2015 wasn't as exciting as my other years. However, it's the year I realized I'm more of a realist / idealist and believer. This only led to making sure I stand my ground and not give in to popular opinion. I definitely had mini-wars and debates with myself because I had to make sure I wasn't living as a close-minded fool. I get where I'm absolutely at and as the year ends, I realize my choice of lifestyle will probably lead me into having a much peaceful and controlled life. I love that.
You see, this year, Life did throw me so many curve balls. Just when I thought my life was going according to plan, things changed and it dragged me down. At the beginning, I was controlling myself pretty well. I was making sure I wasn't going down some mental and emotional downward spiral. I was doing my best not to let out my frustrations on others. I was doing all I can not to breakdown. However, one really bad moment triggered all the sadness to come pouring out of me and it took me a while to climb back out and gain momentum back into my life. I finally reached out and asked for some support and help from my parents. I went out of my way to meet with friends, ask some advice, and allow them to make me laugh. I don't really go out on Sundays, but one of my good friends had a birthday party. So, instead of staying home, I went and I felt something I haven't felt in a long long time. I felt a sense of belonging. I loved socializing and meeting new people. I love testing grounds when it comes to who I am, especially when I'm outside of my house. I love making people laugh and hearing what they have to say. I love listening to other people's journeys and making sure they feel empowered and positive with the road they choose to take. I love making people feel loved and accepted for who they are. There's just so much things I forgot while I was feeling very sad. I'm so glad that I'm ending this year with a positive and hopeful heart and mind.
At the end of the day, stand your ground. It's going to be difficult. It's going to kick your bum until your in so much pain. BUT. You're going to be okay. You need to believe in that and make sure you do all you can to make sure you come out stronger and better. It doesn't happen overnight, but you need it give it your all. You can't use 'things' to improve your personal growth. The answers are all within, so open up your mind and see the many possibilities.
So, 2015, you weren't the best, but you taught me valuable lessons. Time to move on to 2016! I hope and pray for a very good year. A year where I can be more of myself and learn to love harder and better than I did in 2015.
We've all crossed paths with DIFFICULT PEOPLE. The Bullies, The Haters, The Big Mouths, The Drama Queens, The Snobs, Etc.
Have you ever heard of the Kübler-Ross model? I'm sure you have! This is the model that explains the stages of grief. It's usually linked to the emotions of having someone pass away, but it's safe to say, this model pretty much explains what we all go through when we go through something very difficult. Let's briefly go through the explanation of this model. According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, when someone we care about passes away, a person goes through these stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. She also mentions that it doesn't necessarily have to be in that order. Makes sense right? Awesome! So, that's the Kübler-Ross model in a nutshell. Now, think about it, these stages don't only happen with death, but it happens with every bad experience that shakes our foundation and humanity. In these kind of situations, there are 2 or more people involved. The ones who deliberately cause negativity for their own pleasure are difficult.
We've all crossed paths with DIFFICULT PEOPLE. People who are mostly aggressors. The Bullies, The Haters, The Big Mouth, The Drama Queen, The Snob, The Constant Complainer, The Two-Face, Etc. (By the way, I got all those terms from Jon P. Bloch's book, Handling Difficult People). I'm sure you know a bunch of them. I think the Kübler-Ross model is the perfect starting to point to explain the 'sensitive' subject of Difficult People.
Before anything else, let's make it VERY clear that we ALL make mistakes. Let's take out the murderers and against-the-law stuff, okay? In the 'NORMAL PEOPLE' scale, we've all done something that offended or hurt someone, but we've also been victims of people offending or hurting us. Common sense, right? Being the victims of something that hurts us to unexplainable levels, we eventually go through the stages of grief. We deny we're hurt - we pretend we're fine and show the whole world how awesome it is to be alive, but deep down inside you know it's all a lie. We get angry - this one is obvious. We bargain - we find ways to compromise with ourselves so the pain isn't so brutal. The most typical is making jokes or laughing about it. We become depressed - the pain is overwhelming and the situation is actually hitting you. We accept - we move on and we can now face the world with a positive attitude.
