Pursue Joy

“Joy is a form of resilience.” I will repeat, “Joy is a form of resilience.“How so?Many consider joy as this frivolous emotion. One can even say that it is unimportant and should not be given a time of the day. But is it really?

Joy Vs Happiness

As a culture, we have been obsessed in pursuing happiness. (Happiness comes from the inside but that is another matter to talk about)But actually, what we should do is pursue joy.Happiness is an emotion pertaining to that you feel over a long period of time. So, for example, let’s say, I’m a student and when I say, “I’m happy right now.” What that means is that I feel happy about yesterday and the days before that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t awful moments but over time, I feel good overall about what happened.On the other hand, joy pertains to right now. It’s the feeling when you want to jump up and down or giggle or laugh because of a joke. And this is why pursuing joy is much more important that pursuing happiness. Because joy is what’s happening around us everytime. Writing this blog makes me feel joy. And in retrospect, when all of these joyful moment add up, I can say that I am happy with how I live. So maybe, we are only happy in retrospect. Hence, it is why pursuing joy is more important that pursuing happiness

Why is Joy Important?

Going back to my first sentence, “Joy is a form of resilience.” is from designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee.And she explained why in a blog post. First off, she wrote that we tend off to put off joy. For example, “Oh! I wil work full head-on for 9 hours and then I’ll watch a movie.” We see joy as a reward for our hardwork. But actually, Lee suggests that we should incorporate joy into our daily lives. Basically, joy is a tool that we can use to cope up with stress.She explained further,”Small moments of joy help the cardiovascular system recover from stress. When we feel stressed, our bodies floor with chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine which raise our heart rate and blood pressure, keep us alert and focused, and help us respond to the chalelnges at hand. This is an adaptive response to stress, and it works well when it’s temporary. If stress becomes chronic, on the other hand, this places strain on the body and can lead to exhaustion and illness. But when we experience joy, such as watching something funny, taking a little while to become absorbed in play, or spending time in nature, it gives our bodies a break from this stress response, enabling us to recover.“Thus, joy is not frivolous. It’s actually important for our body, especially our mental health.

Small Moments of Joy

Knowing this information, I had to apply it. Assignments and academic readings are piling up but I’m ‘stealing ‘ some time just to be.I acknowledge that I am more than my academics. And the life that I want to live is not something that is in the direction of academics, hence, I go my own path.One thing that I do and probably my most favorite apart from writing is soaking energy from the sun.Around 3 pm- 4pm, I get up, after being huddled for hours on my desk, and go in our porch.Without having to go outside, the sun direction is right there at the gate and that is where I can get energy from the sun.Honestly, one of the highlights of my day. And I am reminded of what Andy Grammer wrote in his song Keep Your Head Up:The glow that the sun gets
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
That this is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you turn out fine.Whether I failed during the day or experienced something terrible, the sun’s gonna be there. Always. And its gonna be there until I die. Whatever I am worrying about it is gonna be fine. It will pass. Other things that I do during the day to feel joy is listening to my favorite music, showering after a long day, watching korean variety shows, and reading a great book that will keep me immersed for hours. And not to mention, there are tons of other things that unexpectedly show up during my day that brought me joy. Like a few days ago, I discovered a website that has a very interesting UI on its homepage, and just the other day, I finally owned a copy of a book that I’ve been waiting for MONTHSS!!! Basically, pursuing joy is me telling myself that I will not succumb to being a machine and taking care of myself. In addition, joyful things that unexpectedly came my way are a reminder that life is full of miracles and casual magics. I also believe that what I put out in the world, that is what I get back. And these miracles are what I get back.

Why would I spend time thinking about someone who doesn’t even love me?

When I read this from James Clear’s newsletter, I was stunned. First, I’ll share it to all:

Actress Viola Davis on handling criticism:

“I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.”

Source: Viola Davis’ Battle with Low Self-Esteem

And for someone who has extremely low self-esteem, this is just what I needed to hear, not to mention that I really love Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder.

