The other day while traveling I found myself reflecting on my life. My birthday falls pretty close to the New Year so I always find myself reflecting on the previous year and what I want to accomplish for the upcoming year. I always think about what I accomplished and what I didn’t and how I can do better the following year. For some reason this time of reflection felt different. I’m not sure if it was the many hours I spent on the plane or the fact that 2016 came to a close and I’m now 29. I think the fact that I’m heading into my last year of my 20s is making me take a long hard look at how I spent the last decade of my life. It has me thinking, "What would I tell my younger self knowing what I know now?" Don’t get me wrong I’m proud of all I have accomplished since college, but there are some opportunities, goals, and dreams that I didn’t go after. Other plans just didn’t work out or I had unrealistic expectations.
In my early 20s, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I would be settled by 25 --graduated from school, great career, house, car, huge savings and retirement, and whole list of other things. Although I achieved a lot these goals, the reality is, if I'm honest, there are a few plans and opportunities that I didn’t go after and it makes me wonder what if. Had I done those scary things where would I be? I’m so grateful for where I am today, but when I’m truthful with myself there are times when I became complacent, when my husband’s football career, life and everything else became priority before taking care of me. I neglected to pursue some of those dreams out of obligation, but others by choice. Had I been able to find more balance and take advantage of certain opportunities, I know I would be much further with some of my dreams.
Nonetheless, if I could speak to the younger Xia, I would say...
Be open to change, remember to love God and yourself first, and try to live the most fearless life possible because opportunities don’t last forever.
I wish I knew then to take advantage of every single opportunity, even ones I didn't think would work out. I would be fearless, resilient, trust my gut, and not let anyone dim my light.
I realize I can’t go back and do it all over again no matter how hard I try. Last year, I decided each year I would give myself a word for the year to mediate on, to be my motto, to be my constant reminder to take care of me as much as I take care of everyone else. The first year I did this, I chose the word resilient and let me tell you it was the perfect word. After going through some very difficult times I recognized that I had to gain that fighter spirit and to keep pushing so I needed a constant reminder to keep going. There were so many areas of my life that I faced some hardships and every time I prayed and mediated on what it meant to be resilient I felt stronger.
For 2017, my word will be fearless.
I’m in a phase of life that I want to be sure I’m living a life without restraints, trying any and everything. That doesn't mean I'm not scared, but it does mean not letting fear be the determining factor on what I do with my goals and dreams. I say all this to say that new years resolutions are great if you stick to them, but those just don’t work for me. But whatever works for you to keep you focused throughout the year go for it! Create a plan for yourself, a word to remember for the year, or whatever you need to do as a reminder to push through when things get tough. I'm speaking to myself in all honesty so don’t feel like you’re in this alone. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to look back 10 years from now and wish you had told your younger self you should have done (fill in the blank). Make 2017 your best year yet and your letter to your younger self 10 years from now (you today) will be one filled with reminders of the great things you accomplished. Happy New Year!