Tag Archives: advice

When Friends are in Pain

It’s odd how secure I feel in my feelings and a friend’s (heartrending) break-up really put things into perspective:

I looked on, and as I looked on my heart felt a pang of numbness it hadn’t felt in such a long time.  I looked on and felt an old depression sink into my bones and the world was gray again.  Bitter memories fluttered by and every little emotion I’d felt after my own break-up resurfaced, condensed down into mere moments.  Emerging once more, embracing them with every bit of understanding I had accumulated, I prayed:  Please help my friend find guidance.  Please help them find strength to linger on long enough to rediscover the worth of life.

It was rough and we’re still not completely in the clear.  However, I sense it now, energy is being released unlike before.  Piecemeal, it’s finally starting to dissipate.  My friend was in pain, they suffered and didn’t know how to find solace, comfort and release.  There’s always that initial phase of going back, trying to reclaim what was lost – it ripped them apart.  Too many what-ifs, too many questions and not enough closure.  There’s nothing I can do but watch on in silence, be that witness, and reaffirm things that I’ve always known to be true:  “It’s ohk to cry”, “You’re a good person, you’re just lost”.  “You’re going to feel like dying over and over,” I text them.  It’s easier than having them show me their face.  They don’t want to be seen – very few people get to see someone so raw and vulnerable and I can’t be mad.  “It’s going to suck for a long time,” I continue, praying my words give solidarity, “but it’ll end.”  Outside of the numerous texts, I let them talk.  I let them tell me anything and press my ears for the flyby phrases and words that are inevitably muttered.  I spend as much time, distract them and hold and remind them:  you’re going to feel alone, but I am here.

I did everything I could remember wanting when I was in pain and felt like there was nothing left.  I did my best to be that person I needed most:  simply there and willing to hold me, listen on without judgement and to reel me back even if it meant I’d hate them for seeing my weakness and through my intentions.  That is the best route one can take in comforting a friend.  You talk and you try to mitigate those negative thoughts that spin endlessly in their minds.  You understand that emotions, especially love, can boil your mind in madness and leave you far less than rational.  You do your best to rewrite those beliefs, compassionately, but honestly and mindfully.  Always remember:  this isn’t about you, it’s about them and what they need.

Take care of one another.

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Financial Aid After Dropping Out

Heads up guys!

So, fun story, last semester I signed up for classes for Spring 2015.  Even though I had already decided to drop out (again) at the time I was so invigorated by the idea that maybe I just need to stick to it!  Which sort of backfired on me as I instantly felt regret when I confirmed my attendance as well.  Please don’t be like me and forget that you did until the last moment when suddenly, school is around the corner.  I walked in, trying to be brave, and had to physically unregister from the semester.  Oddly enough, this was painless part.  Until they asked me to go to the Student Success Center and have an interview.  Why?!

The secretary was nice enough and slid me this blue sheet which I used to perform a self-interview on why I was dropping out.  That wasn’t hard, and I did make light of the situation in a way by responding, “If I had wanted it more then maybe I wouldn’t have been more motivated to stay,” to “… is there anything the individual, or the school, could have done to…” to basically say otherwise.  Ye-yuh for bad break-up replies.  Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me.  Goodness, please no.

>> >>

3rd day of the semester for the students.  I receive a letter as I am literally walking out to pick up my laundry downstairs.  It is from my old uni and about the refund I got several days ago (almost a week).  Apparently I’ve no claim to it and they would like their money back.  Not going to lie, I was a little dumbstruck.  A lot of questions ran through my mind: for example, why did they give me the refund in the first place?  Why don’t I have any claim?  And so on.  Like rage mashing a button for the anger welling up inside me.  Mostly because I had already spent the money on bills, paying off some of my debts, and taking a generous portion to donate into my savings because I need an emergency fund.  Everyone needs an emergency fund.

Thankfully I sorted it out (had to call in some aid from my parents).  This is what I am advising all dropouts make sure is done:

– please talk to Financial Aid, especially if you pulled out loans.  Should be a no-brainer but eh…

– make sure you are officially unregistered

– DO NOT TOUCH THE REFUND

– seek counseling if you need it.  Hard and unpleasant business, leaves you muddy feeling.

