290. You are important too.

I am sitting in KLIA, in transit while waiting for my flight to Sydney in the morning. Another night in the airport – another night of sleeping uncomfortably on seats or the floor, of trying to adjust to the temperature that could either get too cold or hot, of wishing time to pass by faster just so the next phase of the trip can be embarked on. Ah, but it’s times like this when I’m forced to slow down. Times like this when I’m finally able to write.

I quite like this hour at the airport. Everything falls to a lull and the normally busy hub takes on a dreamy aura. So here I shall take up the opportunity to come up with prose longer than the ones I’ve been posting regularly on my Instagram.

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Much has happened since my last blogpost, naturally. The last two months of the year always hold a certain kind of high for me – time, ever so relative, becomes heightened and a kind of frenzied energy seem to fill up the air.

This year though, things took on a life on its own and I was catapulted into a series of thoughtful decisions concerning my personal well-being.

All of which happened after a dear friend remarked: “You keep looking out for other people, my dear. When is it going to be your turn? You are important too.”

I realised then that the time has never been more ripe for me too look inwards, full-on.

When it comes to treating ourselves in the same way we treat the people we love the most, we often fail. We can be generous and kind to others, but not so much with ourselves. We can see the beauty and greatness in others, but not so much in ourselves. I think it’s time for us to start working on changing these things. It’s time for us to start seeing ourselves for what we really are and to start treating ourselves the way we treat the people we love the most.
– Five Incredible Truths We Often Forget – Purpose Fairy

I turned 24 on the 16th of November.

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I was nowhere near home or my loved ones, flung about 1600m above sea level, and embarking on a personal challenge – a full 3 day trek through the tribal villages in Sapa.

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For someone who values spending birthdays with loved ones dearly, being alone on my birthday and pushing my limits is by far the craziest thing I’ve done in my life. I thought I was there to prove something to myself, only to find out that He had other things in mind. Clarity and acceptance were two things I had not expect to get out of the experience, but they were hurled at me so forcefully I couldn’t deny their presence.

It was scary, physically exhausting, and mentally and emotionally demanding. I’d do it all over again if I had the chance – near death encounters included.

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I’ve written a draft for this birthday trip – I’ll upload it some time soon.

A week prior to this birthday trip, WW Conversations happened.

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And a week after, Rainbows for Batam 2014 took place.

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Both of these events will have a blogpost dedicated to it on wanderingwonderers.com soon.

In the span of a month, I threw myself into back to back events which involved breaking personal limits and beautiful individuals. I was happy – exhausted, yes – but happy. There’s a certain kind of magic that takes place when beautiful souls come together for love, or for a higher purpose. I was blessed with their company, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take advantage of it. I fed on their energy and passion, and through their actions, my faith got restored.

Through the process, I learnt that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Kindness to others, and kindness to self.

The latter is something I have to keep working on.

It is by far easier to focus on being kind and thoughtful to others, to ensure that their needs are being met and that they are well-taken care of. I’d realised (painfully) that I was sidelining myself under the pretext of being present for others – which is really a lame excuse to not face the things I needed to face on my personal front.

Having said that, progress and healing are never linear processes. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress made. Taking heart in that and not beating myself up for the step back is one way to be kind to myself. Making conscious effort to seek closure is another way.

Which leads me to this trip to Sydney and Canberra.

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I’m making a pilgrimage of sorts, back to where my first undergrad journey started but never got to complete. I’ve come a long way since – of which I do not discredit myself – and felt like I needed to complete a circle. To close it and make it an ode to my growth and ability to take on the challenges life throws me and throw it back. To give honour to the grace and mercy bestowed upon me by Him as life takes on a greater meaning. To finally return as a graduate, albeit from a different university, and to embrace detours and diversions to life’s plans.

I have (or had) grand ambitions for this trip, and admittedly I am cautious. I would like this to be a finale of sorts to this year’s journey of growth and self-acceptance. Ah, but we shall see. Unexpected things have happened recently, beautiful as they are, and I suspect this trip isn’t quite going to pan out as I intend it to.

But that’s how all great trips are right?

They have a mind of their own.

So come what may. May I learn what I need to learn, may I see what and who I need to see, may I accept what I need to accept. May I return home with a heart full of love, faith and hope.

May I return a better person, and ready to take on the next phase of life as a full-fledged working adult.

What will be, will be.

Lots of love,

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