School: Struggling in Class

We all have that one subject in school that we struggle with the most. It is frustrating, but we can survive it. Ask for help.

We all have that subject in school that is difficult or not fun. It is the class we dread going to and the one we find difficult to understand. It is the homework that requires the most time and it the least enjoyable.

For me, this subject in school was math. I had to work extra hard to be successful in it. It was exhausting, and I had to spend more time than other students.

Math was a challenging experience, and I did not enjoy it. I felt like I was being left behind every day. I began to ask for help because I felt like I was drowning. Asking for help is not easy for everyone, but sometimes, to make life easier, you have to do the tricky thing of asking for help.

The first step to change this is recognizing when you need help. It is okay to ask for help, and it is vital to ask for help when needed. It is okay to try to succeed on your own, but the key is understanding when you can’t do it alone.

The important thing is to remember that you are doing your best. Give yourself grace. Everyone struggles with something, whether it is a subject in school, a sport, or something else. It is a sad result of being human.

Everything becomes worse and more complicated the more tired I get. In high school and middle school, I knew that if I did not do my math homework before dinner or immediately after. If I didn’t stick to this schedule, my math homework would end up in tears. I suggest working on it early until your struggle becomes easier to handle or fun.

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Future: Fun to Think About

The future can be a scary thing. It is unknown but it is also in your control. You get to decide what you want your life to look like.

The future is scary. The question of where do you see yourself in a year is a question that people like to ask. The honest answer is, who knows? The answer can cause stress people out or can be exciting. It depends on your view of the future.

The future is not unknown. It is where stress can come into play. Some people don’t like the unknown. I am a planner and want to know what I am walking into. But I know I can’t control it and like to control things.

The future is not set. It is where you can relieve stress about what will happen. You are in charge of your destiny. Make your future what you want it to be. If you are unhappy about your path, start thinking about what you want to do and taking steps toward getting on that path.

I am nowhere near what I would have said a year ago, but I am an ambitious person, and I want a lot out of my life. I have learned the difficult lesson that only a little goes as planned, and the timeline we make for ourselves only works out when we work hard for it.

Look Toward the Future

Now, I am not saying I don’t make a plan for yourself. It is fun to think about. Finding an answer that excites you will give you something to aspire to. It can provide you with a purpose.

I would treat the answer to the question as a fun exercise. Please don’t take it as what you need to do. Just have fun with it. Imagine the kind of life you want to live. Think about steps you can take to get to the life you want.

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Past: What We Want to Change

We all have things we want to change from our past. But things happen for a reason and these events help us become who we are.

Everyone has something in their past they would like to change. For a while, I wished I had never gotten my brain injury. I believed that my life would be easier if I did not have an injury to deal with. This event is what I wanted to change about my past.

I firmly believe that my injury is not what I want to change. It has made me who I am, the reason I am writing this right now, and it has given me strengths I may not have had if I did not have a brain injury.

Now, when I ponder what in your past you would change, I think of the tiny decisions I have made. I have become a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Everything that has happened has helped me get to where I am now.

What to Change the Past

While everything happens for a reason, it is okay to still have things in life that you want to change. Do not get mad at yourself when you are getting down on yourself for a mistake or something you would do differently. I believe it is only normal.

Allow yourself to feel the way you feel. Acknowledge your feelings and think about what you would want to do differently. We all have these feelings. I know saying it’s normal does not help, but it is. Sometimes they will change, and you will make peace with what happened.

The important thing is to be okay with what happened at some point. It will take time, and that is okay. It took me 20 or so years to accept that my brain injury allowed me to become who I am today.

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New Experiences

New experiences can be scary and cause anxiety. Anxiety can stop you from gaining these new experiences. There are ways to try new things.

When starting new experiences, it is normal to be anxious about them. This is a nerve-wracking process. If you weren’t nervous, there is something to worry about. This is okay.

The unknown is scary. If you genuinely feel anxious about it, there are a few things to ponder. How much do you really want to try this new experience. Hopefully, the answer is you would like to try this new thing.

It can be easy to decide not to try something new because of anxiety. I have decided not to do things or try experiences because I let my fear get the best of me, but I will never know if those experiences would have been great or if I would have decided they weren’t for me.

I have done new things. They have turned out great. I have learned that taking the first step is the most challenging part. Once you have handled this first step, it only gets easier.