Short, simple.  Get it done.  Unlike me who waited forever.  Make sure you are up to date on all school charges.  It can be bull, and it won’t be fun but reward yourself.  Like by eating chocolate.  Lots of chocolate…

P.S.  With all this debt and managing money, doesn’t it seem like that if you could drop your current identity and all debt attached to it seem a lot easier?

Reflections on Change

Over coffee and fries, engrossed in an intense conversation:  “We should be really proud of ourselves.  Right now it is really hard to see our progress because we are still in the middle of changing.”  He nodded in agreement and we sat there basking in our own epiphanies.

Throughout our lives we are bound to change.  Change itself is not a bad thing; I honestly think it is the reason people fall in and out of relationships (both romantic and friendly and in-between).  The changes occur outside the other’s experiences.  We were both exchanging our feelings with changes that we’d been working on for quite some time.  For me, my work involves changing my lifestyle.  I want to lose weight and I want to feel healthy and things of the like.  At the same time I also wanted to work on building a strong emotional and mental foundation.  It is going pretty well.  Since winter of last year I’ve lost 30 lbs almost (hitting 198 really hit me).  I feel a lot better except for right now because I have an infection and am a little sick.  Mentally is a little harder but my thoughts are changing.  I hate myself doesn’t cycle through my head as much.  Things like I’m fat and you are worthless don’t pop up as often.  Emotionally I feel… freer to feel.  That sounds ridiculous but it was not always so.  Two people in the world give me hope and courage to be myself.

Take care of yourself.

Here I Am

This is me. I come to this world so wild and free~

After winging the title that came back to me. Come to think of it, when I was younger I would loop-play Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in the background. Constantly. The whole movie. And I would sing along the entire way. Great soundtrack!

Anywhoskiwhatsits – I’ve been MIA. For a while. A lot of things have happened since and similarly what happens when I skip out on my journal I have a hazy hash of updates. Some major decision that I’ve made:

– get a car
– get a license
– lose more weight (I went from 198 – 168-ish meow!)
– keep practicing my art skills
– learn more art paths
– DM a full campaign for Dungeons and Dragons
– keep in contact with my friends and family
– be healthy
– be more financially conscious
finish school (one way or another)

Let’s start with one of the biggest ambiguous decisions: school. Many people are enrolled in some form of tertiary education for a myriad of reasons. Bet though that many of us are here because we’ve been pelted with the same thought over and over – you can’t get a job if you don’t have a degree. (And if you don’t have a job, you can’t pay rent, eat, buy that snazzy new game that will have your fingers bleeding, and really life in general just dies. It just explodes and you temporarily cease to exist. Eventually you’ll just slink away into nothingness while your friends habitually comment on your unemployment-ness.) Happiness though, is compromised, by a lack of a degree.  (Which is ridiculous.)  Despite my fears and reservations I have enrolled for Fall semester pursuing a degree in Mass Communications w/ an emphasis in Graphic Communications and a minor in Biology. This was the best compromise for an art degree while keeping rounded and wouldn’t “waste” the credits of biology courses already taken. What led to this were tears, hard talks and painful epiphanies:

All my pain will continue to build until I no longer lumber to surmount them.  Somehow, almost three years later, I find my heart burning while walking near my old dorm hall and through various colleges.  So many things bring me back to unpleasant (understatement) memories.  I have to reconstruct not only my life but my self-image.  This means letting go of all the ideas and dreams I had with my fiance.  That is still so incredibly hard to do.  So I cut my hair, I chose a different major after taking a semester off and nearly failing out of two, establishing a new friend group, and trying so hard to depend on only myself.  Admittedly I am still bitter sometimes.  BUT that is not who I am as a person.  I’m a funny, quirky, adorable and caring person with a sensitive and loyal heart.

