Passing My Prime

photo-1522263842439-347f062b8475Have you ever had a moment where you’ve felt you passed your prime? Maybe you wanted to run that marathon, but ever since you’ve reached your late 20’s, each day your body has increasingly resembled Benjamin Button at birth. Or, perhaps you’ve been fearful about the day those hot college kids next door would no longer see you as desirable? Asking for a friend… Well, I had my moment yesterday.

I was probably shoveling something in my mouth I’d regret later, as I finished up Sunday dinner with my friends. Prior to cleaning the leftovers off the table with my face, I talked about my passions for writing, and standup comedy. “Why don’t you try TikTok?” my friend said. I glared through his lenses, into his eyes, like he was about to take the last pastry on the table. Me? Nearly 29-year-old me, downloading an app saturated with girls so tiny, it looks like I just ate them for dinner? Watching my video after theirs would be like a “Then and now” clip of Macauley Culkin.

Thanks, but I’ll pass, was my initial thought. Why? Because my thoughts were telling me I’m too old for that. I’ve passed my prime and I should consider picking up embroidery and invest in a nice rocking chair. It’s just some teenybopper trend and I have better ways to spend my time. Maybe I will adopt a bunch of cats or learn to bake banana bread instead. 

I caught myself in the act of self destruction disguised as protection. Who says I’ve passed my prime? Who says TikTok couldn’t be an avenue for me to express my creativity and learn new skills? No, I’m not talking about dance skills. I will continue to leave that for the teenyboppers. 

Truth is, I haven’t passed my prime. I might have to come to terms with my metabolism working against me at this point, but on every other level, mental, spiritual, etc., I’ve never been stronger. Every day I am more prepared for the next. Every month I learn new things. Every year I become better and wiser. 

The best has yet to come. It’s a mindset more than anything. The future is uncertain, but malleable. You can choose if your life becomes a five star romantic comedy, or a box office bomb. I almost want to cringe because I might as well be holding a sign that says “Live, Laugh, Love” with a Starbucks Frappuccino in the other hand, but I’m not wrong. 

My dad is nearly 70 and has never been more successful in his career. He’s one of the happiest guys I know. His motto? “I’m excellent and better all the time.” Speaking of cringy… But hey, whatever works! My friend’s dad is nearly a decade younger, and has created a permanent indentation in the couch while he counts down the minutes until he can retire from the job he hates. His motto is probably “You smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.” Pretty sure he thinks he passed his prime in High school. 

The moral of this post is that wherever you are, you haven’t past your prime. You are at your prime because you’ve never known more than you do in this moment. Don’t waste your prime telling yourself that where you are isn’t good enough, or can’t take you to where you want to go. Time will continue to “tik” until it’s out, so remember you’re in your prime and make the most of it. Give this a like if you’re at your prime too! 

If you haven’t guessed, I made a TikTok account, so make me happy and add @brookelynlandon 

I’m On The Edge

BE8FEB76-F0F0-42CF-9541-A5147609D8B0My bare toes grip the ledge of a rocky cliff, on the top of a precipice that goes beyond the clouds. I stare before me at what looks like death, but it’s where life really begins. The edge of comfort.
For the record, that’s where it feels like I am. If you thought I was legitimately staring at death and decided to whip out a notepad to write about it, you probably have been in quarantine so long that you’re seeing out of your left ear. The edge I’m on is one of new epiphanies, opportunities, and transformation. The world is my oyster, and while the possibilities are endless and exciting, the uncertainty of it all creates a pressure to overcome.
With everything going on in the world today, I think it’s safe to say we are we all on the edge. The main difference is how we choose to view it. I’m not here preaching as though I’m levitating on the edge like some chosen one who spent years meditating in the Himalayan mountains. I will say though, that I’ve been on the edge of comfort so many times that I’ve noticed the fear decreases more each time. Fear turns to trust, hope, and excitement. You discover ways to think and cope to help you sail through rough waters with more ease. There is the occasional phone call to my dad freaking out about life, but I have to let it out somewhere, right?
The world collectively is going through a challenging shift, but this is an incredible opportunity the embrace the edge you’re on personally, and trust that your life has an inexplicable way of working itself out. Although it’s more difficult for someone who has a mental illness than a trust fund baby who doesn’t have access to the media, these situations give us all a chance to grow in some way. It could be as simple as finding a podcast that inspires and motivates you.
Success does not mean finding a cure for Coronavirus. Success is improvement on the edge, and you get to decide what that looks like for you. How will you embrace the edge?

