Thirty-Five

“I used to think time was a thief. But you give before you take. Time is a gift. Every minute. Every second.” –Alice Kingsleigh

Sound familiar? It’s a quote from Alice Through the Looking Glass. I remember seeing it at the drive-in and practically sobbing my eyes out at that line.

As you may know, time has always been a difficult thing for me. I struggle with the concept of it quite often. 

I’m always thinking about how much time is left, instead of focusing on how much time I already have. 

There’s another line from The Switch that made me blink in thought. “Look at us. Running around, always rushed, always late. I guess that’s why they call it the human race.”

We really should take a moment to just breathe more. It feels like there’s never time to, but even if you’re busy at work or doing something with your family, there’s always a chance to breathe. 

I am definitely guilty of taking time for granted. Sure, I have moments that I wish would last forever, but I don’t always appreciate the opportunities I’m given. I need to start seizing the day. 

I love those moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Simple moments like being with my nephews, hanging out with my friends, watching a movie with my mom, listening to a good song while driving through a tunnel from my favorite book. Bigger moments like sitting on a pink beanbag, crying as I hold my friends’ hands during concerts, going on road trips across the country. 


I used to think time was an enemy. He never gives us enough. He takes and takes, because eventually everyone runs out of it. This fact has really hit me this past weekend.

But, as Alice says, he also gives. He gives us good memories, those moments that you wish could last forever. We’re lucky to even have time to begin with.

It’s hard to remember, sometimes. When we lose someone, or maybe our own time starts running out, we get angry with time. It’s understandable and I’ve definitely been there. But what’s that quote from Pooh Bear? “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Even though nothing lasts forever, I would never trade the moments I’m given for anything. When someone’s time runs out, I am incredibly heartbroken, but I love that I got to be apart of their time at all.

Don’t take time for granted. Hold on tight to those you love. Live life to the fullest you can in the moment.

And don’t forget to take a second to breathe. 

Love you all,

Sofia

Thirty-Four

I took one day off to relax and enjoy the fact that it’s a new year.

On January 2nd, I started planning for 2017.
I’m really excited to go to Kentucky with my best friends at the end of the month! I’ve only been to Kentucky twice, but I’ve loved it every time. Lovely place. I also can’t wait to have my friend Angel in my arms again. She makes me so happy (and can I say sent me the cutest little Christmas package? Look at that mini beanbag!). 


In February, I’m going to Chicago. I’m also seeing Bring Me the Horizon with my mom and Alexx here at home!

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for only being into the first week of the year I’d say I’m set so far!

Did you guys make resolutions? I did. I want to officially change my name to Sofia Spillari. I also made up a bucket list, and I want to start crossing more things off of it. I even went the extra mile and bought a scrapbook to document it all! I’m excited to see my adventures play out.

Is it too innocent to be hopeful and excited for a new year? I don’t know, but it’s how I’m feeling. There might be some already-known negative factors in my way, but with my friends at my side and music playing loud I am planning to make 2017 the best it can be.

My resolution is to really be happy. There’s a reason I got “choose happiness” tattooed on New Year’s Eve. I want to remember the lesson I learned in 2016 and take it with me forever. It’s definitely something I’m still learning, and maybe I’ll even get better at it this year.

I wish the same for all of you, too. Remember, you are worth every happiness. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy new year everyone, let’s tackle 2017 together. 
Love you all,

Sofia

Thirty-Three

Ahhhhhh.

That was my sigh of relief.

I’m super sad that Christmas is over, but man did it feel hectic this year! I’m excited to have some days off work and recoup (and get my house back in order, good grief).

It always seems that there’s all this buildup to Christmas and then with a snap of the fingers it’s over. Anyone else keep their tree up and watch holiday movies until January?

Now that that holiday is out of the way, though, we’ve got New Years right around the corner.

I’ve always had kind of a hard time with New Years. I love a good existential crisis about time!

