Recap of 2017 // The Year That Gave
Despite accomplishing a lot this year, I can't help but think about the emotional growth its left on me. This year, instead of listing off highlights of the tangible dreams I've reached, I want to write about the impact all of my experiences have had on me, that led me to who I am right now.
What astonishes me most about this year was the growth within me. It was never about all the material goals and opportunities that I wished for and received, it was the journey of wishing, wanting, working, and achieving. It was walking up a mountain to find a new obstacle in my way. The ones that especially made me feel stuck, like I was doomed and couldn't passed, but did, were so impactful; and honestly, I'm still processing.
Through the questions provided by the Friend Zone (podcast), I'll be looking over what 2017 has given me, and maybe it will inspire you to reflect upon what the year has given you as well.
What's the biggest life lesson you learned in 2017?
Sometimes, it's better to let go. It's very hard for me to walk away from anything without categorizing it or them into "good" or "bad." I said it myself in my article "Livin'(Lin) Love," I used to wish I would get hurt so that I have a reason to leave.
My mind loves to overthink situations and I think that it's so used to having someone hurt me as the only way to shut it up. The more I thought about that, the more I realized how horrible it is that I would allow myself heartbreak over something I really can control; that being myself. I just never believed I could.
I shouldn't have to sacrifice my self-love in order to justify my bad assumptions. I shouldn't have to put my heart on the line and risk my feelings being hurt, because I know that I deserve and want to treat myself better. Let it go, trust that everything happened for a reason, and stop putting energy into something that is slowly destroying you.
What's the biggest life lesson you learned about yourself in 2017?
I learned how powerful I am.
Already knowing that I'm my worst enemy, I viewed this aspect of myself in a different perspective. I tapped into my Leo subconscious (yes, I also learned about Astrology, you can unsubscribe now) and saw parts I already knew about myself in a different light.
Instead of dwelling on how little I receive, I thought of how much I give. Instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I pointed out my strengths. Like Fran (from the Friend Zone) said, instead of thinking Why is this happening to me? I started thinking What is this trying to teach me?
One of my best friends pointed out that he always notices that I change after every summer and I think it's because at that time, I look back at the past 6 months and wonder how I can make the most out of the remaining months.
At the end of November, I felt like a completely different person; like I've experienced everything I was supposed to for a reason and that my skin was shedding to make way for some new me. Due to this revelation, I can honestly say that I've stepped into my worth, added tax, and matured into a better me.
What's something you accomplished this year that you're super proud of?
Doing my best to shorten the narrative and not elaborate, I'll list off all of the (mostly) tangible goals I've met this year, because I easily can't choose one.
In February, I created #SelfLoveSeries and featured some beautiful people who were willing to be featured on my blog, whilst answering questions that allowed oneself to be vulnerable, and I sang a song for Lin-Manuel Miranda and posted it online.
In the summer, I chopped off my hair, quit most of social media, worked, and wished hard for dreams that I later on achieved at the end of the season. I founded a chapter of Spoon University at my school (I'm also Editorial Director!), I received the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of TEDxSFU (somewhere I was sure I wanted to be a part of since last year), I started a YouTube channel with my best friend, and lastly, I travelled by myself for two weeks.
Through these accomplishments, I created an opportunity for me to incorporate other people to this personal blog of mine, I took action despite how scared I was, I was finally able to land a leadership role that I absolutely love and that suits me perfectly (@Spoon SFU; MY BABY! MY PRIDE! MY JOY!), I realized that I can maintain my core self while taking part in social events, I hit a total audience count equivalent to about five high schools, and overall, I satisfied most of what I idealized before receiving any of these.
2017 is the year I truly believe I deserve what I received, because I believed in me.
What's something you didn't accomplish this year that you're gonna make sure to accomplish this year?
This is going to sound silly out of all the other answers, but I didn't complete my reading goal. At the beginning of the year, the fact that I was still was working in a bookstore boosted my self-confidence which led me to setting my reading goal for the year at 50 books... I read 8.
It's okay though! I forgive myself after re-reading the previous question. Next year, I'll be sure to set a more realistic objective I can obtain without trying to cheat by adding required readings for classes to count towards my yearly reading goal.
What did you do in 2017 that made it a stronger year than 2016?
I sought, I asked, and I got help.
Every year, I get hit with a period of depression and experience some kind of low (as do all). Being my innate self, it was quite difficult for me to regularly speak about what I was internally going through, especially with my close friends. I never wanted to be seen as weak, vulnerable, or needy, which, by the way, being true to yourself and others does not make you weak at all.
Due to the other forms of help I got, like going to a clinical counsellor, a career counsellor, and my family doctor, I encourage myself to tell my friends more what I'm going through. Even if I don't understand yet, I tell them that, and I know that me being more comfortable with that strengthened our bonds and makes me feel less lonely.
Also, on a lighter note, I didn't speak about my goals this year. It very much has to do with quitting social media mid-year. I just kind of went through interviews and applications behind-the-scenes, and it made the outcome that more special that I kept it to myself. I was even surprised a few times to hear that people were proud of me or to see an overwhelming amount of support, because I'd already felt this different kind of pride within me. However, if you're reading this, your support is like extra love, so thank you!
Overall, was 2017 a good year to you?
I know it sounds like sunshine and rainbows with a hint of gray days so far, but honey, you don't know the half of what this year has been. That being said, I have never been more done, prepared, and ready for 2018. And that's how I felt ever since November.
When I initially wanted nothing more than to continue my self-growth journey, God/the Universe/the Source (I'm still figuring that ish out too) came through and DEFINITELY showed me what I needed to see.
I have experienced, I have felt, and I am ready to conquer.
Most importantly, were you good to the year 2017?
I did my best.
If anything, 2017 was like "Oh, you want to grow as a person? Okay, can you handle this? How about some of this?" It's like having an annoying kid who hasn't learned self-control, knock down your card tower over and over again, meanwhile you're trying your best to keep yourself composed and maintain your determination.
I can't even say that I'm stronger just yet, because I'm still trying to process all of the lessons I know I need to learn. If there was a competition for trying your best, I think I'd win 1st place at that.
Let's start with the negative. You were no walk in the park. You never let me rest. You put me on an emotional rollercoaster that I'm still trying to recover from. You gave me reminders of my past. You gave me experiences I'm still trying to decipher were real or not. You left me questioning things that I thought I knew about myself. I haven't cried so much within the past 3 months than I have in a while.
On the brighter side, you always gave me one; or, at least, you showed me that there always exists one. You gave me a fight, a challenge. You gave me tough love; pushed me into events, whether external or internal, so that I can introspect and find out what you're trying to teach me. You placed doors to opportunities right in front of me, and you gave them to me. Plus, you made me feel like I deserve all of them, but I guess that's why you showed me so much dark... so that I could appreciate the light.
You were alright, but I hate you at the same time. Maybe I'll look back and thank you in the future for giving me so much of everything. In the now, all I can say is that I may not have been given the easiest of obstacles, but I definitely got what I needed, so Thank You.