Anxiety is an "It"

I tried something different today.

I have been having a lot of random thoughts and statements popping into my mind...thoughts and statements about tough stuff. I had a couple of them saved in a draft, and I was finally hit with an idea on what to do with them. Therefore, I have used them to write something that portrays anxiety as a "physical" thing.

I feel like it's a little bit darker than something that I would normally share here. However, I hope that it will still mean something to people in a positive way. It isn't a "cheerful" post...but I still believe that many of you can relate.


It's never late to arrive.

It's always there, first thing in the morning. Your alarm goes off. Your eyes flutter open, and you can already feel the burden of It...the weight of It. It may as well be sitting on your chest.

It pokes and prods the corners of your mind. Instead of saying "good morning," It says "don't count on a happy day." It reaches into your thoughts, pulling all of the things you don't want to think about to the "obsession" portal of your brain.

The mistakes you have made.
The sadness that you feel.
The fears that control you.
The face of someone you're trying to forget.
The worry that consumes you.

It brings them all into blinding light, and try as you may, you just can't focus on anything else.

It gets pleasure out of watching you struggle to get out of bed and face the day. It makes you believe that it's normal to have a lack of hope. It smiles as you begin to believe the lie that things are never going to change for the better.

It follows you all day, constantly stepping on your heels so that you can't possibly forget that It's there.

"Wow, you just screwed something else up. Good job."
"Hm...that will definitely get you in trouble later."
"That was the dumbest thing you could have done."
"It's only a matter of time before everyone realizes that you're nothing special."
"Just think...you're going to be in this same spot 30 years from now too."

Its insults are all that you can hear. They ring in your ears. You replace the negative thoughts with a positive one...which works for a few minutes. Then, It is back...and twice as strong. It forces you to have your daily break down, leaving you emotionally exhausted.

It returns home with you. It sits in the corner, smirking as It watches you sit and stare at the wall. Its pride grows with every tear that unwillingly slides down your cheek. It pats itself on the back...congratulating itself for another successful day.

It watches you toss and turn as you try to sleep. The one moment of the day that It hates is the one where It watches your face relax as you finally drift off to sleep. It knows that you have forgotten everything that It has worked so hard to engrain in your mind. Sleep is your favorite part of the day for this reason. It's a chance to escape, and each night when you're drifting off, you pray that maybe It will be gone when awake. But, that never happens.

Because...It's never late to arrive.


Just Appreciate Simplicity

You know, when it comes down to it, it really is about the "little things" in life.

Over the past few months, I have spent 99% of the time with an inability to even recognize, let alone appreciate, the simple occurrences and events that take place on a daily basis. I know this, because I have been in a much happier mood the past couple of days, and I attribute it to the fact that there have been so many little things to appreciate. Little things such as:

//Yesterday, the weather was beautiful. It has been HOT here in Florida, and yesterday was the first glimmer of hope that this relentless heat is going to eventually end. It rained on Sunday, and cooled things down to about 85 degrees yesterday. There was a lovely breeze. The humidity was a bit below the level of suffocation. It was all around very nice, and it made me look forward to fall and all of the things that come with it.

//I allowed myself to partake in a little retail therapy on Saturday afternoon, which is something that I rarely do. My closet is the proud owner of 6 new shirts, 2 pairs of sandals, and a dress that I absolutely love. I wore it to church on Sunday, and to work yesterday. It's funny how a new piece of clothing can put a little pep in your step.

//I had a super stressful week at work last week...to the point that I was dreading going in on Monday morning. However, I had a really good Monday because I have really encouraging and supportive co-workers. The people you are surrounded by can make such a difference in your day.

//The sweetest little old lady asked me to help her get something down from the top shelf at Publix yesterday afternoon. She was so kind, and so appreciative of the most simple favor. I wonder how different the world would be if we were all that appreciative of each other.

Today, I encourage you to pay a little more attention to the small things around you. Smell the roses. Smile at strangers. Dare to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Do something nice for someone. Take time for yourself. Just appreciate simplicity.

And, if all else fails in your quest to find "little things" to appreciate, you can always hug a cute dog.


