Practicing Mindfulness

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” -Mark Twain

My therapist recommended I try a counseling group that focuses on behaviors and emotions, and I went to my first session last week.  It’s only been a week as I write this, but it’s been insightful thus far.  Our first assignment is to practice mindfulness because it is helpful when it comes to reducing suffering, increasing control of your mind, and experiencing reality as it is.

Unfortunately, this assignment has gone to the wayside a bit since my dad had to go to the ER last week and spent three nights at the hospital.  That would’ve been a prime time to practice meditating because I was consumed with anxiety and the thoughts I used to have after my cousin passed resurfaced…I was experiencing very intense emotions.  I tried working out in the morning, which did help a little bit but…I didn’t deal with my emotions sufficiently I guess.  It all blew up in my face a couple of hours later when my mom was nagging me to text my aunt.  I erupted and we got into a dramatic fight…and she stormed out of the house.  Then I yelled at my sister until I finally broke down and cried uncontrollably.

Anyway…I forgot about this assignment but I will work on it every day going forward because practicing mindfulness would help regulate my mood swings.

I have practiced yoga twice in the last two weeks, which is a method for practicing mindfulness though.  I watched the Yoga with Adrienne videos that my good friend, Lana, recommended on her site.  I think I would rather learn the moves enough to do it on my own but for now, watching the videos and following along has been a little helpful.

Thankfully, my dad is doing pretty well and he’s home from the hospital, so my anxiety surrounding medical issues and death has decreased.  Instead, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety about my future.  I think as far ahead as a year from now, which is ridiculous because then I miss out on enjoying the present moment.

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Save Rock and Roll (Save Myself)

I’m bored with all of the books I’ve been trying to read and with all of the shows I want to watch so I decided it was about time to come on here and write again.  So…yeah..I’m ending my Fall-Out-Boy-esque-hiatus now.  My hiatus was not five years nor did I release an underrated, killer record before going on break and then proceed to get married, launch a solo career, or have children during my hiatus…but this has been the longest break I’ve taken from writing on here, and in general, since…my sophomore or junior year in high school.  It’s a little unfortunate I didn’t write because I like to document my life, thoughts, and feelings…but everything seemed so…heavy at the time and the idea of writing anything…I didn’t perceive it as therapeutic.

During the last month or so, however, I have been documenting random thoughts/feelings into a journal by hand to at least get them out there and then I would organize them into the different Bullet Journal prompts I had going.

Anyway!  I am going to resume writing again.  I’ve been having an urge to write creatively over the last week or so…hopefully I can do some of that because I miss that.  In the meantime, I’ll blog a bit about what’s going on and I’ll start with an update since a bunch has been going on!

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The Eve Before More Surgery

I’m having surgery again tomorrow, but unlike last time, I’m not afraid because I already know what to expect.  Nonetheless, I’m not particularly thrilled about it, although it will be better to go through the surgery than to avoid it.

The surgery I had before, and the one that I’m having again, isn’t super serious; it’s purely a dermal procedure to ensure that I don’t have skin cancer and that I don’t develop it from what’s been considered atypical.  Despite this, the fact that I have to get surgery “to be safe” and “to check” for these things has confronted me with mortality more than before. Then, a month after my first surgery, my cousin was killed, which was devastating in itself while also further contributing to these thoughts about mortality.

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Not a Hollow Halloweekend

Since the fallout with my friend, I’ve been waiting to feel crappy about it, but I haven’t.   Granted, I was very upset for about a week and I had nightmares, but that was it.  I think about her once in awhile, mostly when I’m drinking, but that will diminish over time.

Perhaps I haven’t been so devasted because I subconsciously saw it coming.  We hadn’t talked much in last few months, the love I had for her was too intense to last, and/or the conflict of interest there was due to her relationship with her best friend…but at the same time, I didn’t think these things would result in the finiteness of our friendship.  I believed that if anything, we just wouldn’t be as close, which was okay with me.  Instead, however, we don’t talk at all.  She hasn’t reached out to me nor has she responded to my texts, even the ones where I was clearly upset.  It’s reminiscent of how my ex iced me out over two years ago now.

It may also be because I’ve been busy with school, my other friends, and that I have other more pressing concerns.

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Almost Three Years Later

Yesterday (11 Oct) was National Coming Out Day, which caused me to think about my late cousin.  She was the first family member I came out to and the second person I told overall, and she insisted my parents would still love me if I was able to fall in love with women.  I miss her every day.  She was so easy to talk to and never judged me for whatever crazy shenanigans I was getting myself into.

Anywho, I didn’t write anything new to celebrate National Coming Out Day, but I attached the link to the post that includes the texts I sent to my cousin about my sexuality here.  Unfortunately, I didn’t include her responses…I’m sure I have them on my old phone or laptop, but I don’t have those items with me now.

For other “coming out” posts, you can just search that phrase on my website.  There is a variety of poetry, stories, and blogs about my journey, which has been difficult and long…it doesn’t feel over either.  Since the relationship that spurred me to come out in the first place ended two years ago now (wow, time flies), and since I’ve moved out of the house for most months of the year due to university, I sometimes feel like my sexuality has been…erased.

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Quitting Smoking

Maybe we caught fire too soon

Blazed too bright

Burned too quickly

To realize-

We were too hot to last.

We burned ourselves out,

As fast as we ignited

 

You used to make me so excited.

My love for you brightened my mood

Until you sucked out all my oxygen,

Leaving me gasping for breath.

