The Consequence of Not Facing Your Fears

We have all had moments in our lives where our fears were staring us right in the face and we had a decision to make. Did we face them? or did we turn away from them?

More times than I can count, I have chosen to run in the opposite direction. At the time, running in the opposite direction felt like the right thing to do. In those moments, it felt safer and easier to run. I will admit, the relief I felt after not facing those fears was indescribable, but there was always a small voice in the back of my head telling me I had made a mistake.  

Little did I know that voice in the back of my head was on to something. At that moment, I would feel relieved, but in the long-run, I would pay a price for never facing my fears. This leads me to the point of today’s post. What happens when we don’t face our fears? What consequences do we face instead?

You see, when we run from our fears, we are essentially running from an opportunity to grow as a person. We take away the option of change or just seeing something different. I get it, change and growth are messy and difficult but they are vital to all of our lives. Just think for a moment, if you did not face your fears ever, who would you be today? How would you act? Who will you become?  

Things in life are meant to be done even with fear at the forefront. One of my favourite quotes about fear by Meg Cabot and says “courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear”. Your growth, your happiness, your development as a person, is more important than fear. There is an endless list of things in life that are more important than fear. But when we come face to face with fear, we are reminded of how easy it could be if we just backed down and turned away from it.

But unfortunately, as we will all come to learn, sometimes you can’t run from fear. You will be put in circumstances or situations where facing your fear is quite literally the only option. But you shouldn’t wait until that point to face your fears or develop the tools you need to face your fears.

It is not easy, but that’s the point, it is not meant to be easy. But turning in the other direction can harm your growth and life more in the long run. Not facing your fears stifles your growth and impedes your development as a person.

Fear can stop your life from becoming better, it can stop you from doing what’s right by you and by others, it can stop you from chasing after the life you have always dreamed of. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The consequences you will face by not facing your fears are far greater than the ones you will

The Changing Meaning of Life

The initial idea behind The Life We Dream Of was to encourage people to accomplish their life goals and live the life they have always dreamed of living. It sounded simple, easy and was a bit niche in my opinion. But it never took off, mostly because I didn’t want it to. I would stop myself from posting or creating any new content because I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to have all the answers for those who would come to visit my blog seeking those very same answers. But over time, what I have come to learn is that the reason I wasn’t willing to return to posting on my blog is that too much had changed. More specifically, I had experienced a shift in mindset so drastic that the life we dream of lost its very essence for a while.

The other day I was watching Soul on Disney Plus and it was a truly phenomenal movie. It somehow brought me back to a time a year and a half ago where I was in a dark place and my mental health was not great. During that time, I was working at a job I found mundane, unfulfilling, and altogether made me feel useless. But why was I feeling this way? I was finally working an ‘adult job’, I was getting paid a decent salary and I loved my colleagues. Somehow, that wasn’t enough. A year and a half ago, I thought that the dream life that I wanted was one where I would climb the career ladder, live in a beautiful condo or apartment and be able to buy anything I want without hesitation. Although that is a rather simplistic view of life, I had envisioned for myself it is truly what I wanted. There is nothing wrong with that – if anything it’s a very normal life that many people want. But once I was one step closer to that life, I felt more and more unfulfilled and sad.

It wasn’t until I was unemployed during the pandemic and able to take a step back from being overly busy that I realized why I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, I was working in the job I worked so hard to get, and I was making money, but I had turned this unhappy and unfulfilling job into the center of my life. I poured all my attention into it, and the unhappiness surrounding it all consumed my life.

Why did I do that? Because that is all I ever knew how to do. All society had taught me up until that point is that I need to get a job, but not just any job, a job that I was passionate about and would want to dedicate my entire life to. I genuinely thought that I was going to live my dream life by taking this job. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and did not in any way make me happy.

 Life is so much more than how productive I am compared to those around me. Life is about the small moments of joy, happiness, and peace. It is not all supposed to be about finding the dream career and climbing the ladder. Is it an important part of our lives? Absolutely – but how productive I am in society is not the be all end all of who I am.

