A year ago from today…

“She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going…but she was on her way.

It was November 12, 2012, and this blog didn’t exist yet. I hadn’t gone gallivanting around Asia yet. Mary and I were still looking up hostels and different foods we had to eat. The closest I’d gotten to Claude Monet (one of my favorite artists) was through the art books my mom and dad had given me when I was a child. A year ago from today, I was still studying (kind of) in college in Milwaukee, living in a house with six people part-time, bartending in a Greek cafe and bar part-time, and living with my family in Chicago for the rest of the time.

I recently received an email that the yearly renewal for my domain theforkinmyroad.com is approaching, and I realized how I’ve really neglected this blog. This doesn’t particularly bother me so much since my most dedicated follower is my dad, and I call him everyday anyway. However, more importantly, I realized how quickly time has passed. There are many things that have happened since November 9, 2012. Here’s a few things that have happened (in no particular order):

  • My dad got remarried
  • I climbed a mountain
  • I got lost in a jungle in Malaysia
  • My little brother Lawrence went to college (which also is my alma mater)
  • My best friend Mary and I slept in an airport
  • I learned how to cook Cambodian food from the chef to the king of Cambodia
  • I almost kidnapped a baby (by accident and with good intentions, of course)
  • I traveled to 33 cities in Asia + Europe in 3 months
  • I got to pet a tiger and ride an elephant
  • I moved to San Francisco
  • I ran 3 half marathons
  • I met my cousin’s beautiful 1/4 Filipino, 3/4 British baby
  • I saw Monet’s les nymphéas in musée de l’orangerie
  • I was driven home in a police car
  • My little brother Leonard started high school
  • I swam in a waterfall
  • I started working full-time at Google
  • Saw Mary in NYC (twice)
  • My little sister ran her first race ever!

A lot’s happened since last November 12th. A lot of things have changed, and I know I’ve changed. I’ve been to so many beautiful places, met incredible people, and learned a lot of things about myself and the world. I was just talking to a friend today about regrets or things we’d do different if we had the chance. The word “regret” always gets a bad rap because it has a negative connotation and implies you didn’t do something right. However, I challenge this association. Regret is a natural and positive part of life and growth. If you look back on any given situation and believe that you did everything right, you’re probably wrong. I think looking back and seeing where things could have gone differently is a sign of self-awareness and growth. It’s an indication that you’re a better person and that you have the ability to learn. I know I have regrets. I regret picking up that baby in Saigon. I regret not listening to that guy that told me not to swim too close to the waterfall. I (sometimes) regret making Mary climb the mountain when I knew she really didn’t want to. Sorry, Mary.

I’m positive that I’ve grown in this past year, but some things remain the same:

  • I still miss my mom
  • I still haven’t finished Cien años de soledad
  • I still can’t stay put in one place for more than a week
  • I still haven’t been to Spain
  • I still eat way too much bacon
  • I still  work harder than I probably should
  • I still haven’t improved my mile time as much as I’d hope
  • I still can’t tell you what I want to be when I grow up

A year ago from today this blog didn’t exist yet. But also, that girl, pre-TFIMR, doesn’t quite exist anymore. She’s still here… but she’s on her way. And that’s really all we can ask from ourselves. Although you’re not yet the person who you wish or want to be, take comfort in knowing that you’re better than the person you were yesterday. So a year ago from today, who were you? A year ago from today, what were you doing?

Stay hungry,
Louella Aquino

 

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One Comment

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  1. Louella,
    I can hardly believe that when I opened my email this morning here you are. We are on the same plane. I was just thinking of you this morning on my drive into work. Holy Cow !! A year has passed you need to call me ,I want to hear your voice. I can actually hear you say “Mommy Jensen” . Gosh I’m a grandma 4 times. We are so blessed. I am so happy to see you are well. It just warms my heart.
    Take care little girl.
    You are always in my heart.
    Momma J.

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