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.

Dancing With A Ghost

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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!

With the seasons, we too must change.

What is it about change that makes you freak out? You hear all your life how necessary change is, and how it’s even more dire to be able to adequately adjust and accept all changes that come your way? As time goes by and you try to figure out who you are, you experience changes around every corner. You find new friends, and lose some of the old. Move to new places, and experience new things, new feelings. Society has made us believe that new is better. “Do you have the new iPhone? Did you see the new episode of The Walking Dead?” and any other answer than yes is greeted with a warm face of disgust and an un-empathetic “oh…I’m sorry…” like it’s your greatest goal in life to just be up to date on all things always. Well…you know what happens when you have the newest of everything? You miss out on experiences. And right now…I wouldn’t mind missing out on some of the experiences I’m experiencing. (Want me to say the word experience again?) Being 23 is by far the strangest age I can remember being. Surely someone reading this at 35 might feel differently. “Oh, she knows absolutely nothing about the years to come…so young,…so naïve” And to those people…you’re right. I have absolutely no idea what the future years in the world of Taylor may entail. But what I do know is that I’m 23 and am experiencing (ha…there it is again) a variety of emotions that I think I’d be OK with never having to endure. What are they? That’s a great question.

I can’t even put a definition on what I’m feeling, what’s going on inside my head, what my views of the world are in this exact moment… I know nothing. I know I feel the struggle of being a twenty-something with what feels like absolutely no direction. I’m questioning things, and by things I mean essentially everything under the sun. What are my views on God? Is true happiness ever truly attainable in a world that’s constantly changing and asking you to change with it? What does it really mean to settle? How come people tell you to chase your dreams and follow your heart, yet question your inability to stay in one place when you express your desires to get out and experience what’s pulling you in an opposite direction? The times I do open up to other people, they seem to have all these opinions on what I should be doing, how I should be feeling, or my personal favorite…they tell me my life and my views as they see they should be as a 23 year old girl. If there’s one thing I despise more than anything, it’s the picture of my life and how it should be—drawn out by some know-it-all late twenty-something who thinks they have everyone figured out. Listen… we are all humans, and yes, I can agree that we all have similar struggles in this super fun and awesome thing we call life…But you cannot categorize every 23 year old girl into one group and tie it up all pretty, then call it a day. I’m starting to realize how all over the place this post is… But I’m sure someone, somewhere can relate to the lack of structure and guidance throughout this. And honestly… that’s how my life’s been feeling lately; Lost without direction. I have no idea where I’m supposed to be, why I am where I am, why I’ve made the choices I have…everything is a giant question.

Self-reflection is too existent in my life. As you can tell, if you’ve even made it this far in reading this…everything’s kinda super jumbled. In terms of figuring it all out, I’ve made the decision to explore the avenue of therapy to sort it all out in attempt to get things to make sense. Sometimes you need to do what’s best for you, and if you don’t know what that is, then there’s no shame in admitting defeat and seeking professional help. Which is what I’m doing and honestly, if you’ve found yourself relating to anything in this post, anything at all, and are feeling a little lost, I’d suggest doing the same. We are only human, and we can only get so far alone. I think a lot of my problems stem from the fact that I tend to put more pressure on myself than any human ever should in every way possible. Why am I not an expert at the job I just started and am not expected to do anything but learn and fail forward at for the next 3 months? Why do I not know exactly what I want out of life? I have unrealistically high expectations of myself, which has lead me to living an overly-anxious life. The planner in me hasn’t been letting me enjoy the present. I’m constantly thinking about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Thus…am running the precious moments I’m living in.

The positive that’s come from all of this is that I have been going on long runs essentially every day rather than going to the gym because…lets be honest, when you get into a workout routine it becomes too routine, and you tend to get bored and lose interest. And for me right now…running is a win-win. I’m getting a solid workout in, and I’m clearing my head that’s just constantly overloaded with thoughts. My diet has…seen better days but I’ve been getting it back to where it used to ideally be. My motivation with keeping it super clean is that….it’s one of the few things I can fully control in my life. I have to learn to let go of trying to control every little thing, every outcome, because I’m starting to understand that to live, you have to let go a little bit. To fully enjoy what you have, you have to let go of the what-ifs. I’m not anywhere close to being a pro at it. Shoot…I just realized that 5 minutes into writing this ranting cluster of a post but hey, I’ll take the little victories as they come.

So, honestly, if you relate to this in any way and want to reach out…feel free to email me, comment below, whatever is fine. Life can be hard, but it can be even more difficult going at it alone. Here’s to another Monday in the books and changing what we can to better our tomorrows…or something like that.