Ode to a decade of failed New Year’s Resolutions: I had good intentions.

* This is a post I wrote towards the end of December. For one reason or another, I have been writing without posting. This is an effort to break the silence.

As person who believes she has monthly mid life crises, constantly seeks opportunities to self renew, re-identify and re-start, New Year’s resolutions equate to what I spend most of the year doing.

Change has helped me greatly.But constantly  investing in yourself is never enjoying the fruits of your labor, never stopping to acknowledge the sweet, ripe fruit you have brought forward.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself this year; I’ve made incredible strides since October 31st. In 2016, I want to enjoy how far I’ve come. Will I stop making improvements ? Far from it. I’m still going to be active, I’m still going to eat well, I will still maintain a positive mindset- I’m just not going to start a whole new journey (and I’m also going to avoid people and situations that undermine the work I’ve done so far. I’m going to invest in maintaining; not healing or assessing and reassessing my wounds -I’ve done so much healing. Is there more work to be done? Sure. Are there still experiences and events that I re-visit? Absolutely.

The difference is that I am no longer subject to a past that has been laced with pain and hurt. I can think about my sexual assault, I can think about my perpetrator without breaking down, without drinking a bottle of NyQuil to shut my mind off.
I can think about my childhood without being ashamed, without thinking that I am not worthy of being in a healthy relationship where I am a priority, where I am loved, where I am valued. I can almost clearly state what I want in a relationship without making apologies for it, without thinking that I might be asking for too much.

For me, that is incredible progress and I am extremely proud of myself.

I want to spend time with myself and who I am at the moment before I decide what next steps I can take to make what is already good, better. Gone are the days where I view myself as something damaged, someone that needs to be adopted and nursed back to life.

My  hope for 2016 is that I never allow myself to fall as low as I did in 2015.


Butterflies don’t chill with caterpillars: Where I acknowledge my progress

I started blogging because I wanted an outlet for my ideas, wanted to practice writing, and perhaps re-channel my anxiety.

To an extent, I think I have been able to do this. I have written about struggles with positive body image, shared personal experience and I’ve touched on some of the challenges I have faced as a third culture kid (TCK).

In fact, my experience as a TCK is the original anchor of my blog. This year, especially in the last several months, as my personal challenges took shape, I relied less on this attribute. It was no longer useful for me narrate my experiences  and emotions through the lens of a TCK.

I didn’t start my blog for followers or likes, but I have been lucky to attract the attention of a few loyal and remarkable followers. I have looked back at my blogs and I’m impressed with much of the content. I have been able to express ideas I’ve suppressed for many years. I’ve opened myself to possible critique, and I’ve maybe given those I’ve shared my blog with a chance to see a different side of me. Or perhaps, just me.

I’ve held back names and some finer details of particular events but for the most part, I have written honestly and to the best of my ability.

This post acknowledges how far I have come and the positive changes I’ve made thus far. Granted, while I have made an overall positive shift, there are things I still struggle with daily. This is just a part of life. What I am positioned to do now is reflect upon these daily struggles with more positivity than I have in previous years. I hope that I have put to death my former ‘doom and gloom’ mentally.

What do I need to work on moving forward ? Well, I’ve spent time doing repairs and I’d like focus on maintenance. But I’m fully aware that life being what it is, I’ll inevitably have to do some repairs along the way. The difference will be in the tools I use–tools that heal without causing more damage.

I’m dedicated to maintaining my ‘ship’ and keeping the water out. As Joel Osteen says, it is not the water surrounding ships but the water that gets in, that sinks ships.

& other long stories

On guarding my heart

Lately, I’ve been talking to myself–but I’m not responding so I am holding on to most of my marbles. What have I been saying? I’ve been saying “God is fighting my battles”. Why?

I say it several times a day actually. In the middle of my sleep if I wake up feeling anxious, when I wake up in the morning, and during the day if I don’t feel like I am being positive. When I say that God is fighting my battles. It does a few things for me; first, it calms me down. It pauses a running mind and gives me a chance to change the conversation I am having with myself. It transfers ownership and responsibility of my challenges to a power far more equipped than I. Finally, it reminds me that there is bigger plan for me; plans that are majestic next to my problems.

Joel Osteen says that when we are in peace, we are in a position of power. If power means having total control over my thoughts and feelings, rather than reacting to what’s going on around me, then I am power hungry. I think that power is akin to a type of control we hope to assert over our lives. Instead of absorbing the impact of each emotional asteroid, power gives us the ability to deflect impact. This isn’t ignorance of what’s going on around us, or an inability to process our emotions. It is emotional intelligence, it is a guarding of our hearts.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” ( Proverbs 4:23). If I were to absorb each negative thought, allow myself to be affected by negativity, it would affect me. I have thought that I had more control over myself that I really did. But I can tell you that negativity will seep into your actions and your thoughts. After years of letting negativity flow through me, even when I was determined to shut it off, I couldn’t. Too many times I had attempted without success. This lead to leaking. Without my knowledge or consent, drops of negativity disrupted my thoughts and influenced my actions.

God is fighting my battles is how I maintain my tap, how I try to guard my heart.

Don’t make the mistakes I made and think that you can separate your thoughts from your actions, from your words. Your thoughts are an invisible hand. And even if you don’t notice it, someone else will pick up on it. Trust me. And it will affect them, their response will affect you, and you’ll wonder when they changed.

Joel Osteen, in an analogy that I found to be so powerful and accessible, says that ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Guard your heart.