Never stop believing in YOU.

It’s been a crazy few months, almost a year since I decided to quit my job.

I know I did the right thing, my job was eating me from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite liked my job but…. there’s always a but. After applying for jobs and never hearing back, interviews that didn’t bear good news in the end, I began to wonder if I made a mistake..

I started to feel lost, unsure of what to do but I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew that I wasn’t the only one in such a situation and there could definitely be others who have it worse.

I could easily have gone back into the F&B industry, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to. I had to stick to my decision. So… what did I do?

I’m currently taking a course in digital marketing, with the hope that when I’m done with the course in 5 to 6 months, I’ll be able to live a new life out of F&B. The course requires us to produce quite a bit of content, initially I wanted to go with a made up company and product but after 3 assignments I realised it was going to be tough to make up fake content, so I decided to use my store!

They did not ask to curate videos but I enjoy making them so here’s one for everyone who needs a reminder to always BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Reach out to friends who need you, and that love will come back to you!

Why We Refuse To Be Vulnerable, And Why We Should.

Lately I found myself thinking a lot about life, in general. But the one thing that really bugs me is the topic of VULNERABILITY. What is it, and why does it cripple some of us? Well, according to the  dictionary, being vulnerable means:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 3.49.58 PM

But trust me, it’s so much more than that.

I did some reading over the past week, and came across this short verse by C.S. Lewis.

vulnerability

It made me shudder. But I realised, I’m not the only one.

When we were young and first started discovering a four letter word, no one told us it would hurt that much. Then heart break after heart break, we realise that if we love, we’re putting ourselves out there, like a sitting duck, leaving our hearts wide open to attacks.

Being vulnerable in a relationship means you’re basically handing your partner your heart, giving them a chance to hurt you and break you. Being vulnerable means it’s very likely that you will get hurt, and the more we put ourselves out there, the more we will hurt. As we grow older, we grow more and more aware of this vulnerability, and some of us decide to stop being vulnerable altogether. And refusing to be vulnerable means, refusing to feel, and love.

But, why?

Because stereotypically, being vulnerable means being weak. Being vulnerable means giving the other person control over you, and no one wants to appear weak, no one wants to lose. We all want to be strong, or so we want to appear. We have been vulnerable before, and we got hurt, and it really sucked, so why would we want to be vulnerable when we know hurt is waiting around the corner? Ironically, one person’s vulnerability can be interpreted as courage by another.

Oddly, the surmon during mass yesterday was also hovering around the subject of being afraid in life, being afraid to show who we are, and I felt like I needed to get more familiar with this supposed road block, this fear. After all, it could well be the answer as to why I’m stuck. This morning that chain of thought was continued when I sighted this posting on Facebook by my cousin.

Connect by Taking the Initiative by Rick Warren

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10 KJV)

When Adam and Eve sinned and God came looking for Adam, Adam said, “I was afraid and I hid.” (Genesis 3:10 ESV) This fear is as old as mankind. We hide our true selves. We don’t let people know what we’re really like. Why? Because we think, “If I tell you who I am and you don’t like me, I’m have no alternative.” So we wear masks and we pretend.

Fear does three terrible things to relationships:

Our fears make us defensive. We’re afraid to reveal ourselves. When people point out weaknesses we retaliate and defend ourselves.
Our fears keep us distant. We don’t let people get close to us. We want to withdraw and hide our emotions. We don’t want to be open and honest.
Our fears make us demanding. The more insecure we are the more we try to control or dominate things. We try to have the last word in a relationship. It’s always a symptom of fear and insecurity.

Where do you get the courage for taking the first step in connecting with someone? You get it from God’s Spirit in your life: “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong [courageous] and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 LB).

So the starting point in connecting with anybody is to pause and pray and say,

“God, give me the courage to take the first step.”

The first step, is also the biggest step, the scariest, and the most intimidating.

I’ve been in situation after situation, where I have had the solution right in my hand, and yet, I feel as if, in that moment, I am paralysed; not physically, but my mind just freezes. Why didn’t I do it? Why couldn’t I say it? Why did I do that? Why am I so afraid?

In some of my (past) relationships, I came out feeling like I did more than I should have, that I wasn’t appreciated. I walk out feeling I loved more than I was loved. I started to lose faith in love, really, and it got harder and harder to find someone who was worth the pain. When things don’t work out, we tend to blame ourselves, maybe we’re not good enough, maybe we just can’t get it right, and we start to build walls around us. At some point, I stopped myself from feeling entirely, was I happy? Well, no, not really, I felt empty, but I knew no one could hurt me that way. And for awhile, it was okay.

