On Happiness

Hi! Me again, hope you had great week(s)!

Thank you everyone who’s read the latest post. Who’s shared the latest post, who’s grazed the latest post, who’s contacted me about the latest post. Knowing I’ve made even the slightest impact on any one of you is overwhelmingly wonderful. I have no words, and I always have words.

Let’s talk about happiness.

Some of the happiest memories I have come from the most disappointing moments of my life. Twisted? Maybe. Silly? Not at all.

See life is hard. We all know this. You can’t control what it throws at you. You can’t control who it throws at you. You can’t control how hard people throw things at you (I tried). You can’t really control anything.

Take wifi for a second. We all love wifi, we created wifi – but sometimes it just doesn’t work. And no, I’m not talking about the times you go somewhere and people protect the wifi password like the second coming of Christ so you can’t connect. And yeah, I kinda hate that I’m using wifi as a universal example right now, almost as much as the fact that I hate that it kinda is a universal example. That’s all for another time.

What I mean to say is sometimes you can be connected to your own, password protected wifi, in your own house, and it can cut out. All of a sudden Instagram isn’t loading, Snapchats aren’t sending, you get messages as TEXT (what even is that) so you check your settings and for some God-for-saken reason you’re connected to the equivalent of a rock, “xfinity-wifi”.

Life’s like that. It’s weird, so weird that so many people literally argue over why it is the way it is. People believe in and argue over the existence of lands other than life because it is literally so frustratingly weird that the very species who live it can’t agree on why.

If anything seems consistent in life, it’s the wifi cutting out the very moment you’re confident enough to post on Instagram. It’s the rare slip of your thumb that sends the message to Zoey that you like her (please tell me you all get this Zoey 101 reference). Lightning without thunder. Tragedy out of nowhere. If anything, life is consistent only in reminding you how inconsistent it is.

What does this have to do with being happy? Well, everything.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard time and time again that happiness isn’t a place, it’s a choice. Usually, when I don’t want to hear it. And I know, it’s easier said than done. And I know it sounds ridiculous, but take it from a happy person, it’s true.

See life throws you some pretty tough stuff. Nowadays you constantly hear people telling you it could be worse. I’m not going to tell you that. Everyone goes through things, some things seemingly tougher than others – but don’t you believe for one second that just because your tears seem small they must not matter. They do. They all do. Life lets us all down, regardless of how different that looks.

Being let down by life is one of the most wonderful times to choose to be happy.

Two years ago I was extremely comfortable. Super comfortable. So comfortable, actually, that I had started to believe I was happy just because of that. I was happy because life didn’t want to let me down anymore, which isn’t what being happy is all about at all.

So naturally, life ended up letting me down, hard.

In the way most things happen, slowly at first and then all at once, my world crumbled right before my eyes. I was terrified, I was alone.

That very night I held my phone and my chest and cried, hard. I was scared and I was hurt and I was, in no way at all, happy.

It was right then I heard a front door swing open. *Gasp*

(It wasn’t a boy)

I have around 8 best friends from my hometown, elementary school best friends, love-more-than-life best friends, friends I hadn’t seen enough when I was betting the house on the silly idea that life would just this once stop moving so fast.

One by one, the door slammed, footsteps carried through my house, the hallway rug filled with the same faces I whispered secrets to at middle school sleepovers, at 9:00pm on a Wednesday, 8 girls stopped their lives to drive across town and sit with me while I cried.

In the way most things happen, slowly at first and then all at once, I was no longer alone.

In the weeks that followed friends terrified of driving highways braved the city of Boston to come hold me. People left during lunch breaks to check in, took time out of their days to make me laugh, to remind me to smile.

I’ve never felt more loved in my entire life.

Life didn’t throw me my old world back. That’s just not how it works, or not how it was going to work for me. And I didn’t want it to.

See, something happened to me, I lost something I used to depend on, and it hurt.

But something important happened to me too.

I didn’t let that pain win. I picked the girls brushing my hair, deleting pictures from my phone, sitting in perfect silence and reassurance in the way that only people who really, truly know you can do – I picked love.

I picked being happy.

Life is never going to be easy, and it shouldn’t be. Ahead of me there will be more highs and lows, more joy and disappointment, more work and rejection.

