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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Hernandez

A time to Rejoice, A Time to Look Forward & A Time to Reflect

Hello all,

It's been a while for me, I know. Months (Not since September 28th). I don't have a real excuse for why I stopped writing, I just know that I stopped all forms of writing (articles, blog posts, script writing, writing down my feelings, etc.) because I felt overwhelmed. There was too much happening, all at once, in my life and in the outside world. 2020 really has been a wild ride (i.e. a global pandemic, mass global record death, BLM protests, wild fires, murder hornets, the election, etc.) . But even though I haven't written anything, I've still read things. I love to read, you see. And actually my love of reading stories is what got me into writing in the first place, so I still continued to read. And it wasn't much, just a book here or an article there, anything that would resonate with me, anything inspiring. I would even read my own writing once in a while; the last time I did that was when Chadwick Boseman died and I cried like a baby at home huddled into a ball. I felt like an idiot, like a crazy lady for doing that till I read what I wrote about grief being an indecipherable thing.

I have actually been ingesting art all year long. And as I've said before, art inspires art, so my minds eye has been opened a couple times to things and ideas and opportunities - so it hasn't all been bad. However, I was mostly overwhelmed and on autopilot. I was dealing with the things immediately in front of me for a good chunk of the year, not my future or my inner self, so I let my creative self fall to the wayside for a while - unless you count those moments I ingested art and revelled in it (I loved analyzing stories and plots of tv shows and movies all this while. It was GREAT!). Anyway, I'm digressing again, the point is that I've been dealing with life, as I'm sure all of you have too, but here is my year-end review. Because I'm making sure I'm going out with, not a fizzle, but with a bang.

This year has been pretty crazy in general and for me, it’s been pretty insane. For a good chunk of the beginning of the year I felt like I had no control over my life, like someone else had all the agency over me, my time, my choices, and my space. And I made plans to fix that for myself, but those plans were still contingent on other people, people that were reckless and rash and thoughtless with themselves and everything else in their lives. For months I waited and waited for said people to get it together so that I could move forward with those plans, but half way through the year I realized that my problem was that I was, again, depending on others to reach goals I set for myself by myself. So I made executive decisions. I found a place and moved out alone. I enlisted help for my move, but only one long time friend and my two brothers followed through with the help in the end. I furnished the place on my own and in my own time. Mind you, before making the move in July, I had decided to make little changes that I could within the confines of my own limitations. So I wrote articles and did lots of research, and started writing a script. I was flourishing beforehand, making small changes like going on long walks, and listening to podcasts, and volunteering at a greenhouse. Doing what I could to change my circumstances, and with that came a mindset change, a shift that propelled me to stop waiting on others and do what I wanted.

But then shit started going wrong; A few weeks into living in my new place my pipes were rusted so they had to break in my walls to replace them, pest control had to come treat my house and patch up holes because my neighbors infestation was making it over to me, my car was broken into and my airbag was stolen, I also got a flat tire & tickets for parking across the street with out of state plates. It seemed like everything was going wrong, but I handled everything. I got through everything, and then it seemed like things were looking up. I met someone, someone I think is pretty great. He seems to compliment me, has a similar mindset to mine, a similar background too, and we seem to work well together so far. And finally, I had full agency over my life, and my space, and my choices. I ate what I wanted, did what I wanted, went where I wanted, etc. I made small healthy lifestyle changes. I started going to therapy again. I exercised regularly. I had a morning routine, took daily vitamins and drank spinach-kale smoothies. I went on runs, I read self help books, I invested in stocks, and I began to be more mindful.

Things were going pretty well, until two people close to me disrespected me back to back - I mean within days of each other. That set me back. Now I was questioning my own judgement, my own ability to decipher who is and isn’t good for me, who is and isn’t a person I should have in my life. I began questioning ALL my relationships. And I began coping the only way I knew how, by pushing my feelings of betrayal and hurt aside to focus solely on making money. That REALLY helped my finances out, by the way, I paid off a good chunk of debt. However, little by little I started dealing with my shit - therapy helped a little with that lol. Anyway, now I have clear set boundaries with people I’m close to, and now I can recognize the signs of unstable people and relationships that don’t serve me. Now, I can see who to keep at arms length and who to keep close, and now I know those qualifiers aren’t necessarily fixed forever either.

Right, so where am I now, at the end of the year? Hahaha! My car got broken into for the second time in 5 months which made it so that I, again, was stuck with little agency for myself and feeling frustrated. However, it was temporary. My car is fixed and I am home, and now, I am even writing for the first time in months. This, is all due to the time I've had to sit back and reflect while my family helped me deal with my shit. I’m grateful for my strong support system of family and friends who have had my back since it happened, and I am grateful for the opportunity to slow down and reflect. Without said time, I wouldn't have thought the following. So, without further ado, here are the little pockets of wisdom I've gained from my experiences in 2020.

Things I’ve learned this year:

  • It’s important to have personal boundaries with the people closest to you, as well as strangers.

  • When people make questionable decisions in their own lives, you need to recognize that as a sign of their questionable character and judgement, because nobody will treat you with more respect than they treat themselves.

  • Being of help to people is all good and well, but you need to draw a line to how far you’ll go for a stranger, for a significant other, for a friend & for family. You come first always.

  • Shit hits the fan sometimes and you need a fail-safe (For me, this means I need a good savings for when things don’t work out and I need to fix shit). It means you need a good support system, so you can have someone on your team for when you’re in dire need.

  • Always make sure you got YOU first. Take care of your shit before you go take care of somebody else’s shit.

  • It’s important to check in with yourself often. Recognize what frustrates you and what’s not working so you can re-configure.

  • Realize that you’re in charge of your life and no one else. Don’t be passive and make sure you’re always actively growing into the person you want to be, and actively going for the life you want to have.

  • Mindset is everything. If you’re constantly in a negative mind space, you will remain in a negative physical circumstance as well. Every new beginning and opportunity first starts in your own imagination.

  • Once you imagine it, you MUST take the first step to change. You need to make small incremental changes so that you can reach your goal. Everything good takes time, but you need to first take a step to start the watch.

  • It’s good to set ambitious goals, but do not feel defeated when you cannot achieve them all at once, or when you have setbacks, that’s part of the journey and it’s the people who don’t give up who reach the goal.

  • My independence is of utmost importance to me and when something happens that threatens that, I become stressed and anxious.

  • I’m not saying always do it alone, but if you can, that’s one less thing you need to worry about being used against you.

Thank You,

Carmen Hernandez

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1 Comment

Monthly Motivational Shit
Monthly Motivational Shit
Jan 02, 2021

I will say, "this was a perfect read". Thank you for sharing your ups and your downs, your lefts and your rights, and your u-turns as well. It's really hard for me to not see last year as a challenging and aligning year. I am sorry that your lessons were painful and I am also happy and elated that I know someone like you, a woman full of grace and tenacity.

The lessons that you chose to share through this post are so on point! People have hurt me too and "boundaries" have became my best friends. You don't set boundaries to hurt people, but as a way to work with people you want to work it out with. You…

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