I help creators heal through personal passion projects + lifestyle change.

"Vincent van Gogh ate yellow paint..."

There is a story that romanticizes Vincent van Gogh eating yellow paint because he thought it would make him happy. While this is untrue and no one should eat paint, I like the idea behind it. I believe there is something out there for everyone -- something that makes them light up from the inside out.



About Two Point Perspective + Rosie

What lights you up?


Personal

Learning to love yourself, boost your happiness, and find time to pursue your many talents.

Passion

Honing your craft, improving your productivity, and organizing your systems.

Project

Putting it all together by working to find the balance between who you are, what you love, and your obligations to the world.

Read the Blog

How to live tidy when you need to be reminded visually

I tend to forget things.

It happens now and again, so I try to make sure I write things down ASAP and remind myself visually that I need to get something done. This isn't limited to what I do but also what I use. I forget I own certain things, especially clothing items and papers. This wouldn't be so bad except I also try my best to keep everything about my life super organized, especially given the small space I live in. I like white space, clean lines, and uncluttered surfaces (though my poor desk always seems to collect stacks of papers). But this means I tend to put things away, out of sight.

My brain takes "out of sight, out of mind" way too seriously.

I will forget I own things, simply because I don't see them. But I don't want to see them because when I do, they clutter my brain. Are you picking up on my conundrum?

Today's post is for you, who may be able to relate to needing to be visually reminded, yet not wanting stuff all over the place. Here is a fist bump and a few tips for you, friend.

#1 Put your most used items out on display

Giving your things a place out in the open will not only help you use them, but save you time from always having to get them out and then put them back and then get them out and - you get the picture. It's also great to remind yourself that these great things exist (because sometimes we forget!). I bought myself a highlighter (face kind) back in November and LOVED IT. But I've only used it a few times because it slipped to the bottom of one of my drawers and it took me weeks to remember I had it. Now it's part of my first-pick pile and I remember to use it.

To keep things from feeling too cluttered, limit the items you keep out and don't show off what you think you'll remember using.


#2 Put the items you WANT to use out on display

Are there things you want to use up but forget about because they're buried? Pull them out of hiding and use 'em up. That tube of toothpaste with one more use? Counter, next to the toothbrush. The last bit of cream cheese? Front of the fridge. The possibilities are endless, my friend. Don't let your hard earned cash go to waste! (UNLESS these items are things you have found don't give you joy. In that case, move to tip #5.)

#3 Create a fresh atmosphere by changing your space

I have a corkboard on my wall full of inspiring quotes and artwork I've miraculously conjured. Problem is, I'm so used to seeing those things, I skip right over them. My brain's got better things to do. To combat this I've started switching things up when it's time to change my calendar. I'll move things around, give it a fresh layout, and even take a moment to add/remove something new. Now my eyes will catch on this new display, and I will take the time to look, read, and suck up inspiration.

You can do this with more than a cork board. Books on your shelf, how you organize your clothes, knick knacks - whatever it is you have out, feel free to change it up every once in a while.

#4 Use sticky notes

Sticky notes are amazing, friend. I love using them to break down school notes, organize information, or remind myself of important to-do's. I highly recommend that you go out and buy yourself a pack, big or small (or all sizes!) and stick 'em on everything. Just remember that your brain may get used to seeing them after a while, so they're best for reminding you of short-term/urgent items.

#5 Make it easy for yourself by clearing away what you don't use

I love love love to declutter. Just the other day I through out about a dozen used mechanical pencils I has accumulated because I liked the brand and wanted to remind myself about it, or because I felt it was wasteful to throw them away.

They're in the trash now.

What have you been storing up that you don't use anymore? This could be anything from gifts shoved in the closet to body lotion you keep trying to convince yourself with be worth the sticky feeling yet never get around to using. Start physical, then work digital. Begin on the surface level of your room - shelves, bed, desk, surface areas of all kinds - then work into harder to reach places - back of the closet, hidden boxes, etc. And as a bonus, feel free to treat yo' self and clean as you go!

