When You Don't Feel Like You Anymore...

It's such a peculiar phrase.
"I haven't been feeling like myself lately."
I just find it so interesting that your sense of self has an actual feeling to it and when we humans don't recognize that feeling anymore, we have a sudden urge to fix it. At least most of us.

I go through this cycle too often and I blame it on the little empath inside of me. The majority of society can go throughout their lives with the same old, not really noticing a difference, but once I start feeling out of touch with who I really am, even for even a second, it's instant sadness. It's literally like a million dementors are following me everywhere sucking out all the energy out of me.

While I was riding my bike today, I thought, "Well...what usually helps me get back on track to feeling like me?" 

First we have to answer the question: What makes us feel so far away from our true selves?
I think it's autopilot. Getting so caught up in materialism and consumerism. Gosh, I sound like that kid in your college psychology class that thought the matrix was real and and only wore bell bottom jeans and Tony Hawk hoodies. But seriously. We need to focus on what's real. What made you happy as a little kid? What were your aspirations in high school? What do you want your life to be as you grow older? That's the real stuff.

Personally, for me to get back on track to being myself, I like to:
  • Watch / read Harry Potter. This is a big one for me. Harry Potter has been such a big part of my life. First of all, it has connected me to some of my best relationships. It's taken me to several different states, concerts, parties, conventions. It's taught me more than almost anything or anyone. Considering it's such a big part of my life, it's now a big part of me. I can't actively participate in the fandom as much as used to be able to, but I like to get a taste of it every now and then.
  • Perform. Although I'm quite the critic, I almost cry at every theatrical performance, whether I'm on stage, backstage or in the audience. I don't always have the opportunity to get up on stage, but when I do, I feel like me. As I've gotten older, I realized my view on performance has changed, but I still love it as much as I always have. 
  • Disney it up. What is it about Disney that makes me feel so warm and fuzzy? Whether it be going to Disneyland or watching a Disney movie...or even playing Kingdom Hearts, it connects me to my soul. Yesyesyes.
  • Get in touch with nature. There was a point in my life where nature was the ultimate bae. It made me grow spiritually. I was literally reading transcendentalist poetry, walking in the woods, meditating, drinking green tea and sunbathing on the daily. I'm not that kind of person, but I'm glad I had that stage to my life. Now I know nature is necessary for me. I am apart of nature, and I think everyone can find themselves if they get a little lost in the woods. I remember one specific time I had a family party at a park in mid October. There were these deep woods in the back, and I remember just running through them. The sun peeking through, the aroma of maple trees and dying leaves. Burning wood from the distance...it was so beautiful. I felt like I was at a Native American reservation hiding from the John Smiths of the world. It was an awesome adventure.
  • Listen to some throwback music. Don't let throwbacks come to you, come to them! Some old school Mayday Parade? Some Jonas Brothers? Some unreleased 2009 Lana Del Rey? Some classic 2000s R&B Jams by Paula Deanda? The Hairspray Broadway soundtrack? YES PLEASE. It really can bring out feelings in you that you haven't felt in a while. New music comes out on a daily basis so we tend to forget about our old favorite jams that we used to be obsessed with. Well, don't! If they meant a lot to you before, I guarantee you that hasn't changed.
I watched a video yesterday that I really wanted to share with you all. Lady Gaga has actually have some pretty intelligent stuff to say. My favorite quote from the video:
"I feel sad when I am overworked and that I've just become a moneymaking machine, and that my passion and creativity take a backseat. That makes me unhappy. So what did I do? I started to stay no. I don't wanna do that. I'm not taking that picture, I'm not going to that event, I'm not standing by that cause that's not what I stand for. And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am."

Do you have integrity? Do you know who you are? Are you living your life on your own terms or are you unconsciously communicating lies?

I think that's what happens to me. I become an autopilot, moneymaking machine. An image that's afraid to say no. A prisoner of corporate society. Someone who left behind her childhood dreams and wide eyed optimism for approval of others.

That's not me, and I can't let that catch up to me. You know what song perfectly describes how I'm feeling right now? Sellout by Never Shout Never. Listen below.

Feeling like you is hard sometimes when there's only so much time in a day. But that's okay because you have the opportunity to fix that! Some people don't even care to notice and then five years go by and they've really done nothing beside be a ghost in their own body. Don't let parts of you go dormant because you're focused on showcasing inauthenticity to the world.

Maria Elena