Perplexed

As I sit here, starring at my fingers calmly placed over the keys of my keyboard, I am overcome with a sense of calmness. Perhaps it is the familiarity of the keys under my touch, bringing peace to the convoluted thoughts spinning around my mind, I’m not too sure. But I continue to sit here patiently, willing my fingers to decipher my thoughts.

InternetofThingsI’m not sure how I feel. As I look around the world around me, I see that everything is in its correct place. My clothes are tucked neatly in my closet at home, my car is parked in its regular parking spot at work, and everything is as it should be. Yet, while I know that everything is the same as it always has been, everything has changed.

My outlook on life has changed. The person I am is different from who she was just a couple of weeks ago.

I  have always been a person who loves clothes, and any method of self-expression for that matter, but recently I can’t help but think “what’s the point?”. What is the purpose of establishing your individuality?

Recently, we experienced the loss of a family member. She passed away quite young and as I walked around her home, I couldn’t help by notice many of her possessions neatly organized in their assigned homes. A thought flashed across my mind,

“once upon a time, she had gone to a store, and picked out
each item because it spoke to her in some way”.

Days after her passing, the items remain, and she is no more. It’s true that she exists in our memories and left behind a legacy of learned lessons, but we can’t touch her. Instead we are left with items that she purchased to express who she was as a person, and that person no longer exists.

This realization has left me with an internal void. What is my purpose? I believe that my family member passed away young because she had fulfilled her life purpose. She had fully blossomed into the most beautiful flower and I believe god always picks the most beautiful flowers in the garden. But what is my purpose? Am I fulfilling it? I don’t want to leave behind a house full of things if I didn’t use them to make someone else happy. I don’t want to become so fixated on the things in my life that I become sidetracked and neglect fulfilling my life purpose.

I love my job and feel that I am making a valuable contribution to the world around me. The company I work for changes lives for the better, and that inspires me to work to my full potential every single day. The technology this company creates saves lives, and makes an impact in the world that I could never make as an individual. But, I can’t help but feel like there is more that I can do.

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Volcano of Emotions

There is a very big hole in my heart filled with sadness. I’m saddened by the way you treat me, disappointed that you didn’t take the time to get to know me, and frustrated that I am giving more than I am receiving. I don’t know how to open up and tell you how I feel and that frustrates me. I can see my weakness and yet I don’t know how to overcome it. I wish I could tell you that I don’t like how you treat me without having a tsunami of tears stream down my face. The tears would show I am weak, and my current persona of being a strong person would instantly fade away.

Instead I lash out, hoping that maybe you would listen to what I’m saying and not how I am saying it. I admit that I come off as harsh when I express my feelings. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I care too much, and I wish I didn’t. Maybe if I stopped caring, my heart wouldn’t hurt so much. Perhaps then I wouldn’t feel like a prisoner of my mind, and I could spread my wings and be free.

Doctors have told me that I need to learn to let things go, because the unnecessary stress that it creates in my mind is causing my body to shut down on me. But, I don’t know how to get over things without getting closure. Maybe it’s because I’ve had to overcome my fair share of loss, and that’s left me with so many unresolved dead ends. I’m not too sure, but I feel like I need to discuss things with people in order to move forward with the relationship, and I’m not strong enough to have that discussion with you. Maybe it’s the fear of rejection, or the fear of not being heard that is acting as a barrier, preventing me from voicing my feelings. I’m not too sure.

What I do know is that I am a strong person, and just like any other obstacle that has been placed in front of me, I will overcome it. The way I see it, I have two options, I can either work on my relationship with you by expressing how I feel, or simply walk away. I know the latter would be the easier option, but how would that help me grow as a person? Isn’t the purpose of life to grow and become the best version of yourself that you can be? If I simply walk away from the relationship, what would I learn? How would I grow? I would be doing myself an injustice. Maybe the best approach for me to take is to express how I feel whether I am heard or not. I need to do my part and try. I can only control my actions and reactions to events. If I am not heard, or if you don’t care, at least I know I tried. At least I will know that I tried to fight for myself.

