Staying Mindful

First off, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone for your kind words, advice, and overall encouragement for my last post. It really means a lot!

I’ve been so busy with school, applying to colleges, volunteering and yet somehow managing to have an active social life.

But in the midst of all of this, it’s so easy to feel like “ugh what’s the use”, “why do I keep trying?”.  I noticed that I was doing this a ton, in response to all the things I had to do or was straight up overwhelmed with. Last Friday, I felt like I just didn’t care at all, like my entire mood for the day was; I don’t feel like doing anything, I have nothing to do, I’m bored, and all I wanna do today is sleep. It was a feeling all too familiar to me. I was in a funk, under the cloud of my depression. So that day, I went out, got a pint of Ben & Jerry’s  and a little snack for movie night. That night, I ended up going out to see the new Black Panther movie with my little brother and best friend.

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Jamie and I out at the movies. (not pictured: my little brother, who refuses to have pictures taken)

It wasn’t bad at all, I had an amazing time laughing, enjoying the movie with my brother and Jamie. These were definitely things I needed to lift me out of the funk that I was in.

It wasn’t until later that night when I  was sitting on the kitchen table flipping through the latest issue of In Style Magazine, that I came across an article about film maker, producer, director, Ava DuVernay. In it, she talks about the amazing power of optimism. DuVernay grew up in the wrong side of town, but her parents? Two of the most happiest people on the planet! They helped shift her worldview to a more positive one.

Granted, it wasn’t like she was living her life through a rose colored lens, but rather she’s acknowledging the sole fact that there is a lot of bad things that go on in this world, she doesn’t allow that to be her primary mindset or allow it to make her think of the world differently.

After reading that, it really made me think… Do you ever just stop and think about how you are perceiving things?

I mean seriously, we live in a world that seems to make light of how unbelievably fucked our mindsets are.

Am I wrong?

As we’re increasingly plugging more and more into apps, electronics, our phones, we don’t realize the shift in our mindsets. It’s a gradual shift. Not to mention, the experiences that we have had in our lives, has contributed, in great part, and has led us to have either a negative or positive outlook on life.

But it’s also very important to note: We aren’t the things that we have done or haven’t done. More specifically, we are not our past.

Our past doesn’t and should never define us.

So in life when we are given experiences, people, places, and lessons, depending on the severity of how bad or how good the situations are, we plug into that mindset. Our mindsets shift almost everyday.

What comes with every experience is a different attitude of how we would perceive the next experience if something, similar or identical, were to happen again.

Did I lose you? haha.

I’m going to use an example that’s been used a lot.

Say there’s this really sweet guy. Guy meets girl. He realizes that they have a lot in common and a friendship begins. Somewhere along the way, he falls for said girl. HARD. So he’s buying her flowers, making her feel like a princess, just basically being an amazing guy. Guy finds out that girl doesn’t feel the same way. He feels hurt, like he wasted his time, money, and overall head space over this girl.  So he adapts his mindset to, “well, if I’ve been fucked over once, I don’t want to be fucked over twice. Let’s see how girls like it when I’m a fuck boy.”

Sound familiar?

Now, I’m not saying that all guys are like this, nor am I disregarding the fact that all girls are always going to fuck a guy over, but this happens. Regardless if it’s guys doing this to other guys, girls doing this to other girls, etc. It’s one of the many examples of how certain experiences in our lives alter the way we think about love or how we think about future events as a whole.

Sometimes, these experiences serve for the better, Sometimes they’re realistic (can be a good or a bad), or other times they’re experiences that take a while for us to realize if it was a bad thing or a good thing.

But what I’m getting at is this: you’re never really the same person twice. You’re always changing. Your goals, aspirations and everything else changes. They could be for the better or for the worse, but those are ultimately based on the decisions you have made in your life that have led you to where you are today.

You-are-under-QUOTE

Another thing I learned today was this: Often times, expectation and reality will never really meet at the same point at the same time. Very rarely do these two things come together and even if you think these two things have lined up (at one point or another), they may be off by a tiny bit.

Almost every goal that I’ve had in mind, I’ve either:

  • made them realistic

 or

  • changed them, modified them a bit, in terms of where I am now in my life.

I’ll give you an example!

So awhile back, I realized that I really wanted to pursue communications at school, come out with my bachelors in communication and then go on to art school where I could get my master’s of fine arts in Visual Arts and then work in the fashion magazine industry as a creative director or director of photography.

It wasn’t until I had to take a step back and sit down to talk with my parents about my future plans. That night, I was asked a ton of questions and learned a lot about myself.

Yes, I can have dreams, but there comes a point in my life that I needed to be realistic with them. When I had talked with my parents about my future, my dad told me that I can’t expect to end up in a position of power, when I, myself, haven’t even had the experience to begin with!

