Want to achieve something in 2022? Read this. (a letter to myself)

Dear 2022 Clear,

It’s been an exciting year for us. A lot of new things happened that opened our eyes to the world of pregnancy, mothers and parenthood. We have grown so much in terms of creative skills and even expanded our interest to the graphic designing world. 

But you know what you want the most is what you haven’t achieved yet. 

You know that you can experience all the love and peace the world has to offer, but still feeling less fulfilled. You know what’s missing and you are ready to get it in the upcoming year.

These are the things I want to remind you, if you want to finally achieving those professional and personal goals in 2022:

1. Think from your gut. Sounds strange?  This is what I meant: Listen to your gut, but don’t let your emotion override everything.

Keep cool so that you can use your “thinking” to make out a good plan. A plan to achieve your goal, to make yourself feel fulfilled. You can do that. Because you have everything you need in your hands. Just need to make a plan and carry it out.

2. Write, just write. Don’t care about the likes and claps, subscriptions mean nothing to you. If you want to keep writing, forget about checking other people’s reaction to it. What others think is irrelevant to what you write. At least for now. 

3. Keep the setup simple. Use a pen and notebook to write. Or one app. Or one platform. Minimise the distraction of fancy tools and software. Use only everything essential.

3. Don’t be a road block to yourself. You’ve got enough other stuff standing your way. Self-doubt, perfectionism,  big ego and low self-esteem are powerful reasons why you won’t achieve anything you want in life.

4. Stop overthinking and do it already. Take the first step forward and you will know where your second step should be. Small steps, small achievements, lead to bigger things.

5. Tweak your plan, don’t start a new one. If you absolutely need a new plan to reach one goal, your goal might be the wrong one.

6. Write down your goal and plan, even execution calendar on a piece of paper. Read it everyday in the morning to remind yourself of them. 

I know you tend to forget your goal and your plans. They are important to you but you still forget about them. If you have them on a piece of paper, you will remind yourself every morning in the simplest and most direct way possible. 

Don’t put it in an app where you can snooze it away. Don’t write it in a notebook that you can put away.

Stick the paper on the ceiling above your bed, on your fridge, next to your workstation or your TV. Make a poster of it and hang the poster in your living room… Stick your goal and your plan even your schedule in front of your nose. Because you know how likely you will forget about them and then hate yourself for it.

7. Use the power of peers. Find a circle of people who can support you professionally AND emotionally. Find your accountability group. You won’t easily give up if you are watched. Or even better: supported.

8. Help others however you can, as often as you can. Helping others without expecting rewards will help with your own depressive thoughts, anxieties, loneliness… This is how you can truly feel fulfilled. You know that. Helping others is loving yourself.

These are all the advice I want to give you for now. You know your worst enemy is yourself. You know exactly why you’ve given up so often and what really stands between you and what you want to be. 

So tomorrow is a brand new day. The first day of a brand new year. You are on the right track. Just keep going. And don’t forget about enjoy the ride.

2021 Clear


Plan for 2022: Going away to the sea

To travel or not to travel, that’s a question in this global pandemic. It’s been two years after all.

This pandemic has shown us, there are two groups of travel-lovers.

One group get locked up in the place where they live. If the country doesn’t recommend people moving around, they don’t do it. And they suffer constantly because they don’t want to get sick, and they don’t want others to get sick because of them.

The other group are more “flexible”. They still travel, as long as it’s not forbidden. In Western countries, nobody can be really forbidden to go to places for too long. They have the right to travel. So they do. They behave responsibly when they travel and they think that’s good enough for them.

If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for everybody.

Or everyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.

I’ve been feeling locked up for a very long time. I used to travel every year to another continent, and to other parts of Europe. I told myself I want to see the sea at least once a year.

The last time I saw the sea was in 2019.

Apparently I belong to the first group of travellers.

From early 2020 till now, I traveled to Italy once by car. And that’s it.

The worst for me was not just not able to travel, but to watch other people travel around the world all the time as if there’s nothing happening around them.

