2019…. Wow, what a year! Honestly, it felt like three different years in one because of how much has happened. Not only are we closing off a year but also an entire DECADE which makes me think about even more experiences and things that have happened in the past 10 years. For me, this is my last New Year’s celebration as 29, because in a few months I will be the big 30! I honestly don’t feel that age and long ago I would say wow 30 is old, but now that I approach it, I feel like the 30s will be the best times of my life. The ’20s are such a rollercoaster because you are growing, learning, evolving, and trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be. For me, this past decade has been CRAZY, to say the least. I want to focus on this past year though because it is crazy how much can happen in a full year. I honestly believe some years test you more than others to help you grow, and other years feel easier. I have noticed that how it goes in cycles because life is always giving you what you need in order to keep growing.
2019 started off very negative, like New Year’s Day was terrible but I will keep those details to myself. In the first part of 2019, I left a job that was draining the life out of me and I finally got the confidence or finally had enough where I quit. It was very hard on me for many reasons but needed to be done because it went on way too long. Then, I transitioned into a new job that quickly challenged me in ways I was never challenged before, and I learned a lot. I was still going through school and constantly feeling stressed and anxious because of how much I had going on, and felt like I was way too overwhelmed with how much I had on my plate. I always had this much on my plate ever since I was 16, but after years of working full time, or two, three jobs, and going to school…while trying to maintain other aspects of your life, and heal in many ways….it really starts to catch up with you and comes crashing down hard. In March, I decided to get off my antidepressants and try to go on with life without all the medications. At the time, I was on 4 different meds for depression and anxiety and I will say that it saved me in so many ways, and helped me have a “normal” life and be able to get out of bed in the morning. Let me just say, getting off the antidepressants was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I have done. I was having brain zaps (hard to explain but for those of you who’ve been through it- you know), mood swings, nausea, constant sweating, panic attacks, hard time sleeping, hard time connecting with others, lack of patience, wanting to stay in bed, and more. Sounds terrible right? This went on for two months while I was trying to learn a fast pace new job, do well in school, nurture my marriage, take care of my high energy dog, manage a household, and still try to remain in touch with friends and family.
I noticed how hard this was on my friends and family who wanted to see me, speak to me on the phone, or just wanted me to be “fun” and be able to go to events or travels with them. As fun as that all sounds, when I am not feeling “fun” or myself it was felt impossible to face anyone. Instead, I just kept a lot to myself and battled these feelings alone. Thankfully, I do have an amazing therapist who was helping me through it and my Husband. I am not saying that my friends and family weren’t there for me, I just think it is hard to understand what someone is truly going through unless you have experienced it yourself, and I had a hard time going to them when I needed a friend. My husband travels all the time for work so it was extra hard on me this year compared to the rest. He has traveled since the beginning of our relationship, but for some reason this year was hard because of how emotionally down I was. When he was gone, I wouldn’t be able to sleep and I would feel so alone so it was very difficult. I have Milo which thank god because he was definitely my emotional support dog, but he also drove me nuts and it was very difficult dealing with his energy on my own.
This year was the year I learned boundaries and something I have always struggled with but have needed to learn for AWHILE now. Boundaries with family and friends to start taking control of my life. I am a people pleaser and an empath and I constantly would hear my family drama and it would affect me very hard. I am the type who worries about everybody around me and when I hear things aren’t going well then, I get all worked up, panic attacks, and lose sleep over it. I would constantly listen to the drama from people and get sucked up into it. For someone who deals with heavy anxiety and depression it started to become way too much for me. (I know I was having my own drama and struggles and am not perfect-but when you are constantly put in the middle of things- it becomes draining) I learned I had to cut these conversations to a minimum, speak up and tell people my boundaries, and slowly distance myself away from the negative. My life has been filled with a lot of drama and I am to the point where I am just done with it, and I only want people in my life who lift me up and who I know are truly genuine. Also, I had to start accepting people for who they are and not let their choices or things they say affect me (especially if I still wanted to continue a relationship with them). I started to really notice the ones who were draining my energy and this is when the boundaries started. This did not go well with some people who do not like boundaries and who were used to me dealing with this, and being the emotional sponge while not giving me the same respect in return.
