Like the field of study and the exclamation right after someone has elicited a reaction out of you over a joke.
I want to laugh, after all it is ridiculous, absurd, and nothing super serious. But it feels like it. It feels super serious, I mean. I’ve been coming to terms in the last few days about the wrestling/ inner conflict/ resistance I am presently experiencing about my last semester of undergrad. Unlike many of my friends and colleagues, I am not feeling antsy that I am “joining the real world” or that I have to get going on getting a “big girl job” or “adult responsibilities” or “no more structure”. I don’t know how or why being an undergraduate student excludes you from that from the age of 18 already. Anyways, my personal struggle is with the completion of the degree itself. Having worked full-time in industry and thus having been away from academia has resulted in my return a year ago, kicking, screaming, crying, and what feels like dying. I’d plateau’d in the skills and knowledge I was learning through the institution and had become increasingly detached from the social circles and community from the institution. (This excludes my many dear friends and respected peers who I actually talk to and see quite often and have relationships with.) Very recently I also woke up to what I actually want and what I value, and my academic major is not quite spot on. However, there are absolutely no regrets.
I think this is withdrawal; I was used to doing freelance for so long to ensure I was also getting income during academia that my last semester is going to be my first semester where I am “just a student”. For the sake of my health, happiness, and overall sanity, my intuition and close friends are urging me not to take on too much because it will compound before I know it. And I know it.
The truth is my ego about my capacity to work on multiple projects simultaneously and always being go-go-go, is fighting me hard. My ego is used to biting tooth and nail, wrestling, fighting, dragging through to completion of multiple projects at a time; using all energy to make sure my creative outlet is satisfied after hours of work; caring about academia regardless of my fundamental views and getting A grades; and is not satisfied unless I’m burning out every couple weeks. How unhealthy and unproductive is that? Ugh, so skewed.
So this is a huge change. I just got off the phone with my best friend, Charlotte, and I had filled her in about all of this- and confessed how scared I was. She laughed and reminded me, “Well, the scariest things are usually the ones that you really have to do!”
I’m not sure how open I will keep my schedule since I coincidentally finished almost all my contracts in the past month, but I am absolutely intending to allow myself to focus on simply my fulfillment through art, creation, personal passion projects, yoga, and power lifting. In the name of my mind, body, soul. Nurturing, nurturing, nurturing, this fall, here, now. Oh, and my last semester of academia. I’m going to try to let myself cruise through it; it’s certainly clear how many hours I have to put towards homework per week and that’s good enough. 'Good enough' is daunting. But who knows? I have a feeling that what I’ve been chasing is actually chasing me. I can feel something in my bones. I know it’s going to be great, and that there’s nothing left to figure out.
The worst thing anyone can do to themselves is to deny a life driven by their core self. The worst thing an artist can do is live in a reality driven by others.
I have been waking up all over again. Somewhere between successes, ambition, connection, and work ethic I shifted my perspectives into conventional ones that didn’t belong to me in any way. This is no post about regret, bitterness, or despair; just a recollection. (Both kinds of recollection, actually.) I think it’s easy to mistake these conventions as ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’. Social media, television, and peer pressure have incredible hold and smothering for those who are born into art. At least I’ve found myself lost in it several weeks at a time. (Let’s clarify this is no speculation on man in modern day. I appreciate digital technology very much and am an avid user myself.) Filtering became more complicated than I have ever experienced before. And the compulsion to make others happy first, had blurred my personal boundaries. I actively identify that the reason why this all happened is pretty irrelevant. I’m so glad I’m awake again.
They say that artists have a deep capacity for sadness and beauty, which results in their keen eyes that represent realities. They also say that that doesn’t make sense to anyone on a deep, authentic level unless they are artists. I realized I would be hungry for the rest of my life when I was 7.
A large external factor of my present-day restlessness stems from my strong resistance and principles about art and design that are constantly proven valid by a certain community’s behavior, attitudes, work, and dialogue. This is has been a simple thing to change, though. I have no need or responsibility in associating with it; spring is a great time to clean. I see lost hearts myself; the lack of authenticity that results from it is disgusting and uncomfortable. This distaste has been unexpectedly very useful.
I have been waking up all over again. The same way I have become more of a writer like I am a drawer; my professional playground has involved more writing too, along with interactions with people and communities that use verbal expressions. It’s been nice though, I’ve always loved poetry dearly. I’ve always treasured words dearly.
Without going back.
The past year had been unexpected, underestimated, and ultimately, really full of good. As anyone could relate, 2012 had its highs and lows (doesn’t every year?) I’m very happy and for the most part, quite clear, looking forward to a communal movement forward with the rest of the world. As much as I intend for every day to be a new day, it’s important to participate in something like a reboot, annually, with the rest of the world. The social accountability is important and it’s among the many things I’m grateful for.
As I write, I’m overcome with the same waves of overwhelming gratitude, relief, love, and joyful fire that my heart has had the privilege to have experienced throughout the year.
My toughest battles- the physical and emotional tied to diagnosis and the process of learning- were my most rewarding and the most important. After working for a software enterprise on a year’s contract to get back into academia, the jarring shift was more than challenging. Did the academia itself or the shift matter? Not really. This reaffirmed the alignment of my principles and drive; everything I do, I do out of love. It may seem trivial but this isn’t always the case for just anyone.
