A year of reflection, A new year of change

A year of reflection, A new year of change

Goodbye 2013~ Hello 2014!

I make new years resolutions every year. I never follow through with most of it. Then again, I think that stems from a place of motivation and a good mental state. 2013 was a year of change and time for reflection as well. I did a lot of stuff, even though it doesn’t seem like much now.

I quit my job that I had had for almost 4 years. I then moved to South Korea to teach English. I met some amazing people through this process. Some of these people have become good friends and others are like family to me. I learned how to teach from scratch and though I might not be the best at it, I’m always willing to learn. I taught at 3 schools and will now say goodbye to all of my fellow teachers, school staff, and students. (This will be bittersweet as I really loved them all.) I learned to live on my own independently with few people around me that speak the same language. I’ve learned to deal with the things I don’t have for comfort that others do. I learned that I am not to terms with myself and my life. I’m an honest person and I dealt with a bout of depression and no I don’t tell others about it nor do I make waves. It will work itself out. And the year is now coming to a close and there are some things that need to change and some things to be thankful for.

This year I will not be doing New Year’s resolutions. I find I don’t stick with them so they are a waste of time.  Instead I will follow my mom’s request that I pick two things to achieve by my next birthday and make sure that they are achievable goals. I have been thinking for a long time what would be good for two goals. I could name at least 10 that I should really work on but I need to narrow it down to two. After much thinking I have decided on the following two:

1. Let go.

Reading that it seems like a vague goal. The reader might want to ask me, “um…what the hell are you letting go of?” The answer: everything. I don’t register stress well or easily. Meaning I’m mostly unaware when I am stressing myself or I feel stressed. There are quite a few things I am letting go of.

– I am letting go of the past. There are parts of my life that I am not over even though I thought I was. So it is time to let go of those feelings, memories, and thoughts. They aren’t helping me move forward in life so it is time to get rid of them.

– I am letting go of people. A lot of times we keep people in our lives that really shouldn’t be a part of it. You know the people I am talking about. The ones who bring you down or don’t really know that they are a negative influence on your life. Most of the time they are unaware of how they are to others. This also means letting go of people who only want to be friends via social media, but wouldn’t be interacting with me in real life. Time to say bye bye to all of you as well.

I am letting go of expectations. This is a hard one for me. I expected my life to be a certain way at my age and it is the complete opposite. I’m coming to terms with that, but it isn’t easy. Starting over isn’t easy and expecting my life to reflect what I want doesn’t always happen. So I’m letting go of the expectations I have had for myself and the ones I have projected for the future.

– I am letting go of anything that isn’t needed. This can be anything. It can be material items, such as too much clothing. Or whatever else is weighing me down.

– I am letting go of the one way street friendships. I don’t need friends like this anymore. Mainly you aren’t really friends but in name only, but are we even close? Do you understand me, like I do you? I’m tired of walking the two way street alone. Of going both directions for two instead of the one way to meet the other person. Life is a two way street and it needs equal participation, those who can’t be there in times of need when others are there for them. Are not worth my time. I don’t need to say names as if they reflect on themselves, like I have reflected on myself when I was not such a stellar friend, they will know who they are.

– I am letting go of negative emotions. This is one of the harder parts of letting go. I am the harshest critique of myself and the life that I live. I don’t want to be trapped by walls created by myself.

I am letting go of believing the worst about me. This is tied to the one above. Unfortunately, as strong as I appear to others, I am more sensitive than most. And the words that have been spewed at me through the years are on constantly  replay in my head despite my appearance. It’s time to kick those words out.

2. Love myself.

I have a love-hate relationship with myself. I will be the first to openly admit that I don’t like myself. If someone were to ask how I think of myself, I might reply “Okay.” That’s not such a great answer at my age. There have been parts of my life where I liked myself more than I do now. And it is the image in my head that makes me realize I am part of the problem I don’t like myself. Others might like me, but I don’t. So some guidelines are needed to start that way. I won’t accomplish this goal in a year. If I have hated myself for the last 16 years then it is going to take a long time to get to where I love myself, but it will come someday.

–  I will learn to love my flaws. There are a lot of things I am not good at. Or I’m just average at. Maybe it is a lack of trying or motivation to do better, but I settle on that I am okay. Whether it be physical flaws, personality flaws,  or blemishes on life, I will try to embrace them.

I will learn to love my body. To me it always seemed selfish to love myself. So I have been very resistant to it. Not only that, but the perceived image of beauty isn’t exactly a bill I fit. Whether that be the media, friends, or loved ones. What is beautiful? To each person that is different. It means embracing my aging skin and smile lines. It means to admire the stretch marks I have and the shape of my body. It means its okay to love my donut of a belly. Or the three month food baby I have if I let it hang out (as I so lovingly call it.) This will be my biggest challenge but the one that is most rewarding in the end.

–  I will learn to love myself despite the thoughts of others. It really is needed to kick poisonous people out of my life. This goes hand in hand with letting go of those types of people. I no longer need to feel inadequate because of others. I’m tired of hearing,, “You would be gorgeous if you lost weight” or “I don’t understand what is so hard about eating healthy and getting in shape.” “Maybe you should try harder.” It’s no secret that I want to lose weight and want to get in shape. I just have never had what others have to get there. I also wasn’t born with it. Unfortunately, the people who are the worst are also the ones who have never been overweight or struggled in their life to lose weight. 10 lbs is a big deal to these people. Yet, if they can be healthy, you should be able to do it easily too. I’d like to state that sometimes the state of mind needs to be there to actually accomplish shit.