Is It Bad That I Don’t Feel Bad?

D53AAA57-6B3C-4B89-B3CF-1C6FA799F7A8I don’t experience much drama in my life. I find a lot of joy in taking the high road and avoiding it. Not in the “I’ve done too much spiritual healing to lower my vibration to that level of douchery.” Kind of way. Though that may be true. It’s more like I’m too old for this shit and I really don’t give enough fucks. However, someone gave me one too many lemons recently, and I felt inspired to make some super sour, tasty, lemonade. Is it bad that I don’t feel bad?

Last week, I posted a rather controversial blog post. Basically, I put someone on blast in a rather savage way, and his friends were not pleased to say the least. It had nothing to do with them, but they were personally offended and hurt that I would call him out so publicly. Now, the goal was never to hurt someone, nor do I want to do that. If it does hurt someone, than I sincerely hope they feel better. I still enjoyed my lemonade.

I’m glad he gave me lemons because I learned a lot through the whole experience. I never blamed him for the frustration I felt because it was me who created the feeling. It’s true that if he didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have felt that way, but ultimately my feelings are my own doing. Being triggered by something, whether it’s from being royally fucked over, or a blog post, is a tremendous opportunity to reflect, heal, and find the silver lining.

My blog has always been about finding the silver lining in the bullshit, and being raw while sprinkling in some sass and comedy. To me, there’s no better way to let it all out and move on than that. Look, I never said I handled this situation perfectly. I’m not perfect. This blog’s subtitle is called “The Journey To Become More Zen As Fuck”. Not “I’m Zen As Fuck.”

Again, to anyone who may have been offended by my last blog post or this one, I hope you feel better and genuinely want you to be happy. That said, that is how I made my lemonade, so maybe you should spend your time reading something else. Although, to be fair, unlike my last blog post, most of them aren’t about how annoying I think another human is.

In short, I am unapologetically me. If you try to make me feel bad about making lemonade, I’ll sip it with my pinky up, and offer you a glass to cool down. I care about people, and don’t want to be what caused someone else to feel triggered. However, if me living my life authentically causes someone else to feel that way, I hope they make the best of it and come join me with their lemonade when they’re done. Maybe we can add a shot of vodka in it together.

Heartbroken on Valentine’s Day

A738E547-0B17-4FA0-AA4E-618120D68F01Okay, maybe heartbroken is a little extreme. I certainly wasn’t heartbroken on Valentine’s Day. However, that day my heart did plummet to the bottom of my stomach. So much so that when it dropped, it came with an explosion of suppressed wounds and triggers that I certainly wasn’t expecting. All of that took place the moment I heard the sound of my friend say several words.

I met my friend through a dating app in the summer of 2018. You can probably guess where this is heading…It turned into a beautiful friendship along with one of the most unnecessarily complex “situationships” I’ve been in. When he moved the country, I moved on like Hugh Hefner. Still, we remained good friends and I did not look at him as more than that.

Look, I’d be the first one to admit a committed relationship would never work between us. He was and still is one of my closest friends, but we are polar opposites in every sense of the word. If we starting dating seriously, it would be like Kim Kardashian and that basketball player that lasted a whopping 3 months before they filed for divorce. Not compatible romantically long term. Anyways, you get the point, so let me get back to mine.

The moment I saw his face on my phone however, I thought “Damn, he’s hot.” but snapped out of it to catch up on life. Then, he said what I knew would only be a matter of time before I heard. “I started dating someone.”

I kept a smile on my face while I felt my heart ache. The hardest part was that I never expected I’d feel that way about him anymore. I didn’t think such news from him would eradicate every trace of dopamine in my brain. I thought I had moved on. Maybe I did to a certain extent, but my body mind and soul were sure to let me know I still had old wounds to face and heal.