I was thinking back on the past year, trying to determine how I felt about 2016. At first thought, I felt like I hated this year. A lot of bad stuff happened, personally and in general. It seemed that this year was filled with giving up and feeling weighed down.

But then I looked past all of the negative and remembered all of the really, really good memories I had from 2016, and there were quite a lot of them! Scrolling back through this blog is pure proof of that, and I’m so grateful to have write-worthy moments. It proves that life is worth sticking around for. 

So, was the year good or bad?

I think what I’m going to say was that it was a year. And we made it through, both with smiles and tears. We’re still here, though we’ve lost and gained a lot. I think that, for me, 2016 was definitely one for the books.

I’m nervous for the new year because change, endings and beginnings make me super duper anxious. But I’ll hold on tight to fragile hearts, and keep my friends forever by my side. We’ll tackle it together.

I’m sending my very best wishes to you for a happy new year. What’s everyone doing to celebrate? I think I’ll probably sit at home and watch the ball drop, I don’t really have any parties planned. 😜

Love you all,

Sofia

Thirty-Two

So, here we go.

I try not to get too much into depression and stuff like that on here, because I want this to be a happy blog and not a bunch of posts about me complaining. But things have been hard lately, and I feel like acting otherwise on here will make it worse.

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmastime. On the one hand, there’s movies and music and just that warm feeling that everyone talks about going around. On the other hand, there’s existential crisis’ and mental or nervous breakdowns. You know, the usual.

I was at my nephew’s Christmas recital and sitting in a pew of the church I’d grown up in, next to the giant tree that I’d known since I was a baby. It seemed like just yesterday I was one of the kids performing up at the altar, relaying the story of Christmas to my video-taping family. Now I was with the adults and watching my youngest nephew who is now five do the same thing I used to. It made me think of how much time had passed, of how it was going to keep passing, and I just started crying because it was so overwhelming. My family thought I was a proper weirdo.

I think the term “choosing happiness” is thrown around really lightly when it’s not always that easy to do. I have my role models like Kirstin and Shay to look up to and hear about how it’s a struggle but I can do it, and then I try and it’s a train wreck. It’s so hard sometimes. I feel like I’ve let Kirstin down, which may not seem like a big deal to some people but it is to me.

I know that deep down is a part of me that doesn’t want any of this, who didn’t ask for this. Who would, right? The core part of me doesn’t want to stop existing all the time, nor does it wish for me to be a danger to myself. But that part of me is often drowned out by my mind, which is telling me that I do want these things and that I deserve all of it.

Choosing happiness is a struggle because it involves finding that tiny piece of you that is fighting your mind and making it grow. No easy task, if you ask me.

One piece of advice I always give out when people come to me is to write down a list of happy moments in your life on a physical piece of paper that you can hold and read. Then, when things start getting tough, look at it and remember each one. Bring back how awesome you felt in that moment. It doesn’t necessarily fix things and make your bad mood go away, but I find that it really does help.

I added one thing this morning. I’ve been a little MIA for a few days because I snapped (for lack of a better word), and I didn’t think anyone even noticed. Come to find out that there were a few who did, who noticed and cared and were worried. That was mind-boggling to me. I don’t deserve to be worried about. I’m not that important.

See, that’s my mind talking. But this act brought out that small core part of me that told me Yes, you are loved. Yes, they worry because you mean something to them.





Have you ever seen Rise of the Guardians? It’s a great movie, I watch it a lot, especially at Christmastime. There’s this scene where Santa is talking to Jack Frost, asking him what “his center is.” Then he takes out one of those doll things where you uncap each one to find a smaller one inside. You know the ones? He says that these outer shells aren’t what really makes him who he is. They’re parts of him, but they’re not really who he is. It’s the smallest and final doll that shows his center that depicts who he is as a person, what the root value is. 

These negative thoughts? They’re not who you really are. Those shouts of you’re not important and no one will miss you if you leave are your outer shells. At the very end, when you uncap that final negative thought, there’s something else there that really shows who you are. What do you think your center is? What is it saying?

I think mine is I am happy to be alive.

