The November 2021 Diaries: Day 1

Dear friends,

November is historically a month of goal and trend-setting, with classic challenges like #noshavenovember, #nonutnovember, #nonicnovember, and any other #no-‘x’-november habit-cancelling iterations flooding the internet as we approach the year’s end.

In the spirit of challenge and personal development, I have decided to come up with my own personal goal of the month, which is to write a blog post every day of November. These posts will be formatted like reflective diary entries– with private/sensitive information filtered out, of course. This will be a great segue into my annual Blogmas series that begins in December, which also involves writing a blog a day. A blog a day keeps the writer’s block away!! (lol, just thought of that and wanted to include it).

Okay. So without further ado, welcome to Day 1 of The November Diaries!


9:48pm

What a day, it was! After an entire weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) of Halloween festivities in San Francisco, today was recovery day. I don’t envy my friends who have to work Monday mornings. I had the liberty of sleeping in until around 11am. After mustering the willpower to get out of bed, I jumped in the shower, which is the best, all-natural wake-up method in my opinion. After shower #1 of the day, I went downstairs and made myself brunch: chicken noodle soup with ramen noodles!! Not to brag, guys, but I am becoming quite the chef. My repertoire of dishes includes:

  • scrambled eggs
  • omelettes
  • avocado toast
  • ramen noodles (not the instant Top Ramen kind, but the ones that actually take effort to make from scratch)
  • chocolate cake
  • corn bread
A breakfast dish I made a few weeks ago😋

It’s an extremely modest list, but as someone who has been stubbornly resistant to learning how to cook (until very recently), I’m proud of myself for developing this instrumental life skill. And I’m sure my mom is proud of me, too.

After brunch, I took a walk on the levee to ward off the food coma, and to get my spirits and energy up before commencing a deep-work study session. The weather was on-and-off rainy today, and it was lightly drizzling as I took my first walk of the day. It’s becoming a habit of mine to take strolls (both short and long) when in need of a pick-me-up. Nothing better than Vitamin D and endorphins and physical activity to get you feeling good. Oh, and the main rule with my levee walks is that I’m not allowed to have my phone on me, as those insidious, mind-numbing devices are stupidly distracting and defeat the purpose of mindful, soul-healing nature walks.

After returning from my walk, I did one hour of studying for my grad school class. From 2-3pm, I had a family therapy session, where we unpacked some heavy baggage that left me dazed, drained, and teary-eyed. Therapy can be intense, and therapy with parents is a whole other beast. But I am happy that my parents and I are finally engaging in much-needed open dialogue under the supervision of a clinician, who is there to facilitate the session and mediate if necessary. Upon returning home, I felt inundated by the deluge of intense emotions following therapy. I felt an urge to cry, without totally understanding why I felt that way, which was strange for me, as I am usually very attuned to my emotions precipitating a cry session. In moments of emotional distress, I turn to my toolbox of coping skills to get me through the discomfort. Today, I decided to do a multi-pronged approach, given the particular intensity of emotions (about a 7/10). I took a hot shower (shower #2), where I attempted to journal in my notebook at the same time, but I ended up splashing water all over the pages. So I scrapped that idea, and sat in the bathtub for about 10 minutes, just chewing over my thoughts and processing, and then doing the exact opposite by tuning out my thoughts and focusing solely on my breathing and the sensation of water trickling down skin. After my therapeutic shower, I put on some warm, comfy clothes, grabbed my water-stained notebook, and took a walk on the levee. I walked all the way to a wooden bench overlooking the water, sat down, and did some mad, cathartic journaling. After 30 minutes of bearing my soul onto the page, I looked up and felt… relief. Life is all good. It’s not easy, but it’ll be just fine. Having finally reached a state of zen, I walked home, notebook in hand, and smiled as the sun peaked out from the clouds. It was the first pocket of light I had seen all day, and my mood was uplifted.

My journaling spot on the levee💭

So after getting through the rough patch, I called my best friend, Mikey, who is one of my go-to people whenever I have emotional baggage screaming to be unloaded. While on the phone with him, I made myself a pre-dinner snack: two pieces of toasted naan bread lathered with Costco guacamole and sprinkled with ground pepper. At 6:30pm, I gave a stretching private lesson at a student’s house. Her parents were so kind and offered to have me stay for dinner, as it was Taco Monday! We bonded over talk of relationship/career advice, dance gossip and friendly banter. Then I watched the movie Cruella with my student, until it was her bedtime.

Now I’m back home, finishing up this blog post! Getting sleepy, so I’m gonna wrap this up. This concludes Day 1 of TND (The November Diaries)! Thanks to the few and far between people who actually read this blog. I appreciate your continued support and really enjoy sharing my life journey, especially as I navigate the Tumultuous Twenties, with you all. Take care, and have a wonderful night!

-Bel

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