The Gift of Self-Expression

Written by: Megan Lawrence, contributing writer.  Follow more of her journey at HealingHopefuls.com or on her Instagram, @in.my.own.words.  

To find a way to express who you are is a beautiful gift that you can give yourself. I firmly believe we are all capable of finding what works for us, but we are also capable of keeping ourselves from discovering the gifts we possess. However we choose to express our character, may it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, we will be grateful for being ourselves. When we can slowly begin to accept our true nature and let go of the fears that are holding us back, we start to see ourselves for the first time. When this happens, there is no turning back.

Self-expression can be scary. It takes a certain level of vulnerability when it comes to opening ourselves up and accepting who we are. It is not going to happen overnight. It is more like a progression of testing your own abilities. Opening yourself up to rejection and criticism is the risk we take when choosing to express ourselves the way we know how. If we know that partaking in an activity or being a part of a specific community brings us joy, then we should not feel the need to fight that feeling. When we do what feels right for our life and find ways to express that, we should lean more into that thing and trust it.

I am constantly searching for more ways to express the world that I have internalized. What I love about each and every one of us, is that NO ONE can tell our own story better than we can. There is a lot of strength to be gained once we accept that. There is an endless amount of ways to show the world what you care about, and if you believe otherwise, it is because you are afraid of being rejected; I get it. I still to this day have that fear. I try not to give it as much power but it happens, and I am always going to be a work in progress; we all are.

There are many ways in which I already express myself. Since I have been able to get tattoos, I have been putting my ideas into the hands of tattoo artists and watching them appear in life through the ink in my skin. They tell a story and allow me to recall certain chapters of my life. They are an ink stamp in time and a reminder that time moves on with or without us. They hold meaning, purpose, and a backstory. My tattoos are a quick way of figuring out someone else’s intentions or harsh judgments. I wear my heart on my sleeve in more ways than one, and my tattoos are a piece of me that I wear proudly.

I have been expressing myself through athletics for as long as I can remember. Soccer was my first true love, passion, and teacher of what I am capable of from a physical standpoint. As I grew older, it was obvious to myself and those around me that soccer seemed to be a path I needed to pursue. It took me all the way through college, but once I parted ways with my soccer career, it was the need for any physical challenge that keeps me active to this day. I have learned that it wasn’t just soccer that I was using as a form of self-expression, it was my overall passion for fitness and love for competition. Not only does physical activity help me on my recovery journey, but it provides me with a strong sense of fulfillment that I cannot get from anywhere else.

Through writing, I can get in touch with my emotional side. By sharing my words with the world, I have been able to connect with a large community of people who are all working to better themselves. This form of self-expression has been the most important for my life. It allows me to get to know myself on a deeper level, and it challenges me to share my truth instead of run from it. I have also learned that when I am avoiding the work it takes to sit down and put my thoughts on paper, it is because I am afraid of what I need to share. My words and my work have been able to keep me accountable for my growth as a human being. It also warns me when I may need to get back on track or when I am putting off my life due to fear. To express myself through my own words has been so eye-opening, and I am a firm believer that you cannot help others until you have begun to heal yourself. I put my truth out into the world because once I can set it free, it is something I no longer allow to be used against me. I express myself through writing to understand who I am and find others who can relate to my story even though it is not their own.

To express yourself is to rebel in a world that is desperate to turn you into something you are not. Listen to your gut, follow your heart, and never be afraid to show the world who you truly are.

Thank you for reading.

Imade’s #myunpolishedjourney Story

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Imade, (pronounced ee-MAH-day), a 30-year-old black woman who deals with severe depression. I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina.

I’m a writer. After ignoring this for years, I realize writing is the primary way I process my experiences and share them with the world.

I also have a passion for mental health and centering African-American narratives. The black community is often left out by the mental health system through expensive and overly complicated health insurance, insensitive mental health advice, and criminalization as well as mass incarceration.

Personally, I’ve gone through so much pain trying to fit into what a black person is supposed to be. I don’t want anyone else to go through that. I hope my platform, Depressed While Black, liberates black people to be their most authentic selves, even in their mental health life.

