• Speaking My Mind

    Life During the Apocalpyse Part 3

    It’s June now, and I am doing much better mentally than I was at the beginning of the quarantine.

    Yes, we are still in quarantine.

    Being optimistic about life feels more plausible now that lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted…but anyway, I’m not here to update you on the status of the world. I want to share with you what I’ve been up to these last two months!

    Quarantine has forced me to slow down, reflect, reevaluate, and initiate new action. While I would hope to never endure a quarantine again, I think I have taken advantage of this time in a few different areas of my life. Those areas include my mental well-being, my career goals, and my yoga teaching.

    After several mental breakdowns two months ago that put a strain not only on my mental well-being but also on the relationships I have, I decided to make finding a therapist a priority. I had been considering getting a therapist a few months prior, but I kept making excuses, which was easy to do when I was busy running around living the life of a twenty-something-year-old woman. Quarantine made it difficult for me to continue to ignore my mental health though.

    After some research, I decided to try BetterHelp because it was affordable without health insurance, it was easily accessible since the communication is digital (which is perfect during quarantine), and it offered a lot of flexibility. It was super easy to set up an account and get matched with a therapist- you answer a few questions and share any preferences you have for the type of counselor you want, and that’s really it!

    Some things I really like about BetterHelp include:

    • I can message my therapist at any time and as frequently as I want. This has been great for bad days when I need to just dump all of my feelings.
    • There are group workshops weekly that you can sign up for on different topics such as managing worry, toxic friendships, trauma, etc.
    • There is a weekly “live” session with your therapist and you can choose how you communicate. I’ve been opting for the video chat format but you can also choose a phone call or live-messaging.
    • My therapist has been sending me BetterHelp’s worksheets to help me work through areas I need more support in, and I find the worksheets to be useful. One that I’ve particularly enjoyed is about decatastrophizing worries.
    • I also really like my therapist, but if I didn’t connect with her for any reason, I can request a new therapist.

    Please do some research before deciding to try virtual therapy. I’m not an expert, but what stood out to me as the biggest drawback to virtual therapy was that counselors at BetterHelp can’t diagnose any mental illnesses and they also can’t prescribe medication. Please do research to determine which type of therapy is right for you.

    If you do want to try BetterHelp though, you can click here to get one week free. This is an affiliate link so if you do sign up via this link, I would also get one week free.

    In addition to therapy, I have begun graduate school!

    I honestly did not expect 2020 to be the year that I enroll in a program…I thought I was going to be traveling a ton this year. Fortunately, I did travel before the quarantine began at least. But let me tell you about the graduate program!

    I decided to enroll in graduate school after losing both of my jobs and after having a difficult time getting a new job. The challenges of getting a new job during a pandemic are likely related to the pandemic’s impact on the economy, however, I also began to notice that many jobs I was applying to preferred candidates with a CPA, which I don’t have. Thus, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Accounting so I can be eligible to take the CPA exam when I finish!

    Graduate school has significantly benefited my mental health while I’m continuing to search for work because it provides me with a little more purpose daily and I know I’m working toward a specific goal. It’s been a rewarding experience and I’m very proud of myself.

    The last significant change I’ve made in my life over the last two months has been establishing an online yoga presence.

    Since I was teaching at a community gym that provided me with clientele, I wasn’t focused on promoting myself or creating an online presence at all. Unfortunately, I lost my clientele during the pandemic because I don’t have anyone’s contact information and I wasn’t connected with anyone on social media at all.

    So I’ve recently created an Instagram, a Facebook, and a YouTube account! I’ve been primarily making short yoga videos, and most of the videos are chair yoga videos. I’m still experimenting with the online yoga stuff and I don’t have fancy equipment, but it’s been a ton of fun putting myself out there in this way. My partner has been supportive of it, which I really appreciate. His support has been the fuel for a good portion of my motivation to even do it at all.

    If you are interested in any yoga content, please click on the following to check me out on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. I am “Yogini Victoria” on all of those platforms.

    Thank you for reading and for being here. Please let me know in the comments below how the last two months have been for you. Please make sure to include one thing that you are proud of, no matter how small it may seem 🙂

    xx Victoria

  • me sitting on a tree stump
    Speaking My Mind

    Life Update: Jobs, Doctoral Programs, and Teaching Yoga!

    I wanted to take some time to update y’all on my life because although this whole website is about my life, I don’t really post details of my everyday life anymore. Some interesting and cool things that I’ve been writing about since my senior year of college as well as in my oracle reading posts have been happening though!

    As of this week, I have two job interviews. One of them is today, and I have another one next week. The cool thing is that I’m actually interested in these jobs! It’s so exciting to have some potential opportunities in jobs that I actually want to do. I spent so much time my junior and senior year trying to put myself into a box of what I thought I was supposed to do and want, but it didn’t fit at all and it also didn’t feel good. While I am still on my dharma journey, or I’m still figuring out my purpose in life, I feel more excited about the jobs I’ve been applying to, and perhaps that’s translating into getting some interviews! I’m interested in research jobs because I’m a naturally curious and studious person, and I believe I’d have the most content life doing research. This brings me to my next update…

    …I am officially preparing to attend a doctoral program next fall! I am aiming to finish my GRE books by the beginning of September to provide ample time to practice until I take the test sometime in November. I reached out to my mentor from my first gender studies class, and she was super helpful! She’s doing an art history PhD program now and she knows someone who’s doing a gender studies PhD program that she’s going to put me in contact with. I’m eager to converse with the other woman about her experiences in the field thus far! I am still a little wary that I won’t be prepared in time for the applications, but I’m going to do my best by making some deadlines and goals for myself.

    The last update is that I have an audition for a yoga job at a studio near me! I’m excited and nervous, but hopefully, it’ll go really well. The MindBody App is an app that most yoga studios use for scheduling, and I’m listed as a teacher for the class I’m teaching, aka my audition. It was surprising and awesome to see my name there! Then, next week, I have the community class I’m teaching in NY, which will be good practice for me.

    The discipline and structure I’ve incorporated into my life, as well as the insight provided by my oracle cards, have been really helpful toward having these opportunities. The oracle cards have encouraged me to look at my life in a more positive light, and because they are so useful for reflection, I feel like they’ve facilitated the growth and positivity that I’ve harnessed. Daily yoga classes at a studio have also been helpful because it forces me to get up and start my day. I’m also forced to be around other people, which is super important for me to stay in a more positive headspace. Then, I added the library and Starbucks to my routine to do my GRE studying, PhD program research, and job applications. This forced me to get out of the house and encouraged me to focus, which has allowed me to make some progress towards my goals, which makes me feel better overall!

    So, that’s what has been going on with me these days. It’s nothing too crazy, nevertheless, it’s exciting and rewarding. Hopefully, some of these interview opportunities will become job opportunities, but if they don’t, that’s okay! I’ll have other interview opportunities coming my way. In the meantime, I want to be patient, be grateful for where I am now, and accept what is. I want to practice santosha, which is the Sanskrit word for contentment. It’s so hard to be content when things are going awry, but that’s when it’s most important to be content. Find contentment in discontent.

    So, I want to know…how can you practice more santosha in your life? I feel like this is a hard question, but it’s important to ponder it.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Steadfastness

    Be focused on your purpose and know that your effort isn’t futile. Don’t give up.

    This card from my Ganesha oracle deck makes me emotional every time I pull it, despite how often I’ve pulled it (which is a lot). This card feels extremely applicable to my life at the current moment because I have been struggling with questions of my purpose and prosperity again, which make me feel like giving up. I’ve been crying about how futile anything I do seems, but…whenever I get this card, I remember I have to refocus and shift my perspective. As one of my new yoga teachers has said, “like attracts like.” If I’m applying for jobs and thinking “what’s the point? I’m not even gonna get an interview,” I’m definitely not going to get an interview with my attitude.

    It seems so obvious but it’s sooo hard for me to actually do. It’s hard for my girlfriend too, who is constantly grounding me when I get too caught up in my head with my pessimism.

    In fact, my girlfriend helped motivate me to actually accomplish some of my seemingly daunting goals! I made a list of eight graduate school programs I want to research more and plan to apply to. I also researched yoga studios local to me to contact to try to get a yoga job.

    I felt pretty excited with these small accomplishments because I suddenly felt like my big dreams were feasible. I have a ton of more work to do but I’ve made some small steps in the right direction.

    I am excited to continue practicing steadfastness and to make more progress toward my goals! I’m definitely going to make the theme of the community yoga class I’m teaching in August about steadfastness…and whenever I get to audition for a studio, I will use that class as well! It’d help ground me and inspire me while I teach because I feel so connected with the concept.

    What does steadfastness mean to you? How can you apply steadfastness in your life? Please share below!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Doing My Dharma (Rat-Race Chronicles)

    I’m taking the train instead of driving today, which is pretty nice because I can relax and write a little bit about what’s been on my mind lately.

    The yoga training program has been exhausting me, thus I missed writing this week. I also have been really missing my girlfriend. We have conflicting schedules at the moment so we only get to see each other for about three hours once or twice a week. I realize this is more contact than some relationships get but regardless, it’s still difficult.

    In addition to these emotional and physical stressors, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do after this training more because the graduation date is near. I’ve also been thinking about what I need to do to support myself. I want to apply to part-time positions and to teach yoga on the side while I apply to graduate schools.

    I’ve really been procrastinating the graduate program part, not because I don’t want to go to grad school but because I wish I didn’t want to go to grad school. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, regardless of the field I pursue. It’s also going to take a lot of work to get into a program. My girlfriend believes I’m afraid, which I definitely am…so this is where the “capital-Y, Yoga,” as my instructor calls it, comes in. I need to start taking the lessons I’ve been learning through Yoga philosophy and my asana practice into my everyday life, particularly into my dharma.

    Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means something along the lines of purpose or duty. Right now, my short-term dharma is to do the work to figure out what my next move is. Additionally, from my perspective right now, I believe my over-arching dharma is to teach.

