What I Learned in 2014

I wish I had some pictures to go along with this post, but I've got nothing. Nada. One of my 2014 resolutions went something along the lines of being more creative by taking pictures with my new lens. I took maybe twenty tops. Clearly I'm really awesome at reaching for the stars.

I turned 23 a week ago, and at first I was apprehensive about it. Supposedly 23 is the year you get to suck up all those damn growing pains, and that kind of makes my stomach hurt. But it makes sense, right? 23 means I'm no longer in college, I'm learning how to be a working professional, how to budget and save, how to maintain relationships. Lots of "how-to's". You'd think by now, there's some kind of manual that teaches you how to do all these things and succeed like a superstar, but there isn't. And even if there was one, I'm positively sure that I'd still crumble!

I could sit here and write about how daunting 23 is, but what's the use in that? So far, I'm still standing! And really, I've learned so much in this past year and know that I still have so much to go. It's super late, my body is tired but my mind is not. (Is this something that happens as you get older?) Here's my list of lessons learned in 2014:

  • Parents are indestructible. I don't know how mine do it. This past year, I learned that my parents have not only sacrificed so much for me, but have also climbed and conquered mountains to get to where they are today. To think that my parents immigrated to the States by themselves, barely knowing English, to make a living and a home for our family blows my mind a million times over now than ever before. Knowing this has allowed me to cherish time spent with my parents whenever I'm home. I don't know when I'll be able to come back and see them next, but I do hope to show mom and dad how much I appreciate them more and more with each visit!
  • I suck, but I don't suck that much. Okay, let me explain. Someone near and dear to my heart told me at some point this year that I only have half of the gospel aspect correct. I've got the whole "realizing my sins, my flaws and my inadequacies" down pat, but it's to the point where I can't see how God wants to use these imperfections to bring me closer to Him, and by His grace, change me. This is something I had to chew on for a while, and if I were to be completely honest, I still don't get it. I get that I suck, but I think accepting that and wanting to change--embracing that change--is hard for me. I've learned that this is just another form a pride. It might have had subtle beginnings, but since I've brought it into the light, it's certainly there and it's ugly.
  • Not everyone is going to love you. I've learned that this is impossible. I've also learned that trying to force this upon everyone is exhausting. One night as I was ugly crying outside behind a tree, a sister stayed on the phone with me, and I imagined if she were physically there with me, she would be grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me violently because I was just being straight up crazy. You know, one of the most destructive things you can do to yourself is feed yourself that bologna that the enemy dangles in front of your face. I've learned that it's hard as hell to fight those lies alone, but when you have the right people in your life who will give 5 minutes of their time to rally around you and snap you out it, you are seriously, deeply loved by that someone. You are loved, even when every bone in your body tells you otherwise.
  • Friendships are a lot of work. The biggest difference between college and being a young adult is that I can't step outside of my door and go down the hall and say hi to ____ whenever I want. If I want that, I've got to go get it. I've learned that making time for friends in Boston, keeping in touch with the ones who are further away and balancing all of that with the boyfriend is stinkin' hard. This is an area in my life I know I need a lot of work on because right now when I look at it, it's not an evenly cut pie. I'm thankful for friends who show me grace and are understanding of me when I can't give my best 24/7. I'll get there eventually!
  • Being honest is a good thing, and you should really do it more often. Not that I'm constantly lying to people and myself, but I think I've entered this stage in my life where it's time to cut out the sugar coating. I've learned that relationships are a lot healthier and more fun when you can be told that you're being a stupid idiot and tell someone they're being a stupid idiot! It's really fun--you should try it. All kidding aside, I'm learning that you waste so much time trying to fumble your way around telling someone "you're fine" when you really aren't. Just cut to the chase, would ya?
  • Patience is a characteristic you should try harder to maintain. If there's one thing I'm learning about myself right now, it's that I can be one impatient gal. So many times this year, I have let impatience get the best of me. I've learned that exuding patience takes practice, and even when you think you've got the whole "being patient" thing down, you're probably not even close. Try harder, Jins.

So there's my list. I was going to add fun things like "hot dogs are still just as good as they were a year ago," or "people will probably hate all your dog pictures" but this is a good place to stop writing. All of a sudden, I'm exhausted and think I can fall asleep as soon as I close my eyes.

2014, even though at some points I wanted to punch you in the face, for the most part, I loved every moment and really learned a lot. 2015, I think I'm ready for you.

xo,
Jinie