Imagine Yourself…

Close your eyes and imagine yourself facing you as a young child or baby. What would you tell yourself as a child/baby knowing all the life experiences you’ve been through thus far? Do your instincts tell you to tell that child you love them? Do you tell that child that there is a bright future ahead of them and that everything will be okay?

A few days ago, I was looking for a photo inspiration for #tbt (“Throwback Thursday) to use on Instagram and I found a picture of myself in my room as a baby:

Baby Anne

As I was looking at this picture, I thought to myself that if I had a chance to go back in time to hold this baby [me], what would I tell her based on everything I know that’s happened in my life? The first instinctive reaction was to tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she was. The second thought that came to mind was to ensure her that everything is going to be okay despite the challenges that life will bring. The third and final thought was to let her know to just continue to be happy because life is truly a joy.

From that exercise, I thought to myself as to whether I tell myself these things. After all, I am telling this child everything I feel right now, and in essence, that child is me. Since I regularly practice positive affirmations, I do believe in everything I would say to that child with integrity and honesty I would definitely say to myself as the 25-year-old adult that I am today. But if you asked me a year ago, I don’t think I could say the same and I would feel like I’ve disappointed this child to believe in something that were not true. How can anyone confront any child with a negative outlook on life? As human beings, we tell our children that they deserve the best in life filled with love, happiness, and success. But are you telling yourself the same?

Never forget that we were once all babies, and that everyone who held us as babies, saw us with so much love and hope. And you would had felt the same way if you could go back in time.

Game Changer

The best of friends are truly the ones that inspire you to be a better person than you already are. So I dedicate this to few of my best friends who inspired me this year to come up with an action plan, which I am so excited to share to everyone. But first, I want to acknowledge the few friends who have inspired me at this point:

Sara: I still remember the  random call I gave her back in March, after several months of disconnect, breaking down about the career path I was in. She inspired me through her own personal story as she shifted gears from the professional marketing guru that she was to now becoming a naturopath. Follow her blog here. Her fearlessness made me realize you can make changes happen at any time and no one can stop you but yourself.

Allen: To be honest, when Allen told me he wanted to start a food truck, I giggled. He graduated from university studying economics. So from there, you would think the typical path would be somewhere in the corporate world. But not for Allen. He’s on a mission to start a food truck in Toronto, by traveling to L.A. and Asia for food inspiration. He knew the corporate, white collar job was not for him. And he’s not afraid to talk about his mission to start a food truck on his website, twitter, or tumblr. Alllen’s drive and passion for food made me realize you need to love what you do – and people will love you for it too.

Bryan: Bryan is probably one of the smartest friends I know from university. He could be anything he wanted to be without even trying! After a short stint doing the office job, he just had the bug to do what he always wanted to do: teach snowboarding in Vancouver. I couldn’t be happier for him. And with that said, I wanted to try something I always wanted to do too: acting!

So what’s my game plan???

I’ve decided to accumulate all my vacation days (and some additional leave of absence days) at work to take two months off next summer to travel to LA to learn acting and find opportunities for some acting gigs. It’s always been on my mind to go back to the City of Angels since my last visit in June! To do what I love to do in the city I love would only be a dream come true. As they say:

Mirror, Mirror

I had a fear with mirrors and I didn’t even know it. And that fear wasn’t because of the physical, tangible object. It was the fear of looking at myself.

 

 

I actually didn’t realize this fear for quite some time. But it was kind of funny when I would go to the washroom, do  my business, and walk out without having a glance at myself in the mirror. And the next thing you know, my friend at work is telling me there is something stuck in my teeth. And I think to myself, “Well that’s strange. Why didn’t I catch it before I left the washroom? Oh, I guess I didn’t even look at the mirror when I was there.” Casually enough, I just brushed the idea off of any sort of fear.

By the time I read “You Can Heal Your Life” by L. Hay, I finally not only recognized that fear, but I also faced it – head on. And somehow, through my newfound hobbies of acting and dance, I have to face mirrors all the time!

For example, at dance class, I wouldn’t look at myself – I just looked at the instructor and hoped that every step I was making looked somewhat right. And when I faced myself for just a split second, I was taken aback, thinking “So that’s what I look like when I dance? That’s hilarious!” For the first two weeks, I wasn’t improving in dance class at all because I kept looking at the instructor and not at what I was doing. By the time I realized I wasn’t looking at myself, I knew I had to change that. And when I did, I improved (with definite struggles of endurance) and I now dance in the first or second row right next to the instructor. It’s pretty awesome I’d have to say!

And don’t get me started with acting. Every student in the class has their own DVD of their monologue and partnered scenes recorded. I did so terrible in my first monologue that I was so afraid to look back at my DVD to see how “bad” I did. But I knew if I could do it for dance, I could do it for acting. So once I played my DVD, I noted every single critique my acting instructor noted of me. By the time I got my partnered script, I looked into the mirror and just rehearsed over and over again. Just yesterday, I performed my partnered scene in front of the entire class, and my instructor loved it so much, she basically told me if it was an audition, I would have aced it. And I felt so gratified, relieved, happy, and just wanted to jump for joy! She even said “I think we’ve found your hit, you could definitely do comedy!” And Now, more than ever, I realize that I do love acting – with a passion.

