What I’ve Learned From: May

I knew this was going to go by fast. I think I mentioned this in one of my older posts but I take this time to reflect on the past month because it’s my way of slowing down and being intentional about my growth.

What I like to do, now that it’s a series on my blog, is I like to read what I learned from before. I think the biggest takeaway between April and May is: learn to embrace what’s uncomfortable and unknown but always remain grounded in who you are and the path you’re on. 

A lot of things happened in May. Well first, I moved which is honestly a lonely experience. I talk about it more in this post. Moving, in a nutshell, is lonely. I am so used to having all of my close friends within a few miles of me. I don’t have that luxury anymore and honestly, it’s been hard for me. It’s helped me grow but its unknown and uncomfortable but things are getting easier. I think it’s testing my patience, for sure. It’s helped that I travel to see my friends and my person or they come here. My childhood best friend even came to visit one weekend so it’s been easier because of that. But during the week, it’s been necessary TK time.

A lot of newness this month. I’ve learned to embrace it and absorb it. I moved May 5th. I write this on June 3rd, the day before I start my internship (big girl job, woot woot). So I’ve almost been here a month and it’s gone by SO fast.

I like exploring cities and I’ve gotten more comfortable putting myself out there. Even though I am a pretty extroverted person I get so much anxiety walking up to people and starting conversations with them. But when you’re new somewhere and you aren’t interacting with new people everyday you need to put yourself out there and make friends.

I think I’ve realized that there are some things and people that need to stay in your past. You need to be able to close a chapter and just move forward. It takes a lot of strength to remain present but it’s always for the best. People will come and go but you can’t settle for what you feel is wrong. This is the whole idea around being grounded in who you are.

I’ve sat down and talked to a lot of new faces this month. It’s scary and intimidating because a lot of these people were either older than me, smarter than me, more experienced than me. I fell into this trap of thinking that I wasn’t good enough to even sit and talk to them when in fact, I was I just needed to trust that I deserved to be there. I decided that instead of trying to gain something specific I would just open my ears and mind to what they had to say. But I’ve learned so much from listening. Is Anyone Really Listening? Yeah, I am. I think my biggest goal was to become more confident in what I’m doing. You need to trust that the path you’re on, despite what everyone elses may look like, fits your goals and ambitions.

I’m lucky to have someone close to me (cough cough Jason) who unconditionally supports what I do and who I am. I’ve never really had that before. What he’s taught me is that there is no one that will trust in your ability more than yourself. I see that reflected in everything he does. He is so grounded in who he is and what he’s doing it makes me want to have that level of security within myself.  He has a side hustle like I do. It’s inspiring to see someone work so hard at their craft and also show so much support for yours. It’s been one of the big reasons why I feel so grounded because I know what I am doing is great and requires a lot of work so I don’t need to explain that to someone. I can go on and on about how amazing of a person he is but seriously, having someone in your corner no matter how much you pride yourself on being independent, matters. We all want to be seen, heard, and understood. He does that and beyond.

I always say that the most unconventional paths lead to a lot of amazing lessons. This is so true. I’m slowly getting out of my comfort zone in a way that I haven’t been used to in the past. Embracing the newness of a new job, city, or even just a new mindset makes you evolve as a person. It’s SCARY but necessary. I’ve done a lot of amazing things towards my professional career goals this month.

Some highlights

The Steminist Campaign
Taking on a new client
Learning more about Charlotte’s identity, culture, and people.
I cut my hair and I feel like a whole new person.
I attended Charlotte’s 30 Under 30 Event
Stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to be okay with it
Staying true to what I feel is right for me in this moment.
Actively practicing self-care.

What I’ve Learned From: Moving

To sit here and pretend like moving doesn’t put me in a complete panic would be a total lie. I’m currently sitting in my new Charlotte apartment writing this and frankly, I am freaking out. As happy and excited I am for the future the initial thoughts/moves of moving is scary. I uplifted from a place that I didn’t consider home but still had a really large impact in my life. The relationships, the people, the lessons, all of it shaped me into the woman I am today. To think I have to start this all over in a new city is somewhat terrifying. Greensboro was where some of the most painful things happened to me and I can only imagine the types of challenges I am going to face in a brand new city.

