Hilary’s Poetry Corner

Exciting News! Smiling Face on HTC Sense 7

A new page section has been added titled “Poetry” which you can access at the top of this blog. Over the next several weeks, I will continue writing poems since this seems to be something that I enjoy doing now, especially during exam season. Here is a sneak peak at some of the poems that I am adding to this blog. All poems are written by me and are 100% original.

Table of Contents 

  1. Raps By Hillz (2)
  2. Friends No More
  3. The Road Now Taken
  4. When Life Gives You Lemons
  5. Broken Hearted Girl
  6. Halfway to Morning
  7. Heaven’s Lost Property
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Tropical Sour Patch Kids Review!

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A few months ago, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t buy candy. This past week has been difficult for me, and when I’m stressed, promises may get broken. All my life, I’ve only known the traditional Sour Patch Kids, which were my favorite candy growing up. When Blue was introduced, that was exciting for me and blue raspberry did not disappoint. It is very rare to find unusual flavors in Canada where we live, so when I found a Tropical mix, I couldn’t say no. In the US, I could imagine finding a bag of Tropical Sour Patch Kids in every grocery store, but not in Canada. Here is my review of the tropical flavors, from most tasty to least tasty, to give you an idea of what to expect:


Orange – Tropical Twist; This flavor definitely lives up to the name. Tastes mostly like mangoes with some other tropical fruits mixed in. I cannot tell what fruits they are exactly, but the flavor is good for artificial tropical. Mango and Pineapple? Mango, pineapple, and orange? Who knows!

White – Pineapple; It’s not bad, and but I thought it was Pina Colada. Had they named it, “Pina Colada,” you would instantly know what flavor this is as soon as it hits your tongue? Also, this candy is white – not yellow, so I don’t know why their site features this flavor as a yellow candy. Pineapple-coconut or whatever this candy is by default isn’t my favorite candy flavor so I cannot give it first place. However, I’m impressed by this one.

Pink – Paradise Punch; Given that description, I had no idea what to expect. It didn’t taste bad but it didn’t taste great either. It definitely passed in terms of the sour factor. I love sour things, and Pink was the sourest of all 4 flavors. However, when it changed to sweet, that’s where it went from good to bad.

Purple – Passionfruit; This is an unusual flavor and I expected better, honestly. Passionfruit was the reason I bought these Sour Patch Kids in the first place. Overall, this flavor was the worst of the bunch and purple didn’t taste like passionfruit to me. This flavor possesses a very artificial, chemical flavor straight out of a laboratory.


Overall Rating: ★★✩✩✩

I won’t be buying Tropical Sour Patch Kids again. In comparison to original flavors in terms of tastiness, these tropical kids were nowhere close. Tanginess? Probably. The Pink is definitely the tangiest of the bunch but compared to the original flavors, these flavors are just “meh”. Tropical candy isn’t my preference when it comes to artificial flavors so this probably affects my rating. See for yourself: try them and rate them. See if they live up to the original flavors and let me know what you think of Tropical Sour Patch Kids in the comments below.↓

 

No Carbs, No Life!

While I was taking my baby for a morning stroll in the lobby, with my fancy-ass Starbucks cup in hand, I felt extremely groggy. This might sound hypocritical because I am no longer supporting Starbucks. Why? Their prices have gotten completely out of control up here in North America. I am not going to spend $5 on a small chilled iced tea with 3/4 ice in it or $6 on a frappuchino, especially when I can make these drinks myself. There are Starbucks take-out cups in the hotel room so I made my own English Breakfast Tazo tea with a splash of vanilla soy milk. Yes, I am camping out at a hotel this week and the baby is less than amused. Personally, I don’t blame her. I would hate it here too if I was stuck in a stroller or playpen all day. She’s a Miss Monkey so I don’t exactly trust her on the bed. She’s figured out how to roll off of the bed already, despite the pillow barricade I made to prevent this incident from happening. My ruthlessness must make me a bad mother, but I have yet to meet one mother who hasn’t made any mistakes. I’m a flawed human raising a 50% look-a-like munchkin with monkey abilities. So sue me. pexels-photo-227668.jpegAfter my 11-hour night’s sleep divided by 1 diaper change and a feeding, you would think that is plenty of sleep for a normal adult. However, this isn’t an “off-day” for me since I could sleep all day, every day, given the opportunity. I’m not sure how long I have had iron deficiency anemia, but I’m guessing that it has been affecting me for years. The signs which weren’t so obvious years ago are very obvious now. No amount of pills, diet changes, sunshine or prayer have helped me recover. While I was sipping my morning tea, I grabbed my spastic phone and started researching Iron Deficiency Anemia treatments like a madwoman.

