hello 2017


i can’t believe it’s 2017 already.

in fact, it’s a week into the new year.
not that my life is any significantly different from what it was 2 weeks ago,
but i feel like the whole “new year” thingy has a symbolic effect on me.
it represents a new start, a reset.

some may argue that this reset button can in fact be activated any time, any day, any week that you like.
we all have 24 hours a day, and every morning is in fact a brand new day.
that means, i can feel as refreshed everyday as i want, even down to the hours, minutes or seconds if i bother to.
but a new year has more meaning to me than that.

it represents a chance for us to evaluate what happened in the past year,
if mistakes were made, it’s time to stop crying over spilt milk, because it’s no big deal you see.
don’t let your past actions drag you down from achieving more.
just because you failed last year doesn’t mean you have to fail this year.
just because you strayed off the path for a while doesn’t mean you can’t return back to the original path.

i also use this chance to see how far i’ve come.
i noticed i tend to focus on how far i am away from my goal, that i forget to take into account the distance i’ve covered thus far.
not giving myself the recognition i need sometimes backfires, eating away at my motivation and faith,
i start questioning if i even made the right decision in the first place.

life isn’t like movies, where one miraculously skips ahead in time and reach the destination within 90 cinematic minutes.
yet i admit my mind has been affected by such magic, i sometimes forget reality is in fact, in real time.
there’s no fast forward button,
no narrator who can foretell what will happen in the future.

simply put,
i’m finding out about my own life story as it unfolds itself.

so many times i’m so engrossed at my final destination, looking straight ahead and thinking how far away i’m from that coveted destination i’ve only dreamt about since i begun this journey.
this only makes me feel discontented, because i’m not there yet.

what if i take a look back and count how far i am away from where i originally started?
maybe it’ll make me feel so much better that i’ve made it so far, regardless of all the hardships and adventures i’ve encountered.

do i know how long more do i have to go?
no i don’t. i don’t have an answer, and i won’t have an answer for you until my journey ceases together with my life.

do you know how daunting it is, to embark on a journey that you have no idea how it’s going to unfold?
all you know is the destination, and you know that no matter what you need to do,
how long it takes,
you are going to get there eventually.

can i just take a moment to commend all of my fellow skin friends how brave you are,
because you did very much that!
embarked on a journey to better health and better skin, with not much of an idea of how long it will take you,
or what prices you have to pay to get there.

the funny thing is, i never actually noticed how scary this journey is all along.
i just jumped into it, and faced what i’m dealt with head on.
it’s in retrospect that i realized how brave i am.
how, if i were presented with these difficulties at the beginning of my journey, i would have said it’s impossible for me to solve them.
yet my journey so far proved otherwise.

and i only had this realization because i had a dream one day.
i was in a space ship, investigating a distress call made to my space patrol team.
i entered a long and black corridor, the room at the end of it dimly lit.
i saw some figures shuffle within that room.
at that moment, i felt pure fear.
the fear of not knowing what’s lurking in that room,
but i know i have to go on and investigate.

fortunately or unfortunately, my dream ended there because my fear response got the better of me and kicked me out of my dream.

that was the kind of fear we faced, whether we realize it as mortal danger or not.
when you look at it like that, won’t you feel amazed at yourself for taking on such a dangerous task?

whether it turns out positive or not,
i’ve already learnt so much along the way.
detours were made, sceneries were admired,
but i’m already further from where i begun, and closer to where i’ll reach eventually.

it’s just a matter of time.

what matters most now, is finding the strength and energy to keep going,
to keep believing.

and recounting how far we’ve come helps with that.

of course, realigning all your thoughts and belief with reality will certainly make it easier to stay on course,
the simplest thing we can do is to remind ourselves that our track record for facing obstacles so far is a perfect 100%!
every time you think you can’t go on any further,
every time you think you can’t take it any longer,
every time you think you’re gonna give up because you simply don’t know what to do,
you end up doing ok.

so don’t forget that.
don’t forget how far you’ve come.
sometimes the future may seem bleak at that instant,
but no one can tell the result of it until they have trekked the whole distance.
life is full of unexpected outcomes, just sit back, and take it as they come.

what you’ll gain at the end of it all, is the ability to stay calm despite the chaos around you.
this internal peace might end up being the greatest prize of all,
because it detaches you from pain and suffering.

in other words, you will be free.
not because the world becomes orderly and things are now within your control,
not because everything goes according to your plan and wishes,
but because nothing can affect you anymore, unless you choose to.

this 2017, i hope to gift to you the ability to find strength when you feel the weakest,
i hope to gift to your the idea of staying afloat despite of the crazy storm,
i hope to gift to you the ability to take all this challenges in stride and view them as an exclusive gym where you train your mental muscles,
because like it or not, there is bound to be difficulties in everyone’s life.

the key, is to realize that it’s the very pressure and challenges in life that builds up our tolerance, our strength, and our tenacity.
the difference between diamonds and graphite, even though both are made of the same carbon atoms,
lies in the pressure they had went through.

do you want to be a diamond, the hardest element known to us on earth,
or a graphite that crumbles under force?

life is not going to make it easier on you just because you wish for it,
the only way is to strengthen ourselves, to ride the waves and rise above it as they come.

so keep your heads up, as do i.
we’re only getting stronger each day, and that’s something comforting to know.
also, it’s kind of bad ass to think how i slapped life in its face when it tried to take me down, isn’t it?


