Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

You know, it’s frustrating – I have this terrible habit of thinking I’ll be consistent, mentioning it, and then failing utterly.

Welcome back to the Book Boulevard. How’ve you been? Thanks for stopping by – I know it’s been a while. But everyone needs a break every now and then, and I’m here to explain why I needed one. As you may have guessed from the title, my life has seen a lot of changes as of late.

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Beautiful People #4 — Random

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Good day, travelers! Today, I’ll be chatting a little bit about one of my characters. Every month, Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In host Beautiful People, which is a creative writing link-up intended to help writers develop their characters by asking a series of 10 questions. I put up a poll on Twitter to see whom you guys wanted to learn more about, and you voted for Mateo from Kadabra Way.

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Love, Part I

 

 

Love is a connection we form with people, creatures, and objects. It’s an attachment. Often, it goes with history and a willingness to sacrifice for the object of that love. In all that connection, in all that focus on an other, we can forget to love ourselves. Self-love is just as important—and it is not inherently selfish.

I’ve seen this a lot. People who give and do and help until there isn’t anything left. We worry that if we take care of ourselves, we’re being selfish. We’re taking away from what we could offer to others. I don’t buy into that (intellectually, at least).

The system I buy into is one of needs and wants. In this system, needs are almost always above wants. Selfish, in my opinion, is when you put your wants before the needs of others. Putting your needs first is not selfish. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Satisfying your needs improves your ability to be your best self, and your best self can better help others than the self that is malnourished, sleep-deprived, emotionally exhausted, overworked, etc. So, please take care of yourself. Here are a few examples of how to do that.

  • Set a timer.

Generally speaking, prolonged sitting is not good for you, so try setting a timer for 20, 30, or 45 minutes. When that timer goes off, stand up, stretch. Go get something to drink (because hydration is also very important!). Get a snack. Go to the bathroom. And then go back to work—breaks are good for your body and for your mind.

  • Be aware of how you talk about/to yourself.

I’m terrible.

This is awful – why would anyone care?

I’m just taking up space.

I’m a bother and they’re too nice to tell me to beat it.

Do you ever think like that? I do. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I’m not going to tell you to stop—to change your attitude—to just be more positive! because I find that harmful and discouraging (sometimes, you just can’t, or you feel awful anyway).

I do advise that you be aware of this self-degrading language when you use it—be it on social media, in conversation, in thought. If you catch yourself, reconsider saying/thinking it. The more you say it on good days, the more ammunition you have on bad days. How can you adjust your phrasing to give yourself more credit?

One of my favorite examples is saying “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry.” Instead of apologizing for tardiness, thank people for their patience. Instead of apologizing for ranting, rambling, or poor quality, thank people for listening or reading. It’s difficult, especially at first, but it helps—and it can make people feel good in the process.

  • Know yourself.

… and avoid triggers/toxic people.

A friend of mine does not get along with her mom. She still loves her mom, but she does her best to minimize contact with her. She knows that her mom doesn’t make her feel good.

Know who and what are not a positive force in your life. You don’t have to surround yourself with people and things that don’t make you happy. Trees drop their leaves in autumn because they don’t offer enough nutrition for what they take up. Pruning your branches is a form of self-love—you’re giving yourself the chance to heal, to grow, to live.

Know what makes you happy, and do that. Know what makes your life unnecessarily stressful and difficult (without being sufficiently rewarding)—and thinking about cutting it.

Please, travelers, take care of yourselves. Give yourself permission to be your best self this year. If you need to talk, let me know. I’m here for you. And remember: it isn’t selfish to take care of your needs.

 

Safe travels,

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On the Road Again

 

Welcome back, travelers. It’s been a long time. Thank you for your patience.

2016 was an interesting year for me–and doubtless for you, too. As a resident of the US, I’ve been seeing a lot of emotional turmoil. A lot of people are upset. A lot of tension built over the past year and a half, and something was bound to give eventually. Maybe it finally did. Talk of -isms and diversity has exploded on my Twitter feed in a way I’ve never seen before. There seems to be outrage on all sides. It isn’t really something I want to get into right here and right now, but these events have had a major influence on me and what I would like to share with you. In a way, I suppose it’s a mission statement.

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That is my motto. It is the mantra I’m trying to live, and it is the one I plan to blog by.

Be creative.  To me, this means trying. Writing is my primary outlet, and I choose to continue my journey in pursuing it, despite past disappointments and failures. It is my creative passion. I also strive to be creative in the way I think, in the way I approach and attempt to solve problems, and in the way I live my life. This means avoiding ruts. This means change–and being okay with that change, something with which I struggle. It also means seeking out other avenues of expression–like dancing and coloring. It means living life and trying new things–new to me, at least.

Be critical. This does not mean to be negative. This means to acknowledge and seek to understand problematic representation, to address -isms, to reflect, to analyze. This is to think critically about the world I live in, the way in which I and others communicate, and the impact I have on this life. I want to become more aware and informed, to better support where I can, to ask questions, and to really listen to the answers.

Be compassionate. My greatest wish is to have a positive impact on the lives of those around me. I seek to be a force of good in this world. Right now, there is a lot of pain in it, but much of it is also outside of my circle of influence. My influence may thus be small, but that’s okay, because I can–and will–do good with it. I am here. I am here to listen, to learn, to encourage. I am here for you.

I feel this song so much–and I will be there for you.

Be creative. Be critical. Be compassionate.

These are my values and goals. They are what I hope to apply to this blog — to my social media — to my writing — to my interactions with others — and to my life in general. It is my mantra. It is how I plan to make this coming year a good one, because I know I at least have that. I have the power to try, and I have to believe that I have the power to make that difference for myself.

I believe you have that power, too, so how will you make 2017 a good year for yourself?

Safe travels,

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3 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Your heart’s racing and you’re blinking at the clock every couple of minutes. You have that list of things you need to do—whether it be in your head or on paper or in a calendar or in a planner—and you’re incredibly conscious of just how many things are on that list.

How on Earth are you going to get all of it done? Will you get it all done? Heart’s racing, head’s pounding, maybe you’re trembling a little.

I like to call this feeling overwhelmed.

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