The best advice I gave and received in 2018.

in no particular order

You cannot be positive without being grateful.

No one knows you better than you know yourself.

The world is not against you. Most are just working for themselves and you are hurt in the process.

Someone else’s beauty does not diminish your own.

The best leaders are the ones who desire to learn from those who follow them.

Do not trust others blindly.

Searching for signs is a sign in itself.

Self-care is a necessary habit if you desire to help others.

You cannot make everyone happy.

Do not invalidate someone else’s trauma.

All good things take time.

Having high expectations for your significant other and your relationship is valid.

Do not surround yourself with folks who do not add to your life.

Do not assume that the man is paying.

Do not apologize for saying “no.”

Do not apologize for your feelings.

Some people just do not act on their feelings because protecting their hearts is more worth it to them than the possibility of love.

You will hurt the people you love and expecting otherwise is unrealistic. Love prevails. Do not let pain prevail.

He may be the world, but you are the universe.

Missing someone you love is okay.

Do not compare your relationship to other relationships.

Your opportunities arise from your manifestations.

Do not be ashamed to do (legal, healthy, reasonable, kind) activities that bring you joy.

Support men who choose to attend therapy sessions.

If you are privileged enough to vote, you should be voting.

Communication is key.

Always tip. Do not dine and ditch.

I say this often, but strength exists in being vulnerable.

If you are running for office, promote your own platform instead of bashing your opponents’ platforms. Voters will not learn anything about you if you spend all of your energy on creating negative facades for your opponents.

Surround yourself with folks who match your level of excitement.

You were beautiful and smart before him, and you will be beautiful and smart after him.

Gaslighting will happen occasionally in relationships of any kind, but both parties must consciously work to avoid doing so.

Some folks will always be mean and investing your energy into those who are kind is best in this case.

Sometimes, you might feel lonely because the people you love are unable to understand your experiences. Do your best to avoid projecting your frustrations onto them and if you do project, do not scold yourself for it. You are not perfect and your loved ones should not expect you to be perfect.

Toxic & unhealthy relationships do not contribute to an individual’s success and productivity.

If you are able to pick and choose the issues about which you care, you have privilege.

If you are able to avoid conversations surrounding politics, you have privilege.

Having privilege is not an issue; not recognizing your privileges is problematic.

Some will automatically assume you cannot be trusted or that you are a bad person, but this does not mean that you actually are.

Give others the benefit of the doubt.

Do your best to accommodate for folks with disabilities, and cultural or religious holidays.

Do not criticize what others in power have or have not done if you have not used your own power to enact change either. You do not have to be an elected official to create a movement or enact change.

Supporting, uplifting, or advocating for marginalized voices does not need to be (and probably should not be) politicized.

Bad and evil things will happen. Do not let the world make you cold-hearted.

Surround yourself with people who want nothing more than to watch you fall in love with being alive.

Complacency is not cute.

Worrying does not accomplish anything.

You do not owe anyone your happiness but yourself.

If you are feeling sad, happy, loved, empowered, weak, energized, angry, or any emotion really, follow Natasha Sohni on Spotify. She makes great playlists. ūüėČ

 

Positivity.

In my opinion, my journey to positivity has been tumultuous and fairly interesting. I have been reflecting quite a bit on what positivity means to me, how positivity looks, and whether spreading positivity is always necessary.

During my earlier years in high school, I used to take pride in being negative and pessimistic. I would be ashamed if anyone ever told me I was a positive person. I used humor and sarcasm as a coping mechanism.

My struggle with depression in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade was at its peak. Contemplation of suicide and self-harm were constantly at the forefront of my mind, and I felt as though I was burdening those around me with my presence even though they told me this was never the case. I used my relationships to fill the voids within myself and I spent every night crying, writing some extremely heartbreaking things in my iPhone notes, and hurting myself. I had many school days during which I would cry for no reason in class, but I was good at masking this. I did not share this, the darkest parts of myself, with anyone. Even those closest to me did not see this side of me.