Ringing in the new year, there are mere minutes left on the Pacific West Coast for the 2012 year. Coincidentally, I’m also not carrying out previously made plans of being at a party with close friends and celebrating a 30th birthday; I’m ill, at home, warm, waiting for tea and watching movies before the countdown.
"In order for your balloon to float up into the sky, you much first let it go."
For the past 10+ years, I have held onto balloons of all sizes and colors- on incredibly long, long, long strings. Now? I’ve been letting them go in the past few days. The communal step forward is a good time to let my surrounding energies help me.
My blessings are accounted for, in physical writing, in my own hand and ink. My philosophy and principle are now engraved into my skin. My family and friends are people I communicate the most frankly to now, more than ever, because it’s so important for them to know what, how, and why they mean so much to me. My life is… perfect.
As I enter a new year working with a small team of people who I can share a global passion with, I’m ensured at the end of the day that even if my own life may seem complicated and I may be exhausted, I am making a difference. These are the things that matter to me: my world, my families (past blood).
This year I’m focused on scheduling my priorities, not the other way around. I’m excellent at the latter; now it’s time to do the better, now it’s time to put into effect the new. This is one among multiple manifestations that don’t have to do with tangible events or objects. This is the new constant meditation. My spiritual practice and my analogies are the most important things to me because they shape my perception. Suddenly it’s all so simple.
This year was exactly what I needed it to be. This post is exactly how long it needs to be. It’s always enough; it’s always just right.
Looking at my archives, the last time I wrote was months ago. Since June.
Looking at my past year, the last November I lived through was one of the most intense of my life. It was a process post-diagnosis that changed my life and most of all, changed me.
Looking at where I am now, I’m proud, pleased, and so content. Every single second has been worth it and so has every trade-off up until now. So, what’s been happening?
Today I’m here, a lot stronger, smarter, and sharper than back then. It’s incredible how much can happen in a year and it’s incredible how the body has its capability to heal and heal well. I had a remarkable summer where I learned almost everything that changed the way I had thought for the past few years before- and that’s a good thing. Awakening is important; it doesn’t need to happen consistently or even very much, but to wake up is essential to evolution.
My awareness has been something that’s particularly sharpened, although it doesn’t always feel like it’s for the better. It’s important to know when, what, why, and how I feel and think, but sometimes it feels like anguish and there is just too much noise.
Physically and mentally I’m at my peak, stronger than ever before. I had plateau’d quite early this year with my leg press at 526lbs which resulted in me switching to front squats (no back because of the placement of my microdermal implants) and dead lifts. It’s been a really rewarding journey to work on my upper body which was a lot weaker than my legs and the results are noticeable, visually and sensationally.
The running stamina and yoga routines I had maintained last winter were unfortunately less repeated this season with my return to academia.
I hadn’t naively placed much trust in institutionalized education when I started my undergraduate career, but this season has been a complete and utter mind fuck. Stepping from a balanced life with balanced communities and networks was incredibly jarring to go into a university campus where people do not take care of their health, are egotistically-driven, lost, insecure, and apathetic was near toxic. Let me state: that is a generalization. But being drained by that kind of negative energy is something I personally experience day to day.
I have been learning patience, perseverance, respect, and forgiveness… in the hardest of ways. Minute by minute, person to person, in different realms of interaction. How trying. It’s been exhausting and a huge adaptation of mindsets and approaches that completely reprogram my own.
The only mantras I really have left are reminders to myself to stay open, to say grounded, and most of all, to not ever conform. There has been lots of pressure, social and institutional, to stop questioning and to simply deliver mediocrity. Couldn’t. Wouldn’t. Can’t. Won’t.
Partially consequently, I also started therapy this season again and am relieved to reflect that it’s crucial to my own self-healing and self care. It’s definitely hard to find the right organizations to support you and especially professionals who understand your personality and life enough to constructively help you recover.
My main focuses had centered on coping lately but I’m relieved and thrilled to have only 10 more days left in this semester; I’m optimistic that my spring semester will be different and less unnecessarily dreadful. Plans this break include the launch of Esse Bonum, a written blog centered around inspiration and perspective, as well as my goal to go cross-country skiing (alongside snow shoeing). My latest new milestone also includes obtaining my yoga instruction certification in the next year. Isn’t that exciting?
The focus is on my true core, unbound and constantly doing what I do best: connecting and inspiring and growing… -It’s hard though, the demands of academic projects are stupid underwhelming (not a grammatical typo).
I’ll continue on what matters most to me: I’m happy to announce my management position with an incredible new platform called Mobile Movement that is centered on People Powered Philanthropy. I can’t properly articulate how passionate I am to be empowered to empower others halfway around the globe. It had been my goal for the past 2 years to change someone’s life (this way) before I turned 22. I didn’t exactly obtain the opportunity until just this season after turning 22, but I’m privileged and so honored. The people I work with to make change possible in this world is so important to me- it keeps me sane and keep academic stress at bay. The world is a large and diverse place. How beautiful.
