What about Today?

I’m coming to realize lately that life is always moving forward into time and space. And time is always ticking whether we like it or not. Time is a valuable asset in this day and age.

We can dwell, we can resent, we can worry, we can wish we would have done this or said that differently–but today is today. Yesterday was yesterday. Three week ago was three weeks ago. And tomorrow is tomorrow. Where are you today?

 

 

Transitions

Navigating life is like learning how to cook. We have to keep trying different combinations of ingredients to truly find what we like and what works best for us. Maybe we try a new recipe and find out it wasn’t everything we anticipated it to be. Instead of giving up completely, we can try a few different spices or ingredients the next time. I find that my current life situation is reminiscent of this analogy.

I have just recently gotten out of a 1.5 year relationship that has caused me to face deficient areas of my life. My ex did most of the cooking in our relationship–so this past month has been a journey of me revisiting and testing my own cooking skills. I did not cook a lot for myself during the relationship nor did I much before (my willpower to cook has never been that strong). As a result, it has forced me to start taking care of myself since I am on my own. Food has always been on the extremes with me–I have had phases of eating way too much and then just the opposite. I’m finally trying to find a healthy balance for myself.

I did not eat much more than kale chips the first week post-breakup. Not just because I didn’t have hardly any willpower, but because I physiologically felt repulsed by food. I had no idea a breakup would suck the life out of me so quickly. And as much as I am an advocate for self-awareness and healing yourself, I definitely had no choice but to feel the burn the first couple of weeks. It’s crazy how our bodies respond to such stressful events in our lives.

Though it has gotten much better from the beginning, I know I have a ways to go in this healing. I just recently was given news of an even harder pill to swallow regarding some things between my ex and I, but I know that it has nothing to do with me personally. I am realizing now that we did the best we could. We realized that love itself was not enough. And I now have tools and ideas for the next relationship I will enter into (though I’ll be taking my sweet, damn time–unlike my ex).

It’s a new me in the making. I have these thoughts as I am eating this beef, sweet potato crock pot soup I have made twice now. It tastes a little better now that I’ve got the hang of it and took what didn’t work the first go-around and improved it for this batch. A few more spices here and a few more veggies there…It’s a continuous, never-ending process.

Learning how to cook again reminds me that life goes on. We just have to keep doing our best and be patient for the next go-around. Despite this difficult transition in my life, I’m excited to see what else life has to bring for me. One foot in front of the other.

Much love to anybody going through difficult transitions. May the Holy Spirit hold you and keep you.

Blessings

It Should Be a Crime

 

It makes me sad to see so many people in this generation spending precious hours of their time standing behind a cash register. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every customer service job, but it is certainly painful to see individuals staying inside for prolonged periods of time going to and fro between a stranger and a computer screen. And, myself being someone who has worked in customer service for several years, I have to agree it can be painful to be in this position as well.

I get it, it could be worse. Way worse, actually. But, ultimately, no human deserves to spend so much time away from the simplicity of the outdoors. No human deserves to spend hours of his time thinking about the sunlight while he checks out 50+grocery items for 50+ strangers. Capitalism steals joy. It steals simplicity.

It should be a crime.

 

Thoughts on College, Life, & Societal Expectations

Ever since I left college about two years ago, I have been given a number of words and/or looks of disapproval from others ranging from strangers all the way to my family.

“What?! You can’t get a job without a degree.”
or
“But how will you make money?”

Simple: I work a normal people job–pay rent, bills, and live simply. As long as I like my job(s) and I feel fulfilled, I say why not. As long as I have good people in my life and do things that are fulfilling in my heart–why the hell not? Not to mention I have plenty of free time to do the things I love and learn more about the world through human interactions and connections (which is the ultimate “school” in my book).

Granted, I just returned to school this Spring because I DO desire a more fulfilling “career” or at least some direction towards a more established purpose. I know plenty of good people who are living fulfilled careers/positions in something they love because they went to college. And I also know plenty of people whom are resentful for their student loan debt and for the result in a lack of employment (or employment that pays as much as a job without a degree). The third category is usually people that complain of their mundane 9-5 career and have no time to do things that interest them (which unfortunately seems to be the majority).

