Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Is it truly worth it?" Questions of the mind

Hello my lovelies!

I feel like I need to talk about unhappiness today. It has been a while since I last felt very unhappy. I know I have said in my previous posts that I wasn't always happy living abroad, but this is something different. This is the unhappiness that just drains you of every any energy you have left.

I realize that this isn't a positive post, because unhappiness is not usually what people want to talk about, or hear about. And because it is ignored so heavily, I sometimes feel like it is a must to share it. Otherwise, how will you move on from it and seek happiness? So many people talk about closure, but not many encourage talking about unhappiness. The source of so many people's pain is unhappiness, or hatred, or envy, or whatever comes to mind. Why do we not channel these feelings, and open up about it? Why do we shun those who feel the need to venture into this emotion? Sometimes I believe that angst is what keeps us from talking about it. The fear of losing ourselves in those feelings again. I have seen what true unhappiness can do to someone. I was one of those people. I knew exactly what was going on. I saw my life turn into something I didn't like, but instead of doing something about it, I sat back and let it take over. About 3 years ago I started losing myself. My zest for life was diminishing, and my idea of the life I wanted had disappeared. I stopped caring about my school (and eventually dropped out), I wore the same outfit every day, and acted like this new lifestyle was an acceptable one. Some part of me knew that I was wrong, and wanted to change, but I was stuck in a life where there was a lousy routine, the same crowd of people with the same lifestyle. I had pretty much given myself up to this. My mom noticed it right away, and started pushing me to get out of it. And soon after it was the rest of the family. One of the main reasons why I moved to Holland was because of this. Because my lifestyle there would have ruined me. Do you know what it feels like to look back now, and see that I have done nothing for myself in the 2 years before moving out here? It is a horrible feeling. So many of my old classmates have already graduated, created a new life for themselves where they don't have to lean on their parents for help. I hate it that my parents still have to take care of me. I hate it that I can't get a job and support myself. The disappointment that I have for myself is overwhelming sometimes. Of course I don't let it take over my day, but it does flood my mind from time to time.
I had this image when I was 8 years old, about how I would be at 24. I remember it clearly, just me and my friends sitting in the trunk of one of my friend's mother's station wagon, discussing our futures like it was right around the corner. I had this vision of having my degree, a good job, my own place to live, a car in the driveway and maybe a partner. No problems, no worries. Just me having a normal adult life. If I knew at 8 years old that I would be living in a house with two strangers, no car, no degree, and too many worries, I would most likely be disappointed and confused. The reason why I wanted to talk about unhappiness is because it is a powerful emotion. People do not realize this, or they do not want to realize this. Our brains are programmed to see the negative before the positive. This is why it is so difficult for us sometimes to think positive. Like anyone with unhappiness would tell you: "It is easier said than done." It is easier to just simply say these words, but when the act of actually doing so is in front of you, the mind immediately goes to the negative. It immediately tells you that you can't, and that it is not worth it, or may only help for a minute and then you're stuck in your awful thoughts again. The mind is a dangerous and powerful thing. It can bring the best people down. It can break you to the point where self help is useless. And the worst part is that we have the ability to control it. We can train our brains to counteract negative thoughts. We can conjure up happy thoughts and healthy activities to sustain these thoughts. But it is all by the strength of ourselves. The power we have inside us, that little voice that screams the truth at us. That is what, I believe, can save us from ourselves. Now, don't get me wrong. This little voice can also scream out bad things, and this is where rationality kicks in. Is it worth not going out of the house? Is it worth not facing our partner after a fight? Is it worth being afraid? I notice I may be rambling, but these are the nights where my mind starts racing, and I start asking myself so many questions. I can read books about psychology, and how the mind acts and reacts to every day things. I can follow a lecture about human behavior, and how it varies among people and why. But the mind is never satisfied. The mind needs more once it has been opened up. The moment you start seeing life as it truly is, is the moment you know that one lifetime is not enough. That there is too much we have yet to learn but not enough time to do so. I will probably read this tomorrow and think "nah, what a bunch of crap", but carpe diem! Seize the day, seize the knowledge that you so secretly desire. I know I can keep typing, and telling and sharing, but... But what? There is no answer to this, no way of finishing that sentence. Life is a strange thing, emotions are even stranger.

