A Personal Anecdote: The Yin and the Yang of 2016
A Reflection After a Month Into 2017
December passed and it was our birthdays. Mine on the 19th, my boyfriend’s on Christmas. My celebration was the big 2-5. The big year where celebrating your birthday is almost old news, and you can’t afford to get drunk off your ass anymore and not worry about adult responsibilities.
So here I am. Sitting at my computer, clacking away at the keyboard as I reminiscence about the last 365 days.
When I look back at 2016, I feel like I have accomplished a lot. In the beginning of the year, I bought my first condo. In March, TheStyleWright had its first birthday and my venture boomed way beyond my expectations. I was landing collaborations left and right and had worked with amazing brands. In June, I started a new job that I have grown to really like. In terms of my love life, I have dated my man for 3 and a half years and celebrated a successful 2 years living together. And holistically, I started to shape my outlook on life to a more positive one so I could become the best possible version of me everyday.
Beyond the glamorous exterior that I showcase across social media, this past year was still immersed with many challenges. Yes, I may have experienced all of those aforementioned accomplishments…but little do people know that every single one of those revelries came with unforeseen obstacles.
Let me elaborate on the strife and nuances of each experience below:
Buying my first place. Buying a place is never easy – you never get your first choice unless you’re a wealthy person and have money trees in your backyard. Because of the lack of greenery, I had to settle on my fourth choice.
My first bid was on a short sale – it was literally the perfect apartment with a balcony and view of NYC. Unfortunately, the partnership between the bank and owner was nearly vapid, so it took them over 4 months to give me an answer. Meanwhile, I made a bid on another apartment around the same price and it was also nearly perfect. Sadly, the seller was too greedy and wanted to wait around for a higher-priced buyer. Eventually, following up with the sellers and banks became a total waste of my time and my frustration was at an all-time-high. I was left in the air with my choices and decided to believe these deals would never go through.
Then, I got my puppy, Einstein. It was a bit impulsive to welcome him into the family so soon while trying to move to another place, but I don’t regret it. Coincidently after I got Einstein, the two sellers got back to me and agreed to meet me at my price, and I was ecstatic. Plot twist. Only one vital part was missing: the Co-Op only allowed 10% of the owners to have dogs in the building and there was a several year waitlist. I thought to myself, “You gotta be freakin’ kidding me!” So, I had to drop that place right away. I even tried to license Einstein as a therapy dog so I could beat the waitlist, but it was just all too much. I started to look elsewhere.
After all the rejections, waiting, lawyer fees and extensive traveling from NYC to NJ, I finally settled on my current place. This place was a condo, so it was about 50% more expensive, but it turned out to be okay. It was much easier to get approved and the resale value was higher. I am starting renovations soon, so I am super excited to see how the place will turn out!
My blog booming. We all love success, right? Unfortunately, with more success, came more work. I still had my full-time job, so there were nights where I literally only slept three hours because I was up writing blog posts, editing pictures, and answering emails while still needing to wake up early the next morning.
During my work hours, my blog email would flood with inquiries from brands, photographers, and bloggers to collaborate and work on projects. It was all so overwhelming as I had to choose not to answer them during my work hours in order to maintain focus during the day. The mere fact that I couldn’t answer them right away made me feel uneasy. What if the brand thought I was uninterested because I did not have the time to prioritize their email this week? What if an event host decided to retract their invitation because they felt ignored? What if I had lost opportunities to network with other bloggers and photographers just because I’m too busy at my job?
I began to feel so burnt out because I needed to be alert during my 8-hour workday and still be firing on all cylinders after. I was exhausted to the point where four cups of coffee a day ceased to work anymore and I was getting sick all the time. Still, I hustled every night and every weekend, even though all I wanted to do was relax. But, was it worth it? Absolutely. My blog had grown so much more than I had ever imagined.
I got a new job I like. This seems great at first – higher position, higher salary, better company, better coworkers. However, the learning curve for my job took at least 4-6 months. For example, I would think I would understand something completely, but then I would either be entirely wrong or I just did not get the whole picture. I had followed a lot of rules and guidelines, only to find out through several mistakes, that everything was not black and white. There were exceptions to every rule. I was learning the fast-paced demand for my job, reporting to a new manager, and learning how to deal with the environment all together. There were countless late nights when I had to make sure I got my work done and had understood the most I could.
As you can see, my accomplishments were far from easy. With each accomplishment came a challenge I thought I’d never be able to overcome…but I did, and not only did I survive, I became better. I can proudly say that I am stronger than I ever was before.
There is a Chinese saying that a shadow cannot exist without light – which is the philosophy behind the Yin and Yang. The good and bad I had experienced throughout this past year were not opposing forces; in fact, they were complementary forces that worked together in order to manifest a greater outcome.
And looking back to 2016, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Here’s to the continuation of the New Year and with what may lie ahead.
P.S. Happy Chinese New Year to all my Lunar New Year celebrants!
Shop My Outfit by clicking the links below and/or find alternatives in the images in the below:
Eyewear: Freida Rothman
Watch: Daniel Wellington