Twenty Thirteen

2012 came and went, and some important events happened along the way…

  • I spoke at three WordCamps—Mumbai, Manila, and Kathmandu—and in the process met some of the most wonderful people who I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. My passion for the WordPress community has only grown stronger with time.
  • I bounced around the globe with Automattic, attending team and company meetups in New York City, Las Vegas, Winnipeg, San Francisco, and San Diego. In the process I learned that traveling so far to North America that frequently induces unhappiness and dementia, and that San Francisco has become very dear to my heart.
  • I reached my 1-year anniversary working with Automattic (October 24th, 2012).
  • I reached my 1-year anniversary in Ba Đình (December).
  • Donna married James and I was fortunate enough to attend the event. Donna’s been my best friend since we were 15, and to be there with her and James meant the world to me. I love her family so very much.
  • I lost 20 more pounds. In 2011 I lost 54, and in 2010 I lost 55. If you do the math on that, you’ll see how absurdly large I used to be. 2006 to 2009 were some of the hardest years of my entire life—accompanied by weight gain—both professionally and personally. I went through a devastating breakup, my father died, and I started having severe issues with anxiety and panic. The last three years, though, have been better. Not perfect, but better. The struggle to find health and balance still remains strong, but with every single day I’m doing all that I can to experience life with a little more joy and purpose.

Like the year before it, this year was filled with travel. I was on the road for 142 days, which means that my goal of staying put during 2012 was an utter failure. Goal setting is hard and an inexact science, so I might just consider not setting them in 2013 (Naoko’s advice and outlook are starting to nudge me in the right direction).

During Twenty Thirteen I would like not to set a specific, quantifiable goal. I will instead take every single breath with appreciation and try my best to live in the present, mindfully. I will be open with my love for new friends and make sure my family knows that I care for them. I will live knowing that control is an illusion and let go of being so rigid so often.

That doesn’t mean I’ll wake up tomorrow with no direction. It mostly just means that next year I’ll do my best to let go of my death grip on the steering wheel.

A Morning At Tay Ho Flea Market

There’s a special place in my heart for individuals who produce and sell their own goods in markets like the one I went to this morning. It was small, but fantastic, and an event that I would have loved to go to with my mother, whose primary passion and source of income for the last decade-plus has been South American artesanía.

I was under the impression that the flea market was only a yearly event, but it turns out that many of the sellers who I met today go out to West Lake every week. Everyone who I met was lovely, and I even managed to pick up several goods. The wild mint honey comes from Meo Vac, the strawberries come from Da Lat, and the Dame Clémence is made here in Hanoi by Clemence Barbier. The scent I chose is incredible.