Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
As Hellen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in the ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
My blog didn’t come as a blank slate when I signed up for the domain www.staciapriscilla.com in March 2011. In fact, up to this very day I’m still relocating valuable posts from previous blogs to this one (See FAQ). At the same time I frequently edit and update all of these posts to match my current format and style – just to get everything on site to feel more coherent. It’s quite recent that I began fully committing myself to blogging – and by blogging, I mean producing useful and/or helpful content regularly to you.
In the past, I complain a lot. I abused blogging by making it as an outlet to release my anger and even to intensify my outrage. Looking back now, it’s difficult for me to move on in peace, because all I see is disorganized thinking and loads of negativity.
I’m choosing to let go of these unresourceful thoughts and keep pressing forward to see the positive light.
Everything else can go. What remains is my character.
Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution
long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
– Cavett Robert
In order to make peace with my past, I feel the need to highlight the rights and evaluate the wrongs, see what changes I have to make, and better prepare for 2013 accordingly. At the same time I plan to improve my character based on the progress I’ve made in various aspects of my life. So I’m simultaneously setting achievable goals as I go along reviewing my 2012.
I encourage you to do the same. It may take a while to plan out everything, but NOW is the time to make the change – to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Make friends with your past, and you’ll move on to a better future.
Here’s my month-to-month overview of how I’ve spent 2012:
- On January 1, I’ve established that 2012 will be a new year to noodle up my life. I reviewed how I spent my New Year’s Eve. I failed at the attempt of making Harumi‘s Salmon Burger, and resolved to make the next attempt successful. I had my first ever midnight kiss for a new year’s celebration. I received a cute polaroid as my Christmas present, which I’ve been using to take pictures of cute stuff.
I also looked up the dictionary on the definition of “noodle”, and to “noodle up” means “to improvise; experiment; devise freely; think creatively”. Stanley and I challenged each other to exercise consistently and maintain our physical health. It’s also a test of persistence, perseverance, and patience.
Naturally I’ve been going to the gym and running more often than he does. But our performance on the road showed us who’s the real boss – him.
Love is a game that two can play and both win.
– Eva Gabor
- On January 14, I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I had a quarter-life review before death.
- On January 21, I made an ‘Achievable Wish-list’ that includes finishing a 5k race (and set up a personalized running schedule to beat my best time ever, which is at 34:12 minutes), a 10k race, and the Bay to Breakers. I’ve achieved two out of three goals (I didn’t run the Bay to Breakers… sadly). Now I’m setting a new running wish-list for 2013: I want to run a half-marathon race. Specifically, I’m praying I can cross over the 2-hour mark to finish the 13.1-mile race.
I’ve also aimed to publish 10 dishes I’ve cooked throughout 2012, which should include a successful Salmon Burger. In the end, I’ve never actually made the second attempt at Salmon Burger. Instead, I’ve made more than 10 dishes this year that are worth publishing on this blog:
- Crustless Quiche with Cheese, Spinach, and Mushrooms
- Baked Spinach with Extra Cheese
- Farro Curry with Lentils
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Chinese Style Fried Rice
- Warm Red Rice Pudding + Chilled Ginger Pudding
- Jjajangmyeon Spaghetti
- Baked Rice
- Chinese ABC Soup
- Lotus Root Soup
- Honey-Orange Glazed Broiled Sea Bass with Kale over Cheesy Sauce
- Black Bean Soup
- Avocado Pasta
- Spinach Fettucini Alfredo
That’s 14 recipes, exceeding my 10-recipe goal :) So here’s what I’m aiming next year: I want to prepare 15 recipes that deserves to be published on this blog – including the Salmon Burger and the Blueberry Clafouti (see June).
And to keep sleeping.
And to keep reading. I want to read one book at a time, breaking my habit of reading multiple books simultaneously. Out of all the books I will read in 2013, I want to write 3 book reviews.
– Image courtesy of Sarah Painter
- On February 3, I made an attempt to write 3 haikus in a week. The school assignment only required us to write 1, but I managed 3. The teacher liked “Tea Time” the best. I want to write 3 haikus again next year.
- On February 24, which is my 22nd birthday, I reviewed the things I learned at 21. Lesson learned: Life goes on, so get over it, move on, and follow through.
