you are the sky

Day two’s prompt in The Blurt Foundation’s Self Careathon is Obstacles. I wrote this poem on a night when I was ambushed by obstacles of social anxiety and self-doubt. Writing it helped me a lot. I hope reading it helps you too!
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an open field. beautiful. endless.
eyes closed, you lie down on the soft grass, letting your mind soar.
you allow your brain to feel every feeling it can, unapologetically.
fear
self-critique
shame
inadequacy
fear once again
a constant, daunting f e a r
thinking
overthinking
silence
a confusing silence
a calm, yet utterly chaotic silence
and suddenly, the world stops. just for that moment.
just for you. to let you breathe in. to let you breathe in
love
compassion
kindness
acceptance
courage
a passion for bravely standing, existing,
and embracing every one of your flaws
and having the revolutionizing strength to
grow
heal
and love thyself
despite the obstacles that you see, that blur your visions
of dreaming big and chasing the sky
the sky, that is
beautiful. endless. ‎
as you open your eyes up to the expanse
of blue
you see the truest of you
the ability to endure unpredicted thunderstorms
and still bring a hopeful light to your little world
breathe out the flaws you define yourself by
because don’t you see?
you are the sky
.
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Self Careathon, Day 2
#BlurtSelfCareathon
Artwork: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
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10 Things About Me & a self careathon

My wise and beautiful mum told me that the life we live is very short and very precious. Life is truly a blessing and we simply must not let it slip away. My mother was essentially just telling me that you only live once, and you have got to make it count. Which is why self-care is so important!

A method of self-care that I tend to be a little scared of is externalizing my problems. The funny thing is, that I realized that these problems were problems only because I was not externalizing them! I have recently vowed to try and link the things that I worry about to real life facts, relationships, and situations. I started focussing on getting my anxieties out of my head and into the real world, either by talking to someone about them or writing them down. And the whirlpool of the overwhelming and overbearing confusion started to die down almost immediately. Once they were out in the real world, I found it much easier to reason them out— ‘why did these things make me anxious?’, ‘how could I work on those anxieties?’, and ‘how could I positively approach the things that gave me this anxiety?’. This was my new magical formula for therapeutic self-care. Sitting down to process my feelings and self-destructive thought patterns helped a lot. Though the sound of it sounds a little uncool and boring, externalizing your problems and having a good understanding of your emotional well-being is just as cool as sipping on margaritas and partying! That is certified information that I am sincerely conveying to you from the terms and conditions of the treat-yo-self department.

*sigh*

Does that make sense? I guess, I just want to say that I am trying to live a little less in my head, and a little more in this crazy beautiful world around me. And I am doing that through The Blurt Foundation’s SELF CAREATHON! I was inspired by the amazing Carrie Hope Fletcher to do this! Click here to find the prompts. Use the hashtag #BlurtSelfCareathon if you would like to join in, or just think/communicate/do a mind exercise using the prompts!

After all, we all need some sweet self-lovin’ ^.^

Let’s get to the 10 things about me, now that the 10 thousand thoughts in my head have been expressed:

  1. i fumble, I don’t like talking about myself, and that’s only because I am terrible at it. Both talking, and conveying to someone why I might be a remotely interesting human.
  2. i fear, and I used to let my fears define me. Now, I try my best to accept them as a part of me and something that I can work on to build better friendships and learning experiences.
  3. i do a lot of math! Math rocks!
  4. i create, be it daydreams in my head, crafty DIY projects, the magic of poetry, code that does things I didn’t think would be possible.
  5. i have leadership anxiety? I do not work too well when I have to lead big things and be ‘in-charge’ of a team. Even if I do end up working okay, I do not enjoy the process. But, I do well when I’m in charge of working on small projects that allow creative freedom with other people instead of them working under my leadership.
  6. i cannot remember, your birthday, due dates, plots of movies I’ve watched, some inside jokes or much of anything. My memory is not reliable. I always write things down and make reminders to keep my life from falling apart. I also always write down good memories so that I can revisit them.
  7. i plan! I love my planner and giving my day a concrete structure than I can do a fun little dance of productivity on gives me happiness.
  8. i fall in love with people and places a lot. I always try to make everywhere I go feel like home. With people, it isn’t even sensible romantic love because I become emotionally invested in people I haven’t even known for too long. It’s a good feeling because I always see the best in people and try to help them through the worst. As for my love life… ahahaha
    • *stands 18 feet away from the person I like*
      *admires from afar*
      “what a wonderful human being”
      “i love this human”
    • the end
  9. i love me, i love me not. I love myself, but I am also ironically very self-critical.
  10. i heart my family. My family is small, but they are my world.