Now that’s the stuff that got me thinking, “well, if I’m undecided with what I wanted to do in the realm of art, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be” and it took me awhile to find exactly what it was that I really wanted to do.

From that moment on, I realized that I needed to make my goals realistic, but yet stay mindful of the fact that sometimes my career path may change.

We are often afraid of the future and afraid to stay mindful about the events that happen in our lives.

I genuinely believe that the more we stay mindful about the things we are working towards in the future, the more open we can be to what life throws at us. In time, we can diminish that fear of the unknown and not be tied down by our doubts and anxieties.

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“She is clothed in strength and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future”- proverbs 31:25

Have faith and stay mindful of the fact that everything will work out.

For more of my thoughts on the future and on expectations , check out these posts which talk more in detail about these ideas!

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Fear of The Future

Happy December, everyone! I’ve been so busy this past week, which was why I had LITERALLY no time at all to keep you guys updated on the next big thing! So I apologize, but I’m here now, so let’s talk!

Lately I’ve been doing things that plays roles in planning ahead. I’ve signed up for courses in Spring 2018, continued on my process of applying to colleges, applying for scholarships, among other things.

In the midst of all of this, however, I sense a familiar wave of emotion that kind of washes over me. Fear, if you will, of the future. The same fear that just paralyzed me and played an integral role in my depression the first time around. That same fear of the future, which made me realize that I would be going from a place where I knew where everything was and who my friends were, to a place where I didn’t know any of that and therefore, I would have to learn to do that all over again.

Learning new things and doing something different doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It could be a positive experience for you. You’ll never know until you make that first step. I used to accept change with such grace, but what part of my anxiety and depression has affected was how I perceived change.

Now, big changes affect me, but that’s normal, right? People are affected in one way or another to big changes, like moving to a new city and going to school. For me, if I want change to happen in my life, I need it to be small and gradual. Of course, in this fast paced world we live in, nothing ever comes small or gradual, it comes at us the size of a train going 150 mph.

But I’ve learned that we cannot be afraid of that change. We must accept it and learn to face this fear, embrace it, and live our lives. The future is in another dimension, it’s something that we prepare for. Why should we be fearful of it? We spend years preparing for a job that we want, we take all the courses necessary to be able to do all things in an appropriate and ethical manner, we prepare ourselves for the degree we want.

As I’ve said before, it is normal to be afraid of the future, because that fear is the same fear that helps us and motivates us. This fear is the one where you actually care about being successful in the future. Paralyzing fear, however, has been known to be detrimental for you. You care too much and you literally cant sleep because, on top of caring too much, you are also thinking about it too much. Instead of working for us, it works against us and we work for it, fueling any insecurities we may have about ourselves. In reality, you don’t have to overthink your future successes, no one is telling you to detail every aspect of your future. Only you are ingraining that into your mind. I mean, think about it, if we were to narrow everything down in our future down to a T, where does that leave the present? Where are you now? What’s even more, is if all of us think too profoundly into the future, imagine how high our stakes are.

Imagine having only one aspiration that leads you to a house, family, etc., what are the odds that it might change? We shouldn’t have to hold one general idea or one general goal and expect that same goal to be the same. For example, for many years, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor or something along the lines of the field of medicine. I would watch all these medical shows and be fascinated at the knowledge of doctors in their fields. But then in my Junior year of high school, I wanted to be a Physical Therapist, I had my plan figured out, I would major in bio then apply for a seat in the Physical Therapy program at the college that I would go to. By the time I got to my senior year of high school, I wanted to become a Physician Assistant(PA), so I toured schools looking for a perfect fit in their Pre-PA majors. I didn’t really find it. So that’s when I resorted to Nursing. When I applied to a school for Nursing, I got my acceptance letter, buuut… I wasn’t exactly in the Nursing program, I was Undeclared-Nursing, which meant that I would be taking a course that was required of all first-year nursing majors and I’d have to work my way up into the Nursing program. I ended up switching my major the second semester of that same year. The reason why I took too long in realizing that working in the medical field just wasn’t for me, was because I was still stuck in that mindset of holding one general idea about myself and my future. When I realized this, I thought to myself, “what would my life be like if I wasn’t a nurse?” “What other job is out there?”.

Fast forward to now, I am happy to see how far I have come and how this experience has led me to where I am. I’m a Communications major with a focus in Marketing and I am looking to get my MBA in Marketing, as well. My dream is to work in Digital Marketing and hopefully contribute to the overall growth of sales and provide ideas for more traffic on certain sites.

The fact of the matter is this: You can plan for your future all you want, you are entitled to how you feel about it, too, but always be open to what life throws at you. Don’t ever feel like you have one set choice. In this life, we have an unlimited amount of choices and it’s up to us to find one that suits our goals. All of this is meant to give you perspective in this life, mapping out your future is a good way to start gaining some perspective, but don’t go overboard. Enjoy your present and be open to your future.

 

 

 

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