I write this during a time where I know a lot of people are going through this too. Trust me, you’re not alone. Whether you’re moving an hour away or 100 miles away, moving is really intimidating but what’s helped me is knowing that the people in my life have done this before. My parents, for example, moved from Iran when they were in their late teens, didn’t know much English, and had to figure out a brand new culture. Also, they didn’t have social media or facetime like we do so they couldn’t talk to their parents or family as easily. I can only imagine their level of anxiety they must have felt during that.

It offered me comfort thinking about that during one of the last nights in Greensboro. I was sitting with myself, with a candle lit, and just prayed. I spoke to God about a lot of things but the common theme was: I’m doubting myself if I am doing the right thing and I need some guidance. I promise it was a lot more in depth but that’s the jist of it.

I thought about the people before me who did this and were able to build the life I have for me and my brother. I use this as fuel for the passion inside of me because I know there are going to be challenging obstacles but they will lead to a better future for myself and my future family. I feel called to do some really amazing things and I am putting that out into the universe and internet so it’s going to happen. My parents and aunts/uncles did this so why can’t I? Also, people move to new places all the time and do just fine. This is apart of being an adult. It’s different that’s why it’s scary. The newness of a situation can scare us the most. There isn’t anything actually scary about moving or settling in. What’s scary is the fact that it’s new. Knowing that makes everything less awful. Sometimes the things that are new to us can cause us the most stress. But think about it, the tasks that were new to us when we were younger are so natural to us now. Think about the time you learned to ride a bike, or jumped off a diving board, or even presented in front of a class. The more you do it the less the new stuff scares you. But again, it’s totally valid to feel scared or overwhelmed. It’s intense. So I’m here with you and I totally get it.

This week also was really hard because 8 months ago on September 3rd, 2017 my best friend Tony committed suicide. Knowing he’d be out of the military in June hurts because he and I always spoke about being together again. Tony was a brother to me so the third of the month is always especially hard. Not to mention I was moving, packing, and was all over the place. I was there the day Tony left for basic training.

Leading up the actual moving date I wasn’t as anxious or as sad as I thought I’d be. Again, in this What I’ve Learned From: April I speak openly about what this past month taught me and so far, I am learning that May is going to be a serious transition month. A lot of people around me are going through it too which is comforting. Graduation and new internships have been the common theme around me. Some of my friends can handle moving so well and I envy them but for me, it’s hard because this is whole new city with a new set of challenges. I hope to look back at this in 6 months and see that it wasn’t as bad as I think it is.

I’m really focusing my energy on the good ahead but it’s hard not to think about the people you leave behind. I was always super excited about leaving Greensboro and starting over but now that it’s actually happening. It’s new for me and new can be scary. 

I also need to remind myself that I am not on the most conventional path. I’m a junior, in a brand new city, doing classes online, working for a consulting company, working as an intern with one of the largest banks in the whole world, and I’m working on a brand. I don’t need a cookie or a sticker and I’m not saying this to brag but my path is no way conventional. Most people don’t just get up and leave in the middle of undergrad to a new city and do all of this stuff.

I’m not special but what I am doing is different. Or at least different from what has been around me. My immigrant parents always valued education. Education. Education. Education. It’s been a mantra that has been beaten into me since I was a kid. It took for me to leave and go to college to really understand that I can still graduate AND have other passion projects or jobs I am really interested in. I never want to be one of those people that work 20 years at a job they hate. Why would I? That’s such a waste. Thankfully, I love my major and the field I’m in so whatever position I do end up in post-grad will be something I thoroughly enjoy. Will my degree be the reason I get that job? God, I hope not because I feel like the piece of paper we get after 4 or 5 years of school just gives us the credibility to learn in that new job. I can write a whole post on this topic alone but I am getting a bit off topic.

