Begin: Alexa and Rach

Sunday, January 28, 2018

How to begin when you don’t know where to start.This is one of the setbacks I've had and continuously hear from other people whenever they start something new.

The struggle of trying to make things happen for the very first time has always been what many would call "easier said than done". With the effort, uncertainty and fear of not knowing when, how and what could be... starting out is always difficult. 

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this in our lifetime and it’s okay. It’s normal. Even until now I still see every “start" as a challenge but throughout time I learned that what’s important before beginning is actually believing. It really helps when you trust yourself. 

For our Stor-We this month, I decided to focus on the central theme, TO BEGIN, because aside from being the first month of the new year, I know how much motivation everyone needs to begin or to begin again in achieving goals and dreams. 

Calligraphy Artwork created by: Xyla Ramos (IG: @xylaramos) 

I’ve always believed that it’s never too late to start over even if it requires a lot of time and effort. I also think this is timely to share because in the past two years out of college, I’ve started to do a lot of things out of my comfort zone. I worked for my first job, launched a food business, introduced my passion project and even decided to move and try life abroad. All these things started out as plans and opportunities but has now become my reality. 

With that said, I’d love to share with you all the  experiences I’ve had when I started out these new ventures with the hopes of inspiring you to begin living the life the way you want to. Here are some of the things you might encounter, so don’t worry! We’re all in this together. 

When you start something new…

You will feel so uncomfortable and awkward but don’t worry! It just means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone so a job well done! 

I remember my first ever job interview. I was so nervous that I prepped the day before trying to prepare answers for foreseen questions. I remember how awkward it was when it started out but felt accomplished when it ended. I realized I couldn’t do-away with interviews if I wanted to get a job anyway so I had to suck it up and deal with it. It’s not so bad as I thought it would be. Trust me. You’ll actually learn more about yourself through the process- what you believe are your strengths, qualities and goals for the future. 

I also remember the first big decision I had to make (ever) and that was resigning from my first job to migrate abroad. It was tough. I remember shaking, tearing up and feeling so scared when I had to tell my boss that I was resigning. It wasn’t easy, but it was indeed a learning experience! 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes to do things you want to do, you’ll need all the guts to begin.
Whenever you’re doing something for the first time and you feel weird about it, just remember that you’re doing something new - out of your usual zone. Kudos to you! 

You will overthink and question yourself but remember you won’t know if you won’t try. So... try it out first, at least there’s no regret. 

Leaving for the States was never a plan but an opportunity. I really didn’t want to migrate abroad but something last year changed that decision. I thought to myself "why not take the opportunity to try life abroad while I’m still uncertain of what I want to do and while I’m still young enough” cause really…I didn't know what to do after quitting my job. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to learn, discover and explore. So here I am in New York, endlessly job hunting waiting for a sign or an opportunity to come. It’s not easy as I thought it was. I’ve actually been anxious lately but I learned to breathe and keep calm. I just continuously tell myself to try and try cause things will happen in God’s perfect time and he would want us to live with no regrets. 

Even for the early stages of  Living in 365, I undoubtedly questioned myself whenever I shared my stories and whether or not they're good enough to read or inspire people. While working for this, I even side tracked from the main vision of my site without noticing and my cousin had to tell me. So right now even if I’m not sure of how people will think about the stories and segments I plan to share on this site (like this one), I remind myself what I’m here for, what my vision is and to believe that the stories I have to tell can inspire people. 

You will constantly feel afraid but remember the support of the people around you. They’ve got your back, always.

Launching a business, choosing a career and deciding to go abroad were all scary the first time. The uncertainty of not knowing what can and will happen made these decisions hard. 

I remember the anxiety I had before leaving for the States. I was emotional, scared and doubtful. I remember I kept asking myself if it was a big mistake but I knew I had to do it because something inside of me made me believe I could and I also got excited. What helped me the most was the amount of support I got from my loved ones who were overwhelmingly amazing. I’m so grateful. 

Launching a business from scratch was also really tough. A lot of great things happened but a lot of  turnabouts also had to be solved. Since we all personally pitched in for the success of Kapok√©, we’re all struggling trying to keep it up and running. With the support of loyal customers and friends around us, we just learn, survive and conquer. 

You might hate it or love it but whatever it is, you still did it. 

There will come a time when you expect things to happen after you give your best effort to start. You’ll anticipate for the best but the worst comes. 

When things don’t go your way, you might constantly question yourself and life choices, just like me. I’m currently in this situation where I feel useless, insecure and guilty at times. There are days when I just feel so out of it and days when I’m the happiest.

And really...It’s not easy when you’re anxious so whenever you do get that feeling, please don’t avoid it. Try to address it in the best way you can. It’s better to let it go then to just suck it up until it hurts you.

 Breathe. Relax. Find your serenity. Let it out. 

What I learned so far is that whatever happens, always count your blessings and remember that you survived and conquered. 

You will make excuses and allow distractions. Trust me, just believe in yourself and the rest will follow. 

From all these experiences, I learned that the most important thing to have before you start is actually to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. I realized that the one person that might hold you back might just be yourself and it’s best if you give yourself reasons to keep going and to never turn back. Trust that whatever you do is for you and because of you. In good times and bad times, it’s a risk you chose to take and learn from.

At the end of the day, what matters is you tried, experienced and learned. 

So to make this Stor-We more interesting, I invited my sister, from AlexaLovesBooks to share her thoughts and stories on the theme and this is what she had to say: 

"If someone had told me eight years ago that I would be building a life for myself in New York City and have the bonus of my husband and my sisters and some of my best friends living right alongside me, well, I probably would have laughed my butt off and told them that it wasn't in the cards for me. But it's eight years since that fateful day when I boarded a plane all on my own bound for New York and began a brand new chapter of my life. I didn't know then what I know now - that this new beginning was going to be for a chapter that changed my life completely. Beginnings, whether they're a part of your plan or something that happens without warning, are tricksy like that. They'll seem like nothing innocuous at first, but when you look back years later, you'll realize that it was a defining moment. A starting line. A point in time where everything changes. For me, moving to New York was a beginning - and even though I was hesitant all those years ago, these days I can't imagine what my life would be if I hadn't allowed myself to let a new chapter begin.

So I guess it’s time for you to ask yourself this: “When was the last time you’ve done something for the first time?"

Don’t be afraid.  Remember: To begin is to believe. 

You’ve got this! Here's to making a bold move to begin and making new things happen this 2018! 

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