Monster

As a child it was the blur of claws and horns under your bed, keeping you from sleep,

by age 10 it was the person who was supposed to be your protector that first exposed you to the idea of self-doubt.

In high school it was that girl who treated you like a trend that was always one season behind,

but by the time college rolled around the monster became the nightmare inside your own head who saw her failures coming for her in the dark and not a creature.

When that voice of endless hatred and self-disdain became your own,

you started to believe that you will always be one step behind and never be able to catch up.

What about the moment that you believe every critical observation anyone has ever said about you, and tell yourself that everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong?

Then who is the monster?

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Admitting Everything Isn’t “OK”

We’ve all heard that one of the hardest things is admitting that everything isn’t okay. If I was to be honest, I haven’t been that okay in a long time. After the newness and wide eyed wonder of first semester wore off, the loneliness hit hard.

I was used to being around family every day, and extended family nearly once a week. I had a solid group of best friends that stuck by my side through all of high school, if not middle school, and now we were all being split up. Even though my best friend followed me South, she had her own roommates and I found myself seemingly suddenly isolated from everything outside of my bedroom walls. I got a pretty bad concussion very early on in the school year, and soon I found myself not only in pain but also struggling to keep up with everything that being a freshman in college encompassed. Instead of meeting new people, I spent all my free time at neurological rehabilitation appointments.

Throughout the fall there were ups & downs, but January led to a quick descent. I spent Christmas break with my boyfriend in London, having arguably the best 3 weeks of my life. That goodbye was not easy to say the least, I cried more that day than I had in a long time. As soon as I got back to school, I knew I wasn’t me. I felt so empty and unmotivated which is so unlike me. I went to school and work and then came home and watched Netflix until I passed out- and that was it.

It got to the point that Ewan encouraged me to call my parents who told me to come home for the weekend. I was able to readjust a little and I pushed and fought my way through the end of the semester until Ewan came and visited me for my birthday! That trip was also amazing and I felt so hopeful and alive and happy.

Then finals week came, and yet again that feeling came back again. I moved home a week later, and soon after that I was on a trip to Canada with my best friend. I told everyone that I had so much fun but honestly I was experiencing a level of self-hate that was unprecedented to me.

By the end of May, said “best friend” and I had a falling out which has a post of its own and could honestly use a few more – but the point is that it hit me really hard for multiple reasons. She and I were so close for so long that it really made me question if I was a good person, if I just didn’t deserve to have people love me. Now I’ve gotten into the mindset that I have no idea what she is thinking and that is perfectly okay because if she doesn’t want to be a part of my life, then great.

Now that I’ve given you an outline of my year, I can give you my summary of sorts. Throughout time I’ve slowly gathered that I have some version of anxiety, in my opinion it’s most likely high functioning of some sort, but I haven’t been to a professional yet to be sure. This has been both an old and new challenge as it changes and worsens. I have been so scared to talk about it for so long and just a few days ago had a talk with my mom about actually getting help.

Strangely enough, this is the most open and positive I have been in about a year. As difficult as it is I no longer feel like I’m lying to myself or trying to put on this perfect act to make sure my parents didn’t worry and no one asked questions.

I’ve said that it’s okay to not be okay more than a million times and more than half of those times I didn’t believe it. Every day is a struggle, but it does get better, and things change. All you can do is keep moving and acting on what you really want.

ONE YEAR!

Ahh, so today is a little crazy for me. Today marks one year since me and my boyfriend started dating which is actually insane.

I’m realizing I’ve never actually told the story of how we met and started dating and when is better than now?

Last May before graduation (the 18th & my parents anniversary to be precise) I got a snapchat from one of my best blog friends. However, it turned out to be one of his friends since they had switched phones. Right off the bat we talked non-stop.

So when I told him I was going to be in London in a few short weeks and meeting up with our mutual friend, he decided to come with! We spent the first day just sightseeing and it was so much fun!

2 days later E came by himself and met us in this restaurant by Buckingham Palace (and my mom and I may or may not have told my dad he was coming). By the time my family was getting on the Eurostar to Paris I knew I had a crush but was honestly trying to talk myself out of being irrational.

We started Skyping in Paris. While my family was sleeping I’d sneak out of the room and go sit on the stairs and we’d talk wayyy too long (even though he was still in school and I was walking like 10 miles a day traveling around).

Plot twist: Boy actually told me he liked ANOTHER girl so extreme confusion ensued while we continued to talk all of the time throughout me being in France and Switzerland as I tried to convince myself we were just friends (rude btw. jk,jk)

I guess long story short a year ago today I was in Venice when he told me he liked me and we started dating!

