Dear 2018 Me,

2018 me
Image by A Letter Per Person. Image Description: 2018 written in bold black text with the bicep flexing emoji next to it.

Dear 2018 Me,

Holy shit, I am so proud of you. After the horrible, borderline traumatizing years that 2016 and 2017 were, what you made of 2018 is a proof to your strength and who you are as a person. You should be so proud of yourself.

2018 began with a break up, a much-needed one that honestly should’ve happened way earlier than it did. But as hard as it was to finally get out of that situation, you did it. The strength it took to leave an extremely unhealthy and albeit comfortable environment was exactly the right tone to set for your year ahead. It goes to show when you have selfish, toxic people in your life who pretend to care for you but are ultimately using you for their own happiness, advantage, or whatever, you lose yourself. And you lost yourself for two whole years, two whole years you will never get back. Two whole years you could’ve spent deepening the relationships that were important to you, being a positive light to those you cared for, and nourishing who you are as a person. You will likely hold this regret and battle with forgiving yourself for wasting your time and theirs for a very long time. But remember to find peace that that two years could’ve very easily turned into three, or four, a marriage, a lifetime. The fact that you got out when you did shows strength. Be proud of that. Cutting that person, that history, that life out of your new one brought back the real you after being absent for two years when it could’ve been much longer, so much longer you might’ve never come back.

With that relationship and every baggage that came with it that weighed you down for so long gone, you soared. You got to go home, reunite with your friends and family, the surest things in your life. You got to go to Japan and spend time with your Grandpa, one of the most important people in your life and the person you look up to most, and take him to your brother’s destination wedding and see real, healthy, nurturing, lasting love. All of this love made you so truly happy and you realised you weren’t happy at all the past couple of years. You thought you were because you were told you were supposed to be but that’s not how feelings work. You got to learn this valuable lesson from these people who are permanent to you, and you them, in every way this temporary life is. You learned that these are the type of people you want, need, in your life. And thanks to them, you were happy that after such a long time, you finally got yourself back.

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Dear 2017 Me,

2017 Me
Image by A Letter Per Person. Image Description: 2017 written in a bold, black font with the handwaving emoji next to it, waving goodbye to the year.
Dear 2017 Me,
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What a year it’s been. What an eventful year, to say the least. To say the extreme truth though, it’s been the worst year of my life so far.
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I’m really not one to sugar-coat things just because it’s over if that thing wasn’t pleasant. So as 2017 ends, I’m not getting any nostalgic feelings, or Graduation Goggles as Robin from How I Met Your Mother called it, for the time that’s passed and the things that’s happened this year.
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I lost a close relative suddenly four days into the year. She was actually the person who involuntarily showed me the strength our words have and how much impact they can have on others. I also attended a memorial service for another family member who passed last year. That experience, oddly enough, was very awakening and peaceful for me but of course, it reminded me of my loss. I was very close to her and this blog, some of you may know, started because of her.
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After that, I suffered a few months of miserable symptoms before I was properly diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, a rather long-term but thankfully non-fatal condition. I also went through a realisation that I was spending a lot of time with a toxic person who was bringing me down, particularly in my time of need. I struggled, and as I write this I continue to struggle, to come to terms with my circumstance. The toss up between my rational mind urging me to free myself versus my emotional heart begging me to keep their company has accumulated to anxiety and stress I have poorly dealt with, if I have dealt with it at all. (Let’s also not forget that as a living human being, I also had to witness and put up with some of the crazy, extremely traumatic, and dangerous happenings around the world…)
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Still, the year also held irreplaceable memories sprinkled throughout the past 365 days for which I am forever grateful for and humbled by. I attended a beachside destination wedding in Thailand where I watched one of my siblings get married and welcomed a new member to our family. I graduated from my Bachelor’s and my family came to Sydney from three different countries for it. I found out I am going to be an aunt and finally fulfil my lifelong destiny to pass on my love and knowledge of Pokémon!
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Looking back now, everything about 2017 had to do with the most important part of my life: the people. My family and I got together to celebrate love, they and my friends congratulated me for my achievement, and my family album now features new faces. Even the darker side of 2017 highlighted those who were there for me. I remember very clearly who was there as I mourned, the stern but comforting faces of those who weren’t afraid to have the difficult conversations on death and loss, and the people who cheered me up as I waited in the emergency room and asked about my appointments thereafter.
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A lot of the shitty things that ruined my 2017 were out of my control. I couldn’t help that I got hyperthyroidism. Relationships turned toxic and cutting people out became necessary. And unfortunately, death is inevitable. But I survived only by the help and love I received.
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I have control over whom I keep in my life. I decide whom I love and care about, who to trust and open up to, and who I want to do the same for. 2017 showed me that, for the most part, I have chosen right. Because if I were wrong, I don’t think I’d be here typing this out. This is why as the New Year breaks and the darkest ends, I want to make sure I surround myself with positive people who inspire, love, and care for me as I do them.
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I don’t want you to think I’m getting nostalgic. I’ve just learned to accept the terrible times because again, it’s out of my control. I just want to move passed them all. 2017 was a real bitch. I’ll say it one more time, it’s been the absolute fucking worst of my life.
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But as I do my best to pick myself up and out of this surreal funk that has somehow consumed 2017, I’m reminded me of how important people are and how important I am. I need to surround myself with positive people, put effort into them if they are worth it, and hope they think I am too. Alas, that also means cutting toxic people out because despite how much love there may be between two people, you have to put you and your love for yourself first. This isn’t just a lesson for me. It’s for you too because at the end of the day, the year, and our lives, it’s the people that make it all mean something.
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Bye 2017, thank fuck you’re over.
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Sincerely,
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A Letter Per Person
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P.S If you’re wondering, my hyperthyroidism is getting better and I am slowly weening off my medicine! Thanks for the thoughts!