Life is a bowl of fruit
I used to pucker up like fruit that had rotted to its core, too late to save from dying. My coping mechanisms involved how I could shrink my body to fit the mold of society, her words following me. I dropped out of college and she asked me how it felt, to throw my life away like that. Now, I would rip that sentiment to shreds; I would spew confidence. Lips curled, I can spit fire language like a rapper who's career needs lifting.
I'm no victim, and I'm not sorry about anything.
I think of my past in snippets, like a black and white, old movie that cuts to new scenes rather haphazardly. I struggled with being myself - the girl who cut herself down so frequently couldn't really, surely, at her core, also be me?
So I picked up a pen and cut deeper than I ever had before. On the page, I could be free to be just myself, in its entirety.
But now, it's holding me back - this feeling of over-sharing. I struggle with transparency. I was shut down for so long, both physically and mentally.
I needed to scream, the pain seeping out of me. Writing has offered me an outlet I never knew I needed.
Everything I do, everything I write, I do in spite of my upbringing.
But I struggle with the fear of someone watching. I can't keep recklessly airing my dirty laundry.
At my core, I am a writer. Sharing my experiences, or at least writing about them, may have saved my sanity. It has also made me better. I can organize my thoughts, make them easier to comprehend for others. I just hope it's not too much information.
I have come a long way. I think of my old therapist, her office. How there was a watercolor painting of a bowl of fruit. I thought - is this supposed to represent life? How, when we preserve ourselves, we don't die?
Rotten fruit doesn't survive, but I sure as hell willed myself back from certain demise.
I’m Debt Free.
I have come to realize that im no longer in debt to the unsolicited gift that i've recieved. This so called "gift" of life has cost me so much, yet I know for a fact that every penny that was once owed, has been paid.
I know this because life has been, and always will be this extremely costly and emotionally taxing thing. The thing that drains my shiny pink piggy bank of things like joy and innocence.
I guess I couldn't recognize how much I owed on a gift that was given to me, and not asked for.
But at least I know that my debt is paid because there is this lingering feeling that maybe, or surely...
life could be a poor investment after all.
Home. I've always wanted to go home. Realizing I'm the last living member of what I was given as a family and unwanted by them as long as I have memories stored, I know that family in the real sense of it, I'll never have. I wanted a family so bad. To have ppl that wanted to see me coming. To have people that took my side when things went wrong for me. Ppl to give me advice truly meant for my benefit, not on how to act to appease a others family. Of course I still don't have that. But I have had the kind of life that has accepted it. And I have a wonderful family now even though in reality it's not mine. I don't have that fear for the 1st time. Then, 10 months ago they found my son dead. Something happened to me. I can feel it. I know it's there but I can't tell what it is. It's destroyed me. When I saw him laying there. I .. I'm not the same now. I want to live, laugh and love. But at the same time I don't. I lost my brother few months after. My job couple months before. My father in law passed 2 months ago and now we live in another town with my mother in law. I'm struggling. Justice was my son. My wife or anyone here never met him. So they don't know. And if I break down it'll only cause them to be upset and I'm already nothing more than a burden. I stay to myself. I make little spots in the garage or back porch to sit. If I go inside to try and have some contact with them they pause the t.v. as if I'm interrupting whatever they're watching. Even though I've mentioned that was rude and personally I would rather rewind my show in 2023 as opposed to making them feel that way. But I feel safe, for now. I hope I can neat this, whatever it is. I'll only be as valuable as what I can bring to the table. At least I know
It's inspiring to reflect on how far I've come in my journey. A few years ago, I found myself ensnared in a web of habits that were dragging down my well-being: pornography consumption, frequent masturbation, and smoking. These behaviors felt like towering barriers, monopolizing my thoughts, sapping my energy, and leaving me in a constant state of guilt and disconnection.
Recognizing that these habits would spoil my life I confided in a friend and joined recovery groups. Others' stories fueled my determination. Over time, healthier habits replaced the old, with mindfulness easing cravings. Breaking free seemed distant, but each small victory weakened their grip.
Challenges emerged, akin to learning math, but setbacks meant progress. Slowly, cravings faded, and healthier choices solidified into lasting habits, reshaping life.
Fast-forward to the present, and I'm confronted with a fresh challenge: making and saving money. This endeavour parallels the struggle of conquering perplexing academic subjects, necessitating strategic planning and unwavering commitment.
With the same tenacity that empowered me to overcome my former habits, I've delved into learning about budgeting, investing, and uncovering avenues for bolstering my income. Much like tackling a complex math equation, understanding the intricacies of financial stability demands patience and a hunger for knowledge.
Additionally, my daily practices underwent a transformation: incorporating fasting, meditation, physical activity, and reading. These rituals promote equilibrium and lucidity, fostering not only physical fitness and emotional health but also intellectual advancement.
