Happy New Year!

Catalina Creative New Years

Excuse the essay, but I have a lot to say here. Where the hell did this year go? Normally, I'd be prepped and ready for a fabulous NYE party, with a sparkly new dress and bottles of champagne chilling in the fridge. But this year, I chose the whole lame, stay at home thing. Am I the only one who thinks this night is a bit overrated? Of course there's reason to celebrate the end of an amazing year with great friends, but I'm not-so-secretly really excited to cook dinner with my family at our vacation home and hang in with my pjs, no makeup, and our own company. Champagne (of course) will be still be in attendance.

Currently...I'm sitting on my porch in Vero Beach, FL. I'm listening to the sound of the ocean waves beat against the sand and watching as the boats and pelicans pass by. The sea is a clean, clear blue, complimented by the lush greenery that surrounds it, and the sun is dancing across its surface. I'm thinking of how lucky I am. How amazing my life really is and how I so often forget to appreciate all I have, the places I go, the people I have, and simple moments like this. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the things we've lost, things we wish we had, or the people we wish we were, that we lose perspective. While this year ended on an incredibly hard note, most of 2013 deserves lots of love.

First off, my blog grew and grew this year. Four months shy of being two years old, Catalina Creative has quickly become my favorite place. Somewhere to escape to when I need to forget about real life for a few minutes. A living journal of how I've grown (which has become clearly evident looking back). The blog became a very close companion that I hope sticks around for years to come. She came about when I needed creativity in a not so creative time in my life and I'm thankful for that. And I'm SO thankful for the wonderful readers that joined me in 2014, the people who chose me to design pretty things for them, and my Washingtonian write-up earlier this year! Smitten! I can't wait to inspire and be inspired by all you amazing people during the new year.

Behind the scenes, I helped my family launch our new surf company's identity and branding, and created clothing prototypes for its beginning stages. I also did amazing things like taking a trip to Italy and later to London, and moving to the city in late September! This change was definitely hard, especially for someone who truly hates being placed outside my comfort zone. But it's made easier when you have a room with a view and hardwood floors. I have fallen in love with my apartment and my roommates, and that's more than I can ask for. I have a 15 minute walk into Georgetown and a quick cab ride away from the heart of DC and all the city has to offer. I've made great new friends and continue to fall in love with this beautiful place every day.

While change is good, some changes are much harder to get used to (or even to accept). My most significant moment of the year was becoming single after 3 1/2 years. I hesitated writing about this or sharing too much. But it's a big deal for this year in review, so it must be counted. And if there's one other person out there feeling the same way I do, it's always nice to know that we're not so alone after all.

Sometimes things just don't work out, no matter how much you love someone. Sometimes people come into our lives to help us grow, to show us how to love, to be there for us during our hardest moments, to show us what we truly want, to show us what we truly need, or simply to change us for the better. And for the moment we appreciate them and care for them more than life itself, and then suddenly they are gone and everything is different. And we must begin again. But this time, we are stronger, we are better, and we know what we want. I'm grateful for that. And though it takes months to truly let it go and though it still hurts sometimes, we must have no regrets.

In truth, I fell a bit apart in 2014. But 2015 will be a year of coming back together, of building myself up again, of finding myself, of becoming the person I was always meant to be. I have faith in this because I know it's already begun. The first step was knowing that I can be on my own and be happy (even if just for the moment). I can do anything right now. I can go anywhere. I can sleep until 1pm. I can eat an entire pizza by myself. I can go to museums and walk around the city without a plan. I can go to new restaurants and eat a delicious meal alone, because...who cares? I can binge watch Grey's Anatomy or The OC for hours and hours. I can take a weekend trip to the beach. I can take a vacation to Greece. I can make last minute plans, or future ones. I can leave this place and go to California and build a new life if I wanted to.

I may be jumping the gun here, but just the thought of this makes me smile. My only resolution for 2015 is to embrace the time I have alone, on my own, as an independent woman who's just trying to figure things out. All we can do is keep breathing and start from scratch when we need to. Here's to new beginnings and here's to the new year. Happy 2015 everyone!


MusingsNatalie Catalina