“What are your Demons?”

Publishing your inner thoughts for other eyes to examine, pick apart, or ridicule is simply gut wrenching. It’s an inevitable feeling of crippling anxiety entangled with endless unwanted thoughts. Clicking that blue “publish” button on the top right corner of the dimly lit screen is a moment of sincere dread. Turning in your fresh, vulnerable article to the editor is utterly daunting.

 

Am I going to be heard?

“Are my words going to be appreciated?”

“Are the ones who I love going to help raise me from this foundation or utterly make fun of me?”

“Do I want to put myself in this position of potentially ruining my self-esteem for my one true passion?”

 

These fears creep into my mind as I finish pounding words of thought and deep emotion into my keyboard.

“I am not enough”

“Why am I a journalist? I can’t compete with others”

“Everyone hates my blog anyways”

“No one cares about what I have to say so why even try?”

 

I feel the tension, the exasperation of family, friends, and coworkers who subtly hint at me that they don’t care about my words or thoughts.  

 

“People hate seeing my stuff online”

“Stop writing, you are just a nuisance”

 

But as I sit in this aged chair with rain drops starting to make it’s appearance on the glossy office window, I slowly understand the magic behind the challenge.

“I am more than a girl who is anxious”

“I am a journalist”

“I am a blogger”

“I am me”

 

And as the rain begins to fall harder against the glass, the budding flower outside must learn to understand how glorious it will become with time.

Appreciating Loved Ones

So, two days ago I had my graduation on my mom’s side and it was hectic. My whole family, boyfriend, and I were running around all day trying to set up since 8 A.M. All I could think about was “Boy, I am tired.”

By the time I showered, picked out a cute outfit, and did my makeup, I realized it was already time for people to start showing up. Considering I had been on my feet all day, I was stressed out.

However, I remembered earlier in the day how a huge dragonfly actually flew into our house due to the back door being wide open and I stopped, stared, and was full of excitement to see the biggest dragonfly I’ve seen this summer. While remembering that feeling of awe and excitement, I thought to myself, “snap out of this mood dude, be happy, everyone coming took time out of their day to celebrate you!”. That’s when I started really forgetting all the trouble throughout the day, getting excited, and greeting people.

My graduation party also taught me another lesson that I hope I won’t forget. That lesson is that I am truly, deeply loved by many, whether it be friends or family. Everyone that showed up had a big smile on their face, an open embrace, and the excitement to talk about my future plans.

Even though I was socially and physically exhausted by the end of the night, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I was more open to people than I have been in a really long time. I left all fear of being socially awkward or embarrassing with the dragonfly that flew out my backdoor before the party.

Again, if you are reading this and attended my party, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to celebrate me and my accomplishments. It means so much to me, truly.  I tried to talk to everyone as much as I could.

To my parents and boyfriend, thank you for dealing with my moodiness when I get overly stressed out like I did at times throughout the day. Thank you for putting so much effort into a party I will never forget and will also be in my heart.

To everyone else, appreciate those beautiful souls who surround you. Pay more attention to them and the things they do for you, always say thank you as well.

Little Things

Yesterday afternoon, while I was sitting outside on a blanket writing my newest blog post, my Aunt Jen texted me. It was a simple text, but the significance of it touched my heart.

It’s no secret I admire dragonflies, I think they are beautiful and mysterious. I have a dragonfly decal sticker on my car, different items depicting dragonflies, and I even got a dragonfly design on my nails so I knew I had some on me for graduation.

So, to have someone see a dragonfly and think of me, is something really spiritual and amazing. Receiving this text randomly at 1:04 in the afternoon made my day. The moment was great knowing that the dragonfly’s presence made my aunt’s day better too.

The text from my aunt also made me realize how I appreciate random acts of kindness or love. For example, before I dropped my brother off at work today, I took him to Dunkin’ Donuts for a treat. I even tried to pay for the person behind me in line, but to my luck, they had already paid beforehand on their mobile app.

