This year, I learned to embrace space, in all aspects and directions—space from seeing friends and family; the physical space in our apartment (and the many other apartments we had this year), and all the outdoor space. I became an introvert and loved it, enjoying (for the most part) being alone with my thoughts and ingredients. I filled every nook of our 700 square foot place with 30+ plants. And I savored every moment of being outside—long runs in new neighborhoods, the expansive flatness of the roads we drove on, hikes and canyons and waterfalls and crazy ass rock formations. I needed space more than than I ever realized.
My patience grew exponentially, mostly out of necessity to preserve my sanity and my relationship. I’m grateful that it did, because I need both of those things. I pulled away from friends who were blocking me because they were blocked themselves and saved my energy for pastry, running, and writing. I radiated towards friends and mentors who propped me up when I felt down.
This year I grew into my body and my values. Fresh off of running the NYC marathon last November, I committed to my running practice in 2020 and am stronger than ever. I woke up to the inequalities of our country and became more candid when I saw them happening around me, even if it meant losing friends. I removed myself from the influencer world and immersed myself into the creative writing one, finding fellow artists and friends that are now part of a community I’ve spend the last two years building.
The building continued! I launched virtual pastry classes, an idea I’d been sitting on forever. I climbed Half Dome, a bucket list item. I published my first real essay. I became advanced scuba certified. I made a shitload of ice cream and cinnamon rolls. And best of all, Orlando and I decided to move to London!
Wanting to leave SF is nothing new. The desire had persisted for years without any action plan, but this year, it was time. What began as a lightweight discussion grew and grew. After many conversations (with our jobs, with each other), we sold some stuff, put the rest in storage, bought a car/packed it up, and drove across the country for a final four-month long goodbye tour of America before departing early next year. (I was supposed to be writing blog posts for each leg of our journey—Utah, New Mexico, Austin, Atlanta, Vermont, but I tapped out after part 1, oops oh well.)
I’ve been asked if I feel sad about leaving and truthfully, I don’t. To stay was to not be true to myself and stunt my growth. A friend texted me, “I love how you get ideas and just go out there figuring out how to make the world meet you there.” I guess that’s true!
I can’t even come close to predicting what 2021 will look like—with the insanity of this year, none of us can! I can though, continue to release my limiting beliefs. My only limits, I’ve realized, are the ones I’ve placed on myself or the ones I’ve let others – friends, family, social media place on me. Letting them go is a practice I’m looking forward to continuing next year.
I can create a life filled with my own potential and let go of people and places that aren’t helping me get there. I can control my time and not give it to those who don’t deserve it. I can celebrate and deepen my multi-faceted passions—cooking, teaching, writing, running, growing tech businesses. And I can become an expert in any and all of these things because nobody can tell me otherwise.