What has your mental health journey been like?

My mental health journey has been really hard and it is still hard. I had the toughest winter of my life this last season in experiencing the loss of relationships, the loss of my grandma, and some pretty significant work stress that exacerbated my depression. I was in a really dark place.

Since then, I’ve tried to change my life to make my life worth living. I’m investing in self-care which for me, looks like weightlifting and building skills in areas I want to grow in. It also looks like leaving my job and searching for a career change in a field that is more sustainable for my mental wellness.

So my mental health journey looks like a lot of tinkering, a lot of falls, a lot of mistakes, but also a lot of recovery as well. It’s messy and non-linear. I have not overcome depression at all. And I feel that is my strength as a mental health advocate: to reveal what ongoing mental illness is like as a black person.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in pursuing recovery?

Institutional racism to be honest. And it’s not always in your face. Institutional racism can look like a psychiatrist telling you that you’re bipolar because you write in your notebook. That happened to me. This made me wonder if my psychiatrist, who was a woman of color but not black, was unable to perceive my black intellect because she didn’t see black people as being capable of having intellect.

I’ve had therapists ignore the cultural context that I live in. I was told to leave school without them knowing what my home life is first.

There are so many blind spots in the mental health system that ignores what black people go through. That feeling of being invisible when you need to be seen is so painful. I’m so glad for mental health resources like Therapy For Black Girls that connect black people with mental health professionals that see them and affirm them.

What helps you maintain recovery?

I’m in a period of transition right now, but I’m hoping to get a therapist once I move. I need a long-term therapist and some stability because it’s been tough bouncing from therapist to therapist.

I enjoy taking voice lessons. It’s nerve-wracking and weird but when you feel you progressed, it’s an incredible feeling.

Since I’m a writer, I have a difficult relationship with writing as self-care because writing is my job. But I hope to journal more, and in a non-judgmental way. That’s really hard for me but I want to do this.

What advice do you have for someone in the early stages of recovery?

I would say to not be afraid of your rock bottom because you can get through it. The fear of my lowest point made me do a lot of harmful things like act impulsively in my personal decisions. Sometimes you just need to be patient with yourself and realize you can’t always speed up your recovery. Sometimes you just need to do the same small, empowering steps you did yesterday. And with that repetition, you get better. There really isn’t a magic pill for mental illness. Recovery often comes from the mundane things.

Self-Expression: A Tool for Communicating Your Emotions

Written by: Natalie Dormady, contributing writer.  Follow more of her story on her Instagram, @littlearthlings.  

“What does your life look like with an eating disorder? Now, what would your life look like without it?”

I was completing an outpatient program when my therapist asked me this question. I sat there, staring at the ground, hoping I could find a response embedded in the carpet. She asked me to give it some thought as homework. She said I could write about it, photograph it, draw it. The only requirement was that it needed to express how the disorder was impacting my life and what my life would be like without it. I left her office that day trying to figure out how I was going to explain my feelings.

I got home and started typing. I thought that maybe I could write about it but struggled to find the right words. Nothing seemed to truly express what I was thinking or feeling, so I decided to take a different approach. I started to draw. I remember drawing one thing, then another, and another. It felt like I was completing a puzzle with each image. It made sense. As I drew, I felt safe and comforted in a way that words did not allow me to. I remember feeling like I understood. I finally understood how cruel the disorder was.

“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

-Georgia O’Keeffe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a really hard time expressing my emotions. Crying, anger, frustration. Basically all of the uncomfortable ones. I could never verbally express how I was feeling. I didn’t know how to say I was feeling sad, or mad. I think I was afraid to. I knew in my head that I was feeling a certain way, but it ended there. I couldn’t find the right words. I would suppress my emotions by engaging with the disorder. Feeling frustrated? Upset? Anxious? The disorder provided me with a false sense of comfort. I would release my emotions in unhealthy ways. I never realized just how harmful it was until I started drawing and expressing how I was feeling in a safe way, rather than allow the disorder to suppress and hurt. Art has allowed me to feel something that the eating disorder could never: happiness.

