My happy place

When I was very young, five or so,  my older brother tried to infiltrate my imaginary world of “Abigail-land.” He told me he’d burned down all the cities, reduced them into ashes. Of course it was all in good fun. It never bothered me that much, because I was fully aware of my secret powers, powers my brother did not hold over Abigail-land. I could always rebuild my city in a matter of seconds, and there would be no way for my brother to destroy it again if I never told him. It was a comfort that there would always be a place where I, and only I, could reach and discover. Nobody else could ever see it in the exact same way. 

Abigail-land has long since faded into memory. Today, I have no name for my imaginary retreat–it’s simply “my happy place.” There are talking animals and clear lakes; there are towering mountains and castles where I can reign in luxury. Pain and sadness don’t exist in my happy place, neither do any people I know in this world. My happy place is distinctly mine, and nobody else will ever be able to destroy it. 

Today, use your imagination to come up with an imaginary place to go when you’re overwhelmed, or just seeking adventure. And remember, it’s nobody else’s–just yours. 

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Karma? Nope.

When I was younger, I used to believe in Karma. It made sense to me–you do bad things, and bad things happen to you. Do good things, and good things happen. I guess from a logical standpoint, it’s…well, it’s sensible. 

One day, I abruptly stopped believing in Karma. I have never been in so much pain. It was awful. You know crying? We all know crying, but really crying and wailing. Yeah. I looked up at the sky and told myself I’d never done anything shitty enough to deserve what I was going through. Sure, I’d done awful things, but nothing awful enough to warrant that. 

And besides, good people meet horrible ends. Innocents are murdered. Children are kidnapped, or worse. All too often, the bad guy gets off free. He sits in his plushy armchair while his country starves. How fair is that? Life isn’t fair. It will never be fair. 

You can believe whatever you want. If you believe in Karma, so be it. I won’t bother you. But my opinion?
It’s complete bullshit. 

Things you never knew about me…

Here’s a list of things you might not have known about me. Have anything in common with me? Drop a comment! I’d love to hear what you have to say. Also, sorry for the blog spam today. I never post this much in one day, but I’m having an unusually long burst of inspiration.

  1. I’m afraid of heights. Really, they freak me out. I’m always having dreams about falling.
  2. I used to like rap and hip-hop. This was in seventh grade.
  3. American Airlines follows me on Twitter.
  4. Oh yes, if you ask, I will give you the link to my Twitter.
  5. I want to be in elementary school again.
  6. I share a room.
  7. My room is incredibly messy, and I like it that way.
  8. Crest is my favorite toothpaste.
  9. My only pair of yoga pants has ripped. I’m sad.
  10. I really enjoy chess, even if I’m bad at it.
  11. I would love to live in Virginia when I’m older.
  12. Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings. Love.
  13. Once, I ate a dandelion.
  14. Frozen is a wonderful movie.
  15. I’ve never actually seen the Lion King. 
  16. I wear glasses. 
  17. I really appreciate every one of my blog readers. Love you guys!
  18. Myers-Briggs type: ENFP. Though I’m not the stereotypical extrovert. I’m really more of an ambivert. Hard to distinguish from INFP.
  19. iPhones will always be supreme.
  20. I love Mumford and Sons. A lot.
  21. I have a Tumblr, and I’ll never tell you the URL. 
  22. Recently, I started liking orange juice.
  23. I need to have a lot of milk in my coffee.
  24. I have a lot of dreams. Night dreams, daydreams…lots of dreams.
  25. Drawing is awesome.
  26. Wish me happy birthday on May 29th!
  27. I have bunnies. Two of them. 

Old-Fashioned Country Apple Pie Recipe

As you all know, I’m totally a cooking and baking expert. I hope you enjoy my unique recipe for apple pie. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
One tortilla
Two apples
Lots of caramel syrup
Cinnamon sugar
Whipped cream

  1. Chop up the apples and boil them until they’re soft. I have no idea how long it’ll take. You figure it out.
  2. Warm the tortilla in a microwave (totally old-fashioned, right?).
  3. Heat up the caramel syrup. Mix it with the soft apples and cinnamon sugar. 
  4. Pour the apple mix into the tortilla.
  5. Fold up the tortilla and hold it closed with a toothpick. Drizzle caramel syrup on the tortilla and top with whipped cream.
  6. You better damn well enjoy it. 

I don’t know. 
This is literally the extent of my baking abilities, and I’m proud of it. 

The Art of Self-Love: 31 Ideas

Learning to love oneself is so empowering. Freeing. Imagine feeling at peace with the person you naturally are, embracing your imperfections and letting go of the need for flawlessness. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with that have helped me (or could theoretically help me) love myself. Maybe you’ll like some of them.

