Re: 10 lessons the last 10 years taught me

With a brand new decade coming very shortly, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been feeling extra reflective lately. A lot has happened over the past ten years, as they should. Life moves along regardless of whether or not we realize that another decade has come and gone. It’s our duty to live in it, learn from it and be grateful it happened. 

Distilling all of the lessons I learned over the past decade was easier than I initially anticipated. Frankly, because most of these lessons I haven’t fully understood. So here they are:

  1. Grief changes you. It changes you in a way that you never thought sadness could. After enough time passes by, grief also propels you to move on to the next chapter because your life persists. 
  2. Sometimes conflict is necessary for progress, but it is not an excuse to regurgitate accumulated anger. Address conflict with the goal to forgive. 
  3. Your definition of success changes. And it will continue to change as life changes you. 
  4. Understand your core values and stick by them. They will help guide your decisions and who you want to invite in your life. 
  5. Stand up for what you believe in. Even if the circumstances may seem daunting. Though this may not sound revolutionary, there’s a reason why it’s a popular expression. 
  6. Always keep a grateful heart.
  7. Assume that everyone is just trying their best. 
  8. Let yourself accept and claim love. God’s everlasting, pure love is not something you need to earn neither is it conditional. 
  9. Trust in God’s plan, and trust that He will be by your side every step of the way. You are on His time. 
  10. Love deeply and courageously. Beyond the gooey warm feelings. Beyond the arguments and disappointments. Beyond the fears and anxieties. Because loving someone is a commitment you make with yourself and the other person.  A choice you make everyday.

Always, 

K

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: 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! 🙂