in NYC. He laughed at my stories of me and my family getting tattoos and piercings, and being in the city. I found out he’s from a very religious family, doesn’t have anything marking his body. And his family doesn’t communicate. We were complete opposites. That day I felt a sense of dread/doom/something knowing that we would not work. I come from a family who does not keep secrets from each other, and we’re very New York. I was not upset when he broke it off with me a few days later. It saved me from having to do it.

I realized that he wouldn’t work for me. There isn’t a point in building a relationship with someone when you feel like you can’t be yourself and aren’t totally comfortable. They’ll start liking that person then you have to keep that act up or they’re confused when you start being yourself. Also, as a friend told me he learned to go into a date thinking if he would like them, if they would be good for him instead of worrying if they like him. While this guy was older and proper he didn’t stir my blood or make me happy. I wasn’t thrilled when I went on dates with him though I did enjoy his company. As a possible friend…? Cept that wasn’t possible. I had gone on dates with him even though I wasn’t thrilled or excited to go. He along with a friend of mine helped me realize that if I’m not excited for a date, I shouldn’t go. That my time is precious and should be spent with people who I care about.

There are times I doubt myself and feel like I’m not good enough. I can know in the back of my mind that I’m great and better than I think I am but seeing and knowing are different. I can take a deep breath and carry myself well, acting as confident as I feel but some days I wonder how I can put on this act.

Dove beauty campaign. I don't own this image

Dove beauty campaign. I don’t own this image

About a year ago Dove hired a forensic artist to sketch seven women. He did a sketch of how they described themselves, and one of how a stranger described them. The women then see the pair of drawings and how others see them. This made me reflect on how I think and am too judgmental of myself. People I love and who care about me are surprised when I voice my insecurities and doubts. I’ve been told that people think I’m sweet, funny, beautiful, intelligent.. and people will see it, want to be my friend or take me on dates. Etc. I’m in the process of shifting my self image and learning how to see what they see. Because I know -like this Dove experiment- that they’re not the same.

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Today’s assignment– We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.