Last year, I commemorated the end of the year with a letter to myself (read here!) explaining what I had to look forward to and the lessons that I learned. I’m hoping to make it an annual tradition! Below is this year’s installment (**long post alert**)
Featured image captured by Michael Ellis Photos
2 blessed 2 be stressed
Haha remember when that was a thing? All jokes aside, I’m here to assure you that 2018 will be a year of extreme growth in all sense of the word.
In the beginning of 2018, you will still be uncertain about so many things. You are frustrated by the length of your healing process. There is absolutely nothing that you can do about this. My best advice is to stop stressing about what is out of your control. Your body will heal in due time, and you will come out of the experience a little traumatized, but definitely a lot stronger.
At this point, you are still a little uncertain about your blogging journey. You will wish that you had the strength to capitalize off of the Carly the Prepster post in November 2017, and you will be discouraged about the slow growth of your blog. 1. Your physical needs are more important than your analytics. 2. The experiences that you are exposed to, the people that you will meet, the excitement that you will feel are MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANALYTICS. But more on blogging later.
By far your greatest accomplishment this year will be that you will finally feel like you are growing into yourself. Yes, you are still sensitive to the thoughts of others and your willingness to people please will still be present. However, you will be feel more empowered to follow your bliss and above all, to protect your peace. Keep following your instinct to make yourself a priority and hopefully, you will begin to inspire others to do the same.
You have another exciting year of travel to look forward to. Your travel calendar will begin with a birthday trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras!! Which is a HUGE deal because you’ve wanted to attend a Mardi Gras all of your life and 2018 will finally be the year that you can. You enjoy the time with your family and friends. You will also get a kick out of wearing a Mardi Gras inspired flapper-esque dress!
Your next big trip will be your first visit to Chicago for SIOP. This will be your first test of solo traveling and it will be…quite an interesting travel experience. However, that won’t keep you down for long because you will be amazed by the accommodations (that were paid for!) and you will have to venture out to see Hamilton. Yes, HAMILTON!! The musical that you were obsessed with and will continue to be obsessed with even after seeing the play! SIOP and Chicago will be fun, but who are we kidding, Hamilton will def be the highlight.
You will also get the opportunity to head up to Philadelphia to attend the Positivity Charge Retreat. The invitation itself will blow you mind, but the retreat will challenge your ability to adapt to novel situations. The retreat will also challenge your beliefs about yourself and add fuel to your wellness journey. TPC and the founders behind it will become very important to you, so look forward to that ;).
School and Work
There will be so much excitement swirling around you that you will find it a little challenging to focus on your school work. You watch your bestie get her Master’s degree (go Kimmy!) and you long to just be done already. Keep going, you are almost there!
Though you may be a little distracted, you will have plenty of occasions to reflect on how thankful you for the opportunities that being an employee at your organization and a student has afforded you. Not only is your organization flexible, (school work is not a fun way to use vacation days, but how fortunate you are to have them) but without the pressure of your boss, you wouldn’t have entered the PTCMW Student Consulting Challenge. Spoiler alert: your team WINS! Sure, that was amazing, but it was even better to form friendships and find your footing within the I/O community. In addition, you will feel reassured about your I/O knowledge and your choice to complete online education.
Remember those feelings of doubt? You’ll still have them, but by the end of the year you will just be happy to continue to ride this train to whatever the destination is. You are not usually so open to not having everything planned. You’ve always been the type to have an end goal and charged towards it with carefully thought out steps. With blogging, you will begin to be presented with opportunities that you know you can’t turn down. You will feel it in your gut that though the endgame is not clear, there is something spectacular waiting for you. Again, I urge you to nurture your budding self-confidence and stay true to you.
Blogging will also bring some pretty great people into your life. You’ll cherish both the cyber relationships and the ones that blossomed into friendships. These new people will be a positive force in your life, some of them seeing the potential in you that you don’t even see yourself. Continue to foster these relationships; they make blogging a little easier.
Lastly, you’ll learn to be fearless in your blogging pursuits. You actually take a chance and approach people about potential collaborations. Attending events solo will begin to feel less daunting. You will reach out to brands (GASP), and more importantly, you’ll learn not to take rejection in these pursuits to seriously. Luckily, you’ll have enough “yes” moments to hold you over 😀
If 2017 was the year of injury, then 2018 was the year of STRENGTH. You defied your own limiting thoughts and began to rebuild with a vengeance. You completed over 100 spin classes (AH) and you built a routine that kept you in the gym regularly. Along the way, you became a part of an amazing workout crew that would make early morning workouts worth it. I am so proud of the work that you will put in throughout the year and I vow to continue proving to myself that I am strong and worthy of self-love.
It’s going to be another interesting year for relationships. On the romantic front, you can expect more of the same (haha). On the friendship front, you will love to experience some of your friendships deepening. On the other hand, you won’t sweat the ones that have slipped away (progress). In addition, you will be able to better manage your expectations and see people for what they really are. Listen to your gut. Not everyone has your best intentions, and not everyone is meant to hang around forever. Life circumstances will change, and as you change with it, you will begin to realize that it is ok to grow your own way.
Cierra, this message was just a taste of what you will experience this year. You will really embody the word “fearless” (your word of 2018) and use it embolden you to take risks and put yourself into new situations. Embrace it! Soon you will look back on the days when you were afraid to attend things alone and laugh. Keep doing the things that makes you a little uncomfortable. It will help you grow into the person that you want to be <3
If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Below are photographs of some of my favorite moments of 2018. I am so thankful for my Ambitious Fam and I look forward to a new year of content and memories with you all.