You don’t give up.
Maybe it was immersing myself in TED Radio Hour, or preparing for the next 168-ish hours in Colorado, or writing a research paper that has me tearing every other paragraph, or keeping Eric Garner’s family in my heart on this third year anniversary of his death, or completing another MCAT review book, or feeling my quads of steel thanks to the horrid stairclimber, or reading about the first water park for people with disabilities, or it just being the week before Aunt Flo’s visit – I shortened my workout by 45 minutes tonight. I didn’t even hit half of the miles I was supposed to run today.
Listening to TED Radio Hour’s episode, Forgiveness, while running was a bad decision. Certain segments had me frozen, some tightened every muscle in my body, and others made me want to dash to the locker room to cry. I purposely avoided this episode while downloading podcasts for my trip, because my only thought was “I do not deserve forgiveness for the wrongs I have done.”
Prior to Forgiveness, I listened to A Better You and Wired for Altruism, both discussing traits I aspire to live by. Yet, both propelled me into a topic I didn’t want to face: closure. To become a better me and do good, I must accept everything that has come my way and who I am. So, I accepted that I am not as selfless, kind, patient, empathetic, and humble as I hope to be. I do not have a compelling story or laudable accomplishments. I am awfully shy, observant, and stick true to my INFJ personality. I prefer to live quietly — to hide in the shadows, blend into the walls, and secretly scribble down a speaker’s wisdom, but I want to create loud things.
I want to form a non-profit, build a business from the ground up, explore the correlation of Agent Orange and Vietnamese children born with mental and physical impairments, become a kickass pediatric surgeon who has the privilege of wearing cartoon scrubs for the rest of her life, find cures to a concerning large list of diseases, make a short film and documentary, write a book, make a ton of money just so I can create jobs and leave big tips and offer scholarships, have my family live comfortably, and so, so much more.
And it was today that I became conscious of how far I am from accomplishing any of the above. I haven’t even taken a minuscule of a step towards my wants. For once, ever since starting college, I see clear. I am content. I am at peace, but I am settling, being complacent, and not asking questions. I am afraid of this fresh breath of peace disappearing. I am holding onto words and actions of others and myself that wore me down and broke me into pieces that are now glued together but do not fit like they used to. I am afraid of being forgiven for the pain I have caused, the doubt I have instilled, and the anger I created – not just in others, but also myself.
Every speaker of Forgiveness delved into a different facet of me. It was difficult to hear my struggle in theirs and listen to the words I knew I needed but didn’t want to just yet. One said the pain that hurts the most is pain that we cannot reason with or understand, which was so on point that I stopped running right then and there. As I maneuver through life, I’ve learned that there are growing pains, lingering pains, and discernible pains. All of which should help us to become what we aspire to be.
For some, it may being that baker who kindly sneaks in an extra doughnut, a DJ who moves hearts with intricate movements of a turntable, or a dentist who asks about every family member – we must pursue it with all of our might. Let’s be unapologetic about our passions, generous with our empathy, and frivolous with our hope.
Today has been a kicker, as seen with this unorganized piece. It’s been an accumulation of unidentified emotions and unexpected spurs of inspiration. As discombobulated as the piece may seem, it’s actually a pretty accurate representation of what is going through my mind. It just feels so right though. After a summer of complacency and silence, it feels so good to be challenged. It’s time to forgive and be forgiven, to be loud, to be a somebody.
*Typically one recommendation, but today’s an exception!
Encouraged by Megan Tan’s podcast, Millennial, shocked by Jabbawockeez’s elimination on WOD, amazed by my farthest and fastest run ever since I fractured my ankle, or just being in my feelings – I finally embrace being personal, share my face on camera, and begin a new video series called Stream of Consciousness.
I posted the first installment, which’s topic is “You don’t always have to be at your best” today, so check it out when you have the chance! It’s ten minutes of rambling, unorganized thoughts, and straight up authentic Stacy. It’s new territory I’m entering, since I’m usually behind the camera or inserting clips of awe-striking scenes. Be prepared for lots of um’s, so’s, ands, simply’s, whys, and so much more.
