Focus on 2010

There are five major tasks I have present in my mind for 2010 and I hope to embark, enjoy and excel at all five of them. (No pressure.) I’m not going to call them resolutions because I feel that I’ll just be setting myself up for failure (and nothing depresses me more than failure) but I’d like to consider them as chapters of 2010. What I write in each chapter will literally be relayed in my blog but will also write a chapter in my life that I hope I can call “satisfactory” in 12 more months. Mentioning it in my blog now will only help me in determining how I approached and conquered each area.

1) Wedding and marriage.

For the love of all that’s sacred and holy, I just hope I have time to enjoy and appreciate all the planning and all the money Gonzalo and I are currently putting into our wedding day. Sometimes I don’t fully get the scope of the fact that I’m planning all this for me – for us. In fact, I see that I still handle it in the most corporate of ways, as if planning something for a boss. Case in point, I capture all images/ideas/suggestions in power point presentations and review them with G slide by slide. Discuss. Or don’t since it’s kind of pathetic/weird but whatever, it’s efficient. I can’t imagine what it will look like or how I’ll feel that very day but I do hope that I have time to sit back, if even for a mere minute, and take it all in.
Wedding day aside, I do hope I’m good at the marriage part. I’m dabbling in it right now (some would call it living in sin, muahahaha) and here’s what I’ve noticed about my part in married life: 1) I like to cook 2) I really do run the house 3) I need to work on my listening skills 4) I need to let others form – and express – their opinions before I go blabbing mine about 5) More hugs needed! Warm fuzzies if you will. They just make all things better. 6) Need to make sure that we keep up the spontaneous date nights/days. So far, so good with that just need to make sure it keeps up.

2) Friendships
“Some of you I know; some of you I’m meeting for the first time.” (movie line, guess the movie and character). With that, I want to keep cementing the friendships that are forming now with people I’ve met in Chile BUT I’d also like to branch out and meet new people. Namely, I’d like to see about clicking with some Chileans. Weird concept, I know, given that it hasn’t been easy thus far. I blame my lack of outside activity (I work from home) but I’ll get to new opportunities for that in a bit. Or…wait. At least I’d like to blame my lack of outside activity and NOT think that I’m not clicking with Chileans because it’s me, not them.
With that, I can’t forget my peeps back home. Before I left CA I had an idea of who I would remain good friends with always … but those things change and some people are really “out of sight, out of mind.” That’s their M.O. and God love them for it. There are others who remain the same people and the same kind of friend as before. And there are yet others who charge ahead in the friendship arena and come out shining as a friend you never thought you’d have. I’ll reserve public op/eds on the three types of friends that evolve when one moves to another country but I will say that no matter what, I hope to be a good and present friend to all my peeps back home.

3) Back to School
I submitted my application to return to school for a Masters in Marketing. If all goes according to plan, I should be starting classes in April of next year (yeah, as in the same month I get married.) By then, it will have been a full ten years since I graduated undergrad and that’s pushing it since I truly believe I checked out in 1999 and sort of skimmed through my last two quarters of college (a teacher once wrote “Senoritis?? Too bad” on a term paper that year. That’s how awesome I was!) My point here is that I hope I don’t freak out, I hope I learn to navigate the system well…and I hope the Spanish part of the studying doesn’t throw me off. I would like to avoid any kind of indication of “Senioritis” from a professor during my Masters study, if at all possible.
Who am I kidding? This is going to be one intimidating mess for me but I hope I persevere and come out with a good education. AND, it would be quite nice to come out with at least one, if not two, friends. I’ll be OUT THERE, in the Chilean system, learning from them about their ways (in marketing). Kind of “when in Rome” … so my hope is to grab on to some would-be friends in that process. Now that I think about it, I should be hoping I have something interesting to contribute in the study groups I’ll be in. No one wants to be the dumb one in study group.

4) Writing
A few days ago I was a lady who lunched (with some other fellow gringas) and one of them asked me what I had gone to undergrad for, meaning what did I study. I realized that back in the day all I wanted to be was a journalist. I even wrote for my high school newspaper and was editor of the “social” section. I went to Davis for a degree in Communications with the purpose of pursuing this journalistic goal … that of course didn’t pan out bc I took a different route during the dot com bubble. That office job led to another office job and before I knew it, journalism fizzled. Perhaps I would have been a kick ass journalist. Perhaps it’s my parallel life a la the indie movie Sliding Doors. Maybe I’d be living in New York, working as an international correspondent for CNN. Oh my…me likey that…Ok snap back to reality and obviously that’s not the route I took BUT what has stayed with me nonstop is the thing that motivated me from day one – writing. Skits for school, short stories, poems, diaries and now a blog – I simply can’t live my life without some part of it dedicated to writing. I do hope that in 2010 this writing becomes more focused. I have always dreamed of writing a story somewhat based on my family story, a mind-boggling one that is made for Lifetime television for women. When I read Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” I thought to myself “I know this family. Oh wait! This is like MY family and their story.” Except mine is less whimsical and more dramatic. Trust me it would make for some great poolside reading. Will I ever get to it? I don’t know. But I hope to always be on the writing path that may allow me to stumble upon this story that’s just waiting to be told.

