(Image credit: Pinterest)
If it’s not obvious, Mulan is one of my favorite Disney characters.
I remember at 8, bawling my eyes out while listening to Christina Aguilera’s song “Reflection” before even seeing the movie. At one point, I remember shoving the CD into my Walkman and giving my mom the headphones, demanding that she listen to the track. The song could explain to her feelings that I couldn’t clearly articulate at that age.
As painful as it is for me to admit, that song has been the theme song for my life.
One thing I’ve learned is that recovering from trauma, as I’ve started to do this year, is a daily battle. You aren’t “fixed” and then let off the rails to fend for yourself. Recovering is a journey, something that you face every day of your life. There is no quick fix. My life coach equated my journey to working out. She said, “If you do it a little every day, it will serve you, even if you don’t see results. But if you’ve just started working out 2 weeks ago and then not work out for 2 weeks, it’ll be like you never started.”
This year has been a journey of reflection. I’ve been given many opportunities this year to re-evaluate and one of my goals for 2014 is to use the tools and lessons I’ve learned to continue that growth. I hope to use this blog as a way to keep myself accountable, and hopefully help others along the way.
I started the year by declaring that my goal was to obtain my driver’s license. That didn’t happen. I’m going to own up to that right now. It’s because I was paralyzed by fear. When the year started, I fully believed that my journey defined who I was.
(These images are mine)
I went to the 2013 World Domination Summit with no expectations. Those 72 hours turned out to be one of the highlights of my life. People who, like me, did not want to fall into the trap of mediocrity surrounded me. Add to that the fact that I was back in the city of my alma mater, a place that I loved.
I was home.
As a result of the event, I was exposed to an entirely new network of people, many of whom I now call friends who also live in the same city. They were the first ones I turned to when I was let go from my first job shortly after returning. They were the ones who spurred me forward. They were the ones who encouraged me to see this as a blessing and turn a negative into a positive.
I worked with a coach who helped me get clarity on my passions and re-framed the concept of gratitude and why it’s the one of the best things in the world. Since then, I’ve volunteered my social media skills with the biggest TEDx event in UK and worked with incredible women who have allowed me to participate in transformational programs in exchange for social media content development. This transformational journey has taught me so much about how to hold myself accountable in the world beyond academics. I am not perfect, by any means, and I am still learning.
Through this journey, I have learned to see my own roadblocks. Which is more than I can say for the girl that I was 10 years ago. I had no sense of self-worth, and I thought that the only way to deal with the world was to numb myself and to shut it off by pushing my feelings down the filter because they weren’t “right.”
10 years later, I am finally taking steps to heal and build myself back up again. I am learning to express my emotions instead of pushing them down and stay present instead of numbing the world out. I am learning to keep track of the little things that I am grateful for. I am learning to tap into my power. I am taking steps to learn how to overcome my fears.
I’m now reading books that I initially dismissed as what one of my coaches would call “woo-woo.” I took a driving lesson for the first time in 5 years (when I was terrified of even taking the written test), and I’m trying my hardest to be open to new practices.
I don’t have everything together. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year.
But do know that I’m grateful for everything that happened this year thus far (and the year’s not even over yet).
This time next year, I want to be saying “Thanks for making me a fighter.” I think you can all guess what song I took that lyric from and who sang it.
Are there any songs that have a special meaning for you this year? What was most memorable?