I’m Back

Kiki has been babysitting my blog for over three months now, but I’ve finally pulled myself together enough to take it back.

I stepped back from this space for two reasons –

  1. I didn’t really feel like I was adding to the internet sphere on this blog anymore. I had been writing about anything and everything and I felt like too much of my content was the same old stuff that everyone else writes about.
  2. I was going through some intense self-reflection and personal stuff and was feeling super down and I could barely do my normal work and keep myself healthy so this blog was one of the first things I dropped.

But now I have returned! I decided that I love to write and that I do have something to contribute to the internet. However, I also decided to take a step back and figure out what I should focus on. Up until now, I just wrote about whatever struck my fancy that week, but I want this blog to have a purpose. I’ve decided that the purpose is self-reflection/ self-improvement.

Sounds boring, I know, but if I take a look back at my best posts, the ones that got the best feedback and the ones I thought were the best written, they are the ones where I talk about things I’ve gone through and what I’ve learned from those events.

I realized that many people are too scared, or confused to turn a lens back in on themselves and to learn from their mistakes or shortcomings to improve their lives, so I will take one for the team and put myself under the microscope to share life and lifestyle lessons.

And for those of you that will miss Kiki’s far wittier prose, she does have a YouTube channel where she makes her own words come to life, and I also have a feeling it won’t be long before she’s a guest writer here again.

Thanks to everyone that has continued to visit this space after so long.

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I’m Sorry Dua Lipa; I Hath Failed You

You heard it here first folks, I have broken almost every rule on my list in the past week. But honestly, what did anyone expect from me trying to enact life changes the week before midterms? So let’s unpack this.

Rule #1: No eating after 10 pm.

This one was the first to go. Ya boi has got night classes, man, and sometimes I don’t get home until nearly 10 pm and I’ve got the munchies. I’m working on packing healthy snacks to eat during class so I’m not hungry afterwards, but sometimes I just need a proper big dinner.

Rule #2: Go to bed by midnight.

Not staying up past midnight flew out the window. Being awake past midnight is one thing- I’ve had chronic insomnia for as long as I can remember- but being out of bed until past midnight is what I was trying to avoid. But my roommates were watching the Prince of Egypt downstairs and I just couldn’t resist. Plus I had heaps of work that needed doing on most other nights of the past week and the next few days so that didn’t help at all.

Rule #3: Rise by 10 am.

Rising by 10 am was going fine until I had some icky icky dreams one night and I stayed in bed until well past noon because the dreams made me too sad to get up. Not something too unexpected when you’re on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, (which are the kind of meds that I’ve been on for about two and half years now), but unpleasant nonetheless. It’s not super common for me, but it’s something I’ll need to consider moving forward.

Rule #4: No caffeine after 4 pm.

This one has actually been okay, since I’ve been so anxious for the past week that I’ve not wanted to put much in the way of stimulants in my body. I’ve replaced a lot of my tea breaks during the day with herbal tea just because I’ve been so jittery I highly doubt caffeine was going to do me any good.

Rule #5: You must eat one (1) healthy meal per day.

Uh. So technically I’ve kept up with this one, but considering some of what I’ve been eating for my other two meals, I’m not sure if it counts.

Rule #6: No use of the following phrases:
-I hate myself
-I want to die
-I’m going to kill myself

I’m not going to count how many times I dropped the ball on this one, but I will say that I’ve become so much more conscious of when I say these things and I usually stop myself or chastise myself for saying them.

Rule #7: Just because you screw up once doesn’t mean you should give up.

I’m! Still! Trying! Am I coming in at below a 50%? Yes! But am I giving up? No! It’s midterms, I’m sure I’m going to struggle big time with these, but I’m not giving up. I want to prove to myself that I can get this on lock so that someday soon I can add things about working out and meditating to the list and work on that stuff and really be one of those annoying healthy-living self-improvement hoes.

P.S: Dua Lipa only had three rules she was trying to follow, so considering I had more than twice as many I think I’m doing okay.

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Pictured:My rapidly crumbling resolve

Call Me Dua Lipa, ‘Cause I Got Some New Rules

Unlike Dua Lipa, however, my rules aren’t a fun and sexy mantra I can repeat to myself so I can get over him. (There is no him.) (I’m gay.) I’ve just made a list of rules for my life to try to abide by so I can be a little healthier and a little more positive. You can’t just wake up one day and be a workout-nut vegan who wakes up and does yoga at 6 am every day, you gotta start small, and this is my start.

