When there is not enough self-love

When there is not enough self-love

Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album (or single).


 

Male host: We are here now to review the new single released by Tiffany, just last week.

Female host: Ah yes! It’s been a while. I wonder what this one is like!

M: Why don’t we listen to it together?

(Song plays)

… wondering if I am making the right choice…
… when that one knows how to hurt more than that one knows how to care…
… what is respect? What is trust? One thing is for sure…
… by suffering needlessly, I am only disrespecting–myself.

(Song ends)

F: …

M: Well, the mood was… certainly… dark.

F: I agree. I think we can all relate to these feelings though.

M: What do you mean?

F: Well, when someone you care about lies to you? Or purposely hurts you for whatever reason? Like out of revenge?

M: I see where you are coming from. Reminds me of a time I ran away from home to try to get back at my dad for grounding me. I got a good whooping after, but I know that they were worried about me first and foremost.

F: Haha, thank you for sharing the story, but let’s get back on track. With regards to the mood of this song, I’d say that it is very comtemplative.

M: Maybe… also, the struggle when finding out that you didn’t love yourself as much as you should have?

F: Where did that come from? That was rather deep…

M: Let’s just say that I know what it is like to cling onto an unhealthy love because I didn’t know how to love myself first and foremost.

F: Wow, if you wouldn’t mind, how about we go for supper after and talk about this further? You seem to have a lot of wisdom!

M: Hah! Sure, why not! So, now we end off with the final verdict. What we have here is a slow and melancholy ballad. It is a very relatable one too, we believe, because it brings to light a question that I’m sure many of us ask ourselves with regards to different aspects of life. That question is, “How much suffering can I voluntarily let myself go through before I start hurting myself?”

F: Yes! With that, we will end off our Music Reviewcast. I’m F.

M: And I’m M. We hope you have a great day and take it easy on yourselves!


 

Daily post’s daily prompt: B+

What is mainstream music?

What is mainstream music?

Adolescence is filled with embarrassing moments and small misfortunes… Here is the story of a young girl who didn’t do her research.


 

I was in grade 7 and in drama class. If I calculate the year that it was, it would be 2006. This was the time of American boy bands, if I remember correctly. Everyone was sitting around in a circle–we were doing a type of ice-breaker.

For some background, at this age, I was just starting to use the internet. My only mainstream music knowledge, was of the songs I heard in the car on our road trips to a nearby city for groceries. Other than that, I had no other exposure to hit music. HOWEVER, I did play the piano. Does that count? Anyways…

We are back in the circle formation and had just finished going around the circle introducing ourselves. The drama teacher then proceeded to say this: “We’re going to go around the circle again. This time, I want you to tell us a song that you like.”

Uh-oh (Back then, I was oblivious to the embarrassing moment to come).

We started going around the circle again. This time, names of songs popular in the day started to come out.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

“American Idiot”

“Shut Up!”

“Since U Been Gone”

“Teardrops on my Guitar” 

As the bomb slowly rolled closer and closer to me, I became more and more aware of how little I knew about mainstream music.

Finally, as much as I dreaded it, it was my turn.

I was faced with two decisions now; copy someone else’s song idea and pretend that I knew what song it was, or tell the truth. Do you want to know which choice I picked?

Here was my response…

.

.

.

.

.

Me: “The Pipe Aria.”

Class: (silence)

Me: “…. by Bach.”

Class: (more silence)

You could hear a pin drop… it was that silent. Okay, maybe not. The floor was carpet.

Needless to say, that experience was mortifying. Just like any other kid who wants to redeem back their “coolness”, I proceeded to research as many hit songs as I could after school and even learned to sing some of them.

Ah, childhood. Can’t be beat.

Hope you found my misfortune amusing, haha! Feel free to share any embarrassing childhood stories you have. I’d be thrilled to read them! 😀

-Tiffany

PS – For anyone interested in listening to this “The Pipe Aria”, here it is.


Daily post’s daily prompt: Unpopular

 

Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017,

Right now, I am sitting in the little Guest Room at his house typing this up. I know that to you, resolutions don’t really exist. To you, resolutions are, at most, a reminder to keep improving upon yourself!

Right now, I’m wondering where you are in life, and what you are doing right now. I wonder where you are living and whether you have decided to work or pursue Graduate Studies. However, I know you… Any decision you will have made, is one that I know I can place confidence in.

