The Conversation with a Stranger

C: It sounds like you might also be holding yourself to the expectation to be in control of your cognitive state, and that might be stressful.

M: Should we not be in control of our cognitive state?

C: We are always under the influence of our surroundings. There are hundreds of people that we crossroads with, and thousands of things to take care of in our own lives. It makes sense how difficult it might be for someone to be in control of the constant twirling of life.

M: Yet we have to somehow push through it.

C: Just remember that you are heading somewhere. There’s a place waiting for you to settling in and to finally relax. Every emotion is guiding us somewhere and building our lives to have meaning. I’m so glad that your emotions guided you here today.

M: That’s an interesting thing isn’t it? Because our emotions do in fact guide us and we can see that everything that has ever happened to us led us to this very moment, yet despite the feeling that things do happen for a reason, my inability to see the whole of it or the end of it is really bothering me.

C: Perhaps it’s better not to see the whole of everything, for that might be overwhelming. Since no one can be completely all-knowing, how do we know that there’s a whole truth out there… Maybe knowing more just leads to more unanswered questions. This nature of life makes it infinitely subjective. Only we would know the endings of our lives and the places where we end up.

M: This is spot on. My issue is that I have hard time accepting that whatever truth lies before us, it is not meant for us to know, which leaves you to live in a sort-of blind faith that things are going to be fine. At the same time, since you have already had a glimpse of it, you can never truly return to the comfort of ignorance and as you said, it is entirely subjective, which often makes it lonely and hard to express with other people, especially if you do not have many close people by your side to begin with.

C: Wow…chatting with you makes me so happy…it’s often difficult to share feelings with someone else because it takes so much courage and patience to formulate such complex emotions into words. It would be the best feeling in the world for one to have a connection with another being without the restriction of such complications.

M: It really would. But perhaps this is what makes the game of life fun – the reward of doing the seemingly impossible. To both find another person you can delve into the abyss with and a way to express all of these intense emotions and thoughts into language.

C: That does sound very beautiful. + ❤️

7 Cups

August 2020

Ending to My Club Experience: Lessons Learned

I’ve been keeping a venting channel for the many extracurricular that I’m doing as a highschool Junior. I’m doing an average of 6 hours of club meetings and I have to host the great majority of them, so that adds to the pressure immensely.

For one of my biggest club, we’ve decided to take a break. Scrolling through my venting journal, it took me back to all the moments of pain and joy that carried me through this journey.

My proudest achievement is being about to let go the fear of other people’s opinions of me and focus on what really mattered. Taking that step back allowed me the much needed space to breathe. Another one is persistence because preparing for two meetings to host every week isn’t easy, and I worked very hard on it. All those difficult evenings of stressing out before the meeting gave me an insight into how I handle myself in high stress situations. Those moments were the lowest, yet, most memorable moments of my week.

From the lows there are also highs, where I was able to see the impact that I’m having on my club members, building a community in which people care about. It’s the magic of bonding with people that I drove me through the repeating trials of suffering, working, and achieving, all happening in the span of a single 6-9 pm. It got me to know how it feels to really work hard for something, even if you don’t really achieve anything the end.

How suffocating it feels when all the doors are closed and how liberating the light feels when a window suddenly opens.

In the end, what mattered the most is building my resilient mindset, and the real warmth that I experienced when the group worked together, when I felt that people have got my back, and I belonged in this community.

A Choice to Savor Consciously

We go about most of our days as empty-headed zombies. For me, being locked inside my room because of quarantine robs me of my passion and motivation. However, an interesting phenomenon I found was that it was easier for me to do creative work during the hour of the sunset. I think this is because of the immense passion I felt during one sunset walk; buried in messy thoughts from school, the beauty of nature captivated me and released me from my mental spiraling.

One View Outside the Window

Since that experience, I consistently go for a sunset walk, during which the warm lights enable the cultivation of many great ideas for my writing pieces. I also started a personal blog named Conscious Hour to record some of the ideas and compile them into my personal philosophy. I chose to savor the moment consciously because I believe that in a day of our busy, disorientating lives, finding a time of spiritual connection allows our creative mindset and passion to flow through the blockade of negative thoughts and emotions. Doing so, we can better ground ourselves through reflection and deep breaths, before moving forward.

Staying Motivated to Work Out

The first five second on the treadmill feels unbearable. The muscles in my leg screaming for me to stop the sudden strain after resting and sitting around on a typical quarantine day.

It has been fourteen months into the pandemic and numerous failed attempts to get myself on to the treadmill. After throwing my workout plans out of the window for the last time, I finally found a way that worked wonderfully and like nothing before!

Today is day two into my workout routine: that is running 20 minutes on the treadmill, a small challenge but never to be underestimated. I discovered that listening to the songs by Ev e, a Japanese singer that I found on Youtube, energizes me so much that I’m actually having fun during the usually devastating 20 minutes. It’s the exhilarating competition between the fast beats of the music and my pace of running that puts me on the thrill to not slow down. I’m currently working to finish a two hour playlist, which will be 6 sessions. And at the end of it, I’ll be able to look back and check off this accomplishment.

Opening Statement

Hey there, looks like you’ve found your way to my blog, the Conscious Hour. I appreciate having you here very much, and I hope you can find something you like. This is a place that I’ve built for myself, to foster the connection I feel to the core of who I am, and I wish to share my thoughts and experiences with you and bring you along in my journey of self-love.

This project is a considerable commitment for me because I don’t any experience with blogging. I’m fearful of writing my blogs the wrong way and embarrassing myself. But the value outweighs the risks in my view–because I want to see the effects of doing my usual self talk in the public sphere and, perhaps, I would feel less lonely.

So, here are some ideas that I have for the blog:

  • Journal entries (authentic, emotionally compacted, a conversation with myself)
  • Book reviews (mostly philosophic)
  • Mental health tips (reflective, specific activities)
  • Sunset treatment (how to experience the best hour of the day through music, podcasts, and the view)

I think that’s going to be all for this welcome letter. I hope to see you again soon!

Catherine