5) Co-Baller

I actually coined this term the other day while I was lunching (the same lunch referenced above. Don’t think I spend my days lunching like a proper Southern woman. I don’t, though of course I wish I did!) The point I was making was that I too wanted to be a baller… meaning I hope to be very successful in my career so as to afford comforts that I didn’t have the majority of my life. I have dreams I’d like to see become reality and goals I’d like to achieve. Perhaps some of these dreams and goals would seem superficial and materialistic to some while to others, they will seem like basic goals anyone should be striving towards. When I was in the U.S. I felt like I was on a path to making that happen. I went to school, got good grades, went to college, did the internships, extra-curricular activities, got a job, focused, got promoted, focused more, got promoted again, etc. A masters degree was in the back of my mind but since I was already a director at my company, it wasn’t pressing. I knew the path, I knew the in’s and out’s of working in the U.S. and knew basically what I had to do in order to get ahead in the corporate world. Now I’m in a completely different country and though the basic how-to’s are probably the same, I’m in a completely different playing field, with completely different players. I see it as starting all over again (though perhaps not from the VERY bottom as I was back in the day, straight out of college). And so, in 2010, I hope to regain my footing on my way to being a co-baller (by “co” I mean alongside G because to me, he’s already a baller.) I hope I begin to understand what’s needed to get there in Chile and that I learn what it even LOOKS like in Chile. That way I can put my eye on the prize and just work towards it. I feel confident that I’ll achieve this, as I think going back to further my education will help immensely. Nothing like preparing yourself for battle, so to speak, on the same turf where one will be battling. I should come out much more aware and I hope to focus on that in 2010.

My focus list can’t be too long though or I might just call it a day and not get anything done. I’ll for sure dabble in trying to be healthy and being in prime physical condition but I won’t kid myself into thinking I’ll become one of those crazy, workout obsessed brides-to-be. That just ain’t me, baby. So let’s just say I have 5.5 things to focus on in 2010 and I’ll be back in about 364 days to review this post and see how far I’ve come. I’ll trust that I’ll have conquered the world by then as my plans for world domination are coming along nicely.

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2009 Year in Review

All right folks – the hoopla of Christmas is now safely behind us and thankfully we can now lend our attention to more important matters at hand: the upcoming close of yet another year.

You know, I remember when I was a kid and August rolled around… the thought of Christmas and the first time I’d get REAL time off from school, seemed SO – FAR – AWAY. Now that I’m older it seems that I blink and all of a sudden it’s fall (well, spring here now) and then hello, it’s Thanksgiving. And from there, it’s a sleigh ride into Navidad and all its commercial glory. After New Year’s it’s Valentine’s before you even have a chance to double check your resolution list and well, from there it’s just a matter of seconds before you’re planning your Memorial Day bbq’s. I mean, the space time continuum has significantly shifted to high gear since I was a kid. I don’t know. Maybe the 80s were just a slower decade… perhaps each decade before that was even slower! For all we know, maybe the 1930’s took an entire 20 years to complete! I’m just sayin…

For this reason related to the speeding up of time, I’m especially glad that prior to my adventures in blogging, I kept a diary, a detailed account of my days really, ever since I was 7 years old. Just as I started to slack off on my diary entries, I started to blog. Somehow, somewhere, there is a full account of my life, should the case be that I ever become famous and a highly controversial public figure (as this will prove to be QUITE the arsenal in my life – either for or against me.)

In short, I can sum up this year of my life, from Jan 1, 2009 to these last few days remaining in December 2009, as having been full of love, growth … and technology.

Leaving aside the egocentricity of my blog, right now I’d like to remember (as well as capture in writing) the love that bloomed for my dearest friends this year. Beginning with Amanda and Adam, who were married at the New York Botanical Garden on May 24th, 2009.

Followed by the marriage of my friends Corey and Chris on August 8, 2009…Happy, happy, happy couple!

And on December 25th (or 24th, not sure since I don’t have the full scoop yet) my dear friend Lauren received the much anticipated proposal from her boyfriend (now fiancee), Mark. To say that I’m beyond thrilled is a fierce understatement and I won’t even THINK such an inappropriate sentiment… I’m over the moon happy for them both and no words available to me in either Spanish or English can adequately sum up how happy I am for them.

