I have returned to Kyoto, the cradle of my new understanding of life.
Last year, I came here in search of nothing but solace for a broken heart, which at the time felt too fractured to mend and might never function normally again.
Then, the sights and sounds I encountered in this ancient city brought forth my own reflection, one that was not always flattering but completely recognisable.
Which made me human, made me real, and pointed me in the direction of the version of me that I wished to be.
When I saw the longest queue at the Jishu shrine was for the god of love, I felt a sense of comfort, simply by knowing that the search for love is universal, and so is the struggle.
But the struggle lessens and eventually dissipates when you start to love yourself first. Bit by bit, I've learned that it's not a selfish act to love myself, especially when it makes me a better person and empowers me to do more good and add more warmth into this world.
We all have a purpose. When the time is right, you'll know yours and I'll know mine.
What are the things that come to your mind when you think of the year 2014? Please share them below with us, or on Instagram comments or DM, or just jot them down in your private diary.
FTB Time of My Life is an exercise to celebrate the things that have shaped our lives. Click here for details on how to participate.
Up next, 2015!