Notable from 2019:
- Transition to Frontend Engineer at Alo Moves
- Seaside trip in September
- Bought a Subaru
Sometimes it takes over a year to finally complete something on my to-do list, which is the case with this annual letter as I finish writing it in January 2021. Better late than never though, as long as it's still important.
As I read through last year’s journaling, I wonder what all my friends write about. Do they question themselves? Do they ask about the pain, where it comes from and what to do about it?
Perhaps I am a bit obsessed with it, or with myself. I’ve written about—or at least felt—the same things for years now. I’m honestly tired of it. It seems inevitable in a way and I have to accept that. Some days I just have to feel it, but it never lasts forever and I know it will be okay.
The sun will rise again and a new day is always right around the corner.
I want your presence again as that kiss is fleeting. I have a subtle fear that I will inevitably have moments of escaping, but perhaps that fear is just a sense of shame for what I sometimes need (time to recover). — May 6
This year really challenged my belief about my ability to love and be loved. I often feared I would not be "enough" for a relationship, or conversely that I would be "too much" in my particularities and peculiarities. I didn't want to accept that belief and knew the only way it could be challenged was through relationship, and that's exactly what happened starting May 1.
It's uncomfortable being vulnerable because the opposite of that is what used to keep you safe. To downplay myself is just an attempt to protect myself. It's an old friend I've been demonizing without accepting the role it played in a past life. But when your life is different and it's no longer necessary for your survival, it's time to let it go and form new ways of relating. This intimate work can only be done in relationship with someone who is also willing to "touch with love that which was previously touched by fear."
It’s like this cloud I can’t shake, swinging at something that appears to exist but laughs as I strike nothing. It follows me around, keeping me from seeing clearly, separating me from experience. What is this cloud? Is there even a cloud at all? — Jun 18
There's a sense of safety and calm I find through organization. It's a form of relative certitude, but only insofar as it means I don't have to "think" about it anymore because I've thoroughly thought it through to a conclusion. But when you approach an idea infinitely more slippery than a peeled mango in an attempt to distill it into a single thing, it will perpetually elude you. It’s like chasing your own tail.
Like curating the tangibles in my life (new car, new clothes), I try to curate existence itself. Much like these annual letters, I try to attain final contentment through perpetual refinement, but perhaps there is never a destination or "arriving", perhaps it is always a game and always changing. The only constant is my state of mind, my perspective, my being present to the here and now.
I just want to make simple things. Is there room for that in this world? — Feb 20
Simplicity can be found somewhere between too much and not enough. It's where you arrive after overthinking and then thinking a little bit more. Once found, it doesn't ask anything of you.
I crave simplicity as a means of control and to ease my mind. I seem to find it through intention, but only after mistaking it for perfection. It is my balm to the shame I carry around ambition, for I do not think of myself as an ambitious person in a society that can't seem to get enough. I want to embrace a simple life that minimizes stress, as I create enough of that on my own (low key, high maintenance).
I often struggle to know what I want. Perhaps I avoid it because I turn it into an absolute and put way too much pressure on making any decision, big or small. Or I push myself to "do more" when that might not actually be what I want.
But sometimes I do know what I want, as indicated by the things I continually write about so much: low key city, low stress job, group of friends to adventure with, etc. I also know that I need regular doses of alone time to recharge, though discerning exactly when can be tricky. The same is true for catching myself overthinking. That's where attuning comes in.
Take a moment to check in with yourself to see what your intuition is saying. Do you actually want more Pad Thai or are you stuffed? Do you actually have the emotional space and energy to socialize or are you drained? Do you still need to do more research or are you stuck spinning your wheels having already blown past the helpful twenty percent of effort that gets you eighty percent of a decision?
These are great questions to ask, but awareness is only half of the equation. Attune, then act.