Rule #1: No eating after 10 pm.

I don’t have issues with my weight, but eating at night messes up your digestive schedule. Moreover, it makes my tummy feel funny in the morning, so no more midnight snacking for me.

Rule #2: Go to bed by midnight.

No matter what work I have or what I’m doing, I have to stop and go to bed at midnight, otherwise I lose any semblance of a healthy schedule. This also helps with #1, because when I stay up too late I get hungry, and when I’m hungry I can’t sleep.

Rule #3: Rise by 10 am.

I know 10:00 in the morning is pretty late for most humans, but when the majority of my responsibilities occur in the afternoon and evening, it can be hard for me to find motivation to wake up in the mornings. But when I do, I feel so much better and end up having a much more productive day.

Rule #4: No caffeine after 4 pm.

Honestly, the time for this one is a bit superfluous. I know nothing about how long it takes for the body to process caffeine, but 4 pm sounded good. Hopefully, if I cut my caffeine intake (mostly coming from black and green tea) I can have an easier time sleeping at my new midnight-bedtime.

Rule #5: You must eat one (1) healthy meal per day.

Like #3, this one isn’t much, but as a student, even this can be a lot. Someday soon I would love for this rule to become “you are only allowed one (1) cheat meal per day”, but for now that’s just not practical. I need to ease myself into this whole healthy-living thing, and that means baby steps. If I try all at once to be 100% healthy 100% of the time, I’m not gonna have a good time. Most likely I’d become overwhelmed by my inability to do it and give up completely.

Rule #6: No use of the following phrases:
-I hate myself
-I want to die
-I’m going to kill myself
These are all things I say, always joking, in response to kind of anything and everything. It’s a popular form of self-deprecating humor amongst the kids these days, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but for me it had a similar effect on me that the “not a real whatever” language has, which you can read all about in my article “I Think I’m Becoming Positive” from two weeks ago. I don’t mean any of it, but saying it has an effect on my perspective nonetheless. And if there’s one thing I learned from 1984, it’s that the language we use determines the thoughts we have.

Rule #7: Just because you screw up once doesn’t mean you should give up.

I have this bad habit where, once I fall out of a routine that I’m trying to make a habit, I declare the whole thing a failure and I give up completely. Gotta stop that. I’m gonna break these rules, I’ve come to terms with that. #2 will probably be the first to go, to be honest. I get wrapped up in doing stuff and end up awake until 3 am. I know that and that’s fine, so long as I keep trying to keep in with my rules. If I can make midnight my usual and 3 am a special occasion, I’ll call it a success.

So am I going to become a workout-nut vegan who gets up at 6 am everyday to do yoga? Probably not. That’s ridiculous. But if I start getting up at 10, then I can bump it to 9, and what the heck maybe one day I’ll get up at 7:30. Baby steps to building a routine that’s good for my brain and good for my body, so that I can be in peak physical and mental health in order to enact my plot to overthrow the government and tear down the white-supremacist patriarchal power structure of the world.

EDIT: In the day it’s been since I first drafted this, I got home late, was starving and ate after 10 pm. BUT IT’S OKAY.

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I Think I’m Becoming Positive

I would never have said that I was a particularly negative person. And yet- my perspectives on myself and what I spend my time doing have, as of late, been negative. I joke that I’m not a real writer, not a real filmmaker, not a real artist, whatever. Lately, I think it’s been getting to me.

I’m not a real writer, so why finish my novel?
I’m not a real filmmaker, so why struggle to make films?
I’m not a real artist, so why call what I do “art”?

I wouldn’t say it hit me all at once, but I kind of came to realize that my attitude was affecting my work. I always prided myself on not being someone who takes themselves too seriously, and to an extent that remains true. I have no intention of becoming some hum-drum that only talks about how messed up the world is. That’s completely unproductive and thoroughly annoying.

But I think I ought to give myself a little more credit than I do. I’ve made half a dozen or so short films, and worked dozens of hours on sets. So yeah, I’m a real filmmaker. I’ve written hundreds of pages of this damn book and I’m so close to finishing a draft that I can taste it. So yeah, I’m a real writer. Writing and filmmaking are art forms, so hell yeah, I’m an artist.

I think I’m becoming one of those ~positive people~. And not in the way that I have been, which is where I make jokes when things are terrible. (The more terrible things are, the more jokes I make. I can draw a graph, if that would help.) And definitely not in the *everything will be okay* way because that’s impractical and dangerously reductive. I mean genuinely positive. Like, I think I know what I want to do with my life? And maybe… how to do it? I know it’ll be hard but I feel like I… can handle it?

