Goodbye Sheep Hello Monkey

Goodbye Year of the Sheep. Hello, Monkey.

Happy Vietnamese New Year! It’s the year of the monkey. And you know what that means…

…yeah no, I don’t know either.

I do know it’s the end of my year – the year of the sheep. According to superstition, when your “year” comes around every 12 years, it’s supposed to be a year of bad luck.

Looking back on my year, I don’t actually feel a general sense of unluckiness. I traveled to four countries in two continents last year, and all over the US to places I’d never been before (including my first time in New York City!). I started to build relationships with family members I’d lost touch with and others I didn’t know I had in the first place. I spent a lot of time outdoors, which feeds my soul more than just about anything in this world. And I fell in LIKE-like with a special someone who gives me the flutterbies.

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic year.


  • I did get laid off from my job. (But that was actually kind of awesome, truth be told.)
  • And technically, it was still the year of the sheep (two weeks ago) when I had a near-death experience that landed me in the hospital to have emergency surgery.

Yeah, I guess that was pretty bad.

Ok, so it was TERRIBLE. The worst thing that’s EVER happened to me. Perhaps there’s something to be said about superstitions. Mom might’ve been right on that one, ha.

But I’m recovering nicely and getting better every day. I left the house today for the first time in two weeks and it was glorious. It was only for a couple minutes, but the warmth of the sun on my face was exactly what I needed on this new year’s day.

I continue moving at a sloth-like pace (omg, sloths!), wrapped up in my robe and fuzzy slippers and just waiting to be normal again.

All this sitting around during my recovery has given me a lot of time to reflect on my life. I do that all the time anyway – ad nauseam, somebody just shoot me already! – but all this stuff happened smack dab in the middle of me assessing a very serious relationship and also contemplating my next career move AND the city in which I will next reside.

The long and short of my mini-crisis is this: I just let life happen. I have become so ridiculously laid-back and easy-going, that literally, ANYthing can happen to me and I know I’m going to be just fine. I can handle ANYthing. And equipped with that confidence, I just let life happen and I just go with it.

I’m not a type-A personality. I’m not a mover nor a shaker. I’m not a go-getter. I just sit back and enjoy the ride. I enjoy it spectacularly. I’m just very, very, very, very, very, very adaptable.

To everything.

I am a SHEEP, after all.

And I have mixed feelings about that. Besides making me a really kickass world traveler, what is this go-with-the-flow lifestyle actually doing for me?

Ug. Blah blah blah…

Ok, I had no intention of going there when I started this post. Sorry. You know already that I’m a terrible blogger. When was the last time I wrote anything anyway? Like, May, right? I’m waaay out of practice.

When I started this post, it was to 1) wish you a happy new year and 2) share that badass sheep/monkey piece of art at the top of this page.

Done and done.

Oh wait, I dug up some old pics that I wanted to share with you too. You may recall I had the privilege of spending Vietnamese new year (“Tết”) in the motherland, and I told you about it here.

Looking back on that post, I see that I only gave you the short version of my Tết experience. It was the “OMG-I-love-dragon-dances-they-are-the-best-thing-ever-and-I-want-them-in-my-life-forever-please-and-thank-you” version. (Here are a few pics – I can’t help myself! I LOVE dragon dances.)

But of course I did more than get giddy for the hypnotic drum of dragon dances while I celebrated new year’s in Vietnam. I visited relatives, I went to festivals, I ate amazing food. I dove headfirst into my ethnic culture, improved my Vietnamese language skills (ten-fold!), and I fell in love.

I fell in love with a culture that originated an ocean away from me, a culture which I never really felt was mine. It became mine. ‘Twas a beautiful thing.

And I took a helluva lot of photos. Here’s a hodge podge of photos of my relatives and me from new year’s week all over Saigon and the south Vietnamese countryside in 2011.

Happy new year to you all.
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!


The sheep/monkey piece of art at the top of this post is really badass and I’d love to give credit to whoever created it. I got it in a text message from my sister who saw it on Facebook, but I have no idea where it originated. I did a reverse image search on Google with no luck. If you know who created it, please let me know so I can give due credit. Thanks!

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