On accepting who you are & changing to who you’ve wanted to become

I’ve been in a weird mood and slightly down. It’s ok. Ups and downs are a part of life, you know? I’m embracing, accepting, and not running away from the fact that I’m down. And I know better now that it soon shall pass. However, instead of wailing and whining why I feel down (And I fully know the reason behind it as well), I’ve decided to write something entirely different and focus on positive things instead. Here we go. 

On accepting who you are

I’ve always wanted to write about this, ever since I saw a Readery box said “Reading is sexy.” 

I was quite amused by it. Speaking from my own experience as a bookworm who loves reading ever since I was very little, reading has never been considered “sexy” 

Growing up, it’s anything but. 

Because somehow reading feels boring for other people, especially when you are young and adults expect you to be fun, lively and active, just like how kids should behave. More often than not, I’ve heard comments from adults or even friends my age in primary school, talking about me in a tone that implied I just like to read, be shy, and be quiet in my own little world. 

And those traits aren’t necessarily desirable as a kid. “Oh, she just likes to be on her own reading. Read: She’s not fun.”

Nevertheless, I kept on reading, even though it was viewed “uncool” At the same time, I smiled a little reluctantly and shyly when I got asked what I liked to do in my free time as a primary school kid. When adults heard that the answer is reading, no one seemed to think it’s a cool or interesting thing to do. So I quickly added other activities, “playing Piano” or something along those lines to distract them and trick them to think I’m not that boring.

The thing is, I’ve never felt reading is cool, and I even tried to leave out details on the kind of books I read or mentioned anything related to books and reading. 

Until VERY recently, only these past few years, some things have changed. I’ve slowly come to embrace who I am and what I like to do. Since reading is what I like, I’m going to talk about it and not afraid to share it! Perhaps it’s because we are adults now, and to like reading as an adult seems more “socially acceptable” somehow. I signed up on Goodreads. I’m no longer afraid to let people have a peek on my bookshelves (Would have never imagined I would do that). I’m even telling people, hey, be friend with me on Goodreads if you have the account, I wanna see YOUR bookshelves too. 

And I talk about reading way more often now. I’m sharing more and more what I read to other people, if they show interests (You know what, the other day I read this article about…). I’m even more interested if they also share what they are reading, too! One of my favorite questions, usually asked by people who are close to me, is “So what are you reading at the moment?” 

You know, it feels great. Accepting who you are, be it cool or uncool, feels great. Reading is a huge part of my life, and I’m letting it be without feeling like I want to hide it away anymore. 

On changing to who you’ve wanted to become

I know I’ve written a lot about exercise recently. At the moment, I’m pretty into it and quite passionate about it, mostly because this is such a HUGE transformational change for someone like me. It really is a big deal. Let me tell you why.

Ever since I was little, I was very inactive, I hated P.E. class with burning passion and would skip it whenever I could, I disliked all kinds of sports because I seriously sucked at everything, I hated having to move myself, what I liked to do was sit around and (guess what!) read or use the internet. Or just STAY STILL (literally). My father kept telling me to exercise for the millionth time, in which I never listened. 

And once in a while I had this dream that it would be nice to love exercise and be active and energetic. It’s such an opposite of who I am, but it’s a nice thing to be, especially it’s good for your health and your body. Five years ago, I remembered I said this exact sentence out loud to my Japanese friend in Nagoya, she laughed and said “Well, just be one!” 

But I never could. I hated it so much that the thoughts of it could kill me. Exercise, ew. Sweating, ew. 

But there had been a gradual change. Initially, it was a broken heart and the desire to be a better, prettier, healthier me a couple years ago that first dragged me to the gym. I started for a couple months, found it boring and still wasn’t into exercise that much, then stopped it altogether for a whole year in England. 

Back from England, this time I started again in 2015. Still not into yoga very much, I was just trying to force it to a routine and sticking it out for a year. 

This year, though, 2016 is the very first time in life that I can say I enjoy exercise. I love it! I feel guilty if I skip it for too long. In fact, I don’t like how heavy my body feels without exercise. And I love to sweat it out. The feeling after exercise is…everything. I love that energy, I love to feel refreshed and recharged by a dance class or a functional training after a long day at work. 

A part of it is because I’ve learned what I like for exercise now. I still don’t like sports, but I’ve found out there are so many other ways to exercise without having to play sports! And it works for me! I wish I could have found out about all these alternative choices out there earlier. 

(After hip-hop class. Happy sweating!)

It’s a huge change that I want to tell everyone “I CAN DO IT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH IT MEANS TO ME,” but nobody would understand. It’s just exercise!? It’s not a big deal, is it!? Anyone can do it, right!? This transformational change, though, has boosted my confidence and made me so, SO proud of myself. This, to me, is a real success, and I’m even more proud than other achievements (like getting first class honors.) 

After almost 30 years, I could change myself to something completely opposite of me, to who I’ve always wanted to become. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.

What I learned from building this exercise routine is also my strength: Discipline. It makes me realize anything is possible when I set my heart to it. Because I’ve got this discipline to stick to it! This certainly can apply to other parts of life as well. I’ve gotta believe in myself more. 

What inspired me to write this was an Instagram account of VJ Loukkade. I personally never thought she’s particularly beautiful or attractive, but I got to see some of her exercise routine video clips, and suddenly she became much, much more beautiful. She loves what she’s doing and it’s shown on her face. She smiles and laughs this bright, cheerful smile; so very natural and real with no detect of fakeness. I don’t know much about her, but I love her energy and this happiness clearly radiated from her face. 

I love that. A lot. 

I’ve always loved seeing people being passionate about what they do and they lit up like a Christmas tree when they talk about it or do that thing, be it anything. To me, it’s one of the most amazing things to see or hear. I do admire that kind of people. 

Phew, long post. At least it’s good to channel my angst and write about something positive instead! 

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