Taking Stock #2: Random Realizations and Remembrance

Taking Stock” is a meme that encourages us to slow down and take stock of where and how are we right now.

Another Taking Stock post to touch upon things from my week and the “now”. This is pretty random, I know, but I have some sort of realization: I can’t believe how much of my self-image I based on external validation (i.e., from grades, passing exams and recognition). I watched a random video recommended to me in my YT homepage about how “college is hard and no one is talking about it”. And I looked back in my college days (I know this is waaaay behind me, since I already graduated a couple of years back) and I just realized how hard I was to myself back then. Five years of my life revolved around passing and not being in the bottom half of the class. I was in the Accountancy program and it’s known for being so competitive – but I am not a natural in that subject, so I tend to find myself working twice or thrice harder than my peers in efforts to “just keep floating”. I am just now imagining how hard I worked back then only to be tagged “as good enough”. Everything is all about getting good grades, getting scholarships, staying in the program, then graduating and, eventually, passing the board. I am now a CPA – and I find it funny how much of myself is not associated to it anymore. There are times when I no longer consider it to be that much of a personal achievement (it still is for me, in a weird way that maybe I could talk about in a separate post) even though I worked too hard to get it. Now, it is just an after thought in my name, something I put in my CV. It’s weird how fleeting the feeling of accomplishment I associate to it now – maybe because I got it for the wrong reasons.

I remember thinking how this kind of obsession with external validation was too ingrained in my personality – that it bled through even now that I am at work. I work in professional services so it is pretty common for people to have long names because of many titles. I took several exams, and I got a lot of titles to my name now – but after taking and getting those, I always come up blank. And I find myself lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling thinking “What’s next?” – and it goes on and on. I even stopped putting those titles after my name because I don’t particularly have any strong feelings toward them anymore. They are just another line in my list. And looking back now, it made me kind of sad.

So yeah, maybe taking stock of things on the regular can be a good thing and might finally cure me of this unending pursuit of “events” in my life. Thankfully, through the books I’m reading and, sometimes, the shows I am watching (see Your Lie in April, below), I am slowly realizing what really matters and what are just “clutters” in my life. Maybe if I pin them down close enough, my days could be brighter and more meaningful – even just bit by bit.

But anyway… for the real agenda of this “Taking Stock” post. Here’s goes:

I am currently

reading Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. This is a bit of a Fiction cleanse on my end after weeks and weeks of reading “heavy” books. I just finished The Poppy War for #thepoppywarathon a couple of week early (which is pretty surprising for me) and These Violent Delights (see below). Make Time is a book I saw from Ali Abdaal’s Book Club Series and he tagged this as his favorite productivity book. I’ve been kinda struggling with juggling several tasks at work lately, and of course this also affects my quality of life (e.g., less sleep -> memory problems, low motivation, stress-induced anxiety), so I feel like I should actively make (more) effort to structure my life – otherwise, I’ll implode (yes, implode). So yeah, I’ll also probably be reading non fiction in the couple of days because I just need a breather. (If you like some Non Fiction Recommendations, you can check out my Non Fiction Round Up Series or my Non Fiction Review Index. Check out those with 4 or 5 ☕ ratings.)

writing my These Violent Delights eARC review. I just finished it hours ago. It was generally good, though there are some parts that failed to hold my attention. Yearning and angst take center stage though, and that added a lot of layers in the storytelling. Add to that the explosive ending, what a cliff hanger! I really, really hope I could wrap this up tonight. *fingers crossed*

listening to Secret Base (Kimi ga Kureta Mono/list. “What You’ve Given Me“) (10 Years After Version). This song was originally released by Zone in 2001 but then was used as the ending theme of “Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day” (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai., lit. “We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day.), an anime released way back 2011, as performed by the voice actors (Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami) of the 3 girls in the main ensemble (Menma, Anaru, and Tsuruko, respectively). As Geoff of Mother’s Basement put it: “that song, Secret Base (10 Years After Version), isn’t a song at all, it’s a weapon. An emotional bunker-buster that, once you’ve been primed, has an uncanny ability to rip through your mental defenses like tissue paper and reduce you to tears in a matter of moments.” And I couldn’t agree more. I was working peacefully in the wee hours of the night last Thursday and when the first few notes of the song randomly played in my curated playlist, I stopped it just to compose myself because it immediately made me emotional. Imagine the power. This sent me hurtling to a remembrance rabbit hole of one of my favorite Animes of all time – and a show that definitely changed my life. If you haven’t watched it yet, PLEASE DO. But if you have (or if you don’t mind spoilers), you can watch Geoff’s Review/Analysis of AnoHana – which is probably my favorite video essay about this show ever. I always go back to this video from time to time when I want to remember.

This is a special song for me. I loved it in the anime. And how it played in all the perfect places. 

watching Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April). I woke up pretty early and randomly decided to speed-watch KimiUso. I first watched this back in 2015 and re-watching it, my Gosh, the feelings are still there. It also surprised me how I still remember the exact episode number of one of my favorite scenes in the series (Episode 14: *spoiler* The part where Kousei mentioned that he’s applying to a college out of state and Tsubaki subsequently realizing she’s been in love with him all this time. I swear, THAT MOMENT! THAT SONG!). Anyway, it was such a great anime about moving on and starting over. And it made me realize how short life is and that you should do everything in your power to truly live in the time you were given.

drinking this A Cafe la Vanila Latte I got from the Korean Mart. It was too sweet for my liking. I should’ve just prepared my own.

thinking about random stuff and realizations (see intro above).

hoping I could structure my days again and come up with a sustainable schedule that makes me happy AND makes me feel productive.

wishing I could be more organized with my life and that my attention-span be not this short all the time?

wearing my new glasses that I got from Sunnies! (Finally, after wearing the same one for two years, I finally got a new one. Nearsightedness was added to my astigmatism, so it’s kind of a bummer, but I’m pretty happy with the frames that I got.)

loving the double-walled transparent mug I got from last time’s sale. It’s kind of light for my taste but drinking coffee (or any other beverage) in this mug is pretty exciting because it makes it too pretty.

wanting to get the motivation to finish all my pending reviews so I could finally update my blog. It’s been too long and they are piling up. I wonder why it’s so hard to write reviews (especially for the books that I absolutely loved).

needing to eat. Right now. Feeling really hungry and will definitely cook a meal for myself after I finished drafting this.

feeling sad but, at the same time, relieved about my recent realizations in life (see intro above).

As expected, this post was a smorgasbord of everything because, honestly, there are times when I feel like I have so many things to say and to share and there are also those times when I can’t be bothered to utter a thing to others. Luckily, I guess, this time, it was the former. How about you? How’s your week?

Posted by

Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek 🤓 from the 🇵🇭 and currently based in Belfast. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at https://pagesandcoffeecups.com/ .

4 thoughts on “Taking Stock #2: Random Realizations and Remembrance

  1. I’ve felt the same way after putting so much effort into my Ph.D. and focusing on external validation and rewards. Afterward, you feel just empty and sad. The only thing that helped me was deep meditation and mindfulness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting in this post, Alyona. Really appreciate it. I was having second-thoughts sharing this because it’s a bit out of place in this blog, but after reading your comment, I feel better because it feels validating. I would love to hear more of your journey getting over this in your blog – hope you write something about it. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s