Wanting to Break Free

The other day, I fell face down in a parking lot–ripped my upper lip, chipped off my front teeth, sprained my knee, cracked my phone screen, and dented my laptop. Not even a week after, I fell again–this time hitting the back of my head against the floor. I wouldn’t lie; this has been one of the worst week ever for me.

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

So when I was lying down in the hospital bed, and right after the nurse and the doctor checked whether I had a concussion, I started thinking about this… whole series of misfortune. They came out of nowhere, and they struck like a repeated bolts of lightning. Each with more intensity than the previous one.

What did I do to even deserve this, I had thought. I kept on searching for a satisfying explanation, be it a realistic one or not. Did I lack sleep? Do I suffer from a unique bodily balance deteriority syndrome? Did I upset my ancestors? Did someone hex me into tripping over nothing? It doesn’t matter how illogical the reason is; I just wanted to blame this whole misfortune on somebody. On something.

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A Much Needed Pause

The other day, I tried something new: I sat completely still for several minutes in the middle of a busy day.

No, I wasn’t sleeping, in case you’re wondering. I merely took several minutes to decompress right there on my desk, in-between my bustling schedule. For around ten minutes, my small desk became my solace of comfort, as I silenced every other outside interference, and focused on breathing alone.

It was then when I realized I’ve neglected this simple decompression method for awhile. Right after getting a new job, I felt like I had to catch up with everyone else as fast as I could, and I sacrificed my much needed rest to work, work, and work.

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Toxic Expectations

The funny thing about expectation is, for me, the fact that it swells and expands with time. Take one relationship you have with a friend, for example. I’d bet all my money that you didn’t start off as close as you might currently are.

toxic environment
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Like everyone else, you must have started as total strangers, then you gradually become closer. Notice that the expectation you have towards them also grows, almost hand in hand, with the maturity of the relationship.

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30 Ideas to Go on Your Own Artist Date

If you’re a writer, or an artist in general, it’s imperative that you take care of yourselves from time to time.

I’ve talked about how you could decompress during a busy week, which are the small things you could do every single day to keep your stress levels in check. I’ve also talked about going on a writer’s retreat from time to time to recharge your creativity.

recharge artist date ideas
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

But what about the in-betweens? You might not have the luxury to afford a writing retreat, and you might already have been doing all the decompression methods I’ve talked about, but you still feel burnt out at the end of each week. Take a step back; it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Calm down. Take a deep breath. We’ve got this.

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Deconstructing “Strength”

“How do you manage to keep on doing this?” one of my team member in the office asked me, right after my boss gave me a stern warning for not delivering the targeted completion date of my project. “Why aren’t you more upset? How could you be so strong?”

I remember I just stared at her, not knowing how to answer the question. It would be a lie to say that I wasn’t upset at all. It was my project, after all. And if I took the warning lightly, I could risk my professional credibility as a project manager. So it wasn’t like I was fooling around, either.

But what my team member said had some truth. Despite being upset, I never did show it to everyone. Despite being torn apart by the warning, I kept on managing the project like it was just another day—as if I never screwed up.

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