Do you need to be visually reminded? Do you have tips to share with me? Holler at me in the comments below!

Worlds Beneath Blog Tour: Giveaway & Guest Post With K.A. Emmons


Art. creativity. Inspiration. The passion to make something to, in turn, inspire others… the healing power in each of these, I believe is immeasurable.


You were given your craft as a gift. No one can make that thing, write that book, or sing that song in the exact way that you can. You have something that only YOU can give the world. Something the world needs - something it craves.


Your words can impact others. But your words can also impact you: can affect you, can change you, and can get you through so many things.


I think we often read stories from the old testament and think of God as speaking from a cloud, or a disembodied, echoing voice. But consider what you feel what you are making something new… that spark, that passion that you don’t even have words to describe:


did the creator not give you this passion to create because you too are a creator?


When you hold that paintbrush, that pen, that microphone - when your fingers tap the keyboard or when your hands melt against the soft clay - do you not hear his whispers?


My child, I have given you this.


We are creators; we make things. We make an impact on people’s lives with those things. And, if we choose, the things we make can heal us - can be lessons to us about the fact that we can choose. Yes, we can choose.


We can choose to create. To make good things. So grow beautiful thoughts in the gardens of our minds, chasing out the darkness. We can choose to watch those flowers bloom; to bask in their scents and the sunlight which filters through them and onto our faces.


Art is expression, and truth if we decide to let it speak. It can point us toward something greater than ourselves, something which, like adhesion, holds us, and the trees and the moon, and cake, and our friends, and the next door neighbor’s labrador all together.


We can find the light. We’ve been given our gifts, our art, as a tool with which to search for it.


And when we find it? We can choose to let it in.

* * *


This beautiful post was written by none other than the amazing Kate Emmons!

Kate has recently launched her SECOND book, and GUYS let me tell you: It. Is. ABSOLUTELY. Amazing! Her world-building is phenomenal, and her characters each fight real, relatable struggles. The way she pulled everything together at the end... AHH! When I finished this book, I about cried. No joke. I can't recommend these books enough.

As a special treat, Kate is giving away an AUTOGRAPHED copy of her debut novel, The Blood Race. Be sure to check that out below! As you scroll, please enjoy learning about Kate, her book, and the host of this lovely blog tour. :)

More about Kate:

When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. Get connected with Kate on your favorite social platform, and be sure to check out the K.A. Emmons website!

Social Links:
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Goodreads


Get your copy of World's Beneath! (ALSO ISN'T THIS COVER JUST FAB??)


Thank you Livy for coordinating this awesome tour!



Enter the giveaway!

How to Balance Your Full-Time Schedule With Your Passion Projects

We all have that one commitment.

You know, the activity that's kind of a hassle, takes up a lot of time but will be good for you in the long run. This could be school, work, both, or something else entirely. Something where you had to tell another being you were committed, and you are.

But you also want to be doing other things.

Writing, reading, blogging, photo taking, drawing, practicing guitar -- the list goes on and on. These are the passions that frustrate you and satisfy you all at once. And with a full schedule, it can be hard to fit everything in.

So, we look around on the Internet asking "how?"

Well, I'm writing this for you today because I've picked up some tips that have helped me fit in what I want to prioritize. And really, that's one of the first steps. Figure out what's important to you first, then sit down to fit it into your schedule. Because why bother penciling in an hour of coloring when you would rather be writing? [You get the idea, eh?]

#1: Cut out your binges.

Alright, I have to address it. The binge sessions. Your Saturday free time gets eaten up by good anime and beauty gurus on YouTube. Buuut it's also cutting into your productivity. Now breaks are healthy and I'm all for them. Sometimes you just gotta unwind. We don't want to risk burn out by pushing ourselves 24/7, because that makes it harder to start back up again. But we also don't want to procrastinate either.

How do we balance it?

