My Funny, Sad Life Motivational Series: Book #1 Live on Amazon

MyFunnySadLife_Smaller eBook CoverI AM OFFICIALLY AN AUTHOR Y’ALL! Last night, in a Starbucks at the corner of 36th and Madison in this life-giving city (NYC), one of my long-awaited dreams came true, just a few days shy of my 31st birthday. I published my first book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON (eBook and Paperback):
My Funny, Sad Life: I Once Loved a Sociopath
Recognizing, Letting Go of & Healing from Toxic Relationships

DESCRIPTION: Part of the motivational series, My Funny, Sad Life, this is the true tale of a love gone crazy wrong, and the critical life lessons learned from loving a sociopath. Full of gems that can help anyone experiencing the painful blows of a toxic relationship, this is a story everyone can relate to in some way. It’s a short read, full of inspiration and motivational bites you can devour in just one to two hours. So dive in, and get to learning, laughing, relating and healing! All accounts are based on a very true story.

ALSO COMING SOON:
My Funny, Sad Life: Fighting for Authenticity
The Defiant Act of Being, Loving & Flaunting Your True Self

And there’s lots more where that came from. Future topics will run the gamut from love and relationships, singlehood, obesity, and anxiety and depression, to career, sexuality, happiness, overcoming poverty, and so much more.

I had initially planned to launch only after I finished the first three books in the series, but I was called to get this first story out now, now, now! It’s juicy, y’all.

Your support is greatly and humbly appreciated!

Love,

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

A Love Lesson: Thank You for Not Loving Me

Love LessonDear Eric,

Sometimes we want something so bad, that we shut our eyes, and we follow it blindly, even if we step on hot coals as we do it. We clutch on to it, and we don’t let go despite that frightening feeling in our guts telling us it’s slowly killing us.

It’s now been about eight months since we stopped dating, six since I’ve seen you, and about five since I’ve talked to you. Still, it has only been maybe a month or two since the weight of your memory on my mind, on my heart, and through my deep struggle to move forward after what I Iovingly like to call the Major Mind F**k of 2013 begun to lift.

To some people, our relationship or the major lack thereof, was not real. It was fake and disingenuous and forced. It had too many rules, and none of them worked in my favor. It’s hard for them to understand why it became so big for me, why it hurt me so much, and maybe even why I’m still talking about it today. And for the most part, they are right. On your side it was all of those things and less. But for me it was real. It was very real. Our weak, borderline abusive, unhealthy, pathetic time together is the closest thing I’ve had to a real relationship in a decade. It meant something to me. It meant everything to me. And when you pretended to love me, I believed you. I shared things with you and opened up to you romantically in a way that I had not done with anyone in my adult life. I opened my arms, and I said, “Here, take it. Take it all.” And you did. The problem is you gave me nothing in return.

During that entire year together I struggled with my feelings for what I came to know as a bad person. I struggled to look in the mirror and respect myself, because I knew very well that I was putting up with all of the things that go against everything I believe in, and everything I preach. I let you control me. I let you demean me. I let you disrespect me. And I let you do it over, and over again. Although it was never anything particularly huge, the sum of all the small ways in which you would devalue me and the love that I wholeheartedly offered to you even when you didn’t deserve it (and your rarely did), became much more than I could handle. I began to see your lies, the coldness in your eyes, and the emptiness in your heart. Still my stubborn heart loved you, and at times I thought I’d never find the strength to let you go.

I spent all of 2013 questioning. I questioned my worth. I questioned what I might be doing wrong to deserve your cold-hearted ways and your refusal to commit. I questioned whether the games were real, or simply in my head. I questioned my strength, and whether I would in fact end up settling for someone like you, even though it has been my life’s mission to never settle. I was so scared. The good thing is that, much to your surprise, I did finally find the strength to let you go. It took me a very long time, but I did it. I said I’d had enough, and I walked away. Sure I struggled to cut the cord completely at first, and I might have reached out many times when I shouldn’t have, but as the days and months went by, I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like myself for the first time since I met you, and I began to regain my confidence and my strength. I began to see that it had been your negativity that had brought me down, and that I still had it in me to be very much victorious. My only weakness had been loving you. I was not depressed. I was simply in a bad, soul-sucking relationship. There’s a huge difference.

