Toxic relationships come in many shapes and forms. I’d say, it’s pretty safe to assume that many of us have been in one at some point or another. They are destructive and poison our health and well-being from the inside-out.
I’m clearly not a relationship expert but from shared experiences with friends over the years, there is the commonality that we often times stay in certain relationships longer than we should. There seems to be great difficulty in acknowledging/recognizing that we are in an unhealthy situation. I think the reason for this is because we like to minimize and justify the current state of the relationship while we fixate on what was. I mean, “love” in any capacity has the potential to be blinding. Thus, walking away is the hardest part.
It’s only natural that we have the desire to sustain any relationship that we’ve invested time, emotion, and effort into because the thought of letting go of all of that can be intimidating. But what I’ve learned is that it is okayyyy to admit that a relationship has run it’s course. The most liberating feeling is breaking free from the toxicity and starting fresh. But of course, there is no “easy” way around this.
I think there is this blurred line (which could be called denial) between a relationship going “through a rough patch,” and a relationship turning toxic. Once you find yourself feeling emotionally exhausted more often than not, this is a clear indicator of the relationship’s demise. Not to mention, it is very likely, you too, are dishing this same negativity onto your partner.
I found it helpful to journal those days where I felt down and look back as the week progressed.
I would ask myself, “am I a happier person since this individual has came into my life?” And most importantly, “Am I a better person because of this relationship?”
I had the hardest time answering these questions. But I had to be honest with myself.
I’ve noticed, we like to romanticize the relationship and our partner with hopes of tricking ourselves into believing we should stay and that we are fulfilled.
Life is so damn short! Why waste time with any person who is inhibiting us from true happiness?
Cutting off a relationship can feel like an amputation, but it is very likely both parties will be better off .
As my mom likes to sing to me, “Let it go, let it goooo.” (Frozen Version)
In an era of “perfect” IG models and in the new wave of uber-trendy, health-conscious, Millennial products, it’s seemingly impossible for one to look past. Naturally, we want to join the latest fads and dabble into whatever the next best thing is. From meal-prepping (diet-plans), to cycle classes, to Kombucha, to whey-protein, there has been a major social media/pop culture influence on practicing a healthy lifestyle. I think it’s safe to say, when we double tap on an influencer’s picture, we think “goals,” or “can I please look like that?” I’ve caught myself thinking and saying these things aloud way too often but what’s important to remember is: these bodies we are envying are truly not attainable. Many of these individuals make a living off of their social media accounts and actual job is to maintain their physique…by whatever means possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think it is necessary to set health/fitness standards for yourself, but I’ve realized it’s just as imperative to stay body positive even if you are not satisfied with where you are at. In other words, finding a happy-medium between working towards your goal yet having a forgiving relationship with your current body. I definitely think this association is much easier said than done but once practiced, it becomes liberating.
My journey to finding body positivity began at an early age. I entered the sixth grade with newly developed hips and breasts. Most of my classmates had yet to reach puberty, which made me one of the few girls with curves. I was made fun of countless of times. Older girls would approach me with comments that were meant to almost make me feel bad for how I looked (as if I chose this body!) I’d been called, “wide-load,” asked if I was “cornbread fed,” and was even asked, if I was pregnant (at 11 years old) because of my hips! I specifically remember a particular time during “weigh-ins,” when my P.E. teacher whispered my weight to me instead of announcing it aloud as he did with everyone else…laughter then ensued.
At first, of course, I took offense to it and often times would ask my parents, “why do I look so different than all of the other girls in school?” They advised me that I only had one option: which was to embrace my body. If my appearance was all they could talk about, I was doing something right. In that moment, I decided to stop caring about what those people said about me and flaunt what I was given. S/O to you, girls
Once high school rolled around, I had to re-learn this self-love. Stretch marks and cellulite set in and that was different for me. This was the beginning of social media and the pressure to look slim was there. But I had to remind myself, “Jas, this is your body, you can either love it or hate it.” I decided to love it, can I get a Hallelujah?
But of course, I still struggle with my cellulite and am too hard on myself at times, I’ve made comments about my body that I would NEVER be able to say to anyone else. And this is precisely the point of this post. We should still be able to aspire to live a healthier lifestyle without forgetting to appreciate the skin we are in.