I had a really dark moment in September that some of you might have saw on social media. I sprained my ankle the day my husband left for 3 weeks for a work trip and had to handle my dog myself. While, going to school, starting a new job (working from home), and then I got really sick with the flu for a week. I felt so helpless and weak and I am not the best at asking for help when I need it. Instead, I isolate and try to handle what I can but by the end of that I get so anxious, depressed, and in a state of mind, that is dark. My suicidal thoughts came back, something I haven’t felt since a month before I moved to Georgia. At the moment I just felt like what is the point? I can’t do this anymore! I look back now and I feel kind of crazy for feeling that way but this is what depression is yall. It comes on quick and intense and dark thoughts come into the brain that is very hard to shut off. This was also stemmed from previous emotions and feelings of being alone, helpless, and weak from my teens and twenties. I am thankful I reached out for help and quickly saw who was truly there for me. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline #: 1-800-273-8255 and they are open 24/7!
It truly makes me emotional thinking back at this dark time, but I think it was meant to happen to open my eyes to how strong I am. I have overcome way harder things, like WAY harder! I’ve had near death experiences, abuse, great loss, and so much more. This was a wake-up call, to start living in the present, love myself, start using my resources, and to start focusing on the good and know that “This too shall pass”.
Afterwards, I started to spend more time alone and started to journal, meditating, read a lot of self-help books, therapy, and went on the path to learn to love myself. I started noticing the people who were slowly slipping away, and the ones who were getting closer to me. The ones who have always been there and haven’t left my side, and the ones I reconnected with after years of not talking who started to really show up for me. Then I started to connect with amazing souls in Georgia and started getting back into yoga which has really helped my overall well being and confidence.
I also saw a lot of change this year in friendships and a lot of long-time bonds start to drift away. That is the thing about this age is we are growing, changing, learning, and evolving and so life is bound to separate some of us and it is okay to let go of these attachments. If you have to hold onto something super hard just to keep it because of a past with them then that might mean it is time to let go, and let life go its course. My sister always told me by the time you are 30 you will have a lot less friends, but a few ones you can for sure count on. She was right! I was always a social butterfly and loved having so many friends and people around. I always wanted to be liked and to be “fun” so when I do not feel as “fun” it is hard to be in these social situations. I honestly still love having all sorts of different friends, but as long as they are the right people and are good for my mental health, and people I can be my true self with and not be judged for who I am.
I started to realize I kept looking back at the past and holding on so tight to these memories, friendships, relationships, places, and just everything. I was holding so tight and it was making me feel isolated and alone in Georgia. As soon as I started to slowly let the past be the past, and focus on the present in Georgia then my life started to get better. It is okay to still be connected and close with those people from the past, all I am saying is try to make new connections and focus on the present. When we constantly focus on what we don’t have then we stop seeing what is right in front of us. I have decided to focus more on what I do have and start focusing on me.
The thing is, we get in relationships or get married and we almost depend on that other person for our happiness. This will quickly backfire in any relationship (even friendships). We focus so much on the approval from others, being loved, seen, acknowledged, appreciated, etc. When we don’t feel that, we quickly start thinking someone must be wrong with us, did we do something wrong? For me, this starts spiral affect and has put me in a dark depression where I isolate myself away from everyone. The only way to be truly happy is when we truly love ourselves FIRST. If we can’t love ourselves then how in the heck is anyone else suppose to love us? When we can truly make ourselves happy and not need this outside validation because we are already showing up for ourselves and filling our own cup then we are fulfilled. Then, when the relationships, family, friends, or whoever start to fill the cup then it is just adding onto the cup that is already filled and we overflow with joy and can really create long lasting relationships, and continue the one with ourselves.
Journal Prompts to end 2019:
-Things that hurt me this year
-Strengths I have gained this year
-Things I have accomplished
-People who really lifted me up, & what did they do?
-People who really brought me down, & why?
