Chasing Pavements

I will be done University in less than 2 weeks. I finished an exam just this morning and have two more to write. I know that I should probably be more worried about studying for those than writing this post but I have been caught up with life and I just gotta shake it off, you know? School has been hectic, as usual. It’s a fixed aspect of my life but I gotta admit.. there’s so much variability happening around me that maybe, I have to find something constant to optimize my life.. for now. Forgive my terms, I just finished a statistics exam! tee hee

Anyway, this term has been the most overwhelming for me yet. I don’t know why but one thing’s for sure: I have to pause. (at least for 3 hours before I study again for my tomorrow’s exam)

I have been chasing pavements, yes. I wanted to do this and that, challenge myself and take on several responsibilities because I did not want to “waste” time. People think I stress too much but I like getting things done. I wanted to be productive for the sake of wanting to feel “fulfilled”. I kept those quotation marks because I know that everyone has his or her own particular definition for them. What has life been? fast.

Trust me.

I value my emotions and keep my feeling on check every now and then. Recently though, I am guilty of just flying by life because I want to graduate and well, reap the harvest of my hard work even though I know that it’s not immediate.  I know it takes time and looking back, I have no regrets.. yet. Everything has been normal until life hits you with a “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

Pavement after pavement, these houses look so pretty that working my way all day everyday makes it seem worth it. Here are some reasons why you should pause: Let’s rephrase that, here are some reasons why I should pause:

Reason # 1: I am just one person

I want these:

  • calligraphy
  • read lots of books
  • play my keyboards
  • try boxing
  • swimming routine
  • study for an MBA
  • get a TEFL certificate
  • open a business
  • build a foundation
  • learn the guitar
  • buy a trumpet/clarinet
  • attend jazz concerts
  • photoblog
  • etc…

but you see, I’m just ONE person. I have to understand the essence of time and appreciate the process. If it feels right then I’ll do it. I must learn to say no to the things that don’t define me. I guess, I am still figuring my way in this thing called LIFE.

What am I running from? boredom and regret.
What am I running towards? success and accomplishment.

That was my mentality before but now, I’ve realized that they can go side by side and overlap if I go against the flow and timing of what feels right right now. What I mean by that is for example, I want buy a guitar because I don’t want to regret instead of acknowledging that I am already busy with school plus I haven’t really played my keyboards at home for the longest time.. then if I actually buy it, I will have to juggle all of what I have and not be really successful. You know that feeling that bothers you when you haven’t really done the things that you told yourself you would do?

Yes, that guilt. In my opinion, it happens when we do things for the wrong reasons. I have learned to check in with myself and my intentions.

Good: Love and Passion
Bad: Attention and Pride

Limitations are sometimes good because there is only enough space that my heart can feel for, that my mind can wander on, and that my time can really accommodate. Don’t get me wrong, I have 0 regrets because I have done almost everything that I wanted to do (+ there’s so much more) but it is accepting the fact that I can’t do everything single thing. Time must be spent gracefully.

Reason # 2: I know what I want 

Authenticity is what I am aiming for in my daily encounters. It is hard, especially when I internalize on the possible judgments and expectations that people have on me but guess what? those should not matter. Listen carefully to what your heart yearns for, whether it be serenity or excitement or depth or creativity. Be honest to yourself and as long as you’re not doing anything wrong, why be shy? I should tell that to myself more often. ❤ Enough said.

Reason # 3: I just lost a good friend

I cannot fathom the words to really describe how it feels to lose someone so close to me. She was like a sister to me.. someone who understood my strengths, weaknesses and tendencies (vice versa) that our lives can almost intertwine. Our conversations always run deep about the intricate details of our teenage years, the countless answers to our present struggles, and our visions of the future. I was in a rat race until this caught my attention and I knew that I just had to stop or at least to slow down. If I don’t, I am sure that it will hit me all at once by the time my exams are finished. It won’t be nice and I’m sure that my friend would not want to see me sad. I will tell you more about it later, my fellow word-pressers. I can probably express myself better in writing that in speech so hear me out. 🙂

 

It has been a great 2-hour break writing this. I know that life still goes on.. and on.. and on no matter what so I have to chase another pavement but this time, I will respect my pace and allow some rest to just be still. I deserve it. We all do.

