2017: Create & Persist Recap

Another year has come and gone. I’m officially in my mid-30’s now, and kind of feeling like I’m finally hitting my stride in life. Kind of. Maybe. *insert shrugging emoji*

But in all seriousness, 2017 was a crazy year and I’m pretty damn proud of myself for what I was able to accomplish despite the crazy ups-and-downs and how unhappy I was for the first half. One thing that people can NOT say about me is that I’m all talk because, man, when I put my mind to something, I do it.

Creating a life that I wanted to be living was such a key phrase for me throughout this year and persisting through the good and bad parts was so important to get me there. While certain things soared, others definitely plummeted. I’m definitely still persisting on the creation, but a work-in-progress life is infinitely better than a life never started.

Final recap below:

Create:

  •  Opportunities (professional, personal)
    • Recap – New job, moved across the country to a new city/state, travels (Detroit, Napa Valley, Guadalajara, Chicago, Columbus, Seattle, LA-Hermosa Beach)
  •  Chances (take risks):
    • Recap – Moving, dating, meeting new people, joining CrossFit
  •  Art (writing):
    • Recap – I’ve been consistent in my writing since I got here due to more time to devote to it
  •  Space (mental, physical):
    • Recap – My world is so much less filled here that it has naturally created space. It’s been incredible. There will be more about this later.

Minimalism:

  • Original – 1x/quarter lean & clean
  • Update – still a focus and actually a heightened focus now that I have less space
  • Recap – My apartment finally has furniture, but I’m so happy that it’s simple and minimal. The only area I’ve gone a bit overboard on is clothes, but I still feel pretty good about it since my wardrobe was pretty lean. I needed to stock up on some versatile basics, and I feel like I’ve been very intentional about what I’ve purchased, and they’re all items I am wearing consistently. I’ll definitely be doing another purge in the coming months to clear out some old stuff lingering around. It’s fun to see how minimalism is even impacting my grocery shopping, one from the standpoint that I can’t carry a lot from my parking garage and two, I don’t have a lot of cabinet space for storing food. It’s been really good.

Free options:

  • Original – 2/month
  • Update – so many events in Detroit are free
  • Recap – I’ve gone to several free events in the Detroit Metro area, not as many as I would have thought, but it’s been ok. The events I’ve paid for have been minimal.

Boundaries:

  • Original – spending/alcohol
  • Recap – Well, my spending has kind of bounced around. I feel like I’m still getting settled into a new budget. As far as alcohol…I feel like it’s shifted. I don’t pack as much drinking into my weekends as I used to, but I tend to have a glass of wine most nights, or a dram of whiskey, so possibly the same quantity as before, just more spread out.  I did learn how to make gin martinis and old fashioned’s myself which has been fun.

Books:

  • Original – 1/month
  • Update – so far behind at zero, going to look into library
  • Recap – I did get my library card in October and immediately went to work on books. I managed to pull off 12 books in a couple months. Go me!

Fitness:

  • Original – 3x/week consistency  (various methods/classes)
  • Update – CrossFit 2x/week for 1-3 months then 3x/week depending on consistency
  • Recap – CrossFit is happening. Joined Mid-September (1 class September, 8 classes in October, 3 in November, 2 in December). I’m still struggling with consistency. I think the change in weather has been challenging, plus traveling, plus my workload has increased a lot, leaving me feeling pretty depleted after work, so I have to figure out how to manage all that better. I don’t want to let it go because I do truly enjoy it. I just need to make an effort to go, even if that means 5:30am. 😥

Home chore list:

  • Original – weekly: vacuum, laundry, dishes, budget
  • Update – small space forces this on me
  • Recap – I’m fairly consistent in a weekly cleaning, generally consisting of Swiffering, laundry, dishes, picking crap up and putting it away. I look at my budget a couple times a month, generally with pay day. I’ve also calculated debt pay-off and have a pretty solid plan for that.

Writing:

  • Original – 1x/month any topic, 1x/quarter 2017 recap
  • Update – want to join a writing meetup group to give me consistency
  • Recap – 17 various posts on the blog, 1 update on 2017 progress, 1 recap. I definitely had enough content later in the year. Just need to balance out consistency.

WWOOF:

  • Original – 1 weekend local
  • Update – on pause
  • Recap – Didn’t happen 2017

Khan Academy:

  • Original – 3 subjects
  • Update – not happening 2017
  • Recap – Didn’t happen 2017

Meditate:

  • Original – read a book on it, research silent retreats
  • Update – may put off until 2018
  • Recap – Didn’t happen 2017

YPOS:

  • Original – HH 8 times/year
  • Update – not in Seattle any more
  • Recap – Not relevant any longer, didn’t happen while I was in Seattle

Jumping into water:

  • Original – lessons
  • Recap – Didn’t happen in 2017

2017 Quote:
“I want to step off that plane feeling 1000% confident in my own skin. I want to know and be proud that I’ve put a whole year’s worth of work into myself. I want to know that I wasn’t just lazy and passive. I want to have spent 11 months creating something I’m proud of, that I’m successful, fulfilled, health/happy (mental/physical), and I have good habits in place to keep me grounded, a solid savings account to enjoy the trip, a carry-on bag with enough cute clothes to play in, but no excess.”

While, the event that this quote was inspired on didn’t happen (Art Basel-Miami), I really enjoyed having this quote to look at throughout the year. It helped to focus me in ways that simple tasks/goals didn’t. It gave me a vision. I had it paired with the video of Beyoncé strutting her fierce Crazy in Love walk during the 2013 SuperBowl half-time show because it was the perfect visual. It incorporated everything I stated above. When I read that statement and then think about how I feel right now, I have to say, I’m pretty damn close to what I was hoping for. I feel very “in my own skin”, owning so much of who I am, flaws and all. (How many Beyoncé quotes can I get into this? LOL) I feel like I’ve stretched myself in ways I still have yet to recognize, and I’ve exposed more insecurities that I’m realizing I have to deal with. I feel like I’ve both accelerated everything in monumental proportions and also slowed my life to a very quiet crawl. It has been a surreal year. I’ve learned valuable lessons on who I am, who I’m willing to become, and who I will never be. I’ve accepted parts of myself I never counted as assets, and I’ve given up hiding things that people may see as weak. I’ve learned to define success in very different ways, and that no amount of money will replace true happiness. I’ve embraced my age, and learned how to maintain friendships from a couple thousand miles away while allowing other relationships to gracefully move out of my life.

It was a surreal year, a year that I’m not even sure I’ve justly portrayed. And interspersed in all of the ups and downs, growing pains and hard-fought battles, I managed to still have a lot of fun. 2017 post in pictures will be posted next.

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