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Mind Shackling

Lately, I’ve been feeling confined by the shackles of my mind. The harder I pull to break free, the tighter the shackles become. I try to maneuver to free myself from the madness of my mind and when I think I’m finally free, the elasticity of the rope I’m tied to flings me back against the wall, and then I’m back to where I started.  I can’t escape the hollow feeling inside me. The more I try, the stronger they get. I’m trapped in a world of self-inflicted sadness – my mind keeps playing tricks on me.

I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize the person I see in front of me. I feel lost, and at the height of vulnerability, with no one to turn to. No one to understand the depth of my emptiness. I’m not sure how I got to this point. I was completely blindsided. Maybe there has always been a part of me that felt this  way, and only now that I am taking the time to learn about myself do I see this side of me as clear as day.
Maybe we all have a place inside us that is dark and hollow and filled with vulnerability, insecurity and sadness. After all, we are all human and we share the ability to laugh or cry, or be happy or sad. Our emotions are the thread that tie us all together. We have the ability to feel and analyze the world we live in.  We possess a unique ability to learn about ourselves, understand our strengths and our flaws. However, our perception always seems to skew how we see our lives and sometimes prevents us from seeing the good.

Perhaps the trick to overcoming these emotions is to understand that these emotions don’t define us. They are what make us human. We need to understand that in life we all have ups and downs, and to not allow ourselves to get stuck in the lows. Maybe we will forever remain shackled to the games our mind plays on us and a part of growing and learning in life is to find ways to maneuver through life with them. Perhaps it is the shackles that teach us life’s most valuable lessons and we have to learn to understand those lessons and continue on our journey.

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Express Yourself Don’t Repress Me

Looking at our world today, I worry that pop culture is trying to homogenize our tastes, liked and dislikes. Walking through the mall, it’s as though each store is selling a variation of the same article of clothing. Crop tops, short shorts, belts, and huge heels; they’re the same thing everywhere we look. Even when we want to wear longer shorts or tank tops, they are almost impossible to find. I feel like we are invariably becoming a cult-like society.

Last week we had a birthday party for one of my relatives, and to my amazement, all of my cousins (including myself) showed up to the party wearing all black. Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, it led me to believe that our fashion sense is being influenced more than we realize. I was further surprised later in the evening while playing a family game called the ‘5 second rule’. I know I shouldn’t be, but I was shocked to see how much information we knew about the Kardashians. For those of you who haven’t played the ‘5 second rule’ it’s a game where you have 5 seconds to list 3 things from the subject on the card. So for example: Name 3 famous ex’s, our answer was, Reggie Bush, Kris Humphries, and Lamar Odom. Yup you guessed it, those are ex’s of the Kardashian sisters. Then we were asked to Name 3 famous babies. Can you guess which ones were listed? Penelope, Mason and North – Kardashian babies. It amazes me just how much we know about the Kardashians, yet when we were asked to ‘Name 3 fouls in basketball’, or to ‘Name 3 Hit Songs from the 70s’, many of us were stumped.  In recent months, the Kardashians have been wearing a lot of all black outfits and I can’t help but worry that they are too much influence on the clothes we select from our closets to wear.

It’s not only our clothing that is becoming homogeneous, it’s also the music that we listen to. Switching through the local radio stations, we hear the same songs on repeat. How many times can you listen to Drake’s Started From the Bottom or Rihanna’s Umbrella without wanting to scream. I get it Rihanna, I can stand under your umbrella, thanks for the offer but I’m not interested. I miss the days where I could switch through various radio stations and listen to a variety of music. Music is so important for the soul.  We listen to it while driving, cooking or cleaning – it wouldn’t hurt to get some variety. The majority of the local radio stations are constantly playing the same genre of music, rap. Don’t get me wrong, rap is my favorite genre of music, and listening to this music has caused a drastic increase in the number of local rappers. But it makes me wonder how many people would choose to pick up a musical instrument to express themselves instead of rapping if they heard the likes of Nirvana or Tool on the radio. In my opinion, music is the greatest form of self-expression and it is a shame that great music isn’t being played on the radio.

