“they don’t wanna know the real you, they just wanna say they feel you”

I’m not exactly sure how to start this post, so I’m going to just dive right in…

The other day I kind of hit a personal low; sometimes I think too much and there are times I let those thoughts control me…so it happened, I was allowing all these things I can’t control to control me and I remember a couple years ago I made a promise to myself that I would never allow another person, place, or thing make me feel any type of negative feeling. I promised myself to never let fear, anger, anxiety, hate, depression, jealously, or self-pity take over me again. Lets fast-forward to three years later and here I am, mad at myself for getting to that point. The difference this time is I was able to snap out of it within hours instead of years. I was able to apologize to myself that night and the next day get right back on track. I was able to spend the entire night and day alone to reconnect with myself and slowly remind myself why I made that promise. It took a long time to learn to love myself and I wasn’t going to ruin that because of someone or something I have no control over. Once you hit a low in your life and come out of it, you don’t ever want to go back because there is no better feeling than freeing yourself and doing what truly makes you happy. I think as humans we sometimes forget to love ourselves (and I’m not talking about being selfish) I’m just talking about knowing who you are, what you deserve and what makes you happy. We get so caught up in society, social media, trends, work, and other people we forget to stop and connect with ourselves. I think one of the main issues for us is worrying about what other people will think and who will we spend the rest of our lives with. Well here’s the answer—stop worrying about what other people think and find what you’re good at, what satisfies you and live life. Stop trying to find someone to make you happy, stop trying to find someone to define you, stop trying to find someone to love you–make yourself happy, learn who you are and love yourself. It is okay to be alone because one day the people you’re relying on and putting so much time and love into, won’t be there. You have to learn to live with them and live without them. This is something I’m learning. It’s okay to run errands, eat dinner, workout, go shopping, go to the bar, take a trip, or whatever else, alone; it’s the only way you can learn about yourself. When we let other people control our happiness and love, we are only hurting ourselves.

So the next time you feel like you’re not good enough–just remember, you are always good enough if you do your best. Never let anyone tell you can’t pursue your dreams and goals.

The next time you feel alone–just remember, it’s ok. someone doesn’t always have to be there because someone won’t always be there. When you wonder when you’ll get married or who you’ll spend your life with, the answer is you. Society makes us think we have to graduate by a certain age, have a job by a certain age and get married and have a family, but sometimes that’s not what we need. There’s so much to learn and see, it’s okay to do that. Apply for the job you’ve always wanted, take the road trip to the next state, meet new people, learn about a different culture, buy the plane ticket to somewhere else, make the move out of your hometown, start a project, do something you’ve always wanted and don’t regret it.

Stop listening to the negativity people feed you and stop depending on people.
Feed your mind with positivity and depend on yourself.

by the way, life is so much better when you turn off the T.V., and leave devices at home. Enjoy nature and open your eyes instead of having your head down all the time in some screen…just some food for though.

-A, J

 

The world is a ghetto with big guns and picket signs
(I love myself)
But it can do what it want whenever it want, I don’t mind
(I love myself)
He said I gotta get up, life is more than suicide
(I love myself)
One day at a time, sun gonna shine
(I love myself)

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throwback; born sinner.

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Brisk fall night with a blusterous storm of leaves.
Walking down the streets of Chicago.
Bright lights shine down on you through the night.
Wrapping yourself warmly in your coat from that small breeze.
A house, hushed and darkened, cold and alone.
The bare desk and empty chair.
No lights. No love. No hope.
Lamp awaiting to shine down on your paper and pen
for you to write again.
Stories and poems, letters to be sent.
Through alley ways and parks.
Different men, different cars, a different world.
Your head in his lap, his hand up your shirt.
The dreams and goals you have; to fail.
Selling your body to buy your addiction.
With a man somewhere who cares.
Loves you for you.
To be your house and your blanket,
keeping you safe and keeping you warm.
To be your paper and your pen,
writing all your beautiful thoughts down again.
To take your hand and show you the world.
If it is what you want, you can have,
just do not let go of his hand.
But if you may, be on your way.
At the corner is where you stand
and in the alley way, you reach out your hand.
When it comes, turn on your light
and yet again you will begin to write.

 

A little throwback to when I was sixteen. I will forever be grateful for my creative writing/poetry teacher. He built my confidence in my writing, called me a modern version of Edgar Allen Poe and saw so much potential in me. I stay humble with my writings and am always open to constructive criticism as well as growth. Sometimes I think I wrote better ten years ago than I do today, but I keep pushing. I never knew exactly where my inspiration and poems came from, but as I read this, I interpret it completely different from when I was younger—

—Sometimes we experience traumatic events and lose ourselves throughout our lives. Before we lose our innocence, become peer-pressured and get sucked in by society, we have dreams, talents and a purpose. The devil dances in disguise; you ever notice everything that is fun and feels good is bad for you? Those same feel goods distract you from those very dreams and talents we possess. Every person is born with a purpose, only if we all could figure out what that purpose is, this world might be a little different. Some of us like to dance with the devil a little too much and can’t figure out who we are, but fortunately enough, with a little prayer, and a conscious mind, I never strayed too far. This poem explains exactly that. Whatever it is you go through, your purpose in life will always be there, you just have to find yourself and remember those dreams and talents you once had; think back to when you were innocent and remember what was important to you. It is never too late to learn who you are and love yourself.