Everything he said after that just amplified my pain. We got on the topic of sex which was a recipe for disaster. He talked about how he’s having some of the best sex of his life with her because she got him to do what I had been wanting him to do the whole time we were together. So, it seems like he decided to wait until he left to go from Mr. Vanilla to Christian Grey.

I’d like to think the reason after I hung up and felt like absolute shit had a lot to do with having only accumulated five hours of sleep over the last several nights. I want to believe it was PMS or mercury in retrograde or any other excuse in the book. That said, regardless of whether it’s one of those things or not, those feelings were in me. These thoughts and feelings that came up through the experience needed to be addressed in order to move forward and become stronger and more understanding of where I am and what I need.

It all boiled down to the limiting belief that we all have in one aspect of our lives or another. “I’m not good enough.“ It was that underlying unworthiness that came from him never having asked me to be his girlfriend. It was that subconscious doubt I’d never find the one for me. It was a mix of so many things that were just waiting for the right moment to bubble up into my consciousness so I could reflect and hopefully heal some old limiting beliefs. If only there was a way I could have programmed that episode on a day other than Valentine’s Day.

Am I now some love guru that has healed and doesn’t overthink when a guy doesn’t text her back within 24 hours? Absofuckinglutely not. However, although I can’t eloquently articulate why, I do somehow feel better having processed those feelings that came up as a result of talking to him. I’ve come to learn that the situations we initially feel some resentment for, are the ones that deserve our gratitude and attention most.

The Coronavirus in Southeast Asia

4CE3BA23-05EC-492B-8668-7322395E0EB9(Update: I was ignorant at the time)

If you haven’t heard about the Coronavirus, you might as well stop reading because I don’t have time to lift up the gigantic rock that you’ve been living under. The Coronavirus has been Fox News’s latest obsession. I go back and forth whether I should be scrubbing my hands as fiercely and frequently as mom constantly tells me, or press an elevator button before eating a sandwich without thinking twice. That said, regardless of whether or not there will be a large outbreak in SE Asia at some point, the lives around me now are being directly effected by the Coronavirus anyways.

Most of my friends are expats who teach English in Vietnam. Tet, the Lunar New Year, was a 10 day celebration where school was out and they were not paid. Not even a week later and every school in Vietnam shut down, and has been for the past two weeks to prevent an outbreak. That’s nearly a month of no pay for 90% of the expats living in Vietnam, and this will likely continue. My friend, who pinches pennies like the lead in “2 Broke Girls”, has been as emotional as one of the women in “The Real Housewives” after they try to make amends with someone over dinner, and ends with broken wine glasses on the floor.

Expats are not the only ones hurting. The government has been shutting down hundreds of local businesses. Thousands of people are losing money and opportunities. The police are even on the hunt for everyone in the country from China, and regardless of how long they’ve been here, they put them in the back of their trucks like animals and quarantine them for 14 days. A girl from China has been in Vietnam for months, and this week she’s been hiding out like Ann Frank because they’re looking for her. The song that instantly comes to mind is “This shit is bananas b a n a n a s!”

They’ve built several hospitals throughout Vietnam in preparation for this outbreak. I think that’s a wonderful way to be proactive. Yet, when it comes to other things they’re doing such as caging up humans like animals against their will just because of their race, and having no form of compensation for thousands of people, I’m like… Yo bro, can you chill?

WAIT. I understand with such little notice, only so much can be done. I get that first and foremost this must be contained rather than simply having what we need for when it comes. I do appreciate their thoroughness and care to contain the Coronavirus, but could their be another way to move through this without creating such detriment and chaos to the entire country? Keep in mind we have just about as many ill here as we do with other countries like Germany and the US.

I’m very open to the fact that I might be so ignorant about this. They’re very well could be people reading this and thinking “This bitch is an ignorant millennial that thinks things will be solved with positive vibes and some hand sanitizer.” I’m just speaking my mind based off of my experiences and conversations that have led me to this point writing you all now. All of which has me question “Is there another way?” I don’t think hand sanitizer and positive vibes are going to be enough to solve this, but I hope something does quickly so they find a way to get this country up and running again. 

Being Single and Happy to Mingle

9E56A23E-C4A6-4867-93FC-2ADDAE0033C8I’m going to be honest. I was that bitch that would say to myself “I’m an independent woman!” Yet, deep down, I was screaming “Somebody love me!” I bet I was oozing desperation without even realizing it. Probably like a hybrid of someone from Love Island and a chick from The Bachelor who’s biological clock was ticking.

