January: When did you experience ‘a new beginning’ in your life?

Astronomers say there is nothing special about new year’s day, aside from our collective decision to celebrate it. Well, why not? It’s important to celebrate new beginnings.

So, to celebrate the new year, we asked our readers and contributors about a new beginning in their lives. When have they experienced one? What was it? Here are some of the answers we’ve received.

“My new beginning starts with a stop.
I stopped giving love to someone who didn’t deserve it.
I stopped being used by someone.
I stopped being blind to what’s real.
By stopping I know that new beginnings are coming:
Forgiveness, Change, and Truthfulness”

– Nes Costales, teacher, Taguig (Philippines)

“After three or four years in the [law] firm, I’ve learned that there’s no way I’m going to keep some grand new year’s resolution. So I decided to make a goal that I could actually reach, something realistic, thus ‘reducing the number of web cartoons I follow’ from this year.

One day, after two weeks, I read all the web cartoons I’d missed in two weeks in one go, in the office. I now think there’s no ‘new beginning’ or ‘new resolution’ in my life anymore. For now I’ll stick to that conclusion.”

– Junghyun Goh, lawyer, Tokyo (Japan)

“One icy day ten years ago I was at a rather low ebb. The great recession was starting to bite and both my career and my personal life were stalling.

I put the kettle on to make some tea, bundled up and picked up the trash. I opened the door of the house and carefully walked down the ice-slick stairs.

The night’s snow had left everything covered in a powdering of fine white and the first rays of the sun glittered and refracted orange and yellow and red and blue in the last of the flakes still gently fluttering down through the clear air.

As I opened the lid of the trash can and moved to throw the bulging white plastic trash bag in among its fellows, I was struck by the scene. This scene was unique, never to be repeated. Just like every other one.

Ever since, whenever I feel down, sooner or later I am reminded that every moment of life is a new beginning.”

– Luka Rejec, illustrator, Seoul (Korea)

“I’m used to beginning new things. In fact, I’m afraid I may end up a beginner, never completing anything.

The first big beginning was in my twenties. Coming from smaller city of Gwangju to the Korean capital, Seoul, for university. I became emancipated from my parents and started a new life in a new city. Seoul seemed odd, always busy with traffic jams even at night, but fun and exciting things happening all the time. The whole city encouraged me to start anew.

In Seoul, it was possible to leave law, my college major, behind and start a theater play. It was another beginning to marry the man I love and have two beautiful children after 15 years of playing in Seoul.

The last part, being a mom, was the biggest change in my life, stirring me to my core. With children aged five and three every day feels like wrestling at the edge of a cliff. It forces me to face the kind of me I didn’t know or I tried to avoid.

I came to Berlin last year to step aside from bustles and hustles of Seoul, and to give myself a restful setting. It may lead to another beginning.”

– Eunseo Yi, drama producer, Berlin (Germany)

“My new beginning occurred in my senior year of college when I was recovering from severe repercussions as a result of an eating disorder.

I was at an all-time low and my body was shaking and shivering. After what seemed like a near-death experience, I woke up realizing that if I went back to not eating, I would lose my body and leave my family crying. I couldn’t do it. I woke up, vowing to recover.

After my first time eating food again, I cried tears. Not of pain but of joy. I was going to respect my body and make a new beginning.” 

– Vi Nguyen, writer, Bellevue (USA)

A heartfelt thank you to all our readers and contributors who shared their stories. It is good to be reminded that we can allow ourselves a new beginning any day of the year, not just on the new year.

But, if you really want to mark a new beginning with a new year’s resolution, or feel like you want a second try at a 2018 new year’s resolution, you can use the lunar new year, too. The Year of the Doggy is coming in a bit more than two weeks, on February 16. Perfect for a bonus resolution 😉

April Editors

Actual Voice of Asian Women ❤︎
April Magazine is an online magazine for East & South East Asian Women in the World. We empower Asian women, one voice at a time.

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