◦○♥○◦

Hello!

I’m writing here tonight because it has been a while and I am in a good mood. I’ve actually been feeling better lately. I was super stressed for a little while, then I had pains in my stomach, then my cat passed away. A few negative things happened in a short period of time and I was really down. My eyes were dark and dry from crying so much. Now I am bouncing back.

I miss my cat a lot. She was my little roommate. It’s only been 11 days; I’m still not used to her not being around. I had her cremated so she is still here with me. I may release the ashes somewhere nice next summer, but for now I want her with me. I had her for 16 years and she moved out with me when I went on my own several years ago. So it does feel a bit lonely not having my cat friend around. She was tough and stubborn. She still meowed for food that morning even though she couldn’t eat it and she still tried to come out and see me when I came home from work even though it took her a while and she could barely stand. She tried to stand all throughout the evening up until she just couldn’t anymore. During the final attempt to stand I put my hands underneath her so she could fall back down gently and I made myself a little bed beside her and stayed with her until the end. I am extremely grateful to have been there for her.

On a more cheerful note; I am enjoying my new apartment. It is a bit cheaper than the last one but a bit bigger. I love that I have a pantry. I still have work to do as far as decorating and arranging goes but I love to do that. The living room is really nice, I will show it off once it is complete. I am enjoying being in a new neighborhood. It’s refreshing to have a change of scenery and new areas to explore.

I’ve tried modeling two times so far and I’ve taken my own pictures. I am wearing more tight fitting clothes too. I’ve come a long way with that. I used to hide my body in baggy clothes for years. In grade 10 for the entire year I wore an over-sized hoodie and PJ pants. For two years when I lived in Fredericton, I wore skirts everyday… I hated my skinny legs and hid them. I’m wearing things now I would never have worn just a year ago. I’m being bold despite still not being 100% comfortable in my body. I am accepting that it is mine and that is possible for me to change it and I will. I haven’t given up on my weight gain goal but I am learning to live with I have and to have fun with it.

I start school next week. I am both excited and nervous. I am only taking one class this time and I will continue to work 5 days a week. I’ll be good and busy.

It’s been about a month since I’ve been to the gym BUT I have been working out at home and that I have been enjoying quite a bit. I have been keeping busy overall and that is such an improvement for me.

When you are feeling down don’t stay in one spot. You need to get out and move. If you really can’t bring yourself to go out then at least move within your home, watch something, read something, do something! It’s when you do nothing that you fall into despair and can’t escape. You’ve got to keep moving!

This post turned out a bit messy I suppose; just a random update.
So far this year I haven’t reached my weight gain goal but I have strengthened mentally, especially recently. I tried something new; modeling and moved to new area. That for me is important progress.

xxx

Social Media 📱👥

If you use social media everyday I recommend watching this video. For me, it was inspiring. I have deactivated my Facebook. I’ve been bored with Facebook for a while now so that was easy. Now I need to disengage from Instagram. I am inspired to do the 6 month break from social media very soon! I think it is exactly what I need.

☀️ Fresh Start ☀️

IMG_20180504_190834506_5

As those of you who know me and whoever has read this blog know I am trying to make productive changes in my life.

Recently I got a gym membership, a new tattoo, my boyfriend gave me a beautiful ring, and I shaved off my hair! All symbols of self improvement, a new beginning, & love.

I have tried to start fresh many times and have relapsed each time so far. I do expect to have my days where I feel bad and don’t eat as much, it has already happened, but I intend to not let those days keep me down. This time is the first time I am going to the gym. This will make a difference. I was nervous at first but my boyfriend has been going with me and showing me the ropes! It’s actually kinda fun 🙂

I am trying to visualize myself heavier and I keep a bathing suit up on the wall for me to see everyday so that I am reminded of my weight gain goal. It would be a dream come true to be able to be comfortable enough in my body to wear a swimsuit! The last time I was in a swimsuit was when I was 13 years old, I am now 27!

I have gained a couple of pounds in the last couple of weeks. However, in the past few days I worked more and ate less. My mood shifted in the negative as well. It has been very dark and rainy too and my thoughts began to match the weather. Tonight I am doing laundry and waiting for my friend from out of town to arrive. I just ordered a pizza. I will take some Apetamin, a vitamin syrup that helps stimulate an appetite and slows down your metabolism, and eat as much as I can.