The best way I've found is to give yourself an allowance -- "After I edit for 20 minutes, I'll watch one video" -- and stick with it. If you're not the type of person who can do that, I'd love to recommend something like Stay Focused. It's a browser extension where you tell it what sites you want limited access to (like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and it gives you a daily allowance. Once you use that allowance, it blocks the site so you can't use it for the rest of the day -- pretty neat, hm?

#2: Find the pockets.

We all have those little 10 to 15 minute pockets of time where there is nothing going on. We're either waiting for someone to pick us up, for another class to start, or for lunch. Find ways to fill in those pockets of time.

You could do this with audiobooks, podcasts, or mental prep time. You could close your eyes and take a power nap. You could go through your list of to-dos and decide which one is the most important.

You could enjoy taking the moment to wait, be still, and breathe.

Whatever you choose, recognize these gaps of time and fill them however you please.

#3: Take baby steps.

It had been months since I've read a good YA book and even longer since I've taken the time to sit down and read. The thought of setting a number of books to read in a year was far to daunting, because where would I find the time? Yet, it was important to me. I love visiting other worlds and I didn't want to lose that part of me. So I would set a vague reading goal that I never fulfilled.

UNTIL

I realized I didn't have to read a book all in one day. How would my frazzled brain be able to take that pressure? However, I could read 10 pages a day. Just 10 pages! If I had time for more, I would read more. If not, I was satisfied and my books got returned to the library on time. ;)

You can do this for any goal or project you have that seems overwhelming to you. Break it down. Take little bites, as your mom would say. Don't try to scarf it all down at once.

It may seem like you're not making any progress, but that's 3650 pages a year! That's a lot more than 0...

#4: Get up earlier (if you can).

For some, this may not be possible. Your school schedule already has you getting up before the rest of the world. But if you don't have an obligation that's pulling you out of bed at a (somewhat) ridiculous hour, then I'd like to recommend you make one.

At first, it may make you feel grumpy, but after a few days, your body gets used to the routine. You go to bed earlier, rise earlier, and those weekend sleep-ins feel all the more satisfying.

#5: Print out a reminder.

I have a Daily Grind list I keep on my wall to remind myself the steps I'm taking each day to take care of myself. I may not achieve these tasks every day, but I am making progress in each area as time goes on.

I make it a point to do a few push-ups [I can handle 10! Which is 10 more than I could before. ;)] and drink water in the morning. On the days where I don't have class at the crack of dawn, I put my quiet time first, whether it takes 15 or 45 minutes. On breaks I get up and walk down the hallway, stretch, do a few jumping jacks. The point is, when I see the reminder on my wall it reminds me and things get done.

#6: Learn from me.

For the longest time *cough* as in years *cough* I have been putting off editing my novels (there's something about the process that COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OVERWHELMS ME, so I usually get to the point where I hate the novel and then quit). When the opportunity came up -- like the notification that a YouTuber's video went live, or an invite to watch a movie -- I took it, because I could "always edit it later". And then all of a sudden it's midnight and I'm tired... See where I'm going?

Doing this has cost me time. Lots of it.

If this is you with one of your goals, please please please take the time to remove your distractions. Turn off notifications -- or even just turn off your phone. Or if you can't get away with that, put it on silent and hide it so you aren't tempted. It will be hard at first, but trust me, it's so worth it.

Other action steps that don't need long explanations:

  • Work on one project at a time.
  • Learn to say "no". (Or just use your mom as an excuse: "She said I couldn't.")
  • Take breaks when you need them!
  • If you can't give a passion project your full attention now, pencil it into your future schedule and continue to look forward to the times when you will be able to work on it.

One last thing before I go: Take your time.

There's no need to rush. Sometimes it seems like the world is pressuring us to get 'er done, but in actuality, it's the pressure from our own expectations that weigh us down.

Don't expect too much. But also don't expect less than you are capable of.

In a good way. Stretch yourself, but don't stress yourself. You're where you are for a reason.

How do you balance your schedule with your passion projects? What are you going to put into action today? Are you liking 2018 so far?