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This isn’t the first time that I have researched this particular topic. I wasn’t searching for iron supplements or injection sites since my current city of residence doesn’t offer iron shots. No. I was looking for ways to increase my iron levels on my own. In my previous post, Why I left Multi-Level Marketing, I mentioned that I am tired of taking supplements and having to rely on them to function somewhat normally. I also mentioned that I am miserable on a low-carbohydrate diet and that this love-hate relationship with food isn’t working out.

Somehow, I have managed to convince myself that I am sickly, thanks to the internet confirming my beliefs that I have these disorders/diseases, to name a few: Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, depression, tooth decay and chronic fatigue. This leaves me with very limited food options. No wheat. No dairy. No sugar. No life.


Disclaimer: What you are about to see is not mine. You can check out Jenny’s website for more hilarious posts at The Bloggess.

“OH I DON’T NEED REAL FOOD. I’LL JUST LIVE ON THIS RAW CABBAGE.  I’M SO HAPPY. THIS IS FINE. EVERYTHING IS FINE.”

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This particular post by Jenny Lawson made my day brighter. Luckily, nobody heard me actually Laughing Out Loud in the front lobby downstairs. I must have looked foolish in my pajamas, unbrushed hair and ratty hoodie surrounded by a large wedding party that appeared out of nowhere. There were 10 bridesmaids blocking my path as I sheepishly meandered my way through the blockade of picture-perfect cover girls. I don’t understand how some people can be so loud, hyper and happy ALL. THE. TIME. Perhaps this is my fatigue and depression talking. Seriously, I must have looked pathetic as I made my way past them while avoiding eye-contact and feeling sorry for myself that I’ll never get to be a bridesmaid in my lifetime.

Why I left Multi-Level Marketing

As I am sitting here popping my supplements like prescription pills, I know that there must be an easier way to heal my sensitive teeth and skin. After doing intensive research over the last few months, most of my findings suggest a diet high in unpasteurized dairy and organ meats, ranging from raw milk to liver. My initial thoughts were….Yuck! You may consume these foods and that’s cool. These foods, I admit, are nutritionally dense and I wish they were readily available to me. But for the typical North American like me, raw milk, liver, grass-fed butter and meats are not easily sourced, or very pricey $$$. Part of my lifestyle includes living as minimally as I can, coming from a former (still broke) university student mindset. Also, there is no guarantee that I will heal my issues with these specific supplements or expensive products. I want to believe that a miracle butter oil and fermented cod liver oil will work, but with the steep price and life-long commitment requirements, I have decided not to settle with this point of view.

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Reconnecting with nature is nature’s medicine.

I know that there must be a better way to heal my body, and I am very determined to find an answer before it’s too late. I have a lot of tooth sensitivity, discoloring, chipping, abnormal enamel erosion which may be linked to gluten intolerance (possibly some degree of Celiac disease???) or Bruxism, along with iron deficiency anemia and vitamin D deficiency. I am only 25 years old and live a healthier lifestyle than most people so my health issues confuse me. I have always had cavities since I was a little kid, and was told by dentists that my problems were due to genetics. Right now, I am extremely frustrated by the lack of improvements when I adopted a low-sugar, low-carbohydrate diet for several months. Deep down, I know that a ketogenic diet is not the answer for me and I don’t want to rely heavily on animal products to be healthy. I am in no way vegan or vegetarian but over the years, I have tried these lifestyles as well, especially during my university years. Personally, I dislike the word “diet” since these life choices are realistically  lifestyles.

glass-1404593_960_720Also, I don’t want to rely on supplements forever. I used to be a part of a very expensive supplement company but I disagree with their true intentions and couldn’t afford to be part of their “team” long term. I was losing money or barely breaking even plus I hate chasing people/pitching my products to them. Call it what you want, but in the end their true intentions of connecting with people and recruiting is to make commission. I have always been an introvert and approaching strangers for the sole purpose of recruiting isn’t for me, especially when I do not know them on a personal level or their health backgrounds. When recruiting people is more important than selling the products in order to make a living, this is a big red flag that the company only wants the movers and shakers. It’s the little guys like me, who genuinely want to help people live healthier lives, by raising awareness of the health benefits that these supplements can offer for specific cases, but with that leads to burnout. Recruiting was never my intention – I just wanted to help people live healthier lifestyles with the nutritional knowledge that I have. I minored in Nutrition and Neutraceutical Sciences so I am not an idiot when it comes to diet and lifestyle.