Unhappiness is the fault of many things. Sometimes it takes a crazy mind race to set this off. All I want to say is just go for what you think you would never go for. Do whatever scares you. I never thought I would actually move to Holland, because it was always a dream, a fantasy. And I did it. I was scared sh*tless, I'm not going to lie, but I did it. I did it for myself, because I knew that I deserved it, and owed it to my 8 year old self. My great-grandfather used to always say that age was just a number, and I try to remind myself of this everyday. So what if I sit in a class with a bunch of 18 year olds? I have the upper hand, because I have already gone through the whole college thing, and I have somewhat more life experience than them. This isn't a challenge for me anymore. This is just something else I have to do in life to get to where I want to be.

Anyway, I have come to many realizations in the past few months, and I felt like this post was necessary. Right now though, at this very moment, my mind feels like a balloon that has slowly deflated and is now flat. School is starting in less than a week, and if something worth telling happens, you will definitely read about it. I hope this post means something to someone, and sheds light on a bit of life.

Have a good day, or night, wherever you are. And be safe!
Nini

Friday, July 25, 2014

Times change, Things change, People change

Hi everyone!

It has been over a month, I believe, since I last wrote. It has been a crazy few weeks, with moving house and all. It is currently 10:56 pm, and I just feel like I need to talk about this. It has been bothering me for a while now, pretty much since I came home to Curacao. I am in Curacao at the moment for vacation, and it is great! I love seeing my family everyday, and getting to talk to my mom and my dad and spend time with my brother. But, lately, I feel like everyone I knew from high school and uni don't feel interested in meeting up with me. I know it's silly, because everyone goes their separate ways after graduating high school, but it just makes me feel less important. I probably sound sad, but I just wanted to put it out here. I know there are more people that feel the same way. Obviously things have changed, and I understand that completely, but sometimes I wish the change wasn't that big. I have my best friend here, who happened to have flown the same day as me. But she came with her boyfriend, who (even though he's been here several times) hasn't seen every part of Curacao. So, they have their plans and they do fun stuff together. Also, because she lives in Belgium, she has a whole other clique of friends. I have met all of them on the few times I have visited her, and they seem like fun people. What bothers me a little is that one of the friends is also from Curacao, and so they have become very close and there are so many things I have missed out on. They know about each other's current lives, while I always have to hear about it later on. It may sound selfish, but I enjoyed how it was before everything changed. I miss not having to check up on people to see whether they are in the mood to go do something, or make sure that their partners are comfortable, or whatever. I miss just calling them and making a plan then and there to go out, or do something fun. Now, I feel like I can't go out anymore, because there is always someone that is too exhausted from laying on the beach the whole day, or being out with friends. I guess the reason why I feel like this, is because I don't have anyone else to talk about this to. I have my brother and my cousins, but it isn't the same as having a sister or a girl cousin. My ideal vacation would be to explore my own island, and get to see things and places I haven't been yet. But I can't do any of these by myself. I have been by myself for 11 months, and it sucks. Honestly, I feel more alone now than I did in Heerlen (where I was alone pretty much everyday). It just sucks. It hasn't been an easy month for me, and I was hoping that being here would take my mind off of it. I'll give you an update on how it has been before I came to Curacao, the whole moving day disaster.

