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

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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. 

Thirty

I’m getting restless. I haven’t really done anything for two weeks now, and I’m getting antsy. Don’t get me wrong, I love having lazy days (and even time to clean my house, haha), but when I have all this free time I start overthing because there’s nothing else to do.

I think my friend Emma noticed this, because she decided to drive three hours to see little ol’ me on Saturday! We haven’t seen each other since the day we met at a twenty one pilots concert in Indianapolis fourteen months ago. She showed up at my door and I shrieked.

Emma’s never been to St. Louis before, so what do you think we did? Go to the arch? The art museum? Nope, we went to Ikea. And it was awesome. I’d never been before! We also had peppermint mochas and ate lunch together and walked around downtown. It was an amazing day, but then it was over and I got sad again.

Have you ever had something so amazing happen to you that once it was over you were overwhelmed with emotions you didn’t really know how to cope with? Because that’s been me the past few days. I know that I’ve said that I should smile because it happened but I’m so sad that it’s over.

I miss singing onstage with my favorite band to thousands of people. Can you blame me?

Even through the event itself is over, the effects of the moment are still with me. It might be dramatic to say, but I feel like my life changed on that night. I got to experience how happy I could be, and it gave me hope.

That night I made a silent promise to Kirstin that I would take better care of myself, something I really wasn’t doing. I didn’t care much about my well-being or life itself, so it didn’t bother me if I was in pain or sad or both. I felt like I deserved it, and that that’s all that I would ever know.

And then October 29th happened, and things changed.


One of best friends Harley and I were talking about that night (we finally got to meet the day of the concert so we talk about how much we miss it a lot), and she mentioned how happy she was that I got picked to go onstage because it made me want to live again, and I realized that she was low key totally right. I gained a determination to fight through that hard times because I saw how good life can be.

This sounds a little like I’m repeating my last post, but I think this is a little different. On the last post I talked about how happy I was, but now I’m kind of struggling again yet I have the strength and willpower to fight through.


Ain’t misbehavin’, no, you don’t need to worry…

It used to be that anytime things started going dark, I immediately gave into the bad habits. It made things easier to push it all away. Now, I want to stay strong and actually deal with things and take care of my state, both physical and emotional. It’s been difficult. And I don’t feel 100% better. It’s not like singing with Kirstin was a button I pushed to make all bad things go away. Life doesn’t work like that, though it would be nice.

But I’m doing it. I’m fighting to stay strong.

I chose an apple over ice cream for a snack today, so I think I’m on a good path.

Love you all,

Sofia

Twenty-Nine

I’m sure you all knew I would write about this.

The funny and amazing thing is, I have been planning on writing about Kirstin for chapter 29 for about a month now! You’ll find out why towards the end of the post. 😉

I have never, ever been this happy in my life.

Am I sad that it’s over? Extremely. Devastated. Yesterday my snapchat story hit the twenty-four hour mark and erased and I cried over it for thirty minutes.

But, what’s that old, overused saying? “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

And boy, am I smiling.

I even posted a non-filtered, no makeup selfie on twitter yesterday morning! I have never done that and never thought I would because of how self conscious I am, especially after not having slept more than three hours since last Thursday. But I wanted to capture the memory of being this ecstatic, this content.

For those of you who don’t know what happened, I went to another Pentatonix show in Champaign on Saturday. Alexx and I had VIP, but for the first time ever the show was better for me than actually meeting them. (Though Kirstin told me she loved seeing my songs on twitter and I nearly bawled right in front of her.)

During every Pentatonix show on this tour, the band has set out beanbags on stage and each of them call a person up to sing the song Misbehavin with them.

Ever since it started, I have never wanted anything more.

That might be dramatic but it’s true! It was my complete dream. As someone who wants to be a musician, singing with your favorite band is about as goals as it gets.

Never in a million years did I think I would get picked, much less by the person I look up to more than anyone. 

But it happened.

