2018: Thrive

I started this damn post in October, so why am I just now getting it posted (late) in January?! I bug myself. *sigh* Anyways…

Going into my fourth year of goal planning with word association and it feels good. Why is it that we never appreciate our progress in the moment, only when looking back? When we’re in the middle of a grind, it’s so hard to try and pull back and see the whole picture, to see where we exactly are in that moment and what that looks like as a whole picture, both the reality behind and the hopeful ahead? I read a quote once that said something along the lines of artists are never appreciated until they’re dead, and that made me really sad. What is our fear of living in the present? What causes us to constantly be looking ahead? And why can’t we appreciate other’s contributions to our worlds in the present instead of waiting until it’s too late to tell them face to face that they matter to you? These are just a few of my thoughts randomly floating through my mind as I think about this upcoming year.

Last year, I took some time to look back at my previous two years, and the analysis of how those years turned out, what I learned, etc. I’m doing a brief synopsis below this year, adding 2017 into the history. You can read the full recaps (except 2016 – apparently I didn’t do one) on each year via the links. It’s quite fun to begin to have a solid amount of history to really reflect on. I wish I had started doing this sooner.

2015: The Experience (link)- music, writing, travel, dance; be uncomfortable/expand my world, be intentional in forming new relationships, create better habits.
2016: Explore (link)- pleasure, harmony, responsibility, self-care; embracing possibility of change, mindful, traveling to learn/explore/be exposed, relationships
2017: Create & Persist (link)- “create a life you want to be living”, create high-level, long-term overarching dreams in life, persist day-to-day measurable achievable skill and habit building.

Now, the question is what do I want this next year of my life to look like? I’ve up and moved across the whole country, changed so much about my daily life. I don’t want to re-create the same life I had in Seattle here. I want something different. In the 6+ months that I’ve been here, I’ve felt grown-up and more mature. I’ve embraced quiet and solitude, and I’ve learned to rely on and trust myself fully. I’ve enjoyed quiet dinner parties more than crazy bar parties. But I’ve encountered the same restlessness/unhappiness that I was feeling in Seattle which tells me there’s something deeper going on. Whatever transformation that was beginning to take root inside of me in Seattle isn’t complete yet. I think moving was step one. Now, I have to figure out out what step two is.

In Seattle, I rebelled against a traditional life. I loved the urban, single, party vibes. I loved going out all weekend. Here…I don’t know, but I want something more settled. Not in a house-wife with three kids kind of way, but in more of a relationship way, in a smaller life way, in a grown-up way. I want that relationship to ground me while also being the other half of my adventurous/exploratory side. I don’t want the distractions of a busy life. I want a full life, but fullness can be found in fewer relationships with deeper connections, in a couple of passionate pursuits versus 10 social engagements.

So, here we go with another year:

2018: Thrive (to grow or develop well or vigorously; prosper; flourish) – The word thrive actually came to me in October when I started thinking about the upcoming year. I don’t remember exactly how, but I knew I wanted a word that invoked some sort of “settled” sentiment while still promoting growth. Thrive was the perfect word. It fits so well in this stage of my life, where I’m building a new life, putting down new roots in all manners of ways, and still being adventurous with new explorations and experiences.

I decided to try out a vision board this year, and I’m doing it digitally on Pinterest. I’m such a visual person, that I thought it would be a great reminder for me to maintain some focus throughout the year. I don’t keep a lot of magazines or newspapers in my apartment, so the idea of spending a lot of money to have materials to tear up for a physical vision board seemed like a bad idea, so I decided to go green. I’m not exactly sure how it will interact with my blog or if it will at all. I may just keep it to myself. I haven’t really decided. But, I did want to mention that I am doing one.

I think 2018 will be a slower/quieter/simpler year for me than previous ones, as I’m focusing on some adulting things, and again, trying to build a new life. That being said, my breakout is below.