In my contemplations uni was one of the least amusing options.  Student loans aren’t fun and the flood of graduates coupled with the rising cost of tuition and textbooks (which are baloney) make me wonder.  Many people are falling out of school and pursuing other options.  What this boils down to is how I feel about one dream that lingers in my heart every waking moment:  to start a family.  Of all the things I long only for that, for that one chance to bear children and raise them.  One of my best friends likes to tease me about it but more importantly he likes to ask my why?  Why do I want kids so bad when the world is such a cold place?  So much time has passed and without even knowing, without his prompting, I finally have the words for the answer:  love.  I want to fill the world with more love.  In some way I hope that having uni will teach me to be a better artists and the social challenges of meeting people, befriending them, maintaining relationships will continue to provide me with valuable insight.  In other ways I hope that my education will benefit me and help me establish a sound environment free from most financial burdens.

Education is important regardless of the source.  Keep learning, keep studying.  Find your dreams and capture them!  Most importantly though love. Fill the world with love so it overflows and people can’t help but see it everywhere they look.

Coffee Break: Magic of Counselors

Today was a in part spent talking to Tracy about a myriad of topics – as usual.  I’d like to say I am thankful for the practitioners of mental health, disorder, and illness.  Without the aid of certain counselors I am sure I would have gone bonkers way back when.

((And I am also thankful for phone reminders.  They are a lifesaver.  (Really.)

As I was about to step outside the door for crickets for Sebastian my tiger salamander, my phone beeped.  Up came my counselor’s name and I felt a bit sheepish for forgetting such an important appointment.  So my extremely awesome roommate drove me to the Student Union and the session was on!  My conclusions:

We talked about many things, as usual.  I talked to her about my relationships with my friends and how the guy I have feelings for (we’re beyond crush now!) tried hooking me up with another one of my friends whom I have no attraction to on my birthday.  I even brought it up when he, myself and my roommate went out for a little something to drink.  I simply, “So-and-so aren’t going to work out.  Stop it.”  But then he wanted to know why.  “I don’t want to.”  He’s not my type – he’s not aggressive enough.  I like aggressive people.  Plus having the person you like try to dump you on someone else (although so-and-so would make a good boyfriend) is annoying and just blows in general.  #1:  If someone tells you they don’t want to date another person, 8/10, don’t push it.

This lead to an interesting tangent on being single.  I was told that I will be single forever unless I lower my standards and stop being picky.  #2:  I will lower my standards when…  Actually I won’t.  The few times I have it hasn’t gone well for me.  #3:  I enjoy being picky.  I guess it is hard for him to understand as well because he doesn’t like being lonely.  I’m not sure many people do.  But I don’t feel lonely.  I’m enjoying being alone.  #4:  Being alone can be a good thing!  I’m learning more things about myself and I have more time to enjoy it.  I don’t feel like I am attached to someone else’s schedule or manner of doing things.  #5:  Independence rocks both in and out of relationships!  

This tangent on being single lead to another tangent on getting laid.   So we looked at my roommate who could use a happy ending and this lead to several new conclusions.  #6 Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/39/1361 see what people are saying about it there) is really good.  I was a little buzzed after drinking a glass of Magners and hammering through this Ayinger.  #7:  Common sense – you don’t make your best decisions with alcohol.  A slap bet was issued!  It was decided that my roommate and I would race to christen our little apartment.  First one to get laid in the apartment wins and according to Slap Bet Commissioner’s rules the number of slaps (oh, multiple slaps now) is in proportion to time (though I’m not exactly sure in what way) and if he suspects any one of us is trying to let the other person win then there will be consequences.  This leads to #8 and #9, respectively, Slap Bets are ridiculously fun! if and only if You and the other person are competitive if it applies, otherwise you better be betting on an outcome like I bet so-and-so is not going to pass their test tomorrow!  I am extremely competitive.  My roommate?  Not.  At.  All.  In all truth I would like for him to win.