Although I do struggle or complain about always helping out with my immediate family running errands and taking people places, I secretly love knowing that I helped them in a small way and possibly made their life easier.

My advice to you is to do more for others, the rewarding feeling is something to hold onto. Don’t be afraid to randomly text or call someone to say nice things to or to say you miss them.

Life is about the little things and before you know it, you’re going to wish you paid more attention to those little texts and small acts of kindness.

 

Dragonfly Spotting – June 13th

Today, I woke up at 6 A.M to go home from Sea Isle City. I was very anxious at the thought of driving home alone. Two and a half hours of just me, my GPS, and traffic. This was my first time driving through Philly to New Jersey, so yeah, I was a nervous wreck.

Once I had hit I-76 towards West Philly, my GPS route lit up bright red, the whole route was just a cherry, dooming red glow. As soon as I hit the beginning of the red, I thought to myself, “Wow, I just want to go home”… 

The stopping and starting was starting to irritate me and there was no one to vent to. No one next to me to help me figure out what exits to take, if I should try to merge, no one riding shot-gun to change songs. I felt lonely sitting in a sea of cars.

My GPS kept ringing with different routes that could save me two or five minutes, which led me through a journey of Philly’s best, like the ZOO.

By the time I had gotten back onto the PA Turnpike, I realized that I was super frazzled and anxious to the point where I was shaking a little. That might sound dramatic, but this is coming from a girl who lives on country back roads and doesn’t have to deal with traffic and honking, ever.

Once I got off the turnpike exit and was in my familiar surroundings, I thought to myself, “Wow, I just did that.” I was able to conquer my anxiety and not break down while trying to do something that honestly scared me.

As I was celebrating my little victory, I decided to stop at Dunkin Donuts for some coffee. After I had ordered, a huge dragonfly darted around my open window. In that moment in time, I knew that the emotions I was feeling about accomplishing my fear was true. I have grown a little tougher by driving home from the shore by myself. That means a lot to me, even if you think it is a silly accomplishment.

Dragonfly Spotting – June 10th

On Saturday while I was setting up for my graduation party on my dad’s side of the family, a big, black dragonfly buzzed around me and my graduation cake for a couple of minutes.

Having this dragonfly’s presence at that moment in time made me feel at peace. The dragonfly reminded me that I needed to understand the changes and transformation of myself and for those who surrounded me that day.

My graduation party was combined with my cousin Richie, who also is a part of the class of 2017. Richie and I are both moving into a whole new chapter. Opening our lives to newer and bigger things is daunting, especially for Richie, who will be entering boot camp soon.

Anxiety always creeps up on me when I start thinking about the future, situations with friends and family. The dragonfly that danced around me that day made me comfortable in the situation I was in, draining my anxiety from my mind, and simply allowing me to celebrate my accomplishment with an easy mind.

The change of graduating high school and moving on from all the familiarity that I call home and routine is numbing, yet thrilling at the same time. As long as my dragonflies appear when I need them, I will always keep reminding myself that change leads to an ultimate transformation that is necessary for the soul’s journey.

Your journey is everlasting, allow spiritual signs or symbols light the pathway of confusion, doubt, or anxiety. Clear your mind and look at the world with open eyes. 

 

 

Dragonfly Spotting – June 1st

So, I spotted my second dragonfly of the summer yesterday afternoon. I saw it fly by when my mom and I were on our way to a dermatologist appointment. For anyone who knows me, I struggle with acne.

At the time, I got excited about seeing the dragonfly, but didn’t really understand the significance of it. During my dermatologist appointment, I was told that all my acne is hormonal and that there was nothing really that I could do. The best they could offer were two different creams, one for morning and night to help clear it up a little. I was super bummed out, but then the dermatologist said that I was qualified start a heavy prescription that could completely clear my skin from my severe acne.

The prescription sounded a little intense for me, so I immediately got anxious. However, the more time I had to calm down and to think about it, this could change my life. All of high school I have struggled with acne, my senior year being the worst yet.  Although I know this is just acne I am talking about, it is still a big step and I got nervous.

