I started writing birthday-reflections a year ago and found it quite a comforting way to record personal growth and close up loose ends. To sum up my 26th year: just do it & the best is yet to come.
There were quite a few highlights this past year. One of them has to be a mesmerizing wedding I attended in Sorrento, Italy. The guests were a highly inspiring and classy bunch and chatting with them about their life experiences and world view was highly eye-opening. Not to mention the magical venue on top of the mountain overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
I made a better effort to spend more time cultivating friendships with those who share similar aspirations. This was one of the goals I set last year and I’m happy to have acted on it.
In January, I pulled the trigger and applied for MBA school, and finally steered my career in a direction that feels right. This led to a series of unforgettable events which only further convinced me that everything happens for a reason and all the elements have led me to the right path.
In March, I spent an unforgettable week in punta cana with amazing friends to celebrate two couple’s bachelor/bachelorette party. It gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling to have rekindled some meaningful friendships.
Throughout spring, I’ve committed myself to be highly consistent with content-production for Instagram. Creating eye-pleasing content through styling/directing/creating/capturing beautiful moments of each day was extremely addictive and this kind of activity simply feeds to my creative soul. I’m absolutely loving the spice it’s adding to my life and the new ways it makes me see the world around me.
And finally I’ll be traveling to France next week, part of my birthday celebration and my last vacation before school starts. 4 years and 15 cities since the first visit, so much has changed, and there’s nothing more perfect than this trip to welcome a new year, new beginning, and new adventures.
FOUR THINGS I LEARNED
Attitude towards failing:
It’s true that what you’ll regret most are the things you didn’t do, not things you did. I’ve lived through some solid proofs of this the past year and it’s made it easier to take on new challenges, not be afraid of failing, and push myself harder to get out of my comfort zone. And I’m way more proud of the unforgettable experiences along the way than the occasional failures.
Perception of success:
I’ve always imagined success as an end goal, a point once achieved will bring me the ultimate happiness and contentment. But one can never truly predict the exact picture of success, so success is actually the entire process of reaching that end goal. Every step forward, every lesson learned, every moment of doubt, all contribute to success. I’m no longer stuck on achieving a specific endpoint. Instead, I welcome change and new adventures and enjoy the journey towards whatever that endpoint may be.
Art of personal connection:
I realized that I didn’t like the generic concept of networking – many people seem to try to connect with as many people as possible, usually with the purpose of seeking partnership or opportunities. They may be repeating the same phrases to you as they did with 10 others, and it feels so methodological. The people and connections that make more of an impact to me are those who are genuine and connected in a personal way, those who showed real interest and share fascinating stories. That is an art I’ll be continuously perfecting, and I hope that every connection I make is a meaningful one.
Turning 27 years young:
I won’t deny the slight (read: heavy) anxiety that accompanied the turning of age… I suppose like most people, I get a bit dramatic and profound about a number. I create a context for myself that this moment is somehow most significant and that I’m now going to find a trace of wrinkle on my eye. But I know when I turn 30, 35, I’ll be thinking how young I was at 27 and how much I could accomplish. So I’m going to keep this change of mindset fresh on my mind and remind myself that every birthday is a fresh opportunity to chase dreams and make accomplishments that the future-me will be proud of. The best is yet to come!