Hello 2019! It’s insane how fast time has flown by, and it’s somewhat scary what lies ahead of me in this new year. There are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to, but there are also some things that worry me as well. Last year was filled with a lot of amazing moments, as well as some internal struggles, but nothing that I wasn’t able to conquer. This post is dedicated to the moments that make me happy. The process of doing these activities may not be perfect bliss, but they may put my life more into perspective and help me see that there are in fact few things in life that can bring me down.

Dressing up, just because. As a kid = like all kids – I had a wild imagination. My mind often wandered to the made-up worlds that glorified reality, and I would materialize them in the world that my dolls lived in. Though now I channel my imagination through other hobbies more rooted on reality, every once in a while, I find myself going through my wardrobe for more than just finding an outfit to wear. Normally, I’m just looking to see if my clothes still fit me, if they match with such pair of shoes, if they go with that set of jewelry. Sometimes, I dress a bit out of my comfort zone, putting on outfits that I would never dare walk out the door with. Dressing up in these outfits is a reminder that I still have that wilder side of me, if I allow myself to. And sometimes, I do.

Eating yummy food to enjoy the small truffles in life. In the past nearly two years, my relationship with food has been rocky, to say the least. I’ve let loose and I’ve gained weight, often with a guilty conscience. I’ve obsessed over my figure and distorted my once healthy view on food, spiraling me down in a negative cycle that seemed unbeatable. But now that I’m more settled in college, so are my eating habits. I have learned to use food to not only nourish my body, but also nurture my soul.

As a major food lover, I consume food as a way to make me happy, but I don’t feel the tendency to abuse of it anymore. I love tasting different cuisines and fusions, especially in the company of others. But I stick to a pretty simple diet on a regular basis, as this makes those food outings particularly memorable.

Learning a new skill that fascinates me. Especially when I invest this skill into something that channels my creative side. I love having a side project that I can work on by myself, such as this blog. It provides a safe place where I can try out different interests and learn more about them. Over the years, I have blogged about different topics and explored different writing styles. I have also somewhat learned to use different programs to improve the visual experience of my blog. These small developments have allowed me to learn more about my inner interests, and to better show them to others. My blog is particularly special, as it allows me to look back on earlier posts and see how different I am today.

Accomplishing something that scares me. There are some things that I do because it scares me. I take classes that I know will be challenging for me, because I know I will learn from them. I convince myself to talk to people on a regular basis because I know I’ll enjoy spending time with them, and learning from them. I take on leadership roles because it pushes me to be a better version of myself. I do things that scare me now because none of my mistakes have consequences that put my life at risk, so the real reason why I get scared lies within me. These situations challenge the person that I think I am, and prepare me for all kinds of difficult situations that I may encounter later on.

Sweating it out. Health is always at the top of my list, no matter what. With exercise, I am able to take care of both my physical and mental health, and it’s much needed on a daily basis. Exercise – any form – clears my mind, makes me feel much more relaxed and focused, and helps me sleep better. It’s a form of therapy that never fails.

I recently joined my college boxing team, and have been loving it so far. The conditioning, boxing classes, and working out with people who continuously challenge me is an environment that I really enjoy. Of course, I continue to strength train, do cardio, and take fitness classes on my own time as well. Keeping it exciting and novel is something that really helps me be consistent in this area.

Spending time with the people I love. As I’m getting older, I realize that I get a lot from spending time with people. I am majorly an introvert and enjoy my own company most of the time, but I have come to enjoy spending time with both old and new friends as well, and I learn a lot from these moments too. Most importantly, they make me happy. They allow me to see things from their eyes, and rethink about my own ways.

Something that I’ve also been learning to do is to let go of the fear of spending time with people whom I know won’t always be in my life. I have to remind myself that it’s a blessing to have them part of my life for however long they stay, and to move on when we part ways.

With this in mind, I have also started to appreciate my family more. I rarely see my extended family, but I’m in quite close contact with my immediate family – especially my dad. My family are the only people that I know will always care about my wellbeing, even if we aren’t in constant contact. I owe my life to them, and they are literally a part of me.

Doing things that soothe my mind. Journaling is something that I have consistently done since middle school. I have been consistent in that I’ve always had at least one journal or diary every year, but I have been inconsistent in that I tend to journal more when I’m dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil. And when I read back on these moments, they’re golden. They’re full of emotion, meltdowns, and the questioning of why I let myself go through such shitty moments – but they are precious memories. They are tangible reminders that I lived to look back on them, that I conquered these difficulties. It’s treasure.

Listening to music that rocks my world. I live on music every day. While I’m working, reading, exercising – pretty much when I want that background distraction. Different types of music may evoke different emotions in me, or influence the way I feel. But as much as I live by music, it has also made me appreciate the moments of silence, when I’m stuck with nothing but the sounds of nature, and my thoughts.

Reading a book that takes me on a journey to another world. Reading  has taken me on some of the best journeys in my life. To be honest, I don’t remember the details to a lot of them, but the way these stories made me feel will remain ingrained in my heart. Books are unlike other forms of entertainment because they preach focus on one sole thing. They are the product of endless hours of creating and editing, and they provide room for your interpretation of the story.

Traveling to experience the cities and landscapes foreign to me. Seeing things with your own eyes, witnessing the marvels of life. It’s quite a hassle planning a trip – paying for plane tickets, planning the places you want to visit, packing all the necessary documents and clothes, and preparing for the unexpected to happen. There are unplanned things bound to happen during the trip, and though these can be somewhat stressful, they’re also part of the experience. The experience of going with the flow, and seeing where these accidents take you.

Being part of a community – virtually and in real life. As much as I may have wanted to deny it, I’m no less of a social creature than you are. It’s our nature, and no one should fight it. Being in a college with tens of thousands of people, having a small community of people that care about me has done wonders to my happiness and self-esteem. I was lucky to join a club that suited my interests, and the people that I met there have taught me what it means to care for others without expecting anything in return.

Being of service to othersThere’s nothing more humbling than detaching from my own greedy needs, and learning to see from other people’s eyes. While we commonly associate the term “service” with helping those in need, i.e. community service, being of service to others can be to those around us, too. It can be towards your family, your friends, and those around you, when you see fit. When you give your time selflessly to those around you, you inspire others to do so as well. You learn to value other people’s time as much as your own, and that’s something that we should learn to do.

Being of service to others is as much about helping others as it is about helping oneself. It’s an act that benefits both parties, which in turn benefits those around us.

Immersing myself in the beauty of nature. There is something inexplicably healing, beautiful, and peaceful in nature. On some of my wanderlust adventures, I have had the opportunity to visit places like Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, which have blown my mind away with the vastness of their beauty.

When I’m at home, busy with school and life, I resort to taking walks outside, especially when I’m feeling particularly stressed out. I know this makes me sound like an old lady, but if I don’t make a conscious effort of stepping out, sometimes I end up holed at home for an entire day and that just brings my mood down. Stepping out is a way to recharge and feel the natural pace of life.

-Michelle

3 Comments

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  2. I really relate to a lot of these, and of course reading. It really does transport us into another world and allows our imagination to run free.

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