Lifestyle

The Story Behind the Highlight Reel

(I wrote this 3 years ago, but still feel it is still relevant today)

“How often in our daily lives had we put conditions on our happiness? When we get the house paid off, then we can be happy. When things settle down with the kids, then we’ll be able to do more together. There is so little joy for the here and now in the uncertainties of the whens and thens.”

– Jeannie Lancaster (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

This resonated with me more than I thought.

Once I graduate, I can get a job and be happy.

I can get married and be happy.

I can have kids and be happy.

We wait until particular milestones and assume that those milestones would equal happiness.

I graduated from college in December 2013 and for a very long time, I had high expectations for my special day. I wanted everything to be perfect.

The moment came and gone… just like that.

We put a lot of pressure on those “high” points, whether it’s graduation, getting married, having kinds, getting a new job, etc. It’s our highlight reel.

But it’s very easy to forget… the behind the scenes story.

The story line that shows those sleep deprived nights in college, the nights falling asleep studying, the moments with friends when you probably should have been studying lol.

We wait until that “highlight” to celebrate. Why put so much pressure on that moment?

We shouldn’t forget to celebrate that good grade on that quiz, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the hard work coming, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the smaller moments.

We shouldn’t wait until the highlight.

We shouldn’t wait for the “perfect” moment, because why wait? Life is short.

We are so concentrated on societal milestones that display our current status that we fail to do it for our own happiness.

I have that problem. I’m working on it. I cannot spend my time having my life depend on someone else’s views. we give SO MUCH value to someone else’s opinion,  but we forget our own.

You are important.

Your views matter too, you are no less than that “other” opinion.

YOU MATTER.

Relationships

The World of Confrontation

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Conflicts arise because we’re afraid to fight.

I had an AHA moment once I heard that quote.

I value a harmonious environment and being confrontational has always made me uncomfortable.

As I’ve been in customer service for the past 5 years, I’ve been yelled at countless times. I’ve been able to diffuse some situations successfully, but others not so much. I definitely catch myself freezing up from time to time.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned the importance of being vocal and holding your ground.

If you’re not fighting for it, you’re standing still.

I can’t say EVERY battle is worth fighting for, but if that fight is worth it, you’ll come out the other end stronger.

Coming from someone who’s tendency is to hold everything in, I’m getting a better understanding of being vocal. If you’re not speaking up, there isn’t any cue to the other person that you’re also working to resolve the issue.

There will be times that it will be uncomfortable, but it also provides an opportunity for the issue to be worked out and facilitate growth.

Lifestyle

Home is Where the Heart is

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The home I currently am living in, I’ve been here for 18 years (with the exception of moving off to college.)

There has definitely been loads of memories. Heartache, tears, and milestones that have happened over the past 18 years. I’ve graduated high school, college, kick its, and just overall good laughs.

This house definitely has a very sentimental place in my heart. Very nostalgic.

I always thought that my parents would never move away from this house, but issues are starting to arise that make you question if it’s fixable.

I compare it to my dad’s old SUV. My dad owned a car for 17 years before finally trading it in. The expenses finally just started piling up and exceeding the value of the car.

Same goes for the house.

You just have to make the call before it gets worse.

If you’re unfamiliar with living in California, I have one word to describe it: EXPENSIVE.

I’ve lived in California all my life, so I can’t really compare to other states, but I’m aware of how expensive it is.

But when it’s all you know, sometimes making that move isn’t the easiest step.

I’ve been thinking about moving out for awhile, but the question is where?

I’ve always been calculated in making steps in my life, but maybe in this case, one step is all I need and see where life will take me next.

Relationships

Relationships: The Balancing Act of Love

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You can grow within relationships. You can grow outside of relationships.

For me, a lot of growth occurred outside of relationships. Post breakup, there was always a struggle of, “Am I speaking with my mind or heart?” Your heart wants one thing, but your mind wants another. Finding that balance is never easy.

At the core, I’m a very empathetic person. I’m always imagining myself in other’s shoes.

As they say, your strengths are also your weaknesses, but on the other side of the spectrum.

You’re empathetic towards others, but forget to be empathetic with your own feelings.

Being in a relationship, it takes two to tango, it’s a two way street, however you’d like to interpret it, but it’s true.

Now that I’m able to objectively look at previous relationships, you start to notice patterns. There are definitely parallels.

I have to be fully accountable for what I said (or in my case, lack of what I said) to my significant other. I truly believe things happen for a reason, even though it may not be obvious at the moment.

But as an adult, I also want to grow and improve for the next relationship, you know? I don’t want to continue patterns that aren’t beneficial for both parties.

For example, the importance of love languages. According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that individuals give and receive love:

Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service

(I highly suggest taking the quiz to learn how love languages may play a part in your life)

After realizing my primary love language (quality time) and secondary love language (words of affirmation), things just made sense.

Instances that happened in my relationships, times where I was upset, reflected those love languages.

Your love language will sometimes evolve from a lack of this “love” previously. For example, growing up I didn’t really receive words of affirmation from my parents, so I ended up seeking it within my relationship.

In my last relationship, which lasted 4 years, I could count on my hands how many times I said I love you. Although I did love this person, saying those words did not have the same meaning to me than for him.

I recognize there’s a balance. You may need to receive love in a certain way, but you also need to express your S.O’s language as well. It may not be natural, but it’s all a work in progress.

Lifestyle

The Confident Soul

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do I consider myself a confident person?

No, I don’t…

But that doesn’t mean I cannot become confident.

Confidence can be seen in so many different ways. We all can interpret the word, “confidence” differently.

