Re: To struggle or to fight? The choice is yours.

black-and-white-sport-fight-boxer

This is not some great epiphany that I’ve had or something that is entirely nouveau. Frankly, I’m not even sure if it’s something that I want to be part of my philosophy in life, but here it is-our life is made up of choices. We choose what we would like to eat; we make choices about the clothes we wear; we choose the people we become friends with; we choose whom we date and, (you can totally rebuttal) we choose to be happy. We make decisions every single day consciously and subconsciously. Thing is, the choices we make aren’t always cut clean. They’re not always easy to make. So, how do I make them?

I wrote a reflection a few months ago based on an article asking, “what are you willing to struggle for?” In it, I talked briefly about persisting despite feeling pain or encountering difficult obstacles and how we can use pain to fuel our drive to create. Now, perhaps because I have been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, I have a completely different question to ask. Though it might sound similar, I want you to think about how this question is vastly different-what are you willing to fight for?

To, struggle or to fight-that is the question. Ever since I can remember, I somehow would make choices that could make my life just a little bit harder. I know, this sounds odd but wait a second. By that I mean, you can use a calculator to solve a long division equation or you can actually do the long division on a piece of paper and solve it yourself. To some degree, I may have taken Robert Frost’s poem to heart too literally, but then again I wouldn’t be here if I chose differently. I’m telling you this because even though there have been many times, and probably more when I will be required to struggle, I will always choose to fight.

I’m telling you this because even though there have been many times, and probably more when I will be required to struggle, I will always choose to fight.

Yes, there have been times when I would refuse to fight back because I don’t necessarily think that fighting every battle would be entirely beneficial. I prefer to pick my battles and fight to win the war. This is where I see the difference between ‘struggling’ versus ‘fighting’ for something. To struggle for something almost makes it seem like you are constrained by something else; something is preventing you from breaking free. Whereas, for me, fighting for something is a conscious choice made. You know that when you fight for something, there will be obstacles and great uncertainties. You might even feel miserable for some of it. Yes, all of that is true. They just don’t matter as much.

You know that when you fight for something, there will be obstacles and great uncertainties. You might even feel miserable for some of it. Yes, all of that is true. They just don’t matter as much.

So, what are you willing to fight for?

Always,

K

 

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: What a year after graduation actually feels like

11411814_10155725458195013_8934257900341136375_o This is the moment you’ve been longing for the past 4 (or more) years. Sitting with your fellow grads with your cap and gown on patiently sweating, and perhaps nervously waiting for the usher to summon your row to the marching line. All of the all-nighters to finish your assignments and last minute cram sessions the night before your exams finally paid off! A mere 10-20 minutes of shaking hands, hugging and picture taking to prove that you actually made it. Soon enough, someone will ask-what are your plans after graduation? Do you have an answer?

For some, a big fat job offer may come your way after graduation, or a trip of a lifetime backpacking around the vast European or Asian landscapes, or even a road trip across the country with a few friends. Whatever it may be, today is supposed to be the day you start your “adult life.” Not when you entered university at the mere age of 17 or 18, insisting that you are an adult to your parents. Not when you nonchalantly flash your ID because you can actually legally buy and drink alcohol now. Not even when you first had your own place during university. Surely, those milestones have helped you get to where you are today…or maybe, not?

A year after graduation, I’m fortunate to say that I feel at peace. Frankly, I didn’t have a clue as to what it was I wanted to do after graduation. I had people and job titles I aspired to, but no complete certainty as to whether or not I would actually like that job let alone do it for the rest of my life! (Or at least for the majority of it) The 5 years I spent in university doing my undergrad taught me how to read, write and ask questions. The past year I spent trying to figure out what I actually want to do and why gave me a glimpse of who I am.

The 5 years I spent in university doing my undergrad taught me how to read, write and ask questions. The past year I spent trying to figure out what I actually want to do and why gave me a glimpse of who I am.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s hard out here! A signed piece of paper with your name and your university’s name elegantly written on your diploma won’t help you as much as you may have thought it would. You will send dozens and dozens of applications and go through rounds and rounds of interviews  just to prove that you deserve to be there. Then finally, when someone sees that you’re a good fit in their company’s culture AND you can actually do the job they need you to do, then maybe you’ll get the job. There will be times when you just want to break down in your room because you’re trying your best but that doesn’t seem to be good enough. Some of your friends who luckily got full time jobs may or may not help you either. Sorry, but it’s true. Just don’t take it too personally because they are transitioning into a new chapter the same way you are. What matters is that you keep growing. Keep learning. Keep meeting new people, and most of all keep believing in yourself.

What matters is that you keep growing. Keep learning. Keep meeting new people, and most of all keep believing in yourself.

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Thank you for being awesome friends! 🙂
It takes time to get where you want to go but it doesn’t mean you won’t get there eventually. If you’re like me and you’ve decided to pursue a passion completely unrelated to your undergrad degree, it might take you longer and you might have to go back to school yet again. That’s totally fine too! Focus on YOUR path. It might be a winding road ahead with tons of twists and turns, followed by a sprinkle of inevitable failures. Embrace it. Make the most of it. It’s your life after all.

Granted, this ending will sound very fragmented, partly because there is no ending. Not yet anyway. I’m still writing this chapter of my life! So, I’ll leave you with a quote that has given me a whole lot of courage and take it, as you will.

Fear is greater than reality.

 

Always,

K

P.S. Who else hasn’t framed their diploma yet? Me too! 😉

 

 

To my self doubts

pexels-photo
From pexels.com

Shove it! It’s hard enough being young and constantly feeling the need to prove yourself to your peers, bosses and the occasional already doubting parent/s. How do you expect me to compete with the ‘rising stars’ of my generation? Actually, let’s take a step back and ask, why do you compare me with other people? My strengths, weaknesses, experiences, aspirations and characteristics (aka all of ME) are not the same.

These voices permeating into my deepest thoughts make use of how time can feel so slow and how difficult it can be to determine if progress is actually being made. Tell me, do you enjoy this? Do you get a kick out of making me feel small? Or is it more fun when I start to buy into what you’re saying? Encouraging me to join you in continuous judgement about who I am, what I’m doing or even trying push me to just give up and take an easier route.

But you know what, I bet it’s been frustrating to you that I refuse to give up that easily. Well, guess what? Even if you try harder and find different ways to bring me down you won’t. You know why? Because the harder to you try, the harder I will work to get where I want to go and gradually become the person I aspire to be. I will learn each and every day how I can silence your negativities.

Yes. These are fighting words because I am fighter. I always will be.

 

Always,

K

P.S. This letter was difficult to write to say the least. I’ve been having a rough few days and I wanted to write this letter for myself and for anyone else who may be feeling a little defeated at times. Hang in there and don’t ever lose faith, especially in yourself.