Getting out of one’s comfort zone is not a very pleasant way to live life, whether you are forced out of your comfort zone or you intentionally do it. But it is important. One thing I have learnt from the many small and large decisions I made in NUS is this, the moment you get too comfortable in something, you become stagnant and you stop improving.
Recently, I realised I needed to set some goals for Year 2. In Freshman Year, I decided on two goals, firstly that I play hard, everything that I did I wanted to make the best out of it, make the most friends I could ever make, whatever sport I played I wanted to play it well, and enjoy everything to the fullest. Secondly, I told myself that when I study, every module that I study, I do what I like/am interested in, not to have a herd mentality and follow a society that’s hell bent on and obsessed with getting good grades without consideration for one’s interests or aptitude. I think by God’s grace I did achieve both my targets.
With that in mind, I ended my first academic year thanking God for all His goodness and also being really grateful for all the lessons learnt (more here).
Over the summer, I experienced a few things that gave me a few ideas of how I wanted to set my goals for the upcoming semester (and academic year by extension). I enjoyed the month of May – it was slower than usual, well I met people for meals and stuff, but life slowed down from the pace of the semester in which I had events every week/every other week. May was slower and more reflective, I blogged more. June was church camp/precamp, then post camp, a good mixture of fast and slow and once again my identity in Christ was affirmed to my heart and also I think I drew closer to my extended family from which I wanted to start building even closer ties. July was a mixture of everything, from work to AMUNC, Euro2016 and a few camps here and there and meals with friends. So, that was summer.
Coming back to reality, I decided to go with two goals for AY 16/17.
Firstly, I wanted to do things that made me less comfortable and that took the routine out of life.
It sounds ridiculous, honestly, even to me. But I think I want to strive to achieve this. How I would do it, I’m not sure yet, but I know I want to do this. I’ve been living a life where I’ve been afraid to do things and make decisions that would impact me drastically, I’ve been always extra cautious about the things that I do, I think, oh, I’m not ‘like this’ or ‘like that’ so I won’t enjoy this or that activity/module/group of friends/sport… So I’m gonna try and do things that make me uncomfortable, that throw me into the deep end, things that force me to find my way through it. I have always learnt from past experiences that anything like this that happened to me, whether I intentionally (or more often than not, unintentionally) put myself through it, has never failed to teach me lessons that I hold dear to my heart. Many of these experiences were not pleasant at the start, some were not even pleasant by the time I reached the end of it, but I know for sure I learnt something from it.
So the first thing I did, was to quit regular powerlifting. I’ve been on hiatus for one and a half month now and I think it was enough time away from the sport to know that I needed to move out of it to do something else so my body would improve its fitness and not stay stagnant. 4 years into powerlifting and I’ve decided to do something else. I may come back to regular training in future but for now, it’s adios. The reason why I wanted to do this is because I realised that the reasons for why I trained have been accomplished and these goals were not outdated. I went into this sport as a result of something not so nice that transpired at the end of Junior College Year 1/ start of y2. I was angry, impulsive and bitter. Powerlifting offered me an easy and quick escape for it, lift until the endorphins take over and flood your brain with happiness so you can go back to whatever you were doing and feel better about life. However as I matured, I stopped getting angry so easily and even if I did, I learnt to deal with my anger and frustration through blogging/writing/speaking to people about it. Secondly I lifted because it was something that fuelled my inner motivation (because I was so low on it), every time I needed to push myself, I’d head to the gym and lift, and those pushing myself harder than I did the last training would convince me that I could deal with whatever came my way. Over time that attitude changed because I learnt to be less proud and ask for help (although I’m still working on that), and also, more importantly, I learnt to trust God. Along the way also I recovered more and more from the bullying saga that happened over the course of my high school days, and with the support of good friends, I think I reached a point of appreciating who I was, for me. I realised I didn’t need to be better than anyone else to be special/something significant. My significance was no more relative to someone else’s significance, but it was placed in God, and in the fact that I learnt that working hard and being okay with doing my best, the very best that I could do – that was enough. So lifting became more of a sport and less of a place to vent my anger. No doubt, I still love it, will always do. But I think it is time to pull myself out of my comfort zone and find other ways to push myself physically.
Secondly, I want to spend more time with people and less time on events.
While this seems to be ironic/not make sense, hear me out. Spending time with people in events and spending time with people out of events are two completely different things. I think that I did not spend enough quality time with those who are close to me last semester and I want to do that this semester. This includes my church community, family, close friends, DG girls, LitSoc peeps, etc. Also, and importantly too, my friends who I go out with on one-on-one lunch dates. They are as important to me as groups of friends, perhaps even more important. I would like to chill on the events and activities and not just spend time with them but actually make it count and not have to rush here, there and everywhere.
I guess for now that’ll be it. Can’t wait for the next semester to start though, it’ll be good!