I once saw a male friend post this saying on Facebook, “Ladies, dress for the body you have and not the body you want!” And what I say to that is, BS, wear whatever the f**k you want!
I’ll still wear my shorts and dresses, with my cellulite in all it’s glory. I have yet to reach my fitness goals but I think learning to speak and feel positively about your body is the sexiest thing you can do for yourself. Male or female, confidence is sexy.
God bless this little boy for putting up with me for the past year. Troy is absolutely the light of my life. The amount of joy he has given me is indescribable but man, is he something. He’s basically a social introvert: he loves people, but at a distance. He doesn’t give kisses and when he decides to cuddle, he’ll do so with both arms fully extended for personal space (what a brat)… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He goes everywhere with me: he brunches, he bar hops, shops, flies, & the worst part of it all, has a choice between three strollers, each in a different color.
A post shared by Troy the Shih-Tzu (@troytheshihtzu) on
I get shit allll the time for how ridiculous I am with him but honestly, I owe him for so much…
(Will explain later)
Visiting the local shelter was basically a hobby of mine, prior to his adoption.
*I knew I had an obsession, when this was me with any and every dog, (even the not so cute ones) that I saw*
His adoption: It was sort of fate that brought Troy and I together. I had a random Monday off, so what did I do with my time? Visited a shelter, duhh. Growing up, the family dogs were all Shih Tzus so I had a type. Long and behold, in the very first cage was a scruffy, matted hair, tan, Shih Tzu named Troy. I was in love. My luck, he was reserved for a kid’s carnival/adoption fair that following Saturday. So I left broken hearted, without him. That Saturday was my birthday and as expected, I woke up with the worst hangover of my life. Out of curiosity, I reached for the adoption flyer in my purse and saw that the event went from 9-5pm. Yeah, no…by this time it was 4pm and I was still in bed. Finally, I was convinced to get up and we decided to see if for some odd reason he was still there. I really tried not to get my hopes up but the thought of him going home with me made me soo entirely happy. It was literally 4:58pm when we pulled up to the park as I saw Animal Services placing this tan thing into the back of their van. I freaked! “That couldn’t be Troy, could it?!” He then turned his head and looked right at me. He was the only dog of twenty that day that did not get adopted!!! LIKE, WHAT?!! As soon as we opened the car door, he jumped right into the seat, and I knew right then, that this shih’ was meant to be.
In the past, I’ve seen dog-owners post the saying, “Who Rescued Who?” And low-key thought that was pretty dramatic. But honestly, finding Troy at the time I did, was truly God’s timing. Literally a couple of months into us being a little family, the ex and I went through our break up and BAM, shit really hit the fan. I needed to find a new living situation, like ASAP. For an entire month, Troy and I were hotel hopping, Air B & B’n, and couch surfing. The worst feeling was not knowing where we’d sleep that night. Finding an apartment, seemed utterly impossible! Many of those nights I would cry and cry but little Troy would do everything he could to help me feel better. I didn’t have my family out here and I did not want to burden my friends, so it was him and I who hit the pavement for hours every evening desperately looking for places. I felt horrible knowing we were basically living out of my car. There were days that I wanted to say, “fuck this” and move back home…but I knew I moved out to LA for a greater purpose. Finallly, we found a place and everything felt right again. Troy was thriving and in retrospect, I don’t know how I would’ve gone through that ordeal without him.
Mom life: It can be exhausting but sooo worth it. His precious face literally gives me life. There’s never a dull moment with him. He is the most expressive dog I have ever met, not to mention the sassiest! Sure, there are moments that he annoys the hell out of me, but I’ve been blessed with the most chill dog. We joke that hes a cat, b/c he’s so low-maintenance, its amazing. For those who have asked me how I do it or on the cusp of owning a dog, its simple… just love them and they will enhance your quality of life infinitely. He lifts my spirits every single day and even though he doesn’t give kisses, (clearly salty about this) just his presence alone makes all the difference.