And it was everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I honestly don’t know how I held it together throughout the song, especially because I’m a super emotional person. I think mixed with how ecstatic and shocked I was it made me able to function. And I remember every second! Kirstin said she liked my nails.

Every now and then, it’ll come back to me: I sang with Pentatonix. And then I start crying again.

I wish I was kidding.

The day after the show I was at home and finally let myself watch the video my friend’s grandma took, and I cried for two hours. I looked at the tweets she sent Alexx and I about the scrapbook we made her, remembered Kirstin crying about it, and sobbed more. I also sent a bunch of sappy videos to a few of the people I love, and it was a complete mess.

I’ve been very emotional since it happened. Perfect time for a blog post, right?

This year has been very, very hard for me. There were times I wasn’t sure how or if I’d make it through, and a lot of stuff I never saw coming nor knew how to handle hit me right in the face. I haven’t been truly and honestly happy in what feels like a very long time.

As soon as I got off that stage, I said to my friends that I was so happy to be alive.

Is that dramatic? Maybe? I don’t think so. I think the whole night showed me that good and amazing moments really are possible, and there are times where fighting through the hard times really do feel worth it. If you had told me back in February or even August that I would feel like this or that my wildest dream would come true, I would’ve rolled my eyes and shook my head. I wouldn’t have believed you! And yet, here I am. It’s a reality for me.

I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, and I’m sorry if I do. What I’m trying to get across is that you never know what the future is going to hold. You might think this awful moment you might be in is forever, but it’s not. That sounds cliche, but it’s so true!! Kirstin Maldonado said she loved my singing. Anything really can happen.

And I think that fantastic things are waiting for each and every one of you.

The struggle is worth it. And you are strong enough to get through.

I wear Kirstin’s bracelet that she sells on her merch store every day. It says “you are strong,” and on the flip side, “don’t forget that.” And it’s a wonderful reminder. It makes me feel stronger just looking at it. It was the thing I looked at to help me get through those rough times, and it was on my wrist when I was singing next to Kirstin herself.

And to celebrate reaching almost thirty posts and a little over a year on this blog, I want to give one to someone else who doesn’t have it, because I think everyone deserves that reminder.

Go check out my twitter for details on how to win! If you don’t know my username you can click here and it’ll take you to it.

And if you don’t win, here’s the reminder for you to come back to whenever you may need it:

You are strong.
Don’t forget that. 

You might not believe it. I didn’t either. But it’s true.

Love you all,

Sofia

P.S: thank you to everyone for your kindness and for sharing the happiness for me. You’re part of the reason it was all so great. ❤️

Twenty-Eight

Ohhhh man. A busy week is ahead!

I’ve been looking forward to this week/weekend for a while. Tomorrow morning I’m leaving with my friends to go to Rosemont to see Us the Duo and Pentatonix in concert! Then, two days later, I’m seeing them again. And then I’m coming back home and meeting Troye Sivan!!

I haven’t stopped screeching.

Is it weird to meet a celebrity decked out in costume? Because I’m doing it. The Troye concert is on Halloween, and I can’t just not dress up. Can anyone guess who I’m going as?!?

I’ve always loved Halloween. October first rolls around and I’m playing that Spooky Scary Skeleton song and bringing out the big tub of Halloween movies from the basement. It also gives me a reason not to dust, because cobwebs are in (I kid, I kid).

I’m also a fan of dressing up. I love being able to be someone else for a night. I love getting to choose who you want to be, too.

Isn’t that the dream? To choose who you are. To have a choice. A lot of people think we have no say in the matter, but don’t we? You can choose to fight to be happy or stay sad. You can choose to be mean or kind. You can choose to work for something or let it go.

I think I’m looking forward to dressing up as someone else because I haven’t been the best version of myself lately. I haven’t been choosing the more positive options. I’ve been choosing the opposite of happiness, and I am indeed very sad a lot of the time. I’ve just let it take over. I’m not doing anything to change it.

I try to distract myself to keep my mind from dwelling on it, throwing myself into different projects and work and such. But that only goes so far, because at the end of the day I’m alone in my room and everything comes crashing back.