I couldn’t help but ask myself sometimes, whether I’ve been doing it wrong, whether I have paused the things in life that I love so much that was in fact not even necessary? There’s a global pandemic going on but life is still going on too. Am I wrong for choosing to be a responsible global citizen, to just stay wherever I am and try not to contribute to the spread of this virus?

Is there a way in the middle?

Is there a way to be travelling but still be responsible like I wish to be?

I want to get away from here, be on the road again. Soon.

With vaccinations and testing possibilities everywhere, I’m feeling more and more assured that I could also have a get-away again. Maybe just to take a ride in the car, to the South, to the sea.

That’s my other plan for 2022. To see the sea again.

Mothers in a box

I want to say this: “I gave birth to my baby a few months ago. But somehow, I don’t see myself as a mother.”

A strange thing to say.

Let me try again.

“I don’t feel like I am a mother…”

Still strange.

If I describe this feeling very literately, it’s like the following:

There’s a certain way I thought all the mothers are supposed to behave and “be”. I believe, subconsciously I used my own mother as a prototype for the content of this box. And all the other mothers, more or less, fit into this category.

They are loving, strong, fearless, sometimes unreasonable, sometimes simple but wise, gentle, strict, controlling, protective…

I know what you are going to say. “But these are just adjectives to describe people. Anyone can be described with one or more of these words.”

But come on, you know what I mean.

They are not just like one or all of the above adjectives.

They are… mothers.

“Mother” is not a cluster of adjectives. It feels like a huge box that contains much more.

But I don’t think I fit into this category. Maybe it’s just how I see myself. Maybe for others, I am already a mother. And I’m right there in that category box with all the other mothers in this world, including my girlfriends whom I’ve known since we were kindergarteners, and the cat I know who just got kittens.

But what if I’m wrong?

What if there’s no such category? Maybe there are just human beings being motherly loving to their children. Yes, they are mothers. But they are still humans. They are humans before the birth of their children, and afterwards they are still the humans as they were before.

What’s added is just their love for their children.

I expected myself now to be more different than before. To my surprise, I haven’t changed much in the last two months.

I still love food, Pablo Naruda and Viola Davis.

I still like to watch people putting on makeups and outfits but not to do that myself.

I still love torturing myself with philosophical questions, self-doubts, and self-induced existential anxieties…

I’m still me.

I have another person in my life for whom I’m responsible for the next 18 years. I have experienced enormous, surreal love for life and this world. I have encountered the version of myself that is extremely brave and strong.

I’ve evolved in some ways. But I am still a human.

I am a mother now.

But I am still me.

And I don’t want to try to fit in a box.

If you have put yourself in that box. Well, get rid of the box.

Plan for 2022: write a memoir

Who writes memoirs?

I thought only old and very famous people write memoirs. They must have much to say about their experience. And it’d be interesting for the world to know their side of the story. Because their view matters.

I want to write a memoir next year.

I’m not old. I’m in my early thirties. And I’m not famous either. Nobody cares about my past experience. Nobody cares about my point of view on things.

My view doesn’t matter to anyone…

Any one but myself.

I’m writing a memoir for myself.

I’m writing it because I was lost for a few years. I fell off track and couldn’t come back for a long time. I want to look back at when and how it happened. “Face it,” I hear myself saying, “so that you can grow from it.”

I’m writing it because I start to forget about things. Things that I wish I can keep in my memories forever. Like in the film “Coco”, we live to be remembered; we exist as long as we are remembered. I simply want to keep some people alive in mine, in the only way I know how.

I’m writing it because I’m feeling stuck in my own life. There are things I want that I don’t know how to get them; and doors I don’t want to go in but they were wide open. It feels like I’m standing mid-way in my life but I have to start from scratch anyway. I feel there’s nothing in my hand, since the “me” in the past didn’t earned us anything useful for the future.

I’m writing it for my child. I care about her view on me when she wants to know about me. And I want her to know my side of my own stories.

I’m writing it from the earliest memories of mine. I’m writing about my family, my childhood, my school time, friendships, rebellious time, struggles, persistence, dreams… choices, heartaches, hopes, disappointments, the beautiful and the ugly…

As a storyteller, finally I’m telling my own story.