Thousands of dollars later, my husband gave me a reality check and told me to think for myself. I will NEVER join another multi-level marketing company again. My recruiter’s upline was very pushy and these people would only contact me when they wanted something, so I started ignoring their calls. They eventually got the message. Since leaving the company 4 years later and ditching the yearly renewal fees, I have had several people approach me and try to recruit me to their companies, but this approach isn’t going to work unless the company has good ethics and you can convince me that it’s different than the other competitive multi-level marketing companies in the health and wellness industry.

Healing starts from within and the only way I will be able to truly heal is through proper nutrition and sunshine. There are plenty of resources online along with some books that I am looking forward to reading such as The China Study and Holistic Dental Care. I have a bad habit of being lazy, sleeping in and procrastinating on important tasks. But these poor life choices need to stop if I am ever going to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I am going to  find a solution or a better formula for healing which I know, starts from within. I want to help people who are struggling with their weight or blood sugar fluctuations (yes, you can lose weight with my tips and tricks), learn to live with less stuff, save money, and live a more fulfilling life through proper nourishment. Who knows, maybe I will start another YouTube channel specifically for this blog. I love being able to think for myself without having to hound people and ruin relationships in the meantime. There are several influencers who I follow online and they have unknowingly helped me get started on my personal journey, and I am grateful for their knowledge. The internet is a wonderful tool for research and a place to heal.

You can check out my personal YouTube hobby channel, which isn’t associated with the sereneluna blog:  hellokitty8404

Here is my most popular YouTube video on my YouTube channel, a remixed Nightcore song I made back in University because I was bored. Many people are probably unfamiliar with this genre. Nightcore was popular in high school and University but I kinda outgrew it. Except for what’s on my iPod, I haven’t updated my music library in years.

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Wading Through Murky Waters

Hello, everyone! Sorry I have not posted in a while. I have been very busy and dealing with personal and family life. Some things are just not meant to be shared on the internet and I have no problem taking a hiatus offline from time to time. My goal for this blog is to connect with real people in a more sincere, personal way, and in order to do that I need to be at my best, mentally.

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As some of you know, I have taken a break from Facebook and recently ended a couple friendships with some long-time “friends.” Not only that, but my daughter required some critical medical attention and is still undergoing these appointments and surgeries out of province. I rather not get into this, but in case anyone is wondering how I am doing, there is a complicated answer to that question.

Now that I am back with my husband in our small town aka “city” dwelling, life is slowly returning to normal again. My regimen has become more strict though, due to the frustrations I had living off of a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) with the in-laws during the last few months. Luckily, the 3-month pregnant appearance that took over my body was the only bloating, which I managed to lose through a strict eating plan. I unintentionally stumbled upon the paleo lifestyle while I was looking for a solution to my toothache and “cure” to weak tooth enamel. My years of abuse to my teeth due to a strong sugar addiction and conventional toothpaste that was doing more harm than good, is slapping me in the face now (quite hard, as a matter of fact). Honestly, I am terrified of the dentist and had a very bad experience last time I was there getting a cavity filled. In the meantime, I am researching approaches to this problem, which were pointing to a paleo lifestyle.

I know that I won’t be able to maintain this lifestyle long-term but I am hoping that some life changes stick with me this time around. There are some benefits to the paleo diet which I agree with 100%, except for the low carbohydrate reasoning here:


1. It is highly focused on eating a lot of vegetables, which is vital to good health.
2. It eliminates dairy products and instead, is heavily based on animal fats and ketosis metabolism (aka low carb diet). The only reason I am consuming animal fats now is that I was very deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. I also supplement now with vitamin A, D and K, calcium, and magnesium. 
3. It avoids processed foods. I am a huge advocate for this one. I used to be a slave to processed food and MCD’s Jr. Chickens, but ever since I eliminated processed food, the candy had to go and so did all of those Dollarama sketchy chocolate bar and cookie purchases. 


There are also some reasons where I don’t agree with paleo, so this isn’t exactly the breakthrough solution I was hoping for. It’s certainly not sustainable long-term, living on a high-fat, low-carb diet. We do not need high amounts of animal fat to live and I don’t have access to “grass-fed meat” and “butter oil.” Our bodies need carbohydrates too, so really, the trick is whole foods here. DUH. By eliminating white sugar and white flour, packaged crackers, and cookies, candy, ice-cream, cereal, microwave-meals etc., my options became limited. I am currently researching the Mediterranean lifestyle and planning on incorporating these home-cooked meals as well. The vegan lifestyle isn’t for me due to the high sugar consumption and the fact that I already have weak teeth that need extra love right now. I don’t think an 80-10-10 diet is going to help with my problem, sadly. I want to believe in 80-10-10 but first, I need to work on getting my vitamins and minerals up to normal levels. It’s pretty evident that the majority of people living in the western world aren’t healthy, and are likely eating a SAD diet full of processed garbage food. I am not participating in that lifestyle anymore nor am I a human dumpster. Goodbye, sugar cravings! Hopefully, for good this time! 

