20 Things I Learned In 20 Years

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in twenty years.

  1.   People suck.
  2.   Forgiving is hard.
  3.   Give before you get.
  4.   I’m not alone.
  5.   Comparing is unfair.
  6.   Wounds heal.
  7.   Timing counts.
  8.   Regret nothing.
  9.   Life goes on.
  10.   Do not envy.
  11.   Things happen for a reason.
  12.   People come and go.
  13.   Friends are important.
  14.   Mental health matters.
  15.   Appreciate art.
  16.   Be kind to strangers.
  17.   Do what makes me happy.
  18.   How to say no.
  19.   Stay true to who I am.
  20.   Love myself.
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Trying To Multi-Task

Sometimes we think it’s a good idea to multi-task, but then reality happens. And instead of being insanely productive, we don’t do things as effectively or efficiently as we’d like.

I say this as I’m multi-tasking.

I know how difficult it is to focus on one task for an extended period of time. But I think now, more than ever before, human beings need to focus, to concentrate. Easier said than done. But we aren’t doing ourselves any favours by trying to multi-task everything in life.

I realize there’s a lot going on at any given time. We have many responsibilities and obligations, interests and hobbies. Still, I see the value in focusing on one thing at a time whenever possible.

Having our attention divided, specifically when we’re doing work that requires it doesn’t do wonders for anyone.

We don’t retain as much information when we’re listening to a professor lecture while also messaging friends in addition to shopping online. We don’t write as well if we’re watching TV and talking to a friend at the same time.

I’m not perfect. But I’ve gotten better at giving important tasks my undivided attention because I can’t always afford to spilt my attention. Everything suffers when I do.

I’ve also found that each time I resist giving into temptations while in class or in the middle of a task, I reinforce the habit.

Sometimes I just can’t let distractions deter me.

I used to be better at reading for a longer period of time without wanting to checking my phone. Nowadays, I rarely sit down for a couple of hours with a book and read uninterrupted.

I know my attention span isn’t quite like it used to be, which is a tragedy. But at least I’m aware of my flaws, some of them anyway.

I want to recognize when I shouldn’t divide my attention, when I shouldn’t multi-task. I need to resist temptations more often, especially when I’m doing work that requires critical thinking.

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts like whether or not you think I’m insane.

Education, Ego, Expectation

We’ve reached that point in the semester where professors start crushing my fragile ego.

What a time to be alive.

But I’ll manage somehow.

I still don’t know how I did so well in my first year. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as jaded. I’m much more cynical now as well. Or maybe it’s because I actually read the assigned articles and books.

Second year was an inconsistent one. I was all over the place with my grades. I did better in some courses than others, which makes sense. But the negativity bias gets me every time. So I tend to focus on all the bad marks rather than the good ones.

I’m not sure how the rest of this year will play out, but if I’m failing miserably and drowning in school work, you’ll hear all about it.

As someone who prioritizes my passions among other things, I’m still content with where I stand right now. Although if you give me another month, I might change my mind. I’m human after all.

Let’s talk about opportunity cost, shall we? I’m aware the time I spend dancing every day could be spent studying. But I choose to dance. And that isn’t going to change even if I’m not getting a 4.0 GPA.

Many things matter more to me than my grades. My health. My happiness.

Because I have high expectations for myself, I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy with any mark. Oh, a 90? That’s not a 95, is it? An A-? Why not an A+?

Maybe I should never check my grades ever again. I’m fairly confident I won’t fail anything. I don’t have to worry about that. If I did, I’d be a complete wreck.

Ignorance is bliss. What you don’t know can’t hurt you.

Or perhaps I should check all my grades and have my ego destroyed every single time.

Either way, I don’t benefit. You just can’t win as a student, can you?

All this being said, I love learning. I’m grateful to be able to get an education. I hope I never take that for granted.

I’m fortunate. I’m lucky. I can’t imagine not being able to go to school. I can’t imagine not knowing how to read or write. And my heart breaks for everyone out there who aren’t in a position to learn.

I still think I’ll jump for joy and do cartwheels around my house when I graduate in 2019. I can’t wait. I’m excited to experience life after school.

There’s so much I want to do. And turning down full-time job offers because I’m a full-time student isn’t something I want to do my whole life.

For now, I’ll try to enjoy the good things about being a student and embrace the bad.

Fears, Doubts, And Uncertainties

Because almost nothing in life is a guarantee, there will always be some degree of uncertainty to it.

I’m at a point in life where I have doubts. I don’t know as much as I’d like to. I have more questions than answers.

I feel somewhat scared when I think about the future, especially imagining worst-case scenarios. What if nothing works out?

As I get older, there are more things I’m expected to do that I’ve never done before. Obligations and responsibilities galore. Being an adult isn’t so glamorous.

First time for everything, right? Oftentimes the first anything isn’t easy. First job. First love. First house.

Taking things one day at a time helps. Otherwise, I’d get overwhelmed thinking about my life thirty years from now.

After all, we only ever have right now. This very moment. The present.

Even though I joke about being old, I’m only twenty. I haven’t been around that long. I still have so much to experience. If anything, I’m just getting started.

