observations

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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Little dancing clouds

distracted me from the episode of Mr. Robot I was streaming on my Ipad. We had another 45 minutes until landing. I found myself closing the ipad, leaning against the window, watching as we grazed across the cotton sky–mesmerized. As I looked forward, I noticed the man who sat in front of me–suited-well groomed business exec type–he was engulfed in his laptop running ratios for L-shares and drafting emails but then he stopped his gaze was drawn to the same maroon ombre skies. He closed his laptop and like me, continued to let himself fall into the moment. The older woman next to me shuffled from her nap and  dazedly glanced over to my window and lightly enclosed her hand over the cross the dangled from her neck.

It was a reminder, that we are all the same in the world. No matter what status we title ourselves during our every day lives– we are still such a small part of something so much greater. There is so much out there that we all fear–that we don’t know–that we don’t understand.

It’s funny how such a simple moment unearths the realization that we are one in the same.