Surviving Loneliness

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I’ve been purposefully avoiding my blog for these last three months. I knew that if I came here again after my last post, it would be an emotional process to write the next. These four months of grief have dealt me a card I still don’t know how to handle. Leaving aside the fact that I’m grieving and all the messy things that come along with that, I have been left feeling completely alone. Which of course, is a consequence of grief.

I am 100% an extrovert. I love being around other people, I thrive off of it, get my energy from it. My extroverted nature is the reason why I never had a problem with all the roommates I had during my four years at college. So when I woke up one day this summer and realized how isolated I felt, it was a hard pill to swallow. I feel physical isolation as a result of being away from all of most of friends. I feel an emotional isolation because I still have difficulty feeling connected with others in my life after the death of my dad. Despite trying to be open with everyone how hard this process has been for me, I still find myself in a place where I feel as though no one gets it and no one can help me.

The day I realized how bad this loneliness had become was the night I had made plans to go to a birthday dinner in LA. I was really looking forward to doing something normal and with people I hadn’t seen in a while. But as the time approached to go, I got a massive wave of anxiety and it was so overwhelming that I didn’t show up. As a girl who love, love, loves going out, I realized that my isolation had created a fear of being around groups of people. So even though I don’t want to feel lonely, I’m too hesitant to make major plans with anyone, for fear of something going wrong.

Truly defeating loneliness is a hard thing to conquer. You have to make sure you’re not depending on other people as distractions to do it. I notice my good days are always the ones where I see and interact with people, never the ones where I spend it alone.

My loneliness sharpens when I see and compare others’ lives on social media, which we all understand as a big “no no” to do. Yet, it’s practically irresistible. If you’re going to be extremely susceptible to snapchat stories and Instagram posts, it might be best to put those things away for a while. Even if you delete those apps for a short time, you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders and hopefully you’ll remember how unimportant it is to see what everyone is doing every second of the day.

Getting comfortable with yourself and being alone is huge. Being alone and loneliness are two different things. If you can find comfort in your “me time,” maybe the loneliness will fade away. Right now I’m doing my best to enjoy the days alone I have. However, if  I have multiple days in a row when I’m alone I start having difficulties so it still is a hurdle I need to jump over.

When you’re in your loneliness you might find yourself looking for distractions. They may be either productive or destructive and somehow the destructive ones always seem more appealing. As I work through this myself, I try to think through all my actions and decisions. People tell me to do things that used make me happy, the hobbies and pastimes I love. Distracting yourself with the things that bring you those kinds of inner joys is no doubt a great thing to do.

I want to suggest talking to a close friend or family member on a regular basis, but the truth is if you’re trying to get over loneliness like me, maybe it’s best to try and figure it out on your own instead of with other people. In my case anyway, I know that I’ll just begin to depend on people and I’d rather depend on myself. When it comes to family and friends though, the best thing I can say is to not push them away when they reach out to you. Be honest with them when they ask how you’re feeling. Tell them why you feel lonely, maybe they can help.

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When the minor inconveniences of post grad life take a backseat to Death

We all love to joke about how “horribly” messy our lives are and the constant obstacles we face when we transition into adulthood. That’s basically all I write about.

Today is different. Today, with a heavy heart I come without complaints.

As I mentioned in my post about gratitude, it is easy to complain about all the small issues in life if, despite those minor inconveniences, life is okay. It is also just as easy to forget all the good in your life if you only focus on the bad things. But once the real challenges step into the game, complaining about the small things seems inappropriate. In that post I reminded myself to be grateful. In particular I expressed gratitude for my old, crappy Honda and my dad.

About three weeks after I wrote that, my car was stolen from outside my house. It was taken a week before my birthday at that. Despite what some might consider as a major inconvenience, I wasn’t phased. I had other things on my mind.

Twelve days after that incident my dad passed away. It was four days after my birthday and three days before father’s day. Needless to say, June was a rough month.

Today I received news of a fatal car accident that happened last night. Two young men I went to college with, aged 23 and 24, were pronounced dead at the scene. Kasean Williams-Herrera and Jeremy Shankling. They were bright, hard-working and dearly loved. They were just beginning life after college. As their families and the UC Irvine community grieve, I am left with a wake up call.

We often try to make sense of death. We do this as a coping mechanism. My dad had 50 years on this earth. I found peace knowing that although he lived with an incurable infection, he somehow managed to come back from over five brain surgeries over a 17 year timeline. I take comfort in knowing that God allowed my dad to recover time and again from those surgeries. I could have lost my dad when I was 6, when I was 12 or when I was 18, but I didn’t. I’m grateful I had him as long as I did. That is how I have made sense of his passing.

