I loved that game when I was a child. I was happy on the schoolyard following the leader especially if the leader was confident and knew how to play fairly. The leader who was also kind (the opposite of a bully) also made the experience so fun and made me want to play more. I never wanted that school bell to ring to signify recess was over. Some things haven't changed. I love and follow leaders who know their sh**, who play fair, and find ways to make it enjoyable even when the game can feel tough and unpleasant.
Where my mind wanders, rests, and flows
Ever work on a project and you feel like giving up? Me too. Ever question if all the work is worth it? Me too. It IS worth every ounce of tears, fears, and worry if you want the outcome bad enough. I have put the green light on dreams and yes, it IS worth sticking to the plan and getting to the destination. Just think of the postage stamp the next time you feel like giving up.
Travel shifts your energy and releases your story. Visiting unfamiliar places and meeting new faces unleash your spirit that's meant to be free.
Many ask if I still work. Depends on your definition of work. I do spend my time on things and activities that move my needle. Please note, I said my needle, not my mom's needle, or the pessimistic relative's needle. My needle. Over the years, I have deleted activities, habits, and people who don't contribute to my goals and dreams. Now that's work. Anyone on their own intentional journey of claiming their lives can probably relate to the whole control+alt+del sensation. I figured out that getting things done means clearing my headspace of lame thoughts that get in my own way. That's also work. Recognizing what is holding up the line and actually working to eliminate them takes A LOT of practice and courage especially since it's me calling out my own bs. Despite the battles and not-so-smooth bumps on the ride, figuring out your definition of work is pretty cool because eventually the seeds you planted along the way sprout into something beautiful.
Life hasn't been easy. Was always picked last on the kickball team in elementary school. ALWAYS. I was super shocked when I got picked second to last. I had thick glasses and bucked teeth. Flunked my high school geometry class. My GPA was nothing to be proud of especially since I attended a good school. Got fired from my first job at the candy store because I naively gave candy to friends who peer pressured me to. I cried during my first college presentation in front of 250 people. I put the patient bedpan backwards for months as a nursing aide only to find out I didn't pass my probation.
Did I feel low self-esteem? I sure did. Did I feel lousy? Yes. Was I depressed? Yes.
I carried those heavy feelings for years since childhood and I just thought I had to live like that forever. While I experienced gloomy days, it never dawned on me that I COULD uplift the situations. It was my normal, no biggie. My parents did not seem attuned to my needs but that wasn't a big deal either. They provided for me materialistically and financially. They probably thought I was doing okay because I went to school, ate the TV dinners they prepared while I was home alone, and I continued my daily life without major offenses. I just lived life as I knew it.
It was when I turned 25 that I worked side by side with Dr. Hill, a psychologist. We case managed high risk children in an urban elementary school. I never knew what psychologists did but I certainly appreciated her style of talking to others and how attentive she was with children and families. We got to know each other and it was the first time that someone actually cared how I felt. She asked how I was doing. I was listened to. She gave me nondemanding advice. She followed up with me. I didn't realize how powerful it was to have unconditional support that pushed me to deal with my insecurities and fears. She pointed out my strengths as well and that surely boosted my perspective of what's possible in life.
As I look back, I realize that I've unraveled quite a bit of my complexities (thank goodness) and I still continue to unravel each day. I'm so grateful that I worked with Dr. Hill who opened my eyes and heart to what it feels like to be in touch with myself.
Relationships are a two-way street. Not one way, but two. Based on two completely different humans coming together to co-exist in the name of sharing hopes, dreams, fears, and life. A solid relationship is the commitment to uphold those truths and figure out how to support, teach, and guide one another through the journey.
Joy will no longer stay in the trunk of the car with the rest of the emergency equipment like the jumper cables or the spare tire. Joy will no longer stay in the backseat keeping quiet as to not bother the driver. Joy will no longer hide underneath the car mats to be stepped on. Joy will no longer hide in the glove compartment with the random stuff shoved in there from years past.