I’m just working on getting those pesky outer shells off. They seem to be pretty stuck together right now.

You should try making one of those happy moment lists I mentioned! I added going to New York and meeting one of my best friends last week. She was even more perfect in person.

I also got to add going to Kings in Pittsburg and eating where Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson sat to film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I got to go through the tunnel from the movie/book, blaring Pentatonix’s song New Years Day with the windows down and my friends at my side.


As the list gets longer, it gets more encouraging. When I think about giving up, I look at that list and think that in all of these moments I was happy to be alive. And that’s quite helpful. They’re moments worth fighting for. Life isn’t going to be all daisies. “It was hard to get where you are, and it’s going to be hard getting to where you’re going.” But the happy moments are still there, they’re still going to happen. They’re not just going to disappear because you’re having a rough time right now.

And if you think that you don’t deserve to have those happy moments, then you’re wrong. Because people make mistakes. We’re human, and a lot of times we can work it out. You still deserve to be happy, okay?

I should take my own advice, ha.

Let’s work on getting better together.

Love you all,

Sofia

Thirty-One

For most of my life, I’ve been scared.

Ever since I was little, my anxiety was the one in charge. I couldn’t stay at anyone’s house overnight but my own, and I sat in torture instead of asking my teacher to go to the bathroom.

My life and the things I do have always been centered around this ball of anxious fear inside my chest and stomach. And it sucks. Not to mention it’s exhausting, it really is!

No, don’t do that.

No, don’t go there.

You can’t, something terrible will happen.

Stay home, if you go you’re going to die.

This irrational thinking kept me from doing a lot of fun things. I couldn’t go camping, attend sleepovers, or even make friends because I was so scared to talk to someone. I missed out on a lot.
Even now, I feel unsettled and sometimes have panic attacks if I stray too far from home or sleep somewhere that isn’t my normal bed. It’s so annoying!

But lately I’ve been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. Normally I just let myself accept that I have certain rules to abide by, but now I realize those rules are ludicrous. I don’t want to let my anxiety take over my life anymore! I want to be the one in charge. I want to start living instead of hiding.

We’ll see how this goes. You should try with me if you’ve been thinking about this as well. 😊

Love you all,

Sofia
P.S: I got to cross another concert off my bucket list! I saw The 1975 on Tuesday with my mom and I cried the whole time. 

Twelve

So, I’m sure you all heard the news at one point or another a few weeks ago. I turned 18! Okay, I know that’s not a big deal for some of you, but it was for me! It was like this huge checkpoint I had set for myself, a “goal” that I’ve been working toward. I got to celebrate it in the best way possible, too: spending time with my very favorite people in the world for practically the entire day. My mom and sister went out and bought a small cupcake and stuck a candle in it to sing me happy birthday in my room in the morning, and even though I couldn’t eat it (which my sister enjoyed), it was touching that they cared enough to do that even after all these years. 

They say birthdays get lame as you get older, and I guess that’s true for people who are getting old. My family says that everyone stops caring after you turn seventeen, that it’s not really a big deal to have a birthday at that point. I don’t know about that. Birthdays mark another year you’ve survived on this earth! That’s quite an admirable feat, if you ask me, and I think it’s a day that should always be celebrated in some way. 

I know that it’s somewhat taboo to talk about mental health still (let’s change that soon society, hmm?), but I think that for one blog post it will be okay. For many years, I’ve struggled with a lot of anxiety and depression, and it’s made a huge impact on my life. Not like an oh, I’m sometimes sad thing. That’s not just what depression is. It made an impact in the way that I had a hard time making it through a day without crying, without wishing that some sort of void from outer space would zap me up so I could stop being trapped inside my head with my thoughts for a while. My mind is my own worst enemy, and we’ve always hated one another.

Back when I was a sophomore, I couldn’t fathom the idea of turning eighteen years old. To me, back then, that was something that would never be accomplished.