But there’s also gonna be a hell of a lot more love.

I am a lucky girl. Maybe some of you are lucky enough to have friends like I do, maybe some of you aren’t – we all want for what we can’t have, and some, if not most of the time, that tends to be out of our control.

Wherever you are in your life, you got me.

Thinking of you,

Catherine

 

On Criticism

“Whatever you are, be a good one”

“Be so good that if anyone were to speak ill of you, nobody would believe them”

Two quotes I highly debated on putting in my High school senior yearbook page. Both were taken, and in being who I am, I didn’t want a quote that I thought other people had because I wanted to be different so I landed on quoting Oprah Winfrey instead. (No offense, O)

Anyway, I’m kind of glad I didn’t use those quotes. I’ve sort of gotten over the girl who wrote them down after I told her about them in Math class. Not because I’m mature – because I am, sort of – but because I think they’re just a little misleading.

I believe whatever you do in life, you should do it for good. However, you can’t control what people think of you, like, ever. Literally, you have almost, if not absolute no control over what people think or say or believe about you. People are extremely critical, and being critical, surprisingly, doesn’t always mean they’re right.

There are people who believe women shouldn’t have the right to vote. There are people who believe the Earth is literally flat. There are people who believe that Aliens rule the planet, secretly. There are people that believe blue cheese tastes good. I can go on.

Wether you are or know a lady who votes, agree with physics, hate the movie E.T., or realize that ranch should really be the only option to compliment buffalo flavoring – you are cause for criticism from like, a lot of people.

And as silly as that all sounds, it’s sort of a big deal. Because criticism about E.T. isn’t what keeps most of us up at night, it’s what we think people want us to look like at the beach, or what we think people want us to say on a date, or what we think people think we should be doing with our lives now that we’ve graduated, or what we think… Seriously, I could go on forever.

If you act, you get criticized. If you don’t act, you’re actually acting not to act. Criticized.

What I mean is, in this wonderful, ridiculous life, there isn’t much you can really count on. Criticism, however, you can. It’s always going to be there, no matter what you do, or who you are, or what you decide to eat. Its here, there, everywhere, and not going anywhere.

I think it’s time people stop being afraid of this, and start embracing it.

There’s always going to be somebody who doesn’t like some ebbing and flowing part of who you are. You literally could change all that you are to fit them, and still not be exempt from, say it with me criticism.

There are innate parts of life that garner decisions, beliefs, and actions. It’s kind of beautiful, if you think about it, the fact that nobody has the very same experience on this Earth that you do. Nobody is you, after all. And with that very fact, criticism, in its most silly, little way, is nothing but natural.

The minute I realized it wasn’t going away, was the moment I stopped being afraid of it after all.

Be a nice person, however you define it. Treat others the way you want to be treated – and if you don’t think that’s good enough, how about a little better. Whatever you do at night, make sure you feel good about the head you set down on your pillow.

When you fail, because you will every once in a while, cut yourself some slack. The world doesn’t do it enough.

Thinking of you

Catherine

On Breakups

I’m just going to say it, breakups rule.

I know what you’re thinking. Okay, I don’t really know what you’re thinking – but if you’re anything like me, you might have clicked on this to shamelessly skim for dirty details about yours-truly’s not-so-private-but-somehow-private breakups. Fights, insults, nasty texts I kept to myself – you might not wanna admit it, but I know you know you kinda-sorta-maybe wanna hear it all.

I hate to drag on disappointment, so I’m going to rip the bandaid off right now, this post isn’t for that.

I’m not going to air any laundry, but I do promise I’ll be honest. I want to talk about breakups, overall, because I want to talk about life and love and healing; and breakups are, for most of us, the first time we appreciate how things as routinely simple as breathing can suddenly become difficult. I figured I’d talk about them, for the sake of Asthma, at least.

Some of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt was caused by breakups. I remember watching “the Notebook” during a sleepover, shedding many tears over the ending – but not because of the relationship part. I was crying about the Alzheimers part, as my Nana had just been recently diagnosed. Of course the rest of the 2 hours weren’t bland by any means, but I didn’t have the wind knocked out of me when Allie went off to school leaving Noah behind, didn’t cringe internally when Allie became engaged to whoever James Marsden was supposed to play, my stomach didn’t sink when I realized Noah’s letters were lost in the mail for years –  I didn’t really get it.