After more tears than I’m proud of having shed, in the onset of 2014, I made a decision. I was going to live more life. I was going to give up dating for a while. I was going to seek out new adventures, make new friends, take trips, invest in me, regain my center and heal. And for the last six months, I have filled my calendar with musicals, volunteering, ballets, dinners and travel. I intentionally sought out friends, I made plans, I lived. I stopped waiting around for you or for anyone, and I LIVED. Some days I was so tired from all that living that I wondered if it was all worth it or if I was going too far with it. Would this work? Could I once again take control of the happiness I had slowly and painfully let you suck out of me?

Guess what? I could, and I did. Today, as I write this, I am healed. Your rejection and your pain pushed me to reevaluate my life, to get back to my dreams, and to remember, that although I do very much want and believe in love, marriage and children, I have never wanted to be the kind of woman who revolves her life around a man, especially around an unworthy one. I have always wanted my life to be a big adventure full of progress, success, friendship, experience and healthy relationships. I want a partner who can add to my life, and not one who constantly takes away from it. I want to share my life with someone as bright as me, so that together, our lights can shine even brighter and help others in the process. All you ever did was dim my light. For a while there, you damn near shut it off.

But now, I’m in a whole new, beautiful place in my life. Last week I moved to NYC, and this Monday I started my dream job as a writer helping to inspire young girls to have courage and be all they can be. What could be better than that?! The possibilities ahead are endless, and my adventure lives on in true Sonia fashion. I am healed. I am happy. I am ready to date and believe in love again. I am ready to never accept anything less than the treatment I deserve. I am ready to stand up for myself and to be firm. I am also ready to be soft, tender and open with someone who will be able to accept it and appreciate it. I am ready to believe again in the power inside of me, in my resilience, and in my ability to move forward into bigger and better. I am ready to be Sonia again; whole, happy and ready to take on the world.

The lessons your pain taught me are proving to be invaluable. They have made me stronger and better than ever, and they have pushed me into this amazing place where I sit right now; a place where I feel almost invincible. My breaths are deep, and my gratitude is big. I remember now. I DO have control over my happiness, and no one can take it away from me unless I let them.

So thank you, Eric. From the bottom of my now-whole heart, thank you for not loving me. You gave me the love lesson of a lifetime, and changed me forever in the best way possible.

The end.

Yours truly,
Sonia

Reaching 30: Growth Hurts Before it Heals

After the ending of my latest pseudo relationship, I swear I feel like I’ve just been through a war. Good news is, I survived and I’m much, much better for the experience. During 10, long, often bitterly unhappy months (I still managed to ride that sucker out kicking and screaming with my positivity and commitment to the big, HAPPY fight :)), I learned an immense amount about myself, the issues I still need to work through, what I want in a partner and what I am willing to accept, and in-turn, what is absolutely unacceptable to me in the realm of love and relationships, and well, in life.

I also learned that I am considerably stronger than I might think at times, and I bet if you dig a little, you will find that you are too. Sure, that situation bordered on emotionally abusive or perhaps it really was, but I walked away from it, and that is all that counts. I might have stuck around for longer than any of it ever deserved, but the whole time I continued to fight. The real problem was that the biggest battle existed between my heart and my logic. But in the end, and thank goodness, my logic won.

Now I’m in the process of straying away from beating myself up for participating in the whole crazy thing in the first place, and instead, focusing on all the lessons and renewed strength it has given me. You see, that is the thing about growth; it hurts like hell before it heals.

As more and more days go by since that last encounter, I’m beginning to feel more like myself than I have in months. My energy is up, my smile is making more frequent appearances on the Sonia show, and my heart feels about a billion pounds lighter. I find myself laughing more, breathing deeper, finding more things that I love to do, and doing them. Most importantly, I know now more than ever that I am not in fact desperate, and that I still do have hope that I will someday find the healthy, passionate, understanding, lasting love I crave and deserve, with the right person at the right time. Always focus on the outcomes, and not so much on what got you there. Pain often provides great revelations for us and our lives.

