“If I cease searching, then; woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it – keep going, keep going come what may.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Hello, people of the world! It’s been a little over a year since my last post and in some ways, Dec 2019 seems like just a few weeks ago and in most ways, it seems like years ago. What a year 2020 was, huh? Today I write not only because it would’ve been my Momma’s 54th birthday, but also because tomorrow I start on an exciting new journey exploring a new industry that I think will be the one for me.
In search of: Stability
For the past few years, the one thing I’ve been in search of most is stability. I want it and sometimes I need it so I can keep on going, come what may. I needed it most in 2018 after my mom passed and I needed it in 2020, like most of us. As I reflect on 2020, as unstable as it was, it was the year of the most growth for me.
It was the best year yet for me and John. Being the social butterfly I’ve always been, I needed to learn how to be okay with not having a plan, find stillness in the chaos, and most important of all, be honest with myself and others on what I truly needed in the moment to feel like I had it together. I also learned the true meaning of what it means to be home. John has been my constant, one of the strongest roots of my growing tree, and I am very lucky that the universe gave me him as a partner and lover for life. We learned more about each other this past year and have some exciting plans to look forward to in the years ahead. Team work truly makes the dream work. ILY!
It was the best year yet for me developing a relationship with my mom’s spiritual presence. I feel her during more various situations, not just when I need her most, and that’s been such a treat. I credit this to meditation and learning to not have expectations. Just like today—I woke up and knew it was her birthday, but it wasn’t until now that I felt a mental nudge from her to write down my thoughts and share it with the world after more than a year of writer’s block. I talk about her more often and openly and am able to be emotional but not breakdown in anger and sadness. The emotions have also been more of a 70/30, happy/sad combination, which is progress for me. For example, I’ll experience something great and happy and I’ll say “Thanks Mom!” Or “Wish you were here!” And sometimes it’ll be followed with “Ugh, I miss you and wish you were here” with a few teary moments if the feelings were particularly strong. Either way, I am so grateful to have this stability of emotions following a very difficult period in my young adult life and I am so grateful to have known my mom so well that I can figure out how she’d guide me in situations where I feel stuck or lost. I am also so grateful for and proud of my family who has supported one another as we live our lives and honor her. Happy birthday my beautiful Momma! Thank you for continuing to love, support, and guide us.
With the pandemic affecting the micro and macro environments we interact with on a daily basis, it was only a matter of time until I would feel the domino effect of these influenced and sometimes forced changes in my job. Some of you know that I manage the outdoors category for one of the largest e-commerce retailers in the world. All of 2020, I was working 100 mph, not only because I was working towards a promotion, but also because of the intense demand my category saw through all the weeks in the year. It was in a way fulfilling for me because it meant that people were enjoying the great outdoors! But working for corporation that is customer obsessed, also means making sure you’re doing what ever you can to keep up with demand so you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Often times I would lose sight of my “why”. “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I putting this pressure on myself to get to this promotion if I am burnt out?” “Why do I keep pushing my limits?” “Why am I always seeking meaning in this job? Shouldn’t it come more easily? There has to be a better path out there for me.” This pressure and uncertainty took a toll on my mental and personal health and after a long drive with my best friend in the middle of summer to seek clarity, I decided that the retail industry wasn’t for me. I stuck to my personal promise where I work to live, not live to work. I decided to forego my promotion, let go of a little bit of my ego, and instead pursue a career that will fulfill me. After searching 4 months, I landed a great internal role in a parallel organization: advertising. I love working with brands and helping them grow their business. Best of all, I’ll be managing the brands in the sports and outdoors categories where I get to have continuity and work with categories that I have a personal interest in. Tomorrow is Day One again for me and I am so excited!
With quarantine and working from home since March really affecting my mental health (I know I’m not alone here), combined with political instability, a depressing economy with so many people losing their jobs, and watching major cities struggle to figure out how to help small businesses and support those affected by COVID, it was incredibly difficult to find some sort of meaning to keep me going. I gained weight, was emotionally eating, didn’t feel like talking to people sometimes, and really wasn’t feeling like myself. Through meditation and daily check-ins with my mind and body (thanks Hatch), I discovered that part of it was because we lived in the suburbs where we were limited to what we can explore by foot and part of it was because our neighborhood was changing and made it difficult to continue calling our house a home. I felt like I was floating and couldn’t find a way back to the ground. Ultimately we decided to spontaneously move out of our suburb home and into a city high-rise apartment and live the life we were more familiar and were happy with, while we renovate our house and putting it on the market in the spring. Our end goal is to eventually move to a big city like NYC, so we’ll see where our life will take us and where we decide to settle and call a place our “forever home”. We know we like being in places with energy, innovation, and good food 🙂
In search of: Joy and Fulfillment
As I think about my goals for this year, it’s really two things: to find more joy in the things I do and to find fulfillment in the career I am beginning. With these two goals, I am able to easily gauge my progress, make reasonable adjustments, and ultimately feel more stable and at home.
I challenge you to create attainable and simple goals as we continue to learn from this past year and grow as human beings. Let’s be more kind to one another, be more patient with ourselves, and have hope that we come out of this strange period of time as better friends, partners, and communities.
As my mom said it best: “a day without laughter is a day wasted”. Let’s laugh a little bit more and do things that will bring us more joy, even during a time of uncertainty and darkness. Much love, from me to you!