- On February 27, I believe that my name predetermines my future success. Want to know something weird? Bro #1’s name is Vincent. Bro #2’s name is Jeffrey. My name is Stacia. I know, right? Every time I order something from Starbucks and they ask for my name, I say ‘Michelle’. That way I won’t have to repeat myself and correct them like I always do ever since I was born.
– Image courtesy of Glamour via Tumblr
- On March 1, I made it through my last day of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge. I got to know myself better, and I’m thinking of doing it again next year … but with better writing. This is just too crappy:
1. A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
2. A photo of something you ate today.
3. Your favorite store.
4. Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
5. A photo of yourself two years ago.
6. A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
7. Your dream wedding.
8. A song and a photo to match your mood.
9. A photo of the item you last purchased.
10. A photo of your favorite place to eat.
11. What’s in your makeup bag?
12. A photograph of the town you lived in.
13. Your favorite musician and why?
14. A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
15. Something you don’t leave the house without.
16. A photo of you and your family.
17. Your celebrity crush.
18. Something you crave a lot.
19. Another picture of yourself.
20. The meaning behind your blog name.
21. A photo of something that makes you happy.
22. Bullet your whole day.
23. 20 facts about you.
24. What’s in your purse?
25. Something that you miss.
26. Think back to how you were 5 years ago. How have you changed since then?
27. Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.
28. Your favorite movie.
29. Something you could never get tired of doing.
30. A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.
- On March 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of nine months. I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers I’ve received :)
- On March 26, I shared a video “My Generasi” that reflects the way things were just a decade ago – before Facebook, Justin Bieber, and mechanical pencils.
- On March 30, I posted a school assignment I did to practice studying people of all ages. We were told to draw ourselves and another person of the opposite sex in different ages. I drew myself with Stanley aging gracefully.
- From April 2 to 16, Stanley visited me in San Francisco. We went to Twin Peaks as a couple. We went on a road trip to Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Diego Zoo, and back to Monterey in less than five days.
- On April 17, I updated briefly after 2 weeks’ hiatus. I failed to lose weight during my 33-day diet that starts on March 1 and ends on April 2. I think this is the moment when I realized I can’t survive with a restricted diet. If I did, I’d never have started my “Recommended restaurant” series (see May). Now I’ve lost 8kg by eating whatever I want (see November’s gratitude list). Here’s an overview of the 33-day diet:
Why 33-day diet?
Day 1: Phone’s working, yay
Day 3: 2 days of making sleep as a luxurious experience
Day 8: Saying goodbye to sleep
Day 10: So far so good
Day 12: Daylight savings cost nighttime sleep, but great for long distance relationships
Day 15: Nothing much, really.
Day 18: Finally coming off
Day 24: Somebody’s coming over here
Day 25: Dang! | Dang! part 2
Day 26: Wasted calories on envy
Lesson learned: New update after MIA for over a week…
- On April 21, I see that all of us have a need to express ourselves in our daily lives.
- On April 26, I revealed my deepest insecurity. I desire to surrender and to please wholeheartedly, because I want security that lasts a lifetime.
- On April 27, I discovered that all the world’s a stage. We put on so many selves everyday. Who are you and what do you believe in?
- On May 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of eleven months. I made a drawing of a pig to illustrate how I feel for the past eleven months.
- On May 27, I posted some thoughts and pictures from my commencement, which is the most important day of my parents’ life so far. This is how I felt when they were both by my side :)
I also received a bouquet of pink flowers from Stanley :)
- On May 29, I launched the first ever Recommended restaurant series with a post that features Japanese restaurant Kushi-Tsuru in Japantown, San Francisco. I wanted to share pictures of the good stuff I’ve just eaten. I certainly didn’t expect it to grow to its present state, which has evolved to become enriching and insightful. No doubt plenty of room for improvement in food-reviewing, but I definitely want to keep eating good food, take better pictures of them, and keep up with my food writing. I’m in this for the long haul.
- On May 30, I made it through the first day of partial fasting. I established that I believe in the power of abstinence. Abstinence does not equal to being deprived. Abstinence from things I don’t really need gives me focus to what I have to do for the day. I experienced satiety, contentment, and gratitude.
- On May 31, I made it through the second day of partial fasting. I discovered that at the very core, it is all about self-acceptance. Reading Oprah helps.
- On June 1, I made it through the third day of partial fasting. I learned that being true to yourself and knowing what you can do within your limitations improve my self-control.