Develop well / peaceful existence

Carving out time for writing/reading:

  • Twice a month, go off-site for writing (maybe create a list of posts to write about – travels, topics on my mind, etc.)
  • Read, read, read (books, brain pickings, Medium, various articles, news, substance)


  • Consistency – no hard goals, no quantitative measurements. Simple consistency.

Meet-up’s / Relationships

  • Find 1 meet-up a month to attend (Salsa dancing, writing, book club, etc.)
  • And/or 1 poetry/art nights
  • Strive for 2 social engagements a month to develop new friendships


  • Relaxing physical care (bath bombs, mani/pedi, haircuts)
  • Read up on PTSD and working through trust issues

Flourish / Calling out what I really want


  • Be in one – This one is so tricky and I really went back and forth on even writing it down. It feels so…not allowed for a “strong, feminist woman”. But guess, what? I do want a relationship. Do I want to settle just to be in one? No, and I won’t. But, I want to be intentional, and I’m tired of pretending that casual dating is enough. It’s not. I’m tired of not being confident in stating what I want to the guys I go out with. I’m tired of being afraid of scaring them away. I am a great, great person, and if they’re scared of commitment, or my depth or my emotions or whatever, then they’re not for me and I just have to be OK with that. I have to walk away and wish them well knowing that I’m looking for something more. So, I’m just going to put it out there and stay focused and hope that I meet someone who’s ready for that same thing.


  • Figure out what I want to do and why I want to do it (the what is transactional and the why keeps you going, it’s the passion)
  • I really want a relaxed environment where I don’t have to be chained to a desk or dressed a certain way
  • Good teamwork/interacting/brainstorming /collaboration
  • Something I believe in (arts, non-profit, environmental, etc.)
  • Is there a networking group/event to join?
  • Is going back for my masters in arts administration the right move?
  • I want to find ways of helping people connect art with themselves. I’d like to be a champion for artists.

My travel plans this year are all kind of up in the air. I have a bunch of tentative plans, but not much in the way of set plans.

  • I’d like to make good use of my East Coast living situation this year with long-weekends domestically (New Orleans, Miami, Philadelphia-February booked, New York-tentative for September)
  • As for international trips, Berlin and Portugal are top two on my list, but I’m really unsure if I can swing them.
  • I also have several friends planning visits to Detroit, so that will take away from PTO for me to use which is completely OK.


  • I’ve changed up my expense tracking tool this year. Instead of using Mint like I’ve done for so long, I’ve decided to do a more manual spreadsheet process to force me to interact with my own finances more. Knowing that I’m going to need a new car this year has kind of forced me to stop acting like a kid and encouraged me to really be in charge of my finances.


  • I’d like to move into the city this year. I’ve had enough of the suburbs and while it will add to my commute, I don’t care. The city is where I’m happiest, the city is the whole reason I moved here. The town I live in just does not fit who I am and I need to get out.

My visualizing quote last year was so helpful and positive for me, that I wanted to create a quote to hold onto/visualize for what I hope things/I look/feel like at 12/31/2018. But as I’ve tried to come up with something, I’ve just sat and stared at the page. It’s not working this year like it did last year and I”m done trying to force it. Instead I’m just going to ramble a bit below and that will be that.

All I know about this year is that I want to be more rooted by the end of it. I feel like I continually jumped off cliffs in 2017, leaving me in a constant state of shifting ground and panic, and I need this year to be a restful year. A year to recharge, a year to grow. A year to lean in to simple pleasures and establish healthy routines. A year to live in the present moments. I have a handful of good friends that I’ve met and I’d like to invest good time into them, but aside from that, I’d also like to lean into doing more things alone, but in that aloneness, going out and doing things, not just staying in my apartment like a hermit. I’d like to feel more established, especially in my living situation, and I hope I’ll have a special person come along beside me during this journey.

As I write throughout the year, I believe the things I’ve listed in this post will develop further, that the picture will become clearer, and maybe, just maybe, it will be a damn good year. And that’s it, 2018 can begin.


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