2017: Choose Courage

Aloha 2017! I’m ringing in the new year here with my family in Oahu! I couldn’t think of a better place, since last year I was here to celebrate my accomplishments & to take the time to reflect. And now I’m back at reflecting again. Oh the wonders of this island!

Almost every one can agree that 2016 really brought many challenges. Personally, I learned a lot this year. Lessons were too real and rough to grasp. So let’s review.

My 2016 theme was “Making Moves.” This is a snippet of my 2016 New Year’s post:

“It calls on me to act on my dreams and make them reality. I’m always the type of person to plan, but I’m not one to make such a jump and place those plans into action. I’m not one to always seize the opportunities either. So here goes to 2016, the year of movement.” 

What I had in mind with the word movement was moving out of the city, moving forward with my relationship, moving to another position in my nursing career. But obviously, 2016 had different plans for me. It was quite funny, and in some parts tragic, how it all worked out.

During the beginning of the year, we lost two of the most sweetest and amazing brothers I know. Then I didn’t have the chance to move out of the city (because some issues happened with the realtor). I ended up moving to a different department in the hospital, which I thought was going to me my dream job. And with moving forward in my relationship, well that didn’t pull through. 

But despite of all the things that went wrong in this 2016, what remained true was the theme of making moves and moving forward. There was a movement in my career: from a pediatric ER and PICU nurse to a simulations coordinator in my university. There was a big movement in my photography: I re-envisioned my message, relabeled my logo, and released my “After Hours” project. And there was movement that my heart and my mind agree & synchronized with. 


Now moving forward to 2017…  

Towards the end of this year, there are definitely some moving pieces that I feel are directing me to a certain direction. This December really set the tone to how I’m going to move ahead in the next year. It’s exhilarating, but at the same time down-right scary. I still am hesitant with some of the opportunities that are presenting in front of me.

I was trying to figure out what would help me out with 2017. Clearly 2016 was a humbling year for me and for everyone. At first, some words that came to my head was “renewal” or “refresh”. But for many reasons, those words didn’t feel right. I’m not recreating myself in any way, nor am I restarting from scratch. I’m just trying to get pieces of myself back that I’ve lost.  I want to choose happiness in all things, to challenge myself to get out there and just do me. I want to keep moving forward and leveling up.

The word “courage” came to mind. I am a firm believer that “happiness is a form of courage” and courage occurs when you’re put outside of your comfort zone. And with that same thought, it was so clear what I want to push myself to do this year: choose courage. To have the courage to say “yes” to both opportunities and mistakes; to have the courage to try to learn something new; and to have the courage to do what will ultimately make me happy now, and not have to overworry about my happiness in the future. Keyword is “over.” And I think we all could use a little courage to face this upcoming year. 

I have positive vibes coming into this new year. There are many things lined up: new gigs and projects that I’m really looking forward to developing and expanding next year. I also planned a travel project called “7x7x17”: seven different cities/countries, with seven different people/groups of people in 2017.

Talk about courage to embrace adventure! 

I also think that this will be an amazing experience. I’ll reconnect with old friends or develop new friendships. Traveling really brings such an intimate bond between people and the more friends I get to share this with, the better!

With all of this in mind, I hope this year will treat us better & happy birthday Mom!


Thanks for dropping by,

Jea C. 



Photo credits all goes to Kevin Chong: Instagram!

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