How’s your 2018 so far? Hopefully, you’re just taking some time to have a good rest to mentally prepare for the year ahead. Before anything else, I hope & pray that all of your goals & plans this 2018 will come true! 🙂
I decided to write about what happened last 2017 today because tomorrow, it’s literally my own “new year”! Cannot believe how time flies! A few years ago, I was just relaunching this blog when I moved to Japan when I was 20? (or 21? lol). Tomorrow, I’m already going to turn 27 and oh man, my 26 yr. old self endured a lot last 2017!
(Uhm ,is it just me or does it feel weird to describe 2017 as “last 2017” when it was just a few days ago… haha)
2017 was a really challenging year for me (I’d probably say this sentence every year haha). It was kind of my first time to really tackle “adulting” in a whole new level. I promised to myself that I would document my progress / journey everyday through my creative outlet: kawaii journaling.
When things happen all at the same time, it is natural for anyone to have a blurry vision especially during the small / big moments that he/she should be grateful about. And this is probably why I decided to commit to journal regularly. My past self kind of predicted that this type of self-care hobby would help me a lot by saving myself from the unnecessary anxiety caused by the overwhelming feeling of impending tasks. Thanks to my TN / Hobonichi / little diary notebooks, I’ve survived many challenges in 2017 (and more years in the future)!
2017 was the year I decided to go out farther from my already-uncomfortable zones. To fuel and sustain my everyday life here in Japan (and to help my family back home if I do make extra), I applied for part-time jobs (English teaching). For some people, they find it boring and very usual for foreigners living in Japan to have the same job (I literally get comments “isn’t it boring to be an English teacher” lol).. but for me, I am very proud to be called a sensei. I’ve always wanted to teach (this is why I write long reflection papers on my blog because I want to share my knowledge on certain things) and after 2 months of continuous training, I’m finally starting fresh this January.
People ask me how I get to do many things at once. My secret is not “doing things all at at the same time” but rather, scheduling and planning ahead. Be prepared then attack the task after much preparation, lol! One day at a time. This is how I become productive. If I must take a rest, I really give myself a good rest & proper exercise (a gift for my body).
Memories of the year 2017.
I started 2017 by giving myself a birthday gift: A Solo Trip To Kyoto.
I filmed myself saying thanks to everybody who has shown support to me ever since I gained a bit confidence to introduce myself as “Rainbowholic” in this online blogging / content creation sphere.
For some unknown reason, I was able to save up for more personal travels. I went to Kawaguchiko twice, and both first times at Thailand & Korea.
As a female go-getter, I used to find it hard to match with someone who holds the same values & shares the same outlook in life. I am a very ambitious person & at some point, I was even called out that I come off “very masculine” and I should tone myself down (?? me is confused). I usually don’t care about other people’s opinions but it kinda stung a bit that time. However, I chose to just listen to my heart and continued to be myself while always aiming for self-improvement in all aspects . I didn’t want to chase love & I just concentrated on making myself happy & contented by chasing the most important ever: my DREAMS. When I was single, I often traveled solo and I really enjoyed my alone time so much. I even reached the point when I’ve already declared to the world that if I don’t meet someone in this life who has crazy dreams (and actually makes a big effort to realize those) like me, I’d be still the happiest person out there.
Then here comes this Japanese man who entered my life exactly when it turned 2017. Omg?? I wasn’t informed.. lol. There was no briefing at all that I would really experience love last 2017 (and presently of course lol) and I’m just so thankful for him. He knows & accepts the non-rainbowholic me, the one who usually cries weekly out of stress, the struggling daughter / sister of her family who had/has to tackle many responsibilities, the version of me (laughing crazily, cursing in Tagalog (sorry to disappoint some people lol), grumpy & moody, etc.).. and even if he gets a bit annoyed when I ask him to take 100 photos for my instagram, he still does it. When people and even close friends / family tried to discourage me to go all out for my content creator path, he pushed me more and motivated me to honor my calling.
Anyway, enough of these Aki cheese lol. I can’t help but writing many paragraphs about this since he is really a big part of my 2017.
I used to shoo away thoughts of even going back to Japanese language study but last 2017, I gave it a try again. I took the JLPT N3 and I enjoyed the journey of learning (thanks to Valiant Japanese Language School for the help). Pass or fail, I’m still proud of myself. I’m trying my best, and that is what matters the most.
To practice meditation and self-care, I began to run more (more active lifestyle) and eat healthier food options. I was also struggling financially so I had to be creative with my weekly grocery money. Preparing and cooking your own meals have two benefits: 1) You can save, and 2): It’s healthier for you, lol! I was able to get rid off at least 5% body fat percentage and I’ve never felt this ALIVE again in my twenties. Last year (around March), my body age was 27. Now, it’s 21! I became best friends with my running shoes and Joanna Soh on youtube, lol! On the other hand, I also became close friends with my camera and tripod (I made many friends last 2017, these kinds of friendships are valuable hahaha). I was sooo dedicated to post a video that day that even if I had a day off at work, I filmed a “hobonichi with me” spread at a food court, lol.
In 2017, I was able to meet and reconnect with friends. It’s always a fun time when I’m with them!
Without doubt, 2017 was when I reached the highest level of being a certified Gudetama fangirl (while Aki is the ultimate fanboy lol). We even made a Gudetama Box you guys like WHAAAAT lolol
Snippets from my Thailand travel
Before I end this post, let me list down the (other) things I’m happy / grateful about 2017:
- I exceeded my youtube goals. I think that up to this date, I published around 128 videos. Not all were perfect, but all of them were done. Done but not perfect > Perfect but not done
- All of my failures and hard times this year made me who I am today. I no longer react so much when something unfavorable happens. I seek for solutions first and I ask myself later this question- “What is this (failed) experience teaching you?“. Most of the time, they’re all important life lessons. If you’re having a hard time, turn the situation around and make them golden experiences that you can always refer back to learn from when you encounter a much harder problem in the future.
- I’m grateful for the supportive and loving community (readers of my blog + subbies + instagram friends) who have shown support. Recently, I made a fund-raising campaign for my Dad who is undergoing radiation therapy / treatment for his cancer (#RainbowsForMyDad). TRUE STORY: I cried a LOT the next morning I launched this campaign. I checked my inbox filled with support from these people from Japan and from other places in the world. Thank you for your encouragement and support. ;_;
- The humbling experience of interacting with different people from all walks of life. 🙂
- Precious friends who are miles apart from me but always there when I need them. I am so thankful for you, all! I am very thankful for the new quality friendships (actual humans not like my running shoes haha) I’ve made this year too. ^^
- The time I allocated for personal growth & mental health. I used to have the definite description of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) but this year, I think it downgraded a bit. Sometimes, I still have the disabling symptoms but I’m in a much better place compared to the monthly hell I would experience years before. Adding (kawaii) journaling to my daily routine has improved my life in many aspects.
2018, I’m so ready for you! 🙂
Thank you for the eventful year, 2017!
Forever thankful for this life filled with ups & downs,