Wednesday, May 3, 2017

This is what I wrote today.

"You're gonna write today," my boyfriend sternly told me over the phone. "And you're gonna show me what you wrote when I get home or I will dirty up every single dish in the apartment."

A rather motivating threat right there.

I don't know what's wrong with me lately. Every time I sit down to write, nothing happens. I usually just end up browsing blogs for inspiration before ultimately calling it a day. And hating myself.

I've been hating myself for the last three hours, if not the last three weeks. The whole reason I wanted to quit my job was so I could write more - so I could pursue my "passion." But every time I have the opportunity, I don't do it. This is an indescribably frustrating thing for me, and that's precisely why I don't do it. Because I know I'm gonna sit down and try harder than I've ever needed to and that whatever I do write is gonna flop and I'm gonna spend the rest of the day wishing I was dead because I'm not really living anyway, right?

Yet here I am, writing something like I promised. I considered finishing a piece I started the other day, but decided it was way too personal to be published. I considered getting back to work on the novel I haven't touched in 6 months or that other book I haven't touched in 5. But no matter what, I always end up here. Right where I started when I was 19 and full of promise and certainty that this was my path in life. I feel safe here. I can be honest here.

I don't know what to tell you guys, and I especially don't know what to tell myself. Maybe my life is in a relatively good place right now and it's hard to find inspiration when I'm happy/comfortable. Maybe I'm distracted by bigger things like where I'll be working by the end of the year and my impending trip to see my brother, whom I haven't seen in three very long months. Maybe I need to try harder and dig deeper to find the stories that still need to be told. Maybe the only remotely noteworthy things that have been happening in my life lately are just too personal for anyone else's eyes, therefore I can't write about them.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. That's all I ever have to say for myself.

But at least I wrote something today.

<3 Madison

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Life lately

Hello friends.

These last few weeks have been eventful, confusing, and a bit ironic. They have made me second guess the beliefs I've always held about the way life unfolds. Maybe life is simply made up of choices and coincidences, and some of them only seem serendipitous. Maybe there's no such thing as knowing something will turn out okay before it's turned out any type of way at all.

I say all of this because a few weeks ago, I put in my resignation notice at a job that wasn't making me happy anymore. This was a huge decision and a huge risk for me. I had to talk myself into it after weeks of becoming progressively angrier, stressed, and so depleted I would lie in bed and stare at the wall or the ceiling for over an hour before getting up every morning. My life felt like a lie. I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel without actually getting anywhere, my only reward being the money I was making. I felt like a cog in the machine of society, working full-time at a job I never intended to work full-time.

It sounds dramatic, and maybe it is. But I've been different from everybody else and a rebel to society my whole life. I was letting life happen to me instead of making life happen. And due to the familiarity with my job and my ability to comfortably pay the bills, I had no real motivation to leave.

So I quit. With no plan B and only a faint idea of what I was doing, I worked out a two weeks notice and came home from work on my last day with the obvious assumption that I wouldn't go back. But I kept my work clothes and accessories within reach, just in case. Because as hard as I tried to fight it, I had my doubts and my fears. These were worsened by people telling me I made a mistake. By spending almost $4000 on my first vehicle three days after leaving my job. By my mom telling me and urging me to go back to work, to make money, to do the right thing, to build a good life, to not struggle like she did. And then Friday morning, I received a call from my district manager asking me to come back. They needed me. They missed me. They wanted to know what they could do to help me have a better, less stressful experience working for them. And as I stood there in my underwear with no job and more than half the money I'd saved up no longer in my account, how could I say no?

So here I am, trying to enjoy my last few days off and accomplish what I can before returning to the very place that made me realize I wanted more out of life. I sound bitter and whiny about it, but I'm not. I didn't write this post so I could whine and complain. I do need the money. I don't have to start over or train or be given hours I don't want. My managers are letting me come back, no questions asked, and pick up right where I left off. And they are willing to meet me halfway by letting me work 3 days instead of 5 until I find another job. That gives me 4 free days to write, job hunt, and do what I want to do. So it's a good deal, and I'm thankful for it. I just wish it didn't feel like such a step back after all the thought, planning and faith I put into leaving in the first place.

But who knows? Maybe it's not a step back, but simply an indicator that my shoes aren't ready for the next step forward. Maybe my old job isn't done with me yet. Maybe I needed to step away for a couple of weeks and discover who I am when I'm not a waitress. Maybe going back to work part-time will be an extremely positive thing and just what I need. Maybe the universe is simply trying to tell me that 5 days was too much, but 3 days is just right.

I don't know. But I will say that my old job has given me a lot, including my future husband. And I refuse to even consider that he was just a coincidence. So maybe I have more to gain. And a whole lot more to learn.

Time will tell.

<3 Madison  

Monday, March 27, 2017

25 quotes about taking risks and thinking for yourself


I'm on the brink of taking a big risk in my life, and I'm really scared of what people are going to think of me when I take it.

That's all I can say right now. But until I can say more, here are 25 quotes about taking risks and thinking for yourself. Because I need them. And maybe you do too.

1. "If you don't try, you'll never know." ~ Coldplay

2. "If you risk nothing, then you risk everything." ~ Geena Davis

3. "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." ~ Seneca

4. "Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing." ~ Warren Buffett

5. "The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision." ~ Maimonides

6. "The 3 C's of life: choices, chances and changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change." ~ Unknown

7. "Ten years from now, make sure you can say you chose your life, you didn't settle for it." ~ Mandy Hale

8. "Always follow your gut instinct, even if you do it a little late. It's better to renege and risk being judged than it is to do something you don't want to do because you're afraid of how it will look." ~ Lori Deschene

9. "A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion." ~ Chinese Proverb

10. "Let go of the need to control the outcome. Trust the process. Trust your intuition. Trust yourself." ~ Unknown

11. "Stop worrying about what you have to lose and start focusing on what you have to gain." ~ Unknown

12. "Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth." ~ Celestine Chua

13. "If it's still in your mind, it's worth taking the risk." ~ Paulo Coelho

14. "Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised." ~ Denis Waitley

15. "Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers." ~ Unknown

16. "Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible." ~ Unknown

17. "Life is too short to waste time waiting for other people's approval on how you live it." ~ Steve Maraboli

18."Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner." ~ Lao Tzu

19. "You can't always please everybody, but you can do what makes you happy and just hope that those around you will be happy for you." ~ Robert Tew

20. "If you really want to live your life to the fullest and realize your greatest potential, you must be willing to run the risk of making some people mad. People may not like what you do, people may not like how you do it, but these people are not living your life. You are!" ~ Iyanla Vanzant

21. "What you think of yourself is much more important than what other people think of you." ~ Seneca

22."Lean too much on other people's approval and it becomes a bed of thorns." ~ Tehyi Hsieh

23. "Nobody's going to save somebody who won't change. It's time to be brave." ~ Christina Perri

24. "What other people think of you is none of your business." ~ Unknown

25. "Take risks: If you win, you will be happy. If you lose, you will be wise." ~ Unknown

Good luck taking your own risks, my friends. I'm rooting for you.

<3 Madison

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: https://www.facebook.com/madisonsonnierwriter

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

Fyi

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

Drowning

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