Reflections on 2015

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2015 was a year of planning. Planning for life after college, planning my future with Edwin, and of course, planning for our wedding. The beginning of 2015, I was adjusting back to the “American lifestyle” after my adventures in Europe. I was jetlag for the entire Christmas break, but I was well rested and ready to begin my final semester at the University of the Incarnate Word.

 

In 2015, I’ve become more appreciative.

Getting back into the groove of things in San Antonio was a lot of fun—especially since I only had 12 hours of classes and took on two amazing internships; and of course everyone wanted to see my ring and hear my engagement story 🙂 I wasn’t able to room with my best friend and roomie from the past years at UIW, but I got my own dorm room that had community showers.

(I’m about to do the whole “before I went to Europe…” bit, just fyi)

So, before I went in Europe, if you were to give me a dorm room that had community showers, I would have been so upset and annoyed with the idea. Because that’s just… not fun. But when I was in Europe, I really learned to appreciate life and that the little things shouldn’t bother us. I learned that complaining is just a waist of time, especially when God has blessed me tremendously with a shower and a roof to sleep under.

 

In 2015, I’ve learned that life isn’t given to you… you have to work for it.

Graduation came quick and it was a highlight of my year. Edwin was able to make a trip to Texas so we could spend time together, he could watch me graduate, and we were able to participate in an engaged couples retreat at Sts. Peter and Paul. We made a few road trips in Texas from San Antonio, to McAllen, to Houston, to Fort Worth and even stopped along the way in towns like West for a Czech beer and Czech food. Two weeks is never long enough to be with your fiancé, but we cherished every second we had and will cherish that forever.

The middle of May came and we both had to go back to reality. Reality for me was real reality… real world life—something we all dread after college graduation. It was easy to compare myself to many of my college friends who had gotten jobs months before graduation came, while I on the other had felt like a failure with no job after walking the stage.

I spent one week of job searching and found a job in “Marketing.” Marketing is in quotation marks because it was just a face for a sales job, selling “as seen on TV” items in Sam’s Club. Again, felt like a failure. (The only good thing about that job was I got to do a travel opportunity in Colorado Springs! You all know I love traveling!! :))

During that time though, God had really given me a hidden blessing. I wanted so badly to have my dream job right out of college—to write for a magazine or newspaper. I wanted things to fall into place just the way I needed it to be. But that isn’t ever the case… God has his plans and they are ever more better than the plans we have for ourselves.

My hidden blessing happens to be the opportunity of working for an amazing company for an amazing lady whom I know from my church. While I was in the span of looking for a new job, Mrs. Mary Martin offered me a temporary position at her company until I found something else. In that moment in life, Edwin and I had planned to get married on April 30, 2016 in New Braunfels. We decided on the church, venue and times. The only thing we hadn’t thought about was his visa situation or where we were going to live after we got married. Guatemala? Texas? Anywhere else in the U.S.? We had no idea.

After a lot of prayer and guidance from professionals, Edwin and I found out that he could get married on his tourist visa, but has to go back to Guatemala because he was still in his two years of restriction from a U.S. visa. (Edwin got a full scholarship from the U.S. government and his student visa has this requirement to go back to Guatemala for two years.) In that case, we will get married here in Texas and then move to Guatemala.

My job search ended and I will continue to work in San Antonio with Mary, Diane and Jeanie until I get married in April. Work, work, work and prayer, prayer, prayer gets us where we need to be! Thank you God for the blessings!

Literally, that moment in my life when we finally found out where we were going to be after we get married, was a HUGE sign of relief for the both of us AND our parents.

 

In 2015, I’ve realized that stepping out of my comfort zone is a must.

In the middle of October, I took my second trip to Guatemala. This time was a little bit different than the first time when I went in August 2014. My first trip to Guatemala was a very touristic trip where I got to see the natural beauty of the country—we went to Lago Atitlan, Panajachel, Pacaya Volcano and Antigua. (You can check that post out here from my study abroad blog.) That week flew by, but it was one of the best experiences of my life with the one I love.

This second time in Guatemala was more low-key. I got to experience a normal day in Guatemala City. “A day in the life of Edwin Mendoza Hipp.” Edwin is my soul mate. He is my number one, my love, my life, my everything! Being able to actually see his life in his county is something I needed. And I absolutely love it. Every day is different. But the one thing that makes me uncomfortable is the language. I do not know Spanish.

The entire two weeks, I felt I was this little cloud floating over the Guatemalan citizens as they conversed… and then there’s me: in my own little world, not knowing what’s going on.

I must step out of my comfort zone, try new things, gain confidence in the things I do know, and learn Spanish. 🙂 Prayers are greatly appreciated!

As 2015 was coming to an end, I truly felt my life beginning to change. As November came, it was six months until my wedding, then five… now four. In four months, my life will change completely, and I am extremely excited to begin my new life journey with the one I love the most.

In the meantime, I will enjoy the beginning of 2016 with my family here in Texas. Spend some time with my friends. And cherish every single second!

Thank you Mom, thank you Dad, thank you Sabrina and thank you Erica for showing me your love and support as I transition into my new chapter with Edwin. We love you! <3

 

*An update- March 22, 2016: We now have one month and one week until the wedding! Details are coming together and things are starting to feel real. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and love. See you in one month at the wedding 😉

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