2014 end is here. Here goes, that time when we all reflect on our year and then look forward to the New Year with lofty goals and ambition.
It would be easy for me to touch upon all the wonderful happenings of this year. It all started with our move to San Francisco. That journey thereafter chronicled here (at least what I got around to chronicling!) and the rest, for me to memorialize in my mind.
But what is a true reflection unless I also reflect on the challenges and lessons of this year. Unlike most “Happy New Year!” updates, my list may not all end in exclamation points of bliss. It could, but then I would be leaving out major moments of mine.
If I had to put one word to encapsulate this year, it would be
My desk for 2014:
2014 was our first year as newlyweds!
2014 was our first year as homeowners! It was so much fun decorating our home like an adult. LOL.
2014 was our epic honeymoon in Amsterdam and Africa!
2014 was about cherishing new friendships. It could have been a year of anxiety in making new friends, but somehow that all fell into place as we got here. We’ve met, made, and strengthened relationships with people we’re grateful to have out here on the west coast. It was also nice to keep in touch with many friends from the east coast. It was easy to keep in touch with my hometown Texas friends, but I didn’t know how it would be with my east coast friends!
2014 was about a break! My husband cruising in corporate life where he for the first time had weekends without once needing to answer work emails. Myself, time off to figure it out. A staybatical I called it. There was no pressure to start another company right away (although that’s always a goal in the back of my mind) or to find a company here in San Francisco I could work with to build out their vision.
2014 I learned that I loved interior decorating (before I only liked it on an observatory scale) and that I’m pretty good at it! It started as a hobby but now I’m finding out that others think I’m good enough to hire. Who knows where that may go, but for now, it’s fun to add to my Jack of All Trades resume!
2014 was the launch of this blog! A huge step for someone who ironically is a social introvert. Did you know I was an introvert or sorts? Yes, I enjoy being alone and prefer it unless you’re one of the people it took 10+ years for me to get to know. Groups give me anxiety. One on one is where I excel and find most comfort. I love getting to know a person and having intimate conversations. By launching this blog, I knew I had to start putting myself out there. No, not in the curated social media way of photos like “look at this!” but in a deeper way. I would need to expose what was inside my mind and heart. That included subjects that I never thought I would mention in a public forum. And it also meant that with that open-ess, in return I would be a subject of judgment and criticism. Even without this blog I was already accustomed that. I have always been an easy target for presumptions. Why? Because I put myself frequently in a public space (social media), so many “see me”. But few know me well. I’m sure I would surprise those that did get to know me.
2014 was learning (trying) to relax. Even with my break, I found it hard to relax. It stressed me out most of the time because I felt that I was wasting away being unproductive. It was hard to change my way of thinking and to cut myself some slack. In a place where I am constantly surrounded by awesome and inspiring people doing cool shit, how could I not want do cool shit too?!! I turned this into inspiration versus envy and thought to document them in this blog as a way to channel my free time and hope.
2014 was a year of guilt. I didn’t work. I’m young enough to work. I have no children. My husband is the sole breadwinner (at the moment). The first few times answering “what do you do?” was difficult. I tried to trick myself into feeling confident that I didn’t do shit at the moment because I was on break. But afterward, I felt guilty that I wasn’t contributing. I am very capable of contributing. I have great potential. I have a strong skill set and resume. Why am I not contributing? Will my husband resent me? Is he secretly hoping I will wake up and have an idea of what I want to do? Why do I have to be so picky? Why am I so lost? For someone who has so much potential (as others would assure me) why am I not meeting or exceeding it right now? Yes, I do feel blessed that I have this opportunity. I wake up everyday saying my “thanks” to God for it, but the reality is the guilt doesn’t go away as many times as you say thank you.
2014 was a year of chores! I am surprised at how many times I go grocery shopping a week or do laundry. Being a stay at home wife meant I had a chore list, but without the star stickers that kids get when completing a chore. I wanted to do as much as I could to contribute around the house. Some people told me why not hire a cleaner and I thought, “Why when I’m at home? What else would I do?” Part of my homework included getting into the spirit of making a home for us so that was nice. I make a killer bed, like the way you see it at Bloomingdales. I also cooked more so that we didn’t have to eat out a lot. I’m not quite Martha Stewart, but I do feel comfortable in the kitchen and being a host!
2014 was a year that I felt without purpose. I was so used to waking up and having an agenda of things to do and people who counted on me. On this staybatical, time was my friend AND enemy. Once I got pregnant, it threw me in a whirlwind of confusion. We were uber excited with our soon-to-be bundle of joy even though we were planning on waiting until the end of year to try. Everything happens for a reason, right? We embraced it and I was ready to be a mom, but that purpose was a different purpose and a future purpose for me. I still felt a void. Where was my motivation to attack? I guess I had always thought I would have everything figured out before I became a mom. I still want something for myself. I don’t know if that’s easy to understand. I tried to communicate this with a few other friends (who were moms) but they kept pushing to me that all I needed to worry about was being a mom. “That will be your purpose.” I didn’t feel that way though. I felt it was separate. I am still pondering that now at the close of the year, but I think I have more clarity in what will be next for me.
