Let’s Reflect: 2018

As I type this, I realize that 2019 is coming soon, yet it feels like it was just January. Time flew by and as the new year creeps up, reflection and review is a must. I did 2017’s reflection in a scurry so I’ve decided I will devote more time and care for this year’s reflection.

This January, I finally returned to Vietnam and the moment I saw my family members after years of not seeing them, many I did not remember embarrassingly enough, I instantly regretted that I had not visited before when I had the chance(S!!!) to. Ugh, another disappointment to add to my never-ending list of regrets, but it’s a lesson that has inspired me to visit my family more often. I told my mom I want to visit Vietnam every year and my mom laughed! I guess the plane ride is one that she needs a few years break from, haha. One of the reasons I still appreciate my trip to Vietnam is that I realize how lucky, privileged, and dare I say it- powerful I am. I’m in a position that so many across the seas would they were in and I can do so much that many cannot. I cherish my home, MY TOILET AND SHOWER, my clothes, my family, my friends, food, driving NOT the newest model but having a car at all, and last but not least, the job that I have right now.

When I came back to America, all the problems that I once thought I was so troubled by- disappeared. People who irritated me became people who no longer bothered me. Crazy as it sounds, I feel like my patience has grown so much. Things could be worse and yet they aren’t because 1) they aren’t 2) my positive perspective keeps me grateful 3) see 1.

As I think about what happened after January, I go, “Oh,” because something shitty and absolutely terrible happened to me and it was 10,000% my fault. However, it has taught me so much, especially in terms of gratitude. I thought I was grateful before when I had returned from Vietnam, no, what happened to me in the summer taught me an exponential level of gratitude. Like I said earlier, things could be worse and thankfully, I bounced back from that situation and even if time travel was possible, I wouldn’t change what had happened to me. It is what it is and it was what it was – the past is in the past and to be stuck in the past is to be stuck in an attitude that doesn’t allow me to grow, and obviously, if I can’t be 5’8″ then let me grow mentally and emotionally more mature!!!

Fall came and I turned 24, and I forgot what I even did for my birthday. I still think I’m 21 or 22. Oh yes, I remember I had just quit my job and was already interviewing for the job that I have now. Now, I recall an incident that occurred before my birthday and in the past, I practiced a toxic habit of cutting off others before they had a chance to explain themselves and I wouldn’t give them the time of day. I made hasty decisions that have resulted in not-so-good long term results. So, I knew this wasn’t a habit to keep nor was it an action to be repeated once more. I unlearned something that had been a safety net for me and it’s been one of the best mistakes that I never made. It’s honestly one of the biggest strides of my life and it made me realize that if I, someone who can be hardheaded and prideful, could change my negative ways, then perhaps, the people I had cut off too soon can change as well (and maybe they already have).

This year, I became incredibly insecure of my body and physical looks. Without getting too into my woes of my appearance (because you can read it here), I knew I had to do something if I wasn’t comfortable with what I saw in the mirror. So, I did. I lost weight, cut down the alcohol, changed my diet, and changed my workouts. This is not a fitness blog so I’ll end this topic here. The lessons to be learned here is that HEALTH IS WEALTH and if I truly want something, then I cannot sulk and wish that a genie will make my desires come true, that I have to put action to my thoughts, and CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!!

Overall, this year was 100% better than 2017, despite the fact that I did not move back to Southern California. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and what is meant to be, will be. I definitely am more happier this year and it comes not from the height of my highest and greatest moments, but from how I picked myself up from my lowest of lows. With that said, I feel hopeful about 2019 because of the painful lessons I have learned this year – I feel more confident and ready to tackle on the new year!!

Happy New Year and thank YOU for reading!! XO

 

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The Beauty in Betrayal

In 2018, I travelled to Vietnam and came back with a new-found perspective and patience, so when I let go of someone I once considered a genuine friend, instead of being harsh and bitter, I was and am still thankful for the way we disconnected. It was never truly a loss for it brought me one step closer to knowing who my true friends are and I don’t mind having one less friend. It makes my circle smaller, yes, that is true. But my circle of friends becomes richer and I often feel spoiled with the luxury of loyalty I have from my real friends.

“Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” — Vladimir Lenin

We wipe away the dust from the mirror to see the clearer reflection of who we are–you showed me who you are–and that in turn, showed me who I am. I am someone who won’t give up on a friendship even if I had a few relationships that went south. I know that I value friendship greatly and I will take what I’ve learned from you and put that energy in the current and beautiful friendships I have now.

You not showing loyalty reminds me that I have to give others what I would want in return–even if I don’t get back. Integrity is tattooed on the back of my spine and that’s where you stabbed me with your lies. Maybe I let you in thinking you would be different and maybe my ego made me think I would be different enough for you to not lie but dishonesty discriminates no one. Fibbers have no favorites to be honest to and now your name leaves a foul taste in my mouth but alas, not all lessons are sweet and easy to swallow. But, in an intriguing manner, I’m grateful for the poison I’ve tasted from your lies because it was an experience I was meant to encounter, perhaps once or twice more again in this life.

Life is fugacious and so was our friendship but I thank you for being the reminder that people are never black-and-white but mixtures of good, wrong, and bad. In 2017, I would have given this situation too much flame and burned myself in the process, but 2018 has taught me there is beauty in the ugly, even if the ugly is full of betrayal, lies, and deception. 2018 has also taught me that forgiveness isn’t just a word, but a feeling that helps us move on in life.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.”¬† — Bernard Meltzer

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain

I forgave you when I realized how much you taught me. Thank YOU and thank you for reading!

The Sheep That Cried Wolf

A dusky evening began with a brass key locking a door and a man turning his head away from a house he once called home. He entered his white carriage to drive away from his past life and current problems. The scent of luxury leather had softened and so had his demeanor. His heart was tender and torn. His lies and betrayal had become a battle where he could not prevail, for it was his own deceit that broke his castle, and now he is without queen and prince. This is no longer a fairytale.

I had met this not-so-gentleman a few times before, each time a faint memory leaving more questions to be asked for the next time we’d share the same space. Months had passed and his presence no longer was a surprise and he became a regular sight to see.¬†Curiosity is often a force that drives us to roads we wish we never saw.

The questions I once had of him
were blown into the dust
when he spoke of his life,
with such arrogance and pride,
he gloated with his bloated ego
and his heart pushed to the side.

The more he spoke, the more I knew that I no longer wanted to know about him and became less curious of his soul underneath his skin. His life was grand yet he was not gallant, he had money but was not rich in life, and he howled of worlds and lives he lived only for a moment or in a daydream. His head was in the clouds, misted by the haze of having it all but having no one who truly knew his core. I questioned, “Do you even know yourself?”

I could not pity you because there was intent and choice behind your words when you boasted of your coins and collection of material things in your life. I saw the void in your eyes and I wondered if your vices would ever fulfill the hole you dug yourself.

There was not much of you that I knew
nor did I desire to change that for
my disappointment and displeasure of you grew
but I looked past your flaws
for even sheep need love too.

It’s easy to label someone as X, Y, and Z and be done with them, as if I truly know a person from the few and scattered interactions I have with them and even then, it begs the question of if I even have the right to pass my judgement of them as the truth? Truth and opinion are two different things and it’s easy for me to mix the two and call it my perspective.

But even then, I’ve started to grow guilty of my harsh opinions of others, an unfamiliar behavior coming from me but a genuine sign that I am maturing. I aspire to be compassionate, and to have compassion for others, there must be hope and faith in someone–especially when we feel that they don’t deserve it–because that is when they need it the most. Compassion is a gift and one that we can give to others without immense preparation or having to spend copious amounts of money.

This holiday season, I will practice compassion and work on changing my negative opinions of others–some I’ve held onto for far too long and some I’ve recently developed–to be less negative but not naively and blindly optimistic.

Happy Holidays, everyone!!! Thank you for reading.