Leaving home; some things are bittersweet.

I never meant to be at home this long. I thought after college I’d come home for a few months and then be off, moving into a apartment with a job. God had other plans for me. I got sick. I had to lose my job. I couldn’t take care of myself and I found myself on the couch for two years, then I found myself working part time, adding on hours slowly, unable to pay for a place yet, not fully well either.

So the story went, flash forward three years from graduation and I am finally working full time, still not a hundred percent well, but buying a house with my best friend and soon to be husband. But I’m 24 and I’m still at home. It brings a lot of millennial jokes to the surface, but I don’t mind. I was sick. I needed my parents. I love them and living with them has never been a bother, but it’s time to move on.

I’ve been excited about the move for months now. All smiles and laughter. A chance to make my own home just how I want it. Leveling up, moving to bigger things. It hadn’t quite hit me that this month will be my last month ever living in my childhood home. I’ve lived here my whole life, minus brief periods in a dorm room, but even then, I came home for summer and holidays. My room was still in my room. It didn’t feel like a big change. This is and its bittersweet. Some of my best memories are in these walls and up and down these streets. When I was a kid my whole world existed in these few blocks and it was wonderful, beautiful, and truly everything a childhood should be.

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How to stay accountable: charting goals and health

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This past two years have been really crazy for me. I’m still getting treated for Lyme Disease, I got engaged, now I’m planning a wedding, and buying a house. A lot is happening, and when you add that onto the ever present task of bettering yourself, it’s easy to let things fall through the cracks. So I’ve been working on methods to stay on top of everything and I’m going to share the few things that have worked best for me.

Charting is something a lot of doctors suggest people with mental health problems do to track their moods and anxieties. I’ve had to do it for that in the past, luckily my mental health is pretty stable at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that charting hasn’t still been useful for my health overall. I’ve been using it to track progress with my lyme disease, as well as track what causes me to feel bad. For example, I’ve started creating a little list of things I’ve eaten that day in the corner of my planner, that way I can still see if gluten or sugar is effecting me like it used to (and I’m proud to say it’s not! It’s gotten a lot better).

I also have been using my planner to write down everything I’ve done that day, and I mean almost everything. I’m not just writing down appointments or lunch dates, I’m writing down whether or not I’ve walked the dog, what hobbies I did that day, whether or not I ate out for lunch. Having your day written down like that helps you track a lot of different things. It helps me track my energy levels in response to my lyme treatment, but it also helps me stay accountable for diving back into my hobbies.

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On remembering to take our own advice:

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Last night I was upset about something and my fiance Chris reminded me of what I had said a week earlier when he was upset about something similar. Let me tell you, my own advice was really good, but it was a weird way to be served it. It left me thinking about how often we don’t take our own advice to heart.

If you’re anything like me you give advice to friends on a fairly normal bases. We know the way we phrase it and how we deliver it is important, so our advice normally sounds much more profound than the rest of our speech, because we’re careful with it, we know it matters. Once we infuse that kind of speech with our true honest solutions we normally have something gold.

Our friends might take it to heart or they might not, but either way, we normally throw out our advice after the conversation. We don’t let it linger and we don’t give it a chance to be reused. But why? Why aren’t we taking our little nugget of gold and pondering on it, writing it down, and taking it to heart ourselves?

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Talking drama: How to get as close as you can to drama free

 

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Is anyone ever completely removed from drama? I don’t think it’s possible to avoid it all together, after all, conflict is part of human nature. But there is a difference in the lives of those who nurture drama and those who avoid it. We’ve all met people who thrive in the middle of drama and we’ve all met people who tremble when they see it, there is a way to avoid drama while not being afraid of confrontation and there is a way to know dramatic people without being involved in their drama.

It’s a balancing act, but it’s possible to live a relatively drama free life, I’m going to highlight some of the easiest ways to live a life were you’re not the lead cast in the center of a drama.

Avidly avoid social media conflicts and comment section debates: It’s okay to occasionally make a comment on topic that mean the most to you. Whether it be one of politics or health. What’s counter productive is to say it in a demeaning way and then argue in the comments. Actually avoiding arguments in comments can save you a lot of time. Most conflicts on social media aren’t worthy of your time, because most people on social media aren’t willing to change their mind. It’s okay to keep scrolling and it’s okay to save the debates for a more willing setting.

If their talking about others like that, they’re probably talking about you like that: If you have a friend that is always ranting about someone, there is a big chance that they’re also ranting about you to someone else. It’s near impossible to find someone that doesn’t occasionally let off some bad words about someone, but when you’re hanging out with people who constantly go off about others it’s probably time to reevaluate that friendship. We don’t want our lives to be in their beloved drama reel, so it’s time to stop feeding them with our stories and gracefully step back from the situation. If you need the entertainment watch a reality show on TV, don’t become part of one.

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Lyme, empathy, and trying to only leave the first behind.

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When you compare Lyme Disease to non-terminal cancer it makes people uncomfortable, because most people don’t realize how intense and disabling the symptoms of Lyme Disease are. It’s understandable, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lyme is that terrible of an illness. It put me through so much pain I would lay in the tub for thirty minutes before working up the energy to bathe myself while sitting. It was agonizing, it dropped me head first into depression. It was life altering, in a terrible way that makes you a better person much later on, once the worst is over and you can see the light.

I’ve been depressed before. I’ve been depressed more times than would be considered normal, because I also have bipolar disorder and depression just kind of comes with it. But this was a different kind of depression that I had never known.

Every time I’ve spiraled down it’s given me empathy when I emerge. I feel for people struggling with their mental health because I can at least start to understand it having struggled myself. Lyme’s gave me empathy for people struggling with their physical health, something I hadn’t really known to this level. It helped me understand the pain of others. How broken certain systems are. And it got me eye to eye, face to face, with a whole different level of suffering.

It’s not something I want to forget, though it was terrible, though I never want to have to feel anything like it again, it’s not something I want to forget. I want to keep this deep empathy. I want to stay alert to peoples suffering. And I want to do all of this while also allowing myself to move on once I get completely better.

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Friendship: Beautiful but often temporary.

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We like to think that everyone in our life is there forever, and it’s true with family, but with friends it’s normally not the case. We love the concepts of best friends for life and we don’t like to think about the fact that most people only end up passing through. It sounds terrible to say that people are temporary, but yet, their time in our lives often are.

As I was making the guest list for my wedding I found myself thinking back to high school. I thought I’d have a different group on that list then I did, if you flash forward to college, my list would still be a little different. I’ve lost a lot of people over the years, and most of them fell off naturally. It’s not something I think about often, after all, I’ve gained a lot of people too, but some of the people I lost I thought would be around forever. I never thought it was naive to think that, but clearly it was. It got me thinking on how I view friendship and how I should.

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Life’s too short to read bad books.

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If I don’t like a book I don’t feel the need to finish it, because life is really to short to waste your time on something that isn’t doing anything for you or your soul. That’s not to say that some unpleasant things aren’t necessary, or that unpleasant things can’t lead to pleasant things later on, but generally speaking we put up with a lot of unpleasant things that we shouldn’t.

Obviously we have to do our chores and mind our manners. We don’t want to be rude and we still need to put in hard work to get positive results. I’m not talking down on any of this. Of course you need to take care of your responsibilities and the ones you love, but sometimes we continue dealing with unpleasant things far beyond when we need too. We keep reading the bad book and watching the bad show. We keep following the people on Instagram who make us feel bad about ourselves. We keep the sweater that makes us look fat. We stay friends with the people who we don’t like. We get in fights about topics we don’t care that much about. We keep doing the workouts we hate instead of finding one we like.

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