I hope you all had happy holidays and a Merry Christmas. My husband and I ventured to Michigan to celebrate Christmas with my family and all is well. We had a white Christmas with snow the morning we woke up and I enjoyed driving in it since we don’t get snow in Southern California.
I spent time with my mom and nephew, brother and his fiancé and we exchanged gifts and ate lots of my moms home-cooked food. It’s been a lovely time in Michigan but I do miss the warm weather of SoCal.
It’s been a little over 3 years since we ventured out west and I love it so much that it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. I know you can definitely say it’s a change from my last article on living in California because when we first moved west, I quite loathed the place. But now it feels strange to be away from it after awhile. I still have my reserves about Los Angeles, but the state of California itself is absolutely amazing.
I’m also grateful for not only getting to call California my home but also the growth phases I’ve gone through throughout the years and how I’ve learned to live in and embrace the present moment and not think so much about the future.
With 2021 in full effect, I’ve made a list of my plans and what I want to do this year and how this year will look different than the last. Here’s what I’ve been doing differently:
Yes, I’m a blogger but I’m also a writer. I’m currently working on 3 books; two of which are fiction and one that is nonfiction. One of the fiction books has taken me 2 years to write and it’s still not finished. A lot of thought and detail and research has (and still is!) going into this book and I’m taking my time with the process.
My other fiction book is something I’m really passionate about as I can relate to some of the material that’s in it. It hits home a bit and I think that’s why I’m so in love with writing this story. I don’t want to share all the details just yet but I will when the time is right.
The third book that I am writing is a nonfiction book and this book will take some time. I plan to finish this book when the time is right; preferably after my first two fiction novels are complete. But more than anything this year, writing has been on my agenda and I love taking time out to write. It truly is my moving meditation.
You probably don’t know this about me but I am an introvert. Before moving to California, I only had a handful of friends and since moving across the country, I haven’t made any here. I dislike popular belief because I tend to forge my own path but it has been difficult to make friends in LA – like most people say. Being amidst a pandemic doesn’t help.
I’m thankful that my husband has friends and has found his circle and his friends tend to be my friends but I don’t have friends of my own. Partly because I wasn’t sure how long we’d be here and I didn’t want to build something and then six months to a year down the line, have to relocate somewhere else and start over again. The other part is because I’m picky. I don’t know about you but I crave a friendship that is meaningful and special and built upon common interests and ways of life.
So this year, I aim to make a friend – if not a few more but definitely would like to be friends with someone and build a true friendship.
Because I am introverted, I tend to do the same things. I found a hidden trail by our house so I go there for walks and runs. I like to drive down Pacific Coast Highway and coast through Malibu. I love driving towards Orange County and exploring the coast there.
Because of the pandemic, I haven’t taken any epic trips or vacations last year. My travel plans were cancelled for all the great places I planned to explore. Even a conference I wanted to attend was postponed – like so many others and I took my safety seriously and just chilled out. I even stopped running outside for a bit to be on the safe side and we hired a virtual personal trainer to meet our fitness goals. So a lot has changed and I made sure that I was doing my part to stay safe.
It used to be hard for me to not think about tomorrow or the next day. I was always in the future and I’d forget about what was right in front of me. I’d always think about my next move or what I should be doing to obtain the “next big thing” but never fully enjoying the present or staying in it for too long. I’d become sad or feel unfulfilled because all I’d think about was what I didn’t have.
Once I stopped doing that my life suddenly changed for the better. I started to feel better and my life got better. I was able to slow down and appreciate how far I had already come and what I already had. I begin to appreciate life more.
I try to be more mindful and thankful for all I have. I try and wake up happy and grateful to see another day and to be happy to have the chance to experience another day and the opportunity to create once again. I recently started journaling again first thing in the morning after I wake up and after meditation for all that I’m grateful for and all that I have. I’ve never been one to complain but I especially count my blessings and love how my life is going. I truly believe that the more I practice gratitude, the better my life becomes. I incorporate writing down my thoughts and ideas and being happy for all that I have in this moment.
Loving Myself More
I’ve never really opened up to anyone. Not to my family or anyone close to me except my husband – and even that took awhile as I’ve always felt a bit self-conscious. I would feel so self-conscious, I’d cancel plans or not see family or go to events because of how I felt about myself.
This year I want to spend more time focusing on loving myself and caring for myself even more than before. If you ask anyone that knows me, I’m a very health-conscious person and I always have been. I care about how I look and feel and self-care is of the utmost importance to me. I am the person who spends thousands of dollars on self-care and religiously studies beauty white-papers with the latest technology on how I can improve myself – inside and out.
When I was growing up, I was a heavy kid and I got teased about it and made fun of because of my weight. It made me very self-conscious at a young age. No kid should feel self-conscious about how they look but I sure did. From a young age, I’ve always been conscious of what I put in my body and did my best to eat healthy and stay healthy.
Despite my best efforts, I was overweight most of my adolescence and into my twenties and early thirties. Until recently, I can say I’ve finally gotten to a place where I love myself unconditionally and how I look. It can be difficult to say those words when you look in the mirror and see something you want to change but after seeing the changes take place, I can honestly say I love myself.
Even before I saw the changes, I loved myself unconditionally. I want to continue to embrace myself into 2021 and beyond. Because I deserve it and I am worth it.
One thing I love about my life is travel. I love going places and exploring. Even a simple car drive along a scenic route is heaven to me. Pre-COVID, I would drive along PCH and just look at the ocean and the mountains. I’d grab a picnic basket and beach chair and head to the beach and watch the sunset. I’d pick a random place within 6 hours and drive there to explore and spend the night and come back the next day – sometimes the same day.
I just love traveling. I love to explore.
During COVID, my travel plans have been altered; like many of you and I’ve done things differently. I still drive along PCH because it’s literally my meditation. My serene. My calm. My husband and I now find hidden gems where there aren’t many people (sometimes none at all) and we cuddle along the beach and watch the sunset or stay for an afternoon. Recently I started traveling locally to explore the many amazing places that are in California. I feel really grateful that we live in a state where there are so many wonderful places to explore. Even in Michigan I found many wonderful places
Watch my vlog on my lovely solo staycation in Cambria:
Creating More Content
As an introvert, I try to find ways to do things I love and earn a living that correlate with my personality. I’m not quiet but I do enjoy my time to myself and spending time alone. Sometimes people sense that I’m shy but I’m not – I just prefer doing things differently than the norm.
Instead of parties or loud events, I’d rather get lost in a library or find some secluded beach and enjoy the sunset.
Nonetheless, I have always found that writing is my serenity. I can write anywhere in the world and still earn a living and live a happy life.
Since I’ve been experimenting with different ways on creating content, I have decided to venture into creating videos. Mostly vlog-style videos as I love to showcase my day-to-day life or some event that is happening.
Besides being an introvert I’m a very private person. I prefer to keep some parts my personal life separate from the outside world except for what I share here on my blog and most recently, on my YouTube channel.
I’ve also been more consistent with my other social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. I have been creating some really cool content (in my opinion) and my feed is changing as I grow as a content creator.
At the end of the day, I have realized that I just want to enjoy my life and have fun in the process. I love creating and seeing what I can come up with next. But there are so many more things in store.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I’d appreciate your thoughts on what type of video content you would like to see from me in my next videos! 🙂