A lot of things have changed since then, but throughout it all he’s been right by my side and I can’t wait for every day after this one. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me E.

Too Late

When is too late?

How do you know that something is irreparable?

I think this is what it feels like.

People always say “you’ll know” but all I do is feel.

I feel hurt, lost, scared. I feel angry, I feel independent, I feel so anxious.

But I have also decided that I won’t be convinced into thinking that I’m some monster because I am not always happy or calm. And that everything surrounding my mental health is personal and if it won’t be kept private than I will find people who do it keep it private.

Mental health is not a joke and it’s not just a cause for drama.

I just don’t know if I can still believe all of these things in this situation.

Teenage Drama

My mind is all over the place right now. Its been a simultaneously horrible, long, exhausting and freeing, good week.

I’ve made a lot of realizations about myself and other people and how they both go together.

I know you probably don’t read this anymore but in any case I’ll keep it anonymous.

A really close friend of mine and I got in a sort of fight and in the moment in rocked my world, but I woke up the next morning and realized that I was a lot better off by myself than I thought.

I still haven’t decided if the experience was positive or negative or if I even want to try and resolve it. Our relationship had been really important to me for a long time, but I’m unsure that anything will change even if we talk it out.

Right now I’m just keeping my options open and trying to relax and focus on me and ignore all the overthinking my brain is amazing at.

I’ve had a lot of mental health problems lately and that night is the closest I’ve gotten to making a bad decision in a long while. The worst part is that is was mainly because of other people that got involved than the actual situation with said friend.

The next morning I woke up almost mad at myself. Mad for almost ruining a future that means so much more to me than teenage drama.

I’m not really sure how this all will end to be honest, I’m just trying to make a decision that I won’t regret and also won’t hinder me getting better.

I’m still upset and hurt and angry and partially apologetic and my opinions change depending on the moment and how I feel.

Throughout it all I’ve had friends who have given me so much support and I am so grateful for them.

Have any of you guys ever gone through a “friend breakup”?

Change

Hey y’all. Wow.

I’m currently sitting in the library of my college “studying” for finals which finish next week. One week, and my freshman year of college is over. Crazy. It’s been a busy, long, rough week. My boyfriend came to visit for 2 weeks for my birthday and it was SO much fun. We went to Kanab and spent time with my family, and even spent a night in Vegas together! He left on Sunday which just makes everything harder. It’s really difficult to go from such a high one morning to being alone studying for finals within a day.

I’m also packing everything that I own up so that I can move out this weekend. I’ll sleep at my best friend’s apartment for the few days left until finals are over and then drive home for the summer. I’m really excited to be able to spend time with my little brother and all my cousins. And then later this summer I get to go back to London (so insane) but on the way back, instead of getting on the plane alone, I get to hold Ewan’s hand, knowing that I never have to say goodbye for that long again which BLOWS MY MIND.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much my life has changed in the last few weeks, months, or even year. Within the last few weeks i have nearly finished all of my classes, found out I’m going to see Kesha in concert (LITERALLY A DREAM, MY BEST FRIEND IS THE BEST) and we have planned our trip to Canada! It’s going to be Lauren’s first time out of the United States and its going to be a freaking blast, I love road trips with her (and I get to cross another country off my list)!

OH! And I almost forgot, I turned 19!

Within the last year, I have graduated from high school, traveled to Europe, met the love of my life, started college, spent Christmas in London, made many memories with my new friends and my best friend, and so many more. As excited as I am for summer and the next year to come, I’ll never forget this one. All of the skype calls, all of the late nights studying, watching way too much Beat Bobby Flay, hammocking, singing in the car, and so much laughing.

As difficult as it has been I am so grateful for everything I’ve experienced and learned this year. I am so lucky to have the people in my life that I do, and I can’t wait to make even more memories with them!

Hopefully I survive finals week and make it to next semester, wish me luck.

Love y’all! – Aspen AKA The Author

Will They or Won’t They?

I feel so damn pathetic for writing this.

I should’ve known. Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them.

I never thought it would happen to us, never thought my first genuine heartbreak wouldn’t even be over a boy.

Everyone says growing up changes things and ruins friendships. I want to deny it so badly but I have less and less to push back with.

And the worst part is that suspense, still hanging in the air.

Will they or won’t they?

Will they or won’t they fix it, talk it out, make up, just like the good old days.

Will they or won’t they end it all, walk away, leave it in the past.

I don’t know. Will we or won’t we?