To The Girl Who Feels Like Drowning, Trust Me, Just Keep Swimming

To The Girl Who Feels Like Drowning, Trust Me, Just Keep Swimming

Every girl goes through the ups and downs, it's a part of life.

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Growing up, I was surrounded by powerful women, my Tia and Nana. They both always taught me that no matter what life will go on and there's nothing you can simply do about it. Of course the younger I was the more I believed it cause all I had were simpler problems. Like learning how to ride my bike or trying new foods.

As I got older and into my teenage years, I started to doubt their truths. I had felt that the whole world was against me and that I couldn't do anything right. I didn't get the ACT scores I wanted, I didn't get into the college of my dreams, but then I realized, life isn't about those simple things.

It is about learning who you are and how you are going to grow as a person. Of course, I went through what most girls go through, heartbreak, loss of friendships, feeling that I wasn't enough to my parents. At the time it felt like my world was going to shatter, but guess what? It didn't. I'm here today living the best life I possibly could and I couldn't be any happier right at this moment. Every teenage girl goes through this and feels that there was no end. Let me tell you, it will get better and you will forget about those hiccups in life because you will later realize that they were nothing as compared to life's bigger problems that will be thrown at you.

Now in college, I have realized that those problems were so small. Yes, I still stress about school about my GPA and grad school applications, but I do know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (as cliche as that sounds). There are times where I feel like I am drowning all over again, but then I go to the things that make me happy and that is making time for myself. Like going to the gym, yoga, and just getting out. Giving yourself time to take a breather is essential to feel like that everything is going to be okay.

It wasn't overnight that I was able to embrace the art of letting things go. I learned that either way if what happened or what I have been through I learned that I have my own good qualities that I figured out that make me the person who I am. Luckily, I had good positive role models that I was able to go to and ask for advice. There were nights where I cried to my Tia about boys or feeling that I wasn't doing well with my life or school.

As a young girl who lives in today's society, you feel that you are drowning and it is difficult to come up for air due to social media and what society, in general, expects of what you should be and how well you should perform. Just know it is possible to get out and when you do it is the best feelings when you realize everything is going to be okay. Nothing lasts forever and we need to realize that. You can look up all the inspirational quotes and all the youtube videos you want, but they won't be effective until you see the bright side within yourself.

Just remember to just keep swimming.


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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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I Went From Losing Weight To Lifting Weights, And Now I'm In The Best Shape Of My Life

How a change in my fitness goals changed my life.

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I am in the best shape of my life...or at least I think so, and that's what truly matters.

I look in the mirror and feel confident.

I finally feel comfortable wearing crop tops, and I'm even starting to show visible abs. But getting here has been such a difficult journey filled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other physical and mental struggles that hindered my ability to achieve my goals.

I have been on this health and fitness journey for many, many years now. I've been a size 00, a size 12, and every size in between.

Through it all, I have learned so much about myself, as well as fitness and nutrition in general. My biggest takeaway that led me to overcome all these obstacles was learning to let go of my perfectionism. When I'm old, I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I spent it all trying to lose weight. So, I changed my mindset.

My new focus was to be as strong as possible—to lift the heaviest weights, rather than losing the most weight. If you too, want to be in the best shape of your life but have struggled for so long, read my tips below.

1. EAT MORE

I know, it sounds crazy. As women, we are constantly told about diets and cutting calories. If you just want to be skinny, you can do that. But if you want to be strong, you need to eat to be able to put on the muscle.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE CHEAT MEALS

If you have struggled with eating disorders like me, satisfying your cravings will prevent you from having major setbacks.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS

Get your butt off that elliptical and into the weight room.

4. DON'T WORKOUT EVERY DAY

Again, especially if you want to build muscle, you need rest days. These are the days where your muscles are "actually" growing.

5. DON'T RUSH IT

You will not see abs overnight. It takes a long time. But if you want sustainable results, you must treat your body right.

I hope these tips are helpful. With positivity and patience, you can achieve anything.

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