Once a Friend, Always a Friend

Every person who has ever come into my life and considered me a friend will be my friend always.

It doesn’t matter if I haven’t seen you for a month, a year or ten years. If we crossed paths, I’ll always be happy to say hello and catch up. If you were a friend to me, that much will always be true.

I used to be a very anxious person around people. Okay, perhaps I still can be, but I’d say I’m much less so now than I was back then. So I was always happy when someone would accept me as their friend. Back then, I don’t think I gave it much thought but the Present Day Me really appreciates their friendship.

As everyone follows their different life paths, it can be difficult to keep up with each other. We all have different lives and different things keeping us busy. With social media like Facebook around, you’d think it was easy to keep in touch. But it’s ironic that the easier it is to get in touch, the less we seem to actually do it. It’s useful to be able to keep up with everyone’s lives via Facebook posts but also easy to forget that it could be nice to directly catch up with them once in a while.

Nevertheless, I ultimately find it a handy way to keep up to date with everyone’s lives. Whilst I’m not glued to my newsfeed, I do enjoy it when I come across nice updates from my friends. It’s so strange how far we have got and how different our lives have become.

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This week I crossed path with friends I hadn’t seen since high school. It was super lovely to catch up with them and they inspired this post 🙂

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Can I Tell You A Secret?

Last year, I went through a thing. We’ll call it a ‘thing’ because it has no real definition. It wasn’t a singular event. It really is just a ‘thing’ because it kinda just happened. In my mind, anyway.

I wonder if people have noticed. How I’ve become a seemingly bolder, more assured version of myself. Maybe not. It wasn’t like it happened in one day. It happened quite gradually, perhaps they barely noticed anything happening.

At the time, I had become so tired of second-guessing my every move, being overly anxious and unknowingly allowing others to hold power over my decisions (well, if they say that’s the right thing to do, then I’ll just follow their word…). So one day my mind switched to the complete opposite. I’d lost any ounce of fear I had in me. Consequences no longer scared me. If I made the wrong decision, it was because I made that decision. Nobody else. The responsibility is my own.

I was no longer afraid of taking the wrong path. I no longer allowed anybody else to pick my answers for me. Because although I didn’t realise it at the time, I no longer wanted to hold other people accountable for my actions.

If I ran into obstacles, then I would climb them. If I fell, I would pick myself back up. I’m not afraid to fight. And I’m not afraid to do things for myself anymore instead of relying on others.

It was, perhaps, a slightly dangerous way to live. Having absolutely no fear at all. Jumping headfirst without thinking. The complete opposite to my overthinking, toe-dipping method I’d become so used to. In truth, I really didn’t mind what could’ve happened to me because I was too busy making myself run into the action. I think I was having some serious manic moments.

But it was liberating. To no longer be held back by such anxiety. Although perhaps a severe way of realising it, I learned what it felt like to embrace your decisions without feeling so afraid.

Fortunately, I feel I’m in a more balanced place now. Admittedly, I do still get moments where I overthink. But I’m working on it and I do try to stop myself from unproductively overthinking.

When I think about it, my inner-Tohru (bright, cheerful, optimistic) is still prevalent but I think the small percentage which held my inner-Misaki (fierce and determined) has really grown in the last few months. I love both characters for their selflessness and courage, so I think this is a good combination to strive for!

I’ve deemed 2017 a year of two themes. One is of ‘finding myself’ which seems to be happening nicely on its own. The other is ‘nice unexpected surprises.’ Which, again, seems to be happening nicely on its own in terms of myself but I also deliberately chose this as a personal goal aimed at other people. I want to try and give as many people a ‘nice unexpected surprise’ as possible. When I think of how happy they might feel to receive such a surprise, it makes me so excited to plan even more!

And that… is my secret 🙂

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Not Today!

If you can’t fly, run
Today we will survive
If you can’t run, walk
Today we will survive
If you can’t walk, crawl
Even if you have to crawl, gear up
Point, aim, shoot!

Today, I wanted to share this song!

I don’t know any Korean and when I first listened to this song, I had no idea what the lyrics were other than “No! Not today!” But it sounded really energetic and empowering.

