Food for Thought

Food for Thought 1.13.17

You are a victim of the rules you live by.

Jenny Holzer

I grew up in a traditional, Vietnamese-idealistic household in which I was taught to hold humility and humbleness to the highest degree. I was taught to keep my accomplishments quiet–There was no dwelling in the moment–no “special gold star stickers,” because to my parents arrogance would step in the way of growth, no one likes a bragger and there was always so much more to achieve–There will always be room for improvement. I was told to be sweet, quiet, to serve other first. I was also told to leave any emotional sensitivities in a deep dark corner where no one should find them.  I grew up knowing there is no success without real struggle, so I kept my head down and worked hard.

I continue to struggle with guilt because I truly believe I haven’t struggled enough for dues to be paid. I never know when to stop working because I don’t really believe that the work will ever be finished or I feel like I haven’t proved myself enough. I don’t let others in on my emotions because I feel shameful of them. I continue to struggle with confidence because I never knew how to differentiate it from arrogance–it always just felt wrong to me–like an awkward sweater that I couldn’t wait to take off. The list goes on..

There are so many rules created and nurtured by my up bringing that have been harnessing me into the limitations that challenge me to this day.

So I’ve made a promise to myself–to begin freeing myself of the cage illusions that did nothing for me but confine me to doubt.

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