Anxiety about starting something, my fear stems from the unknown. After taking the first step, less of an unknown factor is involved. However, this does not entirely relieve the anxiety.

Once the first step is taken, it is essential to remember that it will get easier. Slow and steady; there is no need to jump into it all at once. Just continue taking this new experience one step at a time.

You need to remember one more thing when embarking on a new experience. At any time in this process, it is okay to decide that this new endeavor is not for you. Just because you tried doesn’t mean you are committed to doing it for the rest of your life. Be proud that you tried something new.

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Activities: How to Find Joy

Everyone has activities where they feel 100% themselves. These are the activities where you need to focus time in; they will make your life happy.

There are specific activities in life that can give us pure joy. These activities are different for everyone because we are all unique.

It is essential to find what brings you joy and what you can do to forget about your troubles just for a few minutes.

Recovering from a brain injury or any injury is a frustrating process. There are highs, and there are lows.

Whatever you choose to escape your realities is up to you. But here are my suggestions for how to choose this activity.

Choosing Your Activity

First, it needs to be positive. It shouldn’t be doing drugs or drinking every night. Make it something that won’t hurt you even more.

This activity can be many things. Spend time with friends, take up a sport or a new hobby. It may take time to find the right thing for you to do.

Another thing that I have found is that these activities change. There is no right or wrong answer. It is whatever lights your life up.

I have these activities. One of mine that at least was true as I was growing up was figure skating. The second I stepped onto the ice, nothing else mattered. I forgot what I needed to finish for school or what was going on the next day that I was stressed about.

I don’t skate as much these days, but I really should and see if I get the same feeling as I once did. Life changes, and what makes up calm can change too.

Nowadays, I write. Writing lets me let my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Sometimes, it is better to write ideas down. Even if no one reads it, it is still set free, and now I no longer have to think about it.

What activity gives you life?

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Failure: How to Succeed

Failing is a part of life. The key is what you do with it after you fail. This is what’s going to make your failure not define your life is going to be.

Failure is part of life, and everyone fails at some point. I find it difficult to push through after failing. The important thing is what you do after the failure.

When I was younger, I heard a saying: “if at first, you don’t succeed try, try again.” It used to drive me crazy. But as an adult, the message is valid.

Not succeeding does not mean that you will never achieve again. Let yourself be frustrated. Give yourself some time to be angry. This time could be a few hours or a day, but I suggest a maximum of a day.

After this period, follow the saying, “try try again.” The challenging part is trying it again, but changing how you perform the task is necessary.

After letting yourself be frustrated, look at what you did when you failed, then think about how to change what you did.

Failure: Moving Forward

Once you find a way to do it differently, try the task again. If you fail again, continue to give yourself time, but I would try a new way a few times before giving up on it. Life can be frustrating. But there is a way to turn failures into success.

Understanding how you fail can help you succeed. Failure can give you a new perspective on what to do or how to change. Instead of seeing that you failed, focus on what you learned from the process.

There is always something that can be learned from being unsuccessful. Take that lesson and use it for something else, something similar. Just remember, you can do it. Even if it is not the ‘normal’ way, there is always a way to achieve the task.

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Frustration Make it Positive

Frustration is part of the healing process. This is a sad fact but there are ways to make it less frustrating. This will help progress happen

The healing process can be a frustrating thing. There are many ups and downs throughout it. One helpful way to feel better on a bad day is to think of a good memory from childhood or something that happened to you the week before.

Maybe your physical therapy session didn’t go how you wanted it to. Try to think of something uplifting. This method can also help when you are very frustrated.

The mind is a powerful thing. Progress is never made when the mind is focused on the negative, or at least that is how it feels. You could be slowly progressing, but you wouldn’t see it because you are looking for the worst.

With a negative mindset, one tends to nitpick all the bad, unsuccessful things happening to them. Even when there are small successes, they get overlooked because the big goal has yet to be achieved.

Frustration to Positivity

There is a unique ability to get out of this negative mindset. I have found that changing my mood into a more positive one does wonders. In order to do this, I think back on past successes. I also try to think of good, fond memories.

These memories will remind me that there is good in life, no matter what ups and downs I face. As I feel myself begin to calm down, I revisit what was making me so frustrated.

Revisiting what caused my frustration allows me to see things differently. With this mood change, I can see the progress I am making, even in a small way.

