i identify myself as an underdog

Let me give you some quick facts to give you an understanding of my position in life:

  1. Between my Sister and I, she’s the smarter one.
  2. Amongst my primary school clique, I had the lowest academic performance.
  3. In the primary school swim team, I was the slowest (although I was the only girl, I’m not sexist so I still discount myself).
  4. In piano recitals, I used to have running snot down as I played because I was so nervous. So people would always give me an odd look, rather than appreciate my piece.
  5. Amongst my secondary school friends, I was the fattest. (Seriously my BMI told me I was overweight)
  6. I joined the Saint John ambulance brigade and sucked so bad at at commanding that when I became a senior, the officers made me secretary so that I wouldn’t have to command.
  7. In junior college, although I was the captain of Bowling, I wasn’t the best player. I got the position because of my votes that’s all.
  8. I repeated my first year of junior college. (Pretty self-explanatory)
  9. Even after an extra year of studying A levels, I still came out with a mediocre score. (I still made it to a science course in university but that’s besides the point)

I left out quite a bit of information but you just need to know this much to understand what I’m feeling now as an underdog.

But isn’t a loser post. I’m here to remind myself that I’m still progressing in the race that is life, and probably also to give you hope of you identify yourself as an underdog too. Here’s some counters against the points above:

  1. My sister might be smarter, but I’m still smart.
  2. Although I looked like a troll in primary school and did poorly in school, I have the biggest glow up.
  3. I may be the slowest, but my coach has always believed in my talent in swimming, and I was in the accelerated programme, receiving solo training often.
  4. I got to know that I have a chronic condition and I got it operated. So now, I can play the piano, confidently and snot free.
  5. I may have been the fattest in secondary school, but I did have the best grades, dated a really nice popular guy and now I’m in a healthy BMI.
  6. Although I sucked at commanding in SJAB, I got to be in the executive committee and add something valuable into my resume.
  7. Although I wasn’t the best player, I was still a decent player and I made many good friends that I still have by my side until now. I also discovered by ability to lead and manage with more leadership knowledge and exposure.
  8. Yes, I repeated a year, but that year gave me a wake up call and revived my call to pursue medicine.
  9. I had a mediocre score but I’m still en route to medicine 🙂

 

All of these underdog moments pushed me to grow. Worst grades? Study more. Fat body? Shape up. Feeling ugly? Change your mindset. It’s all within us. How far we’ll go in life depends on our will power. It’s not depending on your bosses, financial issues etc. Our life is what we make it. I’m still an underdog now but I’m learning now that it’s not a bad thing. My current challenge is the world challenging my odds to succeed into the medical field. But don’t worry, I’ll do my best and never give up.

I can do it, slowly but surely. You can too.

effortless beauty

I have considered plastic surgery before. In fact, my mom has sent me for a consultation with plastic surgeon Dr Wu.

But it’s always never really solidified as a plan. And I never really wanted it badly, though I was sure, I really hated my nose. I hated my teeth, I hated so many things.

In primary school, I was bullied by quite a few people, both verbally and physically. They almost always targeted my looks and how timid I was. They thrived over my unwillingness to stand up for my self, and my wreaking insecurities.

Eventually, I grew up and became better looking as the years went by. I started to attract guys and although it was flattering, I never really got a sense of security in my own beauty with them around.

A few more years down, I tried make up. I tried fashion and deliberately finding pieces that flatter me. It was fun for a while, but in the long run it started to get tiring and superficial. Other girls can do it, but it’s just not me. It drains me. But it’s okay, I went back to my simple ways.

As I gave it more thought, I realized I was happy being simple. I am happy being simple. I love being able to breathe well in my shorts, to have my pores bare and breathing, my lips being able to brush against the food I consume. I love carrying a backpack, wearing dinosaurs on my ears and overloading my bag with k8’s essentials like umbrella, tissues, water bottle, lip balm etc. So then I thought, there must be a way, to enhance something and yet stay simple and me.

Effortless beauty

I don’t mean model like selfies by the bed kind of effortless. I mean, to naturally change what I can change, to the best I can, so that I can be bare and feel beautiful. Take for instance, I can grow out my lashes with castor oil, I can thin my face out with massages daily, I can fixed my chapped lips with honey every morning and I can shrink my pores with icing etc.