That’s going to be quite a project. That’s why it’s going to be the project of the year 2022. I will keep this channel posted about the exact plan and record my progress.

Inspiration Vault: Rewatching old films = wasting time?

I rewatch the Harry Potter films almost every two years.

During this Christmas break, my family and I started to watch them again. I still don’t like the plot where Ginny and Harry become a couple. I don’t see the chemistry. It was all sudden. And the character Ginny barely showed other facial expression than Poker Face. (Might be a bit harsh to say so. But I can’t find a way to describe it otherwise…)

But this time I realised how the films intended to portray Ginny as a very strong woman and a powerful witch. That was quite satisfying to see.

Anyway… enough with my latest HP film thoughts…

I was wondering, why is it that I like to watch something again and again?

I used to do that very often with films I like. Not to mention I’ve watched Friends for what feels like millions of times. 

Isn’t that just wasting time? What’s the point of doing such things? 

Yes, it is relaxing to watch familiar things. You know roughly what’s going to happen. So there won’t be surprises. There’s only the satisfaction to be able to “foresee” things.

But there’s also the thrill in case we find any detail that we missed the previous times when we watched it.

And, we might come to some new understanding about certain plot and characters with each new watching time.

We are not who we were when we first watched them. 

We watch the old stuff again and again because we feel connect to them. We feel connected to our old selves. 

We revisit them, remember them. Remembering who we were, and reflecting on who we are today.

Rewatching films like the Harry Potter series and the Star Wars series is less than an entertainment, but a ritual. Especially for those of us who watched them in our childhood.

Resonating much with us, these characters shaped who we are in the first place, in the time when our own world view was built. The experience of watching these popular films as a shared experience with others around the world, across generations, is how we bound with others, and feel belonged.

Revisiting the films as a form of strengthening connections with our younger selves and with others around us, is by no means a simple “waste of time”.

Turn something you “like” into “love”

Imagine something you like to do and wish you can say that you love doing it.

Because we all know (I hope) that love is heavier than like. It requires more responsibility and commitment. You will need more courage to even admit love’s existence.

But love can work miracles.

Its passion fuels up your actions.

It makes you feel alive and keeps you going.

So when you see something you like, and maybe “can even love it”, you might wonder how to make that transition happen?

Why else would you want to turn something you like into something you love?

It’s good if you like the things you do.

But you will live happier if you love the things you do.

Simple, but true.

This method applies to things you use in this sentence: “I wish I could do XXX better and want to keep doing it. I feel fulfilled and happy.”

For me, this “thing” is writing.

I’ve always been a keen journal-keeper. What I used to write was almost all self-therapeutical. To call myself a writer, I will have to write something with a reader in mind.

I will be creating something, consistently and constantly, so that I can call myself a real writer and content creator.

That, I like to do, but I wish I could do it better. Because I feel happy and fulfilled while doing it. I want to love it. I want to commit to it.

I want it to become part of me.

So this is what I do.

  1. Love makes us naked, physically and spiritually, so that it shows us the purest and most honest self.
    • Aka: I keep the setting simple. I don’t expect myself to write with fancy writing apps, on different platforms, or using the latest laptop. I have one place to write everyday.
  2. Love is consistent, even when it starts to get dull. And even when the dullness is apparently killing love. Sometimes it’s not dull but frustrating. Frustration is part of consistency. Frustration is because of wanting, expecting to be more.
    • Aka: I write every day. Plain and simple. It gets challenging with coming up with new ideas. It’s sometimes like roller-coaster ride. The excitement from “writing high” comes one day; the next day my brain was as dry as the Gobi dessert. But I just keep going. Writing trash. Every day. Nonsense? Maybe. But I’m still doing it.
  3. Love makes you want to stick to it forever, even if there are unpleasant things about it.
    • Aka: I don’t have time to do my writing during the day. Late night writing means not enough sleep at night. If I hit an idea-drained day, I would not only hate writing in my head. I’d also hate myself for making this stupid decision to stick to such a stupid plan… I let myself complain, while typing on my keyboard — there are unpleasant things. But love means I will keep doing it while bitching about it.
  4. Love is pure. It’s about enjoyment. It’s about being alive. So don’t do it with the “end outcome” in mind.
    • Aka: I write, no matter how many likes I have, and how many followers I get. I’m happy if my words get positive responses. But I don’t write for those responses. I write for the feeling of writing; what’s more, I write for making sound for my soul. Maybe, only maybe, there will be echo from some others come back to me. That’s hope. Not about profit or money.
  5. The sign of mature love is when something you love becomes part of you.
    • I’m not there yet. But this is my goal. And implementing the above three points, I’m going to get there at one point. Love takes time. If I want it, I will have patience.

