As I am typing this, I am racing against the clock to make sure I clear my conscience before the start of the new year. I am pretty sure I would be in bed watching youtube videos once the clock strikes 12. I actually had my last day of 2017 all planned out. I was going to sit down and reflect upon my year so that I could have an action plan for the year(or tomorrow) to come. But my sister caught the stomach flu and needed help taking care of Sofy. So Mama Schu to the babysitter rescue. And there goes my reflection. My family was hit by a major flu bug after our trip to River Safari last week so naturally, everyone has been taking turns falling ill. It went in the order of Hanna, Haikal (bil 1), papa, mama, Sofy, Kak Ina and Azhar (bil 2).
I was supposed to do reflection and goal setting on Wednesday but Hanna was very ill so Kak Lin and I ended up at the emergency room at KK Hospital. So goodbye, goal setting. Goodbye, reflection. And today was just the same. I think God is trying to tell me something. We can plan and plan out our days or our lives but ultimately, He is the greatest planner of all. I think that sums up my 2017 shit year pretty well. All those goals and plans I had for myself just went out the window and 2017 was my hobo year. I never felt so under accomplished and directionless. I felt very stuck most of the year. Surely very disappointed in myself.
Not to be overly pessimistic, this year was the year I became an “adult”. (Note the quotation marks) I think it’s more like being thrown off a cliff to be an adult. It’s difficult because there isn’t a natural next step. So far, my life has been pretty standard. Born, Kindergarten, Primary school, Secondary school, Junior College, and university. Pretty standard places and education that I needed to achieve. But what happens after university? There are so many options. From employment to grad school. The world just seems so big and vast that I don’t know what to do next. Of course, it is not possible to do just about what I like or want. There are so many circumstances to take note of such as finances, responsibilities and also the passion. Sometimes you are passionate about something but not able to fulfill it because of financial constraints. Don’t even get me started on the politics of people. Everyone has an opinion about your life. Even more so than you.
However, there are a couple of things upon reflection that I am either thankful for or have improved on. Also, some things I am disappointed with myself and hopes for improvement.
- I graduated university!
This sometimes doesn’t seem like a big thing which university being the norm now and me not achieving high academic merits. But I am rather proud of myself for finishing school especially towards the end when it became a very lonely road for me. School has never been my thing but university was the education that I wanted all my life. I truly wished I had a better college to attend and be more involved in. (Let’s face it SIM is not really university/college environment like.) Nevertheless, I am eternally grateful to my parents for providing this education to me despite the heavy financial burden. Also, with the likeminded and matured friends, I made along this journey who I do hope to remain friends with. Honestly, university helped me form real friendships that help me grow as a person.
2. Family time!
Due to unemployment, I was able to babysit and spend more time with family. I grew up having to skip family dinners or outings because I had to spend more time with school work. I am a slow learner so studying tends to take a lot of my time. But this year I was able to have more family time with my beloved family. We truly have gone through so much together over the years and it’s nice to be a family of 9 now. I had more family dinners, family outings and of course, spend time with my nieces. Kids really do grow up within the year. Sofy and Hanna started rolling, crawling, walking and even celebrated their first birthday. What a treat to see them grow from infants to toddlers. Soon, they’ll be too cool for me. (Never!)
3. Being Selfish
I spent most of the year on myself. I wanted to give myself a chance to really relax and enjoy myself. Of course, this was unplanned because I thought I would be seriously planning my 5-year plan. Honestly, I am glad I didn’t jump into anything because I am glad I had time to just breath which is something not everyone has a luxury of doing. I am grateful for being able to take it slow and enjoy “me” time. I may not be employed but I sure did keep myself busy. I was able to read, explore and learn about things I wouldn’t normally care. I worked on my skills from cooking to calligraphy and even writing. I started writing again this year with hopes of better expressing myself.
4. Taking Care of Myself
I think 2016 me would slap me senseless if she found out I’m using skincare and makeup products. I decided to take better care of my skin this year and even attempting to put on makeup. (I can hear my sisters and friends woo-ing me.) All thanks to youtuber Joan Kim, I started taking better care of my skin. I used to be a whatever girl with my facial wash, toner, moisturizer and sunblock. But now I am a cleanser, exfoliating, toner, snail essence, eye cream and Centella cream kind of girl. One of my fears before embarking on this skin care thing was definitely money. But Korean products are truly affordable and good. So, thank you Cosrx for changing my life. With better skincare habits, I was more confident to start wearing makeup and my interest in makeup swept me off my feet. It really came out of nowhere. Though I am not fancy eyeshadow wearing, I just stick to the basic stuff. Also, I became a plant lover this year. It really provides some healing to me after a long night of overthinking. Not only do I learn more about plants but more importantly, my plants have brought some much peace into my life.
5. Being Me
This might seem like a repetition of the above but also feels like a new point. Through all my knowledge digging and self-discovery, I feel like I know more about myself. I used to think of myself with reference to the people around me. But I feel like, through this year, I truly learn about the essence of me. From the Myers Briggs to the spiritual evaluation, I learn so much about myself that even I didn’t realize or can rationalize why I behave that particular way. Learning about myself gives me so much relief and teaches me to not be so hard on myself when I do not react to how society (or my mother) dictates. Honestly, I learned that I am the type of person who needs to learn and figure things out on my own despite everyone around me having the answers. I just need to go through the ups and downs to really find my strengths and weaknesses. Not to simplify things but seriously everyone kept telling me to start using makeup and for the life of me, I really didn’t see the point. But through my own journey, I started prettying myself up because I wanted to and not because society told me to. So I learned to do things for me in my own way. Hopefully, going forward I am able to use my strengths to accomplish my goals. INFJ and proud!
6. Staying Home versus Travel
I am a homebody but I also love to go out and explore. But this year, I enjoyed being a homebody. I really loved traveling and visiting new places but my love for travel took a heavy downturn this year. I started the year with a trip back to Japan, Kuala Lumpur and the United Kingdom which all turned up to be meh trips. Don’t get me wrong I truly am grateful for the ability to travel but when it feels like I don’t value add from it, I rather stay home and save some money. I realized that I was just doing it for the sake of it or as the kids say it “for the gram”. I enjoyed taking photos and posting it up but when that becomes the main goal instead of enjoying the experience, then it’s time to reevaluate. I hope with some reflection, I am able to have more meaningful travel experiences and not be so obsessed with posting about it. I truly fell into the Instagram superficial rabbit hole. Travel used to be more meaningful and a true learning experience. Hopefully, I have better experiences with the coming year.
7. Nice Never Goes Out of Style
It’s sad to hear that an adult doesn’t know to be nice but it’s true. Last but not least, learning to be nice was my last lesson of the year. We live in a world where being a boss bitch seems to get you somewhere and being nice means you end up being stepped on. A lot of times people say that they are mean or a bitch because they don’t want to be taken advantage of. But what happens when you lose common decency all together? Sometimes we need to remember that you don’t really lose anything for being nice to each other. Life is not a competition. Complimenting a person or even just a smile could really go an extra mile for a person. We can never truly know what other people are going through. And if they were truly a horrible person to you, what do you lose from being nice to them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because you don’t have to sink to the level of scum. So, just be nice. It really doesn’t hurt.
I hope you have a great year ahead full of growth and success. May we all be badasses without having to lose ourselves or common decency. Happy 2018.