Last year for my end of the year project I did a series of excerpts from 2016 blog posts and I loved how it turned out. I felt proud of my creativity and enjoyed reflecting on the year past. This year felt a bit different. Content, content, content. You have to give your readers good content. But sometimes, you simply aren’t sure what will be meaningful or useful to your readers. I will give you a summary of my reflection on 2017 and my intentions for 2018 based on the questions I found on Melissa Ambrosini’s blog, someone I really admire. One word to describe 2017 was unexpected and one word I want to describe 2018 is transformative.
It’s easier to reflect on the year when you feel really accomplished and proud. I can’t say that’s my gut feeling going into reflecting this year, but after I answered the questions and dug deeper into myself I realized I am extremely proud of myself.
If you are new here or you need a recap, I started 2017 living in Australia, teaching part time at an English language college and running my coaching business as a part-time side hustle. After about 1.5 years in Australia, I finally found my true girlfriends and I was lucky to be a part of an awesome community One Wave. I was truly creating a community of my own networking with other travelers on a similar path. In February 2017, my partner and I got the news that our sponsorship visa had been denied and we had 28 days to leave Australia. We were shocked and I was actually heartbroken but my partner was determined to stay positive so we booked a trip to Bali and applied for a visa for New Zealand. We decided we would use this as a transition to hopefully make our way back to Australia.
Life seemed to have different plans for us. After 5 months in New Zealand we left for an epic long term travel adventure to America and Europe(mainly to meet each others families in America and England and other important events along the way.) Our two month trip was incredible. One of the best adventures I’ve ever had. By the end of it we felt called to stay in England and try to plant our roots here. Once again, we have the obstacle of a visa to face. I’ve spent September- January here in England on a tourist visa and I will return to America early next month to apply for my more permanent visa. This process will likely take a few months and there are no guarantees not to mention my partner and I will have to live separately for a few months. I am starting 2018 still in a transition period. This is my reality and to be quite frank, it’s not easy.
My entire 2017 has been a transition period. Not knowing where we will end up or where to call home. I’ve lived in three different countries. I had a job I hated for a few months in New Zealand simply out of necessity (along side my growing side business which I am passionate about thank goodness.) I’ve lived in tiny studio Air BnB’s, stayed with family and finally (thank god) have a nice place with my boyfriend– that I am going to have to leave again.
But, on social media, my year looked pretty epic. And reflecting back, I remember the good bits, the travel, the excitement, the memories. Sure, it’s been a transition but I have been focused on making it an adventure. 2017 was an unexpected adventure. I still don’t understand the plan the Universe has for me but I have learned to surrender to it.
Most of all I am proud of myself. I am so proud of myself for not giving up. I never put my health on the back-burner, (well except possibly in Europe when Sangria and paella were my main food groups) especially my mental health. I meditated, I wrote in my gratitude journal. I worked out very consistently and lead countless women to do the same for their own health. I kept working on my side hustle despite all the time zones and obstacles thrown my way. I’ve started over so many times this year I don’t even know where one start ends and the other begins. I’ve felt more lonely than I ever have in my entire life.
I’m telling you all of this not for sympathy or even because you necessarily care about the details of my crazy life but because HOPE prevails. How can I deal with this uncertainty, instability and disappointment? How can I face the fact that I am no longer living in my dream home with the perfect life I manifested?
Hope prevails because I have been a LOYAL LOVER to myself the whole time. I have been committed to showing up for myself. I have cried a lot. I have journaled. I have accepted that it’s okay to feel disappointed. I definitely haven’t been perfect. I have lashed out at my partner. I have felt sorry for myself. But I didn’t stay there. I remained hopeful that this is but one chapter and blip in my crazy beautiful life.
I have focused on being grateful for everything that remains in my life. I have focused on my health and my spirit. I have focused on gratitude for building an online community and career I can take with me no matter what country I get kicked out of next. I have focused on using life as the ultimate classroom and adding some humor into the chaos. I listened to a podcast this year where the speaker said whenever anything bad happened in his life he just yelled, “PLOT TWIST.” 2017 has been a serious PLOT TWIST and for the naked eye, it may seem like it’s been a negative one. But I don’t have a naked eye, I have a grateful one.
But the joy in living is that you are the creator of your reality. You decide how you deal with the plot twist. Embrace it? Laugh about it? Love through it? Find the beauty? YES. YES. YES.
If your 2017 was anything close to as crazy as mine, maybe you were ready for it to be over?
I am grateful for all of the lessons I learned. I am happy that I had so many unexpected challenges thrown my way because I’ve seen how truly strong my relationship is, with myself and with my partner. I have learned how to ask for help. I have learned how to depend on someone fully. I have learned to trust the Universe even when it feels like it is taking you in the wrong direction. I have learned to speak your truth even when your truth isn’t so pretty. I have learned that despite any hardships– there is always room for adventure. I have learned that never giving up is much more challenging than throwing out that cliche quote. I have learned that I, in fact, will never give up on the beauty in the world and the beauty in myself.
No matter what your 2017 looked like, take the time to look back at what you did, how you did it and who you did it with. Ask yourself those reflective questions and don’t run from the answers. Set intentions& affirmations for 2018, both specific and positive.
Here are a snippet of mine for inspiration:
I will spend more time doing what I want to do not what I think I “should do” I will spend more time in action than “planning.” I will try new things that light me up.
I will meditate and use my gratitude journal daily.
I will use self TOUGH love not just self-love bubbles baths.
I will continually accept myself and who I am becoming.
I will build a team of leaders who have the same mission as I do
I will stayed focused and work hard despite the uncertainty of my life
I will focus on my mind-body-spirit connection more than ever.
Everything is unfolding exactly as it should. I will lead with love instead of fear.
I am making a difference by sharing my vulnerability. I am flowing instead of hustling.
I am attracting healthy, positive people into my life by leading by example.
And, beautiful creature, when things get cray as the ultimately do every year, embrace the chaos and chuck out a brilliantly timed “PLOT TWIST.”