Setting Intentions for 2020:
-Goals for 2020
-Things to get done in 2020
-Places I want to travel to
-A new hobby I wanna learn
-Things I want to work on personally
-Dreams I have
-Type of people I want in my life this year, and always
You can make any type of list you want but here are some of the ones I do for inspiration. You can even make a playlist of the moods you want to feel, draw, or even make a vision board! I love vision boards because I actually made one last year and kept it up on my desk so I could visually see it every day.
-Posterboard or whatever you want to use to put things on
-Magazine, pictures, crafts
-Scissors, tape, and whatever other tools you might need
Why are setting goals & intentions so important?
I believe setting goals, intentions, and reflecting is so important because you help make a plan for your life. You are also able to see how much you’ve accomplished and can be truly proud of yourself. Sometimes we focus so much on saying goodbye to a year and being so ready for it to be over. Let this year, or any year be another chapter in your life of lessons you’ve learned. Every situation and every set back are leading you to something wonderful. Everything truly happens for a reason! I believe having a fresh year is like a fresh start, and another chance to do something you may have been wanting to do but still haven’t crossed it off the list. It is NEVER too late, so just do it…BUT DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF if you aren’t there yet. Be patient and loving to yourself, and proud of how far you’ve made it in this world.
End of a Decade
I did want to say I cannot believe we are ending a decade and so I did want to comment a little bit on this. I started this decade very weak, naive, and wanted to be loved and wanted…and did not have a purpose. I was seeking out love in the wrong places and drowning my pain with drinking, non stop partying, wrong crowds, and not taking care of my health. I was in the hospital for stomach ulcers at age 20 from so much stress built up, and not taking good care of myself. I had the time of my life at 21 and made memories with my group of girls that I will never forget. I went through a very hard heartbreak with someone I was on and off with since middle school. This was something that was very rough on me, and took a huge physical and mental toll on me. I had some very tough times and when I turned 25 I had a very very rough time. I got into a horrible near death accident and that kicked my butt in gear to move across the country to Georgia. It was a chain of events and a constant cycle of feeling broken, unloved, unhappy, weak, worthless, and alone. I am thankful that the universe kicked me in gear because moving was the best thing that could have happened to me. I reconnected with my dad after spending 10 years away from each other. I got a brand new car after having so many “hooptys” as we call it (haha LORIANA). I got into a University and am now a senior, and going to get my bachelors degree in Psychology soon. I started therapy and working on myself finally! I met my Husband and had the most beautiful wedding. I gained an amazing family from my Husband and have made such great memories. I own a house!! For so long, wanting to have a place to call my own and to finally feel grounded somewhere…actually happened! I never thought I would find a healthy love or a place to call my own. My life was always constantly changing and chaotic that it seemed I could never fully catch a break, or catch up. I have so much to be proud of and if it wasn’t for all of these difficult experiences then I do not think I would be as grateful and aware as I am today. I am ending this decade smart, confident, strong, wise, open, inspired, grateful, accepting, brave, blessed, bright, dedicated, compassionate, committed, caring, determined, LOVED, I HAVE A PURPOSE, and I am a women who will never give up!
I will say I am very proud of myself for how much I have overcome in a decade, and in this last year. I have learned that “This too shall pass,” because it always does. At the moment, it feels so overwhelming and feels like you can’t handle it…but YOU CAN! I will continue to work on myself and grow, learn, and overcome whatever is thrown my way. I am thankful for the hard lessons this year was trying to teach me, but when all is said is done, I finally truly love myself. I can look in the mirror and just really say WOW, you are amazing. I know what I deserve and what I am capable of and I have learned to not stay in situations just because you’re comfortable or you feel you don’t deserve more. Make as many changes to your life that you need to because this is YOUR LIFE. DO THINGS FOR YOU! Do not let the judgment of others or your own self-criticism hold you back from changing careers if your miserable, not doing school because you don’t feel smart enough, not starting a family because you’re worried you won’t be able to handle it, or not truly living your life. I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of the amazing people in my life near and far who have been there for me, and have loved me no matter what. I see you and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog, and I truly hope this helps and inspires you. I am always here if anyone needs to talk! Sending love and light to everyone, and have a safe and great New Year!! BRING IT ON 2020 I AM READY!
Love & light,