  1. Meditate. Create a happy space in your mind. It can be a real place or imaginary–anything goes. When you’re feeling upset or negative, go there and take deep breaths. Imagine breathing in happiness, peace, and joy. Associate a color with it. Feel it wash over you.
  2. Take a shower. Reflect on life in a positive light. Close your eyes and feel the water and the soap.
  3. Read. Lose yourself in a wonderful book. I prefer non-violent, non-horror material, but whatever floats your boat.
  4. Listen to calming music. Imagine letting go of every care you have. Copy and paste this link, it’s my favorite track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_PZSnen5A
  5. Surround yourself with positive influences. Unfollow discouraging accounts on social media. Stay away from negativity on the Internet. Be with people who encourage you to be your best. 
  6. Write a letter to your past self. Make peace with her. Forgive her for what she’s done. Tell her jokes and encourage her.
  7. Cuddle. Hug yourself. Hug someone else. Hug inanimate objects.
  8. Go for a walk or run. Especially when I’m stressed, running helps me loosen up. Notice your surroundings.
  9. Cry. Crying is not a bad thing. It can be very good when it’s done appropriately. Let yourself feel.
  10. Get dressed in the morning. Clean yourself up. Take care of your hygiene. It’s so much easier to feel good when you’re not greasy and lounging around in pajamas. 
  11. Paint. It doesn’t have to be good. Just let the colors flow. 
  12. Shave. If you’re one who shaves, do it. It’s almost impossible for me to feel bad about myself when I have baby dolphin legs.
  13. Find synonyms for positive words. I like thesaurus.com the best. Start with a word like glorious, and write out all the synonyms you find appealing. At the top of the page, write your name. You’re all of those things. 
  14. Light a scented candle. Enjoy the scents. You are wonderful.
  15. Be proud of your flaws. For example, I’m a horrible cook, and I’m proud of that. I would never want to be good at it. Having the ability to laugh at yourself is very valuable. 
  16. Dress up for no reason.
  17. Take yourself out on a date. Look nice and go to a good restaurant by yourself. Have conversations with your mind. It can be quite freeing.
  18. Do something spontaneous. Get in the car and go anywhere. Try something new. 
  19. Do something you’re good at. Whatever it is, we all have talents. 
  20. Get off the Internet for awhile. It’s easy to caught up in comparisons, especially with social media. Let it go for a day.
  21. Love a friend. Don’t talk about your problems. Just listen to the friend. Make him or her feel wonderful. Loving someone else makes you feel good, too.
  22. Do what you loved to do as a kid. Did you play dress-up? I certainly did.
  23. Journal. Feel your feelings. Describe them. Pour yourself out.
  24. Cook a delicious meal. Obviously, this isn’t the choice for me, but for all the cooks out there…
  25. Write a list of what makes you unique. Keep it positive. 
  26. Watch a comedy. Laugh. Lighten up your mood.
  27. Take a nap. Sometimes all we need is a little sleep. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into an apathetic, slug sort of nap. Think of peaceful things as you drift off.
  28. Ask others for stories of inspiration. We’ve all seen and been through a lot. Connect with someone and share hope.
  29. Every time you think something negative about yourself, write it down and rip up the paper. Then write exactly the opposite. Sometimes saying the truth aloud helps, too.
  30. Treat yourself like you’d treat a dear friend.
  31. You don’t always have to like yourself, but you should always strive to love yourself. Unconditionally. 

 

Not Suffering

Struggling and suffering are two totally different things, in my opinion. To struggle is to live. We all are battling. Each has her own war to fight, her own mountain to scale. There is effort in struggle. Nobody who is struggling has given up. Suffering, to me, is like being taken under the water and not coming up. There is no swimming or climbing involved with suffering. We have all suffered and given up. But today, I refuse to suffer. I struggle, but I will never go under. 

As the common suburban teenager says, I refuse to sink. (Although I will not associate an anchor with this saying. Anchors sink, not float.)

 

Knight Running

Just after I wrote my most last post (Taking Control), I was filled with a sort of zany motivation. Sometimes that happens to me, usually after I’ve just interacted with people. I wanted to do something completely wild, to shake it up a little. More specifically, I wanted to act out my feelings of confidence. I decided to go for a run.

Going for a run doesn’t seem very zany. Well, that’s because it isn’t. Usually when I go running, I put my hair up and change into workout clothes. This time, I didn’t. I put on a knight costume I got back when I was ten or so. I put on that knight costume, grabbed my foam sword and shield, and just ran. I didn’t bother with my hair. I was still wearing jeans and a hoodie under the costume, but that didn’t matter. It was just me and my thoughts, me and my motivation.

