A Day In The Void

The following piece was inspired by a poetry reading at a local bookstore and coffee shop. I don’t think anything has come as close to describing my being since she’s been gone.

What you see standing before you isn’t me

For years I pretended, oh I tried

Behold is the shell of what I used to be

I gave into the darkness the day that she died

Almost like the ghost of what has gone in greed

I miss you old friend you are the soul that I still need

One Step At A Time

No matter the task at hand if it ever feels like a daunting weight on your shoulders just remember to take things one step at a time. Honestly you could be struggling with anything from mental health to figuring what you need to do to land that job that you have always dreamed of or even a combination of multiple things. It doesn’t make a difference what stage you are at in life there will always be something going on that you need to push through and get to the other side.

On a daily basis I have to remind myself one step at a time because I have to focus the next few or several years on retraining my hand to work like it used to so that I can pursue my next goal. To me spending my days doing retraining of my hand and re-wiring some crossed pathways is usually frustrating and at the end if the day does not seem like I’m taking steps forward but every once in a while I notice a difference that makes it worth it. I have to remind myself all the time that one day these countless hours will be worth it and I will be chasing the next dream.

Whenever you get overwhelmed by that bigger picture. Take a step back for a minute and think about the next one or two smaller steps you need to complete to get closer to the end goal. Focusing on your smaller yet just as equal successes along the way is important. Without taking the smaller steps along the way you wont reach the bigger goal i promise. Celebrate the little wins even if that’s just doing something for yourself or some well deserved self-care. In this world everyone is watching for your mistakes not your successes and that’s why you have to celebrate them yourself.

check out the other iarts of this collaberation at:

Tajwar Fatma https://lifeaswehaveneverknownit.wordpress.com/

Jane Love http://www.harmoniousjoy.com/

Jothish Joseph https://jothishjoseph.wordpress.com/

Barb Caffrey https://elfyverse.wordpress.com/

Nicolle K https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/

Ajibola Sunday https://ajibolasunday.wordpress.com/

Sonyo Estavillo https://lilpickmeup.com/

Mylene Orillo https://myleneorillo.com/

Camilla Motte http://www.momsonthego.com/

Manal Ahmad https://thatgirl196.wordpress.com/

Ipuna Black https://ipunablack.com/

Sadaf Siddiqi https://sadafsiddiqi.wordpress.com/

Divyang Shah https://ithinkmyway.wordpress.com/about/

PT And OT: Keeping It Relevant

When it comes to retraining your body to move and function as it should you need to remember to keep the activities you use for therapy relevant. Just as my original team stated,” you need to get back to the things you used to do to see the best recovery results”. Instead of focusing on the same activities chimpanzees in labs have to do start using your hobbies to your advantage. Playing with blocks and tongs is not going to help very much, I’m sorry. It is for this reason that I have been making an attempt at Painting with the hand/side that was originally paralyzed.

It has been an eye-opening experience to say the least. It turns out that if i want to paint anything in a minimalistic style I should just use my affected side. I haven’t been doing much for writing, but there has been a decent amount of retraining lately. I have always been artistic so this is probably one of the best ways for me to fine tune my fine motor skills in that hand over the next several years.

I present to you: Welcome to The Darkness

Do What Makes You Happy

Notice how the title is not do what makes others happy? This is because despite what you may think you cannot control how others feel about any given thing. genuine happiness generally comes from within so you should be focusing on doing the things that make you happy. Note that the things that bring you happiness also may change as you grow and develop as a person. You also may be thinking that this sounds a little selfish, but taking care of your own needs is an important thing we should all be doing.

Nothing is less satisfying than doing something to meet someone else’s expectations or standards of you. As Someone who tried to meet someone’s expectations of me for many years nothing feels better than just doing things to reach my goals and make myself happy. This was another way having half my body paralyzed positively benefited my life. I had to change my focus from making everyone else happy to focusing on my needs. I do not doubt that if it had not happened I would still not be a priority in my own life.

No matter the medium throughout my entire life art has always been one of those things that centers me and brings me to my happy place. That being said art has been my biggest focus during my latest writing hiatus. Whether it’s drawing, or something else It’s one of those versatile things that I can also use to retrain my affected hand. It is nice to be able to hit two birds with one stone yet again. Side note: I’m sorry I have been absent as of late I haven’t been able to make the words work so I’m taking a break.

Back To Basics: Honour The Process

For the last couple months I have been trying to modify and minimize my writing process; no wonder I have not accomplished what I had aimed to. My pre writing process can take over an hour before I get to the writing stage so as you can imagine there are times when I wish it was shorter. Unfortunately my creative process is a step by step process that can only occasionally be ignored.

