All posts tagged: Self-Reflection

It’s Ok to Not Feel Ok

I called my dad this week, to check in. I told him that I feel like I’m floating, a haze all around me, as I grapple with big questions. What does it mean to be happy or successful? What target am I aiming for? Why do I feel like something is missing?  “My late twenties have felt especially existential,” I said.  He sighed, and I thought he would laugh at the melodrama. I expected him to dismiss me, to remind me of how young I am like so many others have, or to tell me to count my blessings. Instead, he said, “Ah yes. I can see why you’d be asking yourself those things.”  That simple acknowledgement filled me with relief.  Often when I confide in people about feeling anxious, blue, or lost, their instinct is to eradicate these emotions: they try to help me look on the bright side, or they bring logic into the picture, to show me how much these feelings don’t match up to reality. These responses come with the best …

Tattoos and (Im)permanence

I resisted getting a tattoo for a long time, because I felt the pressure to design something profound with long-lasting, regret-proof significance. But now, just a couple weeks after getting inked, I’ve grown to recognize that “meaning” is multifaceted, dynamic, and ever-changing.    To me, the design I chose (two koi, yin and yang) embodies the duality that exists in nearly all things, including myself. They also symbolize the potential for balance within all conflict. I find calm in this concept: when I feel anxious, I look at this image, and it tells me to breathe and surrender to the flow of life. Truth be told, I landed on this design just a day before the needle breached my skin. I was in Maui. While my boyfriend had intended on getting a tattoo on our Hawai’i vacation, penciling it into our itinerary weeks in advance, I didn’t think I’d get one, too. I assumed that when the time came, I’d chicken out. I’m not the type of person to get my first tattoo on vacation from …

Reframing My To-Do List

I have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. On the one hand, the structure they lend to my day can ease the mind. As unsexy as it sounds, I gravitate towards predictability and stability. To-do lists offer a roadmap, a track to follow. On the other hand, seeing all my tasks stretch down the page, screaming at me to DO MORE, MOVE FASTER – well, that fills me with dread and anxiety, too. There’s a point where the checkboxes make me feel controlled instead of in control, and I grow resentful. Even something like purchasing a birthday gift for a loved one can start to feel like just another thing I have to do.   Lately, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to shift my focus towards the things that I do have control over, as opposed to agonizing over the things beyond my reach. While I don’t always get to decide which tasks sit on my plate, or how much I must accomplish in a day, I can (for the most part) choose my attitude. I don’t want to look around …

On Vulnerability

If you couldn’t already tell (*gestures around at the blog*), I’m not a particularly private person. I’ve written about my insecurities, my identity crises, my heartbreaks, and much more on the internet. These most raw pieces of myself are out there, for everyone and anyone to consume and judge as they please. My habit of oversharing crosses into my personal life, too. Friends and family have gotten used to seeing the darkest corners of my inner life, the basements and closets that most people keep locked shut. I call it a habit, because it’s not always conscious or intentional. It’s like the filter that should sit at the base of my throat, separating private from public, is missing. Despite my candor, I still feel exposed when I share my most sensitive thoughts and feelings with someone else. I still feel that fear that I’ve said too much, that I’ve burdened others with my emotions, that I’ve revealed an ugliness that’ll make me less likable or lovable. (This is what research professor Brené Brown calls a …