The Saturday Series - Reflecting on a Crazy 2017

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Everyone says this, but it's really true - this year went by SO fast. For me, 2017 had a really special place in my heart and always will. This was the year I married the man I'd been dating for almost 10 years (10+ now!). We'd talked about marriage for SO long, and had been through so much as a couple together that finally tying the knot honestly meant everything to me. Not everything went the way I planned or thought it would, but as the saying goes, "make a plan and God will laugh at you" (that's not how the quote goes, but I can't remember how it goes and I've had a few glasses of wine so give me a break. 

I have had a few days off of work (blogging is not my full-time job), and I've had some time to reflect on some things and I wanted to list them below. Please note that these opinions are completely my own, so try to be respectful of them if you feel differently or wholeheartedly disagree! 

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So, let's get started! 

What was something I learned about life this year that really stood out to me? 

I recently saw a post on LinkedIn from someone I'm not connected to, but was a post liked by a colleague in my network that really resonated with me. The post was discussing this man's journey with cancer and what he learned this year. One part of what he said that really resonated to me was 'when your looks disappear, make sure you have something substantial to hold you together because you'll need it when faced with a difficult situation." That is profound to me and speaks to one thing I learned this year about life and my view on it. I have always been someone overly concerned about the vanities of life - how I look, how I come off to other people, the impression I leave on people, materialistic things, etc. Not to say that's ALL I care about, but I've always liked looking good, dressing up, etc. This year, I went through a few health issues that frustrated me to a point where I felt I was going to lose it.  It altered my self image physically and made me really question my life and livelihood. (I can't look like this, do I really look like this? Am I really not super skinny anymore?). It's sad. But it was my reality. I used to be on birth control and as part of my health journey this year I decided to go off of it (per my doctor) and one thing I realized was that I was no longer having moments of "I cannot go out of the house because I look like this" - which were happening to me frequently on birth control. I'd get SO concerned with how 'ugly' I felt that I would honestly not leave my house. I wouldn't have a reason for why I felt that way, I just felt horrible and depressed and would start balling and try on everything in my closet and still feel ugly.  The point of this bullet is that towards the end of this year, after months free of birth control and the hormones associated with it, I finally feel ME. I know I don't look the best I've ever looked (not even fucking close!), but I'm ok with it. I'm ok with realizing that something small you cannot change in that moment should not affect your outlook on who you are as a person and what value you bring to your relationships, and most importantly, to your self worth. That was a huge lesson I learned this year and one I'm still hoping will stick with me into 2018! 

Relationships worth working for, are worth working for. 

Have you heard I got married this year?! (Just kidding!) But one thing I was thinking about recently was that while I had a lot of people in my bridal party, I rarely asked anyone to be involved in the planning process of my wedding. While I value their relationships and love them dearly, I wish I would have asked my bridesmaids to be more involved in the process of my wedding, because it was a completely unique opportunity to bond in a way and experience we hadn't before - my wedding. That's one part of this bullet, but it also made me realize that while someone may mean the world to me, they may not have much to offer me - and I have to accept that and do with it what I will.  It did also help me to realize that there are a lot of relationships I have in my life that are worth fighting for and worth sharing how I feel.  I got in a few tiffs this year, ended them or repaired them amicably, and got SUPER close to some people I love and value dearly and hope to have in my life forever.  I find that women in particular, often have a serious fear of being vulnerable and complimenting other women, or telling them how they honestly feel. That is something I just don't have time to fake anymore! I want people to know how I feel, and I want people I care about to know that I value them and care about our relationship. I started being more open about this with people this year and it felt really damn good. It's something I think everyone should keep in mind going into 2018. If someone is in your life and you love them and want them to be there forever, you'll have to make sacrifices to keep them, you'll have to become vulnerable to let them know those things, and you'll have to occasionally inconvenience yourself to make someone else's experience better. 

Marriage is awesome and I cannot wait to move into our new home! 

I love my relationship with my husband (still so weird saying 'husband!') Because we had a little bit of an unconventional engagement and marriage period, I feel like we're in a 'test run' period right now that isn't REAL marriage yet, and won't feel like real marriage until we move into our own home. For those that don't know, we got engaged and about a month and a half later moved into my parents' home, planned our entire wedding from there (damn, that was tough!), got married, and are still living here (it's been 8+ months). So, safe to say, our journey from engaged to newlyweds is unusual. However, having said that, I love being married. Nothing really 'changed' in terms of our relationship when we got married, but it felt SO great. After being together for as long as we have, we kind of already felt married (in a good way), but now to have the rings, the photos to prove it, and everything - it just feels great. I can't wait to move into our first home together that we bought and earned, designed from top to bottom and will fill with love - to finally be ours and to start our own traditions and experiences as a newly married couple. 

Life is short, don't be afraid to be you, f*ck the haters

I get asked all the time when I see people I don't see often about 'how the blog is going' or something, yet those people BARELY ever interact with my posts, like my posts, or show me any actual 'support.' I know that they look at what I'm doing (and probably judge the hell out of me), but I don't want to let that fear stop me from doing what I want to do. I want to blog, I want to create meaningful content, and I want to keep doing this! It can be tough when you're super sensitive to not get engagement when you're trying to build this little world for yourself in the blogging sphere, but I kind of have to stop caring and just do me and hope people are supportive and follow along (and care what I have to say), etc. It won't be easy, but I finally feel comfortable enough with myself to not really care about what other people think about me trying to blog. I hope that those that do enjoy reading what I write and seeing my fashion posts like it - but I have realigned my thought process on why and who I do this for and truly, at the end of the day -I do it for me. I like writing, I love styling, and I enjoy interacting with people online who express interest in my content. So, thanks to everyone who HAS been totally supportive about it ! 

I have so much more to say, but this post is already lengthy, so thanks for reading this far!