Reflection: What makes a person’s personality consistent or spontaneous?

IMG_20181227_233915_700.jpg

If you know me now, you’ve known me since 11th grade. I wrote that I was thankful for our ability to edit and change ourselves in my thanksgiving post. I meant it, I know a lot of people who have changed for the better, I’ve changed for the better, but when I look at myself now compared to then, I realize that it wasn’t really change that happened, but more of a consistent polishing.

I’m a consistent person, a remarkable feat given that I’m bipolar, but I guess with enough time that becomes a constant as well. I remember talking to someone and telling them that I felt like I only knew one version of them, and that was all I could know, because they had changed so drastically over the years. Then I looked at myself and realized that there were only three versions of me. My outgoing crazy energetic and social childhood. My self loathing almost bullied to extinction middle years. And the adult version of myself, that surfaced a little early due to all that happened in the stage before. I say adult version lightly, because you can only be so much of an adult in high school, but if you knew me then you would see me now. There is a lot of similarities and though they’ve been edited, my dreams and wishes haven’t changed a ton.

Honestly, I wonder if it makes me a little boring. But I think I’m like this because I figured out some tough questions early on. It was easy for me to pin-point what mattered in my life, and I didn’t have to have violent revelations of self discovery. I fell into a pattern of picking up traits and interests that made sense, if you had been following along you’d see them and go “of course Anna liked and added that!”. Simple. Easy to define.

Again, maybe boring? But I don’t know if people would describe me as boring either, because I’ve got a lot going on, it’s just the type of things in my whirlwind of character are typical for me.

It makes me wonder what makes a person this consistent.

Continue reading

Cleaning my social media: Was it enough?

IMG_0837

I work on social media because I like social media. I enjoy scrolling through feeds, laughing, connecting, and getting inspired. There is a ton good to say about social media, and I think all the nay-sayers ignore the long list of positive features. It can build community, it can connect you with similar people when you can’t find them in your daily life. It can help make your life easier by teaching and informing. Its how most people get their news now a days. It exposes you to beauty that you wouldn’t otherwise see. And it’s great for a good laugh most days.

That being said, social media is a lot like most of your favorite foods. It’s wonderful, it brings you joy, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. It, like every other thing in this world, has negative features to balance it’s positive ones. That doesn’t mean you need to delete all your feeds the moment you notice the not so glittery side of social media, but it does mean that you need to find a way to filter and control yourself and your feeds.

I’ve written about the dangers of consuming things online. At the end of it I decided the solution was to balance what accounts I was following with accounts of the adverse. Then a few months later I wrote about how I filtered all toxic media out of my feeds, which is what I should have done in the first place. It was a learning experience because I lost most of the accounts I was following based on my definition of what toxic media is. I had to start over and find more accounts to follow, mainly ones that focused on hobbies and clean humor. I built back a nice positive social media experience. I thought that was it, that I had achieved what I had set out to do.

But then my fiancé, who doesn’t use hardly any social media, pointed out that I was scrolling instead of doing other actives, which lead me to realize that scrolling always seemed like an easier task than my hobbies, because scrolling doesn’t require you to think or move or commit to anything.

Continue reading

Things 2018 taught me:

20181123_150638.jpg

A lot can happen in a year, everyone knows that, or at least everyone has heard it. I was starting to doubt it when I was sick. Nothing can happen if you’re sitting on a couch… at least, not anything exciting.

But flash forward to 2018. I’m still having treatment, but my entire world has shifted. I’m off the couch. I’m about to marry the man I love. I have been working a year and a half at a wonderful job I love. My world is coming into focus. I’m starting to get a clear picture of what the future is going to look like. And I’ve learned a whole lot in this busy year, so I thought I’d share a few of those lessons with you:

Things really do happen when you least expect them too. It makes life feel like a series of surprises you just stumbled into, but that’s part of the magic. It’s easy to feel like everything is out of your control when it comes to the next step, but our main job is to keep moving forward. Get farther down the trail, there is a lot of beauty ahead.

Kindness doesn’t just happen on its own. Maybe civility happens without much effort, but true kindness, the kind that shifts days and changes lives, that comes from a lot of effort and a series of repeated actions. You have to choose to be kind, and work at it. It’s always worth it.

Continue reading

Self-care: What counts towards it and why it often looks like hard work

IMG_20181118_142711_413.jpg

I have briefly talking about this topic before when I talked about five important parts of self-care that are often over looked. I said that self-care doesn’t always mean face masks and a glass of wine, in fact, it often doesn’t mean that. Self-care also doesn’t always mean wasting time watching TV. Of course you deserve down-time, but rest is only one thing our body needs, and as a society, it’s the only part of self-care people seem worth mentioning. Which is fine if you’re the type of person who schedules to much on their to do list and are always running around, but if you’re someone who likes to spend most of your time off work relaxing, than that void is filled.

I’m not going to repeat what I posted on my last post, but I am going to really go into the things you need to do to take care of yourself, in the truest meaning of the word.