  1. attempt to get strung out on caffeine-getting to the strung out stage with coffee can be a little difficult so after a pot of coffee I’ll switch to instant espresso and or chocolate covered coffee beans for a little extra kick.
  2. initiate solo dance party– Just as I have probably mentioned countless times solo dance parties are one of the biggest keys to productivity. This has just been the way since before college. every essay and assignment I have completed since my grade twelve year started with dancing it out. One would think that getting moving and increasing energy levels would make it harder to focus, but it does the opposite to me.
  3. dance until I start to crash or the ideas start flowing – Depending on mood and mindset this can  take ten minutes or over an hour each day is a little bit different. Sometimes the music makes a difference, but I have a series of playlists tailored to each emotion I try to portray when writing. Each playlist could be named all the feels numbers one through ten haha.
  4. Write until frustrated with story itself or until falling asleep –Yes sometimes I get mad at the characters in my own stories, and yes sometimes it gets to the point where I rewrite a scene or chapter a few times in one day. At this point if I get stuck there are usually multiple seated solo dance parties repeated until I can finish the scene.
  5. repeat- depending on the day I can repeat the entire cycle up to three or four times depending on how productive the day has been and how long I attempt to be awake and functioning.

Finding Strength

One never really knows how strong they are until you have no other choice. I believe that strength comes from within, yes we all have some sort of support through trying times, but the ability to keep pushing forward and not giving up comes from you. Personally I have been through two detrimental events that truly set the bar for the stronger person I am today. These two events were the stroke and losing one of the most important people in my life. I doubt that anything else will ever compare in difficulty and at times am still amazed that I got through the worst of it. Yet on top of this adversity made me the strongest.

I am so thankful that I grew up being different and being the kid that was more of a lone wolf than anything else. Yes being the outcast in school made things a little more difficult at times, but I think it made me stronger. I enjoyed being the nerd that did homework at recess and lunch so that I had less to take home at night. I was like that from grade school up into college, but in college us nerds got together during spares and all wrote papers and studied like big nerds. This I’d one of those situations where being very focused on the end goal and not having much of a desire to socialize came into play.

If nothing else losing someone very close to me taught me to function with a piece of my heart and soul missing and still conquer each task at hand. Grief is a roller coaster just as everyone says, you never know when it will hit and it can be one heck of a ride. To this day I’m surprised that I got through the worst of it.

Most people I encounter pity me when they find out in still recovering from my stroke 3.5 years later. Flat out I wouldn’t be able to see the light in each situation and have more good days than bad if the stroke and major loss had not happened in the sane year. It is also due to both these events that I understand people who say,” you have to know the darkness to see the light”. It took me years to understand what they meant but I never would have believed it without the events of 2014. With the bad comes the good, make sure to remember this through the tougher chapters of life.

Tajwar Fatma https://lifeaswehaveneverknownit.wordpress.com/

Ipuna Black  https://ipunablack.com/

Jane Love http://www.harmoniousjoy.com/

Jothish Joseph https://jothishjoseph.wordpress.com/

Barb Caffrey https://elfyverse.wordpress.com/

Nicolle K https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/

Ajibola Sunday https://ajibolasunday.wordpress.com/

Sonyo Estavillo  https://lilpickmeup.com/

Mylene Orillo https://myleneorillo.com/

Camilla Motte http://www.momsonthego.com/

Cutting out Coffee… Failed Attempt

As some of you previously read I was trying to cut out my reliance on coffee. Yes I can cut it out and even started to feel okay, but it turns out that I do not get anything done during the day without it. It may have taken an entire hour off of my morning routine, but was not worth my lack of productivity. two weeks away did reset my tolerance a little bit though. Ultimately I wanted to go cold turkey, but clearly that was not going to work at this point in time.

The worst part of no coffee was my productivity levels… as you probably noticed I have not posted more than one blog post during this entire time. I think it’s time I tried to shift my focus onto my next novel and only posted for you guys once or twice a week. I feel fairly indifferent towards my blog right now and need to go focus on something bigger until this passes. If nothing else right now I need to go back to turning coffee into books and not just doing occupational therapy all day. One day I managed to write for most of a day, but out of a couple of weeks a single day is nothing. haha

Today I finally broke the coffee fast and not only did I write a blog post but I wrote over a thousand words of my current project. Apparently without coffee my daily routine is completely broken haha. Looks like I will be going back to a pot of coffee a day if I want to meet my personal first draft deadline. I think this experiment proved that some things just aren’t meant to be changed.