In class, we are asked to present our work individually and actually seeing my classmates’ works, I started to overthink. And here comes the worst part, I started comparing.

Comparing is good only if its on a realistic level. For example, I’m someone who is just a beginner in composing music, I barely have an experience and it is extremely unhealthy if I compare my work to Mozart’s or Beethoven’s who have decades and decades of experience. Hence, if I compared my works to them, I’ll probably not continue pursuing songwriting at all because I’ll end up thinking, “My works will never be like them anyways.”

For me, comparing is good if it gets you to do better. Let’s say I admire a work of my classmate and its not necessarily on a level of “Worldwide Popular” but it gets me thinking that, ‘Oh. I can’t do that yet but I can do that once I learned what I needed to learn.’ Basically, the bar is not that high. Hence, it makes it realistically achievable given that I spent time learning and practicing.

Anyways, going back to where I said that we will present our work individually, I did not have the courage to volunteer to present my work (BUT the good thing is that I can still present next meeting) because I was so afraid of what my classmates would think of.

BUT (capitalize for emphasis)

Good thing, classes ended earlier and hence, I snapped out of ruminating.

I remember that THIS is my life. I am here, not to impress anyone with what I can do, but for me. FOR ME.

Yes, there is a possibility that they may think of not really good things about my work BUT that is outside of my control.

I get to say what I can and cannot do.

Presenting my work and having the opportunity to hear constructive criticisms from my professor is what I wanted to do. And what other people may think should not be an impediment nor even a factor whether I should change my decision.

What my inner soul wants me to do is to learn, to hear comments about my work from my professor. And that is what I’m gonna do.

I should not even waste a second of my time here on Earth, dimming my light just so I would not destroy my self-made image to other people. There is no self-image. I’m just me.

So, I’m grateful to actress Viola Davis for her perspective. It helped me remember on what is the significant. Though, it’s not easy to change perspectives. I will always remember that every day is a new day to do my best.

Today, I would not have written this if I had the courage to present nor would I have this realizations. So, either way, I choose to be joyful and to understand my decisions.

Have a great day.

Advice to my younger self

Whenever I interview someone, I always ask them this question: What is your advice to your younger self?

The way they answer this questions says so much about themselves and how they had lived their life through the years.

And its amazing how your answer to this question varies from time to time and I would like to do one as well. In the future, I, myself, will look back and read this and remember what I value during this day.

• Continue doing your hobbies and follow your interests. Never mind what society tells you what you should do. You are better off and more alive when you choose to do something that you want and this is your life. You decide what to do.

• Just create. Not for the sake of the possible outcomes but for the joy of it. Like what Kurt Vonnegut said, just by doing something, you have experienced becoming and have made your soul grow. So just create.

• Do not reject yourself. Believe in yourself. Yes, you may be anxious, scared, or inexperienced but while you are feeling these things, continue to do. You will feel much much better in retrospect knowing that you have not constrained yourself inside the castle of excuses.

• Lastly, small things and steps do matter. You might feel overwhelmed about starting something so big but just start. You can do anything you set out to do. Also, have faith and be human.

What’s yours?

You cannot predict how smart or skilled a person can be.

In the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck wrote,

“Benjamin Bloom, an eminent educational researcher studied 120 outstanding achievers. They were conert pianists, sculptors, Olympic swimmers, world-class tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists.

Most were not that remarkable as children and didn’t show clear talent before their training begain in earnest. Even by early adolescence, you usually couldn’t predict their future accomplishment from their current ability. Only their continued motivation and commitment, along with their network of support, took them to the top.

Bloom concludes, “After forty years of intensive research on school learning in the US as well as a broad, my major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all person can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.“”

And in connection with this, do you know that Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss (author of many children’s books like The Lorax) was voted by his classmates as the “person least likely to succeed” among their class? Because he was never the studious type. He would rather watch a movie, go to the zoo, or just draw. (Basically, he followed his interests and hobbies.) And this is why using a compass (with your interests and hobbies leading the way) is important instead of a map.