-A.J

 

“so don’t slip, don’t fall
just a get a grip…, hold on
don’t lose your balance…”

Cole.

i’m afraid of myself & everything i haven’t done

I’ve had writer’s block for a while now, about four months to be exact and today it hit me. I finally got the urge back to write–this post is a mix of a [somewhat] hard decision I had to make and difficult, yet courageous acts taken by someone I know.

I don’t know about most of you, but I have never been the type of person to settle. I become bored and need change in my life; there are times I find myself in this constant cycle of routine which leads me to feel dissatisfied–I have to start changing up things as insignificant as my route to work, school and back home. I’ll be honest, lately there’s been a lot of minor changes in my daily ‘routines.’ I also have some senioritis going on and keep imagining what these next few months are going to bring me…where will I work? where will I move? who will I be with? You can call me a day dreamer, that’s for sure, but I have all these expectations for myself, all these goals I have to accomplish and I never really put a time limit, but now I realize I have to and here’s why–

For the past year I’ve had two jobs and for the past six years I’ve been with a company that I haven’t always been happy at (let’s just say there’s some major burnout happening), but regardless that was my life and though I appreciate the opportunity and felt blessed to have that job as well as meeting some great people and creating even better friendships, it hasn’t been the best part of my life. It’s kind of like my past relationship, I let someone hold me back for six years of my life, but because I was comfortable and it was familiar, I stayed. I think a lot of us settle because we are afraid of change, afraid we might fail and have to crawl back with our tails in between our legs. I did this for six years with someone and I began to notice I was doing the same with this job. I wasn’t really trying to find anything new because I didn’t want to start all over and when I did find something new I was too scared to leave because of all these other reasons that didn’t make sense, so I was working there one day a week to hold on [just in case], but in case of what? I was going through all the same stages and steps as I did with my past relationship and it was unhealthy because we like to keep things that are bad for us in our life until we cannot take it anymore, it’s like an addiction, so I had to break my habit. After all these connections, conversations and contemplations, I FINALLY made a decision that was for ME–I put all my worries, fears and doubts aside and took that leap [I will NOT crawl back] but only move forward and I quit (obviously in a professional way), but I did it and I could not be more happy with the decision I made. The only way to accomplish your goals and live your dreams is to eliminate the negative, continue to make difficult decisions, and just jump.

Now this may seem like a small step, but it’s a stepping stone and stepping stones lead to progress and progress leads to accomplishments/goals.

So to those of you who think you’re stuck, or think you have ridiculous dreams, or no support, or whatever other reasons there may be—stop thinking about it, find one person who believes in you and supports you, even if that person is yourself and just go for it…there’s no other way to do it than to just do it!

“know some will say that life’s a bitch
well I’ma keep flirtin’…”

-A.J

home is where the heart is

I fell in love once and swore he was heaven sent
I fell in love once and I haven’t been the same since
I fell in love once and figured out what hate meant
I fell in love once and I haven’t been in love since
I fell in love once…make that twice
I knew the second time it was true
I knew because I couldn’t wait to get back to you
You shine so bright with such a warm smile
You have a gentle touch as I admire your presence
and you never had to spoil me with your presents
but the silence that we can share as I sit by the ocean
to clear my mind
I knew I fell in love again because when I left,
I felt empty inside
I know you’re waiting for me
I couldn’t be more positive that it’s meant to be
You stole my heart-
L.A. you set me free