An Apology to YOU, Plus 5 Useless Pieces of Information

One of the worst results of not blogging regularly over the past few months is definitely the fact that I have lost a good majority of my readers. When I say this, I'm not bummed out about my lower stats or the fact that I am obviously receiving less comments...I'm upset that I have lost some of the blogging relationships that I had before.

When life began to go down hill, I didn't only post less...I stopped responding to comments. I stopped commenting on blogs. I stopped reading blogs. I stopped maintaining the connections that were so important to me. I have even neglected to mail out the gifts to the winners of the giveaway that I hosted for the opening of my Etsy shop a few months ago. I have overall became one of those "crappy bloggers" that no one wants to be.

So today, I wanted to use the opening of this post to say....I'm sorry. I really am. Everyone who has taken the time to read what I write over the past year and a half has been amazing. I truly value the thoughts, opinions, and even friendships that you have all offered to me. Knowing that I have lost a lot of that because of my neglect really bothers me. I only hope that I can work to re-establish myself and my relationships with my readers.

To anyone who is reading this post, I want to get reacquainted. I'm going to share five "useless" facts about me, and I want you to do the same. After you read this, please comment below and tell me something about yourself that is "useful, yet awesome." Here we go...

1. I can produce a pretty wicked "Stich" impression. I'm kind of proud of it. I only do this for a select few people. Maybe one day I will get brave enough to share it with the internet. Maybe...

Via Google

2. I have really hairy arms. I know you're probably thinking...gross, thanks for sharing. But, it's the truth. Surprisingly it doesn't normally bother me though. I think I'm just used to it. Plus, I feel like shaving or waxing my arms is just WAY more trouble than it's worth. Exhibit A:

3. I LOVE this song, and know every single last word to it, forwards and backwards. I've never done karaoke, but if I were going to, I would sing this song...and crush it.

4. Going to FSU has given me a permanent weakness for anything garnet, gold, or "feathery." I bought two very similar garnet shirts yesterday because "I need them for football season." And my current favorite thing is this feather garland that I bought from a local boutique a couple of weeks ago.

5. I am a sucker for a "pretty sky." I have about 100 pictures of sunrises and sunsets on my phone/camera. This one was taken off of my back balcony a few nights ago.

Now it's your turn...share away in a comment below! Happy Monday to you.


New Apartment Tour, Part 3

After yesterday's downer of a post, I thought that today would be the perfect time to share the third and final installment of the new apartment tour. If you want to see the parts I have already shared, you can click here for part 1, and here for part 2.

The pictures below include all of our "shared living" space. However, we do each have our own little section for what we have deemed "creative spaces." You will see what I'm talking about as you scroll through. And, just as a warning, this post is pretty picture heavy.

When you walk through the front door of the apartment, this is what you see. Just like in my bedroom, there is a ton of natural light. We almost never turn the lights on for anything. It's wonderful.

To the left is the kitchen, which I won't go too into detail on, because it's nothing too exciting.

Our front door, complete with handy, dandy key rack.

This is our living room space, which is mainly used for watching Netflix if we are being honest. (We are currently watching Weeds, and love it. I'm also working my way through all of the seasons of Scrubs.) I really like the built in entertainment area. We are still wanting something to hang above the arch though.

There's me in the reflection...hello! Also, just in case anyone cares, we got rid of cable and are just using Google Chromecast to stream Netflix and Pandora. Chromecast is so neat. We feel pretty tech savvy when we use it. Plus, not paying for cable saves us quite a bit of money.

Our living room here feels much more "homey" than the living room at our old place.

And here is the first creative space. Our living area in this apartment is pretty large, so we figured that instead of shoving everything into our rooms, we could just use the extra space in the living room.This is Amber's side of the room, and she uses it for all of her crafting and sewing stuff.

Then, on the other side, you have my space. This is my blogging/writing/calligraphy corner. I'm kind of in love with it.

I have an AA and a BS, so both of those are hanging up. The cork board covered in fabric was in my office at my old job. I don't have room for it at my new job, so I just used it to create a collage of some of the pieces I have made.

The vintage ink well was a gift from one of the sweetest women I know. The little brown, tube-like thing there is a calendar. You jut slide it until the 1st of the month is on the correct day. I found it at Goodwill. Pretty cool, huh?

