2015: Concluding an Era

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I wrote about 2015 almost 1 year ago. I re-read that post and it is scary how accurate it was. 

When I was a teenager, a former mentor told me she was concluding a great era of her life, I was confused. Weren't era's consisting of a long life span? And isn't this woman in her late 20's? But that is exactly what 2015 was for me, concluding a major era of my life and preparing me to begin a new one. 

In Pageantry, I’ve been involved in every aspect in every major system. My friends have aged out and my former clients are now the coaches and consultants. In the non-profit, my co-founder | friend and I are now at the phase where our first corps members from 2012 are now the college students and mentors. We have funding for the next year – every non-profiteers yearly relief!

Post graduate school, I’ve been a practicing professional for 3 years.  I've been officially telling people I will be leaving my current role this year. I love my work. I have the coolest and most inspiring students and the best colleagues. I've gotten to do everything I've ever wanted to do in this job, but I also feel someone new can come in and do my job better than me with a fresh lens. I can’t help, but be incredibly sad to be leaving something that has shaped over half of my 20’s, yet I am looking forward to what is to come and in the mean time, I intend to be joyful in the present.

I have no idea where I’ll end up this year. I’m looking at my situation with the attitude, I can do, go, or be whatever and how amazing is that? I have the ability to go in the direction that God has intended without anything holding me back. That doesn’t mean I will have a job right away, it may mean I struggle. But I get to choose. 

You may be reading this and think “good for you” or “glad everything is in order”, but interwoven in those bright moments during this era were very long days, weeks, or even months. I was depressed and have been to counseling 3 times in 5 years. I found out my mom had cancer and she is still battling it. I’ve been to more funerals than weddings. I had a broken heart from my first love and let’s be real, those are the worst. I was assaulted. People screwed me over…and about 1000 other things that could have let me think good riddance to this era of life. But I choose not to, because I can’t help but feel this era was so breathtakingly rich – full of adventure, discovery, crossed off bucket lists, goals achieved, beautiful people, and every other type of positive learning experience. I learned who I was in this era and who I’m not. I know sense of self is always evolving, but there is something gratifying about summarizing all that one has learned from emerging as a young adult to…let’s use this term loosely, an adult.

I’ve learned I can be both ambitious and gracious with myself. I can be both guarded and open to new. I can stand up for others and myself, yet be kind. I can forgive and actually forgive. I can be a goal setter and someone who values rest and seasons of ordinary. I can serve others without losing my sense of self. I am happy – with or without being in romantic love. With or without children. With or without amounts of disposable money. As long as I'm serving Christ and his purpose for my life - I'm good.  I don’t mind living my life in extremes. I can love with my whole entire being and I can welcome strangers and make them my family. I value memories and experiences over things. I believe in simplifying and selectivity. I have created a relationship with Christ – one not of my family or something that organized religion taught me. But I’ve also learned I can love a church too. I discovered that I have people in my life who are rooting for me. People who love life with the same charisma as I do and if not 10 times more than I ever will. I re-discovered the value of my parents, family, and the appreciation of a deep connection.

In this era, I found my backbone, my guts and values, and in closing this era, and walking into the unknown of the next, I am free.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

Downtown Denver: Keeping it local

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Flyer Girl and I have similar sentiments during travel - we eat, purchase, and do things locally. If I have to go to a big box store it is because it's like Target and I need meds. 

Our itinerary post Union Station: Links included!
Fashion Trucks - Apparently this is a thing.
Tattered Cover Bookstore - Shelves on shelves of books and uncovered adventure.
Sputnik Bar - Who wouldn't want a 1PM booze? Pretty hipster. Say yes to a drink and no to the food.
Linger - great tapas and they're foods from the different continents.
Bazaar - Fun local artists and artisans with plenty of beverages.

Enjoy a bit of Denver and a dash of Fall!

Downtown Denver: Union Station

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I wanted to experience Fall, so I went to Colorado in October. I unexpectedly got to spend the beginning of Fall in South Dakota too. So, I got twice the fall treat this year! You can read other reasons why I traveled to Colorado, HERE.

Denver has revitalized its downtown area in the last 3 years. Growing up 8 hours from Denver, this was the major city we traveled to when we needed to fly or catch a baseball game. It has always been very industrial and I remember almost getting stabbed in front of the capitol building at 13 during a drug deal. Yes, that is the Denver I remember and did not recognize this time around - ha! I think my cat is jealous of the 9+ lives I've been fortunately granted.

It was a gorgeous Fall Day with minimal traffic downtown Denver. There were several cute fashion trucks...Yes, much like food trucks, but with etsy-like jewelry flocked to every curb corner. My favorite though in Union Station includes the endless amount of coffee shops and boutiques each with its own personality. Oh and you must get a boozey milkshake. Unless you don't like alcohol, then at least get a milkshake from Milkbox, you will have 0 regrets. That is unless you're lactose intolerant, then that just sucks, and I recommend checking out something that will make your trip more pleasant :)

Thank you for spending time with me, so in exchange for time, I also want to mention I spent the whole day in gratitude for Flyer girl, who has traveled in 3 major cities with me and she still tolerates me! I am also grateful for deep conversation and experiencing Denver from an adult (yeah I'm using that word loosely) perspective because Denver has always felt like another home to me.

What makes you grateful during travel?

Denver, you're a beaut!
New-ish remodeled union station in downtown Denver

Flyer Girl and I met in grad school in 2011!
Recommending the Butterscotch & Bourbon 
Inside one of the cute shops, I couldn't let this postcard stay on the shelf!
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan