Tag Archives: #BrownBloggers

A Poem: Music x Poetry

April is #NationalPoetryMonth. I’ve enjoyed seeing fellow writers on my feed sharing their new, and even old work. I’ve always been attracted to the idea of poetry. It wasn’t until I gave it a try I grew as a person. Poetry helped me realize less is more. I mean, it wows me when I can  read meaningful haikus or four-lined free-verses that take me there. I’m also a hopeless romantic– so I can, and will, read and write a thousand I love you haiku’s.

It’s no secret my art’s a medium I use to heal and connect with others.  I love the freedom of expression and poetic license to do as I feel. I’m definitely a walking cliché when it comes to this thing. Take me to an open mic and cue the finger snaps.

For me, poetry doesn’t always have to be over illustrated, complex lexicon. I appreciate the minimal nature of words, pauses, and rhythm.

As my ode to the 30-day celebration, I challenged myself to complete a 30-poem collection. Can’t wait to share it in full with you! Until then,  enjoy  Music x Poetry. 
Continue reading A Poem: Music x Poetry

I Usually Don’t Kiss and Tell…

Now that the smooch is out the bag, many have asked what it was like shooting my first commercial…

Back in November I walked into my casting ready to give a few pecks to some man unknown.  A little nervous to be kissing a stranger without liquid courage, (judge yourself, not me) I surveyed the room filled with beautiful people–both men and women.

So here I am sitting in a chair while on Pinterest looking up recipes — this is my thing I do in public to calm my nerves– and in walks this tall, milk chocolate specimen whose lips looked freshly exfoliated, and my insides are all like:

giphy.gif

“Oh, there’s your boo!” a spunky, feminine voice to my right blurts. And yet I asked, “who–me?” with my hand to my chest, my temperature began to rise. He and I made eye contact and I smirked. Oh no, butterflies fluttered inside my belly. I’m like, holy crap I have to get myself together quickly! My eyes fall back to my screen, reviewing ingredients needed to make some “30 minute vegan meal” that I’m certain I mastered like 3 years ago. Continue reading I Usually Don’t Kiss and Tell…

Being an Empath: the Hardest Part is Letting Go

Human relations are key. Whether you have the ability to effectively communicate–verbally or nonverbally– determines how well you connect with others.

As a healing empath, I read into what’s unsaid more, than what people actually say.

Because of this, I’m always finding a way to help solve a problem as if it’s my own. Whether it’s professional or personal, I want to help solve it. In fact, I prioritize other people’s problems more than my own. Inherently, I see myself as a pool of unlimited resources for those closest to me. And strangers.

Some days, being an empath is happily walking into Starbucks and suddenly becoming aloof. It’s tensing of the body–shoulders, jaw, and back– at any given moment and overwhelming anxiousness. It’s daydreaming for a long time to escape the realities I’ve emotionally made my own. It’s wanting to be outside–connecting to nature to cleanse and renew myself. It’s giving, and giving, and giving some more.

Even when I don’t got it–time, money, energy– I give it.  You’re unhappy, I find a way to make you smile. You’re in need of a job, I find a way to help you search for one. You need mental clarity, or peace, I give my time and energy to help heal you. And even though this sounds like I’m just being a good friend or person providing sympathy, it’s more than that. If I’ve shared space with you, I feel you. This role of a healer that I play comes at a cost. Overtime, it’s cost me time, money, energy and peace. I’ve always wanted to heal the world.

I’ve always been one to read in between the lines and recognize what’s unsaid. Generally speaking I can pick up on what’s going on in a room before most.  As an empath, I’m forever putting myself in other people’s shoes and walking their walk with them. What a gift and a curse.

IMG_5271

The realization: 

Working in a combination of early childhood education and retail, I obviously surrounded myself with many, many people, emotions, thoughts, and energies. Day in and day out, I became increasingly tired and moody by the day’s end. When the work day was over, I literally had no energy to give. Not to my family, roommate, or guys I was dating. This wasn’t a normal kind of tired either. I had aches and pains in my body, my spirit felt bothered, and I had no understandable explanation for it.

I was just t-i-r-e-d.

And feelings like these weren’t new. Like I said, I’ve always been the “moody” one to my friends and family, but it was chalked up as girly adolescent behaviors or just being a moody artist. I started turning down invites and had made it a habit to stay in bed for as long as I could. Post college, I’d been working through anxiety and depression awhile acknowledging triggers. So I thought that some feelings that I was experiencing were due to natural, fluctuating depressive states and my known triggers.

