Why I Travel

Traveling serves many purposes. It allows for a chance to see the world outside of your hometown perspective. It gives people the opportunity for vacation, and gives those working in the field of tourism a job. For me, traveling has become something different.

Travel has become a prescription for my mental health.

The first 18 years of my life were spent fighting demons, both internal and external. Mental health was never a concern of mine, because I had already accepted the fact that my home, my reality, and my “comfort zone” would always be one of mental anguish. One where a good day is “just good enough.”

That’s a really sad reality for a someone to accept. Let alone a child, an adolescent, or a young adult.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and let me tell you, I’m pretty damn strong. I feel proud to tell my story, because it is one of perseverance, of self awareness and self discovery. It is a story of using everything in your power to change your reality, in order to change a mentally unhealthy life, to a life of flourishing, growth, and mental wellness.

The best decision I’ve ever made was going to school for psychology. I would have never sought help otherwise, because my reality was my norm. I didn’t understand how starved for positive mental health that I was, until I learned the true definition of mental wellness. Of abnormal psychology. Of mental abuse.

I’ll never forget the day I left my classroom in tears. The day my professor defined and described my home, my family, and my life, straight out of a textbook. I nearly vomited when I realized all the lies I was forcing myself to believe. I was faking happiness for 18 years.

After speaking with my professor, the wheels that moved the rest of my life began to trek forward. In 2011, my new life began. I sought the help that I needed. The help my family needed. I learned that it is not ok to be mentally abused. Ain’t that a funny thought.

Parents are just people. We’re born under this notion that parents are suppose to shower us with unconditional love. But what if you have a parent that can’t love them self? Or a parent that loves them self too much that there’s no room for anyone else. What if you have a parent with a caring, appeasing soul, born under the notion that they are suppose to do whatever it takes to make their spouse happy. Even if their spouse is incapable of happiness. What becomes of a child raised in such an environment? What happens when a child is told not to tell?

I am what happens.

After 18 years of being constantly criticized, of suffering threats, walking on eggshells, and feeling the weight of a parent’s regular suicidal threats on my shoulders, I learned that this was not the life that I deserved. That is not a life anyone deserves. And man, what a powerful realization that was.

So, why do I travel?

Sure, I escaped the mental prison I once existed in. But such a hellish reality comes with repercussions. Anxiety is a very real part of my life. Once I was able to actually focus on my own mental health, I learned that anxiety is one of the building blocks of what has made Lauren, Lauren. It was one of those “a ha!” moments of that’s what that feeling is!

One of my favorite quotes about anxiety is that anxiety is like praying for what you don’t want. It’s a constant worst case scenario playing in your mind on loop. It’s a constant worst case scenario playing in your mind on loop. It’s a constant worst case scenario playing in your mind on loop.

I began to test myself, pushing myself further and further out of my comfort zone, until I was on a plane from JFK to LAX with a 2 month solo agenda. I have never felt so alive. I finally felt free to be me. Nothing was holding me back.

I travel because I am strong, brave, and capable. I travel because there is such beauty in this natural world, and I deserve to experience it. I travel to make up for lost time, for those 18 years that I forced a smile on my face, as I carried the weight of my parent’s personality disorder upon my shoulders.

If you are reading this and any of my words feel all too familiar, if you are living a life of accepting abuse, pain, and anguish, and have been forced to believe that you deserve it.. I am telling you, you are so much more than your circumstance. It’s never too late to seek the help that can set you free. Let 2018 be the year that your new life begins.

Happy World Mental Health Day. I love you, life.

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The Road to Brave

The first step to being brave 

is being scared. 

Dig deep to find superpowers 

you never knew you had. 

Comfort zones will surround you, 

Stagnation will set in. 

Be scared and then be brave,

Only then will life begin.

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A Laur by any other name 🌹

That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet,

Though having a family name makes such a loving bond concrete.

For 18 years I resided under a roof of abuse and pain,

But through such struggle and homestead strife, a warrior I became.

I kept my family’s secrets. I told myself “be tough.”

Until I realized the fight was bigger than me, enough was finally enough.

Families come in shapes and sizes, no two exactly the same.

But the role of a family is to raise you up, and to that family, I dedicate my name.

Today I start anew, off to new heights I go,

Grandpa, I wish you could see me now.

I am a Serpico.

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#CarpeMay FINALE!

After a month of awesome workouts, #CarpeMay has come to an end. Today’s episode of #WorkoutThereSocial brings us to Austin, TX, where we visited a wellness expo hosted Stronghorn Fitness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj_oBrG_yXs

After a month of awesome workouts, #CarpeMay has come to an end. Today’s episode of #WorkoutThereSocial brings us to Austin, TX, where we visited a wellness expo hosted Stronghorn Fitness. Vendors included Bento Picnic, LIVE Beverages, fitppl, BrainJuice, Recovery Zone Cryo & thinkbaby thinksport!

Also! Congratulations to the winner of our $25 Nike gift card raffle- Nicole Alexis (@domkiwn). She’s shared her posts of getting out of her fitness comfort zone & trying new workouts.

Love Your Enemy & You Won’t Have Any

Nothing makes something more intolerable than hatred. Whether it is a person, place or thing; hatred makes the heart heavy, mind cloudy, and soul discouraged. 

The Dalai Lama has told us, “in the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” Examples of this have been slapping me in the face lately.

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Let’s take, for example, wintertime. Me and the winter have not been on good terms. There is nothing that I love more than being outside in the sun, and I have always blamed winter for stealing that from me. The bitterness of the cold wind has been matched by the bitterness of my attitude walking through it. I have been as salty as what’s used to melt the snow on the road.

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The fact of the matter is; hating the winter isn’t going to make it go away. The sun still shines in wintertime. While I always considered snow to be an inconvenience, I started to look for the beauty in it. Aesthetically, it could be actually be quite pleasing. I began using shoveling as an activity that allowed me to get some fresh air, rather than a tedious chore. Winter will never be my favorite season, however, I’ve learned to appreciate it’s fleeting presence rather than loathe it… and I am a happier person for it.

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Another relationship that started out rocky… feelings towards working out. Does anyone really enjoy sweating, moving, grunting, lifting, squatting, jumping, running or any combination of the aforementioned? How does anyone find the motivation to dedicate time to put themselves through something so uncomfortable…. and do it daily?!

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The key, once again, is learning to love it. While you may never skip to the gym saying to yourself, “I just LOVE burpees!”, you will grow to love the feeling of success in your endeavors. Embrace the burn by recognizing what it all represents: strength, growth, determination, and surpassing the boundaries you have previously set for yourself. True motivation can only come from within. Once you can cultivate this for yourself, you are capable of anything!

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“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.“

The bottom line: you are the one in control of your own perspective, so why not have a positive one? 

While it can be difficult to find an enticing aspect of something you dislike, isn’t it even more difficult to harbor hatred in your heart? In looking for silver linings, the raincloud seems to disappear. Things become less foggy, and you are able to better navigate along the path of your life.

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