How long can we keep the costume on before everyone realizes it was only a disguise, no matter how alike you might look to it?

This Sunday and Monday, I get to dress up. I get to slip into someone else’s role. I get to choose who I want to be. But come Tuesday, I’m still going to be choosing who I am. I’m going to take the costumes off and be myself, and I’m going to try and make myself better, the best version I can be.

I hope your weekend is safe and wonderful.

Love you all,

Sofia

Twenty-Seven

Okay, so I need my city to get with the program. It is mid October. It’s time for autumn weather. It doesn’t feel right eating pumpkin spice Cheerios when it’s ninety degrees out.

It was so hot in St. Louis yesterday. Did that stop me from wearing long sleeves? Absolutely not.

I wore jeans for the first time in a while yesterday, too. I bought two new pairs for work, and they were cute so I swapped the skirt I had on for the more faded pair. For whatever reason, wearing them made my confidence plummet down. I don’t know what it was! I had just bought them because they looked good, so it was strange that my brain was telling me it was all wrong.

The worst part is that I let that seriously impact my day. My mood got at least sixty percent worse all because of a cute pair of jeans. It made me feel extra terrible because I was bringing the people I was around down with me. 

That’s one of my biggest peeves, when I do that. Yet no matter how hard I try not to do it, I mess up a lot.

I think it’s human nature, of course, but every time I fail – at anything, really – it eats at me until I’m doubting whether I’ve ever been a good person at all.

I’m pretty dramatic.

I’ve been really self-centered these past two weeks. I agree that it’s good to think of yourself and do things that are good for your health. That’s so important. But this was a whole different level. Thinking of myself got in the way of me being happy for other people when good things happened to them.

I hate that. I hate that I get that way. And it seems that no matter how hard I try to push it away, it keeps washing up on the shore again. 

I think the reason for that is probably because you can’t shove away your problems and expect them to disappear. They’re gonna stay there and you’ve gotta learn how to cope/handle them. We’ll save all that for a separate post, though. 😉

The weird thing is that I spend a lot of time being frustrated that others can’t be happy. I’ve said a few times that if I could shoulder everyone’s pain and take it on myself, I would in a heartbeat. It drives me mad when I see such good people having hate accounts made for them. I can’t believe cyber bullying is still such a problem. It’s 2016. Let’s stop with this petty hate. It’s ridiculous.

One thing that I’ve never before noticed is majorly fueling my selfishness is FOMO. Oh yes, the dreadful fear of missing out. I think that deep down everyone has the fear of missing out, at least sometimes. It sucks! Who wants to sit at home doing nothing while watching your friends have a good time?

Well, I guess that answer depends on what I’m watching on Netflix. I’d rather finish this eleventh season of Supernatural than go to Starbucks. Anyone’s free to join me, though! Bring the coffee here, haha.

You know, it’s not even always missing out on the event that’s upsetting. It’s missing out on being a part of this awesome moment with my friends. I was never the coolest person in school (seriously not), so you would think I’d be kind of used to being left out. Yet, I cried my eyes out when my friends went on a road trip without me, even though it wasn’t their fault I couldn’t go, and they shouldn’t stay home on account of me.

Ugh. You know, Mitch told me that emotions are good, and I agree with him. That phrase is like My Thing. But sometimes emotions are super frustrating, too. 

I think that the key thing to do when all of this starts to happen is remember all of the moments that I don’t miss out on. I’m going to Chicago with my friends at the end of the month, and we’re seeing Troye Sivan on Halloween! I’m seriously so excited, and I know that it will create many memories/moments that I’m lucky enough to be a part of. 

There’s a line from one of my favorite songs that I think about a lot: Count your blessings every day, it makes the monsters go away.

I love that. That s some great advice to take to heart. The negative, dark thoughts in our world have this thing about being really overpowering. To fight that, you have to remember all of the good things in life. It’s not easy, but peace is a two-way street – if you want it to find you, you have to search for it.