And, at times, as we get older, we wish we could be as carefree and consequence-free as we were or thought we were in our teenage years and early 20s. At least I do. But, as I sit here turning down the less-than-thrilling advances I’d gladly welcome just a few years ago, demanding more respect, nurturing my own needs, wants and dreams, and more and more frequently standing up for Sonia, I realize I’ll gladly leave my youth at the door. Because this place, where you know who you are and who you wish to become, where you rather have nothing than accept scraps, where instant gratification has been replaced by the hope in the bigger picture that awaits  – that is a much better place to be.

To everyone out there reaching their 30s as I am (it can be quite a transition I’m finding), when you think you used to be more fun, wilder, or more adventurous, you’re not by any means boring now, you’ve simply experienced growth. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Breathe it in deep, and thank it for hurting so much in return for inner calm, peace of mind, and a stronger sense of self.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Letting Go: 5 Important Things to Remember

Letting GoLetting go is HARD. It takes work, dedication and focus, and it can be so easy to slip back into the same unsuccessful routine of holding on. Letting go can be especially hard when what you are trying to let go of is not particularly inclined to let go of you, when the object of your dismay is for whatever reason inclined to keep feeding into the cycle, into the same evil game you’ve grown so tired of playing.

In this case, the ball is in your court, and the strength has to come from within you. No easy outs here. So as I go through my own process of letting go, I thought I’d share five things that are helping me through it on a daily basis. I hope it helps you let go of something you have known for quite a bit is bad for you, toxic to your well-being, or simply not the right fit for you, so that you can become more open to something that IS.

1. There are strong, undeniable reasons behind your decision to let go.

Remember these reasons. Every time you start to get sad, run through them in your head, write them down, say them out loud. Until you have moved on, don’t let these reasons escape you, for a second. Remember that each time you return and give up on your task of letting go, those reasons will be right where you left them, ready to take over your energy again and haunt you. It’s like that saying going around the social media channels says – If the past calls, don’t pick up. It has nothing new to say. It’s so true ya’ll.

2. Letting go is hard and it hurts, but not more so than holding on in vain.

Letting go can be incredibly hard. We’ve established this. But think about it. If there are numerous reasons that brought you to the decision to let go, and you know there are, how much worse can this pain you feel while trying to let go be than the pain you felt as you continued to hold on to something that made you so unhappy that you made the hard choice to let go?

Imagine how much better you will feel each morning that you wake up and realize you are no longer in the holding-on-by-a-string game. Think for a second how much healthier you will feel when your every day, every moment is not consumed by the negativity of a relationship or situation that just has nothing left to give. And finally, remember that the pain of letting go will pass, but the pain of holding on, as long you continue to clutch onto it, will not.

3. Sometimes it’s OK and absolutely necessary to love someone from afar.

Sometimes we have to let go of people that we love either because they do not love us back, or because they cannot love us in the way we need to be loved. Letting go does not mean you’ve stopped loving someone, it simply means you are making a conscious choice to love and protect yourself first.

Love does not mean you should stay in an unhealthy situation. All that will breed is bitterness and hate, and anything BUT love. So if you know you are not fulfilled in your current situation, let go. Do it for love. The right kind will not hurt so much. It will not be so hard. I’ve learned this the hard-headed-gal way. Do it better than me, today!

4. Letting go does not make you a quitter.

If you ask me, holding on to something you know in your heart of hearts has run its course, is what makes you a quitter, not the act of letting that go. Holding on means you’ve quit trying to find true happiness, it means you’ve quit on yourself, quit on your health, and quit on those around you.

Letting go makes you a fighter. It means you still have hope and faith that you will find something that is right for you, a relationship that will bring out the best in you and in someone else, a relationship that will give hope and faith to those around you.  Plus, when you do the best for yourself, you set an example for those around you.

5. Letting go opens up your world and your energy for something better.

And finally, how can you make space for something good and healthy and fulfilling if you continue to hold on to something that is only eating away at you, something you know is so wrong?

