The Birthday

1:42:00 AM

Another year down!  It was quite the year.  One year ago today, on my birthday, I was on the beach in Carpinteria, CA with my mom, having fun, taking pictures, and eating McDonald's ice cream cones.  I was on a trip to find housing in LA.  I was 99% sure I was going to accept an offer to be a buyer in downtown LA, that is, until this trip.  In order to live by the water it was going to be a very painful daily commute to downtown LA, not something I envisioned for everyday life.  Shortly after this trip I accepted an offer to be a buyer in Seattle.  I had never been to Seattle except for the day of the interview, but that didn't matter.  I saw it as a good opportunity.  So much has happened in this past year and I couldn't have predicted any of it.  It goes to show that no matter how much we try to plan our lives, God's plan will prevail.   Here are 17 highlights from this year.

1.  I moved to Seattle-- the biggest shocker!  I always said I wasn't very interested in Seattle.  I really like it though. 

2.  I went car-less.  Three days before I moved to downtown Seattle I decided to sell my car in Las Vegas.  That was a huge decision considering I've driven a car every day since I was 15-16.   And guess what?  I don't regret it!   It's actually been super freeing. 

3.  I bought a miniature goldendoodle.  I always said I'd buy a dog when I got married, and it was going to be a Yorkie.  Scratch that plan!  I imported my little Bentley from Iowa last October.  He's the best 17 lbs of love that I could have ever imagined.   His birthday is 3 days before mine!  I love having a one year old.

4.  I created a work/life balance.  In Las Vegas at Zappos I used to work 60+ hours a week and get consumed with career goals.  I realize now that the reward from this stops at the doors to the office. This year I've created a better balance between work, relationships, and personal development. 

5. I started investing in the stock market.  I'm learning a lot and I love tracking different companies and markets. 

6. I moved into a high rise studio apartment.  Going from a 160 acre farm in Minnesota to a studio apartment in a high rise sounds like a big adjustment.  Surprisingly it hasn't been difficult at all.  My view from the 20th floor helps.

7. I had a few months of online dating escapades.   I learned the ropes of about eight different sites in case anyone needs help.

8.  I met an amazing guy.. offline!   Read my post, "How I Met My Boyfriend Without a Dating Site" for more on that.

9.  I stopped damaging my skin.  It's hard not to lay out at the pool every weekend when you live in Las Vegas.  Living in Seattle has been great for skin-cancer-prevention.

10. I cooked!  Since Zappos had its free cafeteria and I worked so much, I rarely cooked during the week.  I've since learned to make some favorites like pineapple chicken kabobs, chicken lettuce wraps, and wonton ravioli (here for recipe)

11.  I walk way more, like ~8 miles/day.   This is a perk of living in the city without a car.  Thanks to my Fitbit for motivating me to get those extra steps.

12. I got my first cavity.  That was rather traumatizing as the daughter of a dentist.

13. I learned to not get so offended.  I've learned that when someone is outright rude it is almost always about them, not you. 

14. I went sailing for the first time.  So much fun!  

15. I spend less time explaining myself.  I am better at owning my decisions without feeling like I need to defend them.

16.  I became an artist.  When I couldn't find the perfect art for my apartment wall, I made my own!  I think I'll do it again in the future.  Check out version 1 here and my version 2 here. 

17. I went to church online. I miss attending Central Christian Church in Henderson, NV....so much!  I'm beyond grateful for their weekly live streaming.   Check it out here,

Cheers to this next year of unexpected adventures!

Dylan

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