My 7 Wonders of 2017🙌
As we approach the end of 2017, people seem to be counting down and writing new year solutions... I only wanted to be healthy in 2018 😂 That's not very exciting, is it? So instead, I've gathered these 7 wonders that I *ask* or *do* that amazed myself this year.
And because we're talking about 1 whole year (hello?), this post is a lil' long so get your cup of tea ready!
I value staying in more than going out.
Towards the second half of the year, I’ve spent more time with myself, without distractions, hard rules on what to read, learn and do. I get to know more about my own personality, and manage myself as a human being with emotions.
There’s so much noise in the world out there that talks about hustle, hustle and hustle. I once thought that in order to be successful, we need to work 24-7 and any minute of rest is a waste of time. (Or maybe that’s why I’m not successful, but #whocares?) I even had a Chinese newspaper clip pasted on my mirror saying that ‘others are working hard while you’re sleeping’. This thought was imprinted in my head throughout my childhood. I was able to get to the top of my class, top of the faculty, get full scholarships etc. I get sad because I wasn't productive when I'm sad, and the downward spiral goes on.
In other words, I managed myself like a robot. But there’s a difference between resting and being lazy, and being happily busy and sad busy. I realise in the real world, a lot of things don't work just because of hard work. It requires both emotional stability and hard work.
This year, I listened to my heart and do what I feel like doing. It was liberating, and I felt like I was in control of myself, both emotionally & physically. I was able to judge for myself what makes me fulfilled and happy - I am living a life of my own choices & decisions.
Just saying (and it’s really random), did you know that over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. That there is 'the overestimation of danger and the underestimation of [their] ability to cope.' That a person can be 'incredibly anxious and perfectionistic', and they ‘never get to the point where they can say, 'I’ve done enough, now I can stop.' This is not to say I have anxiety or whatsoever, but perhaps this is why I felt so restless before. The inability to justify that I am ‘enough’, can eventually contribute to low self-esteem...
What is self-worth/self-esteem anyway?
You know, in marketing, sometimes we create a problem that was never there before, so that we create the need for something else.
So before they coin the word ‘self-worth’ or ‘self-esteem’, or before they get all the hype or hashtags# from social media, what was it like? Did people have no self-worth or self-esteem? It’s interesting to have these concepts introduced… so that we can begin to measure, justify or qualify it? Are we ‘promoting’ the lack of it by emphasizing the need for it?
Will we ever articulate these concepts in a way that introduces more and more comparison? Can a person having no recognition of whether they have low/high self-esteem live their life OK and be happy? Can a person have high self-esteem at times and low at other times? If yes, why do we bother?
Once I’ve decided that self-esteem is a fleeting measure of my confidence, and like what all people say, the only thing that’s constant is change, everything just falls into place.
(This is inspired by Man Repeller’s 6-minute audio. Notable soundbite: “That I’m the best person to do the job I’ve done”.)
i am an introvert... and you?
For a long time, I had thought that I am an extrovert. I knew that in a company that I previously worked in, they mentioned that a typical good consultant is an ENTJ. Ok so this point isn’t about whether ENTJs make good consultants, but more about I was reluctant to accept my own personality. I would re-do a personality test twice just so I can get a result as an ENTJ.
That was stupid, I know. And it was wrong in so many ways. I was young at that time. My self-worth was based on whether I can get that job, and what my personality really is doesn’t matter.
At the same time, I see people around me socializing and enjoying their time - I thought that is the ONLY way it should be. The tricky thing about identifying myself as an introvert is that… you only get to see extroverted behaviour around you!
As a part of my job, I re-do the MBTI test again and this time I was honest. I was classified as an introvert. Now everything just clicked. Not that the test is 100% accurate, but the results are indicative. I embrace the fact that:
- I needed time alone to recover after gatherings,
- that my energy level peaks for a certain period of time in a party and quickly drains,
- that I would bring a book with me to lunch every day, half because I f**king love reading and half the time being I want to avoid unnecessary conversation with others
… and all these doesn’t mean I am an anti-social person. It’s… just me!
(Graphics from: Anna Borges / BuzzFeed)
“Health as self-enrichment. Health as achievement. Health as STATUS.”
That ‘we’re not living longer, we are dying longer’ really sticks in my head when I watched a trailer of a documentary ‘Eating You Alive’. You don’t have to believe everything the documentary says, but really people, do you honestly care about what you eat in terms of the nutrition that it brings you, or do you only really care about the taste? And for me, health isn’t only about my own body, but the environment as a whole, and we can’t possibly be healthy in a heavily polluted world.
Protecting my 'fuck budget'
I really DGAF about explaining this...
Does quitting fast fashion mean I have to look shabby?
Like… wearing straw hats and some old dirty top?
No, but it does require a certain level of investment (money & time) to find the right piece. There are many ways a piece of clothing can be a better option than your fast fashion purchase, be it because of the materials, labour, production process, the story behind the brand, etc. I am actually excited to be able to contribute to people running the business - it’s better than donating money, because I’m actually getting new stuff back by supporting people with similar values!
I don’t have an opinion on whether karma exists or not, but if you do, that’s great. Just imagine every piece of fast fashion clothing that you’ve purchased has been manufactured by people in extremely impoverished environment. Don’t tell me the usual ‘but this is business’ bullshit. Or tell me that we should figure out another way to empower developing countries so they get income from other industries. We can do better, and in fact, we can actually pay them enough just by paying a few dollars more.
Of course, for an ethical brand, they usually cost a lot more than just a few dollars than their fast fashion counterparts, especially when they’re trying to do things the right way at all fronts without cutting corners, e.g. using more durable and more expensive materials, higher craftsmanship to ensure the longevity of the garment, eco-friendly way of waste disposal, etc. So if you can afford buying from an ethical company, why not?
I give absolutely zero fucks about my subject-verb agreement (and prepositions).
Sorry guys, yes I studied linguistics (and it doesn't mean we don't make grammatical errors) and I can’t possibly care less about my S-V agreement because… Cantonese doesn’t have verb inflections (we do, have verbal particles btw!) and S-V agreement is just that one frequent error that really really bugs me every time I proofread my work… and I don't care.