Of course, my friends and family probably viewed me as the chipper Natasha we all know now, but I do not think they recognized the walls I had built around myself with the bricks as pain and the foundation as pure negativity. I am an extrovert, so regardless of how I am feeling internally, being surrounded by others pushes me to be bright, make people laugh, and the one to always say yes. My outgoing personality was constantly fighting the darkness that resided within me. I thought positivity, self-care, and gratitude were cheesy ideologies to practice and I chose to wallow in my sorrows instead.

The thought of death intrigued me and almost made me happy. I would keep running to the edge of the cliff in my mind and was so close to jumping every single time. I do not know what stopped me and while fear plays a role, I think the people in my life played larger ones. Since I invest so much of myself in others (this is not healthy and I do not recommend doing this), my attachments to whoever invaded my thoughts every time I considered the jump are what prevented me from acting more drastically. I am glad I am here, as I am, today, but the fact that I needed others to keep me at bay is not great.

I will say that I do not think this period of my life is reflective of who I am. I think that I was trying so hard to be negative because I wanted, so badly, for a reason to quit. I had lost myself to imbalances in my brain, societal factors, an unrealistic idea of love and happiness, my environment, and probably so much more.

The winter and spring of junior year had been rough. I stopped exercising, was in a bad mood a fair amount of the time, experienced a terrible break-up, wore sweatpants half of the time (I now live by “dress well to test well” and I am never caught in sweatpants), did not have that much fun at the Prom, and had to spend most of this year collecting myself.

After letting my negativity consume me for so long, something changed within me before entering my senior year of high school. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment because the change was gradual. I felt recharged. Even though I still struggle with a few mental illnesses to this day, I decided that my present contentment was a conscious choice that only I could make. Receiving help was a choice that only I could make. One cannot expect to act upon and be surrounded by positivity without being intrinsically motivated to do so. I began exercising again that summer. I started attending yoga every week with one of my best friends. I planned and was excited about events. I found community within my friend group. I began to truly appreciate the activities in which I participated. My study habits improved and I did not procrastinate even in the slightest, and this showed through the grades I received.

I realized that if I exude positivity, it will return back to me. I found joy in small things such as new music releases, rainy days, funny jokes, or hugs. I practiced gratitude. We all have problems, but our lives could be much worse. Having a family, a roof over my head, food to eat, an education, and friends who support me are blessings and not guarantees. I have so many resources and opportunities at my fingertips and I know that others do not have as much. I take every moment to acknowledge the privileges I have because positivity and gratitude are intertwined. Life will continue to throw curveballs in my direction; I do not need to contribute to this by having a negative mindset.

Environment is incredibly important. I might not be able to make immediate changes to mine, but my outlook adds to it. I try to be as friendly and warm as I can be. Given that I am an extrovert, doing so is not that difficult, but it takes energy. I choose to spend time with those who add to my life, and stay away from people and things that diminish my energy. I try to add as much color and warmth as I can to my physical environment so I am always met with joy.

Recently, I mentioned that I used to be a negative person and took pride in being this way. My friends were taken by surprise. Negativity and Natasha do not blend well. If my past self knew myself now, I would probably be surprised too. Reflecting on the poisonous thoughts that intruded my mind back then hurts me. One of my greatest fears is relapsing into this mindset again, but I spend every second fighting it. Sometimes, we need others to hold us accountable, recognize warning signs, and tell us that we need help, and I am thankful to have folks who do so in my life now.

Positivity does not equate to always being happy, smiling, or upbeat. Positivity takes work and time. Just because I choose to emit warmth does not mean that I am happy and doing well, and always should be. Positivity is recognizing that it is okay to not be okay, but doing what one can to change this. Growth does not occur overnight and changes cannot be made unless we are motivated to do so by our own hearts. External factors help, but they are temporary.

