The Song That Broke Your Heart

You all know what I’m talking about. For whatever reason, there’s that one song in your daily arsenal that, for lack of a better phrase, kicks your ass. Whether it’s the direct message being spelled out lyrically, your own interpretation of the lyrics, or maybe it’s a place those lyrics bring you to. For whatever reason it may be, this song entirely breaks you down.

How did you get to this headspace? Why are you reflecting on songs that break your heart, Taylor?

Music is a weird thing. It brings people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, different stressors together. It can explain a feeling when words fail to accurately depict one’s emotional stance. Then there’s the aspect of the whole music thing that can take you out of your current situation and bring you to a different mental state; a different place; a better time.

Right now, for me, that song is “Kansas City”. I’d tell you what it’s about, but I’ll do one better and let you figure it out on your own by listening above (oh, and you’re welcome in advance).

This song was released 3 days after I got back from the perfect birthday trip to the beautifully humbling mountains of Colorado. For me, there’s something about the mountains. This wasn’t my first time there, either. I grew up going to Lake Tahoe and Colorado later on in life, and have always enjoyed my time there, but there was something different about this trip.

It’s not just the fact that we didn’t run into any bumps; the people of the town we stayed in were warm, welcoming and accommodating. The weather was perfect for skiing; we got 4 inches of fresh powder as a birthday gift to yours truly. I mean, yeah, of course I had a great time, and anyone is sad to leave vacation.

But this was more than just a vacation. It was more than just a good time. It brought back a feeling I haven’t possessed in over a year; one of freedom and pure joy. One of purpose and light. I felt rejuvenated and understood.

Since being back, I’ve felt none of those things, but I’ve surely felt pain and anxiety with their absence. I’ve felt lost, unmotivated; overall lacking something that I clearly need to do more than merely exist in the world day in and day out.

Let’s not forget about “Kansas City” and it’s role, here. As I mentioned, this song dropped 3 days after getting back from Colorado. The 2 days leading up to this release, I didn’t talk to many people. I went to work, plugged in headphones and got after it. Then Friday came. The Mowglis, in my honest and sincere opinion, are incapable of making a bad song. They just can’t do it.

That Friday, I got in my car to head to work, opened Spotify and immediately searched “Kansas City”. There’s no better time to listen to new music than on your morning commute, just trust me on this one. Colin, a member of the band, had been hyping of the song for weeks, tweeting about what it meant to him, how emotional he got playing it live at shows. Knowing that, I knew this was going to be a little different from the typical Mowgs I’m used to.

The song plays on, and my connection with it grows as each second passes. Then the pre-chorus hit, and it hit hard.

“Been in a new town, got the same issues to work through. Turns out when you move, you just take it all with you”

Did going to the mountains validate my desire to move out there someday in the near future? Yeah, of course. That’s something that’s kept me going every day. So when I heard these lines, my first reaction was ok, Taylor, whatever you’re struggling with now; it’s not going to magically go away because you’re in the mountains. It’s still going to be there underneath the surface. Then I thought about it more, and there’s nothing I feel I’m trying to run away from; there’s no obstacle directly in my way that I feel moving cities and states would resolve, even temporarily.

Throughout the day, the words in the pre-chorus echoed in my head. The problem is I didn’t have time to really delve into the thought behind it. I had a job to do, and if it wasn’t the weekend, there was no time for fun. No time for conversation. No reason to smile. No point in doing anything besides working and sleeping.

That’s when I realized, “OK. This is more than the typical post-vacation slump”.  What was it, then? To be honest, I still haven’t quite figured that out, but I’m trying to. Writing this out, up to this point, was step one. I’ve realized a lot throughout the course of the day today, mainly being that without a sense of purpose, without something driving you to utilize your skillset in it’s most viable way possible; you’ve got nothing. The fire goes out.

Is it solely up to me to relight that fire? I’m going to take a stand here and say no, but hear me out. Do I think we are, as individuals, in control of our lives and our own emotions? For sake of rounding up, we’ll say yes, sure. You have the choice to think positively or negatively in the eyes of a storm. For sure. But, as a people, as a workforce, I think we’ve got to do better. People don’t exist to neglect one another. Society has to change. We need to welcome leadership advice from unexpected sources, we need to scope out the positive qualities others bring to the table, and utilize their minds and perspectives to create things that haven’t yet been created; whatever that may be.

