Hey! What’s up, it’s been a while!
When I sat down to write this “2017 in Review” post, I found myself continually pushing it off. I couldn’t figure out why that was for a while, but then realized it was because last year was a year of extremely high highs and extremely low lows for me. It was a year that started out not-so-great but ended wonderfully. And on top of it, after recovering from my cold last week, I then got the stomach flu 😒! Still finding the post daunting even after recovering late last week, I realized this past weekend that writing this post could be more of a cathartic experience. An experience to make peace with what happened in the last year, let it go and officially move on.
So, let’s recap what happened in 2017 to make it such a whirlwind year, and at the end I’m detailing my goals for 2018.
The beginning of 2017 was a very trying time for me. I was having difficulty in my relationships with a few people who were very close to me. It had me questioning a lot about what I thought I knew and what I valued in my relationships with those around me. These relationships didn’t start to heal until mid-Summer, so you can imagine it all weighed heavily on me for the beginning part of the year.
Having dealt with anxiety as a teen and having gone to therapy for it, I was acutely aware of how this situation was affecting me. It delayed my getting my blog up and running, hanging out with those I loved, and doing my typical daily activities because I was riddled with anxiety regarding this situation. It got so bad that I even went to the doctor to get an EKG because my heart rate was SO out of control I thought I had an actual condition (I don’t). That is how bad it got, you guys! I literally was making myself physically ill over what was going on, and it showed.
I’m not going to go into further detail regarding this exact situation because even if I’m comfortable being honest with you all, it’s not my place to air other people’s “dirty laundry” out for the world to see. And, in my opinion, it’s more important to know how this situation affected me and how I dealt with it anyway (v. the gritty details of who/what/where/when).
Funny enough, this extremely tough period also led to a time of tremendous personal growth. I, somewhat unconsciously, made 2017 my year of self-reflection and change. After getting the perfectly normal EKG results back, I talked to my internist on why my resting heart rate was higher than it typically is for someone of my petite stature. He told me some people are simply built for “fight or flight,” and I was one of them. When I heard this last Spring, I wrote it off and was just thankful that I didn’t have a heart condition! But, after focusing more on my personal development in the last 6 months, I’ve realized how acutely his words describe many situations throughout my life not just the physiological.
Growing up, if I encountered a difficult situation I either fought it, fled or did both to my own detriment. This is true literally and mentally. I like to think of it as an inherent coping mechanism I utilized when I was faced with unpleasant situations like arguments with friends, family or adapting to difficult change. And, it wasn’t until I did some serious self-reflection and development over the last 6 months (for purposes of this blog no less) that I realized this about myself. Through things like daily meditation, prayer (yes, prayer you read that right!) and journaling, I’ve been able to develop this sort of “birds-eye” perspective of who I am now v. who I was then. Sure, I’m not the only one to blame for drama that’s happened in my past, but it takes two. And before, I wasn’t being completely honest with myself about my role in what went wrong in many situations in my past.
Am I changed person from back in the day? Uh, absolutely! I’m a far cry from who I was in the past, and being able to have this larger perspective about myself allows me to fully move past many things that I think were unconsciously holding me back. Instances where I’ve exhibited this extreme “fight or flight” behavior were already fewer and further between because, you know, you grow up and realize it’s not always appropriate to act like that! But, acknowledging that this is something that’s quite literally part of who I am, allows me to completely eradicate it from my life. It’s always good to have a certain amount of fight/flight in you, but not when it does more harm than good.
So, as 2017 came to a close, I realized how far I had come from the beginning part of the year when I wasn’t able to gain this level of perspective to where I am now. As much as I’m happy to shut the door on the negative parts of 2017, I’m intensely grateful for what happened. That may sound weird, but that situation taught me a lot about what I value in relationships with those around me, who I want to be in my life and most importantly, who I am and where I want to be. I feel that 2018 will be another year of tremendous personal and professional growth for me, even more than the last. And I’m looking forward to a completely positive year with MORE highs and few lows!
