Being yourself is hard

A few days ago, I was having a rough evening and I asked a friend, “Do you ever feel like being yourself is hard?” That question progressed into a long conversation and gave me a lot to think about. Today, I feel ready to write some of those thoughts down.

We are all wired a certain way. Some of it we control and some of it comes from the experiences and events we’ve had to live through. And the way we are defines our relationships with people. You could be the kind of person who likes to talk about what you’re feeling. Or you might be someone who doesn’t share much or shares in their own time. You could be someone who takes things seriously or someone who doesn’t.

Just like these, I have my own quirks. And they make some days and experiences hard to live through. And on those days, I ask myself, “should I not be this way?” or “Am I being someone wrong by being myself?”. The choices I make, the morals I try to live by and my faith in people are the three things I struggle with the most. So the question is whether being the way you are is supposed to give you hard days.

And the answer is absolutely. I have my reasons for being the way I am and maybe that’s something that doesn’t align with the way someone else is. No matter how much I’d like it to. I make certain choices and find out that I chose wrong. I try to live by certain morals and fail. I put my faith in people and they don’t come through sometimes. None of that equates to me being wired wrong.

I try (and often fail) to live by certain morals because I believe that’s the right thing to do, even it makes my life harder. And I put my faith in people because I’ve always had people who put their faith in me. I am the way I am because it works. It just doesn’t work everyday.

It’s not supposed to be a formula or a cheat sheet that lets you skip all the hard days in your life. You can’t switch to being someone else that may seem like they have their life figured. More importantly, you don’t need to. You are exactly what you were molded to be. And if you allow a spiritual opinion, you are exactly what you were meant to be.

You being you isn’t supposed to be easy because what you’re doing is being someone that no one has ever been or ever will be. And I pray this thought helps you brave some of those hard days that come from being yourself.

P.S. Hope you all are staying safe. Please use masks in public areas like stores and buses & let’s get through this responsibly!

Baby steps

I’ve recently found myself using the phrase ‘baby steps’ more and more in conversations. It comes up mostly whenever I am talking about rough/unproductive days and is surprisingly effective at getting the message across. The phrase just feels right. Despite the adorable nature of the phrase and setting aside mental images of pudgy babies stumbling around, let me tell you why I find it to be such an effective way to express myself.

As grown ups, we find ourselves juggling multiple things at the same time all the time. Take me right now. Currently, I am trying to study for school, to actively participate in two Toastmasters clubs, to find time to read, do laundry, meet up/stay in touch with friends after making promises and mostly to keep this blog running. I bet your schedule is way busier but I have trouble getting all of mine done as it is. As a result, I usually end up dropping the ball on something. An assignment left for the last minute, missing a Toastmasters meeting because I was working on the assignment till 3am or even just having a slow day when nothing gets done.

Now wind the clock all the way back to when you were learning how to walk. You were most likely bumping into stuff, relying on things for support and losing your balance after every few steps. Probably fell on your butt more than a few times and woke the neighbours up. But the point is you dropped the ball a lot of times. But, at that age it isn’t seen as wrongful or disappointing that you do. Instead, the act of taking baby steps is translated to “slowly but surely getting to where you want to be.” Literally.

I don’t mean to compare your difficult classes or hectic work projects to a baby walking but rather to how you treat yourself when you stumble. To me personally, the phrase articulates that I’m learning to be the version of myself that can manage my workload perfectly. A version that gets his school readings done on time so he can get to other readings of a more fictional nature. A version that checks up on his friends and gets the laundry done on time.

I think we’re all trying to be that person who can get all of our work done perfectly, but we’re just not there yet. We drop the ball because we’re human. And that can make someone think badly of themselves. Rather, think of those tough days as baby steps. Small, unsteady but necessary steps leading to a future where you get to walk down whatever path you choose. Literally.

So, don’t hate the unproductive days. Don’t hate yourself on those days. And if you ever find yourself on the floor after taking a fall, just remember.

Baby steps!

Missing Blogger pt. 2

It has now been 116 days since I last posted something on my blog. I haven’t been putting it off or coming up empty on ideas. It’s mostly because I have too many things going through my mind and its been getting hard to focus on any one of them. But, today I decided to slap on a fresh coat of paint on the site and finally sit down and type this post up.

I am currently in the middle of an online semester. Online classes & labs are inefficient learning environments, so that’s an ongoing struggle. COVID-19 is still a thing and I’m pretty sure we have a second wave of cases on the way. So, the uncomfortable mask on the beard must stay where it is. I’m doing a whole lot of electives this semester and learning a lot about what people in Psych & Pols science study. Some of it is fascinating but some is downright boring.

This past summer was a long and introspective one. I confronted a lot of thoughts and tried to figure out how to embody better versions of myself. Not all days were successful. I worked on self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. The summer was also a wake-up call on friendships that drifted away when school wasn’t on. I realized that sometimes people you think or hope would stay around a long time don’t. Sometimes, people who have been around forever aren’t right for you. Time just goes on and people become more of who they are. It is up to you to recognize the kind of people you want to have around you.

The past few weeks have been tiring, frustrating but also incredible. I am finding more and more about myself. I find myself drawn to people who don’t make friendships feel like a chore. And I’m lucky enough to have friends always there for a chat or a beer or even sharing good music. I do things that make me happy. I go for walks and watch the trees turn yellow and red. I feel grateful for everything I am lucky enough to have. I am still a bit inefficient and occasionally lazy when it comes to schoolwork, but I always seem to end up with a good result, thanks to late nights and gameplay music.

These 116 days have been full of reflections, walks, music, podcasts, movie nights and baby steps towards better versions of myself. I look forward to what is to come and to giving my best to this semester. For now though, I’m going to enjoy what remains of this glorious Fall we are having.

P.S. Hope you all are staying safe. Please use masks in public areas like stores and buses & let’s get through this responsibly!