In My Head

The things I tell myself when I realize I am in a dark place:

You got out of here once, you can do it again.

People love you.

Look at your legs, arms you have skin and bones for a reason. Love them. Love you.

Put down your phone, it makes everything worse.

Look up at the sky, we are all under it, together.

You are a boss, it is just a small second that hurts, not life.

Stop worrying, RIGHT NOW.  Just live.

Laugh.  For no reason.  It feels good.

Get up and dance, YOU ARE ALIVE.

I know how hard life is with mental illnesses.  But for me, I would much rather be living with them than not living at all.



Path of Self-love

I tend to feel uncomfortable when I say I have a blog.  “Bloggers” are usually the people who have the perfect Instagram and look like they have their life together.  My friends always joke saying, “So Skyla when will you be selling tummy tea and only be taking pictures in front of white walls?”  Believe me I do love me some green tea but I do not think I will be posting a warm up of green tea on my Instagram anytime soon.

Many people see those Instagram famous bloggers and think that they will be happy if they have just one sip of that tea.  In our society the way to love yourself is going to yoga, doing face masks, and binge watching Netflix.  But let me tell you, I have tried doing all of those things at the same time and I am still struggling.  So what I am here to tell you today is that self-love does not come from materials in life.

Self-love.  It comes from your soul.  Your passions.  You need to find what you love in life.  Do that.  You need to know what you love about yourself.  Focus on that.  You do not need flat tummy tea or whatever that magic tea is to be healthy and beautiful.  Do yoga because you love it.  Not because you think you might feel like a “blogger.”  Love yourself while you eat a big-mac.  Because sometimes you need to go to McDonalds and veg-out.  That is okay.  It is okay to not always feel your best.  It is okay to eat donuts and burgers when you want to.  It is also okay to only have green tea.  But you do not have to do what others do to be happy.  You do not have to have the perfect life on paper.

You should do whatever makes you the happiest in order to love yourself truly.  Be whomever you want to be.  Look however you want to look.  There is no right way to live your life.  And there is no right way to love yourself.  So find your own path and walk it each day.



To the Young, To the living (VBYC)

Anxiety stopped me from going and doing a lot of things growing up.  One of those things was going to camp.  Every summer growing up I would want to go with my friends to camp but every summer I would get too nervous.  I would sit at home sad for a week every summer waiting for them to come home.  At age 17 I finally lived out a tiny little dream of mine.

This past week I was at Van Buren Youth Camp in Michigan.  I was originally supposed to go there for two hours for three days to speak about my blog to all of the campers.  I ended up staying the whole week.  I never thought I would ever be able to spend a week at camp with only one person I knew.  I did it.  And while I was doing it I made best friends, lived each moment, and found beauty.  This camp was more than I could have asked for.  So here is what I came out of it with:

There are people in this world who are loving, even when you do not believe so.

Change is necessary and beautiful.

You can be the person to inspire and help others if you choose to love.

Family is not always blood related.

Home is when you are with the ones you love, not the physical place.

You need to be open in order to find true happiness.

Everyone has struggles in life, no one is ever alone.

Friends are not always those who have known you the longest, but the ones you want to know the rest of your life.

You never know what to expect in life, so live each moment.

You do not need to be on your phone every second of your life, get off.

Do everything you can in life, because one day you may regret not living the fullest.

Bodies are beautiful, stop thinking you are not.

Believe in yourself and forgive yourself.

Fears are just irrational, you can do anything.

Lastly, do not worry.  Do not hate.  Do not lose your purpose.  Everyone has a reason to live, even if you feel you don’t.  The world loves you.  I love you, even if I do not know you.

But always remember to wear sunscreen.



Choose to Be Happy

Since I have started this blog, many people ask me questions.  But the question I tend to get most often is, “How are you always so happy?”  That question either shocks me or confuses me.  I always answer with saying, “Believe me I am not.”  It is impossible for people to be constantly happy at all times.  Even without having a mental illness, life is not always easy.

The truth is I am happy because I am alive.  Even when I still am struggling, I know that one day I will be happy again.  I always hated seeing pictures on social media that had the quote, “You choose your own happiness.”  I always thought well I want to be happy, it is not like I am choosing to be depressed.  But now I see how true that quote is.

Now when one asks me that question, my answer is that I want to be happy.  That is why it seems that I always am.  Even in bad situations I believe there is good.  Something good will happen if you want to believe in it.  I never thought that I would ever be here, alive and happy.  But here I am.  Alive.  Living.  Trying my best to always see the beauty.

Lord knows that life has its struggles.  I have had struggles.  But I love dancing in the rain now.  I love being in the dark and seeing the little glowing light of happiness.  Because I know that one day the sun will shine.  And that light that I see will be the brightest.

So you do not always have to be happy.  But you are not always going to be sad either.  There are ups and downs in everything.  But when you are down remember, it will not be like this forever.  Choose how you want to live.  Choose happiness.



(Trigger Warning) 13 Reasons Why

I have always tried to be my most authentic self.  Being real is the one thing I know I can do.  Yet growing up I would never show my sadness.  I just wanted to be my happy self.  Through this journey I have learned so much more than I could ever imagine.  Now it is truly hard for me to put on a facade.  I am incapable of showing the opposite of how I feel.  Which I think is a good thing.