Cessation Blog Tour: Interview with Author Anna McAuley

Introducing Anna

"Anna McAuley is a teen writer from North Carolina. She has been writing short stories since second grade, but Continuing Forever is her first completed novel. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, drawing, music, anime, photography, and blogging. She lives with her parents, three sisters, and two brothers, as well as a poodle and many cats. For more about the author, you can visit her blog,"

I know Anna as a sweet girl who always has something nice to say. She is a creative whiz who always knows how to make me laugh, even when I feel down. Her writing transports me, and I am so thankful to have had the privilege of pre-reading all three of her Continuing Forever books.

She graciously agreed to do an interview with me, so without further ado, here it is!


Do you think that creativity involves putting your heart and soul into your work? Or is it more like letting your mind flow freely to witness the surprising results of your actions?

In all honesty, I think it’s split 50/50 between the two. You have to purposely apply yourself and pour out your heart into your creative work, but it’s equally important to let yourself “roam wild and free” in order to grow and not hold yourself back.


What do you do to get into your creative zone?

If I’m having trouble getting into a creative mood, I’ll go for a walk, listen to new music or music I haven’t heard in a while, or read a book. (Or take a shower. A lot of my best ideas come to me in the shower.)


Does writing energize or exhaust you?


It energizes me! (Unless I’ve stayed up past 3am writing… *cough*)


What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?


Well, you, Rose, inspire me as a writer. ;) Kenzie inspires me with her beautiful words. Joy inspires me with her dedication to her novels (and her writing itself!). Kate inspires me with her amazing talent. (And there are many more I could list!)

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The “brainstorming” part. Coming up with ideas (when they haven’t already occurred to me) is difficult for me sometimes.


Were you ever discouraged? If so, how did it it affect your creativity?

I have been discouraged sometimes- writing/publishing is a hard process and it’s easy to start wondering “Is it worth it?” But whenever that happens, I usually snap out of it, decide that, yes, it is worth it, and dive back into my writing “back and better than ever”. I think that discouragement can be one of the best motivators (even though it’s pretty much the opposite).


What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on your creative journey?

Discouragement/doubt, and time, honestly. It’s hard to find time/discipline yourself well enough to set aside a good chunk of time for writing (or whatever creative activity).


How would you describe your writing process?

Sporadic. That is all.

You have survived multiple rounds of editing for multiple books. What is one thing you have learned while editing your work? What is some advice you would give to someone who feels intimidated by the thought of editing an entire novel (let alone an entire series)?

Firstly, you can’t take criticism (from friends or from strangers or from yourself) personally. Try to see them as a chance for improvement and learning. Firstly, POWER THROUGH. That’s literally all I can say. Editing is hard and it’s not very fun (to me, anyways… some people love it!), but you’ve gotta do it. Stay motivated, make a schedule, and do your very best to stick to that schedule.


What is your favorite part of publishing a novel? (Writing the first draft, editing, creating hype, etc.)

Either the writing of the first draft or the first read-through! (And I also love designing my covers. So, so much.)


How would you like to be remembered?

I hope that people remember me as someone who “went for it” in nearly all things- I hope that people can say that I never backed down and was motivated to work as hard as I needed to in order to achieve my goals.

Want to check out more of the blog tour?

Head on over to these posts!



Cessation becomes available for purchase on August 3rd, 2018

For more information, please visit Anna's blog or any of the following links.

Interview with Abby from Story-Eyed

I have known Abby for quite some time now. We have collaborated with other writers to create online magazines such as Freckled Minds and we've partaken in group chats that brought to life the famous @Albion2k16 (the albino future president, mind you). She is very talented in numerous creative realms, from writing to photography to blog design. She is also the sweetest girl and such an inspiration to me.

Abby has recently launched a new blog called Story-Eyed, a site about writing, college, and travels she's been on. She reached out to me a few weeks back asking for support on this new journey, and given what we're all about here at Two Point Perspective, I said yes! We agreed to do an interview, and it went as follows.

Now please, grab your favorite drink and snack as we sit down to look into the life of the elegant creator Abby.





