Year Two in Seattle

Hello friends! Yes, I know, it’s been a while. It’s been so long that my second Seattle-versary has finally come. It’s pretty wild to think that two years have already gone by – seriously, where did the time go?! One thing that hasn’t changed though is that we’re still in a pandemic. But, we don’t need to keep talking about how that has ruined all of our lives in some way, shape, or form. Other than that, it’s actually been quite a memorable year.

First and foremost, I got my vaccine! Go get vaccinated people, please. Okay moving on… I am living on my own for the first time which is crazy! I honestly never thought I’d ever get the chance to do that. It was exciting at first and it still is, but I do feel more lonely which is a story for another day. I am going to therapy for the first time which has been helpful. After another massive mental meltdown earlier this year, it was time to prioritize my mental health. Thankfully I was able to find a therapist as I was specifically looking for an Asian woman. It did take me a while to get comfortable with her and make the sessions worthwhile. Overall, it’s been going well and I’ve been able to unlock some deep, hidden traumas that I knew were there and also the ones I didn’t know. It’s been such a journey navigating my own self and understanding why I am the way I am. Yeah, everyone should go to therapy.

I also had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a climbing accident. I basically fell and destroyed my ankle and needed immediate surgery. That was a major setback and another mental block I had to deal with, along with my physical health. I am almost fully recovered now and am so happy to do the things I love again so yay! I got to experience some fun adventures this summer including backpacking along the Olympic Coast, glissading down Muir snowfield, summiting Mt. St. Helens, camping up at Sahale Glacier, thru hiking the Enchantments, biking around the city, and hosting friends from home. I got an article published in Outdoor Asian and was featured in an episode of the Hello, Nature podcast. I became a climb night host at a gym in Seattle for Climbers of Color. I also led a virtual workshop on behalf of the Outdoor Advocacy Project at the Refuge Outdoor Festival. It was the first time I gave a workshop outside of work and it was nice to talk about something I actually liked haha.

More importantly, this year has taught me the value of a community. I struggled from time to time (and still do) of feeling isolated and alone. I was very much in my head and felt unloved, unsupported, and unseen. It got pretty bad and my therapist even said I seem to have underlying depression and need to give attention to what is causing that. But as I think back to this year, I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life, truly. My previous housemate that witnessed my accident has been there for me from start to finish. When I felt hopeless and lost, I finally reached out to my friends and they were immediately there for me, reminding me why I am loved and why we are friends. When I think of all the new friends I’ve made this year, which has been more than I could’ve asked for, it makes me smile and I always have a blast with them. This year is also the first time I haven’t thought about leaving where I’m at, which is a big deal for those that know, and I think the community plays a large part in that.

I always like to think that I can be by myself, isolated in the woods with the mountains and no people. I romanticize that a lot, but let’s be real, I can’t – at least for now. I just love being around people and sometimes, I hate myself for that. Especially living on my own now, I crave more of that connection. I struggle to balance giving attention to myself vs. to others. But hey, we’re all just a work in progress, right?

So to my community, thank you! It’s been such a rollercoaster year, but I’m still here. As I roll into year three, I’m excited to see what it’ll bring (hopefully a new job). Cheers to another year of ups and downs because what would life be without that 🥂

Your friend,

Vivian

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