With that in mind, I came to the realization that my dragonfly spotting was a sign from the universe that I am ready for this change and that there is no need to be anxious.

So my friends, watch for those dragonflies and be willing to receive messages from the universe!

If you have a cool photo of a dragonfly, send it to my email (abigailcliff12@gmail.com) to be featured on my new page “Captured Moments” !

Advice For Your Transformation

Like one of my best friend’s said the other day, people really do change within four years. The idea of it is kinda scary, but it’s also empowering and motivational. Personally, I have changed tremendously throughout my four years of high school and I am so glad.

Within four years, I changed socially, physically, and mentally. I went through hard times and good times, challenges, and overcame obstacles. Within this post, I want to explore the different ways I’ve changed and give some advice as to how you can handle or appreciate similar experiences.

  • Socially – My friend group from middle school lost track of its course in the very first year of high school and man, did that really hit me hard. In the moment, I didn’t realize that  letting go of all I knew would lead me to a more extraordinary gift. moving on from my childhood friends led me to some of the most hilarious and compassionate people I know. The road to new friends wasn’t always easy. I lost and gained a few individuals along the way, for some reasons I do and do not regret. Life has a funny way of pointing you down the right path and sometimes it happens right under our nose. Changing socially was very rough at times and still not always pretty rainbows and flowers. I learned to forget past mistakes and currently still in the process of forgiving. One way I suggest to accept where you are now socially is to believe that you are never, ever alone. Things happen, but you are you and there is someone out there that is bound to love who you are. So, don’t give up and just try to reach out.
  • Physically – From freshman year, I have struggled with my body. I am still struggling, but in a different way. Even though I was never overweight, I was not as fit as I hoped to be either. My insecurity stayed with me all throughout high school and even now. My mentality changed when I started dating my boyfriend who, at the time, was in weight lifting competitions and on the football team. I started becoming more conscious of what I was putting into my body. Almost two years later, I have cut soda out of my diet, eating more fruits &veggies when snacking, eating lighter meals, and drinking lots of water. Watching my body get healthier makes me so happy. Although I am happy with my progress so far, I am still not where I want to be. My advice to anyone else struggling with themselves physically, is to just accept where you are. You are never going to get anything accomplished by just staring in that dusty mirror and picking yourself apart. Find the courage to start new exercise classes or simply find time to work everyday. Slowly work in healthier choices and don’t rush it all at once (you don’t want to burn yourself out).
  • Mentally – My parents went through a divorce in the beginning of my freshman year. The process was hard, but it was not the only big thing in my life. I found myself struggling with grades and not wanting to go to public places like the gym. Since then, I have become a straight A student who is in the National Honors Society, and now have become a more open person. Okay, I am not perfect. I do get bad grades occasionally, forget to study, judge others by accident, and get into petty arguments. But I have simply accepted my feelings and thoughts. My advice to you is to understand that your feelings are real, true, and validated. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. Do not try to shield others away and try to get help when you need it. There is no shame in therapy or simple talk sessions with friends or family. However, never think there isn’t a way to change or fix your thoughts and feelings. I am currently working on this myself when it comes to anxious feelings and thoughts. Just never give up and know you are not alone.

Accepting who you are can be difficult, but know that time can heal and help you overcome any obstacle presented.

If you related to anything within this post, please feel free to share with friends and family. Do not forget to like and follow. If you have anything you would like me to write about, just enter your contact info under my “contact” tab and I will get right back to you!

Poems – May 28th

For my final project in AP Literature, I had to create four poems that reflected important literary themes. I decided I wanted others to be able to read them for what they are, maybe connect, or simply giggle at my attempt to write poetry. So with that being said, enjoy, (or not).

