Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Anger management, stress management, life management

In case the title doesn't give it away, I've had a lot on my mind and a lot on my plate lately. I'm pretty sure I'm having a quarter-life crisis, which seems fitting, considering my 25th birthday is actually tomorrow. (And I started this blog when I was 19!)

My Thought Catalog editor Kendra Syrdal recently wrote something about anger that really resonated with me. It was powerful and timely because I've been struggling to keep my own anger under control lately. I've become slightly more volatile in my day-to-day life, and I believe it is largely because I am neglecting parts of myself that need attention. It's easier to just lash out at the closest thing causing me the slightest bit of stress, whether it be a cheap ice cream scooper or a lazy coworker, than it is to slow down and ask myself where my anger is really coming from. Usually, it ends up having nothing to do with whatever it's being directed towards.

Rambling aside, I wanted to share a little bit of Kendra's post for anyone who may be having the same problem.  

"Anger is an easy emotion. Anger is a lot like love, hunger or fear. It's impulsive, it happens fast, it's easily accessible, it's one of those feelings that is palpable and tangible and we feel like we can and should reach out and grab it with both hands. Anger though, isn't the most rational of our feelings. Anger often steamrolls things like rational, empathy or tact. Which are necessary! Anger - is not.

I was a very angry person for a long, long time. Like stupidly angry. And I was always even angrier when I felt like I wasn't being heard. But one day I realized, people don't like to listen when you're yelling. So I took a step back. I calmed down. I learned to manage my anger. And then, when my heart rate dropped and my blood pressure leveled out, if I still wanted to say something, I would approach it levelly. With reason. With facts. With a discussion in mind.

And you know what happened?

I started being able to change people's minds. I started seeing humanity. I found common ground. Or, at the very least, I had discussions instead of fights. And discussions go places and end up with thoughts and notions and things that resonate. Fights just end with bruises and hurt feelings and two people who resent each other in the long run." 

I love that. It's so universal and so true. I've always been ashamed of my anger and viewed it as a highly negative emotion. But like any other emotion, it is valid. It's nothing to be ashamed of as long as you react to it in a healthy, constructive way. And even still, we all slip up from time to time. You have to forgive yourself. 

I'm at what I believe to be a critical point in my life right now, which is why I've been experiencing this onslaught of heavy emotions like anger, stress, anxiety and sadness. I want to do the right things, and sometimes we have no way of knowing what's right or wrong until we take the risks and see for ourselves. 

I want to wake up every morning with a sense of purpose and passion. I want to believe that at any time, I can make the choice to do what feels right to me - to do what I want without feeling as though I've committed a crime. 

But I, like most people, am responsible for a lot of things now. I have more to worry about than just myself. And maybe that's why I'm so angry. Maybe that's why I'm so stressed. 

I don't have a suitable conclusion for this hodge podge of words and thoughts. All I know is that something needs to change. And maybe that something is me.   

<3 Madison 

Friday, February 17, 2017

New and improved

Hey guys.

As mentioned in an earlier post, my Facebook was hacked a few weeks ago and I had no choice but to lose access to the official writer page I had associated with it (and worked so hard on). This was and still is very frustrating for me, BUT I finally got a new one up and running. I wish I could remember the names of every single reader who liked my old page so I could send them an invite to like this one, but unfortunately and understandably, I don't. So I must start from scratch, post a notice here, and hope you decide to pay me a visit and follow along.

Here's the link:

Thank you for your patience. Let's try this again.

<3 Madison

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Miscellaneous thoughts (Part 15)

~ There is a difference between wanting to be THE best and wanting to be YOUR best. The first is arrogance. The second is self-assurance. You may be awesome, but you're not better than anybody else.

~ I am going to try to get myself back into the habit of writing every week and keeping my creative juices flowing, starting this month. Because I know that help and support is out there if I'm willing to utilize it.

~ It's unnerving how easy it is to let work and adulthood take over your entire life. I breathe, eat, sleep, work and adult. I feel like that's all I ever do and that if I start trying too hard to do anything else, I'll fall hopelessly behind on life itself. Anyone else?

~ At the end of the day, only you can determine the weight of a person's words. Words can hurt, but they don't have to break or change you because they're just words. People can talk shit to and about you until they're blue in the face, but your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.  

~ I miss a lot of the old parts of myself, but I'm also really excited about the new parts. I have yet to figure out if the changes that lie ahead are good, bad, or a little of both.

~ It's okay to have no idea what you're doing, no matter how old you get.

~ Allow the chaos of life to inspire rather than distract you.

~ And allow your determination to be greater than your fear.