After looking up the lyrics, turns out I wasn’t wrong 🙂 This song is full of encouragement to help us keep going, keep fighting and to not give up!

It’s been my new song to listen to every morning. It really puts me in a good mood to continue doing my best, no matter how many times I’ve fallen over.

Also I love the dance routine 🙂

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Find Things To Remind Yourself… of Yourself

I once read a quote: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

I don’t fully agree with it because we, ourselves, should be aware of our own person and can find ways of improving ourselves.. But I can see where they’re coming from. It’s not uncommon to be influenced by the people we spend time with.

Life throws a lot of curve balls at you and circumstances can make you question or forget about things about yourself. Sometimes we put on a mask in an attempt to fit in and slowly, without realising, we become that mask.

For me, I like to remind myself through characters. I guess it isn’t untrue to say that the characters you watch on TV or read in a book are characters that you “spend time with.”

And there are occasions where I think to myself: “what would my favourite character do in this situation?” It can be surprisingly helpful, especially if you have various characters who would act differently. You can then choose the one you think would suit the situation best.

For me, there are two main characters who guide me through everything:

  • Tohru Honda is my pinnacle for kindness, politeness and cheer.
  • Misaki Ayuzawa is my go-to when I need to be a little more feisty and confident, unafraid to stand up for what I believe.
  • And I look to both of them when I need self-encouragement, to never give up and put 110% into everything I do.

I should really start asking myself “what would they do?” questions more often. I sometimes catch myself thinking “is this really who I am?” when I start to forget myself in order to fit into an environment. True, it’s inevitable that we go through change – I just want to make sure the change will always be a positive one.

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At The End Of The Day, What Is Most Important To You?

There have been so many conflicting thoughts in my head. Just when I think I’ve sorted them all out, they come rushing at each other again.

In fairness, these thoughts always seem coaxed out by the same thing. I should avoid that.

Because at the end of the day, I’m not the most important thing in the world. I understand my worth but I get my joy from seeing happiness in others. Therefore, I am not the most important – because they are.

I never was any good at this “look after number one” stuff. Maybe I need to work on that.

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Dare To Feel Awkward… and Be More Loved For It

I think you have to be unafraid of awkward situations. Because after the potential awkwardness has subsided and you see everyone still likes you as you are, you start to understand that – even with your strange quirks and things that you may think are a bit odd – those are things that only make you more lovable. And you start to realise that maybe there was no need to feel awkward in the first place.

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If It’s The Current Me…

“If it’s the current me, I can do this proudly…” – Misaki Ayuzawa, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

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Some years ago, I wrote a character. She was, in essence, me. Not completely identical but she was heavily based on how I saw myself. Now when I look at that character, I feel that I relate to her and she is most definitely still part of me. But she no longer resembles the current me.

The person I was three years ago… there are so many things she wouldn’t have been brave enough to do.

In truth, the person I was three months ago wouldn’t have been able to do many of those things either.

Last year, I nudged myself out of my boundaries. This year? Life seems to be pushing me.

Life seems to be throwing me a few lessons by sending some… I guess you could say ‘challenges’ my way. I don’t know what else to call them. All I know is sometimes I wonder if the universe is enjoying itself as it plays tricks on me.

I could blame life for playing around with me. But what’s the point in that? There’s nobody to hold responsible for such things happening… and I don’t want to pin blame on anyone either. The only person I should be holding accountable for anything is me. That’s all I can control after all.

I mean I try not to be too hard on myself – well I’m working on that. We’re all human, it’s okay if we slip up occasionally.

But I’m proud that I’ve come this far. I’m proud to be able to do the things I couldn’t do before. There are moments when I’m screaming in my head “Look here, life. This isn’t funny!” But I am partly glad for what I’ve gone through. There are some things you don’t realise until you have to go through them yourself. And if nothing else, this gives me the chance to properly help others who might go through similar things in future.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned… it’s that things are always okay in the end. Even if they take time or you have to go through a myriad of trials first… in the end, it’ll be okay.

What a growing year this is turning out to be… and it’s barely been two months yet.

🙂

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