See, this is the explanation behind my new blog name, Dauntlessly Cautious. Ask my closest friends, and they will be able to tell you that I’m incredibly spontaneous and, well, crazy. I’ve been known to get sudden urges to eat dandelions or join the cross country team, despite how god-awful I am at running. I often speak before I think, which results in me blurting out the weirdest things. Yet, at the same time, I can easily sink into contemplation and become so deep in imagination that I completely lose touch with my surroundings. I can second-guess myself so much I work my thoughts into a tight knot. It’s like I have a switch that flips between silly dolphin and reflective bluebird at random. I’m unpredictable. These two extremes create a sort of civil war within me. I get an exhilarating buzz from the contradiction. It makes me feel so alive. 

Back to my knight running. (It’s funny because it’s night time. So it’s night knight running.) A few people saw me, and I think they thought I’d cracked, but I really didn’t care. “Nobody can stop me. I have a freaking sword,” I said aloud. I swear, I never want to grow up. Internally, that is. I’ll be the strange neighbor who skips around the block wearing a hula skirt and a broomstick, and I’m not going to care. 

One of my great fears is being known as shallow. I am anything but. Even when I’m in my spontaneous mood, I still have my introspective side running in the background. It’s like the two sides thumb wrestle, and they each have equal strength. I can be shoveling salsa in my mouth while dancing the Chicken Dance one minute, and be wrapped in questions about the complexity of life the next. I can be waiting in my metaphorical tower, sighing over the thought of a handsome prince in shining armor, and be pulling on my own armor to go on an adventure the next.

Right now, I’m my own knight in shining armor. Literally.
Sort of. 

Taking Control

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt in control of my life. I’ve been overwhelmed with the circumstantial, and then with my emotions. I’ve been in the backseat letting everything and anything else run my life. You see, I’ve never really been the assertive type. I don’t speak up or take charge often. I’m usually comfortable not being the leader. But this is my own life, and it’s time to conquer it again.

I can’t change that I was bullied. I can’t change the fact that I have depression. I can’t control my emotions. But I can control my attitude, even if it’s difficult. I’m sensitive and empathetic–that’s something I don’t want to change–but I don’t have to be as fragile as a leaf, either. I don’t need constant validation. This is the time to take back my own life, because it’s mine.

And you know what I have to say to anything in my way?
Move the hell out. 

Manipulative Lying…

I’m a pretty lenient, forgiving person in general. I can almost always find good in people, even the worst ones. I attribute a lot of wrongdoing to ignorance or hurt. But there are a few things that I absolutely cannot tolerate–one of them is lying with a manipulative purpose. Lying with a clear motive to deceive someone else or to get what one wants.

I especially hate when one uses a serious topic when lying manipulatively. For example, “If you don’t let me do this, I’m going to kill myself,” or “I’ll hurt myself if you do this.” Even if that person is legitimately having self-destructive thoughts, it’s just not okay to use those thoughts to manipulate someone. And I think it’s safe to say that most of the time, that person really isn’t having those thoughts. They want to get their way in whatever way possible. It’s just not okay. Not only is it hurtful to the one whom you are deceiving, it’s offensive to those of us who have actually had those thoughts and have not used them to manipulate. 

Gosh. 

 

One Year

I’ve had this blog for a year now. Exactly a year, I believe. It started out as a way for me to try subtly impressing everyone–showing off my writing skills and my oh-so-wonderful ideas without being outwardly prideful about it. I liked to think of myself as a sort of Anne Shirley. I was, in a way. I think I still am, though I’ve changed. I’m sassier and more opinionated, which I guess is something every teenager will grow into and out of at some point. Then it became a place for me to pour out all my inspirational, hopeful stuff (see, a year ago, I would have had a problem with putting the word stuff in a post, but I’m looser about it now). My intentions were good, but I think I thought I knew everything when I didn’t. From there, my blog became a place to weep about my horrible past (September and October), then to post random drivel. Most of the posts from November to January aren’t really worth reading, to be honest. Here’s a quote from one of the posts:

Fruit snacks. Bananas. Music. What is life? Everything is a–I want a cup of hot chocolate. It should be balanced on a plate, so it doesn’t tip over. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Fifth grade. Fourth grade. Third grade. Loser. Losers. Loserette. Loserette isn’t a word. Why does everything have to be changed? It doesn’t make sense. Music. Music. Music. Music. Music. Music. Fruit snacks. We’re out of fruit snacks, aren’t we? Yeah, I checked yesterday. Did I? Yes. Yes. Yes. Music. Fruit snacks. Third grade. First grade. Eighth grade. No. No, not eighth grade. No. No. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. What is wrong with me? I hate this blog. I’m so uninspired. Goodbye.”

I think that paragraph sums up my depression pretty well, to be honest. 

Now, I’m not really sure what this blog is. There isn’t any sort of theme. I’m not trying to be someone I’m not, or spraying sappy hope in everyone’s faces, or ranting. I’m just me, and I don’t really have a theme. 

So, happy first birthday to Dauntlessly Cautious (formerly This Crazy Writer)!