Emerline Ji

The One You Feed

JournalEmerline Ji

I've recently learned that it's possible to be proud and disappointed in myself at the exact same time. I'm proud of myself for getting to this point in life and actually living out a reality that looks and sounds like a life my younger self really wanted – moving somewhere exciting, working at an cool place, committing to a creative life, and figuring out how to be independent. Yes. All of this is and has been great. But... I keep forgetting that it's only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg. It's only the start because I definitely don't want stop here. I want to keep going. And... it's in these kinds of transition moments (moments in which I realize it's time to get uncomfortable again) that I end up feeling disappointed in myself. My fear of being uncomfortable again usually opens the gate that lets the voice of doubt in my head get so damn loud. I end up slipping too quickly and easily into its pull. 

So. In order to get better at growing up and doing all of this, I want to write down an undeniable truth I hope I never forget – I want to never let my fears be the guiding force through which I make important choices. I feel strongly about this because we are ultimately the accumulation of the countless number of choices we make throughout our daily lives. If those choices are made out of fear (or no thoughts at all), how could we possibly expect the trajectory of our lives to move forward and get better? 

If you told me this time last year that I was going to end up moving to New York City... that I'd be working at my current company... that I'd have lunch with a group of people that I really really admire... and that I'd soon get involved with another amazing thing that I only dreamed of... I would've looked at you with a very confused expression of speechless doubt. I wouldn't have believed it. How? I would've asked. How from where I'm at now... (nowhere) How in the world? But. This is how quickly things can change. 

It's therefore been hard to continue architecting plans for the future. It never has really gone quite according to plan. Nope nope... it's gone quite differently. So what do I hold onto when things are unsure and unclear? 

An important realization

What do I know to be true about myself? I know that I'm the type of person that loves the things she loves passionately and with a sort of weird sureness. My track record isn't the most organized, but I seem to really be geared towards making choices that reflect my obsessions and gravitating towards opportunities that somewhat close the gap between mere obsession and actually doing.

This tendency, however, doesn't stop doubts from clouding my vision and internal narrative. So... here I write again – I'm not willing or wanting to be someone that cowers to my fears and makes my choices according to their bidding. They'll probably never go away, so I'm going to learn how to coexist with them in a balanced and somewhat harmonious way.

Notes to myself

Don't compare yourself to others. You are not them. They are not you. 

The process of making your most extraordinary dreams come true is hidden in the adjective — it's a process that's actually made up of many ordinary moments. 

Continue to make cool things happen. You usually instinctively know the goals that you hope to accomplish. Don't let the inner critic deter you. Take steps forward to gain clarity. 

Define and redefine success for yourself. If you're evolving, it's only natural that this definition will evolve at some points too. 

Conversations and unseen communication are often the catalyst of all progress. 

Feed the good wolf

 
May your choices reflect
your hopes, not your fears.
— Nelson Mandela