Life is too short for people to conform to a homogeneous culture. I wish there was more variety available for us. I would like to go to a store and find shorts that reach my knees and to listen to a of mash up country, alternative and rap – I’m sure that there is an artist or group out there that already does this that I haven’t heard of. The world is meant to be a smaller place, and we should be able to listen to a larger variety of music, yet we live in a world where the music charts around the world have the same artists listed as the top 3.

To Bury Or Not to Bury the Hatchet

Life. Just when I thought I had it figured it out, it throws me another curveball, leaving me confused and isolated.  In my earlier blogs I had talked about a tongue lashing I received from a ‘friend of mine’. After that incident I had vowed to remove toxic people from my life. However, a few days ago I received a text message apology, which has left me frazzled. Does a text message apology even count?

I’ve been pondering over this text message for the past few days and the truth is, I don’t know how to respond. On the one hand, this person and I were friends for a very long time prior to the incident that took place last summer. But, on the other hand what was said is unforgivable. And more importantly, given the types of vile statements that were said to me, does a text message apology even count?

Personally, I think an apology received by text message shouldn’t be considered an apology. If one is genuinely sorry for the things that were said, wouldn’t one pick up the phone, or have a face to face meeting to express their remorse? Perhaps I am not as tech savvy as others, or perhaps I value human interaction, but I think there needs to be sincerity in an apology.

Granted that what was said was extremely mean (to say the least) and perhaps he was afraid to approach me, but I think that if someone is courageous enough to say those mean things, they should be brave enough to apology in the same way those initial vile words were spewed.  I don’t think that it is an unreal expectation to have of someone.

Nevertheless, I am doing my best to give my ‘friend’ the benefit of the doubt and like a broken record, I’ve been posing the question ‘Do I forgive my ‘friend’ and look past this incident, or is it too late?’ The truth is, I’m not sure. While I would like to say, ‘yes, I forgive you’, I am stumped at my own personal obstacle of my inability to forgive. I understand that there is strength in accepting an apology and forgiving someone, however I’m not sure on how to overcome my own ego. In Demi Lovato’s book ‘Staying Strong’ she writes, “when you are wronged, it’s better to confront it with tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance”. If I am truly putting myself first in my life, I have to forgive my friend. It doesn’t mean that we will become the best of friends. It just means that I allowed myself to forgive the sadness that was caused and let go of any negative feelings.

 

Stones Along The Way

Opinions. They don’t mean anything until we assign value to them. Yet, we allow them to control us.  They shape our perception of ourselves, and we let them.  One of the greatest things about being human is that we’re not meant to be homogeneous in nature. We’re meant to be individuals, who grow gradually with our life experiences.  Yet we allow people’s opinions of us to create an infinite cycle of thoughts that cause us to become stagnant. We can tend to become so fixated on the opinions of others, that our priority in life can shift from being the people we want to be, to being the people others want us to be.

In recent months, a friend of mine had something posted about her on a social media site. Out of respect for my friend’s privacy, I’ve decided not to elaborate on the situation. However, it left her extremely upset. Constant thoughts looped around her mind: What will my friends think of me? What will my family think? This irked me. Taking a step back from the situation, her concerns should have been, how does this make me feel? Am I okay? What do I need to do to accept that this issue has taken place?

Why do we give other people’s opinions so much weight in our lives? I believe a situation or a problem is placed in front of you to help you grow as a person, not hinder you. We only become weak when value others opinions over our own. One of the greatest gifts of life is that we have the cognitive ability to learn and grow, yet we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons by becoming tangled in this vortex of judgments .

If I’m being completely transparent, I think people’s opinions are irrelevant. Opinions are often based on the internal struggles people have with themselves, and most of the time they don’t have anything to do with the person they are being opinionated about. Yet, we place so much emphasis on them that we allow them to define us, and somewhere throughout this process we lose ourselves.

We need to stay true to what we think and know about ourselves. If we allow other people’s opinions to define us, we sacrifice the ability to grow into our  full potential and lose the opportunity to be the people we could be.

