Shoutout to the wreathe designed by my firm, VOA. I still think it's the coolest thing and concept ever. Very clever. This so-called the hidden wreathe, is designed in such a way that you can only see the wreathe by looking at the mirror, and then of course other people can see you too through the reflection. The (poetic/meaningful/subtle) way I interpret this is that, the wreathe is like happiness and all other positive things in your life; from the surface you can't see where it is, or if it even exists or not, but if you look close enough, you'll realize it has always been there. And you, you will be able to see how blessed you really are.

And here begins my reflection on 2013.

First of all, it has been one heck of a crazy year. In all possible ways, and I mean it. So many things have happened and even now, when I think about those things, I still don't understand how they could happen in just one year. It is safe to say 2013 by far has been the craziest year of my life.

Why, you must ask.  
Well, I don't even know where to begin.

My 2013 started off horribly. Those who know why will understand. But then Hawaii happened. I moved to Maui for an internship with Tom, and little did I know my life would be changed forever there in the land of double rainbows. I didn't think I could be any happier. I could go on and on about my 4 months in Hawaii, because it truly did change me. There, I learned how to stop worrying about things I can't do anything about. There, I learned how to set myself free from the fast-paced race that we call life. There, I learned how to appreciate the littlest things around me. And, above all, there, I learned how to be constantly inspired by people. 

Saying farewell to Maui and moving back to Cincinnati for the next 4 months were not easy since I was really attached to that place, but hey life goes on. I got back to school, got used to that studio life again, and while all this time I was doubting myself whether architecture was for me or not, I got back to design and I was happy. Prior to 2013, I'd hate going back to school and being stressful and all. However now, I try to think different, think positive. You see people trying to tell you how miserable their lives are with the things they DON'T have, but very rarely do people realize how happy they can be with the things they DO have. Sure I don't have (much) sleep, don't go to an Ivy League school like most of my friends do, or don't have a stable romantic relationship or even get engaged/married like some of my friends. But I do have a clear passion for design that I would sacrifice my sleep for; go to #thehottestcollegeinAmerica where I share the greatest Bearcats bond with people whom I can call friends for life; and know that as single as I may be, I am not alone or lonely, and that I am awesome. 

And then Chicago, where I spent the last 4 months of 2013. Words cannot describe how crazy these 4 months have been. Again, those who know why will understand. To name a few, I had the craziest and most awesome bosses and coworkers; turned 21, followed by hangover on Friday and applauses from coworkers for showing up at the Christmas party alive that night; met up and got to know the most interesting people in the weirdest ways; lost my phone; and a few more things that I don't dare confess here (oops, what happens in Chicago stays in Chicago). At the same time, I learned about things I never wanted to know, and while it gave me heartaches, I learned how to see past them and look for the silver linings. 

So, despite all of these good things that I have been blessed with, I am still that confused girl who is still unsure about her future. However, the one most important lesson that 2013 is that things do work out the way it is supposed to be. I don't know how, but they just do! Not all of them made sense now, but I am sure they will in the future, perhaps in 10 years when I'm (hopefully) successful and rich and still young and beautiful. *cue Lana Del Rey*

But in all seriousness, 2013 taught me so many things about people and myself. I went through a few failed relationships/flings/callitwhatever, got beaten up by words then got back to my feet again, dealt with different types of people, lived in 3 different places, got educated by professionals of the field I love, cooked more healthy food, started baking, sketched more, purchased my very first website , doubted myself, laughed so much that I choked, cried so quietly so that no one could hear.. So so so many things and so so so many sides of me that I never knew existed. 2013, thank you for a good.. no, GREAT year. Never have I ever tasted so many different flavors of life before. Thank you for all the failures and successes, because all of them have allowed me to become stronger and better. You (and maybe HIMYM and some other special people in my life) have taught me how to appreciate myself more, and, ultimately, how to love myself more.

Farewell 2013! Here's to a better year in 2014. 

With love,