I hope you do. And I hope you find it.

Love you all,

Sofia


P.S.: it was my baby Hemingway’s birthday on Saturday! She turned two. She’s still the light of my life, and she still thinks I’m crazy. Isn’t her Halloween bandana cute?

Twenty-Six

FALL IS HERE!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am. Halloween, changing leaves, my favorite weather, that smell of bonfires in the air, sweaters, pumpkin spice everything!!!

Seriously, someone take money away from me. I’ve gone so crazy with all the new pumpkin spice stuff this year that I might just turn into cinnamon and squash.

I’ve also started the #chooseyourhappiness #octoberlovin challenge on my Instagram! Kirstin did this a while back, and I think it will definitely benefit me to find something I love every day during the month I adore so much. 

In other news, I’m exhausted.

Alexx, Anna and I drove to Arkansas Tuesday afternoon to see Kevin speak at Harding University. 

We had to be back by 9 AM on Wednesday because I had orientation at Old Navy.

It was about a fourteen-hour drive.

Was I miserable? Yes. Was it worth it? Definitely.

The speech was so amazing!! Kevin even performed a few pieces for us. My favorite was Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Alexx and I were crying.

There was a quote that he kept making us repeat throughout the speech. A mantra, if you will. And as hard as I tried to make myself remember it, I got so caught up that it didn’t stick. Lucky for me, he messaged me on twitter the exact quote so I can be accurate. 

“God is a creative God. If I am made in his image, then I must be creative as well.”

Whoa. 

I was instantly in love with that. And I think I definitely needed to hear it! 

I’ve never viewed myself as “creative.” I’m very bland. Monotone. The white crayon. So when he said that, it gave me some hope.

As someone who wants to be in the music industry more than anything in the world, I could use a lot of hope that I’m creative. It’s kind of what I need to bank on.

That was actually kind of another thing I related to with him. I’ve been so nervous about what pathway I’m supposed to be on career/lifewise. Nervous that I’m doing everything wrong.

Kevin was a premed student. But he moved to music because he felt a pull in his heart that this was the right thing, that this is what God wanted him to do.

I connected to that immensely. (Though definitely not because I’m premed. I wish I was smart enough for that.) For basically my entire life, ever since I’ve been able to write, my family and everyone around me has marked me as an author. I was supposed to write books, it’s what everyone expected of me. So I did it, and I told myself I liked it. I’ve written ten books. All unpublished, but still. Ten books takes a lot of time. I would stay up until four in the morning writing, fueled by coffee and music. I went to school with my backpack heavy; not from textbooks, but from binders and notebooks filled with stories.

But I think I always knew in my heart that it wasn’t right.

It didn’t feel right. But I knew that’s what everyone wanted me to do, what they said I was good at, so I did it.

But there was a pull in my heart telling me that it was wrong. It wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

I’ve gone through years of hiding that I wanted to be in music. I’ve said I want to be an interior designer, a journalist, a vet. You know, plausible jobs that you can plan from point A to point B on how to get there. I created stories of things that semi-interested me to sound like I had it all mapped out when people asked me what I was going to do (which is everyone’s favorite thing to do with kids, you know).

It made me miserable.

All I’ve ever wanted was to be in music. I’ve been told I’m not good at any of it, that it makes no money, that I’ll regret it… but I feel like that is truly the path I’m supposed to be on.

It might not work out, but right now it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I can feel it in my heart.

I finally started telling everyone the truth. I don’t write books anymore. It’s not fun for me and doesn’t keep my attention. I still love to read, but I don’t want a job in that community.

And yes, I get a ton of eye rolls and disappointed/annoyed expressions from family members when I tell them I want to be a singer/songwriter. But I get over it.

I truly hope that you all find the path you’re supposed to be on. It might take a while, but I have faith in you. ❤️

Love you all,

Sofia


P.S: Katniss got all her shaggy hair shaved off!! And check out her cute festive bandana!! Thanks Kelly!