It has been exactly 23 days since I landed in London. So, am I officially a Londoner yet? Well, not quite. There have not been enough days where I’ve become a tourist in my own city – yes, it’s been quite busy these couple of weeks settling in my new home and business school. If there is one word to describe my experience in London so far, it would be overwhelming. I am not entirely sure if it is in a good way or otherwise.
Overwhelming it has been indeed, and honestly, it is more so in terms of the “more important” things in life – school and career. To be fair, I should have seen this coming. I am in a post-grad course where we are expected to figure out or at least have a sense of what we are doing in the real world after we have completed the course. But yes, being in business school is something out of the ordinary. And no, I am not just talking about the business attire I am expected to wear every now and then (although I am not too fond of it either). I am talking about all the company presentations, recruitment evenings, CV/cover letter reviews, interview preps, career workshops and just about anything else that kind of help you get a job. Oh, not forgetting all the courses I have little or no prior knowledge about. It gets to a point where I literally have to play the “I need to check my calendar first” card before setting up a lunch/dinner plan with a friend. It’s intense. Believe me.
It is easy to be drowned in all these events and to-do lists, but I actually did not fully realize my current state until these past few nights. I had a hard time falling to sleep – it must be because of the countless appointments and deadlines spread across the calendar. So, what do I do when I get to this point? Kim being Kim, she takes a walk. A long walk (FUN FACT: scientists have proven that walking can soothe your brain; AND it helps me close the move wring on my apple watch haha). And what does Kim do during her walk? She reflects.
“Well, I don’t actually have to sign up for all those events.”
“Hmm, but it is essential for my future – I gotta start before the time runs out.”
“What if they tell us something important at the presentation?”
“Uhh, everyone is prepping for case interviews already, and I have like zero experience.”
Fear of failure. I guess know that has been driving me all along. I mean, it’s great – it has ‘motivated’ me to be where I am today, but I know it is only healthy to a certain extent. There is just something inside me that continues to push myself towards perfection, which then leads me to have this mindset of I-gotta-do-this-I-gotta-do-that, or else I won’t succeed.
One phrase stood out during my walk home though. Rest and remember.
Rest, not because I know it is not the end of the world if I don’t do everything, but because I know that everything has been figured out by the One who made it all. What was I thinking – I am here not supposed to have it all together or to know it all, I am here to be human. Human who, in all her imperfections, can fail at times but eventually pick herself back up, discover and become who she was made to be. There is so much noise around about what you should accomplish and the standards set by the society you need to meet. Heck, everyone is on a different journey, and we need to embrace our own.
Remember, not for the sake of listing my achievements, but for the sake of building up my own confidence in myself. Look how far you’ve gone – how did you even find your way here? With all the ambiguity thrown at you, how did you make it to where you are today? So I force myself to take a step back today and acknowledge the journey I have been on – the struggles I have overcame, the hurdles I have jumped over and the failures I have learned from. Remember and be reassured that we’ve got this. No, things will not get easier, but we will get better and stronger than who we are the day before. Press on. We’ll get there.
To rest and to remember. That goes to the top of my to-do list today, or for the rest of this crazy year ahead. Let us not allow the situation to dictate our actions, but let us instead take initiative over the things that are within our control. Rest and remember, but don’t quit. As much as I want to just let go of everything and instead go to all the places in UK/EU and indulge on all the amazing food here, I think this season of discomfort is good for me. Don’t take it easy, take it one day at a time.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29