Monday, January 2, 2017

💫2016: slow, subtle, steady af.✨ (my 2016 year review using pages from The Giving Journal)

Now, I know, I know... When it comes to the state of the world, "slow, subtle, steady af" is nowhere near applicable for describing the year that was. It was a rough ride. But looking at it through a more personal, introspective set of eyes, that was how my personal development in life was like this past year.

I used a CBTL Giving Journal in 2016 and it had these cutesy pages that I had fun filling out, and now that it's 2017 I'm using them to get a feel of my progress, to remember where I was at at the start:


Late in 2015, subject to numerous tiring bus rides, I had a lot of time to think of a way to picture how I wanted 2016 to go. What steps I wanted to take. That was when I got the inspiration to imagine my life as a flower:



I imagined:

1. that in the first quarter, I'd be preparing a good foundation for myself through good health and a saner state of mind (the roots of the plant, but i called it seeds for the sake of the pattern -.-).
2. In the second quarter, I'd be aiming for better structure, and an upwards movement kinda feel through a stable job and habits that I hoped would be automated thereafter (stalks),
3. the third quarter was going to be when my efforts in making regular output were going to be refined and focused into the channels where I'd find myself gravitating more towards, so that
4. in the fourth quarter, after concentrating my energy on those, I'd acquire the blooms, or in other words, I was going to have everything I do "pay off" in the end.

Of course that didn't go exactly as planned. I unexpectedly found a real life job I actually liked going to, and so that occupied me. That being said, I still managed to make it halfway through the flower thing. I felt healthier because I was more active and slept better, my work makes me feel involved and improved me in aspects I wanted to improve on. I was just really ready for feeling rooted and stable, I guess. But in my opinion, I didn't get to do much of gearing towards personal projects, and I think that's vital for me to feel truly balanced.

BUT if I may, past Bea, there's something I'd like to change in that whole flowchart/metaphor thingy you got there:

I think the fourth one was a bit too focused on receiving things, like I needed success to be guaranteed. Blooms shouldn't be about things that are not in my hands, methinks. It should just be about me being able to look back into what I worked on and feel like I finished things I started. But I still like the part where I say something to the effect of "to know how to introduce myself to strangers." I think blooming should also be about getting a better sense of my identity through things I've done, so that's staying.

So I only made it to the halfway point of the marathon, but I'm still much better off from where I'm started, so I'm really happy! Aim for the stars, make it to the moon, I guess.

That being said, "my 2016 life mantra" in the CBTL Giving Journal guided me quite well:


I grew in so much ease (I guess it pays off to take things slow), much more ease than I thought was possible. And indeed, it was through being kinder to myself (and others - tension arises when we assume the worst of people who hurt us, and love blooms when we give them a chance)...

So! Good improvements:


  • I've been taking on more things than I'm used to for work, and I'm staying afloat! It's done my confidence a lot of good. I used to think I had no perseverance. But I'm learning that I just need people around me sometimes, and that accountability works on me.
  • Managing that by finally, finally being able to naturally apply the "one thing at a time" thing that I've always been trying to learn how to do (I say this time and time again - it's one thing to know something, and another thing to apply. Think of that the next time you nag someone or yourself.). I can actually stop worrying once I decide that it's not time for it yet; such a big relief!
  • Being more open about my flaws, being able to dissect my own behaviour and change. A lot of people are good at seeing other people's flaws, but it takes a certain level of perseverance to see your own flaws and not be defensive about them. I've always admired people who can do that and in turn create wonderful things with that self-awareness, and I feel like I'm slowly getting there. Makes me happy. (And relieved!) It also allows me to get closer to people easier.
  • I'm getting a little better at hushing that negative voice in my brain! Sure, I look crazy at times because sometimes I tell it to stop out loud, but hey, whatever works, right?
  • I sleep at night and wake up in the morning regularly now. It's kind of a huge deal.
  • I can moderately extrovert a bit more than before. Still wrecks me with anxiety from time to time, especially when I have a lot on my plate, but I'm managing!
And here are the things that need improvement:

  • WRITE THINGS DOWN AND DON'T LOSE THEM AND ACTUALLY READ THEM AGAIN PLEASE?! So many missed opportunities for blog posts and fiction and whatnot.
  • Speaking my mind about a risky thing without getting scared/shaking/feeling like my throat is full of ice
  • Working on personal projects for real this time outside of work
  • More balance between trusting myself and honing the mindset that allows me to feel accountable enough to meet that trust
  • I'd also like if there was less automatic negative self-talk to hush in the first place
  • More physical activity!!!
Goodbye, 2016. Was nice knowing you!


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