To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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Happy New Year!

Tom Sawyer's Island bridge

The journey of this past year

This year has been full of so much fun and also hard work. Here are some of my accomplishments:

  • Graduating from university
  • Being in a play
  • Working for Disney
  • Graduating from the Disney College Program
  • Moving to Florida

And more. What did you accomplish this past year?

Here are some of my fun blog stats:

  • I had about 51,000 views which is around 19 sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House, according to WordPress.
  • Views were from 151 countries with USA first and the UK and Canada right behind.
  • Interesting search terms included “signs that zoloft is working,” “poem for a girl turning 22,” “mental health and opera,” “high school musical logic puzzle,” and “potty humor in big hero 6.”

I am grateful for such a wonderful year and look forward to the next one!

What is Success in 2015?

The beginning of a new year is when people often make resolutions. They decided what to change, what to add more of, and what to do less. Exercise, technology, work, eating habits, school, religion – there are many different goals that are set.

I rarely (if ever) thought of New Year’s resolutions growing up because I tried to make a difference each day instead of at the beginning of a year. However, setting goals is something that helps me. Thus, stumbling across the video below gave me the idea for how to start 2015 off well.

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One Thousand Thanks: 944 – 951. Upcoming 2015 Events

Christine and me at POTO

Christine, my sister, with me at The Phantom of the Opera

Happy New Year! 2015 has just begun, and I am already exhausted. However, that does not mean there are not many wonderful times ahead of me. It simply indicates that I have been working an awful lot lately.

Anyway, in honor of this new year, here are some of the things that I am thankful for and anticipating that will happen in the next 12 months.

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My Ten Favorites of 2014: Movies, Moments, and More

Me in front of Buckingham Palace

Me standing in front of Buckingham Palace

Over the past year, I have grown so much and been greatly blessed. There were both beautiful and heart-wrenching moments. As this last day of 2014 finishes, thinking and writing about my favorites from this year seemed appropriate.

Thus, I decided to choose ten different categories and write my ten favorites of those things. By the way, can you guess my favorite number for lists? Each list is in no specific order. Thus, one does not mean my favorite or the best. It is simply the order they happened in or how I wrote them down on the post.

1. Moments – The ones I will not soon forget

  1. Studying abroad in Oxford
  2. Writing, acting in, and touring with Theater on Purpose: Cathedral
  3. Finding a waitress/running job for myself at a movie theater
  4. Moving onto campus at school with two wonderful roommates
  5. Seeing Demi Lovato in concert
  6. Being a mother to a dying child in The Yellow Boat
  7. Finaling in speech team
  8. Receiving a job from my internship at Celebrity Cafe
  9. Tutoring people at school (many great moments)
  10. Feeling beautiful in my red dress at the film festival at school

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One Word Instead of Resolutions for 2014

butterfly emergedMy parents never pressured my sisters or me to write New Year’s resolutions.  Thus, despite my love of goals and lists, this tradition has never been part of my life.  Listening to other people rattle off their desire to lose weight, exercise more, stop eating certain foods, etc.  filled me with embarrassment and guilt.   How come I was the only one unwilling to change for the better?  Was I too proud to see my own failings?  Did I constantly overlook my weaknesses and refuse to address my mistakes?  Sometimes, I tried to whip up a quick list of things I wanted in the coming year, but usually I just shuffled my feet and mumbled excuses for not participating in this activity.  Only a selfish, lazy, immature person would refuse to make a New Year’s resolution, right?

In treatment for my eating disorder, I celebrated the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012.  Last year, the hospital staff heralded in the New Year with me.  Both times, health providers encouraged patients to choose a word for the coming year instead of making resolutions.  In their opinions, this would not fill a person with guilt but motivate living with a purpose.

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