– I will learn to believe I am good enough. I struggle with this one. I do believe I am not good enough for a lot of things. It could stem of a fear of feeling like I am undeserving of what others have. This is a result of negative thoughts and words and of course the human trait to compare ourselves to others. It also stems from poisonous relationships whether it be love, friends or family. If you have never been in one you don’t realize how haunting the feeling of ‘not good enough’ is. Sometimes those words are never said to you, but you can feel it in your bones. I know I am a good person. I know I am good enough and that I am deserving of the things I want in life. The hard part is believing it. That’s where I want to succeed in believing I am good enough.

I will learn to love myself by not substituting food to stifle emotions.  I am an eater. An emotional eater. Oddly enough, I eat all the time. Rarely hungry, always eating. I love to eat and try new foods so it is kind of a bad self-medicating practice. I eat for every emotion there is: hungry, sad, happy, angry, bored, lonely, jealous, nervous, etc. If there is a food to munch on in front of me…my hand is in the bowl eating. Not saying it is a good practice, in fact it makes me dislike myself more because I am eating when I don’t want to be eating, which then fuels me to eat more since now I have upset myself. So for this portion of the goal is to love myself enough not to turn to food to soothe me. It will be hard especially since I have a sugar addiction, but I’m going to try my best.

 I will learn to love my temple. We only have one body. It does a lot of amazing things, which most days I take for granted. Oh yes…I forget it keeps me alive and moving. But I don’t love it. How sad we have such a terrible relationship. So to love this one temple of mine I need to treat it better. Which means I need to eat a little better, exercise a little more, and give it more love. Simple little fixes to keep it running better than ever.

– I will learn that it is okay for life to take a detour. This absolutely goes with loving myself. I dreamed such a different life for myself that now I am confused as to what will happen. I’m also very worried about a deadline for having children, which some people will laugh at but whatever. That’s a very realistic fear for many women my age who are not yet in a relationship or are just starting wondering will this be the person? Will I have to start again? I never thought my life would be how it is now. However, that does not mean that it is a bad thing. I’m doing something I have wanted to do since I was 20 and am now able to do it. It has been an interesting and wonderful journey so far. It is also allowing me to find and love myself in a new environment.

As for reflection of 2013. This year had many ups and downs for me. I wouldn’t call it my best year, but an okay year full of changes. I haven’t had really good years in a while so I am hoping that 2014 will be a better year. When I reflect on 2013, I don’t just look at my highlight reel. You have to take everything into consideration and then say how was my year? How was I to myself? I think if you aren’t good to yourself you can’t really have an amazing year. It might be good or okay, but what takes it to that next level is truly liking and loving yourself and your life. I am not there yet, but I’m planning to carve my own path.

I will be starting in a new place next march and will be closer to my best friend who is like family to me. Sometimes a year of isolation makes you realize though you socialize occasionally, another person you are close to should be nearby. It’s nice to have someone to turn to when you are trying to whether a storm or if you need a slap of reality.

Happy 2014 to all of my friends here in South Korea, to family and friends back home, and to everyone else I know around the world! May 2014 be a great year for all of you!

4 thoughts on “A year of reflection, A new year of change

  1. This is a fabulous post! Embrace what and who you are, what you are going to find is what I and anyone that knows you is already aware of…you are smart, giving, funny, beautiful (inside and out mind you), goofy, independent, someone to look up to, someone to strive to be like… I could go on forever!!! And NOT just because I am your mother!
    Friends are tough. I have friends I only speak to twice a year. So don’t purge everyone. Remember, we are all at different stages in our lives. We all get involved with our own lives and get too busy for others.
    What others think and comment about… Petty comments, just ignore. Comments from years ago… Let them go if they are from people that are also not happy with themselves .. It is just a way to pass along negativity. A way to make themselves better…
    After 22 years of being in a not so great marriage… I have literally found the love of my life. I am happy as you will be happy. Did you ever see that one coming? You never know… Open your eyes and your mind baby and if you see something .. Say something !!! Ya know??!!
    I have told you before, my body is not perfect, your body is not perfect. Everybody everywhere can tell you something that they hate about their own body. But… It just so happens that we all live in that body… Get past the imperfections… Love that body.. If you want to tweak it, that can be done.. But it cannot be changed completely. Embrace it… Sorry about the boobs and butt… Came from me!!
    Again, awesome goals!! Attainable goals!!! Love yourself, enjoy life, love life, what will be will be. In my heart I know you will have all that you want. You cannot force some things they happen on their own time ..
    Know that you are loved and that you are admired by many!! Many smooches..!!

    Mom

  2. Kris, remember all of the years we spent working on your writing? Wow! This sounds like part of a book! Your writing has drastically improved and and your self analysis is great. In my years of teaching, I found that the girls are the ones who worry about how they look, how they act , and how they think. On the other hand, boys tend to think they are great just the way they are. I must say ,though, the highly intelligent boys also analyze everything about themselves.

    As a woman you learn that you only need a very few close friends, compared to teens who want as many friends as they are able to have. As a new teacher in Korea, stop and consider all of the “new” friends youy have mae with th other teachers, students , villagers, and othe EPIK teachers. You make friends (acquaintences ) easily!!! A friend like Tenzen you might see only once every year or so, but she will remain your close friend. That is the way life goes. Love always, Gramma D.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *