June and Inopportune
Happy 1st of June!
(Warning: I am going to blab!)
Happy 1st of June! Congratulations! We are halfway through this year! Which reminds me, it's time for my 'emotional well-being health' check!
There is a little story behind this habit.
I believe, as a woman, it is important to keep your emotional well-being. I thought it was all about being happy. Happiness is a complex concept, so I did all I could to 'be happy.' I read books about happiness. Formulate lots of theory and practice them.
I used to think that I will be happy when I have this or that, succeeded in this and that. Crossed every resolution I made every New Year - just to name a few.
Just like you, I used to make resolutions every year. There were this lists. Do more sport, be happier, give more, shed that unwanted fat yadayadda.
Then I started my Happiness Project back in 2014, and I realized one thing.
It wasn't happiness that I seek for my emotional well-being. It's about in a way feeling content with myself.
You may wonder, why in a way? Why not, let's say, 100%?
Well, for me, feeling 100% content with myself turns out to be boring.
I like to keep ' little room' where I can grow more. Room for me to learn, try, fail, learn again and have fun in the process.
When I succeeded in one thing and failed in another, there lies my true happiness.
With that in mind, I started a habit of a half a year 'emotional well-being health check.'
I started by recognizing the things that are important to me, what I want to do, try bit by bit to make it happen and just have fun in between.
Every six months, I looked back. Evaluate. Am I in a way feel content with myself? Do these things still interesting for me? Does it still make sense for what I want to achieve?
Just a couple of example of what's currently on my list:
Travelling has always been important and has always been on the list.
I have always said that I would like to travel more. In the course of six months, I was in three different countries (four if I count my home base) and very soon I will be on my fifth this month. In addition to it, I visited few small cities in Germany. There is a traveling plan in the making to Spain or Asia again, from this point of view, I am very content with it.
I decided to read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying when I was in Thailand. As I moved on to every chapter, I couldn't wait to go back home and throwing everything out. Kidding. But I ended up removing 80% of my wardrobe, cleaned up my home office and my bathroom and everything else that just didn't bring me joy. I typically take care of what I own, but there were new respects that came with reading the book. As silly as this might sound, I consider this to be my third biggest achievement for the past six months.
I was born and raised in Borneo, Indonesia, and the fact that deforestation has become dreadful completely broke my heart. A couple of my friends are journalists and photographers. One, in particular, took a photo of a murdered orangutan, covering his face after being beaten and God knows what else. I cried looking at that picture, and since then I have always thought of doing something small to help. As I am also supporting Greenpeace and Virunga National Park in Congo, I have to wait for a little bit to finance whichever form of help I was going to do.
Finally, two months ago on a rainy afternoon, I adopted an orangutan to help Borneo Orangutan Survival. His name is Sura. You can find a little story about him here. If you would like to donate, there is a link on that page as well.
Learning something new
Between refreshing my German, learning Spanish or Italian, I abruptly decided to learn Visual Design. The reason? I want to learn hard skills.
I also hated that I somehow can't do much with my blog, despite the fact that I am using a very cool platform (Hi, Squarespace!).
Learning Visual Design has been excellent! I love every bit of it! Except that now, my week is super packed!
It also gives me tons of ideas about what I can do with my blog and become a web designer/developer! Ha!
YES. Blogging again is my first and biggest achievement in the course of six months because I finally got the courage to say no to inopportune! (Please give me a tap on the shoulder!) It is also one of the most aspects that I feel so content with.
I redesign my whole blog and start documenting my style as I always want it to be. That was the reason I created the blog in the first place and whatever the reasons for postponing this action in the past, they didn't matter anymore once I started again. I used to be confused, didn't know what to do, what to say, what to wear. I wasn't happy with my body. Everybody was doing the same thing. Fashion became too fast, become mainstream. And I struggled so much to find my way, but one day after I came back from my trip, with much more kilos on my hips than I have ever been, I said 'Hell with it.' I sat down and planned my first concept.
And boy I am glad I did! It might not lead to anything now. But the satisfaction and the content feeling of starting is unbeatable. Now when I think about it, I wonder how all those reasons could be my insecurities? Absurd.
If this is something new to you and you are interested in trying, I only have two tips:
Talk to yourself and be honest about what makes you feel content. It's limitless. And it varies from time to time from one person to another. The more I travel, the more I emotionally feeling content. But for you, perhaps gardening is! You measure yourself, and there shouldn't be any judgment. So, honest is the first important aspect.
Sometimes, along with the way, the thing you found interesting in the first place turned out to be not. It's okay. It's the feeling of content you want to achieve. Not just for the sake of crossing something on your list.
Do you also think doing a regular emotional well-being check is important? What are your methods? What do you feel like doing more? Let me know!