But we can’t live that way forever, can we? Like it or not, we need to be vulnerable. We are nothing without love, and to love, is to be vulnerable. I wish they didn’t come interlocked, but they do, and there’s nothing we can do to cancel one or the other out of the equation, they come together.

But how? How do you decide you’re ready to open your heart to hurt again? How do you make that first big move?

I watched this video where Brené Brown speaks about the Power of Vulnerability. I’ve watched it again and again, and it’s like a sudden realisation, over and over again.

According to Brené, in her book “Daring Greatly” she explains that there are 3 MYTHS surrounding vulnerability. If you’d like to read about these myths in details, click here. I’m trying not to make this longer than it needs to be.

  1. Vulnerability is weakness.

  2. Some of us don’t experience vulnerability.

  3. Vulnerability means spilling your secrets.

If that’s not true about vulnerability, then what is?

One thing I know for sure now, is that refusing to be vulnerable means refusing to love, and refusing to love is refusing to be happy. We all want to be happy, we all want to be loved. But the fear of getting hurt by loving really cripples us a lot more than we admit to. We try to look for assurance, we want to know that the person we are interested in likes/loves us more than we love them, and yet, they are very likely looking for the same too. I could go on and on about how refusing vulnerability can completely mess up your life, but, you get the drift right?

We push people away because we lack confidence in ourselves, because we refuse to trust that not being 100% perfect is actually okay, and that to them, imperfect IS perfect. It’s not them, it’s us. We refuse to admit we need help when we really need help because people might think we’re weak, or because we’re afraid they’ll judge us. The result? Our non-vulnerability instead makes us appear as cold, aloof and emotionless persons, of course there is much truth in that, because in a bid to avoid pain, we just refuse to feel.

If only we realised sooner, what our non-vulnerability is doing to us, but what’s done is done. So what does it become?

I call it self-sabotage.

So the answer here clearly is, to just forget everything bad you know about being vulnerable, and just be, vulnerable. Stand up and charge forward, regardless of what lies ahead. Be vulnerable by all means, because we were made not to be afraid, but to be courageous. After all, for as long as we refuse to be vulnerable, we’re practically blocking all possible happiness out of our lives, right? Harsh, but apparently true. But pin-pointing a problem is the easy part, how do you get about to solving it? How do you untangle the knots? Where do you start? How do you stop living in fear? How do you stop hurting? How do you become vulnerable?

I wish I could have all the answers at the tip of my fingers, but I guess that’s one of life’s challenges, to figure them out along the way. Does admitting to having serious issues with being vulnerable unlock any answers? I don’t know yet. But I want to believe that when I have the answer, I’ll have the guts to make the first move.

Because to love, we need to be vulnerable; and if we stick to not wanting to experience the pain that comes with it, I guess life would be a big waste of time.

Perhaps being vulnerable might not work out to be such a bad thing, after all, it takes courage to make vulnerability a choice; and courage can overcome a lot.

Goodbye 2012, a year of hits and misses.

2012huh

As yet another year comes to an end, I believe all of us go through the same motions. Was it a good year? A horrible year? A not so bad, I got through it kind of year? Perhaps after you’ve established that the year practically flew by without you accomplishing very much you start asking why, and what-if you did something differently. By the time you’re done with all that, you realise how much time you just wasted thinking about it cause there’s really nothing you can do to change the past year.

Well, 2012 was a real roller coaster year for me.

You know how you begin the year thinking your life is as close to perfect as it can get? Like everything has finally fallen into place, and you have everything you could possibly ask for, and you just can’t wait to wake up every morning with an idiotic smile on your face. Sure, everyone goes through rough waters, but at some point all that pain is finally justified, and it’s all worth it, you know? :)

But as with any roller coaster ride, there are tons of ups and downs, and it’s the down points that really kill you. I always say, there’s a way to get around anything, as long as you want to, I still want to believe that, but this year life has thrown me more curved balls than I can possibly deal with. I’m usually someone who hangs on and tries until the end cause I hate giving up and I hate losing a fight, but for me to reach a point where I actually give up and walk away, is totally new to me. 2012 definitely saw a record number of misunderstandings. Being misunderstood is one thing, but being misunderstood and put down before you’ve had any chance to say anything, that takes a hell lot of calm to deal with. I guess at some point I just lost that calm. After all I’m one person who cannot stand being misunderstood and called things I’m not. And amidst all the tears, you realise you’re actually fighting for what you want, and it should be something worth fighting for, but what if self defense kicks in and you unknowingly start fighting against it?