Through painting, scribbling, doodling, I have been able to express myself. I have been able to communicate my emotions, not only with others but with myself. For me, art is freeing. Art is not suppressing like the disorder was. The act of creating has allowed me to visually see my emotions. Sometimes the page is full of scribbles, or sometimes it has flowers and mountains, but using art as a form of expression has provided me with a safe and secure outlet to better understand myself and my emotions. Art allows me to communicate in a way in which I can’t with words. Art is safe, I am safe.

Throughout my recovery journey, I have been learning more and more every day just how important it is for me to create. When I was engaging with the disorder, I lost touch with my creative side. Art allows me to connect and understand myself in ways the disorder never did. I am happy, content, and calm when I am drawing. Even if at the start of a drawing I feel anxious, I feel myself relax with each brush stroke. It has become a form of meditation for me. A form of self-care. I look forward to doodling. I look forward to a blank page.

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Using art to express myself has taught me that there is no wrong way to create. Creativity is meant to have imperfections, it is meant to be messy. Sometimes, it is meant to be scribbles and circles, with bold colours, or maybe just quiet lines. Deep blues or bright yellows. Visually seeing my emotions, through colours and objects, helps me accept them as they are. I’m working on not judging my thoughts, I’m practicing allowing myself to create freely and with this has come a better understanding of myself.

There are so many wonderful ways we can express ourselves. Drawing, dancing, moving, yoga, creating, writing, singing, journaling, poetry, photography, acting, being in nature, decorating, clothing, and the list goes on! Expressing yourself in a way in which allows you to connect with yourself is so important. It is another form of communication with others, but also with yourself. I find that through expressing myself with art, I’m learning more and more about myself. If one form of self-expression doesn’t resonate with you, it is more than okay to try again. Maybe it’ll take some time to find a way to express yourself, or maybe you already know how to. Either way, you deserve to find an activity or form of self-expression that has meaning and impact. You deserve to be happy.

 

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In Bloom

Written by: Madeline McCallum, contributing writer and blogger at http://madelinesmusing.blogspot.com/?m=1

“When I look at my roses I remember that life happens in cycles. We can’t – and shouldn’t – be flowering all the time. Life needs rest periods, dark periods, time to cut back – sometimes down to the ground. Time to put out new shoots. And no perennial can thrive year on year unless its roots are strong, deep and nourished. When you live close to nature you learn that we are nature. We all need the same things.”

-Jeanette Winterson, in the June issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK

I think I feel most connected to myself when I am surrounded by nature. It is simultaneously calming and invigorating – the soft breeze fluttering through the trees, ruffling the light green underbellies of the leaves so they catch the evening sun just so.

Its part nostalgia – my childhood was full of bare feet on soft grass and building hideaways in the woods– and part orienting myself in the present moment. Just going for a walk outside can be such a good mindfulness exercise – focus on tuning all the senses into your experience. What do I see? What do I hear? What can I taste? By activating all of my senses, I find myself focusing on the birds singing, the child playing with a soccer ball in the park, the hint of sweat and dust on my lips, rather than the swirling thoughts in my brain.

If I ever need to clear my head, I just get myself outside. Sometimes that means a lovely stroll on a bright summers’ day, searching for flowers & listening to the bees buzzing as they fly past. But it can also mean leaning into a blah mood by taking the long route home on a gray, drizzly afternoon, seeing how the familiar neighbourhoods can have a completely different personality depending on the weather, my mindset, and maybe the soundtrack I am listening to. I appreciate a moody, movie-score walk down the street every now and then – I am still connecting to whatever it is I’m feeling, acknowledging it, really feeling it, and then getting on with my day.

Connecting with nature also helps me to see the world on a grander scale – to escape my anxieties and understand that we really are meant for so much more. Just ponder for a moment the scale of an oak tree – it has probably been rooted there for decades, watching the world go by, observing change and turmoil and peace and the mundane everyday.