I’m happy and fulfilled when I keep writing every day. I wish I could write better. I wish to have this feeling in my life, forever.

What’s your thing that you want to turn the like into love?

What do you deserve?

One question for you: what do you think defines your value?

First, think about a situation where you can say “I deserve XXX.”

And then ask yourself, what do you have, and how much, that makes you deserve XXX?

It’s hard to evaluate oneself for some people. Because it’s about self-knowing and confidence. And whether they match.

For most of us, what we know about ourselves doesn’t match the confidence we allow us to have.

The kind of self-knowing should come from self-awareness and constant self-reflection. Otherwise narcissists and people with very low self-esteem can also call themselves self-knowing.

Your self-value is completely subjective. Even if you think you deserve a promotion but don’t get it, it can only mean that the people who made that decision evaluated you differently than how you see it. It doesn’t mean you don’t deserve that promotion.

This is the season to give each other gifts (sometimes also ask for gifts from each other). Sometimes we get good surprises and sometimes a bit disappointment.

You can try to be moderately happy either way. And don’t think too much about it. Because how you think about those gifts from others doesn’t say much about how their relationships are with you.

It says how your relationship is with yourself. Your self-given value.

So, how much value do you give yourself?

What do you think you deserve on this Christmas?

2021 Keyword: Reflection

I had to take a step back from work this year.

Unfortunately, I had to do so. But fortunately, I got to do that. Because I was told by a health professional that I needed time to heal. And in my heart, I knew I did.

Starting in March, I was on this journey called “healing while being pregnant”. It was chaotic in my head — many thoughts, sadness, anxieties, fears… I didn’t know when and how to start to feel better, what to do to make myself feel a little bit better. Even a painkiller would have done the trick.

But there’s no real healing from quick solutions like taking painkillers.

Pain is part of this journey. It can’t be erased. It can only be transformed.

And transformation needs time.

My instinct was to not think about anything else in my life but focus on my pregnancy. Yet the pregnancy can’t prevent me from thinking about my own mother, who passed away not long ago. 

Life has given me time to work intensively on the biggest trauma in my life. 

Because I needed time. If I kept working and running around in this world, this wouldn’t be possible.

Interesting timing.

So I started thinking about the word “motherhood”. Never pondered on it. Ever.

As someone who never wanted to become a parent, I pushed myself into finding the little hope in my heart, shining through the cracks in a think brick concrete wall called “cynicism”. And that, the “cynicism”, was just fear wearing a mask.

What came with the hope I found was reflection. Day and night.

I reflected on myself. Who am I and who do I want to be? Where does this kid stand in my world when it arrives?

I reflected on my mother. Who she was and how she was like as a mother?

I reflected on my own childhood. How was it and what has possibly caused me to be me today? Both the pleasant and the unpleasant parts.

How do other people raise their children? What kind of mothers are they? 

I watched documentaries about babies and read books on children’s early development. I saved articles on the psychological impact of childhood on people, and mother-child relationship dynamics and their effects on the children’s lives.

I was restless.

Now I’m here. A baby in my arms.

I feel happy and peaceful.

I still relentlessly reflect on everything. I’m here, and still going on the journey of healing.

But I’m proud to say it’s been going well.

I’ve started this journey and been doing well without even noticing it. 

All thanks to focusing on my one and only task: learning about motherhood and parenting through reflection.