I was meant to move on July 1st, but I had gotten permission to move a few days early. It was great, and so I started planning my things, reserving a moving truck, packing up everything, disassembling my bed and all. So, it is officially moving day, and I make my way to the buss stop. I stand there like an idiot for 20 minutes. The bus never came, so I checked on my phone to see what other buses where riding the same route. I start walking towards the other buss stop, and (just my luck) the bus I am meant to take drives past me. I already knew that I was going to miss it, and indeed I did. Feeling like crap, walking back to the first buss stop, I get this feeling like it is not going to be the best of days. (My gut was telling me, and, boy, was it right!) I finally get to the car rental place, wait in line for God know how long, and when I finally get my turn, they tell me they can't rent me the truck because my license doesn't indicate that I've had it for more than 2 years. I swear I could have ripped the man's head off. I tried explaining the man that I have had my license for over 5 years, and that the licenses in Curacao expire every 5 years, opposed to the 15 years in Holland. He said he still couldn't rent it out to me, because they have to follow the rules, and there is no way I could prove him wrong. I walked out that place so pissed off and clueless that I started crying. Can you imagine sitting at a buss stop crying like a little kid because you couldn't have something that everyone else have no problem getting? A simple moving truck! I had to haul everything I owned by myself by foot, by bicycle, and by bus. It was the test of my life!! The one lesson I did not expect having to experience so soon. I learned, in those two days of hell, how strong I was as a person. I cried countless times, and got frustrated way too much, but I did it. And, yet, after all that, I didn't feel all that happy. Whenever I would share this story with others, they would laugh at me like it was funny. Like moving a freaking bed frame and the mattress through a park and passed strangers was a joke. I can say that I hit one of the biggest challenges of my life withing those couple of days. I can say that I am capable of anything, because what other people find funny, I found a lesson well learned. Anyway, even after that I had the next steps of getting my butt to Curacao. I had planned every route, every train to the airport, making sure that I got there on time. Thankfully, that went well. I made it to the airport in one piece, and the flight was long as hell, but I made it. Now I just have to make the best of it, even though there isn't much to do here. And everyone I know has a partner, so either way I will always be third wheeling it. Great! Third wheel! I should make it a profession. I'm always third wheeling. But I digress!

Anyway, I just wanted to let it out. It has been bothering me and eating at me for a while, and the only way I know I can be completely honest about it is if I write about it. So that is what I am doing, and sharing with you guys. I hope I don't come off douchey, or sad. Sometimes you just feel like a little blob who needs some tlc. Oh well, I'll talk to you again some other time. Probably when I'm back in Holland. I think then I'll be able to tell you about how the vacation went, and what I ended up filling my time with.

It is always great sharing things with you, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Just remember that when life gets rough, there is always a way to beat it. Stay safe, and see you later!
Nini

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adventure packed in a two-week window

Hi guys!!

I just wanted to write something short today, because I have been busy making plans to move to a new house, and also planning my trip back to Curacao. It has been hectic and stressful, and I am nowhere near done! Don't you just wish things could be super easy, where you would just click a button, and everything was done? This week I have to pack up all my stuff, take my bed apart, and try not to freak out at the idea of me driving on dutch roads. I am so scared to drive here in Holland, even though I've had my license since 2007. There are so many rules and regulations, and I have to watch out for pedestrians and bikers, and children on bicycles and elders on bicycles. Oh god! I am so close to freaking myself out again! Haha! But I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be fine. It is going to be a challenge, but I know that this won't be as terrifying as my trip to Curacao.

I have been planning my train routes for days, and almost everyday something changes. I have friends who will also be going to Curacao on the same day, but they live in Belgium. We are trying to see whether there is a train where we can meet up with each other. Honestly, that is what stresses me out the most. Trying to see which train stops where and at what time, and if it one of the trains that I can also take. Today, especially, it was crazy. My friend was super worried that I would miss the train, because she has experienced it all before. When stepping from one train to another in Germany, it can be pretty hard if you have no knowledge of the German language. Luckily, the terminal where my train stops is the one I have to stay at to catch the next one. But! I kept checking to see if everything was well planned, and I remember reading the message from my friend saying that the train we are taking doesn't permit international train tickets. So I had to jump back into research mode, and try to figure out how in the world I was going to fix that problem. I went on websites of Holland, Germany and Belgium, and of those three only Belgium gave the option of buying the ticket online, but only if I buy the ticket from Aachen to the airport. This means that I will need to buy one ticket to go from Heerlen to Aachen, and another completely different ticket to go from Aachen to the airport. It doesn't sound like a challenge, but when you sit for days, almost every night, looking at and comparing the trains and the hours and the stops, you get pretty exhausted. I have so many papers next to my laptop with all the routes, and stops and times written on them. I know that I will be checking everyday just to make sure nothing changes, and writing everything down again if I have to. I'm the type of person that can't relax until everything is planned out completely with plan A's, B's and C's. And because this is the first time I have to handle everything on my own, it adds to the pressure to get it all right. I never thought that I would have to do so much just to get to an airport. My initial plan was to have my uncle bring me, but his partner has a job near Groningen around the time I leave (and the car belongs to him and he will obviously need it). Thankfully, I asked them early, and this gave me enough time to find all the info that I needed. One thing I can say, though, is that it is extremely important to get all your info in time and research the trains and the stops, because if I hadn't looked closely at the train I have to take to the airport, and the fact that the ticket is different, I probably would have wasted money and gotten a fine the day of.

