My struggle as a child was to be outspoken, to be an advocate, to be as confident as the other kids. I used to be an extreme introvert. It’s not what I wanted initially. I wished that I’m like the other kids; able to freely communicate their minds like a wind flowing swiftly from their lips. I was reluctant to say a lot of things with the fear of saying the wrong things. All these thoughts in my head I knew it made sense but I had to bottle it up simply because I was an introvert. As I grow up, the world taught me to be expressive but you also must be smart. Say things that are necessary, they say. Tell adults what they want to hear. Listen to what society dictates me. All these I struggled to do because the child in me wanted something different. I want to be the voice my heart and my mind wants. And as I grow up, I learned to let go of these feelings. And so these were all contained in a bottle, and I’m letting it flow and swim through the tides of the ocean. Until we meet again…
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
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Give me some happy pill.
I’m happy when my hormones are happy. And it’s really complicated as that. At 5, I am happy to see my Mom smile, to see my Dad laugh and to see my siblings play around the backyard. At 10, I’m happy I got good grades; Mom will be very proud. At 12, I’m happy to be with my friends eating at the school canteen. At 15, I’m happy to find out I have the chance to pursue college. At 19, I’m happy to know I’m graduating. At 23, I’m happy to have found a job. At 25, I wish my life was better. At 27, where are all these anxiousness coming from? At 30, where can I find happiness?
A millennial’s definition of happiness.
I received my first paycheck. I got promoted. My family loves me. I have few but good friends. I have food on the table. I earned some, I lost some. I go to the beach or hike up the mountains. Life is great, I take advise from random posts on Facebook and they dictate what happiness really means: travel, save money, eat voraciously, be with the person you love, enjoy quality time with family. You name it they have it.
Then anxiety happened to me.
I want more. I ache to do more. I like to go to some places more. More means happiness. More means endless possibilities. More means I can conquer the world. I was wrong. Because more means you’re discontented. More means eyeing for things I don’t need. More means I am getting old to do more. More means I’m not enjoying life enough, according to what I read. More means I define my life based from what I see on social media and it’s vast and it’s endless posts of wanting more is totally uncontrollable that I don’t know what can give me happiness anymore. Then I think about things that hasn’t happened yet. I think of the worse. I think negatively and it feels like I’m high on illegal drugs and yet I haven’t even had one. Topsy-turvy. It’s difficult to be anxious. It’s difficult to be happy in the middle of a long line of social media do’s and don’ts based from someone else’s standard.
Then I learned to slow down.
I was reminded to slow down. I saw a reflection that shed light to my endless questions and my darkened thoughts of pure bliss and anxiety. I slowed down. I took a step back. I reminisced. I reflected. From my head above the clouds I learned to bring it to the ground. I looked back when I was younger and remembered what happiness means. To appreciate the little things. To maximize your own potential to do better. To not compete with someone else but to compete with myself. Am I happy? So I choose to battle anxiety. I choose to not meet the standards of society. I choose ME… Yes, I choose to be happy.
Happiness vs Money
Some people say money can buy happiness. It can make you happy by buying a car, purchasing the latest smart phone or buying your dream house. Some would buy designers’ clothing; go to expensive restaurants or reward themselves on a good vacation. Honestly, that’s an amazing feeling, to be able to buy what you want. You worked hard for it. You sacrificed your energy and time to make ends meet.
Time vs Family
My sister got the latest Macbook laptop. My brother has the latest smart phone. My Dad got his dream car. My mom works 2 jobs. And I, I live miles and miles away from my family just to make ends meet. If you were to ask me, if I sacrificed my time just to have a small amount of money on my bank account, yes I did. I didn’t just sacrifice my time, I exerted effort using my energy helping a corporate company make more millions. The company made money out of its employees. And the employees, with the small salary they’re getting, they thought they were earning enough, not knowing that the company is making more and more money from the time and energy they received from these people. Was it worth it? For employees who lived with their families nearby, maybe. For me, and the rest of the other people I represent, no it isn’t. We live faraway from our families and money cannot buy back the time you were supposed to spend with your family. SO what I’m trying to say is, while we enjoy the fruits of our labor, we must double the time we spend to our family.
Glory vs Humanity
How many people would kill for glory? Being an observer myself, a lot of people will identify glory as receiving as many trophies, medals and badge of honours as their greatest achievement. Good for them because they earned and deserved it. But let me ask you, how many of these people have taken their time to serve humanity using their so-called talents and intelligence? I can’t name a lot, but I know a very few people. Some would post it on social media to inspire, some would do it privately just because. That’s just a portion of the billions of people around the world though and not many of us will prioritize serving the humanity because we believe that we are more glorified with the tangible awards we’re getting from the eyes of the society. I sometimes think it’s a joke, being able to witness people trying to bring down other people all for the sake of glory. It’s a dog-eat-dog-world indeed, to some. Sadly, not all of us are very sincere when it comes to helping others.
Money Isn’t Everything
I speak to my fellow INFJs on your behalf, to be able to spread words and promote kindness, understanding and love for their families and to the many people around the world who needs it; to the ones who cling to it like it’s the most valuable gift they can ever receive; to pass on this message to other people. That even though we are sometimes failing as an individual, at least we’re trying. At least we’re trying. And it’s never too late to pass on the love you received. Pay it forward. Give it to others who need it. It’s the least we can do when money is the only thing most of us value most.
Sunsets are a symbol of a day going to end.
I always thought it depressing to see a day becoming hazy and dark until I enjoy watching the sun set beautifully from the horizon. It’s not only pleasing to the eye but it’s also a sign to close your eyes, rest and hustle for the next day. I took this photo while scrolling through Facebook, I sat on a very fine sand, I was just enjoying the view.
I live in a city with concrete jungle around me.
People always hustle. People are busy. People are always on the go. Sometimes we fail to appreciate what’s around us. Sometimes we just need a a place to calm our minds and the best place to do that is to go to the nearest beach near you around 4 PM and wait for the sunset. Close your eyes. Imagine how busy you are the past week. But imagine a better day ahead while the orange sky is almost blinding you.
Everything has an end; everything has new beginnings.
Throughout your entire life; whether you’re a busy mom, a single person travelling, a business owner or what-not; take time to rest and enjoy what is in front of you everyday. You’re a warrior, you face daily battles that no one is aware of. Be inspired by the sunset, it means tomorrow you’ll have a brighter day.
Coffee has always, always helped me in times of difficulties and I can’t fathom living my mundane life without it. I shall name my future offspring COFFEE or CAFFEINE. I mean, maybe. Haha. But that’s not the only reason.
Energizer. I am more productive with coffee. In fact, I am more enthusiastic, more positive, more cheerful when I get a mug full of coffee. I get better ideas to write; I am more creative; and I am more motivated to work for the whole day.
Anti-oxidant. That’s what researchers say. And I’ve witnessed people telling me you don’t look your age (why thank you very much, bless your wonderful heart!). Just praising myself a bit there, hopefully no one noticed.
Peacemaker. You don’t like your co-worker? Destroy the gap by offering coffee. You made misunderstanding with your Mom? Make her coffee. Pulling an all-nighter for a group project? Offer to buy coffee. Oh, I can’t count the number of times I’ve made friends by just talking about coffee.
Creativity. At times I would just sit down at the corner of Starbucks and think of what I’m going to do the whole day and I get to have lots of ideas in mind more than I can imagine when I’m not drinking one.
Go-to comfort. I don’t know how many times I’d stare blankly and imagine life; (things that were, things that are, and things that will happen next). Yeah I quoted Galadriel a bit. But I know somewhere out there will read this and say “I feel you”.
Cheers! Happy drinking! ☕️
1. TRAVEL – no matter the distance, short or long, travel will rejuvenate your spirit and it’ll stir your mind how fantastic it is to travel; gives you a moment of peace and quiet as well.
2. PRIVACY – not everyone gets to receive a ticket to your personal life. You life isn’t a movie. Let people do their perceptions whether it’s wrong or right. You don’t owe them any explanation. They don’t direct your life, YOU do.
3. KINDNESS – how many acts of kindness have you done this year? Did you expect anything in return? If you say yes to the latter question, my friend, you’re not acting in kindness. You’re thinking of business.
4. WISDOM – wisdom to realize and admit your own mistakes, it should make you grow. Nobody’s ever committed their mistakes and never learned, positive or negative.
5. DEVOTION – devote your time and energy to your family, they will always be a permanent mark in your life.
6. PATIENCE – not one of my talents but it sure kept my feet on the ground.
7. HUSTLE – your growth isn’t defined by the amount of your bank account nor the type of position you have in the community’s eyes; either way, you must hustle not to starve.
8. LISTEN – listen to feedback, listen to suggestions, listen for your own improvement. Your belief isn’t always right. And you don’t always see logic or reason as others do.
9. MUSIC – can’t imagine a person who don’t listen to music. Music sets your mood up. I clean the house while listening to music and trust me, it makes you more productive.
10. READ – read articles, read tips and hacks for life, read your favorite books, read what is being recommended to you. Reading kills ignorance.
11. EXPERIENCE – the things that you don’t do outside your comfort zone will always be the subject of regret in you own mind.
12. FORGIVE – never forgive an injury; never forget an insult. Haha, kidding. Forgive but never be a fool twice.
I breathe through these orange colors hanging up the sky.