To The Person Who Thinks It Is Too Late…

I have never been a fan of the term late bloomer. Late has a negative connotation attached to it. People in general tend to look down upon “being late” and/or wasting their valued time. True, people’s time is valuable, and you should not intentionally waste it. With all that being said, I’m a self-proclaimed late bloomer.

Regret over lost time. Whether you hoped to be a millionaire by age 30, or you let the “one” slip away, there are thousands of choices that we could spend our entire lives ruminating over. However, if you are regretting wasted time, then why would you choose to waste more? I know, I know, you are not intentionally wasting time, but by staying stuck in the past you are not allowing yourself to move forward. So you’re not exactly where you thought you would be at this point in your life? Welcome to the world. One of my favorite song lyrics applies here (which I have referenced previously), “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” from “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon. We all have a hope or dream of how our life could turn out, but we have to remember those are not the blueprints. Life is infamous for it’s countless, unexpected twists and turns. It is okay to not be exactly where you thought you’d be.

In my life, I have had several plans turn out completely different than I ever could have imagined. One example is college. Man, I could not wait to go off to college. I had conquered my high school mental health challenges, so I had no doubt that college would be the same, right? Boy, was I wrong. “Adulthoodhit me hard, as I braved the cold Wisconsin winters at Marquette University. I, like many young “adults”, fell into the temptations of the college “party” scene. I felt I had worked so hard in high school, wasn’t it about time I gave myself a break? And, yeah, that was probably right. However, I should have stopped myself right then and there, and said I am not ready for this, but I was a kid and hindsight is always 20/20.

I downplayed my mental health, as if that were something that could afford to take a back seat in my life. It was not. Treatment became inconsistent to non-existent, and I wondered how I had come so far from where I had once been. I knew the concrete answer – partying heavily and stopping treatment don’t mix well. To me that was a no brainer, but the real question was why? Why was I choosing that life? People typically do not choose that life unless they are using it to cover up or numb their unresolved issues. I had a hard time admitting to myself that was what was happening. I tried to blame it on being a young college kid. I’d tell myself, “Well everyone else is doing it, so it must it’s fine.” However, it truly was just because I was too afraid to admit that I was really hurting. I knew it would open up a can of worms that I could not close back up.

Days spent in bed, tears dried to my face, and the feeling of rock bottom crept in. I had lost all confidence in myself. What did I do? The only thing I knew how. I went home. I went back to my roots to figure out where the problem started. Back to therapy, medication and a less thrilling lifestyle. Yes, at the ripe age of 22 I moved back in with my parents. (Talk about not being where you thought you would be.) As I watched the majority of friends close our their senior years of college with diplomas and job offers, I knew I had my work cut out for me, if I ever wanted to feel that same sense of pride. I applied to a local school and began with general education courses I had not taken yet. What did I choose? College Algebra. Guys, I hate math. Why I chose a class I hate, I will never be able to explain. However, it helped me get my “groove” back (for lack of a better term). It reminded me of how I used to study. Slowly but surely my work ethic began settle back in.

I remembered how good it felt to work hard for something and obtain a desired result. This was mentally rewarding and made my self esteem begin to increase again. I was reminded that I held the key to my own success the whole time. It was not a matter of if I could do it, it was whether I wanted to or not. Hard work can be draining, and if you do not give yourself proper time to relax and veg out, then you might run into a wall, like me. It is okay and honestly healthy, to take time off and put your work away.

Now, I am graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and am pursuing my masters degree. Whatever it is in life you aim to do, know this: you can do it, it is not too late and the only thing in your way is, well, you.

The Importance Of Being Kind

I have never been able to tell if it is a good or bad thing that we as humans are shocked by acts of kindness. To me that always meant that kindness was rare enough in our world for people to slow down to marvel in awe. Rubbernecking, if you will. Suggesting that kindness was the exception in an otherwise cruel world. The sad part is kindness was never meant to take a backseat.

In Mother Teresa’s Anyway poem she said, “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” I always found that odd growing up. Why should I be kind to someone who thinks I am selfish? No thanks, I’m good. However, as I have grown older, the meaning has shifted. It became less about my feelings and more about the unkind person’s feelings. There is always a reason someone is acting unkind, and it usually stems from a lack of kindness and love in their life. I was lucky enough to learn the meaning of kindness and love because it was a exemplified in my life from an early age. Not everyone is that lucky, and we must remember that. You have no idea the impact your kindness could have on a person. Similarly, we have no idea the inner battle someone else is fighting.

