I blog for Change…

As I attempt to orient the windy and often treacherous roads that encapsulate life, here are some of my thoughts on the successes, failures and ultimately the hope and positivity in which I strive for a better world. I also hope that I can use this blog as a platform to elevate the social justice issues that are somewhat forgotten in the modern discourse of staying silent on issues that challenge. Sx


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What is it to be truly courageous?

I had the wonderful privilege of speaking at an event for a great entity called Lumi last week. The theme was courage and I went into the night pondering what it truly meant to be ‘courageous’. Society will tell us that to be courageous, is about being brave, having the strength to overcome all the odds, despite of the circumstance in which they came into being. To be fair, I was having a truly awful day that day and remembered thinking, as I walked into the venue, ‘swallow those emotions, stand up straight, portray to the world that all is well and that you have overcome’.

As the night went on, and I listened to the stories of the other panellists, something struck me which was as heartbreaking as it is poignant; having strength isn’t about putting on a brave face. It isn’t about pretending that the life lesson one has just endured has elevated us to a place of complete zen and enlightenment. Being courageous is about being vulnerable, it’s about opening up and sharing your story in the hope that all of the gut-wrenching, soul crushing heartache occurred for something; something beyond your own pain. We often live in the realm of problem and answer and forget that the most important lessons to be learnt, are those about ourselves and our journeys.

What I took out of that event, more than anything else was a spirit of sisterhood. Lumi, through its vision and dedication had managed to create a safe space where women, just like you and me no longer felt the need to put on a façade about how the battles of life had made them into soldiers. No longer was there a desire to pin courage on bravado or falsities about being a perfectly functioning human being. One who never breaks down when that opportunity goes begging or crawls into the foetal position when that relationship ends. There, on a beautiful Melbourne night, with a group of individual, unique and thoroughly brave women, I learnt what it was to be courageous; and it was far from what I had initially envisioned.

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I had one of the worst nights of my life with my parents yesterday; I was yet again, backed into a corner and forced into justifying my own existence. The way I chose to live my life and the decision making capacity that had become attune with my very being was being brought into the spotlight and picked apart one piece at a time. I kept being met with the questions of ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘do you think you are better than everyone else?’, ‘that you know better than us, people who have walked this earth for 60+ years’?. The entire time that these lines were being uttered, the only thing I could think is that ‘you can’t hear me’, nor do you actually see me, for me.

My entire life, I’ve felt utterly misunderstood being trapped in a world between two cultures, and never feeling fully comfortable in either one. I’ve grown up, as an only child with parents who must have thought they’d brought an alien into this world. I have always maintained that I am brave enough to walk my own path in life and pave the way for something that was right for me. But as I sat in the room I spent my childhood in, in the house I’d grown up in, I found myself questioning every decision I’d ever made in life. Maybe it would just be easier to mould my life into what was expected of me, maybe I should have followed that profession, or married that guy and had a mortgage, a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a dog by now. As I sat in that bedroom last night with my chest constricting, I wondered if it would be all the more easier to do what was expected of me….

Until I woke up this morning, looked into the mirror and saw my reflection staring back at me. In even the passing thought of giving in, I’d seen a part of myself disappear. As I stood there, I looked into a set of sad eyes that I didn’t even recognise. The person staring back at me was one who was defeated, who had given in, who had lived someone else’s version of her life. I suddenly realised, that I was looking into the future, into a version of reality where I hadn’t been brave. In this existence, I’d let go of my courage, given up on the person I had once believed in and thrown the towel in because being different and unique had gotten all too hard.

The truth is, people aren’t going to believe in your dreams for you. The validation we all search for isn’t going to be found during the arduous journey of paving our own way in life. No one is going to buy into something without seeing the results in the end, and it’s at that point that belief isn’t truly needed anymore. In a world of expectations, conformity and oneness – society will judge you for being different. But the truth is, they aren’t going to live your life for you, that is your burden or blessing to bear – depending on what you choose. Don’t make decisions based on someone else’s idea of your life, because at the end of the day – you are living it. Be strong, be brave, be courageous enough to say to the people that doubt you, or in turn love you but just don’t understand you; that this is your journey and you want to live it to its truest and most sobering potential.


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Life’s lessons and their inevitable meanings..

I had a realisation yesterday, as I once again embarked on the eternal question of ‘have I obtained a good level of personal growth in the last few months’? Inevitably, after every failed career venture, sensation of listlessness and demised relationship, one tends to ponder what ‘lessons’ have I learnt and has this made me a better person? As I continued to assess this, I started to ascertain the levels of criticism and critique that I endemically push upon myself whenever I am in this position. I had a fleeting and amazingly scary thought that, despite these experiences, I felt just as lost as I had prior to them. That in spite of the emotional scars that I know I bore, I didn’t feel any more equipped to tackle the joys and pitfalls of life.

Does this mean that I haven’t taken out of these experiences what I was supposed to? Am I flailing as a human being in my attempt of the pursuit of life? Of its wonders and pleasures? Am I missing something?

What I have begun to understand is that, it is actually okay to not feel equipped with this ‘wisdom and knowledge’. Life isn’t about having all the answers, it’s about knowing that we really don’t but embarking upon experiences in spite of this. I myself, can admit that I don’t know what the future holds or where I will be in 1,2,5 or even 10 years. But I accept this unknown and will instead focus on the here and now, being the best person I can be and treasuring the memories that have been my past.

Perhaps everything in life is not supposed to be a lesson that we dissect and gather a ‘true meaning’ from. Perhaps, life is all about stumbling through and finding people who to share this adventure with.