Here comes the awesome part and I hope this will save people a lot of damage when it comes to difficult situations, especially with difficult people. Since the Kübler-Ross model is proven by science [Psychology], I think the puzzling part about these difficult people can be found within the Kübler-Ross model explanation. I've been observing this for so long and I can't deny the common ground amongst these difficult peeps. A lot of them didn't cross the threshold to the Acceptance stage. People misunderstand the notion of Acceptance. Here's something from Psychology Today, "Finally, the word acceptance does not mean that we accept a damaging behavior. What it means is that we try to acknowledge the dark as well as the light so that by that acknowledgment, we can make necessary changes. Only when we treat something with respect and accept it rather than rejecting it can we bring about necessary change. Rejecting something brings about more guardedness and resistance, therefore creating more of what we don't like. Also, avoidance and rejection cover up the real problem." I don't have to state the obvious... but it's clear when people Avoid rather than Accept. This is very clear because these difficult people are unconsciously showing it for the whole world to see. What are these clear signs? They don't respect certain situations. They cannot acknowledge the dark as well as the light. Ergo, they haven't actually changed, despite them saying they have changed.
All of these things I've talked about go down to ONE SIMPLE POINT: You have to learn to accept.
Acceptance is when you know you're living a healthy and good life. You really can't fake these kind of things because it will eventually show. When you reach adulthood, this is important because life becomes complicated, but it doesn't have to be hard. Bad things happen, obviously. We can't avoid it, but we have full control of how we deal with these bad situations. People forget that. It's not up to anyone on how we DO THINGS. No one actually forces us to anything. You go to work because you know that's the right thing (because you have to pay pills and make a living), but it's also your choice to skip work. People can tell you to skip work, but the final choice is always up to you. It's as simple as that. Choose to accept.
Lying to yourself does so much damage to your mindset. We don't give it much importance because of the influence of media and society. Remember that you're only part of this society and it shouldn't affect your identity. As much as the topic of culture plays into our identity, you're still your own person. You may have committed huge mistakes or someone may have committed huge mistakes towards you, but at the end of the day, the truth about yourself comes out with how you deal with it. You know things are going to be okay because you've crossed the threshold to Acceptance. The best part is you made the choice by yourself. You're finally better. You can finally move on, forgive, and let go. Do yourself a favor, make yourself proud.
One of my favorite topics to talk about is friendship because it's obviously one of the best things about being alive. It tends to shock the beejeezus out of you every once in a while. Haha. I love talking about this because I totally understand what its like to lose 80-90% of your friends in one go. This happened 3 years ago and the pain I went through drained the hell out of me, but then life pushed its limits and gave me the inside scoop into love and friendship. The most important ones stayed and then I met a whole new bunch that captivated my heart. It's not like I talk to these people ALL THE TIME, but I know they'll be around when I need them. Let me put it this way, if I died, I know they'll most likely attend my funeral or at least cry their eyes out... Hahaha. If I got married, there's no doubt they're on the guest list and some HAVE to be part of my entourage. Haha. It's funny because CellyWelly and I were talking about Marriage and she already said I'm a bridesmaid at her wedding. She can't take that back. Haha.
Now, there's obviously a handful of these friends that are so good at loving and caring for me. The feeling of 'missing' them is there, but no matter how far we are from each other, the relationship doesn't die. Some of these friends have been around since High School and some I just recently created a relationship with, but it doesn't matter. We've been tested and I have to say, we did a really good job at this whole friendship thing. I've been having these Skype Dates with my best buds and it's like the distance and time were never there. It's story after story and laughing out loud at all the ridiculousness we come up with. Do you know how awesome that is? This only proves one thing to me... I'm so damn lucky which makes all of us so damn lucky. It's hard to find really good friends you can absolutely trust, but the fact that we're able to talk about anything and everything makes it special. Not only that, the good memories outweigh the the bad. We've said and hugged each other goodbye. We've fought like animals. But we made it through.