Does this mean I think you should base your happiness on another human being? Nope. If that’s what you’ve gotten out of this thus far, I’m either wildly misspoken, or you may want to reread through a different lens.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the purposes behind jobs, and my views are mixed. They’re necessary to give you a sense of purpose and the ability to survive in a more pleasant way. But on the other hand, I don’t agree with the idea of working just to work. I’m a firm believer that there’s a job out there for everyone that they can pursue with passion on a daily basis. That your talents, your expertise can be used for the good of a company, and the good of your mental wellbeing and soul.

I think that jobs have the ability to redefine a person’s point of view on various subject matters depending on how they’re perceived at their place of work, and if they feel they’re able to, without scrutiny or backfire,  perform the duties they were brought on board to do. I think false advertisement when it comes to job duties sets a business up for high turnover rates.

People get on millennials for not accepting the work place norms of the past, but I don’t see that as something problematic. I see it as a necessity. If you refuse to adapt to the ways of those rising up in the world socially and economically, you’re going to find yourself pushed out of business due to a competitor actually caring about culture, purpose, leadership and drive.

To tie that tangent all together, every aspect of your life affects your headspace, which in turn affects your ability to be a productive and fulfilled member of society. The mountains reminded me there is purpose out there, you just might have to look for it in unforeseeable places. Right now, I can’t see it. I haven’t figured out what my soul found in the mountains, but when i do, I’m sure I’ll be that much closer to finding that sense of purpose again.

Everything is Nothing

Compare

What does that mean to you? What popped in your head when you read that title? To me, it’s that everything in my head means nothing; nothing unless it has an outlet, unless it’s out in the open.

Surely the idea that everything one has literally means nothing could be where your mind went. That’s a natural place to go. To be honest, I didn’t know what to title this post, because I didn’t want to define it. I didn’t want it to have boundaries; just wanted it to go where it may naturally.

So. It. Goes. Hopefully you survived the year of January 2018, and are on the brighter side of this winter. Yeah, that Groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, but sorry to my friends in the northeast and midwest, but I’m going to Colorado in a little over a month and would love there to be a plethora of snow on the ground. Anyways, weather is just weather, and I hope your soul is doing well.

Today; today was a good day for me. I had my first good meeting with a psychiatrist that I’ve ever had in over a year, and it was the most reassuring visit I could’ve hoped for. As many of you know, I have immense anxiety and panic disorder, and things have been excessively rough over the last few months. However, I feel like I’m on the up and up mentally, and I couldn’t be happier to say that in a public way.

Food will always be a hard spot for me, but as for now, I’m doing what my body wants: clean eating. Routine exercising. Everything consistently. It keeps my head space clear and my mental feeling good.

But, really, how are you?

If you feel you don’t have an outlet, DM me on Twitter. Send me an email.
No one should go through this world unheard and feeling alone.

Dancing With A Ghost

0e53c81f9d411bfe342b5342c651eff2

When it hits you, it hits you. That feeling; that fleeting thought of not being good enough. Of trying to view things in a different way, yet feeling the exact same. Being stuck, regressing; any motion other than progress is hard to process, hard to explain to others; simply hard. Then there you are, stuck as the shell of this person people think or thought they knew, questioning what happened to the “old” you, or better yet; noticing nothing different about you at all, scoffing at any remarks you make to share your current mindset.

No, this exact description of events isn’t how my life is going, but to say I can’t relate to the sentiment would be false. I’ve been, you guessed it— battling with the same demons but on a grander stage. Those ones that whisper, “you’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. Not creative enough. Not fit enough. Not small enough; you’re not enough”. I’ve been struggling with taking my meds, struggling with staying on the wagon, whatever the hell the wagon is. Struggling to get into a new routine, struggling with not letting my emotions take over my entire being, struggling with being mentally stable, struggling with my eating disorder.

To clarify that last note: no, I was never hospitalized. But if you think you need to be hospitalized to have an eating disorder, I respectfully ask you to educate yourself prior to feeling or expressing any judgement or reaction to this statement (in fact, there’s a great post I shared that goes into this in the most beautifully accurate way — you should read it if you have a microscopic view of what it means to have disordered eating).

Anyways, when you go from your family being heavily concerned with your eating or lack there of and your disappearing body, then gain the weight back in recovery mode; looking in the mirror can be hard. Stepping on the scale (as every therapist has told me NOT to do) can be excruciatingly painful; hurtful. It can tear you to pieces in the matter of seconds and depict your self worth even quicker. Sure, the level-headed individual that I have fleeting moments of being would tell myself that the number on the scale is no reflection of me as a person, that if I feel good, work out, and eat healthy; that number shouldn’t matter.

