The Struggle Of Being Sentimental

I’ve never had a good memory and I’ve never had a huge attachment to places. But if I have a token of a place or a photo of a time, then I’m able to remember the event more clearly. I collect things from important people and places I go and I’ve become very sentimental.

I have boxes of things I’ve acquired over the years. Diaries, cards, ticket stubs, birthday presents that came from people who I left in the past, a lot of bad poetry from high school. I have a hard time throwing those things away because they are probably the only things that will trigger those memories for me.

I went through some of the boxes recently and could only throw away a few things. Diaries that mostly only spoke about how my family were jerks and how I was fat, photos of people who left me with bad feelings, and trinkets that I couldn’t find an attachment to.

But there’s so much left and the problem with being sentimental isn’t that I’m going to become a hoarder one day. The problem is that these things make me miss people who have hurt me, who I don’t even like anymore. They make me miss times that I was actually miserable during. But by being so sentimental, it’s easy to forget the bad. Even when they are things that should be long gone.

It’s hard to be so sentimental, I feel oddly attached to dumb things and then feel like reaching out to people who stopped caring about me altogether. It’s a dangerous road and I’ve found it best to just keep those boxes closed.

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A Letter To My 29 Year Old Self

Dear 29 year old self,

You’re probably thinking what I’m thinking now – why 29? Why not my 30 year old self?

I think at 30 we’ll be ready to face a new chapter and age range. 29 seems like the time I’ll be freaking tf out about officially being old.

Writing this is really putting time into perspective for me. It wasn’t long ago when I wrote a letter to my 25 year old self and here I am, a few days away from 25.

Now is the time where I’m really accepting that I’m not “postgrad” anymore, I’m a full fledged adult. So I can’t imagine what will be going through my mind in four years or where I’ll be.

I will say that I know, yes, I am positive, that I will still be thriving. And I’m proud of the steps you’ve made. Whether you branched off to do something else that makes you happy or are continuing down the same path. I have a feeling things will be a lot like they are right now, only with more amazing experiences under your belt.

Please, if you’re not happy, make the changes now. You put in your work in your 20’s. It’s time to do what’s right for you.

And always remember that while the day to day can seem stressful and mundane, you HAVE to step back and look at the big picture. People love you, you have so much to live for, keep going and keep climbing the mountains to a better you.

22 year old me was wildly unsure about life, 25 year old me is almost too comfortable with where I am. You’ll never truly be happy, but live life as best you can. Time will just keep going by fast. Enjoy it. Stop hating your body and punishing yourself for things out of your control. You are enough.

Happy birthday, 29 year old self. Here’s to many more!

Love,

Me

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My Plan To Becoming More Present

My word for 2018 is present because I find myself struggling to be happy in the moments I’m in. I wrote a post a while back asking for advice and a lot of you offered really manageable tips for me to integrate in my life.

So here’s a few things I am going to try to do to become more present. I don’t want it to be September of 2018 when I realize I’m just starting to get the hang of it, it’s something I want to happen now and be able to maintain for the rest of my life.

  1. Continue with my gratitude journal.
    I got a little off track with this so I will be writing, daily, the things I am grateful for.
  2. Do one thing every day that forces me to unplug.
    I am on technology constantly. I want to spend at least a half hour every day reading, painting, cleaning, taking a bath, or doing something offline.
  3. Set an alarm on my phone that makes me stop and think about how I feel in the moment.
    I’m thinking around 3:30 every day (around the time I am crashing at work) I will have my alarm go off and I will analyze my senses and feelings. It takes just a second to remind myself to snap out of the day dreams and enjoy today.

So far, that’s my plan! I think incorporating little things every day will help me get into a more present mindset on a large scale. I’m open to more tips if you’d like to leave them in the comments!

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tarcio/

My Word For 2018

My word for 2017 was enough. You can read more about it here. And it may have taken me a whole 365 days to really grasp the word, but I did it. I don’t feel guilty on lazy days, I don’t drain all my energy for other people, I’ve had enough of that and I’m not going back. Though I could work on my self-esteem and thinking that I look good enough, I’m happy with the progress I made.

