What I Thought I needed

I like rainy days because they don’t carry any weight to them
It seems that the earth can just take a break and be
without any expectations but to grow and nurture itself
The flowers are blooming the way I imagine myself.
Slowly- with a great silent effort, and then? All at once.

“It makes me sad to think about how long I let myself suffer with the things that I have been through before I chose self care”

– you were doing what you thought you needed.


Today’s theme?

Compartmentalization.
What a word, safety net, and horrid space.

For me? My go-to, certified A+, one way street to a coping mechanism that is a full proof and easy way to make sure you can walk through hell with a smile on your face.
Put whatever happened in a box, seal it with a kiss, DON’T talk about it and NEVER look at it again. And there you go, you’re happy all the time because it just. doesn’t. exist.

I’m on a bit of a self journey at the moment (… isn’t life one big self journey…)  and that’s why I want to talk about what we can recognize in ourselves as methods of coping that we mask as healing.

“It makes me sad to think about how long I let myself suffer with the things that I have been through before I chose self care”

I thought I was saving myself. Now I realize that there’s a lot of grief and loss in my life that has never gone away. It feels like a breath of fresh air to say that. To recognize that it’s okay, but what I thought was self care… well it wasn’t. I’m not even sure I know what I’ve learned from this yet other than that I need to not do it.

What is self care to me now? I don’t know if I have the answer to that yet.
Right now it comes in baby steps. I get more sleep, do yoga, I (try to) say no when I don’t have time to see people, I eat ice cream more than once a month, I take myself on walks and sit with trees, and most importantly I give myself permission to feel and do my best not to apologize for taking the time I need to do that.
OH.. and I cry. A lot. Not just about sad, but when I feel joy as well.

This isn’t a self help blog. I’m not here to teach you how to practice self care, or tell  you that you compartmentalize or cope in certain ways. Because that would imply that I know what I’m doing or that I think the way I live is the way that others should.

What I’d love to start is a conversation. How do you see self care? How do you implement it into your busy life? What are ways in which you have learned from dealing with HARD, earth shattering shit. How do you recognize when you’re dealing with something in an unhealthy way? What do you do about it?

I think the ways in which we cope are undeniably human. I want to know more about it. I want it to be something we aren’t scared to talk about.
Share with me?

With Love,

Kolina

Love Month

February rolls around and there are are a few types of people:

  1. You love valentines day and everything, I mean everything  is pink. Right down to the little red hearts you draw in your agenda.
  2. You hate valentines day with a burning passion and tend to gravitate towards ignoring the fact that pink, a wretched colour, even exists.
  3. Wait.. it’s valentines day??

I feel like as I’ve gotten older, random holidays that pop up throughout the year hold more meaning for me. You could care about them.. or you could not. Truth be told though, you’re probably going to be having way more fun if you’re the one participating. I didn’t really think like this until I learned what it’s like to be unable to join in. The year I got hit by that car, was the year all of my friends went all out for Halloween. This sounds silly but after halloween came and went and I was still bedridden, the thought occurred to me that  I might never get another halloween. Suddenly it seemed stupid that given the choice to have fun with it or pass, I had always decided that it was too childish for me. Now the only thing that seemed childish was how I chose to use my perspective. I know this seems drastic.. missing one halloween doesn’t seem like a big deal. But I missed out on many aspects of my life because of this accident. Some parts I still miss out on even now, two years later. If I didn’t learn to appreciate the things I can in my life from this experience then that would be very, very drastic.

This year love month came around and it got me thinking about what it means to have a day to celebrate love. Valentines day for me always seemed very family centred. My mom still writes my sister and I valentines day cards. I still have a teddy bear on my shelf with a heart written ” I love you, love Oma”. I’ve put more effort into the cards I’ve written for friends than I ever did for any crush.

So what does celebrating love on this day actually mean? I think it can mean a lot of things. Love to me has always been multifaceted. I think it exists as one entity that can be expressed in a multitude of ways. This, in and of itself, is why I do not think having a day to celebrate love is lame. We’ve all heard it: “you should be celebrating love evverrryday, not just on valentines day.” Yes. Yes you should. But if everyone took this day to sit down and extra appreciate what love actually exists as in their lives, then maybe it will feel ever more present on days that are not February 14th.

