Tag Archives: Live

Lost and Living It

Would you agree if I said, All journeys begin with a question?

What type of journeys? You might ask. Well, any. Let me ask you this: What is beginning in your life? What is ending? What is changing? What is shifting? New job? New classes this semester? New students? Friendships forming? Others fading? Lost a relative? Newly retired? Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of this life, think for just one moment: What is this cycle that catches us as we live each day and pushes us to face the friendly foe that is: change and impermanence? More importantly, are you prepared to face what today is offering to you, dear friend?

My ego often speaks very loudly, saying I’m the only one going through this; no one understands. On those days, I submissively give in to fear and doubt, inevitably feeling lost. I wish I could see the power of those weak moments. I wish I could say to myself: Kiley! You feel lost, yes. But you stand here, now. You’re sad, yes. It shall pass, soon. There are tears, yes. They will dry, as always. Kiley, be proud that you continue to live each moment. You may feel lost now, but you’re lost and living it.

Each moment is so precious in this life. A dear friend often reminds me that there are no ordinary moments. I agree. Every person’s journey is his own to take. Each person’s journey is his own to experience, to live fully, to enjoy. I’ve found that the many paths I’ve walked down have taken me to beautiful, yet perplexing corners of life. Some paths are very obviously paved for me to follow; others, overgrown weeds stand as stubborn obstacles for me to overcome. Any way I look at it, each path serves a purpose in my life. Each path I take, each path I explore brings me closer to knowing my true self.

You know, we walk these paths – as parents, teachers, doctors, artists, salespeople, caretakers, etc. Sometimes we walk numerous paths simultaneously. The ego says, You must be good at everything you do!! Get the job done, and do it well! But do not be dismayed, dear friend.  These journeys we take, they are not mere ‘things’ to be conquered and completed.  They are not simply obstacles to be overcome. We should not take on new journeys with fixed plans and final destinations in mind. These shifts in life, these new paths, really are a gift to you. A gift to be cherished, not a race to be completed. These moments are gifts and lessons, wrapped up in one. Your journey should take time, be questioned, explored. Be patient with yourself, on each new journey.

Change — Impermanence — New beginnings – they do not discriminate. We all experience them. Maybe instead of asking: Why do I feel so lost? Why is this happening to me? Why now? Instead, acknowledge the change. Embrace the shift in your life. Know that you feel lost, but that there is nothing to search for. Every answer to each question that lay heavily on your heart lies quietly within yourself. Why not be Lost and Live it? Why not be Lost and Love it? Search for nothing, my dear friend. You are whole from the very beginning.

Ask those questions and take the next step on this path of yours. This is your life.

Why not live it?

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Cheers readers!

Weeks Like This

Sometimes I wonder if I’m truly getting better.

The seed of doubt enters my mind and spreads like wildfire. Am I really defeating the anxiety, the depression, the fill in the blank, you name it? – Maybe I’ve unknowingly perfected the art of convincing my ego that “Yeah, Ki you’re doing great! No panic attacks this week, good for you! You’ve finally got a hold on this thing. This thing called life.” Bullshit.

Well, it has been one of those weeks. The kind of week where emotions plan the daily agenda. My intimate Waltz with Fear is practiced every day at noon — followed by Stretching with Tears at 1PM and Dinner with Self Loathing at 7PM. It is the kind of week where I find myself staying preoccupied at home, avoiding friends, and choking back the tears when anyone asks, “How are you doing, Ki?” It is the kind of week where even small chat with neighbors is terrifying – terrifying because frankly, I don’t even know what the hell to say to people anymore. My smile is painted for show, conversation is forced, and quite honestly – I am really terrible at pretending like I care about weather forecasts and association fees.

This is the kind of week that leaves me stuck at the corner of What am I doing with my life? and You will never amount to anything short of a total f*^ck up. Yep, these thoughts are real. I go through them every now and then (And by that I mean, every couple of days, ha). I allow fear into my life, and this is what it does. I let it drag me down. I fear opportunity. I fear advancement. I fear life. I fear living.

Aside from continuous support from friends and family (even text messages every morning reassuring me that I am worthy, beautiful, and not alone – love you Lindsey), the only thing getting me through weeks such as this is a quote I read a few weeks ago. I will paraphrase terribly, my apologies in advance. The quote says something along the lines of, “It is as though people nowadays are more afraid of living than they are afraid of death.”

I’ll admit: I am among those people who are afraid to live. I am terrified to take chances. Terrified to ‘put myself out there.’ Terrified of change. I’m terrified of people reading this blog. Terrified of people seeing me. Yes, literally just walking past unfamiliar people gives me anxiety because I hate the feeling of other people looking at me. Side note, please do not inquire about why I’ve pursued modeling lately – as that is still an unknown to me. Bottom line, I fear everything… during weeks like this.

I know some of my readers experience anxiety and depression on a daily basis. A few have commented on how I seem to be doing better – as it has been a while since I have written about my struggle. I thought I would share these feelings because although I am doing much better than, say, a year ago — I do continue to have intimate encounters with these devils quite often. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if it ever goes away. I’m not sure if there comes a time when you just have to accept it. I’m not sure if there is a perfect concoction of medication that will be enough – for those of you taking any. All I know is that the struggle is real, but you must continue to fight. There are so many beautiful moments in life that are worth fighting for. Don’t fear living because if you are reading this right now, Life is on your side. Live every day as best you can. Force the smile if you have to, engage in the small chat that you would rather avoid. Keep pushing through it. Live your way into the answers of the unresolved issues in your heart. Life is meant to be lived, not avoided. Take a deep breath and remember: During weeks like this, you are not alone.

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Related posts on anxiety&depression:

Reflections

For Lucas

Cabin Fever

Panic

How do you know?

20 Somethings

Unfortunately I am – at times – an immature 20-something, so I’d like to share a quote that is the inspiration behind this blog post (sarcastically, of course).

 
“I miss being the age when I thought I’d have my shit together by the time I was the age I am now.”
 
 
I can’t help but share my thoughts on today’s 20-somethings:
 
Let’s start with the obvious: I am not your typical “20-something” by society’s standards. I haven’t graduated from college, yet. I’m not looking for my dream job, yet. I’m not living for myself while enjoying every spontaneous moment, ever. I don’t know the feeling of complete self sufficiency, loving my ‘9 to 5,’ and meeting with friends weekly at a downtown bar to discuss the single life. However, is anyone really living up to that glorious post-college dream that we assume will fall into place immediately following the four years of papers, exams, and binge drinking that is college?
 
Most of the amazing 20-somethings in my life are college grads (or soon to be), and I cannot help but notice that life, as we had all dreamt it would be, is not quite falling into place as we had planned. Living a sheltered life for the past few years as a stay at home momma, I assumed everyone was embracing life, loving his/her job, sticking with the plan, being what society expects of us 20-somethings. The more I come out of my shell and allow my friends back into my daily life, I see that my questions, my fears, my struggles as a mother are very similar to those of my fellow 20-something friends. Sure, we do not fully understand each other on a day-to-day level, but our uncertainty in this world, as individuals – is very much the same.
 
Don’t we all ask similar questions of ourselves?
 
Surface level questions – Will I find my dream job and never have to ‘work’ another day in my life? Will I be able to live the lifestyle I desire and still pay the bills each month? Will I find a partner and get married? Have kids? If so, what age? Am I ready for anything that serious?
 
What we’re really saying – Will I have to settle and work at a job I hate in order to pay the bills, or be passionate about my life’s work and sacrifice elsewhere? Does it have to be one or the other? Am I living in the right city? Should I have traveled more? Should I be selfish now before settling down? Should I use my ’20-something’ pass and live it up while I can? Why does everyone say the 20s are the best time of our lives, when all we know is we wake up every day with questions in our minds and doubts in our hearts? At what point do we say screw you, society; I will not live to your standards? Does anyone have the guts to see the fork in the road and go straight?
 
Are the 20s really all that they’re chalked up to be? Perhaps we are blinded not by society, but by ourselves…
Is it simply our minds working overtime that drives us into insanity, thus preventing us from embracing this youthful, naïve stage of life?
 
20-somethings, I think it is time we love the questions in our hearts.
“….have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer….”

To Want

Have you ever thought about not wanting, just for a second? Have you ever thought about what would happen if you asked about the world, instead of just asking for it? Who do you think you are? Who do you think I am? Why would you think you have any idea of what you want? Most nights you still go to bed confused, angry at yourself. When are you going to start considering the possibility that you are exactly who you want to be?
 –-Paraphrased from Charles Yu’s – Sorry Please Thank You
 
I came across these questions a few months ago. Up until that point in my life, I can honestly say I always assumed my life would be more – I needed to do more, be more, give more, love more, ask more, live more. More, more, more. But at what point does more melt into enough? Is there a finite ending?
 
Is life about continuously asking these questions of ourselves while filling our days with compulsive activity, only to avoid the real issues? Is the real issue ourselves? Are we the answer? I am told I want to be a certain type of person…. And yet I have never considered that who I am, at this very second, is exactly who I need to be, want to be, ought to be…
 
Who tells us we should do better? Know better? Be better? Who are they? Who are those people? At what point do we stop asking those questions and accept that who we are at this very second is exactly who the world needs us to be?
 
It’s an interesting spectacle – living with a child. He does not know anything but his own life. He does not covet, does not envy, does not fear. He is exactly who he needs to be. He is exactly what the world expects of him.  He is exactly what I need him to be. So at what point can we live like a child and expect nothing more of ourselves than who we are in that exact moment? Is that ever achievable?
 
Some answer no; I answer yes.
 
“An adult is one who has lost the grace, the freshness, the innocence of the child, who is no longer capable of feeling pure joy, who makes everything complicated, who spreads suffering everywhere, who is afraid of being happy, and who, because it is easier to bear, has gone back to sleep. The wise man is a happy child.” – Arnaud Desjardins
 
Sometimes, when all we have are questions, the simplest answer is to wake up. Be awake in this present moment – Love those who are right in front of us – Taste the kiss that is offered and gone in a heartbeat’s second – Breathe the air for a moment longer.
 
Be exactly who you are in exactly this moment.
 
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