forgive

We go into every new year telling ourselves it’s the best time to leave the past where it belongs, to bury grudges, to forgive people who have wronged us, to reconcile with family and the people we love; but is that possible for everyone? Don’t we forgive others in the hope they do not do us wrong a second time? Do we keep forgiving? Or do we draw a line somewhere? It’s true what they say that holding onto grudges hurts the one holding the grudge more than the one who caused the grudge to be. But why is it so hard to let certain things go? I wish grudges and all the bitterness that comes with it could magically disappear at the stroke of midnight, like some new year magic with fairy dust. Obviously fairies don’t exist, I guess that’s what life is all about, putting us through tough times to learn how to love and to forgive. And until we can untie all the knots in our hearts, we will forever be a tangled mess, completely incapable of loving someone else, or so I was told.

 Amidst all the drama, I’m happy that I got to experience love again, the feeling of loving and being loved, knowing that you could mean the world to just one person. It feels like a privilege, but it’s a birth right. It’s just a feeling that nothing else can replace. At least I know I AM capable of feeling despite how hard I try not to, and that my heart is not dead. But I guess you simply can’t hold on to something that isn’t meant to be yours, or force something to work out, and learning to let go is a part of life, nothing lasts forever, anyway.

love

Perhaps a part of me died when Baileys passed. My bunny of over 2 years, I still miss him everyday, and talk to him as if he’s right next to me when I’m feeling frustrated. He was always there to listen to me, make me smile, no talking back, no dissing, just a patient listener; even though he threw bunny tantrums at times he was still the cutest bunny ever. I’m glad I had him for that short time, and I’m sure he’ll be patiently waiting on the other side. :)

No, I’m not going to sit in a pool of tears and cry, I’ve done more than enough of that. Despite all the pits I’ve gotten stuck in over the past year, I’m determined to get out of them in due time, but right now,

happy

Life is a gift and it’s a fragile one, every day lives are taken against their will, every day people are struggling to survive. There are so many people less fortunate than we are. Somewhere out there, a teen has probably never used a mobile phone, much less a laptop or iPad. We are so lucky to have what we have, we are lucky to be where we are. While we complain about fighting with a partner, somewhere in the world someone is all alone just hoping for a warm embrace. While we are deciding which steak house to dine at, so many children out there are rummaging through garbage looking for something that will fill their stomaches. 2012 has made me realise that there’s so much more to life than just what we see. We set goals, we plan for years ahead,

present

We plan the future, we spend every other day talking and worrying about the future. What if something happens tomorrow? Can we keep leaving everything for tomorrow? Why not now? We try to live our lives so fast that it just flies by, year after year, the same cycle over and over again, it’s almost as if we are living our lives on auto-pilot. Something’s missing, we’re not making the most out of this life, or are we? That’s for you to decide!

As for me, I’m going to take some time out to rethink this life and what really matters before I attempt to make any resolutions at all.

2013cupcakes

cupcake image courtesy of http://muffin-fluffy.tumblr.com

It’s going to be a countdown with the parents this year, since I’ve spent the past few new year’s out of home, I guess it’s time to hit home ground. :)

See you all in 2013! xx

Temporary Impressions.

Was talking to Jones today about something I’ve observed over the past few weeks.. Put simply, I find that people are more attractive when they’re single.

Why? I’ve had some pretty good first impressions of people I’ve met in the past few months/weeks, some of whom are now attached. The difference? When they were single, there was something about them, some sort of charm; but now that they are attached, they seem somewhat, normal, just average. My initial impressions of them seem to have been smeared, sadly.

We came to the conclusion that most people stop making the effort to upkeep their appearance once they’ve found a partner, and that comfortable feeling that comes along with it.

Over time, it’s possible that the person that you managed to impress in the beginning might not find you as impressive/attractive anymore, and then what?

Just cos you’ve found someone who loves you now, doesn’t mean you should stop loving yourself, or love yourself any less. If anything, you’re the only person responsible for yourself.

Don’t take the present for granted. Live in a way that you’ll never have to ask yourself, “What have I become?”

