There’s something about the start of a new month that always gives me renewed energy. Perhaps it’s the idea of starting from ‘zero’ or the notion of a clean slate. Or perhaps it so happens that today (1 Aug) also marks a very special and personal first milestone for me, as an independent individual.
Hello, August! I can’t believe we’re more than halfway into 2017 already. I’ve been meaning to update the blog, to share some lessons from my self-love journey, to put into words about my recent metaphorical metamorphosis of sorts, yet I haven’t been able to find time to do so. Then again, there never is a “good time”, is there? It’s all about making time.
The last few months have been interesting, having gone through a season of change. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone more times than I’d like, made to “surrender” my need for control, and told to “let go”. Yet thankfully along each ‘obstacle’, I’ve been blessed to meet mentors. Not the kind who charge you an arm & leg to share their “secret recipe or formula”, but rather in the form of change makers who believe in themselves passionately. They’ve unreservedly pushed me to become a better version of myself through their sharing, albeit mostly dishing out tough-to-swallow truths. It wasn’t easy, it never is, hearing things about yourself (which you may or may not have suspected) and unfounded fears from anyone, especially from those you either love and/or respect. We say we’re our own harshest critic, yet when we’re presented with the truth, more often than not our defenses are the first to come up before we even acknowledge the problem.
Here’s sharing an example. I have a tendency to get obsessed with what other people think. And we’re not talking about my closest and dearest. From not exclusively breastfeeding, to not feeding only-organic to my second-born, introducing cheese in my kids’ meals, allowing my kids to watch devices such as the iPad, not sending them to certain phonics/reading/right-brain classes, to how I discipline/parent my kids; there were many moments I doubted my parenting decisions because I cared too much about what others think.
“That’s nuts natty, why do you even allow yourself to get affected by other peoples’ opinions?”, you might wonder. Perhaps it’s because I adopt a “live and let live” attitude. In my effort to be mindful and respectful that everyone is entitled to their own parenting style, I’m hopeful that the same will be accorded to me. Yet I’m aware that this can also be a catch-22 because, by the same token, I shouldn’t have expectations of how I would like people to respect my parenting methods, right? (Conversely, no one judges me at the workplace for not spending enough time at home with the kiddos, instead they go “I admire how you spend whatever time you have outside of work, with your kids over fun activities”)
A good friend once told me: “please be yourself and don’t always listen to what everyone says. Sometimes, we don’t need “friends” because they won’t be there for you until the day you die. Your family will.”. True?
“But I am myself and I make my own decisions what”, I said to a mentor in passing when we were addressing this “obsession” amongst other topics discussed.
“Then why do you feel bad? Why are you asking if your potential actions would offend anyone”, she asked. “Because…” – there it was, my defenses were up. I was looking for a reason or an explanation when the problem was that I simply cared too much over some of the most irrelevant issues. “If it’s just because of what other people think, you’ve already got your answer”, she continued. Ouch…#hardtruths
In an increasingly curated social-media-centric society, we’re often bombarded with “smile more, love more, stay positive, everything’s gonna be alright” messages. And sometimes, it makes us forget that it’s okay to feel negative, and get frustrated with life. That conflicts can be embraced, and we can learn to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. I shan’t be long-winded and dive into everything all at once in this post, but I hope to share some stories and more examples which I hope can inspire you to make some improvements in your life too. And perhaps, share some stories of my house-hunting adventures?
To the folks who’ve been checking back on the space even when there haven’t been any new posts, thank you for checking in. To the few who’ve reached out asking about birthday party contacts, party ideas and my recent weight loss journey; thank you for making the first move and being patient in giving me time to respond. To the new readers (yes, I’ve observed new unique users coming into this space in the last 2 months), thank you for stopping by.