rejection: realization 32

Recently, I applied to be a part of the Marriott Voyager Program; fun fact, they rejected me last semester. And even more fun, they rejected me this semester, this time, without even giving me a chance to interview. Rejection is like a punch to the gut. It takes the wind out of you for a good amount of time. And naturally, it’s hard not to think of it as a personal attack on your qualifications, capabilities, and your confidence. The human ego is probably the biggest enemy to rejection. We naturally lose a lot of pride in ourselves when we feel like others do not value us as much as we do. Our default to rejection is assuming that we are not good enough or that the interviewers felt that way about us. But that is not always the case. In fact, never take rejection that way. It will only hurt you more, even if that is really the case.

How I started to see rejection is more of a forked road opportunity. On one side, we have a chance to reflect on why we were rejected and how we can aspire to gaining the qualities we lacked. I could reflect on how I did not get a managerial position and what I can do to become better fit for that role. I know I am not emotionally mature enough to be a manager, because of how young I am, and that the only way for me to become a better manager is to deal with very intense situations so that I can be better suited in the face of pressure.By reflecting on myself and trying to find areas for improvement, I know that when the next opportunity comes around for a managerial position, I will be ready. But it does leave the question of, do I want to just settle for the thing I was originally rejected for? And do I want to strive for something else?

The other side of the fork is moving forward. Closing the door and going past it. While I was rejected for being a manager, I could always focus on being something completely different. Rather than staying in hotels for the hospitality industry, I could always branch back into my roots in restaurants, or even go into a completely different industry like banking or finance. By no means am I stuck in one place. Just because I have created a norm with this sort of lifestyle of being in hotels, that does not limit me to a future or entire life in them. By closing one door, you will find that there are hundreds still open. Other opportunities that you can pursue. Other possibles left to be explored.

Never see rejection as you not being good enough. Think about the ending in Cinderella, where the step-sisters tried to force on the glass shoe. The shoe just did not fit. But you will find that moment when it does and you will have your Cinderella moment. That moment when everything works out and all of the pieces fall into the places that they need to. Opportunities will come around, and rejection just pushes us closer to them. But the most important thing of all is to never let rejection get you down. Never think of it as you not being a quality person. You have the potential to become whatever you want to be. And with time and hard work, you will find that there will be many options for your future. Never feel weighed down and never feel trapped. Just because one door, even a hundred doors close does not mean that all of them do. Rejection happens, but so long as you know that there is still something out there waiting for you, then you easily live a feather-light life.

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traveling: dream 30

I have been taking a lot of life inspiration from JPOP songs. And this is no different. Utada Hikaru’s song traveling was a beautiful song that just inspired me to feel aloof and relaxed. Ironically, if you ever see me in an airport, I will be hyperventilating and will have this murderous look in my eyes as if you need to hurry the hell up and take your shit off the TSA security check/baggage claim conveyor belt before I take it off for you. Fun fact, I once cussed out a police man because he took his damn time grabbing his shit and held up the line for a good 15 minutes. I get that you save lives and all, but we all have places to be. So chop, chop.

But back to the long. traveling, especially the Planit-B mix, gives off this vibe of fabulousness and confidence. I do not think about anything except how awesome I am feeling when I blast that song on my phone. I first came across it my sophomore year of high school, when I found out that there were full versions to Hikari and Simple and Clean‘s Planit-B mixes, as opposed to the 2 1/2 minute renditions we normally hear in Kingdom Hearts. I found out there were other songs on the album, and traveling happened to be the only other one I really liked. The song starts on a softer note and then Utada’s beautiful voice just breaks into it and makes it a masterpiece. For the Planit-B mix, you begin with a techno-runway type of song, with the occasional strum of an electric guitar, and then it eventually goes into Utada’s voice again. I do prefer the Planit-B mix when I want to be a badass motherfucking bitch, but I love listening to the regular version when I want to feel relaxed and confident.