I still have heavy days and struggle lots, but I am in a healthier and better-equipped mindset to face these challenges. I am here and I choose positivity because I know I have worth and so much to give. I care so deeply about those I love and I want to add to their lives instead of draining them. I cannot believe that I was so close to throwing away all of this. I cannot believe I was so close to throwing away myself. I am proud of my growth and I will never apologize for being too positive or consistently expressing gratitude.

 

20th Birthday Reflection.

(Birthday reflections will be a series on my blog.)

Frankly, when I reflect on the majority of this past year, I am met with negativity. When reading this, please keep in mind that I am grateful for all I have. I will never forget that. I had some of the most amazing and fun experiences of my life, but the highs were so high and the lows were incredibly low. Most of the memories I have from this year contain certain people and it hurts to think about them, but I have reached the point in which I can think of these memories happily as well. I am going to be brutally honest in this blog post and I think I deserve to be. I am finally learning to love myself and I will not apologize for it.

One lesson that I have learned from this past year and what stands out to me the most is the importance of one’s environment. During the past few years of my life, I have worked diligently to ensure that my surroundings uplift me, so this year was extremely disappointing due to the negative (and often sarcastic) environment in which I often resided. I frequently felt excluded and misunderstood, and I think I finally snapped. I once tweeted, “do you ever just wait for the day when you don’t have to interact with certain people anymore” and I stand by that even more so now. Certain people in your life may be great, but maybe they’re only great in small doses.

Academically, I had some hard classes, but I feel as though my work ethic and studying habits improved lots over the course of the year. My fall semester GPA was atrocious, but my spring semester GPA was fantastic and I am so proud of myself for working that hard. I often prioritize extra-curricular activities and friends over my academics because of how extroverted I am, but I was able to balance everything so well despite the issues I faced.

This is going to be heavy. This summer was probably the worst summer I have ever experienced, but I also learned so much and had amazing opportunities. I feel as though this period of time clouds my judgment on this past year as a whole, but I think that the past school year led to this breaking point. Due to the constant stressors I faced over the school year, my mental health deteriorated. I have struggled for many years, but a point arose in which my ex-boyfriend pushed me to receive help because it was impacting my mood, my health, and my relationship with him. I am so thankful for his push. In April, I visited the mental health clinic at my University and was met with scary news. I scored red, or extreme, for suicidal ideation and was diagnosed with Major Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorder. I expected the first two, but not the latter. Additionally, I have terrible insomnia, frequent headaches, dermatitis and cysts on my scalp, and warts on my foot, so I feel even more overwhelmed sometimes. I am grateful to those who love me and support me despite all of this, and I hope that others can learn to accept me for who I am. My mental illnesses are very much so a part of me, but they do not define me, and I think I have proven myself capable and strong despite all of it. While meeting with the therapist, I emphasized my fear of my mental illnesses affecting my relationship greatly, but I know that I should not have examined them in this way. I prioritized saving my relationship over taking care of myself when I should have done the opposite. I was living an unhealthy lifestyle and maybe things have improved since then, or maybe they have not, but I am now working on improving my habits for myself and only myself.

I think I have learned quite a bit about relationships of all kinds over this past year. Not all friendships will stay. Not all friendships will remain the same. Last fall, I became very close with three amazing people. We studied for a class together almost every day and I would like to think that we were best friends at the time. These individuals had my back and I had never felt so supported. I fell in love with one of them, things became busier, and we drifted apart as a group, but still remained close with each other individually throughout the spring. Relationships change and this is okay. We often think of heartbreak in a romantic sense, but I have been hurt by so many of my friends throughout the past few years as well. Usually, being a light for others makes me happy and as an extrovert, I thrive by being surrounded by others constantly, but I just feel so drained. I am so tired of investing in people when they do not do the same. I am tired of being gaslighted and adjusting to what others want because I am expected to be “okay” with everything, and I am tired of being a doormat. One of the three folks I mentioned earlier once said to me, “Nat, nothing matters more to me than your happiness. You need to make sure you are happy before anyone else.” I think about this every day because he said this to me at one of my lowest points. Further, he is one of my only friends to ever tell me this. On that same token, I have realized how little most of my friends care. I know that not everyone is outgoing or is nearly as extroverted as I am, but I cannot help how hurt I feel. I just have to remember that if people choose to remove themselves, the decision to do so is not necessarily my fault. If people care, they will show it. We tend to over complicate situations and justify actions, but ultimately, things are this simple.

