from funk to focus (to be continued)

you know you’re in a funk when multiple people ask you if you are okay. that was my experience this week. i’m physically okay, but mentally am “in a funk”. i’ve concluded that it is due to the uncertainty i have of my next steps in my career.

in my semi-annual review, i described my journey this year: from startup to jobless to working in a cafe to moving and landing a new job in a corporate office. i’m very much ready for a new challenge and am in the process of defining what that is.

these funks, or as i like to call them “refractory periods”, are filled with ample time alone to think deeply and synthesize a plan of action. though with melancholy undertones, my refractory periods also consist of acknowledging my fortunes and reliving jubilant memories (often rewatching my old vlogs). i view funks as necessary for taking inventory, strategizing, and preparing for what’s to come – a forced stop to slow down in a fast and ever-changing life.

old caroline would pressure herself to find answers ASAP. new caroline takes things as they come, allows ideas to simmer, and with guiding questions, conjure a conclusion. as a type-A person, letting go of that control of creating definition was a reoccurring but imperative lesson.

i brought a DSLR on my morning commute today in efforts be analog and allow my subconscious to take care of the chaos in my head.

i don’t have answers yet (and will report back when i do), but part of the journey is Mercy (very difficult as a perfectionist).

for all you perfectionists out there, i dare you to learn it with me.

until next time,
c

semi-annual review: 2019 so far

i have poked and prodded, and now they are all out. the repetitive, unnecessary thought patterns are flushed from my system (for the most part), and i am mentally and emotionally cleansed. the people who are meant to be in my life are here, along for the ride. now it is time to embark on a new journey.

it is june now. half of 2019 is nearly complete. i am both excitedly and anxiously forecasting what is going to happen from now until 2020. life is moving incredibly fast. i’ve become stable enough to not only catch up but also think more proactively about what’s to come. the key lessons that i’ve learned this year so far are as follows:

  • you control how people view you and treat you.
  • if you want something, speak up. if you don’t want something, also speak up.
  • high risk, high reward.
  • most times, there will be another chance. don’t think, decide, or act out of scarcity.
  • noise is everywhere. noisy environments, noisy content, noisy people. constantly reflect, filter, and nurture to get to the good stuff.
  • scheduling regular time to yourself is non-negotiable for a healthy mind.
  • convince your mind of who you are and your capabilities by doing. do consistently.
  • the universe doesn’t say “no”. it says “yes, but wait. i have something better”.

one year ago, i was only entertaining the idea of leaving my startup job and moving to the Bay. one year later, i’m here with a new job, new lifestyle, new social circles, new interests / ideas / habits / dreams, etc.

2019 habits
key habits of 2019

i have big dreams, and i always have. from june to december, i am focusing my time on my next career move. i plan on moving into design, particularly towards a product or interaction design role in a tech company. my headspace is scattered as i am gathering the details of what spaces i want to occupy, what problems i want to solve, what education i need to gain, and who i should bounce ideas with. i am also dedicating time to learning French to give myself geographical flexibility (potentially move to the country of my dreams). this is a multi-year plan. the age stamp i decided on is 27, but it will be achieved sooner rather than later. i am also trying my best to smell the roses and stay grounded in this affluent, cosmopolitan reality of San Francisco.

at the beginning of this year, i created a “vision of myself at the end of 2019”.

2019 vision.jpg

i can confidently say that i have nailed a couple of these items, however there is still a lot of work to do (understatement). i’ve become better at taking matters one step at a time. old caroline would overwhelm herself and drown in an endless to-do list. new caroline is more efficient and can separate herself when her sanity is at stake.

points of focus this month: deep dive into creating a roadmap to a career in design, read more regularly, and plan for my upcoming trip to Paris.

let’s make the next six months as eventful as the last. let’s make it exponential.

cheers to growth.

Filter through the noise

There is so much noise in the world.

Noise from people, from buildings, from institutions, from society, from air conditioning vents. Noise from those you trust, from your parents, from people you love and people who love you. So much noise from books, movies, media, news, and even pictures.

There is noise from egos trying to prove points, from those wanting you to conform, from kindred hearts that care but act in their own self interest because what else would they do? After all, they’re…we’re human, right?

I’m at a breaking point. I’m tired of the bull. I’m tired of conventions. I’m over listening to the should’s, will’s, didn’t’s, and most particularly the I-want’s. Who cares.

What I care about is this:

Show me where the wisdom is.
Show me what raw authenticity looks like.
Show the world what makes you human.

Everything else is irrelevant, unnecessary, and simply Noise.

Solution: Recognize and filter accordingly.

Be an active citizen of the world

Prior to the 2016 election, I would listen to New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” every day on my morning commute. I followed the election and found myself becoming more angry as the days past and more depressed about the endless perils of the world. When our President was announced, I was simultanously devastated and defeated. From then on, I swore off all news. No more listening to news. No more reading news. No more watching the news.

When current events were discussed, I listened but refrain from becoming emotionally attached. I reasoned that my contribution to the world was my daily effort to remain a force of good in my immediate environment. However, this did not stop the looming air of guilt I felt from shutting out the world.

Tonight, I am reading Bill and Melinda Gates’ 2018 Annual Review. It’s enlightening and hopeful while also emphasizing preventative actions that would better our world. There’s no doubt that it takes courage to brave the tragedies of the world. I commend those who stay alert and face such realities despite the effects it has on one’s mind and body. I’m ashamed of my choice to be a passive bystander and my lack of worldly knowledge. I will continue to read and educate myself of our world’s problems. I will no longer be a passive member but an active citizen of our world. After all, it’s how you remain empathetic. After all, empathy is what makes us human.

An additional thought-provoking artifact: “News” by Jack Johnson

Ebbs and flows

There is a natural ebb and flow of life. One week you’re on it – crossing out everything on your to-do list, excelling at work, hitting the gym, eating more green foods…and then the next week, you’re the opposite. Accepting this natural twist of events is the first step to limiting the turbulence. Allowing yourself to live between the two states is giving  yourself permission to live the natural cycles of life.

Once you’ve accepted this concept, then you can start laying a healthier foundation, stronger groundwork, to control what you can in midst of the chaos.

I was on a hiatus from this website. Since I last posted, I’ve assumed new roles at work, stronger relationships, and memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Now I’m back stronger and more me than ever before. Let’s get back into it.

When you decide your life is your own

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
– Bob Moawad

When you choose to uphold your independence, you begin to live a different life. You begin to feel more powerful as you make decisions on your behalf for your own welfare. You enjoy your own presence, look forward to alone time, and possibly prefer it most nights. You do whatever you want without supervision and craft your own life.

Independence includes externally from parents, partners, and toxic relationships. It also means internally from your inner demons.

Once you own your worth, you become free to live to the fullest at the highest frequency.

Only you can fully understand you

Only you can fully understand you.

There is simultaneous melancholy and joy in this statement.

Melancholy because you will never be entirely understood. No one will know all parts of you. Even if you try to expose someone to the various facets of your life, only you will fully experience the life you live. On that vein, expecting someone else to fully understand you is ludicrous.

But there is also great joy in knowing that you are your own. Joy in the sense that you have complete independence. You are the owner, the driver, and the purveyor of your own happiness. Hold this with a sense of pride.