Also, this proves that you can’t predict what a person may become in the future. Aside from “not to be judgemental to anyone” message of this post, having the knowledge that you cannot predict anyone’s future, is good for ourselves.

We do not know what will happen and that thought alone is exciting! We may have mediocre work right now but given enough time, we may produce something great occasionally. But ultimately, its all about just loving what you do and being excited to where it just takes you. So just start. It doesn’t matter if you failed, what is important is you had fun doing it. As author Srivinas Rao wrote in The Art of Being Unmistakable, “We often do not know where stories end, where unpaved roads lead, and who we’ll become along the way. Therefore, you just have to start.”

Casual Magic

Mary Oliver:

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Around a week ago, I moved into a new bed and that bed is positioned where you can soak in the first rays of the sun every morning.

I noticed that and since then, I get excited at seeing sunlight every morning. I tried grasping it as if it was something tangible.

Lately I have been thinking why am I taking this granted for years. But then again, I think it means that I am growing. Appreciating the environment I am in right now is a reminder that I am growing.

Even though this may seem mundane, I believe this is a casual magic of my everyday. Casual magic is a term , from the youtuber Unjaded Jade, which means finding magic in the mundane. It can be as simple as cooking meals for your family or cleaning your room after weeks of putting off your tasklist.

Everyday is not your birthday or Christmas. But you can treat it like one. There are research findings that says that when you are younger, you find ‘extraordinary’ things fun (ex. concerts, birthday parties, roadtrips) but as you get older, you started to feel joy out of the ‘ordinary’ things (ex. talking to a friend over the phone). And what bridges the gap through the ages is how you frame your life.

For instance, I may be young but I am not usually into parties or roadtrips (because of financial reasons). However, that doesn’t make me feel sad at all. I believe that they are just not something that I would like to do, hence, what I do is I continue to do things that bring me joy (ex. I read a book, spend time with my family, write a journal, etc).

And framing your life is certainly essential to how your attitude will be.

I got rejected so many times for various job applications this year and yes, I still feel joy in my life regardless and I think its because of how I framed it.

I have no job and it means I have more time to follow my curiosity, learn what I want to learn, and partake in volunteering opportunities. I would neither have learned what I learned nor read the books that I had read if I was accepted to a job during this pandemic.

The whole idea is amor fati, which means loving everything that happens (yes, even the bad ones). Though it could have been different but it’s in the past and I learned from it.

Again, today I saw the first shine of the sun. Everytime I see it, it gives me hope. Today is a new day to live, to see magic in the mundane, to forgive, to love, and to do. This is my casual magic.

What’s yours?

Make Time To Do Something Unproductive | In other words, take a break from school/work

Neil Gaiman (author of Coraline) advises to anyone who wants to be become a writer to “get bored.

[Ideas] come from day dreaming from drifting, that moment when you’re just sitting there… The trouble with these days is that its really hard to get bored. I have 2.4 million people on Twitter who will entertain me at any moment… it’s really hard to get bored. I’m much better at putting my phone away, going for boring walks, actually trying to find the space to get bored in. That’s what I’ve started saying to people who say ‘I want to be a writer’ I say, ‘great. get bored.’ “

And although Neil Gaiman advises this to anyone who wanted to be a writer, research suggests that doing something unproductive (in other words, taking a break or something “boring”) is important for your physical and mental well-being. When we work more than what we can and we needed, we ended up exhausting ourselves. This is the reason why even though we have worked for long hours or get ahead, we ended up being more stressed even we accomplished a few things.

We try to ‘catch up’ and ‘get ahead’, but that only piles on more stress and less control. The stress of pop-up problems, like an infertility diagnosis, can make you feel like you don’t have time to just play and relax,” wrote Georgia Witkin, Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “when your sense of control goes down, your emergency response system increases your adrenaline, your body’s natural stimulant. Now, you’ll find yourself still having to deal with the stresses and the side effects of adrenaline. Adrenaline, which sometimes manifests as panic attacks, is putting your brain and body on alert so you’ll be ready for the next crisis.”