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“Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.” -unknown

Social Comparison on Social Media

If someone told me 10 years ago that I would be married by now with a child, I would have laughed at them and thought they were insane. I never imagined myself to be where I am now but despite my highlight reel, I do not make a point to brag about it on Facebook and other forms of social media. I am one who despises when other people brag about how great their lives are and it would be hypocritical of me to do the same.

That’s great your career is going well and you just bought a house with your boyfriend. That’s great you just got a promotion. That’s great you had a wedding that I wasn’t invited to. That’s great you have a lovely family and a million siblings – I wonder what that’s like! That’s great you post a gazillion photos of your amazing life every day. That’s great you are pregnant and a couple years from now you’ll be pregnant again. Since I cannot get away from these announcements, I cut myself off of social media. Please tell me in person so I’ll actually care in a genuine way. The last place I want to find out is on Facebook, where I feel pressured to conform and congratulate you in the most shallow way possible.

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“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It just means that you are brave enough to be yourself.” -unknown

Now, I know that we all have problems but we seldom hear about the bad things in life. I much rather hear about someone’s struggles than see a constant highlight reel of someone’s life. My parents have instilled in me to only post the good things because otherwise, people would know me on a deeper level. Go figure! Isn’t that the point? To connect with people on a meaningful level? Let’s face it, shallow isn’t a meaningful level. If I cannot post freely, then I rather not post at all. I hope that my family doesn’t find this blog because the moment they do I will be getting an earful of lectures. Once my mother found my Instagram I stopped posting because of her criticisms. My parents find ways to creep my Facebook so I stopped posting there as well. My second “private” account is not so private if my real name is searched. Now, how did that happen?? I honestly question the Facebook privacy settings.

My husband strongly discourages social comparison but he doesn’t understand it the same way I do. He didn’t struggle with life the same way I did and he doesn’t suffer from depression, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation. For me, social media brings out feelings of jealousy so I am better off being ignorant to the newsfeed. He says that I attract certain people and in a way he is right. I seem to resonate better with unhappy people in general: the high school drop-outs, low-class people from dysfunctional families, unhealthy people with medical conditions, pessimistic people who see the glass half empty etc. In a way, I want to help them, and perhaps I feel sorry for them. It’s hard for me to resonate with people who are exactly like me.

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Husband with our sweet baby girl.

These people, in contrast, trigger my anxiety and depression. I am not only comparing myself to successful people but when my life is at a standstill I am even more prone to self-loathing. I have a strong, innate desire to be successful and exceed people’s expectations and with that comes dissatisfaction and feelings of unworthiness.

From a distance, someone may think that I have a good life, and maybe I do but its hard for me to see it. I cannot understand why ANYONE would be jealous of me. I have A LOT of struggles but they hardly see this side of me. I occasionally use a private forum on my phone for well-being, logging and calendar charting. I like the anonymity of the social feature but it also saddens me since I will never truly get to know these ladies beyond a phone screen. The relationships are shallow and just as quickly as we became forum friends, one can easily hit the “unfollow” button which I am equally guilty of doing. It’s not that I have anything against these ladies (unless they are rude and end up on the blocked list). However, if you fill my home page with bragger-y, TMI posts, pregnancy announcements, big accomplishments that crave praise etc. I need to protect my sanity (aka. my inner child, the identity I actually resonate with). I hope you understand that my well-being is a delicate vessel that needs nurturing which only I can nurture. My inner child does not receive proper nourishment from validation, likes and praise on social media and yours shouldn’t either. That would be similar to feeding my inner child candy bars, chips, and soda. I need REAL nourishment and that satiation can only come from within.

 

 

Weeding Out Toxic Friends Part 2

This post is a continuation of Weeding Out Toxic Friends. If you haven’t read it yet, please read that blog post first.

Update: Since I mailed my letter to Jenna and she should have received it by now, I decided to write to Emma* as well. For their sake, real names won’t be disclosed. Lately, I noticed that I am mourning the loss of these friendships even though these girls hurt me deeply. Writing closure letters is a healthier way to deal with these feelings of grief. Hopefully, Jenna read her letter but I’ll never know for sure since I completely cut ties with her. It is likely that Emma will read her letter but I’m unsure whether she’ll actually feel bad about how she treated me. She’s extremely selfish and lacks any form of emotion and empathy for others.