Self Careathon, Day 1

#BlurtSelfCareathon

Dear Me

You are alive. You are breathing. You are doing so well. You are a growing human with a beautiful brain filled with potential, wonder, and an unwavering wish to be brave. You are such a sentimental person! You love the people and places in your life so much. You love how these people and places make you feel even more. You have learned about your strengths through so many nights of hidden tears. You have learned to differentiate between the things that build you up and the ones that tear you down. Not being able to sing in tune does not stop you from singing your heart out to your favorite songs. Even in days of having a full schedule, you make time for a quick little smile when you catch a glance at yourself in the mirror in the midst of a busy busy day.
 .
Never forget that you have always wanted to live a big life. Not big with fame and fortune. A big life to you is one where you tell the people you love that you love them, explore the world, explore your mind, and create things that make you, you!
 .
Try not to be too hard on yourself, because you are always trying so hard to learn and grow and discover yourself. Whenever you experience sadness, disappointment, or anger, try to make some sense out of these feelings and turn them into lessons rather than bruises. That is a goal worth working towards, even if you feel defeated at times.

DEAR ME.png

you’ve got this!
just
keep
swimming
^.^

The Incredibility of Introspection

I try my best to journal on a regular basis. Whenever I feel like I am going crazy, I write. I have always felt that I express myself so much better when I have a backspace key and some moments to think to myself. Speaking out has always been a struggle, but writing helps me build more courage to taking baby steps towards conquering that challenge. Some of these journal entries, when unedited and unfiltered, are dramatic and extraordinarily self-critical. However much I would like to run and hide behind a tree if people were to read these, I’m putting on the courageousness crown and taking the leap. Because you know what? These journal entries are when I am most vulnerable. I try to surrender to whatever feeling I am being overwhelmed by- pain, grief, sadness, doubt, curiosity, confusion, wonder, glee, happiness. I love and accept myself for everything I feel because being vulnerable is an incredible thing. Almost any state of mind that you achieve by overcoming fear is an incredible thing. Processing and trying to embrace fear instead of finding ways to avoid it is I N C R E D I B LE!! I write these little packages of text as a means of escape from the evil claws of bad mental health. Some of these journal entries are absolutely hilarious to read back. And I would recommend it to anyone with all my heart. If that’s not your thing, be vulnerable in ways that don’t involve pouring your heart out in a scrappy little notebook. Sing to yourself, dance off your worries, do the things you are afraid of doing, talk to your loved ones about your struggles. In whatever ways you can: introspect! Introspection has always helped me make sense out of the million things that go on in my brain at once. Finding method in madness is calming to an overthinking mind and overambitious heart like mine. For now, these entries are my way of being me. Go find yours ^.^
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may 8
please please please never speak mean things behind people’s back just to add to a conversation where someone else is doing it
may 9
i am such an inconvenience to myself
i feel like i am always in pain
may 10
so WHAT if i don’t get an A in calculus 2?
WhO gives a HOOT
may 13
i’m home! not technically home, but with mom and dad! who are pretty much home to me!
may 14
i am such a dramatic person
june 4
i need to work so so so hard on vocalizing what i feel
i think the major symptom of me dealing with low self-esteem is that even if i achieve certain xyz things i set my mind to, i still think i am going to be inadequate for the next big thing that my life will challenge me with
i feel like if so many good things are happening to me, a bad thing is bound to happen very soon
and it might happen any time
and i don’t know if i will be capable of dealing with it.
which is sad because i think that i am entitled to sadness and hardships and pain

i am always looking for advice!

it’s safe to declare to the world that i have a constantly buzzing mind. it is never static. even when I am thinking of nothing, i am thinking of all the things i could be thinking of. this leads me to start worrying about why i am not doing all the things i could be doing and i want to do. feelings of incompetence creep in right after (OF COURSE, nobody is surprised). in this constant and chaotic storm of my thoughts, i am always looking for advice. i search under rocks, between the bushes, at the ends of rainbows chasing even the littlest hope of receiving advice. i search between blue hyperlinks on google for therapeutic advice when i’m feeling blue. i search for tutorials on how-to everything because of being clueless most of the time. sometimes, i very bravely gather the courage to ask for advice from my peers, mentors and family. but because of the inexhaustible list of the things i need reassurance about, i find it difficult to always turn to people for advice. this fear of approaching the amazing human beings that i am surrounded by leads me to turn to youtubers, blogs, and books that could possibly answer my questions. if the credits rolled for the incredible virtual support system that i am blessed with, it would go like this: tessa violet, anna akana, carrie hope fletcher, will darbyshire, dodie clark, zannah, rupi kaur, john & hank green, kati morton and daniel j layton.

essentially: i like getting advice. i am always seeking for it. i just had to vocalize that (: pleasegivemeadvice!

also check out the really cool people from above! i hold them very important to the strangely beautiful process of growing up that i am going through.