Also, while your body and brain is on alert for the next crisis, it uses up other hormones like serotonin, which means your using up resources that you needed to be calm and joyful.

On the other hand, she wrote relaxing and playing, “…prevent the high adrenaline output and increase those mood-elevating hormones. Not only is relaxation nice, the clinical benefits are shown to increase overall health!”

At the end of her article, she shared that practicing mindfulness for only 20 minutes each day can improve your day and reduce your stress levels. Breathing exercises are a good way to go!

My own way of relaxing is to listen to music every morning. I play songs that motivate me and dance to it. At the same time, I watch the sun rise from our bedroom window. These moments are the best because as I watch the sun rise and get a feel of it every morning, it reminds me that I’m human- that I’m not in some race of sort, that I can slow down and walk at my own pace, and that I’m not a machine.

Why we need to relax

Jonah Lehrer explains it in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works:

“Why is a relaxed state of mind so important for creative insights? When our minds are at ease— when those alpha waves are rippling through the brain— we’re more likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward, toward that stream of remote associations emanating from the right hemisphere. In contrast, when we are diligently focused, our attention tends to be directed outward, toward the details of the problems we’re trying to solve. While this pattern of attention is necessary when solving problems analytically, it actually prevents us from detecting the connections that lead to insights. “That’s why so many insights happen during warm showers,” Bhattacharya says. “For many people, it’s the most relaxing part of the day.” “

“Relaxing or taking a break makes me feel guilty”

I experienced this many times last year. And since classes has started a few days ago, I’ve seen more and more posts like this one. Our constant working and belief that life is all about hustling made us feel and think that way. It’s the toxic hustle culture that made us believe we should be working all the time, forgoing time for family, friends, and even, me time.

In her book, Do Nothing, journalist and public radio show host Celeste Headlee confessed, “It was the hard-work culture that made me believe I was lazy if I stopped working for even short periods of time.”

Once, she learned that working for long hours doesn’t equal productivity, she started applying it into her life as well as to her employees. “I wrote a handbook for my producers that including the following advice: Don’t work a long day, go home, and turtle on your couch with a frozen dinner. Solid research shows forcing yourself to get out and go to the bar with friends, have dinner, see a movie, meet people and socialize, reduces your stress and makes you more efficient. Have a hobby.” Also, research shows that employees who completely disengage themselves from work during leisure (or non-work hours) live healthier lives emotionally and physically. They are less overwhelmed and they sleep better.

In my case, I start the day slow. Like I mentioned previously, I start my day mostly listening to music and watching the sun rise. It is to remind myself that it’s okay to slow down and I am not late for anything. I am just on time. Second thing I do is I keep a logbook.

Keeping a logbook

A logbook is where I keep everything that I did for the day, which includes making my bed, doing the laundry, what have I wrote about, what articles I read, etc. Every time the sun comes down, I will look at my logbook and I will feel relieved that I have accomplish things for the day and then, I’ll proceed to relaxing (aka total disengagement from org responsibilities and school), I watch my favorite show, write here in my blog, read a novel, etc.

Having an awareness of how you spend your days is helpful in terms of knowing that you are in control of your life and that you do not lack time.

Having no clear understanding of how you spend your time can leave you feeling more overwhelmed than necessary, which can cause you to make decisions that lead to more stress and anxiety, which feeds the sense that you’re pressed for time, and you end up feeling more overwhelmed than necessary.” wrote Celestee Headlee in her book, Do Nothing.

She mentioned about “time perception” which is an understanding of how we spend our time. People who have little time perception spend more time scrolling on social media sites and they feel more overwhelmed. Contrastingly, people with high time perception feel more in control because they have an exact idea of how they spend their time. They knew how much time they spend working, hence, they can make time for family, friends, leisure, and contemplation.

