journal entry no. 19

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some words from that first night in Copenhagen, when the jet lag was so bad I couldn’t sleep at all |some words from a song I really like

Xo, Rachel

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sand

august

we laid on the beach and looked at a million stars
i’m still finding sand everywhere
my hair, my socks, my bed, our bathroom floor
but it’s over
all i have now is sand
and those cheap sunglasses
because you took back your sweater
and you drove home
i hope you take your shoes off one day
and a bit of sand falls out
and you think about that last night

 

january

sometimes i still find sand in strange places
in my carpet, at the bottom of my backpack
but it’s from a different beach

i’ve had this one in my drafts for way too long

xo, rachel

post-emo

I used to be a pretty miserable human being. I know this. Honestly, it feels pretty strange to not be sad all of the time.

I was talking to a friend recently and they were explaining how they almost feel guilty for being happy. Like it’s not who they are. And I have been feeling that, too. Who am I if I’m not feeling depressed? I spent so many formative years hating my life that I never planned for the future. All of the sudden things are looking bright and I don’t know what to do with myself. I never picked up any lasting hobbies, being sad was the only thing that I was. But now I don’t even have that. And everyone else already knows who they are.

It’s like I got so used to the rain that I kept an umbrella above my head everywhere I went, and never even bothered looking up to see that the sun had come out. You know?

Who am I without the rain cloud that followed me around?

My friend said it was kind of freeing, though, to be a blank slate at 22 – to be able to curate your life. It’s true. I guess it’s never too late to be the person you want to be, or whatever.

Another friend and I were talking about how great it is to no longer be a teenager. Oh how sweet it is, my friends. The sweetest. I used to think the whole “it gets better” line was crap, but it’s true. It gets better! So much better! You’ll have the freedom to be yourself and do what you want and mess stuff up and it’ll be magical!

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So what if I didn’t start kayaking when I was 13? I’m starting now. And I don’t care that most people my age that like kayaking are already way better than me. You gotta start somewhere.

I’m just glad the rain subsided for a little while.

Xo, Rachel

 

 

hung up

apologies for the lil hiatus – here’s a thing I wrote in the spring

i’ve kept all these people as options
never letting them walk out of my life fully
in my mind i’ve kept them
hung on the back of a door
by the collars of their shirts
in case i ever need someone

i say i don’t want to play games
as i deal the cards out

i never commit to any one
for fear of losing the others
but by doing that
i don’t truly have anyone
just parts of people
spread over cities i don’t live in
and won’t visit
because it’s not like we are dating
right?

but i don’t say anything
i simply keep them hung up,
and stay hung up on them

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xo, rachel

failing (and other things i’m not doing)

friday, april 28th

so I’ve moved back home and I’m trying really hard to look at the bright side – free rent, familiar faces, the freedom of time. but it’s hard, because being here at all, it feels like a failure. it’s like all the progress, everything I’ve done in the past 2 years was for nothing, because I’m back where I started.

the suburbs are melting my brain, sucking my motivation, molding me into the mundane I once was.

Thinking back to 2 months ago, when I was suddenly having to make a decision between staying in BC though I had nowhere to live, or going home, it felt like the actual end of the world. Realistically, I could have easily found a place in somewhere and got on with it, but I chose to go home. I got on that plane in Vancouver filled with a sense of dread that I couldn’t shake. For once, I wasn’t excited to be returning to my family, and I didn’t know why. I just felt like I was making the wrong move.

I was afraid that I’d go home and get stuck there, fall into some kind of black hole and become the sad sack I had been 2 years before. I couldn’t stop feeling like if I just never moved back, I’d be OK. That it was the place that made me that way, not my brain. BC was my home, I didn’t want to abandon it just as I was getting comfortable.

Fast forward to now, I can see that being here wasn’t as life-ruining as I thought it would be. Yeah, I spent the first couple of weeks complaining about the suburbs, and the weather, and the people and everything, but I’ve genuinely had a great time. I’ve been surrounded by love and have had so much time to work on myself. I’ve been doing yoga, going for long walks, laying out in the sun, reading for the first time in a while, and appreciating the place I am in. I even went for a few bike rides, which has been something I though I hated since I was probably 10 years old. The dread in my heart has been replaced with a sense of peace that I haven’t felt in quite some time. It was all my mindset, duh. This place is still home, after all.

Basically, I’m leaving on Friday and I almost don’t want to. But it’s time for a new adventure (plus I haven’t worked in like 3 months and I’m supposed to be an adult). Onwards and upwards!!!!!

Xo, Rachel

Let’s Talk: Part 4

Ok hi! This is the first time I’m posting this on my Real Blog and not my Tumblr so I’m a bit nervous but here we go!!

I’ve been posting little updates/pep talks for myself on Bell’s Let’s Talk day every year for the past 4 years and somehow I still get my thoughts all jumbled and forget to include probably important stuff even though I am trying here. Bare with me.

So, we all know that mental health is important. And we all know that it’s so hushed. And we all know that half the battle is feeling like you’re alone in your experiences. We know this, yet we gloss over things because we are afraid? I don’t know why we do this.

Personally, last year was a bit of a mess. I have come to realise though that life is supposed to be up and down and you have to ride it out. I spent my summer in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and I felt horrible. I also spent some time doing nothing in the middle of nowhere, feeling great. I definitely felt more depressed this year as opposed to the previous year being fuelled by anxiety, these things seem to come in waves. I also started feeling very spaced out, or at least noticing that I was feeling spaced out, which was sweet. Overall, it was a year of recognising my feelings and trying my best to accept them instead of pushing them away. See, for a long time I couldn’t draw the line between “I’m upset because of my brain” and “I’m upset because something upsetting has happened” and that was frustrating. I kept going back and forth with “well, would a normal person be mad about this or is is just me? Am I in a depressive state or am I just sad because I miss my family? What’s the difference?” and if you’ve ever had that inner debate, I have no advice, but I’m right here with you.