In the video, I mention why I started this series: create video content, improve my speech, and clean out my brain. However, I didn’t mention that I am overcoming my avoidance of mirrors/screens/reflections. When I began losing control of my body and aspiration to recover, I stopped looking in mirrors and taking pictures. That last selfie I took was in 2016, disregarding the ridiculous selfies I take for the Snap (check out my foolery btw @tounearthme!). If I took any photos of myself, I’d saturate it in filters and edits or clever captions. I’m still not comfortable in my own body, but I’m learning to love it by feeding it, taking it for runs, and hugging it.
This series is quite meaningful to me, so I hope you all enjoy it! Being vulnerable is definitely not one of my strengths, but to grow as a sister, daughter, friend, and mentor, I must embrace this admirable skill.
Song Recommendation of the Post (SRP): 20 Something – SZA
If you texted me a year ago, I probably didn’t respond. If you text me now, I will respond. Just not in a timely manner. The simplest explanation for my horrendous flaw is I am not attached to my phone. I only check my emails twice a day, scarcely browse social platforms (how ironic?), and am embracing the sound around me by unplugging.
But enough of me justifying my lack of cellular dependance. That’s for another day. Back to the main topic of today’s piece.
I think the bravest thing I’ve done in a very, very long time is honestly turn down an invitation.
A couple of days ago, a friend invited me to hang out. I really wanted to go, but was at a crossroad. On one hand, I’d be around good company. On the other hand, my anxiety had been looming all afternoon. I knew it’d be good to go out and do something new, but I also knew that I was just too anxious to face the world.
So, I responded with “my brain isn’t working today”. If it was a year ago, I’d stare at the text and profusely apologize days later for responding untimely. However, now a year later, I am able to considerately apologize. Truth be told, I spent a solid ten minutes contemplating if I should even put out my baggage, but knowing my friend, he’d understand. If you’re reading this, thanks, man. I aspire to be as selfless as you and hope you know that everything you set your mind to can be accomplished.
You taught me that, by the way.
I’ve come a long way from where I was eighteen months ago. There are days where the desire to crawl into bed is infinite, but there are days where I can smile (with teeth!) at a stranger. I am now more in tune with my feelings and learning how to express them articulately. Yet, sometimes, articulation can be a hindrance, so I just let my voice out and ramble until I can organize my thoughts. Kind of like now.
I just hope to reach a point in my life where I do not feel guilty for the days I feel anxious and sad and can truthfully I express how I feel. It’s definitely a process, but a worthy one. Here’s to discovering self-expression and embracing self-love.
Song Recommendation of the Post (SRP): Lite Weight – Anderson .Paak
I’ve written dozens of “first blog posts” over the years that have never seen the light of day. However, this one will surface simply because it feels right. Everything just feels right for once and I feel confident in launching this creative space. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned to pursue my interests unapologetically and make that jump. Or it might be my need for an outlet of self-expression. Regardless, I’m excited to fully pursue this creative space called To Unearth.
I came across the word unearth when I was in Chicago. (If my hosts are reading this, hi! I love you all and still have your care package. Shipping was awfully expensive and impossible.) It’s only one word but it’s quite meaningful. Heck, I even have a pendant with the word on it, which was an indicator to label this place as To Unearth. The sole purpose of this creative space is to dig and discover something new, which can be epiphanous, inspiring, or pieces of ourselves.
In my first video, I reflect on the past six months of 2017 while showing you pieces of home. It’s been a whirlwind, but definitely kinder to me than 2016. I’ve gained wisdom and worked on self-love. I’m making my health a priority and training for a marathon. I’ve learned that I’m a person who hates smiling but adores laughing. As I get older, dark chocolate is tastier. Bullet journaling is my jam. Love will find me, so don’t worry about it. And most importantly, I’m growing, moving forward, and not looking back. Oh! Also to not get bangs ever again. I look like 14 year old version me who is ready to conquer high school. Not a good phase.
So yes, here I am, finally taking that jump to create this blog I’ve wanted to for so long. Not to extend this post any longer or get too sappy, I just want to thank everyone who’s stayed my by side. Through every disappearance and unresponded text, thank you for loving me. Your patience and selflessness inspires me to be a better person than I was yesterday. I’m hard to love (and I’m working on it!), so thank you. Without you all, I would not be who I am today. This is for you. Love you all.