I am pretty frustrated and angry with some things and some people. I am pretty hurt. All I have ever done is try, though, and I know I deserve better. I stand by what I’ve said in the past: do not give up on those you love, but sometimes letting things run their courses is better than draining oneself.

I want to be careful with my heart, but I also know that doing so is not who I am. I love spreading love, I love sharing my heart, and I am open with others so that they can feel comfortable and open with me. I am often heartbroken and hurt, but if my light makes a difference in at least one person’s life, investing in others is worth it for me. I am proud of how vulnerable I am. I am proud of the love I give to others. I have a lot of faith in people and I know it. I probably always will.

I can name less than five people who truly understand me. I am an open book, but knowing everything about me is not the same as knowing who I am. I do not think that how long one has known another plays a role in how well one knows another. I have only recently met people who know and love me for all I am. I feel so disconnected and removed from certain people and this is difficult and frustrating, but everything happens for a reason (as annoying as this is).

Some recent situations have also led me to a life crisis in terms of career. I despise competition, I am not cutthroat, I want everyone to be happy with their lives and with me every single second, I have a Type A personality, but I want to be a politician? I had to do a lot of reflecting this summer over what being involved in politics means to me. I reminded myself that I chose this path purely, and only, because I want to help others. I am blessed and have quite a lot of privilege, so I want to use the resources and opportunities available to me to assist those who have less. I value transparency and authenticity, and I think the political realm could use a lot more of both. I vow to remain clean and genuine, and if I ever lose a race because of this, then so be it. One does not have to have a title to make a difference and the issues I want to tackle are much larger than myself and my own goals.

On a more positive note, I have had some AMAZING experiences this past year. I am working on Ilhan Omar’s campaign for Congress (!!!), interned at the Children’s Defense Fund, traveled to Washington D.C., Israel, Palestine, and Canada, worked on some beautiful initiatives in student government and am excited for my role as Ranking At-Large Representative this year, am the Director of Events and Programming for first-year and transfer students in the College of Liberal Arts, have sixty Spotify followers and have made some really great playlists (in my opinion), attended two fraternity formals and a couple wedding receptions, learned lots from a relationship, sang at multiple events, attended football games and concerts, tried new restaurants, lived in my first apartment, obtained some pretty cool Chaco tan lines, and have met a few wonderful people who have added so much to my life. I have laughed just as much as I have cried. This past year produced a lot of great music. Most importantly, after losing myself, I finally feel as though I am finding myself once again. In general, I am high strung and do not have much peace of mind, but I also know who and what grounds me and I am working to have more of those people and things in my life. Sometimes we have to break down in order to break through our issues.

I credit music (follow me on Spotify @natsohni or Natasha Sohni), running, my pillow pet Willie, elephants, puppies, blueberries, sunrises, hugs, water, caramel lattes with almond milk, Twitter, Snapchat stories, and around ten people for helping me through this year. Just know that I am thinking of all of you while writing this blog post at midnight on my birthday. I could write so much more, but I will be expanding on all of this in my blogs to come.

Here’s to no longer being a teenager. Here’s to twenty.

 

Some Thoughts, Questions, and Observations.

Many random items have crossed my mind over the past week, so I might as well record them.

I am not a fan of the summertime.

Even though I am not Christian, I feel as though I am at least aware of and have been exposed (both by choice and not by choice) to the basic aspects of Christianity while my Christian friends do not know anything about Hinduism or any other religion to that extent. I am not really religious, so this does not upset me or offend me personally, but it concerns me on a societal level. I have a lot of thoughts on religion / beliefs / spirituality / etc. and I will probably write a blog post about these areas at some point.