…"moving on"

I’ve always wondered what it really means to move on… I pondered days and nights for months, and I think I’ve found my own understanding of these two small words that carry so much weight.

“Move on, forget about me. You’ll meet someone better”

“Move on, he’s not worth your time.”

You can tell someone to move on, but whether he/she decides to, is ultimately a personal choice. Moving on, doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone.

For months, when the words “move on” came up, I’d get scared and fear the future which had gotten so hazy. Would I be wrong to assume that we’re all afraid of moving on? The thought of shelving memories is enough to make us cringe. Fearing solitude, we fight to hang on to the memories, hoping something will change, but the truth is, it won’t. Things that have happened will never change. Holding on to mistakes isn’t going to make everything right, and somehow, I saw the light.

I had been so afraid of “moving on” because everyone made it seem like that was the end of everything. But no, it was in fact the beginning.

Moving on doesn’t mean shelving memories and severing ties. Moving on doesn’t mean it’s the end. Perhaps we shouldn’t use the term moving on, but moving forward instead? It sure sounds a little less intimidating. Moving on, for me, was letting go of the pain. For months I was holding on to someone else’s mistakes, and my own too.

The fact is that nothing gets better if you insist on sitting on a nest of rotten eggs. They’re just going to deteriorate even more. Accept that things have come to be the way they are, pick yourself up and try again.

Move forward, and embrace the new chances that are waiting ahead. Things only get better if you let them. Let go of past hurts, cos only then will love and happiness have space to reside in your ♥..

The moment I decided to let everything go, it felt like I was born again. Freed from the chains that were weighing me down, I felt like I was ready to live my life proper, looking only to the future.

It is true what they say, you need to learn to let go of everything, in order to hold on to the things that really matter, and decide if they are indeed worth holding onto..

 

The Reason Why…

…I stopped asking,

Has anyone ever questioned the practicality of asking for advice from people who are often stuck in the same situation as ourselves?

Say we are fresh out of a relationship gone wrong, or stuck in a dilemma whether to hang on or let go, the first thing we do is to start asking the people around us, “What do you think i should do now?”

Right? But what we never considered is, that these are the very people who are equally clueless! They’re probably around the same age, maybe younger, maybe a little older, but generally, given the same situation, how many of them can we say have succeeded? If you’re really lucky, give it a 10% chance.

The truth is, we ask for advice, not so much to heed it, we ask for advice hoping to gain assurance that the decision that’s already in our head is the right decision to make. Is it right? Is it wrong? Should I do this instead of that?

The only advice you’re gonna get is probably what you already know. A friend can tell you what he/she thinks, but in that moment, you forget that what you’re hearing is but from experience, and no two situations are the same, because no two hearts are the same either. Just because a solution worked for a friend, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

When I came to that realisation, it’s like I got kicked in the head. For months, I was listening to what everyone was telling me I should do, pushing everything I felt I myself felt I should do to the back of my mind.

You can’t take everything your friends say as bible truth. They respond to what you tell them, and what you tell them might not be everything that makes up the situation. The bottom line is,

If you really want to live life and be happy, stop doing the things that are “socially correct”. Stop doing things that people say you should do, stop doing things against your own will just so it seems like you’re doing the right thing. In the end, all you will feel is more frustrated than ever.

And if in the end it all comes to naught, at least you know, you lived life by your own rules. If you must seek advice, if you want to learn about how to get past the hardships of life and if you want to know if love really exists, don’t count on answers from your friends…

Ask the old couple who stroll hand in hand in the park everyday. They are the ones who have truly made it.

♥ jean

Better Late Than Never

If there is one thing I’ve learnt, it’s this :

There is no point in telling a person he’s doing something wrong; if he insists that he is right. You can only leave him to go through the experience & find his faults himself.

Not everyone will love you at your weakest & worst, many will walk away. People may laugh behind your back at your mistakes; but the ones who love you will always be there to pick you up, give you a hug & tell you it’s okay…

When you fall, not everyone will be there to offer you a hand; & there are only so few who are willing to always be ready to catch you when you take the plunge.

When you go in pursuit of the things you want, more often than not, you end up losing the people & things you need. You can never go looking for someone you can love, laugh, cry & share everything with; you will find each other, somehow.

At the end of it all, when you look back on all the years, you will come to discover who really mattered in your life.

For some, realization may come too late, but it’s better late than never.

— Jeanine