What I mean when I say a badass motherfucking bitch is somebody who is so capable, confident, and competent that nothing can ever sway them away from their own opinions, which are backed with results that show that said individual has every right to be as confident in themselves as they are. When I was completing my minor in business school, I had to put on the face that I was a badass motherfucking bitch, using traveling Planit-B mix to help me achieve that confidence; at that point, my own personal and professional experiences have prepared me to be a tank in any business setting. I was already capable and competent, while the song helped me gain the confidence to stand up to the business students who looked down on me.

The more I think about the song, the more I feel inspired to put myself out there. Whether it is in a social or professional setting, or just exploring new places, I enjoy being able to take a risk and do something I normally would not do. In a lot of ways, it ties back to me being extroverted, but also I am the type of person who does not like to live thinking “oh, well, I wish I did that” or “I wish I went there.” I want to know that I extinguished that regret by satisfying that hypothetical. And even if what I risked doing blows up in my face, then at least I know what not to do in the future, and I can still live knowing that I at least tried. The message of this song, to me anyways, is to explore things you would not expect to and take chances. If everyone in the world took a chance or took a risk, we can continue to make innovations, and while some may hinder our advancement as a species, others will drive us forward. In a feather-light world, we will continue to progress. We will continue to travel.

Panic: realization 28

Whenever I am late to things, I’d typically default to the habit of panicking. My eyes would tear up, I’d start hyperventilating, and the adrenaline kicks in for me to get moving. It’s a terrifying feeling. I get this sense of panic, where I cannot stop thinking about needing to do something. To get my closure. To finish the task. It’s all consuming, obsessive, and most importantly, something that needs to stop. People tell me all the time I need to calm down, take a breath, and relax. My personality, it’s naturally neurotic, highly stressed, and it just is not something people want to be around. The last thing somebody wants is to get panicked or scared every time they are in my company. And the last thing I want for my own health is to be constantly panicked, stressed, or terrified.

This sense of urgency that drives me being panicked, it comes from my need to complete things and my strive for perfection. But panic should not be the reaction I have to being pressed. I should be driven, I should be motivated, but I should never feel scared, helpless, or incompetent. The main reason why I feel this way is because I do not like to fail. And I do not like surprises. I don’t care if it’s a good one like surprise party. I do not like them. It also goes back to me wanting to feel like I am in control, and when I lose control of my situation, it scares me. That sort of uncertainty, my reaction to it is to relinquish control of not just my situation, but me. I shut down and freak out.

Being forced to adapt to sudden and unexpected changes frustrated me. Typically, these were changes that were out of my control; others were being incompetent, and now I am being forced to compensate. It was so frustrating. But with time pressing on, my frustration and urgency come together, and it shuts me down. I just get angry, scared, it’s a mixture of emotions that I struggle to channel properly. What I hated the most about panicking is that I did not understand how to control it. But what people were saying to me, rather than taking it personally as me being stressed equating to being annoying, I just took that as advice. I’d take a breath. I would cut off contact with the source of my stress. Between doing both, the panic goes away, along with the tunnel vision that comes with it so to speak.

My panic attacks, they stemmed from a similar feeling of me thinking very little of myself. Something I have come to realize is that I have already achieved a lot and I have a lot left to achieve. Rather than thinking about what other people think of me, I need to think of what I know about myself. If I am a capable person, what’s there to be panicked about? And if I am not, then now I have a goal to aspire to. I need to first make myself a capable person, so that I will not have to be afraid again. By becoming a capable or competent person, then sudden changes or feeling useless won’t happen. You can become the person you want to be, and ignore any fears or doubts.

 

How I overcame my anxiety: realization 22

I used to have panic attacks because I felt like my life was meaningless, or that the basis for my existence was flawed or incorrect. I still remember that sensation all too well. I would get short of breath, my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. My heart would be pounding out of my chest. Every single ounce of doubt or guilt I have ever had, rushing through my brain and overwhelming me. And the worst was the thoughts. Thoughts of pressing a blade against my wrists. How easy it would be to reach into my knife bag and take any of them out. I still remember the first panic attack I ever had. I was still in depression, and clipping my nails. And then I started thinking about what it would be like to use the clipper on my veins. Immediately, I was able to snap out of it, and I threw the clipper at the wall. It was terrifying. I was really scared.

