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Written by: Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

By Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural Coach

Creative Common License - Annie in Beziers @ flickr- Ice Cubes in BlueHave you ever felt frozen? What I mean is have you ever felt paralyzed by something and you couldn’t move forward? Have you felt it challenging to feel a range of emotions or is it easier to feel only certain emotions? Many say they have been paralyzed by fear. I suppose you could be paralyzed by happiness too. The moment is so good you want to cherish it forever. Even Kodak with all their technology can’t always savor every aspect of that cherished moment.

(Photo Left: Annie at Beziers' @ flickr. Ice Cubes in Blue.) 

Realizing we are reliving moments like a broken record can help us to learn about ourselves in interesting ways.


Some of my most cherished happy moments are vivid in my mind. These moments are first days of college- studying or working in colleges. My first day studying at Tompkins Cortland Community College, or SUNY Buffalo or Madras Christian College, or even taking night classes at Harvard. The feeling of excitement working at Harvard, Nazareth and Rochester Institute of Technology. All these experience gave me a similar feeling - not just of happiness and pride of attaining an education (as I am the first in my family to go to college) or a good job, but of pure bliss. Academic environments are exciting to me, new things always happening, people learning, having intelligent conversations and creating things. This excitement, to me is everlasting and constant when I am on a college campus. I feel I am part of something bigger than me and that’s a good feeling. That is a feeling I try to replicate in other areas of my life.


That was an example of a happy moment to be frozen in time. There are some uncomfortable moments that become frozen in time and repeated until we realize what is happening and want to change it. These moments are not really ‘bad’ but they aren’t things we would plan into our day knowing they exist. These are instances of reactions (in comparison to thoughtful, insightful responses) to things that have happened in our lives sometime ago that we play out again and again until we become present enough to realize what is happening and initiate change.


For me, this experience revolves around communicating ideas Creative Common License- Gunnsi @ flickr - Water on Mars?- It sure is a puzzleto others- mostly communicating face to face, in person. E-mails, letters, phone conversations and even these infamous blog posts are easy to pull off in comparison to communicating even the most simple theories or ideas in a face to face forum. Face to face I have little time to plan my verbal response, let alone having learned to control my non verbal response. This is why I did not make it very far in acting- my body speaks for me and often it’s hard for me to control it. This causes me to stumble on my words and become very garbled in my speech. Maybe others don’t see this, but this is how I perceive myself at times. Of course, it has been said we are our own worst (toughest) critics. Others are always much more lenient on us, and sometimes to be so to our own selves maybe a welcome change.

(Photo right: Gunnsi @ flickr - Water on Mars?- It sure is a puzzle)

Maybe if I could be more lenient with myself, I would not freeze up. I could be more open, more spontaneous. If I could go back in time and find me ten years ago and tell that person I would face this challenge ten years ago, the younger me would find that impossible. Ten years ago I appeared to be much more confident, self- assured and outspoken. I was not apprehensive to open my mouth and talk. I guess life and its moods come in waves, we experience and hear things in phases. Sometimes we choose to listen to these sounds and other times we ignore or deny them until they become too loud to ignore. It’s also true that a lot can happen in ten years. A lot can also happen in the span of writing and reading this, if I allow it.

Related Posts: Getting Old  |  That Reminds Me Of  |  Change is an Evolution: It Doesn't Happen Overnight  |  Can Frustration Provide Efficient Results?   |  Is it Time to Turn the Channel?


Author, Jennifer Kumar is a cross-cultural coach helping  others work through their moments frozen in time to get to their next level and more comfortable place in cross-cultural relationships and moves abroad. Contact her through her Facebook page. Click here.



Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


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