Celestee Headlee noted, “You may believe you can relax if you put in a few more hours and get ahead of your workload, but actually you’re more likely to reduce your stress level by taking a break.

Logbook is extremely helpful when I am relaxing at night because it shows me that I deserve to rest after hustling for hours and I can focus on other matters other than school and orgs. It leaves me feeling accomplished and that I did the best that I can for today.

Stop comparing

Lastly, avoid or stop comparing to how you spend your time to others. Hustling for more than what’s necessary is like a badge to other people which is overall unhealthy. Remember, this is your life and that is their life. The point is not to be as busy as your friends or be more busy, but its saying, “I am living my best life at this moment! I am grateful and I am in control.”

How I spend my time is more or less different from yours and that’s great! All we just need to remember is to be human. Be present. Focus on what you are doing right now instead of worrying about the work that you have to do tomorrow.

Celestee Headlee: Stop trying to prove something to others. Reclaim your time and reclaim your humanity.

Additional reading:
Work Is Play
Do More of What Brings You Joy
Why Do We Need To Play Even As Adults
“You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.”

This Too Shall Pass

In the October 1 issue of Daily Stoic newsletter entitled ‘And This Too Shall Pass’, it reads:

Marcus Aurelius certainly understood this, writing that we must “keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone—those that are now, and those to come.” The events of the world—good and bad, beautiful or tragic or terrifying—flow past us quickly. None of them are stable, each of them disappears with due time into the rush of the water, and is never seen again.

Classes has started and in retrospect of how 7 months had been, I can remember how I my stomach twists every time I publish an article publicly. When an article I wrote for my internship got posted I literally got out of social media because I just can’t take how much pressure I felt. When I joined an artwork contest for the first time, I cried when my artwork got published because I am just so embarrassed to have my artwork posted. An article about rethinking prisons and jails, which I almost did not pursue at all because I’m scared that I may not write it well, but I overcome that.

During the first few weeks of this blog, I used to overthink that what if the time comes that I would not have anything to write anymore? Hence, back then, I only post once per week. Then by June— after weeks of reading books and articles, and watching videos— I had these article ideas that I want to write so I began writing whenever I wanted and just posting it. By July, I launched another blog for design projects that empathizes with people, I used to worry about what if I would not have anything to post on that blog and what if I can’t post on schedule? Three months later, I strictly followed the every other day posting of my design blog. Since classes has started, for this and consequent months, I changed to posting twice a week (every Thursday and Sunday) for my design blog.

Ooooooh. Look at that chessboard.

The “following the strict schedule” mattered to me a lot. I have commitment issues before but I overcame those because of small successes.

In all those times, I worried a lot about not having enough experience or just being not enough at all. But reading this quote from Richmond Walker every day helped me cope up:

Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives men mad. It is remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.

In those times, I made sure to be present. Whenever I caught myself worrying of the past or the future, I remind myself that I am in the present. I’ll focus on what I can do today. My tomorrow self can worry about tomorrow. I will do the work of today.

Also, Richmond Walker was an alcoholic. Every day must be a struggle for him—battling his addiction and other things he need to worry about—and yet, he constantly do his best to live for today; to be present.

A lot of us struggling but again, remember that this too shall pass. We are here not to worry but to live; to live for today.

Gap Year Stories: September—Fourth Month

Wow. I’m in fourth month already?? Time seems incredibly fast. But if I looked back in what I did the past few months through my logbook, it seemed like it was not. The days are awfully long.

This month was rough but today, on its last day, I am just this happy gal looking back on how hard I worked the past few weeks. One thing that this month has taught me is do what I love. I mean it. This month, I literally just did what I wanted without following any specific path or what was expected of me. I followed my guts and intuition for the whole month and I had never felt so happy.

I wrote short stories and honestly this is a HUGE achievement for me. Few years ago, I started writing a novel but I discontinued it partly because I just can’t finish it. But right now, I just wanted to write. Hence, I started writing short stories. I did not feel any pressure at all whether its supposed to be loved or fit in a certain standard. The fact that I had completed something that I love to do is the reward for me.

