at the end of 2012, i was so ready for a new year.  fresh out of breakup and a heart was mending, a fresh new year was what i needed.  it started off grand with new friendships and trips that included new york and hawaii.  and of course, wppi where the above radtastic people gathered for a vow renewal and two bags of confetti were thrown. photo credit goes to Shoda Love.

come end of springtime, it was really looking up.  day time work was going so well, blog was going well, friendships strengthened and gained.  homecomings and farewells.  engagements and weddings. but nothing ever prepared me for what was to come.  just when everything was smooth sailing, the wind was knocked out of me on a summer morning.  and from there, 2013 became my worst year yet.

if you’re a follower of the blog, you already know what happened.  if you’re relatively new, you can read it here.  but that was my defining moment of the year.  and it definitely was not one you typically want to remember a year by.

 nothing ever prepares you for a loss.  and when it’s sudden like our’s, there truly are no words.  it’s very surreal.  if you ever chat with me in person, i put on a brave face and am able to talk about it.  but you have no idea how much it hurts inside.  until you experience a loss like this, you truly have no bearing of what “life is short/life is fragile”.   additionally, one of the worst and most frustrating feelings ever is losing a loved one and seeing a loved one lose that person and there’s nothing you can do about it.  i would never wish this upon anyone.

while this year was and is greatly overshadowed by this grief,  there were many a tiny beautiful moments that were a greatly appreciated distraction.  dinners at the encarnacions, g-hangs with the #tcogtfo crew, random meetups with wedding industry friends, new friendships, for philippines with love, and obviously all the confetti throwing.  but more than ever, my full time job was truly a blessing and i’m more than thankful to have a supportive boss.  you can’t say that often.  work has allowed me to be with my sister and work remotely from our san francisco office whenever i needed to after everything happened.  it has meant so much to me and my family to be able to do that.  you don’t let go of things like these and you put your whole heart working for it.  i’m lucky i enjoy what i do and to have a supportive team too.

i’m also more than thankful for the blogging family i have.  for the past four years, wedding photographers have entrusted me with showcasing their talent and their gorgeous work.  for that, i’m more than grateful and work every day to reiterate the importance of a wedding photographer.  this blog will always emphasize that.  but more importantly, shoutout to the major outpouring of support from everyone.  thank you for being so understanding with so many hiatuses this year and the delays with responding with emails and putting features on hold while i dealt with my family.  many people didn’t know what to say or do.  just being there for me and holding me up via hugs or words was more than i could ask for.  so thank you.

this year has been filled with such heaviness.  however, after something like this, it’s easy to see the joys in the little things and moments.  i still get annoyed when people complain about their little problems when in fact they should just be grateful that they are living and breathing and that they are surrounded by their loved ones.  sometimes i just want to yell at them and say “you know what? i’ll take your situation if it could bring him back. so just shut up.”  i hope people learn never to take anything for granted in the year.  just appreciate and be genuine about all things.

so as you can imagine, i’m ready for 2014.

while i know this sadness is going to carry through to the new year, there are many things to be excited about still.  always excited about the blog and what it brings.  excited for the “best of 2013″ collection that will be revealed the week of January 6th! there are a couple of gatherings to be over the moon about, several trips here and there, but more importantly, my sister will be moving down with me as she starts a new chapter in her life come June.

i know this sounds awfully pessimistic of me, but after the year i’ve had,  i’m not jumping up and down or throwing confetti for the new year.  my optimism has greatly depreciated after the events this past year, but i know i have the emotional strength of a lion.  i’m just going to take it day by day.  and i’m ok with that.  after all, you really just never know what is around the corner.

so hug tighter and kissed your loved ones more.  be angry with them, but still say “i love you” right after.

life is short.  life is fragile.

wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

good riddance 2013, hello 2014.