Hello stenoodie fans! It is the last day of 2015, December 31. We’ll never see this day again or be the same person, so let’s take a short moment to review and reflect on what happened this year:
2015 was a year of personal growth, recognition of my self, and trying to maintain inner peace and self-confidence. Looking back at 2013 and 2014, these were years of travel and new experiences for me. 2013 allowed me to obtain a plethora of travel experiences and insight into the blogging world that has allowed me a space to record everything down. For this blog, I will be forever grateful and thankful. 2014 was a year of major experiences and new opportunities — I had the most unique experiences I’ve ever had (recorded down). It was lovely!
Fast forward to 2015 and this year has contained lots of ups and downs.
In terms of travel, I have gained a lot of amazing opportunities (and mileage points)!
- February: Miami and first 7-day Caribbean cruise (Mexico, Grand Cayman Islands) with my GenYTO mates
- March-April: Beijing, China; Hong Kong; Macau; and New Zealand with family
- June: Las Vegas, Nevada
- August: Greensboro, North Carolina
- December: Montreal, Quebec; Edmonton, Calgary, Alberta.
I absolutely LOVED my experience to New Zealand this year. It is a country that I had never visited before and it was definitely a country on my bucket list as well. I got to go bungy jumping! My soul smiled so hard at this experience.
Beijing with my mom was pure relaxation and enjoyment.
This year, I dedicated a lot of time into my business because I knew (logically) it would pay me back in dividends for the long run. While this year’s business has been phenomenal and there have been a lot of growth and success, I realized in the second half of this year that I was sacrificing something. I was sacrificing my health, my inner peace, my me time, and mental health. This year, I found out “who I was”. I took a personality test that informed me that I had traits akin to the “INFJ — advocate” personality. Since that night of discovering this, life has made a lot more sense to me. I’ve always been quiet around people I don’t know and do not open up easily. As a matter of fact, I believe I “burnt out” two times this year — once in June/July and most recently in October/November that I am still recovering from. I talked about it briefly in two recent posts. As an INFJ, I find meaning in what I do and who I interact with. Unless I find that someone is willing to listen to what I have to say, be genuinely interested, and have the patience to find out who I am, it is rather difficult for me to be “myself”. There haven’t been many times this year where I was comfortable around people and I realized that this was actually making me quite upset, emotionally drained, and moody. There have also been some misunderstandings this year between some people and I that have caused a lot of heartbreak, hurt, and feelings of inadequacy. I have always been a moody person, but this year has seen the most significant and intense emotional upsets that I can recall in a long time. Because personal relationships and relations are important, I felt like some of the negativity have tainted even the best opportunities throughout this year, which have ultimately ended up in not-so-good situations and hence the overall definitive feeling of this year.
For the upcoming year, I plan on taking care of myself more often, giving a voice to my own needs instead, and saying no more often. I don’t need to be everywhere at once and 24/7 of interaction drives me nuts. I need to realize this for myself. What makes me happy? I should do more of that. Money, “success” in other peoples’ eyes, and people pleasing don’t make me happy. Inner peace and achieving self-confidence are important and should be on the forefront of whatever I do from now on.
Another aspect I am looking forward to is hoping to build a future with a significant other in the coming year. In the middle of this year — as it happens, right after my “intensely busy” and stressful months in the summer — I happened to chance encounter someone who was able to connect with me completely on an social and emotional level. I had never met someone so kind and in tune with my personal values before. I thought I had finally found that special person. Unfortunately, I ultimately believed that there existed differences between us that would not prove for a harmonious, lasting “forever”, so I ended things upon realization. Up until that point though, those two months where we connected every day proved amazing because for the first time, I found someone that was so loving and completely accepting of me and my wants and needs. For the first time, someone actually was able to “erase” my mood swings by showing me unconditional support and love for the person that I was. Alas, and I digress, I am still up to this point, looking for someone new.
I have plans for the future and that includes spending it with someone kind, compassionate, respectful, considerate, fair, intelligent, and who is compatible with me. The world is a cruel place and the last thing we need is a soul mate who does not sync in with our thoughts and values. Perhaps 2016 will bring that special person, but if not, I will continue to live life to the fullest and ensure that I have contentment in my heart.
Lastly, I would like to end off with the success of this year’s blogging efforts. Never would I have thought that my self-created “food blog” would bring so many viewers, secret readers or lurkers ( 😉 ), and restaurant and event invitations. With the growing readership of my blog and “popularity”, I have been invited to so many amazing opportunities to eat and to share my viewpoint of the world. The peak of the invitations began in the summer where I was out and about at restaurant events almost every day and since then have somewhat continued every month. I was so grateful for all the events, although I admitted that at one point it felt like more than a job than the pleasure and privilege that it was when I first started them in 2013. Blogging about food for free no longer excites me as much as it did the first year when it was all brand new, although I still very much appreciate the opportunities that come. Also, an area that I never thought was possible was to get “paid to blog”. I didn’t necessarily get paid to blog with every word I wrote but I was initiated into the WordAds program which allowed me to earn some money off of the ads that I was placing on my blog. It was super exciting!
There are many words to say for 2015, but for the most part, it was a huge learning year. Even though I wouldn’t say that it was the best year for me because I felt conflicted and guilty at times for not doing what I wanted to for the sake of appearing “professional” and “business”-oriented, I do believe that it was part of my growth and journey to growing into a “better” person. (There have been many times this year where I have forgone unique and fun adventures for the sake of “business”; these are moments that I’ll never get back. I never want to say no to these adventures again for the sake of business.) Like I have mentioned, 2016 will be a better year because I now choose to do more things my way and without worrying about what others think. We may be encouraged to work harder for our future, but if we forget about the now and about our loved ones and the small moments, what is the point of living? 2016 is another year to become who you’re supposed to be but not for the sake of other people. Live it for yourself and you’ll never regret it.
Cheers, 2015, and farewell. 2016, I truly welcome you with open arms and am excited for what this year brings. ❤ Thanks for reading, everyone!