I’d love to sit here and tell you that it has become easy to be kind to those who are unkind. But I am human, and I fail sometimes. However, what I can tell you is this: Being unkind never makes me feel the way it does to rise above it and treat that person kinder than they treated me. It helps knowing that failure is part of the process, and it is never too late to make amends. It is actively choosing to be kind, as opposed to our innate “eye for an eye” human nature. I know my worth, and I am confident in that, so why not help someone else along in their journey?

An Ode To The Homies

This time of year it’s hard to not to get swept up by Danielle Steel novels and Nicholas Spark film adaptations. However, the focus is only aimed at romantic love.

Growing up, my favorite person to celebrate Valentine’s Day with was… my mom. To be honest she still is! Don’t get me wrong, of course I love my significant other, but we celebrate our relationship throughout the year in other ways. It is nice to have the time to be thankful for other loving relationships that bring value to your life.

Another favorite Valentine’s day celebration of mine is not a romantic dinner for two, but a girls night with my favorite gals. (Inspired by Galentines Day from Parks and Recreation). Do you know why? It is because I can always count on them when I feel lonely or am in a pickle, and that has always been the case.

They say as you grow older, your circle becomes smaller because quality takes precedence over quantity. In other words, growing up it was about seeing how many friends you could make, but as you grow you learn it can be hard to have fulfilling relationships with too many different people. Not to say you cannot have a lot of friends, but I am talking about that close inner circle. The circle that has held you up when you felt at your lowest, seen your ugly cry and probably held your hair back a time or two. They are your 3 A.M. friends who you know you can call no matter what, and they will be there for you. Those are the relationships worth celebrating on Valentine’s because that is also a form of true love, right?

So this year, maybe ditch The Notebook and watch something like Bridesmaids, Sleepover, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, etc., need I go on? Find that movie that speaks to your close relationships or makes you downright belly laugh. These holiday’s can seem daunting, but truthfully they are what you make them. You can spend your time on the couch crying it out, (I’ve been there, girl. You don’t want to do that!) or spring up , and take control of the situation. We know you’ve got this, and if you need a little extra support, we get it! Check out our resources page for more help! Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

You Can Quote Me On This…

As I sat down to write this week, I was met with the ever-so dreadful, “Writer’s Block”. What do I write about? Instead of having a plan, I decided to let the week take control and lead me to a topic. As a control-freak, it was incredibly hard to “let go” and not completely take over the situation. However, I am happy to report, I stayed true to my word and finally, I was hit smack in-the-face with a topic.

As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across the tweet from one of my favorite accounts Power of Positivity, “Without naming the film what is one quote that gives it away?” Game on! I consider myself to be a “movie buff”. As far as quotes go, there are thousands to pick from, so I thought I will just submit two. One was a huge hit and the other not so much. The first which was not as popular was the classic “No, I am your father.” It was only the biggest cinematic reveal of ALL time, but it’s cool, whatever people! 🙂

For my final tweet, I decided to go with a quote from my favorite 80’s movie. I will give you a hint, Cue “Oh Yeah” by Yello. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is from the 1980’s John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you have not seen this movie, then we highly encourage a watch party for you this weekend. In his senior year, Ferris Bueller decides to go for his ninth sick day and manages to convince everyone he is sick to the point that they created a “Save Ferris” fund. He grabs a couple pals, heads to downtown Chicago in a Ferrari, and even headlines a parade! The moral of the story is to “Seize The Day” however, I think I like how Ferris puts it better, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once and awhile you could miss it.”

I love that quote because while it is a bit cheesy, the sentiment holds true. Life really does move fast, and it is easy to get caught up in the details, and forget to take a step back to appreciate it all. There are certain points in our life where I think we are a bit more aware of that than others. One of those times at least for me, was senior year of high school. What a time of life, you are just beginning to spread your wings and begin your “adult” life. It is also a very reflective period of your life, as your look back on your 12 years as a student. As you pack up you car, and say your last goodbyes, you begin a completely different chapter. Don’t let us fool you though, college flies by just as fast, if not faster. No matter where you are on your journey in life, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the ride because it sure is beautiful.

The Persistent Hero

What did The Little Engine That Could, Hercules, Harry Potter, and Elle Woods all have in common? Well, yep, you guessed it, perseverance and persistence. When things became difficult, they braved through their fear and conquered their obstacle whether it was a mountain, Hades, Voldemort, or Law School. We are constantly being told these great stories of inspiration, and don’t get me wrong we love a good hero, but could the stories actually be hindering us? These stories start with a regular person, like us. First they are met with a great challenge, then they try to conquer the challenge before they are ready, they fail, they are inspired again, and then conquer the challenge. The end.

