Looking Back On 2016

Vinh Pham
Vinh Pham

Of all the years of my life, I have so much to be thankful for this particular year. I’ve made more progress in my personal growth than I’d ever imagined possible. I’ve knocked down walls I didn’t even know were surrounding me until I took a step back and evaluated my life and my state of mind.

I’ve come to value my worth and intellect as something that makes me genuinely and humbly proud, something that gives me a sense of authenticity. I’ve built a strong foundation for continued self-improvement, and further developed my capacity for emotional discernment, of both others and myself. I’ve battled internal conflicts, questioned my abilities, and argued with myself over my feelings. I started caring too much, then
caring too little to only care too much once again.

I’ve built stronger bridges with lasting foundations, and let other bridges crumble under their own empty weight. I’ve watched people fall in love, fall apart, break down, and get back up again. I’ve tried disassembling bad behaviors, and advocating for people that never welcomed any such advocation.

I’ve made strides in breaking unhealthy habits, and I’ve put myself in situations where I was forced to exude confidence when I was otherwise utterly and completely unconfident.

And I’m unbelievably thankful for this struggle; I am human, and I am worthy of my life’s infinite potential. I have so much love to give, but I’m going to start giving it to myself instead of people who couldn’t care less if we never spoke again. I’ve made permanent homes in people who only made temporizing vacations in me, and that needs to end.

You can say what you want about me. You may think I’m crazy, neurotic, overdramatic, the list goes on… but at the end of the day, I genuinely care about the people I hold close to me. What you do, and what you say are all giving you away; and when you say nothing you are actually saying everything.

There’s this theory of “addition by subtraction.” Once you start losing things, or eliminating things that are no longer conducive to your life’s progress, you start to appreciate what you have in your life even more.

What’s easily lost was never meant for you anyway.

Right now, I have tremendous amounts of love in my life and promise in my future. I have family and friends whom I value just as much as they value me. I have a home, and food, and water. I have dreams, and ambitions, and plans.

I have a keen sense of self, and arguably of others. I am sensitive, and emotional, and I’ve stopped looking at those things as an embarrassment, but rather as a strength. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and shower kindness whenever I can.

People may not reciprocate in the same way you wish, but not everyone is like you. I’ll never stop giving myself away for fear of lapses in reciprocation, because nothing in life is 50/50. Learn to be okay with 70/30. I’m becoming okay with it myself. Just realize when you’ve become the person on the receiving end of the 70% and wonder why that person begins to step back. Make changes accordingly, or let things naturally dwindle away.

I’m just especially thankful this year, and I think letting myself be vulnerable has opened my heart to positive changes. I’ve grown to love myself and the way that I think, and I don’t crave as much external validation as I used to. I’ve been working on giving myself compliments, and believing them to be true.

Because I am an awesome person, and saying that doesn’t make me self-important, it makes me self-contented.

I hope this year has done the same for you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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