We may not always see it but the sun is always shining.

Thank you to everyone for the positive feedback on my posts so far!

Cheers from Canada

❤ 🙂

IMG_20180430_215339789_2

IMG_20180504_105631_2
 And… a jacket my boyfriends mother gave to me! ❤ 

8 Factors That Contribute Greatly To Emotional and Mental Stability

I was browsing Pinterest and came across this image:

Duke-Study-on-Happiness

Source of Image
These 8 factors were found during a study on happiness by Duke University.


I find these factors quite useful for self reflection and felt a need to share!

Personal take on these factors:

  1. The absence of suspicion and resentment. I hold grudges for years. Time to let go! This is a big one for me and will most likely take a while for me to master it.
  2. Not living in the past. I spend too much time in the past. So much time wasted that could instead be spent in the present and planning for the future.
  3. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Yes… Go with the flow, man.
  4. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Yes when I am unhappy I curl into a ball in bed and don’t eat or want to speak to anyone. The last few times I felt down I watched educational and thought provoking videos on YouTube instead. Now that is nice out I will go for more walks!
  5. Refuse to indulge in self-pity. Hmm.. self-pity. I don’t really pity myself. I am aware that I am lucky to have a roof over my head, food to eat and family and friends that love me. Instead of self-pity I have had a bad habit of just insulting myself for letting negative feelings take over and for wasting so much time being stuck instead of being productive. I’m looking at the definition of self pity and I don’t think it is the same thing. I am aware that I am fortunate and I don’t pity myself. I’ve just been angry and annoyed with myself.
  6. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues–love, humor, compassion and loyalty. Yes I will continue to improve on them as well as other virtues; assertiveness, confidence, courage, creativity, peacefulness, purposefulness, responsibility, and self-discipline. I’m overall trying to work on becoming a more virtuous individual.
  7. Do not expect too much of yourself. Yes, this one will be important when I go back to school in the Fall. I am too hard on myself if I don’t get an A.
  8. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. I have some ideas but I will have to think about this one some more. 🙂

Circumstances and Choices

*Updated April 18th; Video added at the end of the post, Enjoy.*

Bad experiences are not an excuse to become a bad person.
2513

We are a product of the choices we make, not the circumstances that we face. – Roger Crawford 
When you are born into and/or face unfortunate and difficult circumstances in your life you have two choices on how you can deal with these experiences:
 
First, you can allow these experiences to consume you and to hold you back. You cause harm to yourself and to others. You allow anything difficult and painful that happened to you turn you into a unfavorable person. A person unable to take action, make changes and take responsibility. You become toxic.
 
Or, you can use these obstacles as stepping stones to become someone great, to rise above them and to not let them hold you back. You acknowledge what happened, break the chain and move on. You seek help when needed and perhaps even take the extra step to help others who faced the same challenges as you. You become strong.
 
The road is tougher when you are faced with obstacles and perhaps in some cases it is a bit more limited. However those who face the toughest battles are still capable of being the best they can be. These are people we admire.
 
Your circumstances set the stage but your choices determine the show.

xxx

Maturing

ma·ture
adjective
  1. having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development characteristic of an adult.

Something I became more aware of recently is that age has nothing to do with being mature. I used to equate age with wisdom; the older you are the more wiser you are. This is incorrect. Wisdom is not gained through experience alone. Wisdom is gained with both experience and how you interpret and react to those experiences. And it is how you interpret and react to those experiences that define whether or not you are mature.

Higher age simply means more time. The longer you’ve been around, the longer you’ve had the time to think about how to live your life and conduct yourself. What I have seen recently, is that just because a person has been around longer than I have doesn’t necessarily mean they are more mature. A person can be around decades more than I and still act childish. It’s not about your age, it is about your choices.

You need to first become aware of your behavior and outlook on life, then and only then can you make the CHOICE to improve. Your age doesn’t play a significant role if any at all in this. Making the effort to improve and changing yourself is the process of maturing and once you reach a certain point you enter the realm of wisdom. Maturing, wisdom, and bettering yourself in general are always ongoing processes.