After the whole suicide attempt, I had a lot of time to really reflect on why I came to this state. Most people think that it’s a waste of time to reflect or figure out the cause. But I know that isolating and better understanding the cause is key to moving forward and overcoming the fundamental reason for my anxiety. For me, these anxiety attacks started because I felt useless and helpless. In a previous post, I spoke about how for a while, I only gained confidence through being of value to others. That sort of validation from helping and caring about other people. Well, my roommate at the time, they were somebody I really cared for. But they were not necessarily the most receptive to my care. And in the face of that, I kept trying harder and harder, because I needed affirmation that I was being valued. And they did not make any effort to acknowledge that, and it hurt me. It caused my self-esteem to plummet.

My self-esteem being so low is one of the biggest reasons why I fell into depression. I did not feel comfortable in my own skin any more. I began to resent myself. On top of resenting myself, I doubted my own potential and capabilities. I started to think I was worthless and would amount to nothing. My anxiety attacks were these feelings manifesting themselves whenever a problem or obstacle arose and I just could not solve the issue. That frustration, mixed with panic, fear, and doubt, created these episodes where I basically resented myself and had to fight off the urge to slit my wrists or throat. Ultimately, the last time I had a panic attack was when I tried to kill myself. It was tough, but I managed to stop myself. I realized how much happiness there still is left in the world, and no matter how little I believe in myself, I as a human being have the potential to do a lot. When you are having panic attacks, you need to realize this as well. Life might not go as you planned, and that happens all the time. That’s because this world is so much bigger than our own needs and wants. Learn to go along with things when they don’t go your way, and stop thinking about what could have or should have been. So you wanted to be a firefighter, but wound up a cop? Then learn to be the best cop there is! Maybe things don’t go the way you want, but you can still make something out of the situation you have! Learn to believe in yourself. And I know it is hard, but you can do whatever you put your mind to. That’s something I will basically spam across how ever many posts I have already written.

It took me a long time to realize this, but I genuinely do love this world. Even though there are horrible people in it, and I am left confused or hurt a lot, being alive and being able to smile, laugh, and enjoy simple things like cooking, baking, nature, it’s honestly all I need to be happy. To be able to share my stories, and show that there is a brighter side to things, I am glad if even 1 person out there reads this post, and can realize that life does not always have to be about what went wrong or how we screwed up. We can embrace ourselves, regardless of the wrongs we committed, and learn to love both ourselves and those we hold dear. Anxiety is a bad thing, yes. And if you can’t handle it on your own, go see a psychiatrist. And don’t feel bad. We as human beings experience this all the time. It is perfectly normal and understandable. Accepting that a lot of things are beyond our control, it is important if we want to live a feather-light life.

Blow Your Mind, Mwah!: dream 21

“If you don’t like the way I talk, then why am I on your mind? If you don’t like the way I rock, then finish your glass of wine. We fight and we argue, you’ll still love me blind. If we don’t fuck this whole thing up, guaranteed, I can blow your mind. Mwah!”

Dua Lipa’s song, Blow Your Mind, Mwah! really resonated with me. The song speaks about being true to yourself and if you are given the chance, you will definitely leave quite an impression just by doing that alone. I just love this song because it helped me regain a lot of my own self-confidence. I need to be me, and if other people do not like me, it’s more their problem than it is mine. Obviously, there are fundamental exceptions, but you get where I am coming from. I hope, anyways. Don’t let me down, Internet.

A little bit about who Dua Lipa is, because I honestly had no clue who she was until I heard her song for the first time. She is an Albanian model who was raised in the UK turned singer. She’s still really young for her age (actually younger than me!), and all I really know is that she started her music career at the age of 14 on YouTube. That being said, her first single to debut in the US was Blow Your Mind, Mwah! and it was a relatively recent release.