Sorry, by the way, if you haven’t seen “The Notebook” and still wanted the plot to be a surprise.

No, it wasn’t until I went through my very own breakup that I understood how heavy and confusing it feels to grieve a living person; how tiring it is to go through your memories with fine tooth comb looking for motive of a crime destined to become a cold case file, how empty words become when you hear them over and over again and how powerful they are when they stop coming overall.

“But Catherine, I thought you said ‘breakups rule’?”

I did, and I meant it. I do still mean it. That did happen, and no, I didn’t like it then. But I’m older now, my heart has been broken and bruised and healed just enough times for me to understand that in fact, breakups kind of rule.

I should note now that I can’t stand society’s romanticism of pain. Purposeful and overlong psychological pain is not beautiful, it is painful. I feel like the entire “breakup” mantra online is very,

“Romeo and Juliet were meant to be or at least thats the gist I’ve gotten from Sparknotes so I must suffer and cry and wail until somebody realizes they did me wrong and then I forgive them” and like, we all just breeze over the whole THEY BOTH DIE IN THE END AND NOTHING IS LITERALLY SOLVED part.

*note, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however you clicked on this, so I’m just simply assuming you’re asking for mine*

I don’t in any way want to diminish the pain of breakups. They’re painful, they’re scary and lonely and cold and sometimes they make you feel like you brought a knife to a gun fight- they can stink, just as they can rule.

And no, I don’t mean that they rule because you get rid of crappy people – thinking people are crappy is a crappy way to think, and truthfully, doesn’t help anyone. I mean that breakups rule because they teach you how un-crappy you are.

Following still? This is the good part.

Breakups can sometimes make you so frail that you need to learn how to walk again. This, we have established. Arguably, I’ve never felt younger or smaller than when my heart was broken in any way. However, learning to walk kind of rocks. Have you ever seen a toddler who’s just learned to walk? Take a second and “Google” it, you deserve the smiles. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Rebuilding yourself can be scary, but it is always rewarding. Better yet, after a little practice, you realize that “rebuilding” is more like “realizing” , because you’ve been you this entire time, you know? Seriously, with all this “be your best self” material in the world, I think people forget a lot that every version of you is just that, a version of you.

Breakups have allowed me to empathize more with others, to appreciate time on my own, to question myself, hug myself – without my heart breaking, I wouldn’t have been able to meet the strongest versions of myself.

There’s a phrase I’ve heard about not trusting a skinny chef. I’m not married, nor am I engaged, or in a relationship. If this makes you stop reading, don’t worry, I understand.

If you’re still here, thank you. See, if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that ‘winning’ breakups has nothing to do with another person at all. Not hating a person, finding a new person, or erasing a person.

People have this wonderful power to make you feel like you’re flying, make you feel like you’re invincible, untouchable, amazing. The sunshine can make your whole being feel just alive but damn, the setting of it all can rattle you.

Just like the sun rises again the very minute you become okay with night, you will feel warm again. There will be no grand applause, no climactic turn of events, no being pulling the light just because you asked nicely. You will wakeup, and you will realize that all this time you were waiting to meet you.

I don’t know about you, but I think that kind of rules.

 

Yours,

Catherine

On Where I’ve Been

Hi, it’s been a while.

Remember when I promised I wouldn’t go rouge because I really liked to write? Me too. I’m sorry. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, for one reason or another, I didn’t write. I stopped. I gave my word and took it back, and that’s really all that matters.

See I started this because I don’t only like to write, I like to talk. I like to feel like I’ve made people’s lives a little easier, brighter, or at least a little more entertaining. I wanted this place to push myself to continue to work on my craft, and to appropriately do that, I have to admit where I’ve lacked.

For one reason or another, people trust me with advice. I appreciate it immensely, to me, it’s one of the most genuine forms of a compliment. Somebody whom I care about, regardless of how close we are in relation, trusts me with something hurting them. Because people don’t ask for advice unless they’re in a situation they don’t like, you know? Asking for advice is an extremely vulnerable act, it’s a humane act, it’s admitting that being real comes with pain on occasion and you’re trusting somebody to help you through that. We all need help every once in a while.