I also use nature as a form of self-expression – part of my core identity involves a deep love and appreciation for beautiful things, which expresses itself in my passion for fashion and interior decoration. I love a good floral print, and I delight in finding new floral-inspired pieces, mixing them into my wardrobe and collecting different designs. I also love to surround myself with fresh blooms, and I use the Sunday flower market as self-care. If I am ever sad or I have plans canceled and I don’t know what to do with myself, I schedule a prompt trip to an outdoor market. Just strolling through rows of peonies, tall, demanding sunflowers, cascading vines & bright dahlias, brings me so much pure joy.

The metaphor of nature helps me connect with myself. The narrative of impermanence and of natural cycles, the reminder that we are not meant to bloom all year round – all of these are wrapped into mantras I hold close. Much like plants, we need water, sunlight, attention, and patience in order to grow and stay healthy. And sometimes a raging forest fire may come through and burn everything to the ground – but wildflowers are the first thing to grow back, and they often come back even more beautiful than before.

My mom has always told me that I should use going for a walk as part of my toolkit, as part of my mental health prescription. If I feel anxious, go for a walk. If I know I should move my body but can’t muster up much energy, go for a walk. If I need to clear my head, go for a walk. This advice has continued to ring true year after year and also seems to work when I need to connect with myself. If I need to spend some time with Madeline, remind myself of who I am and what I love, spending some time in nature always does the trick.

 

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Live Life as Art, Even if it Sucks

Written by: Casey Urban, contributing writer.  Connect with her on Instagram (@caseyurban) or on her blog www.caseyurban.com/blog/.

Self-expression is our theme for June and if I’m being honest, when I read the topic, I couldn’t help but feel depressed. I have “live life as art” tattooed on my left arm. I’ve been dancing, acting, and singing since the age of five and as a pre-teen, I worked as a professional actress. I went to a performing arts high school for musical theater and dance. At 17 I let someone break my artistic confidence and I haven’t quite recovered. I excitedly told her about all the schools I was planning on auditioning for and she just stared at me asking, “Well what are you going to do if you don’t get into any of them?” That possibility hadn’t occurred to me until that very moment. I allowed that comment to build an army of fear inside of me that has nearly defeated my artistic expression. Nearly.

I started writing songs when I was 19, and I have found that it suits my self-expression more so than musical theater or dance ever did. I have fully written about 20 songs over the past decade, 1-2 of which I am able to confidently call somewhat maybe half-way decent. I desperately want to write more and perform and collaborate with other musicians. The fear of failure has got a tight hold on my progress and my ability to just give fewer fucks and start being okay with sucking. You have to suck for a long time before you can be good at anything. One of my favorite quotes on creativity explains just that:

“Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish somebody had told this to me — is that all of us who do creative work … we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap, that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has the ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?

A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be — they knew it fell short, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have.

And the thing I would say to you is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase — you gotta know it’s totally normal.

And the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week, or every month, you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It takes a while, it’s gonna take you a while — it’s normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that, okay?”

-Ira Glass

With that being said, I am going to make a promise to myself. I promise to make my art and sing at every opportunity (even and maybe especially when the fear seems intolerable). I promise to continue my work with Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ (look it up if you haven’t already, this book changed my life), especially my morning pages (3 stream of consciousness pages written upon awakening) and my weekly ‘artist dates’. I promise to post some of my music on the internet before the end of the year despite the fact that this absolutely fucking terrifies me. I promise to finish a full album that I am actually proud of and record it with a few people I truly respect and adore before I turn 40. Even if it sucks. Deal? Deal.

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Slowing Your Thoughts Through Self-Expression

Written by: Zoe Speirs, contributing writer.  Follow more of her journey on her Instagram, @boporecoverywarrior.   

When life gets a bit hectic, stressors begin to pile on top of each other making you feel a bit lost amongst the endless to-do lists. It’s easy to let yourself go into autopilot to try to cope with everything – and that’s understandable. We all do it. But moments like these are a great opportunity for self-reflection. To pause and take a moment to find something that helps us reconnect with ourselves.

For me, I discovered that I loved pilates in the midst of University lectures, assessments, and exams. Those 45-60 minutes that I dedicated purely to myself once or twice a week, where I could reconnect my mind and body and forget about everything I needed to do, calmed me down. Pilates is how I’ve started reintroducing exercise in my eating disorder recovery journey, and it has helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It’s based on breathing techniques and dynamic movements, and it allows me to practise mindfulness by being completely present. The practise allows my mind and body to reconnect; to find balance again as my racing thoughts slow.

