Ongoing goals: Loving yourself

[Feature image from JennAugust.com]

In Malaysia, Valentine’s Day has begun.

I haven’t seen much V-day propaganda, but I assume it’s because I don’t live in a city, so I actually had forgotten about the “holiday” until it snuck up on me!

A year ago, when I was posting on this blog, I had made a goal for 2014 to continue my focus on having healthy relationships—both platonic and romantic–and goals like this are always a work in progress. 

I’ve never had any issues with my friendships. The amount of people I’m  close with isn’t many, but it’s a good amount, and they accept me for the smart-mouthed, sometimes vain, talkative yet kind soul I am, so I appreciate them for that. As far as romantic relationships go, my views on how to handle them, what they should consist of and how they should make you feel have been in a constant state of change and limbo since probably around 2012 when I first experienced a major change in my viewpoint surrounding them. However, one aspect has remained consistent—the importance of self-assured love.

The bottom line is, you can’t be happy with someone if you aren’t happy with yourself, and all the good aspects of relationships stem from that. If you aren’t sure about what you want, if you don’t know what you need, you shouldn’t expect to find out those things about yourself in someone else. At the same time, when you are enamored with yourself, it is 1000x times easier to recognize when someone isn’t loving you and treating you the way you should be treated. As cliche as it may be, relationships need to be between people who are whole on their own. The danger in looking for happiness or fulfillment outside yourself is that everything extrinsic is fleeting. Happiness and fulfillment shouldn’t be. 

So whether you are enjoying a romantic date with a significant other, spending the day with your friends, or if you are spending it with yourself, who is amazing, remember that on this day meant to celebrate love, not loneliness, that you are the shit. You have to love yourself wholeheartedly to spread that love to others in a healthy, non-dependent, non-abusive way. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. Head over to my travel blog blackgirlwander.wordpress.com  to read about my experiences teaching English in Malaysia and traveling throughout Southeast Asia!

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Living in the Moment?

How can you “live in the moment,” and still focus so much on your future goals? Is it possible to do both?

I think it is.

Since being in Malaysia, I have found that there are moments where I am fiercely in the moment. When time, I imagine, does not slow, but moves at its regular pace, while I am just more aware. Then, there are times when I find myself focused on and constantly worrying about what I am going to do or what I want to do when my contract here ends.

At one point, it seemed as if I was counting down until I return back home to the states. Being here and traveling has been a life goal of mine, so why am I rushing? Why am I not breathing in any and every moment of my time here?

It’s important to not necessarily have a plan, but to know or have some idea of the things you would like to accomplish or do. In other words, to be constantly searching for or living in a way that will carry out what you believe is your purpose in life. That type of thinking often leads one to focus on the future, but it is possible to simultaneously live in the present fully aware. I myself have been working on this:

One way I keep myself in the present is through my writing. To write, to be inspired to write, I need to always be hyperaware and cognizant of what is going on around me and how it effects how I feel and what I think. When I pay attention to what is happening to me and around me right now I am automatically shaping and being shaped for what lies ahead. Example:

In the moment–> write about my thoughts and experiences–> Future goal: eventually have my writing published

Instead of putting all your thoughts in what may come to pass, place all your energy in the now. In doing so, you are already preparing yourself for the goals you wish to reach later. Don’t let the experiences you are going through now be grazed over because at one point where you are now is where you were hoping to be. The future is a result of the present, so you might as well sow all you can because the reap is inevitable. Living in the moment is what sets you up for what’s to come.

She’s still GOAL-ful!

Feature image: I’m just trying to be zen like this Buddha. Completely and utterly unbothered.

It has been a year since I last wrote on this blog. Time sure does fly.

It would be obscene to try to write about everything that has happened over the course of 365 days, however, for the important highlight reel…

1. I graduated college, with my goal GPA

2. I now work teaching English abroad in Malaysia fulfilling my goal of traveling abroad again before the year 2014 ended

And after beginning that list, I believe that is all the important factors that are worth mentioning!

Though I have not been documenting the process I have gone through in the last year to reach these goals, I still remain engrossed in my driven attitude to reach all the goals I set for myself, no matter how small (I’m taking guitar lessons here in Malaysia!) or how seemingly big. 

I currently have begun a new blog blackgirlwander.wordpress.com where I document my travels and experiences while being a temporary ex-pat, black, and a girl in Southeast Asia. Sidenote: An important goal I’m really working on is my ability to keep up with these blogs on a schedule for more than a few weeks!

Either way, now that I am a post-grad and not a senior, I have made an unspoken (until now) promise to myself to only do what makes me happy, and to only go after the things that I am interested in.

I know some of us are brought up and told to pick a profession, pick a passion and prepare yourself to do one thing in life until you are able to retire, however, at the tender age of almost 23 I cannot bring myself to that mentality. Traveling is something that I have dreamt of doing my whole life, and almost two years ago I wrote some about my first time abroad in England. Now that I have been living in SE Asia for almost 6 months, traveling around when I am not working, I have only become more encouraged in my belief that I don’t need to know exactly what I want to do right now. What I need to do is to continue to explore my interests. Continue to dip my toe in the waters of different fields to see how it feels and to see how I feel. Continue to not feel overwhelmed and burdened at the fact that I don’t have it all figured out. Continue to do my best at honing the things I am passionate about and being proactive when I see opportunities coming my way.

I believe that if I keep on the path I am now that what’s for me will present itself and be mine. This mindset is not one that says you don’t have to work hard. It doesn’t believe that it won’t be frustrating at times, discouraging, quick, or even close to easy. It simply says that nothing is worth settling, and if you want it, go after it and show ‘them’ how much you want it. 

Happiness is intrinsic and cannot be placed on ephemeral things outside oneself. I can’t place my happiness in my ability to get a “secure” job, but I can place my happiness on my ability to be true to myself and to make sure I never settle for anything less than what I set out to do. 

Hopefully this can be encouragement to another 20-something with nothing figured out and the world at their feet.

Keep reaching those goals!

Chelsea