Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Year in Review: 2012

Finals are all done, holiday parties are in full swing, and 'tis the season of reflection and resolutions! Aside from the fact that I reflect and make resolutions almost every other week, I particularly enjoy doing so during this time of year because I truly feel like it's a fresh start.

Self-help enthusiasts like myself appreciate the necessity of reflecting in order to move forward. So, instead of making a New Year's Resolution list, why not come up with a Last Year's Reflection List? Go for it! I challenge you! Think of all the accomplishments and failures and everything that falls in between from 2012. List them. Appreciate them. And, ring in the new year!

Granted, maybe two weeks before New Years' Eve is a bit too soon, but I was feelin' it!

Here's my short list!

In the year that was 2012, I managed to:
  • Change future career plans...twice
  • Graduate from college 
  • Go sailing 
  • Give a commencement speech 
  • Get rejected from a lot of graduate programs 
  • Fulfill a Bug Juice-inspired desire to be a summer camp counselor
  • Risk utter embarrassment to tell a guy I liked him  
  • Interview for jobs and submit resumes and cover letters 
  • Get hired
  • Rock rock-climbing
  • Get into a graduate program
  • Revamp this blog and keep it alive & kickin'
  • And so much more and then some! 
It's been a busy year! One full of ... well, quite simply put, full of life! I'm looking forward to living every moment of 2013. I hope you are, as well! But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, enjoy the last two weeks of 2012! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let's just call this inspiration for the rest of the week

Being that it is that special time of year again (final exams period), I have been compelled to find distractions. So, today, on a "study break", I went to the store to get ONE thing...and then I impulsively bought this:

If you ask me, it's a wonderful reminder for us all! It helps us keep in mind what's really important. (Not that final exams aren't important, of course! But, I think you get my point.) Alrighty, off I go!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pep talk to self, embracing flaws, etc. and such like

If you're like me, sometimes you do things that are carefully-thought-out yet spur-of-the-moment decisions. Paradoxical, but true. You may pore and pore over a decision and then just act on it in an instant. Sometimes, it's like, "Oh, why did I do that?" And, then it's like, "I did it because I had to". This reaction can relate to a variety of scenarios: from sending off a grad school application to telling someone how you really feel.

So, seeing as I often make these carefully-thought-out yet spur-of-the-moment decisions, I decided to write myself a pep-talk to buffer the self-critique. I'm hoping that maybe this bit of positive self-talk can help you out, as well. Oh, and for guys reading this, just replace all the "girl"'s with "guy" and this one's for you, too!

Pep Talk To Self: 
"Hey! Hey you girl! Don’t be downcast! Don’t berate yourself. What you just did in the name of hope was not dumb. It was not stupid. It was courageous. It took a lot of what’s in you to do what you just did. All you can ask of yourself is to hope for the best and to try to do your best. At the end of the day, no matter what happens, know that this much is true: you never gave up hope and joy and laughter and positivity and all those things that make you who are, girl! So, chin up! Think happy thoughts. We’re all trying to figure out this thing called life. Everyone’s just trying the best they can with what they know. As are you. So, float on, girl, float on =)"

Y'see, we often have a tendency to critique certain things we do and label them a flaw. But, good, bad or ugly, these so-called flaws are apart of who we are. So, instead of detesting these parts of ourselves, why not embrace the "flaw"? Think of it like this: to embrace is to accept, and acceptance yields the willingness to evolve and to grow. So, if making these spur of the moment decisions is truly a flaw (which it may not be, by the way, in certain contexts), your acceptance of that part of yourself equips you with the ability to change the habit if necessary. This is how it works in my mind, anyway.

On a final note, Emily Owens, M.D., has THE BEST closing monologues. I mean, okay, as Grey's Anatomy is my first one-hour medical drama love, obviously I have always admired Meredith's closing remarks, but, this new kid on the block Emily Owens has a lot to bring to the reflective voice-over world, too!

Last week's episode's closing monologue perfectly sums up what I'm trying to say here in this blog post:

"It's hard trying not to judge yourself. Because we are aware of every mistake. We know our inner doubts, our hidden motivations, our failings. So, my wish for next year is to be easier on myself. Focus less on the bad and more on the good. Really. Just give myself a break."  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Trust Yourself (Thoughts on Rock Climbing)

After months and months of not having time or money, a friend of mine and I finally made it out to one of those indoor rock climbing facilities! It was great! I mean, I'm a little sore...like, really sore...but, I feel accomplished nevertheless! I even tried the "boulder" wall in which you don't use a harness! Granted, didn't make it that far off the ground, but I tried.

And, that got me thinking about how in life you just have to try. Especially if, you're not quite sure of the outcome, you have to at least try.

I had never climbed these walls before, so I didn't know exactly how the pegs were going to be oriented and distributed. Even if I carefully observed the wall and planned out how to climb up, I still wouldn't know if my leg would feel comfortable extended in a certain direction until I got up and tried it. You have to trust yourself to try things. Even if you don't dominate every single "rock-wall" that comes your way, you have to at least try and tackle the one in front of you. Trust that you will deal with it in the best way that you know how.

This reminds me of a wonderful quote I heard on this show that my other good friend got me really hooked on (as if I needed more shows!), Emily Owens, M.D.:
"We make all these plans about how things will turn out. But, life happens. Plans change. So, we adapt. We draw on strength we didn’t know we had. We give up any illusions of control. And, we deal head-on with problems that come our way."
Giving up the illusion of control is a powerful image. It's kind of like when you have to let go of the pegs and lean back into gravity, angled horizontally with your feet flat on the wall, in order to hop down from the wall. You just trust yourself...and, of course, a higher power, and the rope and your anchor and the harness, etc, but it's you who has to let go first before all the other necessary components can work..

I'm not sure if that all relates, but that's what I thought about while I was reflecting on my long-awaited rock climbing adventure. And, I wanna go back sooner than later! Trust yourself to try something different today!

Here are a few pics :-)

Could I BE more ready to climb?? LOL
Please note: we climbed much higher than this,
this was the only "safe-picture-taking-zone".