The lyrics of this song are all about owning who you are, not trying to fit in with other people at the sake of your own individuality. It is important to be true to you. Your qualities, perks or flaws, embrace them. Don’t be afraid of being who you are. Be proud of the things that make you unique and that little to lot of bit different. That sort of confidence and sass, especially the “mwah!” portion just amuses me, because I actually love being sassy or sarcastic. Something Dua herself points out that the song embraces “not forgetting who you are to make the other person happy”— again, this song just speaks to me in volumes. Her thought process behind this and the message she writes, I wholeheartedly stand behind it.

One of the biggest reasons why I am grateful for hearing this song is that it echoes so many of the messages my previous posts have spoken about. Being yourself, loving yourself, and not compromising on your values for the sake of others, they are all so true to what I have come to believe in. So thank you, Dua Lipa, for being such an inspiring artist and bestowing upon the world a song that I will be blasting on my computer for a while to come. Thank you for sharing the same values as I do. If everyone can now just embrace themselves, then that kind of feather-light world would, I guarantee, blow my mind. Mwah!

Chic: dream 18

I was such an ugly kid. Overweight, acne-ridden, my own dad tried to avoid claiming me as his child. Yeah, that kind of ugly. But with exercise, confidence-building, and growing past puberty, I was able to really blossom into adulthood being comfortable in my own skin. Most people I know unfortunately aren’t as happy with how they look. One of my previous roommates would barge into my room when I was studying and ask me if she was fat; she wasn’t, but it got annoying to have to constantly reassure her that she was skinny. There was a point I questioned if she was doing that just to fish for compliments. Either way, I am not that type of person who would try to project my insecurities onto others. I know what I am capable of, as a human being and as myself specifically. That to me is what being chic is all about. Learning to be confident with who you are, and exuding that confidence. Even if you are overweight or acne-ridden, being confident will make those qualities melt away; granted in my case, they melted away already, but you should not let any other perceived flaws hold you back.

Take your style, and own it. For me, I love wearing lighter outfits; this is a more politically correct way of saying short sleeves and short legs. I hate jeans, I hate formal clothes. I feel like I am being suffocated in those. By wearing the clothes I like to wear, I am already projecting a sense of relaxation that most people would already be attracted to. Being able to remain calm and composed, showing some restraint in your emotion, all ways I managed to further exude that quality. However, if you are already comfortable with who you are beneath the clothes, you will be able to exude that confidence even if you are wearing things you hate wearing. For a lot of people with confidence issues, that might take some time to get used to. Being self-assured is not something that everyone is born with unfortunately. For me, it took practice. Maybe two years of trying out my style, learning how to take my personality, and have it drive me into being comfortable with myself and outwardly confident, but not arrogant or cocky.

Being chic comes naturally and effortlessly. It should not feel like you are pretending to be somebody you are not. You are just yourself, but with confidence and restraint. Those are two big key words in this. Doubting yourself and having anxiety, those are expected to happen to everyone. But you need to be self-assured to the point where those feelings go away quickly. You need for your self-confidence to be strong enough that nothing scares you or makes you feel inferior. Inferiority complexes are the last thing from chic. They are toxic to you being the best that you can be. Never make things a competition or go out of your way to compare yourself to others. Just be confident with who you are and what you are capable of. Each person can be chic in their own, specific and unique ways.

Awkwardness/confidence: dream 6

What does it mean to be awkward? A Google search will tell us that it means to be “causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience.” For the longest time, I would be described as socially awkward, and I’d interpret that as being weird and funny; generally, quirky. Even in a previous post, I assumed that you can be comfortably awkward around true friends; obviously, I meant to say quirky, not awkward. Friends would not make you feel unaccepted, uncomfortable, or like you are an inconvenience. Friends, you can be quirky, comfortably in your own skin, and just exuding of confidence.