Joy will sit in the front seat. Joy will be the driver to your destination.
Yes, good things do happen with patience and a LOT of hard work.
It’s not luck, it’s putting in the hard work and being READY when life knocks at your door.
Access to Warriors season tickets are a bucket list item for me and a dream come true. I put my name on the waiting list three years ago and boom, the day has come! I am ready!
I come from humble beginnings, like real humble. So humble that my father wasn’t educated past the 2nd grade, I qualified for free lunches in public school, I hardly had toys, and I struggled with being bullied because I was the frail kid with thick glasses and bony legs whose elementary school photos looked like I’m about to cry or pee in my pants (which I probably did). I was always the last one picked for the kickball team. Always.
Life hasn’t been easy BUT one thing that made the positive difference was that I was often surrounded by CARING parents and adults in a SAFE environment. I never felt that I was alone or neglected. My mom is really the hero in all this: she took on the US in the 60s as an immigrant (I cannot imagine leaving a country for another country and not turning back), she drove, bought a modest home, had a stable job and somehow figured out the formula for being a strong caretaker to me, my brother, and everybody else. Today, she is 84 and is a whiz at facebook, slot machines, and owns more Ugg boots than I do.
In high school I got exposed to skiing, 49er games, and college options outside of the local community college (stuff that my parents are not familiar with). These were “American” activities. What I experienced was a true perspective changer during those formative years. In college I got exposed to positive mentors who showed me what seeking higher aspirations does to one’s life. I will always be grateful to Dr. Ruth Hill, Dr. Melen McBride, my close circle of buddies, and a bunch of people who rock.
After college, I discovered therapy (the BEST HIDDEN GEM ever) and have never denied my need to run to that space until this day. I've had to unload a bunch of crap and memories to allow me to flourish into the life I have today. If you have access to EAP services at your job or school, go. It’s a secret world that no one has to know about [hashtag lifesaver].
I’m living example of what could happen with hard work, support, and trusting the journey ahead. If you work hard, your battle is 50% done. If you don’t have support, get it. If you have a hard time trusting, find ways to gain it back.
Imagine you are at your friend's annual BBQ. Guests slowly trickle in and the host suddenly remembers somebody has to be in charge of the burger bar. There's laughter in the backyard, a bunch of head nods, no one bites, and finally the host points at you to take it on. You oblige. You think, how hard could it be to throw patties on the grill and get cheese ready for the cheeseburger fans. The party starts to warm up, beer is being chugged, the wine bottles are getting poured and the crowd looking comfortable. Your first order comes in, "well done please". Sure. No problem. Patty one thrown onto the hot grill. Second order, "medium with a touch of rare". Okay, I know what that looks like. Cool. Third order, "medium with crispy edges but not burned". That sounds easy. That's how I like my burgers too. The patties are cooking, guests come over to the burger stand and you get distracted. You start laughing and cracking jokes too. You lose track of what's cooking. Uh oh. Burger one is almost burned (it's more like charred). You forget what order three wanted so you keep it cooking. Starts to feel chaotic and you start to feel bad because you may have screwed up the one simple thing that was asked of you. It was supposed be easy but you managed to lose sight and now the person who depended on you goes hungry and maybe even disappointed. You pray they will say it's okay and we all move on.
That scenario reminds me of life. We have so much to cook all at once: health, family, job, community, business, and you can even throw in keeping up with social media. A lot of moving parts all at once. Whatever you got going on in your life, it's important to keep an eye on what's "cooking". We have to periodically check on the patties, flip it over once in awhile, and sometimes chuck it out because we decided to have a veggie one instead. Maybe throw it on a toasted wheat bun with some hot sauce for zest. Maybe the fire underneath loses its heat and the time is taking way longer than planned. Time to get more charcoal and lighter fluid to keep the fire going or is it? Whatever the situation, keep an eye on what's on the grill at all times.
You are the cook of your life. What's on your menu?
Overcoming the hardest and most challenging tasks makes the journey all worth it.