If there is anything I learned in the year of 2015, it is that nothing is set in stone. I also know, that when adversity strikes, you always manage to rise above it. Besides the couple of white hairs you may get from the stress and tendency to fall into unhealthy habits at those times, from past experience, I know that you only get stronger, smarter, and more efficient afterwards. Two white hairs for the ability to tackle future challenges more easily? Sounds like a good trade. However! Since I realize that you have a tendency to fall into unhealthy habits when stressed, I hope that when this message gets to you, you:

  • Consistently try to get enough sleep, even when you have a lot to do.
  • Have gotten even BETTER at not procrastinating than you are now. 9 times out of 10, you sleep late because you are working on something you could have worked on earlier instead of browse through social media or searching up obscure things on the internet.
  • Have learned to take preemptive measures and get rid of any junk food lying around a week before you expect to be stressed out. I know you’d eat them otherwise… and regret it too.
  • Consistently eat iron-rich foods about a week before that time of the month. Anemia-induced fatigue is not fun… and not productive.
  • Remember not to neglect exercise and attribute it to the excuse that you simply don’t have time. I  know you know that there are many 5-min workout videos on Youtube that you can just play and exercise along with as a work-break.
  • Make an effort to eat healthy… even during bad times. Just because you don’t feel like eating when you feel bad, don’t neglect your body. Make sure that you eat enough and get enough nutrition! Even when you feel bad, you still deserve to be healthy. 🙂

Hmm… I wonder how your Chinese is now (Cantonese and Mandarin). At this moment, I know that I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to practicing it with native speakers. However, I am trying and won’t give up! I want to pave a road to confidence and fluency, and am working hard to meet you at the end of the road!

Also, I hope to see you still working on blogging. Show me that I can make it stick!

I will meet you at the top, you strong, capable, hardworking, caring, smart, and driven woman!

Love from,
Me of 2016


Daily Post Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

Small Wins | It’s that busy time of the year

Ah! I mentioned in a previous post how hectic my last couple weeks were. I even had a couple disturbing dreams to remind my sleeping self that I was not safe, haha! Now, I shall gather up the small wins!

For those who like the short and sweet, I:
1) Successfully studied for my final exam, while completing a big surprise website editing job!
2) Finished shopping for all my Christmas presents and wrote all my Christmas cards without feeling like a chicken running around with my head cut off.
3) Started to get back into the habit of working out 2-3 times a week.
4) Started to blog at least 1x/week consistently. I’ll try to keep it up!
5) Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus!
6) Made homemade shampoo for the first time.

Successful final exam studying!
This one was a bit of a nightmare. In my immunology class, the lectures were separated into 3 different chunks, with three different professors. The first 2 were excellent, but then the final lecturer gave us all a run for our money. Slides were zoomed by and no apparent connections could be drawn. When I started studying, I felt like I was learning all the material again… this time on my own. Many classmates shared this sentiment with a shared motto of, “My textbook will save me!” The best part was that 62% of the marks were questions the final lecturer wrote. I’m sure the textbook saved a lot of students, especially since all the diagrams she used were from the textbook… with full explanations. The test was okay. I left feeling a little dazed but I know that I did “decent”. Maybe a B. Maybe a B+. Who knows. Anyways, no time to waste wondering what it is when it will come out on its own.

Finished a big website editing job that started during my study week.
This was pretty scary. Imagine sitting down to study and then finding out that you have to edit 10000 words of text at the same time! Glad to say that I finished this job and earned a little pocket money. Good thing I printed all of my study notes, or else I would have easily spent 8 hours per day staring into a computer screen.

Kept up a habit of blogging at least once a week.
This was pretty difficult as well. When I first started off, I wrote a couple posts. But then, even though the inspiration was still there, I felt I had too much work to do in real life to write at leisure on a blog. I think I went a whole month without posting anything else. I changed my mindset though and created many creative outlets for myself in the form of categories to just blog whenever I feel like typing something out. Maybe an interesting thought one day, a weird dream on another.

Finished all my Christmas shopping and card-writing.
This was a pretty big feat! I decided to start them early so that I wouldn’t have to worry about them during exam week and so that I wouldn’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Started going to the gym and boulder again after a 2-week hiatus.
I think I lost some muscle mass because of the hiatus because I now weigh the lowest I ever did… without making any big changes to my diet.

Made homemade shampoo.
Okay, not technically. I basically added aloe juice and essential oils to a shampoo base. Customized smell though? Haha!

Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus.
Hiatus. Would not recommend. I learn through flashcards and podcasts so after this hiatus, I stocked up over a thousand flashcards that were “Ready for Review”. That was true terror.


 

Upcoming small win aims: Keep up the exercise, blogging, and Mandarin learning. What else? We shall see!

Anyways, remember to recount the small wins that you have achieved too! Hopefully, like it does for me, it inspires you to continue chipping away and aiming for more small wins!

-Tiffany

Turbulent Emotions

Response to the Daily Post Prompt: Flawed

What is your worst quality?


 

Emotions are powerful. They can fuel your motivation. They can help you connect with others. They can generate all sorts of good feelings.

However.

They can also drive you to want to hurt other people–to react and carry out spiteful actions, in order to hurt the other person for hurting you. In order to “get back” at them.