Being confident for me means that you can be strong for yourself, even when nobody else is. It’s hard to do that at times, when you feel alone, isolated, or outnumbered when it comes to people who believe in you. I had to fight through a lot of self-doubt and anxiety to be a confident individual. Whenever I step in front of a crowd of people, I have to ignore that fear of people looking through me, and only seeing me for my awkward childhood. That fear of being awkward, it’s a constant battle between trying to be confident, not awkward. To feel like my existence serves a purpose, rather than creating a burden.

I wish I never had to worry about being awkward. I would rather everyone just be equally confident, but not try to treat each other in a condescending way, just because they act or think differently. Everyone should be entitled to their own opinions. I obviously say that with the exception of people who strongly believe in extremism or sadism, because in almost any situation, those things are obviously not going to help the world in any way, and I don’t want the internet trying be a smart-ass with my words and try misquoting me. Sorry, snarky moment there.

The real question for me is why can’t we all be confident? Why can’t we just be happy with ourselves and believe in the purpose our individual existences provide the world? Without every person here, we could not function as a species. We wound not be able to move forward so easily. The only reason we have for feeling awkward is that we let the opinions of others weigh us down. While yes, if others dislike you for being rude or selfish, that is something to think about, but if they just call you weird (assuming you’re not like a pedophile, furry, cannibal, or something along those lines of extremeness), then you really just need to ignore them. Feel confident, not awkward. That’s how you can really enjoy your life that much more.

Trust: realization 8

If there is no trust, then there is no true relationship or friendship. That’s what happened between me and my recent roommate. I thought I could trust them with my secrets, I thought I could trust them with my stories. I hoped that they could trust me with my thoughts, feelings, fears. I wanted to know that our apartment was a safe place for both of us. Unfortunately, that sort of trust, it’s too much to ask for from certain people.

The fact that my roommate could not feel comfortable enough to tell or show me the extent to which they were worried about me when I was going through my depression, or tell me they were afraid I was developing romantic feelings for them, that hurt the most. They hid these secrets, either because they were afraid of escalating the situation, or that they didn’t want me to get angry at them. Regardless of whichever one, it felt like at the end of the day, they only cared about their own safety.

If they really wanted to help me, they would’ve expressed the worry, expressed the fear. But instead, they bottled it up, because they were afraid of me yelling at them. I feel pretty hurt about the situation, just because as much as I trusted them with my secrets, feelings, they could not bring it upon themselves to do the same. Instead, they lied. They claimed to be tired, because they wanted to avoid me in my state of depression. They could not tell me the truth about how they felt.

They shafted me in a lot of ways. Isolated me, tried to push me away. Rather than trying to tell me how they really felt, they lied to me, pushing me away, and I misinterpreted it as them being better off without me. I just felt like if I disappeared, they would be better off without me. In the moment when I tried to kill myself, I only had a gut feeling that my presence made my roommate uncomfortable. I did not know the exact reasons, but I sensed contempt and discomfort from them.

What really hurt in that scenario was hearing my roommate confess all of their discomfort to my other friends, who showed me through video recordings. It just broke my heart, knowing that they couldn’t trust me enough to tell me these things in person. To tell me these things when I was going through my depression. Even though they probably did not want to worsen the situation, had I known I had this effect on them, it would have made me that much more aware that I needed help. Granted, retrospect is a complete bitch. It could have made me angry, even for a second, but at least I could have appreciated the truth coming from them directly.

The lack of trust is what can really harm a friendship. While my roommate has been emotionally scarred by the whole ordeal, the lack of confiding in me caused me to misinterpret the situation, and it led to me trying to kill myself. Trust is important. Being able to feel comfortable and safe enough to tell somebody what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling, it really does help a relationship. The lack of that, it unfortunately leaves the mind up to assumption. Doubts, fears, it all builds up, until something irreversible could happen. If you do not feel comfortable speaking from your mind and heart to somebody, maybe they shouldn’t be your friend. And if you cannot bring yourself to do that with anybody at all, then maybe you should start trusting people more. Either way, trust is needed, if you do not want to lead a lonely life. Being able to feel safe amongst the people you surround yourself in, that’s key to being feather-light.