MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, child of God

I’ve been planning to write so many blog posts since 2019 started, but I haven’t written a single thing! Blame it on the lack or waste of time, blame it on the millions of things I want to do, but can’t seem to (and that, you can blame it on the lack of courage, confidence, or just unexpected events, interrupted plans, etc.), and the list goes on and on… I can’t believe we’re already in May! It’s almost half a year, it’s almost summer, and it’s almost my birthday, and I don’t know how to feel at all. Actually, now that I’m sick, I can’t help but feel a kaleidoscope of emotions I can’t describe, yet one I thing I know is that I am extremely exhausted. My body has been begging me to slow down, but that’s the one thing I hate to do. I basically have to kill my body to rest.

All this to say, I’ve been wanting to write about so many things, but just can’t seem to even take a second to spit out a couple of sentences down, so I decided to combine a couple of subjects in one post just to get things going. Since I started this post with being sick and tired, let’s continue on a similar subject: mental health.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this topic is important. It’s still considered taboo in some cultures and that saddens me. Every year, I try to write something about it, but find myself speechless. I tried writing a poem, an article, sharing experiences from friends or people around me… I never know what to say. Maybe it’s because of fear, or maybe it’s just because I feel like almost everybody has had something to say about it, and I’ll never write anything better on that subject. I still don’t know what to say other than to let you know that it’s necessary to open up when things don’t go well. I want anyone reading this post know that they shouldn’t fear asking for help, confiding in someone they trust, or taking a bit of time to self-care. I feel like a hypocrite saying this because I don’t necessarily like doing any of these things (especially self-care, the one thing I don’t make time for), but I know what works for me and when I do it, I see the difference. Also, pray and meditate without ceasing and go to therapy if need be. I don’t understand why some people think it’s shameful to see a therapist, or being mentally sick means being “abnormal” or “crazy.” I hope people can educate themselves on that matter before having any kind of assumption, it would make a big difference in our society. #GetLoud.

During the Girls Living Out Loud event, which happened on May 4th (another blog post coming soon), I got to meet and hear Dr. Lauren Hazzouri talk on her NOT THERAPY lifestyle program for young women. She believes that not everyone needs or can afford therapy, but they need a daily routine that can help them out. Here are my notes:

1- Eat, sleep, and exercise. You have to eat well (preferably 3 meals and 2 snacks a day), never go to the extreme. You need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep to not feel crappy. If this is not what you are prioritizing at the moment, then you need to reorganize your routine because these three needs are essential.

2- “Thoughts lead to feelings and feelings lead to action.” Thoughts aren’t facts, so 1) identify your negative thoughts, 2) stop the train of thoughts, 3) collect data/evidence on the thought, 4) replace the thought with the truth so it becomes blaring. For example, you think you’re a loser, you have to ask yourself why you feel this way and figure out if it’s true, which probably isn’t. You have to define for yourself what’s a loser vs what’s a winner.

3- Spirituality. Whatever you believe in, use your gifts to give kindness to people. Make the world a better place.

Other amazing things this amazing woman stated:

  • There’s no such thing as lost time.
  • Every day informs the next.
  • Life is not a race, there’s no need to rush.
  • You don’t come with a purpose, you are your purpose. 
  • It’s not our responsibility/duty to quicken someone’s journey. It’s our responsibility to be all that we are, in all integrity, and to offer kindness.
  • We have value because we are, because we breathe.
  • If one of us is suffering, we’re all suffering. 
  • The essence of who we are doesn’t care about what people think. 

Finally, before closing the subject, you should read the book of Psalms in the Bible and listen to two songs both called “Anxiety,” one by Julia Michaels featuring Selena Gomez, and the other by ImAwake. The video by the latter should be released soon, some snippets, in which you see people open up about their struggles, have come out already. Check them all out below:

Last, but not least: Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift just released a new single, “ME!”, and fans all over the world are going cray-cray because this means that album #7 is coming soon, hopefully. Taylor has been teasing fans for a couple of weeks on Instagram, sharing pastel-like pictures. We had a hint it would be colourful and colourful usually means happiness, right?

Turns out Taylor ditched anger, dark outfits, and snakes for good. Indeed, in the music video for “ME!”, the ex-country singer, who directed the clip with Dave Meyers, portrays a snake that explodes into a myriad of butterflies. That’s probably my favourite part of the video: moving on from the past and starting a new chapter. I felt that. I feel like everything Swift goes through, I go through too.

You see, every single album of Taylor’s has been there for me during any situation. Speak Now was a masterpiece both lyrically and musically, it taught me how to write songs and it was there when I was transitioning from high school to college. Red was there during my most horrible heartbreak and it’s probably my favourite album although it wasn’t cohesive enough to win a Grammy (the pop songs unfortunately didn’t blend well with the country ones). Reputation was also there for me during dark times, but it wasn’t her strongest work (by the way, the best songs are “Don’t Blame Me“, “Delicate“, and “New Year’s Day“). Then I found happiness and it seems like Swift did too.

The music video is all over the place in a good way, but is at times distracting. I don’t know what to focus on the most; there are a lot of things going on simultaneously. It’s however a beautiful retro, kind of a hippie production. It celebrates individuality, embracing your unique personality and self-love. It is also funny in the most Taylor Swift way possible (I mean her over-the-top love of cats, her bad French accent, her cute acting, the awkward yellow suit she’s wearing…will make you laugh). It’s not the best video from Taylor’s catalog, but it’s the least “fake” or glamorous (think “Bad Blood” for instance). You can tell she had a lot of fun filming on set (check the behind the scenes, they’re more entertaining than the clip itself) and that she was completely herself and that’s what I’ve badly missed  from Taylor.

Now the song is the pop singer’s worst lyrically. However, she doesn’t care and it shows. Back then, during her 1989 era, during the Grammy Listening Sessions, she explained that when she was writing her third album Speak Now, it was important for her to write all of the songs on her own because the media still underestimated her songwriting skills, even after Fearless won Album of the Year. Therefore, Taylor proved to be an excellent songwriter, which earned her a spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time list.

taylor-swift-me

As mentioned earlier, the 29 year-old singer just wants to have fun and reach the #1 spot on the Billboard 100 chart. That’s it. She wants to make her fans happy and feel better about themselves, she wants to experiment and collaborate with various artists, such as the lead singer of Panic! At The Disco, Brendon Urie, because why not!

The song is good, nothing wow, but it grows on you and makes you want to love life or reminisce about the good times and the weddings, graduations, birthday parties you attended and during which you celebrated as if the night would never end. If a song brings this kind of feeling, then you know it’s a good one! Even when Swift states that “spelling is fun!” – it’s cringy and it’s like she’s trying to pull off a Jackson 5 “ABC”, but why be mad about a return to innocence?

In an industry where sex, drugs, and non sense are omnipresent, in a world where terrorism, hate, and suffering is increasing every second, this childlike song is necessary. And for that, thank you Taylor.

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