So, I'm one damn lucky person because I may have lost close friends before, but I gained the kind of love that can never be replaced. A love full of smiles, comfort, trust, love, and chemistry. The most amazing part in all of this is I know these friends are here to stay, even with the distance. A lot of these people aren't physically with me, but that's fine. It doesn't matter. We're able to keep the flame alive and damn, that's deep stuff, you know?
I don't know about you, but at the end of the day, how we treat people who hurt us means more than how we treat the ones we love. When it comes to the people we love, we will do anything because we feel grateful, but what about those who don't matter to you? Today, it's so easy to put down someone, especially online. The world wide web makes it so easy to be non-confrontational and it's so easy to bash and humiliate someone because you can gather troops in a second with just a click. It's also easy to put on a mask and live a life full of lies because online, it's easy to hide the truth, especially to the ones who don't know you. There are so many bits and pieces that come in and it ends up being some kind of back and forth war... it's all so complicated. You reach a point in your life wherein you can't welcome that anymore. It's so useless.
My heart changed a long time ago. People still hurt me... but I'm not going to go and humiliate them and gather troops on my side to hate and humiliate with me. I don't think it's about how people see me, it's about how the ones who love me see me AND how I see myself. What matters most is how I treat the ones who hurt me and the ones I don't know because I don't owe them anything. I learned this from my parents. They never taught me to hate on the ones who hurt me. They were around me and saw the pain and guilt I went through when I made mistakes. They were there to listen when I'd open up about my troubles, but never once did they tell me to get angry and act on hate. There were times I didn't listen of course, but now that I'm old enough to actually have kids and raise one myself, I get it. I super duper understand why they taught me to treat things with love in my mind and never hate. They told me to go get angry, but don't use that anger to hate. If I have a child who takes pride in hurting someone else for whatever reason, I know I'm not going to be proud. It only shows my child is a coward and needs some kind of evil energy to show their power and strength.
How you treat someone shows who you actually are. It's those times you really can't hide your personality or characteristics. You can say you're strong or even brave... but when you treat someone with physical and verbal cruelty for whatever reason, you're not better than the one you're accusing of making a mistake. It's really as easy as that. There are no "buts" or "ifs" anymore... because that person made a choice to be cruel back. That's the thing... you don't have to be cruel back and that's what every respectable adult knows. Kids will be kids, but you hit a time in your life wherein you know it's all cowardly. When you take down your pride and take a breathe, you see how it's not right even if you're the victim of negativity. Someone can hurt you, even to points of wanting to die... but it's still your choice to be strong for yourself and strength is not about how you 'take down' a person... it's how you can sit yourself down and tell yourself there needs to be a positive change in your life. It's never my business on how much someone should suffer because who made me a god? Who ever said I have the power to make someone feel about themselves (even more than they already do?)? Who said I should use someone's insecurity as a weapon and make them even more insecure? It's never my business. It's not yours either.
Do you really want to know who you are? Ask yourself what you would do if someone hurt you so much and if you'd actually push through with it. Popular Media teaches us cruelty, so are you going to allow media to tell you who you should be or are you making your own choices and siding with your humanity? Your reaction is worth more than a thousand words. It's worth more than this entry. When you purposely make someone else hate, you're not better. That's all it is. You can be the victim of bullying and hate, but once you spread it yourself, you're no better than the bullies and haters out there.
Always (ALWAYS) treat others well. It doesn't matter who they are, where they are from, or what they've done. The real power in that is you don't know what people are actually going through and your act of kindness can makes a difference. Big or small. Life doesn't stop for anyone so don't hold yourself back from all the awesomeness that can happen just because you're spending your waking hours feeding the hate you feel. It catches up on you pretty quickly but it's even worse when it decides to come back at you years later. Life will always find a way to show you the truth about living and being alive.
