Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 23

Festivus? How fortuitous!

I’m not quite sure how appropriate it would be to say “Happy Festivus.” After all, this annual holiday allows us to air our grievances rather than to celebrate loved ones or gives thanks — both of which I could be better at doing right now and throughout the past year.

In fact, I figured I would take the time not to complain but rather to be thoughtful over the ways that I could improve over the next year and throughout the rest of my life. My intent isn’t to be negative but to take responsibility because I think I’ve been blaming my emotions too much on other people and circumstances, and that leads to no happiness for anyone.

Over this year, I tried to take on too many of my friends’ problems. In the process, I became anxious and unhappy. I wouldn’t set aside time for myself in a meaningful way, and this would make me resentful for my friends who would seek out my assistance more than I could give it. The best version of Cole would be able to set boundaries so resentment doesn’t set in, and she would also remain grateful for those who do seek her help. It’s flattering to know that people trust me with their personal issues and feelings and that they seek my counsel as someone who will won’t judge them. That people think little ol’ me is smart enough to give safe advice is quite the compliment!

More recently, I’ve allowed others’ words to fester. I’ve imagined insults and competition, snark and other general negativity where it probably didn’t exist. Many of these things were intended as a joke, with a light intention or simply offhand. I read too much into these things, and held onto the negative thoughts they caused in my own mind. Going forward, I should remember that people, especially those who love me, don’t mean harm. And that if I am experiencing troubled thoughts, there are appropriate ways to communicate those feelings.

Resentment has often built this year over the belief that I am somehow better than people. However, the only thing that truly makes me better is by thinking and acting in a way that I can respect and in a way that would hopefully encourage others to do the same. Being kind to others seems to be one of my main priorities. To treat people with respect and not to let my shortcomings color our interactions. To believe the best in people because wouldn’t I want them to do the same?

In 2014, I have been mindful about reaching out to others. I should continue to do this, so that they may provide support if they want, and so I won’t have to shoulder the entire load myself. My feelings are intense and my thoughts are acute, but I don’t have to do that alone. Perhaps I could re-build connections with some of my family members, who I haven’t been particularly close to in years.

It’s not just my interactions with others, however. I think I will have to reconsider some goals for the next year. Whether that is to make Reviews by Cole my full-time job (unlikely), to pursue creative writing in a professional manner (ie getting published), going back to school, attending conventions for blogging or sexuality or making some short-term investments that will bring me close to home ownership within the next decade. Really, many of these things could be done simultaneously, and my main de-motivator might be fear or a lack of belief in myself. Or perhaps I am simply too complacent.

I think I would also like to add a physical activity that has a social aspect. Perhaps something like yoga. I’m not into sports per se, nor do I love spending too much time outside during winter. Although, perhaps I could take up something fun such as disc golfing during the summer time. 2015 might be the year that I finally get some volunteering in or join a book club, which would ensure that I get more reading done, too.

With these thoughts in mind, I will end this post but look forward to the coming year!

Jul 20

That Goes For You, Too

I would like to think that I am on the road to mental recovery, even if I didn’t even realize I wasn’t mentally awesome before. One side effect of this is the tendency to want to apply these newfound lessons to others around me. I am hyper-aware of the negative attitudes they are still perpetuating because I am trying to unlearn those same attitudes. And, sometimes I am able to share the lessons I’ve been learning with them. Still, it’s a little depressing because I’ve come to realize just how many mentally unhealthy people are close to me. I don’t know if it’s just because most people could use a little help in that department or if I attracted these people for some reason. To make matters even scarier, I can see how many people I know and love have no desire at all to be better than what they are. Maybe it’s not my place but I want to help them and I know that sometimes you just can’t. Some days.. I just want to cut all these negative people out of my life but then.. then I’d have no one.

The thing that I see on a daily basis is how much the people who I call my loved ones play the victim, blame others. They bitch. They want change but they do nothing to make it happen. They ask advice but they don’t listen or they come to me wanting to vent and wanting me to coddle them and when I want to give them advice instead, they become angry.

I guess that I just want everyone else to grow up with me. Not because I’m super controlling. Not because I think it’s unfair but because I know it will do them good to own their feelings and take responsibility for their situations. And because growing up feels really good even if it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Sometimes we get so caught up in what is normal for us, never realizing that our normal is absolutely unhealthy. We don’t realize it because it’s just how we think. We’ve always done it that way but sometimes that’s not a good enough reason to keep doing it that way. Now that I see that, I just want everyone else to as well. I know it’s key to.. everything.

Mar 31


I am trying to be more grateful and gracious. It is a trying process. I guess no one said change or growth were easy but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. Still, it’s helpful to take time out to consider everything I do have to be grateful for. It would be easy for me to say “nothing” right now but that would also be short sighted.

First and foremost, I am grateful for my friends and family who love me no matter how flawed I am. And you better believe this model comes with her fair share of flaws.

I absolutely adore my kitties who have made the past year and a half a ball of fun and insanity. I love that Ryan loves them, too, because no one expected that from him.

I appreciated that my life has taken me across the country and across the world. I may never travel again but I still have some awesome destinations under my wing.

I am thankful for the head on my shoulders which may be a little perplexed right now but is otherwise pretty intelligent and has helped me get through a lot.

I love that you folks are reading and commenting on my blogs. Maybe this ought to be an ode to the internet in general but the fact that I can type up some shit here and someone across the country might care is awesome. Plus, I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had because of my websites including products to review and making money.

I totally am thankful that others who have gone through hard times have written books about it. And so have the folks who know how to help a person through a rough patch. I’m reading all sorts of books which are helping me cope right now.

I am thankful that Ryan is a nice guy even when he doesn’t want to be.

I am thankful for warm sun and cool breezes. Long walks to no where. Good jokes (and sometimes even bad ones). Yummy food. A therapeutic shower. My ability to articulate.

I am grateful for having known love as powerful and sometimes devastating as it is. To know that it simply exists makes everything worthwhile.

I am grateful for silly, late night chats. Inside jokes. Fun and slushy drinks.

I love that music exists. If I have felt it, there is a song which describes it. If I feel like moving, there is a song which prompts me to do so. If I don’t know how to say it, someone else does.

I am also thankful for my youth. And, when the mirror is being nice, my good looks. ;)

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