RICH in 2018

Listen to: Zero by Imagine Dragons

A lot of people talk about having a word and speaking it into existence for the new year. They take this word and hold it to a lot of their goals, dreams, desires, and more.

For me, I usually do resolutions and set goals at the beginning. I hardly set words or phrases. There’s just something about having one word define my year and then mushrooms hit the fan and it’s like “Awh crap I gotta change it” or “I don’t know if this word is relevant to me anymore” Because life happens. I like taking the whole year in and taking one word to summarize it all.

A lot of people say that this year, 2018, was the best-worst year of their lives. Honestly, same. But not same.

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So quick story time! On the 31st of December in 2017, I spent the morning with two of my closest friends. Looking at them with curiosity, I thought: I wonder what the year has in store for us three. Considering the insanity that 2017 had, we could only guess how wild 2018 would be. Fast forward to getting closer to midnight, I thought a lot about what would happen come 2018, and part of me was terrified but part of me felt something huge coming. I wasn’t sure what it was.

As minutes went by, I shifted my focus to making sure I had all my New Year’s traditions planned out: eat my grapes, give everyone cheek kisses and hugs, make a lot of noise, and most importantly, win the money fight.

Annually, at some point a few minutes after midnight, my mom and her brother haul everyone outside or in an open space where no one will get hurt, and then they toss money into the air. They toss dollar bills, they toss coins, tens, sometimes twenties. This year, the person who caught the most money got a bonus. I’ve always been horrible with finances, so 2018 I knew I needed to fix it. Therefore, I was pretty determined to win and get the most to start the year off on the right foot.

After the clock struck twelve, all the hurrah, and the greetings into the New Year, it was time.

2018, I’m going to fight for what’s mine. And it starts here.

Through all the aggression, grabbing, and looking all over for the green pieces of paper, I collected my winnings and began counting. I don’t remember the exact number off the top of my head, but I won. My family, relatives, friends, everyone kept telling me that this year was going to be the year I would be rich. That I should start my own bank and soon my parents would be asking where their gifts were. I thought, heck yeah I’m going to make bank after graduation and my credit card will be fixed!!!

Little did we know: I was not going to be rich financially.

As the year progressed, other areas of my life prospered instead. While I lost some, I gained so much more.

I became rich in my career.

One of my biggest concerns after graduating college was trying to identify what my calling was. At the beginning of the year, a lot of my focus was on landing a job with a wedding consultant business or being a part of a company that focuses on special events. I worked with a wedding coordinator in February for the second time, planned my cousin’s wedding in June, landed another wedding that is scheduled for 2019, and I met so many people in the industry. In the first half of the year, the stars all seemed to align. However, I knew I also wanted a master’s degree moving forward and an MBA was out of the question. I shifted my education focus into higher education once again and started searching for professional experience related to the student affairs field. Soon enough, I found myself in August completing an internship with Housing Services, continuing my job in Student Activities and Programs for one more semester, and landed a long-term internship at another college working for their college president. I still have not decided if I want to continue event planning if/when I receive a graduate school acceptance letter. That is all contingent on where I will be come Fall 2019. For now, I am extremely happy with my continuous growth as a student affairs professional.

I became rich in my passions.

2018 was definitely a year that I continued putting more time for what I wanted to do. For all of winter and spring quarter of my last year at Pomona, I played volleyball every week on and off campus and mastered my craft as a setter. I drove as far as the OC/Anaheim to play every Sunday with people who challenged me to become better on top of having a class session twice a week and nightly pick up games at the gym. This was also the year I wrote more for myself and for my blog. As of this post in 2018, I have released 25 opportunities for me to let my mind speak out freely. Through writing in my diary and my blog, I was able to understand my thought process a lot better, relish in my highs, cope in my lows, and somehow (still am astounded by the impact) reach the hearts of people who needed to hear things when they least expected it. I can honestly say my writing opened doors not only for myself, but others as well. By the end of 2018, I found myself holding a book that my friend, Dwight Ong, had put together that held my story that I wrote. Lastly, this was the year I indulged in the arts. I have experienced more photoshoots, museums, musicals, concerts, art, and more than I can count on my fingers with so many loved ones in my life. I got to see my favorite singers live and sing at the top of my lungs in a large crowd. I traveled to far places to bask in beautiful architectural pieces by architects and artists I read in books. I grew in understanding modeling and the art of photography. This year was filled with so much creative, unique beauty and I cannot wait to experience more.

