Monday, January 13, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

A year.

It is the way in which we chapter our lives. Each year brings new struggles, new adventures, new possibilities. We set great expectations for our years. We promise ourselves we will make it better than the last. Whether we aim to be more healthy, have stronger relationships or welcome more change, I think the strongest desire each of us have for each coming year is to just be happy.

Today is January 13th. Exactly one year ago today I arrived here in San Diego ready to change the world. Is that what I did? Well...not quite. As I am reflecting back on the past twelve months and all of the ways I have triumphed and failed, I am overwhelmed with the realization of how happy this past year has made me. Did everything work out for me how I wanted? Nope. Did I finish every day with a smile on my face? No way. But there are 525,600 minutes in a year (try not to start singing Rent in your head right now, I dare you) and I was very happy for almost all of them.

If you took just the details of my year and hung them on the wall, it wouldn't be a very pretty picture. I bounced between a total of five jobs and countless nanny positions. I made minimum wage and struggled to make ends meet despite the fact that I have a college degree. On the surface the logistics of my position in the last year might look pretty undesirable, but in the crazy mess of it all my heart was so so happy.

Let's do a quick recap. This year I got to:

Wake up nearly every day to sunshine
Meet countless new friends and live with an amazing roommate
Create myself a job working for Nika Water and see the company through it's last year
Score a dream job at SeaWorld and actually get paid to talk about my favorite animals
Work with the most incredible coworkers I could have ever imagined
Receive the greatest birthday wish by being able to sponsor Amina's education
Enjoy a long long weekend and Disney adventures with best friends from Florida
Dip my feet back into the theater pool by becoming a giant, pink fish
And spend my holidays with my family, which also involved singing in the Shamu show and getting to hang out with some pretty cool reindeer.

Not to mention the fact that I have been able to spend this last year with my amazing boyfriend who left everything he knew behind him to join me on this adventure. My last 365 days have truly been blessed and today I turned the page into a whole new chapter.

Chris and I on our fist sunset in San Diego - January 13, 2013

Today was my first day at a job I only hoped I would find when I set foot in San Diego a year ago. I began my position with GoFundMe.com and was welcomed into an incredible workforce culture built around entrepreneurship and service leadership. I can't wait to see where this new job will take me and all the lives I will be able to touch and inspire.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make their mind up to be." When I moved to San Diego I made my mind up to be happy no matter what and although it didn't happen immediately, being happy eventually led me right to where I was meant to go (My position at GoFundMe.com is literally called "Customer Happiness Agent.")

This last year has been quite the adventure and I wouldn't trade it for the world. As I move on to new things I hope I'll remember that no matter where I am or what I am doing that I am control of my own happiness.

And that is something too wonderful not to be grasped fully.

Safari Park Half Marathon and getting to see a good friend from my Disney College Program days!

Best friend reunion at Disneyland for my birthday!

The Invisible Children Fourth Estate Summit at UCLA- SO amazing!

Running 250 miles to raise $2,500 is WAY more fun in a sombrero

Dressing up as fish is all good fun but dressing up at Disney characters for Halloween is practically perfect!


A magical meeting with a walrus

Hanging out with Santa's reindeer! Do they fly? Oh yes, but only on Christmas Eve!

Last day at SeaWorld - Saying goodbye to these beautiful faces


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