I think the craziest thing about it being 2018 is that we’re just two years away from 2020…and, for some reason, that makes me feel really old. However, one thing I definitely realized in 2017 is that age is just a number. I’m a 35 year old blogger, which in blogging years is, like, 90. I spent the first half of 2017 comparing myself to those who are younger in my industry which, frankly, seems to be almost everyone. It was only when I decided to stop comparing myself (or my age) to everyone else and start investing my time on the readers/followers that I have, that I started to feel accomplished. I began to feel fulfilled and I realized that, at any age, we ALL have something to offer.
2017, for me, started off rocky. Not only did I feel as though I may never make it as a blogger, I was always annoyed that my house was constantly a mess, Kyle and I were arguing all the time, and I just felt like everything in my life was failing. I started to become very diligent in my prayers. Asking God to give me direction and, more so, determination. Help me. Guide me. Change me. Light a big fire under my ass. I felt like I had so much to give, but I couldn’t seem to get anything in my life to go right. I didn’t feel really fulfilled. It’s not that I was miserable or depressed, but I just didn’t feel truly fulfilled or accomplished, if that makes sense, with work or my marriage.
Fast forward to around June of last year. I slowly started seeing my mindset start to shift. For my business, I stopped focusing on what I didn’t have (x amount of readers/followers, particular brand opportunities, etc.) and I started to focus on what I DID have. I stopped stalking everyone else’s picture-perfect feed and started building relationships with the women who did enjoy what I had to offer. I stopped worrying about not being this “29 year old beauty queen with a perfectly polished home” and started embracing the fact that I’m a hot mess who doesn’t wash her hair everyday and wears the same jeans three days in a row. It was liberating. Slowly and surely, I started to feel connected with my readers and I couldn’t wait to wake up each morning and start working! I realized that being genuine and exposing your true self is something much more to be proud of than just “painting a pretty picture”. I busted my ass in 2017 and promised myself to always be authentic, to not just do what everyone else was doing, and start my own path. 35 or 55, I can DO IT! We all can!
God has put some INCREDIBLE women in my life through The Sister Studio. I spend hours everyday chatting with them via email, in my Facebook Group, and/or Instagram direct message. They’re uplifting, helpful, encouraging, and incredibly supportive. And what makes me so happy is that they truly have my back and they don’t judge me when I open up about the not-so-perfect things in my life. I cherish this blog and all of my social media platforms and every single person who follows along. Truthfully, career wise, I have never been this happy in my life! THANK YOU to everyone reading this. I really and truly wish I could sit down and have coffee with each and every one of you. Oh, and hug you….the biggest and tightest hug, EVER.
Okay, back to 2017. So, with this new found determination (thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers), I was determined to kick my marriage into gear. Kyle and I had talks about what and why our marriage seemed to be so lackluster and we made promises to hear each other out and to start making our marriage a bigger priority…actually, to make it the BIGGEST priority. Yes, we still have times that aren’t as glorious as others, we still have disagreements, but I feel like our relationship is the best it’s been in a very long time. I feel incredibly + genuinely happy in my marriage!
One big lesson I’ve learned about marriage is that if either person isn’t happy with themselves, it’s hard (nearly impossible) to make a relationship work. We both had areas in our life that we weren’t happy with and, in turn, it took a tole on how we were with each other. You have to take care of YOU before you can truly take care of someone else. Kyle couldn’t expect me to make him happy, he needed to be happy with himself and vice versa. We had to be happy with ourselves before we could be happy with each other. This may seem like common knowledge, but, somewhere along the way, we loss sight of that. I’m thankful that we were able to work through a rough season of marriage because, truthfully, things won’t always be perfect. One thing is for sure, though, we love each other fiercely and there is no one else that I would rather do life with!
For what started out as such a crappy year, I think 2017 ended pretty great. It was definitely very challenging at times, but I learned a LOT last year. So, what’s my goal for 2018? To live BIG! As I mentioned on my New Year’s post (here): I encourage everyone to live BIG in 2018. We have one life, sisters. ONE LIFE. Chase your dreams! That little voice inside you isn’t so little at all. It’s God and he is leading you and what better leadership could you ask for? Take the leap and let your light shine! Don’t let anyone or anything diminish your spirit. And don’t forget to have FUN and laugh as much as possible. Take a trip and buy the shoes. Stop following anyone on social media who makes you second guess how wonderful you are. We’re all losing our shit, some just hide it better than others. But, fear not, just because we’re losing our shit, this doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish BIG things…because we can and we will. Just remember that you have one life…live it BIG.
Happy 2018, friends! I’m so excited to see what God has in store for all of us!