How will he know if anything happens to me? Should he know? Does he care about me anymore? Has he forgotten about me? Is he alright? I am not. I miss him and I am not sure I know what to do about it because, honestly, I cannot do anything about it.

One can only trust oneself. People may have good intentions, but no one knows one better than oneself. People can try their bests to make someone feel better, but the sad truth is while appreciated, their efforts will make the smallest dent in filling the void this person feels.

What saddens me most is the one person who can understand my current experience best is the one to whom I cannot speak.

Unfortunately, I relate too much to the song¬†Better Now¬†by Post Malone. The song is great, but I’m sure one would understand why I relate to it if she listens closely to the lyrics (especially from the verses). I relate too much to¬†Mercy¬†by Lewis Capaldi and¬†Burning Bridges¬†by Bea Miller as well.

Waking up naturally to the sun streaming into one’s room is a beautiful thing and I will forever treasure moments such as these.

The Twin Cities have seen quite a bit of rain recently.

A “rainy day” playlist is not a good or qualified “rainy day” playlist if it does not contain Bon Iver.

A Gopher football game is on a Friday this year and I am not sure how I feel about it.

My favorite activity to do with my family is gossiping.

Trump and Kim Jong Un shook hands for an uncomfortably long time.

I have seen a lot of elephant cruelty in the news recently and I will never understand why humans feel so entitled to animals’ lives (and other human lives).

The Minnesotan political world has become more interesting over the past week. I am excited for what is to come.

I have too much trouble sleeping.

I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of self love. That being said, I do not think it is wrong to enjoy loving someone else and experience romance.

Love is not dead.

Child deaths by lead poisoning have decreased significantly in Minnesota since the 1990s.

Netflix keeps removing every show and movie actually worth watching.

Inconveniently, free therapy appointments are not actually free.

I have become too comfortable with crying in public. Additionally, what exhausts me most is awaking to tears streaming down my face. Hopefully this does not continue for too much longer.

The only time I can escape my mind is when I am sleeping, but this makes waking up an extremely unpleasant experience (as one can determine from my previous statements).

A happy relationship does not equate to a healthy relationship, but this does not mean an an unhealthy relationship will always be unhealthy.

Although I am so grateful and have been fortunate enough to travel internationally many times, international flights (and airplanes and airports in general) make me nervous.

Mean people will always exist. Nice people will always exist too.

Rumors establishing Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s relationship have been circulating and while I am not a fan of the idea, I will always side with love and I wish them the best.

Gucci slides are priced around three hundred dollars, but so many people buy them.

I am too proud of my Spotify playlists, but I also think I am rightfully so. I will plug them for the rest of my life.

The blueberries I have eaten recently have not tasted as plump and juicy as usual.

I am not a fan of Microsoft Excel, but I am becoming more comfortable with it.

Being surrounded by people will always make me feel better. I guess I am an extrovert for a reason.

I am excited for school to begin even though we are in the midst of summer.

The people in my life are so beautiful and inspiring.

Learning to be okay with solitude is more difficult than it appears.

I have been feeling pretty empty, but this is okay because I do not have to feel otherwise if I truly do not feel it and faking it will not make anything better.

I know I am behind on creating my YouTube channel, but hopefully I’ll do so soon.

So many organizations are doing amazing work and I’m proud to be a part of one such organization.

When you’re eighty, what you will remember most while reflecting on your life are the people who stood by you throughout all of your successes and failures. This is why you should never let go of those who care about you even when things are difficult. Imagine this person standing beside you years down the road. Do not let go of that.

Money has too large of an influence on us.

I rewatched my favorite Gossip Girl episode (Season 1, Episode 13) the other day and I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the show (and life). “People don’t tell you who you are. You tell them.”

When You’ve Lost Faith.

Humans tend to make situations more complex than they need to be as the world continues to advance. These situations range from relationships to work to world issues, and while all are important, we seem to find fascination in creating more stress for ourselves.

