My dream last night:

My mom and best friend came to my college campus for a big dinner, I kept thinking I saw my ex boyfriend (Ethan) through the small windows in the doors, but I just thought I was losing it. Then two Ethans walked in and came over to me; one was wearing a plaid shirt, jeans, and a smile, the other was dressed in a leather jacket, tighter jeans, a beanie, and he seemed kind of sad. Then they said, “guess which is really me” in unison. I took a second to look at them before deciding that it must be the one in the plaid shirt. They revealed that the other “Ethan” was just some look alike guy.

Then we went over to my current boyfriend’s house, but he lives over 2,000 miles away in real life and was a lot closer in this dream, I have never been to his house but it felt so familiar in the dream as if I’d been there a thousand times. We talked to a butler (which even though they are must richer than I am, they do not have) and his dad. When we left the house Ethan went on a rant about what an asshole my boyfriend’s dad is and how he can’t believe they made their money from foreclosing on other people’s homes (a problem I have with it because my house was foreclosed on a few years ago).

When we got back in my dorm Ethan lectured me about how I needed to find the right guy for me, he said that I needed someone who understood me and who I really felt I was in love with. I asked if he was planning to stick around and he informed me that he had applied to my school because he wanted to see me again, then he kissed me.

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There are always signs.

We All Start Somewhere

My parents always told me that I was an easy kid. I didn’t cry very much or draw on the walls, I rarely questioned their authority. There are so many stories of insightful things I said and did, things like declaring that JFK Jr. and his girlfriend had died before the rest of the world knew for sure at only four years old from the back seat of my mom’s car. I’ve always been very comfortable around my parents, with them I’m a comedian, an outspoken teenager who enjoys deep conversations and sharing her opinion. The problem is that, even from a young age, I was always fairly shy. The first problems I actually noticed were troubles offering my thoughts at family functions, while everyone else was so comfortable speaking out, I also realized that it was extremely difficult for me to make phone calls or be alone with even my family members (other than my mom, dad, and one of my grandmas- who was a third parent to me). The phone call thing started to scare me before all other issues arose. When I was younger my parents expected me to call my grandma (my dad’s mom) who I was not that close with. It was so difficult for me that I would pretend to forget. I also find it nerve-wracking to call and order pizza or even go through drive-thrus still to this day, at 18 years old. My dad often gets upset with me when I am unable to call my grandmother, my aunts/uncles, and my cousins for him when we are in the car or I need to ask them a question. I always try to get my parents to make such calls for me, but now that I’m in college it’s more difficult than ever to have that problem dealt with.

There were plenty of sings in addition to my phone call phobias that could have acted as warning signs for worse problems to come. As I was reading Emily Ford’s book What You Must Think of Me, I identified with several of the things she said she wasn’t able to do. For example, she states, “I no longer knew how high to raise my hand in class, and asking to excuse myself to use the bathroom seemed like the most embarrassing task in the world.” When I read this passage to one of my friends, he said, “No one would judge you for peeing.” This statement is such a big deal for me because it proves that these intense fears I have are really in my head, that’s exactly what Social Anxiety is. My fears are excessive, and I realize that, but I can not control them. They’re real fears for me because I’m not “just shy” as my father would say, I’m not “anti-social” I have a real problem, and I need real help.

I could go on and on about all of the pitfalls I had as a child, all of things in my life that could have warned me of the bigger issues that came with my anxiety issues, but I won’t bore you with all of that.

An Update

Instead I’ll leave you with the fact that I emailed my university’s counseling center, because of my fears regarding phone calls, and was told that I have to call in order to set up an appointment. This seems strange to me because my original email included that fact that I’d really like to schedule an appointment regarding anxiety issues that I have, and was told that I must make the phone call. Why? Why is a phone call the only means of securing help for my problems? Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to write down exactly what it is I wish to say, rehearse it a few times, and then give it my best shot. One way or another I will get help, it’s time. Wish me luck!

-xoxo

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The start of something beautiful.

