Category Archives: Self-Reflection Sundays
With a new year comes new challenges, new struggles, and new hardships. I’ve been feeling more stressed than usual lately, which isn’t how I wanted to start off 2013. I have a lot headed my way corporate-wise, and even more headed my way once I start graduate school this Fall. I began writing down my feelings, thoughts, and emotions in my personal journal and realized something new for me. I’m doubting myself.
I’m not one to doubt myself… ever. Even in the hardest of times, I’ve had faith in myself and my ability to overcome just about anything. I’ve faced many different challenges before when it comes to school and work… but I’ve never had to face them at the same time. I think the realization that I’ll be stepping into the unknown is really starting to hit me. How will I be able to work 40+ hours a week and complete my master’s degree (in an engineering school, mind you) while maintaining my sanity? All I hear in my head is you can’t, you can’t, you can’t.
But I can. Previous years have been all about keeping a positive mindset, and I need to ensure that this year is about that too. I know the challenges ahead of me are going to be extremely tough. There will be many days where I’ll be low on steam, clinging to every moment where my brain is energized enough to engage in thought-provoking conversation. I know I’m going to be exhausted, emotional, and drained. But I know in my heart that I’ll figure it out and I’ll learn how to manage my time.
It’s faith in myself and faith in my ability that will keep me going. I need to dig deep, find it, and hold on tight. I’ve always pushed myself to the limit and this will prove to be no different.
Nobody said that it’d be easy. They just promised it’d be worth it.
I was in the middle of watching a movie last night when I noticed my cat, Lacy, stretch from her place on the pillow over to my lap. Most would say my cat isn’t exactly a lap kitty and they’re right – she does what she wants when she wants. If she wants to lay on you, your lap better be available. If she doesn’t want to be around anyone, she hides under the bed. But as I watched her lay there so peacefully in my lap, her head tucked between my knees, I felt the most overwhelming and sensational feeling. Love.
Pets are an incredible gift. They love you unconditionally and without a second thought. As my sister always says, “You’re her whole world.” And it’s so true.
Today, I’m thankful for my furry little critter. I adopted her from the Humane Society when I first moved to Texas 2 1/2 years ago. When I reflect on those past two years, I realize that Lacy was there through it all. She’s seen me laugh, cry, yell, smile, and everything in between.
So here’s to you, my furry ball of love. You may not know it, but you’re my whole world too.
When I first adopted her. She was only 2 1/2 months old.
Pausing for a photo op.
Her favorite nuzzling spot.
Growing up so fast.
Our first Christmas together.
Wishing Mom fun while she goes out.
Showing off her flexibility.
Trying to decide whether she likes green tea or not.
Drinking my water.
Letting me hold her after a sweaty workout.
Being brave at the vet.
If you love me, you sure as hell better love my cat.
Now go show your furry one some love!
My family members are in my thoughts each and every day, especially today. I am so proud and inspired by my cousin, Jake, and his dad, mom, and brother.
To my Uncle Scott: You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday and I admire your strength through your fight with cancer. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for being such an incredible person and for never giving up! I love you.
Watch this amazing story: Coaches vs. Cancer Studio
Life moves fast. It whizzes by with no rhyme or reason and suddenly we find ourselves asking, “How did I get here?” As I was cooking dinner last night, I got to thinking about my time living in Texas. I moved to Houston two years ago, and already I find myself living in a different city. Granted it’s only an hour north of Houston, but change is change no matter how big or small.
I feel very blessed that I have the strength and courage to adapt to new surroundings so well. Sure, there are many times where I feel homesick or wonder why I moved away from home. I miss my friends and family more and more each day. But I think I’ve figured out exactly why I made that life-changing decision to move.
I wanted to prove to myself that I could be alone.
I really think that being “alone” is cast in a negative limelight. I have learned more about myself these past two years than my high school and college years combined. Lately, I’ve noticed how unbiased my thoughts are – I’m not influencing anyone, nor is anyone influencing me. I can do what I want when I want. I don’t have anyone to answer to and my schedule is on my terms. It’s a time for self-exploration and discovery. To renew and revive those passions and dreams tucked back deep in my mind. I make myself a priority instead of constantly putting others first. I feel happy, free, and able.
