'Ello friends :]
Wassup?! How ya'll been?
Obviously, I took my monthly week off last week. But now it's turning into two weeks, which is a bit rude, eh?!
I never plan these breaks in advance. I just get a feel for where I'm at and where I'd rather be. Insta-stalking and typing captions and eye strain all need a moment(s) of rest...at least for some of us.
Although I haven't posted much on social + no blog last week, I've been doing plenty of living! It was my birthday last Thursday, and I'd *basically* spent five days celebrating prior to that. And yes, it continued into last weekend. During this time, I'd heard back from a few places that are publishing my poetry (!!!). Last Friday, I bought a new skateboard (see below!!!) AND performed @ Queer Abstract.
Had so much fun on that stage! It's true -- the more you perform, the easier it gets. I had a ball from the moment I shot up to read. Looking out into the crowd, catching folks' eyeballs, making time move and stop with me depending on how I speak...
Some shots of me @ QA are here (new tab alert!). Pics of my life over the last week are below! ** More dets on all this below stuff next week / after I finish talking about my freedom. Scrolllll for the real post...
And now... FINDING FREEDOM, PART DEUX!
Progression and "knowing what I needed" were some of the last thoughts in my previous post. It's also how I started today's. Hmm 🤔 Sounds like I'm writing about getting my life and ACTUALLY getting my life...
This year has been entirely experimental in terms of finding my freedom. I reached a point in my depression and anxiety that left me without many choices. I had to figure something out -- to my own discretion -- and run with what worked!
I began this blog -- six months after bklynprose was born -- with a plan to be transparent about my life and mental state. Coincidentally, all of my traumas were coming to the surface at once, anyway. I didn't want to operate this thing behind a facade 🙄 so a few months into blogging, I started my search for effective coping mechanisms + a therapist.
Folks who've been reading the bloggo this year know a good deal about this journey. As crappy as it was most of the time, this search for freedom brought me -- somehow -- to skateboarding as a coping mechanism (read about that here!). It also brought me to a deeper sense of confidence in my personal and romantic life (re: my sexuality).
*keeping this post on the short side, as to not repeat any previous blogs*
^ Being on a therapist's couch was a huge catalyst for all that. I'd written down a number of goals for the year (as mentioned in part one), but therapy put me on the right footing to complete them.
Inside first, outside second 👌
Four months with a therapist completely rewired my mind and body. I gained a strong understanding of how trauma physically manifests and makes its way up to the brain. I learned how to handle myself when anxiety bars me from walking out the door. I don't know how I lived with severe anxiety for years (panic attacks walking from the train, my legs getting stuck as I walked, etc...).
I must've gotten comfortable being trapped in my own skin. I normalized helplessness after my exposure to sexual violence.
(I've written a lot about my experiences with surviving rape. To read about that, click just about any previous month on the right sidebar, or have fun with all the blue links above!)
By August 2017, I could taste freedom in the air! My brain was finally at rest! I could focus on stuff other than my mental health alone! But the price *literally* became too high, so...
i had to cut eeettt. (my therapist, i mean.)
Heh. Ya'll know the song!
While making amends with my mental issues sans therapist, skateboarding and finding confidence in my sexuality were both waving in the horizon. O' course, all three of these elements involved reclaiming full ownership over my mind, my body, and my spirit -- which led me to feeling how I feel now:
and that's damn good.
Yes, I've struggled with depression and anxiety. Yes, I'm a survivor of rape and all the issues that come from it. Yes, I love the uncertainty, cuts, and triumph of skateboarding. And last but certainly not least, I'm happily queer!🏳️🌈
But I'm a whole person because of all this. Who else could Latiana be? Anyone else would be a lie -- and that must've been who I was before 2017! 🤔 A damn lie... Hmp.
All I did to find freedom: Made a choice to respond to what I needed and paid attention to how I felt when I lived without those things. I stopped contributing to what didn't feel right, and I rejected anything that wasn't adding to my elevation.
PRETTY STANDARD STUFF, YA'LL!!!
There's no magical conclusion to this. But the above Sheneneh GIF does a solid visual job of it:
reject those nasty vibes.
This ain't the end, or even the beginning. But I'm in a pretty good spot right now... My sister wrote this in an e-card for my birthday:
"you inspire me with your quest to find your true self."
...Boo-yah, y'know? Best thing ever is when other folks address your shine. But inside validation feels even betta, boo. Use the holiday season to thank YO' DAMN SELF. And I gotta fit this in because I had to edit it out of another spot:
Trashy times just means yo' trash bag will be stronger the next time you have to dump that ish out!!! Can I get a halleluljerrr?
Hope ya'll have a great Thanksgiving Eve. I'm sure ya'll celebrate in different ways, or maybe not at all?! My brother called it Native American Memorial Day, which I prefer.
I've been spending Turkey Day Eve @ the bar the last few years, but it feels like this tradition is coming to a close. Lol. Folks are engaged and married and gaaahh!! Life! I'm ready to eat tho. chomp chomp.