Watching this movie reminded me that if I had just taken a few moments each day to find those small moments of joy or happiness, maybe I would have been a lot happier. Maybe I would enjoy what I was doing more if I had put less focus on it and stopped it from consuming my entire life. The life we dream of should be one where we seek joy and happiness, where we create it within ourselves and with others. The life we dream of is simple and not very demanding at its root core.  All I want from life is to be healthy, happy, financially comfortable and be surrounded by friends and family. At the end of the day that is all I want, and if a career can help me achieve some of those things then that is fantastic, but it will not be the only thing I focus on.

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

If you are anything like me, then you probably have a slightly unhealthy addiction to all things stationery, notebooks, and planners. I will say, I did not invest in a planner in 2020, but instead utilized the bullet journal because at least I could customize it to my crazy and unpredictable schedule. However, in 2021 I decided to take the plunge and invest in a planner. The way I see it is that if I’m going to invest in something it will be in myself and a tool, I can use to set myself up for success.  

I know a lot of people are hesitant to buy a planner or even just plan out their goals for 2021, and I spoke about it in my last post, but with that, I still think it’s important to work towards something or structure the work or job we currently have. With that in mind, I have also included a few online resources that you can utilize that are free, so you don’t have to monetarily invest them. But they still do an excellent job at helping you create an organizational system that works for you and your goals. Without further delay, here are a few of my favourite organizational tools!   

  • Monthly calendar

A monthly calendar is the number one organizational tool I would recommend to anyone. Whether you use it on your phone, your laptop, or a paper version, using a monthly calendar can set you up for success in the best way possible. First, it forces you to write down important deadlines, events, meetings, or appointments. This makes it easy for you to remember your busy schedule, and generally frees your brains from having to remember every little detail that is on your calendar. Second, it signals to you what needs to be accomplished, what tasks have to be completed and by when. When you utilize your monthly calendar to its fullest extent, you are doing half the work already. You are pre-planning your tasks and prioritizing them without even making a to-do list.

  • Planner

As I mentioned earlier, I did decide to invest in a paper planner. The one I am using is by STIL Classics, and I will say it is a bit pricier. But there are so many places that sell agendas to suit every budget and price range such as Indigo. One of the reasons why I love this planner is because there’s a section called monthly rituals and routines. After the Holidays I have had a tough time creating my morning and night routines. But this planner helped me make a concrete plan or idea of what I want in my mornings and evenings to look like. Another feature that I love about this agenda is that there is a weekly spread where you can write out your to-do list but then on the following page there’s also a weekly spread where you can schedule it out and I find those two together just help me visualize my week and time-block properly.    

  • Notebooks and Notepads

Having a notebook or notepad on your desk is one of the best ways to free your mind from distractions. Sometimes you get a random thought or idea not related to the work you are doing at that moment, but you still want to remember it. Having a notebook or notepad nearby can help with that. I also find that when I am feeling overwhelmed, just taking a few minutes to jot down my thoughts in this notebook helps me clear my mind and refocus on the task at hand. Another way I use my notebooks is just for to-do lists. In the middle of 2020, I was solely relying on to-do lists in my notebooks to get me through the day and the work that I need to do. It is endlessly customizable and allows you to structure your organizational system however you want.

  • Stationery

I am a big stationery lover and have far too many pens and highlighters for one person. Although I do not colour code everything in my life, I find that using colours in my notebooks or bullet journal helps add a bit of life to the page and encourage my creativity to flow more smoothly. Fancy stationery is not essential to your organization system but testing out how you plan with a bit of colour might be more incentivizing for you, or help you plan and organize yourself better.

  • Online Resources

Here are two online tools that I have used and find extremely useful and are free for those of us who do not want to use any paper or are on a budget. Trello is an amazing online tool that lets you customize the board you are using to organize your work. I used it heavily throughout university and mainly used it because it was easy to reshuffle my to-do lists and tasks, without having to physically change or create a whole new to-do list. Monday.Com I have just recently started using this platform, but it was created in such a way where it keeps you accountable on your deadlines and is amazing if you are working with other people on projects.

I hope these tools will help you create an organizational system that works for you and will help you accomplish whatever you need to do. Soon, I will talk about the organization system I have created and hopefully that can help one of you.

The beauty of organization is that it is truly customizable and at the base of it all you just need a pen and paper (or phone), and the motivation and courage to outline what needs to get done, and the discipline to accomplish it. But that system that you create is entirely yours and can be shaped and formed however you need It to be.  