We probably don't talk often or at all. We probably met once and drunkly added each other in social media. We probably never even met. You must have heard about me from someone else. Whoever you are, I want you to know everything is going to be okay.
I know people can be cruel (really really cruel.) They're even worst when they think you're wrong. They'll make you feel you're not worth anything, They'll call you every bad thing in the book to make sure you know how they feel about you. They'll even gather troops to join them in their hate and you'll feel alone. You might even have thoughts of ending your life because of the pain, but please... don't do that. One thing I can tell you is don't be like them. If you did make a mistake, I'll tell you the same thing, It's going to be okay. Of course, you need to learn from your mistakes, but don't fight back. It's going to be your strongest weapon. All you need to think about is your well-being. Don't let them win your mind and heart. Don't become bitter. Remember, these people hurting you, they also have a story on why they think it's so important to try and take you down. You may not know it and it's really not your position to know, and that's okay. Let them be. It's always going to be okay. Life is so much than living in hate and aggression. Hope is your strongest suit. They may be pounding at your door, screaming hate towards your way, but keep in mind these people don't control a single part of your life. You have full control, so control what you say, do, and think. You can't change them, but you can change the way you look at things. You can't control the words that come out of their mouths, but you can control how you react to them. Seek help from people who will uplift you, not make you hate on the haters. Find a different perspective (an awesome one!).
You're stronger than you think. Don't give in to them. Ever. You'll be okay. I promise.
For the past 2 years, I've been talking about this "BIG" project and I'm happy to say, IT'S FINALLY COMING TO LIFE!!!! After 2 years of hardcore research and which direction, tone, and visual to take, here it is. The first snippet of The Patch-It Project.
Together with my friends and family, all of these stuffies were created. I've been working with a few people on this for the past 2 years. From writers, to visual soldiers, to illustrator enthusiasts, we joined our creative brains to come up with this project.
So, what's the deal here?!
I'm going to give you all a little back story. 2 years ago, I finally grew up and decided to let go of my bad habits. Why? I was hated on soooo hard. It was my first taste of pure hatred in my life and I made the decision to just man up and move on. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. It took A LOT of will power to not give in to the hate I wanted to give my haters. At the end, I figured it all out. This project is the result. I don't want to EVER focus on what almost killed me. I want to focus on what made me live again and why spend so much time researching and reading on how to do it? I'm going to give it to the world with this simple and visual heavy infographic project.
It ALL STARTS with a promise to never be cruel. As this project kept going on, I got so sick and tired of all the pansy wansy negative things I see everyday. I had to take a stand in life because everyday, someone or something is misunderstood. My first case was Bullying. It moved on to Rape. Then Mental Disabilities. Differences. It kept piling up and then I finally heard/saw stories of people being way too hypocritical for their own good. I needed to do something. I asked my beautiful allies to help me compose all of this and my writers went down to business and I talked to a visual artists who gave me a piece of their mind.
The direction, tone, and visual of this project got deeper. I wanted to stay far away from the formal "grown up" only for adults feel. This is going to be strong. young, and NOT as colorful because we're going to be hitting grave matters.
From all the research, there's too much information that's not even important anymore. I couldn't believe people needed to go through all the junk to figure out what to do when you're in pain or hurt. I couldn't believe people couldn't see that a huge chunk relays on their level of humanity.
The concept here is gathering an army of people to fight for Peace, Love, and Kindness. People need to engage now because it's time for it to happen MORE. We want to stand with the weak, especially the ones who can't find the words to speak. We want to make it clear that EVERY SINGLE PERSON DESERVES LOVE. And no... not boyfriend-girlfriend kind of love. REAL TRUE AND GENUINE LOVE. The kind that's going to shake you. We're getting geared up and this is only the beginning of it.