Do you think that creativity involves putting your heart and soul into your work? Or is it more like letting your mind flow freely to witness the surprising results of your actions?
There are definitely artists who lean one way or the other. I've met other creators who need to meticulously plan out entire trilogy down to the smallest details. There are others who just take random bursts of inspiration from whatever they see! While it's great to have these two aspects of creativity shine, I don't think either come as mutually exclusive in the creative process! It may actually be a synthesis. I think, for many artists, the work they create does subconsciously reflect observations, ideas and beliefs which may resonate within themselves, even if birthed sporadically. Their muse must come from something they observe or feel.


What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I have super weird processes for each discipline except for photography! Theatre is predominantly the strangest. I usually will lock myself up in the same closet as the hangers and bobby pins and just make strange faces into the mirror. A lot of vocal exercises, like sirens or tongue twisters, also occur. As for my writing prep process, I'm very private about this one, but it is something which does helped clear my mind from any doubts or preconceived expectations building in my head. Ultimately this is what all of my creative zone entering processes do: release that tension and enter in with a clear mind.



Does writing energize or exhaust you?The act of writing energizes me. I love how I'm able to portray characters and scenarios, living inside of their head space and seeing the ways they deal with adversity. It's funny, because I sometimes write personal essays and memoirs for self reflection. With those pieces, I'm usually in such a wreck because I channel in all my emotions. It leaves me exhausted at the end of the day, but gives me a sense of calm energy and a clear mind once it is finished. All of those negative emotions are gone, replaced with a sense of understanding.


What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?She's not an author in a traditional sense, but my writing friend whom I've known since my middle school years Christina pushed me. She's achieved so many outstanding writing feats all throughout middle and high school, from journal publications to national recognition. It's through her that I've challenged myself by being immersed into a different tangent of the online writing community and studying different styles. I do love the blogging community, but it is important to also expand outside of our regular circles and from there, immerse ourselves in the diversity of writers and topics.


What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?The most difficult part of the process is waiting. Stagnant doldrums are calming after a whirl of fury, but I don't like staying still. I want to write, perform, and create, but sometimes I have to wait because maybe I need more time to mull over the plot, or another audition won't pop up for the next several months. While it can be frustrating, it's good to remember these moments can be utilized to attune to what your internal self and the world are saying to continue being inspiration.


Were you ever discouraged? If so, how did it it affect your creativity?A lot of external forces discourage me-- a big part comes from those who simply dismiss writing as a waste of my time and don't support me. Hearing this, especially from those in my inner circle and hold in a high regard, hurts. I know chances in the publishing industy are slim. Instead of discouragement gnawing at my creativity, it actually fuels it. I push forward. I study characterization after finishing my physics homework and scholarship applications. I write until my wrist hurts and pen stains my hand for the umpteenth time at three in the morning because yes, failure is inevitable, but it does not mean your creativity and drive are taken from you. You may not control what happens externally, but creation and resilience are in your control. No one can take that from you.



What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on your creative journey?Besides discouragement, the lack of available resources has been the biggest obstacle. I live in one of the most beautiful states to go outside and explore in, with a rich history and an appreciation for the arts. However, due lack of funding and the state facing hardship, all art programs-- including the literary arts-- have been cut, and some of the remaining options are too expensive to attend. Sometimes it felt like I was falling behind some of my friends, who did have those mentorship and author seminar resources, but that didn't make me less of a writer.


How would you describe your writing process?A large chunk of my writing process comes from fermentation. When a new idea springs into my mind, I spent several months garnering and recording who my characters are and how the story will push forward. Once the general outline is solidified and character arcs are in place does the actual writing come forward. It then takes me an additional two months to calm down from the novel before I begin editing, then another three before I send it off to beta readers. The process then cycles over and over again, but the aspect of fermentation-- the act of pinpointing and enriching fuzzy plot and character points-- still remains the entire time.


What are the creative hobbies you save the most time for?Most of my time is spent on either writing or photography. For writing, I typically dabble in novels, personal essays and memoirs, some short stories, and lately, some poetry. If I'm not engaged with either of those, I'm either performing, coding, or currently engaging with new media consumption!


