Photo by Meiying Ng on Unsplash

Investing In Yourself So You Can Succeed

Amarjit shares how her pandemic silver lining helped her succeed

January is the time of year when many people make their New Year’s resolutions. We see the new year as a fresh start and the perfect time to make those changes that we’ve been thinking about. For the past two years, I have not made any resolutions. My resolutions were typically laundry lists of experiences and opportunities that I wanted to accomplish to benefit society. I’ve always been a goal-oriented person so I wanted to accomplish a lot. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we are in a pandemic; or maybe because I’m 32-years-old and wiser and more fulfilled with my life than where I was 2 years ago. But now in the year 2022, I am living a relaxed and simple life and I’m enjoying this new life. 

Prior to the pandemic, I was constantly busy. I lived in Los Angeles and took every opportunity to socialize and engage with the communities. My life has always been busy. I was the kid who participated in student councils and after-school activities, volunteered at the local library on weekends, enrolled in summer camps and classes. My adult life is very similar to my childhood life. I took college courses after obtaining my Master’s degree to continue to enrich myself in various topics that I was not able to take during my college years. I worked two jobs simultaneously because I had a passion for different career fields. I volunteered with local nonprofits. So when the COVID-19 pandemic happened I had anxiety because the whole world stopped and I didn’t know what to do with my life. I was eagerly waiting for the pandemic to be over so I could go back to living my life but that never happened. 

I saw a silver lining to this pandemic. During the lockdown, I started journaling. I wrote about my feelings and whatever thoughts came to my mind. During one of my writing sessions, I realized that I needed to live a slow-paced life. I realized I was missing out on enjoying the present, on spending quality time with family and friends.  The anxiety that I experienced was also a sign from my body that I was doing too much. Since then, I have learned to appreciate my new life, my new normal. I am still able to make a difference in communities but also make time for myself and my friends and family. In the last two years, I spent more time at home reading, writing, watching movies and TV shows than I’ve done in the last 10 years combined. 

Writing about my feelings and emotions made me go back in time and think about my childhood. As a kid, I had this ambitious dream of saving the world by coming up with solutions to end poverty, cure diseases and provide education to all. I grew up reading all sorts of books, magazines, and newspapers. I had a subscription to National Geographic Kids magazines and it was from reading these magazines that I became knowledgeable about global issues. My family had a subscription to a local newspaper and my dad and I spent time in the mornings reading current events. Since I was too young to travel around the world and make positive differences in others’ lives I spent time helping people in my close surroundings.

Keeping myself busy was also perhaps a self-mechanism tool to keep me distracted and not think about the fact that I was sad and lonely. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I also had lots of responsibilities at home. My parents and I immigrated to the United States when I was two years old and both of my parents were struggling financially, socially, and emotionally. I had to step up and take care of my family at a young age. I grew up in a town with subpar schools. I lacked resources and support for my dreams. Peers would try to dim my light by discrediting my intelligence and passion. I knew I was at a disadvantage compared to kids that went to affluent schools. Therefore I always felt I had to keep up and do more just to be at their level. 

Anytime I felt like I was not succeeding in my academics or career I constantly reminded myself that there are millions of people on this planet who dream of having my life. Many of them are probably more ambitious than me but I had the opportunity of pursuing higher education and obtaining a career that I love. Years later this is the same mindset that I use to keep myself going. My ambition to make the world a better place is still the same. My desire to use every opportunity to better myself and to provide service to communities is still the same. For the longest time, my new year resolutions revolved around my ambitions to simply be a great global citizen. 

Since the pandemic, I’ve been watching a lot of shows and movies. Most of the movies and shows I watch are nostalgic. HBO Max and Disney+ have all the great animated shows that I remember watching on Saturday mornings during the 90s and 2000s. Recently I was binge-watching Superman: The Animated Series and it reminded me of when I used to be a huge fan of Superman and Wonder Woman. As a kid I wanted to be like them. It was during my recent watch of the animated series that I thought more about what kept me going in life when I was a kid. I idolized superheroes and pretended to be like them to escape from reality but also to use these fictional characters as examples of how to live my life. I didn’t have mentors or anyone to look up to throughout my childhood. I had to learn to be my own inspiration. 

If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, I would tell her three things. The first one is to deflect all external noise of people’s opinions about myself. I know myself better than anyone else. Second, I would tell my younger self to not be shy about sharing my accomplishments with others. Just because one person doesn’t like it doesn’t mean that others are the same. There are so many people who want to see me be happy and succeed. And finally, going through life challenges and overcoming them has a purpose. The experiences made me relate to many people. My journey inspires others who are in similar situations. My career involves inspiring others, especially those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. I create empowering programs to help youths and women heal, be confident, and thrive in this world.  

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop