I’m Not A Sore Loser, but

I do have some feelings about it.

I struggle a lot with extremely high expectations of myself, holding myself to unreasonably high standards, needing a lot of validation from others to think I’m not literally the worst teacher, employee, friend, wife, person, etc. It’s hard to live in my head some days, especially this year where we teachers have had to stop and adjust our entire teaching methodology to continue educating in a pandemic.

This post is hard for me to write, because every way I attempt to phrase my frustration makes it sound I’m just a sore loser and I’m not happy for others, and honestly none of that is true. I am not going to share this post on my social media because I don’t need the whispers of my coworkers in the hallway or family members at gatherings spreading half-truths. I just have feelings and words and my they didn’t feel sufficient in my journal.

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Social Media -a poem-

I’m taking a break from fake –
I mean – Facebook.

It is fake though,
full of smiling faces,
pictures of places people go
to escape what goes on behind the scenes.

We scroll mindlessly every night,
think of how good everyone else has it
while we sit and suffer
because our life sucks in comparison.

A couple in love,
a friend thriving in their career;
we think we want what they have
because we can’t see
the bickering,
the late nights,
the feeling of being alone,
the endless debt,
the texts from another lover,
the fear of losing it all with one mistake.

Social media makes us want
what we can’t have
when in reality,
no one has it in the first place.

We can’t base our feelings
on what we see online.
I’m not going to keep making this mistake.
I’m taking a fucking Facebook break.

when was the last time you were happy? -a poem-

When the students weren’t the only ones
taking home new knowledge everyday.

When he brought home a candy bar
from the gas station
even though I said, “nah I’m good.”

When I didn’t rely on others
to validate me, affirm me –
because I knew what I was doing
was my best and it was good enough –
great, even.

When I stopped sabotaging myself,
selling myself short,
stuck on the worst case scenario,
always wondering when it would all fall
apart – as though I was just summoning
those bad vibes to join me in bed
every damn night until they took control
and now –

happiness is just a memory.
stuffed to the basement
with everything else I forgot I needed.

Relinquishing Control (Or At Least Trying To)

It’s hard for many to admit: you truly do not have control over anything except for yourself. I’ll be honest, this is one thing that has absolutely wrecked me over this last year of my life. I never considered myself to be the Type A control freak. I’m way too introverted to carry that title and position. Most “control freaks” run a situation, refusing to let others take over.

I, rather, let other people run the show while I watch from the sidelines as things fall apart because I knew better but was too afraid to stand up and say anything. What happens when things don’t work out as planned? Someone has to pick up the pieces and fix it. Enter me: the fixer. I have no issues with this role. Never have.

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When the Self-Doubt Holds You Back

So often – okay, literally everyday – I find myself making the decision to not do something because I don’t think it’ll work out, I’m not good enough to do it. No one is going to like it anyway, so why bother? I’ll be honest, hitting publish on blog posts many days is a challenge, and a great post will sit in my drafts for months and months because I fear it’s not good enough.

I have a hard time feeling good about anything if I don’t get validation from it. That sounds so bad and typing it was actually harder than writing it in my journal. If I don’t get likes and comments, I should just throw it away so no one knows it bombed. I’m a failure. Why am I doing this?

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One Word for 2021

Last year, I read about this idea that instead of setting goals and resolutions, that you instead choose one word for a new year. One word that will propel you towards your goals. It’s hard to remember a to-do list for the year. But one word? You can plaster that everywhere. Phone backgrounds, journals covers/pages, walls, steering wheels, etc.

I actually did this with my seventh grade students last year, with a list of words to help them. I had them pick 3 words, brainstorm why they wanted to choose each one, and then pick the one word that resonated with them the most. When I did my weekly check-ins, I checked in on if/how they were using that word to push them through their days. Check out their responses!

As I’ve been taking stock of the year 2020 and attempting to set some “goals” for myself, I find myself always going back to one word.

This year, I want to make sure the people I love KNOW that I love them.

But most importantly, I just want to love myself.

I mentioned in a previous post that my most used phrase in my journal in 2020 was “I hate myself.” How can you motivate yourself to make positive changes in mindset when you hate yourself? Answer: you can’t.

I like the idea that loving myself still allows me to kinda live in the moment. Some days, loving myself might just mean eating a huge bag of Hot Cheetos or drinking a bottle of wine. Others, it may be working out, making healthier food choices. I just want to change the mindset of hating myself to loving it.

I recognize it’s not a snap-your-fingers ideology. I still battle a lot of negative thoughts on the daily, but I am hopeful I can start making some positive changes to help shift that mindset. I can love myself. I will love myself.

And everyone will know that I love them too.

What’s your one word for 2021?

Still Need a Resolution? 5 Reasons You Should Start Journaling!

  1. Your journal is a safe space to express feelings, emotions, opinions, etc. about anything and everything. Whether you choose to just do a daily debrief at the end of the day, a more structured journal experience with daily prompts, or a gratitude journal, it is all private writing that you never have to share with anyone unless you choose to.
  2. There are options: you can journal on a computer using any word processor, you can download apps for your phone/tablet, or you can go the old fashioned way and write with pen and paper. Pen and paper gives you an opportunity to decorate it to your liking, plus, a chance to break away from technology and blue light.
  3. You can choose any time of the day to set aside for journaling. If you’re a morning person, you can make a cup of tea or coffee, find a space, and write before you start your day. Maybe you’re a mid-day journaler – taking some time during your lunch break to debrief from a rough morning. If you’re like me, you can journal at night before bed as a way to wrap up the day and summarize your experiences and emotions that you had.
  4. For many, you are able to process things so much better in writing. I know for myself, I rely on ranting and venting to eventually get to the point of what I’m mad about, and in writing, I can do that without the judgement of others, and finally start to process what I’m actually feeling by the end of a page. I’m mad that _____, but actually I’m just hurting because ______. Journaling gives me the opportunity to really delve into my brain and identify triggers and feelings, so that I’m less likely to have an outburst out loud because I was unable to express my true emotions.
  5. After some time, your journal can serve as a reminder of all the good and bad times you had. For me, my therapist convinced me to read through my entries from this year to show all the challenges I pushed through and the growth I made. I didn’t believe her, and figured it would just bring up a ton of emotions I did not want to process again, but she was right. While I did feel some emotions reading through the entries, I also felt proud for all that I had been able to work through this year. 2020 as a teacher was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Too bad 2021 won’t be much different.
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Please Listen -a poem-

“Please get on meds.”
“Do you need more attention?”
Never before
have I felt such rejection.

People I’ve leaned on
have made me feel so small.
Maybe I’d be better off
saying nothing at all.

Suffering in silence:
that’s the strong thing to do
in a society that thrives
on loudly judging you.

It feels like everyday
more energy is depleted
and honestly I feel
so sad and defeated.

Who do you call
when those who are closest
think it’s okay
to say things so atrocious?

Saying “that’s the meanest thing
you’ve ever said to me”
with tears on my face,
they still refuse to see

that I’m just in need
of someone to listen.
I never attempted
to ask for permission

to be anxious,
frustrated, sad, and depressed.
The lack of support
just makes me more stressed.

I’m falling farther down
than I ever have before.
I just don’t know how
I can do this anymore.

Writing Through An Emotional Journey

After a long hiatus from writing regularly, I am (at least at the moment) back on the grind again. While I haven’t started contributing to my bigger writing project (I’m Not Ok) as of yet, I have been doing my best to write everyday.

Most days, it’s just a journal entry. But as I wrote the other day (When Your Main Character is Really Just You), sometimes when I journal I make these huge self-discoveries that maybe I knew subconsciously, but it didn’t really HIT me until I wrote it down.

When I was younger, writing was all I did. It was all I wanted to do. I was blessed to be 1-to-1 with a laptop through high school, and I would avoid doing classwork because I was working on a story or National Novel Writing Month (sorry mom and past teachers). It was so much simpler back then to find the time to write.

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