But it is so hard for some people not to be fake.  Our world is filled with fake people and shows all over media and life.  So I am going to be real.  Real about things people never talk about.  Suicide.  Depression.  The entire reason people do not speak about these topics is because of how hard the topic is.  How real it is.  But if we never speak about them, the number of people who have depression or commit suicide will keep rising.

The biggest hardship in stopping the stigma that is connected to these words is how the media portrays them.  Shows like 13 reasons why fantasize suicide as if it is not a big deal at all.  They would rather put suicide in a show to create shock value than to strengthen the awareness that suicide should have.  That show is not true what so ever.  If you watch it and you are not seeing how harmful it is, let me tell you.

Last year when the first season came out, I decided to start watching it because everyone was talking about how good it was.  There were no trigger warnings in the beginning of the show so I knew nothing of what was coming.  We never truly get the feel of how the main character internalizes all she feels.  It is all portrayed as revenge.  Suicide is not revenge.  It is not due to other people.  Of course bullying can definitely lead to suicide, there are underlying reasons that no one knows of that causes the action.  The whole reason suicide occurs is because of the persons own feelings, no one elses.  People who already are depressed or those whom are survivors, often feel a burden when they watch this show as if they should commit this act.  Also it is very rare that people who commit suicide have long plans that involve other people.  It is unrealistic.  One of the biggest reasons suicide is so harmful is because people are left with so many questions.  They are never able to understand why one did it.  In the show, suicide is shown as a logical option.  It is not at all.   But the biggest problem is that young people are watching this today.

Growing up with a show like this being popular is devastating to those who have been through their own journey of depression and suicidal adiation.

I have heard all of the explanations of how this show is expressing awareness but it is not.  So, to those who are watching, please be careful.  Do not believe all you see.  As a society we all need to love and be aware of others around us.  We never know the triggers of others or what others are going through.  If we see one that needs help, get them help.  Speak up and take action.  We need action now.  Before the numbers keep rising.



Phases of Life

We all want to be seen as someone in high school.  Whether it is the life of the party or the wallflower, we all have a certain way of living that makes us who we are.  But we all go through different phases of our lives.  Growing up, who I wanted to be was always someone different from everyone else.

If you look at pictures of me from 8th grade, you would probably be really confused.  In one picture I would be in full black, a black choker, and black lipstick.  But in the other I would be in full floral print with a flower crown on.  It always just depended on how I felt and where I was going.  I just never wanted to look like anyone else.

I think that in the beginning of my revolution of going against normality, it was just to give people a reason to make fun me. I knew they were going to anyway so might as well give them one reason. But as I kept growing up, it was not about being different at all.  It became who I am.

I never felt that fashion was a thing of looking at the mannequins and taking the clothes off of them and wearing it.  Or seeing what people wore in school and wearing the same things.

I never wanted to go along with the conformities of what people were giving me.  I always wanted to just figure out who I am by doing my own thing.  Each stage that I have had in my life so far is still who I am.  Just because I may have been different, it does not mean that I was not being myself.

Everyone will go through different phases of their life.  But do not let people say that one stage was bad.  Each stage in one’s life is special.  Each different stage of life will teach you something beautiful.  Many people tell me that one day I will get out of my “nonconformist” stage and I will stop being how I am now.  Which may be true.  But who I am right now is the same essence I will have when I am twenty.  I may change, but my soul will not.  My name will not.  So for now I will just soak in who I am at this moment.

Let your true self out.  No matter what people see, know that you are you and no one can change that.  It does not matter how you look.  If you are being yourself, than you already are beautiful.



El Condor Pasa

We as people live by time.  We are surrounded by the timing of every aspect of our entire lives.  So how do we not worry about the future?  Or get over the past?

Being not focused on time seems pretty impossible.  For me, I constantly think of the future.  I get nervous about events that are going to happen in weeks or months.  I freak out about things that I should not be even thinking about at the time.  I over think everything.

One thing that I have been constantly focusing on in my life is truly taking life one moment at a time.  Living for today.  Grounding and balance is how I make life worth living.

I have learned to appreciate those little moments in life.  That one second that you are laughing or smiling.  That one second that you feel alive.

I was scrolling through my phone today and a picture came up that said, “Someday you will miss today.”  For some reason this one picture impacted my whole day.  It was right.  One day when I am hurting, sad or alone, I will miss right now.  I will miss this moment writing my blog, sitting with flowers in front of me, and my mom two feet away.

I was laying outside on a towel.  My favorite song, ” If I could (El Condor Pasa)” by Simon & Garfunkel was playing in my ears and I decided to look up.  There was a hawk flying in circles right above my house.  I was staring at it in a trance while this song was hitting my heart.  It was peaceful. That moment.

I was in the car with my friend Annie and we were blasting our favorite songs with all of the windows down.  We had a bag of tacos with us and we were screaming on the top of our lungs with our hair blowing everywhere.  That moment.

Laying in my room with my friend Sara.  Laughing at the stupid things we say.  Eating jelly beans like we have no tomorrow.  Watching hilarious videos we find on social media.  That moment.

There are moments in everyday that fly by us without us even realizing.  Then one day all we do is wish to be back in just that one second we were safe.

Live in every moment you can.  Be thankful of each moment you have.  Because that moment will not last forever but moments will happen everyday that you will cherish.  El condor pasa.