What a whirlwind 2023 has been. It had some profound highs, but I felt like things were in a lull as I settled into a routine more aligned with what I was searching for in this new phase of my life.
The first quarter started off strong with a firm grip on a new career direction, bringing growth and security—both vital themes in my life over the last couple of years. Highlights included two trips in the United States to experience cities on my bucket list. The first was Nashville, where I celebrated my friend Stephanie’s bachelorette. The second trip was to New Orleans, a gastronomic dream. I booked a 10-day Airbnb, initially exploring the city alone and later joined by my friend Carla. These trips were less about exploring a new city and more about exploring friendships that went from online to IRL!
The second quarter started off great with a dream trip to Peru. I think what made it particularly special was treating my parents to experiences I knew they wouldn’t indulge themselves in. However, work became tense as my manager resigned, presenting various challenges. This realization emphasized the importance of work-life balance, leading me to shut down the blog as a business and focus on living a life that serves my current priorities.
Summer in Chicago seamlessly blended into the third quarter, which proved to be truly magical. I embraced the city more than ever, enjoying rooftops with city views, epic street fests, early morning rowing sessions, new and deeper friendships, and super long walks.
The end of quarter three brought news that compelled me to focus on my well-being, resulting in a trip to India to visit my grandmother and a career move that I knew would be better for my health. I felt more connected to my inner truth, my culture, and my values, experiencing tangible growth. Here’s to another year of obstacles and challenges that yield tangible growth!
But before I leave, I spent a significant amount of time journaling this year and distilled the following 23 statements as lessons and truths from the year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did re-reading my journal from the year!
- Let the future unfold on its own while you live in the moment.
- Your pace is fast enough.
- Focus on what brings you joy.
- Less is more.
- Buy the handbag.
- Date yourself.
- Fear comes from vulnerability, so give it a go because it might be worthwhile.
- Journaling is healing.
- Always have champagne in the refrigerator.
- Drink it even if you’re not celebrating anything.
- Your career will give you purpose, but your community will give you strength.
- All your beliefs come from your experiences and that’s what defines you.
- Seek inspiration in your vulnerabilities.
- Take a different route.
- You don’t have to read only non-fiction.
- You don’t have fill every hour of the day.
- Walk as much as you can.
- Default to action.
- We are better when we work together.
- Trust your intuition.
- Some people come in your life for a season.
- Not everyone is going to like you and that means you’re doing the right thing.
- It’s ok to realize you don’t want what you once did.