I turned 28 a few days ago.
Here are some highlights of my 27:
Became a permanent resident of the UK (waited 10 years for this!)
Quit a corporate job just like that and started freelancing
Created a dating course I’ve always wanted to share and enrolled many awesome clients
Pivoted from blogging to journalism
Found a better corporate job in Marketing at a prestigious investment bank
Got married to the love of my life
Wow. It might feel slow at times, but looking back, it was truly an eventful — dare I say successful — year for me.
I hate to write this kind of list because I don’t need a pat on my shoulder and I don’t want anyone to make comparisons — it’s not healthy or productive.
I wrote it down this time because, honestly, I needed it.
As usual, I’ve been incredibly hard on myself and feeling like I wasn’t doing enough, so it’s helpful for me to take a moment to register and celebrate all the things I’ve done this past year.
To be honest, I’m still working through why I have such high expectations of myself, but a good place to start is probably remembering my starting point.
I came to the UK ten years ago with nothing but a suitcase, a scholarship, and school-grade writing ability — not to mention loneliness, crippling anxiety, and a toxic, now-estranged parent looming over all my experiences.
Yet, here I am, living a life my younger self could only dream of, having everything I could’ve asked for.
This gotta be enough.
I need to quiet the fear and scarcity mindset screaming at me I need to do more and be more at all costs.
I need to tell myself again and again this is enough.
I’d be enough even if that highlight list was empty.
That list or any to-do or achievement list never determines my self-worth. I don’t need to do anything as such to be worthy, loved, and happy. (My value in the labour market is also a different story.)
As an immigrant, I always feel like I have to justify my existence, work twice as hard to have a chance at having half as much, and live with a nagging sense of anxiety that my life could turn upside down at any minute.
This year, I’m learning to slow down and relax.
I’m learning to appreciate what I’ve built for myself and allow myself to rely on others, especially my life partner, as I lay down my roots.
Actually, my hope for this year is to have fewer things on my list and, instead, work more purposefully and effectively, rest and enjoy myself more, learn to be still and see the value in… just being.
There are times life will get really hard and I won’t be able to do much even if I try to, and I want my future self to know it’s okay. I want people around me to know it’s okay. Being kind to yourself is also being kind to others, and if you want to be kind to others, first, be kind to yourself.
Give yourself the approval you need and the unconditional love you deserve, and celebrate your wins. Don’t forget where you came from and how far you’ve gone. You’re worthy. You’re enough. (But you don’t even need to hear it from me.)