Somewhere in between all the love my friends were getting (and giving) I myself got the proposal I thought I’d never, ever receive. I swear, there were times in my past life when I’d sit in my room, hearing story after story of college classmates who were dropping like flies into the realms of marriage. WHAT ABOUT ME??!!!, I used to think. What was wrong with me? Was I not lovable? Was I forever destined to be with men who didn’t appreciate me, respect me or regard me? Or was I forever meant to be with boys who were about a mile short of becoming men? For the above-mentioned two type of guys were the only ones I seemed to land! So I spent time and again feeling sorry for myself regarding men and wondered if I’d ever have a husband and a family of my own … until finally I came to terms with being alone and I was actually relishing the new found contentment about being single when LO AND BEHOLD, when I least expected it (as cliche as that sounds) in walks destiny.

June 7, 2009 – the day I wondered about for about two decades, the day I feared would NEVER, EVER come… finally came… :o)

Note that the first thing I said to my mom when we called her (about 15 minutes after this picture was taken) was “OMG mom someone wants to MARRY ME!!! Can you believe it?” That caused a good chuckle from her and him alike, but trust me, there was a part of me that was kind of in awe with this concept. Grateful, but in awe nonetheless.

But none of this love shmlove stuff could have POSSIBLY happened without the other two things that are prominent about my 2009: technology and the move.

Technology could only take Gonzalo and me so far. While he lived in Santiago, Chile and I lived near San Francisco, CA I’m not sure how long our relationship would have ultimately lasted with such a distance. However I do know that it lasted as long as it did despite being apart thanks to mobile communication devices (i.e. cell phones), Skype, email, Facebook and the Internet in general. I can’t imagine it now, but my life pretty much evolved around my Skype time with him … did I make plans after work with girlfriends? Yes I did. But trust me, they were far fewer than my life prior to Skype time. And well – what woman doesn’t appreciate lugging herself up the steps to her apartment after work only to find a box from 1-800-Flowers containing tulips, or roses, or what have you, sent from her boyfriend living thousands of miles away?

Ultimately though, the only way our relationship would survive was for one of us to transplant themselves to where the other one was … that person ended up being me since 1) I don’t have kids and he does and 2) I speak both languages fluently, thus the likelihood of my adjustment being faster was greater. That move was well documented as it gave rise to this blog … for more details on that part of my life, check back to past entries. Notably, those from July. Hence, one of the major marks of my 2009 was the move from the U.S. to Chile to be with my one and only. Obviously something so maje rightfully takes center stage this year.

The final element of 2009 that I mark with great significance is that of my job/career. I sadly watched as many of my coworkers were laid off earlier this year due to the flailing economy and our company’s reaction to such a decline was that of self-preservation. This makes sense and when my coworkers left, I was (thankfully) left to step into roles that were left empty … and these roles helped me learn a great deal about 1) being thankful to have a job, 2) adjusting to (corporate) emergency situations 3) appreciating that one’s company has such confidence in the abilities of the (remaining) employees and 4)turning on auto-pilot and just getting things DONE. When I realized that it was time for me to leave California and move to Chile, once again my job showed me that life could go on with them in tow too, as they allowed me to keep my job even after I moved. Maybe it was because they need me as much as I need them but either way, it was a great moment in 2009 when I realized that my company really did like me. I like them too. Oh, I have my grrr moments (and definitely had them earlier this year after all the lay offs) but in general, it’s been a good 2009 job-wise and I’ll be forever thankful that I was one of the people that could say that about 2009. I realize that many people can’t.

So now that the Christmas bit is over and I’m about three days away from welcoming 2010, I’m sad to see a pretty good year come to an end. Each year on December 31st, I’m anxious about the upcoming new year especially since past years haven’t been as great as this one has. I hope 2010 is even better (hi, the year I’m getting married and the year I start my Masters program!) but even if it’s just as good as this one, I’ll be more than happy and equally as grateful.

So until 2010, fellow bloggers and blog readers, I’ll leave you with all my best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2010, in all ways! And don’t drink and drive. :o)

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Side note from my Chilean life: Some of what I miss most from the U.S. (thanks Mands!)

me: I really like that term, I hear you barking

it’s funny
and derogatory in a way
but true at the same time
bc if you hear someone barking
you just get it
Amanda: I always think of “my dogs are barking” referring to your feet, tho
me: oh yeah
there’s that
wow dogs are so versatile

Amanda: true…and then there’s always the old phrase “who nuked my dog?”
me: ha!!
and you can be dog tired
Amanda: let sleeping dogs lie
lies like a dog
omg, somebody stop me!!

me: shut your dog face
OMG i just made myself laugh
Amanda: HAHA!!!!!
I just snorted
me: ooooh sh*%
Amanda: for realsies
me: that was some funny stuff
I might have to put this on my blog right now

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