But when death comes at you without warning, it steals your breath from your lungs. It leaves you stunned and confused. The pain in your chest is so real that you feel your heart break. And in those moments, death does not seem to have a purpose. You can’t make sense of it. Why do people who have barely begun to live get taken from us? Why can’t we have them back? Why them? Why? Why? Why?

Death seems so distant, until it happens to the people you know. It feels like an insult. A personal attack. When life is disrupted by death, it is an uncomfortable reminder that nothing is promised to us. Nothing is guaranteed to us.

Leave nothing left unsaid to those in your life. If someone crosses your mind, it can be easy to brush it off. Don’t. In those instances reach out to them, just because. Appreciate and enjoy every season in your life, even the ones that are hard to get through. Express love to the people in your life and take a moment to reflect. Never be too prideful to apologize or say how you really feel. Remain open and humble. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with one another; I promise that you won’t have regrets once it’s too late. And despite all the bullshit that may be in your life, I promise you that there are still some pretty amazing things in it that are still worth your gratitude.

Breathe In. Exhale. And Smile.

Try your best to find the joy despite all the pain.

“For People Who Feel Behind In Life”

Trying something different today, friends. I’ve been coming across a lot of really helpful and often, entertaining, videos on Youtube about a variety of topics. I feel that a good amount of them would also be fitting for my blog. Thus I introduce the video highlight genre, for some added fun. Less reading, less work, more laughs.

Youtuber, Evelyn From The Internets, is quite the humorist and her most recent upload, “For People Who Feel Behind In Life,” is the perfect cocktail mix of comedy, reflection, confusion and encouragement. She gives the metaphor “life is a race” a fresh perspective that will no doubt earn a chuckle. And if you can’t run just like Evelyn and me, you’ll definitely feel a sense of community by watching this.

Quit Your Crying And Be Grateful For 2 Seconds

In the midst of my very negative energy, as of two mintues ago, I decided to focus on all the things that are right in my life. And yeah, I was actually low key crying in bed two minutes ago. I’m highly emotional right now, okay?! It’s easy to focus on the things you’re not happy with if you’ve become used to all the priveleges in your life that seem like a given. But those things aren’t given, they can easily be taken away. So I made a list in my head of everything I’m grateful for. Once I finished, I jumped out of bed to type it all out.

So here it goes

  1. My health
  2. I have both parents with me on this earth
  3. My dad, even though he is sick, he makes baby steps every day towards being better
  4. My mom, who surprisingly hasn’t pressed me too much on what it is exactly I’m doing with my life
  5. The bonus parent I have
  6. The health of my entire family
  7. The amazing group of friends I have who are all supportive
  8. I have a best friend I can be completely candid with about absolutely anything and everything
  9. I have a bachelor’s degree and I had the means to get to college, even if it meant debt
  10. Calling sunny California my home
  11. My car, while hella old, has not failed me
  12. The park across the street that I can jog at if I ever finally decide to get my physical health in check
  13. My internship, while unpaid, provides me with experience and is complete with a team that is both welcoming and encouraging
  14. My job, because better to have one than none at all
  15. All the positive and ridiculously friendly people at my job
  16. My clear skin! lmao
  17. Access to internet and my unlimited data plan
  18. While I’m practically broke, I do still have savings dedicated to paying my loans (thank da lord).
  19. My dog who I direct all my out loud thoughts to
  20. My bed
  21. The free housing my parentals provide me
  22. My bilingual capabilities that let me enjoy melodramatic telenovelas
  23. In addition, Netflix

Twenty-three things I’m grateful for in my twenty-third year. Totally didn’t do that on purpose, but it fits so I roll with it.

I feel a little better so I suggest you give it a go as well.

And if that doesn’t work I guess you can go back to crying. It’s cathartic anyway.

B*TCH I’M STUCK

I felt stuck at one job so I left for another, but I still feel stuck.

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I’m not as tired as I used to be, but I still feel stuck.

I have more time for myself to focus on the things I need to, but I’m still stuck.

My humor has become so dry because my morale is so low. I tell everyone that once I have a full time job with benefits I’ll be happy. That it’s the only thing I want. Weekends Off! Health Insurance of my own! BENEFITS!

But, what if that’s not true? If I found these things would I be happy? Or would I still feel stuck?

As of right now, I’m pretty convinced that it’s the key to happiness, so I’ll hold on to that until I’m proven otherwise. I’ve seen posts floating around on the interwebs about how (dare I say) millennials see the bare minimums as the ultimate kind of happiness.

Their own roof. Decent health insurance. A job. Just to be an independent and functioning member of society. Not even to be well-off monetarily, but just to not have so much debt.

How sad is that? So sad it’s funny. My ultimate birthday wish? A fucking salary. Heck, I’ll even take hourly if it means it’s in the job field I want. Kill me. I’m turning 23, why can’t my birthday wish be something more whimsical? Oh yah I forgot, it’s because I’m being completely mediocre at life right now.

