How to Find Yourself

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

-Maya Angelou

 

 

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I am a man obsessed with nostalgia.

People. Memories. Things. I cling to all of them, never wanting anyone or anything I care about to be sucked up in the void I call The Happenings of Life. The tragic element to being someone obsessed with nostalgia is that, regardless, I know that I’m going to lose most—if not all—of the things I cling to. When I graduated high school, the friends and memories I’d coveted over my childhood had reached that inevitable moment; all of my friends were going to go off and start their lives, wherever the road took them. I knew that moment was coming, knew that I would not have the same relationships with these people that I at one point did. And even knowing, it still bothers me to this day.

People grow and change. Things become lost or destroyed. Memories tend to fade over time. I am obsessed with wanting those moments and feelings to be eternal and I’m working on accepting the fact that that isn’t possible. Nothing lasts forever. Now, the point about this, dear reader, is how crucial all of these things were to finding my path in life. Of course, I’m still trying to figure all of this shit out, and I likely always will be, but these experiences are shaping and cultivating me into the person I want to become.

Life is scary and wild and exciting and beautiful, and trying to navigate it can seem daunting and downright impossible. But what I’ve learned so far is that there are a few things you can practice that’ll help guide you into figuring things out a bit more.

For starters, be true to yourself. This sounds cliché, but it’s one of the more important aspects. Be honest with yourself about everything in your life. Your situations, your relationships with the people around you, with your feelings. Honesty is the best foundation for really figuring out who you are and what makes you who you are, as well as makes you more aware of what you really want in life. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you’re real with yourself, you’ll be well on your way to living your truth.

Explore your passions. Find the things that make you happy, maybe a hobby you enjoy doing. For me, a few would be writing and reading. If you enjoy creating art, create more of it! Learn about your favorite things as in-depth as you can. Absorb all the knowledge. You may find certain avenues (like a future career) within those passions, as well as other passions you had no idea about!

Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself. Now, this one is a tough one because I know how difficult it can be do this. I have bad anxiety, and so my brain can be a very mean organ sometimes. But I want to stress the importance of taking care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day if needed. Don’t be afraid to step away/get away from situations that are not in your best interest. Do the things that make you happy (as long as they are not hurting you or someone else). By understanding your needs and what you like and don’t like, you’ll have a better grasp of what you want in your life.

Break out of your comfort zone. Another hard one, especially for someone like me who is quite content with the comfortable boundaries I’m in. I’m currently in a new living situation with roommates I have yet to meet, and while it’s definitely scary, I know that it’ll be a good experience for me to have. It can absolutely be a scary things to step out of your comfort zone, but who knows what experiences you could have or the people you can meet if you took the chance? Try and do the things that scare you, and you may find that they weren’t all that scary afterwards.

And my last bit of advice is to love yourself. This may sound odd, but if you don’t love who you are, every facet, then everything is going to be exceptionally difficult. I want to emphasize how important, how beautiful, how amazing each and every one of you are. You all have amazing qualities, and once you realize just how powerful and fantastic you are, you will gain so much clarity on what you want out of life. You won’t settle. Knowing your worth is the most important thing along with loving yourself. So try and stop with any self-deprecation and start loving yourself for who you are.

Of course, all of these pieces of advice may sound very superficial and make you say,  “well, duh” but they’re still very important to practice. It’s also crucial to remember that life is crazy and that, even if you did all of those things, it may take some time before you begin to realize where you want to go and what you want to do. What’s great about practicing those elements is that it will align you and help put you in the right mindset to figure yourself out a bit more.

I wish you all a happy, prosperous 2020!

-Jordan

 

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If you want to check out my novel NEON BLUE, here’s the Amazon link:

https://tinyurl.com/vfvke52

I’m also on Instagram and Twitter: @jordanadams1128

 

Everything Happens for a Reason

“There is a power within – a world of thought and feeling and power; of light and beauty, and although invisible, its forces are mighty.”

-Rhonda Byrne

 

 

 

 

Everything happens for a reason.

I’ve always felt this was some cliché mantra preached by people who were just trying to find something positive to cling to. Something like, “Oh, I’m sure your mother’s passing was meant to happen. It was just her time. Everything happens for a reason, you know.” Or, “All those struggles and trials you went through? There’s a reason for it!” I battled with this concept for a long time, but it wasn’t until I went through certain experiences that I considered the validity in the statement. Did everything really happen for a reason? Is there some Grand Design, some Plan that the Universe or God has?