I considered myself to be a confident person, but the fact that I wasn’t able to find that love people talk about in fairy tales would sometimes keep me up at night. I would wonder how someone could be so fucking awesome, and make so many great connections with guys, but still nothing would reach my expectations.

Only recently have I genuinely been at peace with never having found that love I so desperately was searching for. I’m beyond content with the connections I’m making, without having a desire turn my dates into interviews, to see if they have what it takes to wife me up. I’m living my best life, and used to think the only way that could happen is if that special someone was there to share my life with me. To be honest, it’s kind of nice to be able to meet up with a guy for 12-24 hours, and then send them away. It’s like looking after someone’s dog for the day, loving every minute of it, knowing you don’t have to pick up their shit at 6AM the next morning.

After some introspection, I’ve discovered some possible reasons as to why I’ve had some shifts in my perspective in regards to being single. The more I validate and acknowledge my worth, the less validation I need from others. I’m a lovable person, and just because I haven’t found that special someone to love me doesn’t make me less lovable or worthy of love. The older I get, the less shits I give about absolutely everything. Don’t like me? Tragic on your end. You don’t know a good thing when you see it. I’m more authentic when I communicate with people and I’m not as concerned about rejection or what they’ll think of me.

I’m also exploring my sensuality more than ever, and giving a safe space for others to do the same. 92.7% of the dudes I’m meeting, I genuinely connect with, and like spending time together. We have a fucking blast. Literally and figuratively. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that joke.

It’s like another part of my mind has opened up to see that there is a way to create a life of happiness with the same environment and relationship status that once didn’t satisfy me. When you see the good, more good keeps coming.

I’m no longer looking for love because I am love. Sure, I’d love to be in a relationship, but it will find me when the time is right. As for now, I need to get ready for a date with a hot Italian guy. Until next time.

What’s Making My Life Great But My Heart Heavy

695CA264-9535-4662-8106-0A6160E13884.jpegHave you ever thought to yourself something along the lines of “Yeah, I’ve got legitimate reasons to feel mildly terrible, but in the grand scheme of things, life is fucking fabulous, so stop being a little bitch.” Just me? In that case, maybe I should have kept seeing my therapist oversees. I have a feeling what I’m saying is at least resonating with some of you though.

Why is it that life can be great, but you still feel as though you were ghosted by your crush while having the guilt of eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s, even if that didn’t actually happen? Well, currently I have to spend a stupid amount of money to see a doctor, and have been coughing my lungs out like a chain smoker with asthma just attempted to run a marathon. I’m also trying to people please, which I know I shouldn’t even be doing in the first place, and seem to be failing miserably. This past week, I went on a trip and had as much nutritional value as Cookie Monster does. My caloric intake in one meal was probably more than a football quarterback has in an entire day. My body is expanding accordingly. Did I mention I can’t sleep for shit? That said, the only reason I feel any sort of negativity is me, myself, and I.

Currently, I spend my time traveling the world, seeing some of the most beautiful places. I have such a great community and amazing friends. I have plenty of free time to work on projects I’m passionate about. I love where I live. I’m supporting myself financially. Need I go on? So the fact that my emotions are anything but positive is entirely on me and because of what I’m giving my focus and attention to. Even if all hell seemed to be breaking loose, the fact that we have the ability to grow and become stronger from hardships, and have food on the table or shoes on our feet, we can still feel good by giving our attention and gratitude towards those things.

Gratitude, consistency, and perseverance, builds positive momentum, and allows us to move through times like these more effortlessly. The more I find appreciation, the more my life will be a reflection of that. Some may look at this as some woo woo hippy dippy shit, but I’m not talking out my ass. It’s scientifically proven that gratitude changes our brain chemistry. (Let’s pretend I added a link here to some studies so I seem more credible. You can google that on your own time. I’ve got suitcases to bring home and doctors to see.)

