For the first time in my life, I feel immensely proud of myself.
Throughout first quarter 2016, I volunteered for Pacific Trade & Culture Alliance and assisted in planning their first International Business Symposium alongside a great team of professionals. We honestly didn’t really know what we were doing, but we did it! About 200 high-powered individuals attended our event. It was such an eye-opening experience as I was introduced to the expanding Asian-Pacific international trade industries.
Yesterday, I received a number of awards for my contribution to the event, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, straight from the White House! I’m still in slight shock.
I hold myself to a very high standard. Ever since I was young, I wanted to be successful and achieve big things, and that was all I focused on. Yet, every time I accomplished something, I felt numb and never proud of myself. This was one of my many mistakes: living entirely for the future. Each time I reached a goal, I would skip the celebration portion, thinking that what I had accomplished was no big deal, and went straight to working towards the next goal, because I wasn’t where I ultimately wanted to be. And that bullcrap-making brain machine of mine always told me, “Oh that’s no big deal, we’ll do even better things in the future. Don’t flaunt it, or else you’ll look too vain and showy. You’ll look cocky. You’re not humble at all. Don’t do it! Don’t celebrate.” Damn that negative brain!
That was me before. Things are different now.
A few months ago, I started understanding the importance of pressing pause and celebrating all victories, big and small. I am no longer exclusively living for the future. To experience the fullness of emotions, we must live and be aware of the present moment. And so, yesterday and today, I pause and celebrate this achievement. Yesterday, when I felt the strongest sense of pride, I observed my bullcrap-making brain lecturing me on vanity and humility. It was funny watching it run and then just dropping it. When I let go, I was able to feel joy.
Thank you, White House and members of Congress, for recognizing me and for coming at a time when I am able to truly feel proud of myself. Now that I know what “proud” feels like, I’m excited to be truly proud of others. 🙂
I’m proud of ya’ll! And since we’re on this subject, I feel especially proud of my cousin, Alison, for getting into grad school! It’s also her birthday today, so happy birthday to her! ❤