2014 was my first time talking to someone. It was only once but it was helpful. With our upcoming new addition, my OB had suggested that I talk to a therapist about how I felt. She gave me a lot of perspective and allowed me to open up to my husband so that he could understand how to adjust to my overwhelming emotions. I haven’t been back but for 2015, maybe it will be something I follow up on.
2014 was a year of gratefulness. I was gaining a baby girl (she’s growing in me!) and a bond with my husband that I never thought could be stronger, but it is. I gained more friends here in SF, family (Coco!) and new experiences from our travels. My husband gained a new appreciation for my gypsy spirited sister! She made it to his top 5 favorite people list lol. You have to meet her to know what I’m talking about. He’s always loved her, of course, but appreciating her quirks with a new perspective was a game changer for him. I am grateful for her being near my parents. She’s such a good daughter to them. I see how they depend on her different than they do with me. Maybe it’s because she lives closer to them or maybe it’s because she’s the eldest but she steps up to the plate when they need her. I couldn’t believe it when she told me how she helped to move donated furniture for them. That’s a lot of physical work! This happened after we lost our childhood family home and everything inside it (including my wedding gown). My mother and father’s home they were still living in burned down in August. They did not have insurance. Although it was terrible, it was thankfully not tragic. Everything will be rebuilt. I watched how strong and positive my parents remained. We also gained the power of community! A GOFUNDME page was set up and people from everywhere gave their hearts to help my parents bounce back. So many wrote, texted, and posted their prayers. I gained a new understanding of “gratefulness”.
2014 was the year I echoed the word “depression.” Whether it is a temporary struggle or a lifelong struggle, I had never known of this feeling I read about until it happened to me. The months before my pregnancy and a bit after the news, I didn’t know depression affected me. As the therapist mentioned, it was understandable as I had endured a multitude of life changes in a short period of time. For someone who operated in the fast lane as the norm, I must have felt out of place with the changes. The changes may all be positive and exciting but that didn’t change that it was a lot to handle. It was hard for me to wake up in the morning without that sense of purpose or knowing what I wanted to do. I didn’t know how to handle free time. I felt bored. I felt exhausted hoping. Weirdly, weekends were great when I didn’t have the free time to think. I was preoccupied with the adventures and spending time with my husband. Then I also mentioned to the therapist how helpless I felt when my mother and father lost everything in the fire because it wasn’t me who could fix everything. It was hard to swallow that pill, “depression” when she said it to me. I had a feeling it was what I was going through, but to hear it from a professional made it all the more real and inescapable. After hearing it and letting it marinate, the opposite of what you would think happened. Instead of feeling like a weight just fell upon me, pressing me down to the ground, I felt the opposite. It gave me assurance that I wasn’t crazy feeling this way and there was an explanation for that feeling. It also helped to know that it was temporary for me. It gave me renewed energy to want to get out of it. It was like motivation to hear that word. I didn’t ever want to hear depression was part of my life. My husband was more than ever helpful. He stopped trying to find solutions for me and just listened and remained patient that I would soon figure it out for myself. I stopped pressuring myself to have something in place and hard numbers to where and when I would do things. I made small and simple goals daily. That way, I had sense of accomplishment. #smallwins mattered. I played around with this blog and let myself be free with my ideas. I found a creative outlet to spend my time that felt a bit like “work”. I know weird, who tries to make more work for them? Before, I would think I had to fully invest into every idea that came across me. Then disappointed when that idea didn’t turn into anything more. Now, I have many ideas and let myself accept that the right time will come if it’s the right idea. Being 8 months pregnant as I am writing this, I am looking forward to being first, an involved and loving mother. I truly believe that after the changes of motherhood come, I will have a better grasp of what I will want for my future family and how I will balance that with my career goals. I accept that my path is not the same as others and my timing is the opposite.
2014 was the year of the bump! I totally got into being pregnant. I didn’t read a million books or stress over becoming a first time mother. Instead, I just took it day by day by enjoying the surprising growth of my belly. It was fun to watch and dress! I am proud of the wardrobe I’ve created of non-maternity wear. These pieces that will stay with me even after the pregnancy. I ate as well as I could (holidays killed me. Oh pumpkin pie you owned me!). I kept my reformer pilates regimen up and tried to walk as much as I could (does shopping count?)! I was lucky to have a pretty comfortable pregnancy without morning sickness or nausea ever. My friends around me also were pregnant! I can’t believe the bump boom that’s happening right now! It’s so much fun though to share this journey with those close to you! We ended the year with our beautiful baby shower for #MiniMilanComingSoon. We are so thankful for the love our friends and family gave to our family. It was truly magical. Yes, the décor was out-of-this-world cute (OMFG, right?), but nothing compared to us knowing how good our life was with these people in it. I cannot wait for #MiniMilanComingSoon to meet her aunties, uncles and grandparents.
So what’s the theme of 2015? We’ll jump the gun and call it now. My husband and I talked and we decided it’s the year of
We’ve got a few things coming into the pipeline, not just our Mini Milan but career wise. Maybe I can do something supernatural and give birth twice in one year 😉
Travel-wise, this year is like Miley Cyrus put it best, Party in the USA! Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico…. We’re coming for ya!
Wishing everyone the happiest of start to a NEW AND EXCITING YEAR. May all your goals, ambition, resolutions, and failures be meaningful and beautiful.
(series Taxi Cab Confessions. See 1)
Photo credit: Liang Shi