As life is getting more and more exciting, a day also tends to fill up with lots of activities that often makes me forget where the day has gone. The danger is I often get carried away with those exciting activities and forget to take time off, even just for 5 minutes a day, to calm down and reflect. Reflection is something I value deeply as I believe it is what teaches me something about myself and how I can become a better person.
I used to care so much about what other people thought about me and what they would say about me, I let them, the society and people around me, control the path of who I should become because I wanted to fit in, because I wanted to feel special and important, I wanted to be in the spotlight. I believed the only way to fit in, to be loved, was to be the best, to own expensive brand name stuff and to look “pretty”. These became my goals that I was chasing (not always successfully ). But I was very tired because every time I tried to do it, it was never natural and it was frustrating to try being someone else that I was not, someone that I thought who others wanted me to be. I never felt that I was good enough. My life changed when I got a scholarship to study overseas just as I was turning 20. I realised that there was more to life than being in the spotlight, being the top student, owning expensive brands. What defined me as “pretty” was all in my own mind. Of course, I didn’t just change over a plane ride, it has taken me more than 10 years on a journey of self-discovery. It all began with self- reflection and until this very second, I am still learning about myself.
Talking about reflection, three things happened recently that made me stop and reflect. Watching the TedTalk by Isaac Lidsky titled “what reality are you creating for yourself”, the prominent media presence of International Women’s Day around the world, and watching an animated film by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez from ICE blog posting the question of parenthood: what is the correct path? They all remind me with very powerful messages that being different from the norm and being a woman can be an advantage if choosing to create that reality for myself. Life is not black and white and there are always two sides of the coin. It is up to me to decide whether to stick with the negative or positive sides of life. I choose the positive. The only person that I need to confront, I need to live with, my enemy, is indeed my own self. It is myself I need to fight to feel loved, to feel that I belong to ‘somewhere’, to feel that I fit in, to feel special and to feel “pretty”.
And to me, it has never been as clear as it is now that what I dedicate myself to in Everyone Matters is indeed a healthy mirror for others to reflect and be their best because being different is a gift not a curse. This is the reality you should be creating for yourself not for others to create for you. Making Everyone Matters, starts with yourself.
Take some time to reflect, look into the mirror, what do you see? Ask yourself what do YOU see, not what others want you to see!
For those interested, these are worth checking out for your own self-reflection:
TedTalk by Isaac Lidsky
Animated film – ALIVE by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez
More about Vanh: https://vmixap.wordpress.com
Facebook Page: @yeseveryonematters