What Is The Meaning of Happiness?

Hey all! I’ve been MIA for a bit, taking care of things, adulting, and everything else under the sun. Lately, I’ve been either reading, swiping left or right on tinder (I’ll explain later on in this post), or on Netflix for hours at a time. Through it all… I’ve been in a funk

That slump where you don’t feel like doing anything, where while you’re engaging in productivity, you kinda wish you were curled up, in your room reading, or doing anything but.

When I’m in a funk, there are times where I’ll ponder the meaning of a lot of things.

This time, I started thinking about happiness. More specifically:

  • What is it?
  • Why is it important?
  • What do we attribute it to?

Let’s look up the definition of ‘happiness’, shall we?

Def of happiness

Okay… Well that doesn’t give us much of a definition, but by the looks of it, it seems like the word is quickly getting phased out.

Why is it important that we are happy in our lives?

Being happy has been linked to lower stress levels and a sense of ease in one’s life. When you’re happy, like genuinely happy in your life, you have no time to focus on other pointless bullshit. You are busy working on yourself and building that happiness from within.

A lot of people, however attribute this happiness to money or another a person. And I’m just here to tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t attribute your happiness to these things

Money

The funny thing about money is that our moods change the moment that direct deposit hits.

We go from this

to this

Money is amazing, right? It’s the only thing that practically allows us to get anything we see a need or a want for, like clothes, make-up, the new iPhone, etc. However, does anyone remember the old adage “Money doesn’t buy you happiness”? Money can get you things to a certain point, but it can’t give you love, security or anything as abstract as the concept of happiness. You can’t even buy a personality with money or a new wife, HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

As a matter of fact, I’ve been watching this telenovela on Netflix called Sin Senos, No Hay Paraiso. Set in Pereira, Colombia, the show follows two teens and the poverty that surrounds them. Since the poverty rate in the area is so high, the teens decide to forfeit school and engage in some pretty lucrative stuff, in an act to get money, without the hard work.

Among the characters on the show, the teens’ mom explains that money isn’t everything in this world, that money isn’t meant to fix up every little issue that one has. Frankly, sometimes those problems, those deep rooted problems, can’t be remedied with insane amounts of money.

Another person

Relying on another person for your own happiness, is a definite no-no in my book. Yes, it’s nice that a person makes you happy, but they really shouldn’t be the boss of your own happiness. Like I said before, you should only be focusing on filling up your own cup of happiness. Let the other person be your overflow of happiness, not the consistency of it!

So I downloaded Tinder and with the help of one of my best friends, I was able to create a really good profile! In fact, here are some of the pictures I used:

and for my bio, I just put something short, sweet and to the point: Classy, never nasty, just a bit sassy✨.

The way that tinder works is that you have a set amount of guys in your area, you either swipe left- if you’re not interested- or swipe right, if you’re interested. On the first day, I received so many sweet messages, compliments, along with quite a few corny jokes. A good bit of the guys that I matched with (as in we both swiped right on each other), said the same line over and over: “Never nasty, huh?”

It was definitely an experience. Even though I lasted only four days on the app, I realized it wasn’t something for me. I think I’ve always known that and I just wanted to see what the app was all about, meet new people, all that jazz.

To be frank, I was not and am not looking for a relationship right now. I’m still working on myself. The fact that people actually look for relationships on tinder surprises me, because tinder isn’t built for that. It’s just built for people to meet, chat, and that’s it. This really opened my mind up to another area in the realm of dating and how easy it has become for people to meet, just by swiping right.

By the time I was hitting the fourth day, I noticed how drained I felt. Like this physical tiredness where all I ever did was just keep swiping, in hopes that I would get matched and have some sort of message sent my way. How unhealthy is that? How did I suddenly come to this conclusion?

It was then that I realized that If I was going to be physically and mentally drained from using a ‘dating’ app, why even bother using it? Why bother using or doing something if it doesn’t make me happy?