  • Take care of your finances. Self-care can mean spending for some people. They get into the Parks and Rec. “treat yourself” mindset. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, everyone should do it from time to time, but when your idea of self-care is shopping you need to take a long look at if that’s actually taking care of anything. Sure it gives you a brief rush of endorphins, that’s why people have shopping problems to begin with, but saving can bring similar emotions. You see there is nothing quite like the giddy pride of seeing your savings account grow, and there is nothing like the moment when you get to take the money out when you need it to care for yourself later on. You don’t need a new purse to care about your mind, but you might need a savings account to care for your broken wrist later on.
  • Take care of your body. You only have one, it needs as much help as everything else in your life. Maybe you need to feed it healthier food. Maybe you need to learn how to cook healthier food. Maybe you need to get up and go for a long walk that will both get your heart rate up and clear your mind. Maybe you need to start going to the gym. Maybe you should sweat it out in the sauna. The thing is your body needs some love, and often when we think of self-care, we’re treating our mind. After all, working out seems like a chore, but clearly it doesn’t have to be. For me, riding my horse counts as working out. My body and my mind both love it. As for salads, I stack mine with fruit, but maybe you just need to do a few days of eating right to set your body back on track, that’s alright too. Learning what your body needs and giving it to it is ultimate self care.
  • Take care of your life. Life can seem like an endless to-do list and sometimes stepping away from it can feel like the ultimate self care, and sometimes, it really is. But sometimes getting up and taking care of business is the ultimate act of self care because you’ll reap the rewards from it later on. That to-do list has the things on it that you need to complete to advance or live in a clean environment. Life comes with a lot of burdens, you have to get through them to  have them lifted, nothing proves that more than the feeling you get when you finish a to-do list.

Continue reading

Creating goals for 2019 and reflecting on those from 2018:

20181209_105711.jpg

Looking back on my goals for 2018, I can say that I didn’t knock them all off my list, but that’s how it always goes, isn’t it? Maybe not, maybe you’re much better at this than I am. But I’m still proud of my half finished list, because a lot happened this year that wasn’t on my list, so I still feel like I came out ahead.

  • More time on hobbies, less time online: Check! But could use to do even better at this. I still spend too much time online.
  • Read the entire bible: Opps. I started strong and then faded out.
  • Be more aware of what I’m eating: Check! My diet has been so great this last year, really unrecognizable from 2017.
  • Being a better friend: Half check? I did better some months than others.
  • Read more than 30 books: I read about ten, but to be fair they were all over 600 pages. That counts, right??
  • Finish writing two novels: I finished one! Still not bad!
  • Wean myself off sleeping pills: Check, haven’t taken one in months!

Now for my upcoming goals for 2019:

Continue reading

You are capable of evil, acknowledge that so you can foster goodness:

IMG_20181101_232652_500.jpg

When I was in college I took a basic physiology class, there was one girl in the class that objected to everything. If there was decades of studies proven that humans tend to do this terrible thing in this circumstance she would scream about how she would never do that. At first you could excuse her outburst, it’s hard to process that we are all capable of doing terrible things. It’s hard to process that if you were in a different situation with a different upbringing you could be a killer, or a rapist, or whatever else. Nobody likes to think about it, but it’s true for everyone. Humans are capable of terrible things, and therefore you are, no exceptions.

Her outbursts weren’t just at the beginning, they weren’t even rare, they were present after every topic, a few times a class. They got more and more defensive. It was frustrating, but it’s not unusual. Scrolling through peoples responses to level headed articles about how everyone contributes to evil you’ll see that she was not an outlier.

People honestly don’t believe they are capable of bad. They don’t think their group is capable of the bad things a different group did. They don’t acknowledge that we can all be manipulated to others gain or demise if someone took the time to learn how we tick. People don’t want to think about the fact that the media they are taking in influences them, and that if they slipped into reading more extreme outlets they they too could become the extremists. They don’t want to talk about the terrible things they might be willing to do if they supported the outcome of them.

I mean, who would?

Continue reading

Life update: I’m engaged!!

Yesterday the love of my life asked me to be his wife. I’ve been in a daze all day, and I mean that in the best way. I’m so overjoyed that my body is having problems processing it. I’ve wanted this since I was little, and Chris, somehow managed to be everything I didn’t know I needed. He’s my match, he’s so good to me, and I’ve never felt more at home with a person. To say I said yes would be a giant understatement, though I’m pretty sure that was the only word out of my mouth. I was caught off guard. It wasn’t how I saw my Thursday night going. I actually didn’t cry till later that night because it hadn’t fully hit me. It’s still hitting me in phases if I being honest. I’m just now wrapping my head around the fact that we have to plan a wedding now. I’m going to be Mrs. Smith!! I’m so beyond excited.

I’ll let you know how it happened:

Chris proposed right after my horseback lesson, which was perfect because the farm has always been one of my favorite places on earth. I saw my parents and I was confused then it hit me and I went “is what I think is happening happening?” I stumbled off the horse, my foot getting stuck in the stirrup. He asked me I said yes, we hug, everyone cheers. It was magical in more ways than one, and I’ve been watching the video all day smiling.

The ring was custom made with my moms help. It is from the same jeweler that my dad bought my mom’s ring from. It’s absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It’s stunning. Chris was planning to propose this weekend, but once he got the ring in his hand yesterday he decided that he couldn’t wait. I’m glad he didn’t, I wouldn’t change a thing, though some natural light would have made for better pictures.

I’m so overjoyed, I’m so beside myself. Congratulations keep pouring in and I keep pinching myself to prove that this is all real and happening.

The date is to come, but let me tell you, it can’t come soon enough.