When I was in the second grade, I reported a boy named Adrian to the bully box. I grabbed a piece of paper, wrote down the problem, and then slipped it into the box while staring him in the eye.
What was the problem? He wasn’t actually bullying me. He was just really annoying. He kept singing the Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and my seven-year-old self was losing her mind.
Even at seven I’d heard the joke too many times: “Your name’s Itxy? Like the Itsy-Bitsy-Spider?”
“Yes,” I’d say through gritted teeth. “Just like that.”
Sadly, the X in my name throws…
There are a thousand whispers in my head that tell me I can’t do it. I can’t write. I can’t tell a good story. I can’t succeed.
But the thought that haunts me the most is: I can’t do any of it — live or work or learn — my way.
I have to do it the way everyone else says. By hustling. By sacrificing my present life for a better future. By telling stories the readers want and ignoring my creative desires. By time-blocking and meditating and taking twenty-minute power naps and ditching fiction books for non-fiction.
I’ve tried just about every time-management hack. Calendar blocking. The Pomodoro technique. Time-tracking.
None of them worked. And it’s not for lack of trying or discipline.
Whether you’re a twenty-three-year-old living at home, a mom of three, a freelancer with an unreliable boss or unreliable emotions (or both), life always gets in the way.
As much as we pretend it’s not true, life is uncontrollable. And if you can’t control life, you can’t control time. You can’t hack or manage or bend it.
What do you do then? You flow with it.
In his book Notes on a Nervous Planet…
Your life can always take a turn for the better.
You genuinely have no idea what you might spontaneously decide to do or what situation you’ll land in. Doesn’t make life feel exciting? Isn’t it worth keeping hope alive for?
No matter what kind of situation you’re in right now, anything great could happen today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now.
Your hero — the one you sent a cold email to — might email you back tonight.
Your crush might tell you they have feelings for you.
After four years of waiting, someone might reach out with that opportunity…
What do I want to say?
That’s the question I keep asking myself. I continue to answer with: “It’s not a matter of want, but a matter of cannot.” As in, I cannot figure out what stories are inside of me, what words are yearning to escape, what I want to write.
I look at everything around me, all the people I’m blessed to have in my life, and I think, “I am so full.” But when I sit down to write, I feel so empty.
Where did all of my ideas, my stories, go? There are snippets in my…
I used to get worried when someone didn’t text me back within five minutes. I thought I’d done something wrong or that they suddenly hated me.
As an overthinker, the thoughts would stumble upon each other and grow until the person finally texted me back, normal as usual. Only then would I finally breathe again.
Then I realized: people have lives. And sometimes they can’t reply right away because of regular life things. It has nothing to do with you.
Here are forty reasons why your crush, your best friend, or whoever you’re worried about hasn’t texted you back.
Do you want to make a difference and change lives?
If you do, you probably know exactly how you’re going to do that.
You’ll write books that represent certain communities.
You’ll make music that changes the way people see the world.
You’ll start a non-profit organization that builds orphanages.
Those are incredible and honorable goals. But I think most of us get caught up in changing the world and impacting lots of lives, we forget about the people in-between.
Your best friend. Your mom. Your partner. Your sister. Your brother. Your cousin. Your mailman. Your local grocer. …
I recently started dating a girl I’ve never physically met. I know her favorite song and how she looks when she’s got something in mind, but I don’t know the finer details of her face or what her hand feels like in mine.
That terrifies me. Because I’ve agreed to stick by her side and be her partner, even though she lives in a different country. On a different continent. The list of things that could go wrong is endless.
A few days ago, our fears crawled out of the caves where’d they’d been hibernating before attacking with abandon. …
You might be unhappy for a lot of reasons.
While it might feel easy to blame large situations outside of our control, like climate change or lack of success, your discontent might be stemming from something simpler. Something you’ve done — most likely, by accident.
Subconsciously, we all care what people think about us. Without knowing it, we might be adjusting who we are, our feelings, our likes, and dislikes for our friends, family, or society at large.
In other words, you might be doing shit you don’t want to be doing, and it’s making you miserable.
The solution is…
We’re disastrous when we’re emotional.
It depends on the emotion, of course. But think about all those times you’ve made a bad decision when you were angry or feeling discouraged.
Maybe you quit a job you couldn’t afford to quit.
Or you gave up a dream you’d worked hard to achieve for years.
Or you said no to something you should’ve said yes to out of pettiness.
All because your low emotions probably got the best of you.
But I don’t want you to give up anything else. Not your dream or goal or the journey to your ideal life.
A self-help writer trying to be as honest as possible and hoping to make people feel less alone along the way.