Hello all! I have chosen a new title for this blog series! From “Navigating Autism” to “The Game We Call Life”. I’m still going to talk about my experiences with autism! I’m also going to talk about my experiences being BIPOC, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, with mental health and just my overall life experience(s). Or as Ally says, lived wisdom!
My Flash Poem
Reading those words reminds me of how much I want my poetry to be dissected by an English class. Besides that fact, this poem highlights a generalized statement of personal experiences. I feel like many people reminisce days they never had. But this poem isn’t just about the reminiscing, it’s also about going after it; eventually.
For Future English Classes
Inspiration to write this poem was truck by feeling like I missed certain things in life because I wasn’t living for myself. I was controlled from a young age by what I can or cannot do because I was assigned female at birth. Reminiscing the days I have not experienced link to gender identity and BIPOC history. It was common that people of the BIPOC community (traditionally) didn’t assign a gender to their child at birth. However, a child was able to announce their gender identity by the age of 5 or 6 and live as their truest self. The land spirits, elders, and/or shaman would then give these children a name. In some cases, a child would name themselves. I’m quoting my ancestors on this.
Personally, at the age of 4, I became aware of my gender identity through my self-perception of being a boy. I was aware of my attraction to feminine people at the age of 4 too! I was actually really verbally expressive about my attraction to feminine people and my self-perception. Unfortunately, it was swept under the rug to be hidden from the world. I felt stuck in society’s “evolution” of norms.
I reminisce the day that I was able to be myself without expectations of gender identity from birth.
Maybe This Can Act as Words of Life Encouragement 🙂 !
As much as I can reminisce on the days I never had, I know I can’t live those experiences in this physical reality. However, I can call back what I wasn’t able to experience by healing my wounds. Play life the way you want to; as yourself.
– Dez 🙂
Positive Thinking Makes A Difference
The world celebrates Positive Thinking Day every year on the 13th of September. We celebrate this day to remind people that positive thinking has many rewards. I know many people think that thinking positively is some kind of sham but I want you to know that it does make a difference.
Having too much negativity in your life can really weigh you down and you don’t want that. Negativity also has a huge impact on your emotional and mental health which is why you want to avoid it. Trying to have more positive thoughts can lead to increased happiness as well as optimism which can help you to live longer! We all want to live a little longer, right?
People who have a positive outlook on life tend to cope better with stress and negative emotions. These are just some of the benefits of learning to be more positive in the life you’re living. Trying to see the brighter side of things isn’t as hard as it might seem. I mean it took me a while but eventually, I did learn.
I used to have such a negative outlook on life. It was bad situation after bad situation and I hated it. It never seemed to be what I wanted it to be. Now, I know that’s something that I can control. Being negative all the time was draining. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore so I tried to see the bright side everything. Let me tell you, it gave me a new perspective on life.
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite Joseph Campbell quotes about life. It says, “We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Funny enough, it’s from a one of my favorite Criminal Minds episodes (Season 9, Episode 24 if you’re curious). Little did I know, this quote would teach me something important about life.
This quote isn’t about giving up on what you want. It’s about preparing yourself let go of what you have to make space for the things that are to come. This is something I knew I needed to hear. I spent so much time trying to live the life I planned for myself that I forgot to actually live. I didn’t want to do that anymore and this quote was a good reminder. In my heart, I knew that there was a life waiting for me and I didn’t have to worry.
Sometimes, the life you planned for yourself isn’t the one you need. There’s a life waiting for you out there. One that is full of all the things you’ll need to grow and live a life full of happiness. Don’t be afraid to let go of the things that you have. You have to leave room to grow. Don’t forget that.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Check out Kailey’s post Taking My Power Back here on TurningPointCT.org to hear about what she’s doing to make her life a good one!
Appreciate Where You Are In Your Journey…
You should appreciate where you are in life, even if it’s not where you want to be just yet. Where you are now matters just as much as where you want to be. I know it can be difficult to acknowledge the small things when you’re worrying about the bigger picture but sometimes, you just have to enjoy the ride.
Many people want to be something more and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s totally natural! Unfortunately, the biggest mistake people make is getting frustrated when they feel stuck like they’re not going to get anywhere in life. Don’t look at it like that, you have to try to learn from and appreciate it for what it is.
Life isn’t just some destination that we’re trying to get to, living our lives in an experience. We can’t spend every moment trying to get the bigger picture. Doing that causes us to lose sight of where we are now. Where we are now is important too, it’s a key part of getting to the bigger picture. If we’re not living our lives for experience and fulfillment then what are we even doing?
I look back on my life now and I’m thankful for those moments of frustration. Those moments taught me perseverance, strength and how to appreciate my journey a little more. They were the stepping stones I needed to grow. I didn’t appreciate those moments until long after because I didn’t know how important they would be to my journey through life. Now, I am glad to be where I am. I’m not exactly where I want to be right now but I am one step closer to it. For that I’m thankful.
How Life Feels Is More Important Than How It Looks
Social media and society have made us feel like we have to portray our lives a certain way. We want people to think that we live these exciting, beautiful lives when in reality, we’re kind of struggling to have them. How your life feels is much more important than how it looks. The people who see our lives have no idea how it feels and that matters.
Growing up I tried to portray myself and my life a certain way because I didn’t want people to know how miserable I was. It was exhausting and only made me feel more miserable than I already was. My life was falling apart before my eyes and all I cared about was what people would think if they saw it too. I felt like I was drowning in misery but nobody knew that because that’s not how I portrayed myself to the world. Though my life might have seemed like it was great, I was exhausted trying to keep the show going.