Focus on the fact that by letting go of an unhealthy relationship or situation, hard as that may be, you are opening up your energy, your spirit and your life to the endless possibility of something better, something good, something delicious. Let that thought get you through the tough moments when you want to run back into the arms of the thing that was making you so bitterly unhappy that you finally decided to walk away.

And most of all, just remember, as they say, that this too shall pass, but you’ve got to give it room to do so.

What are some things that help you through the fierce act of letting go?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Never Back Down from a Worthy Fight

Megaphone announcement

 

What follows is my friendly reminder, and your very special Word Share Junkie public service announcement for this week. Please pay ATTENTION, and enjoy!

I always say I’m a lover and not a fighter, and that’s true, but there are some fist-less battles that are worthy of a fight, and one in particular that I will never back down from. I am talking about the fight to be yourself, live your life the way you see fit, and obtain unequivocal, delicious happiness, whether others agree with your methods or not. As long as you are not hurting anyone, no one has the right to tell you who to be, how to act, who to love, or how to live your life. How many times do I have to say this? Apparently, a lot!

This weekend I was reminded of this very important life-long battle by someone who takes every opportunity to take a dig at me or let me know that who I am is wrong. I’m talking about everything from my lipstick to the way I talk. And at first, I was very upset by this, but then I came back to my Super Woman senses, and realized, hey, I love who I am. I am a good person. I am living a positive life surrounded by a lot of wonderful people who really see me and accept me, and I’m just trying to do my very best to live happily and productively. I am merely trying to take the lessons of my past and turn them around into something positive that I can be proud of and then share with others to hopefully help them achieve their HAPPY. Amidst tears, I quickly had to remind myself that this kind of constant bash treatment I experienced is nothing more than projected insecurities and should never, no matter how incredibly difficult it is, be taken personally.

Again, as long as you are not hurting anyone, stick to your guns like gum to a shoe, and continue to be YOU, in every situation, under every circumstance. Define your happiness in whatever way seems right to you, and chase it. Because the truth is that no matter what you do, people who are against you or generally negative will always find a way to judge you and try to put you down. It’s simple though. They can never win unless you let them.

Some battles are not really worth your energy, and you can’t go around trying to be a super hero about every little thing. But, when it comes to your right to be you and live happily, you better fight like hell. Because when it’s all over, if you lived your life based on others’ judgments and expectations, you will have not lived at all.

And guess what? The best part is that this whole weekend ordeal actually helped me get a little bit closer to really nailing down how I want to go about my in-the-works book My Funny, Sad Life. I know now that I will make it a series of shorter books, with each one focusing on one particular topic to help others reach their full potential and live a happy life. Book #1 in the series?

My Funny, Sad Life. Fighting for Authenticity in an Unoriginal World. 

Well I’m still working on that title, but you get the gist. So thanks hate! You only continue to strengthen my resolve and propel me forward into my dreams. 🙂

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Say No to HATE

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Can you read that? It says, “Keep breathing people. It gets better. One day at a time.” Hey, even bathroom walls can be inspiring sometimes, and I thought it was a great way to kick off this post! Here it goes.

Some people might say I’m restless. I’ve moved relatively often, and I’m always looking for the next step, trying to make a new friend or find a better opportunity. Then again, I think most of us in our 20s or even early 30s are in this stage of searching for what fits. Fortunately, I can confidently say I’m in a pretty great, stable place right now. I will never stop looking ahead or cooking up my next step, because I’m a dreamer and a doer, and that’s what we do, but I’m content with my job and career, my home, my life, my friends, and my general surroundings, with the occasional tweaks of course.

Now, after a good deal of work to get to this great place, I feel like I’m more of a fighter than I am restless. I fight and hustle for the surroundings I want. I work to be in the places and around the people who bring me up, not tear me down, and I know exactly why that is. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in an emotionally abusive environment. But I’m not a child anymore. I don’t have to accept hate, and I work every day to move away from the sources of negativity that I simply refuse to be a part of. My life won’t be about that. I’ve firmly decided it.