I have nothing left to give

 

At some point, you left me alone

In the dark

Fingers singed from holding onto our fire

For far too long

Because I was hoping you would return

To reignite our spark

 

But not anymore.

I’m walking out of this smoky,

Ashy room

And slamming shut the door

Behind me.

 

Time for fresh air.

 

© 2016 Vic Romero

Four Weeks Later

My surgery was about a month ago, if not longer, and it went well. It was a 20 minute procedure and I wasn’t in pain until the following day. The following day and all the days after that were miserable though. 

My mom and sister coddled me back to good health. They wheeled me around in the wheelchair, took me to class/tutoring/office hours (I was taking a summer class and unfortunately couldn’t live in my apartment for awhile due to the surgery), helped me out around the house, helped me wash my hair, etc. They were incredible, especially considering that I was a whiny ass sometimes because I hated being unable to function normally and I felt like my summer was taken away. At least the Olympics began during my recovery so when I wasn’t doing academic things, I was focused on watching the Olympics with my sister. 

Unfortunately, the week of my final exam was terrible. I was finally feeling better and able to hobble around a bit so I stayed in my apartment to focus on studying a couple days before the exam. I was stressed because the last exam I took, I did poorly. I didn’t do as poorly as that time in calculus when I thought I at least got a B but got a D instead, but I was disappointed nonetheless. Especially since I wanted to ace this class. That was the whole purpose of taking this class in the summer! After my second exam, it would’ve been difficult to obtain even a B+. 

So a couple days before my final, I sat in my room in my apartment studying/trying to focus on studying. Then I took my exam, which was tough despite the days I spent in solitude studying. The exam was only two hours and I don’t think it was incredibly challenging, but I kept second-guessing myself because my math didn’t make sense to me. I ended up being the last person in the room taking the exam. 

Immediately upon exiting the building, I burst into tears. Not cute, happy tears, but hysterical, ugly tears with tons of snot. What made it worse was that I only had one tissue and the bus back to my apartment wasn’t coming for another hour. I didn’t want to walk home since it was late and I was only able to hobble. 

I wanted to talk to someone about my exam to help calm me down, but I didn’t know who…I definitely wasn’t going to call my mom because slobbering on the phone to her would’ve made me feel worse. (She usually gets hysterical when I’m hysterical). Sometimes things happen at perfectly convenient times though. 

Right after I sat down on a bench, I got a text from a guy I met on Tinder last September. We never actually met up. I blew him off a couple times, not that we ever had serious plans to meet up anyway. Since Septemner, we’ve texted on and off…maybe once or twice every couple of months. He had texted me the day before my final so he knew I had a final, but he didn’t know when it was. His text came at the perfect time. 

I spent the next hour crying and texting him on the bench in the courtyard. He was perfect to talk to because we aren’t close at all so I didn’t care if I seemed lame by being so upset and because there was so much to learn about him, I was able to distract myself effectively by getting to know him. 

Then the bus finally came and I texted him until 1am in between self-pity shots of shitty pink lemonade vodka and episodes of Angel. 

The following day, I felt like crap and not necessarily from the vodka (although I didn’t feel super from that either) but because my doom and gloom attitude about my exam suffocated me. It was also a glum day outside, which tends to heighten my bad moods. 

I ended up missing the bus to work and having to pay for an Uber. At that point, I was sufficiently upset and pissed at myself and I just wanted to go home. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that, so I got an iced coffee. That’s when my day spun around. 

My summer coffee choice has been Dunkin Donuts’ Almond Joy iced coffee, especially after they stopped offering the Pistachio one. In my hometown, they didn’t have the Almond Joy flavor anymore but at school, they fortunately had some left! 

Coffee is comparable to alcohol to me. I’m sensitive to caffeine so it makes me all hyper and happy. Alcohol makes me feel relaxed and silly, but they both make me feel…better? I’m unsure if that’s the appropriate word but..it’s like, if you’re nervous for a party, you have a drink to loosen up. If I’m having a bad day, I have coffee to pipe me up. 

So I was at work feeling a little better, especially since the first-years were interesting to talk to. Then I found out I got an A in the class! Which seemed impossible based on my calculations but there was some extra credit involved and possibly a curve so…I was extremely happy. I proceeded to tell the Tinder guy and then I felt silly to have cried so much after my exam. 

Afterwards, a guy came up to my table at work. I recognized him from when I went to the movies back in June. He worked at the theater and somehow my friends and I had gotten into a discussion about sexual violence in the news with him. When he told me he was attending my university this fall, I insisted he come to orientation to check out my job since I work in this field and since he seemed pretty educated and interested in this work. At the time, he scoffed at the idea of attending orientation but low and behold, he was there! The last orientation of the summer happened to be one of the few days I was working, so I was able to run into him. Then we chatted, he signed up for more information, and got super involved during the part of orientation where we talk about sexual violence. He impressed my boss enough to earn free sunglasses! 

I love how things work out. 

When he left, I talked to another guy who complimented my hair. I thought it looked subpar that day so it was nice to have heard otherwise. 

So yeah..it was a rough week that ended well. That has pretty much been the tone of my summer. It’s been way less social compared to last summer with all the partying and working but..it’s been good nonetheless. 

I went abroad for the first time, worked two jobs a bit, read a bunch and finished Buffy, completed three credits with an A, and I just returned from a fun trip to Las Vegas! I’m healthy and I haven’t smoked since July so…this is good. Now I just have to finish getting ready for school in a week or so!

How have your summers been? Comment below!

x Vic