Emma isn’t exactly the sharpest pencil of the pack, so I decided to dumb my letter down for her. It’s longer than letter #1 because I wrote out definitions and thoroughly explained things so she would understand it. I questioned why I often hung out with Emma because we were in completely different leagues, socially and academically. I’m an intellect – a high achiever, while she spent the majority of high school in special ED homework help class. Someone, please tell me how this counts as credit towards high school graduation?? She failed the grade 10 literacy test twice and the reason why we became friends in the first place. While she was taking literacy class in summer school, I was studying advanced physics to skip a grade. Her parents are teachers so it is puzzling as to why she didn’t receive proper help and guidance outside of school.

Dear Emma,

So we are not exactly “friends” anymore, but I think you have the right to know how I really feel. There was a time when I would have cared enough to send an apology text message begging for forgiveness. Now, I just don’t care enough anymore to say “I’m sorry” because truthfully, I didn’t do anything wrong and here’s why:

I do not appreciate being belittled by you, insulted and talked down to as if I am stupid. In case you don’t know what belittled means, “To belittle, means to put down or to make another person feel as though they aren’t important. Saying mean things about another person literally makes them feel “little.” To belittle someone is cruel ways of making someone else seem less important than you.” You belittle me all the time, and Jenna feels this way too even though she will never admit it. She pretends to ignore it, but I am going to speak up.

You may think that you are better than the rest of us, but news flash! You’re not superior to others. Do not text me again asking me, “What is wrong with you??” Do not send me anymore obnoxious YouTube music videos about flakiness. In case you don’t know what flaky means, it means, “an unreliable person. Dishonest and doesn’t keep their word.” I always showed up on time to our meetings. Out of curiosity, tell me how often Jenna bailed on you. She’s bailed on me as well, and that is the definition of a flaky person. I am not dishonest and will flat out tell you what’s wrong if we have a problem. However, lately, I have been stepping on eggshells around you, afraid that you will misinterpret what I said. I know what Jenna did to you the night you two went to Menchies (Recall: March 1, 2017). Remember how much it hurt you when Jenna and I went to Menchies and you felt excluded because you weren’t there? Think about how I felt the night you two went to Menchies without me. How is this any different than how you felt? It’s a sucky feeling to be excluded.

On the night you two were devouring your frozen desserts, Jenna randomly texted me while I was in the middle of writing anatomy notes. *PING!* goes my phone. Jenna hardly texts me anymore, so I was a bit puzzled by this random text message and assumed it was important. I open the message, disappointed to see that she sent me a rather obnoxious image of your frozen yogurts and tells me to “rate it.” Tell me, if this was sent to you, and it was obvious that you weren’t included, how would you feel? At first, I wasn’t going to reply to it at all, but thought, what the heck! At least she’s making the effort to make small talk with me right? I decided to send a witty reply, hoping to add some comedy to this otherwise ignorant text message. I shouldn’t have fallen for her trap but it was too late. I replied with a long metaphor comparing an innocent frozen dessert to social media and how everyone competes for attention on the internet, which you didn’t understand because this humor wasn’t meant for you. I was texting Jenna, not you but Jenna decided to make it your business. Jenna replied to me saying that my metaphor was funny but that’s clearly NOT what she told you. So what did she tell you exactly? That I was insulting? Wow.

What she told you was a lie, but this time I am not going to apologize for something I didn’t do. In case you don’t know what a metaphor is, it means, “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is NOT literally applicable.” You took it literally.

Here is an example of a metaphor: “I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression.” It doesn’t literally mean that you fall through a trapdoor.

Now relate this back to the original text message that I sent Jenna if you saw it. Do you get it now? I wasn’t insulting your dessert. I was in figuratively comparing two unrelated things and finding similarities between them and personifying frozen yogurt as if it was a person on Fakebook, Twitter etc. So no, there is nothing wrong with me, but thanks for the unwanted insult. (Now I am being sarcastic here. If you don’t know what sarcastic means, look it up).