Due to this, times exist in which we lose hope and feel as though we cannot discover it again. Those around us are affected by how discouraged we are and while it is easy to state that quitting is not an option, acting upon this is more difficult. We struggle to have faith when it seems as though our lives are consumed by fighting, crying, hurting, overworking, and much more.

In times of hardship, stress, and hurt, I urge you to reflect on why you feel negatively. One may discover that this loss of faith has occurred because of precisely the opposite. We feel discouraged because we care and we are passionate about the situations that affect us so greatly. We argue with those we love because we care about them. We say yes to more responsibility in our places of work because we care about what we produce. We vote, debate, protest, and educate because we care about the world in which we live.

Machiavelli states that the best way to prevent threat when leading a republic is to keep the people of the city close to their origins. Remembering why one is engaging in a situation (in Machiavelli’s case, leading and being led for a better and more productive society) is beneficial in having the energy to keep going. Likewise, regardless of context, a loss of faith occurs when we lose sight of the reasons why we began. The best way to tackle an issue is to return to its roots.

You chose your relationship because of the love you have for one another. You spent days studying and making connections because you could picture yourself in that profession. You organize groups and speak on issues because you want to be represented well.

During days in which you can only see pain, remember why you chose to involve yourself originally. Whether this stems from the love you share with someone else, your passion for your profession, or your desire to live in a world removed from hate, this reason alone means so much more than a momentary loss of faith. When you struggle to find hope, keep in mind that those around you are willing to help. We all have experienced tough periods and these may seem never-ending in the moment, but we can move past them. The best part in doing so is not forgetting what matters most.

If you feel lost, turn to whom or what is contributing to this feeling and work toward a better one. If you love her, tell her. If you’re not satisfied with the work being done, say so and fix the process. If you desire to make an impact, build a team to enact change regardless of the pushback you face. You are stronger than you think you are and so are those around you. Instead of letting go of something about which you care so deeply, ground yourself once again and gather hope. Move forward together and with love.

 

Vegetarian.

Over one year ago, I chose to become a vegetarian. My experience thus far has been interesting, challenging, and wonderful.

I chose to become a vegetarian for a few reasons. My mother is vegetarian, but my dad eats lots of meat. Over the years, I began to lower my consumption of meat (not that I ate an overwhelming amount of it) and we rarely had meat at home. I’ve always felt senses of guilt and hypocrisy when eating meat, and I decided that testing my morals wasn’t worth including meat in my diet.

Additionally, due to my unfortunate struggle with body image and weight, I believed that becoming a vegetarian would be better for my health and would make me feel lighter.

I am happy with my decision. I do feel lighter and healthier. I pay more attention to how I am fueling my body and this leads me to make better choices. Since I did not eat much meat anyway, the transition was fairly smooth.

At the same time, this change has definitely not been easy. My bones are generally weaker. I exercise quite a bit (I don’t consume enough calories for how many I burn on a daily basis) and I do not receive enough protein, calcium, and iron to supplement my rigorous routine. Last summer, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my pelvic bone for precisely this reason. I was not able to exercise for two months and this was unpleasant.

I occasionally miss certain meals that contain meat, but this does not happen often. I remind myself of the benefits and how they outweigh the costs.

When I became a vegetarian, I didn’t know if I was going to maintain this diet for the rest of my life or if I was just going to try it for a certain amount of time. I still don’t know the answer to this predicament, but I do know that being vegetarian has mostly changed my life for the better.

Falling In Love Will Break Your Heart.

“Please don’t give up on me.”

“Don’t let go.”

“I don’t want to lose you.”

“I promise.”

“This is hard.”

“I feel as though I can’t connect with you when you do this.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m afraid.”

“I see a future with you.”

“I don’t know where I would be without you.”

“I feel as though I’ve known you forever.”

“I need you.”

“I miss you.”

“I love you.”

Relationships (of the romantic kind).

