Self-Love: A Journal

The cycles of life that continue to repeat are disappointing some times. For me, I’ve never really had a great opportunity– mentally, physically, and timing– to be in love. To fall in love. That sounds dramatic but it’s how I feel and is valid.

My emotions have been out of control this week and I’ve been thinking a lot, which if you know me, then you know that’s not normal. The cause of all of this is a boy. One tall, cute, sweet, thoughtful boy. Too bad he turned out like all of the rest of them. This brings me to the life cycle that I’ve been experiencing for most of my life when it comes to romance.

I have talked to many, MANY people over the years. I’ve tried talking and being with a variety of people– boys, girls, skinny, larger, black, white, gorgeous, plain, nerdy, silly, and artsy. All of em. But in the end, I end up having to give myself more love than they are willing and able to give me. In the end, I have to rely on myself to feel worthy and loved.

I’m not sure why this happens, whether I’m not talking to the right people, or whether I just have a lot of needs. There’s so many answer that could be possible. I have a lot of love to give and am a relatively easy-going person, so it seems like a relationship would’ve worked out for me at some point.

My friends always tell me that falling in love comes when you least expect it. That there’s no way to force, or plan for being in a relationship. I have trouble with this because I’m very controlling and independent. I’m also spontaneous and brave, so I am blatantly capable of loving someone else in a relationship.

This last boy I talked to taught me a lot. First, communication. It’s so important to talk about yourself, your feelings, and expectations. Being communicative is essential to relationship development. Second, knowing your partner is so important. This is someone I knew, obviously, but never understood the important of it in reality. I felt comfortable and confident with him. It was something special to me.

 

Maybe not to him though.

 

Fuck.

 

Back to the cycle– disappointment. Self-hatred. Insecurity. Emotional instability. All of this stupid shit that was happening to me because of his manipulation. Things went south four days ago and I’m already at a resolution, reflecting on the relationship. You know why? Because I love myself and treat myself with care. Without reflection, I would be a mess and confused. I want to feel happy, confident and mentally healthy, so I treat myself with the utmost care as my life cycle has shown me. Other significant others haven’t been able to do this for me and that disappoints me. But until I find a relationship of support, love and substance, I will keep loving myself and those around me to the fullest. That’s what life is all about. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ATL04854.jpeg

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Greek Mythology: A Journal

6/28/18

My heart feels so much right now.

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It’s the morning that I depart from Athens after staying here for two weeks. My heart aches that I have to leave. My heart aches that I will soon be reunited with my family and friends. My heart aches that the travels and memories I’ve done and made have come to an end.

We spent three days in Athens living in Stavros’ mothers apartment outside of the city in thiseio. Thalia and I arrived in the morning, having traveled 7 hours ahead of time and throughout the night. We were exhausted but began exploring. Stavros took us to the laeki or farmers markets that pop up in certain neighborhoods weekly. We bought fresh fruit and I had my first interaction with Greeks. There was yelling between stands, yelling about prices and quality of the fruits and vegetables. I knew I would be in for a long trip full of, you guessed it, yelling.

One thing I was told before coming here was that I had to eat delicious fruits. I didn’t really think much of this instruction but when I had my first taste of different fruits, I realized what the big deal was. The fruit is so full and juicy, nothing added or taken away. Since Greece is so fertile and hot, the produce grows with a lot of nutrients and grows big. We feasted on fruit everyday which I couldn’t be more happy about.

After staying in Athens and exploring the city by foot and train, feasting with family, and shopping, we flew to santorini. Now most Greeks don’t really like santorini because it is one of the more expensive islands to stay at, but we went despite comments from Stavros’ brother. A 40 minute plane took us to the island where we rented a car and we in search of food. We picked up bread and fruit then went to check in. Upon arrival, the hotel took me by surprise because it was very very nice. I didn’t expect a thrifty Greek man like Stavros to be willing to book such a nice hotel. The white stucco that made up the hotel was also seen throughout santorini with blue accents, just as you’d picture Greece.

There were churches, beaches and towns everywhere. The smaller town we were staying in had a view of oia and the inside curve of the small island. We would watch the sunset from our balcony or lookouts along the coast near the hotel. The other small islands, created by the volcanic explosion that occurred in santorini that buried the ancient city, were in view in the distance. Once the sun would drop low in the sky, everything would become glowing with pink and orange tones and the city would be put to sleep.

Although we didn’t enjoy the nightlife and clubs found in the larger cities on the island, we found ourselves enjoying close company at dinner and afterwards. The long days at the beach often tired us out but we found it easy to relax and spend time together.

On the island I saw many stone and black beaches which I didn’t know were in store. Black attracts the sun and heat, do you can only imagine how hot it was in the greece sun. Thankfully the water was cool so we would go between the sun and the ocean. The water blue and clear when the sun was out, but looked black when the sun went behind a cloud. Swimming in a sea of the unknown. Clouds passed over the sun most days, but made me appreciate the heat when the sun was shining on the water. With little to no waves, we swam deep into the ocean for hours.