I feel disappointed at myself sometimes. I wonder if I did college wrong. Did I not prep myself enough for life after the four-year staycation from mom and dad?

The answer is probably “yes, Kiara, da fuq did you think this was?” 

Well, Life, I wish you would have made yourself a bit more scary and more aggressive towards me in college so I would have scared myself into preparing better, damn. I hope to myself that there’s a lot of people like me.

This blog is called Losers of Crown Town after all. Losers as in plural, plural is in more than one loser. Yet, I feel like everyone around me has got their postgrad progress a little more accelerated than mine. It’s that good ole impatience holding hands with insecurity again.

Someone make me a smoothie and bring me a telenovela to drown the self-doubt away.

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K thnx.

“Once I’m Established”

The phrase “once I’m established” is my favorite thing to say when I imagine my successful, adult future. For some time I’ve kept a poorly organized mental list in my head of all the things I hope to do the second I become a stable, functioning member of society. They go beyond the normal “I want to decorate my own home” type of ideas. Although they aren’t even that impressive lol. I think most people have nice, reliable cars (see item 8). These will be the things that prove that I have finally entered the true adult life:

  1. Own a garage and park my car inside (not having my own home means I’m the extra car that parks on the street)
  2. Enroll in pole dancing classes (fitness classes will mean I have extra money to spend, plus I’ll gain extra street cred for being able to pole dance)
  3. Actually pay for a Netflix account (as I currently mooch of my mom’s).
  4. Sleep in a new, nice, expensive mattress (The day I move out permanently, is the day I buy myself the most prestigious mattress I can afford).
  5. Have a room dedicated as a library (being established must mean that I have accumulated a mass amount of literature in my journey to adulthood.)
  6. Grow avocado trees in my backyard (I just really like avocados and really dislike their priciness)
  7. Teach my kids Spanish (as a prospering adult I surely have perfected my own Spanish skills, bagged a man, and yielded children to educate.)
  8. Own a reliable, fairly new car that doesn’t have multiple issues or embarrassments.
  9. Have a shit ton of shoes, just because I love shoes.
  10. Chop off all my hair. I have this idea that as an established adult who is happy and confident, I will no longer feel the need to have hair on my head lol.

Keeping a list like this, keeps things fun for me. They’re little things to look forward to and I’m definitely interested in how many I’ll actually be able to check mark.

How To Stop Yourself From Sinking

There are some days when I wake up and I can tell I’m feeling a bit down. It’s usually on my off days when I’m not being distracted by interning or work. With everyone in the house gone and most everyone I know busy, if I don’t get up early and make myself do things, I begin to sink even more.

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Sinking is not something that happens just in one day and then the next day it’s back to normal. I’ve been sinking since probably November or December. It’s very slow. It’s like Post-Grad Funk: Extended Addition. It’s the moment when the funk starts to feel a bit more permanent. I sink a little bit each day, but I don’t notice it everyday if that makes sense.

Last night I noticed it. This morning I noticed it. It’s not any one, particular thought that makes me sink. It’s a vague feeling. And I knew that if I wasn’t productive with my day today it would get worse.

When I really think about it, its the uncertainty of my life that acts as the catalyst for sinking. It’s probably different for everyone, but I’m willing to bet that for anyone around my age it just might be the same factor.

So last night I set my alarm for 7am. Waking up early almost guarantees a better day just because you feel good about yourself for getting up early when you didn’t necessarily have to.

I try to run any errands I need within the first two hours of getting up. It help me to feel productive, even if it’s as simple as going to the grocery store.

Going out for a jog. Walking my dog through the park. Being outside at all will help me to feel better. April is a beautiful, sunny month in California. Escaping the house will always make me feel like I’m a part of the rest of the population rather than the sense of isolation I get from being inside my house.

Face-to-face interaction or vocal communication helps because I need to hear others’ voices. It helps get me out of my own head and texting just doesn’t cut it. I’m an extrovert by nature and being around others is how I get my energy.

Lastly, I try to get my responsibilities taken care of. If I spent the entire day being a vegetable on youtube or Netflix (where I’m just staring at a screen) I would feel guilty and frustrated with myself. So if I’m on the computer I need to at least spend a few hours working on assignments for my internship or applying to jobs or working on my online classes. Something. Anything that will help push me further for my future.

It’s so crazy to think that even though I’m doing multiple things to better myself and get to where I want to be, I still feel like I’m not doing enough. I’m still so self-conscious of where I’m at in life. It’s never enough. So I guess the best thing to do is to keep yourself busy until it goes away? Who knows.

I might be ignoring the sinking or pushing it off, but it’s better than letting it engulf me.