Random Thoughts #01: Getting Started

This is an attempt to start writing my thoughts and feelings for what they are, raw and unfiltered. That #01 you see at the end of the title signifies hope – that there are more to come, well hopefully. Are you ready to take a ride in my mind. Brace yourself, it may be bumpy. And a lengthy read, just a heads up.

There is a reason that people do the things they do, or act the way they act. Look at yourself in the mirror; your character stems from what you have been through and the people you cross path with. Each decision you make comes with a subconscious reasoning behind, whether you are aware of it or not. I have been particularly focused on myself in the past few years, to understand why I do not react immediately (hence my nickname as one of the Zootopia character). This slow reaction comes handy when dealing with difficult people or anger that simmer slowly instead of erupting.

My reason for doing this is simply to get over that initial writer’s block. You’ll come to know why in just a bit. I love writing. There is something liberating yet vulnerable in expressing yourself in words, in choosing to ink the details you want to share with the world.

You know what the hardest part about writing is? Getting started.

I like to write, but I spend a lot of time thinking about the content and how I want to express them. In fact, I spend a lot of time in my head but not actually writing them. If inspiration strikes, it comes at at the most random moment; when I am in the shower or while I am driving. There would be a beautiful crafted narration in my head, which would sadly disappear shortly after.

Even so, I made an effort to write at least twice a year; once for my birthday and once for the end of the year. The reason I fall out of blogging is funnily enough, I don’t know how to write happy. I don’t know how to write posts like these, so I thought. I am doing pretty okay so far.

I have been consciously trying to live a more positive life and expressing myself in a more optimistic way. Ask me to write about loss, grief or longing and words would flow easily. This reminds me of one of Lang Leav powerful quotes: “I don’t think all writers are sad. I think it’s the other way around- all sad people write.’

Perhaps the hardest part is not getting started. It’s about the second paragraph, and the fourth. It is about staying in motion.

Three weeks ago, I went to the book store to buy a book for my brother and bought a book for myself and one excerpt stood out to me:

“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that takes thing happen. it’s hard work that creates change.

Maybe you know exactly what you dream of being. Or maybe you’re paralysed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect jo or the perfect life. Perfect is boring, and dreams are not real. Just… DO.

You think “I wish I could travel” – you sell your crappy car and buy a ticket and go to Bangkok right now. I’m serious. You say “I want to be a writer” – guess what? A writer is someone who writes everyday. Start writing. Or: You don’t have a job? Get one. ANY JOB. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical dream opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Work. Do until you can do something else.”

– Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes

I read a lot when I was younger and I love writing short stories. I was selected to attend a journalist workshop in secondary school and at one point, I wanted to be a writer. But that’s all I did – I dream. If you’re wondering, I didn’t start saying yes because of the book; I have been doing it consciously the moment I stepped into the working world. But some decisions are harder to make than others.

And it’s learning how to say yes to things that truly terrifies you.

Like baked beans.

And peanut butter.

1-Botanica and Co

Birthday lunch with family

Like seriously.

These are the two types of food on that I have not eaten for over a decade. I eat celery, broccoli and cauliflower, but I dislike baked beans the most. Weird huh? In the effort of eliminating fears, I tried to consume these. Verdict? Baked beans are still a big no-no but peanut butter sits on the fence; there are only a certain type of peanut butter that I can take.

Are you still here?

I sidetracked. I do that sometimes. A lot.

Interestingly enough, I have recently said yes to two things that challenge me; calligraphy and writing.  Both which I enjoy doing, but neither which I am particularly good at. There’s a slight difference when you’re doing it for fun and when it’s for others. It comes a level of expectations; I fear of letting people down, that my work has vast room for improvement.

Regardless, I am aware of the similarity between calligraphy and writing. These are creative outlets and essentially there are no rights or wrongs. So here I am, trying to find my footing. Improving. Practising. One step at a time.

Like this masterpiece here is a product of few hours of practising:

2-Calligraphy.jpg

Calligraphy – Just follow your heart

Not too bad, eh?

..

The first half of the year was focused on two things: work and the program. Nothing stands out apart from CNY celebrations, birthday celebrations and Election Day. You could probably tell I don’t get out much. And that I value my alone time.

My program ended a day after Election Day; while I joined the hype of celebrating a big change for the country, I am equally as ecstatic to focus my energy in doing the things that I wanted to do. It was fortunate that office workload has been manageable over the past few weeks. Apart from calligraphy and writing, I made time to practice yoga, bake (crepe cake, not very successful unfortunately), code (inner nerd in me), and take pretty photos (of food and things).

You know that overused phrases “I don’t have time.” or “I am too busy.” Let me tell you this: it’s not about having time. It’s about making time. Make time for the things you want to do. Spend 15 minutes or an hour or more out of the hectic life of yours. Make time. If someone starts telling you these phrases, you’re probably not their priority anymore, or you never were. Be okay with that. Things change. People change.

A few days after my program ended, I was offered me a deal which I did not say yes immediately, much to the Coach surprise. I was on the fence but it was my brother who told me it’s a good idea and taught me to understand the difference between cost and value, that made me take the offer up – two weeks later.

People can tell you a lot of things, but you have to decide which opinions you value more. I appreciate the people who show me a different perspective, and people who respect me enough to tell me the truth, especially when it’s hard to hear.

But that’s a story for another day.

Signing off.

Jill

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