Halfway through film school and I finally feel like I really know where I am and where I want to be. Maybe it’s a passing thing, and tomorrow I’ll wake up feeling lost again. But if anything, that makes writing this down now all the more important, so when I start to doubt myself again I can look back at this and remember that yes, I do know what I want to do, and yes, I am doing it right now. Literally, right now. I’m sitting in class as I write this. (Maybe if I were really doing this right I’d be paying attention.)

But for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I feel so confident and so right with what I’m doing. I want to tell stories, and I know how to tell them. And it’s a good feeling. I hope that you can find that same sense of purpose, dear reader, in something important to you, whatever that may be.

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Not pictured: Me
Pictured: my sister, looking cool on a bench in Greece while I sacrifice proper exposure for that JJ Abrams Lens Flare

The Importance of Being Earnest

Linked below you shall find the entirety hit Chinese soap opera 最特别的爱 (The Most Special Love). Linked in the description of that video are the individual episodes, the first two of which are subtitled. Maybe by the time you’re reading this the last episode will be subtitled too. Maybe not.

Just kidding it’s a web series I made for class. But you should watch it anyway, whether or not you speak Mandarin. Heaven knows I don’t.

What’s important to note is that this was nothing close to what was required for class. The standard for this project was a slideshow with a voice-over, maybe a filmed conversation if you were feeling fancy, and usually, it was clear in those projects that people were reading off of a script.

But when the first term of my sophomore year of university rolled around, and I cracked open that Fresh Textbook for my Chinese 104 class, I saw that “Relationships & Breakups” was one of the units we’d be covering. I joked to my classmate that we should make a soap opera in Chinese for our final project. She said she was all in.

From then on, my course was set, no turning back.

There would be no reading of lines from a script while photos of my summer vacation slid across the screen- no, we were going to do this and we were going to do it right.

Go big, or go home.

Script memorization, makeup, lights, microphones, and a two camera setup, and that was just the first episode. By the second episode we completely re-arranged my living room to vaguely resemble a hospital room, and by the third we had a cast of over half a dozen people, plus several crew members.

There was no reason for this. In fact, it was a lot of work, on top of an already over-full schedule. Not to mention the fact that it pissed off my classmates by raising the bar. (But my professor loved it, so who cares.)

But I had an idea. An idea that I thought was, if not particularly good, at least funny. I wanted to do it. And we have precious few opportunities to do the things we want to do in this life; it seemed wrong to pass it up.

So I did it. I put my all into it. I blocked out my weekends, stayed up late syncing audio, stood outside in nearly a hundred degree heat in a black shirt, long pants, and two sports bras because it was the only way I could make myself look convincingly masculine.

Why? Because anything worth doing is worth doing right. If I was going to do this, however stupid it may be, I wasn’t going to half-ass it. I said soap opera, and I meant it. So what if it didn’t help my grade? So what if it took ages? So what if it was utterly ridiculous? I did that. I set my mind to something and I did it, and I made it fun. That feat alone is something to be proud of.

If you’re going to do something, don’t just do it for the grade or because someone asked you. If you don’t care about it you may as well not even bother. But even if it’s something that’s basically pointless, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best shot. At least then you might learn something, and won’t be asking “what if I’d tried harder, what if I’d done better” etc.

I took a boring project and made it into something that I could be passionate about so that I could do it in earnest and with pride instead of out of obligation. I try to do this with everything in my life, but honestly nothing is as special as “The Most Special Love”.

Am I Motivational Yet?

Me again, the Moussetis with the least amount of serotonin. Fun fact about me: I am, always have been, and always will be, that horse girl. You know the type. My childhood bedroom is absolutely plastered with horse posters, and I rode every week for over a decade. So like, I’m legit. I’m even going back to volunteer at my old barn soon in the hopes of riding at least once before school sets in.

So there’s this rule in horseback riding that I always really struggled with. Conceptually, it was simple, but in practice, I could never really get it down. The rule is as such:

Look where you want to go, not where you’re afraid to go.

I know it sounds like something you’d see written in brush script over a sunset on a poster in a high school counselors office. But it’s actually crucial to safe riding. Horses, you see, are clever beasts, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Above all they are empathetic to a fault, which means if you’re scared, they know, and since you’re the one meant to be in charge, it makes them scared.