Cold shoulder. Because by refusing to be in that moment with you, I thought that you would feel regret and realize why it is that I am angry at you, and make amends on your own.

Storing up anger and pretending that everything is fine, until my breaking point. Angry words. Contemptuous glares. When I should have let it out as the small bursts they come in as, or remind myself that I blew the problem out of proportion.

Ignoring. Because I thought that by depriving someone of my care and attention, I could make them feel as neglected as I did… at that moment.

Many times, I have let anger get the best of me. But over time, I learn the true importance of communication, patience, and not letting my ego convince me that I’m ALWAYS right. Over time, I reflect on my emotions and ask myself, “Why is it that this specific situation/action/phrase bothers me so much?” It is when I find out, that the small thought telling me to be reasonable, gains confidence and a stronger voice.

I work to not let my turbulent emotions manifest into actions or words I’ll regret, but they are still a weak point of mine. It’ll be a long process, but I can already see the end.

One moment of hesitation when about to send an angry text,
at a time.

One moment of looking at the situation from the other person’s shoes,
at a time.

One moment of reflective quiet where I ask myself if my thoughts are reasonable, in place of angry quiet,
at a time.

One memory of the other person’s good points, which takes off the blinders generated from anger,
at a time.


 

One day, this will not be my greatest weakness. Then, I shall work on the next one. 🙂

Mental Health | Under That Bright Smile

A while ago, when I was at work, I heard news of a student death on campus. The night before, I heard that a friend had been reported missing for over a day. I had chills then. As it turns out, the person who died was that same friend. He had ended his own life.

sarazancotti_eiffel-tower-paris

Source: Boundaries

It was surreal–the unfolding of events. He had told his parents that he was going to go to school to study and that he’d meet up with them later for supper. He didn’t come back that night.

The next morning, the news of his death became common knowledge to friends and friends of friends.

People were hurting. I couldn’t understand why the only emotion I felt at that moment, was emptiness.. Knowing how the news hurt other people hurt me more than the death itself… Which I oddly, felt nothing for. No sadness. No joy. No anger. Just quiet.

Maybe it’s because this wasn’t the first death of someone I knew personally. Maybe it was because I worked in a long-term care center where death was a naturally occurring event. Maybe, I was just in shock.

I gave my boyfriend a big hug. Talked to him about it. Then he had to go to class and I had to go back to work.

Quiet again.

Then my supervisor walks in. He asks me how I’m doing. I say that I’m doing okay… then, not sure whether or not I should tell him, I finally decided to tell him about the news. I told him about this boy.

Always smiling. Always friendly. Always talkative. His eyes would squint and make a single crease on either side whenever he smiled that ear-to-ear smile of his.

Suddenly, anger started to bubble up inside me. This boy had depression. I hadn’t seen him in months since I wasn’t close to him but he had a lot of friends. When his wide smile started to wane, why didn’t anyone truly reach out to him? Mental Health Awareness week was just the week before. Where was this awareness?

…Then there was just pain. I remembered what it was like when I was depressed and everything seemed to continue on without me. Everyone seemed to have things to do, things that they were “busy” with. I didn’t seek professional help. I didn’t want to be known has having a mental illness because there was so much stigma behind it. The moment someone knew that you were mentally unwell, they get a strange look in their eyes–a little bit of fear, a little bit of concern, a little bit of wariness.

There are all these campaigns for “raising awareness” and how to take care of your mental health. People know that it is important to reach out to someone in pain but it is easy to say that you’ll do it. Doing it is another story. It’s easy to say, “You know, there are free counselling services provided here.” It’s easy because just like that, you were able to do “something” without the weight of responsibility. Do you know what’s harder? Saying, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you look upset lately. Would you like to talk about it later? I have to ___ until ___, but after that, I’m here for you.” Boom! But yes, there is that feeling of responsibility… daunting to some, and terrifying to others.

How many times have you been faced with a situation that made you uncomfortable or upset? How many times have you decided, “I don’t want to deal with it,” and ran away from the problem? Running away is easy… because it is a self-preservation tactic. By running away, you are holding onto a small inkling of hope that the problem will resolve on it’s own. Sometimes it does. Sometimes, it doesn’t. When the problem doesn’t resolve itself, sometimes running away is still worth it. Sometimes, it’s not.


Her: Hey, Tiff. I haven’t talked to you or seen you in months. Do you want to go work-out with me sometime this week?

Me: (Peers up from dark hole of depression) Sure.

It didn’t seem like much then, but that was all it took to get me back on track. Maybe, there is someone in your life that could really use:

  • A big hug
  • Someone to listen
  • Someone to sit/walk with them
  • Someone to tell them a joke
  • Someone to ask how they are doing

These little things can be more powerful than an hour-long counselling appointment.

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany