25 Things I Learned Before Turning 25 // Mar 2019

Good Vibes


β€œDon’t lose who you are, in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are.”

– Jessie J.

Tomorrow, I will be at the age I’ve been looking forward to turning since I was 18. I’ve always been a planner…when I was 7, I was thinking of the things I would do when I turn double digits. When I was 10, I was looking forward to watching PG-13 movies and finally being a teenager. When I was 13, I was thinking of high school and the things I needed to do if I wanted to get into a good college at 18. When I entered the adult world, I imagined what life would be like in my mid-twenties as a “full-grown” adult. I was cute. Still am, haha.

Birthdays are exciting times to reflect and also think about the next year. It’s another opportunity to “restart” and turn a new leaf. At 24, I’ve surpassed the wildest dreams I concocted for myself when I was younger.

Because I think it’s fun to share, here were my goals when I was a college freshman. When I was 18, I made these aspirations for age 25:

  • Be a senior finance analyst at a Fortune 500 company
  • Make $80,000 a year because I wanted to make six figures by 30
  • Own a little condo in the city
  • Pay off my student loans
  • Be completely financially independent from my parents
  • Be a strong, independent, career-driven woman

What amazing goals to have by 25. But I was also such a dreamer and didn’t think about what I needed to do to get to those points and also didn’t completely understand those goals. Some of the above are not in my control. Some of those were dependent on my work performance, the industry I was in, and many external factors.

Out of all those 18-year-old-Rae goals, the last one is what holds the most true and is what I have complete control in doing. I have the power to be strong. I have the capability to be independent. I have the will to be career-driven.

These past few weeks have been such a whirlwind for me. Some of you know my Starbucks story. I took the risk entering the corporate finance world again after choosing to leave Boeing my senior year of college and choosing instead to untraditionally work in commercial real estate.

I remember telling my family about this crazy 2016 time–telling them that yes, I have fulfilled your dream of working at a huge, well-known American company like Boeing, but you’ve also told me to follow my heart and create my own path. I told them to trust me. They’ve raised me well and I needed them to trust me. This is how I’ve been able to really push myself and achieve what I have. I am because of those two and the village that raised me.

I remember being maybe 7 or 8, following my mom around as she pursued being a realtor and work with home buyers and sellers and seeing her quote in her office that become etched in my memory:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So after college, I started making my own trail. I had the confidence in my ability to lead my professional path and knew I had the foundation to take risks and experience new things. And new experiences, I have pursued in the past year. In the past year I have dived into three very different professional industries–commercial real estate, digital finance, and digital marketing.

All the while, I was coping with the death of my mother and her father, my grandpa Lu. I was happy, then I was extremely sad. Then I was laughing  then I was uncontrollably crying. I asked myself many times “Who the eff am I? What is happening to me?!”

How amazing to look back and see how much I have grown.

This past year has taught me how to react to new lows and how to get to those highs and pursue dreams past those achievable highs. I am ready for what 25 and beyond has in store for me. So as I approach this exciting and pivotal time in my life, I have come up with 25 things I have learned before turning 25. Thank you, Taylor Swift, for the inspiration. You’re a real MVP in my heart.

  1. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control.

    • I was taught this lesson by a dear old friend who was looking out for me and helping me through the transition from high school in the comfortable Palos Verdes to college away from home in Seattle. I was scared but excited and always freaked myself out. He told me to calm down. Stop overthinking. He told me, “Raelene, don’t worry about the things you can’t control. You can’t do anything about that. You can only do what you have control over. That how you feel and how you react and how you think.” Thanks bud, happy to see you grow these past 7 years, too. Thanks for the life advice.
  2. Love is a two-way street.

    • We’ve all been there before. Where you’re in a relationship thinking you’ve done everything you can to show your love and you’re not getting the results you expected. This has happened in many relationships in my past. It’s all something I think we all go through at some point….If I do this big gesture, they should know that I love them and they’ll love me equally back, right? If I go out of my way to see them, then I should expect they’ll do the same, right? If I buy this for them because I am being thoughtful,  they’ll know I want them to do the same for me, right?
    • No. The answer is no. Love has no expectations and no boundaries. It’s the most frustrating experience to be in a relationship with unreciprocated love. But you’ll live and learn. Everyone has their own timelines and ways of showing and feeling love. The love languages are a real thing. Some people like gifts, some people prefer physical affection. Figure out what you need and what your partner needs. Timing is also everything. True love isn’t forced. It just happens. And when the puzzle pieces fit, it’s the most magical adventure ever.
  3. Don’t lose sight of the dream.

