After a crazy semester, I have arrived yet again in Seoul. My parents have left Shanghai for good, moved into a new apartment not far from my grandparents’, and now I’m settling in with a cup of hazelnut coffee and my laptop with a fresh coat of nail polish on my fingers. It’s the morning of New Year’s Eve, and before the next few hectic days of Korean families, celebrating, and feasting, I want to take a moment to look back at 2015 and forward to 2016.
In 2015, I gained a lot of Instagram followers, along with a few pounds (I swear, it’s muscle weight). My closet has gradually faded out into a monochromatic grey/nude/black/neutrals display. I’ve achieved the Starbucks Gold status as well as a stellar caffeine tolerance from daily-to-weekly coffee runs. But in all seriousness, a lot has changed in the past year.
GREW CLOSER TO GOD.
It’s so weird to think that I actually felt pretty distant from God when I first came back to New York after studying abroad in Shanghai. I’ve had a relationship with him even before I was born, but sometimes I think my commitment to attending church resulted more from obligation than devotion. Before college, my family had been my support system and they kind of kept my faith in check. But in New York, I was alone, and I was uncertain where my faith was headed. But something in that cold January air led me to walk up the stairs to the Friday night service for college students at the church I had been ‘attending'(I was essentially a ghost – never really interacted with anyone, listened to the sermon than left) since freshman year. I was so surprised by how welcoming everybody was, and they were surprised in return when I told them that I had come by myself, because most people were invited by a friend to the Friday night services. But I really grew to love the community, and made a lot of good friends that I can share my love for God with.
Bible study during the summer of 2015 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; it really motivated me to seek out Jesus in my daily life and keep him in my heart instead of just forgetting about him during the week and rekindling my faith every Sunday. I realized again his everlasting and unconditional love for all of us. During the fall semester, I got more involved in small group and joined the planning team. The Bible emphasizes the importance of the Church as a community, and I think I really got to become a true part of a community this year. Every day I feel thankful knowing that Jesus is my savior, and every week I get excited to share that with my second family.
I still get butterflies in my stomach. This year I was so blessed to like someone who likes me, and thankful that I got to know what love feels like. I’m the worst at talking about my feelings when I need to the most, independent AF (maybe to a dysfunctional level), and used to having my guard up. But he understands all of that, and makes me feel like I’m the most special person in the world. We’ve already made so many great memories, and although we’ve had our share of arguments, I think it ultimately brought us closer together.
I used to think that if I fell for someone I would be losing myself, and that I would never feel whole again. But right now I feel more than complete. I could say so much more, but I don’t wanna get all cheesy.
Everything feels perfect, and I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store for us.
TRIED NEW THINGS.
In 2015, a lot of firsts happened. I joined an honor society and had to make a speech, pulled a day trip to Boston, tried a cronut, joined a gym, was featured on wilnyc.com, met up with friends I met on Instagram, moved into my first NYC apartment, started my first internship in the city, tried fish and chips, went to Texas, went to Six Flags, cried because of love, ran a 10K (and finished it), and probably did many more things for the first time without even realizing it. Each new thing comes with its own sense of anticipation and nervousness, but in retrospect, all of these things have made this year so much richer that it would have been.
Now onto some of the more concrete new year’s resolutions for 2016 (cannot guarantee that it will happen – as all new year’s resolutions go – so I’m keeping it short, and I will try my best to keep these promises!)
MORE QUIET TIME.
Using a busy schedule or homework as an excuse is just a way of pushing my faith out of my priorities, so I’m going to try to read the Bible at least twice a week.
Take those vitamins. Go to the gym at least once a week. I tend to become really lazy with healthy eating during the semester, so eating clean is another one of the to-do list.
BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Definitely blog more, photograph more, and channel my creativity into tangible results. Some ideas I’ve been toying around are writing a journal, playing more violin, and getting into crafts/painting. No more scrolling endlessly through Facebook.
FEAR LESS, LIVE MORE.
I consider myself an ambivert – I enjoy socializing and meeting new people, but I need my alone time to process everything and recharge. Because of this, I sometimes tend to hide away and shut out everything else. In 2016, I want to be less afraid to feel more. I want to be there for other people. I want to show more kindness.What fun is it to stay in boring perfection when you can experience so much more by stepping outside of your comfort zone?
Just some reflections I thought I would share. I hope you all have an amazing winter and a very happy new year! What are your plans for the new year?