Frame of mind is everything, I believe. At the beginning of this year, I was in such a low, negative mindset that I never thought I would get out of it. I was depressed, but it was bizarre state of living; I felt that I was merely existing, going through the motions of life. Unhappy. I could do the minimum requirements that came with having responsibilities, but I was not thriving or happy. I’m still struggling with that, but I’m thrilled to say that I’m ending the year in a much better mindset than when I started it.

After having gone through this year, dealing with my lower mental states, all the stress of sudden life changes, after all the frustration and pain and a plethora of other things, I’ve finally decided that things do in fact happen for a reason. I had to find myself again, and I’m realizing with each day. I’m discovering my independence, focusing on my education and my future. The funny thing is, before all of the dramatic shit happened, I’d prayed and prayed for my situation to change. And it finally did. Of course, it wasn’t under the circumstances I would’ve liked, but I truly believe that I needed to experience all of these things.

I’m wiser. Because of the pitfalls of the year, I’ve become meticulously self-aware, knowledgeable of the fact I needed to rely more on myself than other people. Not necessarily in a negative way, because I do have people I can rely on in my life, but for my future and my own goals and ambitions. I can’t be disappointed, can’t be hurt outside of my own control if I’m relying on myself. That’s the most important piece of advice I want to convey in this post:

You are capable of overcoming and thriving on your own.

That’s what makes it so amazing, is that you really can come back from a low state of mind, a traumatic experience. It may not be easy—it could be the even be the hardest thing you ever do. But you sure as hell can do it. It is our choices that dictate where we go and what we become. I’ve had to really take charge of my own future. If you’ve been going through an awful year, had terrible things happen to you, or anything like that, I promise it won’t last forever. Nothing lasts forever, and that includes bad things.

Find your own power within the struggle. It’s hard, and I’m still trying to pull it out from the depths of myself, but you can do it. You can turn your experiences into something beautiful. You can grow from it, change for the better. Don’t let it eat at you and fuck with you. I’ve done that to myself too many times. There comes a point where you say enough is enough, and you reclaim your life. I’ve had to take these steps myself to get away from toxic environments and finally get to a place where I can work on myself.

I refuse to give other people power over me. I reclaim that energy, reclaim myself as an independent person and reclaim a positive state of mind. I will strive for my goals and ambitions, and I will achieve them. You can take your power back as well. All you need to do is both the hardest and most liberating thing:

You have to choose to take your power back.

 

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Check out my novel NEON BLUE on Amazon here:  https://tinyurl.com/vfvke52

Also find me on Instagram and Twitter : @jordanadams1128

2019 In Review

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 

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Today, I turn 24.

The reality is that this isn’t and shouldn’t be a big deal, but because I hate birthdays and I hate getting older, my anxious mind makes it a big deal. Getting older terrifies me, not just in the age aspect, but in the life events that tend to come with getting older.

First things first, hello. I hope whoever is reading this is well and I hope your life is great and I hope you’re happy. It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted any kind of blog, and I apologize; I tend to be erratic and all over the place when it comes to committing to things such as blogging. I plan to change that, so stay tuned. 😊

Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted, allow me to give a brief (re?) introduction. My name is Jordan. I’m a college student studying English and today I turned 24. I thoroughly enjoy writing and have written a few novels in the past and am currently working on a new one. I tend to overthink and be anxious a lot, and these posts are sort of like a form of therapy for me. I hope you stick around to see where this blog takes us—yes, us, because I think everyone can mutually learn and grow from each other, so I always encourage sharing and spreading ideas about anything.

What I’ve done a few times before on this blog is post my “year in review” and that is what this post will mostly be about today—2019 in review, and boy, was it a crazy ass year. And I’m not just saying that for dramatics, this year was very intense.

I started going back to school in January of this year, which was fantastic. I was happy to be back in that environment. My grandfather passed away in February and my niece was born in March. Unfortunately, it was also around this time that I reached a very low place mentally. Days got much harder to get through, I wasn’t do as well in school as I wanted, and it eventually got to the point where I withdrew from my classes.