The brown letter tray is from Target. When I first saw it, I didn't let myself by it because I told myself I didn't need it. However, each time I went, I had to look at it so I finally purchased it. They say if you can't get something off your mind, it's okay to buy, right?

The picture is one of my favorites of some of my friends and I. I want a more creative way to store/display my glitter. I'm thinking some type of clear jars would be cool...what do you think?

This is the only thing that I haven't shared. This is the little hallway in between my bedroom and bathroom. I just used some extra things I had to create this space, but I think it turned out pretty cute.

I believe that's it...you have seen every part of my new place. I'm very happy with it, and it's feeling more and more like home every day. Thanks for reading along as I shared!


The "D" Word

Depression has been a hot topic on the internet lately.

Since the death of Robin Williams, I would say that the number of depression-related blog posts and articles that I encounter on a daily basis has tripled. There have been so many wonderful insights to the issue; ones that allow readers to see past the "depression stigma," and view the disease as what it really is...a major issue in our society. Of course, there have been other points of view that come across as completely ignorant and hateful. Those view points are the reason that depression has become such a taboo concept.

As a blogger, I have learned to be pretty open about my personal hardships. If you visit my site often, you know about my own struggles with anxiety, depression, and trichotillomania. I write about these things not because I seek attention or self-affirmation of some sort, but because I know that there are millions of other people out there who deal with the exact same things. Reading the blogs and articles of others who have the same issues gave me the courage to share my own experiences, in hopes that someone like me will read my blog and gain some courage themselves.

That's why I'm using this post to throw in my two cents on the depression topic.

I came across a quote on Instagram the other day. It was horrible, but accurate, so I took a screenshot of the picture and saved it on my phone. It reads:

"What is depression like?" he whispered.
"It's like drowning. Except you can see everyone around you breathing."
Upon reading it, I was a little disturbed, because it just sounds so...morbid. However, after giving it a few minutes thought, I realized that it was so disturbing because it was true. That is exactly what it feels like to be depressed. Deep down inside, you want to live and have fun and take advantage of what you know can be a beautiful life. But...you have no desire, or energy to make it happen. You become really good at faking smiles, and making people think that you are okay when you're not. You blame things on being tired, or sick, or busy...when you're really just too sad to function.
There are glimmers of happiness, brought on by certain situations and people. When you are back alone in your room though, you begin to question if those glimmers were even real because they seemed to pass by so quickly. It never takes very long for the fog to come rolling back into your mind. Then, you're back at square one...staring at the ceiling and hating yourself because you are too weak to fight back. You wouldn't even begin to know how to fight back.
If you read my last post, you know that I was in Savannah last weekend for my friend Amber's 21st birthday. It really was a great weekend. I was genuinely happy and carefree for a good portion of the time we were there. There was one particular night though, where I felt exactly like the person in that quote up there. Our first night in town, we went to a club. It was crowded and full of young people having a good time. The music was good. The atmosphere was good. There was dancing. It was the epitome of what should have been "fun."

I couldn't get out of my head though. I was standing there, watching my friends and everyone around me have a blast, but I felt like I was watching from above. All I could think was, "Why is everyone so happy? I want to be happy too." I felt like everything was closing in around me. I was surrounded by people, but I still felt out of place and distant. I fought back tears a few times, and panic eventually set in. I knew I was going to lose it if I stayed there. I eventually went and stood in a corner and pretended to play on my phone until everyone was ready to leave. The same thing happened the next night, and when we returned back to the hotel, I sat out on the balcony by myself for the remainder of the evening instead of hanging out with my friends because I just couldn't handle things anymore. Unfortunately, this is how the majority of social situations turn out for me. Most times, it's just easier to be alone with your sadness.

If there is one thing that you remember about depression, let it be this...it is not some made-up concept. It's very, very real. To those of you who have loved ones that deal with depression...be patient with them. Try to understand that the majority of the time, the way that they feel cannot be controlled. And to those of you who may deal with it yourselves...keep fighting to keep your head above the water. Yes, it's completely exhausting. Especially when you realize that you will be battling it for the rest of your life. However, it's always best to say that you tried.


Georgia On My Mind

There is nothing better than getting away for a couple of days. I am a firm believer that travel is the best form of therapy out there. There is just something magical about spending time in a different place.