Off I go! Wish me luck. And may your lives be ever beautiful where beautiful does not mean perfect straight lines but loops and loops of squiggly shapes and sizes. Your choice. What looks more beautiful? 🙂

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Tell me it’s real (Number 1)

My image of the world 10 years ago was totally different from now. I have learned a lot and it is tough to be an adult. I have not reached the peak of my adulthood yet but everything that I am seeing, understanding and digesting in this world.. it’s just mind-boggling. You need to do sacrifices and you need to commit to your decisions. Things can get rough and people will sometimes not appreciate you but you have to intrinsically motivate yourself to keep moving forward.

This is reality. I don’t want to be the killjoy or the negative person who bursts everybody’s bubble of “pure happiness” especially those are in their early 20s, like me; however, I had to post these since I knew that once I realized them, I had to share and make my fellow dear human beings that they are not alone.

  1. There is no equality in opportunities so work hard-er.

We must admit that despite the ongoing demonstrations and initiatives to level out the playing field, there are several more issues to tackle like mental illness and introversion being perceived as lack of confidence or being anti-social. These stigmas put great pressure on behalf of the people who are suffering such instances. The pressure comes from the outside of the dominant population attaching negative connotation on them as well as internally, the individuals who are experiencing them must strengthen their inner ability to avoid self-prophecy to take place.

Take it from me. I dislike it when people see my meek personality as incompetent, innocent, and lack of confidence. I used to believe the judgements as true and the definition of why I act the way I do. Now, I am faced with this ongoing debate inside me who I truly am because every circumstance shows me a different side of me and nothing seems to be constant. The thing is though just because I hear so many comments about my kindness, gentleness, and “innocence” that it’s only those that I notice and not the times when I was able to speak in front of a group of people or actually enjoyed a party with good music and good company because I knew that I was never that kind of girl (the latter 2).

It frustrates me to juggle between the several identities. I am constantly faced with statements that may limit my ability to reach my dreams just because I let them to. It was part of my growing up, I was never the loud and decisive one. I was always the soft-spoken and considerate one. It’s not a bad thing but when you hear it all the time, it hurts to hear that I can never be the assertive and strong-willed one. 

Don’t worry about me though, I have done a lot to go outside my comfort zone. I have had countless mistakes and it breaks my heart into pieces every time I recall them but I told myself that it is all a process. Every little thing will be okay. I am a minority, I am a woman, I am meek, and I am sensitive but those qualities will not stop me from achieving my own standards of happiness and satisfaction. It will take much more effort than those who already possess the extra privilege to be seen and perceived as strong-willed, confident, and deserving. It was tough to swallow but it’s true. I don’t blame anyone because it’s nobody’s fault. Some people are just born with a beautiful image of the world as endless and boundless and therefore, believes the same philosophy counts for every single individual in the world.

It’s all on me now. Now that I understand my struggles, I am conscious of my actions.. I must know better.

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I decided to take one realization at a time since it takes time for me to fully comprehend what I am trying to say. In addition, it can be hard to digest. Is it just me or do I feel stronger every time I speak up about my weaknesses. It’s self-acceptance and each of us deserves that. Our environment can affect how we view the world but that should not limit our desire to look outside the box and discover much more wonderful things.

What If

What if we stopped being so tied up about what other people think of us and just do what we want to do?

Why can’t we allow ourselves to shine and not feel horrible about it?

There are times when I imagine a world where everybody does what they want while caring for one another as well but then, I figured that it is all just a fantasy. I have witnessed social media portray several initiatives done by individuals who want to change the world and in all honesty, I am always amazed and at awe of their courage. I was once that idealist. I still am but I am slowly seeing the bigger picture.

