New Year, New… Me? A Break from the How To’s.

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Back to life, back to reality. Which really just means going from one wild ride to another. (Taken on the road to Carmen in Bohol, Philippines.)


I’m back stateside now, and have been for almost a week… but boy, am I still jet lagged. If it’s not physical, it is most definitely mental and emotional jet lag I’m experiencing right now: I’ve lost all concept of time, space, hunger, and American social mores – particularly those involving the ability to plan ahead and the art of crossing the street safely in Los Angeles (you mean the cars won’t always weave around me if I run into the street? Just kidding… kind of). And as a result, I’ve procrastinated in writing my weekly blog post, waiting until hours before it’s supposed to go live to sit down and write it. I apologize.

In this highly vulnerable, hot mess of a physical/mental/emotional state, I’ve decided to turn the tables a bit, get a little introspective, and share my own personal New Year’s resolutions instead of create another how-to guide. I’ve been creating how-to’s for the past couple of weeks, and now I think it’s about time to shake things up.

Some of these may or may not be TMI, but traveling forces you to turn inward and think about things like this. (Also, I’m suffering a bit of what I suppose is writer’s fatigue with the prompt I set for myself – whoops – and I’m finding an excuse to get out of it.)

So, here goes nothing.

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Insert cheesy caption about my “sea of emotions” here. (Photo taken at Tarsier Botanika, Panglao, Philippines.)

NINA’S RESOLUTION #1: Be honest with myself – and be comfortable with expressing emotions other than happiness if happiness isn’t what I’m experiencing.

I’ve been told a few times that I’m a difficult person to read, and when asked my thoughts or opinions about something, I often really struggle to articulate what exactly it is I’m feeling. When this happens, I tend to write it off as “not knowing” how I feel about the situation at hand… but, more often than not, it’s usually me telling myself that I can control unpleasant and disagreeable feelings with positive distractions and agreeability.

Aiza recommended a TED talk to me called “The Power of Vulnerability” awhile back, which I finally took the time to listen to today. In it, researcher-storyteller Brené Brown tackles the topic of embracing vulnerability, mentioning that we tend to numb vulnerability to avoid feeling unpleasant emotions. After hearing this, I realized that this is exactly what I’ve been struggling with my entire life: forfeiting my right to not only express my opinions about a situation I’ve found myself in but also feel anything other than that which makes a situation agreeable or settled. All this time, I’d been numbing myself to my own feelings. Jeez.

So, that said, my first resolution is to be more honest with myself; to pay attention to what I’m actually feeling, accept that differing opinions aren’t always a bad thing, and have the courage to put myself out there and express myself freely. I’m promising myself to accept vulnerability – and embrace it.

(Sidenote: if you haven’t listened to Brené Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability” TED talk, DO IT NOW. It is incredibly inspiring. Listen to it here.)

… Okay, that first resolution was a doozy. Sorry. Hopefully the next few won’t be so heavy. Onward and forward…

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The very moment I promised myself I would get scuba-certified. (Photo taken at Tarsier Botanika, Panglao, Philippines.)

NINA’S RESOLUTION #2: Get scuba certified.

(See? This one’s a little more light-hearted.)

Going to the Philippines without snorkeling or scuba certification was such a tease. But since I have a feeling it will take quite some time before I can return to the motherland, I’d like to think I have a little bit of time to take care of this resolution.

NINA’S RESOLUTION #3: Take the leap.

I’m leaving this open for interpretation, but coming back from a trip that forced me to take a leap of faith in trusting literally every step of my journey, I’m aiming to embody this attitude in everything I do this year. I don’t know what 2016 holds for me and I don’t know what I’ll need to tackle. But I’m going to trust that I won’t encounter anything I can’t handle and that things will fall into place exactly as they’re supposed to.

I have a strong feeling it will be a good year.


COMING UP NEXT: Who knows? I have one last post that is supposed to be New Year-themed, and at this point, I’ll think I’ll just continue to leave it open-ended.


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