    • I can’t count the time I have rearranged my goals and created new ones for myself. However, I have always had a rough, malleable dream that I’ve always envisioned for myself and that is what I am in the pursuit of achieving. The road there is going to take a lot of grit, but I am excited for the moment where I can stand in that reality and be proud of how far I have come. So when you feel lost or feel purposeless, think about your dream. Hold onto it. Don’t lose sight of the dream!!!
  4. Find your village.

    • Gosh, this is what I am especially thankful for these past few months. Who are the folks from my different walks of life I can depend on for advice or to cheer me up or remind me why I am pursuing something? Who are my mentors, who are people I consider part of my village, who can I trust with my doubts, who will keep me accountable?
  5. Find your people.

    • Similar to the above but closer to the core. Who will know your deepest thoughts and will love you for you even if you’re a freaking hot mess? Who’s on speed dial? Who’s on your emergency contact list? Those are your people. Those are your forever friends. The people who become family and who you can depend on to pick up the phone or answer the door at any time of the hour. Thank you, my lovely humans, for being my people. Y’all know who you are.
  6. Everyone has a story. Be kind to others.

    • Most often in this social media influenced world, we encounter negativity and interact with people who are mean, angry, jealous, and unkind. Instead of giving them a “taste of your own medicine” be the bigger person and let it go. Or ask if they’re open for a conversation. It takes a lot of effort do this, but it will contribute to making this world a better place. We need to people in the world who can do this. Everyone has a story. Be kind to others.
  7. Know where you come from.

    • This has been crucial for me as my mom was the main storyteller in my life. She reminded me where I come from. How did I get to America? Who sacrificed before me to get me and my brother here? Who do I visit and where do I go when I travel back to the Philippines and re-discover my roots? I’ve been having to ask the questions and write the story myself as I adjust to life without her voice and knowledge but I take pride in who I am and where I come from. I am because of those before me. Thank you for your sacrifice.
  8. You can still be independent but also be in the relationship at the same time.

    • Just because you’re independent doesn’t mean that you need to be on your own. It means knowing and identifying as your own person without being attached to someone else. You can still ask for help. You can still be dependent on someone. Know what you need to stand tall and by yourself. Know what it means to not be held by someone and to be sure of who you are as a human being in this crazy world. Be free, my friend. Discover what it means to truly be free and independent.
  9. Bask in the sunlight when you are able because life doesn’t make those last forever!

    • I have learned many times over that the sun don’t shine foreva. It’ll come at intermittent times in your life and sometimes it’ll last a whole season and sometimes it’ll last for an hour. But when the sun does shine, enjoy it. Close your eyes and breathe the air and remember the feeling of sunshine on your now sun-kissed skin. I am a sun person and I need my sunshine to feel truly complete. So know that when the sun is outside, I am outside playing and when there is no sunshine, I am learning how to cope without it and discover new parts of myself and my environment until that moment comes again.
  10. Find your happy place.

    • I love this one. I am smiling knowing that I have my happy places solid. My happy place is in many places–dependent on my mood and what I need to serve myself. It’s where I get my favorite boba milk tea. It’s where I workout to get my angst and energy out. It’s where I meditate to feel grounded and flexible. It’s where I am warm and cozy and loved. It’s where I go on a run when I need to clear my mind and think. It’s where I can sing and not feel judged. It’s where I can laugh until my stomach hurts and my eyes cry happy tears. It’s where I feel at peace and I feel content.
  11. Discover what your base level is. What do you need to feel whole?

    • I have especially learned this in the past year. What’s my base level? For me, it means I get a workout in, eat my over-easy egg with furikake, listen to a song that makes me feel light, drink ice cold water, and get kisses from my dogs and my husband. That’s my base level. What’s yours?
  12. Keep the music going in your life. You need a melody to guide you when you’re lost.

    • I ignored this for a while. For a little bit, I lost what music meant to me. I forgot how it felt like to listen to a song and be like “DAT’S MAH JAM!” and sing a song in my car, hitting the high notes and be like “YOU GO RAELENE! YOU STILL GOT IT!” and dance with my friends and be like “YOU MOVE GURL, YOU MOVE!” Once I re-discovered my love for music and lyrics, I started to feel more like myself again. Not taking that for granted in the future! Sorry I forgot about you, music. But also thanks for always being there for me. Music has also been especially good to me when I feel like my mom is with me. Hi momma πŸ™‚
  13. Time heals all wounds.