It’s strange; I was both desensitized and emotional to everything going on around me. It was a bizarre kind of tandem—feeling hopeless and empty but also consciously aware of my sadness. During this time, I had started working on a new story. It was (and still kind of is) slow-going, but the one great thing about writing was that it made me feel happy.

I had almost forgotten what it meant to be happy. Again, I’m not saying that for dramatics, but the first half of this year still had lingering remnants of 2018 and there was a lot of negativity there. There was such a dynamic change in the environment I lived, in the energy surrounding me. But it amazed me how much writing could change my entire mental outlook, the act of creating, of breathing life into characters could make me so damn happy.

So, from January through May, the energy was low. I felt so alone and I knew that, rationally, I wasn’t alone, but my brain convinced me often that I was alone, as if it were just me, wandering the wasteland of life trying to figure everything out on my own. I was glad that I was back in school, working towards my degree, but mentally, I was not doing well.

Then June came, and this is where everything really became flipped upside down.

Due to forces outside of my control, I was displaced. I had to abruptly move, literally within days, and I had no where to move because it was so sudden. I ended up staying with other family, but everything was unexpected that I couldn’t process everything right away. Everything I owned went to storage (and it’s still in storage until a week and a half from now) and all my animals had to stay with a brother of mine, which I was also worried about because I love my cats so much (#catdad).

Now, I don’t want to come off as whiney and shit, I really don’t. But it really was rough, and I had school and work going on in the middle of all of this, on top of my depressive state of mind. I was (and still am) doing the best that I could. It wasn’t easy but eventually I got into a rhythm and tried to work on getting into a new place on top of everything else.

As I write this, I still am in that same situation, although I will be moving into a new place in December. The entire time of this going on, I went through a lot of emotions: anger, sadness, uncertainty, anxious. All of them cycling through. I didn’t and couldn’t write much of anything during this time. School took up a lot of my time and I cannot write when I’m not in the right state of mind, which most of the time, I wasn’t.

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Prior to moving, I had been seeking a change, searching for a way to change my life. I was unsuccessful in all of those endeavors I took. It wasn’t until well after being forced to move and living a more uncomfortable life that I began to realize that this may have been what I needed all along.

I needed to change the environment I was in. I needed to be uncomfortable because you grow from being uncomfortable, from doing things outside of your comfort zone. In this case, this was thrust upon me, and while at the time I thought it was just another catalyst to the craziness of the year, I now realize that this is what I needed in all along.

I was fighting with a million different things, trying to figure out the right concoction that would make the person I wanted to be, but I now know that I need to stop fighting these things, stop fighting and change from the inside out. I can’t say this year has been a bad year; I’ve learned to change that kind of negative thinking. This year has induced growth—forced growth, yeah, but it was growth I needed and I guess God or the universe decided that I wasn’t taking too damn long to figure it out that it decided to give me a huge push in the right direction.

So, today I turned 24, and it’s also Thanksgiving, and I think it’s very appropriate to say that I’m grateful for these things that have put me under pressure this year, because it’s shaping me into the person I’m wanting to be. I’m grateful for the family in my life that I was able to rekindle with a bit due to the circumstances, as well as the number of friends who’ve helped and reached out to me while I was going insane.

Everything has a way of coming full-circle, and I truly believe that’s what’s happening now. I’m excited for another semester at school and I’m really exciting about this new novel that I’m working on that will be done sometime next year. I’m writing again it’s been the absolute best feeling ever. I’m also re-releasing a novel (link below if you wanna check it out) back on Amazon.

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas and fantastic New Year (or if you celebrate something else, I hope it’s fantastic and that you are happy and in good health) and I want you to remember that you’re beautiful and worth it. Never forget it.

I apologize that this post was so long, but I had a whole lot to talk about. And I will be posting more frequently in the future about writing, my life, various topics, and anything that intrigues me. I hope you all stick around and go on this journey with me.

 

Remember: if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

-Jordan

If you wanna check out my novel NEON BLUE, there’s both the kindle and paperback versions here: https://tinyurl.com/vfvke52

5 Tips To Beat Writer’s Block

It’s happened again. You’re all ready and eager to sit down at the computer (or notepad, whatever tool you use to convey the crazy jumble of words that consume your head) and begin the beautiful, fantastic story that’s playing out like a movie in your head and…

Nothing.