I went on to write the article that I am afraid of the most. I have a one-month internship from June-July (then you can choose to extend for a month if you’d like) at MakeSense, an international organization that focuses on putting together individuals, organizations, and companies for projects related to social good. The first month of internship was stressful for me. It was the very first time I will be writing in such a big platform– this scared me ths most.

Considering how it brought so much stress into my life, I opted to not extend my internship for another month. But then came, this idea of writing an article that focuses on human-centered prisons and why the Philippines should built it.

Since one of my mantras is to not self-reject and feeling this need of sharing what I know and I am fascinated about, I extended again for another month. Honestly, it stressed me out a lot. I kept thinking that I do not have a lot of experience, I’m not qualified, I may even be called out because I know too little of the subject but even with all of those thoughts, I am grateful that I trusted myself. Also, I did not reject myself.

The idea actually started out as a seed. Around April 2020, I got curious on how human-centered prisons are different from the “regular” prisons and that is where I started researching about it. Fast forward to September, I interviewed Ar. Dominique Cruz, an architect, and Mr. Marco Toral, former consultant of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, about their thoughts on how can we create a friendlier and humane prison environment for inmates. Honestly, writing about the whole article about human-centered prisons made me decide to advocate for building more humane environments for people deprived of liberty. I had gotten so many perspectives and that all would not happen if I decided to reject myself in the first place. So… do what you love to do even if it feels scary. Run to the roar. Trust your curiousity, instincts, and desires.

Since I became a feature editor for our school paper, I wrote more than ten feature articles this month. I learned so much from interviewing various students in our College as well as from proofreading the articles of other feature writers.

I remembered how I stuttered so much during an interview with the one I will feature during the first week of September. I cringed so much while listening to the recording. However, from that experience, I became aware of the areas where I need to improve. That interview improved me so much. Although it was an awful experience, it is the very thing that I am grateful for. After that interview, I interviewed eight more students in the following days. Guess what? The seventh one actually told me that she felt comfortable talking with me throughout the interview. She expected herself that she will be nervous but she claimed, I did not make her feel that way. To more learnings hehe.

Also, I just am grateful to everyone who is reading my posts. This month, I had more than a hundred views and I just want to say that I am grateful for each and everyone of you. I hope you are doing what you love ❤.

Lastly, since next month, October, is the start of my classes. I want to bring back something that I wrote during June—first month of gap year:

Having this idea that I’m on ‘gap year’ even though I take classes online for uni makes me feel that I could learn and initiate passion projects as much as I want to without caring about uni at all. Hence, I started gap year last June 2020. My classes will start by August but it does not matter to me at all. I’m just thinking of it as a responsibility that I should do but not that significant at all.

My main priority for this gap year is to grow so much– to learn more about myself, learn more about the world, and leaving things better than when I found them.

I went back to this because I want to remember why I started and, hopefully, I would not get carried away by university requirements.

With all of these adventures from following my inner soul, may I always continue and remember to be human. To be human is to be alive. (Oscar Wilde: To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.)

I have no expectations for October. But what I have and what I armed myself with are stories. The stories that inspire me, that made me grow, that made me realize things, and most importantly, that made me see the beauty in life.

I may not have expectations but what I do have is anticipation. I am truly excited on what October holds. I am excited on how will I spend the 24 hours given to me tomorrow and the next day, and day after that, until the end. Also, I find it easier to move and do something if I think about what can I do for this 24 hours, instead of worrying about the future. Worrying about the future made me feel stuck like I should not even do anything at all because it would not matter anyway, you are late, and you cannot do anything. Whereas if I thunk about what the most beautiful thing that I can do in this 24 hours, I could think of a thing, if I would be very happy just doing that and accomplishing it throughout the day. And this is where I will leave, what is the most beautiful thing that I can do in this 24 hours?

