I know I'm consistent and treat everyone equally, because I have faced discrimination, prejudice and bias repeatedly (more so after losing my hearing) and I don’t want anyone feeling this way after interacting with me. Yet, I am aware that I keep my personal life out of professional settings. I value my privacy, but I guess I can understand how others would interpret that as being guarded. My personal goal is to re-evaluate myself at least once a year (this is key to becoming a better/stronger person). Although I am due for another one, my last self-reflection showed five strengths and weaknesses: action-oriented, compassionate, workaholic, protective, and friendly. There is some symmetry; although, it is not the same.
It all began with an idea. Since I'm not the type to celebrate my own birth in a major way, I wanted to do something memorable for my third decade of life. Despite going all out for my friends and family for their respective birthday plans, I only have a small brunch by myself at Cheesecake Factory every year and then buy my annual Godiva strawberries and truffles. That's it. I cannot tell you the exact reason why I treat others’ celebrations better than my own, because I'm not sure. My 2015 New Year's resolution was to treat myself better, so I decided to start with my birthday. I had recently watched the remake of The Great Gatsby and it inspired me to do something similar for my birthday. Of course, nothing on that level of partying is my style but I desired something formal that people can dress up to attend - you know, baby steps. Therefore, my theme was the "Bourgeois Experience - Michelle's Flirty 30". The plan was simplicity yet elegance. In typical Michelle-form, I began my research. I contacted eight restaurants with a set of questions and started my research there. Most of them shot out a price quote without even answering my questions. All of them had a general party template that was massive (like 200-1000 guest massive). That's way too much for me especially when I'm used to celebrating alone. So, I scraped all that research and started over from scratch with a better idea of what I wanted to do.
How it began: Dec. 2011, I had just graduated UT-Arlington with my MBA, and realized I had zero prospects for employment. Twelve job applications and zero call backs later, I began to panic. As I faked happiness during my graduation ceremony and dinner, my anxiety was at an all-time high, but I didn’t want anyone to know how stressed I truly was. For that reason, when my college friend congratulated me and told me about an internship at her job, I jumped at the opportunity (not caring if it was an unpaid one).
I once heard a quote from Walt Disney that said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. I truly believe that. Life as we know it can change in an instant. I learned that the hard way when I lost my hearing in 2006. The first time I heard something similar I was a freshman at Arizona State University (ASU). This orientation speaker said to “make the most of your college experience”. At the time, I thought it was just some cliché statement that they make every year to every single freshman. However, I embraced the idea since it seemed like I collected a new friend every day the first three weeks of school (many I have dubbed my college sisters and am still close with today). Oh the adventures we had and created (don't worry ladies; I'm not spilling the beans LOL). These are moments and experiences I will cherish forever.
I read an article while I was pregnant that said something to the effect of your baby shower sets the tone of the type of mom you'll be. Now, I didn't know if that was factual or not, but I've seen enough posts on social media that made motherhood look awful. I was not even having that. The only thing I wanted was not to lose myself in motherhood. I'm still me regardless.
It is crazy how I still feel some kind of way before I even start this confession. The first time I declined a proposal of marriage, I felt extremely stressed. Imagine feeling more pressure to say yes to a major life decision from society than from the guy proposing. I was fresh out of college and in my second rebound relationship. I knew when he asked that the answer was no, but I didn’t have the guts to answer him right away. At the time, I was still job-hunting after accepting a job and moving to San Antonio while waiting to see if I got accepted into one of the graduate schools I applied. But most importantly, I was still in the “depression stage” of the 5 stages of grief (after losing by hearing). I was in no position to be anyone’s wife. I was still adjusting to being a silent beauty.