*Your favorite Instagrams of 2017 above!
2017. Kind of a doozy, right? There is a lot going around the internet about how it was the worst year ever, and while a lot of them have a point (?) this post isn’t about that. Rather, I’m going to share about what my year was like, in hopes that we can all find some things to be grateful for from 2017. Then we can go ahead and bring those good vibes into 2018. Sound good? Good.
Now I won’t lie – this year was tough. For a good portion of it, I was overwhelmed, not sleeping much or well, throwing “balance” out the window… and those were the moments I felt like a fraud. How could I preach “self-care” when I wasn’t practicing it myself?! Then other insecurities would creep back in and it was a whole vicious cycle. Sure, I could focus on that aspect of 2017 and call it a day. Or… or I could focus on the fact that all of that hard work has been paying off. When I shift that mindset, I realize that I’ve accomplished SO much in just one short year. Let’s dig in.
Kicked off 2017 with a brand new site.
I was so freaking excited for this post to go live, and not just because it was a part of my Rent The Runway/Snowball collaboration ? I had been wanting to transfer to WordPress and re-do my site for too long, and I’m so glad I did!
I turned 30 in May.
Talk about a milestone! As I mentioned in my birthday post, I never had the freak out moment I was always expecting. Instead, I went to Mexico with Adam and then celebrated with my family/closest friends – and it was the BEST birthday week EVER. Sure, it’s weird to say that I’m 30 out loud sometimes, but I’m ready for this decade to be MUCH better than my 20’s. Let’s do this!
LSL collaborated with over 50 companies on sponsored content.
Pinch me! I remember when I first started and I wondered if anyone would ever want to work with me. Now I’m working with some of my favorite companies/brands. I mean really, PINCH ME.
I started doing more travel content.
Adam and I went to 7 weddings together this summer (and he went to one alone and we had to decline 2!). It made for a crazy schedule, but it was so much fun to explore new places with him. In addition, travel collaborations took me to Kansas City, Grand Rapids, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. I’m really hoping to add more of this content to my 2018 calendar – stay tuned!
I started speaking up more.
Whether it’s sharing some vulnerable thoughts on how to have a positive body image or acknowledging the upsetting political news this year, I’ve found that getting personal has encouraged more meaningful conversations with you guys. So, thank YOU for giving me the courage to write more openly and truthfully. And yes, that means more posts like 30 Things I Learned Before 30 and My Top 10 Blogging Tips are coming your way in 2018.
I did a few more TV appearances.
Coming from an Acting/Musical Theatre background, doing TV segments always makes me happy. It feels like a weird connection to my past, but in the way that makes me SO excited for the future.
Lake Shore Lady made double my marketing salary this year.
Lake Shore Lady is officially more lucrative than my day job. How AWESOME is that?! The “hustle” may have sucked sometimes, but taking on as many collaborations as I could handle, working late nights, and pushing myself has offically turned my hobby into a business. There’s no question about that anymore! I now feel confident about cutting back to a TRUE part time position at work, with the hopes of figuring out the insurance craziness and going full time with Lake Shore Lady in the not too distant future. SO EXCITING!
So, what are my goals for 2018?
Find more of a work/life balance.
Cutting back at work will help a lot, but I also need to actively decide that I’m allowed to take breaks. I feel guilty about slowing down, taking time off, having an unconventional work situation, etc. But the reality is I work just as hard, if not harder, than the people around me! Guilt doesn’t do any good and the long 7am-11:30pm days are not sustainable. I’m now in a position to find more of a balance, so I should.
Start teaching yoga again.
I definitely want to teach my Summer Series at the Loews Hotel again. Hopefully, I’m super inspired after that and make sure that the teaching continues!
Create better content that you guys love.
Absolutely nothing is more inspiring to me than connecting with you guys. I write down every suggestion and I’m hoping to really prioritize what YOU want to see in 2018.
I usually blame my disorganization on the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day… but if I find more of a work/life balance, that excuse goes out the window. I’ll let you know how I do with this challenge ?
Make my health a priority.
This is a resolution every year. Not because I fail at it every year, but because it’s important every year! I need to remind myself that taking the time to work out is not selfish, it’s good for me! This year also taught me that I need to listen to my OWN body. I definitely got caught up in the paleo/Whole30 craze – and it literally made me feel sick! Crazy! So, in 2018, I’m going to remember to listen to my own body, appreciate it for what it is, and give it what it needs. And not be so critical. It’s not perfect, and that’s okay!
Go to Italy.
I just gotta go. Adam and I are tentatively planning something for next Fall… crossing fingers we can make it happen!
Find something to be grateful for every day.
I was looking around at Christmas this year and I couldn’t help but think about how freaking lucky I am. It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy schedules, comparing ourselves to other people, or wishing we could do more or had more or were more. But what if we all took a moment every day to find at least ONE thing to be grateful for? Would that change the way we tackle each day? Would it change the way we interact with the people we love? I’ll report back ?
And last but not least…
For those of you who maybe really did have a crap year, or feel yourself stuck in a rut – I read a passage recently that struck me. (From Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker – LOVE her.) It made me think about the self-conscious chubby teenager I once was. The poor struggling 20 something actress I once was. The new-to-Chicago lost puppy I once was. Because I’m not that person anymore. I now have roots here in Chicago. I’ve found a relationship far better than any I’ve previously been in. I’ve turned my silly blog idea into a successful business. The little steps along the way might not seem like much, but as long as you’re moving forward, you’re making strides. Don’t discount those small moments. And don’t be afraid to change directions. You’ve got this.
You don’t have to be who you first were.
That early version of yourself, that season you were in, even the phase you are currently experiencing – it is all good or purposeful or at least useful and created a fuller, nuanced you and contributed to your life’s meaning, but you are not stuck in a category just because you were once branded that way. Just because something was does not mean it will always be.
Not only are you capable, you have full permission to move forward in strength and health.
And if you are prepared for a new, fresh season but others refuse to let you grow into it, sister, shake the dust from your feet and move on anyway. You may need to live a new story before others are willing to bless it. Let them see you laugh again, come back to life, dream new dreams, embrace healing. If you are still breathing, there is always tomorrow, and it can always be new.
You don’t have to be who you were.
So, what are your goals for 2018? Would love to know!
Happy New Year, my lovely friends! ?