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This was my last day in California, I had to capture this because this was the exact moment I realized I didn’t want to leave and almost cried. I honestly felt like someone broke my heart and it’s how I knew I was ready to make changes in my life. It may seem silly to write an ode to a city and some might think it’s crazy of me to say I’m in love with a place and not a person, but when a city can make you feel at peace and nature gives you the opportunity to fall in love with life; I don’t think a person really compares to those feelings of figuring out who you are and falling in love with yourself. They say, “home is where the heart is” and though I love my family (as I’m hispanic and we don’t do anything with out one another), my heart isn’t where my home is. They also say, “the heart wants what the heart wants” and after taking my adventure to Los Angeles this past year, I fell in love all over again just as I did 13 years ago. I have never felt more sure about where I wanted to end up and though it is scary as hell to move across the country away from all your family, I know I just have to dive in and do it…because that’s my dream. The thing about me is, I won’t let someone tell me no, I won’t let someone make me think my dreams are unaccomplishable (I might have made that up–who knows lol) or stupid–I just don’t allow negativity to take control of how I feel and what I want. I’m judged all the time by my family, like I’m always doing something wrong because I haven’t graduated college yet and make all this money. I’m 26 and I’m not married and I should have children since I’m still in my hometown (like what else are you going to do?) It’s ridiculous. Who says there’s an age limit or a time limit on when you should have something done? I don’t think people realize how old some of these billionaires are when they became billionaires and how many times they “failed” before they succeeded. Life is about experiences and as long as you learn from those experiences and never give up, then you never really fail–it’s called progress and I have made a hell of a lot since I first moved out of my house–I can’t even explain how much I’ve learned from all my experiences and trial-n-errors. So, yes, I wrote an ode to a damn city because that’s where I want to start the next chapter of my life, that’s where I envision all of my success happening. I just think everyone should try to do what they really love and never let someone else tell you you can’t do something because I have seen some pretty incredible things done by people. Your mind is a powerful thing, you just have to learn to use it…the right way.

Remember –
to always try, you never fail until you stop.
to never listen to anyone who tells you you can’t.
to always tell yourself you will.
to love. to live. to laugh.
TO THINK POSITIVE-
&
to kick ass and take names

“Uh, damn right I like the life I live
‘Cause I went from negative to positive
and it’s all…
(it’s all good)”
-Notorious B.I.G

-A. J

Discovery Challenge: Adventure

a little advice for giving advice

I find writing to be my form of venting–I’ve just learned over time that it’s better for me than confining in one of my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I still text or call them when writing isn’t an option and it’s always nice to know I have that social support, but sometimes I don’t need the advice. There are times I just want to respond back, “you know what, I really don’t want or need to hear anything you have to say right now, I just want you to listen!” Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve taught myself not to hold in my emotions anymore, it does more damage than good, so I vent–to let it out. I like to hear myself and what I’m actually thinking; it gives me time to get myself together, organize my thoughts and figure out my feelings. I have also recently realized how much I dislike when they compare situations and put their emotions and reactions into the situation creating something bigger than what it is.

Aside from that small rant I just had, I want to give tips to become a better support system for the people in your life–

First and foremost you have to learn who your friend is (or whoever comes to you for support). For example, are they more direct and ask for advice, or more indirect and give hints? Do they usually just like to vent and want emotional support, or are they usually coming to you for tangible support? (meaning they want something). Once you figure this out, you’ll have a better chance at providing appropriate and effective help.

Secondly, you have to know how to match the support with their problem. You may have to begin with asking questions instead of telling them what they need to do, because how many of you actually listen to your own advice? (don’t worry, I’ll wait)…therefore, moving on! Asking questions is the best way to figure out what it is your friend needs or wants. Here’s a little script as an example:

Friend: Do you have a minute to talk?
You: Yeah, sure, what’s up?
Friend: I’m just a little stressed out between school, work and my social life. On top of it my boyfriend/girlfriend and I are arguing more.
You: I’m sorry to hear that. What’s stressing you out?
Friend: Just trying to balance it all without feeling overwhelmed.
You: It can be tough, but I’m sure it will get easier once you figure it out. Anything I can help with? Why are you and your boyfriend arguing more?

I’ll stop there because I’m sure you get the idea. The friend comes to you wanting to talk about their stress and relationship, but isn’t necessarily asking for advice. I tried to make it seem like they are just wanting to vent, but hinting at maybe wanting advice on what to do. As a friend, it’s best to give a little emotional support (“I’m sorry to hear that”) and ask questions on what’s going on. I even added in the question of “is there anything I can help with?” it’s a start to figure out what they are coming to you for.

Thirdly, when giving advice, try to be unbiased. Don’t compare situations, but instead give a time where you may have been in their shoes and just state what you did. For instance, “I remember when I lost my job, it was really tough, but I applied to new jobs at least once a day and also asked some of my friends if they had any ideas.” Don’t tell them what they need to do, leave the door open for conversation and help them bounce ideas around. (You can do this in a way that also lets them know you are there if they do need anything).
This is a perfect tip when it comes to relationships as well. Personally I like to call my guy friends because females are THE WORST! Some of us have a hard time learning to forgive and let go so we tend to bring that mess into our friends lives; I’m sure it’s unintentionally, but I can’t stand it. This tip comes from my counseling and psychology classes I’ve taken…first thing you learn is to not give advice anyway. I always try to leave the door open. I don’t like to tell people what to do. I like to ask questions, give scenarios and let them figure it out on their own because if they take my advice and it backfires, I don’t want anyone mad at me; not everyone’s situation is the same therefore different solutions work for different people.