So, my lovelies, all I have to say is do your research, and ask someone who has done it before to help you out. Trust me, you will thank yourself once the day arrives. It will drive you crazy for days on end, and you will have realizations in the middle of the night that you didn't check something, or that you forgot to make a back-up plan for your plan B, or whatever crosses the mind. At this point, I just can't wait to have it all over with. I probably won't be relaxed until I get my butt on the plane.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't a short blog post, but I had to get it out there. It has been on my mind for a few weeks now to write about it, and I finally had to chance to sit down and put it out there for you to read. I hope that this helps someone who is also going through the same thing. I know I'm not the only one who stresses out and makes an abundant amount of schedules. But, okay, I am going to stop here and say "till next time", cuz I gotta get up and eat something! Haha!

See you later, guys! Remember to always be yourself, and stand for what you believe in!
Lots of love,
Nini

Thursday, May 15, 2014

People-pleasing, my take on it

Hello my lovelies!

It feels like forever, and it kind of has been. Seeing that my last post was in March doesn't sit well with me, but I just haven't been feeling it lately. I have been going through some issues, regarding a feud between two people I care about deeply. I'm not going to get into it, because it is between them. I just happened to have gotten all the details, and pushed to give my opinion on it (which I honestly did not want to do, because I knew that one of them would get upset - which happened). Either way, today I want to talk about people-pleasing, and if it is ever a good thing.

As a kid, I didn't have this problem. I never felt obligated to please anyone, and just did whatever I felt was right. My parents, for as long as I can remember, have always told me to follow my heart and listen to my gut. And I have tried to apply that to my everyday life. Of course there have been times where I didn't listen to my gut and ended up regretting it, or feeling really guilty about it. (Eventually everyone has to learn from their mistakes, right?) The reason I want to talk about this topic today, is because I have been feeling like I keep doing things to please others, and because if this I haven't been the happiest. I recently decided to stop eating junk food for the whole of May, but because of this whole thing between my friends, I broke my own promise. And it sucks! Why should other people's problems become an issue for me, especially when it concerns my health and diet? Honestly, wouldn't life be easier if people's problems were just kept between the ones who are involved? Seriously, yes! C'est la vie. We can't do much about how others are. We can, luckily, adjust our lives to how we like it, even if it means kicking a few people out (over time of course, I'm not recommending anyone to just exclude someone overnight. That would be cruel!)

Okay, but let's get back to my main topic. I became aware of my doing about 3 years ago. I knew I did it before, but it wasn't noticeable. Now, on the other hand, I feel like I need to restrain myself from doing what others want from me. It all comes down to the fact that I have changed a little since I moved to Holland. I can't help it, change from living in a foreign country is inevitable. It happens to a lot of people. Okay, this is where I want to be completely honest and just spill the beans about the issue between my 2 friends, but because it is not my story to tell, I will respect them and leave it out of my blog. But what I can say is that ever since it happened, I feel like I need to adjust my ways for each person, and I am getting sick of it. If they can't accept me for who I have become, then they can go wash their asses (sorry papa, but it just fit in with what i wanted to say haha! You'd say it too, I bet.) I am who I am. I have my opinions on what happened between them, and they might not agree, but who cares? It happened, it's in the past, and everyone needs to get over it.

