I’ve been listening to the Yeasayer song 2080 on repeat. The chorus hits home:
It’s a new year, I’m glad to be here
It’s a fresh spring, so let’s sing
In 2080 I’ll surely be dead
So don’t look ahead, never look ahead
It fits how I’m feeling at the end of 2014, not that I’m against looking ahead. I wildly alter my five year plan daily.
What resonates is the idea of simmering in the present, appreciating what’s happening now. I’m trying to savor the fact that it’s nearly 2015, that I’m 24 years old, and that I’m fortunate to be chasing my dreams (however awkwardly).
Yesterday, an AirAsia plane went missing en route to Singapore hours before I boarded a flight of my own. I keep getting reminded that EVERY MOMENT is a gift. It could have been my budget aircraft that went down. I could have easily died in the Petchaburi pool accident. I could get hit by a Toyota Camry in Fresno the next time I visit home. I’m lucky to be lazily typing this. With 2014 coming to a close, I wrote this blog post to reflect on that luck.
The year was a blur filled with epic experiences and way too many Negronis. I worked with incredible people, saw beautiful things. So much happened before Bangkok that most of the year feels like a lifetime ago. Here’s a snapshot recount:
January – European blitz with Ariel through Dublin, London, and Paris; Made a lot of people mad at Le Comptoir Du Relais Saint-Germain. March – My grandpa turned 90; Officially left my side gig at Café des Amis. May – One year anniversary in San Francisco; Family visits the city. July – Staged a bit at Alta CA.
August – Temporarily moved to Oakland; Outside Lands. September – Left Wagstaff; Last trips to Fresno and LA to see my family; Said goodbye to San Francisco with Leah, AJ, Clayton and Jacob; Got on a plane to Bangkok with Haley and Amber. Started at HotelQuickly. October – Weird solo adventures to Manila and Hua Hin. November – Nearly killed myself in that pool; Family and friends came to my rescue; Started freelance writing. December – Turned 24.
Beyond the snapshot, I reminisced about the year gone by as I stood in line at a Thai bank the other day.
I thought back on my time at Wagstaff, where I cut my teeth in the professional world and made so many mistakes. It was where I learned more than I could have imagined from Kiaran, Keelin, and the rest of the team. Where I picked up the phone and dialed my cross-country, invaluable mentor, Jeff. Where I lunched with Nicole, Meg, and Katherine. Where I fell in love with A16, TBD, and Farallon.
It was more than a job, it was a life, and a good one.
I wouldn’t have been at Wagstaff, or standing in line at a Bangkok bank, if it wasn’t for the boundless support from my family. My parents have consistently swooped in and saved the day with their love, resources, and manpower this year (and of course all the ones before that). My brother and sister in law took me into their Oakland home so I could save money before my move. My sister and her fiancé continue to keep me grounded, and feed me encouraging advice regularly. My extended family sends love through mail and social media. Whether bound to me by blood or law or whatever, these people helped build the foundation of my life. I’d be an idiot not to remind them how grateful I am for that help.
While I’m barrelling down this tunnel of thankfulness, I obviously can’t leave out my friends and coworkers at HotelQuickly. I arrived in Bangkok with the comfort of a job, complete with welcoming colleagues who turned out to be literal life savers.
Through the insanity of the year, friends new and old played vital roles in sustaining my happiness and sanity. To all of you, thank you.
This post can hardly scratch the surface of the joy, pain, and weirdness of 2014. If anything, I hope it can convey how happy I am to be watching another sunset hit the towering Bangkok skyscrapers.
I’ll leave you with some visuals of the year: