I Have Anxiety

I never liked to say I had anxiety. “It’s just stress” was usually the excuse. It couldn’t be anxiety because I hadn’t experienced any anxiety attacks like some friends of mine had. “It’s just stress.”

The problem is that I do experience anxiety and according to my former therapist, I have slight depression.

I recently moved across the country for the 2nd time in my life. Again, from the East Coast to the West Coast. Even in the time of COVID-19, I managed to make it from one end of the country to the other mentally unscathed. My mom welcomed me with open arms and I gladly accepted as I missed her. The weekend gave me time to adjust to the time change and the new area before work started back up on Monday.

This move not only effected my mental state but my physical state. At the time of this posting, I’m 11 days late for my period which the most I’ve ever been late has been a couple of days. “It’s just stress from the move.” Nothing to be alarmed about so I wasn’t.

But then the other night, something changed within me. After my first full week back to work, I was all set to spend my Saturday looking for a job. My current job’s end date wasn’t too far around the corner and soon my income would disappear. So I started to look for something to take over. That’s when the anxiety kicked in.

I started reading about the different jobs and the required qualifications only to have this booming voice in my mind tell me that it would be a waste of my time to apply for that particular job. That I wasn’t qualified. That I wasn’t good enough. Throughout the search that voice got louder until it consumed my mind. And the first of six small but significant mental breakdowns happened over the course of two days. All I did was cry and deal with the pounding headache brought on from crying. It was suffocating.

Although not an official diagnosis, I looked up this form of anxiety only to find that I have career anxiety. See, I hate working in customer service but that’s pretty much the only field of work I have experience in. Growing up I never took the time to explore my interests or hobbies. It was always just about surviving and making sure I always had money in my bank account to survive. By that I mean make sure the bills are covered. To heck with groceries this week. I can’t mess up my credit score. That was is my thinking.

To say that I don’t know what to be when I grow up would be an understatement. I don’t have forks in the road of different career paths to make a decision on. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life. And that stresses me out. It scares me.

I need to figure this out but I don’t know where to start. I’ve probably taken every sort of career aptitude test out there, filled out this career transition workbook, and even taken a bunch of personality tests to see what careers fit my personality best. All I see is a world full of overwhelming possibilities that feels more like a rope wrapping around my body and crushing my soul than a sigh of relief.

For the next few days, I am taking time to distance myself from loved ones so I don’t say something I may regret or dump my broken record issues on them once again. It won’t lead to anything positive until I take the necessary steps to gain control of all of this. I know I won’t be successful in this transitional period in this state of mind either.

But how do you find your way out of hole you feel consistently stuck in?

My Life in Quarantine

Wow. What a time to be alive. Some people are out in these streets with masks or other types of face coverings on while grocery shopping (and social distancing) while others are binge watching The Office for the umpteenth time, eating all the things, and self-isolating from the world. COVID-19 has affected the world. No, that’s not an exaggeration. People from every corner of the world is dealing with the effects of this virus.

The negatives of it though is that so many people are getting sick or even worse, dying. I’ve already lost two uncles (one from a heart attack and the other one from the virus).

For me personally, I am loving this downtime. I was temporarily furloughed from my job. Still waiting to see if and when I’ll be going back to work. Luckily with all this free time I have been getting back into writing. I try to do a creative writing prompt per day as well as keep a gratitude journal, and a regular journal. Reading is taking a little longer for me to get back into but I’m trying. I also am using the “What Color is Your Parachute?” book to figure out my life in terms of a career.

Exercising is pretty easy because I was previously doing that pre-COVID. It’s just weird because I’m so used to going to the gym and using the equipment to work on my muscles. Unfortunately I don’t have any equipment at home so I’ve been doing more body weight exercises and cardio which is good for the weight loss. I am worried though about the muscle mass that I may have lost. I am still able to hold myself up during planks and feel the burn when it comes to push-ups which is good but I do miss using the gym equipment.

The one new thing that I have decided to take up is learning Korean. Due to my current BTS obsession, I want to learn the language so I can better understand their songs and videos without subtitles. Plus learning a language is fun.

There is still plenty of self doubt happening even as I type this. I enjoy writing. I would rather work a job that focuses more on the content that I am able to create or help showcase rather than front-facing with customers and assisting them. As I worked through the workbook though I realized that all this time I have wasted on not pursuing something is holding me back. I wonder if it’s too late for me. Am I destined to be a customer service representative for the rest of my life?

I need to stop. Stay positive. I’ve been doing well up until this point. I’m going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.

Forever Your Chocolate Bunny

I should have called you back. The last time I heard your voice was a week ago when you were wishing me happy birthday a day early. You said you would call me on my birthday so I let it go. I figured you’d call back and then I just forgot about it.

Now you’re gone. Mom called and told me. She was crying and I don’t like when she cries. I told her I would contact other relatives to let them know. Word gets around fast in our family though. Some knew. Some didn’t.

I’m worried about Mom. I’m worried about my cousins. And my aunt. I should have called you back.

You were the funny uncle. The weird one who got on the nerves of family with your antics. But we loved you. We still do.

You called me your chocolate bunny. Even in your voicemail to me you called me that. I can’t believe I won’t hear you say that to me again. I should have called you back.

I don’t know if there will be a funeral. I hate that I don’t know. I should have called you back.

I’m sorry I didn’t call you back. I miss you and I love you. RIP.

An Open Letter to BTS

I hope this letter finds you well. How are you doing? Honestly. How are you? It is a difficult time for us all but I want you to know that your hard work and effort has not been wasted. We see you. We hear you. We’re with you always. I hope at the very least you can take this time to relax. Breathe.

I’m new to you and your music so I apologize for being late to the party but I’ve enjoyed myself thus far. Your passion and resilience does not go unnoticed by any means. You’ve beat the odds and proved to the ones who’ve doubted you that you can do it.