Other than that my relationships with people have been really awesome.  I’m feeling less guilty about cutting out the dead weight in my life and do my best to keep open positive and potentially beneficial partnerships down the road.  #10:  If at any time in your life you are unsure of what to do (like in a relationship) that’s ohk as long as you don’t stay there.  Don’t let people hang and don’t let them wait for extended periods of time.  That’s cruel.  For parents, in my situation, that’s true as well.  I am unsure of what relationship I wish to have with my parents, but at this point in my conversation with Tracy, we’re focusing on my mom who took care of me.  We struggle because we are very different people (who doesn’t have this problem) and value so many different things.   We also struggle for power because our interactions weren’t always of the typical daughter-mother type.  #11:  Don’t be afraid to say what you want even if it hurts someone.  I’m still learning how to do this.  I don’t wish to spend Christmas with them, and I have a lot of non-personal reasons I need to be back before the actual holidays.  #12:  Family exists outside of blood.  She’s my stepmom.  We struggle to communicate all the time.  My biological parents and I don’t have a very good relationship with one another.  They haven’t been there.  That’s ohk.  I’ve friends who are truly more my family than the people who took care of me (sorry mom! [referencing above mentioned Step Mom]).  #13:  You are the biggest factor in determining how you handle your life.  Create your world to suit yourself.  Let go of the toxins and the poisonous influence.

Our last topic was spared a bit on future plans.  Financially it would be smarter for me to stay in my current “city” and save like a mad man and then move out to California.  I’d hate to wait, but this is one of those times that I need to plan it out right.  #14:  Be spontaneous, not rash.  There’s a good difference there.  I simply don’t have the money.  I also would need to secure a job.  Kind of hard when you’re several states away and you work at a local pizza place.  In the meantime, I’m going to allow myself to focus on art.  The last conclusions I came to carried over from last night.  #15:  Keep educating yourself in whatever way possible.  I can’t tell you how much I learn from Stumble Upon, listening to people’s conversations (not as creepy as it sounds!), doing things, playing video games, and reading anything!  Keep yourself stimulated!

And now for the conclusion of this masterfully long post:  #16:  Live your life for you.  It’s yours.  So enjoy it! : 3

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
– Charles R. Swindoll

If you ridicule your child’s dreams, they’ll remember.
If you demean your child’s interests, they’ll remember.
Your words mean the world to your children.

If you tease your children’s passions, be cautious.Joking is fine, but using humor to brush aside precious words is harmful.

Compliments

Today I was paid many praises and compliments.

Recently I had told a friend of mine that I had thought about withdrawing from school this semester.  My stubborn hide can’t really force myself to do something that I don’t want.  He wished to convince me that the best path would be to finish all of my classes – and to this he told me of my great potential:  I have beautiful entrancing eyes (not his words but will suffice for meaning), attractive, intelligent, and relatability.  If I didn’t know before, I know now.  Or at least to some degree that I indeed have a lot of power over people.  I had forgotten that and minimized my ability to have people walk in sync to my rhythm.  I still think of withdrawing, the only downside in my mind is financial.  But hearing that, there was a strange dream revived – to build a network of contacts and to enter a political realm where I may be able to put myself to some good use for society and myself.

I slowly thought, what if I got an Associates from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and instead got a psych degree with a biology minor here at BHSU? Saying this now I feel more inclined to keep a Bachelor’s in Illustration and study in my spare time all those other subjects that I couldn’t bear to receive a grade for.  I have many psych majors for friends… smart ones too.  Maybe they’ll teach me a few things about people, their interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships and I can connect a few dots on my own.  And maybe I will write a comic about it.

Today M told me that if I wanted to be with him I would need a career because he has to think about taking care of his kid on the way.  In that moment I realized, I still loved him very much and loved that he had matured to such a point.  I hope he and I keep growing.  Maybe one day again our paths will intertwine.

Compliments are special.  My friend Steve’s made me ponder ambition and game.  It was thrilling to hear such wonderful things about myself and I am going to put it to the test with some of my other friends.  I wonder if it’s true!  A long while ago, I was taught how to give a compliment.  There’s a little trick to it:  sincerity.  If you’re not being genuine, it comes out.  And at that time while I learned how to give a compliment (still haven’t learned much on how to take one) I’d learned to give them often.  There’s something beautiful about the way people’s eyes light up when they hear the truth in your words.  Sometimes it makes their day.  Be honest:  haven’t you ever gotten a compliment you couldn’t stop thinking about?  You told your friends about?  Ones that made you smile?  So here’s a compliment that can’t be spared:  you give the best hugs.  Whoever in the world you are.  Let that empower you, like it empowers me so that we may help raise each other up.