Well, tell that to anyone battling any aspect of an eating disorder and they’ll likely scoff in your face (as I am doing internally) and roll their eyes, saying something like, “Ok, you just don’t get it”, and shrug/laugh it (uncomfortably and forcibly) off. That number, though it’s just a number, weighs so much more than you, from an outsiders perspective, could ever imagine. And it doesn’t just fade to the back of your mind, either. After you see that number, for someone in recovery or really at any part of the ED cycle, it’s forever imprinted in your brain. It defines your mood, your day; you.

Yes, WE KNOW. IT’S JUST A NUMBER.

So now that that’s stated, let’s never say that ever again.

OK and . . . we keep moving. This number, this object that has this much power over us . . . it’s . . . it’s truly something you can’t explain but if you *get* it, you *get* it, and it’s this unspeakable truth that connects you with others. You then have a support system, someone who understands your struggle and doesn’t belittle it, and for awhile, you feel safe.

This morning when I stepped on that scale, I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel that there was someone to turn to and cry about my lack of progress the right way. There was no one, there was just me and this number on this screen. Sure, my boyfriend was in the other room. Sure, I mentioned this upsetting moment to him. But it’s hard to tell someone something they don’t understand, and though I know he wants to, and I know he sees how I struggle with it, but he can’t get it; truly get it.

The feeling of not having control over your life, your mind and your body; it’s immobilizing and terrifying and calls for self destruction all on it’s own. If you’ve been in this place before, you probably know the feeling; and it’s a lonely one. My issue is that I want that control back. I want to obsess and watch the number shrink by drastic proportions on the scale every week. I want to see that change and I want to know that I intentionally had a hand in it. Now, that’s not healthy thinking; you don’t have to tell me twice. But right now, today — this is what I’m struggling with.

How about you, are you okay? How are you really doing? Mondays are hard enough as it is, but they’re even harder when you feel alone.

 

This is Important

This is everything.

From not being able to control my weight loss to gaining it all back in recovery mode, this is everything you didn’t know about eating disorders. Guess what? They’re not a one size fits all. Not every person with an ED looks the same, acts the same, struggles the same. You can’t put people into boxes like that. Just because the pants I wore when I wasn’t eating don’t fit now, that doesn’t define your worth. That doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of all good things. That doesn’t mean you’re “fat”.

Do I believe everything I just told you? Nope. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t severely struggling with making myself eat as of lately due to being insecure about the weight I’ve gained since depriving myself of, well, mostly all nutrition besides lettuce and coffee (yes I’m serious). But I’m trying to come to terms with things. I’m trying to eat foods that nourish me instead of going back into deprivation mode. I’m trying, everyday, and that’s all anyone can do.

Anyway, I hope you find something of worth in this post and the linked one above. Happy Thursday!

Goodbye, Sweet Dragon

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated this ole blog, so I figured it was about time to check in. A lot has happened, much has changed; yet there’s plenty that has remained the same. I’ve been battling demons, old and new, and just trying to get by like the rest of us. The thing about growing up; growing into yourself — you’re constantly evolving, constantly changing your disposition on certain matters, constantly battling old and new demons. When it comes to this war, it’s never simple; it’s never easy. It’s always the less painful route to avoid, to not reflect and to ignore all of the noise. It’s what I’ve been doing the last 8 months, and I’ve been walking around wondering why I’m an anxious mess on the inside 22/7 (yes, I know that’s not a phrase, but I’m making it one now, OK?!).

The thing about self reflection is it’s a painful process; it brings up demons that didn’t exist before, or that you’ve maybe forgotten about. It brings up the parts of your past you’ve been running from, the parts you’ve chosen to ignore. It’s not a simple thing, but it’s a necessary one. There’s a reason I’ve been walking around with mass amounts of anxiety that’s been built up for months closing in on a year. Yeah, it’d be easier to sit here behind a computer and say everything’s been wonderful; a dream, if you will. But that’s just not the case, as I’m sure it’s not for anyone in this life. So, as I’ve been battling with the decision to write this post over the last week and a half, I have chosen to do so with a quiver in my speech and a tremble up my spine for the sake of honesty and resolving  the anxiety that’s been hovering over me. To whomever reads this: I hope this helps you in some way, shape or form. It doesn’t matter how it helps, just that it brings some light to common issues we all face; some more intensely than others. But it’s crucial to remember we’re all humans; we all make mistakes. Accept that aspect, and get to reflectin’.

cbef0a211de3c63d0ad98447acaac893

For me, it’s been a whirlwind of a year. From an ex-fling moving back to town “for me”, to dissolving my relationship I had been in for the ex-fling, to moving too fast with the ex-fling-turned-boyfriend, to it blowing up in flames a month later and begging for forgiveness from the prior relationship I then knew was meant for me; it’s been one for the books emotionally. Not to mention throughout the whole experience I was battling one of my longtime demons; an eating disorder. Sure: you probably think everyone has had some type of disorder in their life in this day in age, so who cares? Well, no girl at any age should develop this mentality, and it’s something we as a society need to shape into something more accepting.