You cannot please everybody. There is not one thing that is universal anymore, in my opinion. Although words like “love” and “peace” may be seen across cultures but the way these are being expressed are seen in several degrees and angles. For the western culture, it may be that we learn to love ourselves for who we are and be at peace with what we most desire whether it be ambition, health, wealth, or career. For the eastern culture, it will most likely be love where we will put others before ourselves and peace amongst family members, most especially that of the parents’, are most significant. I am only speaking when it comes to my experience.

What about the environment? Where does the corporate world fit in? How about competition? How can we get the best products with the fastest processing time for the convenience of our customers while abiding by every environmental law? Who do you serve first: yourself or others? Do we follow the instructions given by the stewardess when it comes to putting on your oxygen mask or do we adhere to the principle of sacrifice?

The standards that I had when I was living in an eastern society definitely transformed to something else when I moved to a western society. I am still struggling to determine the difference. At first, I wanted to know which was right and which wasn’t but that does not work that way. In this day of age, nothing cannot be judges as immoral. I mean, please define ethical in the most acceptable way. Not one person will agree with one statement. Every person has a voice now and that makes my world a little bit more crazy every time I deal with decisions. Which is more like me? Which seems more morally correct? In my eyes, in my current society or in my parents’ perspective? 

It doesn’t get easier than that.

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What if this world learned about equality or equity in all levels and where everyone will be given the same right to live and enjoy his/her life?

Wouldn’t that be the best feeling?

How will the customers be happy if the employees are not happy? But we cannot please everybody, right? How will the employer’s profits be used to balance profit of staying on top while providing enough for the stakeholders? Where does work-life balance fit in? I know some of you will mention about Google or Apple. I will not argue because they are very known to be truly wonderful organizations that anyone will be blessed to be part of. But let’s look this at the bigger picture because it’s not like the whole world can work in only those two companies. How much time must be spent to working, spending time with your loved ones, learning and studying for one’s sake, and for staying healthy? Is it possible to not feel empty at all?

I want to believe that one day, we will all be able to reach to a point where everyone is in the middle-class, and nobody is too popular or too wealthy. Trust me, if you know me really well, that is all that I talk about. What if there was not more than one currency and what if we all lived in the same kind of house? Well, try watching “Equals” or “Hunger Games” or “Divergent” or any movie that shows how the world will work when we have this perceived order in the society.. and then, you might change your mind.

The whole world will be in total silence and no emotions can be seen.

Think of it. In our imperfect world, when one person is happy, somehow.. at one part of the world, someone is not happy. Then again, what is our definition of happiness. I would tell myself.. the only thing that can make this world a much better place is respect. Respect to what other people see as valuable — as long as it does not hurt anyone — and respect when it comes to other people’s way of expressing themselves — then again, as long as it does not hurt anyone. However, how about the implicit behaviours that may not be seen to be directly and overtly damaging someone else’s feelings but in that (hurt) person’s point of view have affected them in a negative way.

Where does equality stand in that occasion?

The world has become more complicated. I am not saying that changes are wrong. This is a conversation I will just want to initiate in regards to continuously expressing what we want and what we desire to see in a world that is full of complex people who are made up of countless experiences that may have shaped their (our) current perception of life and what it should be.

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I am boggled by the idea that there will be never-ending question (not answers) when it comes to all the “What If’s” in the way society works. Then again, we have our voices for a reason and I hope that we will use it to create positive conversations and build an understanding platform where every individual speak with the most sincere intention of making our world a better place to live in. ❤

Enjoy your weekend, loves!

the climb

I have never felt so empty in my life.

When people see how I’m living, I seem so happy and whole but really, how could I tell them that I was not living the life that I crave for every time I wake up in the morning.

I feel like it’s too late to go back but is it?

I have been climbing up the ladder, crawling up the stairs just to see the rays of the sun by the window. They said it will be there when you get there. But when is when?

The struggle to want what I have is too real to ignore. People say “count my blessings” and I am, it’s just that the majority of my life just looks good on the outside but I feel dead inside. Why?

I still put my best foot forward in everything that I do and that’s why it hurts because I’d have to give in my best shot even if my heart is shouting “No!”. It hurts to feel this way.

