Returned from the East Coast
I haven’t written a self-love post recently, and it has been on my mind to do so. Have you ever noticed that when you compartmentalize something in your mind as something you “have to do” it makes you want to put it off longer? That’s how my mind works. The crazy thing is, I’ve been wanting to write self-love posts. I’ve been thinking about, focusing on, and working on self-love, but I made the process of writing about it as just one more thing to do on my list. In working towards balance, I developed the time rush mentality, which is easy to do, but it doesn’t feel good.
The last time I wrote a self-love post was May 9th, over a month ago.
I got home on May 23 in the early AMs from my 2 month East Coast journey. I loved that trip. It was enabling and freeing.
The 3 biggest things I learned:
Home Resides Inside Of Yourself
1) Home is inside of you. It’s not limited to a specific location, your blood family, or your best friends. You’re at home when you’re at home with yourself, when you’re comfortable with yourself. When you accept and love yourself, you can feel at home anywhere: by yourself, with complete strangers, in a foreign country, or at your birth home – anywhere and with anyone.
Limitation Is A Mindset
2) I realized that any limits or restrictions in my life are those that I impose upon myself.
There are restrictions, for example, lack of a car. I can use that as an excuse for not doing certain things that I would love to do, like going to San Fran more, or traveling, or seeing friends, but there are other ways to get around. On certain days and within certain time frames, I can borrow a car. I have a bike, that’s always an option. I can walk. I can take a bus. My lack of car only inhibits my transportation to the extent that I allow it.
Biking and busing may not be as comfortable or as easy as getting into a car and driving wherever and whenever I want, but there can be more adventure or excitement in taking a bus, or in biking. Comfortable isn’t always the best option, although it can be the most convenient.
Another example, depending on where I am, I don’t always feel the safest or 100% comfortable walking around by myself because I fit one of the stereotyped physiques of a lesbian.
After I graduated and moved back home, I was honked at and was flipped off while walking to work. It took me about a month to feel safe and comfortable walking around by myself after that.
At college, there was an incident where a group of male students drove by me and some friends and yelled out “Fucking Queers!” About 7 out of 8 of us were either lesbian, bi, or queer. The incident was cleared up and it turned out they were yelling at some of their friends in their car, still not cool, but we thought that was directed towards us.
You hear stories from friends about being bullied, beaten or disowned. You hear stories on the news about kids getting killed or killing themselves.
This is another example of one of those things I cannot control, like not having consistent comfortable transportation. But I don’t have to let this be something that limits or restricts me. The more comfortable I am with myself, the less this kind of stuff bothers me. It’s still bothersome to hear hatred and ignorance, but I don’t have to let it bring me down or make me feel not at home.
There will always be things out of our control, or “limitations,” but when it comes down to it, the only real limitations are those that we impose upon ourselves. Being limited is a mind set. There is so much that the world offers us, we just have to keep our eyes and minds open.
I heard that our brain processes about a billion or some ridiculously high amount of information every second, and we only process 2,000 bits of that information every second. Those things that we process are what we’re familiar with. That means that there are millions, perhaps billions of things going on around us that we’re not aware of, but that are constantly happening.
If we can shift our awareness and open our mind to just one more of those things in a given situation, or each day, that’s a new opportunity or experience that we have available to us.
We’re not limited to the 2,000 bits of information that we process on a regular basis.
Money Is A Stressor
3) I realized that money is a huge stressor. I think money is one of the largest stressors that people experience on a consistent basis.
I’ve experienced feeling completely alone when I was abroad in Spain. I’ve experienced the death of multiple loved ones. I’ve experienced the isolation of not coming out for 13/14 years of my life when I knew I was a lesbian since I was 5. All of these are stressful, but I moved on. I confronted the loneliness in Spain and ended up loving traveling and being alone. I healed from the deaths of my loved ones and can remember them from a positive place. I’ve grown stronger as a person and am comfortable with my sexuality since I’ve come out.
With money, it doesn’t leave you. Isolation, death – these are obviously more painful experiences than money problems, but once you move on from them, money worries are still there. Worrying about money can eat at your spirit, slowly and consistently. Worrying about money can alter your happiness, your experiences with yourself, with others, and it can hurt your relationships.
When I was traveling, if I didn’t have enough money, I worried about how I would continue to support myself. How was I going to be able to afford that bus ticket to my next destination? For a while, I was living pay check by pay check, waiting anxiously for Pay Pal to transfer money into my checking account.
If I don’t have enough money, I worry about how will I be able to do certain things. SF Pride is at the end of this month, and one of my best friends is going to come down. I should be nothing but stoked, but my worry for money is staining my experience before it happens.
If I don’t have enough money, I worry about not contributing enough. I don’t want to have to ask my parents for money and say I’ll pay them back in a couple weeks. I don’t want to have to depend on others for my livelihood. I want to be able to support myself.
If I don’t have enough money, I worry about having to wait until I can get my business goals into action. I don’t yet have the money to buy the domain names I want for my business venture, or to afford the hosting, or business cards, etc.
Money is definitely a big, consistent, stressor.
I don’t want the worry of money to stain my happiness or my relationship with myself and others.
What I’m Working On
I’m doing freelance work in the realms of my passions to earn money, but I want to turn my passion projects into a source of income, and eventually, into my only source of income.
I’m consistently working towards my goals, so one day money will not have to be a stressor, and I’m consistently working on things that make me happy, so I don’t have to work with disatisfaction.
Traveling the East Coast was an amazing journey. Now I’m back at home with my parents, and I’ve been home for 24 days, almost a month. Time flies by so quickly. I had about a week of transition time from traveling to being back home, and I have been having amazing and frequent Ninel time, my niece, who is 24 days old.
I’ve been focusing on work and my goals, but overall, I’ve been focusing on re-organizing my life.
I’ve been focusing on de-cluttering my physical and virtual space. I got rid of about 7 to 8 boxes of things from my room. I still feel cluttered, and am working on getting rid of more stuff.
Since I work from my computer, I began to organize my virtual space. I organized my emails into folders, unsubscribed to unneeded subscriptions that filled my email with stress, and deleted thousands of old emails.
The cleaner my space gets, the freer my mind gets.
I’ve been listing, writing, speaking and working towards a few of my goals, which leads me to my work-in-progress bucket list:
1. Write a screenplay and film it with my brother.
2. Write an ebook, about making your dreams reality through loving yourself, taking action, and participating in communities involving your passions.
3. Start my business. Register it as an LLC. Open a second bank account. Trademark my business name. By the domain names and hosting to create the website. Create a logo and color scheme to use for branding myself. Get business cards, etc.
4. Work more on my creative writing blog, http://www.ecreativewritingideas.com
5. Write more fiction, at least once a week.
6. Train and sign up for a half marathon that I will run with my sister this October.
7. Treat myself healthier. Get more sleep. Eat healthier. Get a physical. Go to the dentist. Be healthy so I get less heartburn, and so I make sure I won’t develop diabetes, which runs high in my family.
8. Work on developing my Spanish speaking abilities, so I can speak Spanish well and consistently to my niece, Ninel.
9. Work more on developing my mom’s self-love community by updating and making her website more interactive so it can be a larger benefit to more people, and reach more people.
10. Visit or stay updated with my friends more frequently, explore San Fran more, and go to more music concerts and festivals.
11. Continue to push my comfort levels, to confront my fears, and to grow into the person I want to be.
12. Continue to get more editing, internet marketing, web design, and writing clients at $30 an hour, so I can have the money to support my above goals.
What’s on your bucket list?
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Media Network. She’s working on launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.