Reflecting on 2016

In 2016, I decided to jot down things I did in 2015 that I was proud of or made me feel accomplished – no matter how big or small. That simple act of taking a moment to sit, think, and write had more of an impact than I anticipated – especially for someone who generally has very low self esteem. I’m a firm believer that one can and should continuously improve upon themselves but it should never be at the cost of self love for who you are today. I often have feelings of inadequacy, normality, and quite frankly just seeing myself as a very boring person. However, if you look hard enough and bring light to even the smallest accomplishments in your life, you’d likely see that you’re worth more than you think. It’s true that we are our own worst critics. With that said, here are my top accomplishments of 2016 🙂

  1. Graduated University. I finally completed my 5 year degree in Environmental Studies (not sure why I said finally because those 5 years flew by). I don’t think I give myself enough credit for getting my Bachelors degree because a) it’s instilled upon us at a young age that University is the common route to go and b) I’ve always felt that my degree was somewhat useless, or maybe I just never put enough effort. Being an Environment and Business major in a school that’s well known for Engineering and Math sounds lackluster. When you tell people you study at the University of Waterloo, their response is usually “ohh Engineering? Math?” to which you’d have to sheepishly respond “no.. Environment and Business”. 8/10 times that person won’t know what the heck an Environment and Business major is nor understand the use of it. At times, I didn’t even know what use it would be of and whether I actually retained anything valuable. With time, I’ve learned to love the uniqueness and importance of it. I might not have been the most active on campus nor did I always have the best grades but I grew so much as a person (professionally and personally) during those 5 years and gained invaluable experiences.
    grad
  2. Attempted to snowboard again. After my first experience snowboarding many years ago, I told myself “I am NEVER doing that again. My ass hurts, my feet hurt, my wrists are shot, I’m wet and cold as f. This is horrible. I want to go inside”. So when the opportunity came up again to go snowboarding last year, I reluctantly took it. And I’m really glad I did. My second time was significantly better than the first and though I still suck, I felt good about myself for not giving up.
  3. Moved abroad. Moving to a foreign country for at least a year has always been one of those things I knew I should do but never thought I’d actually have the guts to do. On top of that, I’m teaching English to middle school.. boys… That’s a whole whirlwind of emotions and experiences in and of itself.

    Ugly crying at my goodbye party. No big deal.

  4. KPOP danced to Cheer Up by Twice in front of the entire school. For our school festival, I was invited by fellow Korean teachers to dance with them. My immediate response was “NO thanks”. I seriously have no rhythm. WHY would I want to embarrass myself in front of the entire school?! Though I had already said no, a part of me knew that it’d be a good bonding experience and that I’d regret not pushing myself out of my comfort zone. After all, what did I move to Korea to do, feel comfortable? A couple of weeks later, I decided to do it. On the day of their first practice (yup we practiced 3 times a week at a dance academy), I asked if I could join. This performance is still one of my favourite moments in Korea. I had so much fun learning the choreography and looked forward to practices every week. The kids loved it and I was so proud of myself for doing something that terrified me.
  5. Traveled to Europe for the first time. Thanks to my sister who found great travel deals, I was able to visit Amsterdam and Croatia in the spring of 2016. It was a great taste of Europe and I’m excited to go back for more.
    DSC02444
  6. Created a YouTube channel – and actually posted content. For years I would joke about creating a YouTube channel and vlogging. It was something I truly wanted to do but again, had no guts for. I’m someone who doesn’t take criticism well so exposing myself to the internet and being  vulnerable sounded like a nightmare. However, moving to Korea felt like the perfect opportunity to start. It gave me a focus for content and an audience. I bought a Canon G7x camera as a grad gift to myself and started filming. I’m still awkward in front of the camera and am still learning the tricks of the trade, but I’ve recently hit over 100 subscribers and that alone is enough to make me feel fulfilled. 15902663_10154333126773940_107455102_o

I encourage everyone to take a moment to not only consider your goals for 2017, but to celebrate all the great things you did in 2016.

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