Sometimes we find ourselves in less than desirable situations, and we feel stuck. We feel like we owe something to the people or surroundings that are bringing us down, and so we stick around as our souls slowly deteriorate. We justify staying maybe because it’s easier than leaving, it won’t rock the boat or it will keep others satisfied with us. But you really have to snap out of it, and realize that you always have to look out for yourself. I fiercely believe, and have really come to learn, that if you don’t take care of you, no one else will. Someone I once dated said to me, “If no one will be nice to you, at least be nice to yourself.” Maybe I’ve shared that phrase with you before, but it’s because I found so much power in it. I used to think he was selfish, but now I understand exactly what he meant.

I say if you don’t like me, that’s cool, because I do, and I’ve always got somewhere else to go.There is always a new place to live, a new friend to make, a new person to date, another job, another city, another way. If you don’t feel good or right where you are, don’t stay there for anyone else. You have to fight for the life you want, or it will slowly but surely slip right out of your hands. I’ll never forget an article I once read about hospice workers, and what they heard most often from their dying patients. They said the thing they regretted most was living their lives for others, and not for themselves. And you don’t want to have that regret, do you?

So what if people judge you for leaving, try to guilt you into staying, or attempt to justify the very actions that are making you want to leave? If your gut, and let me tell you, that sucker is very knowledgeable, is telling you something is off, then go. Search for something better, for a place that will bring your spirits up and just fit better. How many, many times have I heard I’m too sensitive and it’s just me, or, “I’m just like that. Don’t take it personally?” I’ll tell you. Too many. Possibly my favorite is when someone tries to tell you the way you feel is wrong. It’s a feeling! It’s not fact, and there is no such thing as a wrong feeling – a wrong idea or action, sure, but never a wrong feeling. The way you feel is the way you feel, and you have a right to express those feelings. People don’t always mean to make us feel a certain way, and I get that, but the feeling is still real.

If someone can choose to be a bully, be hateful, rude, derogatory or downright mean, then I can certainly choose to walk away from it. I don’t have to accept hate, and I never will again. For years, I thought I had to. Maybe I even thought somehow I deserved it. But I don’t, and you don’t either. No one does. That hate is all theirs, not yours, and you can say no to it. A plain and simple, “NO!”

Like everything else on the road to HAPPY, turning your back on hate can be incredibly hard. Hate is often manipulative and can sometimes come from people you love, and that’s why it can be so hard to take a step back and really see it has nothing to do with you. I’ve had to walk away from jobs, family members, roommates, cities and friends, and it hasn’t been easy. The backlash hasn’t always been pretty either. But I’m committed to building a positive life surrounded by positive people, to smiling as often as possible, and to simply feeling good. I deserve it. I know that now. And if something or someone is making me feel uncomfortable in some way, I have every right to walk away. I still work on this every day, because I can be a bit of a people pleaser, and of course I want everyone to love me (we all do), but I’ve come a long, long way from the hate that used to envelope me, and now I can’t imagine life any other way. Unfortunately, life involves hate, and I accept that, but whenever possible, I can walk away from it, and I will.

How will you say no to hate today?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Success is My Only Mofo Option, Failure’s Not

Yes, I just quoted Eminem. He’s a little hood. I’m a little hood. He comes from nothing. I come from nothing. He dreams big. I dream big. Plus, let’s be honest. Papi is just plain SEXY (don’t judge me). Also, can I say mofo on my blog? Hey, at least I kept it classy and didn’t use the real word. But anyway, let’s not get too far off the path here.

In all seriousness, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is one of my all-time favorite pump myself up songs, raps, whatever you want to call it. It’s real. It’s honest. And boy, can I relate. Why? Because I’ve always felt as if I had no option but to succeed, but to work harder than hard, dig deeper than deep. Because if I didn’t? I’d be totally, completely and utterly SCREWED.

Coming from a very low-income family with little formal education and a whole lot of dysfunction, I never had much support growing up like a lot of my peers did. And when I talk about support, I don’t only mean financial support, although money has definitely always been a significant factor in trying to get where I need and want to be. When I talk about lack of support, I also mean a lack of mentorship, of direction, of guidance – all those things I hear folks talking about having; all those questions and situations I’ve always had to answer and navigate for myself.

