• Speaking My Mind

    I Am A Badass

    I’m feeling…a little gloomy I guess. For the most part, I’m feeling positive but…there’s a twinge of sadness mixed in there too.

    I had an intense and difficult conversation with my girlfriend last night and now I’m thinking about how to…improve some things in my life. Right now, it’s not at the forefront of my mind because there are some awesome things that are happening before I would have to address the things that I spoke about with my girlfriend. For example, tomorrow I’m presenting my thesis at a state conference for Women’s and Gender Studies! So I’m more focused on that right now, but once that and a few other things are over, I’ll have to resume determining how to make things better.

    The things I’d like to improve are in regards to the relationship between my girlfriend and my family, which I’ve mentioned several times before. The relationship between them is not hostile, but it’s not exactly warm either…and we’ll be dating for a year in 11 days. Plus I’m moving home in about 30 days so things can’t stay as they are right now because if they do, my mental health will suffer. This is why I’m going to develop a plan with my therapist in about two weeks to help me navigate the tension in a manner that will ultimately serve my well-being.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Moments of Self-Doubt

    I got into a horrible fight with my mom on the last day of spring break. She had gotten back from a difficult medical seminar and she was trying to relax at home when I came downstairs from my bedroom to sit with her and my sister. It was late, around 10:30pm, and they were planning the family trip to Disney to celebrate my graduation.

    I was joking with my sister and mentioned how I was turning twenty-three this year, which prompted my mom to ask me what I am doing with my life. Assuming she was joking too, I responded that I don’t know (which is pretty true though). For some reason, this response instigated the fight, which was essentially about how I need to get a job and how I’m not doing enough and how what I’ve been doing my entire college career has been a waste of time.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Young Yogin

    I’ve made it my goal to practice yoga daily, and so far, I’ve maintained it! It’s been…over thirty-one consecutive days. I’m not sure how many more days than thirty-one…perhaps it’s only been thirty-one days…but regardless, I’ve been practicing it daily for the entirety of January, and possibly in the tail-end of December.

    Right now, I’m practicing it when I wake up, which isn’t always early. I try my hardest to get up at 7am but I end up reading the news on my phone, snoozing for a little longer, or I don’t know what I do, but I end up practicing around 8am, and sometimes later like at 11am. I’m trying to practice in the early morning though because according to Light on Yoga, a great book I’ve been reading and using to foster my practice, yoga must be practiced either in the early morning or in the late evening.

    Light on Yoga has been a great, informative book because it provides a background to the practice as well as pictures and step by step instructions for pretty much every asana I’ve encountered since I began my practice in late August. Additionally, it includes yoga practices for various ailments one may have and it has courses to develop the skills necessary to improve, strengthen, and deepen your practice. It’s an excellent book. I’ve taken some notes on the book so I will publish what I’ve learned at some point because I think it’s important to know. Some yoga practices have completely appropriated it, and I think it’s important to know the roots of it.

    Also, I am looking for other books about yoga that provide insight into the culture and history of the practice. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!

    Anyway…yes so my practice has been great in the month of January! I had my girlfriend take some photos of me to see my improvement. I’m not going to post them here right now, but I will. I want to incorporate more photos into my blog.

    The cool thing about photos and about having her take them is that I didn’t realize until she told me, and showed me, that I was doing the “down dog” pose wrong. My back was super arched and my knees were bent so…I worked on it a bit and now I can do it properly.

    Initially, my yoga goals were to achieve crow pose and wheel pose, but my right wrist is quite weak from playing tennis for several years prior to college, so I am going to work on doing a split and wheel pose. This week I’ve been working on stretching my hamstrings, and there has been a significant improvement, but there is still a long way to go. I have barely attempted back flexibility because I have several fears surrounding it…but I am working on it. Just more slowly.

    The last thing I want to share is that I am considering either attending a Yoga Teacher Training or a Yoga Retreat! Since I will be graduating in a couple of months, I would like to take that opportunity to expand my practice. I’ll update y’all if this idea comes to fruition!

     

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Four Weeks Later

    My surgery was about a month ago, if not longer, and it went well. It was a 20 minute procedure and I wasn’t in pain until the following day. The following day and all the days after that were miserable though. 

