One of the authors I like posted this Tweet:
— Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo) December 29, 2018
She followed it up with another that said, “The small step matters more than the grand gesture.”
That struck something in me, because it had always been what keeps me from initiating anything. I put way too much unnecessary pressure on myself to produce something great, and I end up not doing anything because I feel daunted by the task. Too many times, I wanted to write about a fantastic trip, a realization about life, or an exceptional dining experience, but I was overwhelmed by my feelings for them. By the time I felt I could compose my thoughts, the thrill had dulled and I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture the essence of the said events.
I have tried to tell myself to just go for it. Writing, singing, dancing, crafting… whatever I’m given the opportunity to do. It’s been something I’ve been working on for years. Finally, I think I know the root of all my hesitations, and that’s all thanks to 2018.
Fear. I’m so full of anxiety and fear that it’s completely messing up my mind. Without getting into details, a friend advised me to try and find the underlying theme of my thoughts, and I found that it is fear. I’m actively going to try to counter that this year with unshakeable optimism and gratitude, and I’ll welcome opportunities with a “Just Do It” attitude. For years now, I’ve felt the fire snuffed out of me. Criticisms and failed relationships have taken their toll on my self-worth. This year, I’m going to try to burn bright again.
So today, I woke up and smiled. It will be something I want to keep doing for the rest of the year.
I went into the hobby room and practiced on my sewing machine. I’ve been making drawstring pouches for the metal straws I’ve been giving away. Patting myself on the back for noting progress on my skills: I’ve been faster, more confident, and have even experimented on other stitches. I have a long way to go, like I still don’t understand why the needle broke on me, but I was more patient with myself and moved on from the mishap.
Then, my mom asked me to make labels for the jars of homemade Cheese Boursin she’s been making. Design is not a strong point of mine, but since I have basic Photoshop skills, I can manage. The point of the entire task was more of helping my mom out. This year, I want to be of more service to my parents, and to do it wholeheartedly. I’m not the best at showing people how much I love them, and I suppose this is one way I can truly make it felt. Also, the printer uncharacteristically acted up multiple times, and I was given another chance to practice patience and perseverance. Hooray, me!
Now, I am writing. These aren’t some mind-blowingly beautiful words, but I am happy that I am devoting time for this. I will also try to write something every day, maybe do a writing challenge that I can realistically participate in. Note to self: it is okay to miss. It is okay if I end up churning out mediocre work. Maybe, just maybe, all this mediocrity will hone some deep-seated potential for some excellence later on. What matters is I do it at all.
In as much as I love to travel, it was last year that I learned to appreciate my rootedness more. I found that I felt happiest when I was present for the important milestones of my family and friends, and most of those occur with people and in places I call home. My involvement in my sister’s proposal, spending time with my favorite tour family again after 12 years, conversations with my pamankins, celebrating friends’ birthdays, throwing baby showers, playing parlor games with my barkada since childhood. I would miss these if I were away all the time, and time is so, so precious, we don’t get seconds at living moments. This year, I will be more present.
That includes how I use social media. It is social for a reason, and I will use it to connect with others more. I don’t mean spend more time on it, in fact I hardly scroll through my timelines. But, when I do, I want to remember the people behind the posts. How are they, and how long has it been since I had a conversation with them? And if I find that I don’t care, then that must mean it is time to move on from it.
Speaking of moving on, this is one of my priorities in the coming year. I have been feeling suffocated. In my room, in our house, in some social circles. I need to throw away what is choking me, so I can breathe anew. I’ll need to clear physical, mental, and emotional space to allow better things into my life. Abundance means knowing what is really valuable to me, and having plenty of it. What no longer has value must go.
With these in mind, hello 2019. ? You’re looking fierce!