About three years ago, I started noticing that I pleased others just so they would like me. I think it came from my best friend moving abroad and me not really having anyone left to talk to. Nothing really felt the same anymore, and I was scared that if I did or say something wrong, that people wouldn't want to be around me. The funny thing is that on the days where I wasn't pleasing anyone, people would say I'm different, and very quiet. Goes to show how fast people judge you on your behavior. It got so bad at one point that I would think so much before saying something, and predetermine in my head what the person would say, that I would end up not saying anything. I still do this sometimes, but I'm learning to let go. I would dress differently, or get really lazy with my things, or just act differently just so they wouldn't think I'm weird. Ugh, the things people do for acceptance! Before I came to Holland, my people pleasing had gotten less. About two weeks before I had to leave, I started getting anxiety attacks. I couldn't sleep, or eat, or drink. I felt horrible, and my best friend was not supportive. She would tell me to go see a doctor because what I was feeling, she did not consider normal. I didn't take her advice. Instead what I did, I went to a woman, Cheraldine Osepa. She reads people, and helps them with the use of holistic activities. I sat with her, and my mom, and we talked about an hour about everything that I was feeling. At the end, she told me that what I was feeling was normal, and that I shouldn't worry. She taught me an exercise that I still use on my anxious days. I believe I explained this exercise in one of my previous posts. Anyways, I came out from that session feeling lighter, and like my eyes had finally opened. I started seeing the true colors of many people around me. Unfortunately, I lost this realization about a few months ago. I am someone who gives chances way too much, usually to people who have disappointed me countless times (despite the fact of how long or short our friendship was). Whenever someone is mean to me, or shares her opinion is a harsh manner, I cave a little and go into my shell. I'm kind of like a turtle. When hit with confrontation, depends from who, I shy away and become very careful with whatever I say or do to that person. I agree with them even when I think they are being stupid and childish and need to grow the hell up, just because I don't want them to get mad at me again. One thing that keeps popping up in my mind right now is when a friend of mine told me (and take note that this was after I had cried while opening up about how I felt with everything - let's face it, it takes a toll on someone when they need to face life on their own with no one really there to back them up) that I should best just go back home because after all, I don't seem to be fitting in anyway. Fitting in?! Really? Since when is it a priority to fit in, in a country? Nothing made sense. I sat there just thinking, "and this is supposed to be my friend?" I did not come all this way just so she can get the satisfaction of having the feeling of being right. But, honey, I ain't leaving! I busted my butt getting to where I am now. To some it may seem like nothing, and to others it may seem like a lot. I just want to remind people that I did it all on my own. No previous knowledge of how to deal with the bank, or landlords, or a strange country in general. The moment I stepped off that airplane, I changed, and it would mean the world to me if certain people would acknowledge it, and say that they did not expect it from me but are happy I took the plunge.

What it all comes down to is that we need to be ourselves. Old friends, new friends, strangers on the street, it doesn't matter. They should accept you for you are, and for who you are becoming. People grow up, they evolve, they mature. It is a way of life. If someone can't get used to the new you, then maybe they shouldn't be in your life. There are 7 billion other people on this planet. Don't let 1 person ruin your life, just because they don't agree. I take it upon myself, right here and now, to be myself. I want to make this promise with all of you reading this, to be the best version of me. I might not be at my happiest now, and more changes are coming my way soon, but I will not let this keep me from being me.

I feel like I have pretty much opened a gate and let all the words run out. Alright my darlings, I am going to stop here. It is already night time in Holland, and my tummy is speaking to me. Thank you for reading my post, and if you have anything to share, or just want to leave something nice for me to read, feel free to comment. I will hopefully write again soon. I started making a list of everything I want to write about in the future, so there is no excuse of not having a topic in mind. Anyway, I hope you all have a great day or night, and remember to be yourself.

Lots of love,
Nini

Monday, March 10, 2014

Anxiety and Homesicknes

Hello my lovelies!

Today I want to talk about the topic of anxiety and homesickness. Since I moved to Holland, I have been feeling homesick quite often. It especially hits when I see others on social media upload pictures of them going home, or with family. I know I have my family here, but it just isn't the same. A girl sometimes needs her mom, or her dad, or her brother. They are my safe place, where I know there is no judgment, and always a shoulder to lean on when things get rough. This borderlines with anxiety, because when things get rough, it sets off a switch in the body that engages anxiety. I had a talk with my dad today, and we landed on the topic of anxiety and ways to relieve it. One things he told me was that we wanted to start his own blog. I said that he should go for it, because writing about what bothers you can help ease the tension. It may sound like I'd use a blog to talk smack, but I use it to out myself, to share the struggles I have with others. Everyone has problems, everyone can relate with each other. It's just that society has made it seem like being honest about your feelings is a bad thing. That's why so many people resort to drugs, or excessive behavior, or shopping, or whatever comes to mind. But none of these things help. We have to be honest to ourselves and to others. The only way to move forward is to let go of what holds you back, and by doing this, you must also let go of some suppressed feelings. We all know we have some feelings that are linked to a certain someone, or to something, but we have to get rid of that. Otherwise, you'll just be stuck in one area feeling sorry for yourself. No one wants a whiny or negative person around them.