However, what about when we don’t conquer the challenge right away … or at all? Are we not heroes then? Are we unrealistically expecting to meet these challenges? Then when we do not, do we let it hurt our confidence? If this resonates with you, know you are not alone. It happens to so many of us. Now what? Should you give up? Is life meaningless? Absolutely NOT!

Who is to say that was the right path, anyway? Have you considered the fact that perhaps what was behind that door was harmful and you were steered in a better direction for a reason? Plus, there are many lessons to be learned from mistakes. If we constantly conquer our challenges, we narrow our chances to learn. Sometimes enduring failure is part of the process. It is important to understand the lesson of failure to greater appreciate the lesson of winning. We like to believe we have our entire lives figured out “I will be a doctor, get married at 28, have 3 kids, and have one million dollars by 30.” If only, we were able to predict the future that easily. John Lennon said it best, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…”.

We’d be remiss if we told you, we never failed. That is nearly impossible and if you know the secret trick to guaranteed success, then please let us know. However, we have learned not only how to accept failure, but also to learn and grow from it. This is not to say you should always aim to fail either, but when it happens know there is value to it.

The truth is no one has any more insight as to what tomorrow will bring, than you. This gives us all a level playing field. It is okay to feel sad or let down when you fail, and you should most definitely let yourself feel that. However, remember the sun will rise again, and the next day is full of new opportunities. Dust off your clothes, get up, and try again , or change your course of action. Whatever it is you choose to do, know that by moving on you are persevering and persisting through it all. At this point you have become your own hero, and that my friends is a beautiful thing in itself. Channel inner that Mariah Carey!

Music Can Heal

It has been said that there is one thing that brings us (humanity) all together. That thing has been said to be music. Music has transcended time, languages, distribution methods, and more to become what it is today. Ever since we were young, music has been a part of our healing. We do not replace it with therapy or medication, but rather use to aid depression/anxiety alongside other treatments. If we feel particularly sad or angry, sometimes blasting sad or angry music in the car does just the trick.

The thing about music is that it lets us know we are not alone in our emotions. It shows us that even celebrities, like Ariana Grande or The Weeknd understand how we feel (because they likely have experienced the same emotion). This helps us as humans to feel connected as opposed to feeling isolated and alone. Feeling connection naturally increases feelings of belonging. When we feel connected, we feel that our emotions are not only understood, but validated.

The playlist below can be taken with a grain of salt. It is truly a modge-podge of songs we have compiled over the last few years which we believe encapsulate many of life’s emotions/feelings. We like to put it on when we are in our feels (sad, happy, angry, etc.). There is truly something for everyone on here. Don’t hold it too much against us that is is more of an older style playlist, but like we said originally, music transcends time. If you absolutely hate a song on here, that’s cool, just don’t listen to it, then. There are a couple religious-ish songs on the playlist, and if you want to skip them, please do. This in no way, shape, or form is meant to influence you or your beliefs. This is just what has helped us in the past. We hope you get something out of it too. If not, maybe try to create your own. Be sure to share it with us! You never know who you could be helping in the process. Music effects us all differently and what could be meaningful for one person may not have any meaning for another. That is OKAY! That is the beauty of it, the unique connection. If you have time to give our playlist a listen, please do. If not, no worries and cheers to you anyways! 🙂

The Mental Health stigma is SO overplayed.

I believe mental wellness is rooted in positivity and rewiring our brains to think mindfully. This can lead to a much happier, productive, and fulfilling life. It is no secret that mental health has been stigmatized for decades now. While the world is opening up to the idea of mental health, there is still work to be done. That is where we come in! Well, partly, because here we believe every person who speaks up about their mental health is helping to end the stigma. That’s where YOU come in! We want to hear about your mental health journey! The good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, – whatever it is you feel moved and comfortable to share with us – we want to hear and support you.

At Her Sound Mind, we are still in the early stages of development. The idea is to become a mental health community where you can find resources, inspiration, education, and inquire about mental health. We plan and hope to evolve from there. We encourage you to push the mental health envelope (respectfully, of course). There is still much to be discovered in terms of mental health and the human psyche.

Welcome. If you are feeling down and want to look into your options, welcome. If you are in need of a little encouragement, welcome. If you are new to the mental health community and do not know where to begin, welcome. If you are unsure, anxious, and have a million questions, welcome. If you stumbled upon us and do not know why you are here, welcome.

As you can see there is a place at the table for everyone at Her Sound Mind. We do not tolerate exclusivity and/or bullying on grounds of our differences. If that is ever experienced, observed, or threatened, please report this immediately, as it does not meet our code of conduct. We celebrate our differences here. ALL are welcome. Thank you for being here! Hope to see you here again soon!