6 things about me that I learnt podcasting for 100 days

Podcast Recording

During the lockdown, I undertook a small personal project: reading through the Divine Comedy one chapter a day, and voicing my thoughts on a podcast, Alessia’s Divine Comedy. It has been a veritable labour of love, with migraines and whatnot, but it has reminded me just how much I love to go down a research rabbit hole and learn new things. I also felt like I made a friend across time, since I never realised how much I would sympathise with Dante when I first studied the poem at school. 

Like the best of fiction, the poem has been a window into my soul, and it has helped me to see things about myself and my faith that were not as apparent without it. The project of podcasting itself also provided some insights into my personality and how I work. Here’s my end of 3-months reflection. 

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My Decluttering and Organising Philosophy

Empty Flat

Decluttering is one of the words on everybody’s lips, especially now we are in lockdown and so spending more time at home…which means not only we are more likely to have our mood affected by the environment around us, but also because, for some of us, the extra time on our hands has given us a chance to tackle the big jobs that are always left behind. I am a right mess, mostly due to chronic illnesses making it difficult to keep on top of housekeeping at all times, but I think that’s what makes me a worthy guide on the subject. Too many decluttering gurus are really neat people who enjoy cleaning (and to be fair, I enjoy it too because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I love to let out anger on a dirty oven). I am someone who had to find ways to cope with doing the bare minimum but manage to live in tiny urban spaces (by choice, I am more of a minimalist than people think…).

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I gave up perfectionism for Lent…here’s what happened

They say “Be careful what you wish for”, and boy, are they right! It was as late as Ash Wednesday and I didn’t know what to give up for Lent. I asked myself the question: would giving this thing up make me a better person at the end of the 40 days? Food was a no-go because I don’t really have something I can give up, I’d rather forgo coffee entirely than have it unsweetened and I am down to the minimum amount possible to avoid being a cranky zombie with a migraine. I thought about giving up entertainment, but I realised that the effect on my schedule would be marginal. I have so much time on my hands I should be able to keep the monastic schedule of prayer, tackle my to-do list and still waste a lot of time playing games and watching Asian dramas. A lot of that time used to be wasted scrolling on social media, but I was already tackling that because I can’t give them up entirely (I was already home alone all day before the lockdown started). So after a lot of prayer and thinking, I decided to give up perfectionism.

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When healing doesn’t come

Warning: this post contains spoilers of the film “Until Forever”

I have always admired the faith of the woman who touched Jesus’s cloak. Even after 12 years of unexplained illness and trying all she could to find an answer, she didn’t give up. She believed that this time was the time, and that even as little as touching the cloak of Jesus would be enough to heal her. And she was healed. It really was enough. (Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48)

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Why getting married is not an achievement

 

It’s just the beginning of 2020, and for the past week or so social media were filled of posts about what we achieved in 2019, or in the whole decade that hasn’t actually finished (there was no year 0). A lot of posts from Catholic women included getting married and having children. This post will focus on the former for obvious reasons, but some of the arguments I make are valid for both.

It dismisses the gifts of being single
I had been engaged for a year when a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time looked at me surprised at the news, remarking that I had kept it quiet. I replied that perhaps I had made being single such a big part of my identity that I was still unable to deal with the change.
A lot of this blog deals with feeling inadequate in a culture that promotes marriage as the highest good, and how I had to learn to find my identity in God alone because none of my problems went away just because someone liked me enough to stick around. If I considered marriage an achievement, I would be telling my old self that she wasn’t good enough in spite of all that she has done. It’s the exact opposite of the message I have fought so hard to internalise and accept.

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