A week passed in no time and we headed back to Athens for four more days. More walking tours and shopping was done, but we also went to the beach with Thalia’s second cousins. We couldn’t get away from the ocean. Even though there were a few rainy days at the end of the trip, we still got to do most of what I wanted to. We even saw a symphony performance in the ancient theater.

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The food is one thing I can be thankful for on this trip. SOUVLAKI !!

The company is something I’m thankful for on this trip.

The relaxation is something I’m thankful for on this trip.

Thankful Travels

My life is in a period of thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, so many reasons to celebrate, and so many people I need to reach out to to say thank you. The opportunities that have been given to me have changed my perspective on life.

My family and I traveled to Hawaii for the first 10 days of summer, and stayed with some of our long time family friends who recently moved there. The excursion was tropical, active, beachy, and inclusive. Traveling with my family for 10 days felt like a marathon of patience and laughs. After staying in a three bedroom apartment, (with lots of floor space) we learned to live in a sort of harmony. The hikes and beach trips we took were a good way to give everyone freedom and exercise which in the end makes you happier. For me, the beach is one of my most favorite places; there are so many activities you can do at the beach, especially in Hawaii of all places. Everything you looked at was beautiful. The flowers were vibrant, the ocean was electric, the people were diverse and the air was fresh. There wasn’t one thing I could complain about and our days would feel extended from the sun and sweat that could be washed away by the ocean. After this trip, I’m inspired to be surrounded by nature more and embrace the natural gifts that lay on this Earth. I’m thankful for our friends who housed us and acted as our tour guides for the trip. They made our trip personal and that couldn’t be recreated by any other tour group or travel agency.

My next door neighbor and lifelong friend, Thalia, has family in Athens, Greece and goes to visit every other year. This year I told her I was coming, lightly and a joke, partly serious. Turns out dreams can become reality. I was able to go, so I got a ticket which I’m so glad I was able to do, those things are expensive (!!). The trip would be one I’ll never forget. We spent two weeks in Greece with one week in Athens and one week on the island of Santorini. Our week in Athens was spent visiting countless aunts and uncles, cousins, and of course Yaya. Thalia’s father, Stavros, took us on multiple walking tours of the city that he has known all of his life. Boy did we see the sights! All of the churches around the city were beautiful, the ancient buildings of Plato and Aristotle, Acropoli where the Gods were honored, endless street vendors and stores. There was so much bustle in the city of people coming and going, selling products, families and tourists. Athens was a spectacular city with so much to see, I would have to go back to get to know the place better. Santorini was far from the big city of Athens. Arriving in the one room airport, I knew we were on a different wavelength than before. On island time, we were either at the beach, eating, sleeping or the occasional visit to ancient ruins. We stayed in Akrotiri where there’s an enormous excavation of the ancient ruins, but wasn’t a popular city like Oia or Thira. My favorite part about the island was the black sand. Since a volcano erupted and destroyed the island 20,000 years ago, the rocks are volcanic black. The soil is also very fertile because of the high levels of sulfur cause by the eruption. The wildlife flourished despite the intense heat. I couldn’t believe that the two weeks had come to an end when we traveled back to Athens for our remaining few days. The emersion into Greek culture was incredible and I learned a lot about the people there:

Greeks are made to eat and argue. They’re tough as nails and they’ll prove it if you question them. They love family and spending quality time together. They’re proud of their heritage, as they should be. They can drive well but choose not to. They go through hell in high school exams to do nothing in college. They wear sandals indoors because the floor is permanently dusty. They have amazing work ethic.

 

Through my travels, I’ve gained so much perspective on life in America and the variety of cultures in this world. I have found an interest in exploring culture and experiencing new places. I cannot give enough thanks to those in my life that have made these experiences possible. I’m so blessed to be have had these opportunities and hope to see more in the future. So much love and thanks.

 

 

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

When a great photo is in my presence, I can feel and see it, so I take a mental picture to save the image. Having an eye for these photo-deserving scenes can be exhausting- I’m always looking at the beauty that surrounds me. Observing life isn’t exactly the same as living, so there’s a compromise I make with being observant. I enjoy being able to see the little details that many other people would breeze right past. The tender moments I see stick in my memory and bring me joy.

The other day I pulled onto my street and stopped at the stop sign before my house. A mom was walking by with her baby strapped into a front baby carrier. The two were smiling at each other, content on their walk on such a beautiful day. I waved and smiled at the sight, and the mom energetically waved back. This encounter makes me smile, even today. The warmth in the relationship between mother and baby was able to bring me joy and love. Knowing the love I have for my own mother is also in the hearts of many others is gratifying to understand. I know that those who love their moms have something to hold onto. An unconditional love.

Who knew such a small exchange at a stop sign could speak such volumes. I value this world, and the emotional offerings that are all around us if we just stop to look.IMG_0079.JPG

Character

When one’s character is questioned, the insecurity and lack of sureness allows for a strengthened understanding of self-values. The questioning of one’s goodness forces us to reevaluate our person, and double check our beliefs.

A best friend and I got in an argument. Well really she ignored me until I realized she was angry, then asked my other best friend what was going on. Then proceeded to text her to apologize.

I’m bad at confrontation.

But I had to stand up for my values and clarify the reasons for my actions that caused her to be upset with me. She truly believed I had intentionally hurt her. This claim forced a lump in my gut and I felt sick after I heard what she was saying I’d done.

This conflict forced me to look at myself and see what’s going on inside. I was stressed, impatient, and overwhelmed. I acted on impulse instead of being thoughtful. I recognize these flaws. From this recognition I was able to build my argument: I would never do something to intentionally harm someone. Knowing I’m the cause of hurt for someone throws a burden on my back that can only be lifted with resolution.

So that’s what I did. I apologized for my actions and clarified my point of view that was missing from the situation. But still, I couldn’t understand how somehow, overnight I became a mean ole monster in her eyes. The truth was, I was still silly Elizabeth. I hadn’t handled a situation with grace, which lead to what began as a confrontation, then turned into an identity crisis and finally ended in self-declaration.

I spoke my truths and she forgave me. Simple as that, but all because I know who I am and can stand up for that.

Trust yourself. Know yourself. Because when that character is challenged, you’ll have something to fall back on and believe in. 

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This Is Us

The beauty of life.

Aunt Lindsey passed away yesterday, so I had to go shopping for a black dress this afternoon before going with friends to eat at Moe’s. I feel hollow in my shell and my world is off kilter, but I don’t want to make a big deal of it.

My teammate recently committed suicide because she just wasn’t, “fine,” even when she said she was. After suffering a concussion that caused social anxiety and depression, her life was forever changed.

Petting my dog, knowing she doesn’t have much time left. He soft fur reminding me of when she was only a puppy last year, and has now has grown to be slower and fragile but just as playful.

These stories have all come across my path over the course of one day, but will leave a lasting impact for years. The coincidental occurrence of events today has spoken volumes to me. We only get so much time, and to throw that away is like throwing away the winning lottery ticket. You can only hope for it to hold value, but lose hope and faith in it, so you just toss it out. You don’t recognize the possibilities.

The value of love has become evident through these stories. Reaching out to someone who is hurting can change everything. We have to remind each other to pay attention to life’s beautiful moments before there’s only time to reflect, and we can no longer act as we once could. So say yes more, get out and really live.

Through these moments I see the concoction of emotions that life throws at us. From pain to joy, from anger to love, and from passion to resentment, we experience these emotions, but might not always have a true grasp on reality.

As I fall asleep, my breath rises and falls in my chest. My eyes are puffy from watching NBC’s, “This Is Us”. The sweet father on the show passed away in the episode I just finished, and again I was reminded of the looming fact of death. I feel no fear, for I have faith in love and in high powers that I will be okay. That my life still has a whole lot of living to do. So for all of you that experience death in close contact, please know you are loved and many people are willing to listen if you ever want to talk. Emotions demand to be felt- it’s a part of life and even death.

Carpe Diem.

Sen18r

Ahhh… Senior year. A time for college applications, being the top dog, and making the most of the time left.

So they say.

As the fourth week of my senior year comes to an end, I’m beginning to understand much more. More about myself, my interests, my future, and the people I’ve chosen to have in my life.

Tonight, (YES TONIGHT) I went to a meet-n-greet type thing through YL where seniors get to know the freshmen. Watching all of these young, nervous girls wearing essentially the same outfit, talking about the same things, I had a moment of insight.

I’ve grown so much throughout high school.

Sure, I probably wasn’t as hyper-focused on the preppy style, mascara, and superficial values that I saw girls wearing. I was weirder for starters, but definitely in the same boat of, “I don’t know who I am, but at least I have friends.”

We’re all just making it. Thinking we’re doing the best that we can, when in reality, we might just be conforming to norm to fit in, or feel like we belong. In no way am I criticizing, but more interpreting and understanding. Everything is in perspective.

Through this post, I want to say I’m proud. I’m proud that I didn’t get caught up in the idea of being so normal, of straightening my hair, of layering on the make up, of wearing the tightest jeans, or even of saying, “like,” in every sentence I speak. I’ve stayed true to myself and from that, I’ve learned what it feels like to have my own opinions, ideas, desires, and plans. And that’s really a special gift, so thanks high school.

Most importantly, thank you senior year. Thanks for allowing me to see the people around me clearly. Thanks for giving me wisdom, you’ve got me feeling older. Thanks for making me want to do greater things, now that I can see the relativity of the world- the opportunity it holds. So between my vague memories of being stumped on college essay prompts, cockiness of being at the top of the totem pole, and wild memories, I’ll remember you- senior year- for all of the clarity, growth, and strength you’ve shown me.

Finding a look, a vibe, a truth in everyday life.