Background 

I’ve decided that I want to document something going on in my life right now and it seems as though this magnificent website may be the perfect forum to do so. Since I do not know any of you in real life and do not give out my URL, or the fact that I maintain a blog, to those around me, you wouldn’t know some of my personal struggles. This is largely because I don’t tell people about my issues and my thoughts very often because I don’t like to burden others, but the last few sentences I’ve typed will all make more sense momentarily.

A few months ago I began letting my mom in on the concerns I’d been having, mostly because she could sense that something was up (mom’s are good at that kind of thing). I’ve since been in constant contact with her about my problems, keeping her up to date about how I’m feeling and venting to her when necessary. Lately it seems that she’s the only person who can calm me down. Yesterday my father came to campus to visit me, bringing three book my mom had given him to bring to me. I knew these books were on their way, but a large part of me doubted that they would make any difference.

The Book

Late last night I decided to pick up one of the books entitled What You Must Think of Me: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience With Social Anxiety Disorder. That’s a mouthful. Anyway, I read one chapter in a hotel bed with my dad one bed over snoring and the sounds of Dave Chapelle’s Killing Them Softly playing in the background.

Today, along with a few more chapters, brought me the validation I’ve been craving for over a year. Within chapter two I found pieces of myself which dumbfounded me, I began to feel like wow, I’m really not alone. In one particular passage the author, Emily Ford, says, “I fretted over still child-like dress and my flyaway hair. I was mortified if I made errors in class. Read aloud became a nightmare, and I was consumed with dread for hours before each reading group.” There were several other passages like this one, including a list of symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder and a translation of normal response to problems, with some self-consciousness, to how someone with Social Anxiety may react.

This is why I have decided to start sharing my story, kind of like how Emily was able to in her book. Though her book was written after getting help and being able to look back, my story will be of my process. I’ve been feeling alone and upset for way too long to go through something like this by myself.

First Things First

For a long time I’ve had symptoms of this anxiety, finally finding a word on the internet to explain these feelings a few months ago. I am planning to talk with someone at our on campus counseling center hopefully I can make the call tomorrow, though phone calls have always been quite a challenge for me.

I’ll make another post later tonight or tomorrow as an introduction to some of things I’ve experienced, as Emily did. Also, if anyone out there is feeling as if their anxiety over social situations of any kind is really affecting their lives and well-being, I strongly recommend checking out this book. I’ve on chapter five right now and have already decided that I need to follow through with seeking help. It’s time for me, maybe it’s time for one of you as well.

 

-xoxo

 

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The Path Less Traveled By.

I’ve never quite understood the people who cross streets on the crosswalk.

I always watch these individuals as they go out of their way and take the path of all the people before them, they look both ways, and they stay within the confines of those white lines. It’s so silly to me that someone would go so far out of their way just to follow a rule made by society, a law with little merit, especially on a street like this one. The road is virtually untraveled, making me wonder why the crosswalk exists in the first place. Who declared that they must paint white stripes across this particular road? Who thought that human beings were so stupid that they could not be trusted to cross this one lane side street without being mowed down by a car? I felt a crocked smile beam across my face as yet another person took the long way from the building she came out of to the crosswalk.

In moments like these I simply ask myself if everyone in the country can be put in one of two categories: those who must cross the crosswalk, and those who choose to take their own path.

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Back to the drawing board.

Yesterday I was in the middle of writing a post that looked very different from my attitude this morning. Lately I’ve been feeling scared about my future and I’ve been worrying a lot about my past, especially in the sense that my relationships usually don’t work out well for me; even in friendships people tend to walk away from me like I never meant a thing to them. Anyway to give you a feel for what I had been writing, this is what I had so far: 

 

“We ask 18 year olds to make huge decisions about their futures when they had to raise their hand to go to the bathroom just yesterday.

