Catching Up On Life: Reconnecting With Self

Mar 10, 2022

Well, it’s been a pretty minute since sitting down and writing on here. It feels like that last month of February 2022 raced on by and didn’t get a chance to catch my breath. 

So, what’s been going on with everybody? How was the second month of the new year? Was Valentines met with your desired plans? Did anything big or life-changing happen while I was away? Any good news to share? Or equally bad news? I’m all ears!

February was in itself an entire whirlwind and shit show, both internally and externally as well as both good and bad. Yes, I am exhausted. But if there is one thing my gut is telling me is this: it’s time to reconnect with yourself. Even as I write this I honestly just want to curl up in bed, put some Desperate Housewives on, and naturally and gradually drift away into a long and deep nap. I want to wake up from this nap with zero guilt about the time I’ve been off. No care in the world about my long list of duties I continuously need to work on and never ceases to grow. 

I’m in the last few months before graduating from the Institute for Humane Education with my master’s degree and although it’s a bittersweet feeling一i hate to leave the rich discussions and community but so happy to just take a breather after two years of work and school and life. Life knows I need it. So as I get closer and closer to the finish line, stress and true hands-on workload have begun to pile up, mostly in my brain. I accept any and all recommendations for learning how to shift mindsets and put things in boxes一stored away一when I don’t need them. 

In addition to school, which is both exciting and exhausting, I started a new part-time job. It’s helped me in the mental/emotional department. It’s been good socializing with new coworkers, finding a balance with a new routine as well as distracting my brain from constant stress and thoughts over school workload. 

Currently, and probably the main reason why I’ve been so absent is the disconnection I’m currently battling with between my person and exterior circumstances. I feel like I’ve been stuck in limbo, unable to catch that little nugget of honest truth in my gut, and honestly, I haven’t been running as fast as I could to catch it. I’m scared to face reality and deal with my own demons and with the consequences and change that’ll bring into my life. I know I’ve been in hiding from myself and those around me because well, the truth hurts. Preconceived heartbreak is not desirable and facing the realities of real trauma is hard, let alone overcoming it. The last three years have dented me real hard and I know it’s time to mend to it but gosh why does this task have to feel so huge and terrifying.

So, I’m getting as much of a social cleanse these days as I can get. Sticking to weekly cafe dates with friends, occasional trash tv evenings with my sister, and the occasional bake session. 

Here’s a list of my current mental distractions and personal activities that are keeping me afloat amidst the internal chaos:

YOGA: my left wrist is slowly healing after the surgery in November 2021 and although this has been a slow pick me up, I’m gradually getting back in the game with 10 minute, less intensive yoga sessions in the mornings and/or evenings. 

READING: I joined a book club! And so in addition to my assigned readings, texts, and documentaries, I will now dive into the art of fiction novels, paired with a biweekly chat sesh. Slow reintegration into society in the works. Recently I’ve started reading outdoors for about 30 minutes, but I think I need to take this activity to the park to get more green energy to fuel my mental health. This month we are reading Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 50 pages in, we’re off to a good start. 

RUN/SWIM: this has been a lot harder to keep up with in the last month. My dog recently hurt her leg and so she’s a lot slower than a month ago and gets tired a lot faster. She’s not the only one feeling her age. Running without her just doesn’t compute in my brain yet so we’ve been sticking to daily morning walks before our day. This with an occasional run and swim is what keeps my brain relaxed in between a busy weekday schedule.

CAFE: I’ve been diving into cafe work-life about 2-3 times a week. One of those is often paired with friends on similar schedules. *note: subtle integrations*

AT HOME WORKOUTS: I love to hate these but budget life has kept me from joining a gym. Swim membership is all I can muster at the moment, and that’s okay.

THRIFT SHOPPING: you know the whole retail therapy phenomenon is much more healthy for the planet when done second-hand. And to make things better for the soul, you can find vintage items for a quarter or less of the original price. Better for you and the planet. A win-win. On a side note: I need to regress from this. 

Whispers to self: Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. 

OCCASIONAL OUTINGS: things like trips to the movie theater, happy hour dinner (hello margaritas for 7$), and soon weekly trivia opportunities are something to look forward to when the week becomes too self-loathingly mundane. 

BAKING: I’ve nearly perfected South African rusks and I’m determined to make a bi-monthly batch to pair with my morning coffee or evening Irish breakfast tea. I also tried making the LAUSD cinnamon coffee cake and I burned the first batch. I’m determined to try again in March with crossed fingers. If not, ill see you all in April. 

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: weekly drama tv with mother helps with this whole reconnecting with the self part. Equal to time off *insert blanket and snack here*

Author

Author

Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.

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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to focus on her studies.

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