Dream chasing

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I met a young woman named Laura last weekend. She was on the riverwalk, where I had been sitting and praying, taking photos. For some reason, I felt the need to speak to her, so I asked if she’d gotten any good photos. She came right over to me and said yes and told me that she’d been travelling and taking photos. It was her dream to be a photographer. Sitting on the bench, with my hair pressed straight, my sharp suit (or at least I thought I looked sharp!), and my uncomfortable flats, I looked up at Laura. The sun was shining bright on her skin and I couldn’t help but face the fact that I had lost myself. She was an example of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. Who I thought I was on my way to becoming, until recently. I hadn’t drawn or painted a picture, finished a book, or even studied Japanese in nearly two months. I was back to eating uncontrollably and I’d put on 20 lbs, which was causing my face to swell. I hadn’t even been writing in this beloved blog of mine.

After our chat, Laura left and I wished her luck. She came back to me with a business card, which I put away and I am hoping to be able to work with her some day, and I wished her good luck again. I felt inspired in that moment and I realized that I’m trying to swim against a current. I’m being pulled under right now. Work, school, and drama that seems to always drag me back in. These days, I sometimes just think about disappearing. Not showing up to work anymore. Coming to my classes through the end of the semester, then living off a tight budget with whatever I have saved up. Spending my time outdoors, or just doing whatever makes me happy. Losing this weight, growing my hair long, drinking more water, and sharing more laughs and love with my companion. Only answering the phone when I know the call is one of positive nature. Yeah… that’s what I want to do.

But I know it’s not realistic. And I know it’s not the example I want to set for those who look to me for inspiration. So how do I take a break, without taking a break? That’s the question I’m facing.

Well, for one, I think I’m going to try to take more time to do what I love. Even if it takes some time away from everything else. I drew a picture of myself and my boyfriend today and I thought of some blog and vlog topics. I’ve been thinking of hand crafts to make too and I did my manicure. Honestly, I feel a little better already. I’ve also began to go to the gym and eat healthier again.

And as much as I do not like surprises, I’ve found that the best thing for me to do is to not plan this stuff out. Just like I just dropped everything and decided to write in my blog today, I spaced out in class to draw a picture, and randomly picked up my back and wallet and went to the gym. I started to listen to a Japanese podcast today and I asked some associates of mine for some good topics to talk about in Japanese. My boyfriend and I have also resolved to pray more often for each other, those around us (including the people who are hard to love), and for ourselves. It’s amazing to have an extra person donating strength and prayer to this beautiful cause.

So I say again, wish me luck!

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Finding treasures in the depths

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The depths of my mind used to be a place that I was afraid to visit. It was dark and filled to its capacity with bad thoughts and nightmarish versions of all my memories. I’ve slowly sorted through the thoughts in there and I’ve emptied out much of the trash ones. I’m still questioning just about everything I thought I knew about myself and my beliefs. Today, while pondering the typical college student thoughts of “what will I do when I graduate”, I realized something. I don’t want to do what I’m doing now. Just typing that feels so bad…

What if the job that I always considered to be my “childhood dream” isn’t really the job that I want to do? For a normal person, this is probably a ridiculous and simple question. Of course the job you thought you wanted to do as a child is not the job that you want to do now! Well… it’s not that simple for me. For a long time, I held on to my inner child. As if I froze her in the moment that I began to dislike my childhood, only to revisit her when I became an adult and give her all of the things she wished she had emotionally and physically. It’s been very difficult for me to realize that the child has grown up and no longer requires to be taken care of in this way, but it’s been a work in progress. At a time, I tailored my life to revolve around her. I played with toys, bought books I used to read as a child, and even listened to some music that she liked. I got past almost all of it, but I’m learning that there are still some things that I think and do that are soley based on this inner child that I am working to get rid of. Today’s epiphany was just another hurdle that I think I am ready to overcome. I’m starting to realize that my dream of becoming a laboratory scientist may not be the actual route that I want to take. I do love science and I enjoy my job, but I am being forced to accept the fact that it is just not what I want to do for a career and that that’s OK. When I think of myself pursuing a different career, I almost feel as if I’ve let someone down.

