2014, you are mine.

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Now that I have turned a new chapter of my life, I want to share you my resolutions that I plan to change since change is the only permanent thing in our lives. Looking back to 2013, I have never been more proud of my ability to surpass all the challenges that brought me and my values to the ground. On the other hand, I have learned some meaningful lessons that I will never have learned if I did not take the chance of going above and beyond.

Thank you.

I know how resolutions are so cliche but in my perspective, it’s also a great feeling to know that it’s another year and we are done with one chapter of our lives that we can always smile or cry about. (so nostalgic!) It’s a wonderful feeling that we are beginning somewhere again: best way to motivate yourself that you are only going to get BETTER.

I have only been in Canada for 1 year and a half-ish and seeing where I am standing right now (the amount of mistakes and lessons I was able to accumulate), I am grateful to say that I went beyond my comfort zone.

“Don’t give up. You are already in pain.
You are already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

Two biggest achievements of 2013:

1. Great involvement in University

In my first year, I was so excited that I gave so much time in attending events, workshops, and info sessions to learn more about myself and this University. It’s a remarkable place to be in! (put yourself out there) I was awarded a first-year involvement award, became a director of my organization, and just late last year, was informed that I will soon be in the National team. There are more things that I have yet to discover and I can’t wait to witness them all.

2. Work experience

This is my second job and I’m loving every single bit of it. The people, the environment, the support, and the values it upholds to its employees and customers. I am slowly developing my professional skills considering how I’m the youngest of my co-workers! Being acknowledged and showing appreciation is the best feeling ever. It’s all about give and take.

Three things that I aim for this year:

1. Excellent Academic Standing (A)

This is not only for my parents’ happiness but also for my own. Being able to achieve a good grade does not simply indicate that I’m smart (no way lol) but that I am able to focus and work hard on an achievement that requires so much time, effort, and discipline to master. I used to get good grades in high school but being in university, I was exposed to so much more things that I forgot to prioritize. This is for us, mom & dad.

2. Go for my interests.

I have always been afraid to show who I am and what I love to do but this year will be different. Music and sports are two of them. I have set them aside too much because I thought they were not as important as setting achievements in other aspects of my life (such as my weaknesses). Having to be away from them for the past year has made me realize how big of an impact they have created in my life and NEVER will I ever set them aside. Hopefully, I will be able to join our swimming intramural and have a cover with my dear friend (who is by the way, a wonderful singer!). Who is excited?! I am!

3. Natural self-discovery.

I have pushed myself too much to the things that I think will make me happy. It was frustrating. This year, I will understand myself by doing the things I love and have always wanted to do but “never” had the time to do so.
– downtown photography
– starting my vision planned out
– travel

You are who you are and nobody should tell you otherwise.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Challenge accepted

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Life may take you to a roller coaster ride and if you don’t go against it, you might just get lost and forget your very first purpose of being there, which is to HAVE FUN.

This year: 2014. We will be better, better than always, better than before and nothing should stop us. 2013 has definitely been one hell of a roller coaster for me and I think I rode too much roller coaster rides that I have to take a break this year. This year will be about me, what I want, and who I am.

By the way, my biggest dream that I mentioned in my last post was not accomplished because of certain reasons that I have yet to understand. It shook my drive and passion, that’s for sure.. but I truly understand that everything happens for a reason.

This year: 2014. I have always said that I am who I am but I just realized that I have been losing myself because of my desire to find myself. I was not able to take the courage to say no to the things that might lead me to the person I “should” be and forget the reason of why I do what I do. It’s frustrating but this year will be my year of pure self-discovery. 2013 was crazy enough to teach me the lessons I have always tried to understand.

Give

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I have a lot in my mind, in my hands, and on my shoulders. I try to carry these tasks at the best of my abilities but sometimes, life just hits me hard. REALITY STRIKES. (not its good side)

These moments are when I observe and see something that I am not happy with. Not because it’s not everything is not happening the way I want it to be but rather things are just becoming so dry. I see people with no emotions and feelings and just.. numb from anything. It may be because they are tired, frustrated, and thus, just gave up their own pursuit of being who they have always wanted to be. On the other hand, there are those people who, after experiencing pain and suffering, just ignored that there is such thing as love and care in the world. Independence has arrived and taken over his/her life.. without knowing its limitations.

