Well, this is the last post of the series before my birthday tomorrow.
Over the course of January, I have shared with you a variety of life lessons and experiences I have had throughout my life. At times, I showed my raw emotion towards situations I was in; I let myself be vulnerable to you all to show you who I really am.
But, I also understand the concept of selective transparency: that even though I may have shared a lot during this month and through past and future blog posts on this site, I also know where to draw the line.
Since the advent of blogging and social media over the past fifteen years or so, we have been able to dive deeper into strangers’ lives through their own words. However, I have also seen some people out there who go WAY TOO DEEP with their emotions and storytelling: talking about very personal issues, or their sex lives, or what-have-you.
The Internet is a great place to let others get to know you, grow a fan base, etc. However, there is a point where we must all understand that too much information really is too much; honestly, I don’t want to see or read anything that’s too personal/borderlining voyeurism.
Hence why, even though I honor honesty in myself and in others, I believe in the air of a little mystery around myself and each individual out there. You get to know perhaps eighty-five percent of who I am, but respect the fact that I keep the other fifteen percent private for good reasons.
Thank you for joining me on my #30PostsBefore30 journey this month. Get ready for a new theme next month!
As a child, I was taught to respect my elders and followed this rule very strictly; as I have grown up and into my 20s, I still believe in this adage, but I have also learned that age is but a number.
Since graduating college almost eight years ago, I have gotten to know people from all walks of life through my work experience and my time in San Francisco and Denver. I have met many people who, although may be older in age than I am, have come across as childish or stuck in their 20s (despite being 50+). Then there’s the opposite spectrum: I have met a few people younger than I am but who come across as having wise old souls.
Every human being comes into maturity at his or her own pace: some people are just naturally wise beyond their years, while others take a whole lifetime to truly mature. People aren’t like fine wine: sometimes it doesn’t get better with age.
I am thankful for all the people I have met over the years, though, and that they have given me this insight into age and maturity.
Luckily for me, my friend Chanita was also interested in going to that retreat, so we both put down our money at the beginning of 2012 to go to Sedona, Arizona in October that year. It was a bit surreal up until we arrived in town.
There were thirteen of us ladies there, including Connie. I was nervous at first since I didn’t know anyone! There were a few people who had returned for their second year, so it already felt like we were going to clique us. That wasn’t the case, though, thankfully: we soon bonded as we whipped out our paintbrushes and just painted our feelings out.
The retreat last for 3-4 days: the majority of our days were spent painting, but we also went on a couple meditative hikes. Because Chanita and I were trying to save money, we made sure we had packed enough extra food to last us through the long weekend, since the retreat only provided several meals in the cost. I remember I was eating a lot of beef jerky, instant oatmeal, and fruit during the retreat, but thankfully I didn’t feel too hungry!
By the end of the retreat, we were friends with everyone and all of us had produced at least three paintings each. Connie made the retreat feel so inclusive and fun with her instruction; I left Sedona feeling more at peace and fearless with my painting skills.
That was also my first time in Sedona, and it’s true what people say about the place: it is indeed magical. I hope one day I will be able to go back and visit Sedona again.
Since my initial weight loss in 2006, I have tried many different diets and meal plans to either lose more weight or maintain my weight. I have even tried Weight Watchers three times: once in high school haphazardly, once during my final semester in college, and the last time was in early 2012. Doing Weight Watchers was a great experience to help me with portion control, but it didn’t help me with getting enough nutrients from the foods I ate.
What I have discovered from all the diets and meal plans I’ve tried is that a healthy, balanced diet is the key to successfully losing weight and keeping it off. It is the simplest advice that most doctors have recommended for many years, but no! We are always looking for a quick fix or depriving ourselves of essential nutrients because some magazine has told us to do so.
I have done the vegetable soup diet, and even though I enjoyed the soup, it began to feel limiting after several days. I have eliminated carbohydrates from my diet before, and even though I saw some weight loss, I realized it was not sustainable. I have done a 3-day juice fast and even though I also saw some weight loss there, I know I cannot just have juice as my meals.
Nowadays, I make sure my meals are balanced with enough fiber, carbs, good fats, and nutrients. I practice portion control and I limit my intake of added sugars and processed foods. Sure, the weight loss may be slower than when I tried the other diets before, but I know that this is what my body needs to lose weight healthfully (and keep it off). And yes, I still have that slice of cake from time to time and enjoy every bite of it.
Ah, the proliferation of online learning for relatively low costs compared to taking classes in-person: technology has come a long way and I am thankful to live in this day and age. One thing I had noticed over the years though: with the availability of online courses, I was signing up for a lot of them (a lot of them free, some of them not but I could ‘keep the materials forever’) and not completing any of them. So I committed to my “30 Things to Do Before 30” list that I would finish an online course.
I had several platforms to choose from to finish a course: after all, I am registered at Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, Craftsy, EdX, and probably a few other places. I decided I would go ahead and finish a class on Udemy though: I had paid for a social media class and thought that the class would help me with my career a bit.
Sadly, the class was pretty basic and did not teach me much. The videos had typos in its slides and the quizzes were way too easy; anybody could pass the quizzes, really. However, I slogged along with the class last year: it took me several months to complete the course since I could not stay focused on the videos for too long (the presenter was rather dry with his teaching).
In late November/early December of last year though, I finally completed the course. At the end, I received two certificates of completion: one from Udemy and one from the organization that provided the course through Udemy. Even though I didn’t learn as much as I had wanted to in the class, I was relieved that I at least finished the course.
I have several more classes in my queue that I can dive into next on my learning platforms, so I hope to complete some more classes this year.