I’m always seeing things like this posted all over Facebook and I start to wonder why? Why are we forced out of high school into deciding exactly what we want to do with the rest of our lives? I frankly am not ready to decide or, honestly, to grow up this quickly. I miss the days when all I had to do was get in my car and drive to one building for a few hours. My classes were all pretty basic, they weren’t too challenging, and I was comfortable for the most part. College is better than high school in the sense that I’m getting a taste of the “real world” while still maintaining the safety net that my parents are two short hours (but some days it feels worlds) away. My problems in high school were mainly boys, some short papers, a few tests, and occasionally bitchy girls, but for the most part I didn’t have to make huge life-altering decisions. Now that I’m about to finish my freshman year of college, I find myself wondering what I even want out of life.

I won’t lie to you guys, I’m scared. I don’t know exactly what career I want… right now I’m a Political Science major, but I’m not sure that I want to do this for the rest of my life. All I know is that someday I want to be successful enough to give my children a good life and to be completely finically independent. I never want to have to rely on someone else to get me by. Lately I’ve just been wondering if I have a place in this world, or if maybe my time here has run its course. I know these aren’t the purist or most positive of thoughts, but I sometimes contemplate whether I’d rather have people remember me as an 18 year old girl making her way through college with a lot of potential or as a lonely, poverty stricken old woman. Which image do I want my death to give off, you know? I would hate to say that I’m suicidal, but it just strikes me that maybe that solution is a better one. I just want to be successful and happy, I want to be doing something with my life. Right now I’m basically wasting time and money in college trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want to do, I’m spending my days stressing about assignments to which I’m not sure if I care about the final grades anyway. Just a month prior to wrapping up the year I have an A or a B in all of my four classes, but for what? This week I’m supposed to go see my advisor and talk about scheduling classes for next year, but how am I supposed to do that when I’m not sure what I want to do with my future? It’s an awful lot of pressure to put on an 18 year old girl, don’t you think?

I’m stressing out, really badly. The worst part of it all is that in high school when I was stressed out I would go talk to my mom and she would make everything a little better… now I’m forced to Facetime her when things get difficult in my life. Two hours seemed like the perfect distance away form home….”

 

And that’s all I had before I got a text from my mom that said, “Come let us in.” Who knew that four little words could change everything? Who knew that four words could make your attitude do a complete 180? And, the best part of it all, was that I think she read my mind two hours in advance because I was literally typing that I miss having her around in person when she got to my residence hall. So I got my coat and ran down stairs, out into the parking, and she stepped out of her car. I hugged her so tightly and never really wanted to let go. Then I saw my best friend in the backseat, even better. They had traveled two hours to surprise me because I have been so stressed about the future and all of the papers I have due in the next month. 

They arrived around 2:30 and, until my test at 5:10, we had nothing to do except drive around, stop at a CVS for paper plates and a few other small items, and hangout. Then my mom dropped me off at the right building for my test and they waited for me to be done, which only took until 5:20. After class they took me to dinner and, in the bathroom when we were alone, my mom hugged me and told me to stop worrying so much about the future. She said that all I need to do is focus on my life semester-by-semester and class-by-class. I’m not sure why, but just hearing her say that made me feel so much better about everything. After dinner, we ate some cake that Jami had prepared (it was delicious) and headed back to my dorm. Much to my surprise instead of just dropping me off, they came in for awhile to hangout with my roommate and me. It was so much fun having them here, it was as if this building became a whole new place. 

When it finally came time for them to leave, I wasn’t sad about it, it was okay. I hugged them both and began to study for the government test I have today but, instead of freaking out about it, I sliced it in to small, manageable chunks of time. I studied for 30 minutes, took a shower, and then studied for 30 more. After that it was finally time for bed so I laid down and fell asleep pretty quickly. This morning I woke up hours before my alarm and am actually typing this before it goes off. I still have a little over an hour (: I’m just in such a great mood today because my mom was right, I just need to take everything one day at a time, I can’t let my load get too heavy and I can’t allow myself to freak out quite so much.

So if you’re by some miracle still reading this post, go out there and conquer the world one step at a time. You can do anything as long as you go about it the right way. Stop letting yourself get so worked up by putting everything you have to do in a giant pile and just looking at it, pick a few things off of the pile and start to do them. Only focus on one item at a time, and remember that it’s better to get some of it done than none of it. That’s my advice for the day. 

