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Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu (2016)

I have to be completely honest here – I have no idea what I’m doing in my life. Looking back at the past couple of years it feels like I drifted off from one day to the next, taking circumstances as it is and always hoping that somehow, whatever happens, it was what’s best. It’s one of the reasons I have tried to cut off my browsing through blogs and Instagram feeds – the whole thing of people (seemingly) inspiring others to go for their dreams and find their life’s purpose because it’s been working for them somehow became rather toxic; I, too, wanted to exert passion and effort into what I love and get so much in return… except I have no idea what it is.

My fear of failure slowly turned into fear of wanting to do so many things that I might not end up doing all of them. I am far too limited, too small for all that I want to do.

Ten years ago, I had a clear outline of what was going to happen to me. Graduate college, go to medical school, work at a fine hospital… of course, life never turns out the way that you’ve planned. I dropped out of school because my depression was too much, my dreams of attending medical school seems like forever ago, and in the process of healing and trying to find myself, I’ve formed new dreams and tried out many different things. I never know what is going to happen in my life next. My past self would’ve screamed at the thought – I always liked to know where things are going and whatnot – but perhaps, living a life of unsteadiness and taking contentment in my days for what they are, is what I’ve always needed all along.

'I was right where I wanted to be.' (Kelley Armstrong) Click To Tweet

Here I am now, ten years later. Despite not having the same milestones as everyone else (I have so much batch mates who have prestigious job titles, have been awarded here and there, are settled down with a family), there are quite some things that I can say I’m proud I’ve achieved. And for that, I feel immensely happy. I didn’t think I’d ever get this far, yet I did. I’ve moved into a new place and am living on my own (in another continent, nonetheless!), I’ve mustered courage to share my writing (and got published in a handful of publications, online and in print), I’ve worked a number of jobs – from fashion styling to advertising creative slash social media manager to now designer specialist at one of the best high end stores in the world. I’ve adapted new habits to improve my daily life – doing yoga and meditations, learning how to make small talk with strangers, smiling more often and meaning them. I’ve done all the small things I’ve always wanted: dye my hair ginger red, travel by myself in another country, commit to a better skin care routine. I feel a lot more content with knowing that everything I do, to the littlest things, matter so much to my well being and happiness.

Not all days are perfect, of course, but now I don’t try so hard in making them seem like they are. I’m still drifting about in life, and I make plans by the week and day now, not year. But I’m getting there. I’m finally in a place wherein I’m happy to say that I am better.

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12 Comments

  1. Odee

    October 10, 2016 at 6:02 AM

    “I have no idea what I’m doing in my life” is a statement I’m sure a lot of people can relate to, myself included. But i still want to congratulate you for your achievements, whether they’re as small as dyeing your hair or as grand as working for an amazing brand. 🙂 Kudos on your life accomplishments! 😀 p.s. love reading your diary/slice-of-life blog entries ^_^

    1. Cariza

      October 10, 2016 at 6:05 PM

      Hi Odee! <3 Thank you so much. 🙂 Although I'm still in constant war against my anxiety and depression, my perspective has somehow changed. I no longer want to measure my life in huge career successes, but in the fact that in the past years, I've changed and grown and accomplished so much for myself. It made me appreciate where I am now and realize that in time, things *do* eventually fall into place.

  2. Mei

    October 12, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    So inspiring! I’m 25 and still confused about what I want in life. Until now, I don’t know what’s my passion that I have to pursue. I just go with the flow. Thankfully though, I am not that affected with what people share on social media, so it’s not a problem on my case. I know I have my own pace and timeline. I’m just confused what’s my purpose in life. But still, I have also achieved things that I am proud of.

    Hopefully years from now, I can also say I’ve become a better person.

    1. Cariza

      October 14, 2016 at 9:21 AM

      Hi Mei! Sometimes I actually think no one really has life figured out, and that most of us are just trying to go along. It took time for me to accept that just because my own achievements don’t look like everyone else’s doesn’t mean that they’re not. We all have our own dose of successes. I talked to my boyfriend Jaime about pursuing passions so much, and one time, he said something that resonated with me: you don’t have to have a job or career in something you like to do, sometimes a job is just that – a job to pay the bills and the like, and your passion and fulfillment could be found elsewhere, like traveling from time to time or investing in your hobbies. It made sense for someone like me who wants to do (and be) so much but is trapped in confinement to a social construct (lol) wherein I have to pay my rent and other bills to live. Ah, life. For a time, I was also confused. Now, pursuing passions still made sense to me, but my passion became about living a fulfilling, beautiful life.

      I think when you look back at how you were then and who you are now, you *are* a better person. 🙂 But of course, it doesn’t end there. We can always strive to be better.

  3. Jan Limark Valdez

    October 13, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Planning is just our guide on what we really want to do. So we just pursue where God leads us to. Keep sharing your personal posts Lily Evans =)

    God Bless!
    Jan Limark |Brotherly Creative

    1. Cariza

      October 14, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      Hi Jan! 🙂 /lol I felt so happy when you called me Lily.

  4. Marian

    October 14, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Thank you for this post. This is clearly what I needed to hear today.

    1. Cariza

      October 14, 2016 at 9:30 AM

      Sending out hugs to you, Marian! <3

  5. Denise

    October 25, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    “the whole thing of people (seemingly) inspiring others to go for their dreams and find their life’s purpose because it’s been working for them somehow became rather toxic.”

    I agree on this, I guess it is possible to get overwhelmed with encouragement too. But yeah, you’re not alone in feeling these things. There’s still a lot of us in the journey of “getting there”. 🙂

    1. Cara

      November 3, 2016 at 5:32 PM

      Hi Denise, I think for me the struggle is more of taking most of my journey of “getting there” rather than endlessly praying and wishing that I’d wake up one day and that I’m at the end of the spectrum, you know? I always have to remind myself that my present is enough. It’s so easy to say things are okay, but some days are tougher battles.

      And thank you for visiting my blog! <3 I've recently became a new fan of yours (and your IG too!) I hope we'll become friends 🙂

  6. Mark

    January 4, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    Life, the whatever, rocks in the oil soaked stream, run, jump an scream, but cross it, an now, in the name of the my uncle, who said he was my Father, my beautiful Son, an Casper, the holy ghost. Its a road of billions, twice as many unwashed feet, dance to the rythems of the beat.

  7. Joyce

    January 5, 2017 at 10:59 PM

    I just came upon your blog and did a quick browse on your content just like how I do with every other blog. I just couldn’t help but leave a comment because even if I just skimmed through your posts (for now), I’ve already felt so much heart and genuineness in your blog, which I seldom feel with most blogs these says. I think you should keep pushing yourself. Great blog. Can’t wait to read more.

    x Joyce

    http://joycecrls.wordpress.com

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