I’m not entirely sure how and when things changed, but they did. From the careful, calculated lines to the careless, casual strokes, I find myself painting the picture of life with little regard for the lines which once boxed me in.
I think back to this time last year and I realise how I held myself to stringent guidelines which accommodated for little but the proposed plan itself. But here I am today, barely a to-do list in hand for the day, let alone any idea of the direction I intend to be walking towards. In fact, I think back to this time last year and I realise how I was once filled with words overflowing, running into each other, stumbling, stuttering. And now, the sentences are shorter. More curt. I feel less inclined to explain myself or justify that which doesn’t satisfy others. Emotions clipped and phrases brief. Emails which leave little room for discussion, and texts which end in a period. And you know what? I love it. I absolutely love it.
Sure, it ruffles feathers and causes discomfort, but I have come to one very simple conclusion, if I am not able to accommodate myself and/or make me feel comfortable, why would anyone else ever bother to do the same? If I cannot honour the guests of my own mind and tongue, how can I possibly think about honouring others? I deserve to give myself the attention and courtesy that I would give to others.
In line with that, I have decided that this is the year I will allow myself to exist outside of the expectations and perceptions there are of me. I will do the things that bring me some form of joy, however small it may be.
Here are some of the things I’ve already started doing this year:
- Learning to write with my left hand (I’d love to be double handed in the future!)
- Learning how to play the keyboard – Yiruma’s River Flows in You was the first piano piece I ever heard and it’s definitely the one I’d like to learn to play
- Curating playlists with mixed genres because I like what I like and that’s that
WatchingBinge watching Korean dramas (if you want my list or have recommendations, hit me up!)
- Implementing regular skincare routines for the morning, night, and a once per week treat
- Going for a promotion that I felt unqualified for (and getting it!)
- Reading a whole range of books in fulfilling my goal of 50 reads in 2021
- Taking on virtual challenges which forces me out of my comfort zone, both physically and socially (with The Conqueror if you’re interested too)
- Trying to bullet journal to a) keep some kind of record of my daily activities, and b) let my creative side flow a little (thank you Muted Healing for the inspiration!)
- Using the people in my life’s unique love languages to let them know when I’m thinking of them
- Setting clear boundaries both in my personal and professional life
As you read through this list, you’ll see that none of these things are massively dramatic, nor will they change your life in any way on their own. But together, together they have the power to change who you are as a person. While this list is quite personal to me in shaping the year to come, I hope it can inspire some of your own practices.
There is no doubt that we are in for yet another difficult year ahead, but I hope that you are able to bring your own light into your daily life. I hope that as you reach the end of each day, each week, each month, and eventually the year, you are able to look back at these small doses of light as the warmth of the sun shining down on you like it does on the first day of summer. I hope that you can be your own rays of sunshine for all the days to come.