This past weekend was spent in Savannah, Georgia with my roommate Amber and a group of friends. Saturday was Amber's 21st birthday, and Savannah was the perfect place to spend a couple of days celebrating. Savannah is a gorgeous city. It truly has the best of everything. It's somewhere I could even see myself living if I was ever looking to get away from Florida.

The only thing I hated about the weekend was the fact that it ended. Going back to work today was a really hard thing to do. I just wanted to be back on the balcony of the hotel, looking out over the perfect view that we had from our room.

Farewell Savannah. Until next time...



Just Keep Creating

I couldn't sleep last night. And for the first time in a while, it wasn't the "bad" kind of insomnia. It was the good kind...the childlike kind that keeps you tossing and turning because the thoughts that are circulating through your brain are just too enthralling for you to even consider closing your eyes.

I was thinking about my book. Not the one I'm reading...but the one I'm writing. I couldn't get the storyline out of my head. It's been on my mind a lot the past couple of weeks. I keep asking myself if it's really the type of storyline I want to use for what I hope is my first published book. I question whether or not I will be able convey what I want to convey in a way that is going to keep people interested on multiple levels.

Writing fiction is a funny thing. Even though fiction is "fake," or made up, there is still such a giant, underlying level of truth hidden in the plot line. While the surface of the story may be completely pulled from imagination, the things that "make" the story...the emotion, the rawness, the pain and conflict...are all very real. The ability to create those types of feelings within a fiction novel doesn't come from the same part of the mind that the basic storyline originated in. Those parts of the story come from the heart of the person writing it. So, even though the work may be fiction, it is still very real in a variety of ways. Therefore, there is still a looming feeling of vulnerability.

While lying in bed, I was thinking so much about the characters and the direction that I'm taking the book that I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until I spent some time with my writing. You see, I've been taking the "just write, don't read" advice as I have been chugging along. This means that I have written nearly 10,000 words, but I haven't went back and read them from the beginning. I pay just enough attention to the sections to make sure that things make sense for the most part, and that's it. I think this has been creating a major feeling of uncertainty, because all I could think as I was staring at the ceiling was...does this book even flow so far?

So, around 12:30 AM, I rolled out of bed, creeped to my desk in the living room, grabbed my laptop and flash drive, and got back in bed. And I read. I read my words...my creation, from start to finish. When I reached the end, I expected to feel disappointed in myself, or have a list of 500 things that I should have worded or portrayed differently. But...I didn't. I had a few corrections in mind, but for the most part, I was really, really happy with what I had just read. I no longer felt uncertain about the story. I no longer felt afraid of putting pieces of myself into it. I felt fulfilled, and my mind was at ease.

One giant solution to uncertainty is to push through doubts, and just keep creating. That is exactly what I have to continue doing.


I'm Tech Savvy

Guess what?

I have done something that is looooonnnngggg overdue. I have FINALLY purchased a domain for this little site of mine. Therefore, you will no longer find Miranda Writes at http://www.youngprogress.blogspot.com. You can NOW find me at....


How exciting!!! I'm in the process of getting my URL changed on Bloglovin. Hopefully my old URL is re-directing correctly. I guess we will find out! Anyway, that's pretty much all I have to say considering I have already posted once today. Hope you have all had a fantastic weekend!

Taking Ownership

Is there something about looking through the pictures on a person's cell phone that is intriguing to you?

I mean, I know that I, personally, am a pretty nosey person, so I often find myself spending a few minutes swiping through pictures on my friend's phones (with their permission of course), and asking questions like, "Oh, where was this?" or "Who is that? Have I met them before?" Before I know it, I have flipped through about 800 random pictures of the person's life, and I feel like I come out of the experience knowing them a little better somehow.

Today, I caught myself being nosey with the photos on my own phone. It was interesting to find myself doing that, because I took/saved all of the pictures on there...so they really shouldn't be that interesting, right? I guess that assumption is wrong, because I sat there and took a hard look at every single one of them. And it wasn't the type of hard look where I sat there and picked apart my appearance in every picture, or wished that I looked as cute as my friends did...it was the type of hard look where I was really just appreciating the different scenes that I was reliving.