I look forward to sharing manifestos, perspectives, and encouragement in the new year. For the Followers that also read my blog, thank you for your subscription. I wish you the best health and all of anything else that serves you. Until next time.
This is my life. This is my life. This is my life.
I spent the majority of my young years of life dreaming, planning, wanting, and waiting. For what? For the things I wanted to have, places I wanted to go, people I wanted to meet, experiences I wanted to occur, knowledge I wanted to gain, and every other little/ big thing in between. I knew, felt, tasted, and touched my major passions at those young ages- I made it a point to find out. These days, I’m discovering even more day-by-day as I’m thriving and evolving rapidly within the major and important ones to me.
I’ve been going through transition after transition- and it keeps me reeling. We’re talking about the past 8 months now. I wouldn’t have it any other way: I’m resistant to repetition, routine, and redundancy. But I can’t help but feel unsettled with being unsettled. At the end of the day, I can make more than just peace with it; there is pride, content, and fuel of more passion and ambition. This is just my speculation. Ahhh.
This is wonderful. And kind of strange. Nothing is ever quite what you expect, because you simply don’t know better. There is planning, but there is also possibility, which is un-reigned, spontaneous, random even, and completely out of any form of control.
You never know. You know?
There are a lot of things in the past half a year alone that have been incredibly painful and joyful lessons that shape each of my daily actions, mood, and intentions.
As someone who lives very deliberately, I encourage my friends and strangers who are reading this to ensure your honesty with yourself. Awareness can be alienating- I know- and painful, or scary, but it’s essential to your intentions for success. Everyone wants success; people just give up and call it failure. You can have anything you want, I promise. You just have to know how to get it, and want it bad enough. The actual steps or sacrifices or work or people/ places in between are simple enough, you just need to know how to pick up your foot and where to place it. Does that analogy clear up the air?
Be open to change the same way you are open to good. Look up and ahead as much as you look to the sides to check your reflection in the mirror. Be alert, signs are in the little things everywhere. Act but know how to react.
Do not be driven out of fear; never make decisions out of fear.
Please, people. It’s the 21st century: life is filled with noise (multimedia, war, information, hate, excess, etc.) but you just have to make choices. It’s not impossible. Afterall, action is character. I want to see you live up to your potential, and I want you to share the Good and experience what I do, and more.
I’m getting better every day. Letting go has always been a bit of a difficulty for my perfectionist tendencies and over-analytical mind. I find that pragmatism is a pretty reasonable reality to stick to. Thank Goodness.
Because of my busy daily and weekly schedules lately balancing an employment contract, an intersession course for my undergraduate degree, friends, family, art, self-cultivation, freelance work and projects, fitness training, and travels, I’ve been baffled at the sense of losing grasp of time. I’m incredibly satisfied with the amount I accomplish on a day-to-day basis and I thoroughly enjoy the events of my days, but as I was sitting at work this morning I came to a start to realize that I haven’t been reading what I meant to be reading: I simply have not made enough time to read even a little bit during a meal or before closing my eyes at night. Then again, when am I technically supposed to if I work in the morning for a full business day, hit the gym for training, feed myself and clean my living space (which I also share with 2 other people), fire off e-mails and complete design work for freelance clients, and shower to sleep adequately for my next day? Sounds insane? I love it.
I’ve been examining the way I perceive my time and space, which makes up ‘my life’. The allocation of my time is usually skillfully and pragmatically divvied up to reflect my top priorities and responsibilities, which much play, joy, and satisfaction throughout. I’m grateful I love what I do. Work? What is this ‘work’ you complain of?
That being said, I’ve also come to observe that my social connections feed off of my feelings of connection with each individual I care about. The downside to my deeper investment in people I care about is that it stretches me thin at times, when I give myself too much and don’t take; it’s also incredibly discouraging to lack reciprocation in connectivity. With this all being said, however, I am again, not complaining. This is part of my speculation. Living is learning. I am a strange girl. I am a very happy, strange girl.
"Who will let you?" Who will stop me?
Action defines character.
Principle, Power, & Perfection.
If you aren’t being challenged, you are not changing enough.
Success is a sum of the right choices, sacrifices, and efforts.
Your limits are only decided.
Be joyful because everything is always OK, at the least.
Obsession is what lazy people refer to as dedication.
The most important things are what you think about; what you think about is your life.
Destroy & create; repeat.
Everyone has their reasons: know yours and be honest.
If you’re not inspired, something is wrong. Fix it to fix yourself.
Know worth, choose value.
It’s all worth it.
If you’re thinking about quitting, you haven’t yet.
No excuses, only progress.
Intention is process; goal is result.
If you could be the best at something, why wouldn’t you be?
Redefine your existence: it’ll speak volumes.
Be honest to others but be the most honest to yourself.
'Should' isn't good enough.
You can be anything you want; you can have anything you want; you can give whatever you want.
Loosen the knots and then untie yourself. Let it all go because it’s not part of you for a reason. Detach.
Begin and end, begin and end, begin and end, every day.
Shine and you’ll find out the only shadows you cast are the of the people behind and below you.
Everything is good.
Never and always are the same thing.
Do it right.