Looking back, 2018 has to be one of my most memorable years yet. It was a year filled with growth, success, heartbreak, love, and adventures. 2018 was truly a roller coaster of emotions and events, but above all else, it was the year of new beginnings.
As we wrap up this year, I did a lot of reflection and self-evaluation. I sifted through the moments and memories of the year and really thought about who or what it was that was important to me and the lessons I wanted to take away from 2018. And more importantly, what I wanted to do differently to ensure that 2019 goes even better. I can’t even begin to imagine what 2019 is going to be like, but, at least I’ll know where to start.
This past year really made me expand beyond my horizon and step into the realm of the unknown. I no longer felt confined by the comfort zones I had set for myself - the exact comfort zones that made me so afraid of seeing what’s out there. I embraced change and tackled it head on. I learned to be unapologetically myself and to always do whatever the hell it is that I want without regret. I learned to fully and unconditionally love myself first before others and I learned to prioritize my happiness instead of trying to please anyone and everyone.
Personal growth is my biggest accomplishment. I feel like I’ve grown more as a person in the past few months than I have in the past few years. I feel as if I grew a little bit wiser, a little bit more self-aware, and a just a little bit more unapologetic for my actions. I’m learning to not regret the decisions I make because everything happens for a reason and I shouldn’t stop something from happening because I’m too afraid of the risk. 2019 will be the year of chasing all the opportunities that presents itself. When opportunity comes knocking, I’ll gladly open all those doors without hesitation. I’ll run towards it with open arms. I refuse to be crippled by the idea of change.
I’m thankful for all the brands and opportunities that have come my way because never in my whole life did I ever expect any of this. I got to work with brands I’ve loved since high school and I’ve got to work on campaigns I could never even dream of. My teenage self is literally hyperventilating at the idea that any of this could even be a reality.
Paris Fashion Week will forever be one of my fondest memories. It’s been a place I’ve dreamed of as a little girl - my room is literally sheathed with Eiffel Towers everywhere. Paris was a dream I envisioned myself living years from now, it wasn’t something I saw in my near future, and hell, I never even gave Paris Fashion Week a second thought, because how was any of that possible for this 21 year old, biology student from Southern California?
But you know, that goes to show that hard work truly pays off and somebody somewhere will notice the time and effort that you put in. I’m humbled by the all the opportunities thus far and I promise to always be the best version of myself and to always give it my 110% in everything that I do. Thanks to everyone who’s supported me and believed in me because it’s you guys that are making my dreams come true and I don’t know how I’d ever be able to repay it.
If there was one moment or event I had to pinpoint from 2018, it’d be this. When I look back on 2018, I’ll remember it as me closing out one of the biggest chapters of my life thus far. To him, I’m grateful. I’m grateful because although it was scary walking away from everything I’d ever known, I became a stronger person along the process. I came out of it feeling like a brand new person. I had to reconfigure the routine I had set for myself and I was forced to step beyond my comfort zone.
It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I didn’t hold myself back from seeing what else was out there. I have so much life yet to live and I couldn’t possibly limit myself from that. I needed to find myself again, and I did.
As I continue moving forward with my life, I’ll look back and remember this chapter fondly. I don’t regret a single thing.
Through everything that life threw me this year, the one thing I learned to do was love. To love myself and fall in love with the idea that it’s okay to be on my own. I learned to love doing things by myself without needing or wanting anyone there. I’ve always felt the need to depend on someone; I hated doing things by myself, but over the past few months, I grew content with just enjoying my own company.
In the least narcissistic and conceited way possible, falling in love with yourself has to be the best feeling ever. You no longer feel the need to look towards someone for happiness and that happiness comes from within. It’s the best fucking feeling knowing you have all the control over it because no one can take that happiness away from you. It’s much better than depending on someone else for your own happiness because that person could very well wake up on morning and walk away. Then, that poses the question - now what?
Though it may sound contradictory, the idea of falling in love with myself has better prepped me for the next person that may come into my life. And when that person does, hopefully I’ll be able to love him wholeheartedly while never forgetting to love myself. I won’t lose myself and my worth and the person I’ve worked so hard to become, in the process. I will be able to welcome him into my life without revolving it around him. I’ll be my own person and he’ll be his, and we’ll just be two independent people, together.
2018 was filled with endless adventures and a lifetime of memories. Through every adventure that I went on, my heart grew a little bit more full and everything seemed a little bit happier. There was always something to take away from each one - whether it was the first of its kind or whether I met a new friend, there was always just something. And I love that because I’m slowly crossing things off my bucket list all the while making memories with some pretty amazing people. Let us wander into 2019 while being the free spirits and curious souls we are.
So, as we wrap up 2018 and as I recollect on all the memories from this past year, I’m filled with so much love and gratitude. I believe everything happened for a reason and the people I’ve gotten a chance to cross paths with, all mean something. Whether I got to know them for days, weeks, or months, everyone meant something and for that, I will always be grateful.
Going into 2019, I’m hopeful - I’m hopeful for all the progress I will continue making as a person and as a friend and family member. I hope to always be the best version of myself. I’m hopeful for all the changes that awaits because change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change is a good indication that we’re stepping forward in the right direction.
I’m excited for all the adventures I’ve yet to trek on and I’m excited for all the memories that are yet to be made. I’m excited for the growth and success that’s waiting and I can’t wait to just jump straight in and get things going.
So, here’s to 2019, my loves. Here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Let’s set goals and let’s see it to the end. Let’s always do our best in everything we do, and most importantly, let’s make this year worthwhile.
Shout out to John for these wicked photos and edits.