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2014: Top 10 Events & Lessons Learned

January 24, 2015 | Author: Liz Truong | Filed under: community,family,life,love,top list

2014 was a huge year. When I deemed it the year of "New Adventures in Life and Love", even though a lot of it was planned thoroughly I still didn't expect this year to be so….HUGE. I started a 5-year plan in 2009 and with that completing in 2013, officially being fully in my 30's and on the next 5-year plan in 2014, it was really was about new beginnings (as will the next 5 year plan).

Where do I even begin.

2014 was a huge year. When I deemed it the year of “New Adventures in Life and Love”, even though a lot of it was planned thoroughly I still didn’t expect this year to be so….HUGE.

I started a 5-year plan in 2009 and with that completing in 2013, now that I’m officially fully in my 30’s and on the next 5-year plan in 2014, it was really all about new beginnings.

My past lists:
2009: “The Year of Loss and the Path to Find the Real Me”
2010: “Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable By Living Life Irrationally
2011: “Beauty Felt Lasts Longer than Beauty Seen”
2012: :My Journey Home”
2013: “Coming Full Circle”

Now here is my list for this past year, 2014: “New Adventures in Life and Love”

Top 10 Events & Lessons Learned in 2014:

1. I lived abroad for the first time. Branden and I set out for Japan on January 2nd and spent the first half of our year in Japan / Asia. It was an amazing experience, especially being in the “new beginnings” phase. I had a lot of independent time to really work on me and what this next phase of my life would mean for my marriage, my relationship with myself, and getting better as a whole.

2. Shared love and learned love from all over the world through the one thing we all participate in – weddings. 7 to be exact. Wed the World was an incredible experience for many reasons, but the main two were getting the opportunity to share and experience love with Branden all over the world, and also to learn a tremendous amount about love and what matters most to people in this world. No matter where we are from and what culture we were raised in, love I have learned is by far the most meaningful thing in our lives, and learning first-hand from people about their love across the world was a life-altering experience.

3. Had far too many amazing travel adventures across 6 countries that could be a top 10 in it’s own. We did a lot of traveling this year and to outline all the things we did would be a top 10 in it’s own. Scuba diving, exotic foods, elaborate customs, cliff jumping, temple walking, tiger taming, you name it – we really put the pedal to the floor in doing things we love to do this year, so I’m going to wrap it all into one and say travel changes lives, and it has given us an arsenal of stories for our kids.

4. Best times with best friends in Bali. We are so blessed to know such thoughtful and amazing people in this world. Having our closest friends fly out to Bali to spend the week with us and celebrate love, watch life altering sunsets and just walk around and enjoy being together was priceless. There will never be another trip like that in my lifetime. Thank you Jason, Katie, Roheela, Eddie, Dave, Chelsea, Doug and Aly for making the journey, and Conor + Kehrin for sticking with us for the entire thing.

5. Learned a tremendous amount about marriage by having a long engagement, not only in time but in practice. You can never hear it enough – marriage is a big commitment. But even in hearing it, does it really sink in until you take the time to really wade around in the facts about marriage. It wasn’t the length of time that made our engagement long, it was the amount of work we did preparing for marriage this year and I highly recommend it for every couple walking the road to marriage.

6. The best day of my life – our Seattle wedding. They say one of the best days of your life is your wedding day, and ours was no exception. It was the best day of my life so far. Even with all the weddings we had in exotic locations, there is nothing better that sharing something so deep and meaningful to you with all the people you really love. Our Seattle wedding was epic. Mycle Wastman and the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder aside, it was one of the most emotional and happy days of my life.

7. I fell apart completely. I don’t believe that only our happiest times are the most important times in life, I believe great moments of ‘humanness’ are. This includes embracing the emotions we have both positive and negative, taking moments to self-reflect and evaluate who we are and the opportunity to always be better humans. At the end of the year, I fell apart completely and I admit I’m still picking up the pieces because sometimes life just happens that way. It’s an opportunity to take a step back and say “whoa, I don’t like this – it’s not who I am”. I thank my mother every day for the courage she gave me to fight for who I am, and continue to love who I am.

8. I proclaimed that I am a feminist. I mean, come on let’s be real – I’ve always been a “feminist”. But this year I hit a pinnacle in “being a woman and supporting women”. I find it to be a very positive thing to believe and fight for equal rights for women and all the other negative connotations with feminism are just terrible stereotypes that can be associated with any -ism in the world. Folks…it’s time to put your hand up, reach out and support your fellow ladies (and fellow human being for that matter).

9. The Seattle Seahawks won the Superbowl! Like I could forget THIS moment…even though we were in Japan. When the Seahawks won the Superbowl I had flashbacks of my childhood and my most fondest memories of me and my family watching Seahawks games growing up and also going to games with my brothers. I had never felt so homesick, as well as more grateful in my life. There is a lot of humility and gratitude associated with having something to be home sick over. And when I spent 9 straight hours of just non-stop crying watching the parade at home live on my computer, and highlight after highlight…I felt so grateful that I had something to deeply miss in my heart.

1o. Coming Home. The best thing about traveling is coming home and having something to come home too. Nothing replaces home, and when you’re on the road for as long as we were this year (no weekend home from December 20th 2013 until our wedding on September 27th 2014!) that fact is as strong as the ocean.


So every year I used to do an excerpt on people that made the most impact on me in the areas I focus on in my life, but as the last 5 year plan shows, a big part of my life was making things more simple including honing in on creating and keeping very, very strong relationships. The people that most impact me every year are the people I directly am surrounded with and I am so lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people.

So all of you that I came across this year – you have made a profound effect on my life and you know who you are. Thank you for continuing to bless me.

Now onward to 2015 – “Preparing for New Life”. Happy New Years to everyone and I wish you the best this year!

For past lists scroll through the past posts or go to:

Dec 2014 1

It’s That Time Again: 29 Gifts in 29 Days

    It’s officially December which means things (aka mostly life) is about to get cccrrrazzzyyy here. I’m just popping in for a second to let you know...

Aug 2014 11

Wed the World Travel Lessons: The 10 Greatest Things I’ve Done Traveling in 30+ years

As posted on our travel blog, Wed the World - Travel Lessons: The 10 Greatest Things I’ve Done Traveling in 30+ years

Jan 2014 1

2013 – My Top 10 Events and Inspirational People

To look back at the past 5 years, and to spend this year feeling like I was given a second chance to do it right - the way...

May 2013 17

An Open Letter to my Fellow Travelers

I want you to close your eyes for a second, for me, and think of the first time you traveled to a far away place. Whether by yourself...

Feb 2013 11

Choosing Family and Choosing Love – a Tribute to Grandpa Gene

I know a lot of us have chosen family - especially through marriage and adoption (and my Grandparents selflessly did that too). My family has had the unique...

Jan 2013 23

2012: My Top 10 List of Events + Most Impactful People

"My Journey Home" - What I learned this year was more about the notion of what home really is and how important it is to build a strong...

May 2012 25

Confessions of a Broken Heart: XXX Exposed

What I realize is that love is the most important area in all ours lives, and some of us don't really talk about how we honestly feel about...

Mar 2012 13

The Long Lost Child of Vietnam

I've talked about making the pilgrimage back to Vietnam my whole life - something I have always dreamt about, and nothing I could do to prepare myself for....

Jan 2012 27

2011: My Top 10 List of Events / Lessons Learned + Most Impactful People

2011 was by far one of the most life changing years I have had to date - and I am convinced will be so of my lifetime. All...

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