Relationships are difficult. One is suddenly thrown into a world of dependency, balance, constant accountability, vulnerability, compromise, trust, and everything else that lies within these concepts. She cannot prepare for this world and this adds an immense amount of pressure. Before I analyze relationships further, I’d like to examine my own as I think doing so will help those reading this blog post (and more importantly, myself).

My relationship gives me so much joy. Even typing that sentence touched my heart. I finally feel as though someone cares about me just as much as I care about him. I feel valued and respected. We focus on communication and as we all have most likely heard multiple times throughout our lives, communication is key. I am so glad I somehow stumbled upon the perfect relationship and the perfect person. We push each other in positive directions and I could not ask for anything better.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been facing some personal issues (mainly health related) and while they may be minor, they have been able to penetrate my mind negatively, causing me to be in a bit of a sour mood. I recognize that my spirits are not high and I do not necessarily feel like myself, but I do have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve. I have reflected my unfortunate attitude in the way I’ve acted toward my boyfriend and this has caused unnecessary strains. The little fights I’ve picked, for the most part, do not contribute to our individual growths or the growth of our relationship. While the issues I am facing will hopefully disappear soon, I feel, in the simplest terms, just plain sad. I do not like the way I’ve been acting toward my boyfriend and even though he is probably one of the most understanding individuals I’ve ever met, knowing that I’ve hurt him breaks my heart. He does not deserve to be hurt. He has always done so much for me and continues to venture above and beyond to show me how much he cares.

I have no reason to distrust him. I have no reason to be annoyed with him (usually). I have no reason to fear him hurting me.

Why, then, do I create problems?

A few conceivable answers exist. In the past, I have given so much to my relationships and have received little in return. I’ve been heartbroken. I’m a careful person, so I am, most likely, subconsciously ensuring that I will not feel the pain and disappointment I’ve felt in the past ever again. Additionally, as my relationship came to fruition recently, we have not spent a ton of time apart. These past few weeks have been encompassed by lots of “I miss you”s, “I can’t wait to see you”s, FaceTime calls, never-ending text messages, and more than a few tears. We are both slowly becoming accustomed to how our lives, without seeing one another physically, would look. Distance is necessary to experience in every relationship and I know we’re both more than capable enough to handle it, but cold nights and interesting / funny / awesome memories made sans each other make it more difficult just the same.

The over-arching answer, though, is a bit more personal. As I stated above, these past few weeks have been extremely difficult and not necessarily fun for me. Granted, things could be a lot worse and I’m forever grateful to be surrounded by wonderful friends and family, but some of the issues I am facing are just short of unbearable. I know my boyfriend cares quite a bit and simply desires to help, but I also know he literally cannot solve any of these problems and this frustrates me a great deal. Over two years have passed since I last felt this vulnerable and I am having trouble accepting his love and support due to this time lapse. I value my independence and do not want to look to him every time I find myself in a tough situation, but I must also recognize that having his support and depending on him for my happiness do not need to go hand in hand. I was extremely dependent in my past relationships and I have worked quite hard to reach a point in which I am finally confident in my own abilities to make myself happy. I have a fear of relapsing into this dependency, but this fear is irrational. I hope I can work to move past these insecurities and this fear alongside my attempt to overcome the past few weeks and the issues that arose within them.

I often feel frustration and sorrow due to my ongoing struggles with mental health. I tend to express these feelings when interacting with those I treasure most and my boyfriend has most definitely been bearing the brunt of this recently. I wish he understood this (and I do not always express my desperation for him to understand in the kindest way), but I do not blame him for not understanding. Unless one faces something similar personally, she will have trouble grasping this. I appreciate how he accepts me despite this very demanding and, often, inconvenient baggage and I must learn to cope in a healthier way.

Relationships are difficult, but they are also beautiful. Couples who work through the hardest times are the ones who make memories filled with an immense depth, and these memories only draw the two individuals closer together. I look forward to working through these difficulties with my boyfriend because I know he would do the same. We will keep communicating, supporting, and loving one another through every rainy day and every sunny sky. My heart is telling me to open my doors for him and have faith in him, and while I am definitely one to need more tangible answers, I must learn to be happy with this. If my relationship gives me joy, worry shall have no place in taking it away from me.