<3 Madison  

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Hello friends and readers. I've got some weird news.

I've been digitally violated. Imposed upon. Exposed to a paranoia I can't say I've ever known, given my vast Internet presence and blissful ignorance towards hacking, fraud, and other Internet disasters. 

Due to privacy concerns, I changed my Facebook password yesterday morning. A few hours later, I was unable to log in. So I went through some verification steps and changed my password again. The same thing happened later that evening. I changed it again. Earlier today, I was once again unable to log in after sitting down to blog and then subsequently post that blog on (you guessed it) Facebook. That time, I wanted to try recovering my account via email to see if it would make any damn difference, and lo and behold, my email had been hacked into as well.

"You changed your password 4 hours ago," the red lettering insisted.

I didn't. I didn't change my password.  

Somebody somewhere has access to things that belong to me, and I don't know who it is or how to stop them. So after getting back into my Facebook account once again via my prior efforts, I deleted it entirely. I never could get into my email account. Good thing I rarely used that one.  

What I want to say is that this bump in the road has rattled me a bit, and I certainly don't need anything else rattling me right now. So I may be taking a break from social media for awhile until I learn more about being safer and smarter online. Certain social media pages of mine may vanish and reappear over the next few weeks (if they don't vanish entirely), so just be patient. I'm gonna have to open a new email account and redo my Facebook writer page because the other one has apparently been compromised. This pains and angers me, but I'm afraid I don't know what else to do. I don't really trust a lot of things and people right now, and that's something I need time to overcome before I can make my return and go back to being the writer/blogger you all know and love.

Just keeping you in the loop.

<3 Madison     


Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Hello friends, and thank you for sticking around.

Call it stress, call it excuses, call it poor time management, but lately I've been feeling like I don't have time for any of the things I love the most - things that bring me that priceless sense of peace and contentment I once prioritized.

I haven't seen my best friends, called my grandmother, or done something just for me in weeks. I find myself apologizing to my dog every time I exit my home because I'm starting to feel like I'm never there. I make seemingly conscious decisions to write and then end up taking a nap instead. I don't eat and take my vitamins like I'm supposed to because I want my food to be quick and easy since nothing else in my life is right now. I feel like I have a million things to do every day, although I'm pretty sure most would argue I haven't even begun to truly know what having a million things to do feels like.

In short, a lot of things in my life have taken a backseat and I can only hope that they will still be there waiting for me when I'm ready to make room for them in the front.

Why is all of this happening, you may ask? 

Because I'm adulting, that's why.

In less than two hours, I have to get ready for my fifth consecutive day of what has become mentally and physically exhausting work. Tomorrow will be my sixth consecutive day, and the next day will be my only day off before I return the day after that and work some more consecutive days.

I'm trying and failing to purchase a reliable vehicle that doesn't bankrupt me. Yesterday was strike I'm not even counting anymore.

I found an apartment and am currently in the process of figuring out what to do with 25 years worth of stuff that needs a new home while simultaneously attempting to be responsible enough to realize that paper towels, soap, and a microwave are things I should probably acquire.

I'm trying to nurture the most serious relationship I've ever been in, even though I apparently know nothing about nurturing myself anymore. The self-help articles aren't lying when they say this is difficult.

The closest person in my life is weeks away from joining the military, and I haven't even taken him out for lunch or mini golf yet. And when he leaves, nothing will be the same. It will be hard.

This is merely a handful of the commitments I currently have on my plate. I'm trying to take everything one step at a time, but sometimes life simply won't allow it. It's like if you're not cramming 17 important things (including eating, drinking and sleeping) into a single day, you're left feeling as though you accomplished nothing when you finally lay down to get some rest before it starts all over again.

I feel like I'm drowning. I know that is largely because I do in fact have poor time management and coping skills, but it's also because I have more going on than I'm typically used to. I'd like to think this is a good thing. I'm learning, growing, and moving forward. I'm growing up. And I found someone to share my life with, so it's not like I'm doing this all alone. I'm incredibly lucky in that sense.

But I miss writing. More importantly, I miss who I am as a writer. I miss the part of me that noticed the things that nobody else did in the midst of their fast-paced and money driven lives. I miss the part of me that turned her face to the sun instead of hanging her head to the ground. I miss the self-awareness, the optimism, the overflow of inspiration. I miss having the time and energy to create and attract people to those creations. 

So with all of this said, I owe you an apology.

I apologize for letting the demands of life bury me and my spirit. I apologize for letting the work that feeds my bank account take priority over the work that feeds my soul. I apologize for becoming less of who I am instead of more of who I am. I apologize for making you think that I don't care anymore.

