What’s The Next Step?

Next step after Graduation…okay, what now? As I think about that day looming ahead, where I walk across that stage, I find myself thinking more and more about what’s next. 

I have a plan, but even living out a plan is subject to life’s ups and downs of course. Moving out and moving on, is that the mantra? I should think of a better one. Because I’m not ready to say goodbye to the place that raised me. That’s another post though. Coming soon.

In this post I just want to say that the first step is making a plan. The second is making that plan take shape, the third is starting the plan, and the fourth is living the plan and all that that entails. Everything from where, who with, how much, what you’re  doing, what’s for dinner, who do I talk to, where’s the bathroom, where do I go to church, should I go to church, should I kiss him, should I kiss her, I don’t want to do this, I totally should do this, I want to do this, I totally should want to do this but I don’t, etc etc etc. 

Breathe. And repeat. What I mean is that life is all about defining the next step all the while trying to live in the moment. It’s an impossible and super messy job but it’s what living is about. The key is, that if you find yourself scared and without a next step, being willing to reach out and ask for help. Also you can be someone else’s guide, the one who pulls them off the street corner and helps them find their next step. Humble yourself and be nice to everyone. That’s what my mother taught me and so far it’s served me pretty well. God taught me to love everyone, and so I do.
Love you all even if you don’t see me,

C. 

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ASMR Is My Safe Zone

Have you ever heard of ASMR? It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Very scientific sounding right? It’s actually a simple sensation, with a complicated explanation.

Most people define ASMR as the tingling sensation that occurs from the back of your head traveling up and down the spine. People claim to experience this tingling all over the body, and it can sometimes be associated with sexual pleasure though it is often misleading to consider ASMR as being about sex. The majority of this phenomenon has absolutely nothing to do with sex, rather very much the opposite.

Some people describe it as being about nostalgia. When your partner gently rubs your back or a friend plays with your hair and it reminds you of something a parent or guardian would do to soothe you to sleep as a child. Some people describe it being simply about any sounds they have a particular liking for.

So at this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m rambling about this weird phenomenon right? Well,┬áthe reason is, I have recently become obsessed with ASMR media. YouTube, the great place for all weird obsessions and trends, is home to what’s known as the ASMR artists community. It’s not just a community for the artists themselves, but for anyone who claims that they have and do experience ASMR as well as anyone who finds the content relaxing. An ASMR artist is usually someone who experiences ASMR and uses their own experiences and memories, as well as the basic knowledge of what “triggers” the ASMR response, and creates content on YouTube to cause this response and/or relax their viewers.

The main idea behind ASMR is to find any way possible to “trigger” the response. The point being that not only does this usually cause a pleasant tingling sensation, but the “triggers” are usually very relaxing and can even be therapeutic for sleep. The most common triggers are soft speaking/whispering, this involves a myriad of speech and mouth sounds, tapping, page turning, hand movements, face brushing, etc.

The possibilities are endless and each person is different. Role play is a very popular form of content probably because it acts out different real life situations where someone could find themselves experiencing ASMR.

I’ll continue to tell you more about ASMR on my blog in the future. The particular reason I’m discussing it today has to do with what ASMR has meant to me. As someone who struggles with ADD, be that the attention problems as well as the natural restlessness, I also have to deal with side effects of the meds I take. I often find myself unable to fall asleep easily at night, and I can almost never take a nap during the day. ASMR has changed all of that for me. I simply plug in my headphones to my laptop, go to YouTube, and search through all the latest content as well as all my old favorites. I consider a good ASMR video to be one that features someone warm and kind looking, with a soft and pleasant voice, who is very attentive and organized in their content. I’m experiencing ASMR right now just thinking about my favorites. (To give you an idea, it feels like something is gently brushing the top of my head and lightly down my neck, it produces a euphoric feeling with it). The best ones can put me to sleep when I want, but can also simply relax me when I don’t want to sleep.

For me, ASMR is an answer to a prayer I never realized I could ask. I have always been a physical person in the sense that I like hugs, and when I was little I loved to play with people’s hands and have my back rubbed. I thought situations in real life that created those feelings were supposed to be avoided, or that I wasn’t supposed to talk about them. Then I found out that there was nothing wrong with these feelings and that many people experience them.

At the heart of it, ASMR is about establishing a level of connection and intimacy that is growing harder and harder to maintain. It proves that we have a lack of affection for each other and it’s hurting us, creating the need for strangers to reach through their cameras and computers to care for others like them, who just want to know they matter, and that they are loved. ASMR gives me a place to go where I can feel safe and warm, knowing someone thinks I’m worth caring for.

However and wherever your safe place is, I hope it gives you joy, and that you can share it with someone, somehow.

P.S. If anyone reading this is an ASMR fan or artist, if I left out anything you think I shouldn’t have, or said anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Love always,

C.

Because I Need To Write…

I’m writing this post. Not because anyone will read it. No one is probably going to read it, but maybe sharing it here will give someone a bit of something, whatever that may be. It will be short, because I’m only beginning to figure out what I need to say. 

I’m 22 years old. About to graduate college, like in a month. I have a summer job and a plan for the next full year of my life. I’m still terrified. I know we should have learned by now that it’s not about box checking, but I think it’s been drilled into our generation for so long that it’s hard to let go of. I have a few boxes checked. But there’s still so much to go and do. 

I’m terrified not because I don’t think I’ll be enough, even though that is a real fear of mine. I’m terrified because everything is just beginning and the world seems so big and wide, and yet the voices telling me it’s already over keep chiming in. I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t even gotten started and there are so many obstacles in my way. But the biggest obstacle for me and others in my place? The fear of the generation that raised us. Our creative spirit, our drive to change the world paired with the skills that only the latest generations have whatever you determine those to be, our softness of heart, maybe sometimes to our own detriments. Our unfailing need to be politically correct. Our need to inspire ourselves and others. To use technological outlets to let each other know that we are not alone. The generation that raised us is afraid this is not enough to make us great. In their fear and worry they see the cracks more than the beauty. I’m not saying it’s our job to fix how they see us, but our job is to not let that view influence how we see ourselves. 

We will prove them wrong, or at least assuage some of their fears by diving in despite our fears. You always hear that you can do anything you want. Guess what? Our generation makes that true, in a new way, a brighter way. 

Love the world. Learn to love yourself. Dive in. Get started. However you come to a place to know yourself, find a way to make it happen. Be you. 

Love always,

C.