I've spent the past week sleeping on the couch as my bed is buried somewhere in my room. You see, I've gotten to that point where my physical space is a spitting image of what's going on in my head. Currently, it looks like items stuffed into trash bags tucked into a corner waiting to be thrown out. There are pockets of empty space in my closet where the clothes scattered on the floor should be. It's a space where the door remains mostly closed as I look for ways to avoid addressing the chaos.
However, my back aches to return to my bed. My body aches to reclaim my space. Admitting this truth to myself and to you, is the most transparent I've been on this medium in almost a year. Or on any medium really.
A lot has happened since I last allowed myself to engage with transparency. Graduating from CSU Long Beach is definitely among the highlights. It's something 12-year-old Sylvana could never envision. The six months after graduating were stained by the feeling of constantly being on the verge of an anxiety attack in my search for financial stability. I juggled small freelance jobs and even overcame the dread of quitting a job in person. I would eventually have an easier time breathing as I found security in a job I absolutely love and look forward to going to each morning.
This newfound stability has granted me permission to entertain thoughts about the future. Is grad school a chapter I want to dive into next? Do I want to pursue more opportunities to be published locally? What about the blog and self-published content I wanted to work on? Am I ready to officially end friendships that have felt empty for a while? Will I finally stop swallowing my feelings and confront the resentment I've had against certain friends and family? Shit, is it time to look into a therapist?
I've let the questions accumulate into growing piles that I continue to trip over on an endless loop. I need to tackle these piles. I need a break.
This break entails space away from my biggest distraction: you. Well, the digital you. I love the moments you capture with your pets, your meals, your hobbies, and even with the miniature copies of you that are just learning to walk. I love seeing the way you're learning to love your body and giving the middle finger to your fears and voices that tell you otherwise. Between us, I fall deep into the rabbit hole of comparing my life to yours. But I can't let someone else's moments serve as a distraction from addressing the life outside of the screen yearning for change, healing, and acknowledgement.
I need a break from my personal social media accounts. I contemplated doing this quietly without a single mention of it online, and maybe I should have. But I was possessed to pour these thoughts out in hopes that someone else overwhelmed by curated digital lives can find comfort in knowing they're not alone in wanting to prioritize themselves. Why limit our mentions of self-care to images and inspirational quotes on the topic when we can put into practice?
Let's acknowledge the realities of a digital addiction sparing us from sorting through our cluttered rooms.
May 2018 Events
While I'll be offline until June, I'm still within reach. I'll have access to Facebook messages since I rely on the platform for work, and will of course be available through email. If you have my number, texts are welcome. But if you fancy catching up in real life, here are events you can most likely catch me at this month mixed in with events you should know about. Which ones will I be at? Who knows. [Click on the names of events for more info.]
- Daze of Justice Film Screening | May 8 | Free
- Stormwater and Health in Long Beach | May 10 | Free
- AOC7 Literacy Fair | May 12 | Free
- Barrio Baroque | May 12 | $
- Yoga in the Garden (Adult and Parent/Child Classes Available) | May 12 and May 19 | $
- See, Sip and Savor | May 19 | $
- Long Beach Filipino Festival | May 19 | Free
- Long Beach Pride | May 19-20 | Festival- $ / Parade- Free
- Yellow Lounge | June 2 | Free
- St. Luke's Teaching Garden | Open Mon., Tues., and last Saturday of month | Free