Something else to consider is that horses generally can feel where you’re looking. On the one hand, this is great for sport. Proper jumping technique states that you should start looking at your next obstacle the moment your horse leaves the ground in front of your current one. That way you know where you’re going, and so does your horse.

But it’s a two-way street. If there’s a commotion, for example, that catches your attention and distracts you from what you’re doing, it will carry over to your horse. And horses, bless their hearts, are prey animals, and evolved to really favor flight over fight in stressful situations. (Which, as someone who has had to fight horses on multiple occasions, I am actually extremely grateful for.) So now both you and your horse are distracted, and your horse is likely to spook.

Now let’s play this out. If you’ve never had the distinct pleasure of riding a spooked horse, it goes a little something like this. First the horse startles, and sometimes that’s the end of it. You both take a moment to calm down and then you carry on. But other times, it gets worse, and your horse can take off. At this point your own fight or flight response kicks in, and that’s where our look-where-you-want-to-be concept becomes of the utmost importance. Because now it’s on you. Your horse is out of control, and you and everyone in your vicinity is in danger. What are you going to do? Look at the group of little girls learning how to lead a pony? Or at the stern woman cooling down a warmblood that looks like he costs more than most cars? Because if you’re looking at them, you can bet that your horse is too, and that’s the direction you’ll end up going.

So you look for where you need to go. You look for an empty space to let your horse run out or you look for a wall to stop them. ‘Cause wherever you look, that’s where you’re gonna end up. The same goes for looking down, if not more so, because looking down is the biggest no-no of them all in equine sports.

Alright, time to apply this to reality. You are the rider, your horse is your life, and everything else is… everything else. If you want your life to head in the right direction, you gotta look in the right direction, right? If you look at the problem, or the disaster, you’ll focus on it, get distracted by it, and end up running right into it. Instead, be aware of it, but only in your peripheral. Your focus needs to stay on where you want to go, so you can guide yourself there. And it doesn’t always work; sometimes that horse is gonna run wherever that horse is gonna run, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The only thing you can predict about life is that it’s unpredictable.

But even if something does go wrong, (you know, like tumbling off your horse and into the dirt) it’s better to fail knowing that you did everything you could rather than wondering if just maybe, if I’d done just this one little thing, it could have worked out. (In this metaphor, the ground is just a metaphor for just failing at something, not dying or anything. That’s a whole other matter.)

And that’s the principle. You look where you want to go, not where you’re scared to go, and that’s how you can guide your life in the right direction. Does it always work? No. But is it better than the alternative? So I’ve heard. Like I said, I’ve struggled with this concept, both in the literal and the metaphorical sense. I’ve hit the dirt my fair share, but that’s a risk we knowingly take when we set out on any endeavor worthwhile.

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Major throwback pic here

Vacations are More than Relaxation

Long time no see, huh? For the last three weeks I was on vacation in Italy and Greece, and unlike in the past, I did not post while I was away. I even have some posts pre-written that were planned to be released while I was away but for some reason, I never felt the sense of urgency to actually post them while I was traveling. This time, I decided to treat this vacation as a vacation from all things – I did not work, I did not workout (apart from a couple runs), and I did not indulge my normal blogging schedule.

I was able to completely focus on my vacation and actually relax. I have kept such a rigid schedule the past couple years and I think I finally needed a vacation from all of my normal commitments, even the self-imposed ones. For the past year, I was consistently adding more and more commitments to my life whether they were social, self-improvement initiatives, or work-related. And after this trip, I realized that many of them are draining my life, more than adding to it.

Vacations, in general, are always great for me to take a step back and remind myself of what is actually important to me, but this time it was more than that. In a rare change of pace, this last trip was a trip more about the people than the places. I got to see one of my absolute best friends, as well as spend a Greece trip with my family like we used to. Spending so much quality time with people that are so important to me made me rethink my priorities a bit. I’m still working through this whole thought process but the basic idea is that I’d like to flip my thinking about how to plan my life.

I won’t go into it too much here because I still haven’t thought through it all, but the short story is that this vacation was more rejuvenating than most for my perspective and while I apologize for missing three Wednesdays, I don’t regret it at all. In fact, I’ve actually been thinking on going on a longer hiatus from my blog, and leaving it to someone else, but more on that later.

I’ve rambled a bit now, but this post only had one intention, and that was to explain my absence from the blogosphere to the few hundred of you that read my posts every week and to reiterate the point to our overworked populations that sometimes it’s ok to go completely off the grid and just feed your soul (although I definitely fed my stomach as well). I will return next week with some regular content, until then, let me know if you’d like more explanation on my change in perspectives and I’ll be happy to accommodate.