Where is the love in this world?
What is humanity now?

I have my own dreams and actually, I will be chasing one of them tomorrow but after encountering some of the worldly problems I don’t really want to mention because it’s not worth ranting about.. I am just so distracted with why these things happen in this life? I believe that I am one of the happiest people on earth whose innocence is trying to overcome all the challenges this life has given me. I am trying.. I am trying to be who I am and giving back to the community even if sometimes I just feel alone.

Every time I lend a helping hand, I feel fulfilled and full of worth. I guess, I just do not want people to experience what I felt. To let them know that they are not alone.

Okay, I’m giving and giving. I like it. I love making people happy.. that’s just who I am but you know, sometimes I just want to experience the same thing as well. To have someone say constantly that they believe in me. For now, I’ll thrive with the smiles I receive. It’s worth the wait.

The Irony of “Happiness”

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There are two things that have been in my mind for quite some time. Just an observation based on my own experiences. Getting to understand the meaning of happiness and how it can lead to success is quite a big idea deal with. We may get the understanding that this is how it all works but actually, after having to watch Shawn Achor’s TEDtalk video about “The Happiness Advantage”, it does make sense to create a better analogy on how happiness can lead to success and not the other way around.

However, it is easier said than done. No matter how much we strive to do what we love, we always come to a point where it does not seem right anymore or your aspirations seem to be at a different path. Now, no one can really say which one is which.. only you. Before we get to the realization of what happiness should feel like, we have to understand ourselves more than our surroundings. (our strengths, our weaknesses, our background, our culture, and most importantly, our values that creates that foundation towards our thought and behaviour)

2 things I came to think of when it came to knowing what will make me “happy” are quite ironic.. well according to how I have been feeling the past few months, here they go:

“The more people I know, the more lonely I feel.” 
It is confusing but that’s how I feel. I am a friendly person by nature and I just love to meet new people. In the longer run though, I don’t feel as connected to them like I used to. This is no generalization, just a situation. I treasure these people whom I have met and there is no way that I would replace their friendships with anyone else. There are just moments when I feel that it is so difficult to keep up with each person’s life. I know the quality of he relationship is always more important than quantity of times you have met; however, we can’t deny how the friendship goes deeper through the memories you have spent together, which equals the time you make time to be with them.

Current situation: still in the path of understanding the art of balancing relationships

“The more effort I put into pushing myself to get out and discover who I am, the more I feel lost.”
It is believed that it is extremely important to get to know yourself first before you head out for the world. I have always had this thought that once I create my goal, I must focus towards achieving it even if it meant that I have to give up some things. This is how I was brought up. My parents would always talk about sacrifice and service and how these two things can lead to happiness and later on, success with achieving the life you have always wanted to have. However, this kind of wisdom is not working for me right now. I am craving to do the things that I used to do.. unfortunately, I do not have enough time for them. It’s just sad to realize how I have to comply to this path when i could have traveled the road less traveled by. I have been involved in almost anything and everything but nothing seems to fill my heart and my satisfaction.. I have been thinking that maybe, just maybe time would tell. That once I get to that phase, I would understand and I would experience the greater happiness. I was just wondering, until how long?

Current situation: still in the path of either realizing or creating my own identity

Before you Cross

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This is such a broad topic to talk about but I’ll open it up anyway since I am really interested in knowing more about it. People have usually told how mature I think and at first, I felt that it was weird.. that maybe, I should think less matured because it’s not proper for my age. However, as I grew up, I realized that I end up getting so deep in my thoughts and even in my words without even being intentional about it.. it was hard to deny myself so I just lived with it. By the time when I reached late adolescence, that is when I figured that being matured is not a bad thing after all. My way of thinking was ahead of my years and probably.. that was beneficial in some way.

