• Speaking My Mind

    Life During the Apocalypse

    I’ve been ready and eager for some change since the end of last year, which was fueled by a new relationship, dissatisfaction with my full-time job, and aspiring for more in my life. I wanted more money, more independence, more responsibility, more education, more experience, more travel…more, more, more.

    So I set out to achieve all those things. I asked for a raise at both of my jobs, I started researching where I can take my career next, and I booked a trip to New Orleans.

    I was so excited about the NOLA trip because although I’ve traveled since graduating from college, I haven’t gone somewhere entirely new to me since 2017. This was also the first trip I went on without my family since the summer of 2016.

    The NOLA trip was more wonderful than I could’ve expected or hoped for, but as I was there, news that the coronavirus was becoming more serious in the US emerged.

    When I returned to work on a Monday, I returned to an entirely different company. My boss, who had foreshadowed that he wasn’t going to be there when I returned, was indeed gone. Two of my colleagues in the accounting department were also let go, and sixteen other people in the company nationwide were gone too. On top of all of that, the people that remained, including myself, took a pay-cut in the hopes that the company could weather out this uncertain and ruthless storm.

    Shortly after that, I lost my yoga job because the community gym I worked at understandably shuttered its doors.

    Now, the entire country and a majority, if not the entirety, of the world are living in an apocalyptic reality. A reality without physical human contact in lieu of virtual human connection. A reality with an unstable economy, loss of jobs, weakened immune systems, and loss of lives. My heart goes out to everyone who has been adversely impacted by this virus.

    The reason I’m writing is because…aside from craving to connect with you all, I’m intrigued by how strongly I desired so much change in my life…and in a month, my life has changed significantly…in a way I could not have even fathomed. Now I crave the familiarity and comfort of the past, even though I wasn’t my happiest a month ago. In hindsight, however, there was so much to be grateful for that I had taken for granted. A month ago, I was able to see my boyfriend every weekend, I was able to go to the grocery store without fear of getting sick and/or spreading illness to others…and I was able to leave the house.

    While it feels like there was more to be grateful for a few weeks ago, I remind daily myself that there is just as much, if not more, to be grateful for now. For example, my family, my friends, and I all are healthy, and I hope that continues.

    I am grateful to have a safe home to live in with clean, running water, electricity, and wifi. I am grateful to have the love and support of my family and my community. I am grateful for my “capital-Y” Yoga practice, which I’ve been leaning into so much lately…just to keep a smile on my face. I’m grateful to be growing and exploring my meditation practice and I’m grateful to share that with others via videoconferencing software. I am grateful for videoconferencing software and for cellphones. I am grateful to all the healthcare workers on the frontlines of this battle, and to all the scientists researching and studying this virus to develop better tests, vaccines, and cures.

    If you’re inspired to do so, please share what you are grateful for in the comments below. Stay safe, and much love.

    xx Vic

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Faith + Bravery: Taking the First Steps on a New Adventure

    My aunt took me and my sister out to lunch, and as per usual, we had a wonderful conversation.

    She had recently returned from a trip to Memphis with her husband, and they went to several Civil Rights museums. I confessed to her that the things I must do in order to get to the next chapter of my life seem impossible, so she told me this quote she saw in the museum that blew her away:

    “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices on Resistance, Reform, and Renewal an African American Anthology

    When she shared it with me, I was also floored. This quote is obviously in regards to civil rights, however, it also encapsulates exactly what I need to do that would answer my own questions:

    How do I get a car so I can be independent? How do I get a job but also prepare for the GRE’s and figure out what doctorate program I want to do? How do I make new friends since all of my closest friends are moving away? How do I become a self-sufficient adult even though I’m afraid to do so?

    Between these worries and fears as well as my disastrous room, which seems to reflect my inner turmoil, I have been feeling so overwhelmed that I haven’t done much to move forward at all. Naturally, I’m not going to get to the next chapter if I’m not taking any steps at all…thus, I should trust the Universe more. I should also trust myself more.

