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I am borderline obsessed with this website called Thought Catalog. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. Today I read a post that I felt compelled to put on here, mainly because it explains a lot of my absence from writing lately.


It couldn't be more on the money. But it also got me thinking, along with a few other things going on, about being happy and sharing that happiness. I think that people find it easy to bond over the sad things in life. Even the comical things in life are, generally speaking, sad things that we make light of. Look at any stand-up comedian and examine their material: it's usually poking fun at some odd and embarrassing parent, string of bad dates, or complaints about their spouse or boss. Why is it easier for us to talk about our negative life experiences than our positive ones?

I read a lot of blogs every day, and I'm finding- in retrospect- that most of the ones I seek out are inspiring to me on some level. One has pointers on how to navigate through tough times, one girl has my dream closet, another "Tumbls" about outdoorsy adventures that she goes on. I guess it would make sense to say that most of what I seek out is something legitimately uplifting. I'm not sure, then, why I feel so uninspired to write when my life is going well. Shouldn't I have so many positive things to discuss? I feel like all of my posts when I've felt somewhat inspiring have come out of pains that I was working through at the time, so I guess when those pains are passed over I feel like I land in new territory as far as inspirational material. Perhaps this can be a new starting point for my blog... not only finding inspiration from positivism but transcribing that inspiration into words that people want to read. Lets face it- no one wants to read about how much I adore my boyfriend or friends. There's a fine line between sharing and bragging, and I don't want to cross it.

It says in the Thought Catalog entry that people who are happy are more inspired to "do," rather than "react." I totally agree. This is why people become suspicious of the validity of a person's happiness when they over share information to assure people just how "well things are going." There should be a lot of "do" entries in my blog if things are going well. There's a lot of fun things that I have been lucky enough to get to be involved in as of late, and it may be fun to share them as well as give recommendation on how other people can check them out. I guess I should just stop being vague and start writing, no?

It's almost the end of October, which is CRAZY to me. I mean, legitimately crazy. Summer went way too far into the Fall (as expected thanks to living in Southern California), and I'm really excited for it to finally start to cool down. I wrote an article for NiteGuide with a laundry list of activities for Halloween. The best of which, in my opinion, was to hit up Universal Studios Halloween Haunt. If you live in SoCal, this is what you need to do for Halloween. I've gone every year for the past 5 or so years and it is absolutely the most fun thing you can do in the area. Universal Studios is an actual movie studio lot, which means that their make up artists are the ones creating these monsters for the big screen. Needless to say, their costumes are the gnarliest ones out there. They pull out all the stops with their haunt and their mazes and I'd be lying if I said I haven't hidden behind groups of sketched-out tourists in hopes that they would get chased instead of me! The way to do it is to get a VIP Pass, which is about $30 more per ticket but totally worth it. You don't wait in any lines for more than 15 minutes and every year that I've done it I have gotten to go through every maze/on every ride instead of only having time for like 5 things since I'm in each line for 2 hours (please don't check my math on that... I am not there for 10 hour spans of time). Costumes are not allowed, so don't worry about that. And if you need to liquid courage yourself up before the night starts, there's a restaurant in front of the entrance with some awesome drinks (and food, if you're into that sort of thing). Don't miss the Bill and Ted Adventure show because it's hilarious and totally rips on every pop culture thing from the past year... and as positive as I'm trying to be- few things are better than seeing a woman dressed as Britney Spears with a shaved head and carrying her baby by one foot while dancing. I'm just sayin'.

Hopefully you can check this out and if you do, let me know what you thought of it here in a comment! More fun posts to follow. And be patient with me, writing about stuff other than "feelings" is a newbie for me and I'm trying to make it fun without sounding like they're all sponsored posts. In the mean time, check out this video I've had on repeat for like two weeks:



photo credit: unknown

The past year of my life has been deeply personal for me, as is the matter of what I am choosing to write about today. But I guess that if you consider yourself a writer, it's that deeply personal stuff that really exposes you and therefore becomes the epitome of "raw" material, right?

A little over a year ago, I made some pretty big changes. Changes that I didn't expect to be as huge or to last as long as they did- but that also contributed to making them so impactful in the grand scheme of things. I had been dating someone with whom things, I thought, were headed down a good path. We had talked a lot about "the future" of our relationship, and so I felt comfortable that things would progress in that direction. I was living in the same apartment that I'd lived in for nearly half a decade where I had become the most permanent fixture in a revolving door of roommates. I don't know how to explain that without making it sound like I considered myself some kind of "Queen Bee," but I will just say that when you know you're a permanent fixture in a house where people seem to pass through, you put a great amount of effort into maintaining a consistency in the type of environment that has become a Home to you.