*Please note that none of the links above are sponsored or affiliate links these are just things that I have truly come to love and I’m linking just for people who are interested*

Planning For 2021

2020 was a tough year, collectively and personally. It was a year that upended many aspects of our lives and a year that showed no mercy. The goals that I had set at the beginning of the year were completely thrown out the window by March. I honestly just floated through the rest of the year without a single goal in mind.

In a way, it was refreshing. I did my day-to-day things; I tried my best in school and blogged a bit, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to adapt my goals or start from scratch. Which is exactly the mentality I am taking with me into 2021. But this time, I have decided that instead of setting yearly goals, I would just take it month by month. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you can’t plan life. You can’t plan or predict what will happen tomorrow, and although that scares me, it has also been a sort of comfort to know that I just need to get my shit together one month at a time.

Everything in my life as of this point is beyond uncertain. I guess you could say I am in a unique position in my life, but I think it’s a rather common one that a lot of us have faced. It’s that point where one chapter has closed, and another one hasn’t yet open so here we are just standing in the in-between of life. At least, that is how it feels to me.

But with this in-between phase, I still have things I want to do and goals to reach but I am taking a much more relaxed approach to them. So, for January 2021, here are a few of my goals and what I am focusing on.

  • Career – I am at that point in my life where I am ready, and need, a proper adult job, if you will, so one of my goals is not necessary to get a job but it is to apply to quite a lot of jobs.
    • Apply to 5 jobs a week
    • Create a job application tracker
    • Update and translate my Resume
  • The Life We Dream Of Blog
    • Grow my followers (no amount specified, because again I am trying not to put pressure on myself)
    • Post once a week
    • Update and organize website layout and content
  • Personal
    • Read 4 books (my goal is to read 50 books this year, if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments!)
    • Re-establish a morning routine
    • Work on my relationship with money and finances

Just remember, last year was extremely challenging and the fact of the matter is, 2021 will be equally as challenging. Keep that in mind when you are creating your goals, do not put pressure on yourself to reach these impossible standards. Take a deep breath, it has been a long year but remember everything can change in a year. Just take it one month at a time. 

2021 & The New Normal

Things don’t have to go back to what it was before the pandemic if you don’t want it to. It doesn’t have to go back to what it was before 2020. Too much has happened that I think falling back into old patterns won’t do anyone good.


We can’t go back to what used to be, I think this pandemic revealed so many flaws in our systems that why would we want to go back to it? If we are at a point where we can start again why not choose that? Why not rethink things? Why not see what the new normal can be?
Because here’s the thing, we can make it better. We can care about one another, help each other succeed, believe in ourselves and just be better than we were before or during this shit show of 2020. We don’t have to go back to what was, because it’s not who we are anymore.
I know that everything that has happened to everyone has been a lot to process. Some would even say it was too much to bear – regardless of where you live, you probably know someone who got the virus, lost their job, faced financial difficulties, had trouble with their mental health, missed loved ones, or couldn’t do what makes them happy. This year has been too much for most of us, but I hope you all take away this one thing.

We don’t need to go back to what was, it quite literally will never be possible since too much has changed, and we have experienced far too many profound things in our lives. So, take that with you and look at the year ahead and decide your new normal. Not what the world thinks should be normal, but the normal you want to live. Think about the normal you crave, the actual normal. Not the habits we want to fall back on but explore what could be. This year has shown that for better or for worse anything can happen. As much as the bad has happened this year, the good can also come. You just need to be open to the idea that our version of normal needs to adapt to the changing times.

My wish and hope for you are that you have an easy transition into the new year, that you take a few deep breaths and remember that the life you want to live is up to you and that if you choose to, you can live it. But perhaps it all starts with accepting the fact that there is no going back and that we all need to collectively go forward and embrace what’s to come.

4 Books That Helped Me Get Through 2020

In my opinion, 2020 has been an amazing year in terms of just how many thought-provoking, forward-thinking books were published. At least we can say one good thing came out of 2020 – books. Recently, I was through my bullet journal and found a book tracker that I had started in July but for some reason never continued to fill out. After digging through receipts and comparing them with my bookshelf to see how many I had read, I came to realize that I had read 17 books (not including books I had to read for school). Which to me is a lot, but I have also never kept track of it in the previous years.

This got me thinking, which books had the biggest impact on me in 2020? Which books made me cry, tear at my heartstrings, brought about those moments of clarity or realization? Well, I present to you four books that changed my life in 2020 and got me through this pandemic.

1)      Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Stepsister is a spin-off tale from the classic Cinderella story, told through the perspective of Cinderella’s stepsister, Isabelle. It will teach you life lessons that you wish someone had told you earlier, it will have you shedding a few tears, but most importantly it will remind you how beautiful and true it is to be yourself and live a life you want to live. It has fundamentally changed how I understand my past and present actions and has taught me more than some of my own life experiences. If I were to summarize the impact it had on me, all I could say was that it made me realize so many things about my own life that I had yet to fully unpack. It also brought so much depth, character, and background to one of my favourite childhood classics. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is not into self-help but needs some perspective or inspiration in their life.

2)      City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls follows the life story of character Vivian Morris from 19 until the end of her life. This book explores all the seasons and moments she experiences, the lessons learnt, the mistakes, the mishaps, name it and it’s in this book. I read the book at a point in the year where I felt helpless, stuck and quite frankly like there was nothing beyond what I was living. This book gave me a sort of reality check and taught me that our lives are so complex, full of ups and downs and each period has its season. And as we all know, seasons come and go, and they change and that too will happen to your life. It taught me that there was so much waiting for me in the years to come, so many more experiences, good and bad, that I had to go through. I truly do not know what I would have done, or how I would have gotten out of that funk without this book.

3)      The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstein

The Starless Sea is one of those books that can captivate you from the very first page. Although it starts a bit slow, the build-up to the story is filled with so many small yet important details, it is quite astonishing just how much effort was put into creating the world you will read about. The story starts with a character named Ezra Rawlins who discovers an unusual book in his library that oddly enough is about him. The rest of the story? That is for you to discover and trust me it will be an adventure. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who feels as if 2020 is a bit too much to handle (rightly so) and needs a temporary escape. But honestly, it is such a beautiful crafter world that escape is not even the right word to use, you will almost be transported to another world.

4)      The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

This book was definitely an impulse buy, but I am so glad I bought it. It was an amazing book that was so far out of my comfort zone, that it made me love it that much more. The book is set during the Second Sino-Japanese War happening from 1937-1945. Being that I live in Canada, we rarely learn about what was happening in this time outside of Europe, which is truly a shame because so much was happening around the world. For the first time in a long time, I was reading a book based on a true story, set in a context I didn’t even know existed. The book follows the story of students evacuating Minghua University, after their city was going to be invaded, all the while they must carry the library of legends to safety and make it to safety and find their loved ones. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to expand their horizons and learn about something new.

Those are 4 books that have renewed my love of reading once again and have gotten me through 2020. Next year, I plan on reading 50 books. Please leave me your book suggestions in the comments! I would love to add some new books to the list for 2021.

Happy Reading!

Reflecting on the End of a Chapter

After much journaling, self-care and just a boatload of reflection, I have slowly come to understand why I am so terrified of what’s to come. Not only what’s to come in 2021, but just for the rest of my life. As I have probably mentioned before, I am nearing the end of my bachelor’s degree and it is not sitting well with me.

It’s not just that I am finishing my education, it feels as though I am finishing a much bigger chapter of my life. My young adulthood is wrapping up, my childhood is officially ending and what is to come feels like a dark empty hole.

But over the past few months, I have been wondering why I am feeling this way. Why was I so scared of the unknown? Why was I freaking out about having a plan? What was I going to do after this? I have always told myself that at the end of the day I could rely on myself – that I would always be there, and I would always get through the ups and downs of life. But for some reason, that thought has not been comforting enough these past few months. After a lot of reflection, I came to understand why I was so scared of moving on, into the next chapter of my life and I would like to share it with you all.

I was and still am the type of person who has made academics an integral part of their life. When people are asked to describe me, one of the first things that come up is how studious I am. Since high school, I have prioritized and applied myself academically. Mostly because I did love learning, and by extension of that I loved school. But seeing as how I am coming to the end of that path, it scared me to think that I wouldn’t be in that environment anymore. I am very much someone who grows through learning, and it feels like if I take away to school then I am not going to learn, and then I am never going to grow and then someone that will equate to me being stuck in the same spot forever. Now a part of me knows this is not how life works, but the irrational part of my brain has been repeating this over and over in my head. I also became scared that once I was out of school, I would somehow lose an integral part of my personality. As if the only thing that makes me who I am is school – which could not be further from the truth.

With the help of journaling, talking with my friends and honestly reflecting late at night I came to realize a few things I think people need to remember more often.

One, you are not the work you do, the job you have or the career you have found yourself in. Let me explain. Those things are a part of you, they are a small building block of who you are and perhaps they take over a good chunk of your life, but they are not the end-all-be-all of who you are. You are so much more than the titles assigned by society; your personality is not your job or what you produce. For a long time, I believed that once you took away school, you took away who I was because I loved some of the things I was learning in school. I felt that by taking away school, you were taking away my passion for politics, history and helping others. But those aspects, or passions of mine are not linked to school. Did I discover them through school? Yes, but that in no way means once I leave school those parts of my personality leave with it. They are a fundamental part of who I am, and for that, they will always be a part of me. All this to say that the work you do, the function you have is not an accurate portrayal of who you truly are. You are so much more than what you do.

The second thing I came to realize was that a job or career cannot be the only source of joy I have in life. I have always been the type of person who wanted a big career, and I was prepared to put all my eggs into that basket for the sake of what exactly? I have no idea — I was just told that in life I need to get a good job. You do not need to have the perfect career to have a happy life. But it is worth mentioning that a job you do not like, will certainly not make your life better. I was caught between these two ideas and I feared either one of them. So, I decided on a happy compromise, which is forewarned has never been tested outside my brain so might not pan out (will keep you updated on that). But one thing I came to realize about myself was that I did not care so much about the actual job title that I held, but what I did care about was two things. I want my job to help people in some way, really it could in a lot of ways but at the core, I want to help people in any way I can. And second, I need to learn in my job. I cannot have a job with no learning or a small learning curve. I thrive in new experiences that require me to learn new things, but once the learning ends, I start hating the work I am doing. I don’t even care if my job is not related to the field I studied in – but to be happy in a job, I know from past experiences, that I need to be helping people and continuously learning throughout the job.

Understanding how I felt about the next chapter of my life was not easy. It took months for me to realize that I thought school was who I was, but that could not be further from the truth. It also took months for me to realize that the uncertainty I was feeling about the next chapter of my life, and getting a job, stemmed from the fact that I did not know what I wanted. And truth be told, I still have no idea what I want to do. But I know that when I am evaluating job posting or going to interviews, I will think to myself, will I be able to help someone with this job? Is there room to learn and grow? And just having that foundation calms me down a bit.

What I hope you take away from this, is that you are not the work you do nor are you the career you choose. You are so much more than that. It took me a long time to come to these realizations of what I potentially could want from life and what I was scared of leaving behind, I encourage you to take a few moments to reflect on where you’re at. Always remember that you can start over, and that a new chapter of your life can begin today if you need it to. New chapters don’t only start when we end a big moment, they start every single day.

The Next Right Thing

It was a typical Wednesday night and I of course found myself mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest and pinning random quotes, future dream kitchens and how I want my future library to look (yes, this is truly one of my life goals). But somehow, I noticed this really pretty green square and my eyes drifted to the quote and it said, “do the next right thing”.  I had to stop for a moment and reflect. The quote hit me like a ton of bricks, and it has been in my minever since. I can’t stop thinking about it – why has no one told me to just try and do the next right thing?

Well, it is a bit complicated because as I am sure we all understand, sometimes we don’t know what the next right thing is. We don’t know what we are supposed to do or even how we are supposed to go about it. The idea of doing the next right thing suddenly became overwhelming.

Here’s the thing — you don’t need to do the next major thing. You just need to do the NEXT right thing and oftentimes the next thing is a small action. So that’s what I started doing, I started thinking of it in smaller bite-size pieces.

At that moment, I decided that the next right thing would be to set my alarm for the next morning, and then I eventually went to bed. Making that decision was not a massive choice, it wasn’t scary or aunting. But I did it because I knew that if I int I would have a rushed morning and that would set off a chain reaction of grumpiness for the entire day. Sometimes doing the next right thing is just one small action that could make a difference in your life. 

