be alive!

A guest post by Noch

I was anything but alive these past few weeks. In fact I was pretty down in the dumps. It was not only a physiological situation; but more devastatingly, an emotional one. I simply could not bring my mood up. Until yesterday, I finally realized what was dragging me down when I sat in front of computer, ready to type out a post for Simpler Life Today – I was not in my essence and doing what I love.

It was with delay after delay and email after email I wrote to Vlad “Sorry, it’s coming!” I had promised him a blurb from me almost a month ago but every time I sat down to write I got distracted and ended up tweaking my G+ page or uploading a photo on Pinterest. I tried to read up on SEOs and blogging. I had calls with my lawyers, and kept up my doctor appointments, in addition to seeing one or two friends for coffee to maintain social contact – it was good for recovery, my shrink said. I even practiced my calligraphy and meditation to help me calm down, spotting in a bit of time on the treadmill here and there.

So it seemed to me, I was spending time productively nevertheless, and working towards recovery and health, which was my priority.

However, to my surprise, I ended up feeling exhausted rather than rejuvenated. My fatigue dwelled heavily on me especially this week. I could not wake up and get up in the mornings, was drowsy and nauseous, the migraines set in, and I was feeling irritated every day. I threw a big tantrum at my fiancé for no reason, and smashed a glass on the table, which was stupid of me for I ended up getting glass in my fingers.

I felt faint on the treadmill and could not run. Even going to the kitchen to get myself a glass of water felt like a chore. My eyes hurt as I stared at the computer screen. I went through a mini panic attack due to a sense of being overwhelmed by social media, emails, blogging, and my Google calendar that spelt out every medical appointment I had with different experts. I had to cancel calligraphy class because I just could not get up.

Despite it all, I felt I had to deliver on my promise, so I made multiple attempts to write a guest post this past week, but to no avail. Eventually yesterday, I decided I had used up Vlad’s patience towards me and I really must write something. I opened up this word document, and looked at the bullet points I had drafted.

My eyes fell immediately on to this quote that a reader once gave me through our email correspondence:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

These were words of Howard Thurman, an American author and philosopher born in the late 1800s.

The universe has a way of putting people and events on our paths just when we need them. My reader friend had given me this quote in one of his emails a few months ago. I had noted it down then, and thought something profound was speaking to me. Yet, the true impact was not felt till yesterday, when I needed it the most.

This quote came as a reminder to me, that I was experiencing this downturn in mood and emotions, because I had stopped being me, and doing what I love i.e. write!

When every other little task in life overcrowded my energy to write, I was giving up what was precious to me, inside of me. In other words, I was almost killing myself (excuse the morbidity) by not letting myself breathe and eat writing.

I did not feel alive because I was not doing what I loved!

In the hustle and bustle of life, we forget ourselves sometimes. We spend too much of our precious moments racing against time, for no apparent reason at all. No one was judging me and I had no deadline, but I pushed myself to do more and more, eager and impatient to get out of this rut of depression completely.

Yet, what I have to realize and embrace is that impatience will only backfire and bring me down. My concentration should not be on the time spent in the process for the true essence is not the destination of recovery, but how I get to it. And to get to it, I must focus on my inner emotions, my inner passions, and myself.

However, to have found my passion for writing is one thing, now the next step is to actually write. As long as I write, I feel more alive, as I am feeling now even over the course of these 800 words.

We are not selfish in focusing on ourselves, for our radiance in doing so will resonate with those around us, and positively influence them. I believe our ambitions to make the world a better place, starts with making ourselves beautiful. It starts with people who are alive and vibrant.

So I too, leave you with this: life can be very simple, do what you love, and you will feel alive!

The world can – and will – wait for you.

About the Author

Noch Noch worked as an international executive for 7 years after graduation, travelling the world and living the life she dreamt of, or so she thought. After an episode in stress-related major depression and other illnesses 2 years ago, she is redefining the priorities in life. As she battles with depression, Noch Noch is now on a quest for clarity and self-awareness to be true to herself, jotting down her reflections at Be Me. Be Natural.

11 Responses to be alive!

  1. RichardH March 5, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    A great blog Noch! Passion is so important, life without it is merely existence. It takes bravery to follow your passion, that warm feeling you get deep in your chest when you just know something is right.
    Your passion for writing comes through in your blogs and that resonates with readers. And inspires many.
    Keep on being kind to yourself and revel in your art.
    Be well

    • Noch Noch March 5, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Richard

      So good to hear from you here
      It’s encouraging to hear from people like you who are already pursuing their passions. How is your column going?
      Yeh, it’s the warm fuzzy feeling inside haha

      Take care my friend

      Noch Noch

  2. Hanan March 5, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Nice message you have for us, Noch… that the way to feel genuinely happy can only be achieved when we do what we love. Maybe that’s what this whole journey is about. This reminds me of Anita Moorjani message (she lives in Hongkong) after her NDE: “Follow your emotions and do what makes you feel good – not what makes you be liked by others. Live life fearlessly and always remember your magnificence!” She has a book coming out soon titled Dying to Be Me.

    • Noch Noch March 5, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Hanan

      well, I must thank you for inspiring this post and giving me the quote – plus a timely reminder to myself that I need to focus on what’s important. And another amazing thing Moorjani said!!!
      I’m going to steal that put that on facebook now!!! and what a great title for a book. I’m looking it up

      Thanks again for your patience to hear my rambling and also writing to me :)

      Noch Noch

  3. Noch Noch March 5, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Richard

    So good to hear from you here :)
    It’s encouraging to hear from people like you who are already pursuing their passions. How is your column going? :)
    Yeh, it’s the warm fuzzy feeling inside haha

    Take care my friend

    Noch Noch

  4. Alicia March 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm #


    Very well said! I am in a similar place and I often remind myself that sometimes

    “It doesn’t really matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us” Viktor Frankl

    Allowing those words to reside was a big step towards realizing that my purpose in life does not always derive from my inner expectations, but instead the world & the Universe has it’s own expectations and holds me responsible for discovering it every hour, every day, every month. . . It’s a rather liberating thought and feeling!


  5. Noch Noch March 6, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Alicia

    I love that quote from Viktor Frankl. Thanks for sharing it here. And yes, I think somehow, the universe will congregate forces for use at the right time. I like to think I have some degree of control over my life, but also come to realize that there are things in the making which I might not necessarily understand or comprehend until in retrospect. This is all good, and I just let life unfold as it comes

    Take care
    Noch Noch

  6. Irene March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Communication is obviously a strength of yours. Play to your strengths so they fill up your life. Then you will find more strength to get you through the weak moments. Have you considered writing off-line during your peak performance part of the day and waiting until a down time to connect? Perhaps scheduling on-line time to 30 minutes to an hour 1 or 2 times a day might help also. So glad you managed such interesting 800 words. “Soldier through” is always good advice.

    • Noch Noch March 8, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      Hi Irene

      Thanks for the advice on playing to my strengths. I used to always want to improve my “weaknesses” and tend to forget I’m good at something too :)

      And yup – trying to find that scheduling for the online / down time here. Need to find my balance

      Hope you are soldiering on too!

      Noch Noch

  7. Vlad March 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Hi Noch!
    Sorry it took me a while to comment on your post. I always appreciate it when you guest-post on SLT! You bring so much genuine love to the readers. By all means, find your strength in what you love, the rest of the world (including me) will wait! :-)

    Take care! Vlad

    • Noch Noch March 8, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Hi Vlad

      Very kind of you to let me post here, and also waiting for me to get to where I would like to be :)

      Always great to have friends thru cyvberspace like you!

      Noch Noch