Should life be all about resisting your inner ego of going for the things that I truly want. It may not be for me but there is an urge to follow my instinct, the one that my heart yearns for. My desire to feel important and impactful. It does not have to be big, it can be something simple but truly meaningful.

Then, there’s this pulling down factor of being judged. I know, who cares! but really, I care. I shouldn’t but I do. I love making people feel happy and cared for but it is not always mutual. I am not seeking for something in return but at the same time, I figured that I have forgotten to take care of myself. What do I see myself in 10 years from now? What risks am I willing to take? Am I living the life that I want? Do I feel energized? What other experiences did I want to go for?

They say that one of the greatest regrets people get when they grow older is that they chose to live according to the standards of someone else or the society.

The climb has been steep and I keep falling down but hey, there’s no giving up.

Health is Wealth

For the longest time, I have been told that health is everything but then I have never really taken it so seriously until recently. I used several methods on how to be “healthier”; however, it was always temporary and never sticked to my lifestyle because I always bounced back to how I used to be — junk food, sweets and fast food. Balanced diet has always been on top of my mind but again and again became the least of my priorities. I know what I needed to do but lack the commitment to follow through.

My sweet tooth can be seen as something normal at my age; however, I do not want to have any regrets later on for not being able to take action on this early on. My skin condition and mood for the day/week reflects what I have been eating and doing and trust me, it shows whether I have been taking care of myself or not. I’m aging and health is not a joke anymore. This does not mean that I cannot eat my favourite desserts anymore rather this is a wake-up call that I must learn self-discipline.

This is such a vulnerable topic for me because this has always been one of my insecurities. There were doubts for me in posting this but I knew that this would help me stick to what I will be starting: the ME project.

I was always the big one when I was a kid (among the boys and the girls) and was not really comfortable in my own skin. As I was growing, I became numb to such comments and therefore, have fixed my mind that I was never the “normal” kid. Then again, what is the definition of “normal”? The biggest highlight was when I became involved in a sport that made me lose a lot of weight. People noticed and since I used to be extremely externally motivated, I gained some confidence to speak up or be myself because I thought now that I looked better, I was given more opportunity to be part of their world. That was then, that was how I saw the world: I had to look good to feel good. Even then, I became more conscious about how I weighed because I knew I either had to keep it or lose more. It was a mental trick that kept playing in my head never-endingly. Now, it came to a point that I became comfortable in always teasing myself around my family saying, “I look so fat”, “my thighs are ginormous”, “my face is so bloated”, “why am I so big?” and so on and so forth. Comfortable in that context, is not a good thing because I have realized that it is slowly becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy that instead of keeping it to myself.. I have learned to share it to the people I care most about that I did not like myself. I had to do something about that.

In this generation, I can see that health is becoming more and more important as people start to appreciate natural ingredients in meals and find ways to exercise regularly. The pressure that I see in social media has prompted me to look at myself and the lifestyle I have in a different angle. I noticed several things: I blame my mom for buying junk food and sweets, I go for the easy food because I “do not have time” to prepare real food, and I am motivated to eat healthy only when an event comes up. These were not positive approaches because I was letting my environment determine my ability to take care of myself. It was driving me nuts.

I am sharing you this not because I despise my chubby-ness rather I am acknowledging that I am deteriorating my mental, physical, and emotional health due to my lack of discipline of prioritizing my health. I am just in my 20s but just like what Meg Jay said in her “Defining Decade” book & TEDtalk, we must learn how to delay gratification (meaning: control cravings and immediate pleasures) and build our personal brand (meaning: being strong inside and out). How am I able to accomplish my goals in life if I, myself, have achieved what I needed to get to where I want to be? Moreover, this is more than just my weight, it is also about taking care of my future self.

Right now, I am committing to a 365-journey to a better me where I will document my daily path towards a healthier lifestyle to forever. Follow me on my journey. 🙂

P.S. You are more than welcome to introduce your health journey in here too. I will be more than thrilled to hear all about it and I believe that the more that we come together to promoting the importance of health in one’s life, the more fulfilling the voyage will be towards our destination: a better us, you & me!