So, people, let's open up and share! There is nothing wrong with admitting what really keeps you caged up behind your comfort zone. Today I had a crappy day, but I got something good out of it. I did a survey a few weeks ago, that would determine whether I would be capable of doing the study I chose. Well, today I had a meeting at the school with a woman who had looked at the results, and she come to a conclusion that I was not suitable for it. I sat in front of her, looked her straight in the face and managed to stay calm. But man was my mind going through so much! She had basically told me that I would not be able to do the study because my results had shown that I did not have what it takes to do it. One thing I knew before coming to Holland, was that dutch people were very critical and everything goes by the book. Today I witnessed it firsthand. She was so focused on the statistics that she didn't give me the chance to prove to her that I am capable. So, as I sat on the train, I went through the entire meeting in my head. I had decided that I wasn't going to let it bother me. For the first time, in a long time, I was able to push it aside and not worry about it. The good thing that I got out of it was that I knew what could hurt me and what mattered more to me. I knew that from that meeting, I would not feel good going to that school. I have this thing with vibes and appearances of places. And I kind of knew from the first time I went there, that I wouldn't want to attend school there. I had applied there anyway as a back-up school, but the place is so cold, and the people are just as cold. But I digress! Let's get back to the main topic of this blog.

I believe that homesickness and anxiety are closely related. When one is felt, the other is just around the corner. I have a few ways of relieving my anxiety. One is writing on my blog, another is doing an exercise called "the tapping solution". What this entitles it tapping on pressure points on the body. This helps release the tension, and hopefully cause a more relaxing and accepting feeling. The pressure points on the body are: sides of hands (the outer part where you would lean your hand when writing, e.g.), above the eyebrows, beneath the eyes (tops of cheekbones), above the top lip, in the crease of the chin, below the collar bones and sides of rib cage (for women it is about where the bra strap would be). You need to start by tapping the side of your hand (your choice which hand), and repeat three times the words: even though I (whatever it is that bothers you), I deeply and completely accept myself. For instance, what I would say is: Even though I feel like my nerves are making me feel insecure, I deeply and completely accept myself. And you do this first three times on the hand, and then tap a few times of the other pressure points. One you have finished the first set, do it again. Change the ways you announce the problem to yourself. I suggest saying it aloud, preferably when you're home alone, or somewhere where you won't be worrying about people seeing you. I learned this from a woman who had helped me overcome my anxiety attacks before my big move. She borrowed me a DVD that explained everything about this exercise. And the great thing is that it can be used for anything. Not just anxiety, but also for insomnia, or the loss of a loved one. I watched that DVD probably 5 times, and it impacted me in a good way. I am so grateful that I went to her, and asked for help. She saved me from backing out of something that could potentially be the best thing for me. Another good way of relieving anxiety is taking walks. It sounds simple, too simple even, but it does help. I read it somewhere once, and decided to try it. The best place to take a walk would be in the woods, but not everyone has the accessibility of a wooded area, so just go out and walk. Instead of taking the car to someplace you know is in walking distance of you, just go ahead and put on some good shoes and walk it. The fresh air helps your breathing, which then calms the nerves. It also gives you the chance to think things over. Of course, I'm not saying you should try to figure out the problems of the world, but take baby steps when trying to channel the cause of your anxiety. What I like to do is listen to happy music when I walk. It distracts my mind, and also gets me in a good mood. There is nothing better that listening to the song "Happy" from Pharrell Williams. That song seriously gets me pumped and in the mood to do good. So I recommend it to anyone who needs a boost. What else helps me? Reading! A good book will keep you occupied for as long as you need. There are more ways to relax yourself. I sometimes Google ways to relax, and it is insane how much you can do! So take your time, try out new things, and see which one helps you the best. One advice I can give you, that is almost guaranteed to help, is talk to someone about it. You'd be surprised how many of us struggle with the same things. Before my anxiety attacks, I didn't talk about it to my parents, but once I did, I started noticing that I wasn't the only one. Family can help you a lot, but I think the best thing is to talk to someone who doesn't know you. The reason for this, is that he/she will see something that you or your family members don't see. I was able to fix my dilemmas because someone who didn't know my story was able to see the problem, and also saw a solution.

