2018 Life Lesson Reflections & Reminders

Ironic, isn’t it how there is such an emphasis on starting over and starting fresh in the new year, when really, we enter each new year with more knowledge and life experience than we’ve ever had. Each new year is an accumulation of all the life lessons and personal growth from all the previous years. I’m truly thankful for 2018. It was honestly one of my best years. A year of learning, exploration, & changes for me! This past year I got to travel more than I’ve traveled in my entire life, I expanded my business into online retail with Give a Damn Goods, I got engaged, and we moved across country. Through all these exciting changes, I’m grateful to have this conscious community to share my journey with. Reflecting back on the past year, I’ve listed a few reminders as we enter the new year!

1) Let Go & Let Life

I wrote a separate post on this a while back (you can read it here). But letting go and letting life is something that is so important to me…and something I’ve struggled with. As a planner, I struggle to go with the flow sometimes. But sometimes the universe/God knows what you need in your life more than you do. Getting into online retail was never in the plans for me, but a series of life events led me to launch Give a Damn Goods and I’m having so much fun and learning lots. Moving to Seattle? Also, never thought about moving or living here, but Jake got the job, we took the plunge, and I couldn’t be happier! It’s gorgeous up here.

2) Self love is freeing.

Every year I get more comfortable in my own skin. Self love is incredibly freeing. I’ve been very transparent about struggling with mental health and a few years back I got to a point where I was comfortable talking about my anxiety. It’s wonderful to be able to be open about who you truly are struggles and all. This year I also continued to embrace the messiness of my life by launching the Own It product line for Give a Damn Goods. With sayings like Hot Mess Express, Star of The Shit Show, and more, I encouraged others to embrace life’s messy moments. We’re all struggling. Nobody’s life is perfect. So love yourself, messes and all, and be proud of who you are. You are one of a kind and that deserves a little love.

3) Struggling is okay. It’s part of life.

As I stated above, we’re all struggling. It’s okay and it’s part of life. Social media has us all fooled. People are able to present themselves as perfect, but that’s not the reality. Embrace whatever life throws at you and don’t be afraid to be open about your struggles or ask for help when you need it. Chances are others around you are struggling too and will be relieved be your honesty and transparency.

4) Spend Less Time Counting Your Blessings & More Time Checking Your Privilege

This is also a topic I wrote a separate post on last month! You can read the full post here. But basically, being blessed can mean different things to different people. However, blessed seems to take a more materialistic and experiential approach when it comes to the mid-upper class. Through out my years in college I would often see classmates traveling, out partying, or posting about their college experience using phrases such as Blessed with this opportunity, so blessed, or the infamous #blessed. While you may consider your education or other experiences a blessing, it’s also a privilege. People throw the word ‘blessed’ around without thinking about 1) the true meaning of the word and 2) how it could be interpreted by other people.

So what about the people who count their blessings as somethings others may take for granted….food on their plate, a bed, a roof over their head, or clean water. Why didn't God “bless” them with the opportunity to receive a college level education? And thus lies the beginning of privilege that so many fail to acknowledge. Gratitude is great, but in todays America we need to start checking our privilege. I encourage you to think beyond your blessings and take a look at your privilege.

engagement

5) Cherish People Not Things

I did quite a bit of moving around the past year. Started off the year living in Nashville, then moved home to Dallas for a few months, and finally ended up moving to Seattle with Jake. All of this moving around has made me more aware of the importance of living in the now and cherishing the moments you have with your loved ones. The present will become the past soon and you’ll long for those moments back, those people to be around you, and be left with memories. So cherish the people because you never know when life is going to change and where it will take you.

6) Less is More

This year Jake and I had the privilege to spend three weeks in Europe. It was an incredible experience. Something I’ve noticed over the past two years in traveling to both Haiti & Europe is their emphasis on small spaces and less materialistic things. Obviously in Haiti this is impacted by the poverty, but there is something to be said for it. These people have less, work way harder, and are just as, if not happier than Americans. Focus less on things and more on experiences and the people you’re surrounded by.

Happy New Year’s Eve! Wishing you a joyful 2019!