  1. Weeping Willow

Willow planted her roots

Where seedlings stomped in their boots

Where whistling was the bird’s call

And people were free, after all

 

Willow began to sprout into a limber beauty

While the shaded ones were ridiculed

While the light ones were quite snooty

And people were free, not to be fooled

 

Willow adored the marshland

Indeed, adored all good and evil

Would never hurt a touching hand

And yearned to be one of the people

 

But as years went by, Willow began to understand

Why brightness was put first

Why darkness got the backhand

And why the universe starved with thirst

 

For, people were just afraid

Scared of uncertainty

So the maid will remain the maid

And Willow will weep as only a willow tree

2. The Blue Man

The Blue Man was the best of the best

Dominant, on a roll, could never be stopped

The Blue Man was logical, precise, and never late

Studious, on the ball, could never be topped

 

But the Blue man was indeed, blue

Bluer than the blue tinted car he drove

Bluer than the bluest star that shined at night

The bluest blueberry a bunny could find

 

The Blue Man wanted to be just like the Orange Man

 

The Orange man was just shy of being the worst of the worst

Lazy, care-free, always on the path of freedom

The Orange man was silly, fun, and always happy

A sense of thrill the Blue Man quenched for

 

The Orange Man was a joyous beam of light

More Orange than the ice cream dripping from the little girl’s cone

More Orange than the most tropical flower in a jungle

The most Orange orange a monkey could find

 

But, the Orange Man wanted to be just like the Blue Man.

 

And so, the battle poured on and on

Between the Blue and the Orange Man.

3. Ice Cream Parlor

“You know, she once use to be my partner on a hot and muggy day,

Especially on those evenings where we got hot fudge sundaes;

Or when the rain poured and we played indoors with dominoes

Oh, how I loved the way Meredith said I looked funny with my daddy’s nose”

 

“As birthdays turned into just another day,

As picking grass turned into smoking it,

As juice boxes turned into liquor cases,

The simple touch of her against me on sleeping bags as we lay

Began to slowly fade into a memory of nonexistent”

 

“My trips with Meredith came once in a blue moon,

No more trips to the nearby ice cream parlor,

And her moving on came all too soon”

 

“But tides turn, sand shifts, and leaves fall;

Nature doesn’t skip a beat over a dead ladybug,

So neither should I”

4. Sun and Moon

The sun was the mightiest star

Who lit up the world at the crack of dawn

The sun was the strongest by far

A goddess the people worshipped in the amazon

 

The sun brought beams of light to the cattle and crops

Made the beautiful plants and tree roots dig deep

Brightened the day as it dried rain drops

And allowed the shepherd’s sheep to leap

 

While the sun was praised for it’s importance,

No one knew the moon was more than a pretty sight

Thus the moon sat quietly under the sun’s dominance

For the sun rays were more important that the moonlight

 

No one knew the moon shifted the ocean tides,

Or that it helped their fear of the night,

And helped free slaves as a guide,

Or simply that it makes the earth spin simply right.

 

So the moon sat and waited,

As only the sun got congratulated

Thanks for getting all the way to here, hope you enjoyed 🙂 Remember to keep looking for those dragonflies!

Finding Your Passion

It’s no secret I love to write. I work for the local newspaper, run two separate blogs, and excel in my Journalism & English classes.

However, is writing my destiny? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m still trying to figure out my life purpose, but I do know that writing has become one of my biggest passions.

So, what is passion exactly?  According to Dictionary.com, passion is defined as;

Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate

Passion is a feeling that overwhelms you, in a good way. Passion makes you want to pick that guitar or violin up and keep learning more notes. Passion is that drive to better your skills, all the while loving the process and results.

For me, writing is my passion because I love the thrill of sharing my thoughts in a creative way. Writing makes me feel confident and I sincerely enjoy the process of overcoming a writer’s block.

Finding your passion should not be a difficult or stressful journey. So, here are some of my suggestions to follow in order to find your passion:

  • Pay attention to what you find enjoyable, even the little things!
  • Don’t go looking for it, let it come to you
  • Listen to what your friends and family say about your talents
  • Passions can be anything, don’t worry if it is unpopular too
  • Think about what gets you excited, or the opposite

Throughout your journey, never give up with your passions