Paint and Self-Love

I used to imagine myself living as a black silhouette against a vast blue backdrop. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the kind of blue you’d see in the sky. It was sad and dull and was a color that would come in a paint can labeled ‘Melancholy Blue’, which I voluntarily let someone spill all over my walls. Every inch of the space around me engulfed me in the blues of my worries and anxieties.

Sometime later, I started to paint my walls in black. To me, a black backdrop felt like the greatest idea because it would camouflage my fears, my flaws, and my failures into an expanse of nothingness. And honestly, it did a great job at hiding them.

The countless layers of black paint that I vowed to surround myself with helped the mistake-making human being that I was, quite a lot. I have flaws ranging from A to Z—a list long enough that I could write a poem about them all while drinking some alphabet soup. I could write endless aisles of books about my flaws, with, of course, a section of horribly written ones about my constant struggle with writer’s block. I painted black over everything around me as I began the monologue of how I’ve got a long list of extraordinary imperfections. “I am afraid of a lot of things. I always try my best to be brave, but the constant reminders that I have to give myself to be brave just come back to me as a note of how fear always seems to win in my head. I am anxious about human interaction and socializing because I think I’ll mess up, and lose my chance at a lifetime of happiness. At this point, I should also mention that my love for jumping to conclusions is the lead singer of the band in my head called ‘I Have Flaws’. And so, goes on their latest melancholy tune. I overthink and endlessly over analyze, which also leaves me a lifetime supply of indecisiveness. My to-do lists are endless, always taking on too much. Impossibility and impracticality seem to disappear from my lexicon when I plan what I have to do each day, and I think it’s a perfectly good idea to do everything at once. I don’t have a defined sense of fashion which makes it seem like everyone I lay my eyes on is the most beautiful person on earth. This also make me feel like a potato whenever I look into the mirror. I am scared of public speaking because it takes me less than a moment to forget everything I had rehearsed, sending my brain into a downward spiral of nervousness and panic. My extreme introversion sometimes makes me feel like I’m missing out on living the life of a college student, and doing rebellious things that would leave me with photographs that I could post with hashtags YOLO. Oh, and before I forget, I am very forgetful and have a hard time remembering everything from my scary lecture notes, and the even scarier birthdates of loved ones.”

Not even half done with listing everything that I thought was wrong with me, I realized that I was finished with all the painting already. I was now surrounded by a totally dark backdrop which would keep everyone oblivious to my flaws and everything wrong with me. However, taking a step back, it dawned on me that in an attempt at hiding my flaws from the world, I had blended myself into my insecurities, making myself and my identity invisible to the world.

In the middle of a sudden surge of panic of how my plan had backfired, I remembered the one and only flaw I had that was strangely more self-reflective than self-destructive. It was just one but I believed it was truly powerful. This flaw of mine was how I always wished to stay on familiar, comfortable grounds where I felt most powerful, capable and sure of myself. To my surprise, I felt most comfortable when I was with myself. Now, it seemed a little odd to me that if I enjoyed being with myself so much, I could possibly enjoy being myself too. This little ray of hope that I had, suddenly illuminated my way out of the pitch darkness. I went out into the world, found myself some white color instead, and painted it over every bit of the darkness in my past. It was a revelation to me how free my mind felt in this new white space, that seemed infinite, and was truly accepting of every one of my shortcomings and proud of my little victories. It was an open canvas just for me to paint in rainbow colors of accepting my flaws. This discovery reminded me that self-love wasn’t just black or white. Self-love was a spectrum of hardships, failing, falling, feeling strongly about giving up, just before turning everything around, and coming back stronger and braver than ever before. I doodled on a little orange Band-Aid of healing, and happy green leaves of growing right next to the colorful rainbow to remind myself that when I was not growing, I was healing, and that maybe growing and healing were the same thing in a beautiful way.

Effortlessly, a few shades of colors taught me to reinvent how I thought of happiness. I now knew that I should never feel like I am entitled to being sad. Neither should I try to hopelessly hide all my flaws or let them define me. I learned to accept my flaws, to open myself up to taking on challenges, and to be kind to myself. All thanks to a little bit of paint and self-love.