Bonjour mes chéries et bienvenue to a new year of Bouge & Rouge! How were all of your holiday breaks and New Year’s Eves? Mine was mellow and dare I say a little anticlimactic. Despite the unexpected mellow energy, I find myself here this evening writing a love letter of my thoughts with a slight tingling of excitement buzzing lightly underneath the surface. I spent the entirety of 2019 reflecting on the past puzzling together answers to what was left unanswered in my heart, and I’m more than ready to flip the page for a new start.
This last year was all about transformation and self-discovery. The first half of the year was calm and stable, but the latter half resembled the room of a girl who has unearthed her entire closet to figure out what to wear for a night out: a fucking wreck. From December of 2018 till June of 2019, I spent it solo with absolutely no one in the picture. I craved alone time so desperately because I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, or what I needed. Life became a little dangerous without direction. Much of the first 6 months was kind of on autopilot, but the routines and lackluster days allowed me to recenter myself. The second half of the year was filled with adventure, flings, and friendship growing pains. I started to see concrete results of flying solo which manifested itself in odd ways. I reacted to things drastically differently, especially in my dating life, and stopped being afraid of challenging people. I demanded what I needed relentlessly which surprised some and altered a few of those relationships ultimately for the better.
By the end of the year, I had finally grown comfortable in my own skin. I figured out the answers to all my questions. I had dyed my hair once in preparation for my hair goal (coming January 2020), got second piercings on my earlobes I’ve been wanting, and inked 6 new pieces on my skin as proud emblems of who I am. It was a literal internal and external transformation. However, the feeling wasn’t of triumph or relief. It was empty and heartbreaking. Everyone kept saying how proud of my growth they were, but that they miss the exuberant “Erica energy” that was lost along the way. Days before NYE (as I said in episode 9), I found myself silently crying in my bed with a new question in mind: How can you be so happy with yourself yet so unhappy at the same time?
It’s been a few days since I felt that way, and I’ve concluded that I’m not actually unhappy but rather just bittersweet about the effects of growing up. I can’t be that persona anymore if I want long-term happiness, and that’s okay. Her bubbly happiness stemmed from naivety and foolishness. While it’s a beautiful thing to be a fool, one must be careful about what she lets fool her. With that said, the turn of a new decade marks the start of an era for me. The 2010s were a time of growth, physical and mental. I graduated high school, survived college, moved out, and became financially independent. I found myself ending the decade exactly where 2010 Erica wanted me to be: in New York City with a steady source of income, a cornucopia of life experiences with friends, and a teeming shoe collection. Since all the items checked off last decade’s to-do list, I’m moving forward into the Roaring 2020s with the theme of expansion in mind.
New Year Resolutions
In My Career
First and foremost, I have to pay more attention to my career this year, because 2020 marks the start of my third year out of college and in the corporate workforce. I have a wide variety of skills, but it’s time to figure out which ones I want to advance further and stop trying to be professional at everything. I need to get rid of the Carnegie Mellon guilt of not pursuing a more technical career route (SQL, building dashboards, data architecture, etc.) and focus on what I really want to do: marketing/company strategy and brand development. I’m so fascinated with the consumer mind that I need to be in this field in order to maximize my potential and contribution to a company. I have no idea where the year will take me, but I know that I will fight for every opportunity to expand my analytics skills and select technical skills to support this passion. I’ve chilled for way too long. It’s time to get that fiery competitive energy back!
In My Creatives
This August, B&R will turn 4 years old which for me is quite a milestone. When I first started this blog, I had a lot of hope and aspirations. However, I had very little time to fulfill those unless I wanted to average less than 5 hours of sleep a night. As a result, you all know that my commitment to the blog and YouTube (thankfully not the podcast) has wavered over the last three years. Nonetheless, I’m proud that I haven’t given up and thankful for your support even when I wasn’t fully behind my own brand myself.
In 2020, I’m no longer coming up with excuses. I need to dedicate the time and energy to my content if I want to succeed and reach the broader audience I’ve been fruitlessly “targeting” on and off. I need to use the resources I have (like my overflowing closet and friends who love photography) to shoot more photos and actually create lookbooks. I need to record more videos so I can practice video editing. I need to develop my Photoshop skills more because this skill will also help me in my actual career. Lastly, I need to stop allocating the time I dedicated to my work for outings or dates with boys who don’t make me as happy as my work does. I sacrifice my art for my heart, but both end up damaged way too often. It’s time to prioritize what’s right and build my relationship with you through quality content.
In My Personal Life
There are two elements to this: love and personal growth.
