I know I’m super late on recapping my favorite memories of 2016 but I didn’t want to let that stop me from posting anything at all. I love writing and looking back on these posts, because often times I find myself so wrapped up in the obligations of my current life that I completely forget about all the neat experiences I’ve had. This is an awesome practice in gratitude and self-reflection, which I’m definitely trying to do more of this year.
I had a handful of random videos I shot on my iPhone throughout the last year so I decided to put together a quick montage to capture the mood of my 2016 as a fun little creative project.
It was a crazy busy and stressful year for me, but my inner adventurer could not be quelled. This video is a pretty accurate depiction of my life and the things that get me super excited about living. I spend many weekends with my neck craned out of the passenger window during long road trips throughout the west coast, enjoying dusk views and escaping to the mountains for our next adventure.
Tahoe became our second home for the winter where we snowboarded for a total of 23 days and down a cumulative 300,000 vertical feet for the season. The Sierras are only a three-hour drive from the Bay Area where we live, but I’d give anything to pick up and move there. It’s amazing how you can be transported to a completely different world and environment if you just drive a few hours. Being surrounded by mountains, snow and crystal blue water…there are only a few things in life that rival that kind of beauty.
Frequent views during our winter; up and at ’em before dawn and on the lifts bright and early!
Seeing Lake Tahoe in the winter is a special treat, even if you don’t ski it’s worth getting up there to enjoy the snowy views. The water is icy cold but it’s the most serene view, especially when it’s so still and glass-like.
We spent a lot of time on the road this year and I loved every second of it. Most of 2016 consisted of me riding shotgun exploring parts of California we didn’t know existed, or up on a snowy slope somewhere.
In April, we finally made it to Joshua Tree for the first time and discovered how much we loved being in the desert. We’d return again a few months later, only to be met with +110° weather that I was not entirely prepared for.
A few weeks ago, I made a personal decision to quit my full-time job to pursue a career shift into something more creative. Since then, my head’s been in a total whirlwind, filled with excitement (met with uncertainty) and a little bit of self-doubt.
This is the first time I’ve ever made such a huge life change without a clear next step in place, but I see this as a pivotal moment in my life where I finally need to put my happiness first and actually begin designing my life around what I choose for myself rather than living based on how others think I should live. My life thus far has been me simply settling for what’s in front me, rather than creating the life I actually want.
Despite my initial fear and anxiety over making such a major change, I think it’s important I make the time to get clear about what I really want in life and turning my passions into a creative career. There will never be a better time than now, and your life is for LIVING. You just get the one.
Don’t defer your dreams and happiness for the future, because every day that goes by where you’re unhappy is time that you’ll never get back. And life is short. Really short.
I recently returned from a weeklong trip in Oregon, where I was reminded of the simple, spontaneous joys in life (which I will document in a later post of my recent travels, but the photo above was a beautiful lavender field we just happened upon while exploring the Columbia River Gorge). It made me feel alive again. And reminded me that there’s still so much of the world I have yet to explore–and there are so many beautiful things to experience that cost nothing at all. Life really is a crazy adventure, so long as you are open to it.
There’s not really a point to this post, besides me just feeling all sorts of emotions and wanting to capture it into words. And out of all the emotions I am feeling, I’d say that I’m mostly just incredibly fucking grateful right now.
Life is a beautiful journey and I’m excited for my future of struggles, growth, and soul-searching. And I hope to be able to capture & share my excitement and gratitude for life’s adventures right here, in my little corner of the interwebs.
Each January I like to sit down and reflect on the past year and think about how I’ve grown, the lessons I’ve learned, the goals I’ve met and everything that took place in the last twelve months. Life has a way of just passing before your eyes, and as weeks cycle by and you wonder how it’s already September (and you swear you it was just April…?), I think it’s important to have a moment to evaluate where you are, think about where you want to be and prepare for another year of self growth, discovery and new experiences.
In the past, I used to feel anxiety at the close of every year. For the last several years I wasn’t really sure what my path would be or what I wanted out of life — I only knew what I was supposed to do and knowing that didn’t make me feel excited about my future…and that left me feeling incomplete, unfulfilled and without a sense of purpose.
2014 was the year I decided to change that; change the way I thought about my life, re-prioritize my time and efforts to do only what is important to me and seek to live a more inspired life, driven by my passions and what makes me truly happy.