So, don't be afraid to speak up, and come out of your comfort zone once in a while. Trust me, it might be scary at first, but once you do you will notice how much better things get. You will be amazed by what you are capable of. So, my darlings, get up, dress up and go out. I've opened up, and I want you to also open up. The first step to take the step. Go for it! And remember that you are not alone. There is always someone there to give you a helping hand.

Live life without fear, accept the challenges and embrace the outcome..
Love, Nini

Monday, February 3, 2014

When the mind starts to wonder

Hello lovelies!

I've been reading a book for the past few weeks, and it has had me thinking about a lot. This is book is titled "Night train to Lisbon". There is a motion picture of this book, but I have not watched it (yet). I have to say, I have never been impacted by a book like this! It has made me think about life, and decisions and everything that we don't usually stand still and think about thoroughly. As usual, whenever I feel like reading, I like to go to the library. It's peaceful, and the only time someone disturbs me is when they are giving me a little hint that they are about to close. Today I decided to sit at the big table on the ground floor, where people come to read the newspaper for a few minutes and then leave. I like sitting there sometimes, because I can see the movement outside, and there is art all around to admire. Once in a while someone comes by and plays the piano (which is always an added bonus). The thought that went through my head today was that of the afterlife, what happens once you've passed on. Now I know this is a sensitive subject, as is religion and politics. And I have wondered about this a few times before, but this time I thought so deep that I ended up making myself nervous. What happens after death? I know that the body decays and all that, but is that just it? The soul lingers if you have unfinished business? You reincarnate into an animal? What happens? This is what kept going through my mind. "There has to be something else", I kept saying. I can feel myself getting way over my head with this, and I probably am. There was a line, a quote, in the book that struck me, and I admired it more that I expected I would. "Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living." I was rendered speechless for a moment when I read this one simple line. I literally stopped reading, and thought about it. Everyone knows that life is what you make of it, and that it isn't always fair, or easy. I know I wish for better things, and I have my regrets, and this is part of what made me the person I am today. So do others, and we still manage to move on. Now, the reason why I got nervous when thinking about this may be silly to some. I can't imagine passing on, and waking up as someone new (as in reincarnation). Just having to go through all of this again, but as a different person, frightens me. And than comes the question, why are we living if we are dying? Eventually everyone dies, and that is a fact. That can't be changed. But is it really worth going through years of school, years of a job we probably won't like at all, and than to become old and slowly pass away? I know how all this sounds. When I read this back to check for spelling errors, I'm going to think I'm crazy for writing this. It is a subject that can go so deeply into discussion, and never come to a conclusion. The thing is, I don't want to look back at my life when I'm 80 years old, and see more regrets than accomplishments. All the times that fear has held me back from doing something I knew would have been amazing. I am still young, and I have the time now to do everything I want to do, but what if I don't? I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is a ridiculously difficult thing, and we need to cherish it. You never know when it may be your last day. I just hope that when the time comes, we can feel like there has been joy and appreciation for the things we have done, and hopefully have left a mark on someone. This is our life, after all. We only get one, so we better make it worth it.

Alright, I'm going to stop here before my mind starts to wander again into something just as crazy as this. I hope I haven't offended anyone, or made a point that was regarded as pointless. I just wanted to get it out there, share what went through my mind today. It may not be important to some, but it is to me. So..

