Stepping into 2019

2018 had its ups and downs. Thankfully, the downs were relatively bearable. In reflection, I think it was bearable because through a mix of experiences, I’ve become a little more resilient, learned that not everything needs to be a big deal, and to focus more on myself than on other people.

People say that as women age, they become more attractive as they radiate confidence. I think that’s because with time and the right people around them, women learn to love themselves. As I step into my 30s in less than two weeks, I hope to be able to love and appreciate myself more because I believe that without self-love and self-care, we have nothing to run on to be able to truly extend that to others.

I don’t want to do new year resolutions because I never stick it out, but in this new year I want to invest more in myself. I want to read more about leadership and empowerment not only because it helps me in my job. I realized that I find a high degree of satisfaction in knowing that I have been able to teach others and broaden their horizons even just a little. On the other hand, I’ve started taking an online course and I hope I have enough wonder in me to keep learning.

The last and most difficult thing to share is, I want to know myself better. In this season, this is heavily tied to my faith, and I’m not even talking about the Christian concept that I am God’s creation and in knowing God better, I know myself better. I’m talking about digging through how much my faith and churchgoing has formed who I am as an adult, and about picking the external influences from the core of my identity.

It’s funny how all the talk about grace and forgiveness seemed to me like irrelevant textbook Bible talk until I personally went through a time of hurt, anger, and disappointment all fighting over each other. For almost two years, I didn’t know I could mature, or had anything to mature in. Then, through ways both subtle and unexpected, I learned humility. It wasn’t an overnight experience. When I look back, I can’t pinpoint where it started. It’s like a sprout that just started to grow slowly but surely. I guess fittingly, patience also comes with maturity.

So here I am, comfortably imperfect, standing at the doorsteps of a place I used to call home. I’m happy to be coming back, with the family’s arms wide open. Stepping in will still be difficult because I will be faced with all the things I turned my back on, but rather than carrying a skepticism that’s really emotional baggage, I am returning with a healthy skepticism cushioned with an open heart. I want it to be clear that this is not a self-declared heroic act. I am scared and have put this off for as long as I could manage, but I know this is the season and people have been placed by my side to do this. I don’t think my cowardice lives up to the saying of stepping out in faith, but one way or another, I am stepping back into faith.

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