Sunday, September 23, 2012

what i know for sure.

{view from south street seaport, NYC. summer, 2011} 

i'm a strong believer in showing emotions.  no, not religion, not politics, not santa claus or the easter bunny.  it's a weird thing to believe in, i know.  i grew up in a half-asian family, and therefore, half-asian values were implicitly adhered to in my household.  my mom wasn't the stern, austere, tiger-mom of today's generation; i've attended one too many sleepovers, and have received a grade below an "A" one too many times for that to be the case.  i was pushed to play the piano, and the TV was always off-limits on the weekdays, but i can't argue that any of those are particularly outlandish requests.

but i do feel like it was strongly suggested that i always maintain my composure in the face of struggle; that a career path in medicine or law was the right way to go; and that there were certain values i was to steadfastly uphold.  as i grow up and attempt to carve my own path, i have come to realize that my own values don't always mesh perfectly with the more seemingly reserved ones of my family.

i was reminded of this ted talk the other day from brené brown, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.  i'm pretty sure we're, like, soul sisters or something.  she wishes she could compartmentalize the pieces of her life into a bento box because a) life is inherently messy and b) she has an intense need for order.  i instantly knew she would be relatable - she had the same dry, ribald humor that i like to think i possess, and also referenced one of my favorite asian meal-time presentations in the first 5 minutes of her talk.  five points for gryffindor.

it's probably because i'm going through this phase of "finding myself/growing up/YOLO-ing" blah blah blah that her message hit me so hard, but i'm loving the message she attempts to impart:

 we have to allow ourselves to really be seen
we need to have the courage to be imperfect
we need to believe we're worthy of love and belonging 
we need to make a practice of gratitude and joy

.....and at the root of it all is authenticity and vulnerability.  in order to connect with others and really be happy, we need to put down our guard, be willing to let go of who we think we should be in order to be who we really are, and store our pride away for safekeeping - keeping the intentions and thoughts of others in mind before we become defensive and think about ourselves.  

so at risk of sounding like dr. phil / a broken record, i'm peacing out.  but if i remember one thing this week, it'll be: i gotta shake what my mama gave me and wave my own flag of pride.

"to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." 
- ralph waldo emerson 

Design by | SweetElectric