Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Top 12 of 2012

The best thing about owning (and writing in) a journal or a planner is being able to look back at the things you’ve done in the year. Significant events, or even little occurrences I would have otherwise forgotten are all scribbled in detail in my Starbucks Planner. On January 1, 2013, the first thing I did was sort through those pages… and I don’t know – I can’t really describe the feeling of looking back. It’s a mix of nostalgia, embarrassment, pleasure and pride. 2012 was momentous for me, to say the least. I wish I could share every single thing that I thought was noteworthy, but then I don’t think everyone would appreciate little details like “worst hangover I’ve ever had” or “tried cupping for the first time”. SO… I chose my top 12 – in the order that it happened. Here it is folks, Earth2Eartha’s Top 12 of 2012!

1. American Citizenship

On January 18, 2012, I officially became a citizen of the United States! It took me 5 years and it was well worth the wait! The oath taking ceremony got me pretty emotional, especially being around 3000 other people who shared the same “American Dream”. I swore my oath, waved my flag, and just 10 days later I received the main reason why it made it all worth it for me --- my blue passport. :) And just a couple months after that, I used it for my big ----

2. Eurotrip

In March, I went on a big 30th birthday Eurotrip with my best travel buddy, Karen. We went to Paris, Colmar, Strasbourg, Zurich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. For two weeks, we walked, trained, and flew all over those countries, eating and drinking (coffee) our way through, having the time of our lives!

3. 30th Birthday in London

After the big tour, Karen and I flew back to London just in time for my 30th birthday celebration with my friends. We had dinner, we had drinks, we had a cake, and I was in the best company of friends. I'd turn 30 in London any day!

4. Meeting My Hero

Just a few days after my birthday, I went and met (or rather, stalked) my all time favorite writer, Danny Wallace. My friend, Lea and I waited for him to come out of Capitol Radio where he had a breakfast show, met him and found out he was even more awesome in person, and he gave me a birthday present which were tickets to see Paul McCartney play at the Royal Albert Hall that night!

5. Easter in Lyme Regis

My friends and I had a great Easter holiday just hanging out and practically doing nothing in Lyme Regis. All we did was eat, drink, or jump, or play crazy golf, or sing in a karaoke bar. After all the festivities and excitement from my big Eurotrip and my birthday, it was nice to be able to just relax and take it easy before I had to go back home.

Our Easter Holiday at Lyme Regis

Because we always jump at every opportunity

6. 6 Seasons And A Movie

Community: Sixseasonsandamovie Art Gallery

This was probably one of the best serendipitous experiences I’ve ever had last year! I am a huge fan of the show, Community, and my friend, Wriss and I just happened to walk into a little Community art show, right around the corner from my apartment! I seriously geeked out! It was awesome!

7. Making the Decision To Quit

I remember vividly… It was the night of August 20th that I asked the Universe for clarity… and when I woke up on August 21, I knew. That same day, I told my siblings. The day after, I told my best friends. The day after that, I told my parents. At the same time, I was packing up my apartment, getting myself ready to move out… Things progressed SO FAST, but it was all necessary. I knew I had to let a lot of things go to be able to move forward and make my lifelong dream come true: To Travel The World!

8. Living in Long Beach

For 2 months, I had the pleasure of experiencing what it was like living in a great place like Long Beach (read full post here). It was difficult, having to move out of my apartment in LA and letting go of most of my possessions, but I had so much fun living with my friend Wriss in a city I consider a hidden gem.

9. The ARGO Premiere

With my friend, Amy at The Academy. And Oscar.

This was another really fortunate accident! My friend, Amy invited me to go and see a “screening” of the movie, Argo. The tickets said to come in a business attire, because it was going to be held at “The Academy”. Little did I know that “The Academy” was THE Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (as in The Oscars), and the little screening was actually THE PREMIERE of the movie, complete with the red carpet and celebrities and everything! George Clooney was sitting right behind us, and Ben Affleck himself came up on stage to introduce his film. I was in a small cinema, breathing the same air as George, Ben, Jon Favreau and John Goodman. It was AMAZING!!! All that – and the movie was AWESOME!

10. The Les Miserables Experience

This one is epic. I randomly found a flyer for a Les Miserables auditions on a lamp post near my office. I went, auditioned and got in! Only the people I grew up with really know this about me – but Musical Theater is another one of my true passions (next to traveling). I never had the guts (or pipes) to really pursue it though, so I liked the idea of doing Community Theater. That way I could still work and earn money during the day, and live my Smash-esque Broadway fantasy at night! Win-win! I had such a great time doing Les Miserables with the Jewish Women’s Repertory (Yes, I was the only non-white, non-Jew in the whole cast)! It was a process that took us 6 months to stage, and we performed for 3 nights last December. It was incredible… Just being on stage, singing again… it gives me a high similar to what I get when I fly. And we did Les Mis!!! It’s Les Mis! Ahhh…

Getting totally in character!
With Little Eponine and Little Cosette

11. Being able to Vote

After 6 years of being in this country, and after getting my US Citizenship – I was finally able to exercise my right to vote for the first time! I voted – and my president won. :)

12. My White Christmas

Just like I mentioned in my previous blog post – a White Christmas was a dream realized for me! Being able to close the year out spending Christmas eve with my family, and then snowboarding with my sister was such a treat. YAY to 2012!

Aww I love lists. Looking at 2012 this way make it seem like I had an extraordinarily remarkable year – and don’t get me wrong, I really did… but it was really difficult as well. It was testing, challenged me to my breaking point, and I was stressed beyond belief. Doing all of the above plus everything else that didn’t make it to the list, concluding my 30by30 project, and living with the consequences of one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in my life thus far… It was exhausting. Big year for Eartha. :)

I enjoyed writing this list though! That was fun...  but now that that’s done, it’s time to create new experiences!  From this point onwards, I shall no longer spend time time looking back, for there is so much more to look forward to!

I am eternally grateful for all my triumphs and all my pain, and I welcome more of everything in the year to come. On this day next year – watch out for my Top 13 of 2013! I promise you – it will be even better! :)
Let's DO THIS, 2013!!!

How about you? What’s on YOUR list?