The magic went away, but I am here to stay.

Happy 2018!

I seem to have developed a pattern here- I just went back and read my old New Year post from 2017, and it was on the first day I went back to work. Today, I am writing my annual New Year reflection on the weekend before I go back to work. It is currently 1:39 AM, and as I’ve just written on my journal (yes, I’ve started to write in my diary again- old school pen and paper), I had experienced yesterday/today something that I always told the people I see at work…something about the importance of socializing and how it really helps to boost your mood.

Anyway, if I was to sum up 2017- it started optimistic with me thinking that I could pick up this new practice. I could see the many benefits of it, but I guess the fact that it was something I had to do, rather than something I really wanted to do for myself, made it harder for me to truly embrace it. I’m proud of myself for giving it a good, committed go. I know I did not give up, and that everything I did, I did with heart.

But in the end, I had to say no.

And that was something of a theme in 2017. Someone wise once told me, ‘you are allowed to leave home’. Without divulging into too much detail, I realized that I’ve let myself become too entangled. I am over responsible. I’ve been trying to push what I believe is the right way of treating others too much, that it’s like the message only bounces back angrily from a stone-cold wall. I must believe that people can take care of themselves, and I should take care of me. I did some things really well, but in the end, it may have led to an over-dependence. I have to tell myself- you’ve done all that you can, you can relax.

I was better at saying no in other areas; doesn’t mean that it was any easier. They say it is good to do something that scares you. Well, I may have done 4 things in total that have scared me. I said no to an opportunity because after weighing all the facts, it did not seem like the best one for me. I was actually surprised I went through the whole process, and in the end, I learned that maybe I was better than I thought, that I deserved a little credit.

I no longer want to be pushed around or to simply ‘slide into’ things. At least I found something that I believe is worth pursuing. I need to challenge myself more.

2017 was also great in so many ways. But it was the first new year’s eve that I didn’t feel too excited. It felt as if the magic of greeting a new year left me, and I felt jaded, pessimistic. Of course things won’t magically change and become alright, just because the clock strikes twelve.

I was sad for a while. But only for a while, I have come to accept that this is the way things are for now. They will change, eventually. And all this might not matter in the long run. Maybe they’re growing pains too.

I know I’m here to stay. No major changes. Small steps have already been built during the latter part of the year, and this is where things will matter.

Persistence. 

 

(P.S.- this post sounds melodramatic, but my life is not horrible. Far from it! It’s probably from writing this post at 2AM, but I couldn’t help it… I hadn’t felt the urge to simply write and type for a while, so I’m giving myself the space to do that. Feels good 🙂 I hope to write more this year…even if it’s only to write in my journal!)

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New Year, Same Me (who is still trying to be better)

We said goodbye to 2016 nine days ago.

My 2016 was a hectic one, to say the least. After my internship year in 2015, I thought I would finally get some time for myself as I’d have more free time.

I was optimistic.

Yes I did have more time in my hands (evidenced by all the TV series I finished in Netflix), but I felt even more tired, and even more drained. 2016 was the first year that I was officially not a student anymore, after possibly more than 20 years of my life!

20 years of being a student!

Well, I am not discounting the possibility of me going into PhD…

Anyway, I only had that realization at work today. Today was my first day back at work. I read an article recently from the New York Times that said that people who had aged really well (i.e. had brains like healthy 20 year olds), were those who never stopped learning or working hard. At first I thought, that was me, I loved learning, so I shouldn’t be concerned.

But then I thought, was I really still learning? Or had I just mastered the art of studying? I had been a student for 20 plus years… even if the material I was trying to learn became more complex, the actual method of studying and learning the new material may have already been easy for me because well, I’ve been doing it for such a long time. And I aced it every time.

This may explain why I was feeling lost last year. After graduating, I didn’t know who I was. The Working Girl Me was foreign. At times, painful. I discovered I had very little personal hobbies (does Netflix count as a hobby?). And trying on new things was difficult!

There was one line from the article I read about the super-agers though that struck a cord with me: “You must expend enough effort that you feel some ‘yuck’. Do it till it hurts, and then a bit more.”

As I look back on 2016, despite the challenges, I couldn’t have been prouder of myself. I took off my Student identity and put on an entirely new Working Girl outfit. I moved out of my parents’ house, which may or may not have been beneficial, but what the heck, I had decided, and I’m sticking to my decision. Finally, I made another big decision with my partner, which sways from the traditional path that many take. It’s scary, and it took a lot of discussions, but I believe that I also thought long and hard about it, and decided ultimately, that it is worth taking a risk with him. Fingers crossed for the both of us!

I didn’t spend enough time developing my new identity last year. But that’s a learning I’ll take. This year I have a chance to learn something new, through opportunities at work. The epiphany came this morning- training myself in this new practice did indeed made me feel ‘yucky’. But I have to believe that it’s only yucky at first, so I will persevere.

Happy 2017! 🙂

With Love, South Island NZ

Back in March 2016, we decided to embark on a camping trip in New Zealand’s South Island. We hired a sleeper-van (which is the budget version of the camper-van, with a bed that folds at the back and a built-in cooler, … Continue reading