Information Overload

Do you love apps like OneTab and the bookmarks feature? Do you suffer from fear of forgetting the ‘amazing’ site/tool/link/resource you once found and continuously save [categorized in folders, of course] into the abyss of the bookmark manager?

I use chrome extensions like Tab Count to monitor my excessive tab opening (I’ve had 96 tabs open once) and Bookmarks Clean Up to reflect on my behavior. According to the latter app, I currently have 697 bookmarks. 697. In my defense, my bookmarking started way back in the day when I was still in college, roughly 12 years ago. I’m not saying that’s not cray cray though, because it is.

It’s crazy because if you know me, I’d probably be able to find this ‘amazing’ bookmarked site again if I searched for it. I may even find something far better. So why save all of these bookmarks?!

I’ve come to a realization that my mind can only take in one site at a time. It’s simple to accumulate multiple open tabs in one setting, but I’m no robot, and I can’t scan through all those tabs at any given time. I’m making an effort to be productive and clean up my act.

Simplicity makes you see things you haven’t seen before. I suggest you try it some time. or at least pause and see how many bookmarks you currently have saved. You might learn a thing or two about yourself.

Sleepless After-Thoughts

Didn’t get much sleep which is no surprise. My mind tried to make sense of my reality while I was simply trying to dream. I failed miserably.

As I recall last night’s behavior of unfollowing certain Instagram accounts, I came to a realization that I may have lived in an illusion, and not something sustainable.

Maybe it was a high and I was close to overdosing from too much “multidimensional perfectionism.” It’s a term I just read about this morning explaining how we millennials seek therapy more often than other generations simply because we crash at the thought of falling short of our high expectations.

I can agree to that notion, where I think I was too focused on how to perfect this thought of us and everything that embodies that as a couple. But now that that’s gone, I’m in withdrawal mode.

I mentioned yesterday that he and I both need to fill our cups. I need to start with filling my void. A void that I tried to have him fill, but it wasn’t his to fill in the first place.

I’ve got a long journey ahead. Lots of reading, reflection, and then sharing.

All this time, I wanted to create a space where I can share what I learned and get his insights, wisdom, and reactions. Little did I know, I had the medium to do it all along.

It’s nice to step back and see the void. Let’s see what comes of it and see where I’ll be when I do fill that void.

You ready for the journey? Glad you are, but I need to get some sleep first.

Want vs. Hope

Ooof. Today was tough. Breakups suck. I better get writing before tears start overflowing. again.

Before today happened, I told myself I’d write out what’s been circling my mind these last four days. Someone asked me “what do you want from me?” and it really got me thinking. Not only what I wanted from him alone, but any guy, really. My mind also went from — what’s the line between being a friend, and a significant other (SO) — and why do we call it SO? Shouldn’t we be significant in all of our relationships?

If you know me well enough, I googled. I can’t recall what I used for keywords, but it did lead me to the P.S. I love You section on Medium: https://psiloveyou.xyz/. I kid you not, I read about 50 posts, mainly by https://psiloveyou.xyz/@bonniebarton and one other author, https://psiloveyou.xyz/@LeonaLoveQuest. I had an ah-ha moment when I read @LeonaLoveQuest’s post on her use of ‘hope’ instead of ‘want.’

She writes, “I find that “hope” is exceedingly more useful than “want” because no matter how much I may want from a relationship, I will only ever receive as much as the other person is ready or willing to give…With hope and a little imagination I gain the freedom to shape my expectations into an infinite number of possibilities.” I wanted to share the ones that I deem to be my hope as well, and then add on to the list.

  • I hope that we become best friends.
  • I hope when he meets my friends I begin to suspect they might like him a little more than me.
  • I hope his friends feel the same way about me.
  • I hope the words “I love you” make him feel less like he’s giving up his freedom and more like he’s liberating his soul.
  • I hope that when we plan a vacation, we set aside one day to make no plans at all.
  • I hope amid the hustle-bustle and family gatherings around the holidays we find some time to be alone.
  • I hope we spend less time counting our money and more time counting our blessings.
  • I hope he understands that for most of the winter, I will be bundled up.
  • I hope we’re amazed by how far we made it without having known each other.
  • I hope our mad, passionate love settles into an unbreakable bond of trust, honesty and respect.
  • I hope we are able to lean on each other when we struggle to stand on our own.
  • I hope when faced with difficult choices we remember to keep our promises and lose our fears.
  • I hope when we argue neither of us says anything so hurtful we can never take it back.
  • I hope that if we ever start to grow apart, we fight hard to come back together instead of turning away to someone else.
  • I hope as we grow old, he continues to be my greatest hero and my strongest ally.
  • I hope we decide for better or for worse, life is still better together than it could ever be apart.” [For actual list, visit: https://psiloveyou.xyz/what-do-you-want-in-a-relationship-b0f24c9e1c7e]
  • I hope I’m leaving him better off than when I met/started to talk to him.
  • I hope we can always be authentic and genuinely honest — to say what we mean, and mean what we say — despite the fact that it might hurt the other.
  • I hope he shows that he cares — ask me how I’m doing, ask what I had for lunch, ask what I’m wearing — the small inquiries go a long way.
  • I hope he continues to flirt with me, and make me feel like I’m still worth pursuing.
  • I hope he knows that I wish him happiness even if that means I’m not a part of it.
  • I hope he remembers me as the one with creative cooking ideas at 2AM –Chopped style — and not as the one that hurt his feelings.

