The end of a year often signifies a time for thorough reflection. Our thoughts surround on whether we’ve done enough this year, pondering about our goals for the following year, our failures and successes, our hopes and dreams, who we hope to achieve them all with.

Thoughts of all shapes and sizes may be running through your mind, but my hope is that you own both your strength and your vulnerability.

2019, thank you for both the empowerment and the vulnerability.

Thank you for teaching me about real strength.

It was not about how I could keep myself together in public. It was not about how I didn’t cry in front of others. It was not about ignoring my pain. It was not about braving a face and trying to move forward as quickly as possible.

Real strength this year was about speaking myself.

Owning who I am. Understanding that what I feel comes and goes like the waves. Learning that no season lasts forever. Crying or saying I’m not fine instead of saying that I am. Being more open in talking about what I was going through. Understanding that it is completely valid and okay to make space for me. That it is okay to take a step back when interactions felt too much. That sometimes, it is okay to lean on people you love. That I was not weak – it was only human to do so.

Thank you for teaching me about true empowerment.

It was not about motivational quotes stuck on my walls. It was not about the mindfulness manual my lack of self-discipline failed to complete. It was not about me psyching myself up to complete another task on my plate.

True empowerment this year was understanding the power of our gifts, and the strength behind us.

Knowing that people were comforted through the words I wrote. Allowing my heart to bleed through my words. Healing parts of me through writing, while walking alongside others in their own journey. Being able to express how I feel instead of suppressing it all. That I was not this invincible being, stoic and strong to not succumb to weakness. Accepting circumstances, but actively stopping myself from drowning in self-loath.

Thank you for reminding me of what love really is.

Here’s to the real ones who listened despite our rambling of emotions we can’t explain. The real ones who would keep us accountable and in prayer when we were (and continued to be) at our lowest. The real ones who took the time to understand why we were acting out the way we were. The real ones who encouraged, gently steering us back on track – reminding us of a greater hope that lies ahead.

Here’s to self-love. Eating a good meal because I just wanted to. Going for a walk to clear the thoughts in my mind. Seeking out for help because I felt that I needed to. Understanding that my worth was not dependent on my success. Understanding that my worth was not dependent on compliments and feedback. Understanding that my worth was not dependent on the thoughts and expectations of others – more so the harsh standards I have of myself. That I can be myself: gushing over music that comforts me and what I love, admitting that I don’t have it all together despite the image I’ve built over the years.

Thank you for teaching me about God, and the unique ways in which He works.

Rejection to protect me from something that wasn’t for me. Delaying obligations to allow time for me to recover. Reminding me over and over that studies are not the end-all answer to my worth. Providing comfort through ways He knew would reach me. That He still loves despite us wanting to stray, feeling disappointed or angry. That although I did not understood nor will I ever understand His plans completely, He was always there. Reminding me that if one door closes, another opens. That despite the uncertainty of the unknown, I should not fear for all things turn out for good for those who love the Lord.

2019, thank you for both the ups and downs, the joy and the pain, the empowerment and the vulnerability.

Here’s to a new year of hope and learning so much more.


  • Lily Low

    Blogger, Post-Graduate Student

    Lily Low studies Law by day, an aspiring Writer 24/7. She strongly advocates for Mental Health Awareness. Her main goal is to encourage and inspire through her writings. Other than having a passion for people and good music, you may find her occasionally with her nose in a novel. Find her musings or researched opinions also on: Revolutionaries Press, Crunch by Nuffnang, Thought Catalog, Medium, and Young Minds UK.