Here we are at the end of another year and at the close of one more decade!
I hope 2019 was a good one for you and this past decade has been filled with adventure, growth and progress. The past 10 years for me has been a wild ride full of ups and downs.
So, as per annual Beyond the Pacific tradition, I thought I’d share another light-hearted blog; this year about major accomplishments achieved between 2010 – 2019. What were your achievements? Ok, here goes:
1. CELEBRATED 10 YEARS OF MARRIAGE WITH A GROWING FAMILY
Marriage and family is at the top of the list this decade, so it was a special accomplishment to celebrate our 10th year wedding anniversary with close friends and family after overcoming many economical, emotional and personal hurdles.
Also, in the last few years, our family has grown bigger with my husband’s son getting married and now has 2 sons of his own. Yes, I am a proud Nanna to two gorgeous little boys!
And we finally welcomed our daughter home permanently in 2016, who has made our happy home complete, and it’s been wonderful watching her excel in her Bachelor of Photography degree at university.
2. MY 2 MUMS MET AGAIN ON MY BIRTHDAY
A life-long dream I have had since I was a little girl was to have my birth mother [I was adopted] and my dearest mum who raised me be together again at my milestone birthday back in Fiji.
Can you imagine my surprise when this dream came true on 31 July 2016 organised by my dear husband? I was deliriously happy to be with both mums on this special occassion! Finally, my world became complete and my life has changed for the better since then.
3. BLESSED TO BE AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME
This wasn’t an achievement, so to speak, but more an appreciation of being at the right place at the right time.
The decade wasn’t all rosy as two special relatives in my life were called to rest. Yet, I felt quite blessed to be the only one in my family of origin to be there by their side or nearby when they took their last breath.
– Due to her ripe old age of 86, I said goodbye to my maternal grandmother in September 2010 whilst holding her hand; and
– My most favourite aunt, who was responsible for starting me off in business by giving me a book called The Magic of Thinking Big at age 14, passed away in October 2019 due to a long illness whilst I was there saying my goodbyes.
4. TRAVELLED TO 10 MAJOR CITIES IN ASIA AND AFRICA
One of the luxuries I feel fortunate to enjoy in this life is the ability to do what I love most, which is to travel around the world.
So, I got to immerse myself in different cultures whilst learning about local traditions in major cities across Asia and Africa:
i) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ii) Ao Nang, Thailand
iii) Bali, Indonesia
iv) Disneyland and Hong Kong City, Hong Kong
v) Macau City, Macau
vi) Beijing, China
vii) Shanghai, China
viii) Guangzhou, China
viiii) Cape Town, South Africa
x) Johannesburg, South Africa
5. RELOCATED FROM SUNSHINE COAST TO THE GOLD COAST
After losing our business due to the Global Financial Crisis that occurred in 2008, my husband, his son and I packed up our lives on the Sunshine Coast and relocated to the Gold Coast on my birthday [31 July 2010] for a fresh start.
Not only did we settle in well and live life to the fullest alongside new friends, we engrossed ourselves in the growing business culture of the Gold Coast. Also, it’s been a blessing to enjoy a well-rounded lifestyle that includes pristine beaches, fresh hinterland, an arts precinct, a small city vibe with a big coastal feel. Oh, and glorious weather all year round!
6. WENT BACK TO SCHOOL
Once we settled into the Gold Coast, I was fortunate enough to be able to take time out of life and return to studies. Since I was a teen, a life-long dream of mine was to finish school properly.
I did just that in 2011 by enrolling into Gold Coast TAFE before graduating 12 months later with a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation.
7. FIRST ONE IN MY FAMILY TO GRADUATE FROM UNIVERSITY
An achievement this decade that I’m incredibly proud of was being offered a placement to study a double degree in Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws at Bond University from 2013.
In 2016, I accepted an offer of full-time Business Operations Manager and it took me a while to graduate. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to don that graduation gown two years later.
I flew my parents in from overseas for the special occassion to join my husband and our daughter in celebrating my graduation day.
8. LAUNCHED MY OWN FASHION LABEL
Finding a gap in the marketplace, I decided to launch my own fashion label called House of Ratu, which fuses cosmopolitan chic with an island breeze.
In 2015, I designed and launched my first womenswear at the Brisbane-based Pacific Fashion Festival. This year in 2019, I found my niche market and launched a menswear line that mixes traditional prints with a modern twist: http://www.houseofratu.com/
9. SECRETARY ON NOT FOR PROFIT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Due to my business acumen and high level of attention to detail, I was offered the position of Secretary on a not for profit organisation, which engages hundreds of volunteers annually.
Pacific Fashion Festival Inc. advocates against gender-based domestic violence and since 2016, we are getting stronger as a board with goals achieved annually for the community against violence: http://www.pacificfashion.com.au/
10. I GOT BRACES!
Last, but not least for me [maybe for many of you], was that I got myself braces. To know the story behind this is to understand the celebration.
You see, when I was a teen, I had asked my mum if I could get braces like my friends in school. To my dismay, mum said no – mainly because putting 5 children through private school and providing food on the table, not my teenage vanity, were hers and dad’s main priorities … sigh!
So, guess what I did in 2017? I got my own darn braces on my own terms! Stubborn much?! The results speak for themselves after a year-long mouthful of wearing wires and elastic bands.
“That wraps up quite an adventorous 10 years for me! As we enter another festive season, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a magnificient new year. I also wish you a successful and prosperous new decade from 2020 – 2029. Thank you for all of your support and positive encouragement, xx” Miri.