At the end of December, I typically do an end-of-year recap. A highlight reel. The places I went, the events I attended, the special memories that stood out over others.
This year’s post is going to be a bit different.
For starters, I’m a couple days late in publishing this considering we’ve already celebrated the start of the new year.
But, more importantly, when I sat down to reflect upon this past year, it wasn’t the things that I did that came to mind. It was the lessons I learned, the mindset that shifted, the self-love that I manifested.
2017 taught me so much about myself.
I imagined it would be the hardest year of my life. Living in an entirely different state than my family and friends. Not doing what I love. With a horrible human being of a president. And a husband in his second year of medical school. Jumping from one diet to the next. Just trying to figure out who the hell I was when I wasn’t teaching.
But 2017 could easily be viewed as the best year of my life.
The year I found my true self.
Instead of doing a recap of all the things I did, I’m going to do a recap of my favorite posts I’ve shared.
I attribute a lot of my personal growth to writing and journaling this past year. Having this blog and my Facebook page has truly been a blessing for me. With each post that came pouring out of me, I experienced both therapy and validation. Sure, not all of the feedback has been rainbows and butterflies. But, more often than not, I’ve heard a lot of “me too” and “thank you for sharing.”
It’s addicting. The feeling you get when someone resonates with a caption you post or an experience you had. I’ve been taught my whole life that my personal struggles should be swept under the rug, not talked about. So I spent a good 30 years of my life denying my feelings. Pretending they didn’t exist.
But, through writing in an open forum like this one, I find that people are not as judgmental as I once thought. That I don’t need to be scared of opening up and sharing my stories. That there is so much more I have in common with other people and I feel all the more connected by being honest and vulnerable.
So I continue writing. And, in the process, I continue growing.
My Favorite Facebook Posts of 2017
- That time I realized I should be treating myself the way I treat my students.
- That time I recognized that my workouts are not a punishment. Rather, they are a privilege.
- That time I forgave myself for having an “off week” or two.
- That time I decided to accept my past and embrace it. Because you cannot hate the experiences that shape you.
- That time I discovered my online journal and broke down in tears. Because I felt sad for the little girl that once hated herself so much.
- That time I was reminded how much of my life I live in the past, in the future, and in my mind. Anywhere but the present moment.
- That time I read Brene Brown’s new book and realized how vital it is for us to connect with others. Especially those that feel impossible to connect with.
- That time I got carried away on Twitter and realized how judgmental I was being. Because it’s easy to hide behind a screen and spew out hateful shit. Lesson learned.
- That time I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted, say what I felt, and have the confidence of a three-year old. (It worked).
- That time I realized I set impossible expectations for myself. And I should be kinder to my self and treat myself with the love I give the people I care about.
- That time I expressed gratitude for the struggles I faced with self-image and weight loss. Because when something keeps showing up in your life, there’s a reason for it. Another opportunity to pick up new tools, develop new skills, and learn how to navigate whatever it may be a little more efficiently.
- That time I embraced my name.
- That time I learned a valuable lesson from a dog. Dogs and kids. They’re seriously the best teachers.
- That time I shared what my gratitude practice looks like. And why it’s so absolutely needed to live a life filled with love. When you consistently practice gratitude, you go through the day looking for it.
- That time I flew back home for the holidays and realized how much I had changed with all this inner work I’ve been doing. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you, yourself, have been altered.
- That time I gave a big “fuck you” to all resolutions and suggestions that I should change who I am because I’m not good enough. I hate the “new year, new you!” mentality and everything that comes along with it.
- That time I ate pizza on January 1st and nobody died.
- That time I vowed that 2018 would be imperfect. And I would love every moment of it. Because it just meant that I was being present and in tune with my body and my mind.
My Favorite Blog Posts of 2017
- Why Unexpected Friendships Can Be The Best Ones
- It’s time to cut out the countdowns and the “when I’m X, then I’ll be Y.” Happiness is in the Present.
- To me, love is everything. Relationships are what sustain me. And why that’s not such a bad thing.
- Every time I spend time at home, I walk away saying these three words.
- Unsubscribing to Podcasts. Realizing that I stay stuck in habits and relationships because I’m afraid of how much time and energy I’ve already invested in them. (It’s OK to LET GO!)
- Do more of what makes you happy. No, but seriously.
- I finally got the validation that I’ve been seeking my entire life. Surprisingly, it’s not in the way I once imagined.
- That time I shared my old journal with the world.
- Sometimes your life can take a drastic detour. And sometimes it happens after you watch an Instagram Live video.
- Connection is why we are here. We are hardwired to connect with others.
- When I experienced a quarter-life crisis (because I’m going to live until I’m 120. Duh). What happens when your entire identity is stripped from you?
- When I was self-sabotaging. And realized that I need to unpack my emotional baggage. One layer at a time.
- A small exercise I’ve been doing to get out of my mind and back in to my body.
- How one child and his meltdowns have effectively altered my perception of our world and my self.
- An Open Letter to the Teens of Today. (I didn’t write this one. But it is, hands down, one of my favorite posts because it is so absolutely needed).
That was a lot of writing.
But, I swear, it’s the writing that has changed me. The self-reflection. The a-ha moments I have mid-blog post. And the reading and re-reading of my words. Because it’s easy to forget the feelings and all the growth I have made. I continue to have days where the struggle is all-too-real. Days where I look in the mirror and hate what I see and fall back into that 20-year-old mindset. But that’s normal. Shitty days are normal.
It’s hard to remember the self-love and the positive body image and the amazing growth I’ve made on those shitty days.
But that’s why I wrote it all down.
Here’s to an amazing year ahead.
May it be filled with valuable lessons, personal growth, more writing, and a whole lotta love.
Questions of the Day:
- What are some of your 2017 highlights?
- Do you have a vision or a mantra for 2018?