- On June 5, I revealed my failed attempt at the Blueberry Clafouti. Health may be a priority; but I learned my lesson in baking: Trust butter. Along with the Salmon Burger, the Blueberry Clafouti is another menu on my recipe list to keep trying to make until I succeed.
- On June 9, I read about Miranda Kerr’s profile on the upcoming issue of Vogue UK. Her advice for keeping a man is to keep up the effort to make yourself look good and feel good. She clearly understands reciprocity, one of the many reasons why I admire her.
- On June 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of one year.I made a drawing of our world, with us as pigs, to illustrate how I feel for the past year.
- On June 21, I received the dark chocolate truffles!
- On June 24, I sighed. 47 days till real life begins (see August). I realized that it will be very rewarding when we get the dream job we love so much that we never want to retire.
- On June 28, I revealed the secret, DIY, all-natural ingredients of my leave-in conditioner to maintain hair health. They’re super greasy, but leaves your hair feeling silky-smooth after shower.
- On June 28, I also rambled a bit about ending my June . This is the reason why I have a consistent fitness journal today (see January).
Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom.
They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.
– Jim Carrey
- On July 4, I found out that my RHR (resting heart rate) is 53 bpm :) The lower it is, the less your heart has to work. A normal range is between 60 to 80. Lower than 60 and it means you’re athletic.
- On July 5, I updated my first progress trying NISIM F.A.S.T. Shampoo and Conditioner. I would buy the products again whenever I desperately want to grow long hair!
- On July 5, I began a quest to reach the runner’s high all over again. Besides food and sex, I think achieving a runner’s high is a great motivator for everyone.
- On July 15, I learned that like everything else, there’s actually a sweet spot in running. Don’t run too hard or too easy – Run so you get out of your comfort zone, but also challenges you enough.
- On July 16, I promptly found out that bro #1 is coming to San Francisco. I haven’t seen him in about three years. He was the one who encouraged me to:
– WORRY LESS
– SLEEP MORE
– TAKE IT EASY
– ENJOY LIFE!!
- On July 19, I updated my second progress trying NISIM F.A.S.T. Shampoo and Conditioner. I would buy the products again whenever I desperately want to grow long hair!
- On July 31, I defined what passion means to me.
PASSION to me: Proactivity, Assertiveness, Social, Spirited, Open-minded, Natural.
Proactive in seeking out opportunities.
Assertive in communicating with others about what you feel and standing up for yourself when others bring you down.
Social and influential, only with a mere glimpse of a smile and you’ve made an impact on a stranger’s day.
Spirited and energetic, because we know we can always learn something new everyday, being
Open-minded to all kinds of things.
Above all, a natural feeling toward that particular area your PASSION lies, not because of the money, is your answer to how you must spend the rest of your life, doing just that for a living.
- On August 2, I updated my last progress trying NISIM F.A.S.T. Shampoo and Conditioner. I would buy the products again whenever I desperately want to grow long hair!
- On August 4, I ran on empty. There’s actually a scientific backup for its benefits.
- On August 4, I also tried a hybrid fruit: The Dipple Dandy pluot. Pluots are a mix of plums and apricots. The delicious Dipple Dandy looks like this:
- On August 7, I made a review about the things I’ve learned after keeping food diary for 40 days without any particular intention other than watching what I eat. I learned the importance of:
- Mindfulness. I became conscious of what I put into my mouth.
- Being timely. I grew a habit of eating breakfast at the same time everyday (very early) and spread my meals evenly throughout the day. I stop eating hours before I go to sleep.
- Letting go. I let go of the fear to be perfect and eat perfectly all the time. I skipped a meal or two and indulged more times than I can count.
- Forgiving yourself. Like I said, I didn’t have any specific goal I wanted to achieve out of keeping this food diary, so there’s very little room for failure. However, at that time I was pushing myself to reboot my running routine. I missed a workout. I thought I failed. But that’s just one workout – training your heart and your mind is a process, and processes have both successes and setbacks.
- And simply… Love. I love to eat, and I eat what I love. I want to eat what I love so much that I skip a meal or two in order to save my stomach for a later time to fill it with love. I really, really can’t live without mangoes and avocados.
- On August 10, just two days after I’m done with my last day of school, I came back to Jakarta for good. Real life begins.
As soon as I went out of the baggage claim, I saw Stanley’s face, and out of his hand appeared a bouquet of pink roses :)
- On August 27, I posted photographs I’ve taken during my trip to Taman Safari in Bogor, Indonesia. I really, really, really love animals. They’re just like us.