4 thoughts on “hello 2017

  1. Thank you dear Juliana for your encouriging words.
    I’m glad to have got a lifesign from you, because I now and then think of you and how you are.
    I wish you what you need for this year, strength to welcome life and courage to face it!

    Greetings from my heart to all of you, that need support for life💖

  2. Hi Juliana, thank you for updating your blog every now and then as it is one of the things that let me know that I am not alone in this “fight”. I am in my second month and of course still having my ups and downs everyday. Sometimes when I thought that I was at peace but fear will appear suddenly and swallow me up. I thought I have depression but then I told myself that it is normal to feel this way since no one will feel good when stuck in a bad situation. No one in my family can totally understand what I am going through and I can understand that, but I feel hurt when some of them speak badly about me behind my back. Many may think that I am just lazy and not going out to work, or they think that my (tsw) skin conditions are caused by my diet and lifestyle (not exercising). I have been eating healthily but things just don’t appear the way they should be. I want to exercise but afraid my skin will itch or tear. I explained what is tsw and even asked them to google about it but they still don’t get it (they didn’t try to understand). In my heart I want to tell them that if they can’t empathise others, at least don’t make them feel even worse. I have been telling myself that 2017 will be a fresh new (good) year for me and stop minding how others look at me. I believe that no one will be forever in bad situations and good things are slowly on their way. At least tsw allows me to step back and rethink about life and people. I am more grateful for the little things in my life and appreciate those that have been supporting me in this journey.

    I will not give up. I am the hero in my life, and so are you. 一起加油!!!

  3. Dear Julianna,

    Bee here. I’m very happy to see another post from you. I saw your last month’s photo and I think it’s a great improvement compared to how you were when you first started and it’s something truly positive. Keep the spirits up my girl.

    You have been my source of motivation during my worse period, remember I emailed you and you replied to me with detailed advice. It has been 27 months for me now. I am not totally cured yet but my skin is in much better shape that it was 8 years back… I am so grateful to have read your blog when I started a couple of years back. Now, I have a certificate in nutrition therapy and have been focusing on skin and food relationship. I’ve embarked on the eczema diet (adapted from an Australian nutritionist), and since have been healing much faster.
    My feet which is the worse of it all (most exposed to steroid ointment) is still going through flareup and TSW but it’s bearable because it has strengthen and because of my diet, I don’t feel itchy all the time. You can read more about the eczema diet and hope you can also benefit from it : http://www.skinshare.sg/eczema diet.

    Happy New Year to you and hope this year will be a complete healing year for both of us. Take care.


  4. Hi Juliana!

    Amazing post really, deals with many things i’ve been thinking lately, so many goals, but we fail to have a long term vision, even though we can see the end scenario, our daily pressures have a toll on us, that is because the human mind is terrible at handling these things. But i believe this can change, and we can get stronger.

    It is really easier for us to see someone situation externally and chart a solution map, we can do it for ourselves too, but then, all the distractions come along trying to take a hold of our plans, our fears stand on our path trying to block us from progressing, and everything else in the chaos.

    But no matter what, we can achieve things, and that is what i’ve been seeing through my life all along the years, and once we achieve then we stop and admire: “How did i do that?!?? Amazing!”. Yeah, Juliana, we are really progressing, we just need to look back to remember.
    Our mistakes were not really mistakes, but rather just indications and learning that there are better ways to do things we wanted to, and what doesn’t work. Just levels of the path.

    I really agree with you that the most important thing is to keep going on, our goals are one of the most important things we have in our lives, because they remain no matter if we feel good of bad.

    I’ve been doing much better than i thought skin wise, if my problem remained like this, though i wouldn’t be perfect, i can really live with this almost as normal as anyone else without skin issues. I’m really lucky in this sense. This gave me courage to face the world, no matter what they think of me, no matter how they treat me, no matter what they try to do, because, it’s not about them, it’s about me!

    Hope you are doing well, wish you a really good 2017!

    Also, if you got some time, check out this video, it talks exactly about the problem of long term view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie8olvmaZug

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