Gratitude || 2016

2016 felt like such a huge year for me. So many things happened in my little world and I feel like I’ve changed holistically as a result of some events in the previous year.

This doesn’t mean I’m always in a happy-go-lucky mood all the time as I definitely have my moody and irritable days, but I do view my life and my actions from different perspectives now. It’s a work in progress. My teenage years were some dark times and every day I woke up wanting it to be over already. I couldn’t see “the purpose of life” and what more there was than what I was told by others – school, uni, work, make money, have kids, retire, die. That was my idea of “life”.

In 2016, I started to ask myself two questions in particular:

  • What gives me joy?
  • Who is making a positive impact in my life?

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Joy.

I saw two psychologists this year, and I have no regrets about it. They have aided me in my journey to finding out what I enjoy and have given me some things to think about in overcoming my anxiety. Several times this year I’ve been asked what my hobbies are and what I do outside of uni and work. Each time, I was stumped because I honestly didn’t enjoy any activities in particular. In one of my counselling sessions, we were discussing this topic and he said to me to just be open to things and naturally something will develop into a hobby, it’s not something you can force. The second half of that sentence really stuck with me and I came to realise that there were three things that I have kept coming back to over the last 10 years.

Designing, photography, and fashion. Over the last decade I have created a multitude of blogs and have made many failed attempts at dragging friends into it. I love being creative and producing something that I have worked hard on. It makes me feel elated, being able to present something and say “I did this”. Years ago, dad lent me his DSLR to practise and learn about photography. I enjoyed it a lot, but at that age I didn’t go out much and found that there was little to capture. My passion for photography is still there, and seeing as I bought my own camera last year I really have no excuses. And finally, I’ve always loved dressing up and shopping and I don’t think that will ever change! Realising all this has lit up a whole new part of my life and shown me that each day, month, year…it doesn’t have to be so mundane. I could easily find the time to incorporate a bit of each every day or a mix of them. Since doing so, I’ve actually felt so much more fulfilled and it’s helped me stay just a little more sane.

People in my life.

I am so grateful to have family, my boyfriend, and close friends in my life. Everyone here I surround myself with make me feel loved and show so much support. Growing up, I used to feel mostly resent when I thought about family. Now, I think most of that stuff doesn’t matter. There’s always going to be some sort of conflict and feelings of negativity if you make comparisons to other people’s families or your parents’ upbringing. I am thankful that my family is close and that after we’ve been through so much and despite the many arguments, we’re still here. It’s taken me a long time, but I finally appreciate the strong family values and traditions that we were brought up with and it’s something I will one day carry on to a family of my own. As I approach that time in my life where I’m thinking about when I will be moving out, it’s made me appreciate all the things I get to experience at home with my family. Yes, there is the bonus of free food and no bills or major chores. However, there are other things too like the comfort of having close ones around the house, having people to talk to, home-cooked meals, people to help take care of you when you’re sick, and going on holidays together. What other time in your life will you get to do all this? You can’t go back. Of course, particularly with asian families once you move out, you will still be making constant visits back home, but it won’t be the same.

I have never felt connected to anyone as loving, accepting, and genuine as my partner/bestfriend/love. Seb – you drive me crazy sometimes with your dangerous use of knives and fire, your phone habits, and your need to keep the windows open and the fan going in Winter. But regardless, I still love you and I think you are amazing. It’s hard to stay mad at you, even when you’re being a total poop head. I’m so grateful to have you. You take care of me even when I’m all boogery and snotty and coughing all over the place, or when I’m completely wasted and throwing up in your car, or when I’m upset and overwhelmed and need to cry it all out. You always put my happiness first. I love that you will go out of your way to help other people. I love that you’re ambitious, sensible, and have the best sense of humour. You are full of surprises and I feel so lucky to have known you for over five years now. Keep smiling 🙂

Over the years, I’ve lost many friends. That is one thing I regret. Losing touch with some of the people I grew up with in school, because I have many fun memories with them and it’s sad to realise that we don’t keep in contact anyone. I do cherish the friends I have now though. We’ve talked about how everyone’s schedules are so different now and it can be difficult finding a good time to catch up, but knowing that these are people worth keeping in my circle makes me feel fortunate to have met them.

The rest of 2016.

The rest of the year felt a bit more hectic as I was attempting to juggle multiple commitments. It’s made me appreciate every bit of time I have off and that I have the ability to choose how I want to spend that valuable time. I don’t want life to suck the life out of me so I’m going to keep at the things and be with people that make me feel alive in 2017 🙂

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