-xoxo

 

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Tom Delonge – the most underrated songwriter of the 21st Century

Originally posted on faithinloveandmusic:

When you think of all of the best songwriters in the world, who springs to mind? According to an article in Rolling Stone , readers chose songwriters such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan. While these are all completely true and substantiated, they are perhaps a tad obvious. Not only that, but they are artists from a time gone by. Sure, their music and legacies have lived on for decades, but what about now?

Whilst the popular music of the 21st century has generally proved to be lyrically uninspiring, it is important to remember the music that sits quietly, unappreciated whilst the noise of the charts gathers attention in the foreground. Which leads me back to my point: who are the greatest modern, current songwriters?

In my mind, it is Tom Delonge of Blink-182.

Controversial I know, but let me explain. Think back to 1994. I myself was…

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Lovin’ You Is Fun.

I’ve written a lot of short stories lately, most of which are me trying to work through my own feelings without revealing them outright. Now I’d like to take a moment to actually post about me. No characters, just a good old fashion venting session.

I named this post “Lovin’ You Is Fun” after the Easton Corbin song; you may be familiar with it if you listen to country. This was my song with my ex-boyfriend; he didn’t like country, but he learned the words in only a few days and would sing along whenever it was on in my truck. I will always treasure the moments we sang that or James Blunts’ You’re Beautiful together because, yes, he was my boyfriend, but, more importantly, he was my best friend. He was a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on, he was always up for a drive and always down for a movie night, he made me happy when I thought I never would be again, he made me believe in love. That boy will always be who I compare new men in my life to. So I chose this title for a reason. It is quite fitting to the subject of this post; however it isn’t really the song I want to incorporate in this post today.

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When you talk about tomorrow
I’m not sure about today
When you tell me that you love me
What am I supposed to say?

Sometimes I don’t feel
The same way as you feel

Words like forever
They scare the shit out of me
Maybe I’m afraid of commitment
Maybe you’re too distracted to see that

Sometimes I don’t feel
The same way as you feel

-Mark Hoppus, blink-182

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Just a passage, keep it in your heart.

She was dating someone new, but perhaps she didn’t want to be. Maybe, deep down inside, she knew that he wasn’t right for her, but maybe she just couldn’t admit it to herself. The truth was that she couldn’t bare to break his heart because she knew exactly what that felt like; she didn’t want to be the reason for his tears, but she didn’t want to let him hold her back. He loved her, that much was obvious, but she just wanted to feel passion that had never really been there between them. She loved him back, but wasn’t sure that she had fallen in love and, while she enjoyed spending time with him, she was growing tired of their routine. She never wanted to hurt him, but she knew in her heart that the time was coming. He had done everything right and always knew the perfect thing to say, but she never felt a spark with him. He was a good friend, she would always love him she just couldn’t help but wonder if that would ever be enough. At 18 years old, didn’t she deserve more? Didn’t she deserve adventure? Didn’t she deserve to find a love so crazy and deep and passionate that hollywood would be jealous?

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The day the wonderland collapsed around Alice

Alice suddenly found herself smiling at a text message and looked up to see if anyone had noticed; she took solace that, for once, the fact that no one paid her much attention had actually shown benefits. She had been texting a boy for a few days, knowing that it would likely never go anywhere and strangely not knowing whether or not she wanted it to. It had been about a week since Joel had talked to her, but she wasn’t going to let it bring her down. He was with Madison and had never really shown much interest, so she attempted to brush him off by texting this new boy. She finally allowed herself to stop thinking about his perfect black hair, sexy lip ring, and the way he laughed whenever she tried to make a joke, most people didn’t find her as funny as he seemed to and she enjoyed that attention. She typed back, dreading the fact that once he fell asleep she would go right back to reminiscing about the strong friendship she’d developed with Joel, she’d replay the memories in her head for the hundredth time, she’d remember his kiss with Madison the very day she’d planned to tell him how she felt, and, worst of all, she’d remember the way her tears tasted that evening. It was going to be a long night. 

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