And then something happened. I had a memory of when I was in elementary school and remembered what I struggled with most : putting others before me.

The past:

In my youth, caring for other’s was instilled in me by my family, and I took this morale very seriously. We all are very giving individuals. I remember during all those canned food drives at school I’d donate every. last. item in our cabinets. #NoLie.

Literally, every last one. And depending on who you talk to about it, I may have went overboard or was just giving without context of what I was doing. But I wholeheartedly knew what I was doing. I knew that I had the means to replenish what was lost And I never thought twice about it. Even though this was me giving something tangible, I knew that I was receiving something that was invaluable–learning the ability to be selfless and understanding community. 

Growing up, many of my elementary progress reports commended me for always putting  others first. The teachers would write something to the notion of:

“Alexis is a great student to have. She’s outgoing, kind, and doesn’t hesitate to help her classmates with  their work.”

Great trait to have, right? They’d continue:

“Alexis struggles to complete her own assignments on time.”

And now I know what you’re thinking, what the hell?! What sense does it make to help others succeed, first, before you do? And I really wish I could tell you. I really do.  All I know is that my teachers and mother couldn’t understand. They knew that I was more than capable of completing my own work because I was helping others with their work on a daily basis. I just wasn’t taking care of myself.

This was causing me to get into trouble. Academically and socially with my mother. That’s until I learned to stop. Eventually I eased out of always helping classmates with their work because I got tired of not enjoying my outside time. So I decided to “be more responsible” as they asked of me, and did my work FIRST so I could be successful.

In hindsight, I was developing tendencies that I later learned were qualifiers for being an empath. Fast forward to present day, when my family communes, I usually am the first to separate themselves from the bulk of the group. Literally happened over thanksgiving break. I used to feel bad for stepping away without explanation, but now that I’m addressing my empath behaviors, I know that I deserve to step away and re-up on my energy.

 

Moving forward:

So here are my facts of life as an empath:

Fact 1: I have to learn that I can’t help others more than I help myself. When I realized there was a burden of always being there for someone, always clocking in emotionally and physically, I knew something had to give.

Fact 2: We are who we are. People who have an innate ability to connect, feel, and discern their surroundings without regards. We tend to love hard–being spiritually engaged in others. We feel the vibes–good and bad.

Fact 3: Self care is highly important.

Fact 4: (see step 3)

Fact 5: I’m not alone.

 

Knowing all of this, and moving into a new phase of self-realization, I’m working on letting go. It’s hard to let go of the feeling that I have to help or heal. Being a helper and healer is literally ingrained in who I am. It’s one of my great traits. But I’m realizing that I’m wearing on my soul more than it can handle. I know I won’t stop being an empath, but I can use my knowledge about life, my empathetic experiences, and the tolls they take on me to remind me to “let go” for the moment.

 

 

Dear Denver: You Did Me Well

IMG_1818
@adinkc_

I recently talked about my new found love for hiking. I know, it’s just extended walking–usually at an incline– however, its a great workout and brings peace of mind. I’ve always loved nature and outdoors. I collected rocks for crying out loud! In fact, growing up, I’d always rush outside every chance I got. I made it an effort to finish my homework in class so that I wouldn’t have to do it when I got home.

As I make my way to reconnecting with the earth and outdoors, I’m increasing my time spent in nature. While #adulting I find myself forgetting to just breathe in the air outside and to relax in the grass. If I’m being honest, a rotating schedule of being busy with work, exercising, and dreams is cool… but many times I feel more successful on a day where I’ve done the least.

Like, had coffee and walked barefoot in the grass (aka #earthing). That’s all, that’s it!

Embarrassingly enough, many times I have to plan my R&R time because I think that I always have to be “busy”. So if I can visually see in my planner that I’ve told myself to chill, I chill. That’s why I enjoy traveling. Weekend trips are nice getaways from everyday life. Each year I plan at least three trips, one to a new city for personal exploration and the others to visit family/friends.

As you know, my birthday was earlier this month. And, I’m technically a little late celebrating. Wait, who am I kidding? I celebrate all month long, but my only wish was to go to Denver and hike a mountain.

And so I did.

