Milestones, Bliss and Bad-assery

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I’ve posted. I took a much needed hiatus due to my wedding & honeymoon. 

We just got back from our Mexican Caribbean adventures and I could not be more overjoyed. Our garden wedding turned out to be even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, and it was so much fun! I’m so thankful for the blessings of my friends and family, near and far, to be able to share in our bliss. Our wedding felt like a dream that happened in the blink of an eye. Tulum was an especially magical setting. We were given the royal treatment by the staff at Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa, and we loved randomly running into our family and friends, as if for a few days, at least, we all lived in the same little seaside bubble.

If anyone is curious about doing a destination wedding, I highly recommend it if you and your future spouse’s family are from different hometowns and if you have an adventurous spirit. Alex is from Chicago and the majority of my side was coming from California. We found that our families loved the idea of a destination wedding with the added bonus of a built-in vacation. We considered the possibility of being wed in New York, but the logistics just seemed overwhelming. In the end, we decided that if we were to go through so much trouble wedding planning, we would do it in a magical location, where our friends and family could meet us in a tryst.

From start to finish, Alex was my right hand man. We worked on all of it together from save the dates, our registry, planning our engagements, our vows, printing our menus and programs. And on our wedding day, we had lunch before we parted to get dressed for the ceremony. There was something so comforting to have each other in the midst of it all. Both of us were nervous that something would go wrong, but nothing of note did. Our wedding was for us. And I could not be more proud. 

With suitcases full of presents and wedding memorabilia, you can imagine my distress coming back to the literal and figurative thunderstorm in a New York City cab from JFK. For the next few days, our tiny apartment was chaotic, as we unpacked, struggling to find places to put our things—including presents and wedding mementos. Our cell phones were bombarded with funny wedding photos our friends and family took with their phones. Flooded by bittersweetness, a combo of bureaucracy mixed with wedded bliss, Alex and I went to the courthouse to legalize our union in Brooklyn. Afterwards we took a celebratory walk, basking in Dumbo’s beautiful cityscape.

10 years ago, I’m reminded of another milestone. I sold my car, left all my possessions and left my hometown of San Diego to come to Manhattan. My best friend helped me move what little possessions I had packed into my grad school dorm at Columbia, full of dreams, hopes, and many many unknowns. I was just as terrified then but just as brave, and very inexperienced.

Today, I am newly married, living in Brooklyn with my heart open to what’s in store.

Milestones are quite chaotic and short-lived like thunderstorms. There is so much prep, research and seemingly tiny miracles that take place in order for the stars to align. Some milestones are accomplishments, and some are celebrations of joy, like our wedding was. Some celebrations are loud, while some are quiet, like my 10 year New Yorker anniversary.

As I look around my messy, chaotic apartment I realize how much I have in my possession. I literally have so much that it is spilling onto every surface. But this chaos is welcome. Remember when I came here with only a few suitcases and big dreams? Well now, I have a  wonderful husband, an apartment overflowing with wedding gifts and memorabilia, and a whole new family to adore. I have overgrown plants, dishes in the sink, an overflowing trashcan, and an up and running in-home voiceover studio. I am also constantly stubbing my toe on furniture and random instruments. My sandals blasted with sand, our wedding album and photos spilling from piles, and my bridal gown, soiled from the grass and mud from our garden wedding. The Nintendo Switch, a much-prized wedding gift, is calling us to escape from our current chaos. This is what our marital bliss currently looks like.

Do I retire? Hang my hat and give up dreaming because I have received more abundance than I could ever ask for? I consider. I reflect. I write.

For me, taking the time to feel gratitude comes to mind. So many wonderful things have come to fruition. Whenever I feel like I don’t deserve such happiness, I take stock at all the work that I’ve put in, how many times I have acted towards the pursuit of my goals. I am reminded by Nina Lam, my wonderful theater mentor from National Asian Artists Project, that being open to receiving is just as important as working towards my goals. 

This is also the best time to practice dreaming big, expanding some old dreams, while creating new ones. The best is that dreaming big doesn’t cost anything. I’m not sacrificing anything for dreaming. And I’m not harming anyone by dreaming. In fact it’s not the act of dreaming that harms, it’s the actions that we take, once we move our dreams into goals, that can become harmful. What steps can I take with conscious integrity?

I have goals that I have set ten years ago that I may or may not feel like I have achieved. And some of those goals may not align with who I am currently so it’s important to treat them with a Marie Kondo-like farewell, and thank them for getting me this far, then happily let them go.

As I continue to list the things for which I am grateful, the universe becomes more and more generous in my eyes.

Whatever is in store, it behooves me to proceed with a little caution. Just because I believe that the universe is generous doesn’t mean I have to see through rose-colored vision. Living in NY for ten years has taught me to be more cautious—like a pineapple: prickly exterior with my sweet flavor intact. 

Thank you for being on this journey with me. I look forward to all the bad-assery while being married blissfully.