As far as my career is concerned, well that’s a beast for another day. I’ve said it here before, but I don’t see myself just doing some regular 9-5 madness for my entire life. And I don’t think I should feel one bit of guilt if my first job after college seemingly has nothing to do with what I went to school for. Considering the many ways that nutrition can be bent and twisted to fit anywhere, I don’t see why I’d feel bad for applying for a job other than that of a clinical dietitian. I know that thinking this way seems worthless to most people. They think i’ll “learn” when I end up stuck at my 9 to 5 trying to make ends meet. It’s always funny to me because I don’t live in the box that everyone has their minds confined to. The good news for me is that I am single and free to explore life however I see fit and I intend to remain this way until I find a place in life that I’m ready to settle into.

Goals for 2018

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My 2018 Goals:

Smile more

I’ve heard that smiling can contribute to a better mood. I want to be happier and I want my inner happiness to be seen on the outside too. I want to be able to transfer some of my joy to another person. I do believe that smiling can give me a little bit of all of the things I listed.

Become an expert

Taking a course and getting a degree does not qualify me as a knowledgeable individual in a specific field. Sure, my school required me to declare a major, but when you find out how many different specific fields exist within “nutrition”, you’ll learn (like I did) that that is the equivalent of having a major titled “science”. My courses are general and so are my textbooks and professors teaching from those books. I need to educate myself in specific fields and I would like to declare my interest in one (or two). I’d also like to improve my expertise in the Japanese language. And although I’ll never become an “expert Christian”, I do think that I could strengthen my spirit more than I do now by studying my bible more often. I know that I’d also mentioned that I wanted to nurture a creative passion, but I haven’t picked that one yet.

 

Improve my self-confidence

I can change my look a million times and still believe that I don’t look good at all. I can gain all the knowledge in the world and still not believe that I’m smart. I’m tired of chasing things that will never satisfy me. So I’d like to work on true self-acceptance.

Be slow to anger

I know that my anger has impaired my ability to enjoy where I am in life in more than one occasion. In 2018, I refuse to spend my energy being angry when I should be working on becoming a better me.

Enjoy the year

Truly, I think it’s safe to say that this all boils down to me finding peace. I’m trying to move into the next chapter in my life and for once I’d like to leave some of this heavy baggage behind. I don’t want to spend my last year of undergrad and last year in America, rushing and thinking about how great things will be when it’s all said and done. I want to make the absolute most of 2018 and I with a smile on my face.

Part 2 to Managing My Anger

Well, my break is coming along quite nicely. I’m in the place I’d rather be, I have 0 obligations, I’ve managed to push all worries to the side, and I’ve spent lots of time meditating or reflecting. Of course, I’ve been reflecting on the topic I mentioned earlier, which was my anger. The more I thought about things like my trigger, the more I found myself coming to a common denominator. That common denominator is my MOUTH! My words! I have a habit of speaking when I really don’t need to and probably shouldn’t. I always want to spit out a quick, mean response at someone, or I want to tell them how they’re inspiring the most negative thoughts within me. If not that, I am hurling out the harshest words at someone whom I’ve allowed to offend me.

Well, I want to try something new. It’s quite tough for me to say that I am going to only speak with a purpose- although I am working towards that. Instead, I will try to think before I say anything that I know can cause a problem. So, before I speak my mind, respond to something aggravating, respond in an argument, or rant on social media, I will ask myself who is benefiting. If the answer is no one, then I won’t say it or post it. I truly believe that perhaps, if I can prevent flames that have already been sparked from growing larger, I can lessen my chances of being burned.

We will see how this goes for me. My last year of college is steadily approaching and I am expecting to be tested. That’s a topic for an upcoming post though.

Is it better to be.. “broke”?

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I captured this photo while passing through Shizuoka on a road trip to Kyoto

A year ago, I was going to wait 8 more years to move to Japan. Isn’t that just ridiculous? Well see, there’s a reason. I wanted to have $50,000 before I go and I wanted to obtain this money by joining the military and saving.

While this plan might sound financially solid, it was silly. Continue reading