I’m not one to make resolutions, but this year, I am setting some goals to help guide me through 2018.
I still think that moving here to the UK is the craziest thing I have ever done in my life. Even as I am now going through everyday life two years later, I still feel a bit taken aback by the magnitude of that decision. I am now happily settling in, but still very much a foreigner – gasping at the sight of my surroundings and taking in its amazing culture as I go through my days.
I’m aware, however, that won’t be long until this feeling of “newness” subsides, and not long until our married life comes to a new chapter. The last few years have been BIG – 2015 moved to the UK, 2016 got married, 2017 was the year I secured a permanent job and we finished our home. 2018 feels like it will be big in its own right, not for life-changing decisions, but for being the year of normalcy – a year of finding my rhythm and focusing on moving on to regular programming.
That being said, I thought it would be nice to put my resolutions/goals to paper (/screen) so it can help guide me through the year ahead.
Ease self doubt
Anyone who has moved anywhere knows that putting yourself in a new environment can make you feel very vulnerable. One thing that I have come to admit is that moving to the UK has made me very self-conscious and anxious about a lot of things, something that I never used to do. It is perfectly normal to want to fit in and to adjust your lifestyle to your surroundings but it is never okay to think less of yourself. We are all just getting through life. You are new here, but you’ve been through a lot and you’ve come a long way.
Learn to express myself better
In Manila, I always took pride in being that person who likes speaking in front of a room, can write a good letter, or can carry a conversation in a room full of strangers. For some strange reason, moving here changed that. I think it’s perfectly natural to feel a bit insecure, especially because British people (or at least the people around me) seem to have more respect for the English language and have a bigger appreciation for literature, wit, and word-play. Maybe it has to do with self-doubt as mentioned above, but I’ve realised recently that certain situations make me stutter and I’ve been unable to convey my thoughts and emotions well. This year, I hope to read more, write more, improve my vocabulary, and more importantly, gain back my confidence in expression. I want to explore my creativity and be able to speak my mind.
Connect with my roots
Never before has the fear of losing my identity struck me in the way that it has in the recent months. Having not come back to the Philippines fopr almost a year, I am missing it A LOT. I have never craved Filipino food like I have in the recent months. I am embarrassed to say that I am starting to forget Tagalog words. I want to make sure that I stay completely in tune with the aspects of my Filipino culture that I am proud of so that I can pass it on to future generations. I want to recreate and compile all of my mom’s Filipino recipes here in London. I want to start singing my favourite Filipino songs again. I want to write in proper Tagalog. Most of all, I need to connect with my family and friends more.
Make healthier decisions
As this is the year of normalcy, I need to get my tourist hat off and start living like I live here. I need to learn to enjoy myself without breaking the bank (because holy hell London is expensive). I need to get out and get myself into a routine and not hide in the comfort of a heated room. I need to get organised. I need to think of the life Andrew and I have ahead of us and prepare for it. I need to LIVE, and not just feel like I’m on an endless holiday.
Enjoy the novelty of being new to everything
It might sound a bit contradictory but growing your roots in your new home doesn’t mean you have to rush into indifference. Getting settled should never take away your appreciation of where you are now. I want to savour the transition of seasons and see the colours of the world change. I want to go to new places and discover more amazing things about the UK. I want to find that balance between being well adjusted and still being highly appreciative of my new life. It’s easy to fall into one or the other, but I think the real joy of being in a new home is in standing somewhere in between.
Here’s to 2018 and the opportunities and challenges ahead, big or small.