2015. What a year! The New Year is always a time for major self-reflection in my life and I have to say that 2015 was definitely one of the most memorable. I would even go as far as to say life changing! My fiancé Daisuke and I were engaged in December of 2014, so 2015 was the first year spent as an engaged couple and rightfully so will always hold a special place in my heart. Getting engaged is life changing no doubt, but often times what comes after is even more significant to a relationship. Sustaining the hardships that every couple faces in a long term relationship, while planning and researching and meeting and tasting and guest lists and monogrammed everything flooding your brain, is a feat in itself. Having gone through it all, I can confidently sit here and say that sometimes plans change and that’s OK! At the end of the day the engagement, and impending “I do’s”, are all about you and your other half standing side by side and vowing to forever. That being said, we survived and we planned, we changed our minds and booked a private villa for our intimate nuptials on the gorgeous Caribbean beaches of the Dominican Republic. I am ecstatic that I found “my person” for the rest of my life that is understanding, genuine, accepting and kind. Bring it on November 2016!
Remember that life changing notion I mentioned above? All of our lives changed drastically with the birth of my first nephew, and the first grandchild of the bunch! Having a new baby to spoil, hold, kiss, snuggle and constantly dote on has been such a blessing to us all. Owen William is the most precious gift in the world and especially to our family. Here’s to watching baby Owie grow into a sweet, curious and imaginative little boy in 2016 and beyond!
In September I finally took the plunge and began the process of creating an extension of myself that allowed me to express my creativity, passions, lifestyle and inspirations with others in the form of a blog called Ahoy Mattie. Having launched just over a month ago, I could not be happier with its growth thus far. It has filled a creative void in me that I thought was lost due to lack of tapping into that part of myself for years, whether that be because of jobs, stress, worries or laziness. The whole of my creative being has been restored with Ahoy Mattie, and I am most thankful for that. I am thrilled to have you all along for the ride and cannot wait to see its reach in 2016!
Whether a New Year brings you hopes of eliminating negativity from your life (which everyone should do at any age and time), the ever so popular weight loss resolutions (trust me, that’s on my list too) or simply crossing off a few of your bucket list points over the next year, the start of a New Year is just that; New! New lifestyles, new goals, new approaches and of course new adventures are all in order. I have rounded up some goals I have made for myself, as well as sprinkled in some exciting happenings I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year.
- Get in shape. I know that’s super repetitive to hear on your end, right? This goal is on most peoples lists and I have to say I am really glad about that! I am happy people want to get healthy and stay fit, whether it takes a new year or not to do so. For me, I would love to try out kickboxing, barre exercises or some other form of physical activity in the upcoming months. I used to be a cheerleader after all, so to get back to that state of physical health would be a dream. Not only do I want to get my body right, but I also want to get in shape spiritually- in heart and mind. De-stress, decompress and do more of what makes me happy in order to have all around great health.
- Stick with my creativity and do so confidently. It never fails that negative thoughts always seem to seep into your mind when starting new ventures. There is nothing you can do about the backlash you may also receive from the nay-sayers. What you can do is speak to your inner self when those thoughts arise, assuring yourself that what you are doing matters. Expressing yourself and passions confidently will never go unnoticed. That is a point I hope to remember throughout 2016.
- Experience new adventures. I am starting 2016 with some major travels on my calendar- Costa Rica, Hawaii, Cancun, New Orleans and of course the Dominican Republic. Like every gypsy soul, I would love to add to that list with destinations around the world and even in my own neighborhood! Although I was born and raised in Atlanta, I know there are hidden gems at every turn just waiting for me to find them. And don’t even get me started on what awaits me around the globe!
- Start saving. This is a lofty goal that I plan to practice monthly. I have grand visions of a house in our near future, a growing list of travels to experience and a wedding on the horizon. It’s never too late to plan, and save, for your future!
- Keep learning. I can sit here and say that I hated school and am so glad I am out but it just wouldn’t be true. I absolutely loved school and learning new things everyday! I even went back to school for a continuing education course because I enjoyed it that much. Life teaches you new lessons every single day and I want to continue to have an open mind to receive those messages and lessons in order to grow.
- Plan the wedding of our dreams with the support of family and friends. I am lucky to have some of the most supportive family, future in-laws and friends in the world. Being able to share in the joy of this relationship, engagement and soon to be wedding with them means everything. That is the true meaning of love and I hope to continue to celebrate that throughout this next year and every year after!
What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Lets take on these new outlooks, hopes and dreams together. Wishing you a bright, positive and uplifting 2016!