The following post is the written version of the video above.
August started off with the close of trip to Colorado. I got to spend time with Peter while he was traveling for business, so I took decided to combine the trip with a book tour event at a local zero waste shop in Boulder called Refill Revolution.
Apart from work, this trip also gave me the opportunity to unplug from my life in California and reflect on where I’ve been for the past year. We went to the Rocky Mountains and it was wonderful to be surrounded by nature and God’s beautiful creation, and to reflect upon what has happened for the past few months and what I’d like to do in the future.
For those of you who don’t know, It’s been nearly a year since I’ve quit my full time job due to my mental health. I’d like to say that I’m better than I was before, but part of me still doesn’t feel quite ready to go back into corporate life. It’s been quite nice to slow down my pace of life, take care of myself, and have time to try new or old hobbies I didn’t get the chance to do before.
So now, I’m able to support a local zero waste store which I work for part time, have also took the time to get my joints checked so I can start long-distance running again, and have been enjoying the moments of spending time with friends and family. Peter and I made handmade pasta with each other on a date night and it was really fun to try something new together.
Though I’ve been getting into a good routine with my freelance work as a content creator and author, I’ve never felt more out of place in my life, especially living in the Silicon Valley. Most of the people who live here, including my friends, are engineers who work in tech corporations, so it’s an expensive area to live in if you aren’t working for a large company. Impostor syndrome definitely kicked in, as I felt that I was unworthy compared to my peers - I’m not making nearly as much as them, don’t feel nearly as capable to work in a company these days, and am living at home with my parents to make up for the fact that Peter and I are no longer dual-income. I questioned if these dreams of making it as a freelancer were worth the sacrifices, and my self-esteem definitely lowered when I had to move back in with my parents, though I’m grateful they took us in during this difficult time.
Amidst the thoughts of not feeling adequate, I was thankful for the opportunities that God had given me - in particular, the big focus for the month was being the coordinator for my friends’ wedding. After my zero waste wedding, they were inspired to do the same and asked if I would be willing to take part in planning theirs. It was almost a year in the making, and it was wonderful to see it all come together in a way that was kinder to the planet. I can’t wait to share the details with you all in a future video too.
After the wedding, I had to face reality again as well as my mini quarter life crisis. The negative thoughts continued, along with conversations and consistent questioning about next steps. Was it time to force myself to go back into full-time work to make ends meet? Or perhaps it was time to move out of the area to a location that was more affordable. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my thoughts and start figuring a way out of my situation, but I’ve been trying my best to bring all these thoughts, doubts and questions up in prayer, asking God what He wants me to do next with my life. For who am I to really know what’s best for me?
I was reading through 1 Corinthians during the month of August, and came across chapter 12 which says:
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:17-20
A combination of these verses, prayer, and recent circumstances reminded me that God accepts who I am, regardless of how different I may be financially or career-wise in comparison to my peers. It doesn’t matter how much we make or what our status is - no one is greater or lesser compared to another. Though these truths are so clear in the Bible, I fall so short when it comes to remembering that God has made me different for a good reason - each one of us has a unique purpose on this earth. Of course, I still wonder if I’m ever going in the right direction with my life, but I’m at a place where I’m willing to do whatever it is that I’m given with my best effort for His glory, and trust that God will lead me where He wants me to go as the opportunity comes. So for now, the doors that God have opened have allowed me to stay put in continuing to pursue freelance work and content creation, and also supporting my local zero waste community as well as my church. What that means for you is, Lord willing, consistent content coming your way with the hope that you are continually inspired to live more simply and sustainably.
I hope you enjoyed this first monthly vlog as I don’t record my personal life often on video. But if you find my past month’s reflection encouraging and would like to see more vlogs, do let me know as I would love to share more snapshots into my life. There are quite a few life changes coming up ahead and things are just starting to get interesting - though I have no idea where I’ll be this time next year, but I’m excited to see what God has in plan for me and hope to share His faithfulness in my life with you too.