I apologize in advance for the casual tone of this whole post but I’m really trying to get whoever is listening to hear that if your path is unconventional, it’s okay and if you’re freaking out like I am, it’s normal because it’s different. Again, different is different. It’s not good or bad. It just is. If you feel lonely while you’re moving, I hear you. 

Trusting myself and the choices I made makes me realize that I am doing the right thing and I have to be okay with some of the consequences that come with deciding to move too.

Happy Wednesday!

 

✨Grounded, Growing, and Glowing ✨

This time of year is a transitional period for a lot of people. Graduation, prom, moving, internships, summer, opportunity, all of that stuff. It’s a bittersweet time too because, on one hand, you’re excited about all the things ahead but on another, you’re going to miss some of the most important memories or people that have shaped you. I always feel extra anxious because I hate saying goodbye. But this year, I am the one leaving. Apart of me is really scared to move but another part of me is really excited to be around new people, a new city and start over.

Also, this time period seems to move VERY VERY fast.

Spring semester flew by and throughout this entire semester some really powerful things happened for me. More recently, I have evolved. I am constantly growing. Some of that growth is painful and some of it is so beautiful. And I am soaking every moment of it in.

So, let’s get personal…

My blog launching, a toxic relationship, an eating disorder, and transformational decision to move to Charlotte later and here we are: exactly where I am supposed to be.

Some of the situations like my ED is a process. There is no fixed formula or recipe for it but writing about it allows me to shed some of the weight (ironic) of it all off. It doesn’t place the burden that I am carrying this challenge with me alone because I know many people also go through it.

One of the most challenging realizations I had was I wasn’t loving, accepting, and living my truth. I put myself in a position where I felt like I had to compromise who I was in fear of not receiving the love and security I was searching for. The relationship I was in didn’t support me and everything I was and it felt like I was in competition with every and any person or thing in his life. Those emotions pushed me to realize I wasn’t taking care of myself in the process. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t defend who I was when things happened. Things that were wrong and had nothing to do with me.

Through extensive therapy, I’m in a better place of taking care of myself and I don’t compromise who I am the way I used to. I trust who I am and what I can offer.

I wasn’t treating myself with the same love, compassion, and forgiveness I was offering other people. Being in therapy and actively practicing self-love/self-care taught me that there is no one that can offer me anything I can’t offer myself. The search began from the source: me. I was lost in the shuffle of being the “perfect woman” and wasn’t being myself in the process. I was trying to be what other people thought I should be. When in reality, all I needed to be was myself.

It’s become so apparent to me, during this time of transition, that the people and circumstances that support and love you are the ones you chose to attract. During this time, I look around to see who is there and who isn’t. I’ve learned not to beat myself up about the people that aren’t in my life because everyone has choices and I can’t bother myself too much about the choices other people make for themselves.

My therapist and I came up with a mantra that I say every day.

“I want to take care of myself in such a way that I am not abusing myself. I can do this by taking ownership of what I do and who I do it with”

I hope you all can benefit from this in some way. It reminds us to give ourselves the permission to nurture ourselves as much as we nurture other people.

Once I’ve begun taking ownership of myself, my actions, and my reactions to situations I have been protecting so much of my energy. I’ve disconnected myself from what other people choose to do with their lives and the people in them. That’s helped me nurture myself instead of punishing myself for choices other people make.

Practicing self-care is so much more than doing a face mask. It’s really thinking about what your limitations are and what you can/ cannot do within that. I’ve been communicating more openly on how I feel and think instead of trying to shrink myself to be someone I’m not. I cannot punish myself if someone chooses not to accept that because I am who I am. That may sound self-righteous but I think when you’re aware of yourself and your behaviors you can identify who you really are and teach yourself to accept yourself. You won’t feel the need to be in competition with anyone once you really see your own value.

That has translated into my brand and other areas of my life. I am so ready to embrace the good, the bad, and everything else this next phase of my life will offer. I won’t ever reduce myself to be seen as “enough” for someone else.

Transitions are amazing because you can slow down, be honest with yourself, and figure out a plan of action for where/who you want to be. Think about the people around you and what their limitations are. And give yourself the permission to love yourself for who you are.