Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

Distractions

laelene Posted in mba,Tags: ,
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When you are confused about life, seek distractions. At least that seems to be my approach right now.

Distract me with music. Upbeat or melancholic, switch it up. Just make noise and fill the air.

Distract me with food. Eating bite by bite. Not exactly savoring, but trying to.

Distract me with driving. Doesn’t matter where. Find a place and go.

Distract me with Facebook/Instagram. I don’t think I’ve been this social media absorbed since college.

Distract me with new people. It’s fresh and new. Maybe they’re the one to pull me out of my funk.

Distract me with working out. If I’m busy working on my form and exerting my body, maybe my mind will calm.

Yet I can’t seem to find catharsis, much as I desperately want it. I’ve got some things to work through I guess. (At least it’s slowly getting better.)

The nights are the hardest

laelene Posted in mba, relationships,Tags: , , , , ,
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It is a hormonal thing that at night I feel more emotional?

This has been going on for about two weeks now. Late at night, as I’m winding down for bed, I find myself feeling melancholic. It’s something that suddenly hits me and makes me cry (or just want to). It’s not that I’m going through a particularly tough time or feeling depressed these days. In fact, I’m very satisfied with where I’m at in life.

But right before I get to bed and before I can fall asleep, sadness hits. Out of nowhere, I miss Panda. It got so bad a few days ago that I basically had to coerce him into flying out to visit me this weekend (yay!). I don’t know why this happens because I’m perfectly fine and happy in the day. I really don’t think about it at all. What is it about the late night that is bringing this out? Am I suppressing something without realizing it?

We are about 8 months in to the third time that we’ve done a long distance relationship. It’s the first time since we got engaged and married. I live with two delightful ladies in my MBA class who I love to pieces. I’ve been doing pretty well in classes, though it feels like a struggle much of the time. Still, I’m very fortunate that I was able to get my recruiting done early so I haven’t had to balance interviewing with coursework. Instead, I’ve been able to focus energy into planning Admit Weekend, which is fast approaching (in early April)!

All in all, things are going well.

So I wonder, maybe it’s because I’ve been very introspective lately? Right now, we are in the midst of electing our student leadership for the next year. I have been struggling with how I want to be involved and how much energy I will be able to dedicate over the next year to new roles. Tooooons of thinking, questioning, and re-thinking there. Also, I am in the Marshall LEAD Fellows Program and we had our first session early this month. Another chance for introspection and reflection. Plus, they gave us Passion Planners and essentialism (a book), both of which I’ve started to use and have challenged me to think hard on my life goals.

I must say, I found it easier to outline what I want long-term. I’m having trouble pondering the next couple of months. Could all this intense thinking and soul-searching be triggering my midnight moods? Whatever the case, I’m glad that I get my husband back ever so briefly this weekend. Maybe that will be the cure (or maybe it’ll be finally settling the roles I may take on).

Oh yeah, and I completely forgot — Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

Shock and awe

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
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24 hours ago, I went to bed stunned. I really did believe that America would vote Hillary Clinton into office. Perhaps I was too naive.

It’s been a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions in the ensuing hours. I’m pretty sure I went through all the stages of grief and then started all over again today. For a period, I also blocked out the memory and managed to forget. I’m still grappling with how exactly I feel and what I think. It’s pretty insane.

I know it’s not the end of the world, or even the country. But I do truly feel that we could be headed down a dark path. Based on what happened in the campaign, there’s a lot to worry about. Luckily the government has power spread out and things don’t generally move very fast. I’m hoping the more extreme ideas never come to fruition and I know we’ll be looking out for ways we can help ensure that’s the case.

At this point, I think it’s important to remain hopeful and to be strong with those who value humanity without labels that separate. There has been so much division and disagreement in the discourse. I can empathize that certain Americans have been unhappy. I do not pretend to understand their plight, but I would certainly be upset if I felt marginalized and ignored.

However, I wish that this election wasn’t the way for the disenfranchised to lash out. Will they really get what they want out of it? I’m doubtful… only time will tell. I personally could not ignore the consistent bullying and belittling. That is not the temperament and character of a president. I cannot respect a man like that.

I’ve seen a lot of people shocked, disappointed, upset, appalled, disgusted, and in disbelief. I am many of those things too, but at the same time, I have hope that the next couple of years will pan out in a more positive way than we expect in our fearful state. I know many will be working to secure a better future than we might foresee right now. I believe that’s what we’ll need.

For now, I’m taking a moment to mourn. There will be some tough roads ahead.

Fear and bravery

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
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Fear. The thing that holds us back so often.