So I deleted my tinder because I realized that I could do without it and I’m going to be starting soon at a new school, where I’ll meet more cool people who share similar values and passions. Granted, I met some pretty cool people on tinder and may even stay in touch with a few, but as I’ve said before, it’s not something for me.

Before you do something, remember to ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Are you going to be happy doing so?
  • Is it going to cause you a great deal of stress down the line?
  • Are you doing this for you or for another person?

The bottom line is: Happiness is being content with who you are. If you don’t feel happy with who you are, start by searching some ways that can bring you back to your happiest self.

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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P.S follow my adventures on Instagram!

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3 Ways to Be A Better Friend

Hi guys! Welcome back to ADM. This summer, I’m interning at this local radio station, not far from where I live and I’ve been signing up for events left and right! One of my favorite things about this job, is that I get to meet so many people at different events. It’s definitely a steeping stone into something I want to do with my public relations degree, which is pretty cool!

So in light of what has happened with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I want to take a moment to talk about the importance of having a support system. As humans,

we need people to understand us,

we need love,

we need compassion

Depression and other mental illnesses are not something that we can ‘just get over’. It is a long struggle and sometimes, it takes this long to realize that there is a problem. There needs to be more advocacy for people and that while it is okay to not be okay, it’s also okay to reach out, regardless. So here are 5 ways we can be better friends to the people we love and care about.

1. Listen more than you talk

Sometimes, we get caught up in talking about our lives and telling friends what’s new in OUR OWN LIVES, that we often forget to ask how the other is doing. Getting into the habit of giving yourself enough speaking time can totally make you more reliable and more willing to listen to what the other person is saying. The more we are able to listen, the better we are at responding more thoughtfully. When you listen, you can also pick up on some patterns that they may subconsciously engage in and you can take note in that and follow up with questions like:

“When you said (*insert what they said*), what did you mean?”

or

“Hey, it sounds like you’re on edge about something, are you okay?”

Having the ability to listen, is key, especially if you are trying to console a person you consider your best friend. When you listen, do so with the sole purpose of just hearing the person out in their opinions. Listening should be absolutely judgement free.

2. Honesty is The Best Policy

I’m pretty sure y’all have heard this one more than once. Honesty in every relationship is essential. When you’re honest with the person, you are letting them take a step into your perspective. Better yet, you are physically opening the door to them into the way that you see a situation panning out. If I’m asking for advice, I’d appreciate it if people are honest with me (not saying that any of my friends reading this aren’t, I’m just illustrating a point). The more honest you are with the person you are friends with, the more accountable you are, the more reliable you are to that person.

A person who is no-bullshit, brutally honest with me, is someone worth having in my life. It’s no shocker that I’m brutally honest with my friends. In any advice I give them, I don’t mess around, I speak my mind on the situation as. I. see. it.

Granted, I make an effort to at least give myself a moment to cool down or to collect my thoughts, so that I don’t sound like a complete bitch… but at the end of the day, if I care about the person, I’m definitely going to be honest with them and tell them exactly how I feel about a situation they need advice in.

Remember: a friend who cares enough to be honest is a friend worth having around.

3. Being Attentive

When I mean be there for your friend, I mean be there at their beck and call. We need to be able to rely on each other when we are weak. The way I see it, is if we feel weak at some point or another, we need to reach out to people who are closest to us, not our 500+ followers on Instagram or the world wide web. It is in times like these, that sometimes people need more than just a “feel better soon”, “aw nooo”, etc. We need to be present and actually there for our friends.

I remember one time, I was grieving over the loss of a relative and I remember calling a friend at the time and after the phone call, I didn’t really feel that much better.

When I had told another friend about the same situation, they offered to meet up with me at the nearest restaurant. I remember feeling like an anxious mess and getting sauce all over my leggings haha, but the important part was that I had a friend who was willing to sit with me, just listen and tell me funny stories.

