Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m turning 27! I call my 26th year a transformational one, when I perhaps experienced the most growth in my adult life. As I look back on it, I’m grateful for how far I’ve come — from one of my lowest points to-date, to a state of increased self-confidence, improved decision-making (read: not sacrificing at the expense of myself to please others) and most importantly, lasting happiness.
Tonight, I sat down and asked myself, “What makes the number 27 significant?” Entering that question into the Google search bar brought a bunch of random information my way (I didn’t actually expect anything significant — but hey, we just can’t help but Google random things for ourselves sometimes, right?), along with the simple mathematics fact that 27 is a perfect cube, being 3x3x3. Which reminded me of the Rule of Three in writing, that things that come in threes are good — more satisfying, effective and sometimes even funnier (won’t you look at that — the Rule of Three in action).
So, I’m going with The Power of Three for this year-in-review to mark my 27th birthday! Multiply the 3 Things I Will Leave Behind by the 3 Things I’ve Learned by the 3 Things I Want to See Happen, and I hope that I’ll be even better by the time I hit my 28th year.
3 Things I Will Leave Behind
- (1) Fear and (2) Self-Doubt: I’ve spent my life paralyzed by fear of what others think of me, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough. So I’ve always lived in the safe zone — as the majority of us do. I’m ready to push fear to the side and step into the confidence I find, knowing first and foremost that my identity is in Christ.
- (3) Wasting Time on Social Media: I tasted the sweetness of life with less social media (read: freedom from FOMO) when I fasted from phone use from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for Lent. I’ve fallen back into using my phone too much and have wasted so much time on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. That officially stops now.
3 Things I’ve Learned
- (1) I Can’t Do It All: This was the lesson I needed to learn most, and I can pretty much consider it done. I’ve set more limits for myself than ever before, all to make sure I’m not overstretching myself, which also makes it possible for me to give my best to others in my life.
- (2) I Need Rest and (3) Self-Care is Amazing: The days of going, going, going nonstop are over, and I have discovered the beauty of rest and self-care. Sometimes, I decide to sit take a nap or watch Netflix. And sometimes, I decide to read a book, write or exercise. But no matter what, I’m doing these things for no reasons other than: because I want to, because I enjoy them and because they’re important to me.
3 Things I Want to See Happen
- (1) Deepened, Strengthened Relationships: Technology makes us feel more connected than ever, making even distance seem trivial at times. But seeing what’s going on in each others’ lives via social media is never enough. I hope to make more video/phone calls and in-person visits with my friends and family to deepen the already strong relationships we have. And here at home, I pray my marriage will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
- (2) Fully Established Leadership Style: I spent the better part of this year easing into the leadership opportunities I received in various areas of my life — work, church and community. I moved at a calculated speed, fine-tuning my own leadership style based on what I’ve learned over the years. This year, I want my leadership capacity and style to be fully established, natural and effective.
- (3) Intermediate Proficiency in Tagalog: I first introduced this goal in 2012 and have obviously struggled to reach it. This year, I so earnestly want to accomplish intermediate level Tagalog (at the least) and have an incredible incentive to do so — my family is set to take our first trip to the Philippines together in 2017. I’ll finally get to meet my aunties and uncles and cousins in person for the first time, and I want to be able to speak Tagalog with them more than anything.
And with that, I’m off to find some red velvet cake and celebrate!