Do it. Accomplish it. And congratulations, you just created something that will improve all your tomorrows.

Eckhart Tolle: Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make now the primary focus of your life.


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(If you are new to my blog, hi! yes, I’m taking a gap year while still enrolled in a university. I just want to instill the idea to myself so that I can focus on doing what I love and following my curiousities. Though it is not really what gap year means, but given that I have so much time because during normal uni setting I have to spend four hours in commuting, and a lot of hours waiting for professors in classrooms, I have a lot of time to spend. Hence, I instilled the idea to myself that I am on a gap year and I’ll focus less on my university and instead, follow my instincts. Watch out for more adventures and stories!)

Run to the Roar

These past few months, I kept running to the roar. My stomach clenching and heart pounding. I very well know for sure that I am afraid during those times and I am still afraid now. Regardless of how afraid I am, I still run to the roar.

Tina Essmaker said, “When you are thinking about doing something and it feels scary, when it feels like this big lion is waiting at the finish line and he’s roaring and he’s ferocious and he’s going to tear you apart… you should just run toward that lion anyway. Run to the roar.

In retrospect, all the things that I did were scary when I haven’t started them yet. But two things that I learned,

1. Do not reject yourself.

There is this expression inside you that originate from the experiences and things that you consume. And since you are the only one of you at a lifetime, this expression, hence, is unique. No one has lived in the same way as you and that what’s make your expression unique. Your job is to share it with the world and not to limit yourself with the beliefs like not enough experience, not enough time not enough audience, etc.

2. Continue to follow your hobbies, interests, and desires for the sake of learning. Have faith that by following them, you will get closer to the person you need to be.

Its not really about winning at doing things but rather doing them because you want to learn, because it brings you joy. Yes. It is scary. But remember that you are not doing it for anyone, you are doing it for you.

That is the two things that I have in my mind these past few months. And I hope you got something from it.

Growing

After interviewing another student from my college for a feature article, I asked for feedback like I always do and her answer was this:

“Wala naman akong problema. I felt comfortable while doing the interview. Hindi nga ako kinakabahan eh.” (Eng trans: I don’t have any problem while doing the interview. I felt comfortable while doing the interview. I was never even nervous at all.)

Honestly, that is a huge compliment for me. During my very first interviews for a feature article as well, I got a feedback that wasn’t exacty a compliment but rather a call for me to grow and I am grateful that he is honest with me and for that, my future interviewees wouldn’t have to suffer so much because of my nervousness and inexperience.

I have so much more to learn with regards to how to listen well and converse effectively but such small compliments (small successes) gives me further strength to continue.

Just a few days ago, I experienced the feeling of “everything’s futile” again. And somehow, I think its related to my constant hustling these past few weeks. And I need to re-balance my self again. And I found this writings by one of my favorite youtuber, Dinara:

With that, I wanted to start my everyday with gratitudes. Letting the universe hear my thoughts and what I am grateful for.

I can feel that I am growing in many avenues of my life. But I want to teach myself to not get attached to some imaginary ladder that I need to achieve to be happy.

Small things matter the most. I interview various people and write down their narratives because I love to write a lot and read a lot. I enjoy writing as well as reading so much. And it feels me up with joy knowing that I am doing something that I love everyday.

I hope that stays. I hope that for the rest of my life. I keep choosing what I enjoy, what makes me grow, and what I love.

As a kid, I just enjoy what I love. When I was younger, my father had me take Kumon worksheets but as I grow older, I realize that solving Math problems isn’t what I am interested in. Hence, my younger self fought to do what she loves: reading.

I hope as I grow older, I will never forget that. I will never forget that as a kid, I chose to do something that brings me joy instead of doing something that people perceive as “will get you into a nice university or will land you in a nice job” but you do not actually enjoy.

I hope I will always remember to be alive. And to be alive means asking yourself: what makes me come alive? What is something that kept me going? And do it. Do it with my very best. The world needs people who are alive.

Like the Little Prince, I hope I will not forget. And I hope you too.