Oh, the desire is there, but the words just… aren’t. All writers have been there. Hell, most people in general have been there. College and high school students trying to write an essay, their patience becoming as short as their deadline.

And I, being the fantabulous writer that I am (not really) have had my fair share of this infernal aspect of writing. Luckily, during my tenure as a writer, I have acquired some pretty good, and, er, interesting methods of remedying this problem. I’m gonna give you 5 tips I implement when I’m in a block.

 

JORDAN’S WRITER’S BLOCK TIPS

  1. Read!

Really, though. Reading, while fun, will help stir your imagination and creativity. So read more books! If not to help writer’s block, than just do it anyway!

  1. Take a shower

Not only will you become clean, but showers are (for me, at least) a time of reflection, of letting your mind wander, which can inspire thoughts or scenes that can become something more. So scub-adub-dub, get in that tub!

  1. Writing exercises

Another good thing to try and do are writing exercises, such as “Random First Line” or “Random Plot Generator”; it causes you to jump right in, and can definitively help stir up the clogged engine that is your creativity. For a bunch of free writing exercises, check out: http://writingexercises.co.uk/index.php

  1. Listen to music

A lot of my writing is emotionally driven, and music is an amazing device that can alter emotions and certain lyrics can form scenes in your head and make you go “Whoa! I like that, I wanna write that!”  Just let the music flow and the words just might do the same.

  1. Writing (Yes, you read that right)

One sure-fire way to get out of the funk of writer’s block is to, well, write. Now, you might be thinking, Jordan, how the hell am I supposed to write when I have writer’s block? And let me just say, there’s a method to that madness: write down anything, even if it’s a few lines. Write about how your day went. Or just a stream of your consciousness. Once you get in that flow, you’ll be surprised at what comes out, and that’s all it takes.

 

I hope you enjoyed these tips, and I hope they work for you if you are suffering from writer’s block. I know, it may seem like your creative tap has run Sahara dry, but I promise, it’ll pass. Just remember that you definitely won’t overcome writer’s block by waiting for “sudden inspiration” or anything of that nature. I’m guilty of that, myself.

 

Happy writing!

 

2017 In Review

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Rediscover Yourself

 “Metamorphosis is the most profound of all acts.”

― Catherynne M. Valente

About a year ago, I did a post about 2016 in a nutshell, and I loved writing it, so I figured I’d do the same for 2017, which, I pleasantly found, was a much better year than 2016.

First off, if I had to sum up 2017 in one word it would be growth. I’ve never grown so much in such a short span of time. I changed jobs, then changed jobs again. I released a novel on Amazon, and have recently retracted that novel because I felt it wasn’t in its best shape. I’ve become a healthier person. I dyed my hair in a pseudo “mid-life” crisis (joking, of course, but I used to be blond when I was younger and I wanted to revive that image. It turned out… interesting. Check out my Instagram if you want to see pics. 4.5/10 recommendation).

I went through a depression period. I lost interest in the things I used to. I didn’t write for months. I felt like I was chasing and searching for the true meaning of happiness, and it took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t a thing that I would find in the ways I was looking for it. I think for a while there, I lost myself, and I think you have to lose yourself sometimes, that way you can rediscover who you are, and it wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered who I was.

I had to reinvent. It’s important to remember what you stand for, what you love, who you are about. I’m writing again, and I’m loving it more than ever before. I’ve fallen in love with it again, and it reminds me of what I’ve always wanted and what I’ve always stood for.

I’m working on a new novel and I cannot wait to share it with people. I don’t know if I’ll release it on Amazon or if I’ll pursue traditional publishing, but either way, I’m going to make sure I get it out to the world because I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it, and it may be able to help them.

I’m a stronger person than I was last year, and it took me awhile to realize this. This year laid a beautiful foundation for 2018, and I am eager and excited to see where I can take my life from now and into the new year. I will be posting on here consistently from now on. The possibilities are endless: book reviews, writing shenanigans, engaging with like-minded writers and just people in general. I cannot wait.

 

Jordan

 

 

The Beginning of the Cycle (Writing as Therapy)

I have officially come full-circle again.

