P.S. I Love Me: Day 10

10. Share a playlist of some of your favorite songs.

If you know me personally, you know that my music library is crazy. I have songs in so many different languages, even I’m impressed with how many of the words I actually know. Most recently I’ve gotten into Korean “K-Pop” Pop, but I also have Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Malayalam, and Tamil songs as well! So, don’t be surprised to see that my favorite songs are not all in English! Here are some of my current and all-time favorites:

Me Like Yuh – Jay Park // you can never go wrong with Jay Park

Another One – dvsn // has a strangely calming submarine vibe

Spring Day – BTS // I’ve been lowkey obsessed with these guys; check them out!

Without You – Parachute // an upbeat, happy jam

Se io fossi te – Marco Mengoni // one of my favorite Italian artists

ILYSB (Stripped) – LANY // soft, chill vibes

The Humma Song – A.R. Rahman (feat. Badshah) // a remake of an old, classic Bollywood song

Holla (Party Pupils Remix) – MAX // a quality dance party song

Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran  // one of my favorite songs of all time

 

What songs are in your playlist? Send me some music suggestions!

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P.S. I Love Me: Day 9

9. Share a quote that inspires or motivates you.

“There’s no such thing as the light at the end of the tunnel. You must realize that you are the light.”

–The Better Man Project

Lately, this quote has been really inspiring me. We often think about working hard to get to the end of something, to reach the victory. “The light at the end of the tunnel” is that thing that we work towards, hoping that our journeys will come to a glorious end after all our work, but the truth is that we are that light. We are our own hope, our own sign of success. The journey through that tunnel is exactly what makes us bright. We learn and we adventure and in our path, we leave light.

Whether you are working away at a cubicle or at a classroom desk, you are illuminating a path. Perhaps someone will follow that path, or perhaps you will simply be able to look back and clearly reflect on just how far you have come. No one else can be the light; they can only make you shine brighter. This quote tells us that we are the hope and the light that shines on our own lives, and I think that is a rather beautiful –and liberating– thing.

 

P.S. I Love Me: Day 8

8. Share something you overcame.

Everyone goes through bouts of insecurity. Seriously, everyone. As I mentioned in my announcement post for this challenge, we criticize ourselves far too much. We compare and pick at the things we do not like about ourselves. Naturally, I think all people go through a really rough period of “coming to terms” with it, if you will. For me, that happened during the summer transitioning into high school. I went through a lot of body image issues that manifested in several ways. Often, it was something I felt I could not confide in anyone else for. What would they say? They would simply tell me the things I wanted to hear, and that wasn’t what I needed.

Overcoming the rock bottom of my spell of insecurity –alone, at that (or so I felt)– was something that was incredibly hard, but as with most things, writing helped me through it. I journaled a lot that year and the scars (in the form of filled pages) of going through that will always be a reminder for me that I can overcome any challenge, be it about how I see myself or something more practical and tangible.

 

What have you overcome? 

P.S. I Love Me: Day 7

7. List what you’d like to change and/or accomplish.

I had a lot of goals in mind as I began the new year and a new semester at college. So far, I’d like to say that I’m doing quite well on working towards these things, and hopefully you are too. Regardless, the new year is not the only time to think about the things you want to change in your life. Why not just start them now?

Here’s my list:

  • Take better care of my body.
    • Eat healthy.
    • Workout often.
  • Laugh more.
    • Mute the self-conscious voice that tells me to act ‘normal’ (What is normal anyway?).
  • Listen carefully to others.
    • Include people, especially younger ones, in my conversations.
    • Learn about them and ask them how they are genuinely.
  • Volunteer more.
    • Soup kitchens, event set ups and clean-ups, etc.
    • Support the community!
  • Get involved on campus.
    • Lose the fear of going to things alone.
  • Write at least once every day.
    • Journal, fiction, blogging, etc.

As I was making this list, I found myself using “do not” a lot, but I encourage you to take those “do not”s and replace them with positive action words! After all, change for the better only happens by moving forward.

 

So, whether you’re renewing your 2017 resolutions or creating new ones, think about what changes you want to make and things you want to accomplish!

P.S. I Love Me: Day 6

6. Share a flaw.

I overanalyze. Maybe it’s because I’m a total literature brain, but anything anyone says or does, I analyze it for all the hidden meanings that it totally doesn’t mean. I end up creating problems that do not exist and by extension, I stress myself out over things that only happen inside my head. Sometimes it gets me in trouble and suddenly I’m neck-deep in some sort of drama, and other times I just get my own hopes up and disappoint myself. Whatever the case, over-analyzing people’s words and their actions without much basis transforms the way I see people, and I rarely think to confirm my own perceptions.

Surely, I’m not the only one who does this. Many people spend far too much time worrying about what someone meant or what hidden motive for a particular action was. In the end, we become hurt or angry, threatening the solidity of any given relationship by a reality that is entirely fabricated.

I’m not sure why I do this, but I know that it often leaves me in distress, worrying about things that may or may not exist, upset about things that people may or may not have said, etc. Nonetheless, it is certainly something I have to learn to dial back on. I am no mind reader, and over analyzing does me no good. I guess I’ll have to search for ways to stop worrying so much! Got any tips for me?

 

P.S. I Love Me: Day 5

5. Share a happy memory.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 11.52.15 PM.pngI like to have a plan. I’ve always believed that no matter what you do, you should have a plan. However, if you’ve truly lived a day in your life, you know that life does not go according to plan. Bad things happen. Miracles happen. Everything in between happens. So although I’ve long since accepted this fact, I still plan, because it makes me feel secure.

Still, one of my happiest memories –if not, my happiest– was a moment of pure spontaneity. Perhaps it was the fact that I was urged not to do it by my mother, or maybe it was that I was with some of my favorite people in the world. Nonetheless, that day, spontaneity took on a new meaning for me.