My piano teacher would always admire how matured I was in my way of thinking and in handling different situations in my life and has told me to ‘keep it up.’ Later on, I read an article about bullying and was emotionally intrigued by the comments. There really is still hope for humanity if you look at them, people were very supportive, not a single insult about how strange the kid was. Then some thing called to my attention, someone made a comment that simply influenced other people to actually talk about it and it was something like this, “It’s funny how when we are young, we want to be like everyone else.. but trust me, once you get older, you’ll fight hard just to be different from everybody else.” That really hit me.. hard.

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STOP

Take some time to reflect on what matters to you most and invest your time in it. The society’s expectations and demands from you may be too much but taking your ‘me’ time is a must, it is a non negotiable must that you should be having. It’s a basic need. I am still young enough to experience the ‘real world’ but having a job and being in university may have shed some light as to what I could expect later on. It will be harder.. that’s for sure but it does not mean that I will have to just go with the flow. I have my own values to fulfill and that I should commit to.. not to other but to myself.

LOOK (at yourself)

Life is short and once we forget to get back to our childhood and remember who we used to be.. it will be hard to hear that inner voice once again. Now, I don’t want everyone to go “Y.O.L.O.” because yes, you only live once but that does not mean that you have got to do ALL the things that you want from getting drunk to going to a lot of parties to not setting priorities in life to well, just end up thinking about yourself and your interests. The quote simply tells us how living only once meant a whole lot more in terms of how you want to leave a mark to this world, how you want to spark a better change in humanity, or how you would want to share your vision for the world to see and experience. We have many desires but the best way to understand and actually apply them is through understanding yourself.

LISTEN (to that inner voice)

Make your life according to how you want to be. People will be throwing you some things that you will either adhere to or try to avoid. Don’t let it be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Create your own identity. I guess that is the reason why I have preferred University over high school.. not that I hated my high school years but it’s mainly because of the boundaries and limitations I had from labels like shy/quiet/sweet/kind/nice in being able to expand my personality and interests. I appreciated the acknowledgement of seeing me as a nice person but on the other side, it gave me an obligation to please other people, to avoid committing mistakes, and being seen as a ‘shy’ kid, I was unable to move past my comfort zone in actually trying out other things besides my own typical hobbies. Nonetheless, my senior year was a big breakthrough. (: University was my time and I did not stop the strong inner voice from projecting who I really am. Looking back from where I am now, I believe that the inner voice plays a huge role in giving me the courage to move beyond those labels and strive to be that person I’ve always wanted to be. (let me elaborate that soon)

That is just a simple example of how YOU should move past those self-fulfilling prophecies that keeps you from getting where you’re supposed to be at. Of course, you still don’t know your final destination but wouldn’t it be better to put your best foot forward in everything that you do and keep those in line with the kind of person you want to known as. Recognize the values you find so important so that you will have a good foundation when it comes to making decisions and establishing your own goals. Have an impact in your society not because you have done something significant but because you stayed true to yourself! 

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Sometimes.

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Sometimes the best way to experience and understand isn’t by how others show it to us rather it is sometimes more effective if we ourselves have witnessed the presence of love in how other people treat one another.

Sometimes things that we don’t understand happen but that does not mean we are not in the right path.

Sometimes the best way to learn is through constant risks and challenges that test our comfort zone. (now, let’s not be sarcastic and consider bad vices that hinder good health)

Sometimes we just have to be more sensitive to our environment. It does not dictate weakness but as a strength because not everyone is doing it.

Sometimes the norm is not the supposed norm. (this may seem confusing.. go figure.)

Sometimes we tend to forget those who have loved and supported us in the first place because we’re too busy pleasing the people who do not care about who we are.

Sometimes we have to stop comparing our successes and achievement with other people because that’s not going to help (positively) in appreciating ourselves and recognizing how special we are. Each person has their own talents and skills.. you do not want to ruin your own skills just because that person is better than you in doing one thing. LOVE YOURSELF! because that’s the first step before other people can love you back.

Sometimes we have to stop saying sometimes and just  step it up. Don’t limit yourself to the sky, the moon, or the stars. Keep going higher BUT keep your feet on the ground. How? Appreciate your past, Live your present, and Let the future give you what you deserve.

Take a break my friend.

