Sunday, 27 January 2019

3 Things That I've Changed and Will Change

"New year, new me" - a New Year's motto that's been overused to death by now, but 2019 is the first year of my life that I'm actually starting to feel like I believe in it.

Yes, it really has been almost 10 months since my last post.. Are we surprised? Probably not. 😬 I was feeling uninspired and unable to come up with interesting content, and last year was kind of crazy in terms of life events, so I just.. left this blog as a ghost town. Which I don't really want to keep doing in 2019 - I'd love to post at least once a month again, but I guess we'll just have to see how things play out this year πŸ˜…

Going back to the "new year, new me" thing.. I never used to believe in it because, duh, I'm still the same me, I haven't and I won't change, time is a social construct, etc. but I think it's wrong to carry the mindset of "never changing". We're constantly learning, growing and evolving, and there never will be a point of perfection for ourselves - there will always be room for improvement. So at the beginning of this month, with a clear mind and a loooot of emotional weight off my shoulders, I set a couple of ground rules (2019 New Year's resolutions, if you will) to improve the way I think and how I act, and hopefully live a little happier.

1. No more self-deprecating talk.

It's definitely funny at first, sharing dark humour memes on Facebook and constantly making jokes at your own expense on Twitter, but what I failed to realize is that it started subconsciously eating at my confidence. Who knew that posting enough Tweets about how ugly, fat and sad you are would actually make you feel.. ugly, fat and sad?

We're having none of that in 2019! If I keep telling myself that I'm pretty, funny and smart, I'm going to feel that way and create that self-acceptance that I never truly used to have. Fake it till you make it!

2. Don't live your life bending over backwards for others.

I don't exactly know when this behaviour of mine began, but I realized a year or two ago that I valued my image over anything and anyone else, and I would do anything I could to protect this image. This manifested in many different forms - from the way that I presented myself physically, to the fact that I constantly said yes and offered to do things for other people solely to be viewed as a "nice person", yet those actions wouldn't benefit me at all. It eventually reached a point where I picked looking good in front of others over cultivating valuable and genuine relationships. Plus, never saying no to people and doing the most for them just leads to them taking advantage of you. I'm gullible and a people pleaser and it SUCKED SO BAD to finally admit that some awful people just wanted to use me for their own benefit. So, say no sometimes! For your self worth and your own sanity.

3. Life is short, spend it with more meaning.

Remember how at the end of 2018 everyone was posting their "2018 Year In Review" on Instagram stories? Yes, I was one of them. I loved seeing how all my friends spent their year - all their beautiful and meaningful moments spent all over the world, doing exciting things with people that they care about.

Admittedly, I didn't like looking at mine. It seemed.. empty. That's when I became conscious of the way I was living - going to uni, hanging out with friends, watching Netflix at home. And that was all! I felt sad, thinking about how I wasted one whole year doing almost nothing to improve myself. I'm glad that I at least had the push to join Sunway-HPAIR last year, as it's my very first extracurricular that I've ever done in my uni life so far, and I've met lots of wonderful people and had some pretty cool experiences since joining.

However, I think it's time to take that one step further in 2019. I've set a couple of smaller, personal goals (which include improving my Chinese & Korean, working out more, being more active in my uni extracurriculars and possibly interning or working!!), and I'm hoping to look back at 2019 feeling satisfied with how I spent it. I'm entering my twenties in a couple of months(!!) and I'm looking forward to making my second decade on this world as eventful as possible.

With that being said, there definitely have been some positive changes that I made last year, and I'm going to share them here too, just as a little annual update to the blog and as motivation to keep changing for the better this year as well.

1. I went blonde!

Finally! I've been wanting to go blonde ever since I was a kid (when I thought having blonde hair and blue eyes would make me beautiful.. don't you just love Western beauty standards that have been imposed on Asian societies? πŸ€ͺ But of course, I have different reasons now!) and I bit the bullet and got it done last September. I've been liking it a LOT, and my hair has been taking the bleach pretty easily with not too much damage, so I'm hoping to do a bunch of different colours before I eventually go back to my natural hair colour someday.

I don't know why, but this hair colour gives me SO much confidence. I feel good about myself all the time and I've noticed that I feel a lot less shy and anxious when going out or talking to people. Maybe I was a real blonde in my past life..? 🀭

2. I became a vegetarian.

Ask me who my big vegetarian role models are, and I'll say Lisa Simpson and Phoebe Buffay.

I've always felt awful that my diet never matched my beliefs. I'd cry after watching videos of how animals kept for food are being treated, and I would always feel really bitter when I saw how people would fawn over cute cats and dogs, or protest against killing elephants and giraffes, then turn around and eat chicken, beef, pork.. It's just not what I stand for. I know all animals deserve life - they feel pain and love just like we do, and it's so unfair that I kept eating them for my enjoyment. I learned that there's no such thing as humanely killing an animal - even if you keep them in "optimal conditions" and let them live a "long, happy life", if you are killing or contributing to their deaths, it doesn't matter, because they don't want to die.

So.. I stopped! And I've been feeling much better after since. My skin cleared up LOADS too, way more than when I cut dairy from my diet. I'd like to go vegan someday as well, but I'm taking things step-by-step for now. 

3. I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Oo, a vague one but a big one. You know how I mentioned not doing much in 2018 in the third point above? Near the end of the year I sucked it up and tried something new (volunteering at the World Cancer Congress 2018, and joining HPAIR) and I ended up getting great experiences and a lot of fun out of it! Doesn't hurt that it helped build up my resume, too. It may be a small thing to most people, but for someone like me who used to pride herself in her laziness and was generally unwilling to try new things, I'm really glad that I took the chance to gain more experience, and this year I want to continue grabbing every opportunity that comes my way.

While I may still be the same old Yuki, I really feel like this year is going to be a big ol' turning point for me. I can be new-and-improved Yuki. Better Yuki. 20 year old Yuki.. 🀯

May your 2019 be filled with new experiences, opportunities and happiness too! ☺️ What are some of your new year's resolutions?

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