Do you think your creative endeavors have helped you work to improve your mental health?Yes. As someone who suffers with anxiety, writing helps me channel my emotions and examine inner turmoils whose roots are murky. To be able to write for yourself for the sole reason-- there's something empowering about having an outlet. It's been a powerful way to help keep my emotions in check. I've also been getting into performing some of my written pieces live or on a recording, which would have been surprising several months ago!



How would you like to be remembered?I want to be remembered for the reasons why I write: to examine the clashes between good and evil, the black and the white, and highlight the stories of the gray which emerge in between. These gray areas are typically the unnoticed, if not untold, narratives which give depth. Gray is usually dismissed as a monochrome color, but I admire its ability to give the dimension of depth and complexity. Whatever I write, I hope it inspires individuals to think, interact, and gain a better understanding of the world surrounding them. And if my work does this and helps people build connections, then I'll be happy.


You can find Abby at the following social media links:

Goodreads // Pinterest // YouTube // Twitter // Bloglovin' // Story-Eyed

** All photos belong to Abby **

What if Abbiee, Anna, and Kate wrote a book together?

Some people on the web speak to our hearts.

Lately, I have been in the groove of enjoying the content of three bloggers I absolutely love. Their stuff gets pushed to the top of my inbox, all post notifications are turned on, etc. When they drop something new, I drop everything else so I can be one of the first to consume what it is they put out.

Q: Do you follow any creators who connect with you in this way? Let me know in the comments!

I love these bloggers and the beautiful array of content they put out on the web. The messages they stand behind and what they create always turns out to so beautiful and inspiring.

Then one day, as I was roaming around the web looking for inspiration, I found a post suggestion on CoSchedule. It said,

Pick Out 3 Creative People Who Inspire You And Think About If They Collaborated To Make A Product—What Would It Be?

It got me thinking about these bloggers and it spurred the idea of them collaborating together. To make what, you ask?

A book!

Well, let's meet them first before we daydream about the gloriousness that would ensue if my top three fave bloggers wrote a novel together.

The rundown on these top bloggers:

Abbiee from Abbiee

Abbiee is the beautiful, multi-talented waffle-eater we all know and love. She spreads positive, encouraging messages through a multitude of platforms and crafts: from her blog posts, music, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, etc. She is the spout of inspiration and the main guru I go to when looking for advice -- whether it's writing, productivity, or even relatable entertainment.

Anna from Lethologica

Anna is the famed author of the sci-fi trilogy, Continuing Forever. Anna has given me the great privilege and honor of being on her pre-reader/promotion team AND being my friend. She is the most down to earth, funny person I know, and she's willing to talk about pretty much anything. Her knowledge of the book world inspires me to broaden my horizons and dig deeper into the stories that go unnoticed. She is also a very talented artist, loves cats, and puts out amazing videos on YouTube. Also, her sense of humor usually has me laughing and rolling around on the floor.


Kate from The Goodness Revolt

Kate is a blogger, YouTuber, author, and Abbiee's older sister. She published her debut novel back in 2017 and is gearing up to publish the second book this summer! I have had the great honor to read these books and FRIEND THEY ARE AMAZING. Not only is she a great writer, but she's a great human too. She makes videos about writing that have made me want to dig deeper into the craft and create stories that tell tales of role-models and help readers take lessons away from. She also posts on her blog about her travels, updates on her writing journey, and inspiring pieces. (She will also be a guest here on the blog very soon, so stay tuned for that.)

What would these three creators create together? A book!

Just think about it - an epic standalone quite unlike anything the world has ever seen. All three of these women are elegant, talented writers who have put out amazing work that has blown my mind time and time again.

What would this book contain?

Great role-models and relatable characters - you look up to these people and feel for them. You understand what they've been through and the journey they've taken to end up wherever it is when THE END smacks you as you finish reading.

Witty banter and sarcasm and a hint of sass - the perfect seasoning for memorable dialogue that gets passed around on Tumblr.

