Today everyone says that the internet is filled with things that can make everyones’ lives look too perfect and can, at times, inaccurately portray the trials that life is surely throwing at us all in any given day—and no, our hair does not always look perfect while it is happening. Usually I don’t completely agree with that argument for two reasons: 1) People are capturing the good things. They are seeing the beauty through the mess and I feel that that is a great thing! Find the little moments and hang on to those with the bad. 2) Can you really imagine Instagram feeds, Tweets, and Facebook posts full of people posting selfies of themselves crying, fighting with others, putting their kids in time-out, and other down moments in life. I mean don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind the break from political talk that isn’t going to do anything (contact your state representatives people—yelling at your neighbor that they are wrong isn’t going to do anything except make the next lawn mowing or PTA meeting a little more awkward.) But that is how I view and try to use social media. It is human nature to not put our deepest fears, insecurities, and not so hot moments on display for the world. That shits hard. And we usually use social media for a break.
Recently I have read about and seen from people who I follow more and more honesty about what is going on in their personal lives, behind the beautiful photos that they take, about their own struggles. I applaud this. I thrive for this. Not because of other people suffering, but because sometimes I can go, hey, me too! I really connect more, as a person, with an individual that I already admire or respect for one reason or another.
So instead of sharing all the good thing that have happened in 2017, these are 5 things that made me happy that this year is coming to a close. This isn’t a sob story. Well, I mean I have cried a lot (Elle demonstrates for me below), but I don’t want this to be a poor me story.
This is my story about why I’m totally ready for 2017 to be over and am working towards how to make 2018 a better year. (With a little help from Elle Woods, he he)
I lost my job…
This has been the roughest. I won’t lie. Devastating, overwhelming, unforeseeable, definitely not in the plan, prolonged, are a few of the describing factors that come immediately to mind. Something that so defined who I was as a person, how I felt about myself, where I was, how successful I felt in life so far. Not in a “Hi, my name is Ted, and I am an investment banker,” publicly proud of myself sort of way. It was deeper than that. I’ve always known I was more than my job, but I didn’t know how much my job meant to me. It made me feel capable and empowered. It also gave me direction. I was on a path, doing something. Now, well, I’m not entirely sure what I want to be when I grow up. I love so many things and could do so many things. Which leads me to…
I lost who I was…
Your job helps give you a life plan. It gives you direction. And yeah, if I wanted to switch at some point, I would figure that out then. But to suddenly HAVE to figure out a new path, well that has made me question everything. When catastrophe strikes, you see what you are made of, right? Well, I don’t know if I was always made of what I thought I was. There are only so many days that a person can wake up without a clear purpose and have it not wear on her. That doesn’t mean I’m not growing into something new, but that takes time, and it takes some in-between steps that aren’t too pretty.
My boyfriend and I got together. We had dated previously and had broken up amicably. In the months we spent apart we grew up, changed, gained new perspectives, and really wanted to get to know these new people. It was one of the best parts of my year. But even in the best circumstances relationships can be difficult. And I won’t lie, ours has had some rocky moments that really make me question myself and how how I handle my relationships. It has also taught me a lot about having a significant other as an adult. The story books talk all about how to fall in love, they don’t really give you a road map to what a healthy relationship entails and the work it takes. And it has been really really hard.
I have SUCKED as a friend in 2017…
As cliche as this is, it’s not you, it’s me. No really, I swear it. Most of my friends probs think I’m too busy for them or just don’t care at this point. But it simply isn’t true. I’ve just been too busy trying to hold my own life together. There are days it takes everything just to deal with myself. And no, I don’t want to talk about it. If I talk about it or think too hard about everything in front of people, I just want to cry. And let me tell you, 2017 has made me really sick of crying. That is ok for a time. I needed to take care of myself. I wasn’t in a position to BE a really good friend to a lot of people at this stage of my life. And I have to accept it and try and do better as I heal and figure myself out again.
I feared others opinions A LOT…
When I lost my job and didn’t have work to do I started focusing on the areas that I could be creative in on a personal level. Not only as outlets for myself but to continue to grow, learn, build my portfolio, and stay on top of trends, and well, stay relevant. That allowed me a lot of time to focus on my website, my photography skills, my “brand” (still have no idea what that means for me), and skills I would like to grown in (like I realized I really wanted to learn to code). But I was so scared about what others would think!
“I couldn’t put fashion/outfits on my blog. I would look like a wannabe and honestly, do I have that great of style?”, “I can’t be a photographer. I don’t know how to pose people or how to deal with this lighting situation.”, “I can’t do that job, I have never written a marketing plan from beginning to end and never made my own buyer personas.”, “I don’t know how to troubleshoot coding so I can’t build that website for her.”,”Well I don’t know how to start this project so I’m not qualified.”
These are just a HANDFUL of the things that have gone through my head in the last year. And they have been SO painful and damaging to myself when it comes to my abilities and the things I want to do. And I was doing it to myself! I still do! I’m not entirely sure that this blog post is going to get published right this moment. It is scary, and I can think of a 22 reasons not to. But I have to overcome it at some point. I have to learn to be good enough for my own standards and give myself the grace to learn.I have to learn to be good enough for my own standards and give myself the grace to learn.Click To Tweet
So maybe I don’t hate 2017—But I don’t love how uncomfortable it has made me. I like to be challenged and changed, but it has been a lot all at once and it hasn’t always brought out the best in me. I’m still feeling the effects and trying to figure out how to cope with it all. Everyone talks about how wonderful their lives are when there has been a whirlwind of change for the better. 2017 has been a whirlwind of change for the well, not so great in a lot of ways. The circumstances left me struggling to figure out how to be the girl that survives a lot of challenges gracefully and most importantly without growing bitter and frustrated with everything. Unsure of where to go, what to do next some days, and where God’s plan is leading me. It was a tear down year.
So there is my 2017. I have plenty of wonderful things that happened. I have some really great memories. I have personal triumphs and new found connections for sure. But this is one of those years that I will look back on and be ok with leaving behind. It stripped me bare in a lot of ways and I am read to try and rebuild in 2018. I’m not entirely sure what that will look like. But I hope and pray that I will see the purpose of it.
What I can’t do: I can’t let that be it. I can’t let my 2017 rule my 2018. Change isn’t going to happen over night and it is going to take a lot of work personally. But, how does it go, admitting is the first step.
And if I don’t take that first step, then any further will be impossible. And now, it is time to pray, make plan for the future, and just say bring it on. Whatever that looks like.
2018 is a rebuild year.
Inspirational song while writing this: Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been (Acoustic Version)
If you want to check out one of my favorites ways to celebrate the little things through out the year, check out my post on how to make a year jar. It is the PERFECT way to start off the new year.