Do It Yourself.

blogentry_paulDIY.  You see the term a lot on home improvement TV shows.  How can you pick up the same skills to accomplish something of professional quality?

Inspired by KristaRose’s article on loving yourself and being okay with being alone sometimes (READ HERE!, I wanted to add my own perspective on the DIY mentality on how we can learn to take care of ourselves better.

A week ago, I planned a shopping outing with a few of my friends from my old work.  I’ve moved into my own place now and after getting a new job and a nice bump in salary, I thought it was time for me to take care of myself – particularly my wardrobe.  I’d been wearing Sketchers that must have been 2 years old and I don’t need to remind everyone that my wardrobe tends to consist of just my business attire for work (that my mother sadly bought a lot of because she was overjoyed with having a son that wears a suit to work everyday…).  It can be a boring wardrobe and filled with stuff that doesn’t even fit anymore.  When I’m home from work, I didn’t go out that much and my laid back friends were totally okay with me wearing jeans and a Power Rangers graphic tee.  Whelp.  It’s time for a makeover.

My friends bailed on me for various reasons.  While I was bummed I wasn’t going to be able to consult any women on what new threads I should wear, I didn’t let it ruin my day and I decided to go to the popular outdoor mall all by my lonesome.  It was great!  The first thing I tend to notice are the people that hang out at outdoor malls: tons of kids and teenagers that have nothing better to do in Vegas since they’re not 21, couples, couples, and more couples, women that love to shop, and men holding shopping bags for their women – to name a few.  Shopping in a mall environment is often a social experience.  It’s a lot of window shopping.  I had fun walking to different shops and pampering myself with the thought of getting something new.  Fortunately, I was fairly focused.  I knew I wanted shoes, and the comfort side of me gravitated to the Sketchers store where I didn’t buy 1, but 2 new shoes.  One of them doesn’t have shoe laces!  Joy.

My second shopping spot was Banana Republic where I felt my style right now fits a little better.  Tried on a few things and actually found buying clothes that actually fit me is possible.  I used to by default buy Medium (M) for everything.  Mostly because Large was too baggy on me (didn’t stop me in middle school) and I was always insecure about wearing Small (S) size clothes because I tend to have that scrawny Asian look.  Nowadays, I’m learning that fitted looks and feels so much better.  Plus, now that I’m taking better care of myself and running and working out again, I don’t feel so bad buying Small to fit my body type.  It all depends on the piece of clothing.

I had a blast shopping all on my own.  Even grabbed some avocado bubble tea and window shopped for what I might buy next time around.

DIY. You can be your own fashion consultant.  It takes a little effort and an open mind, but it’s not impossible.  I have to thank my sisters for watching hours of What Not To Wear every week.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves lately – seeing really cool people unable to express themselves because they just got stuck in life.  Unable to DIY.  You just want to reach out to them and say – let’s go shopping!  But in this economy, I can understand why people made a lot of sacrifices.  Some people aren’t motivated or inspired (see what I did there?) to improve their lifestyle.  Every person is beautiful.  Don’t you want the world to see the light and energy in you?

I can definitely relate to those who feel unable to DIY.  It’s tough.  Quarterlife, Midlife, or any kinda crisis can get us into these ruts where we stop caring.  We don’t worry about how we look when we go to work (I have to battle my dreaded acceptance of wearing suits I’ve grown out of – but next paycheck will squash this!).  We fall into our comfort foods and lose control of our health or fitness.  We get so overwhelmed with everything that’s going on that we start feeling like we lose control over what we can and can’t do for ourselves.  But trust me.  Everything is going to be okay.  You just have to learn how to DIY.

Sometimes I miss being able to rely on people close to me to take care of me and help me with things.  I took for granted a lot of things – people that unconditionally took care of me.  But being taken care of all the time didn’t make me happy.  I wasn’t growing as a person.  I wasn’t learning anything new.  I know my mother has terrible empty nest syndrome right now, but it’s what I needed to do for me to grow.  DIY.  This means my laundry, my cooking, paying bills, finding time to work out, finding time to hang out with friends, saving money to buy shoes!  (Don’t panic, I only own those two new Sketchers, running shoes, and dress shoes – so nothing out of the ordinary for a guy.  But who’s to judge if I do end up buying more, huh?  Honey badger don’t care.)  Those people that I love are going to be able to enjoy their time with me even more so when I can take care of myself because now we all can save time and energy doing more fun things rather than worrying whether or not I’m going to turn into a hoarder or starve because I don’t know how to use a stove.

I’m having a lot of fun with DIY.  I’ve been cooking a lot more, going to the gym more, and now that I’m training for another half-marathon, I feel that I’m setting achievable goals.  I’m also working with friends to spread the word and get more people to come up with better perspectives on life and have a positive attitude with what we need to do to get through this.  It’s going to be a better year.  If we all learn to DIY, we can save time and energy and hopefully use it to make a difference with our little changes in life.

I need to keep motivated just as much as I enjoy motivating others, so leave me a message or share Motivate2Inspire with your friends!  Don’t forget to Like Us on facebook!

Paul Nguyen

Dream. Captivate. Inspire.

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