Again, it is okay to not be okay, but it is even better if you have someone there who can see that you are not okay and goes a step further, by being physically there for you. Life is tough, but it doesn’t always have to be, if you keep a couple of close friends nearby.

I could seriously give you 5 ways on up to 100 ways to be a better friend, but they would all stem from these top 3 ways in which you can incorporate these into your everyday life as a human! Be that friend that is really there for your person and help them get to their best self, because we need each other to grow, to live, and to love. Reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while and ask the simple question: “Hey, how’ve you been”.

 

Sending Love and Light your way,

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Reflections On My College Journey

Hey y’all! Welcome back to ADM, I’m really glad I’ve finally gotten some time to sit down and just free flow with you guys. So quick question! Does anyone have those days where it starts off shitty, but then becomes a great day? For me, this past week has been like this. It’s been crazy, busy and all around draining. Today was one of those days where it started out pretty bad, but ended up getting better, despite my being tired haha.

The reason why I ask this question is because I think that this idea can relate to just about anything in life. I mean think about it, we are constantly thinking about what the future holds, but yet we are so fearful to know what lies ahead.

I know that for me, that has been what my life has been like since my depression hit. So, a little storytime!

When I was in my second semester of my senior year-right around this time, actually- I was stressin’ out, hard. I wanted to finish out strong, get straight A’s and enjoy all the end of the year senior festivities.

But I couldn’t.

I had spiraled down a path of negative thinking, stress, and anxiety.  What was the matter with me? I knew exactly where I was going to college in the fall, I secured a roommate for my first year at college, I already knew who I was going to prom with, what my dress would look like, like all of these things I had some sort of knowledge about… But there came a point where I didn’t want to even think about all of that. I wanted to curl up in a ball and just sleep. I became very withdrawn from everyone and thought that I could handle my depression on my own, after all, wasn’t that part of growing up?

Sleepless nights, Little to no appetite, crippling anxiety,  I tried to keep all of it under wraps.

I got help when I needed it (i.e whenever a teacher saw me crying or stressing out over a test and then being recommended to go see the counselor in guidance).

I put on a front, that masked over the massive amounts of anxiety I was feeling, among other things.

I mean I could go on and on about my depression, but the one thing I wanted to point out was that the one thing that was scaring me was the inevitability of the future. How fear completely overshadowed any hope I had in my goals and dreams. This would soon come back to haunt me when I transferred out of this out-of-state college and into a local college: Community College.

To clarify, it wasn’t just about the future that I was afraid of… It was the whole idea behind going from one place where you know where everything is, who your friends are, etc.; to a place where you don’t know where everything is or who your friends are and having to re-learn that, was, in essence, traumatic for me.

Normally, I’m pretty easy going and I accept change as is. But as I said before, my depression changed that for me. It took me a while to be okay with not knowing what the next year would hold.

So when I got to college for the first time, I was pretty excited, I had just came back fresh on my antidepressants and a new outlook on my life. I moved in, everything was seamless, I met my roommate and my mom and I promised each other that day that neither of us would cry after moving me into campus.

I went home every other week to do some laundry and to catch up with my family. I remember having to make the hour drive back to campus on Sunday nights, to make it back in time for mass.

But somewhere along the way, I got homesick. At the time, I didn’t really like how the campus barely had anything to do on the weekends in the spring semester. It was all getting too commonplace for me.

There came a point where I had to make a decision on whether or not I wanted to continue going to school. Going to school out-of-state wasn’t something for me. Looking back on this, I realize that I wasn’t really ready to live on my own. I didn’t know what it was like to work a job, to get a set schedule in place, etc.

I mean, I basically didn’t know any valuable life skills needed to flourish at a school out-of-state. And I found this out the hard way.

My dad had brought up the idea of me going to the local community college and said that I would work AND go to school at the same time. This was something that I never had to worry about because my family impressed upon me the value of an education, “school comes first,” they would say. I was looking forward to starting work that summer in 2016. On top of that, I took 2 summer courses at the college just to get a fresh start: history of photography and an online math course called number systems.

