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. :)

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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. []

Stillness

Also known as: Pondering stillness

December has been crazy, and if I am seeing things right, it will prove to be busy up until the end of the year. It’s not unusual that it’s crazy, but it just seems crazier this year. It’s not just the parties and the shopping and year-end work, but it’s also crazy in other aspects that I kind of wish I don’t have to deal with them. Or that I could opt out from them and not take responsibility and all that.

But alas. That’s a part of being intentional, I guess.

Anyway. Last week, I went to a party with my new(ish) SFC chapter. It was my first Christmas party with them, and probably my first actual Christmas party with the community again,1 and as with many community events this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Somewhere in the program, we watched a video about Christmas and then we were asked, What is the meaning of Christmas for you?

It should be easy to answer, but I found myself fumbling for one because I haven’t asked that question to myself for the longest time. I’ve always loved Christmas, and I’ve always celebrated it with much gusto. I’ve always held our traditions dear, I loved giving gifts (even if sometimes I cannot afford them), and in some strange way, I actually also enjoy the holiday rush.2 But I guess it’s true that when you grow older, it’s easier to lose touch with what Christmas means. Or somehow, the meaning of Christmas changes, and the things we believe and hold dear when we were younger becomes entirely different. Not wrong, but just different.

So back to the question: What is the meaning of Christmas for me?

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

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  1. I had a party last year with my WYD friends, but it wasn’t the kind of party that we had last week []
  2. Just a little bit. Very little []