*Cover art credits to Sister Golden.

After making the decision to label each year with a word— a theme of sorts— on my blog, I named 2018 “backbone”. (Read more on that in this post.) The purpose was to encapsulate the general atmosphere and anticipated governing sentiment of the year in a single symbol.

So I agonized over 2019— the expectations, apprehensions, and unbridled dreams. So many words in the English language, and only one year to name.

The first thought that came to mind was that this year was, obviously, a transition. I am expecting to graduate from high school in May and begin my freshman year at college come September. So there is definitely a lot of change on the horizon.

But this is more than a liner movement from one chapter to the next; there is a sense of widening, of unclasping and letting go. In Korean age (a strange system), I am turning twenty, legally qualifying me for things like alcohol purchase and driving. This makes 2019 feel like a halfway step to adulthood, although I will remain a minor until 2020 by definition. Not to mention I will be leading a semi-independent life for the first time once I go to college.

Truth is, I want to be going to college right now rather than September. And the reason why I am so head-over-heels in love with the idea of leaving home is because I feel ready to be dropped into the whirlwind of a new world, taking everything in, consuming and burning and producing.

I settled on bloom because it felt right in this way. A literal step in maturity. Change, yes, but also growth, a liberated flourishing. The word drips with everything I am hoping for this year to be. I want to feel like I have only been wading in the children’s pool up until this year. I want to feel like I am finally opening up. I want to be closer to the person I was meant to be, whatever that means.

That’s pretty vague, but this is a time to let those powerful but hazy beginning-of-year sentiments wash over you. On a more concrete note, to start this journey off right, I have an extensive list of resolutions and a new way of going about them. Stay tuned for my next post. Happy new year to the small number of subscribers I’m heading into 2019 with— I look forward to cultivating this blog so it, too, flowers.