The Year of the Brave

At the stroke of midnight on 2013, I posted this on my different social media accounts: Happy new year everyone! 2013 is the year of the brave!

One of my online friends asked me, What do you mean by “year of the brave”? Well, friend, here’s your answer.

In 2012, I decided to choose a word for my year in hopes of battling my quarter-life emptiness that hit me a few days into the year. I chose a word because I was honestly grasping at straws, and I want my life to point to some kind of direction. I chose love not because I was desperate to have a word, any word — in fact, I had a lot of choices, but it was love that jumped out at me and I stuck to it, and tried to live it out. They say a word is a powerful thing and it can change a lot. Perhaps they were right, because when I look back at 2012, I think it was filled with love, coming from expected and unexpected places. And like I said in my recap post, I think 2012 was the year where I learned so much about love (and trust, and heart, and all that).

When December rolled around, I started thinking of a word that I will claim for 2013. I was toying on the word trust, because I also learned so much about it in 2012, so why not just take that and run away with it, right?

But there was another word that kept poking at me, that kept dancing around the edges, stepping across the line and looking at me boldly, as if daring me to declare it as my word. I resisted at first. To be brutally honest, I was scared of that word. It was an ironic reaction, given that the word is essentially the opposite of being scared, but I. Was. Scared. Absolutely terrified.

I was letting my fears get ahead of me. But at the same time, I felt that I could not deny the hold that the word had on me. After everything that happened in 2012, after all the lessons I learned, I felt that I would be cheating myself if I chose another word. I felt that I would be taking the easy way out, and I didn’t want that. 2012 was a good year, and I felt that 2013 will be a good one, too. But I have to stand up and claim it. I have to be intentional about it.

So with a pounding heart and shaky knees and the air full of smoke from all the fireworks, I stood up on December 31, and declared: 2013 is the year of the brave.

My word for 2013 is COURAGE.

2013: Courage

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Dear 2013 Self

So instead of posting my usual 2012 recap at the end of the year, I thought of something different. I thought I’d write myself a letter. Or my future, end-of-2013 self a letter. Remember when I said that letters changed my life this year? Well, I’m holding onto that thing again up to the last few minutes of 2012. I’ve written letters to several people (known and unknown) this year, so this time I am going to write to myself.

I can’t promise that this won’t be dramatic. But like I said a few weeks ago: time to embrace your inner romantic.

Happy new year, everyone. :)

* * *

December 31, 2012

Dear (end-of-2013) Tina,

Hello from your December 31, 2012 self! Happy new year to you, and I hope that the end of 2013 finds you well.

I suppose this is cheating, writing to you in a place where you can easily go back to it and read it. Letters like this are supposed to be kept in time capsules or sent after some time through email from websites that do just that. However, I believe that posting things like this is public is a way to be accountable, and I still have that hope that baring my (our) soul to the world at certain times will also help a fellow soul who needs to read some words to lift themselves up.

I really, really hope that 2013 was good for you, for us. Whether it was a good year or bad, I know that you will be looking forward to 2014, just as you always do. You have always liked something new, and you have always appreciated having a fresh start. If it wasn’t such a good 2013, then I hope that you will find the strength to move on and start anew, and if it was a good 2013 (oh, I hope it was!), then I hope you will find the grace to let go of the past and look forward to the future.

And because I kind of want to avoid rambling, five things your past self would want you to remember as you go into another new year.

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12 Things About 2012

Ah. Can you believe that 2013 is almost upon us? It’s so cliche, but I can’t believe 2012 is almost over, when it really feels like it just flew by. Of course there were months that seemed to last forever (I’m looking at you, August and November), but in general everything seemed…I dunno, different.

Wait, I think I always say that about my years.

So if I were to give a theme for 2012, what would it be? Well, my word of the year is love. I can’t say that I was completely loving this year  because I know I wasn’t. But as I have been sharing with my friends in various Christmas dinners this year, I shared that 2012 is the year when I learned to love. Not just romantic love, but love in general. I’m far from an expert, of course, but 2012 was the year that I think God taught me so much about my heart and I am surprised that I even thought I knew myself before.

All in all, 2012 was pretty…good. It was, it was. If I look back at this year, I think I will always look back at this year with fondness, maybe just a little bit more than 2011.

And because we like numbers, and playing with them,1 here’s 12 things about my 2012:

  1. 2012 is the year of community. One of my goals for this year is to go back to my church community, and I think it was the only goal I actually reached. I am really glad that I found a new spiritual family, and that I have started attending households/small groups again! And I even have a household of my own! :) Other than my church community, I also found myself surrounded by more people who I have learned to really love. They’re people who would cry with you, celebrate with you and would pray for your heart. They’re people you have history with, and you wouldn’t mind building even more history with them too. If you were a part of one of these communities (you know who you are), I just want to you know: I love you. <3 I am so blessed by your presence in my life this year. :)
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  1. Or, not really. I don’t like Math. []