2018: A Resilient Year
As the saying goes, we cannot begin to move forward until we’ve taken a good hard look back at what’s been.
Very early into 2018 I took the largest leap of my life to date when I left my day job and fully stepped into creative entrepreneurship. I’ve written about this impromptu shakeup with PIVOT: A Tale of Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur so do set aside some time to catch yourself up if you have yet to read through the series of six posts.
The crux of the matter of Part Two of the PIVOT series, fittingly named Resilience, speaks to my ability to bounce back and how crucial an attribute this is when living a life that doesn’t conform to the norm.
Looking back at the span of the past twelve months, resilience has been as much an underlying theme as courage for me. Truthfully, these two go hand in hand since courage often accompanies us when we step outside our comfort zones and put ourselves out there for all the world to see and then our resilience carries us through the unsolicited feedback, judgements, and opinions.
If we wish to continue down the more courageous path feeling unapologetically aligned with our choices, then we must continue to expand our resilience.
And when we make the conscious effort to carry on in our paths, transition—and all the emotions it can bring with it—beckons. Transition and change are parts of this journey whether we admit it or not, but these shifts don’t always have to feel like the end of the world as you knew it.
If transition is simply the progression from one place (physical or otherwise) to another, then resilience must have a role in this movement otherwise you’ll end up changing all aspects of your life to match those belonging to someone else. Again, the two play off each other and when used in conjunction with one another, set us up for continued courageous living.
And finally, why do we continue to expand and employ our resilience if for no other reason than devotion?
To be able to overcome in the beginning can easily be chalked up to our innate fight-or-flight spirit. To continue to come up against roadblocks, however, will require more than your knowledge or mere capability.
We’ve each got that one thing. Maybe it’s an idea you’ve had for years now that is begging you to once and for all put up or shut up. Or maybe it’s a craft that you’ve let slip because #life. Whatever it is, the responsibility belongs to no one other than yourself to find the thing, allow your enthusiasm to take over, and commit to the work. You’ll find the obstacles and challenges easier to overcome when you’re devoted to something much bigger than the mountain in front of you.
In every sense of the word, 2018 was a resilient year for me.
Since transition looms this time of year, what better time to take a look back at the year coming to a close as we gear up to welcome a new chapter titled, “2019.”
I’m a proponent of year-end roundups of the good, not-so-good, lessons, etc. if for no other reason than to remember everything worth celebrating. All too often we find ourselves wanting to keep going and do, do, doing all the while forgetting to give ourselves credit for the progress we’ve made.
The way I see it, a wrap-up of this kind can be boiled down to four main categories:
RECOGNITION of everything that’s been accomplished, created, experienced, and seen
CELEBRATION for said items and events
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH from the obstacles and mistakes, to the lessons learned and the wisdom earned
COMMITMENT TO THE WORK in the form of something to remind you to courageously take action
I shared a lot of what’s happened over these past twelve months in the latest installment of PIVOT: A Tale of Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur so below you will find the single thing I am most proud of, the biggest setback and subsequent lesson from this year, and one thing I am willing and ready to shed.
What I am most proud of from 2018 is my relationship with my boyfriend. I know, sappy and cliché but it’s actually a twofer.
Relationships require work and it has been a journey in and of itself for me to feel safe to be seen exactly as I am. In arriving at this perspective, I also realized that I need to learn to accept myself fully and wholly and not put that expectation or responsibility on my significant other. So my relationship with my man has both opened my eyes to and improved my relationship with myself.
And then there was the setback that came as a result after allowing myself to get carried away with alcohol which gave way for devastating thoughts and ultimately put our relationship at risk.
From the end of September through October there was a series of unfortunate events I couldn’t seem to shake. Everything from very low funds with no income in sight, to my car falling apart while driving, to ongoing emotional turmoil with my family, and then some. There was a lot going on in a short amount of time and I couldn’t see a way out for myself so it all came to a head one fine Sunday.
The lesson here? Well, there are a few. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have an addictive personality but I have relied on alcohol in the past so I decided to be sober for a length of time as I tried to put my head back on without wanting to run away or escape my temporary reality. Gaining this awareness that alcohol isn’t the best choice for me when I’ve got a lot going on didn’t come easy, but it is knowledge I will carry with me moving forward. And the hardest lesson to learn when you’ve got both feet firmly planted in the shit is that it’s all only temporary.
This year has been a doozy. Here I stand coming out the other side of 2018 after feeling every inch of the highs and giving the lows hell.
There are clothes and other material possessions I will let go of and, more importantly, it’s time to part ways with the disempowering mindset that has me believing that I am not enough.
Here is what I will be carrying with me as we enter 2019: