Looking back and looking forward: 2020

January 2, 2020

Looking Back and Looking Forward: 2020

I wrote down everything I did in 2019 and I think it truly was my most transformative year as far as personal growth. I got the most out of my comfort zone I ever had, achieved a lot of things I’d aspired to do, and I’m really proud of that. I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, so here are things I did in 2019 that I’m really proud of as well as my top goals for 2020.


  1. Started a YouTube channel. This got me out of my comfort zone because I don’t consider myself naturally very quick-witted, so putting myself in front of a camera to speak extemporaneously was quite a harrowing experience — as was video editing but in a good way, self-growth. I’m not going to be a full-time YouTuber anytime soon, but it’s nice to have a different platform to share on and I do like making vlogs and travel videos to look back on as little visual time capsules.
  2. Entered the Moment Invitational Film Festival. Absolutely loved creative directing, writing, starring in, and producing a short film. Producing something different than my usual content stretched my creativity. With only 1.5 weeks to see the concept to fruition, the behind the scenes video shows the mayhem that surrounded the project. It was one of those times when I seized an opportunity and made it happen even if the timing wasn’t the greatest.
  3. Got a better skincare routine. With the exception of my childhood up to age 12, I’ve been good with washing my face daily, but I took it to the next level in 2019. I got my first facial and started regular exfoliation, facial massage, red light therapy, and microcurrent. I definitely can feel my skin is firmer, smoother, and I hardly ever breakout.
  4. Listened to 31 audiobooks. Reading was one of my favorite past times as a child and somewhere along the journey of growing up and taking on more responsibilities, I left it behind. This year, I started listening to audiobooks without any specific goal to read X number of books in a year. I rekindled the love I lost years ago and it felt healthy to indulge in a pleasure that was purely for me. I’m making a video about my favorite books I read in 2019, so be on the lookout for that soon! The video’s up!
  5. Got Drifter Organics in Urban Outfitters. One of my goals for 2018 was to get Drifter Organics in a major retailer. That didn’t happen in 2018, but in 2019, Urban Outfitters approached us and they took on two of our products. It was truly a dream to see our products on the Urban Outfitters website fitting in with everything else. We’re talking with them about taking on more products in 2020!
  6. Launched a Drifter Organics face oil. This is something my mom and I were talking about doing for years, but we never found juuuust the right recipe until randomly one day in October, we came so close, I said let’s launch something for the holidays. And a month later, voilá, Gold Mine was released into the world!
  7. Traveled more. I’m a creature of routine and traveling gets me extremely anxious because it gets me out of my routine (as someone with gut issues, getting off of my eating schedule sometimes wreaks havoc on my system). I plowed right through that fear this year and traveled to LA 4 times (I know, San Francisco to LA is one of the quickest flights you can take lol but baby steps). Traveling still gets me anxious, but I’m getting better at leaning into the discomfort and I’m planning on traveling more in 2020.
  8. Saw a lot of doctors and went through a lot of tests to figure out a diagnosis. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I have a ton of gut issues. This year, I got serious about getting an official diagnosis. I have an unofficial diagnosis of gastroparesis and will talk more about it once I get additional testing done. It’s a relief to be this close to figuring out something that’s been plaguing me ever since I can remember.
  9. Exercised less. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but I think it was an essential part in my healing process to focus on taking care of my gut, joint pain, and chronic fatigue, and rest.
  10. Transitioned my wardrobe to almost 100% sustainable fashion. As I’m getting more conscious of my dietary, environmental, and wellness habits, I’ve been trying to transition out of fast fashion to solely supporting independent designers, buying vintage, and thrifting. I’m about 95% there and that makes me happy. I’ve also come to discover a true love for thrifting and vintage clothing along the way.
  11. Sold a lot of my things. Didn’t quite KonMari myself, but cleared a lot of clutter by selling a lot of clothes, accessories, and other knick knacks that no longer served me.
  12. Changed the branding of my platform to Micaela Hoo. Yes, it was the 5th time I rebranded. It finally feels like me. More on that here.
  13. Let my hairstylist decide my haircut. It’s something I wanted to do since February of last year and I was afraid to do it because I thought she’d chop my hair into a bob and I did it! And she gave me a bob! I was right, haha! It was a huge trusting experience in letting go of control and having faith in someone else’s vision.
  14. Signed up for my last class ever at SCAD. After 7 years of going to college part-time online, I’m going to graduate in 2 short months!
  15. Went on a family vacation to Palm Springs. We haven’t gone on a true vacation vacation in years. Money has always been an issue for us, but taking our micro trip to Palm Springs was definitely doable. In that week away from (most) work, I felt free and at ease.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: 2020

2020 GOALS:

  1. GRADUATE COLLEGE. At this point, I only have one more class to finish up, so I feel like I’ve mentally moved on from school, but it will be official once I get my degree. (I’m going to SCAD online to get my BFA in Graphic Design if you’re curious.)
  2. Grow Drifter Organics into a profitable business so my mom can quit her part-time job. My mom is my best friend and working on our business together is one of my favorite things. With me graduating school this year, I want both of us to take the leap to Drifter Organics full-time.
  3. Get an official diagnosis and treatment plan. I’m soooo close at this point, I can almost taste the closure.
  4. Find a good insurance plan. I turn 26 this year which, in the US, means I get off of my dad’s insurance plan. As someone who is self-employed, I need to find a plan that has good coverage (hellooo acupuncture, chiropractic care, and physical therapy) that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
  5. Go on more micro trips. There are so many amazing places within driving distance from where I live. Enough said.
  6. Visit New York City. I grew up in a commuter town in Connecticut and would visit New York City periodically. Since moving to California 12 years ago, I haven’t been back in over 10 years. Since I’ll be on the East Coast to walk in my SCAD graduation in Savannah in May, I’d like to combine it with a trip up north to New York City.
  7. Educate myself on more movies, TV shows, and pop culture. When I was in high school, I used to do things like see foreign films with my mom or just plain old watch The Oscars, but life got busy, and somewhere along the way, we lost that tradition. I have a masochistic one-track mindset of getting work done and pushing anything else aside (work to me is fun so it’s a catch-22 situation), but I’d like to indulge my pleasures more often because I think I’d be more well-rounded of a person.
  8. Make a place home. My family and I have been renting our Oakland apartment for 1.5 years and it was only supposed to be a one-year fling to figure things out until we either stayed here or found a new city we’d like to make home. After one year, there were still a lot of intricacies we had to work out before making our ultimate decision, so we renewed our lease. The only thing worse than delayed expectation is locking yourself into a situation you wish you hadn’t. This is a huge lesson in patience for me, but I think we’re finally going to figure things out this year.

The end of the year always brings forth nostalgia (especially with it being the end of a decade!), but I can feel 2020 brimming with more possibilities than ever before. Feel free to share your highlights of 2019 and goals for 2020 in the comments!

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