What I’m trying to get at is our feelings are, and always will be, a result of how we choose to look at life. In each situation, there is good that can come from it. In each moment, there is something worth appreciating. In each second, we get to create our lives and how we experience our time on earth. So now, I’m going to appreciate any free time at the doctors office to learn my Body Pump routine, and be grateful for being in this cab ride, taking me home, so I am able to write. Comment ⬇️ and tell me what you will be grateful for right now!

From Suicidal to Success

033995C7-6994-44C3-A8A1-8CF9C8AB1791.jpegThis topic is heavy, but I know you’ve all got some muscles and can pick up what I’m about to put down. Depression and suicide is no joke, but it’s in my blood to shed light on hardships and not take anything too seriously. Without further ado, here’s life from suicidal to superb.

I remember lying on my stomach, over my floral bedding, while googling “How to tie a noose.” The flowers on my blanket looked like a watercolor painting from my tears.  In other words, I was depressed as shit, and wanted to put an end to all of the suffering if that was not clear enough. That was me at 16 years old.

In between then and now, there were plenty highs and lows. When diagnosed with a-typical depression at a young age, something as small as dropping a pencil could send me on a downward spiral. Needless to say, if something not so pleasant actually happened, my lows were lower than the pants of a rapper in the early 2000s. That said, my highs felt that much sweeter because that meant I came so far. Now, not only am I at a high, but because of how I’ve gotten here over the years, my lows will never be as bad.

No matter where we are, life is ever changing. When someone is at a low, don’t forget that it’s an opportunity for healing and ascension, and there’s light at the end of every tunnel. Okay, maybe not literally if there’s a tunnel with an actual dead end, but you get the point. Life doesn’t have dead ends though, just detours. But those detours help us become who we are because of how we walk through that path.

Back in 2016, I crashed my car in Santa Barbara, California, while on my way up the coast. It wasn’t a “Whoopsy, my bad” type of crash. It was more like a frame from a zombie apocalypse movie, when everyone’s trying to flee from those freaky dudes, and shit goes haywire. It looked like the manifestation of my internal thoughts. My mind was a total shit show, and now so was my car. I was so uncertain of my life and future. I was full of confusion and anxiety, which was also the catalyst of a serious relapse at the time to top it all off.

Two weeks later, I was sitting on a bench in the backyard of my uncle’s acquaintances house, who so graciously took me in for a few weeks as my car got fixed. I starred off into her garden and had a moment of clarity. I saw how I let my circumstances continue to affect my mindset, and it was up to me to change this downward spiral. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and chose to walk towards the light with diligence.

My mantra became “Everything is always working out for me.” Reframe from categorizing that as some new aged, airy fairy bull. I repeated that mantra every time I caught myself thinking negatively. I believed there was something in all of my perceived chaos that was helping me in some way. A few weeks later, everything fell into place like magic, and I found peace.

Our circumstances and hardships do not define us. It’s our resilience and ability to let life take us to the light at the end of the tunnel that builds us. Don’t give thanks to those hardships because they don’t deserve our attention. We deserve to thank ourselves for moving beyond them.

That bedding adorned with my 16 year old tears no longer lies beneath me. Now, I’m on my stomach over the fresh linens of a bed in a 4 star hotel, traveling the world. Will I be on a high forever? Absolutely not. Do I now always see the light and walk towards it with faith in my ability to become better from a detour? Fuck yes.

I Will Never Try Again

E1E6E8CD-1BE0-42B7-BB96-69BD5E81951A.jpegremember constantly feeling like the chick in that viral meme, looking confused, with complex calculations on a blackboard behind her. I was always trying to figure out what I should do and what steps to take next. On the outside I’m sure I held it relatively together, but inside I was shabby chic without the chic.

When I started solo backpacking the world, I set out with absolutely no timeline or itinerary. Even the thought of trying to plan out all the logistics had me more stressed than Jim Carey in Liar Liar. So, I just showed up everyday to see where the world wanted to take me.

I stopped trying and started being. My being didn’t always know what I was doing, or even where I’d sleep the next night, but life always worked itself out. Heck, I ended up staying in a strangers empty apartment so I could have a free place to stay in Japan. It made for a great adventure and story, but I am now realizing I’m causing my mom some serious emotional distress because she likely has just read about this questionable life choice I made. But hey, I’ve made it this far without really trying, so I must be doing something right.