    • This past year has also shown me what incredible loss can do to people and a community and all I can say is, I trust that time will heal all wounds. Things will be said in hurt and anger and actions will be done with no thought to consequence. But it is what it is, and you just gotta do you until the right time comes around again. The world will keep turning and the clock will continue to tick.
  14. H8ers gonna h8!

    • Yo. Forreal. Let the haters hate. They’re probably going through a rough time in their lives and are projecting it on you. Try not to take things personally. Remember your village and your people and whose opinions you trust. Everything else is just noise. Don’t let the negativity consume you. Trust your process. I truly believe all humans at their core are capable of love and kindness but not always will that show, if ever. I hope they find what they’re looking for. We’re all out here just tryna function.
  15. We’re all in the pursuit of happiness.

    • Kid Cudi’s song became so popular for a reason. It’s relatable. We are all in the pursuit of happiness. What drives us? What ignites the fire within? What makes your soul happy? Choose that, do that. Understand that our peers are doing the same thing, too.
  16. Women must lift each other up and stop being so dang mean and judgemental.

    • I sometimes will catch myself making a quick judgement in my head and unfortunately sometimes it’ll come out. I am trying to be a better female and be a better woman for other woman. Now, more than anything I have realized why we need support and why we need each other. Lean in, start a conversation, and be open to others. We need each other so we can continue to be lifted to new heights.
  17. Finding your life partner, if that’s what you want to have, will be the best discovery of your life.

    • I am not saying everyone needs a life partner, but it’s been proven throughout the existence of life that we need another being to live a long and happy life. Whether that means getting a dog and living alone in the woods or spending time in the jungle doing animal conservation work, or being in a committed relationship, we need that support and comfort.
    • For me, finding John and growing with him these past four years have been so fulfilling. Everything seems right. With him, I am invincible and I know that if I fail, he will be there to catch me and hold me. Bless his patient heart because that man has been through hell and back after the hell I’ve experienced in grieving this past year. He’s seen it all and now we’ve come out of the ashes as a stronger couple. He’s my safety net and my partner and lover and someone who I know will stand next to me for life. Yay for us! I love you forever.
  18. Learn to grow. Learn to challenge. Learn to evolve.

    • I feel most fulfilled and most valued when I am challenged and rise to the occasion. Sometimes I’ll hit it out of the park and sometimes I’ll have a #epicfail. We’ve all been there. Pick yourself back up. Reflect why you failed and don’t do it again. If you did right, know what worked and figure out how to apply that method to future scenarios. This doesn’t apply to just the professional space. This also applies to the personal space as well. Continue to grow, challenge, and evolve. Feel the blood rushing through the yours veins and feel the energy you put out onto the world around you.
  19. You know, deep down, who your “day-ones” are. Keep them close.

    • When you encounter a rough patch in a relationship (this includes friendships), know why they’re in your life and why you’ve chosen them to be in your inner circle. They earned that spot and you earned a spot in theirs, too. Call those people when you have downtime. Check-in. Keep in touch. Keep that authentic relationship going. You owe that to what you have built together.
  20. Spend more on experiences not things.

    • As I get older, I realize more and more how happy and free I feel when I am experiencing with friends and with family. I promise to value those times and commit to doing more like that in my life. Experiences can me made out of nothing, too.
  21. Be courageous. Talk to someone if you need help, don’t hold it in.

    • Gosh, has this been such a help for me. I had so many people telling me to talk to someone at my lowest points but I ignored it and was prideful of how far I have gotten without needing to talk to someone. But once I did, I was so thankful and relieved. My story is so unique and I am so glad I can reliably share my stories with someone who will listen and engage when needed. Bless her heart. Talk to your friends. See a professional if you need to. They’re there for a reason.
  22. Being the “first” to do many life things doesn’t have to feel like a burden.

    • For a long time, I felt like being the oldest in my family meant I needed to do things  a certain way or I’d let them down. I also felt like doing the first in my friend group meant that I needed to keep up with the momentum I’ve built. Now, I’ve learned that it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to pause. There will always be someone better than you. There will always be someone who is further ahead than you. Try to focus on your journey and know that all of the crap you’ve had to sift through have made you who you are. I’ve done this best while pursuing my dreams and ambitions while also remembering my purpose and remembering my roots.
  23. Stay curious. Ask questions.

    • When in doubt, ask. Set your ego aside and just ask. The only thing holding you back is you. Stay curious and know when to be humble and ask. Humility is learned and can only be learned through experience.
  24. Celebrate and remember the little things because someday you’ll realize that those seemingly insignificant moments will pull you through.

