Reflections | Saving 2014

2014 could have been a bad year. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, couldn’t land a job for a while, went through a tough breakup, lost my grandmother, grew apart from friends, didn’t have a place to truly call home, and still couldn’t gush over any beautiful ring/wedding/kids as I go well into my 30s. 2014 could’ve been a bad year if I had let it — but I didn’t. There were definitely many hard times and tearful moments, but over the years I’ve learned life is too short to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. So instead I took every opportunity to squeeze what I could out of it, trying to make the best damn lemonade I could from the proverbial lemons I was given this year.

1-92k9_Zlj2wI6JOIowcK3GQ
Moving across the world to Singapore

Throughout the year people told me to get a job; what they didn’t know is that I was trying. It wasn’t easy on my bank account or my ego going from owning a multi-million-dollar company and having a six-figure salary to not being able to land an interview for months and devoid of stable income. When traditional job hunting didn’t work, unconventional hustling eventually did, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to just twiddle my thumbs in the interim or stay somewhere that made me unhappy. So if I was lacking in career advancement this year, I made it up in spades with life experiences and new skills. When I couldn’t get a job, I got a life.

I danced. I learned golf, jiujitsu, and wakeboarding. I taught myself the piano song my mother loves and started painting again. I got my motorcycle license and got rid of glasses forever. I dived with turtles, jumped off a superyacht, saw the Himalayas, and hugged a baby elephant. I smiled. I fasted on water for a week and began to fall in love with hot yoga. I left my country and built a new life in my country of choice. I took thoughtful photos and had thoughtful conversations. I laughed. I embraced new family members and made new friends. I traveled to over 20 cities across 9 different countries. I trained Muay Thai in 7 of them. I lived.

Spontaneous trip to Nepal
Spontaneous trip to Nepal

Despite a preference to be living life rather than writing about it, I love sharing my experiences after hearing that it inspires some of you to live life to the fullest as I continually strive to do. My first love was killed in the KE801 plane crash but that has not stopped me from logging over a million miles since; likewise, the airline tragedies during this year shouldn’t deter anyone from seeing the world — indeed, I hope they do just the opposite.

Closing out the year in Thailand
Closing out the year in Thailand

2014 actually turned out to be an amazing year, a few good memories of which are work-related but all of which are people-related. They say you’ll never wish you worked more on your death bed, and my biggest blessings in life are by far the wonderful people that God continually surrounds me with. Whether it was a brief helping hand, an invite to stay over, or a lifelong friendship, I am incredibly grateful for everyone I’ve met this year and for those of you that continue to be a part of the journey. Wishing everyone an amazing 2015 and encouraging you to Dream it, Create it, and Live it. 

Carol Chen

Avid Adventurer. Startup Hustler. Lover of Life

One thought on “Reflections | Saving 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s