Age >> Maturity >> Wisdom

I looked around the internet for ‘signs of maturity’ and I found this list of 25 Signs of Maturity  I have a lot to work on as far as growing up. Being a mature, classy, stylish, drama-free woman is what I desire to be. I will go through the points and see in which ways I am mature and in which ways I can improve. My personal comments on each point may be of no interest to you but I recommend going through the points and reflecting on your own behavior. 

1. Realizing how much you don’t know.
 ✅ Oh yes, I am very aware of how little I know and that there will never be enough time to learn all that I want to know but I can at least make an effort to learn as much as possible.

2. Listening more and talking less.
✘ 
This is something I used to be good at. I was the person you could count on to listen to you. I have become more annoying in my opinion as far as talking too much sometimes. This applies more to when I am drinking or with my boyfriend. I need to listen more. This is definitely something that I need to work on. 

3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.
 Yes I definitely try to pay attention to those around me and their needs especially if they are at my place or I am visiting theirs. Also when out in public I try to pay attention. I can definitely work on being more aware in public though. I do not have any interest in being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate. If I were to find out that I do actually have those qualities I would be devastated. I do believe in the importance of taking care of our own needs and self love, but you can do that without being selfish. Putting my needs first is something I do have to work on. I am too passive which can lead to being taken advantage of.

4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.
 I take a lot of things personally. I am hard on myself and can take things the wrong way when people say things to me. As for feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for myself… I do try to be conscious enough of myself NOT to do any of those things.  If you have a problem with something in your life, shut up and do something about it to fix it!

5. Being grateful and gracious, not complaining.
 I think I have this one down for the most part. I definitely try not to be a complainer. People who just complain about their problems and complain about others become toxic to themselves and those around them. I can always work on being more grateful and gracious though!

6. Taking responsibility for your own health and happiness, not relying on others to “fix” you or placing blame for your circumstances.
 I am aware that my health is my own responsibility. If someone does something to me and I am stressed out because of it, it is my responsibility to find a way to not be stressed out about it. We are responsible for how we react to what happens to us.

7. Having forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.
 I have to work on having forgiveness for myself and others. It’s hard for me to forgive sometimes, I do hold grudges and resentment. As for compassion I think I do have this for others, not so much for myself.

8. Being calm and peaceful, not desperate, frantic, or irrational.
✘ I need to work on being more calm and peaceful. I am stressed out and anxious a lot. This is a big one I am working on.

9. Showing flexibility and openness as opposed to resisting, controlling, or being unreasonable.
✅ 
 I think I have this down for the most part. Not controlling and no desire to control another human being. Perhaps I am guilty of resisting from time to time. I do try to be conscious of being reasonable. I do not want to be an unreasonable person. Reason and logic are important to me.

10. Helping yourself, not just expecting others to do it for you out of a sense of entitlement.
 Yes I do help and take care of myself. I do not rely on others to do so for me. In fact I prefer taking care of myself. 

11. Doing good deeds even when there is nothing in it for you other than knowing you helped, being selfless.
 Absolutely! Could always do more good deeds though!

12. Respecting another’s point of view, beliefs, and way of life without judgment, not insisting you are right, belittling another, or using profanity or violence to get your point across.
 I think this is one of the things like the second point above (listen more, talk less) that I used to be good at but no longer am. This point is one that I have been bad at with the boyfriend more than anyone else. No one has pushed my buttons more than this individual haha, BUT, that is no excuse for becoming angry with him and putting him down just because I don’t agree.

13. Sharing your good fortune with others.
Not sure if I am this one or not. I am thinking about fortune, looking at its definition… I don’t really have a fortune to share with others but if I did I’d like to think I would share. I do try to treat my friends and boyfriend when I can.

14. Being able to turn the other cheek without wishing harm on another.
 I am too bothered by other peoples behavior, I do need to work on just focusing on my own life and being the best I can be. Not to be bothered by people whom I feel are truly bad people or people who behave badly.

15. Thinking before acting and having good manners, not going off half-cocked, lashing out, or being rude.
✅ 
This one I have for the most part. Drunk Anna could improve on this though.