The best feeling in the world is…
But man, if Troy could talk, I’d be in troubbbleee. He judges sooo hard…
A few months later, Troy and I booked a flight to see la familia for Christmas weekend. But unfortunately, my dad’s health turned for the worst and for 14 days we were in a hospital/hospice room, day-in & day-out. Considering the chaos we were in and how little attention Troy received, he was a freaking angel. Troy was our light and did not leave my dad’s bedside.
You know how they say dogs have a sixth sense? I truly believe it. In the few moments leading to my dad’s passing, Troy went ballistic: howling, pacing back and forth, whining…but as soon as my dad took his last breath, Troy relaxed and laid back at his feet. This literally shook me for obvious reasons.
In the darkest year of my life, Troy gave me so much. The least I can do is continue to feed him all organic, grain-free, fresh meals, add more outfits to his section of the closet, and throw in a new stroller to the collection.
He is the one constant being in my life and I’ll forever owe him for that. Shout out to you, @troytheshihtzu, you da real MVP, bud.
I am the first to admit that I have allowed the stress of one particular situation to completely F up my entire day/mood, like a h a n d f u l of times. It’s something I think many of us have battled as young adults. Whether you need to unwind after a long day of work, school, or just life in general, here are a few tips that have helped me chill tf out.
First things first – blast music during the car ride home. The second I step into my car, it is either EDC on wheels or the most ratchet club you have ever stepped into. Sure, I get looks but especially being stuck in LA traffic, this somehow brings me clarity and helps separate work from home.
Pick up your favorite take-out on the way home. Make sure to call ahead!! B/c lets be honest, food always does the trick.
Go on a hike. The thought of hiking after a full day in the office or classes may seem daunting but even if it’s for just 20 mins, it’ll mentally do you some good.
Stretch– Turn off the lights, burn some candles, get on a yoga mat (I don’t do yoga so can’t recommend that) and play some vibey songs or meditate (can’t do this either)
Electric (Marian Hill Remix) – Alina Baraz, Khalid, Marian Hill)
Fantasy-(Felix Jaehn Remix)- Alina Baraz, Galimatias, Felix Jaehn) or the (Mark Ralph Re-Work) or the (Vices Remix) – basically anything Alina B.
Insane – Flume
Inside Out- Chainsmokers
Light – San Holo (He’s amazinggg)
Tennis Court- Lorde
Something About You- (Odesza remix)
Mask Off-Future (LOL, jk)
Do Not Disturb – Drake
Let Me Love you- Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne
How Did I Get Here – Odesza
Back That Azz Up- Juvenile – (jk)
Netflix & chill. Find a show and watch the hell out of it, preferably complex story lines or reality shows to help you feel better about your life.
FaceTime loved ones.God bless my friends and fam for listening to my rants and for feeding me much needed chisme throughout our convos. An instant pick-me-up.
Sip on a glass of wine. Just because.
Pray. Whether you are a believer or not, talking to a higher power, whether that be God or a passed loved-one can be extremely cathartic.
Finally, my most guaranteed method…ENJOY MEMES before bed. Get yourself in a feel-good mood before you rest yo’ eyes.
**Whatever the situation may be, remember it is only temporary. As my dad would always say, “there is a solution to everything, besides death.” That being said, I am for sure a work in progress…
God bless the curators of 2016-2017 memes. These viral phenomena have literally touched my soul in ways that even Chinese food, can’t.
You bored? Look at memes. You sad? LOL at memes. You angry? Tag yo’ friends in the comments.
Have you ever been told “you’re too dramatic,” “you procrastinate too much,” or “you laugh at the dumbest things,”? If so, memes are for you! 🙂 If you find yourself a reputable meme page, I guarantee, that you have just tapped into a goldmine.
Seriously though, memes have literally helped me through the most painful time of my life.
I experienced a break-up (was notttt fun). BUTTT let me tell you, there were memes for that! Figuring out how to do this “single” thing – there were memes for that!
Come 2017, My dad passed away and I literally went numb. That my friends, can not be alleviated by any photo/vid + caption… but I will say, after some time, I was able to laugh again. Like laugh to the point where I’m in tears.
And it is in those moments when I have to give thanks to the social media Gods, b/c I’ve found the remedy to shitty times.
Quality memes brought me back to life, literally they giveeee me life. If you are ever having a bad day, do yourself a favor and refer to this gem. xo! (IG: jstlbby)