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Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Reflections

To be honest I didn't really want to write this post because it reminds me that time is going by too quickly. Some days I live in this state of denial that time isn't fleeting but then reality hits and it's time to get real. So... with a heavy heart I'm sitting here writing this post trying to conjure up memories of the year but again, there's too many and I don't want to bore you with details you probably can go back and read yourself. So instead let me sum up my 2016 in 3 significant moments the best I can. 

1. Me


I learnt that I am still very much me. The me who is unconventional and a little bit unprecedented. There were times in 2016 where I felt like I was expected to conform to standards and norms and sometimes I feel like I need to be the "right" example for my child. So many times I catch myself wanting to say or do the "right" things instead of what is "needed" just to avoid confrontations or judgement. And then I remember that God has made me different, my whole life I've been different and how I have never been able to fit into any moulds. The more I forced myself to fit things usually end up messy and I end up feeling even more lost and out of place. 

In 2016, I chose to stop making decisions so I'd be someone likeable instead I allowed myself to become more me. It was getting tiring to be likeable, safe and politically right so I stopped. I stopped forcing myself to attend church when I wasn't feeling it, I stopped forcing myself to go for meetups when I felt antisocial, I stopped forcing myself to be that mother who looked like she had everything figured out when I didn't, I stopped liking things because that's what everyone was liking when I clearly had opposing views and I stopped forcing myself to be that perfect person and allowed myself to make mistakes and learn. I chose to do things because I wanted to and not because it was expected, desired or right. 

It felt good to be free, unbounded by all the unnecessary responsibilities and weight of perfection and just allowed my flaws to show. And that was when I wrote the post declaring I was a stay-at-home mom because I had enough of trying to convince people and myself that I had to be more. I just wanted to be me and being the me that was real, relatable, honest and raw. I didn't want all the masks, the titles, the politically correctness - I wanted to be me. The messy, unconventional, have bad days, say the wrong things me. 

And the more I became myself, the more I fell in love with myself. Narcissistic as that sounds, I loved the flawed me and I loved that I no longer felt like I was failing myself or others. Loving me made me a better person, a more understanding person, friend, wife and mother. 

2. Motherhood


Another year of motherhood and this time to a tiny human who has a mind, personality and identity of her own. Motherhood certainly had it's ups and downs. Some days felt like I was in the middle of World War Toddler and some days felt like I was on motherhood cloud nine. But never a day where I felt like I had made a mistake becoming a mother, even when it felt impossible. Being a mother is something I didn't expect to fall in love with, but I did more and more each day. 

The other day I was talking to an aunty and was complaining to her how LittleLim is testing my patience now with her terrible twos. She looked at me and said "even when you're complaining about your daughter you're still smiling and laughing." It made me realise that LittleLim brings me great joy and pride even when she's misbehaving herself because she's mine and I have loved her since I found out about her. 

In many ways motherhood has given me more freedom to find myself. LittleLim is an extension of me and by teaching her I am also teaching myself. By her learning to be herself, I learn to be me. I learnt that there is no concrete way of mothering and to just do what works for you and your child. Just like life, I've broke so many rules when it came to my mothering methods. I've broke many rules when it came to breastfeeding. I broke many rules when it came to sleeping. In the beginning I used to be so worried of being judged but now, I embrace my methods because it works for me. Looking at LittleLim now who has grown up well, haven't had any major health issues and is definitely a happy kid whatever I'm doing works for me and that's what matters for me right now. I'm no longer afraid of making my own decisions and saying "no" or "yes" to well meaning advice if it doesn't work for me. After all, this is my child and at the end of the day no one is more responsible for her than Hubbycat and myself. And if anything I want my child to remember my voice and not me being someone I'm not. 

3. Dreams

This year I learnt that you can try running away from your dreams, you can put it aside, you can hide it or a dream could be placed at the backseat while you tend to other more important ideas, things, priorities in life but eventually if the dream is real, if it is destined, if it is a calling you're meant to do then somehow the road will lead you back to it. 

This year I found myself back at the place I thought I would not see myself in ever, the business world. I thought I had missed the boat, said goodbye to that life and chose to focus on being a housewife and mother but clearly God has other plans and I found myself spending more time back in the corporate world. And I love it because it's something I've always been passionate about and growing up it was where I always saw myself at. Life happened and I found myself going further away from this dream and focusing on other things in my life. Then motherhood happened and whatever dreams I had was put to rest. So to find myself back at the place I first dreamt of is surreal and meaningful. 

I'm so much different as a person today compared to when I first was given this dream. But today, I find myself appreciating this dream so much more. In many ways the roads that I thought were taking me away from the dream was only preparing me for it. It was equipping me the skill sets and experience needed to tackle the role and tasks at hand. 

Myself, motherhood and chasing my dreams are the three themes of my 2016. A huge chunk of it was of course adjusting and adapting to all the changes that happened. And with any other year, there are of course both good and bad days but I will always choose to be thankful. Thankful for the Hubbycat who has been there for me all the time even when I was at my weakest, who still believed in me when I fail to believe in myself and who encouraged me to keep growing. Of course, God who has again reminded me that His plans are unknown but always for good. And of course, thankful that He has still kept His promise in protecting my heart. 

As always, I have no resolutions or big hopes and dreams for 2017 because life is what you make it to be and for me, it's always living, learning, growing and being inspired by the small and big things in life. 

Happy New Year!

-Ally

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