2018: A Year of Yes

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2018 was the year where I realized I cannot continue seeking outside validation. Be it in running, my work life, my relationships. That no single person but me mattered in the darkest hours, the ones when I stood in the kitchen, in my room or on the street corner and cried because all the things came together. When life just felt hard. Hard to be part of.

2018 was the year I cared about mental health. I cared about my own mental health. At times, when I felt like drowning, I learned to step away, step outside, take a breath of fresh air and work my way through. I sought out healing. In yoga, in journaling, in meditating. And yes, I am still processing, but I am feeling much better today. 

In 2018, I have learned that compassion also means being compassionate to yourself, that enduring is not a way of living, that it is healthier for you to step away from people who continue to hurt you. Previously, I thought I can meditate my way through any and all the situations and that my love and belief in the goodness of people would carry me through, that I can somehow heal them, too. 

I have learned to protect my sacred energy. I have learned to take care of my mental well-being. I have learned to take my time and my space. 

In 2018, I learned that everything finds an ending, that even a marriage of 25 years, the one of my parents, the strongest bond I have ever experienced, can break apart and that sometimes you need to let go of the things that don’t serve you anymore to find joy again. 

2018 was the year I realized I needed to reclaim my space and my voice. 

In 2018, I have learned that I am enough. And worthy of love. And worthy of good things and good people.

2018 was hard, it was the pinnacle of a three year upward climbing stretch which seemed never ending. It was my letting go of a very complicated, very heart-breaking, very demanding relationship. It was the year I have learned to build new and amazing relationships again, to dear friends, my (now) separate parents and myself.

In 2018, it was more important to me to create work that mattered to me. It was more important to come home and feel full and good about it than to create an impression.

In 2018, I have learned that hype is not long-lasting. That I am here for the long run. That I had to return to purpose. My why. Why do I do this and that? 

Who am I? What am I really about?

At 25, I needed a turn in direction. 

It was the reach for more freedom. For more time and for more space.

In 2018, I learned to ‘bet on yourself’. To take risks. To invest in yourself. 

I learned that I do value peace, in my heart and my mind. As much as I love the hustle, I value a strong foundation. I value integrity. To this day, I value honesty. I value loving and encouraging words. I value substance and real people. 

I have learned to say no to make space for all the YESSSES:

To new beginnings. To leaving and starting fresh. Yes to heading into the unknown. 

Yes to surrounding myself with more strong and brilliant women like @kdn_and @jenn_tardif  @acnoot @asmeretasmeret @jessiezapo.

Yes to running more slow and fast miles with @caitlinphillips and @kallioperodes. To climbing in the mornings with @sturdyankles and @trishdales.

Yes to pouring my heart out with @aishaq and sharing my biggest dreams with @cschrunk .

Yes to getting my butt kicked by @eatwithyahn to start @wocforward — a space for nourishment and growth, a space for us.

Yes to believing in my ideas and launching my first actual product, a naturally dyed GOLDTOGREEN tee, produced by women, made out of recycled cotton.

Yes to long bike rides with @mekdesmersha. Yes to Vietnamese lunches with @keniaacanales. Yes to playing in the park with @nichole.ricketts and skateboarding at night with @paavozatopek. To stepping out of the comfort zone and working out with @michellemar.ques and @sayhuyen. To just sitting and having pancakes with @_stevekong.

Yes to laughing loud and bubble tea evenings with @jess2sick and late night studio visits with @honorroller.

Yes to exploring arts and culture with @biancajnem and @victorromanstudios. Yes to buying more flowers.

Yes to swimming before work with @jennypics and @faithevebee. Yes to writing for print again @handspress. Yes to hugging @yo_mk more than once. Yes to recording my first PODCAST and so many episodes through @chungmania. Yes to showing my feelings and having my tears wiped by @nourgee. Yes to creating with @sam_san_.

Yes to following my gut, packing my belongings to move across the ocean and continue education. Yes to more family time. Yes to chopping off the hair and feeling good in my own skin. In my own body. Yes to change. And growth. And learnings. Yes to planting the seeds. Yes to shining. And yes to dreaming big.

My life has expanded by so much (thank you to every single one of you who shares this journey with me) over this past year and I am forever grateful. Here it is to letting go of fear, to staying courageous, to moving forward and to listening to your heart.

Stay true friends! And happy new year <3 ✨✨✨

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