Dream . Inspire . Mahalo

Embracing 2017 With An Open Heart

Angela Tseng

I heard from a lot of people that 2016 was a challenging year. Most people close to me had a consensus that in general 2016 was a difficult year in all aspects of life: personal, professional, relationship, family, etc … Thinking back, for me 2016 was challenging yes, but it was also a year with a lot of changes and break throughs.

Last year, I began 2016 having one of the biggest fights I have ever had with my brother. And just like that a whole year passed. Everytime I had my down moments I would think back to that episode and sometimes it would keep me motivated to go after my dreams but sometimes it would just send me to the deepest and darkest holes.

Regardless of whether that fight did me good or bad, it was and will always be my biggest regret in 2016. Around December of this year, I was getting moody all the time and I wasn’t sure why until it hit me that this would be my first time spending new year’s eve without my family. It felt weird, lonely, and empty, especially when I thought back about the previous new year’s eve and the fight I had with my brother.

I had planned to spend the new year’s week camping and surfing with friends I had met earlier this year. But last minute I almost didn’t go because I was feeling very under the weather and didn’t want to ruin the mood for everyone else.

I bailed on the first day, but out of some sudden random energy I started packing and was on my way to the campsite on the next day. On my drive down to the campsite I still wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice and was regretting leaving the comfort of my apartment. But the moment I got there I saw a beautiful sunrise that put all my uncertainty aside.

There is something about mother nature that calms your mind and eases your soul. I immediately felt peace in my heart and was grateful that I had made the choice of going to the trip. Needless to say that I had a great time with my friends and enjoyed every second of the trip.

On the 31st, however, I became a lot more pensive, I needed some time alone to reflect about 2016. We went for a morning surf session and I got my alone time. It was empty in the line up, just my friends and I; while they were messing around, having fun, and high-fiving each other I was sitting on my board in the vast Pacific Ocean, breathing the rainy air, and staring at the infinite horizon. Just me, my thoughts, and nature.

I spent a good hour reflecting about 2016. The decisions I had made, the people I have met, the people I had lost, and everything in between. And yes, like a lot of people said, 2016 was a tough year, but a good kind of tough with a lot of growth and self-discovery.

Since it was still raining at the campsite, we spent the last hours of 2016 freezing, laughing, joking and being frustrated for trying to build a fire under the endless drops of rain. And at last, with 30 minutes remaining of the year we finally got it going and started roasting marshmallows for the so desired campfire s’mores. And that is how I spent new year’s eve: one hand holding a s’more and the other one holding a glass of wine while making the resolution to embrace, good or bad,  every opportunity, every moment, and every person that comes my way.

Thank you 2016! Although I had a bumpy start I ended the year with great wine, great food, great memories, and above all I was surrounded by great people with great vibes!