I'm pretty hard on myself and my life, and I spend about 85% of my time in a mood where I constantly convince myself that I am unsuccessful or should be doing something better with my life. I make myself believe that I'm mediocre...I look average, I work an average job, and I lead an average, boring life. I reprimand myself for not having "enough" fun or going places that matter. I make myself wish that I had different dreams or interests...ones that could actually make me "successful" in the world's eyes, because I so often get sucked into the idea that being perceived as success is more important than being true to myself and doing the things that bring me joy.

I partly blame this on social media...and even blogging. Think about it...when you scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed every day, what do you see? Pictures of people on your dream vacation, statuses about dream jobs, proclamations of accomplishment, faces of happy couples and happy families...a lot of really great stuff, right? Don't get me wrong...these are all wonderful, wonderful things...but a lot of times watching people do things that you want to do, and be people that you want to be, brings out that little green monster of jealousy. Then, before you know it, you're making yourself believe that you don't have some of those things that you really want because you don't deserve them, and you make yourself believe that your own life is subpar, when it's actually insanely great.

I think looking through my pictures on my phone today made me realize that. My life is great. Just because I can't travel right now doesn't mean that I never will. Just because all of my goals haven't been accomplished doesn't mean that they aren't going to be. Just because I'm not in a relationship with the person who will "complete my life" doesn't mean that I will be alone forever. Comparison is always going to be the thief of joy. Measuring your life up to someone else's is always going to bite you in the rear. That's just the cold, hard truth.

It isn't always easy to appreciate things for what they are, and it definitely isn't easy to appreciate your life for what it is when you have this insane standard of "perfection" clouding your vision. Sometimes you just have to wipe your eyes and see your life for what it really is. Maybe it isn't ideal...but it's yours, and endless possibilities come with taking ownership of your past, present, and future.


New Apartment Tour, Part 2

Today, I am sharing another room in my new place. When getting ready to move in, the thing I was probably most excited about, apart from the size of the closet, was the size of the bathroom. It's the biggest one I have ever had, and it has so much storage space...including a linen closet, which is a complete lifesaver.
My bedroom used to have a slight NYC theme, and when I changed up the theme I saved some of the NY d├ęcor to use in my bathroom. None of it is a perfect match, but it works and I get a lot of compliments on it.
This first picture shows that the room itself is a pretty decent size. You can see my beloved linen closet to the right.


And this is what you see when you turn the corner. My Granny made the shower curtain for me a couple of years ago. She did a really amazing job. You can see a close up of it a couple of pictures down.

The little black table is one of my favorite furniture pieces. My mom and I found it at Goodwill when I first moved to Tallahassee. It was white, but my mom painted it black. I just love the detail on it. Also, I have a lot of nail polish. (Obviously.)

So I don't really think that people will ever actually read the books on the back of the toilet while they are in the bathroom...but you never know, right?

Here is an overview of the counter. There is more counter space than I know what to do with!

I used to have another cute little white glass container that I would have put my hair products in, but I dropped it on the floor and shattered it while I was unpacking. It was a side moment.

That white teacup is one of my favorite finds. I scored it at Ross for about $2.00. It is quite handy.

There you have it...part two of  my new place. The next, and final part of the tour will include the living room and our "creative spaces." Be looking for that post soon!



Last night, I did something that I haven't done in a good while.

I sat down, and I read a few blog posts.

Blogging, and reading blogs, are two things that I truly, absolutely love. You know how sometimes you have to force yourself into thinking you like something, just because it seems like a cool hobby and you feel like you have to keep up with it after a while? I have had my fair share of hobbies that I feel that way about, but blogging isn't one of them. I loved it at the beginning, and I have loved it all the way through. So, how I have managed to neglect it so much over the past few months is beyond me.

I have been going through something very difficult this year, and maybe a total of three people know about it. I think I began to distance myself from writing when the difficult time in reference began. It's something I wanted to, and still want to be able to talk about so badly...but I can't. It's going to have to remain a secret...probably forever. As a writer, and an introvert, blogging has been my way of getting things off my chest...it has been my own form of self-therapy. So, when I couldn't talk about the one thing I so desperately wanted to get out in the open, I began to resent my blog. What good was this online space if I couldn't talk about the only thing that is on my mind? My creativity went down with my depression, and it took my blog and my blogging relationships with it.

