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2016

2016

We're a few days into 2016 already....new year, new me...that's what everyone says right? Yada yada.

It's January and it's hard to believe another year has passed by in the blink of an eye. And a lot of people take this time to make goals, only to give up on them a month or two later. Cynical, yes, but quite truthful. Still, there is something about a new beginning. It's filled with hope and possibilities and wonder.

A Few Notes on 2015:

I hated 2015. It was most definitely not my year. Many things did not go according to plan and I struggled. School was hard to say the least and my extracurriculars took a toll on my schedule. I shut out friends and family and completely demoralized myself. I started having panic attacks and anxiety (but I'm getting better!). I'm glad it's all over. It felt like someone took a bottom card from the card tower and it all came crashing down. I think I was losing sight of who I am and who I aspire to be. Much of this was reaffirmed with my recent trip to the Philippines over break for a large family reunion on my mom's side (stay tuned for the recap on that!). I unplugged, okay, I just couldn't bring myself to give up instagram completely. But for the most part, I had limited wifi. It allowed me to focus on quality family time, allowing me to realize a) how privileged I am and b) how loved I am. And it took me a trip halfway across the world to realize these things.

With this being said, 2015 wasn't completely horrendous; there were plenty of highlights such as:  starting my twenties, traveling to Chicago, starting up this blog, fostering my interest in photography, hiking across the pacific northwest, eating out for brunch, participating as an ambassador for Love Everywhere, watching concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater, drinking coffee with friends, embarking on a summer road trip, exploring Colorado with my family, making new friends, going home for thanksgiving, vacationing in the Philippines and so much more. Unfortunately, the bad seemed to outweigh the good, but I won't dwell on that.

Still, as awful as it seemed, I learned a lot. I think my lowest point came when I thought I had failed at everything I was doing. And sometimes you just need to fail. As much as it sucks, it ultimately builds character and allows you to grow as an individual.

2016....

I'm optimistic for 2016. So far, it has treated me well. It's started off with quite a few changes, but I'm adjusting and making the best of it. Most of the year is uncharted, and I'm hoping to focus on what I truly want to achieve.

Goals:

Sleep for 8 hours a night // A major theme for 2016 is to focus on my health. Sleep is the bodies time to recharge and repair all the damage from the day. I know I function at my best when I've had ample sleep.

Drink the recommend daily amount of water // I've got to start somewhere. Out of all the lifestyle changes anyone can make, I'm committing to drinking 8 cups of water everyday. Stay hydrated folks!

Run a half marathon // I've never been a runner, but I sort of hope to be. Running is all mental. The human body is capable of many feats, but the human mind has the ability psych yourself out. When I had ran, I always had an incentive, hence why I played soccer. It's been a lofty goal of mine to increase mileage. Last year I ran a 10K, 13.1 miles can't be too bad, right?

Pick a new major // This may seem late in the game, since I'm about half way through my junior year of school. I finally had the chance to take a class specific to my major last quarter and I did not enjoy it nor did I excel. I'm looking to find something that aligns with my interests and values, something that makes me want to study and gets me excited about learning again. If this means taking a fifth year, so be it. It's my education and future, and I want to make sure I do something I love. (Also, shoutout to the people who are super supportive about this, it makes a huge difference! And I'm still pre-medicine if you were wondering.)

Find a mentor // I think one reason why college has been a bit troublesome is because I lacked guidance. In high school, I had a few teachers and counselors who knew my goals and helped me get there. I haven't really found someone like that yet and I'm hoping to this year. Someone who I can check in with regularly and ask for advice. I'm determined to find them!

Travel to two new places in the world // Obviously, I like to see the world. Unfortunately, it's expensive sometimes. You win some and lose some. I think going to two new places is feasible, whether they be in the United States or somewhere in the world (unlikely, but stranger things have happened).

Avoid using my phone at the table // The digital age is both good and bad; there is a careful balance to be achieved. Personally, I think technology is amazing, but I find myself wasting valuable time watching Youtube or scrolling Pinterest. My phone even takes a toll on social outings as I find myself passing the time looking at a screen as opposed to conversing with friends. I'm starting small by putting the phone away when I eat. Simple as that.

Keep a monthly budget // I took a finance class in high school and I basically feel like I've forgotten a majority of what I learned. Oops. This year, I'm going to regain that knowledge and stick to a budget while I still have the flexibility to make small financial mistakes. I'd rather learn now and have a safety net.

Post weekly on the blog // I've forgotten how much fun it is to write. Sure, it's hard work, but I view this blog as more of a reflection, maybe a time capsule. Who knows, time will only tell. In the meantime, I just want to document something that happened during the week or a point I'd like to make. Plus, it keeps me writing and the Lord knows I need help with my grammar and spelling.

Learn how to make lumpia and other traditional Filipino and Italian dishes // I got so so so SOOOO lucky with my grandmothers. One hails from the Philippines and the other from Sicily. AND THEY BOTH LOVE TO COOK. As you can imagine, every time we visit either one, it's a feast. With my recent trip to the Philippines, I realized that I don't know a lot of the native dishes which is so sad to me. Food is a direct reflection of the culture. And to be fair, I don't know a lot about either culture or my own heritage even though I've been blessed with these two rich and diverse backgrounds. I'm going to start simple and yummy by learning the food. At the top of my list is lumpia, which are fried spring rolls.

So that's that.  Cheers to the new year! And I hope you have an excellent 2016.

Arrival // PH 1

Arrival // PH 1

Centennial // Estes Park & Rocky Mountain National Park

Centennial // Estes Park & Rocky Mountain National Park