Pilates allows me to express myself in a way I didn’t think I ever could, purely through mindfulness. I feel so empowered after taking the time to engage my body in pilates. The fact that it helps me get off the treadmill that is life and bring down the pace of my rushing thoughts a notch or two is one of the most important aspects of the practise for me.

When we think about the topic of self-expression, we often think of those that are talented at art, makeup, dance, and other creative activities. But self-expression is not limited to those areas. You can express yourself in a 101 different ways (and more), whether that be from movement, such as pilates or dance, art, or spending time reading. Self-expression is a way of expressing one’s thoughts, feelings or emotions, and sometimes, just doing things purely for you does exactly that because it helps put you back in the present; helps you be mindful; helps slow your thoughts down and lets you just be. There is no wrong way to express oneself.

Find something that helps you slow down your thoughts and intentionally set aside time to do it. That “you” time will help put into perspective those endless to-do lists. It will act as a reminder that our day to day worries aren’t the end-all-be-all. You’ll likely even find that allowing yourself this time will actually HELP you in your quest to conquer that list. Engaging in activities that allow ourselves to reconnect our mind, body, and spirit acts as a way to refill our cups. If you can or are able to, I would recommend trying pilates (biased, I know). Pilates continually reminds me of what my body is able to do. It changed my mindset from appearance oriented to one of appreciation for my body. Pilates allows me to express myself in an empowering and grounding way.

Prioritise yourself, try new things and allow time for self-expression, even when life gets busy. I promise you will reap the benefits from simply putting even half an hour a week towards your chosen form of self-expression.

Ashlyn’s #myunpolishedjourney Story

#myunpolishedjourney stories are stories individuals share about their journey with mental illness and recovery. Interested in sharing? Email us at info@unpolishedjourney.org.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello beautiful soul. My name is Ashlyn Means. I live in Chicago and currently attend Columbia College where I study fashion business. However, I’m originally from a tiny, tiny town called Olney IL. Did I mention it was small? Journey said it best, “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world!” I’m learning how to navigate the big city of Chicago and cope in an industry that’s based on societies belief of a beautiful woman. I’m currently in recovery from an eating disorder that’s been following me around for 11 years. However, I’m more than that. I dog walk, practice yoga, listen to music with friends, pretend that I’m Kanye West and love spending time with my supportive family. I’m extremely introverted. I need time alone to recharge to function, but I love having meaningful friendships. I care. I have so much empathy for the world, animals and sometimes even inanimate objects. I try to be there for everyone at all times. I can stretch myself so thin that I have nothing left to give to myself. Part of my recovery is learning to be there for myself as much as I am for other people. Along with my amazing recovery team, I learned the tools to nourish my body and my soul.

What has your mental health journey been like?

My mental health journey has been far from linear. It’s looked a lot like one of those connect-the-dot puzzles, to say the least! It started with an eating disorder when I was in 8th grade. I would throw away my lunch at school, while also lacking support at home at the time to oversee my meals or lack of meals I would skip. Over time, the eating disorder held hands with my other dear friends, depression and anxiety. Depression looks different for everyone. My form of depression is seclusion. Anxiety kept me from forming friendships. Anxiety made me believe that no one liked me – that I wasn’t worth liking. As the years went on my papa (father figure/best buddy in the whole wide world), passed away from cancer. I was devastated. I stopping eating altogether for months. I didn’t talk to any friends, broke up with my long-term boyfriend and sunk into the deepest bout of seclusion yet. It wasn’t until a very dear friend told me about the struggles that she dealt with and recovery that I began to feel a sense of hope. She told me about a facility that offered eating disorder help. It was then that I took a long look in the mirror and realized, I could be skin and bones and I would still hate myself. I needed help, and more importantly, I couldn’t do it alone. In March of 2016, I started my recovery journey.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in pursuing recovery?