Without the online/texting drama, I am living a much more peaceful life now. I am not telling people my personal business thanks to Jenna teaching me what NOT to do. What she did was unforgivable but I have already written to her. I am sick of Jenna’s sick twisted ways of manipulating your feelings leading you to irrationally lash out at me. Your behavior wasn’t necessary and perhaps our friendship could have been spared if you took the time to actually think before you freaked out at me. She plays you like a fool but you haven’t realized it yet. Honestly, I feel a bit sorry for you because you keep crawling back to her, and the drama/fights/back-stabbing continues. Your behavior and treatment towards me and others are not acceptable. What’s worse is that you don’t often instigate it – often it’s her who told you something to upset you, on PURPOSE. Have you noticed this trend? I’m tired of it. Over the years, it became harder to relate to you on a deeper level and our friendship was often “shallow.” One day we were Facebook besties, usually after a fight between you and Jenna. The next day Jenna was your bestie. A week later you hated her guts. The next week you and I were best friends supposedly. Often it seems like she is your bestie but you’re not actually her bestie. It’s not a 2-way street like she’s manipulated you into thinking it is. I can tell you who her bestie is, but I’m not going to gossip about stuff that isn’t my business. Like I said earlier, it felt like I was stepping on eggshells because you could snap at me at any second. You were quite rude to me, insulting my intelligence and acting superior to everyone else. Superior means, “to act like we are stupid and that you can do no wrong, that you’re ALWAYS right in every situation.”

There was something I liked about you though. You were willing to genuinely apologize after our fight last year. Jenna instigated the fight and manipulated it (of course she did…) but she never apologized for her behavior. Truth is, she never apologizes for ANYTHING. Remember how she would often bail on you and not show up when she was supposed to? Over time, she started bailing on me as well, canceling plans on me or not informing me that she was busy. It was really rude. But the biggest issue I have with her is the fact that she vanishes shortly after she starts drama. You’re open about your feelings when something is bothering you. Jenna on the other hand, wouldn’t say anything and would disappear in the middle of the drama. She wouldn’t answer texts for days, call me back, and would ignore me. The night you sent me that angry text message about the frozen yogurt, Jenna vanished. She explained nothing to me, that you were upset, or anything. No text. *POOF!* and she disappears and pretends to act like she knows nothing the next time she’s questioned about it. Every incident was like this with Jenna but this time was the last straw. I’ve had it with her bullshit and I’ve had it with you leaping before thinking. I am tired of being that “third wheel.” I want the best for everyone and don’t exclude people intentionally. I can clearly see what she did that night (and last year too), and hopefully, now you can understand my side of the story.

You probably thought that I was stealing Jenna from you but I wasn’t. It truly is unfortunate that I’m not friends with either of you now because of the damage caused. I have some good memories with you and I won’t forget these moments. I feel saddened that things ended the way that they did but I have no interest in repairing my friendship with you. It is exhausting and I am tired of putting my energy into a friendship that is draining me and putting me down more than it is lifting me up. The insults, the belittlement, the back-stabbing; it’s simply too much. I hate to say this, but my friendship with you has become unhealthy. It was really nice knowing you and being a part of your life, and I wish you all the best. I hope that you learned something from all of this and that one day you’ll find better friends too. Since it’s clear that we aren’t making each other happy anymore, it’s best that we go our separate ways. It was really nice knowing you all of these years, and sharing memories together. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.    –Hilary♥ 

Texting Killed the Conversation

There is nothing wrong with texting. In fact, it’s the main way that I communicate with people these days. Being in an isolated location and supervising a newborn 24/7, it’s very difficult to socialize in the real world. Throughout the last 8 years of my life, I became a texting queen. My writing has improved significantly and my WPM speed is stellar.

woman-smartphone-girl-busFor the majority of people, their writing skills may have suffered for the same reason my skills have improved. With the convenience of texting and messenger apps, emojis, acronyms etc. are hurting our writing etiquette. I am beginning to dread the *PING* on my phone; the notification that someone messaged me. Immediately I get a rush of adrenaline and dopamine and before I know it, I already opened the app. Disappointed, I see that a Facebook “friend” (or acquaintance) has sent me a “hi.” That’s it. Hi. Nothing else. No introduction. Just a Hi.  Really now?!

Hi. Hey. Sup. Wazzup. It’s all the same to me. How are you (and God forbid, hru) is pushing it. I used to be inclined to answer to all of these texts and realized over the years that I was just wasting time. One-word responses killed the texting conversation before it even had a chance to grow and flourish into a deep, rich engagement between two people. With a little bit of optimism, I would end up replying with a sentence, hoping that they would get the hint and say something meaningful. I press >>send<< and moments later I hear another *PING.* I open the message with anticipation, only to be more disappointed. They sent me an OK. Just an OK. They couldn’t even be bothered to write the whole word. Maybe next time they’ll send me a LOL or an emoji or some dumb meme that’s been floating around social media.

I decide to call it quits. Before I have the chance to send a sarcastic reply, an eye roll emoji or “……”, I mute the conversation. I put my phone away and get back to work. Minutes later my mind starts racing and I begin to question whether they replied to me. I begin to feel bad ignoring them, so instead, I reply and kindly ask them to stop sending one-word texts. Sometimes the conversation will stop dead in its tracks and I won’t hear from them again. If I’m lucky they take my constructive criticism, but usually I get a response along the lines of “OK” or ‘how are you?”

