A poet's journey to self improvement

A poet’s journey to self-improvement

Trying to remind myself I’m the only one responsible for my own life (and if I reach the things I wanted to do)

I know this is so cliche, but I always try to remind myself I only live once.

Yes, it’s super cheesy (you can roll your eyes) but this thought really does something for me. Sometimes the lens, perspective, and systems around me seem so concrete. As if there’s only one way to live. I feel strapped down to this imaginary conveyer belt of life. 

But when I remind myself of the inevitable end, not only of me but everyone around me, things don’t seem as concrete. It gives me the freedom to stop. To breathe. To ask myself questions. Is this something that I actually want, or do I want it because I feel like I have to? 

This mindset really made me realize this limited life is mine to design (with Allah’s permission). And because it’s mine to design, ultimately I’m the only one responsible for it. I’m the only one responsible that I reach the vision and goals I decided to set for myself. I can’t expect life to just happen a certain way, or magically bend at will to my desires. Nor can I expect my loved ones to always be in agreement with my decisions. I have to fight for things to stay in my life, I have to make shifts for it.

“It gives me the freedom to stop. To breathe.”

And this isn’t just with macro things, I realized I’m the only one responsible for making sure my life is space that contains things that nourishing for me. To help me get through things. Even if it’s something small, like going out of my way to get the coffee that I like in the morning, or losing hours of sleep to watch a show I wanted to see for me-time, Or even bigger things like telling those around me, “I’m sorry but I can’t right now.”

Especially when I’m going through it. I think it’s so important to ask, “What can I do to make this chapter more bearable?” And work towards that. 

Ironically, I learned this difficulty makes life easier to live

It’s worth upsetting other people 

It’s kind of hard cause for me, you expect your loved ones to always have the same vision of you that you have for yourself but that’s not always true. Whether it’s a career choice, or boundary you want to set, whenever I felt resistance I always took the incongruence as a sign that maybe I shouldn’t do it, or this decision isn’t meant for me. But you really teach people how to see you through your actions. Even the closest people to you. 

The process is excruciating, like peeling a layer of skin. But people will join you later. 

All in all,

You have to go out of you way to make your life more yours and it’s really been a job to check in with myself to see if I’m aligning with this. It’s so easy to get swept by the daily demands of life and neglect my core self. But reminding myself of how short life is has given me the urgency to push and steer myself to try to create space for it, even if it’s the smallest of things to improve my day.

Reflecting more on this, resistance to the things you want isn’t negative. It isn’t personal, it just is. There’s a certain nature to life and having desire for something doesn’t make you exempt from it. I learned I shouldn’t stop going after what I want, but rather be patient and find solutions, insha’Allah.

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