Succeeding encompasses more than just giving up negative behaviors; it stands as evidence of one's internal resilience. Every victory emits optimism, extending beyond the initial challenges. Recognizing advancement and fostering personal growth portrays a lively and satisfying tomorrow.
Finally I believe that life is nothing without struggles and problems, this is what makes life amazing. cheers to the struggles of life and overcoming the challenges that life throws at us.
The challenges of life
Right now my own personal challenges are to de clutter my tiny little house so that I can focus more on my art and work instead of worrying about what needs to be accomplished before I get to my art work. What hinders me now isn’t mental issues on letting go of things, now I’m ready to let go, but physically I’m not able to move about anymore. The challenges I faced when I was young were about handling the lives of sweet little ones, but that came easy as time moved forward.
Now after kids and dogs and horses, my body has decided to stiffen up and shut down on me. Pain is a constant reminder of my rough and tumble cowboy days, but I don’t regret them. It just gives me fond memories of all I went through to get here. I went through a lot.
I used to think I couldn’t handle having more than one child at a time.
Then I had two!
I used to think I couldn’t handle more than two children at a time, God laughed and gave me another so I had three.
Then I thought Lord I couldn’t handle anymore children!
In Gods infinite humor and wisdom he smiled and gave me one more, number four!
Four sons all in a row, all good boys how I love them so!
If only God had seen fit to give me a horse before he gave me children, maybe I would’ve been a better mother. Everything I ever learned about being a better mother, I learned from my horses. If more people took lessons from horses, I guarantee there would be much more harmony in the world!
Our beginning was tough, life wasn’t easy, but lessons learned.
I have a terribly ordinary confession: I struggle with balancing all the priorities in my life competing for share of my time and attention. This is the universal challenge transcending culture, economic status, and time. The poor man has to sacrifice time and experiences with his family to put food on the table. The rich man has to sacrifice the very same to maintain his extravagant success. We all end up pinching pennies and giving up time with the ones we love in one way or another.
The worst part? It is inherent to the human condition that this struggle follows us wherever we go and however old we grow. We are cursed to feel like we’ve met our limits during the gradual ascent to adulthood, every transient friendship and misguided goal pecking away at our hearts and welcoming self-doubt. I remember when finishing classwork and going out with friends was a challenge to balance. That was before.
Then there’s after: young adulthood in a new city where I don’t know anyone, a chain of jobs in a soul-sucking career, a relationship I want to nurture and not burn down as I burn out. More bills than ever, more expensive groceries than ever. They just keep going up, too. Meanwhile, there are no raises or promotions on the horizon at work. We’re just expected to keep slogging along with a growing mountain of expenses and a smile plastered on our faces. We should be grateful to be exploited as our productivity continues rising exponentially while wages stagnate. As costs rise, our real wages are actually going down. No one told me about this part before.
Before, I was a chronic people-pleaser who was worried about holding onto bad friends. I allowed the worst people I’ve met to get close to me because it wasn’t until after that I learned I was allowed to say no to people in my life. I stopped letting life happen to me. Now, I live like a hermit with my long-term partner. I don’t have to worry about bad friends getting close to me just to try to burn my life down anymore. I don’t have to worry about any friends anymore, really. It’s a lonely but safe existence.
Instead, I throw myself into my work. I focus on climbing the ladder and trying to catapult myself toward success and financial stability. It’s a different thing to balance. I’m still learning how not to be a people-pleaser and how to set boundaries at work, but when work takes over your life, it does so differently than a bad friend. Workaholism is its own bad influence that reinforces itself by tying itself to your livelihood in every way. If you underperform, you can lose your home, healthcare, and everything you own in life. If you force yourself to overachieve, then you trick yourself into believing you’ll never be the one on the chopping block.
My priorities shift over the years. I imagine they’ll continue to shift as long as I keep growing old. I intend to keep one thing the same by keeping my partner at the very top of my list. No matter what changes in life occur below, we’ll get through it all by continuing to put each other first.
Tailored to withstand the storm that you were.
Laid broken, confused to witness the hate in your heart.
The hands that beat me down, were the hands that picked me up.
The challenge was trying to figure out how to avoid all this hurt.
Paranoid that I’d never escape your inflicted torture.
Shards of glass catching light, that’s all you’ll see glimmer—
Because I don't have hope anymore.
The challenge was trying to believe I had the strength to leave.
Which I did & you tried so hard to make me concede.
I fought to pick myself up & carry the little bit I had left of me.
Convincing myself, I didn't deserve that life or your brutality.
The challenge is, I’m reminded that I’ll never be the person I use to be.
Once you feel hate, it takes over & lives within you, for eternity.
Tears trickling down my face,
as glimmers of hope remind me
of what I overcame.
The challenge is, finding it possible forgive you for your evil deeds.
Tailored to withstand any storm or shortcomings.
Laid broken, I‘m not—
For I will never allow someone to clip my wings.
The hands that pick me up, now hold me lovingly.
The challenge is, ill never forget what you’ve done to me— but, damnit my life is good, finally.
