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Cassidy Kristiansen

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In an attempt to be more candid with this space, I took the time to work through a panic attack I had this morning and am publishing it here after only doing one grammar & content check. The thought of not letting this sit for another few weeks or get a second, or third, opinion on it is terrifying. But anxiety has stopped me from hitting publish on too many parts of my life, yet I’m determined to not let this post be another. Happy New Year everyone! We are off to the races with some stellar panic attacks in the shape of, “Holy shit I can’t breathe” and, “I can’t make any decisions right now because I’m afraid I’ll mess one up so…

Growing up as a driven, stubborn girl who knew exactly what she wanted and how she was going to get there, imagine my surprise when at twenty-five, I’m not where I thought I’d be. Never would I have imagined things like imposter syndrome, depression, or executive dysfunction that comes along with ADHD taking over my life. It’s as if I so clearly saw the path in front of me, only to get older and my vision becoming dramatically worse. Suddenly, the path wasn’t so clear and I was scared to move in any direction, afraid it might take me the wrong way. It wasn’t until recently that I could fully grasp that doing something, regardless of whether I fully decided it was the best/right/most…

Whenever I’m feeling uncomfortable in a new situation, such as picking a new laundromat when mine shuts down due to bed bugs (oh, New York City..) or attending a cultural event, I scour the internet for any sort of unspoken “rules” I’m to follow. I like to know what’s expected of me, and what’s a massive “No” in terms of my words or actions. My life is essentially one giant match between trying to adhere to as many rules as possible while finding new ways to bend certain ones, sometimes with no rhyme or reason. When it came to staying in a hostel for the first time, there was an incredible amount of “important” questions I wanted to answer before I ever stepped foot…

One of the main “rites of passage” while traveling and living that backpacker life is staying in a hostel for the first time. It’s cheap, typically in a far better location than most hotels, and can be a place to make life-long friends, whether or not you intended to. As my travels have taken me to over twenty-one countries in the past few years, accommodations add up and hostels became a no-brainer. It was just a place to sleep after all, right? Suffering from excruciating social anxiety for as long as I can remember, the thought of plunging myself into an unfamiliar place with complete strangers and having to -gasp- actually interact with them was my personal nightmare. At thirteen, teachers would actually yell…

Here I am, two years into living in New York City and finally feeling comfortable, perhaps too much so, in this place. The rumble of the subway only slightly registers in my ears now and a perpetual stream of honking becomes daily background noise. The steady hum of the city is energizing and comforting all
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