I’ll admit to something a little ugly and imperfect, Internet: when my ex chose to exit my life in late 2014, I promised myself I would make it the best thing that had ever happened to me. Ha, and I made good on it to the enth degree! I turned 2015 into a monster year, and easily my best one yet. Let’s break it down:
2015 Highlights and Lowlights
- I acted in my first full-length play.
- After a solid five years of dreaming it, I visited North Korea and the DMZ.
- I visited Jeju Island.
- I ate raw octopus.
- I did a templestay for Valentine’s Day.
- I completed my contract in South Korea.
- I couchsurfed, temple-hopped, and bathed in an onsen in Kyoto.
- I visited Vietnam, rode motorcycles, visited Ha Long Bay, and made amazing friends.
- I watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
- I got robbed in Vientiane, ate fried frogs in Luang Prabang and gazed at stars while lying in a hammock in Huay Bo village.
- I narrowly missed elephants and got plenty of Thai massages in Thailand. I tried the accordion!
- I watched a midnight soccer game in Mandalay and explored temples with friends in Bagan.
- I met up with old friends in Malaysia and Singapore and raided Bugis Street for my birthday.
- I ate so much food in Taipei.
- I visited my mother’s home island of Palawan in the Philippines. I toured the Underground River, did a bit of ziplining and went SCUBA diving for the first time in my life!
- I returned to Seattle to start the Team, Management and Leadership Program.
- I moved to Washington, D.C.
- I visited New York four times: I coached Communication courses, connected with family, joined the audience of a couple of TV shows, saw a musical on Broadway (the first of what will be many), ate great food spanning from the Caribbean to France and Poland, and couchsurfed in Harlem and a high rise apartment in Manhattan.
- I started taking acting classes at the Studio Theatre in DC. My final assignment is a saucy monologue from the movie, “Chasing Amy.”
- I drove through six states to visit Chicago.
- I also visited Baltimore, Indianapolis and Los Angeles.
Usually I devote a section at the year end for all the things that I’ve learned, but this is a year where I transformed on levels my brain can’t really grasp. I thought my travels around Asia were monumental: I went in terrified and unsure of myself, and emerged more solid and relaxed. I wanted to become a person you could throw into pretty much situation and come out of it victorious, and I can say confidently that I am that person today.
And then I came back to the United States and the person who had so triumphantly completed Asia kept going. I am a little over halfway through with my Team, Management and Leadership Program and it seems like I show up a different person every week. I feel constantly stretched; I’m becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable all over again.
I’ve learned to forgive myself, as often as needed. I’ve learned to forgive other people.
I’ve learned more about what men can contribute to me and how women can contribute back.
I’ve learned to listen for people’s commitments and to bring them to life. I’ve learned to listen for what’s wanted and what’s needed and request it.
I’ve learned to let everything go and simply be my commitment.
I’ve learned to be the space for people’s humanity while demanding the best of every person.
I am not where I thought I would be at this time. I’m not a millionaire (yet), or even employed in the traditional sense. But I’ve traveled far and wide and the future is exciting.