Re: Fear has an antidote

From Unsplash - Photo by Christopher Sardegna
From Unsplash – Photo by Christopher Sardegna

The past couple of days I’ve had some time to think about fear. What do we fear? Why do we have fears? Why is fear necessary? For many reasons fear hasn’t been associated with anything short of negative. It has the ability to consume us, manipulate us, and that in itself is fearful. What if I told to you that I found an antidote for our fears, an endless supply of it too? Is there still something to be fearful about? Well, there’s an antidote and I’m going to share with you exactly what that is and how you can get it.

I have a lot of fears. I know we’re not “supposed” to talk about it [our own fears] online, but I’ve never been very conventional so just indulge me for a bit. To an extent I’m afraid of those gut-wrenching relationships. You know, the kind that makes you a little crazy because you just want to be the one that makes them happy; the one they turn to; their best friend; lover and prank co-conspirator. I’m afraid of not being enough professionally and personally. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to actualize my goals. I’m afraid of losing myself. There’s a few more but these are the ones that are pretty high up on my list. So I asked myself, why am I afraid of ­­­______ (fill in whichever fear)? What about it scares me? I continued this internal inquisition over and over again to dig deeper and deeper. Turns out a lot of my fears have nothing to do with the actual circumstance or thing that I’ve associated it with.

It all comes back to me.

That’s the thing about fears. Fueled by self-doubt it can turn into a daunting ugly monster, relentlessly chasing us until we succumb to its demands. At the beginning of this post, I talked about an antidote that I think will help us fight our fears. As cheesy as it may sound, love is our greatest antidote. Learning to love us despite of our flaws and dark pasts. Learning to love ourselves enough to see that our fears mean nothing compared to the joy and wisdom we will gain when we actually muster up the courage to try. Learning to love the experiences we endured, because hey, we’re still here right?

Be patient with yourself. Learning to love is as much of a process as building a house. It takes time and sometimes rain or snow can slow down the process, but keep building anyway.

Granted there are some fears that are very hard to over come. For whatever reason we continue to keep thinking about them, keep holding on to them. Having a lot on my mind recently, I came across an article that described an exercise about combating lingering fears. I know, you might be thinking that this is gimmicky or that it doesn’t work, and perhaps it may not work for you because it’s just not how you communicate with yourself (Yes, you should definitely check on yourself and how you’re doing, it’s not weird at all!) Anyway, the exercise starts by writing down your fears, just keep writing as much as you can think of even if you have go back and forth. Once you’re satisfied with the list you made, rewrite your fears. For example: “I am afraid of getting hurt = I love myself. Even if I end up getting hurt, I have enough love and respect for myself and no one or any circumstance can take that away from me.” Do that for ALL of your fears. The article suggests setting it aside and reading it again if those thoughts come back. I’m considering burning the piece of paper, or wrapping it on a string tied to a helium balloon. Take your pick. The key here is that you’re letting go of your fears and expowering yourself.

Continuing with my soul searching, I’ve also realized that having fears is a necessity. It helps us realize what we value. Think about it, why would we be scared if we didn’t care about whatever it is that we’re actually afraid of? Question is will you let your fears run amuck in your head?

Think about it.

Always,

K

P.S. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. I’m happy to hear what you guys think! 🙂

Re: A still mountain no more.

The days leading up to my recent birthday I found myself reminiscing about my high school self. To be quite frank she was much more confident and risk-oriented. She also had a stronger sense of conviction about who she was, what she wants to do and where she’s going. So I wondered, where did SHE go? How did I find myself less confident, more uncertain about my personal identity and what the future may hold? They said that we become wiser with age, but do we really?

I can think of a number of reasons as to why or how I’ve changed over the years but they don’t really matter. At the end of the day, I can see and feel the changes that impacted me like a tidal wave crashing the side of a mountain cliff. Salty waters trying to drip back down into the ocean through my crevices. Gradually they become a part of me. It stings a little.

Then again there’s nothing like water to wear down a mountain and open up a secret to you. You want to know what these waters revealed to me? I can’t tell you. Not because it’s a secret. Not because I’m embarrassed by it. Not even because it’s just too juicy to let it out in the open. I can’t tell you because I’m still riding the wave.

Will you hold my hand and ride beside me?

Always,

K

P.S. See the best part about writing reflections like this is that I don’t know how it will end. It may not sound completely cohesive but for some reason I felt compelled to write some parts of it as a metaphor. We go through changes and sometimes it’s hard to explain how we’ve changed and why. Now, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss my high school self and have felt regret that I may be disappointing her. But then it dawned on me that she didn’t know the difference between the questions: what do you want to be and who do you want to become? Right now, my goal is to remember the kind of strength that I once held and garner it. Sometimes we’re a little low on courage, better stock up whenever we can!