Yet here I am! That same girl who didn’t think this day would come had a hell of a good time hearing Pentatonix sing her happy birthday at their sound check. And now it’s two weeks later, and I’m still breathing. Still living. Still Sofia.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… If you’re reading this, and the future seems unfathomable because your present is too much to bear, don’t give up hope. Even if you are dead certain that you know exactly what is ahead of you. Because, realistically? You don’t, no matter how much you believe otherwise. You have no idea what’s around the corner!

Am I saying that within a few years all of your problems will bippity-bop themselves away? No, hah. I wish it was that easy! Forget glass slippers and a pretty dress, Fairy Godmother, I wanna stop being upset even when good things are happening to me!

What I’m saying is that things change. They really do.

Kevin told me to take my story and inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their circumstances. So, like, that’s some heavy stuff, and I don’t know if anything I’ve got to say is that impactful, but I do wanna take his advice and let you know that things can remain crappy for a very, very long time. But there are so many good things that can happen to you despite this. Is it always going to be easy? Absolutely not. I wish more than anything that I could tell you otherwise, but I can’t. Life happens, and it’s not always fair.

You know what I do when I’m sitting in my room, having one of those nights where I can’t stop crying and hoping that music starts helping soon? I flash back to my favorite memories. It sounds tacky, but I really do suggest that you guys try doing this as well. Write down your very best moments, times where you were so very happy to be alive. Keep that piece of paper you write them on handy, so that when it all gets dark you can remember the light. 

For example, I remember how loved I felt when I made a mistake and Alexx and Anna still forgave me. I remember how comforted I felt when Mitch held me in a hug, back in December. I remember Taylor Swift blowing Anna and I a kiss. I remember having one of the best days of my life at a Neon Trees concert. I remember jumping on the bed with my cousin Anna and screaming Complicated at the top of our lungs. 

When things are dark, it’s important to remember the light. Vital, even. It can be so hard to do, because the dark is so much more powerful and makes us forget that light even exists at all.

But can I tell you something? Your life isn’t done yet. You can’t even begin to imagine how many more good times are headed your way!

So, don’t give up. Don’t stop running. I’m glad I didn’t, despite all of the struggles I still have.

Maybe you’re dreading a birthday like I was dreading mine. Try to think of it in a different light. It’s kind of like you’ve made it to the finish line of a really long and tiring race, and now to celebrate you get to eat cake! (Speaking of…. I already miss that beautiful gluten-free cake my sister Erica made me. Complete heaven. Can I have another??)

Also, thank you to everyone for the kind birthday wishes! I really did have a great day/week. My mom bought me a Peanuts balloon that I’m obsessed with. She still hasn’t completely deflated, miraculously.
Oh, and I just have to share this photo. When Avi came out to see us after the concert, I asked him if he wanted to wear the birthday sash I had on (thanks Alexx) for a picture. You know, since it was his birthday as well. It turned out pretty great.

Love you all.

Sofia.

Eleven

I have gone through being so sick since my last post. I had talked a bit about a head cold, but it got worse. I was having troubles with vertigo/nausea, or something along those lines. I have no idea what it was, but thankfully it seems to have passed! We think that it might have had something to do with my recent change of medicine. 

Whatever the case may be, bleh.

In the time of being bed-ridden, I could hardly watch tv without feeling ill, so I just closed my eyes and listened to music. This, however, left room for a lot of thinking.

Never a good thing for me.

I started randomly trying to figure out what my weaknesses are. You know, the things that make me break or knock down this wall of strength and confidence that I’ve sloppily scrambled together over this past year.

I think it’s a good quality to know your sore spots, what will get you. Ironically enough, I think knowing your weaknesses can make you stronger.
In thinking about this, I have realized one thing that is ever-growing and overpowering, and that is saying goodbye.

You’d never think that such a simple action could be an Achilles heel, do you? Yet even remembering an old friend that I haven’t spoken to in four years fills me with such a strong sadness that it actually almost brings tears to my eyes. Is that weird? I feel like it’s weird.