As open as I am, my deepest secrets I hold dearly. I want to trust others with them, but I haven’t been able to. So I fantasize about writing fiction and hiding in my stories. After all, who’s to say how much is real and how much is fabricated there? Even then I’m hesitant, though. What if those who knew the situations I speak of see my thoughts? What if people just assume it’s all true? (And maybe it is.)

Bravery to be vulnerable. To share those feelings, no matter how painful or silly or uncomfortable it feels. Like songwriters pouring out their souls in their lyrics. I want to be like that too. I want to express myself without censorship. But this is going to take time… maybe I’ll adopt a pen name. Sometimes it’s easier to be an illusion.

It’s a conflict of interest though – am I not sharing myself to connect with others? How can I truly do that if I’m hiding behind a facade? How much honesty is too much? I’m definitely grappling with that. Right now I recognize this weakness and I accept that I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m hoping I’ll get to the point where I’ll embrace it. Will it be liberating when I do? I sure hope so.

365great Day 356: smiles

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,
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365great day 356: smilesI’ve always been a big smiler. Plenty of people do a fake, closed-mouth smile when they take a picture, but I broadly grin away with a twinkle in my eyes. It comes very naturally to me and I don’t quite understand those who make the motions of smiling, but don’t look genuine at all. Is it that hard to flash a truly warm and happy smile? Maybe I’m just a happier person in general so it’s easy for me to tap into that to produce a smile that I mean. Of course there are also those people who just don’t like their smiles (but why not? All smiles are beautiful if they’re genuine). I think more so than the physical attributes of a smile is the expression and intention behind it. When you’re expressing positive emotions, it exudes that sense of goodness and that’s all that should matter. Smiles are great for lightening up a mood or sharing a brief bond with someone, but really, doesn’t it just make you happier? 🙂

Why I no longer want to be an entrepreneur

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Every now and then, it seems like the world is beating me up. These are the best times for growth, but boy are they challenging. I’d been feeling rather downtrodden for the past week or two – a combination of illness and challenges with work were making me feel less than adequate. I was weak, always exhausted, and not nearly as productive as I wanted to be (and thought I could be). A looming sense of failure followed me around and made me question myself. It reminded me a lot of why I decided that being an entrepreneur might not be for me after all.

Back in early 2012, I had reached a point professionally and personally that gave me the courage to quit my job and start my own ventures. A year later, I had learned a lot and decided that the lifestyle wasn’t what I was looking for. I found that I couldn’t shut off from work and the stress of it followed me at all times of the day. I like more balance in my life, but it was hard to justify not taking care of work whenever it came up. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t handle things right away. It began to take over my life, even as I was seeking more control over it.

Today I came across an article on Inc.com that rang so true to me. It’s about the psychological price of entrepreneurship and talks about how taxing it is to manage your own business. When you pour your heart and soul into working on something, it can really drain you. If it doesn’t work out the way you had hoped, it’s easy to take that as a personal failure. That certainly does a number on your confidence. When you decide to pursue entrepreneurship, you better be ready for a crazy rollercoaster. And for me, it’s just not worth the stress. I don’t crave the recognition or attention at that scale, nor do I want to pursue that sort of money. So why would I put my health, my relationships, and my mental state at jeopardy to chase after that dream?

two kittens cuddling and sleeping together

If I could, I’d play with cats all day. So cute!!

And going back to my recent low, the article explained that some people experience strong emotions on both ends of the spectrum. You get really excited about things, but you also get really depressed about others. I may not be as bad as some people who are extreme to the point of manic, but I do think I feel emotions more strongly than many. It’s a double-edged sword, where I find myself easily joyful, but at the same time I can fall to deep sadness quickly. It may prevent me from taking greater risks for immense rewards, but those “rewards” are something I didn’t want anyway. Instead of money or power, I want to enjoy my life with Panda. I want time to hang out with him, to go to yoga classes, to have peaceful moments with my cats, to cook together, to enjoy trips… so really something more stable is suitable for my goals.

Once I’m done with my 365great series, I’ll start up a weekly series related to that, sharing ideas and tips for how to enjoy life more and stress less. Our culture is so caught up in accomplishments that we often forget the value of the richer experiences in life that may not produce an award or a higher paycheck or other recognition.

Weary

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
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Have you ever wanted to just give up?

Sometimes I really question myself. I put on my brave face and even fool myself for awhile, but then it resurfaces, that uncertainty. The child who often didn’t feel that connected with her peers. The girl who never really fit in. The woman who thought it’d be easier by now.

