Twenty Six

Also known as: Birthday thoughts

So yeah, I just turned 26. Hi.

I think I’ve just encountered my first sign of aging. I’m still exhausted from my get-together with friends last night! Ah. I invited some friends to a karaoke night as we counted down to my birthday, and I’m still exhausted. Or maybe it was because I got buzzed and had only 4 hours of sleep after before I went out again to celebrate with my family. But truth be told (and I know I’m already thinking in advance), I’m thinking maybe next year, instead of partying like that, I’ll probably just spend my birthday out of town. Or maybe even out of the country.

But like I said, that’s thinking too far in advance.

I had a very good 25th year, and I think yesterday capped it off pretty well. Like I’ve been saying, it’s been an interesting year and I will always look back fondly on my quarter year. It wasn’t easy, but it was a pretty good one. :)

I don’t really have too many thoughts about this year. But as last night winded down, I realized that I have also let go of some excess baggage I had from last year. And it feels nice to do that. Despite my exhaustion, I felt lighter. I felt free.

And maybe that’s the best birthday present I could give for myself.

I don’t have very huge wishes for my 26th year unlike last year. I don’t want to pose heavy questions for myself like last year. Not that having those questions weren’t good. This year, I just want to make it a bit simpler. This year, I’m just going to focus on the word I picked: I will LOVE.

That’s it. In my 26th year, I will love. I will learn to love. I will choose to love.

I will live loved because I have a great God. :)

Especially when that great God is a God who paints the skies in your favorite color because of His love. :)

"Because it had to be love that painted this picture." - Stephen Speaks

So hello, twenty six. :)

2012 Word

Also known as: My word for 2012

2012: Love

Remember how I was looking for a word to use for 2012?

I think I found it.

Soon after I wrote that post, I already felt that I had an idea of the word I will claim as my own for 2012. But of course, I did not want to choose too hastily, and I didn’t want to decide on a word just because I need a word. I want it to be mine, I want it to be a word that calls to me, one that I can claim and will claim me for the next eleven ten months of 2012. I gave myself a deadline: by my 26th birthday, I should have a word, a draft five year plan and a vision board. Talk about plans, yes?

So I had a list of words that I wanted to choose: initiate, grow, explore, awesome, amazing…but I keep on going back to this particular word. To love. It wanted to choose it already to get it over with, but to be perfectly honest, I was scared at what claiming this word entails. This isn’t just love in the romantic sense but love in every possible aspect. It sounds lovely at first, but when I really think about it, I know for sure that it’s not going to be easy. In fact, I believe it will be downright challenging.

But then I think of the rewards. I mean, it’s love. Again, not in the romantic sense, but you know how they say love changes things, love is a miracle, love is all that? I believe that, too. And because I believe that God is love, I also think that choosing love as my word will bring me closer to Him.

Again, I didn’t want to decide. Until Valentine’s Day passed by and I got back from my first SFC ICON and…well, the experiences for that week kind of sealed the deal and made me accept the idea that this word may have possibly claimed me before I finally decided with it.

So yeah: my word for 2012 is LOVE.

Again, it’s not just romantic love, but love in all aspects — love for God, family, friends, colleagues, strangers. Loving my work, doing the things I love, finding out these things I love, going after the things I will love. Loving when it’s easy but especially when it’s hard and inconvenient. Loving the people who love me back and the unlovable. Not being afraid of love, choosing to love, always choosing love above all else. And finally, yes, let’s include romantic love, too.

I have a page in my planner where that arrow in the photo points, and there I wrote (in my messy script) the things I wrote in the previous paragraph and what St. Paul wrote about love in his letter to the Corinthians. I think this pretty much captured the essence of what love is really all about (this chapter also shows how challenging loving can be, but I’ll probably reserve that for another post).

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love.

One Little Word (and then some)

Also known as: On having a word for the year

I’ve been stalking some LJs and online places of old friends lately and I’ve been quite inspired by some of them who were brimming with positivity and amazingness1 with everything that they did in the past year and all in this year. You know those people? Who just seem to be bright rays of sunshine, so inspiring that you also kind of want to be like them? Yeah, I’ve been reading their blogs for the past hour or so.

So I’m trying to figure out what makes them just that: amazing. Not that I don’t think I’m anything less, but when you’re flailing on and off thinking about what you want to do in your life and feeling like time is running out when you’re not doing anything, my inherent amazingness is easy to forget. I want to have the same thing they have, but not exactly the same. I want something of my own, something to make me look back in this year and the next and the next and be proud of what I see. You know?

Other than having goals, five year plans and vision boards, here was one thing I thought was pretty simple: a word. I’ve read how some of them choose a single word to define their year and by using it, reminding themselves of it and just repeating it everyday, the days, months and years became exactly that word.

I could do that. I like words. I can use a word to describe what I want 2012 to be. Right?

I remember doing something like that sometime in the past — 2004 I think? I remember saying something like, “This year will be AWESOME!” and it turned out to be just that. There was 2007 with GREAT ADVENTURE (that’s two words, but that worked). Oh, and there was 2008 too: my word was EXTRAORDINARY. It did turn out to be a pretty extraordinary year for me.

Extraordinary
Extraordinary 2008

So yes, I could start with that.

Now, I know I said something about initiate and follow through, but I’m honestly not sure if those words capture exactly what I want for my year to be. I mean, yes, I need to initiate and follow through, and those are things I need to do. But as for what I want to be? And what I want?

Hmm.

So, so, so. Here’s the plan and I’m giving myself until my 26th birthday to do all of these (I love that my birthday happens early in the year — it’s like another new year). I’m posting it here for accountability, but I’m also writing it down in my planner and somewhere else visible so I won’t procrastinate on this. Here’s what I need to do:

  • Choose my word for the year.
  • Come up with a five year plan using this method
  • Make my vision board

I think maybe one of the reasons I feel like I’m running in circles is because I lack focus and I tend to just wing everything because I’m lazy. There is nothing wrong with winging it sometimes, but thinking about that just makes me panic. No more just going with the flow — I need to step up a little.

So. A word. I found this today, too (credit for my post title), and I wonder if it’s worth it to invest in this class? I could use all the encouragement I can get. I like what she says here too:

A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow. From my own personal experience, it can be a catalyst for enriching your life.

Thinking about it now, I actually have several ideas, but I may need to figure it out first. How about you, though? (You, the few people who actually read this blog.) Have you ever had a word for your year? What were they? Do you have a word for 2012, too?

  1. This isn’t a real word, but hey, I can use it []