    My mom and sister coddled me back to good health. They wheeled me around in the wheelchair, took me to class/tutoring/office hours (I was taking a summer class and unfortunately couldn’t live in my apartment for awhile due to the surgery), helped me out around the house, helped me wash my hair, etc. They were incredible, especially considering that I was a whiny ass sometimes because I hated being unable to function normally and I felt like my summer was taken away. At least the Olympics began during my recovery so when I wasn’t doing academic things, I was focused on watching the Olympics with my sister. 

    Unfortunately, the week of my final exam was terrible. I was finally feeling better and able to hobble around a bit so I stayed in my apartment to focus on studying a couple days before the exam. I was stressed because the last exam I took, I did poorly. I didn’t do as poorly as that time in calculus when I thought I at least got a B but got a D instead, but I was disappointed nonetheless. Especially since I wanted to ace this class. That was the whole purpose of taking this class in the summer! After my second exam, it would’ve been difficult to obtain even a B+. 

    So a couple days before my final, I sat in my room in my apartment studying/trying to focus on studying. Then I took my exam, which was tough despite the days I spent in solitude studying. The exam was only two hours and I don’t think it was incredibly challenging, but I kept second-guessing myself because my math didn’t make sense to me. I ended up being the last person in the room taking the exam. 

    Immediately upon exiting the building, I burst into tears. Not cute, happy tears, but hysterical, ugly tears with tons of snot. What made it worse was that I only had one tissue and the bus back to my apartment wasn’t coming for another hour. I didn’t want to walk home since it was late and I was only able to hobble. 

    I wanted to talk to someone about my exam to help calm me down, but I didn’t know who…I definitely wasn’t going to call my mom because slobbering on the phone to her would’ve made me feel worse. (She usually gets hysterical when I’m hysterical). Sometimes things happen at perfectly convenient times though. 

    Right after I sat down on a bench, I got a text from a guy I met on Tinder last September. We never actually met up. I blew him off a couple times, not that we ever had serious plans to meet up anyway. Since Septemner, we’ve texted on and off…maybe once or twice every couple of months. He had texted me the day before my final so he knew I had a final, but he didn’t know when it was. His text came at the perfect time. 

    I spent the next hour crying and texting him on the bench in the courtyard. He was perfect to talk to because we aren’t close at all so I didn’t care if I seemed lame by being so upset and because there was so much to learn about him, I was able to distract myself effectively by getting to know him. 

    Then the bus finally came and I texted him until 1am in between self-pity shots of shitty pink lemonade vodka and episodes of Angel. 

    The following day, I felt like crap and not necessarily from the vodka (although I didn’t feel super from that either) but because my doom and gloom attitude about my exam suffocated me. It was also a glum day outside, which tends to heighten my bad moods. 

    I ended up missing the bus to work and having to pay for an Uber. At that point, I was sufficiently upset and pissed at myself and I just wanted to go home. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that, so I got an iced coffee. That’s when my day spun around. 

    My summer coffee choice has been Dunkin Donuts’ Almond Joy iced coffee, especially after they stopped offering the Pistachio one. In my hometown, they didn’t have the Almond Joy flavor anymore but at school, they fortunately had some left! 

    Coffee is comparable to alcohol to me. I’m sensitive to caffeine so it makes me all hyper and happy. Alcohol makes me feel relaxed and silly, but they both make me feel…better? I’m unsure if that’s the appropriate word but..it’s like, if you’re nervous for a party, you have a drink to loosen up. If I’m having a bad day, I have coffee to pipe me up. 

    So I was at work feeling a little better, especially since the first-years were interesting to talk to. Then I found out I got an A in the class! Which seemed impossible based on my calculations but there was some extra credit involved and possibly a curve so…I was extremely happy. I proceeded to tell the Tinder guy and then I felt silly to have cried so much after my exam. 

    Afterwards, a guy came up to my table at work. I recognized him from when I went to the movies back in June. He worked at the theater and somehow my friends and I had gotten into a discussion about sexual violence in the news with him. When he told me he was attending my university this fall, I insisted he come to orientation to check out my job since I work in this field and since he seemed pretty educated and interested in this work. At the time, he scoffed at the idea of attending orientation but low and behold, he was there! The last orientation of the summer happened to be one of the few days I was working, so I was able to run into him. Then we chatted, he signed up for more information, and got super involved during the part of orientation where we talk about sexual violence. He impressed my boss enough to earn free sunglasses! 

