Tea Talks No. 10| Happy 2016!

Hello everyone and Happy 2016! I hope your year is already off to a great start. I got to kick off the new year in Japan. I went to a temple where they ring the bells to ring in the new year. It was a very cool experience and I am glad I had that opportunity.

I spent the first weekend of 2016, unpacking, doing multiple loads of laundry and reflecting on the past year. I used to be a very dedicated diary writer and as I got older I turned into a whenever-I-can-remember or when-I-needed-to-vent diary writer. Last year (or rather the end of 2014) I found this idea online of a memory or happiness jar. Instead of my resolution to write in a diary every day, week, month for the year I thought I would give this idea a try.

Essentially you write down a happy memory or really something you want to remember that will bring you feelings of happiness, pleasure, warmness and love down on a piece of paper, fold it up and keep it in a jar. I liked to date mine (diary writer habits) and then I tried to remember to write down my memories. I did pretty good and filled the jar! I had something for every month (except November) and for most months I had multiple pieces of paper with wonderful memories.

It was really nice to sit down with some tea and pull the strips of paper out of the jar and just be transported back to those feelings I had when I was truly happy and just feeling the love of my friends and family. I had some amazing experiences this past year. I joined a Model United Nations club my senior year of University, I got to travel to MUN conferences, meet people, make amazing friends and memories of road trips, Disney sing-a-longs, surprise parties, campfire talks and many more memories.

I graduated from University this year with a Bachelor's degree in Honours International Relations and Development Studies (where I concentrated in Middle East and Islamic Studies and Languages). I applied to teach English abroad and landed a job in South Korea.

I moved here in August and since then I have gotten to explore this amazing country, lay on the beach in October and wake up to see mountains every morning. In December my best friend came to visit and we went to Japan for five days.

I had a great year, and while those amazing memories are between moments of homesickness, loneliness, and not so positive days, I'd like to think that I had more happy days than sad ones this year and I marvel in the opportunities life has given me rather than dwell on the unhappy days I've had.

I have a scratch map, which lets you scratch in the countries you have explored and today I scratched in Japan, adding another little piece of colour to my map and showing me that I am very blessed to have these opportunities and remind me to be thankful for the ones who helped make my dreams happen and also thankful for the inner piece of me that took the chance.

I want to wish you all a wonderful 2016 and I hope you create some great memories.

Happy 2016!

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