2017.

Happy new year – and also, happy 10 years of blogging (most of it you don’t really have access to) for me!

The year 2017 is definitely one of my best years lived. Period.

For all of the sh*t that was thrown at me in 2016, 2017 was able to make up for it and much more. This year marked the epitome of my personal growth so far.

I never expected to have been able to do so much within 365 days but what I’ve learned from all of this is that my journey is not linear (the saying was inspired by Sahra Vang’s motto, “life is not linear”) – and it will never be for at least, the next few years (although I wouldn’t be surprised if it does not stop becoming unpredictable for as long as I live).

I have made decisions that have allowed me to challenge myself so often that getting out of my comfort zone has become an everyday norm for me. I am no longer afraid of executing unconventional ideas and making crazy last-minute plans based on these unconventional ideas. You can bet that I don’t expect myself to stop taking such actions anytime soon either!

Now, the next question that I am currently stuck on:

How do I expect to evolve and grow in 2018?

Well, I hope to continue working on projects but on a greater scale and at a slower pace.  For one, I’ve learned that art cannot be forced, which has been what I’ve been struggling to accept alongside with my constant seeking for approval of others for the past year or so. This leads to not just an artist’s block but to also more questions that have been in the back of my head for a while:

Why do I feel this constant pressure to seek approval of others? Who am I trying to prove? To others or to myself?

Despite my accomplishments in 2017, I also learned that there were deep insecurities that I would need to acknowledge and unpack eventually as well. It seemed that I had very high expectations for myself when it came to achieving the projects that I thought would be self-defining. But guess what? As grateful as I am for projects like Curiosity in Style and Project Voice, I am much more than the content I create and publish online for them.

I hope that in 2018, I will be able to disconnect from the digital world a little bit more to slow down and process these unspoken self-doubts of mine. In the meantime, I also want to simply appreciate and feel constantly inspired by both the significant and small moments happening IRL (“in real life,” I learned) as well.

So, as Project Voice comes to its season finale, I hope to push myself to expand on the meaning of what it means to be living as a digital content creator, as a TRUE artist of life – at my own pace.

TLDR: I am – and actually, have been – taking a break from trying to prove myself and others who I aspire to be better at.

Much love,

Jess.

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Adulting Agreement

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this lost before in terms of where I want to go and where I want to be.

I thought I had my life planned out for Korea, but clearly, it wasn’t the case now that I have been here for three months and already feeling antsy to leave for the next country.

I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to prove myself to others that I have to be the kind of artist that I’ve deprived myself so long to be. It feels really weird to know how much time I have and at the same time don’t.

Work has been taking a lot of time when it comes to lesson planning. Despite my endeavors to pursue a teaching career, I try not to let my current job title define me. A recent incident has been making me doubt myself, my validity, to the point that my self-confidence has been in the drains lately.

Now, I know that I am not a bad teacher but it really hurts my pride when it’s a mistake that I get a feeling that others would avoid out of common sense. Maybe it’s because of the many traumatic experiences at my past workplaces, where I keep being called out for my mistakes.

But at the end of the day, isn’t what your twenties are supposed to be? Making all of these stupid mistakes? Just fucking up? When do they end? Or do they ever? And am I the only one making them? Hopefully, not.

I find that being part of society has been a constant struggle. Besides the fact that I think that society has screwed us up in many ways, I also feel that there’s this constant pressure not to screw up. To add to that, another realization that I’ve made from screwing up is that the consequences are heavier as you get older, which is something I didn’t ask for when I signed the adulting agreement.

Wish me luck in the next few months,

Jess.

Slowing Down

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written one of my lengthy reflection posts. Life has been flying by and it seems that I always have something to do! And it seems that everybody is like that, too.

I’ve dedicated a good chunk of my summer towards finishing up Project Voice. For a while, I felt a little lost because I wasn’t quite sure where to go next. What would my next chapter be? I can’t be wasting all of this time with all youth and energy! Ack!

And that brings me to thinking about how others are getting by in their life. Back in The States, we’re constantly taught to work, work, work, never stopping, never having enough time for anything. Little did we realize how toxic and detrimental to our mental, emotional, and physical health such a lifestyle can be. And that’s a truth that I kept in the back of my head while working hard for Project Voice to be a dream come true.

But I am tired of feeling tired all the time.

Sometimes, we try to fill the void that we feel inside us by keeping ourselves busy when in reality, you can only fill it by knowing that you are enough. It came to my realization that, after a conversation with a friend (the same friend who I went to for advice on healing and self-care), that it is okay to slow down because slowing down does not mean falling behind.

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t able to sleep so well for a week because I spent so much time trying to find work  – although living in Korea has definitely changed me for the better. I am getting much more sleep than ever. I eat healthier. I’m cooking for myself. I drink a smoothie at least once every day. I go to yoga and pilates classes about 3 times a week. I have a 3-5 step skincare routine that includes wearing face masks, depending on the day. I meditate every night before I go to sleep. I finally have a routine. I feel less anxious, less fatigued, and more rejuvenated now. I feel more in control of my body and the environment. I feel more at ease.

So, in other words: here’s to resting and slowing down.  Here’s to trying new things out not to prove anything for others but for the sole sake of curiosity itself. Here’s to spending time and catching up with loved ones. Here’s to living and enjoying by the moments.

Jess.