2015 (The Intentions)

I set six intentions for the year here. Let’s see how the year tallied up!

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1. I will travel to Japan and Southeast Asia, connecting with people and playing music along the way. I declared five countries in 2014, and for 2015 I am declaring ten: South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan with options for other countries. COMPLETE.

I traveled to (or through!) South Korea, North Korea (or at least, the border in the DMZ), Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Taiwan– ten countries in total. I didn’t make it to Indonesia as I had hoped, but Myanmar was a very neat substitute, and future trips to Indonesia will be easier now that they’ve gotten rid of the visa fee for Americans.

I chickened out of playing as much music as I originally planned: I ended up leaving my ukulele at home for the big stretch through Southeast Asia, though I managed to serenade my couchsurfing hosts in Japan and Taiwan. My friends in Vietnam and Myanmar had to shoulder through some slightly off-key accompaniment-less warbling, but make no mistake: I had so much fun.

Not shabby, eh? It’s crazy to think about how much I’ve ALWAYS had this dream to travel around the world, always ALWAYS present in the back of my mind, as a child, as a teenager, as a college student… it didn’t matter what was going on in my actual life, that thirst to see more of the world was always there. So to say that I have done at least a sliver of this life mission! To be able to share proudly of my adventures through Asia. I never thought I would actually get here, where I could talk about these countries like warm, old friends I’ve made and can’t wait to see again.

I was also incredibly touched by the response of my friends, many of whom told me they found the trip inspirational. Thank you, friends, for your kindness; you can’t imagine how happy it would make me if my journey inspired you to go after your biggest dreams too.

2. Hurricane Cat will be making landfall in Washington DC and taking on Landmark’s Team, Management and Leadership Program. COMPLETE.

I got myself to Washington DC fairly easily (I mean, I bought the tickets) and am now more than halfway through with the Team, Management and Leadership Program. As such, I can hardly recognize myself from last week, let alone who I was before I started.

3. I will have a job in DC that I am passionate about and lets me bring people together and connect them. It pays me well and allows me to travel. INCOMPLETE.

I chickened out. I completely chickened out of demanding the universe give me something along these lines. Part of it was an inability to focus and take things one at a time (I want to do politics! I want to do private sector! I want to do the arts!) and the disappearance of my uncompromising belief that I am worth it. So for this new year, I’ve picked one (the rest I’ll do later on down the line… you can have it all! But not necessarily all at the same time) and I promise to trust myself again.

4. I will visit New York City and see a musical on Broadway. In fact, some of my work will be in New York City. INCOMPLETE.

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I’ve since visited NYC about four times and seen George Takei’s Allegiance musical. I also coached two Communication courses in New York, went to a videotaping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, participated in a record-breaking street dance for a  morning show, carted a family friend’s adorable dog through Central Park and nearly every other park in the city.

My job does not send me to work in NYC.

5. I will have an abundance of money, maximize my IRA, and pay off my debt. INCOMPLETE.

Another case of chickening out. I do have an abundance of money, but I rarely treat it as such and therefore never push it to serve me. The times when I did believe and acted like money was no object (see my travels), life was easy and care-free.  I’ve still got a ways to go to free myself from my fears around my money.

6. I will be in an extraordinary relationship with my extraordinary life partner by the end of the year. INCOMPLETE.

Of all the incompletions on this list, I am the most OK with this. I just spent so much of my time this year beating myself up for not having a boyfriend, beating myself up for being the “loser” of my last relationship, that to come to December no longer punishing myself and taking a more relaxed perspective on relationships is a HUGE WIN for me.

I feel RELIEVED to have put that stuff behind me because there were times in the journey that I thought I never would be able to. And to come out the other side of it, focused on what makes me happy, confident in what I have to share with men and a bit more practiced at receiving what men have to offer me… I feel good.

I find myself not caring as much about “locking down a life partner” and simply enjoying whatever and whoever life wants to pass along. One of the unexpected surprises of 2015 (and probably a side effect of taking a year long Communications Program, see #2) is that I’ve come to fiercely and more openly love the people who are already in my life. And that’s what I intend to do: keep loving all over my people, keep loving myself, and being open to whatever the future throws at me.

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