I have found that seeing progress, no matter how big, can keep me in a positive mindset and motivated to continue. The healing process is about consistency.

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Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Keeping Resolutions is not easy. There are ways to stay motivated and hopefully keep them long-term. Here are my ways to stay motivated.

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions can be difficult. I have heard that most resolutions are forgotten about by the time February comes around.
We make them with the best intentions, but then life gets busy, and we return to our routines. There is no shame in this. I am guilty of it also.

However, for our lives to change for the better, we need to keep working on these goals. We can be successful with our resolutions.

What we want to accomplish throughout the year is important to us; if it wasn’t, why would you bother making a goal to do it this year.

Keeping Goals: How to

The first thing that keeps me motivated is remembering why you wanted to set this as a resolution in the first place. Was it to help you live a healthier life, or was it to help you live a happier life?

To help me remember this, I have a board in my bedroom by the door. Here I write down my resolutions and the why behind them. This way, I see it every time I leave my room. Put your resolutions in a place you look at often.

Another way to keep yourself going is to set daily reminders on your phone. If your resolution is something you can do in a set amount of time during the day, pick a time to do it and stick with it. An alarm will help make it a habit.

My last suggestion is to make milestones and reward yourself for reaching those milestones. Reward yourself if you keep your resolution for a week, a month, three months, etc.

It could also be helpful if you have an accountability buddy. This can be a family member, friend, or colleague. They will check in with you periodically.

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Easy to Lose Sight of Who You Are

When you are in a tough situation, it is easy to lose yourself. It is important to notice this and find ways to get your personality back.

There are times where it can be easy to lose sight of who you are. Last week I discussed changing jobs when it isn’t right for you.

My previous job, I lost myself. I became miserable and people around me could notice. This hindered my family relationships and friendships.

Finally, I became fed up with the job and quit. I believe that before I find my next job, I need to figure out ways to not lose who I am while working.

Outside Work Activities

Some of the ideas I had were to make sure I continue doing activities that speak to me outside of work. This includes, going to the gym, reading books, hanging out with friends etc.

I believe that if I begin to notice my outside of work activities being pushed aside, I need to reevaluate if the job is worth it.

I won’t quit right away; I just need to either find a way to find myself again or get out of the situation. In order to find oneself, there are many things one can do.

I think the first thing that needs to be done is look back and decide when you were most yourself. Thinking about that time, what does it mean that you were yourself?

Who are you? What activities light you up? You can either make a list and keep it on hand or just keep them in mind for when you need to reference it.

Once you know these activities, I would suggest trying to find ways to incorporate these activities in your day to day.

Take baby steps. Start by doing one activity every day for even half an hour. Please don’t get discouraged if this process takes a while. Keep going. If after weeks, you feel like this hasn’t helped, you can either try a different activity or change what is sucking your personality out of you.

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Jobs: When to Switch and How to

There are times when you get a job and later on decide it isn’t for you. That is okay. Take what you learned and find your next new job.

Sometimes, you need to switch jobs. There can be many different reasons to switch. Some of these can include a bad boss, a bad work environment, a need for different hours, changing industries, moving, an illness that makes you unable to work, etc.

There are many valid reasons to want out of a job. However, before you quit, you probably need to think about a few things.

Why Do You Want to Switch

First, think about why you want out of this job. Do you need to work shorter hours, do you need to be in a different environment, etc.? That reason will help you decide what the right next job is for you.

Next, ponder your timeline. A new job is not guaranteed to appear when you need it. Can you financially handle not having an income for a few months, or do you need to look while you keep working right now?

The last thing I would do before beginning my search is figuring out how to avoid getting myself into the position I am in with my current job. This may include a list of traits I want to see in a boss or how the employees look while they are working.

When I begin searching, I keep what I want and how I want to feel there in mind. I keep an open mind regarding my searches, including job titles, companies, and wages.

Job Search: Keep an Open Mind

The most significant lessons I have learned from my jobs and searches are keeping an open mind, knowing what you want, and listening to your gut.

I learned from my previous job that if you get an uneasy feeling during the interview, it never really goes away once you start working there. It may even get worse.

The one other thing is staying true to yourself when you are switching jobs. No one but you knows what you feel and what you want.

If you are new here, welcome! Please feel free to read My Story about how I got my brain injury.