It was some summer day and my family along with my cousins decided it would be lovely to go to the beach. It was a one hour drive and the sun beat down on us through the window. Given our luck, it was only natural that storm clouds crept into the sky as soon as we parked in the lot. Still, clear skies didn’t seem so far away as we hesitantly stepped stepped into the sand where the ocean met its shore.

We took our pictures and attempted our panoramas, but the best part came when the cold, pouring rain emptied right over us without warning. From one minute to the next the skies turned dark and the only light came from the lightning that struck out in the ocean in the distance. Other beach straddlers hurried to their cars with hands over their heads as if it would suffice, but not us. Ignoring all signs of potential danger, we ran around in circles with now drenched towels and sang and danced. It was simple, but it was nice. My mom and my aunt rushed into the car and I’ll always remember my mom grabbing me by the arm and telling me I’d get a cold. Of course, she wasn’t wrong, but I wanted to enjoy the moment. For once, I let go of our plan and I just ran around in the rain.

Sometimes, I feel like it’s a cliche moment, but all the same, this is one memory that I shall never forget for the rest of my days. You say happy memory and this is the story I will retell time and time again. It’s always a gentle reminder that happiness comes when you let go for a little bit.

 

What’s your happy memory?

P.S. I Love Me: Day 4

4. A note to your future self.

Dear Future Self–

Live well and work hard. Try not to complain about what you can change. Sing loud and often– everyone loves it. Don’t be afraid of the judgement, it will come as always. Growth does not happen without it.

Laugh. Lose yourself in the thrill of it all. You’ve always been reserved and self-conscious, and as you grow out of that –and I know you will– I hope you learn to let go of all your inhibitions and just simply live. I hope there are days that you fall in love with being alive and you revert into your four-year-old self, able to laugh at the darndest things. You already giggle at nearly everything, whether it’s actually funny or not, so I hope you continue to have a bright smile on your face as you head into your future. And at the end of the day, don’t you dare ever forget that you’re pretty cool, and whatever you’ve been doing has gotten you this far. So, just keep going strong.

 

Mine turned into a list of friendly reminders for my future self! What does your letter look like?

P.S. I Love Me: Day 3

3. A note to your past self.

Dear Past Self–

Thank you for all that you have taught me, all the lessons you have handed to me. Looking back on all the things you thought about and went through –especially during the high school years– I realize now that you were obsessed with this ideal of being presentable. You weren’t necessarily caught up in whether or not you were liked by everyone. You knew  that would not always be the case, and that was okay, but in the end, you built walls. You forced your hand at filtering yourself so much that you could be seen as nice and responsible by everyone. You didn’t do anything too ‘weird’ or silly, and by extension, you didn’t have enough fun. You didn’t live life hard enough, and now I am working on breaking down the walls that you have created. Be it for personal reasons or political ones, walls are never the answer.

I wish you had learned to take life less seriously. Perhaps then you would not have bothered to get tangled in this crazy web of nonsense that you thought would render you irresponsible in some way if you had a little fun. All the happy memories that you have, all the fun moments you look back on– I wish you had just lived in them a little longer.

My present self is aware of these walls, and I’m still trying to pull them down, but regardless, I thank you, because now I know to live just a little bit louder and be wild in my own ways. Now, I know better.

P.S. I Love Me: Day 2

2. Write what you like about yourself.

Ah! We’re starting with the good stuff right away, it seems. I find that for many people –and certainly including myself– it is difficult to talk about yourself. We refuse to be associated with the implicit vanity that accompanies it. But, perhaps it is not all that bad a skill to have. Employers will always ask you to pitch yourself: What are your strengths? What can you do well? Why should I choose you? In the end, we must be able to reflect on the things we have accomplished and be proud of our skills, of ourselves.

I have personally always been proud of my ability to communicate. Throughout the inevitable dramas of middle school and high school, I have been able to express my feelings well to others without being ashamed or afraid. As I have talked about before, it is never a bad thing to let yourself be vulnerable– we are human after all. I think that mindset has always been with me and as I started to get interested in writing. I’d log my days in a journal, accompanied with roller coasters of feelings, and soon it became easy for me to pinpoint my own emotions and why I was feeling them, as well as communicating those things to others. The skill is certainly one that is important to have, so I am glad that I was able to develop it so naturally throughout my life.

 

Be it physical or otherwise, what do you like about yourself?

 

P.S. I Love Me: Day 1

1. A photo of you and why you’re doing P.S. I Love Me.

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Getting through middle school and high school was tough for me. Academically, I was capable of handling everything that came my way, but on a personal level, I struggled with a lot of different issues. Now, I won’t say these issues were unique in any way; they weren’t. I was insecure with who I was and how I looked: the typical, really. If you can get any adolescent to tell you the truth on the matter, you’ll hear the same. Perhaps it was the media or my relatives or the society that shaped me, but at the end of it all, I was not strong enough to challenge those that made me feel inferior in any way. When it came down to it, I simply did not love myself enough. But things changed, and they did get better.

The person I was when I walked through the halls as a freshman in high school was not the same person that walked across the stage with a diploma in hand. I evolved in ways I had never expected to, and by extension, I learned to love myself a little more. I learned that it is okay to be selfish, it is okay to relax, it is okay to be proud, it is okay to feel and be vulnerable and come undone– all these things are okay.

The thing is, I didn’t get to that place without self-reflecting a bit. As a writer, especially one who started out simply journaling, self-reflection has become an integral part of my life, and I find that it helps in ways you never even know it will. I’m doing the P.S. I Love Me Challenge to grow more and to learn to love myself as much as I love others.

So now it’s your turn: Why are you doing the P.S. I Love Me Challenge?