SO!
1. Learn the person.
2. Ask questions and figure out the support you need to give. (when the support matches the problem, it’s most appreciated and effective)
3. Don’t compare situations, be unbiased and don’t tell them what they need to do, but help them figure out what they should do.

Hope this helps your friendships 🙂

-A. J

a letter to my (ex) self

I was nineteen when I met you-
I remember it like it was yesterday, but for some reason we have different memories of that night; just like we have different memories of our relationship. I won’t go into detail because it’s such a sad story, but I’m here now to apologize, or perhaps say thank you.

To my ex-
I’m sorry you only loved me when it was convenient.
I’m sorry you gave me all your affection and I didn’t stay.
I’m sorry you were a liar.
I’m sorry you were controlling.
I’m sorry you were a cheater.
I’m sorry you got her pregnant.
I’m sorry you weren’t who I thought you were.
I’m sorry you weren’t the man for me.
I’m sorry you lost me.

I thank you for showing me what love isn’t.
I thank you for showing me it’s not just about intimacy.
I thank you for showing me I can still trust.
I thank you for showing me I can take control.
I thank you for showing me it wasn’t worth it.
I thank you for showing me I don’t want to be second.
I thank you for showing me your true colors.
I thank you for showing me I deserve better.
I thank you for setting me free.

To myself-
I’m sorry I loved him so much.
I’m sorry I gave him everything I had.
I’m sorry I believed him.
I’m sorry I didn’t have a backbone.
I’m sorry I stayed.
I’m sorry I almost played step mommy.
I’m sorry I created someone else is my head.
I’m sorry I let you down for six years.
I’m sorry it took so long to walk away.

I thank you for not becoming bitter.
I thank you for getting back up.
I thank you for believing yourself.
I thank you for becoming stronger.
I thank you for walking away.
I thank you for wanting your own.
I thank you for erasing those thoughts.
I thank you for forgiving me.
But most of all I thank you for forgiving him even though I didn’t stay.

 

 

 

Discovery Challenge: Apology

a time of innocence

FullSizeRender.jpgOne of the most life changing events that could possibly happen to someone is having a child. The majority of my friends either have children or want to have children and I’m just over here like, “pass me another margarita!” I have to be honest, the thought has crossed my mind especially when I see my little nieces and nephews sleeping so peacefully, laughing at the smallest things, having the most vivid imaginations, or simply just being completely honest in what they say because they don’t have that filter yet. (Obviously reality hits me when they start crying or have a diaper full of poop). Now, I don’t have first-hand experience of what it feels like being a mother, but from what I hear…the good outweighs the bad; there is a bond and an unconditional love that cannot be broken. I also hear that there is no feeling that compares to that moment when you bring life into this world, so I have this constant back and forth battle with myself if I ever want to have a child or not; sometimes I think, “oh gosh, NEVER!” and sometimes I think, “maybe, one day.” The reason–innocence. I mean think about all the beauty that is within a child; not only is it apart of you, but apart of someone that you love as well (at least it should be, but we know sometimes there’s a little oops there) anyway, when you think about it, how amazing is it to have a mini you? Children give us a little bit of our innocence back and I say this because we try to be careful in what we do and saimage2y around them as they grow because we don’t want to corrupt theirs. If I could be the age I am now but see the world through a child’s eyes, I would give anything to experience that for a day. They are genuine, real and don’t have any preconceived notions because they haven’t been tainted with experiences from life. Innocence is like art, it’s a beautiful thing, but not everyone can create it. Once we hit a certain age, it’s gone and I think if I were to ever have a child, it would be because I would want a little piece of life back. The beautiful part of life when it was about laughter and learning. Children observe everything, they hear everything, all the distinct differences in faces and sounds and they still don’t pass judgement because all they see is beauty and all they know is love. Having a child gives you the opportunity to learn to love again, it gives you the opportunity to be a child again-when they want you to join in on their imaginary games, laugh at the small stuff, it gives you the chance to better your life, be a role model, a caregiver, a provider and all these other opportunities we never had before. Many of us probably don’t remember much of our childhood, but hopefully your parents took enough image1photographs for you to look back on. And yes, I know, many of us get tired of seeing all the posts about peoples babies, but after being around them so much, I get it–they are preserving those memories because once it’s gone you don’t get it back. Perhaps one day I will get to experience that feeling, or maybe I won’t, I haven’t decided yet, but I am glad that I at least have so many beautiful, loving, hilarious little beings in my life. A child really is God’s gift–to see the beauty in life again. So parents, preserve those memories and try to make innocence last as long as you can! As Simon and Garfunkel said,

“Time is was and what a time it was it was,
a time of innocence a time of confidences.
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you”

-A. J

Continue reading “a time of innocence”