Tagged: Life

Expressing Gratitude: Silencing my Inner Critic

Lately, I have been feeling really anxious. Watching my former high school classmates whizz through life, reaching one milestone after another makes me question what the heck is going on with my life. My future, in terms of career and relationships, seem nothing but blurry and uncertain. The more I think about it, the louder my inner critic becomes, telling me I am running out of time, and if I don’t achieve great things now, my chances will be taken away.

When my anxiety becomes painfully overwhelming, I found that the best way to silence my inner critic is through the expression of gratitude for everything, even the small stuff. Especially the small stuff!

So…what am I grateful for?

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I am grateful for the people in my life, and the kindness they have shown me.

The ones who paced by the window, waiting for my safe arrival home because it’s cold, wet and dark outside.
The one who offered to come grab me at night, only to sit there in silence as I cry, because I was having another emotional breakdown.
The one who, despite being a million miles away and in a different time zone, still reaches out to me by sending me words of positivity and encouragement.
The one who gives me genuine and honest advice/guidance on relationships, and self improvement without ever being impatient or judgmental.
And the one who always has my back, even if the rest of the world against me.

Even the ones who have wronged me, I am grateful for their existence, because if it weren’t for them, I would never have discovered the courage I have within to stand up for myself. To say “NO” when something goes against my morals.

But…what about the big questions in life? The stuff that I am always trying to find an answer to? Well guess what, lets be realistic, I’m not going to wake up one day and magically know the answers. Not tomorrow. Not next week.

I don’t know if I will be able to break into the field of my choice.
And even if I do, I don’t know if I will be able to afford my dream apartment, complete with my dream car and dream pet.
I don’t know even know if I will ever be able to operate a vehicle without fearing that I will get into an accident.
I don’t know if I am ever going to get married, have kids, and take happy family portraits like some of my friends.
I hope it doesn’t happen, but if I don’t get married, there’s a chance I will turn into the crazy cat lady who lives down the street, but I don’t know that for a fact!

And guess what?  IT’S OKAY!

It’s okay to not have the answers. It’s okay not to have those things figured out!
Even if my life isn’t going to be as exciting as those of my peers, my life isn’t going to suck and I won’t be forever doomed. One thing I know for sure is it’s still going to be awesome, but in a nerdy/funny/simple Karen kind of way because even if I don’t have the big stuff down, I have a ton of small stuff to be happy and thankful for.

I made a promise to myself, every time I feel my anxiety sneaking up on me again, I just need to count my blessings. I’m thankful for what I have, really, I am 🙂

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Road Trip 101

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Sunset at Seaside, Oregon

This holiday, the boyfriend and I embarked on our first long distance road trip from Vancouver, BC to Seaside, Oregon. After much hustling and bustling for the last 5 days, here are 4 things that we learned:

1. Don’t cheap out on accomodations!

Both of us love the outdoors, and when the boyfriend found a groupon for cheap accommodations, we jumped on it right away because it meant an opportunity for us to hit the road again. We were so blinded by our cheap discovery that we failed to take into account where our planned activities were! Everything we wanted to see or do was at least 1.5 to 2 hours away from where we stayed. Looking back, most of our vacation time was spent sitting in the car, trying to track down the closest Starbucks for free WiFi to get our navigation system going! We often returned to our room exhausted with little energy to do anything else, yikes!

2. Bring a phone charger

There isn’t much navigation involved when it comes to driving on the highway, but once it came time to find the appropriate exit or even navigating within an unfamiliar city, we relied heavily on our phones. We were on the road, on and off, for almost 9 hours, and with Google maps on the whole time, the battery on our phones was drained completely before we were even close to our destination. At one point, we ended up having to stop at a random Starbucks to charge our phones before continuing. Lesson learned: buy a phone charger for the car!

3. Starbucks is your friend

Starbucks, what a life saver! I’m no expert when it comes to techy stuff, but all I know is that in order to get your Google map going, you need the internet. The boyfriend and I don’t have a data pass, so what we did was find a place with internet first, get our map going, then we would take off, but sometimes Google maps would crash, leaving us lost. When that happens, the first thing we would do is find the closest Starbucks so that we could use their free WiFi to help us get back on track! We have gotten ourselves out of so many tricky situations using this method.

4. Don’t overload yourself with activities! 

Prior to leaving for our trip, the boyfriend bought a few more groupons so we would have a few more budget friendly activities to enjoy. Who would’ve known that it became challenging just trying to fit 2 activities into one day! It was so stressful having to rush from one destination to another, because each activity started to feel more like a task. Not only that, the boyfriend and I would end up feeling disappointed when we had to cancel activities we had been anticipating.

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We couldn’t visit the zoo but took a tram ride instead!

The boyfriend and I agreed that for future trips, we will only plan one activity per day, and not try to squeeze three things into one day. We’ve also learned not to get overly crazy over groupons too!

Happy Reading!