Thursday morning, I woke up with this idea still stuck in my head and throughout the day I decided that I would continue with it. I just kept thinking to myself, what is the next right thing? After getting up, the next right thing was to make myself a healthy breakfast, then it was to get ready for my zoom class and then it was that I would work out in the afternoon. But please don’t get the impression that I did everything right that day. I knew that one of the next right things was to attend my shorter zoom class, but I didn’t. I wanted to share that with you all because you should understand that doing the next right thing is not easy, and its habits we have to develop.

Oftentimes, it is the habit that we least want to keep up because it forces us to make choices that would otherwise make us uncomfortable. Doing the next right thing every day requires you to look in the mirror and deciding that today will be a day where you try to do your best, be your best and overall do the next right thing. Is this easy? No, but it can turn into a life-changing mindset.

But remember that you can start small. You don’t have to embark on this crazy idea of what the next right thing is – it could just be that the next right thing is making a healthy breakfast, going for a walk or just calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. The next right thing is not as daunting and big of a deal as we make it seem it just takes a shift in mindset and an ounce of courage.

Just think, at this moment, what is the next right thing you can do?

Follow Your Heart

If you are anything like me, you will find yourself in a position of feeling lost, confused, and just generally stuck. But recently, I have been having to make a lot of decisions about what is coming next, and I have spoken about it already here on the blog, but I think it is worth bringing up again.

Earlier today, I was watching a Disney Christmas commercial, and while sobbing my way through it (it gets you in the feels), a quote was said that resonated with me on a deep level. The quote was “if you don’t know where you are heading, follow your heart”. Maybe it was the emotions, or perhaps it was just what I needed to hear, regardless, it made me cry even more.

When I heard that, I felt something in me change – something unlocked inside of me that I had spent so much time trying to ignore and push away. For so long, my heart has been trying to tell me what I wanted to do, what my next step would on this journey that is my life, but I shoved it aside. I shoved it aside because it did not seem like something I could do — after all, I had never seen it done before.

I am not one to listen to my heart, but there is something about this pandemic that has been forcing me to reconsider that line of thinking. In the past nine months, I have not stopped having this internal argument in my mind about what I should or should not do. For nine months, I have been actively avoiding my heart, caving in and just listening to it, realizing that indeed it was telling me what I wanted and then listening to it. So why have I suddenly forgotten that process in the last few weeks? It’s because I got scared. I got scared of what could be, of who I could become and of what would happen if I failed. But this required me once again (I do this weekly) to reconsider my relationship with failure. And the conclusion I have reached is that if you follow your heart, and live an authentic life, true to yourself, then you can never fail. We only start to fail when we ignore what we want because the goal seems too challenging, scary or unachievable.

I think this has to be said along with this is that following your heart is not easy; it has never been easy; it never will be easy. You will have to consistently choose to challenge yourself over sticking in your comfort zone, courage over fear and be vulnerable.

So why is it even worth it? Why should I follow my heart? Because at the end of it all, the only way you can live an authentic, loving and joy-filled life is if you start following your heart and going after what you want. It is the only way to live a life that will make you truly happy at the end of it – follow your heart and enjoy the ride.

My Relationship With Risk

I was always scared of taking risks. I couldn’t understand why people would choose uncertainty over predictability. However, my relationship with risk has changed dramatically – but it took a lot of work to unlearn and reverse a lot of what I was thinking.

Recently, I have been put in a situation much like everyone else in 2020, where I need to make some big decisions. The problem is, I was making those decisions based on fear, uncertainty and what could happen if I failed. I began making decisions that would force me to settle for something I knew deep down I never wanted.

I often found myself questioning is this what you want? Is it what you want right now? Are you heading in a direction to fulfills you and make you happy? Suffice it to say all those came back as a big no.

Being as I was less busy, I had a lot of time to reflect on where I was at in life, decisions I had made in the past, and what I wanted from the future. After about eight months of constant reflection, I realized that I wasn’t scared of failing; I didn’t believe in myself.

For some reason that I still do not fully understand, I didn’t believe in myself. I did not think that I could take a risk and turn it into some sort of success. Or that I could take the risk, fail, and come back swinging if you will. I did not think I was good enough to live a life that would bring me joy. I did not think I was worth enough in this life to be a part of it. What was happening was that I was tying my self-worth to how big, showy and amazing my life could appear to others. I believed that if others couldn’t see me living this great and amazing life then what was the point?

