Sometimes, when you are running fast and hard, all you feel is the burn. You struggle to overcome the pain and keep going. You are so focused on going forward and meeting your goals. Sometimes when you are running fast and hard, you forget to appreciate how far you've come.
This is not a post about how I run. This is not about what horizon I am running to. I think we focus a little too much on those things-- not to say they are unimportant.
This is a post about where I have run.
See, I'm ambitious. I've got a healthy (some might argue a little too healthy) ego, and fortunately I am the kind of person who would prefer to achieve the things I need to in order to justify that ego-- which is, you know, better than just having a big ego made of nothing. I'm sure many of my readers are the same way as I am. #YoungScrappyandHungry
When you are ambitious though, it can make you hyper-focused on achievement and the-next-big-thing. I don't want to be the kind of person who puts in hours to cook herself a feast, only to forget to taste any of my victories. And so here I write 15 dreams, of varying sizes and seriousness, that came true for me this year. I hope that this encourages you all to stop running, and taste your victories.
- Graduated from W&M. Not only did I graduate from my dream school-- this also means that I'm done with my formal education, for good, unless I decide to change my mind and keep going. From now on, my education will be done on no one's terms but my own-- and that is an incredibly liberating feeling.
- Saw The Wombats perform live. I got to see my favorite band, The Wombats, perform live! It was so great seeing them, and although it was somewhat bittersweet since my little brother I planned to take was sick that day, it was still a great performance. They are coming to the US more and more often, so hopefully he'll get the chance to go. (In lieu of the concert, I took him to the Charleston Aquarium :))
- Visited a Cat Cafe. So, this actually wasn't all sunshine and rainbows as I had previously expected before going to the Cafe. It turns out that I am allergic to cats, a fact that had either escaped my notice or not become a fact at all until that day. I thought I had an uncooperative contact lens, so naturally I rubbed my eyes in an attempt to get it to right itself. Big mistake. By the end of our trip to the Cat Cafe, I had to have my friend physically guide me home as I could barely open my swollen eyes. Still though, those kitties warmed my heart.
- Went to the Philadelphia Flower Show. I like arranging schemes, but also arranging flowers. I went to one of the biggest/best floral shows in the US and I had a wonderful time looking at the floral art and shopping and even meeting Christina Milian.
- Visited Disneyland. I have officially been to two Disney Parks! Didn't get as much time there as I would have liked but it was a business trip so it really could not be expected. I hope I can go back to Disney Parks soon!
- Touched the Pacific Ocean. I have successfully touched two oceans! As an East Coast girl, I'd never been close enough to the Pacific to do it-- it's so cool though to know that I've touched another ocean! I've never done that before and a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do so, so I'm grateful!
- Moved to New York. I made it to the city, I got an apartment (albeit one that is very small) and started my life in the city I've wanted to live in for ages. I moved here without a job, without even any interviews lined up. It was so hard. But I am so happy with where I am now!
- Got a job at Disney. I've always wanted to work for Disney since I was a kid, and as I grew older that ambition only got stronger. I thought it would take me closer to 3 years out of school until I would make it happen, but I was so fortunate in that things really aligned so that I got this job that I absolutely love. It was not easy and sometimes I cried about my job hunt, but it really worked out for me in the end, and I think that it really drove home something important that I forget a lot: Just because it's out of your hands, does not mean things will turn out horribly.
- Ate some really fancy ramen. Okay, so living in Northern Virginia most of my life, there has been no shortage of awesome Asian food, but most of it is Korean and Vietnamese. Until January of 2015, I had never had a nice, non-instant, bowl of ramen. Now I have had some real actual ramen and I loved it! My fave is Totto Ramen in NY.
- Went to New York Comic Con. I am embarrassed to say that I was the only friend in my closest circle to not have ever attended of Con (or Ren Faire). (Is it embarrassing that I think that's embarrassing?) If it is not clear, I am a total geek, most of my friends are geeks, and we as geekdom, consider the Con to be a rite of passage. I have finally attended a Con, ya'll. It was awesome! (See recap video and haul video)
- Hit the Broadway Flea Market. I helped support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by shopping at the Broadway Flea Market! I've always wanted to go ever since I got into musicals in a more serious, less-low-key way but since it happened during the school year I was never able to go til now. The Bway Flea is a great way to snag merch, meet Broadway stars, and support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- Set up a 401(k). This is something I really have been looking forward to for a long time. Is it kind of... boring and adulty? Maybe, but I think that there is a lot to be said for making responsible financial decisions. When I was working at a financial services company, I learned that nowadays most people in their twenties and thirties put more emphasis on saving for their next vacation than they do on saving for their retirement. Combine that with social security running out, people living longer than ever, and having kids later or not at all, and you've set yourself up for a really hard retirement (if any retirement at all)! To be clear, as of right now, I don't think I want to have any kids, but the point being that the question arises that if the government can't help you in your old age, and your kids aren't able to help you (or don't exist all together to help you), then who can you depend on? It's gotta be past you. So, being that I am working hard to be an independent, self-actualized person on a high vibe, high plane of existence, it was really important to me to set up a 401(k) as early as possible. And I'm so happy I did!
- Collected every single Twyla doll and every Ginger Breadhouse doll. You may have noticed that I am a half and half split between being a mature, responsible person and an actual child. I am totally satisfied with that lifestyle. So far I own every iteration of my two favorite characters in the Monster High and Ever After High doll lines, and I am so happy about this. I am exhibiting a massive amount of restraint in not going nuts over all these dolls and I am so satisfied with the characters who are my favorites, and it really does give me a lot of satisfaction to own all of their dolls.
- Did a presentation on Monster High's entertainment/merchandise business strategy. Combining my adult and child sides gives me so much joy, and for my final major project in the Business School I did a presentation on transmedia storytelling, and how Monster High uses this new model to totally rule the toy market and create a business that others should aspire to. Not only did I present this to my class, but also to Mia, a fellow geek girl and digital media business nerd. It was amazing, and I was so excited to go out with a bang on my time as a student in the Mason School of Business.
- Became a Disney VoluntEAR. Almost as long as I have wanted to work for Disney, I have wanted to be a part of their initiatives to give back to communities and spread some Disney magic into the real world. I successfully completed 14 hours of service in about two months of employment with Disney, and I have worked mostly to help children who are underprivileged, sick, or abused. I plan on continuing to donate my time to those in need through Disney, and I'm so happy to be a part of a company that not only allows me to do work I love, with people I love, but also encourages me to serve the community and connects me with opportunities to do so!
Those are my 15 Dreams that came true this year. What are some of yours?