Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Worst Day

A couple weeks ago, I was asked: "What was your worst day and how did you handle it?" I've been procrastinating finishing this post; it's been pretty hard for me to re-live that exact day. But being away from posting makes me feel even worse, so here's my attempt at an answer.

Honestly, I have a lot of bad days. People might not expect that someone who writes about life would have so many bad days, but it happens. This blog is not and will never be me saying that I know exactly how to “handle” life because I don’t. I wish I did, though.
However, just like the fact that doctors aren’t immune to illness, therapists aren’t immune to depression and stress, and on a MUCH smaller level than therapists, those of us who write about life aren’t either, by far.
To answer this question – what was my worst day and how I dealt with it – I can only say that each year I probably have one very memorable terrible "day" or event. 

The worst day I had this year actually happened while I was on vacation, of all places. For spring break, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and I took a little cruise to the Bahamas. We flew out from LAX to Orlando for a night, then boarded the ship the next afternoon. Since we’d technically be out of the country, we were required to switch our phones to Airplane Mode. I ended up turning mine off completely because it really wasn’t crucial for my existence to have my phone on. The day we docked back in Orlando, I turned my phone on and immediately it blew up with texts from my parents and friends asking me to check up on another friend of mine. No explanation – just telling me to check up on this friend.

Feeling mildly annoyed, and because of the three hour time difference between Florida and California where I live, I wasn’t in a hurry to reply to these people. About an hour later while we were all waiting to get off the ship, I texted my mother back and in an hour she texted me back with the most unexpected news. My friend – the one who everyone wanted me to check up on – had just lost her mother in a plane accident.

I stared at the text for about five minutes before I could even speak. When I told the rest of my family who was with me at the time, I was still in massive shock. I read and re-read the text, I even grilled my mother on all the details just to be sure she didn't type something wrong by mistake. About half an hour later, I broke down, and throughout the day I broke down over and over. I got moody towards everyone I was with. One of my cousins left her phone in the car before we went out for dinner and I got upset that she was upset about it because 'why did that matter? Someone I really cared about is gone; why does not having your phone for an hour of your life matter??'

Over the next few months, even now, I'm still not okay with it. I still get angry and think it never should have happened. Because this woman was one of the best people I've ever met. She affected thousands of lives with her life, and she didn't deserve to die the way she did or even in the time that she did. Not like it was anyone's fault, it just never should have happened.

Needless to say, I'm still extremely torn up about this. She's one of the reasons why I considered starting this blog. Because part of me is looking for answers that someone else might be able to afford me, and another part of me wants to share the answers that I've already found.

How did I deal with this? I haven't; not really. The best I've been able to do is accept that the things I'm feeling are normal. I don't have to feel ashamed or rush myself to feel ok again. And that's something that I'd tell anyone asking for advice on how to handle bad days - don't stress over the fact that you're stressing. Know that it's okay to feel whatever you're feeling. And you really aren't alone.

Feel free to ask me questions, leave comments, or find me on any of the social media links below.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Smooth Sailing

I just came across this picture floating around Tumblr.

So I did what any other good "tumbl-er" would do and I reblogged it. However, I added this little note to it: "But a smooth sea never killed a sailor either." 

Let me explain.

I mean this to be thought-provoking, not to say 'hey, if our lives were 100% easy, it wouldn't be all that bad either.' But think about it. Really think about it. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, but a smooth sea never killed one either."

A lot of what we say and a lot of quotes out there affirm the notion that we are only shaped as individuals by the tough times in our lives - the times where we have to fight to get out of bed in the morning, fight to get through the day, and fight to get things done around the house before finally heading off to sleep and face the same routine the next day. I don't believe this to be true.

Unfortunately, I'm not here to say that better times are definitely up ahead. They very well might be, but there's no way I would know that. We may have to struggle quite a bit in our lives. It's just a fact of life for those of us who are unfortunate enough to be placed in those situations. 