 Here is the point: life is not meant to be lived for other people. The risks you take in life are for you, or maybe for the ones you love. But they should never rest on what the rest of the world thinks of you. You deserve to take risks and live a life that makes you happy just by the sheer fact that you exist. You are here to live for yourself and yourself only. You exist to be happy, to spread joy and love. But to also live a life aligned with your values, your truth and whatever sets your soul on fire.

And one of the only ways you can do that is if you believe in yourself and you take that risk, knowing that you will be there to celebrate the success or catch yourself if you fall. You are worth the risk; you are worth it more than you know.

How the Pandemic Changed the Direction of my Life

As we are slowly approaching eight months of living in a pandemic, I could not help but lie awake the other night for over 2 hours thinking about just how much has changed in my life during these eight months.

The beginning of this pandemic brought a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, which forced me to rethink a lot of my habits. From filtering out the news I watched or read, to how I interacted with people or even just kept myself sane, I am sure you and I both have had to adapt in so many ways.

I find myself at a standstill because one chapter of my life is quickly coming to a close and I was not ready for it before this pandemic, but now I am truly terrified of it ending. In just two and a half months, I will graduate from university with my bachelor’s degree in political science.

Why am I so scared to graduate?

Well, for one thing, I don’t know who I am without school and by taking that part of my life away, I feel as if I am left with an empty shell and a meaningless life. I have built my entire life around grades, assignments and just academics in general because I was convinced that it would guarantee me a stable and easy future.

But instead, I am stuck in a pandemic with little to no idea of what comes next. Over the years, I have learned how to embrace the blank canvas that might be presented to us, but this one seems too large that even the thought of it becomes overwhelming.

My entire life lies ahead of me, and not having even a smidge of a plan seems reckless and dumb of me. What I try to remind myself, with a heavy dose of compassion, is that what comes next is not a death sentence – it is merely a new beginning, a new chapter. And I should remember how fortunate I am that to even get a blank slate.

I think the pandemic reminded a lot of us or is continuously reminding us, that we cannot plan everything. No matter who you are, something about your life was upended overnight and there was nothing we could do about it.

This pandemic has forced me to rethink the entire direction of my life. But it has also taught me that what we plan is not necessarily what will happen to us. We can spend our entire life planning for what comes next, but there are so many things out of our control that can deter the path we have so carefully curated for ourselves. I am also learning that this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just something that happens.

Even though the pandemic has led me to a dead-end, I think it also presented me with a new option – one that was never fully visible to me before. Things in life have a way of changing the direction we are heading in, and maybe this pandemic did just that for me. If it has done the same for you, then please remember that things will work out the way they are supposed to work out. Hold on tight and have a bit of faith.

The Unknown and my Comfort Zone

Recently, or more like for the past few year’s I have been wondering why some people can just take a leap or jump the gun if you will, and others, like me, can’t so much as put a step forward in the direction we want our lives to go in.

The relationship I have with the unknown is a strange one – its not simple, but I also over complicate it. There was a point in time where the unknown terrified me, I would be paralyzed with fear just thinking about it. But then, there came a time where the unknown for once was relieving. I did not have to plan, make a decision or move forward. But the problem I am facing now is that I have made myself too comfortable in the unknown.

I have a knack for adapting to situations. Its not that I love change, but I can install myself in different situations or adapt to them rather quickly. Which sounds great on a job resume but not so great when it comes to your actual life.

You see, the problem is that I have made myself a little too comfortable in this unknown. I quite enjoy it. But what I have come to realize is that I have most likely overstayed my welcome, and this thought keeps creeping into my brain no matter how much I try to avoid it.

I have reached a point where I feel stuck, like I didn’t actually make use of the unknown and now I am being punished with thoughts of self-doubt and high levels of anxiety. Am I the only one who has ever felt this? Perhaps.

But being stuck in a situation is something every single person faces. Its one of those universal experiences that we all share without actually realizing that we do.

I hate this feeling of being stuck – it quite literally drives me crazy but at the same time, this is the card I have been dealt. It is not the worse card, but its not a fun one either.

I wish I had a solution for you all, but in truth I feel slightly demoralized by this unknown. What I have come to learn is that there are many seasons in our lives, and perhaps this is one of them. Perhaps we are in a season of unknown, being stuck and not feeling our best. Its okay to accept this feeling and feel it for a bit, that’s what I will be doing if you want to join me.