    • Much like #9-#11, those sunshine-y and happy moments will be great reminders of where you’ve been and how to get back to a place like that again. For me, those little moments have been these:
      • Looking into John’s brown eyes and saying “I love you” for the first time
      • My dad pushing me when I first rode my bike with no training wheels
      • Kissing my mom on the lips when we went on our last shopping trip at the Tory Burch outlet. She also smiled and said “I love you anak” as she paid for our things. Sometimes I just remember her eyes and her mouth as she said that and that memory gives me a sense of peace when I miss her and want to remember her voice, her smile, and her beautiful spunky self.
      • Walking to my brother’s room when I got home from college and seeing our picture taped to his desk. I love you littleman! Always here to guide you.
      • Taking the photograph of my maternal grandparents smiling and laughing
      • The moment when my dog, Wonton, climbed onto my lap before we adopted her
      • Curling up with Charlie on the couch as a little puppy that fit in the crevice between my neck and chest
      • The feeling of the crowd cheering when I sang “Unwritten” at my high school graduation
  25. Find love in all things. Bloom with grace.

    • Self-explanatory. You got this!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

I plan to release snippets of my reflections and thoughts on Wednesdays as inspiration finds me so as to recharge my mind and prepare for the rest of the week to come. As I sift through my memories and share the good, the bad, and the ugly, my intention is to promote self-care and self-discovery as we walk, crawl, skip, and run through life.

This blog is meant to be an open space where I share my deepest thoughts, while remaining poised for the Internet and to strangers who may not know me but are reading my story.

This is an evolving blog, with the eventual goal to inspire those to share, to be present, to find balance, and to be fearless.

We all have a story and I am choosing to share mine with you all.


Thank you for your interest! Comment below or contact me if you want to chat πŸ™‚

Be your own hero // Jan 2019



July 2015, Me after finishing the San Francisco Full Marathon: 26.2mi or 42km

When I signed up to do the San Francisco Full, I knew what I was getting myself into. The year prior, I did my first marathon the Seattle Rock and Roll, and was hooked. I wanted to try it again and beat my time since I now knew how incredibly exhausting yet indescribably exhilarating it was to train and complete an entire marathon. I enjoyed being called crazy. I loved the feeling of accomplishment. I love looking back and knowing I did that!

These last few months, as many of you know, have been the hardest, loneliest, most mentally challenging times of my young life. The death and absence of my mom hit me like a glacial wall. It hit me at different speeds, with each time increasing in velocity towards the reality of my situation. That was how September and October felt like for me. It was inescapable and the anxiety of the emotional outbursts seeping into my outside life was getting worse with every week I chose to deal with the scariness by myself.

I was afraid to open up to my husband for fear he wouldn’t know how to care for someone in crippling sadness and unpredictable outbursts from emotional triggers. I was afraid to open up to my inner circle for fear of dependency on them to hold me up. I was afraid to tell my dad for fear of interfering with his grieving journey.

Friends, now I know the power of sharing the burden. In November, I chose to start seeing a grief therapist and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was finally able to talk about my journey to rock bottom to someone who didn’t know me. I had to share my story of my happy childhood, my frustration with my shortened teenage years due to my family’s struggles, and conflict with my early 20’s trying to be a carefree college student but also feeling the pressure to perform and succeed. I had these great internships and jobs and activities but it was hard to balance issues in LA while also building a personal and professional life in Seattle. I seemed to have it all, and I believe at a time I did, but as of late, I’ve felt like I’m losing ground again and it’s scary.

A few months ago, I was triggered by people who would talk about things they do with their mom. I knew I was in trouble when I was standing in line at Costco to pay for my food and these two girls behind me were talking about getting their nails done with their moms. I got in my head and was thinking, you’re lucky you can do that with your mom because mine is dead and I’ll never get a chance to do that again. Dark, harsh. I know.

I was also triggered by things I watched. For the longest time I avoided watching Crazy, Rich, Asians because that’s the last book my mom was reading before her brain tumor hospitalization and she said she wanted me to read it with her and see the movie when it comes out. We all know how this story went. I never got the chance to see it with her, but I did however, finally get the strength to watch the movie when it was available to rent. John watched it with me and I was bawling at the scene where Rachel was surprised by her mom at Peik Lin’s house. It reminded me of the most recent and last Mother’s Day card I sent to my mom. On the front said: “I will always need my mama”. And it broke me to once again realize that she’s not here. But in that sadness and tearful breaths I also remind myself that I will still, always, need my momma. It felt good to not be so angry at the situation. It was another milestone to tell me I was getting better.