    Evidence of the Universe conspiring to support each individual is evident in my own life in the past, as well as in my girlfriend’s life currently. Per Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life” :

    “You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

    I’ve sited this quote what feels like 10 times now on my blog, yet I always need to be reminded of it. Perhaps I should make it one of my mantras in addition to the Sanskrit mantra, Ananta Swa Bhava, I repeat for my japamala meditation. It means my state of being is infinite and boundless.

    I am infinite and I am a child of the Universe too so…I need to have a little more faith.

    So the first steps I will take until my yoga training starts in a little over two weeks will be to apply for at least one job a day and to finish organizing my room. Instead of watching endless YouTube videos at night, I will read material that will inspire me especially because I have an obscene amount of partially read books on my Kindle. I will also allot one hour each day toward researching doctorate programs that I may be interested in.

    By the time my yoga program rolls around, hopefully, my personal space will be less cluttered and more organized and I will at least have some ideas percolating in my mind in regards to future education plans. Then I can write them down in the new journal my aunt got for me! It’s a beautiful journal and I’ve never had such a nice one before!

    IMG_4438

    I hope you can see the gold detail on it in this photo above!

    IMG_3439 It also has beautiful quotes throughout the book too!

    Anyway…that’s all from me for now. Let me know in the comments if you have any quotes that inspire you!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Savoring the Moment

    My thesis advisor emphasized that I should savor these moments because they end quickly. Right now, my graduation days seem weeks away but it’s only a matter of days before I walk. Once it’s over, I can’t get it back. So that’s what I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks and that’s what I’ll do until my last commencement.

    I’m experiencing all of the feelings lately. I’m simultaneously nostalgic, suffering from senioritis (although I think I’m done with exams unless I have to retake one…), nervous, excited, eager, worried, and sad about the impending end of my undergraduate career. On Mother’s Day, this Sunday, I will officially be done. I have some immediate plans for “what’s next?” but I still have to figure things out for after July. Hopefully, my yoga teaching program along with doing my own research for ideas will be helpful.

    It’s surreal how four years have come and gone and I’m leaving with my Bachelor’s. It’s also surprising and impressive how much I’ve accomplished in those four years…I have three cords to wear at graduation and I wasn’t expecting to wear any. It’s amazing to reflect and see the growth that I’ve had as well as the impact I’ve made at my University and in my own life.

    I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go to college and I’m grateful to myself for making my four years productive. Four years ago, I went through a horrible breakup but in hindsight, that breakup further propelled me to get involved on campus to help me cope…which allowed me to be open toward meeting new people and making friends. There are tons of different instances throughout my four years at college where the ending of something became a new door to go through and explore what was beyond it. I know graduation is just me going through a new door but it’s uncomfortable to leave familiar spaces behind.

    I don’t feel ready to work full-time and I don’t feel ready for graduate school. I have to get ready for something though because I need to continue to grow, and those are the two most viable avenues right now. Perhaps I can travel too but I would only want to travel domestically.

    Anyway…I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my accomplishments as well as my failures because those failures meant that I tried and “trying” is how I’ve been able to have had all of my experiences. I already know I’m going to continue trying new things because I’m doing the YTT and I also have this blog! I’m eager to see what else I will be trying too.

    xx Vic

    PS! Once these moments are over, I will resume posting twice a week with some awesome content. I feel kinda bad about not meeting the deadlines I’ve made for myself for this blog, but I want to change my perspective because I didn’t create this blog to stress myself out. I created it to express myself, to connect with others, and to have fun! Right now, I’m having fun with my friends and my girlfriend before everyone moves away after graduation. I’ll write about it for next Wednesday as I reflect on it all! By then, I will have graduated three times, I will have moved back home, and I will be…on a plane!

    I’m going on a quick family vacation/graduation celebration for a couple of days! More on that later, stay tuned…

    My girlfriend got me the beautiful flowers above and wrote me a sweet letter to celebrate all of my hard work! <3

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