Monday, January 1, 2018

How I Found Myself in 2017

Happy New Year!
I hope everyone enjoyed their night, even if it was just staying home and setting goals/organizing & watching NYE tv (like me) or going out to a fun party in Baltimore or wherever you are reading this from!

This is probably going to be my most honest post yet. 

Looking back on 2017
Photo Cred: Brittany Collier

I've spoken on here before about how this year I finally feel like I am myself. 
It only took 30 years right?! 
But I do. 
For the first time in my life, I'm finally accepting who I am, and loving it! 
I won't say I've never had confidence.
 There were things that gave me confidence, like my hair being perfectly straightened, my spray tan, my blonde highlights (or that time I went completely platinum), my strength in getting through some VERY hard times, but mostly superficial confidence.
 I didn't have the confidence when I was my in my natural state of curly hair, pale skin, free spirit, and the list goes on. 

What are the holidays, if not for nostalgia?

There are things I've worked on in the past with my personality, to better myself. One was getting into fashion. I won't embarrass myself with a photo (pretty sure I got rid of several), but from the ages of about 7-13, my fashion sense was well....dismal. 
So, in order to fix this, I asked my parents if I could sign up for a magazine. I'm sure they were hoping for something more educational, but I picked my (soon to be) one true love, Vogue. I studied that magazine. I studied it like it was my part time job, and I learned about fashion, labels, style, everything. I was determined to have a fashion sense. 
I think it worked? I'll let you decide!

My mom is gorgeous, so there's that.
I also still have this red car, in my basement. 
It was my first car, what can I say?

The second thing that I actively worked on was being more adventurous, and by myself. 
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I was a shy child. Not shy around my friends, but shy in that I wouldn't do ANYTHING by myself, and if I did, I was in a state of panic the entire time. I wasn't good at making friends. I think I cried almost every single day my mom left me at kindergarten and most of first grade (shoutout to Harford Christian School- that has to be some kind of record right?). I'm pretty sure the teachers and teachers aids were not a fan of me. 

When I was in my senior year of college, I decided "I'm going to study in Europe". Did I know anyone else going? Nope. 
Did I have a panic attack when I arrived? Yep. 
But I stuck it out. 
Since then, I do many things by myself (well, with Ella too, except travel). I have no problem traveling alone. This past year in Mexico, I took surfing lessons alone, I went around the Cabo town alone, I made friends there, without speaking hardly any Spanish (at the time I knew hi, how are you, bathroom, beer, and I think that's it). 

Where I went surfing-
Costa Azul

What does this have to do with my biggest lesson for 2017?
I'm so glad that you asked. 

I feel like, throughout my life, I have traveled a long way to become who I am today.
I'm sure many people can say this.
This year, I decided to accept my physical appearance. 
Here's the change.

From this:
straight hair, fake tan, a preppier look, like I grew up

To this:

curly hair, natural "tan" (hey, I'm a redhead), 
a more boho style, and an overall sense of 
knowing exactly who I am, a new found plant lover, 
and a free spirit who wants to have fun. I've even
started meditating
 (several of my friends have told me the benefits- 
thanks Brittany for the app recommendation 
and Stacey for the benefits info!), 
and I can't explain to you how eye opening
it has been! (well I can if you want, just ask :) )
I've had several friends over the years who have been into it, 
and I'm finally seeing it for myself. 

But there's more....

Towards the end of the year, I started to discover some things while blogging. 
I love following different blogs for inspiration, for ideas on new things and places to try. 
However I found that I got too caught up in what everyone else was doing. 
I didn't realize it at first, it was slow. At first it was little things here and there that I started changing (oh man, my new found sense of self was starting to slip!) about myself. 
I started losing my new interests, style, and overall vibe. 
I started trying to be like everyone else, and I just realized it, probably LAST WEEK. 
It took longer than I would've liked. But it is what it is. 
I love Kim K (a bit too much), but I'm not trying to keep up with anyone. 

So my biggest lesson this year, is that I'm going to stay true to myself.
Followed by- I'm going to both blog and post whatever interests me. 
I didn't start this blog to get free things, or gain recognition for being someone that I am not. 
I started it to talk about things that I love, and my new sense of self. 

pura vida bracelets, my all time summer fav

Here's a little about me that will be coming out more and more in 2018:

  • I am a serious thrifter. I mean, I live for it. I also live for vintage 70's and boho styles. I have a thrift shop that I used to frequent, and I'm going back more and more now. Be on the lookout for styles that are out there, that I'm thrifting for less. 
  • Fitness: I became obsessed with beach/type fitness this year like SUP (oh hey Jen, I know you love going with me!). If I lived closer to some waves I'd probably be more into surfing. I LOVED surfing in Cabo this year. I will probably seek it out this summer. 
  • Healthy lifestyle: This is something that I struggle with (cheese is my vice and not in small amounts). I'm planning to get back into it this year, in order to stay healthy. It's a small known fact that I have a rare auto-immune disease so it's not a resolution, it's necessary for me to do. But more on that later this year. 
  • Plants: Oh my goodness I'm starting to really get into plants. I love them all. I mean I have favorites, but I'm learning so much. 
  • Travels: I am a traveler, I have been for years I just haven't had as much opportunity. In January I'll be going to Thailand (9 days), in April back to Toronto (a weekend), and in June (after graduation! 1-2 weeks), I will be going back to my second home- France! Thank goodness for credit card travel miles and school scholarships, because I'm not a baller. 
Despite her appearance, this is not her favorite thing to do, but I love it!

I hope that you find this helpful or motivational or inspiring or in some way useful. 
I think it's important to be yourself no matter what.
It makes a world of difference to your mentality and motivation every day.

A few things to look out for/avoid:

+ Getting caught up in social media and losing a sense of self. 
You know what social media needs? Less of what everyone else is doing and more of who YOU ARE as an individual! There's no one like you- am I right?!
+ People telling you that you have changed, and they don't think you are being authentic, even when you're now your most authentic self. It's about you babe, you DO YOU.
+ Others who try to say you need to change in some way, again, you do you.
+ Being caught up in negativity (towards yourself or others). I'm learning to let things go, it's helpful!

I find that my happiness depends on doing what is right for me, 
and being myself no matter what happens.
I also have a personal list of things I intend to work on this year to better myself in other ways. 
I love setting new goals for 2018, and can't wait to look back to see how much changes!

By the way, I also discovered my drink of choice
is whiskey.

Cheers to 2018!
I wish you all love, success, and happiness.


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