Workaholic, its not worth it!

Last week I sprained my neck. To say it was painful is an understatement. I was immobile for an entire week, and for someone like me who is constantly on the go it was really tough.

At work, we are approaching the end of Q3, and that means that I don’t have time to be sick.  My medication wasn’t helping me with the challenge of working with a sprained neck. The medication I was prescribed kept making me drowsy and I had to force myself to fight the sleep. At that point I decided I needed to be strategic about when I took my medication. That way I could still work, and recover from my injury. I would wake up around 5am, take my medication and go back to sleep. That way my neck wouldn’t hurt as much (it still hurt, but not as much) until 11am. Then at 12:00pm, or whenever I was up to date on my work I would take another dose of my medication, sleep for an hour (my lunch break), and then wake up and keep working. I was a trooper, determined to not let my injury affect my work.

Looking back at my actions last week, I learned something. I placed more importance on my work than I did my health last week. Why did I do that?  Deep down I know that if something happens to me that the company I work for could find a replacement candidate to fill my position, but my health, that is irreplaceable. So why did I make the choice to jeopardize my health? It was extremely painful for me to sit in an upright position and support my head, but I made the choice to push myself to the limit. I love my job, and the stress that comes with it, but was it worth me compromising my health? Probably not. Correction, definitely not.

 

Lesson learned: I need to place more value on my health. Even if I love my job, I need to love myself more. I need to remind myself that I need to take care of my health first. If I am healthy, I can do and achieve anything. If my health is poor, I need to focus on improving it, and let everything else in my life take a back seat.

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My Invisible Crown

SAMSUNGLately, I have been working hard to fight the psychological conditioning I received growing up. I am not a feminist. Actually I am a feminist, but I don’t like the negative emotions that the word “feminist” rises in people. I believe in the power of a woman. I believe in her strength, her confidence, and her willpower.

Society has taught me that as a woman, I need to compromise on my goals and become less ambitious. That I can only achieve a certain level of success in my career until I am must choose between it and my family. The media taught me that my self-worth is directly correlated with having children, and not the level of education I have attained. That I should focus on finding a husband, get married and not focus on becoming the CEO of a large multinational company.

For lack of a better term, I call societies social conditioning ‘bullshit’. Why? Because I believe that as a woman I am great. My goals in life should be internal to me, and not impacted by the world around me. Ones surroundings can cause one to create my own mental limitations and roadblocks that prevent them from accomplishing my goals. As a woman, I have a gift. A gift to create any life that I see fitting and the willpower and motivation to climb any mountain.

You Are The Writer

you are the writer

The waiting game. We all play it. We wait to get “the job” we have always dreamed about, to have kids, get married, or to buy the perfect house. We waste our lives away, waiting for the right time. At some point through the course of our lives we take a minute to pause and realize that we wasted our lives away waiting to live. How do we maintain some control over our lives while overcoming all of the obstacles that are placed in our way?

In recent years, I have had to face the challenge of finding a great job and in all honesty, I have possessed a defeatist’s attitude. I have gone through the emotions that many unemployed or dissatisfied employees have felt. I’ve been angry, frustrated or upset. For a long time, I let these emotions regarding one aspect of my life control my overall mood, and I stopped living my life. Until one day, I woke up and realized that I was missing the opportunity to live my life because I let the dissatisfaction of finding a job consume my life.  I was allowing outside factors to affect my internal well-being. When I realized I was doing this, I decided something had to change and I took ownership of my life back.

I adapted the saying “I know my worth and I understand my value”, and whenever I felt myself slipping into this negative funk I reminded myself of this. I didn’t want to waste my life away, nor did I want to allow finding the perfect job to take control of my life. My employment status was only one aspect of my life, it was not my entire life.

In life, we make choices. Some choice will have a negative impact on our lives, while others will be positive. But our choices are our own and we control how obstacles in our lives affect how we choose to live our lives. Living our lives with a defeatist’s attitude, we become the loser. We need to take ownership of our lives and control how we allow outside factors affect how we choose to live our lives.

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