The Year of Becoming: Exceed. Explore. Enrich.

As a prelude to the new year, I went to the salon and had my hair cut super short for the first time, in so many years. I found a picture of me way back in prep school with short hair and marveled at how I didn’t care whether my hair was short or long. I was simply no mind about it.

Mai ESS Prep Short Hair-edit

The next time I had it as short was during my sixth grade and it was still my mom’s idea. After that, I kept my hair long and even if I cut it, the shortest was a bob with a length below my ears.

Mid-year 2015, I realized I wanted to try something new. But it was only the end of last year that I finally pushed through with my plan. It was a prelude to a hopeful 2016 and in a way, I felt super amazing that I was able to do it. I made up my mind not to care whether other people would like it or not because I was happy. Short hair, I realized, can be very empowering. Even more, when you decide to go for it yourself.


More than that, I had numerous experiences in 2015 that made me feel just about everything. One of them though is that sense of accomplishment for being able to achieve or do the things I have. These moments, including my haircut, led me to think about 2016. I guess the wonderful thing about each and every new year is that it gives you that chance to always begin again. So on a brown paper bag, I began jotting down a list of goals right on the first day of the year. Upon finishing, it was only then that I went back to the very top of the list and wrote: The Year of Becoming. It is the year to become more, my year to become [even] more – whether it is to become better as an individual or become more for God and my family; whether it is to become more passionate about everything I do or be braver in making decisions in life; whether it is to live fuller or love bigger. Or, it may just be all that and more.

One day, my boss showed me her vision board as we were out for coffee and cake, conversing about work and life. From there, I was also inspired to make one with a collage of photos, both mine and from the ever helpful Google. They were photos of what I wanted this year and even the years ahead to be.

Exceed Explore Enrich

Three words came to mind as I searched what story these photos wanted to tell. Exceed. Explore. Enrich.

Exceeding because there were things I never thought I could do but then upon trying, I discover that I could. I want to continue in that journey and go beyond myself. Exploring because I would like to go see more places and immerse myself in its culture and people, in both my home country and outside. And in exploring, it’s not always just going outside but also going within. Enriching because I would like each experience to add something to myself and at the same time have myself add something to others, be it to my family, my friends, and other people around me, even strangers. To continuously include creativity and welcome learning in my life. Lastly, at the bottom right corner is a blank space, left for whatever that is to come. Truly, the most interesting thing about them all is that they are beautifully intertwined in the process of becoming more.

I know it is way past the new year and I had been meaning to post earlier but I found my pause here, only now. And since the Chinese New Year, The Year of the Monkey (my year), was just a few days ago, I’ll use that excuse to get away with my overdue ruminations on this.

Even writing here at least once a month was actually part of my list. Just like how I can’t really know if I will be able to tick everything in that list, I can at least try and do my best. Similarly, I can never expect everything to be perfect but I remain optimistic and open to the possibilities. For each and every experience will nevertheless keep me learning and growing and becoming.

BenQ DC S1410


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