wishes for the new year

There are moments, instances, experiences that shape our lives. Both good and bad, big and small, these are the things that make me me, and you, you.

These are the comments from your mother, the good mark from your teacher, the accident in February, your father’s death in June. They’re acceptance into grad school, the crazy trip to Tokyo, the man you bumped on the subway, the loss of your job, too soon. They’re the traffic jams, coffee breaks, playground brawls, road trips, pregnancies, broken hearts . . . These are the fabric of our lives.

taipei101

Welcoming 2010 at Taipei 101

I can honestly say my life has never been the same since I moved to Taiwan three years ago. Swallowed up by a far-away culture, I was mystified. I was petrified. I had no choice: I grew. Later, when my parents got divorced, I was devastated, I was aggravated, I was innervated: I grew. Still later, when I moved to Hong Kong, I was intimidated, I was inundated, I was fascinated: I grew.

I grew, I grew, I grew.

2012 has been a tough year for me and for many people, filled with influential experiences similar to those described above. As much as I wish it weren’t true, 2013 will likely have its ups and downs, too. The thing that gives me hope, however, is mankind’s ability to grow. Because I have experienced pain, I can relate better to you.

We have a choice, of course. Will we look at even difficult experiences positively? Will we seek what we can learn? Or will we grow bitter and, comparing ourselves to others (whose strife we cannot know), exclaim, “Life just isn’t fair.”

As my mother used to say, “Whoever told you life was fair?”

My prayer for all of us for 2013 is that we will grow. Up and up and up. No matter how wonderful or how difficult or how bittersweet our experiences, we will grow . . . We will grow, gosh darn-it. We will grow!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you and yours the best for 2013 (and beyond).

me

Putting on a happy face while waiting for the fireworks at 101. It was FREEZING!!! (New Years Eve 2010)

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5 thoughts

  1. You continue to influence…. me…for the better. Particularly meaningful — “comparing ourselves to others (whose strife we cannot know)”. And “We have a choice, of course.” Thank you Jessica. Keep writing.

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