    I love how things work out. 

    When he left, I talked to another guy who complimented my hair. I thought it looked subpar that day so it was nice to have heard otherwise. 

    So yeah..it was a rough week that ended well. That has pretty much been the tone of my summer. It’s been way less social compared to last summer with all the partying and working but..it’s been good nonetheless. 

    I went abroad for the first time, worked two jobs a bit, read a bunch and finished Buffy, completed three credits with an A, and I just returned from a fun trip to Las Vegas! I’m healthy and I haven’t smoked since July so…this is good. Now I just have to finish getting ready for school in a week or so!

    How have your summers been? Comment below!

    x Vic 

  • Speaking My Mind

    I Could Use A Couple Shots Right Now, Let’s Make This Tipsy Tuesday

    I’ve been listening to a ton of angsty music lately…like screamo and heavy metal.  I have always enjoyed this type of music, but I don’t usually listen to so much of it.  When I used to exclusively listen to this style of music, I was unhappy and angsty.  So it’s concerning me that all I want to listen to is angry music.

    Part of it may be due to being sexually frustrated.  I have been attracted to several people over the past year or so, but it hasn’t been reciprocated, until now.  It’s kinda frightening me and I keep questioning the situation as well as myself.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Spread Positivity

    compliments

    Victoria- you are very confident in your beliefs which I admire.  I also really enjoy how you piece your clothes together.  

    She is very intellectual and is really friendly to everyone!

    Even though you seem shy, your style is so original and I always love your Doc Martens!

    You are smart and will do great in life.

    You are a sweetheart

    You’re really creative and passionate about your work!!

    You seem to have great confidence.

    Victoria is so nice and smart and I love talking to her.

    You are a very genuine and good friend and I love you girl 🙂

    Although we have only talked a few times, I think you have a very good outlook on life and I always see a smile on your face.

    Nice, smart.

    Thank you for explaining things over and over for me when I don’t understand an assignment.  It’s very nice of you.

    Although I always presumed you to be a quiet person, I’ve gotten the chance to talk to you this year and you’re a very helpful person.  I feel like I could talk to you easily.

    Soft and well spoken.

    You are very smart and so nice!

    She is such a strong person. She is really sweet and would never want to hurt anyone. She gives great advice and is one of the best friends I have ever had.

    You are really nice plus I enjoy that you are not afraid to speak your mind.

    In my English class in my senior year of high school my teacher passed around paper with all of our names on it and we all had to anonymously write something nice about each other.  This activity was inspired by “All the Good Things,” a story in the Chicken Noodle Soup series. I still have the physical copy of this…it’s nice to reference this when things are difficult.  Maybe do something like this with your friends!

  • Speaking My Mind,  unzipped lips

    Finally Re-Unzipping My Lips: Friendships

    I think this is one of the longest periods I’ve gone without writing since I got into online writing forums about four years ago.  I haven’t been too busy to write, nor have I not known what to write…the truth is, I have been causing myself unnecessary mental suffering and not until more recently, I’ve mostly overcome it through the aid of counseling, exercise, and meditation.  This first year in college has challenged me academically as well as personally.  The hardest part of college has been navigating the personal development and growth, including the experiences that occurred before college, which continues to affect me.  The last three weeks have proved to me that I am, and will continue to be, okay.  Actually, I will be great.

    Last night really proved it to me…

  • Speaking My Mind

    Positive Energy Is Coursing Through My Veins

    I have one more week of winter break and then I’m back to school, and I honestly can’t wait. I’m excited to start the spring semester and experience all that college has to offer both academically and socially for me. I feel so different already after one semester, some people that I haven’t seen since I went to college noted how I’ve changed a bit and I can’t wait to change even more. I’ve been feeling so positive and upbeat lately, it’s so refreshing after having been bogged down by a ton of bullshit during my first semester. Lately, through the advice of my best friend, I’ve just been letting bad thoughts go rather than dwelling on them…and doing that was much easier than I thought.

    This semester is going to be a little harder than last semester but I know I’m going to get through it because I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I can do anything. I just need to try.

