One thing that I have told people time and time again during sparring or in class is to ‘just breathe’ and relax. This will be a story of how I had to take my own advice.

I guess, I will start the story with this; over the past few weeks, I have been talking to someone who brought back some memories of what I have personally went through with over the past two years and how I finally reached a point in my life of just being happy. I will preface this story by saying that I live a pretty good life, I have great friends, a job I love going to everyday with some of the best coworkers I could ever ask for, and a supportive family. However, 2015 and 2016 were personally, very difficult years for me. I also understand that there are a lot of people who have had problems their entire lives and not just two years, but I thought I’d share my story, since it’s also important with how you deal with the hardships.


Without going through too much detail, I had issues with almost every aspect in my life. Relationships ended, work seemed like it was going nowhere, and some of my friends seemed out of touch. Every day I would wake up feeling upset, I’d go to work with a fake smile and just trudge through. Even going to practice didn’t feel right (No offense to MIMA!!!). I felt trapped, suffocated and generally not happy. However, I always told myself to take a step back and breathe, things could always be worse (even though, it didn’t seem like things could get worse at the time).


So, in the spring of 2015, I felt like I just needed to figure out who I was again. So, I just decided to change everything that I could. Everything else that I couldn’t change or control, I would just let that sort itself out later. I work at one of the various courthouses throughout King County. After working at the Redmond location for seven years, I decided to transfer to the Seattle location, even though I heard horror stories about that location, however I had friends there and if I disliked working there, I could always go back to Redmond later. Took a break from Taekwondo for a while and explored different ways to workout (I always planned to return!). Decided to reunite with some old friends and see how they were doing. I also came to terms with being single and not in a relationship wasn’t a bad thing either. There was always anxiety that I would dislike the new place I would be working at or if my friends didn't want to talk to me since it's been so long, etc. However, as frightening, or anxious as I got, I always remembered to just take a deep breath when things seemed overwhelming to try to stay calm and to reflect on my thoughts and put them into perspective.


I had forgotten how amazing of a group my friends are. They definitely helped smooth things over a lot. The new work location was also one of the best spur of the moment decisions I’ve ever made. To this day, I have never regretted the transfer… Especially since I’ve been promoted since then! In terms of relationships, I’d much rather be single then finding the wrong person.


After a lot of time reflecting, reconnecting with my friends and family, and definitely a lot of deep breaths, everything feels right again. I wasn’t sure if it was just time or making changes with how I did things or a combination of both, but I don’t have to fake a smile every day when I get out of bed, I don’t wake up upset and it feels like I know who I am again. I must say, it is a good feeling!


Life is full of interesting surprises, some that are definitely bad surprises, but also there are definitely good surprises as well. The moral of this whole story is; no matter how bad it’s going or how awful you feel, just remember to take a step back, breathe, relax and reflect.

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