But how much of our thinking is shaped around this notion - a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor - that only the difficult times shape our character? Do we sometimes, subconsciously, create drama for ourselves because our culture seems to advocate this - forgive me for saying - self-pity? If we just took a step back and re-evaluated a couple situations, how many of them might have resulted from us telling ourselves that we can not be happy or else...?

My point is this: if you get to be happy, enjoy it. You don't always have to be suffering. You can let yourself be happy - it's not the end of the world. You can find things in the world that make you happy. You can always learn just as much about life while truly being happy as when you're dealing with hardships. Smooth seas never killed a sailor either. Remember that.

Feel free to ask me questions, leave comments, or find me on any of the social media links below.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Love More

I watched a video recently that had a collaboration of different people speaking up for a cause, and I noticed this logo in one of the girls' backgrounds. It had a heart, and next to it, the words "is my religion." Basically, "Love is my religion." And I started thinking that maybe this isn't such a bad motto to live by.

I did what any other person taken by curiosity would do and did some research. The quote may have come from a Ziggy Marley song "Love is my religion" where he basically says religions aside, we should all just love one another as fellow human beings.
Instantly, this became my new life motto.

Everyone goes through difficult times; life experiences differ from person to person, but the one common element that we can all share is love, and from that love, respect. How much easier and more positive could our lives be if we stopped fussing over petty differences? No, We're not guaranteed to get along with everyone in the world, but we can lay out a common ground of mutual respect by saying to ourselves, "I may not get along with this person, but I will respect him/her because we're all in this life journey together." 

Sure, we may disagree with others sometimes - or even a lot of the times - but if we make it clear that our differences in opinion won't dictate the level of respect we have for people or even how we treat other people, our lives will be so much more enriched. We'll develop seemingly unlikely acquaintances that may blossom into lifelong friendships, a better understanding of other people and other cultures, and a better taste of what life can offer us.

So, in this week's challenge to living positively, let's try to be understanding of others and reach out by giving love to those who might have been unlikely to receive love from us.

Feel free to ask questions, leave comments, or find me on any of the social media links below.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Life+ Becoming a More Positive Person

{I'd like to put a disclaimer on this by saying that I'm in no way a professional. I'm not an expert on life. These are simply a few things that I've learned along the way and felt like putting in a blog post for me to go back and read someday. And if this possibly helps out someone who's having a rather difficult time, then I'd be completely honored. This is the same post that I wrote on my other blog, Kristazzi, so I'm not "stealing" anyone else's words, so to speak.}

The following are 5 simple things I've come up with to keep in mind on your journey to becoming a more positive person. Of course, this is based on my life experiences, as you'll see in some of the examples that I give. If you have any questions, comments, or even tips for me, feel free to contact me on any of the social media links towards the end.

Let's begin!

1. Always seek to improve yourself - I think one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to make sure you're always refining yourself, getting better, shaving off the bad bits and transforming what you have into something good. Not to suggest that people should become human-robot hybrids by my example, but much like phones and computers, we should be constantly checking for updates. One way you could do this is by asking yourself on a semi-regular basis (meaning once a week-once a month, however often you feel is necessary) "How could things be better? How could I, right now, make things better? How might my attitude need adjusting?" If you can think up legitimate answers to these questions, try and live out the answer.

I know that not even two months ago, I seemed like a completely different person than the me who's typing these words. I was far more cynical, I judged myself way too harshly, and it was overall not a great situation.

2. Remember that you aren't obligated to change for anyone but yourself - If your friends, peers, family members, etc... are pushing you to behave a certain way, that doesn't necessarily mean it's right for you. However, take their suggestions to heart. If you repeatedly hear something about yourself that you don't agree with or don't like hearing, take a moment and re-examine why those people could be saying this about you.

For me, people have constantly told me that I'm pessimistic, that I look like I'm angry most of the time, and I can be kind of harsh towards myself and other people. And for the longest time, I disagreed adamantly. I made excuses. I blamed other people for the way they perceived me, which (by the way) was completely wrong of me to do. So I took a step back and thought of why these people could be saying this about me. And, going with what I mentioned earlier, once I started to see it, I asked myself how I could improve myself to avoid this situation in the future.