Last but not least, I hope I can meet him when we’re both at a better place in our lives, ‘cuz let’s face it, it’s hard to pour from an empty cup. I’m a huge believer of ‘timing of life’ and things happening for a reason. I have a hunch that this is simply a pause, but if not, I’m glad I was able to finish what I said I would, and with a smile on my face.

*I’m grateful for his honesty, strength, vulnerability, flirts, and smiles. Here’s to hoping he gets his much deserved rest, decision-making, and self-confidence. Take it one at a time, and you’ll go far.*

LLG

Might be the first LLG post in 2019. Might not be. I think it’d do me good to start again.

Learned that it takes energy to focus on myself; to be selfish. Trying not to be reactive takes energy and intentional focus.

I also learned that I want to serve youth. Watching the Japanese show 7 rules about one teacher made me think of why I pursued my career in higher education. It’s too bad the higher ed system failed me, but I’m hoping to find a way to get myself back into serving youth one way or another.

Trying to be honest with yourself is so much harder than being honest with someone else. Someone asked me what I wanted from them. Honestly, I’m at a loss for words. It’s not even about them anymore. I’m having a hard time answering what I want, truly. It’s something I’m going to have to really think through.

Gratitude goes to documentaries, educators, #truestories, writers, and journaling.

2019 Vision Board

Got to attend a vision board workshop today hosted by @sashbag and Vanessa which inspired me to finally create one. Learned another word: “isiko” pronounced ee seeko, is the zulu word for culture/art/tradition and added it to my board. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as to why if you know me. Thanks ladies for showing me another brand to follow.

I’m curious what do you feel when you see this board?
Please share with me in the comments!

Alignment

Exactly a week ago, I messaged one of my great friends and shared what I’m about to share here. It’s been a week and the same feeling still lingers, so here is my “I called it” moment.

There’s always been a part of me that didn’t want to express my happiness just in case it didn’t work out. But somehow, this time around is very different, in that, I feel like I am ready to call it out. I want to prove to myself that I called it before it happened.

What has changed? Am I simply willing to risk something out in the open? or is it more that I trust myself to know that it will turn out the way I know and hope it will and I’m okay with that?

My friend said “that you are changing patterns and accepting the possibility of happiness. A bit of both, but also not being afraid to allow yourself to be happy in the possibilities and a willingness to be more open in general to world.”

It’s the first time I’ve felt alignment in a long time. I longed for this. Someone ready to give. Someone who has given me a lot already. This feeling of flow and groundedness. The IS. Like there’s things that I’m naturally letting go to fit someone in, and it’s a natural process without much thinking. It’s a connection built on feeling, an energy. It’s hard to express with words, but it is very sensory driven. I can feel the energy permeate through the phone call. The grin, the smile, the rolling eyes, the surprising warmth, the smirk, the inner child, the dirty mind, the honest, the vulnerable, and the transparent.

I know it’s genuine because I find my friends in this person. My posse, my tribe, my culture. “The look,” the grin, the non verbal facial expressions. Somehow there’s already a cultural understanding — and that’s huge for me. Someone who gets me (scary thought huh?) and someone who isn’t afraid to call it out. To act accordingly. It’s admirable, and so encouraging.

My friend called my energy giddy, but that this is good and real. It really is, and I’m looking to explore where it takes me next.

2018

This year was rough.

Looking back at my #bestnine and scrolling through my calendar, the year is quite a blur. The year started with anxiety, stress, and a tense body. I can only recall certain moments — certain time frames that occurred before me.

In no specific order, I remember the two deaths too many — the moving dance piece that made me overflow with emotion at the Whidbey Institute — finding a tribe full of interculturalists (people that get me) — hours and hours of girl talk with my wild sisters — an explosion of verbal expression — plethora of tears — self-doubt — lost hope — vulnerability — Project 137 — This is Day One (Drew’s book) — P2P Coaching program — World Cup — overthinking — The Voice Season 15 — self-care — WSU Cougar Football — web of connections — gratitude — numbness — growth — self-discovery — Top Chef/New Amsterdam/9-1-1/This is Us — and truth.

