Sunday, December 15, 2019

Reading my final 2018 post from a year ago (LINK) - made me laugh out loud. I was writing from such a space of quiet, solitude, calmness, no stress. Life was chill, and as I said "I am leaving room for the unexpected". Whatever God had for me, I was going to welcome it. I actually posted it 1 day after my first date with my Fiance.

So that room I created in 2018 was really filled to the brim this year...with things and people that made me experience a part of myself that I didn't know existed or a part of me that I used very little of. What 2019 taught me was to be grateful for when God answers my prayers....Because my prayers more or less looked like this - a lot of the unexpected.

I met Aaron in 2018 technically, but we started 2019 with our 3rd date and solidifying our relationship to bring in a brand new year.

In February, I loved getting to visit my bestie in Alaska for her 30th birthday!

I found rhythm at work. I was also promoted from Manager to Director thanks to my supportive supervisor.

This year I inherited 2 roommates - one future brother in law in January and another in October. I also got to meet my future sister in law too who is helping us coordinate for the Wedding.

My niece also lived with us for 6 weeks this Summer. My brother and his fam came to visit in August - I haven't lived at home for 12 years, and this was the first time he came to visit me, I really loved getting to hang with my brother as an adult.

I so happily got to officiate a friend's wedding - We've been friends for 19 years and met at Church camp.

I met my Fiance's Madrina, Tia, Tio, Primas, Sobrina, and Grandparents.

I went to Toronto, Canada for a conference and was reunited with old friends and I got to explore a new city, by myself - Oh how I value quiet time these days.

Made a 16 hour road trip to South Dakota so my Fiance could meet my family and so I could partake in my hometeam's annual 3rd of July reunion. We got to shoot firework, goto the rodeo, ride the four wheeler, and enjoy the best season in my home state. I can smell the yellow clover when I look at photos!

We got to explore Vancouver, Canada, twice, and my Fiance got to meet my cousin living there. We grew up on the farm together!

We had 41 visitors total since I've lived here - All whom we loved, adored, and made so many memories with. We cooked, we belly laughed, we toured Seattle. We love hosting people, and making people feel at home.

I am half way through my conversion into Catholicism and got to experience the Rite of Welcome in December.

I also started to learn basic Spanish.

2019 was also filled with a lot of the hard stuff - illness, medical concerns, racism (interracial relationship, culture shock (adjusting to difference in cultural norms), learning to let go, dealing with people who feel entitled to my life, adjusting friendships and our normalcy with my new's been a year full of heartache too. But it's what made the other memories so healing, and so sweet.

Each passing year, I grow more comfortable and confident in where my values are. Who I love, who I respect. What I do and what I don't do. What I am not willing to say yes to if it wrecks my peace, and when to 100% say yes, I'll do that with a joyful heart.

For 2020, I chose to focus on the word Anew. I chose Anew because although my heart is the same; my roles and priorities have had to evolve. In 2020, I will be starting year 3 at DigiPen. I will have been with American Pageants Inc. for 22 years. I am getting married to my person. I will become officially Catholic, I will be further learning Spanish.

My life, in many ways feels different from the inside out, but my values, my hometeam, all the things that keep me grounded and blessed are still the same.

This season - Anew - is about rebirth of my self - Spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally. It terries me with how many changes have happened, and on the other hand, the adrenaline has completely fed my lust for adventure. Old me would be job searching and looking for my next city to move to. This me, Washington me, is looking at what can I do right in front of me. What does it look like to love fully the life given to me here, even when so many things were unexpected - Good unexpected and tearfully, unexpected too.

My old roomie and friend - We had a day to do vision boards. 2020 - My inspiration for what's to come!

2017: No Dating

Monday, January 16, 2017

San Francisco: Original BFF.

Being a 20 something can be confusing and eventually you learn what "advice" to take and what doesn't apply to you.

One of those subjects is dating.

With barely any dating experience up until late college, I was a late bloomer. I was definitely a chase your goals, not boys type of girl. 

Once I was done with graduate school, I started focusing on my love life.

Mainly because I fell into the illusion that many of us do after school:
Marriage is the natural next step.
As a woman, my eggs are expiring, so best get someone before I'm too old.
I am in a more stable part of life to have a consistent person.

I ended up dating....a lot, and ended up in a serious relationship, mini relationships, and handfuls of dates that all led up to this point today - single.

And I've had my fair share of funny dating stories (more to share), positive relationships, and ones that I learned a great deal from and hope to never repeat.

So, as I turn 28 this year. An age where most women have gotten married and are having kids or this is the age that we all have said, "we hope we have our first child by 28"....I'm actually claiming it as a year of no dating.

I was serious about my 2017 theme and investing into what I already have in life and from my calculations, that also means no boyfriend.

I am giving permission to re-group. Focus on my connections currently and to ignore this idea that I'm getting older so I better hurry and find someone.

I don't have this ache or feel this void like I did for so much of my 20's - feeling like I am missing out. If anything I've accepted this year that ideally I'd love to get married and have kids, but if that doesn't happen, I know I will do enough in life to make sure I am happy and fulfilled in other ways.

This isn't a pity post. There isn't anything sad about my life. Being single is a choice. Just like being married is a choice.

So, instead I also have decided to root for healthy relationships. For myself, for my friends, for my family.