- September 5 is Jessica‘s birthday.
- On September 10, Stanley, my dad, and I had a quick bite at Paradise Dynasty. It was the first time I officially introduced my dad to Stanley.
- September 13 is Alex‘s birthday.
- On September 16, I ran the 10k 2012 Adidas King of the Race run. It was the first race running with my special someone.
- Life lately looks exciting. I was hired. It was the beginning of a lifelong quest to achieve the mythical work/life balance…
- On October 3, I received a pleasant surprise at work – yes, the flowers :)
On October 12, I made a personal commitment about who I want to be and where I want to go 10 years from that day. These things are starting to become real even before 12 October 2022.
- Life lately is tough. Work is controlling my life, as I didn’t stay true to myself. I learned a lot. I learned that with responsibility comes sacrifice and the choice to make what’s worthy of sacrificing.
- On October 19, Stanley and I celebrated our relationship of sixteen months. I made a drawing of us as elephants to illustrate how I feel for the past sixteen months. I received the flowers :)
- On October 22, I posted a picture taken by Ninit Yunita at the 5k 2012 Jakarta RACE. Stanley also surprised me with a stainless-steel thermos by STANLEY. Ha!
- On November 4, I ran the 10k 2012 Allianz Jakarta Heart Run. They didn’t provide chip-timing, but we had fun. I learned how to smile while I run.
- Life lately is difficult. My domestic helper visited me after fourteen years. She reminded me that I have to learn to trust and obey.
- On November 19, Stanley and I celebrated our relationship of seventeen months. I made a mini-typography to illustrate how I feel for the past seventeen months.
- On November 22, I made my first ever gratitude list on this blog. Because it’s Thanksgivings season, I thought of counting my blessings for once in public instead of complaining all the time. Here are the 17 things I’m grateful for in 2012.
- On November 30, I made a list of 13 movies we must see in 2013. After making this to-watch list, I want to make 3 movie reviews next year.
- On December 1, I asked myself: “What would you like to do if money were no object?” I answered that question with: to make a lasting impact. I invite you to ask yourself the same question. Don’t be afraid to give a bold answer. Dedicate your life to your answer.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
– Scott Jurek
- December 2 is Jony‘s birthday.
- On December 5, I quoted Will Smith on the keys to life: Running and reading. Based on my life in the year 2012 alone, I hold the quote true.
- On December 8, I realized that I must exercise self-control in everything, not just in one aspect of my life. I’m still keeping it up.
- On December 10, I attended the soft opening of Dessert Company Jakarta. I’m impressed with all they have in store. I love their silk banana fritters.
- Life lately is well-balanced. I went for an interview with the company I dream to work for.
- On December 16, I ran the Alam Sutera 5-mile Road Race. That day running taught me to keep my eyes on the prize. God wants me to be Who I Can Be, not Who I Think I Should Be.
Joshua 1:9 (Amplified)
Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous.
Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
- On December 18, I de-cluttered My Bag and deposited positive thoughts into My Mind. Woman, I encourage you to do the same. It’ll do you good and make you feel good.
- On December 19, Stanley and I celebrated our relationship of eighteen months. I made my spinach fettucini alfredo to illustrate how I feel for the past eighteen months. I received a can of cashews, a packet of macadamias, and yes, the flowers :)
- On December 20, I finished Joyce Meyer’s The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear. I learned 3 things about confidence:
- Men and women are different, but created equal in value.
- Act in the knowledge that God loves you unconditionally.
- Courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the presence of it.
- On December 24, I wrote about 2 beauty products I really love: A Lancome mascara and an exfoliator by The Body Shop. I found a common ground with the girl I got the gift for (Lancome mascaras), and I’m thankful for the gift I received (a TBS product). Yippee!
- This Christmas, I wished for little acts of kindness to turn viral. Santa may be fantasy, but I believe in kindness … and that it is very real. I’m not a naturally kind person, but I can practice being one.
– Image courtesy of The Birthday Project.
Whew… What a year. I’m sure this post is something I’m going to keep looking back throughout 2013.
I hope you log your progress for the goals you’ve set in 2013 too, because looking forward requires you to face your past.
Ask yourself: How was 2012 for me? How can I make a better transition toward the year ahead?
Resolve to change for the better. And remember: Always be true to yourself, because it’s the only way your character can grow.