Breath-taking imagery - story-telling that makes you feel like you are THERE, living through the characters and facing the same stakes.

Aesthetic aesthetic aesthetic
- think beautiful images from Pinterest, elegant color schemes, and a cover that is so beautiful you may just have to buy two books so you can have one where the cover isn't bent and one you can actually read.

Adventure - pft, this book wouldn't sit still for long. It would take readers to new places, fictional and real, and it would teach them about the world.

Plot twists galore - you think you have it all figured out until it all blows up in your face and the characters scramble to get things resolved. #miniheartattack But it all works out in the end!
    Impact - by the end, readers would learn something. The book would make an impact on the hearts of every person who chooses to read it. You wouldn't walk away empty-handed.

    Who are YOUR top 3 inspiring figures?

    What do you think would happen if they got together to create something? Would you buy it? Let's discuss in the comments below!

    What It's Like Living With Social Anxiety



    ** Originally posted on January 11th, 2018, on Self Known **

    Hey friend. Today I wanted to talk about something I have been combatting for a couple of years now.

    Social anxiety.

    Now, this is something that is very serious to me, and I would never want to overexaggerate things or blow them out of proportion. This is not something I am writing for sympathy or for anyone to feel sorry for me. This is simply a post about what the world looks like from my perspective.

    I know when I read blog posts or watch videos that detail what other people are dealing with it makes me feel closer to them. It helps me understand why they do what they do and what colors their world is painted in.

    And it is always nice to know you are not alone.

    That is why I am taking the time to write about this today.


    When did you realize you were socially anxious?

    It actually wasn't me. It was my mom. Back when I was dancing (2011), I got good enough to be moved up a level -- a level above all of my friends. This caused a very stirring conflict in me because while I was flattered, I didn't know the girls in this level, I hadn't had a very good experience with them in the past, and they were very... cliquey. There is also the fact that I am naturally timid and introverted, so basically I spent every two-hour class very isolated. I will admit, mostly by choice.

    I think these new circumstances among other things contributed to my growing anxiety. To be a classical ballet dancer you have to be very disciplined and self-critiquing, and when this is a mindset you pursue for several hours a day for several days a week, well, I guess it leaks into your person. At least it did for me.

    It started to get really bad as the year went on. The level I was in was far too advanced for me, and there were several instances where I felt humiliated, ridiculed, and quite frankly, like a joke. What had once been my passion slowly turned into the part of the day I dreaded.

    It makes me sad and a little bit teary as I think about it. To be repulsed by something you once loved... Isn't that sad?

    Anyways, things got bad enough that I convinced my mom to move me to the lower level classes with my friends. Things weren't quite the same and I managed to make it through the year.

    I did not sign up for classes the following "semester".

    From then on I was a sort of recluse. Everything in my life felt like it had spilled over and was quickly draining away.

    I removed myself from a majority of my friend groups, ignored invites, and felt saddened when I no longer received them -- and yet saw their fun sleepover pics on da 'gram.

    I isolated myself due to the immense pain I felt, and from that phase forward, everything in life seemed 1000% harder. I now had this label called "Social Anxiety" and I feared everyone could see through the facade I put on to cover it up. So I did what I thought was best and I avoided every possible social outing.

    (Or at least I tried.)


    What was your journey like as you went from realizing your social anxiety to combatting it?

    If I had to describe it in one word, I would say "rocky". Fighting anxiety is not an easy thing to do. Heck, fighting anything that terrifies you is hard! But just like with any fear, social anxiety is, in a sense, curable. You CAN fight it.

    At first I did not want to. Because social situations are awkward and frightening. Hence the anxiety. But I was too scared to even think about the possibility that I could stop being scared.

    It's taken me lots of trial and error (and not to mention a couple of tissue boxes) but somehow I've gotten to the point I am today. I am not anxiety free, but it seems as time goes on there are so many more Better days than there are Bad ones.


    What are some of the things you struggle with during the day-to-day?