3. Always be grateful - Remember that time when you went out of your way to do favors for people and they just went on with their lives as if it was no bother for you? Remember how that made you feel? Probably not great, was it? But can you think of any recent encounters where someone did you a favor and you acted the same way? Or are you so absorbed in your own life that you don't see the strings people pull for you?

Now, this one is sort of a two-part tip. 1- you don't want to be so wrapped up in your own life that you miss everything else that's happening around you. And because of this, 2- you want to be able to see when other people are truly being nice to you and helping you out. Because maybe if you see how other people care about you, you won't have such a negative self-image and you'd see how valuable and lovable you really are as a person.

4. Don't psych yourself out - The common misconception about "change" is that it's always dramatic, drastic, a complete 180 in 0.2 seconds. The reality is, change happens more gradually but surely, and the different things you're working on will happen at their own speed. Adjusting the way you see yourself might take quite a bit of time, but learning to observe the world and the people around you more closely might be the most natural thing in the world.

For me, my recent "upgrade," if you will, has felt rather seamless. Adjusting to this new way of thinking might take some more time for me, but I've noticed that my outlook on life has evolved into something I never thought it'd be capable of. And, looking back, it has been changing and adapting for some time - I just didn't realize it until now.

5. Finally, know that not everything about you will change - Just because you feel like a more positive, relaxed person, doesn't mean your core values will suddenly flip upside down. Whatever you hold true, the things you really want from life, the things you really admire in other people, etc... will most likely remain the same.

For example, there hasn't ever been a point in my life where I've wanted to have children. And even though I feel a lot more confident in myself and my life journey than I used to doesn't mean I feel differently about not wanting kids. And you may feel differently about this than I do; I expect that. But think about the things in your life that have remained constant. It might be your religion, your life goals, the list of characteristics you're looking for in a significant other, etc... You never have to compromise your values for anything, period - end of story - close the book.

And on that note, I'll wish you a good, healthy life. Again, I'm in no way a professional, so I'm inviting you to figure out this life-thing with me! If you have any comments, questions, or tips for me, feel free to contact me on any of the social media sites listed below.

Until next time, 
stay Life +

Friday, September 20, 2013

What is Life+?

Hello, and welcome to the first post on this blog. Before I go into explaining Life+, I want to first explain a little about me.

1. This is not my first blog! By no means is this anywhere close to my first blog. In the past, I've dabbled a little in writing poetry, stories, and other life-related things. But, due to poor organizational skills - among other reasons - I've now either forgotten about these blogs or how to access them. Oops.

2. My most recent blog is under my +Kris Vlogz  name, Kristazzi. There, I've - more or less - successfully taken on the 30 Day Blog Challenge and the YouTuber Challenge, which provides the bulk of my posts, along with various other ramblings and musings along the way. I take a sort of pride in that blog because it has given me so much motivation and has helped me develop part of the writing style you see today.

3. Although I wouldn't consider myself a YouTuber, per se, I do occasionally film a couple vlogs on YouTube. I have three channels so far (explaining why I have three would take too much time): Kristazzi, KristazziTV, and KrisVlogz. However, I currently plan to switch over my KristazziTV channel to my original Kristazzi channel.

4. The reason I want to be so honest with you is because, as a blog that's devoted to life, becoming a more positive person, and living to the fullest, I feel that it's necessary to be open about my own life.

Hopefully, over the next several posts, I'll give a better understanding of why I want to start this blog series.

Now, what is Life+? Life+ ("Life Plus" or "Life Positive," depending on the context) is a project series of mine that allows us to sort of walk through life together. I am not a professional in any way; I'm just an average person who has been through a number of things and has learned a bit along the way. Some of my future posts will be advice-related and others will be musings about why things are the way they are. However, 100% of these posts are of my opinion. Whether or not it has any validity is entirely up to you.

Feel free to join me on this little journey of mine and, perhaps, we can figure this thing called "life" out together. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or contact me on any of the sites listed below. Visit my Tumblr page for the option to ask anonymously.

Until next time, 
stay Life+