I do this every year. I list all of the good and bad memories that summed up my year. I’ve realised that this year was the most contradicting of all. It was the hardest yet most fulfilling year of my life so far!
I think this was the year that I’ve cried the hardest about the simplest of things– from murdered toe nails to an aching tooth (goodbye wisdom tooth!!!) to excruciatingly painful dysmenorrhea spells to exhausting laundry days to failed cooking experiments to just about anything that triggered my hormonal imbalance!
Poor new husband. He had to suffer an entire year of dealing with an emotional wreck. But he stayed strong. He was relentless. Even if sometimes he’s the cause of my emotional outbursts (because you know, I needed someone to blame for all of my misery! LOL), he remained patient and stood by my side. He never threatened to divorce me even if I was already willing to divorce myself! 🙂
I think there are three things that I learned (but still struggling to practice) this year: 1) How to communicate feelings well, 2) How to humble myself to absorb more learning, and 3) How to be responsible for my own happiness.
The first one is a funny thing because Communications is my turf. I’ve analysed advertisements for a living. I’ve created numerous Communication Plans for big businesses. I thought I’ve always gotten this part of my life right. But then I discovered that I was so used to fixing communication messages for other people that I have forgotten how to express my OWN feelings well. I never had to explain myself to anyone because I lived on my own for the past 8 years before I got married. So imagine my shock and disgust that I now need to communicate and explain myself–every move and every decision– to another person. I needed to do a lot of digging deep in order to open up myself more. I was not communicating my feelings well. I would always end up crying in frustration. But I really give it to my husband. He really taught me how to patiently and maturely communicate what I want. Couple that with the acceptance that not everything that I want will go my way. And not everything that I think is the only thing that is true in this world.
I love what Jada Pinkett-Smith said in her interview with her daughter Willow:
“For people to be able to sit down together and have a conversation, that’s the power of love. Love is what sometimes holds us and binds us when we’re not so happy,” “My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.”
The second thing I had to learn was I think harder than the first. I needed to humble myself even more to absorb all the things I had to learn this year– German language, Driving in Europe, Cooking!!!, Cleaning the house well, Doing the laundry and folding clothes, Cutting my own nails, Communicating well with my husband, Being a good wife, and the list goes on!
For a 32 year old PROUD person like me to leave everything that she had accomplished for years and start again from SCRATCH, it could really be quite tough. A huge part of it was really because of fear. Fear of failing. Fear of getting stuck. Fear of not being able to achieve new things. And so my defense was to resist most of the new stuff that are being taught to me and fight for what I got used to. But I’ve realised that in times like these, it’s okay to lose yourself a bit, be like a child, and act like a sponge. I’ve learned that the “path of least resistance” will keep your head above water.
The last thing is about being happy. There was a time in my life when I discovered that in order to feel genuinely happy, you must love yourself first and that love will emanate from within and attract all the good vibes in the universe.
I needed to relearn that this year. I needed to remind myself that I have to be responsible for my OWN happiness regardless of the situation I am in. I cannot blame other people or uncontrollable circumstances for my unhappiness. I have to trudge strong and be responsible for my own soul’s contentment. And the key is to of course take care of myself first because when I don’t, imbalance comes in. Jada really had it all figured out: “When you don’t take care of yourself, you get out of balance, and you really forget how to take care of others.” “Be responsible for your own happiness.”
At the end of the day, I have God. I have Jesus in my life. So everything that I have been crying about and fearing this year are really nothing compared to His GRACE. 2016 will ring in and I know that it will be better than the chapter it is closing.
To finding balance in your life, Cheers!
My 2015 Highlights (in no particular order):
1. Getting married by the beach in the Philippines to the love of my life.
2. Seeing the features about our wedding on several Philippine and UK sites.
3. Learning how to cook (finally!)
4. Finishing two levels (6 modules) of German language classes
5. Making new friends
6. Driving by myself around Zürich
7. Finishing my Marketing projects for the year and getting hired by a start-up financial company
8. Volunteering in the Communications team of the Church
9. Establishing my makeup career in Europe
10. Entertaining those who visited us this year: Hazel, Patricia, Tyff, Bea, Ina, Audrey, and Isabelle
11. Travelling to 4 new countries and 1 state: Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, and Palestine.
12. Travelling back to the UAE (Dubai), Germany (Singen, Konstanz), Italy (Cinque Terre), and France (Paris).
13. Going to 5 honeymoon destinations (Boracay, Portugal, Italy, Feusisberg, and Israel)
14. Finishing tons and tons of laundry, dusting the house and mopping/vacuuming the floor every week for the past 12 months.
15. Understanding what it really means to be a wife.
2015 low points:
1. Saying goodbye to our uncle (Kaka)
2. Feeling depressed about the fact that I have a lot of adjusting (and learning!) to do.
3. Missing my family (not being there for Papa’s 60th birthday)
4. Missing my friends (and yearning to see their cute babies)
5. Having to pay so much for dental care
6. Losing all of the luxuries of living in the Philippines where beauty services are so affordable
7. Struggling to become a good housewife!
Best Insight of the Year: Sweating the small stuff is tantamount to wasting your life.