Goodbye, 2017

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2017 was a wild ride for many of us, lots of ups and downs.  In reflecting back on my year, I am tempted to say it wasn’t very productive. I still have not launched any of my businesses. I still have no settled on a single career. I am still very broke. That is my pessimistic self speaking. I am sure we all have two voices in our head. My optimistic self, however, would say, “This year, I have achieved a lot. I learned some new skills, like coding. I worked really hard on improving my photography skills while learning associated software. I started to seriously develop my written voice. Most importantly, I managed to stick to my own values and principals. So maybe I should cut myself a slack. I am not Elon Musk, but maybe I should give myself a little more credit.

In 2017, lots of people have inspired and helped me to become better in what I am trying to do. They are all creative minds who are willing to share their knowledge generously with this world. I am one of the millions who benefit from their generosity. I own an enormous thank you to them.

Here is a partial list: Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferriss, Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, Debbie Millman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Garance Doré, Chris Do (Youtube: The Futur), Marty Geller ( Youtube: Blue Lighting TV), Gareth David (Youtube: Tastytuts), Travis Neilson (Youtube: Devtips). Of course, there are more people I left off of this list. I just want to say thank you to them all for doing what they are doing and sharing their expertise to help others grow.

In the end, time moves on. Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018.

(Photo by Allef Vinicius)

The Choice

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I had been looking forward to seeing artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Festival of Life” show at the  David Zwirner gallery. I read a social media post which said the show would be open until January 1st and I also read that there had been long lines to get into seeing the show. So I thought, “Ok… I will wait a few weeks in the hope that the line would get shorter.”  Finally,  I found the time to go to see the show. I bundled myself up and prepared myself to wait in line for an hour or so. However, when I got there, there was a sign on the door saying the gallery was closed and the show was deinstalled.

Oh man,  I had no words to describe my feelings at the moment.I was so upset and disappointed.I was angry. I wanted to blame everyone I could think of for missing the show. (I was glad nobody was with me that day, or I could have yelled at them. ) Luckily I was reading Mark Manson’s book, “ The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” So I told myself I had to make a choice right now. I could go home and continue to be upset, or I could take two more trains to get another location where some of the artist’s paintings were still showing. So I could get something from this trip and make myself feel better. I chose the second plan. I did feel better, and I enjoyed the rest of my day.

I know this was a small moment. But it made me think how many choices we make each day. These choices, big or small, decide what kind of person we want to be and what kind of life we desire. Maybe life is not so complicated after all. We just need to make our choices wisely

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

A LOVE STORY

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My friend, “Expert”, told me a story.

When she was wandering in a small farmers’ market that day, she saw a vendor’s sign saying, “Today is my wife’s birthday. Everything  50% off.”

(Photo by Elena Hruleva.)

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