Money – Must Be Funny

What? No ABBA fans here? Today I wanted to talk about something that I’ve mentioned surprisingly little on the blog for how much I love it in real life – money. That sweet, sweet green.

Now, I don’t want to talk budgeting because I really don’t have anything to add to that conversation. I have a budget, I keep track of all my expenses on a painstakingly detailed spreadsheet and there are millions of apps to help you out with budgets. Plus, my friend Rachal just released a comprehensive guide to creating your own budget on her blog, so if that’s your cup of tea, then begone to her blog post here.

What I want to cover is a concept called wealth building. I recently read an article discussing Jeff Bezos’s worth (founder of Amazon for those of you living under a rock), and the article put his worth at around $130 Billion. To put that in perspective for us peasants, $88,000 dollars to us feels like $1 to Jeff. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’d love to be able to throw around hundreds of thousands of dollars like it was coffee money.

However, there are only a couple of ways to really become wealthy. I’m not sitting on the next Amazon or Facebook idea at the moment, so the other major way I’ve been focusing on becoming wealthier is to make the money I do have work for me. I know it’s harder for my age bracket to feel like investing is a priority when the job market sucks so bad and rent is crazy, but the truth is – if you have Starbucks money, you have investing money.

I’m not going to go super in depth on investing strategies because 1. There’s a million of combinations, and 2. I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a strong investor just yet. But the point I’m trying to make is that so many of us are focused on saving ONLY. We want an emergency fund here, a future house fund there, but many people are only putting that money in an account for it to sit at the same value for years and years. A simple savings account usually has interest rates of less than one percent, and at our current young adult level, that means our money is literally only making a couple cents each year. The point of investing is so that the money that you’ve set aside makes money for you and you don’t even have to touch it.

Stay with me. Not all investing is making bets on the stock market, cryptocurrency, or being in real estate. There are simple accounts you can open with fiduciaries who will invest your money in a portfolio with a risk level you are comfortable with. A fiduciary is a firm that is required to act in their investors’ best interests.

So if you go ahead and start investing, you’ll probably make somewhere between a 2 and 10 percent return depending on your risk levels. Of course, you can get very lucky and make even more but even at 2% your money is going to grow way faster than just sitting in a savings account.

When I started investing, it was rather unrewarding. I didn’t have enough to dedicate to really see the difference, but now that I’m working with a few thousand dollars, those returns are starting to add up. And if we do the math, investing is the reason the rich get richer.  Let’s say they’ve got $100,000 sitting in investments. At 2% that is $2000 profit off of investments. If they’ve got $1,000,000 sitting there – that’s $20,000! And when you compound that interest, the number just grows and grows.

I’m going to stop with the math now since we all had to take basic accounting, but I take it I’ve made my point. The beauty of investing is that the money works on your behalf. There are risks with investing, of course, but they are surprisingly less drastic than the media and other authority figures have led us to believe. Just do some basic research.

One resource that was really good for getting started was Tony Robbins’ book Money: Master the Game. The first few chapters are a lot of motivational fluff, but if you really take notes and do some of the exercises, you’ll easily be able to build yourself a pretty comprehensive financial strategy.

The key to investing for me is to only invest money that I won’t miss too terribly. Obviously, as I dedicate more and more to my investment accounts, I would be livid if I lost ALL of it, but a 10% drop in the markets doesn’t phase me. Personally, I am in this for the long haul so any investments I make right now are with money I don’t need to live and wouldn’t miss if I couldn’t access it right away.

I have my simple savings fund set and my living expenses all worked out, and after all that I’m lucky enough to have quite a bit leftover to put into investments. One of my favorite investing ‘rules’ is to invest risky (risky here meaning more volatile investments, but with potentially higher rewards) while you’re young. Consequently, even if I lose every single cent of my investments, I’m young enough that I have time to rebuild. I also would make more money over my lifetime if I start young because of that whole compound interest rule we covered earlier. If I’m too risky when I’m older, it could be too late to recoup and I’d have to struggle for the rest of my retired life.

So while I might not ever reach Jeff Bezos levels of wealth, I think I’ll end up with more than enough if I stay on this track. Do some research for yourself, you might find that you like tacking zeros onto your bank account too 🙂

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Contrary to popular belief, millennials can have nice things like expensive toast AND have money for investments.