So in the spirit of honesty and advice, I have to come clean about something. I have been gone for a while for many reasons; I was graduating, applying to jobs, living my life to the fullest, etc – but I was also afraid. Yes, me, Catherine Emond, the one who loves advice, was too afraid to ask for it.

You see I dealt with a lot of rejection this past semester, and it made me scared. Normally, as a writer, I thrive in rejection. I find it beautiful, a sort of darker soil of life that when looked at in the right light, with the right amount of water, grows the strongest flowers. It’s a critical aspect of life, and I used to love it.

Something happened to me this year, I was tired. I was scared, I was guarded and withdrawn. I kept saying I was working on myself when all the while I was avoiding the very pain that I’ve sworn to cause the greatest growth. I was lying. I hate liars.

Honestly, words that should have literally washed off of my back stung, critics felt like they screamed, and I believed it all.

I’m not writing this for pity. I’m writing this because regardless of who you are, where you are, or where you’ve been – all of us are human. All of us get scared, all of us fall, all of us hurt.

I want all of you to know that if you ever feel as though you need to take back control; like you’re falling so fast that you can’t really breathe, so fast that all you feel capable of is praying to land, I want you to know you just need to open your eyes to wake up. You can mute the mean, better yet, you’ve been holding the controller the entire time. It might take a while to believe, you might start to wonder how far down the Rabbit Hole really goes but I promise you, the power to step right out, is yours. Dorothy searched the entire Emerald city just to realize she was wearing her ticket home, so look at your feet. People will criticize you for whatever you choose to do, however you choose to do it. Don’t believe me? Literally ‘Google’ anything about anyone. There are people out there who hate puppies; hate Disney, hate air! (It’s a ‘lifestyle’ apparently)

And guess what? Everyone has a right to hate and love whatever they want. But hating on hate isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. Being afraid of being different won’t make criticism go away. Most importantly, regardless of what you believe in, the scientific chances of you being born (statistics, ya’ll) are astounding. You’re here for a reason. Each and every one of you, each difference, microscopic to magnificent, literally fought its way to make you, you.

None of us are perfect, but all of us are real.

Thinking of all of you,

Catherine

On Things

When I was little I used to want to own and operate my very own pizza parlor. I was asked directly about this in Kindergarten, for our monthly newsletter, by Mrs. Sevinor. (Sidenote, does anyone else find it funny that no matter how old we get and how many people we meet, we tend to remember those teachers from elementary school? Or is it just me?) Our class was made up half by boys and half by girls – and coincidentally, our answers seemed to have a similar trend. There were princesses, princes, firefighters, mommies, daddies, policemen, superheroes, and doctors. Somehow, there was only one “pizza parlor owner and operator”, go figure, right?

 

I hate to break it to you all, but this post isn’t being written from the back kitchens of my successful business – but from a couch, on a Macbook air that I didn’t purchase myself (however I am very open to sponsoring any and all Apple products so if you know somebody let a college girl know!!! I’m sorry what I said before about hating your store!! It was a joke!) , with “the Bachelor” on in the background.

 

While my dreams of owning and operating a restaurant died before I worked as a hostess – as I learned to completely and utterly understand how unfit I was for long term work in the service/food industry  – my standing out in a classroom did not.

 

I used to always worry about finding my thing. I worry a lot, but about this probably most of all. As I grew older my classmates became soccer players, lacrosse players, cheerleaders, dancers, actors, football players, valedictorians, singers, honors students – you name it, I know somebody who’s claimed it. No matter what they’ve chosen, the older my classmates have gotten, the more I have realized that they have done exactly that, chosen something, and made it their thing.

 

Throughout the years I have tried on countless cleats and helmets, tried out for performances and plays, and tried to apply myself for hours on end to my schoolwork. Some have worked out, others have been more of a workout – all have taught me lessons I assume I will somehow reflect on in this space at some point or another, which leads me to the point of this post after all.

