Oh 2017, what a year you’ve been.
As the title suggests, we got off to a rocky start, only to find myself tumbling downward even more as the year went, but the good news is that I feel like I’m ending this year on a really good note.
This year was supposed to be "the year".
Y’know, the year when you “figure it out” and “get your life together”.
Neither of those things happened, along with a long list of other things.
But it wasn’t all bad either.
This year, I learned:
- to give myself a little more credit.
- to appreciate those around me a bit more.
- to be more patient with myself and my dreams.
- to do things that make me really uncomfortable like talk about money.
This year was not the year I was expecting, but I think it was the year that I needed.
In a lot of ways, it felt like a lot of tough love.
Sometimes, I couldn’t feel the love. Just the fear, shame, guilt, sadness, and emptiness.
But it also gave me a lot of clarity, hope, encourage, and strength.
It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’m 24. (24 Life Lessons in 24 Years)
Almost half of my twenties are over.
By mid next year, I’ll be 25. I’ll no longer be able to say I’m in my early twenties.
It’s weird. One day, you’re 16 and you absolutely hate your life. And the next, you’re 24 and realizing that you’ll be 30 some day.
So, what was it that made parts of this year so “bad” and “really ugly”?
In all honesty, I put too much pressure on myself.
Too much pressure on myself to “figure it out”, because it seemed like everyone else was figuring it out much faster and better than I was.
Too much pressure on myself to do it all. I have a tendency to want (and think) I can do all the things all the time all by myself.
Too much pressure and not enough love. Not enough compassion, empathy, or patience.
I burnt out quickly, and I burnt out often.
And I was afraid to ask for help, because I felt like I hadn’t “done enough” to “prove myself”. (Now writing this out, I did the same thing with my mental health and depression a few years ago when I hesitated to go to therapy.)
Being your own business owner? It’s hard.
I mean, I wasn't expecting it to be easy by any means, but I mean... you don't really ever know what it feels like until you actually go through the journey yourself.
I’ve always wanted to be a creative, but after watching many episodes of Shark Tank, watching many of Gary Vee’s shows and keynotes, and listening to other entrepreneur’s stories, I realized that being isn’t entrepreneur wasn’t what I always wanted.
In fact, there were times this year when working for someone else again crossed my mind.
But… even though I haven’t always wanted to be an entrepreneur and even though (admittedly) I kind of suck at being my own boss, I’m now on a mission to make it my reality.
Because despite all of my ups and downs this year (and they call it an emotional rollercoaster for a reason), I learned that I do ultimately want to be my own boss. I want to travel the world whenever I want and have my own studio.
Because I can. And I will.
Every so called mistake, failure, and set back is really an opportunity to learn, grow, and do better the next time around.
In the past, I was always the kind of person that gave up at the first sign of trouble.
But after a whole year of this?
I’m crazy enough to believe that I can do anything I put my mind, heart, and soul into.
Last week, I created a 2018 game plan for myself where (surprisingly enough) I created realistic and attainable goals for myself. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to not overcommit and not to create unnecessary stress and anxiety for myself.
Today, I wrote down a list of what my dream life looked like - without the self-doubt, without the “what if’s”, without the “you’re crazy if you think you can actually might this work”.
I know I can get there and I know that I will, and I want to document my journey and share it with you. Because I want you to believe that you can achieve your wildest dreams too (because you can).
We do not have to settle for less.
We do not have to give up on ourselves.
But we do have to keep showing up, believing in ourselves, and doing the work.
I wish you could see all of the “bad” and “really ugly” moments and days and even weeks and months I had in 2017, not so you can feel sorry for me (because being a victim never happened anyone grow) but so you see and understand for yourself just how much your past does not define you. But I was too embarrassed and ashamed to share those moments with you when they happened, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
The point I’m trying to make here is that anything is possible and you can change.
You can change who you are if you don’t like who you are.
Because I was once someone who gave up easily, who got really annoyed really easily really fast, who didn’t believe in herself, who was really resistant to change.
Some of those things are still kind of true, but I’m working on it.
You don’t have to stay the same person to make others comfortable.
Who you are today doesn’t have to be who you are 5 years from now.
So think about who you want to be, and what you can do in 2018 to help you get closer to that. Because we all have dreams and goals, and we all have the potential to make them real.
** Photo Source: Kira auf der Heide