    • Ordering my food (whether it's fast food or sit down - fast food restaurants are harder because I hate the drive-thru and then I have to wait in line and scream my order over the loud music and the hassle of coupons... eek.)
    • Asking for help - in every situation, whether it be at a store, school, or even in a friend group.
    • Meeting new people - I don't mind small talk, but I will 99/100 times never initiate it. So when I'm meeting new people, I generally rely on them to ask all the questions, and if I'm brave, I'll ask some reciprocal questions... I'm working on it. :)
    • Big groups - In the mornings from Monday to Thursday I attended morning classes that surrounded me with people. And even though there wasn't any chatter or true conversation, there is always the fact that the teacher could *gulp* call on you. Or if I'm at a party ('cause, you know me, BIG party gal. My bed, a book, and some pizza. #turnup) I stick to the walls or I hang onto whoever it is I feel most comfortable with (@ lil' sis).
    • Attractive humans - am I the only one who says stupid things around pretty people?
    • BLUSHING - It is my weakness. Whenever I get flustered, embarrassed, or my brain starts escalating down the railroad track to Fantasy Land, my face turns bright red.
    • Sweating, rapid heartbeat, stammering, feet get all trippy, shaking.


    What are some common thoughts that play through your head when your anxiety is elevated?

    I'm going to do something stupid.

    What if I just tripped and fell and broke my face and every one laughed at me?

    Is my face all red? If so, how bad? Can they tell?

    I can't find this thing but I am going to pretend I have everything I need so that employee over there won't come up and try to help me.

    WOW THE FLOOR IS PROBABLY JUST AS PRETTY AS YOUR EYES *

    I'm not going. Not because I don't want to, but because it's a big hassle, there will be people there that I don't know, and I'll say something stupid. OR they'll play icebreaker games and I'll have to hide in the bathroom for twenty minutes and run the risk of everyone thinking I was pooping the entire time.

    * Okay, this one is a bit of a joke.

    What are some tips on how those with social anxiety can beat their anxiety?

    Honestly, I don't know if I'm entirely equipped to answer this question. Yes, I have my experience but sometimes my anxiety is still really bad and it feels like I haven't made any progress. I guess that's the thing about fighting it.

    At some point, you have to come to the realization that not everything you fear is worth being scared of. Everytime you feel anxious or slip up, it doesn't mean your progress is erased. This isn't a FNaF game. This is real life.

    If you feel the same way, I'd like to encourage you by saying each day is a step forward. Even if you feel like you're sliding backward.

    Why?

    Because when you make it through another day, you conquered something. Even if that something was as simple as getting out of bed or putting fuzzy socks on.

    (But if that's not quite enough, here are some things that have helped me:)

    • Exercising (almost) daily - yoga is my favorite form of exercise, but Just Dance and walking the dog are just as valid Get Your Blood Movin'... movements. ;)
    • Journaling - in 2014 I kept all my depressing journal entries and smacked them together to form the phase in my life titled -- wait for it -- This is How to Be Forgotten. Can you tell what kind of mood I was in that day? But honestly, this has really helped me reflect and express the mangled pieces of myself that I can't quite communicate verbally or at least to another human being in a way that makes sense.
    • Blogging - There was a reason I stepped into blogging and that is because of everything that was going on in my life. I started this blog with the intention of pouring my heart out, writing, and pursuing my Self, and though I have lost track of this goal, I am thankful to still be pursuing it for almost six years now! (Self Known's blog anniversary is this month if I am not mistaken...)
    • Doing what you don't want to do - Like right now, for instance, I have to go pick up a couple of burrito bowls for my family, and I would rather not do that. But I've got hungry mouths to feed! Wish me luck! (/o_o)/

    Do you have any more questions for me?

    If so, please don't hesitate to ask. If they're personal, feel free to email me or reach out on social. I love hearing from you and helping in any way that I can.

    Also, thank you for taking the time to read this. My heart blossoms with gratitude to know that someone took the time out of their busy day to sit down and peek into my life.

    Stay awesome.

    xx Rosie