Thank you 2017.

Thank you 2017.

I loved 2017. I felt like it’s been really good to me, more so because of how I handled situations and grew as a person, rather than because of the good that’s happened. So instead of saying “good riddance” to all the pain, stress and sadness I’ve went through, I wish to embrace it all and wear them proudly as badges of achievement – I went through all that, I survived, and I conquered!

reflections

1. What did I do/create/experience that I’m really proud of?

  • Being a 100% introvert, I managed to push myself to approach strangers and persuade/plead/beg them into spending 3 hours doing cognitive testing with me for the sake of my thesis! I even managed to forge a connection with some of them and enjoyed talking to them too. At the same time, I’m proud of myself for staying calm and efficient despite starting data collection 4 months before thesis submission due to the very very (1 year long) ethics application process. I only had 2 weeks to analyze data and another 2 weeks to finish writing my thesis before submitting it. I think the me from the past would have freaked out and broken down, but I stayed positive and knew that me maintaining my sanity and continuing to work on my thesis was the only thing that could help at that point.

 

  • I started teaching at a tuition centre part-time and had regular weekly classes since December last year, so it’s been exactly a year since I’ve taught there. I started out feeling quite shy and awkward, and I even got dropped off the secondary english class because apparently the students fared poorly for a test. I was assigned to another secondary english, primary english and primary math class (yes, all 3 levels and subjects were combined into one chaotic class). That really forced me to learn about classroom management. Although I still need a lot of work in that area, I’m proud of myself for persisting through each chaotic week, with love and a genuine wish to help the students. After a year, I am much better at being the “strict and loving” teacher I’ve always admired as a student in the past. Even though I’m not sure how long I could continue this because of my intention to start volunteering, I really appreciate being able to contribute to a part of my students’ education, and hope I’ve managed to impart something, either academically or personally, to them.

 

  • I’ve been exercising 2-3 times a week, even after I’ve started working. The essential motivation for me to wake up at 5am to exercise before going to work is the boost and maintenance it does to my mental health. I attribute a big part of my current positive attitude and mental strength in life to exercise. It’s also done so much for me physically – my fat percentage is only at 23% which is in the really good/fit category! It keeps chronic illnesses and common ailments away. It (ironically) gives me energy and happiness. I’m not exaggerating when I say that exercise is the single best thing I have ever done for myself. Oh yes, I also started muay thai this year! Not sure where I’m going with it, but for now it’s pretty fun and I love how it (gently and positively) pushes me mentally and physically to the edge in a way that doing workouts by myself cannot.

 

  • I started the habit of watching positive videos in the morning while preparing for work, and reading meaningful books which will contribute to my growth as a hooman. Two youtube channels I am loving right now are “vlogbrothers” (by John Green and Hank Green) and “Charisma on Command”. The first prompts you to reflect upon life and its random happenings, along with some scientific facts as well. The second channel gives you tips and advice on how to be more charismatic, how to be a better person in relationships and when interacting with people. I’ve read a total of about 5-6 books this year, and all on the way to school/work etc, thus it didn’t take too much out of my usual daily grind. Out of these books, the one that made an impact on my viewpoint of life is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Life presents us with a challenge, and instead of complaining and suffering in the pains of the challenge, we have to face it head-on, with meaning. Instead of asking what the meaning of life is, we are questioned by life, and the ball is in our court to throw our answers back at life, in our positive humanity and love that we are all potentially capable of.

 

  • I went on a 21-day trip to Japan this year with my boyfriend. During that trip, I did something I regretted not doing the last time I spent time in Japan on exchange – filming videos for memories’ sake and creating a story/video out of it. I bought a secondhand camera, and filmed each day of the trip in addition to conscientiously blogging every day of the trip. When I came back, although the inertia to just let the clips stay as unorganized, unconnected, meaningless clips, I persisted and took a few months to learn how to use a video editor and finally created my first travel video!

 

 

reflections

2. What mistakes did I make that taught me something? What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?

  • Socially, I can still be quite inept in terms of expressing myself, and as a result of that, I sometimes become misunderstood by others in a negative light. This was more blatant after I started working. I think at the workplace, people tend to assume the worst of you and your innate personality instead of attributing your actions to external circumstances. On the one hand, I would like to care less about what others say or think (if it doesn’t concern my tasks and job), and on the other, I need to practise being more eloquent in expressing myself.

 

  • There was once I cried really hard, and it happened in the middle of work because I screwed up pretty bad. I even cried in front of my colleagues cause I couldn’t control myself and my tears properly. It was really embarrassing and painful lol. In essence, I was being overly hard on myself. I had high expectations of myself especially at work, I blundered, and I failed myself and others terribly in that instance, resulting in me breaking down and crying. I would like to learn to let go of things more easily, especially in terms of my expectations of myself in completing tasks. I would also like to practise better emotional control, even though being able to feel the extreme sides of emotions can be an interesting trait in itself. It’s all possibly part of my “all or nothing” personality. When I feel something, I involuntarily go all the way, even if it hurts.

 

  • I haven’t been consistent in the things I’ve been wanting to do this year. I did manage to create 2 videos, set up a blog domain and blog at least 3 posts each month, but I believe I could do a lot more. I could go out there to film more videos, organize all the video clips I currently have, manage my blog theme to a better looking one, and look for ways to provide more exposure to my blog. Instead of spending my time scrolling down the endless loop of social media, I should use it wisely by working on these tasks!

 

reflections

3. What am I willing to let go of? 

  • I’m willing to let go of my insecurities and unnecessarily caring too much about what others think of me and what I do, thus holding me back from truly experiencing life. Life is really too short to hold back on what I want to do, and in the grand scheme of life, I am just a tiny speck in the story of other peoples’ lives. They won’t heed as much attention on me as I think they do; and even if they do, at least one of us is spending their time doing more meaningful things!

3 Replies to “Thank you 2017.”

  1. WOW! This is an amazing post. I can relate to much of what you have written, especially the ‘crying’ part. I once cried at work…in front of my boss and co-workers. I was very emotional and (hormonal) at the time. I wish I would have handled it differently but I now make it a point to think before I react to any situation. Thanks for such an inspiring post. I look forward to reading more. 🙂

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