 

Forgotten Talents

On Saturday I had the enormous pleasure of seeing the Calgary Philharmonic play the score to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Apart from my Harry Potter obsession, I realized I hadn’t been to the orchestra in a few years and I MISS IT. Not only do I miss watching the orchestra, I miss being a part of one. A little backstory here, I played viola as part of an orchestra for a little over a decade. And I was GOOD. Not great, but good enough to play in one of the most advanced orchestras my school had to offer. Unfortunately, I haven’t played much since high school and realizing that actually made me sad.

Back in high school, I had two “things,” if you will. Number one was swimming. I spent five hours everyday training and had at least one meet every week. Number two was orchestra. Being in the advanced orchestra meant I gave up at least half my lunch in addition to a normal school period for rehearsals. And of course, I practiced on my own in order to keep up. In between all that, I had my classes, and that’s how I went through school.

At the time, it was a lot. Training for swimming was exhausting and getting good at an instrument is an exercise in repetition that drove me nuts. But when I went to university, I stopped both of these activities cold. I told myself I wanted to focus on other pursuits like study abroad and internships and that since I didn’t want to become an Olympian or a professional musician it didn’t matter.

And it didn’t. I was perfectly happy swimming at my own pace for an hour workout rather than a 5 hour one and playing whatever struck my fancy on my viola rather than repeating the same four measure section over and over to wring it to absolute perfection. But after awhile, it did matter.

I hadn’t just done those activities in passing, they had been huge parts of my life for over a decade. I was really good at both of them, I had spent countless hours getting better, learning, improving, and then I just gave them up. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’d change my decisions. I’m pretty happy with the trajectory my life took, but I do wish I had made an effort to include them at a bare minimum.

I miss competing at meets, I loved the adrenaline, I miss the feeling of winning,  and I miss cheering on my teammates.

I miss being part of an orchestra, creating a sound so big it fills the whole room. I miss joking with my stand partner, and honestly, I just miss playing.

I’ve replaced these things in my life now – I took up new sports, and now I write as a creative outlet rather than play music. But I miss my old commitments. I was glad to be rid of them when they were overwhelming, but nostalgia has come to haunt me and I think it’s about time I start swimming some laps and playing some music again.

Are there any talents you stopped, whether because of a life change or because they were too exhausting? Did you ever pick them back up? Let me know in the comments!

 

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I hope she doesn’t hate me for posting this throwback, but this was taken behind the scenes of one of my favorite concerts ❤

 

Take a Walk on the Child Side

As of a few months ago, I am twenty-three years old. And even though this age still makes me (relatively) a very young person, I have also left my childhood behind. I work, am financially and emotionally independent, and like to think I contribute in some way to society.

However, even though my days of not paying my own bills are behind me, I don’t completely want to ever abandon the ways of my childhood.

Children, for the most part, have no fear, no judgement, and no pretenses. They also possess a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them until they are forced to focus by school or society. And THOSE are the traits, I’m looking to keep.

When I try new things, I don’t want the fear of failure to be what holds me back. For example, rock climbing has actually really helped with this. I watch the little kids go up these enormous, difficult walls like it’s nothing and part of their success comes down to the fact that they aren’t afraid. So I’ll tell myself – if they can do it, so can I.

The other major attribute has to do with wonder. I am naturally a bit of a cynic, but I would really hate to never be impressed by anything! When I travel, I want to be amazed and awed by great structures and incredible food. I see so many adults just pass things by with a “been there, done that” attitude and I NEVER want to let things pass me by.

The other part of this is the continued learning. Kids don’t know anything yet, consequently, they are learning all the time. Once you become an adult, you get good at a few things and it’s not necessary to learn all the time. But I’m convinced that’s how your brain dies. Dramatic, I know, but if you never learn anything new, your brain can never make new connections and you won’t continue to grow. It’s almost like you’re dying from boredom very slowly, and that sounds like the worst way to go.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that life can get more and more monotonous, but only if you let it. It’s really easy to slip into a routine, get really good at that routine, and never wander outside it. I’ve talked about this in a different post, but doing what I just described scares the absolute shit out of me. I am TERRIFIED of becoming complacent, and I believe part of avoiding it is to preserve some so-called ‘childish’ traits for as long as possible. Obviously, this also works as a great excuse to sing disney songs at the top of my lungs until my dying day.

 

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Me and my mama after my baptism. Don’t hang me for the quality, taking a photo of a photo is not the best.