2018 Remembered

2018 was easily the best year of my life to date. The year started with Vincent turning 28 and I turning 30(!). Leaving my 20s I remembered friends who reached 30 a couple of years ago saying that 30 was a turning point for them, that it was the age when everything fell into place. Now that I have spent most of the year in this new decade, I heartily agree with my wiser friends. 2018 brought along a slew of changes, some small and others more monumental, but all were undeniably positive.

In May, Vincent and I celebrated our marriage with our closest friends and family in Newport, Rhode Island. It was everything I had ever wanted, from the fairy tale backdrop to being surrounded by the people dearest to our hearts.

In Julywe spent two weeks in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We divided our time between visiting beaches of all colors (white, black, red!), driving through rain forests in Hana,  flying over the active volcanoes on the Big Island, and waking up to the most beautiful sunrises. We also had the best Thai food out of  a food truck 🙂

In August, Vincent started his new job and we spent a few glorious weeks in SF / Bay Area, where we discovered our love for Burmese food (and all other Asian food in the Bay Area).

In November, we moved to Pittsburgh and began the next chapter of our lives. I applied, and got accepted, to a psychology graduate program and found research opportunities at two psychology labs at CMU. I ultimately chose to focus on the research projects at the labs for now and postpone school until the fall.

In December, Vincent and I went back to New Orleans on Christmas and spent a few days stuffing our faces with various Cajun delights and strolling in the French Quarters.

For 2019, I don’t have any resolutions, except to continue striving to be the most authentic and thoughtful version of myself and to keep building a life that is full of joy and meaning. To all my readers, I wish you the very best in love and life in the brand new year.

Three pillars of happiness

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It occurred to me over lunch today that happiness can be summed up to the following: doing what you find meaningful, being around people you love, and having good mental and physical health. Following this, every decision should be evaluated by these three criteria – does it help you do what you find meaningful? does it bring closer to further from the people you love? how does it affect your physical and mental well being?

I like this framework because a) it’s easy enough to remember and apply, b) it’s broad enough to capture virtually all aspects of life, and c) it’s general and flexible enough to fit different individuals.

This is not a “solution” to happiness, though. This model won’t help you figure out what is “meaning” work, find love, or figure out how to achieve the optimal level of physical and mental well being. What I hope this achieves is providing an effective and straight-forward standard against which we measure our decisions: does the decision move us closer to happiness?