Today marks the 3-month anniversary of me writing letters to you! Isn’t that great?! Last week I talked about looking back to recognise how far you’ve come. Today I’m going to talk about myself a lot (sorry in advance!). I’ve been doing a lot of looking back lately. And I know I have to be careful not to miss what’s ahead of me and where I am right now. But I spent all night last night remembering, specifically the year I spent in South Korea. I was there from August 2010 until August 2011 and I had a blog that I posted in periodically about what was happening to me there. I re-read that blog, reliving some of the experiences I wrote about. I also looked at my FB status updates during that time. I can honestly say I have changed a lot since then. Wow.
I am more comfortable expressing my love for others, like friends and family. I am more cognisant now of when people are being genuinely friendly and helpful. It’s easier for me to pause in the moment and reflect rather than exploding and regretting it after. On the flip side, I’m better at grabbing opportunities and asking questions when they come to me rather than hesitating and regretting THAT later. I don’t get as easily frustrated and when I do get frustrated, I handle it so much better than I used to. I contemplate more. I consciously engage in being positive and uplifting. I’m better at validating myself, without needing others to do it for me (and then being upset when they don’t). I’m better at giving without needing reciprocation (better but not great).
It sounds like I’m doing pretty amazingly, and I am proud of myself. However, I honestly believe I would not have gotten here if it hadn’t been for that year in Korea. It was a very difficult time for me, in many ways that I found it difficult to explain to others. Even when my parents visited me, my attitude didn’t change. I was expecting them to come cheer me up and they were expecting me to host them and be cheerful all on my own. Naturally, the ensuing result was a disaster, but we got some good pictures out of it and I’m still glad they made the trip. I just wish I’d been in a better frame of mind. Even so, all those difficult experiences, all the frustration and depression, led me to make a change in myself. My attitude and outlook, I now know, are the only things I can change 100% of the time. When I did make that change, my experience in Korea changed. And now, I feel like a better person.
As difficult as all those experiences were, they made me better. So I’m not grateful in spite of the challenges I faced. I’m grateful for those challenges. How else do we grow?
I hope, that as you go through your days, weeks, months, and years, that you are able to find ways to be grateful for it all, rather than in spite of it all. I hope you can affirm for yourself that everything happens for your highest good. To make you your own version of better.
All my love,
September 2010. My first month in South Korea.