And when gratitude comes as a by-product of this process, healing is working in the background, silently.

What hinders your creativity the most?

Since I call myself a writer, I’m ashamed to say that my most prolific time of writing is when I was in school.

We had two writing classes per week. Every class was 90 minutes long. We got a writing prompt at the beginning of the class, and we spent the rest of the time conceptualizing and composing. 

When I was in college, I changed my writing routine to every Friday afternoon for two hours. My reason to only have two hours per week was that I had other classes to focus on – my college major was not Creative Writing. So two hours of writing was all that I deserved. 

It’s been three years since I graduated with my M.A. I had been struggling with writing all the time. Much more than before. 

I didn’t call myself a writer. Not when I was not published. Not when I didn’t have a writing schedule that could make me feel my “flow of inspiration” and “water spring of productivity”.

Now I do see myself as a writer. Because I write regularly anywhere online, and I have an audience.

Someone reads my story and likes it. That is good enough for me to keep writing.

Writing is creating, and self-caring for me. The creative aspect of it sometimes serves the opposite purpose of self-caring.

To be completely honest, it stresses me out.

It stresses me out because it’s “supposed” to be in some way. Like the girls are supposed to be obedient and the boys must be tough. 

Creativity starts personal and private. What’s personal and private is subjective. What’s subjective is never limited to being in some “supposed-to-be” way.

It’s that simple.

So yeah, I started conceptualizing this post by making the following list:

What does not hinder your creativity:

  • gadgets
  • big chunk of time
  • endless resources
  • huge pool/endless information

What actually hinder your creativity:

  • perfectionism
  • impatience
  • inflexibility/stubbornness
  • lack of confidence

But I’m just going to let all of this go for now.


Despite it’s true, that we don’t need gadgets, a big chunk of time, much information to be creative, and it’s true that we need to work on our perfectionism, impatience, stubbornness, and lack of confidence, the only way to be creative and keep being creative is by simply doing it.

Doing it without considering the word that carries tons of weight — “be creative”.

That word can make things really difficult if you put that on your shoulder.

“I’m a creator so I need to be creative and I have to keep being creative…”

No. Just create. And create some more. 

Find your time. Enjoy your time to create and work on your craft.

Find your audience who appreciate your voice.

That’s enough. Do your work, and have fun.

So my conclusion is this: what hinders my creativity the most is the burden of the word “creativity” entails.

I was not a good mom today

I was exhausted today. More than only exhausted. 

Lack of sleep, arms and hips hurting. 

Legs hurting.

Headache, from lack of sleep.

Hands as well, from holding the baby.

I broke down for a while today. I burst out crying from sleep deprivation and pain everywhere in my body.

But there she is. Sleeping for a bit, waking up crying. 

She demands to see the lights around our apartment, especially the Christmas tree.

She needs to drink a lot of milk. But she cries a lot when she “has to” drink from sucking on the nipples instead of from a bottle.

So I broke down. Exhausted and hurt.

I can’t be a good mother now. I’m an exhausted one that’s not taking care of myself.

When I’m in pieces, I can’t take care of my baby.

I’m now a bad mother.

I don’t know where to ask for help when my husband is at work.

I don’t have anybody around me who can help me.

Who can just take the baby for a little while so I can take a power nap.

Who can hold the baby for a little while so I can rest my arms a little bit.

There’s no help.

I remembered when I was in college, I was living alone. 

My next-door neighbors were a young couple with two daughters. A girl about 4 years old, another baby girl who was a few months old.

One afternoon, I heard someone knocking on my door.

I opened the door. There stood the mother. 

“Sorry to disturb. Would you mind keeping an eye on my baby? I really need to take a ten-minutes nap.”

So I went to their living room, to play with the baby for a little bit. 

The baby girl was in a good mood. I spent some time showing her colored blocks and rattling bunnies, while her mother was taking a nap in the bedroom.

Ten minitutes later, the mother came out, and thanked me again.

She was a responsible mother. She asked for help.

She knew  that she had to take care of herself before taking care of her baby.

Only when ourselves are taken care of, could we take care of others.

Then we are good parents.