 

The more I think about it, if I have to pick a thing – I guess it would be what I’m doing now, talking. Well, internally I’m talking as I write this technically, wait no, I don’t mean in that way I mean in the charming-Lizzie McQuire-cartoon-Bitmoji-self way (by the way I feel I need to disclose that I in fact was not a Lizzie McQuire fan, I’m sorry for being one of those quote-the-one-episode/made for TV movie-you’ve-seen-of-a-supposed-pop-culture-phenomenon people by mentioning that. I hate me right now too.). What I’m trying to say is I like to say things, and so I figured I’d write them down, and here we are.

 

The thing about being 21 (so cliche to constantly mention my age in a very mid-life crisis tone when in fact I am at the brink of everything beginning, I know) is that you’re finally legally able to drink. You’re considered an adult by the United States of America, in every sense – even though your brain doesn’t stop evolving and growing until you’re 25. This silly thing happens, I feel, because we’ve officially been given almost everything that until now was held off until we had grown into a certain age – except AARP, that is – and I kind of feel like that can make us nervous. Not in the drinking age should be older way, everyone can calm down about that – but in the growing way. We’ve finally been given everything, and I think that can make us forget how much we still can grow.

 

Maybe it’s because until recently, I didn’t feel like I had a thing that I could print on a jersey, sweatshirt, AIM bio or email combination. Funny enough, I have fond memories of coming up with awkward email combinations in middle school in an attempt to identify with anything that could be a thing but wasn’t really my thing – just to fit in. And look at me now.

 

It could just be me, or maybe it’s more of my classmates than probably want to admit it – but I feel like a lot of us are so nervous about finding that perfect, socially status-quo email combination that we forget all of the cool, individual, wonderfully unique things that we honestly claim. That maybe aren’t majors, but passions – maybe not job titles, but also not money pits – the things that really make us who we are.

 

Until recently, I was terrified to start a blog – even though I knew in my gut I’d really enjoy doing it. I had read countless ‘young adult’ books about girls who started blogs, hid them from their classmates – only to have said blogs discovered by said classmates and, in turn, ridiculed by said classmates. (Sidenote, who honestly writes stories’ whose morals are all centered around preventing writing? Where is the sense there, people???) I used to write in journals but never continue them, write long, thought induced papers only to save them to my computer – I was so afraid of committing, or maybe admitting that this could be my thing that I refused to do it at all.

 

What I’ve realized in the most subtle way, like slowly falling asleep – first slow, then all at once but so natural you don’t notice – is that things are things for a reason. Whether they be Godly, coincidental, or bad indigestion – things tend to come with a gut instinct to do – and once you admit that maybe you should order the salad instead of the hot dog combo with a side of Tums – once you start to listen to yourself, doing these things tends to make you feel better. Maybe not immediately, but over time, these things make you actually, happy.

 

So, whoever’s still with me, thank you. Go do your thing, you.

 

Until next time

 

Catherine

 

On London

Today is December 19, 2016. On December 19, 2015, one year ago, I arrived back to the United States of America – cried at customs, hugged my brother and parents harder than I ever had before – and thanked God a few extra times for the invention of the SUV. It had felt like forever since I hadn’t had to have walked to and from “home”, since I had seen an Egg & Cheese on a Croissant as an option for a breakfast food, since I didn’t have to worry completely about myself in an airport, since I wasn’t alone.

I was proud, I was independent, I had learned to grocery shop before Sundays – learned that Gin and Vodka have significantly different effects when mixed with Club Soda, learned that Nachos are an American thing (trust me), that sitting and risking ruining laundry in a dryer is significantly better than risking sending it out to a service when you aren’t native to a country (and don’t have a landline), that radiators aren’t half as good as a central heating system, walking can (and will) always clear your mind – and taking the tube to class takes 5 minutes longer, but is totally worth it in the rain.

I had grown, a lot. I was extremely aware of it while it was happening, which was the cool thing, I think. I had this scary, naive feeling that I had finally figured it all out, cracked the code, won the game.

The past year since I have returned to the States has been a rollercoaster of a journey – as everyone always describes a long span of time it seems nowadays. I have fallen in and out of love, lost and gained friends, started internships, failed exams, coasted through classes, worried about boredom, broken down and cried a few more times than I ever expected – I have been scrappy, I have felt extremely little, I have felt young.

Before you start to think that this is a post telling you not to go abroad, or that going to London in particular is a perfect way to legitimately ruin your life – let me finish, please.