I have completely lost faith in this person. I delete the conversation, and hit “unfriend.”

 

Unsolicited Baby Advice

There is no easy way to handle unwanted baby advice, especially from a family member whom you simply cannot avoid. Unless I ask for advice on parenting, I do not want your opinions shoved in my face. I cannot tell you how many times someone has given me “the talk” about how to properly parent. Worst case is when they give me a lecture on how I don’t properly parent. Headphones in. Volume up. Ignore the world.

Well, I’m not ignoring my baby of course. It’s all of the unsolicited opinions from people who rub me the wrong way. Sometimes, strangers or former friends/acquaintances would walk up to me and comment on my daughter’s appearance in an ignorant manner as if I didn’t already know. Some days I rather not leave the house than be forced to interact with people. In a future blog post, I will talk about this in more detail.

Recently, I have been avoiding family members on the phone because every time they call, I get some kind of lecture. It has gotten to the point where I have the temptation to hang up on people. Lately, I would check caller display to see who is calling. Then I would debate whether or not I’m going to talk to them, and several times I ended up ignoring the call. Last time when I visited my grandmother, she proceeded to give me unwanted advice, and her negativity made me cry. I was an emotional wreck then and still am now, but that was my breaking point. After that visit, I proceeded to ignore her phone calls and attempted to write her a letter instead.

Thought I would share my letter with you like I did in Weeding Out Toxic Friends. Names I won’t disclose so we’ll just refer to her as grandmother*. I have yet to hear whether she received my letter in the mail. I am curious to know what you think of my actions in the comments section↓. Am I being extreme or were my actions necessary?

Dear Grandmother*,

           I am writing to you because I know that you don’t use email and I am not ready to talk on the phone yet. I’m not sure what my mother has been telling you, but take it from me rather than from her. Lately, I have been in a very confusing and difficult place, thus forcing me to leave social media and “cut” some toxic people out of my life. I had cut the toxic people, so that is one step forward. When people ask me how I am doing, I do not know how to answer that question.

          Yes, on the surface I am a new mom and probably a naive one too. However, I am dealing with things that none of my friends or family is dealing with, so I ask that people keep their “thoughtful” opinions to themselves. As a new mom, I know what I am doing and I am getting some of the best guidance from an experienced guy who knows how to handle babies. He has taught me a lot and has made me confident enough to handle tasks on my own. Although you may be trying to give me advice, I do not want anyone’s advice unless I ask for it. Do not take it personally, but any negativity isn’t welcome nor do I want it. If I have questions, I ask my mother since she seems to enjoy keeping tabs on my life and current whereabouts. The stuff that I tell you and others is just a mere glimpse of my life, so any judgments based on these facts are inaccurate and bluntly speaking, seldom true. I do not need guidance, or advice on how to live my life. I also do not need people telling me what I should be doing or could be doing rather than what I am currently doing. As a resolution, I made a promise to myself to live in the present moment and do what I think is the right choice at this present time. It may not be the most logical choice however, but if it feels right to me then I am going to listen to what my heart wants.

          I am here if you want to talk to me. There is no need to question our friendship. Truth is, you are my favorite grandmother and I feel closer to you than my own mother when it comes to personal issues. Lately, my mother has been trying to get closer to me because of the distance separating us, but we cannot live together long term. [rest of the letter has been omitted for personal reasons]. 

Love, Hilary ♥

Weeding Out Toxic Friends

Toxic friends have no place in our lives. These friends are like weeds that suck the life and happy feelings out of us. As a naive little girl,  my mission was to make friends who would like me for who I am. Being the introverted and far from perfect girl that I was, I didn’t feel like I fit the typical teenager stereotype. Instead, I would find myself blending in with other people who were also unpopular, introverted and wanted nothing to do with high school drama. I invested several years into one very strong friendship in particular. Over the years, our lives became less and less parallel, as I slowly started succeeding in different areas of my life. Sure, I lost a handful of friends over the years but toxic friends have no place in my life either. Regardless of how long you have known someone, if they leave a bad taste in your mouth, then you need to let them go. There was a girl who I trusted her more than anyone, and on the surface it appeared that we had a good friendship. We did a lot of stupid things I admit, and at one point we were shit disturbers (I will not list the awful things we did). However, at the time it was more fun and games because we were just young dumb teenagers at the time. What really bothered me was how she would vanish when she was confronted with an awkward situation and she would seldom apologize. Later, the hangouts and conversations would proceed as if nothing had happened. She also started bailing on meetings over the years and I was even warned about this by ex friend #2. They are bonded together like glue and brainwashed by each other’s lies and stupidity. I am not here to beat around the bush. I had confronted them both after a huge drama dispute and honestly, our friendships should have ended for good the first time. I should have blocked them and moved on with my life. Since they proceeded to drop their shit bomb on me again, I proceeded with a follow-up break-up letter to ex friend #1 who was responsible for most of the damage caused.