To Jin – You have worked so hard to improve and master your craft. Such determination is admireable. Similar to Jimin, you have an amazing laugh. It lifts my spirits and I love the dad jokes. Despite the two of us being the same age, you exhibit both a child-like nature and mature side. It’s refreshing to say the least. Don’t let the unknown or upcoming events of this year make you lose that. I hope you’re taking this time to eat all of the yummiest foods and rest.

To J-Hope – You are the very embodiment of sunshine and sunflowers. You radiate such a light to those all around you that I hope you have some for yourself. I wish you nothing but joy and love. Don’t let what’s happening out there dim your shine.

To Jimin – One of my favorite things about you is how you laugh with your whole being. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do and yours is quote contagious. I appreciate seeing you express your emotions through the art of dance. I hope you can find yourself a reason to laugh these days.

To V – On a recent VLIVE with RM, you spoke about songwriting and your process. The fact that you are able to just write down a word based on what you’re feeling in the momment then turn it into a lyric is fascinating. You inspire me to continue my writing journey and I can’t wait to experience more of your talent!

To Suga – I love your silent confidence. Your ability to showcase your wonderful talent in such a humble way is incredible. Your emotionally charged lyrics allows for those who feel such a way to lean on you for support. Hopefully you’re getting plenty of sleep during this downtime.

To Jungkook – I can’t imagine growing up in such a rigorous industry. But you’ve been surrounded by six amazing people and still held your own. You exhibit such strength and grwoth. Your empathy for the others when they struggle shows your selflessness. To me, “My Time” shows this in such a beautiful way. Continue to prosper in all you do.

To RM – You’re a natural at leading your family to new heights. Everything that you do and have done thus far has not been for nothing. I want you to be sad. I want you to to allow yourself to let it out and then keep going. Don’t take all of this weight on your shoulders alone. You’ll make it through this. I know it.

Don’t overwork yourselves for our sake. We want you to be healthy and happy. Just breathe. Just be. Make mistakes. Fall in love. Continue to push forward with your passions. Be human. Be you. You are not seven without us but more importantly, we are not ARMY without you. Thank you BTS for impacting the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person.

Thank you.

Yours,
Danielle

Enough

What signifies being enough?
Why aren’t I?
The white ones laugh because I sound like them.
But I don’t look like them.
The black ones cringe because I look like them.
But I don’t act like them.
Anomaly.
Alienation.
The employer sighs because I fit the mold.
But I’m a woman.
The boy leaves because he took what he wanted.
But he never wanted me.
Unqualified.
Unloved.
What signifies being enough?
Why aren’t I?

Goodbye You

7 months later and I realize I’ve been lying to myself. I thought I was over you. Looking at your pictures, at your words and I wouldn’t feel anything. In my drunken state I saw you in person for the first time and didn’t feel anything. But I heard about how you’re trying to date again and I felt something. 

I meant it when I said I wanted you to be happy. I still mean that. But I’m a little sad. And I shouldn’t be. Because you didn’t do anything wrong. Feelings or lack thereof for someone can’t be controlled. I would never force you to want to be with me. But I guess in our short time together, I had hoped I was enough that eventually we would be. Even if it took a slow burning journey to get there.

Now I can’t help but wonder what that short time together meant to you. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. But not enough that puts me in the running. That’s the worst part.

I’m never enough for someone to want to get to know. You stopped anything before it could get started which again, I understand. You weren’t ready. But now you are? Your brother doesn’t seem to think so. He wants you to be happy too and you’re free to do what you want. But I think you run away from your feelings. And I don’t just mean with me, I mean in general. 

I really do mean it when I say I want you to be happy. And I want you (if that’s what you want) to find someone good who will make you happy. Now I know that that’s not me and it makes me a little sad but I have to let you go. 

you barely touched me that night
i blamed it on the heat
i was wrong
you were bracing yourself
finding ways to lead me to the edge
without pushing me over

too bad i had already fallen

Love: A Question of Importance

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

I was thinking about this quote recently and wondered why society places so much importance on this concept in regards to romantic love. According to the Ancient Greeks, there are seven types of love. They go as follows: eros, philia, storge, agape, ludus, pragma, and philatuia.

Eros is erotic or sexual love. Philia is the love between friends or platonic love. Storge is the love between parents and their children. Agape is love that is universal. It is akin to the modern day concept of altruism. Ludus is playful love. This type of love is casual and uncommitted. Pretty much like online dating it seems. Pragma is a practical type of love. It is based more off of the long term interests between all parties involved. Consider it the opposite of Ludus. Last but not least, Philatuia is self-love.

So if there are other types of love that can be had between one another or even within oneself, why does the notion of being single come with negative connotations? Have you ever been asked why you were single? As if there is something wrong with the fact that you don’t have a romantic partner(s). Why does it matter so much to other people? If it mattered to you, I would think you would do something to change that but if you don’t care, why do others?

I’ve never been in love. Sure I’ve had stupid crushes and infatuations with men in the past but never love. I had hoped my feelings would be requited and then together we could grow to love one another. Does that mean something is wrong with me that I’ve never experienced love and essentially the heartbreak that comes with it? Mind you, I love love. I think it’s terrifyingly beautiful. As scared of it as I am, I still want it. But I’m also okay with not experiencing it. I don’t think I will wither away to nothing if romantic love never happens to me. Why? Because I know and appreciate the other forms of love in which I give and receive. But why is this not acceptable to other people?

I’m curious to know what other people think.

 

You’re a boat in the middle of the ocean
Drifting further and further away from land
From me

There’s a long rope to pull you back in
But I’m struggling by myself

I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
If you’ll ever come back
But you won’t