I have this new mental exercise to power me through the day between work and school and work and school and dishes and traffic and traffic and more traffic – I look at a picture of a breathtaking backdrop, snow-capped mountains draped with a sparkling body of water, luscious greens and a flat rock right in the middle, just for me. I close my eyes for a few minutes to put me physically at that scene and remind myself that no matter how ugly things get, I can’t give up and die because I haven’t found this piece of heaven on Earth…but if that fails, I just look at the wallpaper of my phone of Joe with the glasses/braces filter from Snapchat. Gets me every time.
It’s tough fighting and working toward what you love when it means squeezing every ounce of energy out of you every night, not leaving much room for you to do anything else. Unlike the necessity of high school, I actually chose this life. Knowing that at anytime, you have an easier, alternative route to live is the Little Devil in your head coaxing you to walk away from your dreams because something less tasty but surer is awaiting my arrival. And because I’ve made my comfortable bed, now I have to lie in it.
I remember coming home from school one day, late in the night, I was agitated because the professor spent an hour showing us how to use a calculator and ruler, traffic was bad and my usual parking spot at the garage was taken. So, of course, this is what happens (I’m giving you disclaimers). I see Joe and immediately go on this whiny rant about my day and how our garage door hated me because it wouldn’t open or how the stupid day is so damn hot (it IS summer in Texas) or how annoying my teacher was being in class (although it was Chemistry I and most students probably have not used a scientific calculator) and I went on and on and on while he was apologizing on behalf of this day and all the things and people that have wronged me today. Then I stopped and said “OH MY GOD!” And he said, “what?!” with genuine concern. “I’M SO WHINY! Whine whine whine whine, that’s all I do now.” Then something clicked.
And that was the end of my self-pity party for one (but let’s be honest, I didn’t want to be there either)… the one person present was Joe. I snapped out of it and was done. I can’t imagine that being my self-enlightenment but it felt pretty darn close. It was like I’ve unlocked this part of my brain that wasn’t accessible in the past. I had clarity.
Now, I’m actively choosing to focus on things I’m thankful for everyday.
- I’m getting married and it’s going to be a ginormous family reunion. Koks and Komins on the Asian island!
- I get the see the love of my life every day I come home and of course, I meant Kahlua. JK! Just kidding? Joe Komin? Hmm.
- I have a perfect job for my life right now and a pretty sweet, free health insurance plan..hello!
- I get to live the American dream and going about my “pursuit of happiness” (yes, I know my USDoI, took it upon myself to abbreviate it..although I’m not sure I can because I’m a foreigner and all) of trying to get into medical school. It might not happen, it might but who am I to know? I’ll work hard and if fate decides otherwise, I think I’ll live.
- I’m healthy and safe.
- (Especially happy when I have a full tank of gas. Makes me feel like I have my ish together.) In parentheses because let’s be honest, I delay it until I get that shaming orange light that tells me my car is about to die then I freak out and get gas at the closest (and always most expensive) gas station.
If you’re able to read this post, chances are that you have a much better life than most people on this Earth. So before you want to whine about your next bump in the road, imagine me dancing my worries away with my husband-to-be in public as we both sweat uncontrollably because of the sweltering humidity and anxiety from the judgmental stares of the passerby (this is mostly for Joe because obviously, I shine when I’m being judged in public). I fault myself for being too much of a skeptic but when it helps me not take life so seriously, I embrace it. The sooner you realize that there’s no way to pause or have absolute control of your life, the happier you’ll be. So go, go ahead and grab someone to twirl away as the sun bids you farewell.