Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kiss the Year Goodbye


Before I post my New Years resolutions I wanted to reflect on this past year. Throughout 2016 I constantly found myself thinking, this is too hard... I don't want to do this anymore. Life would throw one obstacle after another and it always felt like the earth was pulling pranks on me. Like why does it need to start pouring rain when it's already been a horrible day? So dramatic.

But about a month back I had a realization that 2016 has actually been my best year yet. Life on Earth is always going to be difficult, and the moment I began to understand that it will always get harder, I learned to cherish every single moment, the highs and the lows.

Soooo as an appreciation post for 2016, here is a list of many awesome things I accomplished/experienced/learned this year!

  • I opened my first etsy shop and got quickly bored of it.
  • I celebrated my first birthday away from home. 
    • I had a $200 sushi meal with Alison sponsored by my amazing cousin.
  • One of my best friends got on a plane for her very first time, left California (also for her very first time), and visited me for Spring Break. 
    • We took a 2-day trip to New York where we went to a set location of a TV show Jasmine really likes.
    • I booked my first Air BnB place and it was the worst experience ever. (Dumb things I do to save money)
  • I won my first merit-based scholarship. I didn't realize this until I went to the scholarship reception, where it was evident that not all the recipients there had financial needs. 
    • They flew me out to Atlanta, Georgia and paid for my hotel and meals.
    • Coca Cola sponsored the event and gave me a personal Coca Cola bottle with my name printed on it.
  • I cried on a plane. Not because I was 3 months old and screaming from God-knows-what. But because I learned the value of home and how much people really mean to me.
  • I took a road trip to San Francisco with some friends.
    • I got to stay overnight at my friend's house that Google was paying for.
    • I visited Google's headquarters.
  • I flew to Arizona and spent 3 days at the home of the CEO and founder of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I visited the headquarters of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I became the Pennsylvania Youth Ambassador of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I learned to ride a horse.
  • I went to Italy with 3 of the most incredible people in my life, where we learned to love and hate each other in so many ways.
    • I went to a Ludovico Einaudi at Renzo Pianos' Auditorium Parco della Musica where I was nearly convinced that I was dreaming.
    • I got bombarded by men claiming they were Colombian as they danced towards me and my friend to seductive music.
    • I saw in person masterpieces by Michelangelo, Giotto, Parmigianino, Brunlleschi, Ghiberti, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, okay pretty much every Ninja Turtle and Italian Renaissance artist.
    • I had gelato almost every day.
    • I was homeless for two nights.
    • I learned to discover a new country's language and culture without phone data (I highly recommend trying this actually).
  • I went to the Motherland for the 2nd time, but first time without my family. 
    • I lived with my mom's aunt for some time, where I was able to learn more about the world my mom comes from. I went to one of the most sentimental place of my mom's childhood and there was something beautifully haunting about it.
    • I learned that my grandma is an amazing sewer and we had so much fun crafting together!
  • I got on my longest flight yet (16 hours) where my chair did not recline. 
  • I slept at an airport... on the ground...twice.
  • I got literally the most convenient job I could have at this time.
    • I had my first real company dinner where they paid for our three course meal, twice.
    • My managers cooked us a Thanksgiving meal.
  • I paid my own rent for the first time.
  • I moved into my first apartment.
  • I got my first credit card and just applied for my second one.
  • I got robbed $1000 from Zipcar but learned why I should always invest in better insurance.
  • My sister, Grace, and Amber visited me in Philly.
  • Grace came again and so I wasn't lonely on Thanksgiving.
  • I cooked a horrible Friendsgiving dinner cause I suck at cooking.
  • I won a total of 5 private scholarships, for a sum of $9,500.
  • I went to a Sia concert!
  • I had my first critique where people said my work was their favorite.
  • I bought Creative Cloud!
  • I lost count of my all-nighters.
  • I went to nrb and Love Letter every time I went home.
Okay, I am going to stop there haha. I can seriously go forever. I am so grateful for the people who made this year so special for me. I don't have a lot of friends, but the few who stick by me are more than enough. Comparing this year's reflection to last year clearly shows how much I've grown in just one year. 2017 is going to be an interesting one....and I am so. damn. excited.

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