I didn’t feel like that before. I felt like I had to make some sacrifices and do things that weren’t necessarily at the top of my list. There were so many nights where I wanted to stay in and relax rather than attend some outing. Looking back at the outcome of many of those outings, I wish I had stayed in. But the past is in the past. No time for regrets. I can focus on the now, and now my list is on a pedestal and I can come and go as I please.
Point being, there is a monumental difference between being alone and being lonely. Being alone does not mean you are lonely. It simply means you are choosing to put you first. If you recognize this, you’re already leagues ahead of everyone else.
Hopefully the rest will get it.
I’m finally feeling back to my old self. It’s easy to fall into a funk every now and again, so it’s important to find a way to lift yourself up and start anew.
I started a pretty rigorous exercise routine last week. Today will be my 7th consecutive day of bikram yoga, and my 4th consecutive day of twoadays (2 workouts in 1 day). I’ve been eating nothing but lean protein, lots of veggies, and fruit, drinking only water and hot tea, and I must say that I feel younger, leaner, and better than I did when I was 8 years old. Your body is a temple- why litter it with junk and fatty foods? Not worth it.
I’ve also noticed an increase in the amount of energy I have in conjunction with how quickly I fall asleep at night. I woke up at 4:30AM this morning with ease, went to the gym for an hour, then got ready for work. My mind is sharper, more focused, and ready for anything. I can only hope these feelings will last forever.
It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.
It’s time to talk about life. Life has lots of hurdles. Lots of bumps in the road. We’ve all come across those roadblocks, ones that may physically be standing in our way or abstract ones that seem truly impossible to pass. Very rarely is life easy, and most people learn this the hard way. Luckily, from every mistake, hardship, and heartache comes a lesson. These, my friends, are called life lessons.
Now, there are two kinds of people in this world (yes, I truly believe this). There are people who make mistakes, never learn from them, and continue to make those same mistakes over and over. Then there are people who make a mistake only once or twice, come to terms with those consequences, and learn to cut that behavior out of their life. I like to believe I am the latter. No one is perfect. We’re human and emotions get the best of us sometimes. Everyone has the capability to feel angry, jealous, irritated, depressed, or envious and these feelings are usually exercised more frequently than others. But the way you act as you are feeling these emotions says a lot about your character; this can make it or break it for most relationships.
Your soul is your character. Your character is your soul. To me, they are one in the same. How you choose to treat those around you whether it’s giving your word and sticking to it or telling a friend the harsh truth say a lot about you as a person. Is it okay to tell someone close to you that they’re making a wrong decision? Sure. As long as you have facts to back your case up, the act of saving someone from a harsh reality is something a good friend would do. If they choose to listen and take your advice, great. If not, then bear in mind that it’s their mistake, not yours. In the end, we all must ask ourselves, “Which kind of person do I want to be?”
You can’t physically stumble over a rock or pothole you’ve already passed down the road, so why stumble over something that has already passed by in life? You shouldn’t because it’s not worth it.
It’s already passed. Gone. Out the window.
So let it go. Let it drift away.
Do this and promise yourself one thing: I won’t look back.
I’ve often thought about the advice I would have given myself 10 years ago had I known then what I do now. Since wisdom is usually gained over the course of time, it’s easy to write a letter saying “this is what you should have known”. Let’s switch gears and put this in reverse. I’m going to attempt to write a letter from my future self to the person I am right now. Maybe I’ll gain a little insight, and hopefully a little perspective too.
Dear 24-Year-Old Me,
It’s been a crazy 30 years. You are familiar with only 24 of these, but don’t worry – you’ll experience the next 6 at a rather enjoyable pace. So far you’re probably thinking that your life is all about making decisions. And you know what? You’re absolutely right. You graduated from college and made one of the biggest decisions of your life: to move to an entirely different state where you know no one. To start over. To get a fresh perspective. To begin your adult life the way you wanted to. I hope you realize now that this was the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself thus far. But don’t be fooled – there are many more great decisions to come.
You may be at a point now where you’re starting to wonder, “What’s next?” You may have an opportunity present itself which makes you feel overly excited and anxious. Hold on to those feelings. Embrace them. Don’t shoo them away. These feelings don’t come along often, so when they do, you need to hold tight and hang on. Know that when the time is right, the right opportunity will be there waiting with open arms. If it’s not there yet, then this is not the time. It’s as simple as that.
Keep striving for what you want and don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible”. Take any and all negative thoughts or criticisms and push them aside. This is your life. Live it the way you want to live it. Just know in the end that every decision you’ve made at that time was right. It led you to where you are today. And boy, was it an incredible ride.
Ms. Fagan is quickly becoming a favorite of mine on Thought Catalog. This one really hit home for me, especially with all of the exciting (but nerveracking) changes heading my way. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the “now”, and actually live all the things taking place at this very moment. Because one day, we will miss this.
Looking back at moments from our childhood, our adolescence, or even just a few short years ago, it’s hard not to feel a painful twinge of nostalgia. The vague ache that leaves us wanting to send an email or have a phone call about something that you want to confirm someone else remembers is overwhelming, and even though we don’t often know what to say to these old friends about these old memories, we feel we have to say something. And yet, we often trick ourselves into forgetting that, not terribly long from now, we will feel that same ache about the things we’re living today. The mundane moments we’re slogging through, the underpaid jobs, the cramped apartments and the irresponsible but loving friends — these are things that will one day seem joyous, even ideal.
In being so quick to complain and compare what we do and do not have with those around us, we fail to take pleasure in the freedom to make mistakes. Today, a mistake has few repercussions. Our definition of broke is not the same as a family of four who has just lost their main source of income, or a senior living on fixed income. The problems we moan over are problems that, when held up to the scale of life in general, are rather manageable. This time of deciding to stay up late on a Wednesday to drink with a friend who is in town, or dating someone you know is wrong for you but thrills you in a way that is the emotional equivalent of empty calories, is a luxury we will not again be afforded. This is the time, more than perhaps any other, for nostalgia — and we can’t see it.
One day, we will miss every moment of difficulty that taught us something tangible and immediately applicable to the rest of our lives. Often the lessons we’re learning now are those that have to at least once be felt, but leave you with a maturity that will later define you as an adult. Wading through a marsh of mixed messages and friends at every stage of their lives can be, when in the moment, tedious and exhausting — but it is a time to figure out who we are and what we actually want against a backdrop of limitless options. We’re picking a constellation from a near-endless expanse of stars, defining the trajectory of a life that, at least for now, is just waiting to be lived. We should take our time, but appreciate what it means to do so.
Yes, even the occasional feeling of being unappreciated. Yes, even the flakier friends. Yes, even the weeks of eating ramen and whatever else you can dig out of your cabinet. Just as we miss the moments of our childhood that, at the time, may have seemed fraught with self-consciousness and uncertainty, we will miss them. We will miss them the way we miss the people we lost touch with through our own ingratitude or the simple passage of time, the way we miss sitting in someone’s arms and feeling loved, even if we don’t love them anymore. We will miss it all because, as with almost everything, it is so much easier to feel nostalgia than regret. We will see the good parts, no matter how unable we are to focus on them in the moment.
Why is it so impossible to understand how incredible a time it is to be alive, and to be young? Why is easier to complain about the downsides of realizing our dreams and growing into ourselves than to sing the praises of being healthy and loved enough to have it? I don’t want the nostalgia and, possibly, the regret of not living in the moment, to hit me all at once like a ton of bricks when I’m past the point of recreating it. I want to feel the full joy of decorating my first real apartment, of making new friends while out having drinks, of saying “I want to move” and being able to pick up and do it. The aching to return to these days of relative ease and adventure is sure to wave over us at some point, and though forgetting that is too easy, it wouldn’t hurt to appreciate what we have while we have it.