Often times, I always find myself starting back at one. But then again, change is the only constant, right?
I dropped off the wagon more often than once; especially the wagon of losing weight. I get disheartened very quickly with myself. Recently I find it odd, that I could be patient with others at great length of years, but when it comes to myself, I become the worst critique ever.
I’ve started with walks the past couple of weeks, to clear my mind of the mess I’ve muddled myself in for too long. I used to enjoy having music through my ears while I either walked or jogged. But this time, the thoughts in my head are enough to accompany me through the journey. And I’ve been able to maintain if not quickened my pace.
Walking really helps with straightening out my thoughts. And writing, is an additional self-help too.
Today being International Women’s Day, I felt slightly overwhelmed. Have I done enough as a woman? What have I done enough to inspire or help others?
It’s easy to always dismiss one’s credentials when all you want to find is fault or what was not yet achieved. This brought me to an incident I experienced in 2018 while in Seoul, South Korea.
I was in the company of giants; Professors and Doctors of PhDs – all women from ASEAN countries. We were having a meal when one of the facilitators asked a professor what she has been working on. I don’t quite remember the exact sustainable project she was spearheading, but I remember I was very much in awe of what she was doing.
“Oh, but it’s nothing”, she ended her sharing.
My eyes widened and I went off “Nothing? That sounds to me like it IS something HUGE, Prof.” The others chimed in to agree with me.
I realised, we women like to downplay our achievements. We discredit ourselves way too much. We tell others, “oh it’s nothing” when it is definitely something to be proud of. Perhaps it’s the Asian culture of being humble. And especially when in the religion of Islam, we’re taught to be tawadhu’, to be humble.
I’d like to think we misplaced humble within the word itself. We misplaced it with don’t talk about your achievements or successes. And with such misplacement, we tell ourselves, all our trials and tribulations are “nothing”.
We forgot to own it.
We forgot that while we are taught to be humble, we are also taught to be grateful. Grateful for all the strengths we have been blessed with. We need to start owning our successes and achievements with gratitude.
All of our successes and achievements cannot be realised if we do not acknowledge the people who help us to get the recognition. Thus the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
With that, I have always been so grateful that I joined #TheCodetteProject since Day 1. Nurul Jihadah did not only guide me within the team but as an individual too. We’re now celebrating 5 years of Codette. And how she retains our members who are all volunteers, only shows how good of a leader she is, binding us together. Being with the team, there is always a sense of pride and togetherness. We help one another, lifting each other when anyone is down.
While I still struggle to own my credentials, especially when there are those who would highlight my weaknesses and faults, I have learnt that I am enough. Perhaps it’s the lesson I got from my therapist; for every bad thought I have of myself, I counter it with something good. Usually the good will outweigh the bad.
As I am half-way to my 40th birthday, I realised a lot of wisdom comes from experiences. The ones that wounded me were lessons I thought I can relive differently before. But now, it’s best to just fight the ones worth fighting for. If I were to be defamed, let karma takes its course.
It’s not about the time you take; but the route you choose – to arrive at your destination. Thus, choose your tribe well, ladies. For the people around you will rally on for you, no matter how many times you’ve fallen. These same people will cheer you on when you get up to take that next step towards your goal.
Don’t be disheartened with yourself. Be kind and patient with yourself. While I need to remember to be patient with myself, I need to also acknowledge my achievements.
“You did not come this far, to come this far”, Dillah Zakbah shared today.
So from today, I choose to amplify my achievements so that other women will do so for themselves, too. Let’s paint the world with positivities and drown out the negativities.
Happy International Women’s Day, you amazing lot!