The year of transition and self-love: Tam Pham at 24

Tam Pham
Tam Pham
Nov 28 · 4 min read

I usually write a long post every year on my birthday to reflect (past editions here: 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015). But I’m going to keep this one short.

  • I finished up my chess sabbatical and after seven exciting months of training, I defeated a national chess master in a rated tournament. The entire journey was awesome.♟
  • After many stressful weeks of job hunting, I moved to Toronto in April 2019 to accept a dream job!! To build and lead a highly curated community of fascinating entrepreneurs with Jayson Gaignard. It was a big risk for both of us to say yes to each other. But here I am, 7 months later, feeling grateful + focused + and excited about the big year ahead of us. 😎
  • The first few weeks transitioning to Canada made me cry. I had no friends. I had to quickly adjust to a new apartment, new transportation system, new bank account, new social identification number, and realizing all the little things I took for granted back in California. Through many months of intentional community building through hosting events and simply getting my shit together, I finally feel much closer to home. 😌
  • I hired a therapist to help me with self-love and body image. It worked. 10/10 would recommend therapy to anybody. ❤️
  • I’m addicted to Latin dance! It started in January 2019 of me going to my first bachata class because partner dancing terrified the hell out of me. I dragged my best friend Chloe to come with me for support. A small step in the right direction quickly transformed to me dancing multiple nights a week and listening to Latin music at every opportunity I get. Let’s dance next time we see each other. 💃
  • Some great books that I’ve read in 2019: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish, and Belong by Radha Agrawal. 📚

If 2019’s theme was transition, 2020’s theme is going to be around focus.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

I love asking this question to anyone I meet, “If we were to meet a year from today with a bottle of champagne, what are we celebrating?”

  • For work, it would be to building the Catalyst chapter from the ground up. My champagne moment would be curating and serving 125 of the most fascinating entrepreneurs in Toronto while achieving an 85% retention rate and a 9/10 NPS score.
  • For dance, it would be going deeper in both Salsa and Bachata. My champagne moment would be to go back to the Toronto Salsa Festival next summer, where I had previously stood on the sidelines watching everyone else dance because I had very little confidence to do the basic moves, and dance the entire weekend non-stop.
  • For romantic relationships, it would be to stop dating casually. My champagne moment would be in a serious relationship with someone who makes me feel safe, inspired, and alive. (I welcome any introductions, please ask me for my google doc of my ideal partner. 😉)
  • For community, it would be to keep prioritizing quality time with people I love. My champagne moment would be more of a feeling than a specific metric. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I want to feel happy to have died knowing that I had an abundance of human connection in my life.

I intentionally made everything else lower priority (fitness, money, sex, etc.) for 2020 unless things change, which can be a very real possibility.

How am I spending my birthday this year? Great question.

The plan is to have a small dinner with five close friends at my favorite vegan restaurant in Toronto (I’m not vegan but this place is bomb.com). After we feast, I invited a dozen or so friends for Latin dance and drinks for a wonderful night. 😁

Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to read moments in my 2019 year. For my friends living in the States, I hope you have a wonderful time during Thanksgiving today. For my friends living in Canada, stay warm. ❄️

P.S. If you feel inclined to share, I would love to know your answer to the champagne question.

“If we were to meet a year from today with a bottle of champagne, what are we celebrating?”

Leave a response down below. ⬇️

Tam Pham

Written by

Tam Pham

I value kindness, growth, and curiosity. http://www.tampham.co/

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