I do care. I care every second of every day. And I kick myself for every day that I don't write, even if it's only for ten minutes.

All I can promise you right now is my faith that the dust will settle and my head will break the surface again. And when it does, I will return with a fire that can never be put out.

<3 Madison    

Thursday, December 1, 2016

17 changes I hope to make in 2017

2016 has been an interesting, challenging and unexpected year for me. And given the events of last year, it has been significantly better and more rewarding. I healed radically and completely from the deepest sorrow I've ever known. I started to see people, places and things outside of my selfish and cloudy little bubble. I asked for help when I was drowning. I fell in love for possibly and hopefully the last time. I made a life-changing decision and stared back when fear tried to stare me down.

But of course, it's been far from perfect. I have a lot on my plate right now, and more often than not, I feel more compelled to curl up in a ball and go to sleep than begin sorting through it all. I've put important projects and responsibilities on the top shelf, but even though they are out of sight, they are not out of mind. They still exist. They still need to be acknowledged. I've been dealing with some harsh and bewildering conflict in my personal life, and I don't even know where to begin making things right --- or at least making things peaceful and bearable.

At times, I've glimpsed the person I want to become, and at others, I've lost sight of her completely. I've succeeded in some areas and failed in others. But I wake up every day, show up every day, and try every day.

I want next year to be different. In a positive way. In a way that challenges me, breaks me, heals me, and rebuilds me. In a way that teaches me how to be 25 years old.

Here are 17 changes I hope to make in 2017. How about you?

1. My reaction to conflict

I'm not always under attack.

2. The frequency in which I count my blessings

I used to count my blessings every single day, and I was so much happier and calmer because of it. What happened?

3. The way I treat myself

My feelings are worthy, my thoughts are misleading, my goals are valid, and my moments of happiness are deserved.

4. The way I treat my loved ones

I only have a handful of people in my life who care deeply enough about me to keep in touch, prioritize my well-being, and put up with my crap. They deserve the royal treatment every day of their lives.

5. My level of freedom

I'm a grown ass woman, and I can do what I want.

6. My level of fear

Fear is not my friend. Fear is not my friend. Fear is not my friend.

7. My attention to self-care

I'm stuck with myself for the rest of my life, so I better start going to the doctor, eating healthier, drinking more water, and keeping track of my moods and thought patterns.

8. My living situation

Remember that scene from Boy Meets World where Mr. Feeny was telling Cory about moving a flower from a small pot in his living room to his garden? Why? Because if he didn't, he feared it would stop growing. Well, I'm that flower. And it's time for me to find a new home.

9. My inclination to please others

I've disappointed and confused people my whole life, so why bother?

10. My relationship patterns and beliefs 

I may drown in my insecurities, have a history of pain and disappointment, be the poster child for abandonment issues, and believe that I am perpetually unworthy of love, but the relationship I have right now is far too precious and rare to screw up. So I have some serious, serious work to do.

11. My aversion to adulting

It's time. It's time to adult.

12. My level of writing productivity

I must start writing every day again. No exceptions, no excuses.

13. My professional life in general 

I hope to achieve some semblance of professional and financial comfort and happiness next year. I don't ever want to feel stuck or uninspired. (Or broke as hell.)

14. The amount of time I spend online

It's astonishing how much life gets sucked away from you while you're staring at a computer or phone screen for hours every day. I want to cut back and see what happens, for I strongly suspect it will be all good things.  

15. The amount of time I spend procrastinating

It's getting quite ridiculous.

16. My negative assumptions

Can I get an amen from literally everyone who knows me?

17. My overall life balance

Balance is still and will always be everything. If I'm not careful, I might give way too much attention to one thing and not nearly enough to another. And I can say from experience that the results of that can be tragic.

<3 Madison                    

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Baby steps

I took a walk around my backyard the other night --- the yard I've called home for more than two decades, the yard where I've played and grown, the yard where I've seen sunsets and stars, the yard where my past dances around me and my future whispers my name.

I walked slowly and deliberately. I felt the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet and became absorbed in the way the sky turned from a soft pink to a midnight blue. I breathed in the memories of the land and breathed out the wisdom of the wind.

I don't know much of anything right now, but I do know this:

I must put one foot in front of the other. I must pay attention to the things I love and how quickly time can take them away. I must look forward to where I'm going, yet never forget where I came from. I must be grateful for every step I take, even if it's a misstep. I must always remember that everything happens for a reason, even if I don't understand it. I must say hello without forgetting to say goodbye.

I love this backyard with every fiber of my being. 

But there's a world and a future on the other side of it.

<3 Madison