There is nothing wrong with writing break up letters, whether it is to a friend or an ex boyfriend/girlfriend. But PLEASE don’t do it over a Facebook post or text message. That is simply not cool. I thought it would be informative to share with you my break up letter to ex friend #1. My break up letter to ex friend #2 is currently in the works but there is really no point reasoning with her. By the way, I mail my letters and ex friend #1 coincidentally has an upcoming birthday around the same time that my letter will reach her doorstep. Was this intentionally planned? Maybe. For future reference, let’s call ex friend #1 Jenna. I won’t disclose her real name on the internet, regardless of how much pain she has caused me. Let’s call ex friend #2 Emma. This letter is the exact letter I sent Jenna* in the mail. If you’re going to go all in, you gotta do it right. ♥♥♥

Dear Jenna*, 

This is the last thing that you will be receiving from me. The only reason why I am sending you this letter is to formally give closure about terminating our friendship. I think it is very clear (it should be clear) as to why I am upset with you. You have succeeded at emotionally and mentally draining me. This friendship became toxic and I am more miserable now compared to when we first met. That being said, I am very hurt and will be hurting for a very long time. Breaking up with a friend is like breaking up with a lover. The pain hurts in the same way. You won’t have to know what I am up to anymore or feel badly about yourself when you feel the need to compare yourself to me. You won’t know my struggles or my achievements. I pray now, I meditate, I draw; I spend time with the people who matter. I hope that one day you will wake up and realize that you fucked up a good friendship. Only you are capable of changing your ways.

Most importantly, I am truly saddened that our friendship ended the way it did but I don’t want to return to the way things were. I have no desire to rekindle a broken friendship anymore. Once I have lost trust in someone, it is incredibly difficult repair the damage. You have succeeded in breaking my trust and I should have seen the signs. However, I was in total denial because I felt really close to you, so much that I entrusted you with my deepest secrets. I refused to let these conflicting signs interfere with my beliefs. We shared good memories together, laughter, tears, joy etc. Last year, our friendship really started deteriorating soon after I started accomplishing some goals of mine. I was entering a new phase in my life and it was scary. It would have been nice having support but you were never around when I needed a shoulder to cry on or a sister to celebrate these victories with. You would *vanish* just like you did when Eve* flung her shit at me through a cowardly text message (examples, March 1, 2017; summer 2016).

I’ll never know what motivated you to reveal my secrets to Eve and probably others too. Regardless of any kind of justification you may have, it is still wrong to reveal my secrets to Eve et. al. Because a true friend doesn’t violate someone’s trust! I do not enjoy being thrown into the lion’s den, forced to defend myself when Eve acts irrationally and starts attacking me because of something you told her. If she is going to retaliate against me and be rude, then I don’t want to be friends with her either. I know you are going to show her this letter because you can’t seem to keep anything to yourself. Go ahead. I DARE YOU. She believes you are her best friend which we both know is a total lie. She believes that you love hanging out with her which is also a lie. But keep brainwashing her because why change something that works for you, despite the pain that it inflicts upon the rest of us? What I believed to be true also turned out to be a lie. Maybe you will miss me when you can’t vent to me about how much she annoys you, or how you always have to drive her places, or the next time you two have a big falling out and I have to break it up. More times than not, you and Eve are bickering about something. High school is over.

I am going to miss the late night hangouts with you. You were such a good listener and someone who I really trusted. I think you really opened up to me about your struggles too, but unlike you I didn’t blab your secrets to my friends. Unless I am cornered and have to defend myself, I don’t get a thrill from badmouthing people for personal gain. The Jenna who showed her true colors is not the Jenna that I used to know. I miss the old Jenna, the one I envisioned to be the aunt of my daughter and the Sephora expert who knows more about makeup than the employees working there. I know I deserve better than this. I am tired of being stomped on like a doormat and I feel sorry for the people around you who you’ll continue hurting. Fortunately, I am one less person who you’ll feel the need to hurt. You don’t have to worry about being MIA in my life anymore, or being a shit enjoyer at my consequence. The pressure is off. Feels liberating doesn’t it? –Hilary ♥ 

“Be who you are and say what you feel,

Because those who mind don’t matter,

And those who matter don’t mind.”

–Dr. Seuss