This past year has been a rollercoaster, yes, but it has been a year.

Looking back on London, on my return one year ago – the entire experience seems clean, like watching an old movie you know the ending to, that you like the ending of so you keep watching it because you know it will make you happy – and I realize that memories, in general, are all like that. Everything is safer in the past, because everything in the past is figured out. It has happened, you have fallen off your bike, and yeah – the scrapes hurt, really badly, but you’re standing – or at least hopefully not still on the ground (in that case, get yourself a bandaid or something!), you’re stable enough to know you’re okay. It’s just a scrape, you’ll live.

I think its important for us to remind ourselves how human we all are. Because we all are, human, that is. We’re all growing constantly, and the only way to do it sometimes is to get roughed up every once in a while – to fall down, to cry a little, to write a blog. I’m a firm believer in the fact that we’re all on our own individual journeys, and the key to being happy is to be completely okay with the exact page you’re on.

So today, it’s been one year since I returned home from London. Currently, I should be studying for an Advertising Management final that I have Wednesday (prayers are accepted during this time of extremely low motivation) but I am writing a blogpost on this site that I really feel like is a good idea to have. Bravo is on in the background, my dog is fast asleep on the kitchen floor, I am in a chair that wasn’t here last year, writing on a computer I didn’t own last year, in socks from 2013.

I am mismatched, and I am happy. I look forward to the day I can return to London, but remember the intense feeling of joy when I saw my family with signs in Boston Logan Airport one year ago, the feeling of completely and utterly knowing I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

There may not be signs right now, and I may not be in an airport, but that contentment is a feeling I am lucky enough to say I feel at this very moment, still.

Hope you all do, too 🙂

Talk to you later,

 

Catherine

On ADHD

I knew what ADHD was in the 2nd grade – when I was originally diagnosed.

At that point, I thought it just meant that I had trouble focusing in class. Also, at that point, I had really no idea what “trouble focusing in class” meant – other than getting ridiculed by my 2nd grade teacher  for speaking too much. I was put on medication, and I didn’t worry about it again.

 

I was outgoing, energetic, impulsive, annoying, loud, rude when I didn’t mean to be, a spitfire – a good friend, a difficult child, a spirited child, a little girl full of lots of energy, ideas, and love.

 

ADHD, as I have learned more as I have grown, is better explained through the means by which it is diagnosed – which are narratives, stories, incidents of repeated behavior that correspond with the traits of having an ADHD brain. Standing alone, these incidents paint reoccurring pictures of misunderstandings, annoyance, everyday adjectives everyday individuals would use to describe a nuisance. It is the repetition of these narratives, the continuum of the threads used to weave the pieces together – that not only aids in the diagnosis of ADHD, but explains what life with ADHD is like.

 

The older I have gotten, the more concerned and frustrated I have become with explaining towards others what ADHD actually feels like. I have tried metaphors, I have researched scholarly journals, googled famous success stories, advocated for Adderall – all in an attempt to normalize what I was diagnosed with some long, long time ago. My focus hyper-focus has been on overdrive, and I had no idea how, why, or when it started, all I knew is that I didn’t think ADHD was a big deal at all – and I wanted everyone else to agree with me. I had spent my young adolescent life having been called: annoying, rude, obnoxious, hyper, loud, impulsive, lazy – I cannot count how many times I’ve been told that I can’t keep saying I’m sorry, urged to stop apologizing, encouraged to just try harder; study more, let it go, buckle down.

 

See the thing about me is that I am outgoing, impulsive, quick to jump to conclusions, impatient, driven erratically, hyperaware of the world about me and the opinions of those in it, excitable, reactive, and annoying. I am also overly empathetic, warm, caring and friendly at all costs, positive, hopeful, friendly, creative, innovative, funny, selfless, intuitive in many senses – hyper aware of emotions of my peers, intelligent, motivated, and resilient.

 

I am all of those things, and a lot of those are because I have ADHD.

 

It wasn’t until recently that I realized ADHD is more than just not being able to focus in class, cannot usually become outgrown, and cannot be scared away by 20 milligrams of Amphetamine Salts.