    Next week I only have two days of yoga training so I will have an ample amount of time to study for my exam as well as to apply for job opportunities and take my higher education more seriously. Next Sunday is my deadline for graduate program research. I want to find three programs I am interested in.

    Is there anything you’ve been procrastinating that you want to work on too? Let me know in the comments below!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Savoring the Moment

    My thesis advisor emphasized that I should savor these moments because they end quickly. Right now, my graduation days seem weeks away but it’s only a matter of days before I walk. Once it’s over, I can’t get it back. So that’s what I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks and that’s what I’ll do until my last commencement.

    I’m experiencing all of the feelings lately. I’m simultaneously nostalgic, suffering from senioritis (although I think I’m done with exams unless I have to retake one…), nervous, excited, eager, worried, and sad about the impending end of my undergraduate career. On Mother’s Day, this Sunday, I will officially be done. I have some immediate plans for “what’s next?” but I still have to figure things out for after July. Hopefully, my yoga teaching program along with doing my own research for ideas will be helpful.

    It’s surreal how four years have come and gone and I’m leaving with my Bachelor’s. It’s also surprising and impressive how much I’ve accomplished in those four years…I have three cords to wear at graduation and I wasn’t expecting to wear any. It’s amazing to reflect and see the growth that I’ve had as well as the impact I’ve made at my University and in my own life.

    I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go to college and I’m grateful to myself for making my four years productive. Four years ago, I went through a horrible breakup but in hindsight, that breakup further propelled me to get involved on campus to help me cope…which allowed me to be open toward meeting new people and making friends. There are tons of different instances throughout my four years at college where the ending of something became a new door to go through and explore what was beyond it. I know graduation is just me going through a new door but it’s uncomfortable to leave familiar spaces behind.

    I don’t feel ready to work full-time and I don’t feel ready for graduate school. I have to get ready for something though because I need to continue to grow, and those are the two most viable avenues right now. Perhaps I can travel too but I would only want to travel domestically.

    Anyway…I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my accomplishments as well as my failures because those failures meant that I tried and “trying” is how I’ve been able to have had all of my experiences. I already know I’m going to continue trying new things because I’m doing the YTT and I also have this blog! I’m eager to see what else I will be trying too.

    xx Vic

    PS! Once these moments are over, I will resume posting twice a week with some awesome content. I feel kinda bad about not meeting the deadlines I’ve made for myself for this blog, but I want to change my perspective because I didn’t create this blog to stress myself out. I created it to express myself, to connect with others, and to have fun! Right now, I’m having fun with my friends and my girlfriend before everyone moves away after graduation. I’ll write about it for next Wednesday as I reflect on it all! By then, I will have graduated three times, I will have moved back home, and I will be…on a plane!

    I’m going on a quick family vacation/graduation celebration for a couple of days! More on that later, stay tuned…

    My girlfriend got me the beautiful flowers above and wrote me a sweet letter to celebrate all of my hard work! <3

  • Speaking My Mind

    Virgo Full Moon Ritual – March 2018

    I tried my adaptation of the Virgo Full Moon Ritual in the morning after I did my daily yoga session. I decided to do a Full Moon Yoga flow, followed by stretching because last time I did it, my hamstrings were killing me for several days afterward. Then I did the ritual.

    Part of the ritual was to feel and think about what makes you feel like you are on task. I interpreted that as…what makes you feel fulfilled? What goals do you want to achieve, and what can you do more of to help you get there?

    The three things that came to my mind were my girlfriend, my blog, and school.

  • Speaking My Mind

    This is Scarier than Halloween

    I just finished sending…at least 10 job applications out.  My creative writing class this morning got cancelled because my professor is sick so I took the down time to do that since later I want to focus primarily on my senior honors thesis.  I have a five-page proposal due on Monday so I would like to write two pages today and finish it up by Friday so I can submit it to my advisor.  I feel like this may be a far-reaching goal but I’ve been pretty focused lately so hopefully I can bang out out five pages before the weekend, which would give me ample time to revise it.

    Anyway…I feel like I’ve been a little frazzled lately…I don’t even remember if I disclosed that I’m doing an honors thesis and if I’m taking creative writing!  Well..I’m doing an honors thesis and I’m taking a creative writing.  It’s awesome because they’re both forms of writing that challenge different areas of my brain.  The class is part of my initiative to keep writing for myself…last year I kinda disappeared because I had all this sadness pent up inside and I didn’t even know where to begin to write but…I figured it out with some time and patience and I’m back to writing pretty regularly.

    There are a couple of articles though that I’ve been putting off posting…it’s just a matter of me sitting down and taking the time to paste them here.  Perhaps I’ll do that tonight during a break from thesis writing.

    I wanted to come on here to express my stress about my life after college…which has pretty much all that I’ve spoken about.  My girlfriend is more excited about it than I am, but she still has another year of school.  I don’t know…I don’t know if I should’ve planned differently but at the same time…I need to stop comparing myself to others, even if they have similar career interests and/or majors.  I’m on my own damn path, and it’s awesome and I’m going to flourish!

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