Healthy, great, and immeasurably positive relationships.

I also may have picked up a new hobby where I awkwardly leave a ring emoji under my friends instagram pictures because I am hinting I want them to get engaged.

But no pressure friends - Since I won't focus on my love life, I have all the time in the world to focus on yours ;)

And on a real note, I feel good giving myself some space to not feel obligated to put myself out there when that's all I've done since the Fall of 2013.

So, cheers to a year of rooting for healthy relationships, and I am also planning to post the funny dating stories along the way from this year to relive some of my most horridly embarrassing, but very memorable moments.

2017 Sharpening and Strengthening

Black Hills: In my field, I have learned which time frames are meant for solitude. January is one of them as I take the year to prepare to lead a team through some of the most challenging, but rewarding phases of life. I love the Black Hills Forest, providing both solitude and inspiration to fuel the year.

2017 – Sharpening and strengthening what I already have in my life; A year of local and grounded-ness.

What a 180 degree turn compared to 2016, which was an external year on steroids, with a giant spotlight, filled with visible changes and the work being done could have been seen from the Arctic circle.

When I was in South Dakota over Christmas, I was looking at my To Experience List and it has narrowed down to half. Wild to look at a physical list where my handwriting hadn’t changed much since I was 20 years old and half of my so called bucket-list was crossed off. 

And after numerous lifestyle changes such as becoming a minimalist (doing more with less), purging most of what I own, funding experiences - not things; all of which derive from this value of we always want more, but more doesn't make us happier. 

Within that though, I didn't realize that craving experiences can become just as toxic as collecting things, and some times becoming so obsessed with a lifestyle, takes away from the reason you started making life changes in the first place.

So, as I restore balance this year,  I decided 2017 is going to be an internal year 

Most of the changes I make this year have less to do with actual change and it has more to do with focusing on cleanup work. It has to do with investing and loving the work, connections, purpose, money, projects, and life giving matters that already exist in my life. No new lifestyle habits. No crossing off bucket-list items. None of it.

Yes, you read that right.

I am not making new friends...

I am not bringing on anymore new projects...

No job searching...

No new sources of income...

I am even going as far as to not date this year, which is a future post.

And every year since 2010, I have followed through on every single one of my yearly themes. No matter how challenging or how exhausting or how anything...and they're not always pretty, and I'm starting to accept 2017 may be similar.

I started writing down my themes to remember to believe in God's love and plan, and to trust my gut.

When I re-read my 2015 post it encouraged me to remember we are getting what we need for what is to happen later.

And as I gear up for 2017, I am grateful for what I have, because what I have really IS enough.

2016 - Thank you

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A year of getting after it. It wasn't a secret in my life that 2016 was a major upgrade from 2015 for me. You can read about it HERE, HERE, and HERE.

It was a year I needed. A year of exponential acceptance of my relationship with God, self, and place in life. It was a year of partying, silly, fun, but also serious, big picture questions and semi half answers. You can read what 2016 was about in my posts above and how it was a miracle year, but I wanted to review and highlight some of my favorite moments from January-December of 2016:

  • I was asked to do reality TV, twice this year
  • I accepted a role as an Advisor for Fashion and Industrial Design Students at The Academy of Art in San Francisco where I saw my pageant life and New York Fashion week collide
  • I also was asked to be keynote for the No Frills Conference where I got to talk about a project that was an idea 5 years ago
  • Moved to San Francisco, a city I'd dreamed of living in for 3 years
  • Met my Community Group at Canvas
  • Planned a South Dakota State University alumni party prior to NCAA game at Stanford, over 47 people showed
  • Miss Teen of America President called and asked if I wanted to recruit judges. I needed a piece of home and familiar in this chapter. I love this program and would make several sacrifices to be a centimeter part of it
  • Attending graduation at California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
  • My goodbye party at CSUMB...stories for days
  • Surprising my old team CSUMB at their banquet. I love them very much
  • Skydiving w. my community group - Finally crossed this off my to experience list 
  • Attending my first ever Pride in San Francisco
  • San Luis Obispo Reunion with KD and KP after not all being together since graduate school.
  • Touring San Francisco on the 4th of July w/ Hay Sue, Hay Ann, and Nessa
  • Getting a program 100% funded and turned over into higher education so me and the co could actually relax after a 4 year run on what was suppose to be a 2 year stint
  • Trip to Muir Woods w. Nessa
  • Declining a role on the Clinton campaign because I was already in love with my life
  • Visiting Chicago on a whim
  • Accepted a job at San Francisco State to finish out the year
  • Fleet Week in San Francisco
  • 3rd Annual Ingrid Michaelson Concert
  • Canada!
  • Santacon w/ 3 of my former Resident Advisors in 2013 who are now close friends
  • Reunions galore & home for the Holidays
  • Accepted my own unique connection with God and my faith
  • My Dad is no longer going blind & my Mom is cancer FREE!!!!!

...and despite 3 job changes and collectively earning less because of it, I still donated more money to  causes than any year I've been out of college. I dated, loved, healed, and forgave a lot. I took risks, cleaned out my life, and like my mom said yesterday to me, I go big or I don't go at all.

2017 has magical moments ahead & grateful for all of what 2016 has given me to prepare.

Romans 12:14-21

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