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Not even gonna start off with my usual "wow I haven't blogged in so long" style. HAHA. Instead, let me start off with a warning that this is a rather wordy post, so feel free to leave if that isn't your thing.
(Here is a rather shit quality photo of me because I am rubbish at editing.)
Every time a new year dawns upon us, I am forced to think about the fact that there will be an increase to the number I tell people when they ask for my age. Even though I hit the big 2-0 last year (oh my goodness I am old), I mentally and emotionally still felt like the 16/17-year-old me. Admittedly, I felt the same when turning 18 and 19. Perhaps the reason behind that was because there wasn't much change in my life? Everything was rather smooth sailing despite a few hiccups here and there. With that, I could probably say that 2017 was the toughest year of my life, but it made me grow up, and gave me the push I needed.
When faced with hardship, we often blame it on whatever we can. On timing, on situations, on people, even. Sometimes on God, too. It's easy to blame and blame because then, we won't be held responsible for our actions. I saw this tweet the other day, it said:
"We often judge people based on their actions but judge ourselves based on our intentions. Why don't we judge people based on their intentions and judge ourselves based on our actions more?"
Take a moment and really, really think about that. (When I read that, I was so awed by the amount of truth in it that I decided to make it my mantra for 2018.) The point is, why is it so easy for us to casually mistake a situation without first reflecting on ourselves? We are so quick to scrutinise the tiny details that we forget to look at the big picture. Through my slow but steady transitional thought process, I realised that often when we are in a situation we are not comfortable with, we overthink the whole picture and start seeing it as a false illusion instead of what it really is, because its easier to fit something into our mould of reality instead of accepting the truth. I've seen this manifested in many people including myself, and in hindsight, when I look back at the times where I've gone through this, I realise things could be a lot simpler if I just took a step back and accepted that some things are just not meant to happen. It hurts sometimes when you don't get what you want, and I'm still very much learning the beauty of acceptance and letting go of things you can't control, but I've definitely come to understand that God put everything in place for a reason. Even if you don't believe in God, please believe that everything that is happening right now is exactly the way it should. You may not see it now and you may not understand, but in the long run, everything will be okay and you will realise that you had to go through the pain in order to get where you are.
Approaching 21 this year also made me realise that I truly am not my 16-year-old self anymore, physically, mentally and emotionally. I no longer have the metabolism of a growing teenager, and that means I have to care about my health more. 2018 also marks the fifth year of my body image issues, and it's honestly quite scary to acknowledge that this has been something I've been struggling with for so long. Self-love is still something I'm putting a lot of effort in to manifest. In this case, not just physically but emotionally as well. Honestly, I am trying. And I'm trying really hard. I can vouch that it really is all about taking one day at a time and not being too hard on yourself. Sometimes feelings do get really exhausting and I just wish I could somehow detach myself from any emotions so I could feel okay. But emotions are what makes us human, right? We are so flawed and yet we try so hard to hide these flaws, try to hide the way we feel. I'm slowly still trying to learn that it doesn't matter how people perceive you, as long as you love yourself and realise your worth.
One thing I am so so grateful for is how much I've grown mentally. Training your mental state is, essentially, being conscious of your thoughts and gearing them in the direction you want it to grow. This means accepting your thoughts for what they are, be it good or bad. How I do this is whenever I have a bad thought, I try to think of it from another perspective, the other side of the coin. Don't forget that there is a silver lining to each cloud and there is no way you cannot turn a bad situation into a good one. I try to stay relatively positive by focusing on the things I'm grateful for, and am trying to spread more love to those around me. Admittedly, I do have quite an OCD personality and this usually deters me from sharing my life with people. This may sound confusing to you HAHA so let me explain: I like things my way, ordered and structured and I utterly despise entropy. Because of my independence, in the past I tended to focus a lot more on the things I needed to get done, or how things will work in my favour. Growing up meant that I saw things a lot more broader, and made me realise I needed to open up my heart. So I let people in, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Even though there will always be a small part in my brain that tries to pick on my OCD, I now consciously try to be more open, and am definitely trying very hard to treat people the way I want to be treated.
Overall, the twenties is such a confusing period of time to be in. People can get their degrees, get jobs, get married, become broke, lose everything they have or achieve everything they ever wanted. You can have your shit together and still be confused as hell. How are we supposed to figure our lives out at this age when we barely know what we want? I definitely do not know what to expect or what to hope for for my next 3 years, let alone the next decade. All I know is this; I'm trying and am willing to try, willing to fight for what I want, willing to learn one step at a time, willing to be a better friend, daughter, sister and person, and am now willing to accept whatever God has in store for me.
I hope 2018 shapes us all into the kind of people we aspire to be.