Repetition, Reiteration, and Resiliency


There’s a statistic I vaguely remember learning, something along the lines of how it takes ten times, ten repetitions, to truly keep something within one’s memory; maybe the fact that I can’t remember the exact number proves that (especially as when I google, I find varied answers about the exact number.)

It’s struck me lately how true this is. Last May, I wrote about feeling lost, having not gotten into graduate school at the time, and earlier this year, I also blogged about exploring while being lost. It was meant to be a New Years resolution.

Am I succeeding if I still find myself panicking time and time again over how I don’t know what I’m doing?

When I was younger, I loved using the word redundant. I’d scribble it over essays I was editing, not understanding why people felt a need to repeat something. Being concise with language is still an art I treasure, and strive towards mastering.

However, I also babble sometimes, reiterating my point in hopes of communicating better, clearer. I’ve discussed this in the past, in a Podditea episode, and I bring it up because I realize I don’t only do this as I mentally attempt to process events. I’m starting to think life is about reiteration.

It’s easy to fall into familiar patterns. I like routine, because then I know what I’m doing. That control is nice to have, as well as the feeling of security, stability.

Yet, not all norms are healthy, nor beneficial. An example of this could be when experiencing a rough patch in a friendship, my first presumption has been that the friendship is most likely to then end. This is false; while a possibility, there’s also the chance that it is a time to strengthen the friendship, clearing up misunderstandings and learning how to prevent them, as well as work through them better, for the future. Now, if experiencing insecurity in a friendship, while I do deem my panic valid, I also am quicker to remember that a) this will likely resolve itself and blow over, and b) it is not the end of the world either way.

It’s taken many difficulties to get to this point, having grown in this partially because of how many times it has occurred; this development also stems from how tired I am of experiencing this, feeling all the emotions that come from such a thought. I have learned to recover faster, to pull myself up again, to change my outlook, because the pattern wasn’t a good one. Merely repeating myself achieved nothing for me.

Reiteration involves looking to improve each time – and that includes starting from the bottom, from the very worst.

I was working late one night in university on a project with a colleague and friend, one I greatly admire. While attempting to analyze data or write a report, one of the two, we also discussed entrepreneurship. I spoke of how I admire those who strive to launch these businesses, and how I could never do it – or, something along those lines. And, I cited how I thought these ventures as brave due to the risk of failure.

My friend asked me whether there was something wrong with failure then. After I responded, he then went to the others working in the same area, people he knew, asking them if they thought failure was bad. The collective answer was that it isn’t – because, it’s a way of learning.

I was listening to Seth Godin the other day, and he spoke of how failure is good; it’s part of innovation, and if you can take a risk without considerable penalty, you should. How else does one grow if playing it completely safe?

To me, with my career path specifically, part of why I dislike feeling ‘lost’ is due to the lack of stability, security. I’m worried of choosing one field, because I don’t want to find myself ‘stuck’ in something that won’t make me happy. I want to explore so as to be able to determine one route that may work.

The truth is, no matter how much time I take, there are no guarantees; there’s none in choosing ‘one path’, and there’s none as I look around at the possibilities.

Some realizations need to hit you over and over again before they sink in; this is one for me, that either way, I will be taking a risk, and in some ways, I need to. But, though I still feel ‘lost’, I can change what I do, how I view, where I am in life. The first change earlier this year was in how I thought I’d use this time to explore. A newer layer to that is in using this time of discernment is how I really need to push myself as I explore, to look and consider things. Being passive gets me nowhere; claiming things gets me nowhere.

Maybe this sounds similar to before, but it’s a renewal to me, for me. I am invigorated once more as life goes on, as I head through it. Perhaps repetition has its uses, if it leads me to reiterate, to grow upon failure, to learn from it.

I’m starting to think this is resiliency: not only being able to get up from a fall, but to recover quicker, better, each time.

Figuring things out, and getting closer and better, improving, each time

Figuring things out, and getting closer and better, improving, each time



Lost and Exploring: Beginning 2018


Perhaps this blog post is ‘late’, but everyone needs their time; I’ve needed this week, as well as the past year for all the things I have learned.

2017 was a year of transition for me, a year of growth. To be honest, I hope every year is one, and maybe that’s why bloggers all over the world like to reflect. There are, after all, sometimes milestones much easier to name, such as mine below:

These are things I did, things I’ve done, among others. However, perhaps the action nature of these achievements is what makes them easier to discuss, as well as to celebrate on social media.

There are also realizations, however, that have come along with these events. The thoughts around them, such as their meaning and how these disperse, affecting how I approach different aspects of life, may be less obvious, but still remain relevant. This includes how:

  • When in school, there’s a sense of an end to look forward to. You have steps, which includes finishing a certain number of courses and all the work included in them, and then you get your degree, a potential chapter now finished. With work, however, sometimes that kind of conclusion, goal, or direction may be less obvious.
  • Friends change, just as you do, as people do. Sometimes, this growth doesn’t work alongside each other; the parts that helped the friendship to grow in the first place may no longer fit as well. This may possibly be due to geography, having moved, but the drift may also occur based on the recognition of the difference from who you were to who you are now. And, that’s okay for these things to change, especially if you can still remember, honour, the bond that there used to be.