When my history of photography course started, I remember aiming for a high grade in the course. As the summer semester went on, I became more interested in my studies and realized that I didn’t want to work at my part-time job forever. It wasn’t until a relative told me that, “when you work a job, you start to see the value of an education,” and that rang true for me.

The week before fall semester started up, I quit my job. The schedule wasn’t what I requested and I was just disillusioned with the place as a whole. But luckily this meant that I could focus more on my studies and achieve my academic goals here at the college.

There came a point where I got depressed… again. I tried to avoid it, but it came back. I was getting flustered because everything that I was seeing in my reality was completely distorted. The sleepless nights started up, the skipping meals, the stress. My family helped me get back on the horse, so to speak, and got me to naturally let go of my depression. I went to the gym, scheduled, made to-do lists, went to the library, I did basically anything and everything that could take my mind off my anxious mind.

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I ended up passing the semester with 2 b’s and an A. Because of my hard work, I was able to get inducted into the honor society for business and related majors, which was an amazing first step in my success. I went on to get dean’s list the following semester and recently got inducted into a prestigious honor society for 2 year colleges, which was a goal of mine to finally accomplish.

I’ve made a ton of new friends and lost some along the way. But the important thing was: I now had opportunities. I had the opportunity to immerse myself in college life, to enjoy my life, WHEREVER I AM. That’s what life is about anyway, right? To do things that make you happy and give you a sense of what you are capable of.

I found myself, at community college. I was able to take a breath of fresh air and get to know people from ALL walks of life. I was able to understand where each person was coming from and in the process, I learned a lot about myself. I gained this sense of confidence that just came as I was seeing what I was capable of and how I can use my gifts, as a writer, communicator, to push me further in my academic and professional life.

So remember that question I asked before? Have you ever had one of those days that start off shitty and get better as the day goes on?

Well, going back to that question: In life, we often have shitty starts. Shitty starts in our careers, shitty starts in our goals, etc. But we have to make the decision to continue, because it does get better. I had an unfortunate situation in the beginning when I started my college journey, but did I give up? I wanted to, but I didn’t. I didn’t give up when the going got tough, I stuck to my guns and did what I could to succeed. It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it.

We aren’t perfect beings.

We need to be okay with taking a hit in life and making something good come out of it.

I honestly give so much gratitude to the people in my life who saw me, for me, even in times when I didn’t see that in myself.My family has been amazing and super supportive in my life, especially during these past couple of years.  It’s been the friends and even mentors that I’ve gained at Community College that gave me that motivation to aim higher in my life.

With only a couple of weeks until I graduate from college with my associates, I’m so thankful for the experiences and opportunities that have been given to me at this school. I’m ready.

Sending love and light your way,

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It is OKAY to Fail

Aye y’all!  Wow. I can’t believe we’re in our last week of March! Where has the time gone?! Like I could’ve sworn I wasn’t going to get out from this winter tundra my area has been having. Happy Easter to all my friends who are celebrating!

So Today’s blog post is dedicated to all my perfectionists.

Haha, anytime I think of the word ‘perfectionist’, I think about Monica Geller from Friends. She always has to win, always has to have the house (or apartment, if you will) clean, but basically she’s what I like to call a perfectionist. If you watch the show, you know what I mean!

But all joking aside, perfectionism comes from the stem of “(This/I’m) is not good enough.”, “This needs to look good”, “I have to look (good/thin)”, etc etc.

Personally, I know that I can get into this train of thought where I just want everything to pan-out exactly the way that I’ve planned it. Sometimes, however, life doesn’t always go the way we want it to go, and that’s completely OKAY. You have to get to a point where you can plan for all these things in your life, but in the end, you have to realize that life just, kinda happens and that’s out of your control.

Perfectionism comes from the same stem of control. We want to be able to control the things that happen to us. We want to be in control of how we want something to fit or something that deep down, we cannot change.

