This seems to be a mandatory thing– having to recall all the events that happened within one year.
I can tell you that from the start, it was a hopeful beginning. There were new things were waiting for me to begin, and I was hopeful of the new possibilities that I didn’t know about that might come my way.
There were A LOT of possibilities, but what this year taught me is that not all possibilities come to fruition no matter how much you want it to. Nor is it what you’ve expected. I take this year to be some sort of lesson. Even though I can easily recount the happy and good memories, I can also easily say that it taught me some really tough lessons. Lesson that make me feel so old now, but in hindsight, feels necessary.
I won’t go into detailed accounts what causes, but I’ll list down the lessons instead.
I’ve only just recently started admitting this to the close people in my life– and I actually realized that no matter how much I’ve grown this hasn’t exactly solved itself. As a child, I’ve always struggled with confidence. It’s more than the shyness and reserved nature. It’s down-right believing that you’re at the bottom of a well, and you’re probably not worthy enough to climb out.
Even though I told myself that I’ve accepted myself– I am a grown woman after all– it seemed that instead of accepting the whole package of capabilities that I have, I’ve accepted that low self-worth. And for twenty-five long years, carried it with me. The only way I knew how to prove my self worth was to be the ultimate perfectionist, ensuring everything HAD to go right, according to plan, or else I am worth nothing.
I also HAD to look like I was striving for more, for something that I wasn’t even that interested in, again believing that if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t fit in, or that I wasn’t good enough.
It took a professional course to shed light on this issue, providing a different perspective (hopefully a healthy one) that it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to fail, and most of all, it’s okay to be flawed. I am not a lesser person for not being able to accomplish something because I’m human at the end of the day, and there are things that are outside of my control.
This year, I did something that I’ve wanted to do for SO LONG. And that’s to attend Book Expo America. It was a surreal moment for me, going to New York, meeting people, and then meeting authors that I’ve looked up to. Even though I was a foreigner, I felt so at home. As I clutched signed books to my chest, and tweeted, and instagram-ed, I felt like I was in my skin again. Coming back home, and still reliving that trip through blog post after blog post– I felt so alive in what I do, which is not only to read, but to spread the word on what to read. I loved doing it, and even though I lack the time these days, the trip renewed my resolve to keep doing what I loved doing.
That included writing of course. Although the year started with a couple of poems and half finished stories, I still feel like I’ve written more this year than I did a year ago- and I’m proud of myself for it. I did struggle to finish that online writing class though, but I’m not giving up on it. One of the thing that I’m proud of (and secretly impressed with myself that I’ve kept going this far) is the 100 Days Writing Challenge (which you can check on on my instagram account!). I’ve surprised myself in this project, and hopefully, good things will come out of it.
Beyond the Self
Towards the end of the year, something happened that shook me up. I wasn’t alone in this, but I felt like I couldn’t speak about it, and if I did, to only a few people I trusted. Between me and myself, I asked the exhausted question of why (which was only slightly helpful). In some way, trying to survive the dull pain in me was quite a task. But in that moment, I’ve seen the beauty of people when they come together to support and care for each other. I’ve seen, and I’ve learned the lesson, that I am not alone.
There were other tedious events that happened this year which shuffled a lot of things I thought were a priority but weren’t. But what I am completely grateful for this year, is that it tested the boundaries of myself, where I started at, and where I am stable the most.