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  • Writer's pictureClarissa Tapia

Where have you been all my life?


The Blog Lives :)

There are so many things I want to say as to why it's been SO incredibly long that I haven't posted, but honestly, they are all excuses. I didn't make the time to blog because I didn't want to. This blog was my lifeline for pretty much all of 2019 and suddenly at the beginning of 2020 I found myself feeling more and more whole as a person, to the point where blogging didn't feel like a necessity anymore. These months away made me think I didn't need to blog to feel better anymore, and the more time passed the harder it was to initiate another post. However, the though of not continuing something I genuinely enjoyed made me so incredibly sad and almost angry at myself for forgetting that writing is my super power. You don't just give up a super power! So here we are :)


I realize our world is upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic, but I heard some advice from my favorite podcast, Girls Gotta Eat, where they said, don't look back on this time and regret how you spent it. Try something new. Find alternative ways to entertain yourself and connect with others. Start projects. Spend time in nature, gratitude and mindfulness. Breath. It was the best advice I heard about this whole thing, so I share it in the hopes that it will help you too.


In addition, we are also facing the anger and outrage our communities are feeling over the events surrounding the death of George Floyd. Anger and outrage that is completely valid. It's crazy that these senseless acts of violence against our Black brothers and sisters are still happening. While I understand that I will never understand the depth of this struggle, I stand with you. I am committed to listening more to Black voices, read books about race and continue to walk in kindness and understanding toward everyone who crosses my path.





***


While I could focus on a number of current events, none of those felt right for me right now. I, personally, need to focus on something uplifting. I want to spark a conversation on something positive. I think the anxiety in our hearts coupled with a fear of the unknown, are ultimately going to make for decisions or actions we may end up regretting. So I ask you to take a moment and even for just a few minutes picture the beautiful world we will one day be again. It will get better. Teach your children to love humanity now, so that they may enjoy a world that doesn't scare them.





One of the most impactful things to happen lately in my life is that I did not get accepted into a Master's program I applied to a few months ago. I kept it pretty hushed because I really wanted this and I didn't want to jinx it. At least, that is what I told myself but although partially true, it wasn't the only reason. I kept it hushed because I didn't want to be asked if I was accepted into the program. I wanted to announce (on my terms) that I was accepted into a program after I was certain I was going to go. Why? Well, In one scenario, my life is great, I am on top of the world and I am crushing it in life. In the other scenario, I failed. I didn't get to the center of the maze and become the Tri-Wizard champion (I am having Harry Potter withdrawals). Translation: I only wanted to announce, talk about and admit that I had succeeded. If I announced anything other than my success, I would be embarrassed and ashamed. Shame does what shame always does, it isolates you and you start to feel like you're not good enough, not worthy, and you grow more secretive and negative and all around just not a fun person to be around. So what do you do in order to avoid metastasizing shame? As Dr. Brené Brown teaches: You shed light on it. You flash lights so bright it would put the Hollywood Flood lights to shame. Is it easy? No. But this way, shame won't consume you, it will not own you and it will have no power over you - That is the definition of a badass.


In a nutshell, I will fill you in on my journey toward higher education and fill you in on mistakes that may help someone avoid falling into these traps blindly. Mistake One: Putting my eggs in one basket. I applied to one program, one school, one opportunity. I was confident that it would be a slam dunk. I did my research, visited the campus, talked to professionals in the field, spent one-on-one time with the Director of the program - I felt prepared. I made it all the way to the in-person interview for the program, which is a big deal! Then, two weeks later I get a notice that I have been chosen as an alternate. My heart sank. I read the email from the school at work next to coworkers who knew how much this meant to me and I couldn't help but cry. I was so let down. I couldn't get the stupid word, 'alternate' out of my head. The fact that I at least made it to the interview round didn't matter. It's like you're not on the A team, but you also didn't fail, you are somewhere in between. I think this in between place is almost worse than just getting a no. I basically received a "maybe." Imagine proposing to someone and having them say, "Maybe." That's not an answer! It feels like a cop-out. I remember getting multiple ankle sprains when I was younger, it would swell up so bad, and I wouldn't walk right for weeks even months and the doctors wouldn't do anything because it just had to heal on its own. It wasn't broken, but it wasn't fine either, all I know is, it sucked. Being in the murky waters of 'Maybe' or 'Alternate' or 'We will see' are the worse places to be and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Yet, how many people do we know who are living this limbo.