    Anyway, I plan on going back to writing more once my break ends but for now I just want to relax. I hope everything is going well for everyone!

    -Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    My Epiphany

    I had an epiphany last week and ever since I’ve been feeling a lot more upbeat…granted I still feel sad once in awhile but for the most part I’ve been a whole lot better.  The passing of time may have contributed to me feeling more content as well but anyway…I just wanted to share my thoughts.

    I’ve realized that it’s okay to still be upset about how things fell apart with my ex, but I shouldn’t let feeling sad about that hinder me from doing and achieving things. I’ve also learned the power of gratefulness…acknowledging people that are in your life and have stuck by your side is a really heartwarming realization and it feels really good to say ‘thanks’ and make them feel appreciated.  Valuing those people that are truly there for you, both new and old, rather than that one person that doesn’t seem to give a shit about you anymore is helpful to stop you from feeling so upset about a breakup or an exfriend…by acknowledging and appreciating the people that are in your life rather than that one person that left makes you feel loved and worthy of love.  I follow a lot of “positive quote” Facebook accounts and it’s nice having my entire feed be flooded with inspiration and positivity.  Most of the quotes and pictures have provided me with some comfort and have helped me move forward.  Being surrounded by inspiring, powerful women that I look up to and want to be like has been really helpful too…seeing all the opportunities that are available to me at college and how they can help me become like these strong women are motivating.  Seeing how my role models interact with people…romantically or just as friends…and seeing what they do to achieve their goals has given me a model for what I want/what I should do to get to that point.  Wearing clothes that make me feel attractive, strong, or whatever adjective I want to feel, has helped me look at myself positively in the mirror rather than seeing a lost loser girl…appearances aren’t everything but for me, the way I look affects my mood and my mood affects the way I dress so if I pick out something that I like to wear and that makes me feel beautiful then I’ll generally feel happy and then I’ll pick empowering outfits for the rest of the week and stuff.  Wearing things that make me feel good causes me to smile more, which instantly boosts my mood, and sometimes people will compliment me on my outfit or makeup and it makes me feel even happier.

    Not only has all these little epiphanies enabled me to be less sad about my ex, but it also has helped me overcome feeling so lost at college and it has given me more solid goals for my future, which will help me get more assimilated and stuff so yeah…I’ve just been finding a lot of role models and inspirational things in my life and finding happiness in the small things, like conversations with strangers on the bus.  It has helped me feel more positive and I think feeling positive attracts people to approach you and communicate with you so then you end up feeling even happier…it’s a win-win.

    I hope some of my epiphanies will help you guys, girls, and everyone in-between find strength in yourselves and strive for your dreams…also, LOVE YOURSELF…it’s a process and you’re not always going to love yourself but trying to do so will improve your life dramatically.  Hope you’re all having a great weekend, stay safe and warm! xo

    -Vic

    “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”

  • Speaking My Mind

    Second Update: How to Discover and Redefine Myself

    The past two days have been really good…Friday I went to the women’s basketball game and we won.  Yesterday I spent the whole day in the library with my friend but we watched a bunch of movies later so that was nice…last night though I had a bad dream about my ex.  She wasn’t in it much and we didn’t interact with each other…which is one of the reasons that it was bad.  It was also a bad dream because I had many physical limitations…like I couldn’t move fast enough and/or I couldn’t talk or see…it was frustrating and difficult.

    Regarding my ex, I feel very powerless about what happened between us which is probably why I dreamt feeling powerless when it came to her in my dream…I was physically unable to tell her how I felt and look at her…it was hard and depressing.

    Yesterday when I was in the library I wrote my final letter to my ex under the advisement of my therapist.  My therapist had suggested that instead of writing a “mature” letter, I should write something vulnerable.  She didn’t say I had to send it but I think what I wrote is important for my ex to know.  I’m going to share it with my therapist tomorrow and see what she thinks, and then when I drop off her stuff at her house during Thanksgiving break I’ll include my final letter.

    The letter is vulnerable, strong, powerful, compassionate…I think it’s a really great letter and hopefully it’ll make these dreams of feeling restricted and powerless go away.

    Anyway, just wanted to share that before I update my list to see what kind of progress I’ve been making…