In all honesty, 2017 was one of my hardest years. I say that not for you to feel sorry or to put a damper on the new year, but rather to share some huge insights I’ve learned along the way. Whether it was healing from broken relationships, waiting on the right job (the long process of applying and interviewing over and over), losing my dog, or just wrestling with my purpose and next steps, I can say that all of it has been a humbling experience and that I’m learning to trust the process, persevere, and remain grateful.
Through all the challenges, I feel like I am only growing into a stronger woman and building character for who I am becoming (cheesy, but true). Life is throwing curveballs that are testing my values and maturing my faith. I’m realizing that as painful as hardship can be, there is always a silver lining. It enables you to grow, appreciate, and flourish more than you could’ve ever imagined.
So, here’s to taking it one day at a time, not taking life too seriously, and being our best selves in 2018. Here are 7 takeaways from 2017 that I will carry forward with me into the new year:
- Lean on your friends for support. That’s what your friends are there for! You’re not alone in the challenges you face, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Sometimes it becomes easy to shut people out in hard times, but it’s so important to stay connected because we can’t do life on our own.
- Give yourself time to be alone. Lean on your friends, but don’t distract yourself so much with people that you avoid having quality time alone. Being alone to reflect is so important to building self-awareness, understanding personal obstacles, and meditating on your own priorities.
- Be patient with yourself. We’re all our own worst critic because we often put incredibly high standards on ourselves. Whether it’s grades, promotions, unfinished projects, bad habits, or unattained goals, we naturally put pressure on ourselves. Learn to be patient with yourself in your progress, and give yourself the time you need to heal, process, or steadily work towards achieving your goals.
- Journaling does wonders. I understand that not everyone naturally loves journaling like I do, but it has brought me through some of my hardest times. I love that through journaling you discover thoughts, motives, desires, changes, and personal growth. It gives me the ability to look back on where I was and where I am now. Even if you don’t normally journal, it might be worth a try!
- Forgiveness and love will always win. Grudges, bitterness, and hate will always leave a burden on your heart that holds you back from experiencing full joy. It’s not always easy to forgive, but it brings healing and softens your heart. Love will always win.
- Invest in your emotional well-being first. Prioritize your mental, spiritual, and emotional health first so that you are able to pour out love, compassion, and grace to those around you.
- Don’t give up in the wait. You’re close to a breakthrough. Waiting is hard. Waiting takes so much patience that I oftentimes don’t have. But in seasons of waiting, don’t give up. I know that sounds cliche, but it is so true. As long as you are active and not stagnant, you are closer to your breakthrough than you think.
2017 wasn’t all hard. It was also full of adventure, travel, laughter, love, new experiences, and memories I’ll never forget. Each year, I always make it a priority to visit at least one new country and one new city. Gratefully, I had the opportunity to travel New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Israel, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles this year. Investing in travel always leaves you richer than you came. Here’s a look back on travel in 2017…
Salt Lake City
I hope this post encourages you that it’s all a learning process and that you’re not alone.
I wish everyone a happy new year in 2018! I’m excited for all of the new adventures and experiences in store!
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C.S. Lewis