I learned firsthand what it means to build a habit. The Lessons Learned & Gratitude journal (LLG) helped me appreciate what I have and what lessons I learned on a daily basis. Consistency is key to everything we do. Setting a goal and sticking to the goal. It’s as simple as that.

In my head, this year felt like everything and nothing all at the same time. Up until the second week of December, I wanted to simply end 2018. I didn’t have any goals or outlook for 2019, but I knew I needed 2018 to be done with.

Reflecting back, December 12th was the day that changed this year for me. I took on my first shift as Crisis Counselor, helping a texter get through a hard time, and being there for that one person. Gave me hope that I too can be of service to someone in times of hardship. A simple ‘Thank you’ at the end made me feel warm and fuzzy. If you or anyone else needs someone to talk to, Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 at 741741. Yes, it’s text, and no, we’re not robots.

That same day, I got a rather peculiar text from someone I knew. It had been since March 2017, but for some reason, it was time for us to re-connect, and I’m glad we did. 2018 is still hazy, but 2019 looks promising.

My intent word for 2019 is REVEAL. To reveal is “to make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.” but in order to reveal something, I need to learn or discover it first.  I’d like to think I’m ready to reveal myself in all layers of my life through self-reflection and interaction with others. 2018 taught me a lot about who I am and how to care for myself. I look forward to dig deeper and experience things I’ve never felt or seen before.

In midst of this hazy year, I got moments of clarity participating in Project 137 hosted by Patti Digh. Starting on August 16th ’til today, we were given daily prompts to reflect, create, and journal about. One thing I learned through this project is it’s worth buying a notebook. It doesn’t get more real than putting pen to writing on a white sheet of paper. I’d like to free write the rest of the post using the prompts from the various days.

Did you know you can write yourself a letter to the future you using https://www.futureme.org/? It’s a rather interesting concept. Many characters in TV shows do it. I just wrote my letter. We’ll see what it reveals when I open it in the next couple of months. Stay tuned.

Day 3: Make a list of 5 things you would do if you truly only had 3 days left to live. Ironically enough, I’m at peace with where I am right now. I might make last minute video chats, or call up friends and family to tell them how much they mean to me, but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t wait to say this to them. I’ve made a real effort this year to express what I want to say to the people I care about these last few months. It’s never too early to share that with someone and I didn’t do it to get anything in return. It puts me at peace that they heard it from me and that they now know.

Day 2: If you could sum up in three words what you learned about yourself this year, what would those three words be?I am enough.

Day 1: How might you continue this focus on mindfulness in the New Year?  I’d like to continue the LLG posts and add Edible Moments, and any other topics I’ve been meaning to writing about.

I’m truly grateful for: my support network who don’t judge me when I spill my emotions out; the timing of life; Duolingo; my sisters near and far (you know who you are); old school conversations via phone call; rekindled connections; and heartfelt encouragements.

This year was tough, but I made it through with your help, and I look forward to what’s to come tomorrow.

It’s been a while since I last posted. Last week, I ended up feeling sick and wasn’t up to par for about a week. It made me realize how much I tried to be physically strong this year. I held in a lot. It’s sometimes so worth it to simply let your body dictate what not to do. Was I the most productive? Probably not, but I was definitely most productive in healing my body.

Learned I can’t force my body to do anything. I need to listen to my body more and keep it in tune. Pausing my life was exactly what my body needed.

I also completed my first shift as a Crisis Counselor yesterday. It was insane and rewarding all at the same time. I hope I can build the skill of not overthinking and apply it to my own life. In the end, I was there to do my part, to be there for someone in need, at that moment. After that moment, it’s not up to me what someone else does.

Gratitude goes to reconnected friends, girl talk, phone conversations, informational interviews, and remembering to continue posting.

Tonight’s episode of The Voice was controversial and it all boils down to chance. It wasn’t the girl’s fault that she became ill and decided to sit this episode out, but the show is called The Voice, and for a coach to throw a team member under the bus to protect another is uncalled for. Not sure if the producers had a solution for an instance like this, but the show must go on, and if a singer wants to sit an episode out, that’s her choice. I sincerely hope DeAndre Nico continues to wow the world with his singing capabilities. Kudos to Coach Kelly for acknowledging DeAndre.

On another note, learned that cooking works with backwards design too. If I have an end visual to how the plate will be, I can strategically cook it in time.

Gratitude goes to lamb, sweet potato gnocchi, harvest salad, trader Joe’s, and TV shows.