Therefore, while I have blamed my lack of writing on moving to a new apartment, or being consumed with my new job, the truth is that I have just been too sad to do so. I haven't been able to bring myself to type more than a sentence or two of a post without closing my laptop and questioning what the point is. I haven't had the energy to devote to writing and publishing posts, or reading and commenting on the posts of others. I threw away the main thing that made me "me," and that didn't help anything. I have been neglecting my talents, and my dreams, and everything positive that comes along with this crazy hobby.

So, as I'm sitting here in my new home, typing away madly in my own little world, I'm still sad. However, for the first time in a long time, I am realizing that I can't continue to sabotage myself and the things I enjoy just because I'm angry at myself for being depressed. And, while I know that I may not be in this same positive mindset when I wake up tomorrow morning, I am confident that I will still know in the back of my mind that this post, and everything I have just typed into it, is truth. It will serve as a reminder that there is still a huge portion of me that believes in talents, and simple pleasures, and dreams...even though I don't feel that way a good portion of the time.

I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish. I still have a lot of words I want to write. I still have a lot of dreams I want to live. And regardless of depression, or whatever other setbacks I encounter over the years...I'm going to be fulfilled and accomplished at the end of my life. I am certain of it.


New Apartment Tour, Part 1: My Bedroom

It has been two weeks since the move, so I figured it is a good time to start sharing some pictures of the new space. The first room I'm going to show is my room. I'm pretty happy with the way it has turned out. I'm still not quite used to the new space. I still have a bit of a hard time sleeping just because it doesn't quite feel like "home" yet.

There are also a couple of differences in this room and my old room. First of all, my desk isn't in my room like it was at the old place. It is out in our common space. I also no longer have a TV in my room. It is out in the living room since our old one messed up. I'm okay with this though. I didn't watch a ton of TV in my room anyway, plus we got rid of cable to save money and are streaming Netflix and such to the TV via Google Chromecast. (Which is really cool, by the way.)

Overall, this room is much more open and filled with natural light than my old room was. The windows allow so much sunlight in that I never even turn the light on unless it's dark or overcast out. I also love the two windows above my bed. If you read the post where I shared my old room, I think you will agree that this one is overall much less cluttered.

Now, that I have finished rambling, I will jump into sharing the pictures. This is the view you're welcomed by when you walk in the door. When I was moving my furniture in, I had a really hard time deciding if I wanted my bed angled in the corner like it was in my old room, or below the windows. I decided to put it flat against the wall beneath the windows.

To the right is this wall, with my dresser, my Switchfoot poster, and two old guard pictures. Instead of bolting the mirror to the back of my dresser, I decided to lean it up so it is off-center. For some reason I just liked it better that way.

 My dresser holds my jewelry box, jewelry tray, and train case that houses my perfumes. It also wouldn't be complete without my Phantom picture. The mason jar is full of change, and my Bible and phone are there because that just happened to be the last place I sat them down.

This is my new bookshelf. You may have noticed it isn't the same one I had in my old room. I bought it for around $30 at Walmart, and put it together by myself...which was a bit of a pain, but worth every frustration and broken fingernail.

On my window sill I have the "M" that Amber made for me. It used to hang on the door at the old place, but I decided to do something different with it. Beside that is a plaque with Psalm 25:4-5 on it that my Aunt Nancy bought me for Christmas last year.

This corner houses my famous Phantom poster that has followed me from home to home over the past few years, and my bedside table/

The table holds my alarm clock, two vintage poetry books, a coaster, and the book I'm currently reading. (Bridget Jones's Diary, which is funnier than the movie.) Above the table is my FSU diploma.

To the left, on the other side of my bed, is the corner with my closet.

The little black stand used to hold all of our DVD's, but we don't need it for that anymore. Now, I'm using it to hold all of the books I haven't read yet. I also throw my purse up there most of the time.

And here is the inside of my closet, which is still kind of a mess. I'm using my old bookshelf to hold shoes. It's working out pretty well.


That's all I have to show for today. I'll be back with more very shortly! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
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