Today I was reminded about times when I was heavily involved in community building. I quickly overwhelmed myself with regret thinking about opportunities that passed to really make an impact and of other peoples opinions about my work. I caught myself fueling with so much motivation to get back into that scene; apply the things that I learned and knew I could not fail in. But then I remembered that I established other goals that should take priority. Reflecting on how quickly I lost site of them made me wonder how many times I let other people's opinions control my actions so that I could gain their approval. This lifestyle transition will not be easy. I've been in organizations within the Asian/Filipino community since I was a freshman in high school; checking your email 24/7, having meetings every week, traveling to colleges across the eastern boarder, planning events, speaking in front of large crowds, etcetcetc. I always felt that if your life wasn't chaotic, you weren't pushing yourself far enough. But now I'm looking for different things out of life.
My underlying discovery was that I needed to learn how to validate myself. It's especially difficult growing up in a generation that thrives on instant gratification; collecting "likes" or "followers" to determine how well people are perceiving your daily life, "ootds", and hustle. Now, I came across a wikiHow on how to do this... lol it's really hard to say you don't know how to do anything when there's a wikiHow on almost everything. One suggestion was to keep a gratitude journal focused on things you appreciate about yourself. Record at least 3 things a day. Second, avoid telling painful stories through a victimized lens. You are accountable for your mistakes and once you admit them you'll become more conscious to act differently. Last, ask yourself what sort of validation you need right now. What will make you feel better, feel more balanced, or healthier? The toughest part about these questions is answering them honestly and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
Things I am grateful for about myself during my time on eboard specifically: I never saw my peers as inferiors. I respected and took into consideration everybody's point of view even when they were physically absent from meetings. This allowed me to connect with each member and deemed me as the mother of the group who made a positive impact on their experience. The bonds and memories that were made during these times mean a lot to me. Second, I spoke up through times when my voice trembled with fear. Last and more in general, I've been working (and will always continue to work) towards restoring faith in humanity for people and helping those most in need.
Food For Thought: with under 100 days left of 2014, what do you want to accomplish?