16. Encouraging and being supportive of others.
✅ 
I do encourage and support my loved ones.

17. Finding joy in the success of someone else, not envy or criticism.
 This is a big one for me. Envy was and perhaps is still my biggest sin. Lately I have been much more grateful though for what I do have and not so much concerned with those that are more successful than me. Lately I am more appreciative of my life especially now that I have my boyfriend. He makes me really happy and I do feel lucky to have found this person. So because of my more recent appreciation of what I feel lucky to have (love) I haven’t been as envious of others.

18. Knowing there is always room to grow and improve and reaching out for help.
✅ 
Yes, always room to grow and improve until your last breath. I have been reaching out for help more too. 

19. Having humility and laughing at yourself.
 This one. Absolutely need to work on this. Relates to a previous point… need to stop taking things personally. Let it go, laugh, have fun.

20. Recognizing that which does not work in your life and making an effort to do something different.
 I put an ‘X’ here since this one is a work in progress for me. I am currently trying to make changes to myself. For now, just mental changes but eventually I want to make physical changes as well.

21. Passing up instant gratification in favor of long term benefits.
✅ 
I do appreciate long term benefits over short term ones. I do try to consider the long term consequences of my actions.

22. Accepting, liking, and loving yourself, not needing someone else to “complete” you.
 Well I do not feel a need for someone else to complete me. However I do need to start accepting, liking, and loving myself more. I do feel I have improved on that a little bit.

23. Standing up for fairness and justice for yourself and others and choosing to do the right thing.
 I am too passive. Need to speak up more.

24. Making sacrifices for the good of others without resentment.
 For the most part I think I have this one down. Not perfect at it though. There have definitely been times where I have gotten fed up with someone if I feel I am the only one making an effort and resent them for it.

25. Not clinging to materialistic items or bragging.
✅ 
I can’t deny my love for some of my possessions but I am not attached to anything material. I don’t brag.

SO there is the list. I hope it is at least a bit eye opening for you as it was for me. There are other lists out there with different points but I felt this one has a lot that I need to work on which is why I chose it to reflect on.

xxx

bruce lee

A Week Without Facebook

I just ended a break from Facebook for a week. This is one of many many breaks I’ve taken from it. Now that it is back on my phone I am trying not to use it. I browsed it twice today. I’m thinking of deactivating it again but keeping messenger, not even sure if I’ll do that though. Anyone who I do speak to on a regular basis knows how to get in touch with me. Life without Facebook is pretty nice. I recommend you try it out at least once to see the difference and gain a better understanding of the role of social media in your daily routine. I especially recommend deactivating to those who haven’t done it before. Facebook has been around for over a decade now, and a lot of us have had it for most of that time. Are you someone who has had it consistently during that time? For years? If so you should try going without it for a week. If the only thing that is holding you back is to be able to message people please know that you can deactivate Facebook yet continue using messenger. Instructions here.

My best friend hasn’t been on Facebook for years… what a brave gal! My boyfriend recently decided to stop using Facebook and is enjoying life without it. He reads a lot these days. I have done it before for a few months; I lived in an apartment with no internet for a couple of seasons. I really enjoyed that time. Without internet, (only had basic mobile data on an old phone and didn’t use it much) I felt freer. I read and socialized more during that time and was more relaxed and happier.

I appreciate social media but like anything else if it is used excessively it is bad for you. It is still being researched on whether or not there is a link and/or relationship between mental health and social media. I can tell you from personal experience that this link does exist for me. If you are one of those people who can have social media but don’t have the urge to check it constantly and use it in moderation you’re probably fine. But if you are like me and check frequently during the day then it will most likely become a problem if it isn’t already. Looking at pretty pictures of things and people can lead me to feeling incompetent. It’s a strange thing to do when I think about it. Looking at other peoples lives on a tiny screen instead of doing much with mine. How sad. I pretty much only use Facebook and Instagram but have spent a significant amount of time on these platforms.

As I have mentioned before I am trying to make changes. Last night was the first time in two weeks that I did not write in my journal. I better write in it tonight. At least I am writing here. I have been reading every day, but some days I read for less than an hour. Overall though I am happy with my very little progress so far. I do expect the complete transformation into a happier human to take a few years. It’s only been a couple of weeks but I am still optimistic.

xxx