Sayonara Twenty Seventeen
Good evening champions, it's a chilly day in LA and this peach is ready to return to her home state. I won't lie, I've still got a bit of anxiety when it comes to flying. I know it's ironic because I love to travel, but it's still valid.
Anyways, I thought I'd take this time (as I work my final wedding of the year) to reflect on 2017 in all its misery/glory.
- Gratitude. A word so simple yet so powerful. I am grateful for the opportunity to live in Los Angeles and chase my dreams. I am grateful for my breath and my health. I am grateful for love, beauty and kindness. I am grateful for my friends and family. I am grateful for life and mother nature. I am grateful for poetry and literature. I am grateful for everyone who has believed in me and my passion project.
- I launched Phenomenal Women, a passion project dedicated to telling the stories of strong, exquisite women via personal essays and curated interviews. Phenomenal Women originally launched post-election alongside another series called Our Voice. Each project had its own focus, but ultimately both were created to tell stories and help voices be heard. I allowed the project to dwindle, yet the idea stuck around in my head until one day, I reached out to a handful of women asking if they'd like to join my project. Much to my surprise, each said yes and I re-launched Phenomenal Women the last week of October. I am currently working on a website and recently created an Instagram. I look forward to all the magic I will create with some of most badass ladies.
- I called myself a writer and truly believed it. Backstory: I've been writing since I was twelve. It's my first love. So, thank you BUNCH Magazine, Anna Linder, Thought Catalog, Katie Thirks and Citizine for believing in my writing. You have each helped me grow as a writer and I am forever grateful.
- I fell in love with myself, which has been one of my greatest accomplishments. To be transparent, I struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia for 6 - 7 years. I haven't stepped on a scale in 11 months (since my last doctor's appointment) and it's liberating. I don't spend hours pinching and pulling at my skin/fat. I don't avoid situations that require bathing suits or dinners where I'm afraid to eat. I exercise because I want to, not because it gives me permission to eat guilt-free. For the first time in what feels like forever, I am happy and confident. I won't lie though, there are moments when my confidence waivers and I feel like I'll fall back in. I'm not perfect, I'm human. So, yeah, it's okay to not always be strong.
- I found my voice. Not only in writing, but in life... if that makes sense. I learned to say no and to ask for what I want/deserve. I got the confidence to speak my mind, especially in situations that require voicing an opposite opinion. In an odd way, I regained a sense of self worth.
- I fell in love, which is wildly amazing and utterly terrifying.
- I biked through the streets of Paris and reveled in art at The Louvre. I ate waffles in Brussels and visited Mini Europe (the greatest place on Earth). I saw two of my favorite humans renew their vows in Krabi and rode a motorbike through Bangkok. I met my family in Hawaii to celebrate my parent's 30th anniversary. I drove to Big Sur for the first time and spent weekend after weekend camping out in Joshua Tree. I cruised through the Angeles Crest Forest and found serenity among the trees. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to travel and to learn about different cultures. I look forward to checking off more places in 2018.
- Los Angeles slowly started to feel like home, which warms my heart much more than I think anyone realizes. I am grateful to everyone who has shown me kindness in this city. I appreciate all of you!
There are definitely more bullet points to be added, but I thought I'd stick with the most important. 2017, as rough as it felt, had its fair share of remarkable moments. So, bring it 2018 because I'm ready.
Wishing you all a happy holidays and as always, keep on keepin' on!