Year in Review: 2019

As the year comes to a close, I like to look back at what’s happened in the last 12 months to celebrate my victories and reflect on the lessons I’ve learned. This is a reflection activity that can be done any time of the year. Whenever I needed a little reminder of my progress, I’d think back to where I was a year ago and it helped put things into perspective for me.

2019 was a challenging year. My son and I lost our apartment to a fire and became displaced. I was heartbroken because this was my first apartment on my own as a single mother, and it was a huge part of my identity. Then I ended a relationship. It was traumatic, and I still grieve the loss of this person every now and then. But life goes on and so should I. Of course, I have to give a shout out to the unkind and manipulative people I crossed paths with this year. They’ve shown me how lucky I am to have genuine, supportive and loving people in my life. So… Thank you, next! I also lost some people in 2019, including my uncle. He was my dad’s older brother, the only brother left in the States. His passing reminded me that death is inevitable, so we must live and love fully.

I may have experienced a few hardships in the last 12 months, but 2019 has also proven to be a pivotal year for me.

In January, I gathered my courage, submitted my resignation letter and left a toxic job. I decided that I had enough. I no longer wanted to be in a workplace that didn’t value me as an employee. I wanted an employer that would help me grow as a professional and one that acknowledged my contributions.

February was a productive month for me. I developed a game plan to keep moving forward despite unemployment. I started seeing a financial coach, applied and interviewed for several job opportunities, and I even had the honor of seeing Cassey Ho of Blogilates in person! *I’ve been following her since 2014 and I still love her!*

Job searches continued into March. I made the decision to accept a temporary placement with hopes that it would turn into a permanent position. It was a big risk, but I was determined to improve my situation.

Then, I participated in the first Asian American Spiritual Healing Retreat in April. I went into the retreat with no expectations, and only one goal: to speak my truth. I opened up for the first time (and to strangers!) about being a survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence and suicide. It was painful to share my story as I peeled away at the layers of trauma, but at the same time, I felt empowered to provide a glimpse of my lived experience. I was ready to let go of the shame and reclaim my mind, my body, my life! By the end of the weekend, I developed meaningful relationships with people who were once strangers and are now my friends!

May was my birthday month. I raised 85% of my birthday goal for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline thanks to generous friends and family. I also had the opportunity to spend my birthday in Miami where I jet-skied (and saw dolphins!), went on a food tour and learned about Little Cuba, and soaked up some much-needed Vitamin D in Miami Beach!

I had a lot of fun in June. I went to Vegas for the first time and surprised one of my older sisters for her birthday. I experienced the nightlife and attended my first pool party– it was so much fun! I may have spent a little too much money in Vegas though, Shhh!

July marked the beginning of a major financial commitment – enrolling Rylee into daycare. For awhile, I was lucky enough to have the help of family members take care of him, but I had to adjust when this resource was no longer available. I’m happy to report that I’m managing this cost well with no assistance as a single mother.

Photo Credit: Eyes of Mee

The risk I took in March paid off: The work I contributed to my team was recognized and as a result, I was offered a permanent position in August! Stability in my life felt like it was on the horizon.

In September, I organized and coordinated an all-inclusive birthday party for Rylee’s 3rd birthday. I felt very accomplished because I am a single mother, and I did this on my own! Excuse me while I pat myself on the back!

I was reminded in October the importance of quality time. Rylee and I went on long walks through the neighborhood; we took advantage of the beautiful weather, and I taught him about the changing seasons. Creating memories with my little human and being intentional about how we spend time with each other are values I will carry into the new year.

November was a huge month for me. I led my first yoga class with Soul Sisters MN! Yoga as a practice has exponentially helped me cultivate self-awareness and develop a healthy relationship with my body. I am so thankful to have had a platform to share my grounding practice with other strong and resilient women. And let’s not forget, I also launched Rise, Resilient Woman this month! *Ahhh! Screaming with excitement* I did not allow my fear of imperfection to hold me back!

The month of December has been quite eventful. I was reunited with family members from out of town, my sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and I’m closing out the year as the best version of myself. *phew, I’m gonna cross that off the bucket list! Haha JK*

2019 has taught me to find joy even in the darkest hour or as others would put it, seeing the silver lining. I am leaving behind negativity, toxicity and limiting beliefs. As I walk into 2020, I take with me love, compassion, determination, strength and resilience.

Photo Credit: Eyes of Mee

What were your victories in 2019?

What lessons have you learned?

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Love & Light,

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My name is Phua Tashie Xiong, and I am here to share my story of resilience. The experiences that shape who I am provide a unique perspective on how to navigate life’s challenges. I hope to inspire women to recognize their inherent resilience and empower them to harness their inner strength to be a champion in their lives.

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