Last year my goal was to make my blog a place where people could go to have their feelings validated by sharing more and more of the things I tend to keep to myself. Whether that be the things that make me anxious or the way it feels to be in a depressive low or even the way I feel when I feel great! I’ve just been having human emotions out here in the open and nobody has come at me with a pitchfork. I’ve gotten feedback from people that I don’t know, and even some people that I hadn’t spoken to in years, because they read my words and found a kind of comfort. That really kept me going through all of October and even now – it’s nice to know that even though sometimes I feel like I’m sending these thoughts into a void, they occasionally reach other humans.

It makes me want to write more and talk more and text my friends to tell them that I don’t feel alright and tell them why and have them tell me they have felt the same, or simply send me heart emojis. I don’t know. I’ve been trying to be a more empathetic person instead of a disconnected robot person and it’s been working out quite well.

Talking helps. So much. More than yoga and more than drinking water and more than hurting yourself.

Use your words, friends.

Xo, Rachel

year in review, part 2

Because it rhymes.

It’s been a year. Kind of a weird one, as a matter-of-fact. I think we can all agree on that. Here are some more Life Lessons from me, a person Totally Qualified to give advice after learning things The Hard Way (quite possibly the only way to learn things).

#1 – don’t force it
I spent a lot of these past few months frustrated that I couldn’t seem to write anything, that I didn’t have the same desire to write as I had in the spring. Truth is, I needed a break. I needed to do other things for a while. I shouldn’t have expected myself to be able to write 3 pages a day for the rest of my life. I don’t have it in me. This goes for everything – if it’s supposed to be fun but you’re putting so much pressure on yourself that it feels like a burden, let it go. Step away from it for a moment.

#2 – go
Cheryl Strayed said that wanting to go is reason enough, and I completely agree. I’ve had 4 different jobs this year, because suddenly the urge to go hit me like a ton of bricks, and I went with it. I trust that gut instinct – if I feel like I need to go, I go.
And if I want you to go, I’ll let you know. Or I’ll try to be subtle and tell you that you can’t sleep in my bed because you snore. And I’ll keep telling you that until you get the hint (if you’re reading this, you really did snore, and I really couldn’t sleep. I also didn’t want to kiss you anymore). Not quite the same as my family’s “go before you go” rule, but both are valid.

#3 – it’s No Big Deal
I currently work at an art studio that does a lot of classes for kids as well as birthday parties and at the start of each one, the intructor lists off our 4 rules: No Running, Be Nice, No Big Deal, and Have Fun. Oh, how smashed we’d all be if we drank every time a coworker said “oh, it’s no big deal” on a Saturday afternoon. But it’s so true! Much like the whole don’t worry, be happy motto, No Big Deal is our daily mantra. You got paint on your face? It’s no big deal. Your mug didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to? No big deal. You showed up late to the party? NO BIG DEAL. It might seem silly, but most things in life are not a big deal. Nearly everything is fixable, and if it’s not, it’s really no big deal. You’ll get over it.

#4 – be kind
One of the rules at work, and something said quite often during a yoga practice. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, be kind to your surroundings. Be thankful for your body, getting you where you need to be, for the sunshine and the rain, the places you can go, the people you have met. Be nice to the people closest to you and be nice to strangers. Practice self-love.

#5 – stop making things worse for yourself
exhibit a- don’t listen to sad music all of the time
Your mood depends heavily on what you’re listening to, so choose songs that make you want to dance and sing and get out of bed in the morning. Limit the amount of times you listen to Holocene to like, 3 times a day.
exhibit b – no caffeine after 6pm
I was thinking the other day about how I had so much trouble sleeping for years and years, and I’d always attributed it to my poor mental health but looking closer, I had been drinking like 7 cups of caffeinated tea per day and barely eating. And I wondered why I was so anxious and high strung all that time? Of course you won’t be able to sleep if you drink black tea at 10pm to “calm yourself down before bed”. Hindsight is 20/20!!!!

#6 – most places have non-dairy milk
Self-explanatory.

#7 – you need other people
I included this one last year and I’m including it again because sometimes I forget.

#8 – it’ll make a good story
If ever you’re on the fence about saying yes to an experience, remember that actually going to Christmas dinner at your boss’ parents house makes a better story than just being invited. Trust me.

#9 – being stingy pays off
All those months of eating oatmeal instead of cereal because water is free, drinking only tea and tap water, living with people you don’t like because the rent is low, and reading the same books over and over could mean being able to fly home or escape to the mountains for a few weeks. Ya never know.

#10 – make something
Anything.

Lastly, if someone tells you that they love you, don’t tell them that they don’t. Even if you don’t believe them. Even if your insecurity tells you that it can’t be true. Validate other people’s feelings. This is something I am learning from experience, after doing the wrong thing. Don’t ever tell someone that what they feel is wrong. And on the other side, if you feel something, don’t be afraid to tell someone. It doesn’t have to be a romantic thing, it could be anything. Let yourself have emotions.

Let’s not beat ourselves up about the forgotten resolutions, because as I said in my last post, it’s our expectations that end up hurting us in the end, not the people or the places or the events occurring. Instead think about all of the things that you didn’t plan for – all of the things you did that weren’t on your list of resolutions. Chances are, you accomplished loads of things this year that you didn’t even know were in the cards. Give yourself a break.

Oh, and like, get wrecked.

Xo, Rachel