Confession time: I’ve been super depressed lately. As in considering medication because I’ve been vibing so low, feeling terrible, and couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I put a lot of the blame on my job, because it’s been a really tough year at my workplace, and although I’m great at what I do, I don’t love it. It doesn’t light me up. It’s unfulfilling. And that’s a hard pill to swallow every day. I’ve even blamed some of my depression on the amazing group coaching program that I’ve been in since November (which sadly ends in a few weeks). Although I love it, have made amazing friends, and had some transformational breakthroughs, much of the work has been really deep, painful, and hard to face (Sidenote: Still, this program and work has still been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Period.). Naturally, with all of this going on in my life, I blamed my depression and never-ending misery on those things. But–and here’s the kicker of a realization that I just had a few minutes ago–it’s not work or personal growth that have fueled my depression.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 12-years-old, and at this point, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that I have many, many story ideas. Some are novels and some are screenplays. The genres are varied – general fiction, young adult supernatural, comedy, drama, romance, young adult fantasy. Over the years, I’ve started to write at least half a dozen of these stories, but I’ve only ever completed a thriller novel and two screenplays (one drama, one comedy), all three of which were co-written with my writing partner. I always thought that accountability was the biggest block to actually finishing (and pitching!) my own books, but I’ve come to realize that the real problem–and my true archenemy–is perfectionism.
This past week marked the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the tv series). Although I enjoyed a variety of pop culture as a wee one, anything from Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to X-Men and the Superman movies, I didn’t get a true taste of fangirl obsession until Buffy the Vampire Slayer walked into my life (well, not literally, because then I would be dead from awesome overload). My BtVS obsession goes waaay back to the original movie starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. I was in love with Luke Perry, thanks to Beverly Hills, 90210, which I watched with my mom. (Sidenote: although mom appreciated Luke Perry, her heart belonged to Jason Priestley.) I was only eight when the BtVS movie came out in 1992, but I was instantly hooked. Although I think, even back then, part of me knew this wasn’t cinema at its best lol. Still, Luke Perry was hot, Kristy Swanson was a girl who kicked major ass, and there were vampires! Lots and lots of vampires!
Speak to anyone close to me, and they will probably tell you that one of my more charming traits (I hope) is that I am a complete and utter failure in the kitchen. Actually, “failure” is putting it lightly. When it comes to my horrible culinary skills (or lack thereof) and frequently disgusting–sometimes dangerous–end results, the word “catastrophe” is much more fitting.
My very first kitchen catastrophe happened when I was a teenager. I’m the oldest of five and frequently babysat my siblings while my parents were out. On one such occasion, I decided I was going to surprise my parents by baking brownies, but not just plain, old, boring brownies, no, I was going to make heart-shaped brownies. I’d been eyeing this hot pink heart-shaped silicon (or so I thought) pan that my mom had purchased a few weeks earlier, and this was my chance to finally get my grubby hands on it. Sadly, the silicon pan was not silicon at all. It was plastic. Extremely, regrettably, meltable plastic. Needless to say, we had neither brownies nor a heart-shaped pan by the time I was done in the kitchen that day.
You may have caught on to this by now: I am a personal growth junkie. I love learning and exploring new things, particularly resources that are informative, inspirational, and fun. And if said resources just so happen to improve happiness and well-being, all the better!
So, in the spirit of promoting such resources, I’d like to recommend one of my favorite daily e-newsletters (stemming from a great website): Mindbodygreen. I look forward to this gem in my inbox every single day. Here’s a blurb from the Mindbodygreen website about the mission behind the brand:
I’ve been meditating for about five years, and although I’ve gone through periods where it was a devout daily practice of mine, I’ve not been very good at making it stick lately. The annoying thing is that I know how much it improves my life – it gives me clarity, a way to relieve stress, and it lends to a marked and overall improvement to my mental health. I thought that perhaps by blogging about meditation, it would inspire me to make it a daily habit once more.
I’ve always been introverted with a side of social anxiety, but lately I’ve felt as though my anxiety has significantly increased. To combat this and better understand myself, I’ve been doing a lot of research about introversion and social anxiety. My hope is to better educate myself on these traits as well as possible coping mechanisms and personal growth opportunities that would work best for me. I first took the Myers-Briggs personality test years ago but decided to take it again to really dig deep into my wiring. I found a great version of the assessment at 16 Personalities, and they have, by far, the most in-depth free report that I’ve seen on this type of assessment. (Note that I also took about five other versions of this type of test to make sure that my result was accurate.)
For the past few years, all of my spare time has been focused on screenwriting with my writing partner, Jess. Prior to this partnership, I had always wanted to be a novelist, an aspiration that goes way back to my preteen years. But when Jess approached me with a story idea that I couldn’t resist, our partnership was born, and it eventually evolved into a comedy screenwriting adventure that I love more than words can do justice. It was how I spent all of my free time, and my own novel writing endeavors were moved to the back burner.
Soul searching is a daily practice of mine, not because something is missing from my life and I’m trying to find it, but because I love personal growth and self-discovery. I love peeling back the layers of the most authentic version of myself and uncovering what truly lights me up as well as the areas in my life that I could change, strengthen, or improve.
My soul searching journey began over five years ago when I reconnected with an old work acquaintance. We were both struggling with painful personal issues, and began to lean on each other for support and inspiration. From there, what had only been a friendly work relationship blossomed into a beautiful friendship that is still thriving and changing my life for the better every single day. Daily lunches turned into weekend girl nights, where we began to experiment with tarot cards and meditation. These activities combined with just being together created a bond and a sense of peace and happiness that we both desperately needed.
I was sick over New Year’s and sadly missed my scheduled NYE plans, but instead of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to start a 3-night rewatch of The Lord of the Rings movies. The extended editions, of course, because I do not mess around with my fangirl faves.
I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings (LotR) by accident. I’d heard of the books of course, but had always kind of rebelled against them because long, and my mean 8th grade Algebra teacher had dogs named Bilbo and Frodo. I could not possibly like something that he enjoyed. And yet, years later when FotR was released and my dad picked up the VHS (yes, you read that right) at Acme on a whim…well, the rest, as they say, is history.