You’ve heard me talk openly about my love life. If you are new, I can sum it up for you like this: I fantasize and over-romanticize situations leading me to put people on pedestals they can’t live up to resulting in a heavily toxic relationship followed by a long string of flings that left me feeling unlovable and faithless in love. This year, someone broke that. I lost the ability to believe in the magic of love and courtship or enjoy the cheesy goo-goo-ga-ga feels of infatuation. Since I identified as a hopeless romantic all my life, I felt like I lost a part of me forever. Luckily, this turned out for the best. I’ve started to take things for face value instead of overanalyzing everything. I’ve also stopped working around the person I’m dating’s schedule. Until they do that, there is no reason to prioritize them. Instead of obsessing over the potential future I could have with them, my brain is flooded with things of higher importance and value. Now that I fully see my worth, there’s no more settling or making excuses for someone lacking a quality I need in a life partner.
The 2020s are where I’m looking for a forever husband to be the father of my children and the #1 supporter of my legacy. I’m not here to play anymore; I’ve had my fun. More importantly, 2019 was proof that I am all I need when it comes to love. I have been settling because I was so terrified that my light will scare people off and ruin my chances at love. In reality, the perfect match for me will only want to run towards it and love me harder with every new success. I’m a very unconditional person when it comes to accepting people, and I need that back. So the new mindset (that I encourage you all to apply as well) is this: unless they can love you the way you love you and more, they are simply not good enough.
As for personal growth, I want to get back to saving and learning. For starters, I need to get my financial growth in check. While I’ve proudly never let myself fall into credit card debt, I haven’t been great at saving to maintain liquidity. There needs to be a lot less spending and shopping. As for skills, I vow to take dance classes again, learn how to cook better, sharpen my fine art skills, re-learn the fluent French I lost over the years (I’m tired of being a fake Francophile), and re-learn how to read and write Chinese. I also want to learn how to make cocktails but spend a little less time drinking. Spiritually, I want to become more familiar with tarot and (ironic to the first half the sentence) maybe go back to church. I also want to find time to volunteer at an animal shelter. My 2019 was filled with starting a junior board for a nonprofit organization which sadly ended, but I’m determined to find a way to contribute to the cause and others this year. Lastly, I hope to advance my snowboarding skills whenever I can hit the slopes.
In Friendships & Family
In terms of interpersonal relationships, I’ve become much more patient with the right people which was my biggest problem throughout high school and college. That being said, I also need to be less understanding with the ones who don’t deserve it. My friendships have lasted through some very hard obstacles, and I need to treasure them more. I definitely do, don’t get me wrong, but I often can’t find a happy balance between the different friends/friend groups. I always find myself accidentally spending too much time with one over the other and neglecting those who need me because I’m socially burnt out. The biggest blessing in my life is my friends, and it’s time I show my appreciation more.
When it comes to family, I need to be more patient. I often release my anxieties and anger when I’m safe at home which unfortunately gets projected onto my poor parents. I also tend to let relatives’ harsh comments or differing opinions about my life get to me. At the end of the day, I’m an adult and seen (somewhat) of an equal to my mom and dad now. If I want them to continue seeing me that way, I need to stop treating them like parents (and being a brat) and start treating them like my friends I share life with. That means more trips home (especially since my dog is turning 14 this year) and more FaceTime calls to the grandparents.
In Health & Wellness
Lastly but certainly not least, I need to drink more water and stop eating so much gluten! I’m terrible at keeping this gluten free diet and inflaming my symptoms with acidic foods. I also need to get back on my fitness game because I miss being lean and glowing like I was when I first moved here. I felt so healthy and happy senior spring when I prioritized my body, so it’s time to do that again. This means actually waking up in the morning to box or lift and making sure I stretch it out at yoga frequently.
Mentally, I need to let my mind draw a blank more often so I don’t trigger my own anxiety. I’ve become familiar with my triggers and how to control attacks. It seems like allowing myself to not think at all whenever possible is the key to keeping me sane and stable. I also need to dig a little deeper in therapy instead of rambling about whatever is going on in my life that week so I can unearth the issues that keep me from progressing. Finally, I need less time off the phone. I am so used to answering everyone the second they text. I need to learn that it’s okay to take a break and unplug from everything on there. If there’s anything urgent, they can always call.
Well there you have it, mes chéries! These are my New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to check-in with myself in June to see how far along I am, and I recommend you do for yourself as well. We have officially flipped the page in the book, so don’t waste this opportunity to write your next chapter with me. I wish you nothing but the best of luck.
Until next time, bisou bisou…