In fact, depression happens when there’s something in either our past or future that is out of our hands and we try to control it.

Anxiety happens when you expose yourself to stressful situations (like starting at a new school, meeting new people, etc). It’s not really a choice you have. Anxiety just kind of happens naturally. As things get harder or more advanced, it’s expected that you get with the ebb and flow of things. It’s hard, but not impossible to overcome.

Granted, there are some people who don’t have this problem or people who work on their anxiety and frustrations so that it doesn’t interfere with their productivity at work.

All I’m saying is, it is okay to fail.

When we fail, we learn from those mistakes. In fact, I’ve learned so much from making mistakes in my life and they have lead me to the conscious person I am today. I can’t change the past, but I can change my attitude to a more positive one and look at “mistakes” as works in progress.

I remember back when I was in high school, (damn, I feel old) I was in color guard for the marching band…

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Senior year. Fellow band kid at your service lol. (Fall 2014)

I had these instructors, who were some pretty great people and whenever we would work on a part of the show that needed some cleaning up, they would impress upon us to Make Different Mistakes”. It means exactly what it says. Make a different mistake so that you can continue to work towards being a better performer or a better person. The idea is that once you make a mistake, you learn from it, you grow and move on. However, if you make the same mistake on different occasions, then what does that say about you? Said mistake becomes a choice that you make.

There are people in this world who have a tough time discerning from their mistakes and think that what looks like the same mistake they made, is a different one on a minuscule level.

The important part is that at some point, you have to learn from those mistakes and be able to grow from them, not be mortified by them.

We aren’t perfect people, we are human. We fall, we rise and we grow. We are capable of making our own decisions.

I used to be mortified by all the mistakes I’ve made. I would look at them as a past I never, ever wanted to revisit for knowledge.

But how can we be scared of looking back on something that we ultimately wanted to do, at one point… and it came out pretty bad. There’s a lesson in every mistake.

Back when I was depressed, I struggled to come to terms with being okay with recovery. I wanted my recovery to be perfect and I wanted my depression to end by a certain date. What I have come to learn is, no one’s recovery journey is perfect. (It may take longer depending on how long you’ve dealt with an illness or if its been as a result of your upbringing and other external/internal factors.) As much as we want it to be, it’s the drive in wanting to get better that motivates us to work towards our better self.

I look back on my life now because of the sole purpose of providing you, the reader, an insight to how I dealt with a particular situation. With some of the things I look back on, I laugh. I laugh because I’m not a perfect person, I laugh because I see how far I’ve come, I laugh because I see that some of the things I thought were going to define me, ended up not doing that at all.

I’m thankful for the experiences that have lead me to today and while, I may get into my perfectionist ways, I know that I can always stay mindful of the fact that, it is okay to slip up. It is okay to fall down every once in a while, but what matters is how you get up and how you can learn from a situation.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t know what was right from wrong. So we have to be mindful of the fact that we are human and that we need to understand that making mistakes, is a fact of life.

so go out and make all the mistakes!!!!

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Getting Uncomfortable

Hey guys! So it’s been quite a while since I blogged on here… I’ve been going through some pretty bad writer’s block these past couple of days. It’s like I have all these wonderful ideas that come to mind and I know how I would start each one of these ideas, but the problem comes when I have to come to a decision of which idea I should write about first. Does anyone else have that problem? If, so let me know how you deal with writer’s block in the comments below!

Alright so, today’s post is going to be about getting uncomfortable, but with more of an emphasis of what the positives are in being uncomfortable in new situations or around different people.

Has anyone heard of the quote “Get comfortable with the uncomfortable?”

Well basically it’s one of the many quotes that says what it means and means what it says. We live in a world where we can modify our preferences to see only what we want to see. In other words, things we are normally comfortable with, like adorable animals standing on their hind feet, your favorite singer announcing their tour dates, a status update from your role model, etc. are what drive our news feeds on social media sites.