 

However, it also wasn’t until now that I decided having ADHD is nothing to be embarrassed of, or ashamed of, or willing of being wished away – ADHD is inherently a part of my brain, it has shaped me into the person that I am, and the person that I will be. I’m done whispering about it.

 

ADHD is a legitimate brain disorder that affects more people than you’ve probably ever thought about. To quote Dr. Edward M. Hallowell,

“The old moral model dies hard… Under this model, the cure for depression is to cheer up. The cure for anxiety is to suck it up. And the cure for ADD is to try harder. While trying harder helps just about everything, telling someone with ADD to try harder is no more helpful than telling someone who is nearsighted to squint harder. It missed the biological point.”

 

21 is a funny and scary age, you feel so old and so young – so little and so large, and, at the core, so confused when asked what you really want to do with your life. At the personal point I am currently, a semester away from my undergraduate graduation – I can’t begin to count the amount of hours I have spent wondering what my mark will be on this world – where I should sow my seeds, what I should make of myself as an adult.

 
Up until now, when I have a problem that I’ve become extremely torn over, I listen to my gut. Now regardless of whether this is my gut, or God, or my impulsivity from my ADHD, I feel like I should write this. This, being my story. Little cases, little instances of my life that until now, I didn’t realize were peppered with a disorder that sets me back at the same time as setting me apart. Personally, I have found comfort in fully understanding the name of a disorder that has stuck to me my entire life – hopefully, somebody out there can read what I’ve written, and feel some comfort, too.

 

For now, I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Hugs,

Catherine

On Gingerbread Lattes

Currently, I am sitting at a Starbucks pop-up in the Providence Place Mall. I got lost going here, twice, probably due to the fact that I am going here in an attempt to save my sad, shattered phone.

After one long negotiation with possibly the most rude and insensitive greeter in the world!! (I am a 21 year old in 2016 a broken phone is NOT A JOKE SARAH), a few tears with my new friends at the Genius Bar, and a quick trip to Ghirardelli for some free samples – my phone is finally in surgery. Prayers are accepted at this time. No, I am not joking.

But also no, this is not intended to be just another post complaining about what can only be described as the most frustrating store set-up in the world, nor is it a post about the fact that in 2016, I could barely get to the Providence Place Mall without Google Maps (ugh those annoying, tech obsessed millennials, am I right???) – this is a post about the man in front of me in Starbucks, with baggy jeans and a ratty sweatshirt, who just made my day.

No, we are not in love, nor will we fall in love, or meet again on a bus or train – honestly, we will probably never meet again at all.

Not having my phone today made me remember how little I am (not talking height here people) and how big I should be – I was oddly proud of myself for taking care of this on my own, subconsciously thankful for parents who still pick up the phone when I call from other numbers crying, and honestly overall pretty exhausted. Its been a long 24 hours.

When I arrived at this Starbucks pop-up, I was frustrated, tired, and lonely. I took one look at the people in front of me in line and scoffed at the baggy jeans and ratty sweatshirt, internally judging the man and his partner for taking so much time to order and rudely wondering what they were even doing here. Very unlike me, but necessary to share all the same – you see, just when my mind turned mean, the man turned around.

He smiled, urging me to go in front of him and his tattooed friend – they were still figuring out what to order, giggling at the menu – and I instantly relaxed.

I find it interesting how hard it is to convey some emotions through text, happiness and kindness as two very important ones. The kindness that this stranger showed me didn’t end when he turned around – I offered advice on my favorite drink, the Gingerbread Latte – and went to sit down at a table and wait.

A few minutes went by as I shuffled out my belongings, and I looked up to check if my drink was ready. It had been put aside, safe from the order snaggers (they are real, I swear) – and to my dismay, saved by my friend in line. He explained that it had been ready for a few minutes, and he had told the baristas that I was just getting my things, that I’d be up in a minute – asking for a little patience, my way.

I am aware how weird this situation sounds, or how seemingly mundane this entire exchange may be. However, to me, that simple act of kindness made me smile. It made me want to share.

I guess what I just want to remind whoever is reading this that kindness does go a long way – and maybe the next person you remember a little thing about, the next person you let cut you in a line or make laugh in a waiting room will write about you, too.

Oh, and also, if you’re looking for a good Starbucks drink – try the Gingerbread Lattes.