Girl…you are in for the ride of your life.
I’m not sure if you realized just how much your life would change as you packed your things and left your mom’s house behind in December. Yes, you know that an exciting adventure is on the horizon, but not to the magnitude that I am about to reveal to you.
2017 started with your dedication to finding balance in your life. Honestly, some of it was out of fear. Fear of the uncertainty of actually having to be a functioning adult. One who had to pay rent, have a real job, and have full control over the aspects of her life. As someone who likes to feel like you have control over the future, you needed a way to control and learn how to adult. One way that you sought this out was by making monthly bucket lists. Every single month of 2017, you created a list and tackled its components. These components ranged from travel to financial challenges. Cooking skills to exercise. Life and everything that you believed would lead to success without sacrificing fun.
And you did it. You proved to yourself that you can be an adult. Along the way, you empowered yourself by doing things that you never did before. For example, your 24th birthday would be one of your most magical birthdays yet! You and Caroline would make the early car ride to New Jersey, crutches in tow, where Devi and her family would graciously host you. Why? Because you finally got tickets to see JIMMY FALLON, that’s why!! We both know how that went when you tried in 2016, but 2017 was the year that the dream came true. Not only that, but you would also see your first Broadway play: Kinky Boots. After the play (due to people occupying the handicap restroom) you summoned the courage to request a photo from the cast. I was so proud of you that day for taking a chance.
New York in February was just the beginning for you. You also travel to California for the first time. Then, you spontaneously book a trip to New Orleans, departing just 4 days after your return. As if that wasn’t enough of a whirlwind, you also got your wisdom teeth removed (finally) in that time between Los Angeles and New Orleans. Don’t worry, you won’t die…so it was totally worth it. In the two states, you spent time with family and searching for the best ice cream sandwich. You also went to not 1, but 2 music festivals AND enjoyed box seats for both. What a time to be alive.
Another first will occur right before your trip to California. Your first set of braids! You will feel like a completely different person (alter ego name included). One that is more confident and inspired to explore a hair journey…at least for a little while.
Guess who made the jump and enrolled in a Master’s program. YOU DID! Gone are the nights of Netflix binging, but you’ll be much better for it. Some days are going to be stressful. Some days you are totallyyyyy not going to manage your time the best way, but hey, balance. With the start of school, you recommitted yourself to making sure that your definition of balance was still being met. You will also realize that you are way more prepared for the coursework than you thought would be (shoutout to the alma mater!).
The primary reason that you were able to fund all of the above opportunities is because of your job. In 2017, you will experience what it is like to work in a “big girl” job. One that actually treats you like an adult and supports personal development. In addition, you will truly enjoy what you do and work in an environment where teamwork is encouraged. You actually miss your coworkers when you are gone, and that’s a great feeling.
GIRL. You are officially a blogger. Never in your wildest dreams did you imagine that you would have your own blog. Not only that, but you will have a great first few months! In your third month, you would work with your favorite blogger (CARLY AHHHHHHHH) and would be featured on Carly the Prepster. INSANE RIGHT!? You’ve only been reading her blog daily for years and she’s your idol. And she picked you!! Blogging will be a great experience for you. At times, you might feel discouraged or think that you are not experiencing as much growth as you should be. However, just keep celebrating the little victories and stay true to yourself. Things will work out.
This year will knock you down physically. More than once. Yet, this year will also teach you how to be strong. You will develop an exercise routine that you will genuinely enjoy (Spin class, anyone?). You will challenge your physical limitation and be pleased with the strength and stamina that you are developing. Hold on to that feeling. Carry it with you so that you have the will to restart when you are knocked down again at the end of the year.
2017 will give you all the mixed feels about the relationships in your life. On one hand, you will feel stronger bonds develop between some of your closest friends. Even with the long distance, you will appreciate all the time that you do spend together and feel growth in other aspects of your relationships. In addition, you will experience a new (renewed?) closeness with your sister. You secretly love it (but you will never admit it out loud).
However, there are some lessons that you will have to learn in 2017. The biggest and most difficult? Learning to let go. Let go of the people who don’t value your presence in their life. Let go of the people who constantly hurt you, yet you hold on to. Let go of those who don’t put in the effort. Let. Go. It will be hard, but you will finally grasp the idea that some people are just meant to be in your life for a season, not forever.
Cierra, this message was just a taste of what you will experience this year. If I could offer you any advice it would be to keep doing things that make you slightly uncomfortable. You will be surprised at how much support you have and the amount of people who are rooting for you to succeed.
P.S. Did I forget to mention that you JUMPED OUT OF AN AIRPLANE this year? You will kick yourself for not getting a cool picture of you skydiving…but the video of the experience will be great to look back on!
Thank you for reading this super personal post. In my December bucket list I mentioned that I wanted to find a way to reflect on the year. I also thought it would be nice to have something that I can look back on in the future. Thanks for the memories 2017!