Letter #9 Hello 2017

I have been thinking long and hard about how I want 2017 to be. Unlike convention, I did not begin the year with a piece brimming with naive hope and optimism. Ignorance is a bliss I lost last year, although I cannot bemoan the clarity that it has given me.

Today marks slightly more than a week after the new year. In this brief week, I have felt the brevity of life. (Qian Yi, we were not close friends but your warmth and exuberance is something that I will always remember. I am not religious, but I pray nonetheless that you find yourself in a better place now). I have witnessed the beginning of a lifelong unity, of participants who were thrown together in the most random of circumstances after bearing through the tribulations of youth. And then there was my first kite flying experience. I was reminded briefly of the joys of running barefoot in the soft grass, the warm sun dancing on our skins as the wind ruffles our hair; a picture perfect moment of untethered youth.

Live well, laugh often, love well – maybe those overpriced inspirational posters do have a point. Perhaps then, I should dedicate this year to exploration. Instead of chasing after vague goals, and running after a perfection that does not exist, I will commit to figuring out what kind of person I would like to be, the kind of values that I want to live by, and the kind of relationships that I would like to develop.

I will breathe, and count to ten whenever I feel overwhelmed.

I will cherish my body for what it allows me to do, and nourish it without dousing every bite with guilt.

I will hug, and hug often.

I will give praise with sincerity and without restraint.

I will celebrate my strengths, and know that they are not diminished by my weaknesses.

I will learn to accept the fallibility of humans.

I will be brave. I will be brave.

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