Eventually, I didn’t care what people thought about my life or how it might look to them. It wasn’t their life to live, it was mine. The life I present to the world is raw, authentic and truly me. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the adventures I go on, who I spend them with and everything in between. The life I am living, I am living for me and that makes me feel good. And when your life feels good, you give more room for positivity.
I promise you how your life feels is SO much more important than how it looks.
I have always loved Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation. From his wisdom, to his relationships with his coworkers, there’s just something about him that inspires me.
1. “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
This is my all time favorite Ron Swanson quote. It’s one that I definitely hold close to my heart. Ron said this to Leslie while she was running for city council. For those who haven’t watched the show, Leslie Knope is the most passionate, hardworking woman in the city of Pawnee but she doesn’t put herself first.
Leslie continued to work at the parks department while she was running her campaign for city office. Ron suggests a sabbatical as he realizes it’s becoming too much for Leslie but she refuses. Eventually, they have a heart to heart and Ron tells her of a time when he took on too much. He then tells her “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” because he knows how passionate she is. He wants her to put all her energy and passion into her campaign so it can be successful instead of stretching herself thing between both.
We should be putting all of our passion and energy into one thing like Ron said. It’s better than doing two things with half as much energy and passion.
2. “If you don’t believe in love, what’s the point of living?”
Ron states this quote after discussing whether he’d get married again or not. What he’s trying to say is that love is what keeps us going. I know that some people don’t believe in love but for those who do, we know that it’s more than just a word. I am definitely one of those people.
For those who feel the way about love that I do will understand what I’m about to say. Love is what allows us to give meaning to our lives. A life without love is one that’s dull. The ability to love and be loved by someone else is magic alone. Love teaches us about ourselves and the people in our lives. I don’t think that we’d survive without it.
Love is not just about relationships. It is about the the care and affection we choose to give to others. I know that love can be difficult sometimes but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Love is not always going to be easy. It will hurt you but it will also help you grow. So please, don’t give up on love.
3. “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”
In this episode, Ron has created The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. This pyramid has what Ron considers to be every to key to success. While going over it with, he points at a square titled “Rage”. He then says “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” You can have one big moment of anger when you’re struggling but don’t take it out on the people trying to help you.
I get that sometimes you feel like you have to bottle everything up until it explodes. That doesn’t mean when it finally happens that you can take those feelings out on everyone. Especially if they’re only trying to make things a little better for you. Try not to bottle those emotions up, talk to someone when you need help. I promise whoever it is will do everything that they can to help you feel better.
4. “Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness.”
During this episode, Leslie is doing everything that she can to save townspeople from themselves with her power in legislation. She worked hard to pass new acts and laws but was driven to the point of quitting. She exclaims this to Ron to which he replies, “You choose a thankless job, you can’t be upset when nobody thanks you. Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness.”
After hearing this, Leslie realizes that she didn’t want to quit because she didn’t love her job or because she wasn’t passionate about it anymore. She realizes that she was seeking out external affirmation from everyone she was trying to help. While she’s trying to do this for the townspeople, it’s not just about them. She does her job because it’s who she is and she’s passionate about it. She’s not doing it for fame or recognition.
This is definitely one that I think we can all get behind. We don’t do our jobs or the things that we do for other people. We do them because that’s who we are and what we love. And we have to remember that the moment you start doing things for other people’s opinions and approval is the moment you begin to lose yourself. Don’t lose yourself trying to chasing fame and recognition. Stay true to yourself, always.
5. “Live your life how you want, but don’t confuse drama with happiness.”
During a conversation with Donna, Ron is explaining to her that drama isn’t happiness. Donna is used to living a life full of superficial and tumultuous relationships. She finds traditional, stable one on one relationships to be boring.
Ron being in a stable, happy marriage finally sees the world in a different light and just wants to pass that onto Donna. He knows Donna deserves someone who is going to be good to her, not those who bring her drama. Drama might be exciting but it’s not what makes you happy. Ron Swanson is a good friend to everyone.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled with this before. I spent time in a long, unhealthy relationship with someone because I thought the drama and everything was normal. I wasn’t happy but like I said, I just thought it was normal. Over 2 years later, I’ve finally let all the drama go and I’m much happier. Get rid of that unnecessary drama, it is NOT happiness. I promise. You will find it in the right place.
What are some of your favorite Parks & Rec quotes?
“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” This quote by Robin Sharma is one that I’ve held onto since I was in middle school. I’ve held onto it for so long because it continues to remind me that life is all about the experience. I used to go into the new year with the same silly goals and resolutions that never came to fruition. I was living the same life every year and I was okay with that but I was missing out on so many new and wonderful experiences. Something was going to have to change.
In the book of life, all your chapters should be different. Each year should be bringing you brand new experiences and in every day, a new adventure. Your life should be full of wonder, even when you’re not so sure it is. This new year is your chance to write a new chapter. Make new memories, meet new people, explore and remember to do everything in between. This is your story to write!
You just can’t live the same year over and over. Sometimes, you have to take the deep dive into something new and unknown, it’s the only way to gain new experiences. You deserve the chance to experience all the things that the world has to offer to you. Don’t keep them waiting!
“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”
How do you plan to make this year different from the last?
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Life- This poem celebrates life. Life without doctrines, or man’s perception of what a worldly life is. It talks about the blank slate as life starts. it is what the great philosopher, John Locke calls the Tabula Rasa.
Life – This piece is colored in marker done by Ayo, young adult in the Middletown Young Adult Connection Group. She graciously energized the tree with color and let her imagination take it away.
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help. Learn More »