I want to be able to be my own definition of beautiful without make up or any fancy clothing. I want to be able to distinguish special days and outings with friends where I do wear make up and dress up.

I want to feel beautiful both with make up and without.

I’m doing quite a few things to do that now. When I succeed at it, I’ll update you guys 🙂

let go of people who make you unhappy

There is a certain beauty in choosing to walk away from certain people in your life.

I’ve had a falling out with a small group of girls who I thought would be my girl group for life but I was terribly wrong. I have other cliques that have blossomed even as we grow individually, older and wiser.

This particular clique has managed to explicitly left me out in the dark for too long and has made me feel a special kind of loneliness. Even if I had a loving boyfriend, an ultra amazing bestfriend and supportive cliques, they managed to blind me and suffocate me like a thick cloud of smoke. It was as if I was going to fail in life without them.

One day I went to a retreat to find myself and let’s just say I’m glad I went! They thought me how to reflect on all the relationships in my life and I had mentors to consult too. Basically at the end of the day, I chose to cut them off. But I wasn’t going to be a crude dramatic woman and create a fight and announce it. Instead, I bowed out gracefully from what once was the dream team.

I removed myself from the chats, the private Instagram accounts and muted them. I wanted to a develop an empowering detachment away from them and channel that rage into my passions. And that was what I did!

After a few months, I have grown so much, compared to the few years I have been with them. I wasn’t alone in this for I had loving people around me who knew what I was going through and supported me. I really really am happier now. I’m happier to the point that I do not even hate on them now. In fact I hope they have grown without me too!

Looking back, I really do not regret my decision of leaving. I’m sure we all did not want this from the moment we met, but it had to be done. Some friends are meant to be there all the way but some friends are only meant to be in some chapters to either help you grow or teach you a lesson. They helped me become more courageous to dare to be alone(not lonely but alone) and grow as an individual. I got to find what I really wanted to do with my life and now I’m hustling 🙂

We shouldn’t be binding ourselves to people or objects; we should only be one with ourselves and our fire. So if it’s time to let go, don’t feel bad about it, breathe and let go 🙂 It’ll be a great step towards a greater you.

so a stranger called me beautiful… now what?

I’ve always had self-esteem issues… but I don’t talk about it.

When people compliment me, I don’t accept it and even think that they probably just said it without much sincerity. Sometimes I even think they have an agenda because of the saying “flattery will get you places”…

Anyway, today was pretty bad. I woke up after a mere 4 hours of sleep and felt like less of a human being. I came out of bed after a thousand snoozes and looked in the mirror. As usual, I was displeased by what I saw. I began to shoot down myself with specified flaws, from the uneven pigmentation to the hooded eyelids that always made me look puffy. Afterwards I took a shower, came back and did my skin care routine.

Then I looked into the mirror again… “Okay… maybe I can work with this…”. So I messed up my hair to create a side parting, put on sunscreen and massaged my face. I put on a London style turtle neck with some culoids, sprayed some Prada candy and puckered up with some Innis-free lip balm.

For the final time, I looked at myself in the mirror… For a second, I felt prettier and happier but the longer I stared, the more I felt ugly while observing my face detailedly. Then a gush of throwbacks come pouring in, reminding me of the people who put me down and called me fat and ugly in the past. No matter how much I’ve changed for the better, I always saw the troll I was before.

But it’s okay. I still went on with my day and went to NCCS. When I got there, I found out I was gonna be attached to a lady who was a chines national. I said my greetings and found out she could only converse in Chinese… which was fine I guess because my Chinese was getting better.

As we were preparing… she asked for my nationality and said “你很漂亮。” which was “you are beautiful” in chinese. I shut it down with an awkward laughter and scratched my arm trying to shake off the anxiety from hearing that. She went on and said that she wasn’t lying and said I really was beautiful- ”我说的是真的。 真的很美丽啊。”

I was going to shut her down again but while she said that, she stared at me in awe and smiled. It was like she was admiring me as if she hasn’t seen anything so beautiful in her life. At that moment, I was sad. I was sad because I’ve always dismissed people’s compliments to be white lies and even felt uglier after that. I was sad because I couldn’t fully appreciate how beautiful I was even as she stared at me like that. I was sad because I’ve made myself like this.

For the next few hours she proceeds to say it more and stare at me the same way too. The more she said it, the more I felt at ease with her and tried to accept those compliments. She also got to know me and told me about her family. Towards the end, she asked for a picture with me and said it again :’). I swear my heart can only take so much.

Although she may never see this, I’d like to thank her. She may have done something so simple for her, but yet means so much to me. I’ve never felt so beautiful before. That was the most sincere compliment I have ever received from someone.

Hence forth, I decided to embark on this project to appreciate myself more often so that one day I may radiate a beautiful and pure energy that will inspire other people too.

so many of my friends are getting depressed

How do we take care of our mental health?

World mental health day just passed and it got me thinking why are more millennials getting depression and anxiety?

My generation is like a rose, beautiful from the surface, but thorny and difficult to deal with in real life. When I mean difficult to deal with, I mean difficult to satisfy, difficult to understand, difficult to read.

We are a generation that was raised to think we are all unique individuals that can achieve anything we set our mind to. Don’t get me wrong! It is true that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, but it sort of rubbed us the wrong way. With that kind of upbringing, we become ironically narrow-minded in this more liberal decade, expecting success to be a straight road, thinking we know what is to come and that we can tackle it for sure. The problem with this is, if something unexpected shakes us, we fall apart and take it out on ourselves.

My generation is a beautiful generation, expected to be a smarter and efficient generation, pressured to keep up with the technological advancements, expected to be leaders, problem solvers; basically, the best possible version of a human being.

My generation is desperate to make a change in this world, desperate to be unique and yet ironically desire to be a part of a bigger community united by similarities.

My generation is compassionate, maybe even too much. We are for hands-on charity work and recognize that amidst all the career and education stresses, we need to give back to our community. We are the generation feeling the long-term effects of global warming and failed politics.

Listing these out, with a few more still unwritten, I realize now why more millennials are depressed and anxious. We assume all problems to be ours and we hold ourselves accountable to everything.

We are hard on ourselves.

I speak of this, remembering the period I suffered from depression, how I slowly recover everyday and how I observe the people around me and from the conversations I had.

Traditional generations think of depression as a minor issue and compartmentalized it with the idea of discussing the “birds and the bees”. It shouldn’t be dusted under the mat. It should be able to be a part of everyday conversations, raising awareness, creating easy outlets for people to remember that we’re all in this together.

It is okay to be a generation that has to deal with such pressure, holding on to society’s expectations. We can all be that smart person that they pan us out to be, using technology to be better versions of ourselves. We can be leaders and problem solvers, fixing what has been broken on earth to make it a better home. But what are all these achievements, when you’re broken inside?

  • Don’t be afraid, introvert or not. Talk to someone about your struggles in life, big or small, and take refuge in the care and love that’s going around in society. We are all programmed by birth to be social beings, to thrive as a group. We are not alone 🙂
  • Take a break. For students studying or working adults in office jobs, try the Pomodoro Technique. (see: Pomodoro Technique) I have tried and tested it and it really keeps me sane, reminding me to breathe and reward myself. It only takes 30 days to form a habit so try it out!
  • Get a hobby. Having a hobby gives you an outlet, to filter pent up frustration and let it out through enjoyment. Some people get into a sport to get them endorphins, some people get artsy with painting to paint out their thoughts or emotions.
  • Religion. OK, this might be slightly controversial but I don’t mean to be converting anyone. I just want to say that sometimes, believing that there is a higher being above us, watching over us, can be comforting. Knowing that you are a part of a thing called “fate” can be reassuring when you go through tough times. The idea of a heaven or even multiple heavens above waiting for you can be enlightening too.
  • Get some alone time, outdoors. Not in your room because you will feel confined and anxiety can build up :–) Force yourself to go out, once in a while, to get some sun, or sit on a cute rock and watch the sunset or lay on the grass and count stars. It helped me calm my busy mind, and stone while admiring the world around me.

The pointers above are listed because they helped me get through a year-long depression so feel free to try them out for yourselves. I am still in the recovery process but I am improving and loving myself more and more with each passing day 🙂