*ring ring* “2018 calling.”

A year of mainly ups, but some downs and the chorus of all of us singing, “Where the hell has the year gone?” I was going to do a reflection post just like I did at the start of the year, but Mutay sent me some questions which I thought be a perfect way to reflect on the year. First, however, I’ll be going through how my year went and revelling in the fact that I have actually achieved so much.

Let’s start off with January, which was actually a quiet start to the year. I wanted to focus on my goals, which included the use of my Happiness Planner. Unfortunately, toward the end of the year, I stopped using my planner but it was a good way to get myself organised. I started to regularly post every Sunday, as well, which got me back into my blogging flow after having been out of sync for a while.

February was my first trip of the year to Edinburgh with Mutay and it was such a nice escape from London for a few days. Despite it being mighty cold, we still had an amazing time (aside from the minor allergic reaction I had) and I definitely want to visit Edinburgh again, as well as other parts of Scotland. That month I also reflected on what it means to be mixed race, a topic I had wanted to write since 2015. It started off my journey into looking into my identity and what that means to me.

This brings us to March where a talk that Mutay and I attended with Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche fired up The Feminist Diaries. We haven’t written a post for the series in a while, but I’m hoping in the new year to get that restarted again. Feminism is not something I really looked into before but I’m glad that Mutay and Chimamanda opened my eyes for me to be aware of the world we live in. We also celebrated International Women’s Day with the theme being #BeBoldForChange and the conversations surrounding women and supporting, raising, inspiring and motivating women across all fields of work were amazing. AnneMarie, a long time blogger friend, also invited me to write a piece for her Walang Hiya movement, which was incredibly freeing for me to claim both sides of ethnicity without ever feeling like I’m invalidating one side. She created a digital space for Womxn identifying / Femme Filipinx diaspora folks to reclaim the phrase “Walang Hiya”, which has been traditionally used to shame Filipinxs – you can read more stories and learn more here.

My first theatre trip of the year was in April where Mutay and I went to see An Inspector Calls, which really resonated with me. I felt that the play truly reflected today’s society and despite being set in 1912, actually written in 1944, this play is timeless and can be interpreted as an attempt to align its morals and lessons to the politically turbulent ground we’ve currently been having. I also started fundraising for one of my chosen charities of the year, Anaphylaxis Campaign, after being inspired by Tara!

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May was a particularly trying month for me. I wrote an honest piece on my alopecia for the first time on my blog with amazing feedback and support, but it also opened something inside me that I wasn’t ready for. I was diagnosed with alopecia when I was 7, however, this year I finally visited the doctor after years of it getting worse and was told that I have scarring alopecia. The truth that my hair would probably never grow back hit me like a ton of bricks, and truly I wasn’t prepared for any of it. So at the end of the month, I took a hiatus.

Understandably, June was quiet in terms of blogging because of the hiatus, however, I did get to finally (and I mean finally) meet long-time O.G. blogger, Pauline, and Hamdah. You can read all about it here – it was the most amazing day ever. I’ve mentioned this several times about meeting online friends and how there’s this fear that it’ll be super awkward when you meet for the first time but thankfully, it wasn’t like that at all! I am so glad I finally got to meet these two incredible ladies.

July was a pretty good month. I got to meet up with more internet friends, Shan and Tiff, and eat more KBBQ than was probably necessary. Hamdah started interning in London, so we got to meet up a couple of times as well, and Pauline came down for the day when she had her Gymshark event! I also got myself a new wig, which most likely started off my goal to wear as many different coloured wigs as possible next year. Mutay and I also attempted to do a 30-day shred, which I had meticulously planned out, but then I went away and that flew the hell out of the window. I took my mum to Venice for her 60th birthday, which was amazing and I ate so much pasta and gelato that it’s probably still running through my veins as I type.

Mutay and I got turnt in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in August as we both turned 25! It turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever been on. We did so many things including a buggy safari, kayaking and a Game of Thrones tour. We enjoyed it so much so that we are planning on making a return next year! We’re opening to explore more of the other islands, as well. I also surprised Mutay with tickets to see Wicked and it was just 😍

September started off with a bang as I also got to meet Amy, another O.G. blogger, making my blogger meet up list ever growing. She was so sweet, amazing and funny IRL and I am so glad I finally got to meet her! September was also the month I decided to shave off the rest of my hair after debating with myself for the longest time whether or not to do so. September marked Alopecia Awareness Month, so it was fitting and I finally became everyone’s #favebaldie. I also went up to Sheffield for my sister’s university Open Day, where Pauline and Hamdah were the sweetest tour guides ever! I also got approached to write for British Style Society for London Fashion Week, which was a new venture for me but I am extremely glad I did it! And last, but not least, I actually walked 26.2-miles around London to raise money for Anaphylaxis Campaign – I managed to raised £313.24 and my work matched the amount, bringing the total to £626.48!

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And so we come to October where I got my friends to paint me green for the day and I cosplayed as Gamora for Comic Con! It was an incredible day, and I’m still crying at the fact that a little girl wanted a photo of me. ME! We got to see a few celebrities without having to pay a ridiculous amount, including Warwick Davis roaming the floor on a mini segway which was beyond cute. I can’t wait until Con next year, I just have to decide who I want to cosplay this time!

I am usually opposed to Christmas music in November but when I got invited to a cooking lesson at The Cookery to make winter vegetable wellington and mince pies, I definitely was not opposed to the Michael Buble playing in the background. A trip to Taste of London sealed the deal, as well, and it was such an amazing day! November also marked a MASSIVE achievement for me in that I finally managed to complete NaNoWriMo and my ass wrote 50,000+ words in one month! I attended an All Night Lock-In with other WriMoers and it was such a crazy night – I still can’t get over the fact that I stayed up 12 hours straight just writing, drinking so much coffee, getting to know new people and playing games. It was such a new experience for me, but something I definitely want to do again! One of my goals in the new year is to finish my book, and 50,000+ words is definitely a start, right?! I also went to Paris with a friend and we went to Disney and it was just so magical – Disney really is the happiest place on Earth.

Finally, we come to the last month of the year, December! I decided to post during the week up to Christmas and it was challenging as I hadn’t written everyday for my blog in a long time, but again it was nice to get back into the blogging flow! I also rewatched Love Actually more times that I care to admit, ate a ridiculous amount of food, drank copious amounts of alcohol, hung out with the people that are special in my life and just had an overall amazing end to the year.

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As we come to the beginning of a new year, let us all go into 2018 with a fresh mindset. Surround yourself with people who will help you progress, rather than hinder you. Believe in yourself. Be authentically and unapologetically you~I know this post is long enough as it is, but there’s more! To round up this post, I’ll be going through these questions. Feel free to answer these yourselves and leave your answers in the comments 💕

What am I shielding and why?

My heart. Why? Because even though I have a lot of love to give, not everyone deserves that love. They’ll take it and use it and then throw it away once they’re done. I want to shield my heart from toxic people and only be around people who will uplift me and support me to the fullest.

How have I evolved in 2017?

I would say that I’ve evolved in many ways. In my learning and understanding of the society we live in. The relationships I’ve built. The progress I’ve made at work despite there being a time where I just wanted to stay at home and wallow in my self pity. I’ve evolved in that I know who I am and what I want in life. I have a purpose in life that I am now consciously working toward and trying to achieve and I know my destiny is in my hands, that I can control it and that not everything lies in the fault of external factors. At the end of the day, my life is set up in my own terms.

Why is blooming essential for my shift?

To become a more successful person, both personally and career wise, blooming is essential. I know that I must be aware of my goals and what I should do to attain them. The quicker I try to obtain these results, the quicker the shift to success will happen.

How has my self-love grown this year?

Leaps and bounds. I’ve learnt to love myself as I am, with or without hair. I can look in the mirror and no longer cringe or want to burst into tears, because I’ve accepted reality. I know there will be some bad days, but I can accept that because everyone has bad days. The important thing to do is to learn from these days and move forward.

List 3 things related to self-care that you plan on implementing in 2018.

  • Make time for therapeutic activities (ie. yoga, mediation)
  • Connect to other people who are important to me instead of blocking them out
  • Get enough sleep

Who and what are you leaving in 2017 (and why)?

Headass people who don’t know what they want in life. Negativity, toxicity, all of that. I need a 2018 space where I can nurture my growth and not be filled with stagnant bodies.

4 Comments

  1. January 1, 2018 / 2:27 am

    So many things have happened to you in 2017! As I read your summary, I found myself remembering a lot of what you’ve gone through! Your trip to Edinburgh, Croatia, Venice, to your events and posts about your identity, to your being open about your alopecia, to meeting all these new online friends in person . . . so many of them and multiple times, too!

    You’ve done so much, and I am so proud of you for accepting your alopecia. You are beautiful with and without hair, and you are brave for accepting who you are <3

    I wish you nothing but the best in 2018, my friend! Hwaiting and good kudos to you!!!!

  2. January 1, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Happy New Year, Chynna! It’s great to see that you’ve had a mostly positive year. Congrats on doing so many amazing things, especially completing NaNoWriMo. That must have been so difficult, especially while working. I hope you manage to get your novel finished in 2018!

    Sorry to hear about your struggle with alopecia this year. It’s great to see you dealing with it so positively and I’m happy to see you turning it into something happier by seeing it as a chance to buy new wigs. You look beautiful without hair anyway, and it was so lovely to see you sharing that online. I’m sure you’ll have helped so many others going through similar things.

    I loved getting the chance to meet you this year and we definitely need to do it again. Good luck with all your goals and have an amazing 2018!

  3. January 2, 2018 / 12:49 am

    I am so proud of how much you have done this year. I know I’ve been quiet on the blogging front but I’ve been reading this whole time and you had so many post that were thought provoking. One in particular was your post about love. I found your view on it eye-opening. I’ll talk to you more about that later, lol, but just know that I am proud of you and inspired by your openness, courage and growth.

    I also love your post about traveling. It’s so weird! Most people who can’t travel get jealous of the ones that can but your post are like a Godsend. I made the personal choice to forgo traveling so that we can afford the cost of trying to start a family so, getting to “get away” in your post is medicine for my soul. Continue to see the world and if you don’t mind, i’ll continue to follow along =)

    I hope 2018 and every year after continues to be the year of YOU. I adore you, Chica!

  4. Georgie
    April 21, 2018 / 11:56 am

    You had a whirlwind of a 2017, and it gave you its fair share of ups and downs. I think you’ve definitely come out stronger because of it. 💕 I don’t have much else to say but I kinda just read about your whole year over the past few days as I caught up on your blog haha.

    I’m really proud of you for becoming so strong with regards to your alopecia, and being open about both that and relationships, and writing in detail about your feelings on identity, and feminism. I hope to see more of your thoughts on these kinds of feelings and issues because I think you open up a world of discussion. And in general I just miss that kind of talk on blogs – since a lot of bloggers have stopped writing as much content like that.

    💕💕💕

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