It’s a unique situation to be in–to have matured so quickly, to have been so independent at a young age, to have been married at 22 and to have lost your mom at 23. It’s a lot and not many people my age have gone through a similar path. You’re in a constant cycle of re-discovery and re-invention and it seems like the point of comfort and stability is not within sight.

With the celebration of 2019, I promised myself to continue in the path of mental and emotional strength again. Truthfully, in the last few weeks, I’ve struggled to find the inspiration to stay on that consistent path.

I kept making excuses. It’s a new year but I still don’t know what direction I want. I’ll just sign up for the 16 classes in 30 days at my Pilates studio to keep me physically committed to something. That should be enough, right?

But oh, it’s my grandpa and mom’s birthdays in the first half of January, so I’ll reset completely after that. That’s when I’ll get back on track and eat well again and start reading and blogging again. But after their birthdays passed, I was still feeling very unmotivated and uninspired. There was a lot going on and I couldn’t seem to get my groove back on the right track.

Last month, one of my best friends recommended I read the book Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Since I have about a two-hour commute roundtrip to and from work, I listened to the audiobook. I wanted to avoid reading self-help books but heck, I needed something to keep myself mentally occupied and off the path of emotional instability.

This was the book’s hook:

Stop believing the lies about who you are so can become who you were meant to be.

I loved it.

My first impression of the audiobook was negative because I honestly got annoyed with Rachel’s LA voice (sorry, Rachel!). But I got over it after a few moments of meditation and self-talk to listen to the words and not pay attention to the voice.

Eventually, I started looking forward to my morning and afternoon commute so I can hear Rachel’s recollections and her ability to organize her memories and turn them into stories that inspire women to be find themselves and be their best selves.

It worked. So thank you, Rachel, for getting me out of this rut and for reminding me of my strength.

The last chapter was my favorite because it inspired me to blog again and share and get back on the right foot. It only took 30 days into 2019, but better late than never, right?

Throughout Rachel’s book, I found many ways of how I related to her: the death of her older brother, the struggle with personal appearance, the relationship issues she and her husband encountered and overcame, and her never-ending journey of self-discovery and knowing your self-worth.

Listening to her speak was like listening to my own self giving me advice.

The last chapter, Chapter 20, was titled: “The Lie: I Need a Hero”. That chapter, I was reminiscing on one of the proudest moments of my life. It was when I finished the San Francisco Full Marathon in July 2015, having only trained for 9 weeks. I had an ankle injury 3 weeks before race day that threw me off-schedule for the full. But I did the damn thing! But how? How did I do it then? Because I couldn’t imagine doing that now.

The days leading up to the marathon, I was mentally preparing myself for the half marathon. I’ve already completed a full so this half should be a piece of cake. I wanted to run a 9-minute mile average, two minutes faster than my first marathon’s average mile time. For context, I finished my first full in Seattle the previous year just over 4.5 hours. It was brutal. Katy Perry’s “Roar” and OneRepublic’s “I Lived” were my theme songs for that run because it motivated me to get to the finish line and get my first marathon finisher medal.

The night before race day, I was still a little bummed that I was only going to run the half.  My family drove from LA to see me finish the race. My best friend Rachel was in San Francisco with me and she was going to run the full. I wanted so badly to run that race with her! But my body was undertrained and I wasn’t mentally prepared.

I kid you not, that night, I had a dream that I finished the full marathon. I woke up on race day at 4:30am and started to mentally prepare myself at the possibility of fulfilling that dream. My family thought I was crazy. They said I would hurt myself and to only do the half.

“Ugh, fine. Okay you’re right. I’ll do the half,” I told them before Rachel and I left for the starting line.


As we waited to start the race, I was looking up the route for the half and see where the two races split off; half-marathon runners go the shorter way and full-marathon runners go the longer way. As we were approaching the starting line, I remember telling Rachel I was going to try to run the full. I was thinking about it, I dreamt about it and I think I can do it.

I was lighter than when I ran the full the year prior. Now, I knew my body, I knew my knees, I knew my mental resilience. I told her regardless, I’ll see her at the finish line and I’ll text her when/if I decide to do the full. I was running on adrenaline, endless positivity, and the want to get that full marathon finishers medal again. I wanted to earn my finishers t-shirt that said San Francisco Full Marathon on it, like I originally planned.