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It’s this time of the year when people are getting so busy with almost and practically everything that they have from school to work to friends to family to any kind of relationship. For me, I am quite stressed out with my upcoming exams. There are two kinds of stress, the one that motivates and the other one that discourages you to do just about anything and everything. Now, I am in the middle ground and hopefully, I’ll be leaning towards the first one. Some thoughts just keep coming in my mind about the “what if’s” and I guess, it’s just mainly because there are too many things to know and remember. I am thinking too much again but really, I want to get a good grade not necessarily the highest one but the grade that I deserve for studying hard. However, we are then again just human beings so a little break or breaks will be great to balance both our priorities and our self. I have my own way of doing things and we may have something in similar or different or I will be able to introduce you to some other ways or what’s even better, you can give me some tips!

These are some things that I figured out along the way where they really helped me to refresh my head and stay calm.. and of course, get back to work & be productive!

1. Play an instrument
– Whether it be a piano, guitar, flute, harmonica, violin, or even a triangle! It does not really matter because for me, any instrument is magical. Every time I turn my piano (‘digital’ lol) on, I take at least an hour to play some pieces or well, just anything! If I’m inspired or motivated enough, I can even compose some songs. I was not really able to make some before because I was too pre-occupied and I guess, I did not have enough time to compose one. But you know what? i just realized that I wanted to and I will. And since I just do nothing but stare and think when I’m too stressed, why not make some music!

2. Write on a journal/notebook
–  I swear this helps BIG TIME mainly because I’m a person who is not really expressive with her words via face to face (but I’m learning :>because I want to not because I have to) so I tend to go back to writing or this \:)/ Putting my thoughts on paper or just words that I could see makes me carry less weight and in the end, becomes so much easier to concentrate afterwards. Who could have know, you might have had some feelings inside that you know of but did not really acknowledge. Go write them down and see how you’ll feel about it afterwards. (:

3. Exercise
– Go dance, jump, jog, swim, or go to the gym! This is very healthy and at the same time, you will be able to release some of the energy inside of you that’s pretty much stuck in there because well, you do not have the ‘time’ to shake it off. I myself go for a swim or to the gym. Before heading there is the hardest part, no doubt! I did not have the fire to do it as a routine but then what just comes in my head is that I have to or else, I’m stuck at home and well, with eating, sleeping, or studying. They seem productive stuff.. in a way? but those do not make me happy.. well, eating probably can but that’s bad if I turn to it as a stress reliever. -_- So I got my family to give me some motivation to do some exercise. Once I get out the door, the drive is there. Try it & feel the change. 😉

4. Talk to someone
– Just talk and talk and talk about what you’re stressed about just to lay off some weight on your shoulders. It sometimes works for me, but this is usually my last resort because as I’ve mentioned I’m not an expressive person. But who knows? People have different personalities so this might work for you. Talking to a friend or family or someone you trust can do some help because after being relieved, these people can also give you some advice or tips to calm you down and get going. Caution: take note of the time, buddy! It will be harder to get back if you take too much time ranting all the things that you are supposed to do but have not really started on anything. That will just add up the stress.

5. Do nothing
– Take 20 minutes off from your work and just do nothing. Stare out the window or just lie on your bed. This is not a counterproductive behaviour because there was no harm done.. it’s just a some minutes off to cool your mind. The best part is getting back because when I do this, my mind becomes clearer and thus, ready to take in more information!! #yay

Well, there is just one more thing but I have not done it ever in my life.. yet but I really plan to. It’s actually part of my bucket list. I have seen this in TV shows and some movies. Do you wanna guess? I think it will be something that you might have thought of as well but never have really done it. Okay, I really really want to go somewhere high on a cliff, rooftop, penthouse, or just anywhere where I can shout “AHHHHHHHHHHH” without a chance that some people will reprimand or get mad at me lol but you get what I mean. I just want to let all the negative feelings away! I guess you do too as well. 🙂 No worries, do not worry or think too much about the things that you are going through because from what I’ve mentioned in my previous post, if things are not going as smoothly right now, it only means that it’s gonna get better. I hope I was able to give you some things to do to be more collective in your thoughts and to have a peace of mind. Those are the two things that one needs in order to receive and input information. Other than that, try out the list and maybe make your own list as well. Good luck with everything, wordpressers!