P.P.S. If you get the movie reference I would be very impressed! 🙂

Dear braces

 

IMG_7930You’ve called my mouth your home for about 4 years now, and don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you that the honeymoon phase is OVER. It’s not you, it’s me. I simply think that you’ve enjoyed your stay a little too much and far too long. It’s time for you to find another home.

In the beginning, we had our rough patches. The occasional lip and cheek scrapes, food getting stuck on you and of course, how can I forget, the month I could only eat soft [mushy] food?! Now, I’m not holding any of those things against you. Not. At. All. At the end of the day I signed up for it. I was the one who invited you in! But frankly, I was very insecure about my smile. I appreciate that you’ve been here to help me manage my giant crooked teeth. And I know you’re still here to help me get the smile I want for myself. It’s getting there and I can tell that we’re getting there. I’m just hoping that you’ll get there sooner rather than later.

I won’t be missing trying to take food out of you with my tongue or casually drinking water while pretending I’m not gargling to get the food out. Flossing for 10 minutes was fun-ish. I had to weave the floss around you as if I was making a wicker basket. I won’t be missing the regular tightening or my jaw locking. So like what I said earlier, it’s been good but you gotta go.

Good luck with everything and I hope you stay away from my future kids.

Always,

K

P.S. Of course, this blog post was just something cheeky since I have been feeling a little frustrated with having braces on lately. Nonetheless, I know that it’s worth the investment and commitment. If you’re interested, here are my Top 5 Tips on maintaining clean braces & healthy teeth:

  1. Get a good brush. I prefer to use a manual brush even though I have an electric brush because I feel like I can control the brush a lot better
  2. Actually follow your orthodontist’s recommendations about brushing your teeth AND flossing regularly. I was a little extra and carried a dental kit with me so I could brush my teeth literally after every meal. By all means, you don’t have to do that
  3. Get toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Your teeth will be moving around and will ultimately go through a lot of changes, I found that my teeth has gotten a lot more senstive because of it. Not sure about the science behind it but I still recommend getting toothpaste for sensitive teeth to help your teeth just a little bit more
  4. Carry toothpicks. I bought a bunch of dental toothpicks from the Dollar store (I think?) and it comes with a little travel size container. It fits nicely in your purse and you can easily go to the washroom in case there’s food that annoyingly gets stuck and is visible
  5. Buy Advil or Tylenol. This is more of a multipurpose item. If you don’t have a high pain tolerance, it would make eating (or generally speaking) easier if you had painkillers with you. For me, my jaw is realigning because my treatment right now is focusing on fixing my bite. It can be a little painful at night so I take a Tylenol some times

 

 

Re: What makes you extraordinary? 3/3

IMG_5084
Angelica & I’s photo together over the summer beautifully sums up the kind of sweet and caring individual that she is. Grateful for our conversations and friendship! Keep being amazing love! 🙂

I was careful about introducing this project because I realized early on that our loved ones come in many forms. It could be a friend, a family member or romantic significant other. So I asked a couple of my friends to think of someone extraordinary. They didn’t have to tell me who it was right away. I simply wanted them to think of that person first. Then I asked them what makes the person they are thinking of extraordinary?

Angelica’s response:

“I think that they’re the strongest and most resilient person I know.”

Who were you thinking of?

“Mama.”

And…

Vicky’s response:

“My sister is extraordinary because she cares about other people and their well-being to the point where she compromises herself sometimes. She is artistic and creative in ways I’ll never comprehend haha. And even though, she’s just 13, the way she deals with conflict and people in general is something I’m still learning.”

red-love-heart-typography
From pexels.com

Granted, I am still a closet romantic so I asked a dear couple, married for 54 years the same question to cap off this project. Bruce responds by sending me a speech he had written 30-40 years ago. It starts, “As I think of how grateful I am for my wife, I realized that her love and companionship alone make me very rich…” Of course, I read this like the love letter it became all these years. Bruce talked about his appreciation for her support and the significant role she had played in his life as her husband, the father of their children and as a professional. He concludes by saying that, “my wife is truly an individual person. I find this quality most exciting. She fulfills a demanding church stewardship of her own and derives great personal satisfaction from her achievement. She is also involved in a number of activities of self-improvement…I find these too supportive to me because I am proud to be the companion to this beautiful and exciting person-my wife!”

This project started as a reminder for myself and for everyone around me that even when you don’t feel your best self, someone out there sees you for who you are and who you are striving to be. It was a privilege to get such awesome responses to equally amazing individuals. I can only hope that someone in cyber space was inspired even just a little bit.

You are extraordinary. Don’t forget that.

 

Always,

K