I can truly say, if you don’t see yourself in the mirror now, you’re not realizing how amazing you are and can be once you face it. I highly recommend to take the time to look into the mirror and to remind yourself to love who you are, what you are, and who you’ll become. I know I do.

Fearing Opportunities: Part I

It amazes me how so many young professionals, including myself, fear opportunities. It’s almost like an oxymoron, quite frankly, and it shouldn’t exist.

So where does this fear come from? I don’t have the answer to that question but I do have a theory:

I truly believe our generation is bombarded with so much information that we now have so many different ways of looking at things that we end up overthinking the simplest solution to our problems. And with that being said, we fear the greatest opportunities that cross our lives because we over think every scenario that could possibly happen if we seize that opportunity – and the thought that holds us back from taking that opportunity is the thought of “what could possibly go wrong”.

We get so caught up with the “bad”, that we don’t acknowledge the good that can possibly come out of it. And most of the time, the good outweighs the bad. The answer is really simple. And we see it. But we choose to live in some superficial fear.

So how do I relate? If you recall from my previous post, I wanted to take acting classes because I wanted to build self-confidence in a fun and practical setting. As much as it is for me, I wanted my readers like yourself to follow in on this journey and laugh with me about my experiences. So I felt like I owed it to you as much as I owed it to myself.

I found the perfect studio that accepts absolute beginners like myself who just want to do it for fun. I was excited when I found it. I even daydreamed about how awesome I would be – how embarrassing right? As soon as I was about to commit to it, I held back. I kept thinking – what if I’m absolutely horrible? What if I’m surrounded by people who were born to be Hollywood stars and weren’t absolute beginners like me? Do I really want to spend THAT much money to boost self-confidence?

One bad thought became an endless vicious cycle of every negative thought I could create I lost full control of the benefits in taking this opportunity.

So where am I now with this situation? I’ve decided to face my fear head-on and just visit the studio. There’s no harm in seeing what its like and asking questions to be more informed about my decision. And there’s no need to have fear.

Unfortunately I have a two-day professional exam next week so this story will be continued.

The Truth

I have a confession.  I truly believe my breakdown this year was caused by my unfulfilled life since high school – and not the events in my life that happened just recently. As I was reading Louise L. Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”, she stated in the very beginning that our thoughts in the past has brought us to where we are now. It took me awhile to really define where in my past led me to this path. But I eventually realized that it had really nothing to do with my job, family, or personal issues at this moment.

The Truth. My parents came into Canada as refugees: no money, no stable job, and a lot of hardship. As I was growing up, I played only with dolls and my piano because my parents could not afford to have me partake in any extra-curricular activities. All my other friends had ballet, swimming, soccer, basketball, dance, and so on and so forth. By the time I hit my preteens, I really felt like a Plain Jane: average, untalented, and most of all, boring.

Compensation. Because I didn’t feel like I had anything going for me, I consumed myself in thoughts of another me, who was talented, beautiful, smart, and sophisticated. Some days I pictured myself as a dancer, some days I pictured myself as a hero,  or some days I even pictured myself as an actress. It’s one thing to daydream about a silly crush or who we will be in the next 10 years, but it’s another to completely imagine another self beyond reality and believing I will never be that person because it’s only just a dream.

Reality check. Since reading Hay’s book, that “other self” is ceasing to exist because I am now on that path of living a fulfilled life just by changing my thoughts. I can be who I want to be now, if I wanted too. I may have not had the opportunity to take dance classes or even acting classes as a child, but it’s not too late now. Afterall, I’m only 24!

Action plan. I find myself enjoying new ways of expressing myself and I think taking on acting and dance classes will enhance that skillset. I think it’s time that I break that invisible shell and open up to new experiences and new faces. To my young female professionals, it’s time to break free. Follow with me on this path.

Dear Journal

Last night, something agitated me that I couldn’t exactly put myself to bed until I vented. So I took a piece of legal paper and started writing by hand. I began with the words “Dear Journal” because it was meant to be a personal journal post to myself in hopes that I would read it again in the future – and hopefully laugh at it then than how I really feel right now. It wasn’t my intention to publish this on my blog but I felt it was fitting for my theme of my blog (re: https://thelondonsocialite.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/im-no-jane-doe/). I hope my female young professionals can relate:

Dear Journal,

I haven’t written one [journal] in a long time but I just needed to vent. I’ve always been the girl who set expectations with guys I allow in my life. They have to be funny, attractive, smart and little bit of dorky. And after a year and five months of no involvement with any guy, I have found him. He’s not “the one” so to speak. But he is the guy I would love to just have fun with. But my thoughts wander off to the point of insecurity and frustration when he doesn’t message me like I message him. To him, I’m probably just another girl. And I get that, I see it. But why do I want more? Realistically, we’re not a perfect couple [if we ever were]. We have such different tastes and we see life differently right now. I wish I could let go of these thoughts of insecurities. I know I am attractive enough to find the guy for me who wants me as much as I want him – but part of me isn’t ready for that. And yet, part of me isn’t ready for the fling I have going right now. Here I am again alone in my thoughts just going back and forth to what I really want. I wish everything in life just fell perfectly for me. Enough with these thoughts already…