From the start of my travels, life has taken me to places I never in a million thought I’d be. I never could have planned or tried to make it happen myself. Opportunities presented themselves to me effortlessly. I used my gut instead of my logic and now I’m getting paid to travel the world. Like breadcrumbs leading to a gingerbread house, I’ve followed the path life made for me instead of trying to make a path, and then starving because I had no bread to eat. I’ve made better metaphors, but you get the point.  

I’ll never try to get to a gingerbread house though. Why? Because as cliche as this sounds, it’s about the journey, not the destination. That’s because life is one big never ending journey. When you try to find the gingerbread house through forced effort, that evil bitch of a witch that lives in the gingerbread house will stop you in your tracks, and point you in a different direction.

Now don’t get me wrong, some things you certainly need to try to do. Like to get good grades, you need to try, and you need to use your logic. I tried and used my logic to cheat as often as possible, but I made it to the high honor roll every semester, so no regrets. Nonetheless, I had to try to find the way to beat the system. As for Josh Rosenberg, the only person who was always ahead of me on the honor roll, he actually tried through hard work to get those grades. What this post is about isn’t that kind of trying though.

I guess what I’m talking about is getting into the flow of life and trusting it. It comes down to using your gut instead of logic. It’s being instead of trying. It’s allowing instead of forcing.

I’m sure I’ll try again at some point. As much as I don’t want to, it’s only natural to have some challenges that throw you off your game, and make you feel like you need to control your life. That said, I will never try again so long as I can help it. 

What my Tears are Telling me

A1678493-DAF1-4FF4-92BC-8ADE68B23172I cried twice this month in the course of 9 days. prior to those episodes, it had been months since I shed a tear. Not if you’re counting things like emotional animal rescue video clips I ignorantly click on my Facebook newsfeed. And no, my breakdowns were not because I was pmsing and they didn’t have any chocolate I liked at a nearby convenient store or some shit. It’s a multitude of things, but when I break it down, it becomes more clear.

You see, I’ve  been high on life for so long. Living it up, staying up late, eating shitty but delicious food, and drinking. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” has been my motto these days, and I’m constantly around and entertaining others without giving myself time to recharge. It’s like forgetting to charge my phone, and then getting frustrated at my phone for not letting me check if my bumble match responded when it runs out of battery. I have to take responsibility for the consequences of my actions while simultaneously acknowledging the signs these struggles are teaching me. It’s more than partying too hard and living my best life. It’s my body and mind sending me signals that I need to tend to myself. Change needs to happen.

As I’ve said before, chaos is creation, and there is nothing but beauty in these breakdowns because I know they’re happening for me, not to me. More sleep and more me time is essential right now. The struggle is real now that my internal clock has been completely fucked from this new life, but I’m working on it.

When there’s an ebb in the flow of life, it’s also important to express yourself. To say I’ve been bottling my feelings up like a beer can tossed around by a frat boy would be an understatement. I have some of the best friends one could ask for, but I am not one to talk to them often when I’m far away. Partially I don’t reach out because that entails filling them in on my life. way too fucking much has happened for me to succinctly go through all my crazy adventures, hookups, and questionable life choices. I wouldn’t dare tell my mom when I feel like this. If I coughed or sneezed on the phone, she would probably assume I had dangue fever with a 10% chance of survival, so I don’t want to give her heart palpitations by telling her my mental state has seen better days. The people here listen to enough of my shit, so I don’t want to blab more about how exhausted I am. To be honest, it’s almost like I forgot how to ask or get support. I wasn’t expressing what I needed to in order to feel heard, understood, or supported. So instead, that left me feeling alone, even in a room full of people.

This post isn’t being written so you will reach out saying some “You can always talk to me” etc. etc. That’s nice and all, but it’s more being written as my outlet to get what’s inside of me out. It’s letting the world know it’s okay to not be okay because that’s creation. It’s a reminder to us all that it’s beautiful to have a body that can tell us it’s time for a shift.

Now it’s time to ask how I can sustain this fun and exciting life in a more realistic, healthy way. What practices and self care do I need to implement to have my ebbs turn to flows before the waterworks begin. I’ve done the work to get my answers and am getting my flow back. Now all I need is some melatonin.