When I was younger, I felt more confident in myself. I believed in my abilities. But right now, I’m not so sure.

I feel like I’m standing on uneven ground.

To be frank, I’m not where I want to be. Far from it. Hopefully, I’ll get where I want to go sooner rather than later. When the time is right, I’ll get to my destination.

I don’t feel ready or prepared at all for anything. But that’s okay. I’ll learn as fast as I can. I can always get better.

I can’t redo some firsts. But I can use those experiences the second time around, the third, so on and so forth.

Who cares if I fail the first time? Who cares if I don’t do well right away?

So what if I lose instead of win? So what if I get rejected 99 times out of 100?

If everything came easy, what would be the point of doing anything at all?

Writing this has given me some much needed perspective. I hope it helps anyone out there who needed to hear these words.

No matter what happens, you’re going to be okay.

A Life Update You Didn’t Ask For

As I’m prone to do, I’ve been thinking a lot. Which is how this post of thoughts came to be.

I think I like the idea of making changes to this blog more than I like making change.

Obviously, my brain obsesses over blogging when I’m swamped with schoolwork. But maybe over the holidays, I’ll tinker with things.

Somehow, NaNo is in full swing. To be quite honest, I’m not trying to reach 50,000 words or any kind of a word count for that matter. Right now it’s enough to write every day even if the words are terrible.

I’m writing prose. I hope to start a novel and see the story through until the end. So far so good.

In a perfect world, I’d make writing my first priority. But I don’t live in a perfect world. It’s still a priority, just not my first or only.

My reasoning is when I’m eighty years old I won’t be able to dance to the extent I can now. I doubt my body will respond well to doing cartwheels then. Though I like to believe I’ll still be able to write when I’m an old lady.

For that reason, I’m trying to dance as much and as well as I can at this age.

Dance isn’t something I bring up much on this blog. I wonder if I should. There are definitely parallels I can draw between dancing and writing, blogging.

On another note, I’m quite pleased with my reading. Not so with my reviewing. I’m horribly behind in editing and posting book reviews.

I realize I’m better at keeping up with fictional novels than I am with non-fiction. Still, I try to read some non-fiction on the subway ride home, even though I don’t say so on Goodreads. I’m just more casual with my non-fiction reading.

Overall, I’m doing the best I can. That’s what matters to me.

I debated not bringing up school, but since I’m a full-time student, I figured I will. Despite all the assignments due this month and next, I’m managing. I haven’t failed anything. I like to believe I won’t.

If you’ve read this far, kudos to you. I hope you’re doing well. Wishing you the very best life has to offer. Take care. I want to see you around here.

 

Thinking About Taking A Break From Blogging

It seems as though thinking about taking a break from blogging is becoming a trend for me. A few times every year I consider going away on an extended hiatus. More often than not, I weather the storm and ride things out. Interestingly, when I think about not blogging for a few days or weeks even, I’m inspired to blog more.

That being said I didn’t post yesterday. I had a massive headache and couldn’t function like abnormal human being. So I took some medicine before trying to sleep it off. I’m feeling much better if you’re wondering, which you probably weren’t.

Whenever I entertain the idea of skipping a day or twenty, it’s mainly because I feel busy. That’s not my biggest concern this month.

To be honest, I haven’t been too motivated or excited about blogging as of late. I figured taking a few days off might help.

But if there’s one thing I am it’s stubborn. I don’t like the idea of not publishing a post every day. I almost forced my drugged up self to blog yesterday until I thought better of it.

Regardless of what’s going on in my personal life, I want to put in a little bit of work as often as possible.

I won’t give up this gig anytime soon. I hope I can figure everything out. I just know what I’m doing now doesn’t feel right.

Maybe my high expectation syndrome is rearing its ugly head.

I also wouldn’t go say far as to say I’m burnt out. At least not from blogging.

I like to think I’m not bored either.

I’m just set in my ways. So stubborn in how I operate that when things turn out differently, a part of me isn’t happy with the result.

It’s like I have this specific but vague vision of what this blog should be and how my posts need to look. Otherwise, I’m shaking both of my fists at myself.

Nevertheless, the more I blog, the more I realize how little I enjoy editing, especially in comparison to writing. I’ve been procrastinating proofreading and publishing. This issue has contributed to how I’ve been feeling lately.

As a teenager, I used to manage my time better. All that went out the window way too soon.

Don’t ever believe someone who tells you blogging is easy.

Going Without The Internet For 6 Hours

So the other day my internet service provider decided to fail me for about 6 hours. It stopped working after 2 p.m. The company got it back up around 9 o’clock at night.

Without access to more modern technology, I read a bit. Then I spent a lot of time dealing with a stubborn kitchen sink. Not exactly how I imagined my day when I woke up in the morning.

About halfway through the baseball game, our TV service was interrupted. So I missed a good part of the game.

During that period, I made several trips to a hardware store in hopes of fixing a leaky kitchen sink. My family eventually replaced the old kitchen sink with a new one.

My original plan consisted of reading a lot and staying at home to relax. Unfortunately, I didn’t read much. Even more unfortunate, the faucet fix was more stressful than it should’ve been.