Here’s us at the start, where I told Rachel I’ll see her right here at the finish line. πŸ™‚

As I started the first 4 miles of the marathon, I felt like I was on cloud nine. My curated playlist was giving me life and I had a smile on my face. At mile 6, I had my first energy gel. I was chewing it as I was running on the Golden Gate Bridge and I was feeling so inspired and motivated. At the end of the bridge, at the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point where runners turned around to head back to San Francisco and continue running along the Presidio and through Golden Gate Park, volunteers were handing out packets of GU gel. It was a sign.

Not only were the GU gels my favorite flavor (Strawberry) but it came with 10 gels–enough to sustain me through a full marathon. I’ll need Advil I thought, but I knew the med tents would have that. As I ran back on the Bridge towards San Francisco I kept checking in with myself. How did my body feel? And most importantly, how did I mentally feel? Could I convince myself to finish the full and run for another 3 hours?

My phone was charged and I had battery to play my Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon playlist to keep me inspired and motivated once my Friso Marathon playlist ran out of juice. I now had the calories and nutrients needed to refuel. But I knew I also needed support, so first I texted Rachel saying I’ll see her at the finish line after I finish the full. Then I texted my family saying sorry and that I was going to finish the full so I’ll be done in three hours instead of one.


This is the photo I sent them, just as I was about to reach the fork where half and full marathoners split to continue on their routes.

I can’t describe the feeling of utter despair at mile 18, knowing I still had 8.2 miles to go until I could cross the dang finish line. I kissed my Grandpa Rey in Heaven and asked him to give me strength. Wiz Khalifa’s “See you again” was playing when I did this–what perfect timing. That song always reminded me of my Grandpa Rey.

I can’t describe the feeling of pride as I kept reminding myself that I could do this. I thought of my family greeting me at the finish line. I’d imagine it. The emotion and the happiness. I cannot wait!

Just one foot in front of the other. That’s all it takes. Just keeping on moving Raelene. I had so much freaking confidence in myself to get this done.

As I was approaching AT&T park, I started to see the finish line. THANK GOODNESS. Just a little under 3 miles now. Almost there. So close. I started to play my motivation anthems on my playlist:

  1. “Schoolin’ Life” – Beyonce
  2. “Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj (rapping this always did a good job of distracting me)
  3. “Power” – Big Gigantic & GRIZ
  4. “Divinity” – Porter Robinson
  5. “Avaritia” – deadmau5
  6. “Roar” – Katy Perry
  7. “I Lived” – OneRepublic

What a time to be alive to relive the moments as I pushed myself toward the finish line. My calves were cramping. My cheeks were slightly sunburnt. I was so hot from the constant sunshine and lack of hydration. But I kept telling myself, one foot in front of the other. You got this Raelene!!!

When I crossed the finish line, I could barely keep myself up. My legs were going to give out aaaaaany minute haha. I saw Rachel, then I saw my parents and I started crying.

What a tremendous accomplishment and what an incredible lesson to learn. I thank my village for mentally supporting me those 5 hours running on asphalt–on the infamous hills of San Francisco.


That entire race and those moments before and after the race are my “hero” moments. I was my own hero. And as I look back at that time in my life, I am so happy that I have that story to remind me of who I was, who I am and who I am meant to be. Because of that determination and resilience, I have proven that I can do anything as long as I have the will to do it. If 2015 Raelene can do that, 2019 Raelene is capable of that and more, so long as I tell myself I can and I will.

And I urge you to find a time when you were own hero when you feel doubtful of your direction. Be proud of where you came from–the journey it took to be here and be alive. Find your light, don’t lose sight of the dream, and believe you can. The rest is still unwritten πŸ™‚

Happy New Year and until next time!

All my love,



Photo above taken during a butterfly release to celebrate my mom’s 52nd birthday on Jan 18th. I love her and I miss her everyday but her light shines within me, I can feel it πŸ™‚

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

I plan to release snippets of my reflections and thoughts on Wednesdays as inspiration finds me so as to recharge my mind and prepare for the rest of the week to come. As I sift through my memories and share the good, the bad, and the ugly, my intention is to promote self-care and self-discovery as we walk, crawl, skip, and run through life.

This blog is meant to be an open space where I share my deepest thoughts, while remaining poised for the Internet and to strangers who may not know me but are reading my story.

This is an evolving blog, with the eventual goal to inspire those to share, to be present, to find balance, and to be fearless.

We all have a story and I am choosing to share mine with you all.


Thank you for your interest! Comment below or contact me if you want to chat πŸ™‚