A Self Care To-Do List

If the only way for you to be happy is getting into your dream school, you will never make it: because the reward that you are dreaming of won’t survive the distance of time.

In the final month of college apps and semester exams, I know that all the high school seniors need to be reminded of the little moments that makes us happy. We are valuing our self worth by the college that we get into, delaying our gratification by working until burnout, and dreaming of opening the acceptance letters. But what are we seeking? Happiness? The praise and recognition of other people?

The restless nights reminded me that I should do things just for the sake of it, and believe that happiness is fulfilling what I want to do at the moment. All the positive changes I can make right now, and it doesn’t have to wait until college. Happiness doesn’t live in the future.

Things that makes me happy:

  1. journaling and writing blogs
  2. self-care app
  3. showering
  4. candles
  5. taking walks
  6. hanging out with my cat
  7. running
  8. listening to music 24/7
  9. talking to friends online

There’s no perfect formula and sometimes it’s not clear if one activity will make you more happy. You have to be really aware of how your body is feeling: don’t grind homework if you overwhelmed, do something active instead.

Live in the moment, not for others nor the future, even when you are doing it unconsciously. You have to believe that at every moment, there’s something that you can do to make you feel better.

Alone in the Crowd: Back to School

Have I really grown in the past year or was it all an illusion? Everything is taken away because zoom is tripped away, and all my online skill went away with it. I’m more comfortable with my online identity than in person. I’m losing the protection of online interactions and going in raw in person feels so intimidating. It feels like I went back to the old days of social anxiety and loneliness and not enjoying my time at school at all because wits more troubled with other people’s perception of me. I’m pretending to be someone else but I’m scared to face that I might have regressed into not being about to fit in and make friends normally.

On the bright side, talking with my online friends made it better, and I didn’t keep crying.

The Golden Moon:

The past few days has been disastrous but all it took was a good tennis game with my brother and a beautiful sight of the golden moon. It looked like a gold coin in the sky, presented to me by the black soft background, like jewelry. It was the most beautiful moon I’ve ever seen, and that give me the thought that maybe I deserve something good as well, like happiness.

Want to talk hopes and dreams?

What am I supposed to do?

Where am I supposed to be going?

I want to stay here. Can I at least do that?

but at the end of it

I just don’t ever want to think

that “i have to become this”

Not even being able to earn a living

I’ll be okay with that as long as i’m doing the work i love

so the destination doesn’t matter in the slightest

keep doing the practice problems

and pass the exams

because it’s all that I’ve got at this point

see you guys on the other side.

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.

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