Now, because I’m not one for getting down-and-out, I’d like to end this post discussing what made 2017 one of the best years of my life.
This year, Kevin and I grew closer than we’ve ever been. He became a source of strength for me to lean on during the hard times and provided me unwavering support. We really became a team and, in the later part of the year, focused on experiences we could create with each other. We started with our 10-day long road trip in June to explore Charleston, Savannah, the Appalachians, and I met Kevin’s Grandpa in Florida. He’s in his 90’s, so was unable to make it to our wedding, and it was really special to be able to meet him! We then spent a few days with my in-laws in Florida. Mid-Summer, we journeyed to Indianapolis to see my Aunts and found out that Kevin got a phone interview with his now employer on the ride down!
We officially left our old jobs at the end of August and moved to Minneapolis in September. Kevin began work as an internal auditor for CHS Inc, and I started blogging full time (eeek!). Given this is already a long post, I’ll spare you most of the details on this move, but you can find them here. We’ve been loving the Cities, and, although it’s SUPER cold, I can’t imagine living anywhere else! We’ve started making friends here (making friends as an adult is HARD!) and have been loving that we are closer to my sister’s family! And, to top it off, one of my best friends got engaged to her boyfriend of 8 years, and I saw Katy Perry with my other bestie 😍
And last, but certainly not least, I started my blog and Instagram account in 2017 and was able to reconnect with multiple passions. As I’ve discussed before, writing and fashion/beauty have been lifelong passions of mine. And, as soon as I launched the blog in June, it really felt like everything in life just fell into place the way it was always meant to be. There is no better feeling than waking up knowing I’m spending the day doing what I love and sharing that passion to better the lives of others around me. Pursuing something I love has truly taught me that you cannot make others happy unless you are genuinely happy from within.
I want to end this extremely long post (sorry, but did you expect anything else? 😋), with a huge THANK YOU to all of you readers/followers who have supported me throughout the last year. Your support literally means the world to me, and you have helped me through this year more than you’ll ever know! Your support, quite literally, has allowed me to pursue a dream life and allows me to feel more and more fulfilled every day. It’s been one helluva journey so far, and I’m SO EXCITED to see where this new year will lead us (as in me, my blog and all of you along for the ride!).
Before I get to my personal and professional goals for 2018, I have some blog updates! There will be no Wednesday post this week. My regular post will go up on Friday and then next week we will (finally) resume our normal schedule. I’m taking the next few days to make some updates to my site like updating my top bar (where it shows “About” “Shop” etc) and general “sprucing” up! In addition, in line with requests I’ve gotten from all of you, I will be working in posts on productivity, fitness and my beauty regime for my hair throughout this month and early next! If you ever have content you want to see, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) . I sit down to write and create every day for you all and what you want is most important to me!
Now on to those 2018 Goals. Here are a few of my personal and professional goals for 2018 –
-Plan my social media to be more consistent with it (it’s really been ALL over the place lately)
-Step outside my comfort zone, forge partnerships with new brands and network with those in my area
-Reach 1K email subscribers! (go ahead and subscribe!!)
-Increase my visibility across all platforms
-Learn to live outside “fight or flight” mode for good
-read a new novel every month (this is motivation to chill out more and take a break from screen time/mindless TV!)
-make healthy living a priority (for me, this means little to no dairy 😭 and a more consistent exercise regimen)
-Spend more time cultivating relationships with those I love
-Have a “me” date once a week
What are some of your goals for 2018? If you need some guidance on how to tackle your goals or want insight on how I’m going to tackle mine, check out my previous post on goal-setting.
Stay tuned for a new post on Friday and be sure to follow me on social media as those channels will be updated daily!
PS – Your support DOES mean the world to me and helps keep this blog afloat! If you want to follow and support me elsewhere – here’s where you can find me:
Pinterest (new and will be filled with content this week/next!!)
**Thank you to Solutions Original for gifting me the dress in this post**