I became rich in my relationships.

Granted, this area of my life had the most rough patches. There were so many instances where my friendships were tested and I’ll tell you this: while quite a few bridges were burned, so many bonds became stronger. Friendships that I thought would stand the test of time faltered due to faults on either end, arguments, misunderstandings, disconnect, and distance. At the same time, friendships that I thought were long gone, came back and were rekindled. I experienced true loss and true commitment. I found people who wanted the best for me, who were honest with me, who supported me, and who loved me for my whole self. I made efforts to cultivate and foster relationships with people I did not have enough time to dedicate to during my undergraduate years. Through all the dinner or lunch dates, late night happy hours, phone calls, spontaneous text messages, traveling, work parties, events, and more, the moments in 2018 and the people I spent them with defined and contributed to my growth, and making my life more richer than it was already becoming.

I became rich in love.

For the past few years, I guess you can say I’ve been kind of running in circles. In 2017 I did try dating again, but I was afraid of commitment and pain. I also did not take the time to identify what I actually wanted in a partner. I can honestly say that this year I have explored more of my sexuality as well as identified traits and trends in a future partner. 2018, I worked at the chain that held me to fear and started just…going with the flow. I’ve gone on and off dating apps, met up with a few guys from online and in real life, went on a few dates, had a kiss or two, and had enlightening conversations. I found out and still am learning about the things I like, the things I don’t like, the things I can handle, and the things I can’t tolerate. I know these lessons will come handy later on, but who knows? Maybe everything will be changed around as I grow older. And that’s the beauty of it. These days, as we close out 2018, I’m open to dating and being in a relationship. I’ve learned that the time will come and the right person will come along with it. For now I’m just enjoying the ride and seeing where the wind takes me with no expectations, whether it be dancing the night away, conversating over a good meal, or having a nice cuddle session.

I became rich in physical growth.

I started contributing more time to my physical health this year. After 2017’s mishap and seeing where my body was at in the first half of the year, I knew I did not want to live an unhealthy lifestyle as I progressed deeper into my 20’s. I started off 2018 with just getting myself into the habit of working out again. Playing more volleyball and running around the track to set mile time PR’s was my method of staying on top of my fitness game while I was still in college. Once that was over and I came back from Europe, I had a lot of time on my hands to dedicate to more scheduled and intentional workouts. For 67 days, I ran every single day around my neighborhood and school. I ate healthier: I began cutting excessive carbohydrates and eliminating junk food that I would resort to when I was hungry or stressed out. I made sure to sleep more and give my body the rest and breaks that I needed. I went from being about 155 – 160 pounds in the first half of the year to weighing in at 141 in mid-November. I take my health more seriously these days and I have already started making big plans for 2019 with my support.

I became rich in mental growth & self love

I can go on and I have wrote several posts, but in a nutshell: I fell in love with myself again and learned how to put myself first. I kept getting lost in the fog and realized I kept letting a lot of people define who I was.  I let a lot of opinions that I heard or read define me to the point where I felt like I had no control over my life. I had a lot of breakdowns and breakthroughs this year: acknowledging my fears through transformation; having hard conversations with loved ones; working at my anxiety, depression, and PTSD; learning how to do things physically and mentally alone; and standing up for myself in the face of an toxic opinion. It was hard, but I knew and know that the life I once lived and the mentality I once had was not what I wanted for myself. Coming back to myself, recognizing my potential, accepting my faults, and understanding my needs and desires was, hands down, my biggest accomplishment this year. I poured more love into myself. As a result, I was able to pour more love into life.

12 AM on January 1st, 2018 was definitely a foreshadowing of what the year was to hold. A lot of fights, a lot of reconcile, and a lot of realizing my potential in what I can gain if I set my mind to it. This was the year I began acknowledging what I wanted, understanding what I already knew, and discovering what I never knew I needed.

So thank you 2018. Thank you for the days that I felt like a zero, but I still found my way out.

Listen to: Zero by Imagine Dragons

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