My biggest obstacle I face in recovery is eating with family and friends. I’m learning that food can be spontaneous – it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact, food can be a place of enjoyment and connection with those around us. I can get pizza with my friends, get a flavored coffee with a date or have a helping of my grandma’s delicious food. I’m slowly learning to let go of my need for control, let my hair down and eat a damn chocolate cupcake with my best friend.

What helps you maintain recovery?

What helps me stay in recovery is the way my body feels. NEWS FLASH: it feels good to be nourished! It feels a whole lot better than being grouchy all the time because I’m starving, seeing spots because I’m about to pass out and walking across a room only to become dizzy! I stay in recovery for me. I love the stability that my body offers me now that I’m loving and taking care of it. My creative outlet is fashion, so it feels good to be able to go out and try things on without it ending in tears.

What advice do you have for someone in the early stages of recovery?

My advice for someone in the early stages of recovery is there is no problem too small. You matter. If you feel like you need help, don’t assume that “you illness is not severe enough yet” or “you don’t look like you’re sick enough to get help.” You deserve help the first moment you have a doubt in your mind that you’re not worth taking care of. Feel your pulse. Your pulse is proof that you have a purpose on this earth.

Coffee Thoughts

Written by: Morgan Blair, a wandering spirit and artistic mind.  

The sound of coffee percolating in the morning has a strange effect on my imagination. It’s like the sound, smell, and idea of sipping the black liquid opens up my thoughts, or maybe it’s the fact that I have just gotten up and my dreams are commonly bizarre and it is not the coffee after all, but the lingering effects of my subconscious insanity. But mornings are weird. I use weird loosely as if the knot wasn’t pulled quite tight and everything was slipping left and right as if we were floating in the waves of the ocean. That’s what the coffee looks like when I raise and lower the mug to my lips, waves, waves of thoughts, waves of imagination, waves of lingering dreams still haunting my open eyelids.

I have no idea what I am saying. All I know if that I finished my fourth book this week (it is only Tuesday) and my neck is sore from the deep tissue massage I had last week. I know the candle next to my bed is too strong and is burning my nostrils and my electricity is out so my heater won’t turn on (yes, I use a heater in May). I know that my body feels too big next to my pile of stuffed animals as I lie on my bed writing and my coffee is now cold.

As my thoughts wandered this morning, I landed on the idea of DNA. I turned on a podcast to try and figure out the ins and outs of this scientific phenomenon but quickly grew bored and returned to my book of poetry. I want to understand why I am the way that I am, but I don’t want to waste the precious moments of my morning in strained boredom.

I switch between the pages of poems that leave my eye moist and my heart pounding. How can a stranger understand me so well? I turn my focus to my email, refreshing the page looking, hoping, praying to receive one acceptance email from an agent. Rejection, rejection, rejection. I have gotten three so far. I know it is common but each one stings. I don’t think the humans on the other side of this virtual communication understand just how badly I want to be a writer. Just how badly I want my story to be heard. Just how badly I want my laptop and coffee and jazz music and blank pieces of paper to become the key ingredients to a completed novel. I will work harder than anyone you have ever worked with. I want the agents to understand. But, they don’t. I am another email. Another rejection. And I become worried that being a writer is much more challenging than my imaginative coffee brain has told me.

Never give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself. You are perfect the way you are. I tape these cliches to my mirror and repeat them as I look into my eyes. Empty. These words are empty. I don’t resonate with just simplicity anymore. I am complex and weird and messed up in more ways than “never giving up” can fix. But this book and the three others I finished this week. Books understand me. The words that are beautifully constructed into sentences become such sweet solace. I am connected. Connected to whom? I don’t know. Perhaps the author or the characters or just the idea that another world exists inside another person’s brain too.

We all need time to think. We need those spaces where our minds run wild and the world becomes somewhat of an illusion. This is where ideas are born, insights are discovered, where coffee becomes medicine and not just a caffeine fix. We need to allow ourselves to not fit in, to challenge the cliches, to find other means of connection. We need to hug our crazy dreams and thank our messed up minds for thoughts that don’t make sense. We need more weird in this world. Weird is good. Loose knots are good. Waves are good. They leave room for growth and change.

 

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