We all know the basics of milestones like age 7, 18, 21, 30, etc. We know the differences between babies, toddlers, children, tweens, teenagers, and adults. There's also the whole mental growth chart and physical growth chart like when girls and boys start developing. We all know these things already, but have you ever wondered the benchmarks of adulthood? I say benchmark because it's the milestone in your life wherein your mind and body start to make better sense of things. Of course this depends on a lot of other things, but in general, I really think there are specific 'marks' in adulthood. For me, "Chapter 25" is the beginning of choosing your path in adulthood and this is like a NO TURNING BACK ZONE.
I noticed there was a huge jump from 24 years old to 25 years old. When I was reaching the end of 24, I was still naive, but I knew I had to make dramatic and big choices that will define my whole life. I still had the chance to be wild and free, but a big part of me was becoming serious and more mature. Like all young people, I had to battle my weaknesses and bad habits, but when I turned 25, it was like a switch in my mind that made things much easier to handle. When I turned 25, I became more outspoken and open-minded. I was able to fight for what I believed in. I still went through the same amount of pain as I did when I was 21-24, but for some reason, I was able to handle my problems better and more efficiently.
I started talking about this with a lot of people and they all gave me the same gist of things. 25 is the beginning of finalizing your whole life. It's 5 years before you're 30 and that's the age when marriage, kids, and financial stability really starts to hit your brain. It's 5 years after feeling the hype of finishing your "-teen" years. At 25, you're literally at the middle of growing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At 25, you should know where you stand.
So, this gave me the thought of understanding how all the mistakes and pain I went through from 20-24 are stepping stones. This gave me the understanding that all the people from 20-24 are going through exactly what I went through and I should give them a chance to reach the 25 mark to understand where they stand.
1. Your actions at this point truly define who you are.
Should I do this or that? Everything from this point on matters because you're preparing yourself for what's to come, good and bad. Yah, okay. You made mistakes in the past, well, this is your time to decide what you're going to do about your past. Will you leave it behind or dwell in it? Will you use it against others or tell yourself your past is in the past and it doesn't belong in the present? It's all up to you, but you know your choice will define you.
2. You're more compassionate, patient, and kind.
You quit the whole "i don't have feelings" or "I don't like to feel" script you pulled off when you were younger. You understand that feelings can be handled well and your reaction makes up your whole. You can feel another person's mood better than before. You learn the power of communication (you know it's not all about talking, but your gestures and manner of speaking play a huge role in your life now). You're more patient with your loved ones. You take the time to listen and help them. It's all because your maturing in all aspects of your life.
3. Sleep and Relaxation. Zen.
Those days when you could stay up all night and function the next day goes down the drain. Nope, you need sleep as much as you need air! Clubs and Bars are okay, but all night long? No thanks. You don't mind a few drinks, but a nice sit around talk and laugh while drinking beers or wine at home with friends is good! So good! Weekends don't have to be spent outside... being indoors is GOOD. The chance to catch up with tv shows or read a book all day long sounds like heaven!
4. You're the captain in your friend'SHIP'
You're starting (or you've reached) the point of being contented with the friends in your life. You stop trying to measure fame by counting the number of people you have on your social media sites. You know that people come and go in your life and that's okay! You're happy with the memories and keeping friendships positive. You stop trying to please everyone. You really do stop caring what other people think about you because you're mature and confident.
5. Problems can always be dealt with.
I think this is the most important one. If you're 25+ and you still deal with your problems through revenge, anger, hate or using the internet as a weapon, then go back to #1. At this point in life, you get to control your emotions better. When people hurt you, it's easier to handle things in a more peaceful way. Your immature days of revenge and hate turn into personal confrontation or simply letting it go. You know there are more important things to deal with rather than immature minded people. You know that problems are trials and there's space for trial and error. You know it's time to deal with things maturely and thinking about your actions is the right way to go!