If you thought of yourself as confident, what would that look like?

When I imagine my most confident self, I think of the following:

I imagine someone who knows what she’s talking about.

I imagine someone who holds her head high.

I imagine someone who has a certain energy to herself that you can’t put your finger on, but she owns it.

I imagine someone with a kind heart.

I imagine someone who is very comfortable in their skin.

I imagine someone who is stylish.

I imagine someone who isn’t afraid to be vocal about how she feels.

The goal is to change all those “I imagine” statements to “I am” statements.

It’ll take time, but one day… I’ll get there.

Lifestyle

My Life’s Purpose

My life’s purpose is to help people.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

I’ve always known that.

Even in the professions that I wanted to be when I was younger…

Weatherwoman – Help people prepare for weather

Physical Therapist – Rehabilitate people back to good health

My career thus far has been in customer service. Although I’m an introvert, there is still an urge to help others.

But my purpose has been hidden a bit, I haven’t highlighted my purpose as much as I’d like. I’ve suppressed my feelings in sacrifice for financial stability.

As I’ve used this time of working from home to reflect, I’ve realized what really matters to me at the end of the day: To put out meaningful work.

That starts with me.

Something stemmed from my soul.

Something I’m proud to show.

Something I want to show.

Not something I HAVE to do, due to obligations, but something deep down in my soul that I want to show to the world.

In many ways, this blog is satisfying that part.

Even as I start to post on a more consistent basis, I can’t help but be amazed to see the various countries readers are from and I am very much grateful to you all.

However you may stumble on my blog, I hope my thoughts and stories can provide guidance, reassurance, or even just a “Me too!” moment from where you are in the world.

As I maneuver this journey in life, I hope you are as well.

Lifestyle

The Pursuit of Unhappiness

I’m guilty of falling into routines. I don’t publish everything that I blog and I recently was skimming through my drafts. I couldn’t help but see a pattern.

“I’m unhappy because of this…”

“I’m unhappy because of that…”

For someone who is afraid of the lack of control, I unfortunately let life control me.

All of sudden you blink…

1 year… 2 years… 10 years of your life are gone.

One thing I’ve learned from this pandemic is to slow down. Do not forget to appreciate what you currently have, because you don’t know if that’ll change in an instant.

But also, do not forget to strive for what you want out of life.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life living a life that isn’t necessarily mine, but what others may have thought was best for me. ‘

It’s time to take control and tune more into what makes me happy.

Relationships

The Beauty of Friendship: The 7 Hour Phone Call

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7 and a half hours later and walking away from that conversation, I felt that if someone is meant to be in your life, it’ll happen. Your paths will cross and time will fall into place. 

I truly believe that my soul needed that conversation. 

I’ve known my best friend since we were freshmen in high school. If you met us back then, you would’ve learned WE WERE ATTACHED at the hip. If you saw one, you’d automatically see the other.

So when I attended college, I left thinking that our friendship would never change.

I couldn’t be anymore wrong.

As time went on, we drifted apart. We truly didn’t know each other anymore.

We would connect, but it was never on a deep level. It was more of catching up and small talk. It felt like we were acquaintances. I didn’t fully grasp at the time how much damage was being done.

Our life paths were just different. We could no longer relate to one another.

There were awkward times trying to maneuver this new dynamic. It was not easy.

It was new for the both of us. I for one was really bad at maintaining friendships.

Once I graduated college and returned to our hometown, everything just caught up with me.

All the times that I hadn’t responded to her messages, all the times I never reached out to her, I just wasn’t there when she needed me. I felt like an asshole. 

Up until last Friday, I honestly don’t remember the last time we had a heart to heart conversation as “best friends.”

Life experiences, moving away from our hometown, her entering the military, me going to college, the guys we’ve dated has made us evolve and mature.

I walked away from that conversation, knowing that we had to grow apart on our own in order to be close again later and I am forever grateful. 

Lifestyle

Feel your Feelings

It takes a lot of courage to put myself out there. It’s just not my natural instinct to tell the world, “Hey! This is how I feel.”

As a result, I’ve definitely suppressed a lot of feelings.

I’ve questioned myself countless times…

Why didn’t I just I say how I feel?

Why did I hold back?

No matter how well you know a person, you’ll never truly know how they feel, unless they communicate it.

Whether it may be feelings of heartbreak, a sudden loss, a major life change, there’s strength in acknowledging your feelings as they arise.

Especially at the state of the world now, I’d be lying If I hadn’t experienced bouts of anxiety, loneliness, and fear in these last 6 months.

With that being said, I recently signed up for counseling. I walked away from the session feeling relieved. There is a definitely a sense of vulnerability, but to me it provided guidance in a way that I didn’t think I needed.

Lifestyle

Life on Autopilot

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My early 20s in retrospect for me, felt like years of being on autopilot.

Cruise control.

Driving from point A to point B, but never realizing the journey in between. 

Digging my mind and life into distraction.

All along suppressing my true feelings of happiness for stability.

After college graduation and a breakup, I decided to remain single, to concentrate on my own wellbeing.

Although I healed in one aspect of my life, others took a hit. 

I retreated. I isolated. I distracted. 

I recently got a glimpse of where my life could’ve been and since then it’s made me realize…

You can’t go through things alone. 

It can only get you so far.

As I’ve gotten older, my introversion has gotten stronger and I am more inclined to retreat now.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I have realized the walls I’ve built are very high.

I definitely have a challenge ahead of me, but in a time that the world is going through a life changing event, I will be as well.