Within a matter of one month, however, both of the things that I had found a lot of my stability in were quickly dismissed. I guess they were both things that I should have seen coming... but I hate change and have a tendency to avoid seeing it's inevitability sometimes. I had been having some issues with the people I lived with, as well as issues in my relationship, that nearly simultaneously came to a head. I wont go into detail because it's not good to dwell on the past, but in both scenarios I had decided that it was time to make my exit. So I packed up and moved to a new house, and I went forward into what would be the longest time I had been single in almost a decade.

As for the living situation, I moved in with a friend and her 4 year-old daughter. The things that had been issues for me in my previous house were no longer problems, and I was sublimely happy for that. Everything about living with them was great, but there is something to be said about living in someone else's home. Going from a place that felt like mine into somewhere that I felt I was more of a renter was surprisingly tough on me. I think it also had a lot to do with the fact that I was nearing 30 and yet living in a room for rent, much like a college kid trying to get by. It's nothing against my friend or her daughter, but it began to make me feel kind of depressed to be as old as I was and not having a space that was at least equally mine the way I had before. The only room that I felt I had really made my own was my bedroom, and that was really hard for me to feel like an adult while living in a space that was someone else's. If that makes any kind of sense. But as with everything else that seems "hard" in life, it became a really good thing for me. I had to learn to let go of some personality traits that I had acquired from living in a house with new people passing through all of the time. Things were no longer on my watch, not that they ever SHOULD have been in a house with other people, and I had to let go of a lot of the control issues that I think I acquired from my previous living situation. You try telling a 4 year-old that she should be cleaning up after herself better! She's a kid, and with that comes the reality that sometimes, you just have to let it go. And so one of the hard parts of the past year of my life became a huge blessing in disguise for me. Now facing my last week in that house, I can't help but feel the pangs of sadness when I think about not being able to see my friend and her daughter whenever I come home. It honestly breaks my heart, looking toward how much I am going to miss that kid, in particular.

A year ago, I went through one of the more dramatic break-ups of my life. As much time as I've spent trying to figure out why it was so tough on me, I honestly can't. It's nothing against the person, it's just that we weren't together for a long enough time to where I should have felt the upset that I did. I also think that as time went on, it became harder because it was a long time before I subconsciously allowed myself to meet someone new. For one thing (the most important thing), I wanted to make sure I was ready to date again. I hadn't had a good solid "single streak" since I was 20, and being alone had become something foreign to me. That wasn't intentional, sometimes that's just what happens. But as time went on, I realized that I'd never allowed myself to fully heal from any of the relationships I'd had. No matter who breaks up with who- it's important to sit with that and absorb it in order to learn from what went wrong. I'd never taken the time to learn who I'd become as my own person and not a part of a relationship. In a lot of ways, it was a revelation. In a lot more ways- it was incredibly lonely. And hard. And confusing. But I learned to try things on my own; going to movies and concerts alone. Going to museums alone. Learning new crafts and skills. I learned to take the time to decide my opinion on things from the latest action movie to spirituality. I learned to trust my gut and to have a firm stand on the things that are important to ME, and not to someone else.

Spending that time alone was- especially in addition to my different living arrangements- really hard for me. I spent a lot of time feeling really sad and feeling pretty lost. I watched Eat, Pray, Love a LOT. I knew that I was trying to become something better than I was, but a lot of that time felt like I was walking through a dark tunnel and only knew the way I had come- and it often crossed my mind to head back that way because I was certain that I had made a wrong turn somewhere. Shouldn't trying to be better... FEEL better? The thing that kept me from turning back was that knowledge that before all great change comes great adversity. I had faith that if I just stuck with it, things would eventually be alright.

In the mean time, I worked on me. I worked hard to come to peace with the idea that my life was never, ever going to be perfect. I learned to keep the small things small, and to stop letting them snowball in my mind and become mountains they never needed to become. I learned to use self-control to see my world, and that my happiness comes more from the WAY I see things- and less from WHAT I see. It took this year of feeling pretty defeated to finally break down in front of my Mother and allow her, for the first time since I was probably in diapers, to comfort me and tell me that "everything was going to be alright." And you know what? Everything is. I wont talk much about my upcoming endeavors, because I know there's a chance that they may be fleeting. But life is good. Great, really. And I think that the emotional struggle I've had for the past year contributes to my gratitude. More importantly than any of that, I think, is the comfort I take in knowing that no matter what- I've totally got this. The emotional tools I've developed over the past 12 months have helped me realize that even if it all fell apart tomorrow (although I hope it wont!), everything is going to be fine. I know how to look at my life in such a way, now, that I can readjust my attitudes about the less-than-perfect parts. And it was well worth wandering in the dark for a little while in order to discover that.