It gets to a point where I won’t even want to meet new people or make new friends because I’m so scared of the inevitable parting from a person. On top of having trust issues, anxiety, and depression, fear was just the cherry on top of a lonely ice cream Sunday when it comes to having friends.

Sometimes, someone is such a good person to me that I “know” it’s going to end awful, because I’m going to do something to screw it up or the world is going to separate us. When this happens, I’ll try to push the person away before the bomb explodes and we’re both hurting afterwards. This also makes it hard to keep friends, because not many stick around time after time (God bless those that do, I love you with all my heart, thank you for being patient with me).
I think one of the hardest goodbyes is when it’s caused by something I’ve done wrong.

I talk a lot about how I’m around toxic people that cause me harm, and I kind of victimize myself in a lot of situations. I don’t mean to do that, I really am just trying to speak my mind about real events going on… I just sometimes fail to mention how harmful I myself can be.

I wish that I could be perfect, that I could have good and healthy relationship after good and healthy relationship, but I’m too human for that. People slip up. Good people, too, believe it or not. No one is perfect, like I said in my last post, and no one can do everything right all the time. Sometimes we say the wrong thing, or something that we don’t mean, and the words push over this domino that soon topples over the one standing next to it and so on and so forth until you’ve been unfriended by this once-so-close-to-you person on Facebook and you know you won’t be seeing them again unless it’s an accident.

That sucks.

But we live and we learn, and we can hope to do better next time. We can try our best to apologize (and mean it!! fake apologies don’t count), and be understanding when the other person wants to break away (to an extent; every scenario is different). Everything happens for a reason, so if you’re not meant to be friends with someone, you won’t be.

You know what else sucks? When that same scenario happens, only it was the other person’s words that were hurting you.

You know what else sucks? When someone passes away. This is probably the very worst goodbye of all.

Wow, this blog post got depressing, huh? Where’s that boost of confidence and inspiration we came here look for, Sofia?! What is this sadness??!

It’s coming, I promise. Let’s get a move on.

No matter how hard any sort of breakup can be, there are always new chances to say hello again. And no, you shouldn’t pick up the habit of avoiding everyone simply because the end result of the relationship could get ugly. That’s no way of living. That’s like if someone who has a sickness and decides that they’re just not going to look into any sort of treatment and are just going to live at home for the rest of their lives and stop doing all the things they did before. No, you can’t do that! Life is an adventure, there’s going to be bumps in the road (yeah, Fia, we get it, you said it about eight hundred times in the last post).
Here’s a life hack for you, though: there’s not just bumps. Life has so many happy moments.

Let’s say someone goes to Starbucks, and they always get a grande triple ice soy latte, every single time. It’s their regular drink, because it’s always good and they always enjoy it. Then one day, a little too much soy milk is added while the barista is making the drink, and the person hates how it tastes now. It’s so bitter that they want to throw it away, but they paid four dollars for the drink and they’re not about to pitch that money. Should this person change drinks simply because one out of the past twenty soy lattes was bad? No way. They go ahead and try to order it again next time, and it’s made just as good as they remembered it.

I think the same goes for relationships. Let’s say the person has two great friends who stick by them through whatever. They make a new friend, but that person ends up being a bit of a jerk, and kind of messes up their life. Should they give up on literally every other person on this earth because one single guy was mean? Of course not, right?

It’s easier said than done, I know. But sometimes saying goodbye, no matter how much it hurts, can be the healthiest thing to do in a situation. As the great and wonderful Taylor Swift sings so perfectly, “So it’s gonna be forever… Or it’s going to go down in flames.”



I need a rewrite of that for a mutual ending, one that wasn’t so awful… “So it’s gonna be forever… Or it’s going to go down in a very respectable way and no one is going to get burned.”



That rhymes, right? You can tell my career as a musician is totally going to skyrocket.

In all seriousness, don’t isolate yourself because you’re scared the past will replay. You have no clue as to what the future holds, so don’t give up on it just yet.

You never know what freaks you’ll meet that will take awkward squad selfies with you. 

  
Love you all.

Sofia