Either way, battling with relationships is always hard. When you have someone you love, then someone you could love come into your life; someone who moved you so much in the short time you spent together. To then try it out and have it burn like a forest fire of passion and toxicity . . . it hurts. It sucks to think you had something so right, to then have it just blow up in your face. To have it not work out. To realize the mistake you made. To plea on hands and knees for forgiveness and another chance; it really breaks a person down. And these are the moments I haven’t looked back on. But with the bad, there’s the good. Did I hate every second with this ex-fling turned boyfriend? Absolutely not. We created a podcast together (RIP), and were ultimately in one of the most creative mental places I’d been in in awhile. It was passion. It was intellect. It was creativity and it was all happening at once and so fast. But I needed that to happen. I needed that passion (that was probably toxic passion the whole time, but I’m not ready to write it off as that yet).

That relationship led me back to my previous one that I had cut the cords off of solely for this ex-fling, and grateful is the understatement of the year for what I felt towards my newly rekindled love interest and current boyfriend. Yeah, the road’s had some ups and downs, some areas where I needed space to do my own thing and escape the relationship a bit, but now, looking back; I needed all of those things to happen to get me to the place I’m at now: in love with gratitude and a deep connection to the one I can now see is my truest love. Sure, we don’t agree about everything (don’t even get me started on politics), but we respect each others opinions in the long run, and value each other tremendously.

4703d239dbd1323a5afed22ac9d586d7Then there’s the even more personal demon of an eating disorder mixed with severe body dysmorphia. Yes, the two commonly go together, but I’ve rarely spoken to anyone about this portion of my life, and how I’ve struggled with it since middle school, when I began binging and purging. Though that was more of a fad than anything, the concept stuck around with me throughout high school and into my post-college-grad life. This year, that took a turn towards severe calorie counting and deprivation, where I lost 30 pounds and was the smallest I had ever been at a size 2. My family was concerned, and I played it off as if it was nothing. I wanted to be that small, I wanted people to be worried, I wanted the attention. Since March, I have gained back the 30 I lost by selectively eating under 700 calories a day, and I’d be lying if I said I love how far I’ve come. Every day I struggle with the trips down memory lane filled with pictures of myself at my smallest weight, wishing I could be that way again. Then I have to actually tell myself that I wasn’t healthy then, and that I am now. That my body can be that small, but it should be done the healthy, non-depriving way. It’s a daily struggle to love myself, and I’ll be honest it’s not going well right now, but I’m trying. I’m admitting it’s a problem, and I’m trying to not let my head get the best of me.

I also have a new job which I love, that challenges me while letting me do what I’m good at—writing and killing the social media game. Everything on the job front is perfection, and I’ve come so far over the last year and half with struggling as a freelance writer to this opportunity I currently find myself in, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity and the having the ability to not struggle or worry about how many articles I’ve written and for who, etc. There are days where I doubt myself and my abilities, but that’s a part of the human condition: we all have self-doubt, and it’s a strong force.

I don’t have the answers on any of the above, but I know if you keep plugging away at things, they’ll eventually work out in your favor, or something better will come around. Are you going through something similar, or far from relative but want to chat? Leave a comment below or feel free to email me. We’re a community, here; so it’s time we start acting like it.

 

The Sound of Music

The sound of music will never get old.
The battling between drums and vocals, the cohesion between guitar chords and the banging of a tambourine in between; these are the things that I’ll never take for granted.
Because of music, we’ve all been in love, had our hearts broken to then be pieced back together bit by bit.
Because of music, we’re able to share the feelings we can’t put into words.
We’re able to communicate in ways which the english, and all other languages, fail us.
Because of music, there’s no such thing as borders and boundaries.
There’s no such thing as the inability to communicate.
Because of music, we have human connection, and if that’s something you take for granted or fail to see, then you need more music in your life.
You need to open yourself up to the journey it can take you on.
You need to let go of all dispositions, tape on some headphones and put your Spotify/Pandora/Itunes/Soundcloud on shuffle.
Be one with the music, forget where you are, and go where it takes you.

Right now, let it take—and meditate—you.