You and This Moment
Relationships are hard, even if you think in the moment that they're good. There's a lot of a sacrifice involved when people are intertwined with one another in love and go through life with the each other hand in hand. Of course, relationships hold good moments, maybe even eye-opening revelations about both yourself or your partner as you work with one another to achieve what you hope is perfect love.
But the opportunity of love can breed the opportunity for heartbreak.
I've been in a handful of relationships so far, two of which have meant everything to me in those times, and both of which have ended in what we all try to avoid in love. The break up.
I am a month fresh out of what I thought would be my end-all-be-all woman, but it didn't end how I hoped it would. I won't go into the nitty-gritty, but there are important things to take note of that may apply to many relationships, and you may even be dealing with it now.
Mental health is something that a lot of people don't want to accept is an issue, rather it's the world around them that makes them act in specific ways in specific moments. More people than you think are struggling with mental health as a result of past experiences, trauma, and so many other factors that plague them wherever they go. Yes, it's a bad thing, but is it a stigmatic bad thing?
Mental health, especially with men, is seen as something one can work through on their own as they are told to quietly recite to themselves "be a man" when trials occurs. As an early twenty-something man myself, I can assure you that you don't have to rely on solely yourself to work towards happiness. I'm in therapy and taking anti-depressants. I have grown my connections and found people to talk to about my problems, and these people will call me out on my bullshit. Having a "yes-man" as a friend is not helping you grow. I'm on pills to help me throughout the day...am I any less of a man for doing all this?
My journey into depression, anxiety, and the trek to escape this began in the form of my first girlfriend, who I loved more than anything. When we separated due to unfortunate circumstances, I thought I would never feel anything nearly as horrible as the emotions I felt in the years that followed. I fell into depression, distanced myself, and did nothing to fix the state I was in. Why would I? I was a young man, I could do it myself.
For two years I was depressed and only took in girlfriends for the sake of just having one, which was unfair to both me and the person I saw as "girlfriend" and not the actual person. I was trying to fill a hole in my heart, and clearly, it wasn't healthy.
But then my latest ex-girlfriend appeared, and I saw her as more than that. Here she was, the woman who encouraged me to find therapy and work on myself because she too, was dealing with mental health issues. Here she was, the woman who I saw a future with, and cared for more than anything.
I started my mental health journey, but she didn't. She took pills she knew didn't work, and did nothing to help or mentality, nor did she take advice from others. I am not here to bash her, so I'm refraining from doing so. Essentially, her lack of care towards herself ended up having a negative effect on me, and all the sudden I seemed to be back tracking my mental health journey. Call it whatever you want, manipulative, toxic, whatever, it was what I received in various ways. It was getting bad, but I couldn't bear to break it off.
But I wouldn't fall into that same depression I went through the first time. I am worth more than that, and I know that.
So I ended the relationship, and while those first few days were hard, The weeks since the time of me sitting in this cafe and typing this have been some of the most revealing and relieving time of my life.
Hard times will come, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it. At the end of the day, as my father says, it's not what you go through, it's how you go through it. My first relationship made me depressed because I chose to be sad and wallow in my own pain, but this time, I refuse to let myself fall into that pit again.
Mental health is no joke, and even if you don't want to accept it, there's always the possibility you may be dealing with it. My advice, don't shy away from it, don't see it as a hinderance or something to be ashamed of. Take it in stride, and make the moves to change. Utilize the people around you, friends, family, even the internet if that is what comforts you. You are worth it, and when something or someone comes up that says otherwise, you'll know what you need to do even if it's the hard path in the moment.
You're worth more than what your mind tells you. After all, you're a man. You're a woman. You're anything and everything in-between and outside of those societal concepts. You're you, and you're worth taking care of.
The Blessing of Insignificance
I used to have anxiety about school. A lot more anxiety than the average teenager, which caused me to dread school every morning. In those months of worry and dread, I thought it would never end and that I would be forced to suffer for many more years. Since then I have taken steps to get my anxiety under control and remove myself from the traditional school setting and started feeling back in control of my education. Currently, I am feeling upset about family issues that I have no control over. And I know that. Now that I have been through a lot of worry and experience, I know this will pass and I will heal eventually. To sum this all up, I‘ve realized that worrying is the most pointless thing that a human can do in their life. I have a tiny life, an unknown name only spoken by family and around 2 friends, and a face unrecognizable by strangers, yet in the moment of worry, I always believe that that one little mistake that I make will cause the Earth to to start spinning in the other direction. Writing about it even makes me feel silly, because I go on to think about it, being an insignificant person in society is the biggest blessing that has been given to me. We all have room to mess up, we have room to be wrong, and we have the space to always be perfect. That is because, all of us normal people, don’t matter. And I don’t mean that in a sense that our lives don’t matter, but rather our decisions. I’m not the president, or senate, or any other weird part of the government, so who would care about the decisions that I make. I find comfort in that and tend to worry less about things now. :)