Why do I place such importance on the opinions of those who really don’t matter? Why can’t I revel in the love and appreciation I do have? We always want what we don’t have, don’t we? When I think about it, it’s silly, really. Wasting all this time and effort and heartbreak on the unimportant things. Expending so much energy worrying and forcing those closest to me to suffer the pouty moods. Why do I let it get to me so? Why can’t I stop caring?

I am worn, I am weary. I don’t want to trudge along like this. I used to be so happy; I used to be so carefree… and I wish I knew how to shake off the sadness and return to that place. So I write. I write and I write and I write. Then I read a little. And I sit and think until my brain protests. So I spill it all out as drafts of posts I may never share, or I put pen to paper and smell that intoxicating scent of ink. Maybe I can purge my mind that way. Maybe.

I just want to have fun again.

365great Day 221: tenderness

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,
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365great challenge day 221: tendernessI think the most beautiful thing in the world is tenderness. It exudes caring, compassion, thoughtfulness, warmth, sensitivity, and love. It could be a mother’s touch, a lover’s gaze, a friend’s affection, or even a stranger’s consideration. Often it’s the simplest gestures that speak volumes, from a stroke of the cheek to a careful brushing back of stray hair to a compliment whispered in your ear. Tenderness creates intimacy and a deeper connection that touches my heart. When I was a kid I always looked forward to getting sick because I never would and when I finally did, my mom would take care of me – tuck me in, touch my forehead gently, sit next to me and watch me sleep. It was one of the most amazing feelings, to know I was so loved and cared for. This picture is one of my absolute favorites of my best friend and I because of the strong connection we have and the lovely intimate moment we shared. It doesn’t look the most tender, but it brings out that sort of strong emotion for me. Isn’t it great?

365great Day 50: love

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,
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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 50: loveLove is a powerful emotion that can amplify other emotions. Suddenly the world is rosier, everything is worthwhile, and smiling to yourself becomes a common occurrence. Of course, it can also cause great jealousy, even rage when those you love have hurt you or been hurt. Still, overall love is an extremely positive experience and state of being. Most of the people in the world strive to love and be loved, for good reason. For me, I am just glad every day I have those who love me and who I love. My emotional well-being is so much better because of my loved ones. We may have our ups and downs, but we always get through tough times and it is invaluable to me knowing that I have them by my side. The feeling of love is truly uplifting and great!

The emotion of driving

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Lately I’ve really noticed how much feeling and emotion is tied to driving.  I’ve been going around town in a 1999 Camry speckled with water spots and covered in dust and it has made me self-conscious in a way I’m usually not.  I’m afraid of other drivers looking over and noticing how dirty the windows are and judging me for it.  There’s something about a dirty car that makes me feel bad about myself, probably because it’s obvious that I haven’t taken care of the vehicle lately.

You see, the car has been sitting on our driveway in the sun, next to the sprinklers, and under a tree for ages.  In that time, it has suffered stains from getting sprayed every day by the sprinklers, getting beat down on by the sun, and getting particles falling from the tree.  The tree’s branches were so overgrown that they were scraping against the car.  Not exactly the best conditions for storing a vehicle!  I kept telling myself that I would wash the car one day when it wasn’t too hot out, but I kept putting it off.

Now that I was driving the car, I wondered what people thought of my old, beat up car as they drove by in their shiny sports cars and SUVs.  Were they wondering why this car was so filthy?  Were they trying to get a glimpse at me to see what kind of person would drive this car?  Who knows if they even cared, but I felt like they noticed.  After I got the car washed a few days ago, I immediately felt better about driving it around.  Now it was just an older model car – not some dirty or run down piece of junk.

This whole experience was in total contrast to the feeling I got driving my family’s Lexus.  Not only does it drive better, but it’s not subjected to various weather conditions.  When I drove long distances, I would take that car, and it would always boost my morale.  I felt better because it was clean, because it is a good brand, and because it handles really well.  Sitting in it is more comfortable both physically and emotionally.  While I had felt a difference driving this car vs. the Camry in previous years, it was never so apparent as when the Camry was also much more dirty.

It’s funny how we let something like this affect our internal well-being so much.  But I guess it’s just how our culture runs – when we have nice things, we feel better (to a certain extent).  Not just because other people see that we have these nice things, but also because they are designed to make us feel good.  Makeup can make people feel more beautiful, titles can make people feel more powerful, and cars can make people feel more in control or affluent.  Americans in particular seem to love to express themselves via their cars, so there’s an even higher value for them in this culture.  I never really realized I was so affected by these things too.

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