If that made sense to you, that’s good, because it took some time for me to comprehend. That’s part of being lost, I think, and I’ve certainly felt lost this past year. Thank you to those who have celebrated with me, as well as have supported me, as I have journeyed.

As far as 2018 goes, we’re a bit less than a week in, yet I know the resolutions I have are already beginning. This includes taking time to explore, while lost; if I don’t have an exact direction or goal in mind, let me at least see what kind of goals or directions there may be, see whether they are truly of interest to me, and are achievable, rather than floating around.

Because, life is filled with surprises, and holds few guarantees. If I want something, I’m going to need to pursue it and do everything I can, opening the door for opportunities.

In more tangible terms, this means I’m trying to do the following:

  • Podditea, a podcast by Janice Lam and Alana RangaswamyWith writing, a love of mine, I’m going to try my hand at new forms (e.g. short stories), and possibly try and put my writing out there more, such as submitting to a contest or some kind of publication.
  • With Podditea, I want to put more efforts into planning segments, being active on its social media, and planning its future.

Basically, I want to be more driven, and be more passionate with the projects I work on. I want to throw myself into the possibility of happiness.

I’m sharing all of this, because something I do love is discussion, and like I said – I want to put myself out there a bit, though not just with writing; I want to interact and engage with the world some more, again.

We’re all navigating our own lives, trying to find what works for us in this world, build our own personal worlds, and yet, part of what makes all that possible is through engaging with others who are doing the same thing.

So, happy belated 2018, everyone, and let’s connect, let’s explore; this is the stage I’m at, and so, let’s chat.

2017 Song rec: Thorns by Luna Shadows 

Turning 22: “Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you.”


“We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical, oh yeah.”

I turn 22 today, so, of course, Taylor Swift is playing on my laptop.The lyrics for her song, though, are relatable; they’re things I’ve been feeling for the last while.

Everyone’s been asking me where I see myself in the next five years. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I’ve felt lost, and how this is a time where I’m rediscovering things about myself, and what makes me happy. My work, new material I’ve been exposing myself to, and various projects have helped me in determining a better idea of this.

However, that doesn’t mean the confusion necessarily lessens.

I joke about how I’m being faced with #adulting, but it’s true. Different responsibilities weigh on my shoulders than before; while it’s been a quick transition with regards to how long it took to take on those tasks, and to try my best at them, my mind sometimes is still amazed at the idea of it all. I’ll find myself asking: am I ready to do this? Shouldn’t I have a better sense of what I am doing, and where I’m going?

I like research; Google and talks with friends help a lot. It’s the latter activity, actually, which has helped me the most. Conversations with those who face, or have faced, the same transition provide reassurance, as well as advice. These talks are validation, which calms the insecurities, but they’re also opportunities to bond, be vulnerable, and to let go of everything that plagues us.

“Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines, it’s time, uh oh.”

While I may talk about work and other struggles in my life with friends, we also have fun, be it with board games, food, or sharing stories, laughter ensuing these times. I love these people, those who I can have ‘deep’ conversations with, while also enjoying ‘shallower’ moments, times where I can be silly. I like being able to show multiple sides of myself, and knowing that these people will accept any of them, that I can be comfortable in revealing these aspects of myself. I can share my happiness and my fears. A place of safety and understanding is formed with these friends; no physical location is needed except for the space we share.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.
Everything will be alright, if you keep me next to you.”

People need people. (Don’t mind me as I quote Skam; Noora Saetre’s a favourite character, and if you know this show, talk to me.) I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without friends, and I’m so grateful for all the people who’ve remained in my life, as well as newer ones I’ve met. Whether it is one conversation we’ve had, a smile shared, or several long Skype talks, as well as meetings over coffee, they’ve helped.

Some conversations have been life-changing, with regards to my perspective and understanding on various matters. Other gestures may appear smaller, such as just a well-timed joke that makes me laugh, or a listening ear to what feels like me ‘babbling’ out everything in my mind, but they are just as appreciated. These are what make people memorable to me, whether they remain in my life or if it was just a brief encounter, and they have no idea of there being such an impact.

When asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, or how I’d spend it, all I replied with was how I just wanted time with friends and family. I don’t need gifts, if I have the people I love around me, and with me. Even if further away, I appreciate any well-wishes or thoughts from the individuals I treasure deeply.

It’s nice to know there are people I can enjoy time with out there. And, no matter what happens with life, if I’m lost or facing issues, I know everything will be alright, if I have those people next to me.

All credits for the gif goes to its maker.