My purpose in 2014 was to find myself and get excited for all the different ways I am going to grow into who I am and fulfill this vision I had for myself. I am a firm believer that your life should and CAN BE absolutely what you want it to be. We only have one life to live so stop allowing fear to dictate and control the path of your life. Muster the courage to live your life the way you envision in your mind.
Last November, I had the opportunity to attend Oprah’s workshop and it was an amazing experience that I needed to breathe life back into my days and to get motivated. I left with a sense of excitement and veritable confidence that my life and everything I want out of it is mine for the taking. 2014 was more about forging a new life approach – one that will help me with staying inspired, being more creative, and focusing on giving myself as many new experiences as possible.
Working full time for the first time in my life pulled me into a seemingly unbreakable rut, where I felt unmotivated, unhappy and bored. And for a while, I didn’t feel like myself and lost my hunger for learning and personal growth. And that’s not who I am at all.
Create the highest, grandest vision for your life. Then let every step move you in that direction // Oprah
There’s a real disconnect and heartbreak that is felt when you aren’t who YOU KNOW YOU CAN BE, and I’ve struggled with that for a long time, simply because I was always too tired, too busy, too scared or “not good enough”.
“Not good enough.” STOP THAT. Stop doubting yourself and stop worrying about whether or not you’re good at something. JUST START. I am firm believer that hard work and real passion accomplishes amazing things, and if you let your fear steer the direction of your life, you will soon realize that you’re living everyone else’s life based on that collective fear. Excuses are really just fear disguised.
2014 was a great year for me, I’ve grown more than I ever have and for the first time in my life, I didn’t dread the end of the year. I was excited for all the new possibilities of 2015 and my life ahead. That, in and of itself, was a real testament that I had achieved what I set out to do for 2014. To forge a new way of thinking about my life, to be in control of it and to begin living the way I wanted.
This has been a really emotional January for me so far, and has been a beautiful mix of happy and sad, with feelings of excitement but also a gnawing sense of nostalgia.
With the start of the new year, I closed a huge chapter of my life and am moving on to a new job with new coworkers. Though I am really excited by the new possibilities and learning this new opportunity will bring, I am sad to be leaving everyone I have been working with in the last few years. Though we didn’t talk everyday, just working alongside them and seeing them more than I see my family has, in a strange way, made me see them as family. Change is a requisite for personal growth but it’s always been something that has made me anxious and afraid. But, in the true spirit of me, I take a deep breath, smile and focus on the positive. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned so far, the people I have met and the connections I’ve shared. Here’s to new beginnings and major life changes :)!
So, what was the purpose of this (I am realizing now….the longest post ever)?
2015 is a year to stay inspired, to learn as much as possible, to share and be open as much as possible and to stay faithful to your life’s vision and doing everything you can to meet and create that vision.
And with that, there’s a parting quote I wish for everyone to keep in mind this year:
Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here.
Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.
Get excited, feel hopeful, be grateful for all experiences and emotions, and stay creative.
We’ve all been there. Google can be your best and worst friend (in life and work- hay young internet marketing professionals, I’m looking at you), especially when it comes to googling weird bodily symptoms that you wouldn’t otherwise be comfortable sharing with any of your friends (but here I am broadcasting it to the world, ironically). Unless you’re lucky enough to have a cousin like mine with whom I share everything (yeah I feel bad for her too).
Still, I like to Google everything (I like to be thorough!), but often times, that ends up conjuring the hypochondriac in me, which admittedly, is dangerous. Like googling “weird rash under armpit” and then clicking on ‘Images’ dangerous. Don’t do it.
Despite the horror I’ve encountered many times when turning to Google for medical advice (rather than say…oh a real doctor?) I can’t help but come back to Google each and every time. It’s funny though, because although most times my Google searches will end in a permanent fixed gaze of terror, they usually will begin with anxious anticipation followed by a brief sense of relief when I’m greeted by the auto suggest of the query I intended on searching. Thanks everyone for experiencing the same things I have and subsequently googling it. You have provided me with a few (albeit shameful) seconds of comfort…then onto the pictures. [All hope is lost now.]
BTW, my all-natural deodorant Lavanila which I have loved up until 2 weeks ago, has inexplicably turned on my body. Just in case you were wondering about the aforementioned. I swear I don’t have cooties. I’m just highly allergic to everything.