All I’m saying is that we should think about our intentions behind striving to up this chain of feeling established in society. To impress others? To get that fancy house or fancy car? To feel like we’ve “made it” in society? Or is what we really want deep down a sense of security, peace of mind, and the time to cherish the people and hobbies we love? Wouldn’t that be a decent world to live in. Think about it.

 

If you have the time, check out this awesome video on YouTube of this guy’s story on going back to the basics–even if it meant “going backwards”.

 

Welcoming Sadness

Some days, I feel it incoming. I feel it sink me down into the Earth, but yet so far up in the sky (in my mind, at least). Other days, it hits me like a ton of bricks when I’m in a good mood–for no apparent reason. I find myself often resisting it. But, lately, I’ve been trying to say:

“Hello, again. Welcome.”

Sadness is an inevitable emotion.

That doesn’t mean we can’t try and look for ways to be happy (in fact, I encourage ways to increase feelings of joy through nature walks, healthier diets, and meditation). Nor does it mean that we should give up on our lives–it’s just that we are better off accepting the fact that sadness is going to make its appearance in our lives from time to time. Perhaps if we welcomed it more, we could hear what it’s trying to tell us. We sometimes need it to regularly open our hearts, to think about what’s truly important to us.

It’s okay to be sad. You are only human.

And still so beautiful.

 

 

It’s Okay to Be “Quiet”

To be quiet in the Western world is a challenge. Ever since I was in junior high, I have often been labeled as a  “quiet” person. While other kids seemed to light up the whole classroom with their jokes and stories, I was often the one sitting on the sidelines taking it all in. As I learned through social settings that being outgoing was considered more attractive than not saying much at all, I began to lose confidence in the person I was. Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot since then about myself and the world around me that I have healed a lot of that low self-esteem. I hope to comfort any other “quiet” people out there struggling with their self-image.

To begin my journey into self-love, let’s date back to my junior year of high school where I was nearing the end of a friendship with a best friend. Our personalities were somewhat compatible but had their rocky differences. She enjoyed talking for long periods of time, gossiping and spending a lot of time around other people for excitement. As for me, I liked to stay inside, read books, or just research topics that interested me on the internet. Overtime, she became upset with our differences and told me “You must be depressed, you never want to go out as much as me and you just like to hang out with your cat! You have no life!!” Granted, I did like to stay home more than she did, but I did had a life outside of my cat (lol). However, I ended our friendship not long after because I found this type of talk (and more, of course) emotionally-abusive. To this day, I am very grateful I found the courage to walk away.

After this friendship ended, I started becoming more self-aware and curious about the phenomena of being “quiet”. I began typing in questions on google like, “Why am I so quiet?” and “What’s wrong with me?” Long story short, I found a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I have to admit, I have not read this book in a few years now so I cannot give direct quotes from it. However, this book changed my life. From what I can remember, the author’s theory (backed by anecdotal as well as scientific studies) was that the West encourages an outgoing persona to be associated with things like attractiveness and/or success. Therefore, when we look at quieter people who do not fit this ideal, there is a sort of societal rejection as if being this way is a sort of ailment. I also remember there was evidence that degrees of introversion and extroversion were based on levels of stimulation a person could handle (based on brain scans, etc.).Thinking back to how my old friend used to criticize me for being more reserved, I could see why she was very misunderstanding and why I felt so confused/insecure.

After reading this book, I got into the Myers-Briggs personality test (which I believe the book references) which helped me feel more secure in who I was as a person. If you are unfamiliar with Myers-Briggs, it is a very useful resource in understanding different personality types. It resonates a lot with the theory that there is a scale of introversion and extroversion based on levels of stimulation a person prefers. In this test, there are 16 personality types. For me, I tested as an INFP. I won’t get into that too much here, but you can go check it out on google if you’d like. It’s very spot on for a personality test!

The last thing I wanted to add is a cross-cultural reference. In the West, we value speaking over listening. In contrast, the Native Americans valued listening over speaking. They believed that everything done must have a purpose, including social interactions. Imagine today if less people felt pressured to talk and more people could relax in silences. Customer service employees may not feel so pressured to engage with strangers and perhaps those having a bad day could remain silent without shame. You feel me?

This isn’t to bash people who naturally enjoy talking more, but to shed light on this social issue which I believe is a form of misunderstanding in our society. All I ask is that we learn to accept people for who they are and for the unique flavors that they all come in.

Who’s with me?