Buns at Wetlands Park

Do I quit my job?

Do I start school again?

Do I marry this person?

Do I divorce this person?

Do I go see my doctor?

Do I start this diet?

Should I get this surgery?




How many times have you left yourself with a "Maybe"? Probably too many to count. I think we should all do ourselves a favor and make our choices, stick to them and be unapologetic about them. None of this wishy washy BS.


As to where I am now regarding school, I am not giving up. I am looking into multiple programs, different schools, chatting with professionals in these schools, touching base with relationships tied to schools that interest me in order to get feedback and support. One of the biggest things I learned doing this, is that 'who you know' matters. Sometimes, that's the deciding factor. Can someone in that room of interviewers vouch for you. It shouldn't be that way, but it's the truth. Relationships matter.


Now that I've had my mini rant on decision making, I'd like to get to something fun and lighthearted:


Compliments :)


When It comes to compliments, what holds more weight in your book. When someone says things like: you are beautiful, hot and sexy... Or, when someone compliments something that is not superficial? Something that describes you on such a deep, personal level, it's like they glimpsed your soul?


A few months back, I received two compliments that struck me profoundly, not only because they were atypical, but because it described me in a way that made me pause and wonder if this is really how I am perceived.


The first compliment was “You’re such a light, it’s always good to see you." When I heard this, I was at Ulta buying makeup. I kind of cocked my head, a silent question on my lips, 'Do you mean that?' For someone who at this time last year was as sad as a wilting flower in a forgotten vase, I almost didn’t believe she was talking about me. However, I tend to think most things people say hold at least a fragment of truth. So I walked away with a smile playing on my lips thinking, that is exactly what I want to put out into the world. Light. It's crazy how unbelievable it was to even fathom people associating me as light. Last year, I found myself saying things like, I used to be light, or in the past there was lightness but it was always past tense. It was very hard to see me as something other than broken and sad. What that moment at Ulta signified to me was that I was healing. I don't think you can fake lightness. I think you can fake a smile, fake happiness, fake being nice, but you can't make someone see light in you - especially when you haven't bothered to flip the switch to "ON."


The second compliment that profoundly hit me, happened while sharing a heartfelt laugh, the kind that hurts your stomach, with a new friend. Out of the blue, the person I was with turns to me and says, I feel like a little kid when I'm with you. At first I just smiled a thank you, knowing I had just received a compliment. Over the next few hours though I kept thinking back to that moment and the more I stewed over it, the more I realized, how special the comment was. Kids are loud and fun, energetic and engaged, giggly and curious and overall just happy. I made someone feel all these things? Whoa. What better compliment could I ever ask for?


I genuinely fall more in love with myself everyday.

I hope you do too. <3


I'm challenging you to remember what a whole-hearted compliment looks like when we are able to have face to face interactions with strangers and loved ones again. Everyone likes to be told they are beautiful and handsome, but imagine speaking to the one thing that makes this person special to you. Speak to that part of them, and watch them melt in front of your eyes.


***

To end today's blog I wanted to use a scene from one of my all time favorite cartoon movies from my childhood, The Swan Princess, because I think it wraps up my idea on whole-hearted compliments. Enjoy!


There are two main characters in the movie, Prince Derek and Princess Odette. For years their parents brought them together every summer in the hopes that once they became of age, they would marry and unite the kingdoms.

*Spoiler Alert!* This is what happened the night of the proposal:


Price Derek asks Odette to marry him and she asks him:


Princess Odette: "Why do you want to Marry me?"


Prince Derek responds with, "You're beautiful!"


Odette: "Is beauty all that matters to you?"


- A dramatic pause -


Derek: "What else is there?"


In that moment, time freezes for the characters and despite her loving the man in front of her, she walked away.


*Cut to the end of the movie - DEFINITE SPOILER Alert*


It wasn't until the final scenes when Prince Derek is about to lose Odette that he is able to articulate why he loves her.


Derek: "I love you, Your kindness and courage, I always have."

He then kisses her on the forehead and hugs her close.


They live happily ever after by the way.

I am swooning just thinking about it. :-)

Me and my Treacherous romantic notions.

***


Latest read:

Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown

Book Quote:

"Not enough of us know how to sit in pain with others. Worse, our discomfort shows up in ways that can hurt people and reinforce their own isolation. I have started to believe that crying with strangers in person could save the world."


Go make somebody smile today. Xo

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