The end of a year always brings reflection, and 2018 was…well it was full of ups and downs. With a birthday at the beginning of January I always seem to do an extra deep dive – what did I accomplish this year, what did I make of my latest year of life.
As I briefly mentioned when I reflected on 35 Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years, 2018 forced me out of my comfort zone in many ways.
In January I was laid off from my job in a round of cuts, and I quickly found that having 10 years of experience put me in a tough situation. I was too experienced for an entry-level/3-5 year experience job (AKA I asked for (DESERVED) more money than they wanted to pay me), and I didn’t have the people management experience that many jobs called for. And honestly, I don’t know that I want to manage a group of people. Another thought for another time though.
I went from believing that I was incredibly employable to constant rejection, and a mild depression (coupled with one too many happy hours) set in. I lost my creative spark and no longer found joy in the things that fueled my soul, but I had to keep going.
Finally, in April I was offered a job in Des Moines, Iowa, and my then fiancé (now husband) and I packed up our life, our dog, and we moved to a new city. This change turned out to be the biggest blessing. Dylan and I were wanting to move, and we found ourselves in a city more suited to our preferred lifestyle (the arts, restaurants, downtown living, etc.) and full of hope.
Then, in October, after a few months of calmness, Dylan and I headed to the courthouse and were married. Short, sweet, and easy, I had married my best friend. However we had a destination wedding right on our heels, and earlier this month we headed south to Playa del Carmen to have a symbolic ceremony in front of our closest friends and family. Finally, we ended this year with a funeral when Dylan’s mom passed away from an aggressive form of cancer.
PHEW. It was quite a year of big life changes, to say the least.
As I look forward to 2019 I’m excited to accomplish a bit more intellectually and from a health perspective. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone, grow my hobbies, learn, and of course, travel.
This year I am going to try something a little different. I lieu of setting one big resolution and possibly failing, I am going to try monthly challenges. They say that it takes 2 weeks to form a habit, and there are just so many things I want to try, that I decided to break it down into realistic challenges that I can focus on each month.
One the first of every month I’ll be share my monthly challenge, throughout the month I’ll be updating my progress on social media (you can keep up on Instagram or Twitter), and than I’ll recap my challenge, how I did, and what I learned.
Learn a new language
One of the biggest disappointments I have when I travel is that I don’t know multiple languages. I firmly believe that Americans should be taught at LEAST one other language beginning as children, like most of the rest of the world is. And while I can’t change the United States educational system, I can take it upon myself to learn another language, so for 2019 I will be focusing on learning French, with an opportunity to practice all I’ve learned in October when I head to Paris!
In 2019 I am going to focus on my health, and I don’t just mean my beach body (though that is part of it). I want to be healthy inside, outside and mentally. My goal isn’t to go on some big diet, but rather to become more naturally active, to drink more water, to eat more whole foods, to laugh – a lot, to read, to write.
So often I think that we box ourselves in. “I’m going to go to the gym in the New Year” because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do. And than we fail. If we can get back to our ‘why’ we do things, our intentions, and find things that we enjoy doing that feed our intentions, than I believe we’re more likely to succeed. So yes, saying ‘health’ is quite a broad resolution, and while I don’t have an exact plan, what I do know is that I can’t fail if I’m making decisions surrounding my health that move me forward in a positive direction.
This is a broad term, but I’m such a newbie to photography that I don’t know where the path will lead me and what I’ll end up loving. What I do know is that I’m loving my new camera, and taking photographs brings me such joy. I’m currently teaching myself Photoshop, digging further into Lightroom, and I can’t wait to find my own look.
Being laid off for almost half of 2018 didn’t give me much opportunity to travel to new places; something that truly fuels my soul. I made it to Austin, Texas for a bit of a disappointing trip that had been planned prior to my lay off, and of course Mexico was lovely, but I didn’t get to discover new places.
In 2019 I’m going to take on new adventures that I can’t wait for. In June, Dylan and I are taking a road trip through Maine, and then in October we’re heading to backpack through Europe with friends for a few weeks. I will also be taking a few solo trips to Colorado and Wyoming to visit friends, and we’ll be planning for our March 2020 expedition to Antarctica!
If 2019 proves to be like every other year, it will fly by faster than we realize. I’m excited to start these new challenges, to learn, and to grow. And most importantly, I’m excited to see where this crazy journey takes me.
TELL ME: What are your 2019 resolutions/goals?