My word for 2018 is presence.

I truly struggle with being okay with where I am. I’m constantly thinking of my next steps. Where are we traveling to next? When will I have to start looking for a new apartment? Where is my next move? How long should I stay at this job? I think of everything except the present.

Because I also get caught up in the past a lot. Why did I do that? How do I get past all of this regret from high school and college? Why did I trust him? What made me ignore important signs? Why couldn’t I have been better?

But what I really need to do is ask myself questions about what’s happening right. now. How do I feel today? What can I do today that will help me feel more present? What have I accomplished today? Can I do better today or make an effort to do better tomorrow? Am I appreciating what I have? Do I need to relax or do I need to go out?

I want to be fully committed to where I am right now instead of searching for happiness down the road. I don’t want to work for the weekend and live just to die. I want every day to be special, even if it’s just me rocking out in the car and taking time to myself or as big as going on an awesome vacation.

In 2018 I will be present. What’s your word for this year?

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/

What Is It Like To Live In The Present?

I know a lot of people who live in the past. They are always talking about high school memories, posting #tbts, and generally just getting by on the life they already lived.

I tend to live in the future. I always want to know my next step, where I can go next, and planning for the years to come. I have a laundry list of things I want to do and I have to wait for time to pass to do them.

It makes living in the present really hard. I’m almost always worried about what’s to come. I enjoy moments, but day to day is nearly impossible. Every day is just a day closer to something I actually want to be doing. It makes life very tedious and repetitive.

What’s it like to live in the present? I know it’s not easy for most people, they either live in the past or in the future (like me) – or they do a mix of both! Which I am certainly guilty of sometimes. What is it like to enjoy the day you’re in without worrying about what you’ve done in the past and what you have yet to do in the future?

Some things that have helped to ground me are making lists of what I am grateful for that day. Another is making the most out of every day – but that really isn’t easy to do when you’re overtired from work and just want to lay in bed.

Do you have any tips on living in the present?

hc
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Accepting The Past

I feel like I have been through so many versions of myself. I was once shy, cold, and moody in high school. I was a push-over and boyfriend obsessed my first half of college. I was reckless and couldn’t be caught when I graduated college. And now I am settled, finding new parts of myself, and trying to fit in the old parts.

But the old parts make me cringe. Parts of my life that I used to be so fond of now seem so embarrassing. I have a hard time accepting my past, so I try to just repress the memories. Some of them were good, some were bad, but my over-thinking self really only remembers the times when I felt the worst.

Accepting the past is hard because dwelling on mistakes is easy. Even though I’ve moved on in life and those experiences got me to where I was, I still kind of wish they never happened.

I drank too much sometimes, kissed the wrong guys in the wrong places at the wrong time. I turned down opportunities to make other people happy. I held on to friends who were never good to me. And it all still hurts like fresh wounds when I let the thoughts creep back.

How do I accept the past when the bad times simply blind me? I want to enjoy the life I’ve lived, not regret it.

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Everything Feels Temporary

Most of us are so horrible at living in the present. We are either full steam ahead into the future, not even living in our own moments. Or we are falling into the arms of our pasts over and over and over again.

We miss the day to day precious aspects of life. And because we’re so focused on the future or the past or anything but the present – it feels like everything is temporary.

When you move into a new apartment you say “oh I’ll only be here for a year.” When you start a new relationship you say “I’m not sure how long it’ll last.” When you start a new job you say “I think this will be good for the next couple of years.” When you get into a slump you say “I’m sure I’ll be better next week.”

But life isn’t temporary. Living, loving, working, feeling – these are not temporary things. So you can’t dismiss them now because you think everything will be different in the future. The future is distant and you only have so much control over your life.

The only thing you can control is what you make of that life. How you turn that apartment into a home. How you turn that relationship into a marriage. How you excel at your new job. How you improve your mood because you’re not waiting on someone to do it for you.

If you keep viewing things as temporary, those permanent things you’re yearning for will never actually come to be. Any thing that you want there to be more of in the future needs to not be considered temporary. Make it a constant and put the work into it. It’s okay if some things are just for now, as long as you don’t want them for later.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/warzauwynn/