Continue reading Dear Denver: You Did Me Well

Hashtag: Quarter Century Living

A friend asked me what  #quartercenturyliving means and why I always say it. At first I laughed, because I wasn’t really sure. But as time passed and stories arose I figured it out. To sum it up, #quartercenturyliving for me and my friends is a way of not getting caught up in time-sensitive goals that were set prematurely. Like being married with kids by 26 ( 😅aka in 2 weeks) or the attainment of career success in which I haven’t reached yet. It’s my way of telling myself to slow down and trust the process. Admittedly I’m overly obsessed with time and it’s correlation with age and success. I’m learning I don’t need to be. So, here’s to #quartercenturyliving :

How many times have you caught yourself searching for a “how-to” manual on navigating through your twenties? And how many times have you found yourself nearing bottom’s end just because something hadn’t gone as planned? No worries, I do too. I believe we’re all blindly walking this moment-to-moment journey squeezing lemons as they’re thrown. Let’s be honest: these #20somethings can cause tumultuous imbalances.

With the never-ending financial woes, emotional breakdowns (like crying in public at the absolute worst time ever… at work or while sitting in Starbucks), and generally failing your life expectations. I look forward to conversations with my sister-friends over how awkward and troubling our twenties have been so far because the comedic relief let’s me know I’m not a lone. In life–especially these #20somethings– all we really can do is take the good with the bad and grow from there.

Continue reading Hashtag: Quarter Century Living

Redirected Reconciliations: Part Two

Generally speaking, most of us would feel this underlying need to forgive a parent in their exceeding absence.

We’d accept their minimal, sporadic attempts at communicating with us– their child. And those around us expect  us–the child– to overlook our insecurities. Overlook our hurt. Overlook our anger. Even overlook our longing.

We’d allow these strangers  into our spaces with open arms.

Needless to say, we’re still battling  the neglect. We’re still hurting and still processing the confusing abandonment.

Maybe out of  a hint of guilt?

You know–we’d try to overlook the years without them and then compensate with frequent outreach. We’d feel this obligatory need to save-face and start a relationship, on their terms.

In part one of Redirected Reconciliations, I foreshadowed my relationship with two men. One being my absentee, biological dad, and the other being the fill-in (for lack of a better term). As confusing and sticky as my parental structure is, I wanted to share a portion of it with you.

This summer my biological dad reached out to me. This was the first time I’d heard from him since I was 18. At first, numbness took over me. I didn’t know what to feel. I’m always trying to turn the other cheek and often put others before me “because it’s the right thing to do”. So I played the brief game of “catch up”, but it didn’t feel right.

I checked in with myself and told myself I didn’t have to rush to his calls, or rush to him wanting to be in my life, now.

I felt bad, you know, because he’s blood.  I needed to give myself enough time to process everything. When people just pop in and out of your life, especially family, you’re then placed into these multidimensional roles: sister, daughter, aunt, granddaughter… all to  people whom you don’t really know.

And I think it’s appropriate to do a little self validating in situations like this.  Don’t do something your heart’s not completely in just because you don’t want to let anyone down or because others try to defend their absence.

Don’t feel obligated to do anything on someone else’s time.

Just don’t.

 

 

 

 

Hey Girl, You Gotta Love On You More

After spending 5 hours in the ER this weekend I realized I wasn’t caring for myself enough.  First off, I hate hospitals, so me going was an acknowledgment that I sensed something was off.

I called my mother just at the day’s end of Friday, explaining that the chest discomfort I mentioned earlier was still concerning me. She came and took me to the hospital where I had multiple tests done (blood tests, X-rays of my heart, lots of waiting) before being released early Saturday morning.

All of the tests came back fine and the doctor told me what I was experiencing was more than likely related to  heightened anxiety–I left with the diagnosis of stress induced, non-cardiac pain.

And yes… I was annoyed that I had to spend so much time there, and sort of felt like I shouldn’t have even gone to the hospital, but then I realized why I was there. While in that hospital bed I felt uncomfortable, annoyed, and helpless. It made me realize that it’s important for me to manage my stress better so that I won’t end up in that bed again.

Its easy to claim that you’re doing what’s best for you, always remembering to put yourself first.

Yada.

Yada.

Yada…

But even when I’d like to believe that this is a common practice for me,  I don’t think its completely true. If there were ever a word to describe me I think it’d be empathy. And while the ability to empathize is great, I do believe it contributes to a lot of my stress and anxiety simply because I care too much. (Is this even possible??)

About everything–literally– everything.

And in caring too much I find myself stressing out waayyyy too much, weighing possible outcomes, planning for multiple situations to arise.

Et cetera.

Et cetera.

But…I think its safe to say, “girl, take a chill pill!”

Because life’s too long to live stressed out.

Whoosaa.

Who’s with me?

img_3897
Santa Monica, 2016