Tiffany’s 21 tips to turn 2021 around, part 3

March 15, 2021, 7:39 p.m.

On to some new tips to look at the brighter side of The Year of Resilience. It is important to acknowledge that while we have been troubled, scared or hurt, there is always a time to collect the ruins and rebuild the destroyed.

7. Write a word everyday

We frequently underestimate the power of words, especially when they are written on paper. But words feed our need to speak, our need to seek freedom, our desire to eradicate suffering with the punch of a powerful metaphor.

Write your thoughts, even if they are tangled with incoherence or skepticism. The whiteness of the paper will further clarify the chaos shouting in your mind. Even if you hate constructing sentences, jot down some words that kill you, some words that torture you, some other words that enchant you — and just like magic, feel the merging of the paradoxical feelings, through syllables relate to your soul. Think of it as a way of letting go of what’s holding you back.

Poetry has been my shelter, my best friend, my shadow, my light and my only muse for as long as I can remember. But then, I transformed my poetry into feelings through words and rhymes, into friendships, into family ties, into endless love and light and advocacy and challenges and beauty and peace and kindness and courage and all the “ands” that could fit a page. Most importantly, I transformed my poetry into a passion for a career; I have not yet become a lawyer, but the passion of becoming a lawyer lives within me.

8. Sing your heart out on a walk or a bike ride

When I was at my lowest, I felt like the most sustainable agreement I could uphold was with a playlist. On repeat. It was composed of more than 800 songs of all genres to remind me that every mood coincides with a specific beat, and that I am never alone when fighting my battles — my music sets the tempo on my battlefield. Lyrics that speak to your monologue of thoughts and beat-drops that gently interrupt your flow of overthinking are all you need when the sky gets darker in the early morning and night falls earlier than expected. Unchain yourself from the load of pressure and unfathomable tension pressing on your shoulders and go for a walk. Fast, slow or moderate pace, just walk. Let your body follow the music’s tempo as if you symphonized with the rhythm to become one body and one acoustic soul.

No matter what you are going through, keep your song alive: Sing it, scream it, whisper it to yourself — but don’t let it fade into the commotion of an insensitive world. If you have a bike, then ride around your neighborhood, or your favorite campus (can’t complain!), or even your favorite street or the places where you made the most beautiful memories. Think about the times you felt like crying from laughter, jumping from excitement or leaping with passion. Incorporate the memory of these feelings into your being and channel them through the symphony of the music guiding you to the brighter side of the moment — on your bike, on your feet or just on the beat.

9. Build your inner peace

Inner peace is a house you have to build to live in. No, it’s not a hide-out, but a place to settle in, to move in and to stay. It is a place where you could recollect and recognize all the missing pieces and fragments of your identity. There are no instructions to follow to build it because it all depends on the way you visualize serenity and how you want to feel safe and whole. It is your call to mold overall traumatic or amazing moments of your life into either components of your inner peace or fierce obstacles. It is your call to view the glimmer of light in the dark side of dawn or in the blinding shadow of the night.

Take your utensils, whatever these may be: your voice, your brushes, your calculators, your stethoscopes or anything that makes you feel at home. Use it wisely, gently, meticulously to grow and perceive your surroundings with grace. Craft the house to your image, so that when you lose yourself, you know that you haven’t lost it forever, because your spirit is infused in the details of the home you architectured when you felt whole.

Tiffany Saade is a staff writer in the news and The Grind sections. She is a freshman from Beirut, Lebanon and will probably major in Political Science in the Justice and Law main track with a double minor in International Relations and Human Rights with an interest in Creative Writing. She enjoys riding her yellow bike and singing out loud on Stanford campus! Contact her at thegrind 'at' for additional optimistic conversations about the future, and for some much needed light!

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