Ever since I moved to Dallas, I feel like I’ve been moving at hyper speed. Within the span in a few months I’ve: gotten promoted (wahoo!), celebrated in Austin, maintained close friendships at my job, watched said close friends leave the company, moved twice, went to Vegas, got lost in New Orleans, took weekend trips to Houston (at least three times), had some of my loved ones visit me in Dallas, and watched my sister get engaged to the love of her life and long-term boyfriend (and almost botched that surprise… that’s a story for later).
If last year was about strengthening the relationship with myself, 2018 has been about strengthening the relationships with the people around me.
As I entered this year, I wanted to learn to be a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague, and partner.
When I started to travel more often towards the end of college, I exclusively traveled by myself. I loved the freedom that came with solo travel: I got to pick out my own itineraries, meet people at my own pace, decide my own limits (or lack of), and stay out as late or early as I saw fit.
Late last year, we celebrated my best friend’s birthday with a trip to NYC. It was her first time traveling sans family, and our first time traveling together. I can safely say now she’s become one of my favorite travel companions. I’ve learned how fearless she really is: she’s flexible when things don’t go according to plan and always willing to try something new. Before I arrived, I found out on my connector flight someone hacked my financials and literally drained my bank account – she laughed when I met her at the gate and offered to cover me for the weekend as I hyperventilated (thanks gal!!). We ended up taking two more trips after that and have more in the pipeline.
Beginning of this year, I decided to take a trip to New Mexico to see the White Sands during New Years with my now roommate. Two hours before we could make it, an elk appeared in the middle of the road and to avoid it, she swerved but swerved into a ditch. The car flipped three times, and I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. When I woke up, the car was upside down and I was bleeding head down. A tree had pierced through the windshield and was inches away from the driver’s seat. She dragged both of us out of the car and was able to call 911. I think in most situations, this would’ve probably ended the friendship; but for us, it made us into even stronger friends. Even though we were stranded in Ruidoso, New Mexico and hailed a local cab company to drive us the three hours to Albuquerque to catch a flight back home, she was incredibly resilient and strong and even made me laugh along the way. And actually, this past Memorial Day weekend, we made a second attempt to go to the White Sands and made it back accident-free!
Traveling with loved ones taught me to learn to compromise: I grew so accustomed to doing things on my own, I almost forgot how to accommodate for others. Two of my biggest flaws is how stubborn and impatient I am (I’m fully cognizant of this and am actively working to correct this about myself). This year, I’ve been making a more serious effort to place the needs of my loved ones first. I now call my parents more often. I’ve been getting in the practice of telling my loved ones I love them every time I hang up the phone. I FaceTime my cousins when I get the chance. I work crazy long hours during the weekdays, so I always try to fill my weekends with plans with friends so we get a chance to really catch up on their lives.
My soul has been so full and happy. I remember at the end of last year, I was insecure about “peaking” – I realize now how silly that was. Every year is a new “peak”: new lessons to be learned and relationships to be cultivated. It’s only halfway this year, and I know it’s only to get better.