Saturday, December 31, 2016

I had to revise this post a bit because the initial draft was super depressing.

Truth is, 2016 was pretty rough. Pretty rough for anyone, I think. Politics happened. Horrific acts of terrorism and violence happened. Plenty of controversy arose, with human conflict at its core. Nobody, it seemed, got along, and society became even more polarized.

Personally, it was a harder year for me. I had lots of social issues, particularly at school, that I've already talked about on here and don't want to elaborate upon for multiple reasons. I don't adapt to change quickly or very well, so to experience it in such a stunted period of time was a challenge for me.

But with the lowest of the lows, I had some pretty great highs this year. My family and I were able to visit Europe this year, which was a bucket list item for me. I'm honestly so thankful I had that opportunity, and I hope to visit again soon, both for missions trips and for pleasure.

I was able to procure both my license and a car within the same year, which was fantastic and is currently working out pretty well. Even though I still haven't driven on the freeway by myself, and even though I did get into a minor accident involving a pole and my license plate (nothing serious), I haven't wrecked any other cars yet. Which is honestly fantastic.

I’m writing a book right now, off an idea that I got in the fall. Throwing myself into doing what I believe God has called me to do is fantastic, and I feel nothing but a whole lot of agony (because stringing words together is never as easy as it seems) and a whole lot of fulfillment. I tried out photography for a while, which was cool. I’m starting to blog more and write better (hopefully).

I got closer to my blogger friends. It's kind of strange how it happened, but as a result of Olivia's Tweet, a bunch of Instagram group chats began and we all started following one another and the community is pretty tight-knit now. To my wonderful and amazing aesthetic baegels (Aaliyah, Abbie, Kate, Mary Shelley, Olivia, and Grace), you're all pretty incredible. I shared with them stuff I didn't share with people in my real life, and we learned that we could trust one another and that we're not random middle-aged men on the Internet, lol. And beyond my main people--Morning, Ava, Mackenzie, Rosie, and everyone in that super chat--you guys are the real deal, and I'm thankful to have gotten to know you better. Who knew that pancakes and waffles would create such a chain reaction? Also--shoutout to Jordan for being the first Internet friend I met in real life.

I'm still working on my relationship with God. It took some setbacks, particularly in the fall, but I'm trying--trying to consistently pray and read my Bible and remember to not have a narrow mindset. I used to have a wider perspective, but it's so easy to shrink it back. It’s so, so easy to forget about everything, and especially about Him, what with the distractions and shiny worldly things around me. I'm just thankful that He's there and that He knows me better than I know myself. Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take one step forward. And I know He has a bigger plan for me, so I will be content and wait for what is to come.

I'm thankful for my parents. They helped me a lot this year, both loosening and tightening their reins on me when I needed it most. I'm glad I have their guidance in my life, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in this world.

I'm thankful for my friends, both old and new. Ella, you're one of the only people with whom I can go out and be creative, and I always love it whenever you and your family comes over. Your photography is prime, and you're a fabulous chord maker and song producer and video editor and fellow songwriter.

Rachael, I'm so glad we made those terrible videos together (the Chubby Bunny challenge? the Marshmallow Cookoff?) and became close. I'm glad I can talk to you about anything, including but not limited to: Jesus, boys, photography, the failings of Asian facial features (aka our double chins and teensy eyes), and life in general. I'm so thankful that someone can share my struggles, and you're truly a blessing to me.

Nikita, you followed my Silver Mess Instagram when no one else did, and you're a fantastic co-editor-in-chief. I wouldn't want to share the co-editor-in-chief-ship with anyone else. I wouldn't have kept those terrible New York pictures of you for so long if I hadn't liked you pretty well, and I'm excited to spend the rest of the year together.

Kaylee, we had our ups and downs but I'm glad we get to end this year on an up. Claire, you helped me a lot this year, and I'm thankful for it. We're the Core--don't forget that.

To Jess and Melissa: you're awesome youth group leaders and are cooler adults than I could ever aspire to be. Thank you for listening to my problems, diagnosing my sin issues, and guiding me through the years.

Isaiah, Elijah, and Kayla. You drive me crazy, and we fight a lot, but all of you grew so much this year, and I'm so proud. May there come a day when we can all be in the same room without arguing over something.

Thank you to everyone who follows this blog. You guys are the real deal.
This is literally turning into a yearbook entry but I'm honestly so blessed to have all of these wonderful people--plus many more whom I haven't mentioned--in my life.

2017 is going to be a big year for me. I'm hopefully going to graduate high school in June and move away to college in the fall. Which college, I'm not completely sure yet--I'll probably figure it out by April, if not March. But it's actually kind of crazy to think about--I'm going to move away. My home won't be my home anymore. 

I'll officially become an adult in late September, which is insane and something I don't feel ready for at all. 

I'll probably get my first job.

I'll finally be able to drive other people around legally at the end of January.

And though this year will be full of external landmarks, I'm hoping to make it full of personal ones as well. Beyond simply reading my Bible and growing in my faith, I really desire the opportunity to serve others more--whether they be strangers or acquaintances, friend or enemy--and not only serve them outwardly, but with a joyful heart internally. I'm in a good mood as I write this, which is probably the main reason for this, but I'm also hoping to control my emotions more and not let them control me. Whether I'm in a bad mood or a good one, I want to learn how to serve others in any way I can.

I'm also hoping to become healthier in my diet and lifestyle. I know that everyone says it in the new year, but I mean it. I just want to improve my general state of mind by eating less and better, by cleaning and organizing more frequently, and by exercising and pushing myself physically. I used to crash diet and want abs--and I mean, abs would be nice--but I don't have the time or the energy to focus on it right now. I just want to be healthier and feel better.

(The generic guidelines I'm setting above will probably be the death of me later on. Just warning my future self in advance.)

Lastly, I'd like to write better and more. Since I've now defined that it's what I want to do, I'd like to do it in a more structured and organized capacity, with various different intents. Articles, devotionals, analysis, fiction--I want to do it all, and I want to do it often. I'd also like to force myself to read better fiction, although it's hard because that kind of stuff actually takes effort.

Balance is key, and I'd generally like to be more balanced of a person.

But what I've learned over the years of setting goals and making to-do lists and failing is that nothing is ever really certain. All I can do is try my best, trust God, and trust it'll all work out in the end.

Who knows what's going to happen?

Thank You, Jesus.


  1. Hey Rachel! I'm sort of new to the blogger/blogspot community, but I stumbled upon your blog and I just wanted to say that I love it! It sounds like you've had a heck of a year -- but congrats on your license and car, and good luck with your book and your goals for the coming year. ^.^ Also -- I totally understand the struggles of being Asian (Asians unite!!)

    1. woooo! so glad you could join us, Grace! thank you so much. all the best to you in 2017 :)

  2. Sounds like quite year! 2016 was a strange one. Lotsa weird (and horrible) stuff happening around the world. But despite it all, I'm glad to see the hope you have for 2017 x)
    Happy New Year!

  3. i'm so glad that amidst all the awful things that have happened in the world this year you found some light too <3 here's to another great year, best of luck with the writing, the novel and your spiritual journey - i'm working on these too so hopefully the both of us grow in 2017 beautifully! sending my love, safah x

    1. thank you so much, safah! here's to more growth in 2017 :)

  4. My oh my I love you, Rachel. <3 Love seeing you grow.

    goodness rachel your blog is so amahzingly pretty and lovely and generally awesome! I shall now proceed to smash that follow button as hard as I can. XD

    1. HI SARAH!! welcome to the blog. hope you enjoy your time here :) !

  6. wow girl 2016 was a hard and tough and crazy year, but you know what? He is still faithful and that blows my mind every single day xx
    So much love for you! <3

    1. so thankful for you + your support, autumn!! and yes, He is good.

  7. 2016 was an utter mess but thank God there were some good parts to it as well aka:MUSIC! One of the greatest inventions ever <3 So healing...

  8. This was so beautiful!!!! I loved this.

    And wow, what you said about the baegels. We are so tight-knit and we really do completely trust each other and it's so beautiful :') sometimes I'm amazed when I just spill my guts to you all and it feels natural and normal, lol! I LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH WOW :') <3


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