So growing up broke as an incredibly poorly told joke, things always seemed just a little harder. But I never let that stop me. I’ve worked a million jobs since I was 15, and I’ve always found a way to make it happen. Even if I barely make it, I’ve always made it. I’ve attained an incredible education, and built a pretty descent career and life for myself – full of a lot more progress and HAPPY than I could have ever imagined.

Still, when you start off at a disadvantage, that sucker balls up into the nastiest, meanest snowball you’ve ever seen, and it builds and builds. It builds up so much that even after three degrees, and 28 years of HARD work and hustle, I still find myself in an overwhelming amount of debt (guess that education has something to do with it), and always stressed out about money. I make more than a fair living now, and I am beyond grateful for it, but it can still be hard. I’ve never had anybody to count on in that sense or much help, and I still don’t. It’s just me, and just that can make you feel incredibly alone and overwhelmed at times.

But I keep fighting, every day, because it’s my only option. And in a weird way, especially for the last few years, as I’ve matured into and embraced this amazing lady named Sonia (yes, I just called myself amazing – it’s the greatest love of all, Whitney said so 🙂 ),  I am so grateful for the hardships. I’ve always had this insatiable drive and need to do more, do it bigger, make it farther, work a  little bit longer, and I’m pretty sure I owe that all to the situations and lack of that I’ve faced throughout my life. I’ve always known that if I don’t do it for myself, I might end up under a bridge (I kid, but not really), and that has driven me to my current success.

But that’s not all. In addition to money issues, there are always people obstacles to fight your way through. You know what I’m talking about. Those people that are constantly trying to put you down and tell you you’re not enough, you can’t do that, you’ll never make it there, you’re not worth it. And for me, unfortunately or maybe fortunately because it’s made so STRONG and such a fighter, that person was and is a very close family member (something I will definitely discuss more at length when I’m ready). Whether in the past or the present, it hurts like hell, and it is something I have to work through every single day, but you know what, I’ve fought through that sucker like a damn Gladiator, and I can stand tall and PROUD. I’ve proven time and time again that I am so much more than I was made to believe I was, and that is what you have to do too.

There will always be people, whether its family, colleagues, or even toxic friends that will try and question your aspirations, slow you down, make you feel like you cannot reach your destination. But you know what I say? Screw that! Always know who you are. Tell yourself as often as you need to. Write it on a damn mirror if you have to. But just keep it moving. And don’t focus so much on proving anything to them; focus on proving it to yourself instead. Nurture that relationship with YOU more than any other, because it’s the only one that you can count on unequivocally, forever, at all times.

If you’re not happy where you live, where you work or with your career, with your friends or your relationship, etc., trust your gut and make a change. Fight through the obstacles – they will only make reaching your goals taste that much sweeter. And always know you’re worth, know your talents and your strengths, know what you have to offer, and make those things work for you. Don’t let critics make you doubt yourself. I know it’s so hard. I still have to work at it too. I’m pretty amazing, but I’m not Superwoman here. Well, maybe on a good day. But anyway, are you catching my drift?

Even if you have been fortunate enough to have a little more help or guidance than I had, even if you have someone or something to fall back on right now, make success your only mofo option (Oops, I did it again. Dang, I think I just quoted Britney). Go out and create your very own, hard earned success. When you encounter “no” and violent opposition, and you will, find a different path, another option, and trust me, you’ll get THERE.

As for me, I’m going to keep chasing these dreams, trusting that I know who I am and that what I have to offer is valuable. No matter what anyone says, I will make it happen. I will keep it moving. I will fight through the bullshit, and I will come out the other side on top, sort of like Bey. Will you join me?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

P.S. And just as a final little note, I’d like to give a little shout-out, as the kids say, to my friend Gaby who told me today that I’m doing something worthwhile by writing these blogs, and that I have a voice people can relate to. That right there is what’s it’s all about folks. Take your talents, go out into the world, and make a dent. It’s so worth it.