Things that I think we should all have ~ F E E L I N G S ~ for :

  • Ourselves!! Self looooooovvveee!! When’s the last time we all took a good hard sit down and said “hey body!!! Yeah I mean you, you beautiful thing that has taken care of me for my entire life–  I’m gonna start listening to what you actually want!” Personal care is a journey I’m still working on. I’m slowly starting to learn about what it means to listen when your body & mind ask for something.
  • The earth!! I think this one is so forgotten. We all need to be showing gratitude for the foundation that governs our every step. February has sported some wonderfully snowy days so far. Catch those snowflakes!! This includes looking at lifestyle changes that can help us be kinder to our environment. 
  • Friends and family!! These people in your life that love you and nurture you are important!
  • A significant other who recognizes the universes that you hold inside you!!! You don’t have time for mediocre and if thats all they can give you that then I’m sorry but a love month can become a goodbye month pretty damn easily. ( See bullet #1 & listening to what your mind and body want)
  •  Art. Read some poetry, some fictional work, watch a film, go to a museum, a dance show, play some new music. I am always searching for the human condition in it’s purest and most expressive form.
  • Show some lovin’ to your furry friends!! They’re there for you when no one else is! (Maybe cut meat out of your diet once a week?? Shameless plant based plug? Maybe. But animals need love too!)
  • Just caring about humans in general. Don’t engage in negativity. Ditch the stigmas you carry, the biases, the misconceptions. If you don’t get something learn about it. I have big feelings about not. making. others. feel. lesser.

Mostly I think that love involves expressive gratitude. What are you thankful for? Lead each day with the things that you are appreciative of, and you will find that love for those things, places, or people will flow quite freely. These are all things I’ve been trying to get better at working into my life. I really think reflecting is a great way to learn and make subtle, important changes.


An end note with a personal opinion:

I often see posts that look a lot like this circulating on valentines day:

You don’t have a valentine on valentines day? Well some people don’t have a mom on mothers day or a dad on father’s day so shut the f*ck up”

My human experience has included these two things:

  1. I have not had a dad on father’s day since I was about 15 years old.  
  2. I have been valentine-less for the previous 21 valentine days. 

I know how much it sucks to scroll through social media, on both of these days. Do you know how shitty it is to look through hundreds of pictures of people golfing on July 21st know that will never be me and my dad? I also know what it feels like to be totally fine on both of these days because I don’t have a dad on any day and I am happy for those people that get to spend time with their fathers. I also didn’t have a love on any other day.  I would be lying though, if I said it has never sucked to wonder what it’s like to be posting a picture of someone you are so in love with on a day meant for cherishing them. So it troubles me to see this post floating around, making people who may quite possibly feel as though they will never find love, feel even worse about themselves.  Wanting to find a person, does not mean you don’t feel bad for someone who has experienced loss. The two do not equate each other.

If you are lonely on valentines day and want to express that loneliness on valentines day that is okay. If you are not lonely on valentines day that is also okay. If you feel like you want to extend love into other areas of your life because you reckon you should give it back to the universe that is also okay. If you have a significant other that you want to celebrate on valentines day, that is wonderful and very ok. If you have lost a parent and are sad that you cannot show them the love you wish you could on this day that is okay (and for that I am so very sorry – because I know).

But could I please ask this: That we all be very aware and respectful of others & their personal feelings, all days. Especially on days when some of us might be a little lonelier. 

(And if there are lonely people in our lives maybe we just need to show them a little more love, not a little more apathy)

With the most love to everyone this month,

Kolina

007// Finding Home

I wrote the first few lines of this poem in a grocery store parking lot in the notes section of my phone. The idea of home is something I’ve turned over in my mind for quiet a few years now and I’ve never really been sure what to make of it. However, in a hotel bed of all ironic places, I think I finally found the words…

And so that makes me think you really can’t make homes out of human beings.
Because they take things with them when they go.
Like the smell of their baking
or the sound of their voice when you call them on the phone.
They take their laugh
and their cologne
and the way they touch you.
They take the comfort
and the reassurance
and every answer
to every question they leave behind.
We settle like dust into the spaces between their bones
and when they go,
the parts of us that we moved in go with.

Humans are not your home.
you are.

Root into yourself. Dig lower.
Plant love so deep within yourself.
Tuck happiness into the safest corners of your rib cage
so that you always have some where only you know to look
Run your hands over every inch of your body
until you know it as well as the walls of the house you grew up in-
And know that you are home.
Say it as you feel yourself breathing-
One hand on your chest
another entwined in your sweet smelling hair,

“I am home,
this body is home,
my soul is so beautifully safe in this home.”

|k.tavares