This cyclical way of my life baffles me—every time it comes back around, I am still struck with surprise and shock. One would think that after experiencing it my whole life, I’d get used to it by now. It’s like I fall into an unexpected slumber mentally (still physically awake, of course, but consciously… blank). These periods come with the normal ups and downs of my life, and it’s something about this time of year that really gets me going.

I’m working on a new novel, and it feels so good to say that. That alone is how I know that I’m starting a new cycle—a new cycle of conscious expansion, of adventure, of pushing myself into new territories. During my off-season (as I like to call it) I rarely write. I rarely read. I rarely do any of the things that cause me to grow mentally. It’s like I absorb everything during this period, and then let it all loose when I’m back in action.

In January of this year, I released a book via Amazon, and there was a lot of internal excitement and anxiety with that—this was a story I’d held on to for many years, written over the course of my teenager years, always seeming to change. It was a tremendous relief to finally get it out to the public, whether it be good, bad, or ugly. I felt that I needed to release it, just so that I could move on. Only, the release of that brought upon the End of the Cycle. The excitement faded, and I didn’t write anything or do anything after its release.

I’m happy to say that the gears are turning again, the engine is warming up, and the train is in the process of leaving the station. I’ve only recently noticed that I almost unconsciously touch on personal things in my writing, whether it be through a character’s actions or feelings. I don’t go in planning on that, it comes out silently, like little phantoms of a haunted house that creep up unsuspectingly on any patrons. I go into a trance when I write, and it isn’t until I come out that I realize that I’d had my own little therapy session.

And that’s how I know that writing isn’t just something I do. It goes beyond book sales and genres and “what’s selling.” With the risk of sounding exceptionally cliché, writing lets me bare my soul. Sure, there are characters we create. There’s whole worlds we design. But in every little aspect of what we write, there are pieces of ourselves laced within the words, and it’s important to be aware of that. Writing (for me, at least) isn’t something I strictly do to earn money (although I hope it becomes lucrative for me down the road) but it literally keeps me from losing my mind. It allows self-assessment without judgement. It lets us analyze our fears and insecurities in a way that isn’t negative. It literally saves our lives.

So, whether you have “off-seasons” like myself or not, I hope all is going well in your lives, and that you are prosperous in everything you do.

Until next time,

Jordan

2016 In Review

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2016 in a nutshell

As 2016 is drawing to an abrupt, insane, and (to be honest) a much relieving end, I figured I’d touch base on everything this year has brought myself personally. Also, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I wanted to tie that in. And it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I’m attempting to stay current.

*deep breath*

I never, ever get personal, but here’s a little insight.

So, to begin with, 2016 has been one of the most stressful, empowering, frustrating, and mysterious years that I can remember thus far.  I have still been working and still going to school; I’ve taken on more responsibilities; I’ve continued pursuing publishing endeavors and written new things. For the absolute longest time, I was in an inert state of being—I was in a rut, and I had no idea how to get myself out of that rut. But I’m thankful that, for the most part, the once still train is now chugging along again.

On the harder side, I’ve lost so many people (not necessarily to death, thankfully) but as friends. One of my biggest fatal flaw (at least, that’s what I consider it) is that I care so heavily and without end. People live their own lives, and they’re constantly coming and going, and I’m not used to the constant jumping around. A year ago, things were so different and if you’d told me that a year later, I’d lose some of the people who I’m closest with, I wouldn’t have believed you.

As a whole, 2016 had major events not just personally, but universally. More unnecessary deaths, the presidential election, the fight for rights of human people, riots, looting, and a plethora of other tragic things. What I can say, is out of one of the darker years of my life, came quite a few shining moments. I’m a stronger person. I’ve learned that feeling is one of the most powerful of human actions, and that I’m blessed to experience so deeply. And for the people who’ve drifted and have decided to leave my life, the only thing I can do is wish them well, and keep moving. If they decided to go, that’s their decision, and although I won’t ever stop caring, I can’t let them cause me that anguish. I know there are better things in store for me, and for anyone going through a similar thing, know that you too have better things in store.

I want to mention how thankful I am to have the things I do, to know the people I know, and to have experienced everything I have. Especially this time of year, remember everything that gives you joy and purpose. Love your family and friends, and tell them so.

I hope every single one of you has an amazing Thanksgiving and I want you to know that you’re all important and amazing and worth it.

 

And hopefully 2017 will be a hell of a good year.

 

Jordan