Life happened. Still, the world isn’t going to end. Somehow that day worked out okay. Not perfect or ideal but then again when is life ever either?

I kept reminding myself the sun will rise tomorrow, and so will I.

I was feeling antsy because I wasn’t sure if the internet would work before midnight. I try to publish a blog post every day, and I hadn’t published one yet. I shouldn’t procrastinate until the last hour. But I do all the time.

It’s been a transitional time for me. I’m doing my best to stay positive by looking on the bright side and appreciating the little things in life. Cliché, I know. But I’m being honest.

I’m glad I still have a safe space with this blog in a crazy world.

After My First Day Of School

I’m writing this after my first day of school. Third year of university to be exact.

It wasn’t an eventful day. I had two classes. I’m glad it’s over.

I didn’t feel as nervous or worried this year. In fact, I very much look forward to learning in a classroom setting again.

Here’s an abridged version of my day:

I woke around six. Then I willed myself to fall back asleep.

I got out of bed after 8:30. I ate, read, and exercised. Then I left the house.

I took a bus and then the subway to get downtown. I wrote poems on the way there. I’m writing this post on the way back.

I had two classes back to back. Both related to media. During the short time I had after the first class, I ate a late lunch.

I realize this is boring. Nothing exciting happened. I’m not that interesting of a personto begin with.

I plan to stretch and dance soon after I get home.

My goal for tonight is to read more. I only had time for one short chapter in the morning.

I’m also going to edit a blog post and publish it before midnight. I have about a thousand drafts. I doubt I’ll ever let that number get down to zero.

I love journaling before bed. I enjoy reflecting upon the day.

Isn’t my life so much fun to read about?

I do the same things every 24 hours, which means I won’t be recounting my day anytime soon. I wouldn’t bore you like that. Instead, I’ll bore you with my opinions about anything and everything.

Sometimes I wonder whether I should publish the personal posts I write. There are tons among those one thousand drafts. There’s an annoying voice in my head that says no one cares. But I care, which is what matters.

More often than not, I write these posts for myself.

Hopefully, you’re able to take something away from them.

Feeling Behind In Blogging

I’m behind on a lot of things, especially with this blog. I blame school. OK, fine postseason baseball too.

I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up. That’s okay. There will always be more work to do and not enough hours in the day.

I try to write and blog every day. I don’t have a problem doing so. But because I handwrite, I have to transcribe what I’ve written onto WordPress at some point.

I’ve been struggling to keep to say the least. I have poems and stories I wrote in 2016 still not typed up. And blog posts dating back to last month.

Luckily over the summer, I kept up with blogging quite well.

Then school started.

By the time a post is ready for publication, it’s dated. Not even relevant sometimes.

As university gets busier, I fall more behind. I can only dream of catching up.

Since I’m someone who likes being on top of things and feeling like I have my life together, this situation doesn’t bode well with my psyche.

Even if I had an entire month where I didn’t have anything else to do, I’m not sure I’d be able to type up all my written poems, posts.

Aside from falling behind, I’m also a bit overwhelmed. Books and baseball don’t mix. Who would have thought?

Word by word. Day by day. I write those lines in my journal as a reminder to myself. I can’t get to the end without first beginning and focusing on what’s next. Tomorrow happens tomorrow after all.

I don’t have to write or blog, much less do so every day. But I want to. And so I do my best to make it happen.

If I was just a student I’d have a lot more time. I will never be one thing and one thing only. I’m a writer, a blogger, a reader. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I’m a friend. I’m all these things and so much more.

Finding that balance is perhaps the toughest, trickiest part.

I only have so many hours in the day and so much energy to expend on any given project.

As much as I want to do almost everything, I can’t. But I’d much rather do a few things well than do a lot of stuff badly.

 

Making The Most Of Unproductive Days

Unproductive days are okay. Sometimes you deserve to relax. Other times you have to be productive out of necessity.

Regardless, you can’t work all day, every day for 365 days of the year.

Life happens. Unforeseen events and circumstances occur. That’s how it always has been. How it always will be.

We can have the best intentions. We can make elaborate plans. But our intentions don’t always result in the things we expected or desired. Besides, plans fall through.

It’s tough to feel like you’ve let a perfectly good day go by. As if you wasted 24 hours. But if you were happy, if you spent some of the time doing what you wanted, would you say that’s wasted time? Or would you think it’s time well spent?

Perhaps you weren’t productive in the morning. But what’s stopping you from having a productive afternoon or evening?

Maybe you spend 8 hours sleeping and lying in bed every day, give or take. But if you work hard for even just 2 or 6 hours, you can still get a lot done.

Never let one bad thing have a domino effect on everything else. Never allow one negative person to ruin all the positives in your life.

In a perfect world, everything would be optimized all the time. But you don’t live in a perfect world. So one day you might prioritize blogging over reading. Another day it could be writing over editing. What’s the problem?

At least you’re making progress on something. And you’re doing what makes you happy.

Productivity isn’t just about getting a lot of work done. Because there’s so much more to life than just work.

Maybe working easy on the right things is better than working hard on the wrong things.