2017: A Year in Review

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I wish I knew where to start with the blog post, but I honestly don’t. My original intention months ago was to write about how I’ve declared 2017 the worst year ever for me, but life has a funny way of changing when you least expect it. 2017 – for lack of a better word – was bittersweet. For a period, I was in a rut. I felt stuck. It took some unfortunate situations to remind me who I am, the person I want to become and what I want out of life.

After some time, I was able to bounce back strong and started smashing goals I didn’t even know I had for myself. I was given much needed clarity. Clarity to see people for who they really are, not who they have the potential to be. Shit happens. That was a common theme throughout the year for me. I quickly learned that when shit happens, how you choose to react is what matters most. While it’s easy for me to continually reflect on the moments that weren’t great, I’ve decided to reflect on the lessons those moments taught me instead.

You can choose to be defined by the one thing that knocked you down, or you can choose to be defined by how many times you got back up and kept going.

1. Self-love is the most important love. This year I learned a lot about myself. I observed my bad habits and patterns in attempt to figure out why I do certain things. This was a tough period of introspection, but much needed. I’ve realized that people move with a different type of confidence when they are truly in love with themselves. Today and every day, I choose me. Never give someone the power to break your spirit. No matter how hard they try, keep your head held high and know that you are enough.

2. Grow through what you go through. To make it through super low moments, you have to grow through it. I learned that are no shortcuts in the healing process. You simply have to feel what it is you feel, reflect and with time, you will come out stronger on the other side of the storm. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

3. Don’t expect people who aren’t happy with themselves to be for you. It’s true what they say. Misery loves company. Pay attention to the people who don’t clap when you win, or bring the same energy when you reach important goal milestones. Some people don’t realize that one person’s success doesn’t take away from their own. When one person on my team wins, we all win. If people can’t buy into this concept, then maybe it’s time to let them go.

4. It's okay not to be okay. I’m a strong person, but I break too. Sometimes I’m not okay. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I want to scream. I’m human. Sometimes I have anxiety attacks on the Subway in the middle of the day. I don’t have it together all the time. It’s easy not to talk about these moments and hiding them can be the norm. I’ve learned that being more open about these situations not only help you, but can help other people who experience similar situations as well.

5. The power of friendship is real. My close friends aren’t just my friends. They’re my family. They helped me through some very tough moments this year and I don’t think I can thank them enough. From being an open ear for me to vent to continually helping me realize my potential, they are the real MVP's and deserve all types of awards.

6. Do what’s best for you. Sometimes we are presented with some difficult decisions and while looking to other people for the correct answer may seem like the right idea, it isn’t. At the end of the day, you can consider other people’s suggestions, but do what’s best for you always. When the going gets tough, it’s going to be with you dealing what the decision, not the other people who may think they know what's best for you.

It takes grace to remain kind in cruel situations.
— Rupi Kaur

Overall, 2017 taught me that the life you may want to live will just not be given to you. You should learn how to create it and take the good with the bad, the bad with the good. Situations are either a blessing or lesson, but you must be willing to take the risk to figure out which one it is. While I was given many lessons this year, the blessings I received were more than enough to help me end the year on a great note. I’m looking forward to 2018 and the many blessings (and lessons) that the year will bring. Farewell 2017, hello 2018! 

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