If you think about it, we’re tuning in more to what we agree with, issues that get us on a spiritual level, and tuning out to things that we don’t believe or agree with. So what this causes, is it causes a drastic rift between a lot of people. No one is willing to hear the others beliefs, because if they’re not the ones they hold dearly, God forbid they can’t be your friend or someone who you can talk about an issue with.BASICALLY… People are becoming friends with other people who believe the same things that they do.

My one question about that is: WHERE IS THE GROWTH?!

If you’re around the same group of people, with the same views and the same experiences, then your reactions to most things would be identical and frankly that ish gets boring.

If there’s one thing about me, it is that I am more than willing to be friends with just about anyone, regardless of your political and religious views. So long as those beliefs are within reason and don’t infringe on a human’s right to live. What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be friends with someone if their purpose was to intentionally hurt me or anyone else*.

For the record, I wasn’t always this open and extroverted where I felt that I could be friends with anyone. There was a point in my life where I held a lot of high expectations of the friends I had and who I associated with. It wasn’t until I hit high school that I was surrounded with people who held different views. I went to a Catholic high school in my area and it was nothing like how I expected it to be.

My expectations prior to attending Parochial School:

  • That students had the same, if not, similar views on education
  • That students would have a faith in Jesus.
  • That students would respect the sisters who taught some of their classes
  • that students would give a damn about volunteering as a fulfillment of the spirit and not for individual gain

My Reality:

  • Many students did not care nearly as much about their academics (considering that their parents were spending well over 9 grand for tuition!)
  • Many students I knew didn’t have a faith in God and turned to other things that filled their soul
  • Not a lot respected the sisters
  • Not a lot cared about doing service, many felt like it was an obligation from their respective sports teams

Now this isn’t here to throw shade at anyone who went to this high school or Parochial schools in general. I actually enjoyed my 4 years at a Catholic school, there were some pretty rewarding qualities that I got from such an institution. For instance, I got exposed to where everyone came from; a lot of people came from various socioeconomic backgrounds, different towns, some went to catholic schools their whole lives, some just went because of how well the academics were, and so forth. The list could go on and on, but what I am trying to say is that these experiences helped me understand different viewpoints and while I didn’t particularly enjoy a lot of the conversations about their views, I had to learn that I couldn’t live locked in my little treasure chest of like or similar views, believing and agreeing with things that I was comfortable with.

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I had to grow. An experience like going to a new school, while it wasn’t easy, was a first step towards me getting uncomfortable in a new situation and helped me grow as a person. This would then begin a series of other experiences in my life where I was pushed out of my comfort zone, like flying alone for the first time, dorming for the first time, partying for the first time, etc. etc.

Fast forward to now and I have a pretty diverse group of friends.

One of my best friends is an Atheist, but they’re really chill, are more than willing to hear me talk about my faith from time to time, and tells me what their beliefs are. I found that we have the same outlook on Karma and on how the universe works.

My significant other likes the guy who is president. They have taught me how to listen to opposing views and provide me with some insight to some things, I would have never given any thought to.

Another one of my friends, is a feminist, they provide me with some very interesting insights about history… I could go on and on. But one thing is for certain: we can’t shut down a belief if we haven’t heard it loud and clear. 

Too many times we listen with the sole intent to respond. We don’t allow ourselves to listen to other view points. We don’t “let it sink in”. We speak before we even understand what the other person is talking about.

Imagine how much better the world would be if we actually spoke to each other and had a dialogue going about our many diverse beliefs. Would we then find a common ground in this mess?

We need to be better communicators with each other and realize that each of us has something valuable to contribute to the world. Understand where people genuinely come from. Each of us has had different opportunities and different walks of life that leads up to what our beliefs are and what our stances are on a wide range of issues. The closer we get to having dialogues and to listening to each other, the less disparities there are and the more hope there is for a world that can focus on the good.

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