Laugh till your belly hurts, love with abundance, and live like there is no tomorrow!
Nini

P.s. We all see those quotes on social media, those philosophical notes that everyone likes and shares. Well, one that I believe in is "Believe in yourself, and always listen to your gut". I probably just made that up, or mashed two different things together, but you get my point. What feels right, will become right. Patience is key!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's not always greener on the other side

Hello! It's been a long time. I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, even though we're in the last week of January. I've been away for some time, because I wanted to gather my thought and figure out a few things. One of them was an issue that I have with anxiety. I've been having trouble with nervousness since I was 14, when I could not for the life of me go to P.E., because for some unknown reason it terrified me. I remember those days when I would sit on the bathroom floor of my school and hope no one would realize I was gone. I would even call my grandmother to come pick me up. It was bad, really bad! It got to the point where the principal came to talk to me and tried to help me figure out a way to get rid of that sudden fear. Now, the reason I'm bringing up this subject is because those anxiety problems come and go every so often. And I absolutely hate it! When it comes to doing a chore, of trying something new, I know I can just push through and eventually it won't be a problem. But I have experienced getting anxiety from being around certain people. This is something that makes me feel bad, because it always ends up hurting the other person. You know, I have been dealing with this for so long, and what I have noticed is that if it doesn't go well, don't force it. I've had to give up friendships because of this. And even when I tried explaining it to someone, they wouldn't see it as a struggle but more as a selfish act. Since when is having a personal problem a selfish act? I didn't ask to have this, and I sure as hell wouldn't have picked for it if I had a choice. Okay, that sounds stupid. No one would choose to have anxiety. Basically, what I want to say is that everyone has their issues that they need to battle with. I wish there was a book that explained how to get rid of these issues, but there isn't. All we can do it ask for help from someone who has gone through it, and has found a way to manage it. About a week before I moved to Holland, I started having major anxiety attacks. They were so bad, I could barely eat, drink or sleep. I would constantly ask my mom if she would get angry if I chose not to go. And the face she would give crushed me. My mom told me about a woman who she visited several times when she was going through some troubles. This woman is someone I am thankful for. She taught me the tapping solution. It is a technique of tapping on certain areas of the hands, face and torso, to which you must repeat a sentence and the tension would be released through the tapping motion on these pressure points. It sounds kind of weird, and unrealistic to those who don't believe in holistic treatments. But it helped me a lot. She gave me a DVD to watch where they showed a group of people, each with their own problems (such as insomnia, loss of a loved one, or the pain from an accident). It impacted my life so much, and I started realizing that there is much more out there that can help people overcome their obstacles. I used the technique almost everyday, and eventually my anxiety lessened. I only get anxiety now when I have to deal with difficult decisions, or when I have to face something or someone that I haven't been very sure about. I can go on rambling, but all I want to say is that I know I'm not the only one. I follow several channels on Youtube, of beauty girls, and vloggers, and some of them have come out and shared their experience with anxiety. I have never been so happy to see that there are others, suffering from the same thing, and they struggle with it sometimes just as much as I do. Something else that I have learned is that I have to speak up when something isn't right. Unfortunately, I'm the type of person that closes up once something gets too personal or too complicated. I can't help it, it's almost like a reflex to me. When I get uncomfortable, I like to close myself off from everyone. It's like my own little way of protecting myself, but in fact it is only doing more harm. The sad thing is that I know all of this. I know it bad to shut down and act like it's fine, when I know it's not. I come from a family of worriers, and we care too much of how our words can affect the other person. So much so that we forget that we also need to care about ourselves. It's hard having to deal with it, and I admire the people in my life that push through and find a way to open up the bubble I put myself in. I have a great appreciation for them. Only a handful of people are capable of doing that. So many times, I have told myself that I am going to open up more towards people, and not be afraid of saying what is on my mind, but that shy and private side of me also seems to get the better half. It sucks, of course it does, and I have to fight through it. And that's why I wanted to open up right here about this. There are so many people out there who are too afraid to tell others about their anxiety problems, because of shame. We are all human, we all have our issues and our silly little secrets. No one said life would be easy, but what is a challenge if not hard. I don't have anything else to say, so I'm going to stop here. But before I leave you, I just want to say that shame is just a word, it's not something that you should let take over. After rain there is sunlight. Once you get over this, you'll feel the warmth shine on you. Just hang in there, and soon you'll notice that it will get better. Time heals everything.

Love & Strength,
Nini