Thank You, 2014

8 highlights and lessons from 2014

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PHOTO: Tara Freese.

This year began with me posting my new year’s resolutions via a blog post and a Pinterest board. I’m not new to making dream boards, and if there’s anything I’ve learned from making one it’s that each image, each dream, should be pinned with purpose and space… allowing the universe to interpret it for you. When you look back on those goals, you realize that they often happen in unexpected ways, sometimes later than you hope, but always exactly how and when it should. Set your intention, then let it go.

While every year feels like a new beginning, this year decidedly started a new chapter in my life. Here are the highlights of my 2014, the moments that grounded me and encouraged me to take a deep breath and savor the moment.

PHOTO: Chariss Ilarina.

PHOTO: Chariss Ilarina.

1. Over the course of a couple years, my happiness at work slowly (then quickly) deteriorated until I collapsed and suffered from burnout (an apparently common phenomenon in our digital age). Being physically unable to go to work, I realized that it was the wake-up call I needed to finally make the decision to make a change.

2. Hesitant to attend my very first Coachella until the moment we woke up on Day 1 (especially considering the fact that my last day of work was the day we drove to the desert), I had no idea that it would end up being the jumpstart to my next chapter. We danced in the desert, got lost in the music, reveled in good company, and I let go of a life that no longer suited me.

3. I visited two cities I never have before: Boston and Chicago. I revisited two places I hadn’t been in a while: Manhattan and Oahu. While my passport is unfortunately collecting another year of dust, these trips gave me a chance to take adventures, solidify longtime friendships, and spread my wings.

4. After months of deliberation, I decided to finish out my 20s in my city by the Bay. I turned 27 in San Francisco and knew it was time to move back to the place I vowed to return to five years before. As much as I miss Los Angeles—the food, the fun, and the friends—and although I predict a few more months of transition, I know I am where I am supposed to be.

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5. It was the year of Beyonce, and seeing her and Jay Z live in concert was a religious experience. It was one of those times when FOMO completely did not apply to me (although apparently most of San Francisco that wasn’t at the concert was unhappy with the “noise” that reverberated across several neighborhoods #sorrynotsorry). Bey Z sold out AT&T Park (my guess is 50,000 people) and left us both with an inexplainable new appreciation of living in the moment and a hope for achieving our own dreams. (WHAT. HOW.)

6. Thanks to the commitment to The Single Diaries, I fulfilled my desire to write more and write regularly. With this new adventure beginning, I hope to get back to the level of my college writing days.

7. One of my resolutions was to be cognizant of time; instead of rushing and filling every hour with obligations, I embraced quiet. With the burnout came a hypersensitivity to stress, so now I listen to my body. I always tend to do what is right for me rather than what anyone expects me to, and this year that philosophy became even more prevalent. Health should always come first, and balance should be a priority. You may disappoint someone in the process, but you must be at your best to contribute to the world.

8. This was my last resolution and, while it’s one of those things we will continually have to work at, following through on the practice of being present this year led me to discoveries about myself that I know are pushing me in the direction to become who I need to be. 

Stay Present: 2013 was certainly a time of transition for many of us and, while I hope we are all closer to the other side of it, the beginning of the year will continue to challenge us to ask ourselves tough questions. I know how easy it is to let my mind wander and worry about something when I should be enjoying the present moment. I vow to focus on the company I’m with (even if I’m by myself) and relish the time I have doing what I choose to do.

However you are spending these final hours of 2014, I hope you take a moment to give thanks for everything you learned this year.
Happy New Year!

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