Knowing Her Worth.

She had loved him for ten years. He lived so close; this small proximity made her yearn to see him every day. Her heart kept prompting her to tell him those three words we all wish to hear, but do not desire to misuse. Her mind influenced her heart with logic.

“If he loved me, he would have told me…right?” “I’m tired of exposing my vulnerable tendencies to those who do not seem to care.”

These ten years pass and she explores options with others while he haunts her mind. She meets new friends when she begins her adventure in higher education and she describes him to these folks with excitement in her eyes, but a looming sorrow lingered just the same.

“He’s so charming! He’s so handsome! You should tell him how you feel.” “I shouldn’t¬†have¬†to tell him…”

Months later, she decides to take a risk. She does what many of us would never have the confidence to do. Her heart is pounding and her head feels light. Regardless of how she is feeling internally, she walks toward him on a bright summer day with an air of confidence.

“I love you.” “I have always felt the same way about you.”

Did she truly just hear these words? If one were to glance at her during this exact moment, she would see a girl who looked as though she had never shed a tear. Her smile is unimaginably wide.

The two lovebirds make plans. He promises to see her.

He never shows. Disappointment floods her body to the bone, but she also makes no effort to ask him why he didn’t. After ten years, she felt as though he did not deserve even this much.

He calls. He apologizes and promises her a visit.

He doesn’t show once again. She heads back to University and does her best to forget this unfortunate story. He calls, but she does not answer. He leaves messages, but she does not reply.

“Why? Why not give him another chance? You love him.”

“I told him I love him. He did the same. If this is the most he can do after ten years of waiting, I desire no part in this story. While I am hurt, I am not going to accept even more of this tragic feeling from him. My time is better spent on myself and those who recognize my value. He had me. He lost me.”

One of Many Possible Responses to Men Who Are Egotistical Jerks.

(Some sentences may have been removed or slightly altered to maintain privacy. I think the core messages of this response are applicable to many situations which, in addition to privacy, is why I am not providing further context.)
1. Let me preface this by saying that my life does not revolve around you, regardless of however this may seem to you. I think it’s quite a bit of a stretch to say that everything¬†I do and say signals to you that I like you. Additionally, I do not constantly¬†want to be around you (or anyone else) and even if we were dating this would be the case because that’s just unhealthy. You know very,¬†very¬†well how I am as a person in terms of chattiness and the care I have for others. In light of not only defending myself because I don’t think I need to defend myself, I enjoy talking to you about the multitude of things we discuss because I look for depth when I converse with others and I find that, among other things, with you (which I think is a good thing). I think this is special. I appreciate how we can discuss, literally, any topic and I value that connection highly especially since, as you’ve claimed yourself, you’re not nearly as talkative as I am (which also contributes to how close we are and I don’t mean that purely from a relationship standpoint, but also even from a friendship standpoint).
As outgoing as I can be, I have, of course, been more so with you and I stand by my feelings in that regard, but I also do not think my feelings are unprecedented because of the depth and connection we have as I mentioned above. I also feel safe with you and again I really value that.
2. I agree that the difficulty to feel pure happiness is daunting as I question my own on a daily basis. I think half the battle is recognizing this, but you cannot allow this to hold you back from experiences as well. Relationships can only be harmful if you actively try to search for the happiness you’ve lost to depression and anxiety in that person and your relationship, but if you have the mentality in which you must discover this happiness intrinsically, which you’re more than intelligent enough to realize, you’ll be fine.
I think that if you’re seeing the right person, your growth can exceed your expectations and the right person will push you to pursue your own path as she is pursuing hers. You can grow together in that sense. I’m sure you can name many people who have impacted your life. Sometimes finding yourself is done in searching and learning about someone else. I’ve realized an incredible amount and have had many revelations from being single, but I also have had just as many from my past relationships.