I haven’t written “end of the year” posts much. But I felt inclined this year because well, 2017 has been a tough one. Not just tough, as there have been many great triumphs as well, but the emotional and sometimes even physical burdens we’ve endured collectively has been a lot. And the best way I have always found to cope is through community and sharing.
I’ll start with some of the amazing things that happened.
- I had an amazing birthday trip to Las Vegas. My husband totally surprised me and it was one of the best experiences of my life from helicopter rides to visiting the Grand Canyon.
- I kicked off my literary magazine Permission to Write to a great response and a team full of intelligent, driven women who are crazy enough to want to give their time and talent to help me execute this vision quarterly.
- My business turned a profit more months than ever before. There were LOSSES too. But hey, that’s the name of the game. It’s been great to see that progress.
- I did a collaboration with Mary Lou in New York and stumbled upon an awesome event in Writing & Yoga that I hope to bring back in 2018 in new cities.
- I hosted The Writer’s Muse in DC for the first time and got some much-needed footage.
- I spent quality time with friends and family and loved on folks and had some brand new experiences like getting on a HUGE roller coaster at Cedar Park.
- I realized that there is nothing that I need to chase, I just have to rise to meet everything that is already meant for me. For an anxious, crazy person like myself, this has totally changed my perspective. I don’t want to hustle and grind. I just want to do the work and I know that I will get to where I need to be.
Just a fraction of some of the highs that I’ve experienced. But I think the most important lessons came from the moments when I literally felt like quitting. When I struggled with my confidence and when I literally felt so overwhelmed that I finally made an appointment with a therapist. These were the things that I think have truly grown me more so that all the wonderful things, which I know can sound bad, but it’s not. The pain, the hard times, those are the things that refine us and teach us how to attack life with so much more vigor when we finally get back into the swing of things. So what were some of those lessons?
CLICK TO TWEET /// The most important lessons came from the moments when I literally felt like quitting.
After traveling to Chicago for work and being completely unable to work on my own business, I realized just how much I had on my plate. After getting back, it felt like I couldn’t catch up. It felt like I was so behind on everything and I couldn’t figure out how it happened. I was drowning and I didn’t think I would ever get back to the surface.
I spent MOST of the year worrying about a house. From the start of us going to a housing workshop to counseling to ditching the counseling because they sucked to putting an offer on a house that we lost to biting our nails up until the closing of the new house, it has been OVER a year. Just trying to buy a freaking house. They talk about millennials and why we don’t buy homes and outside of the fact that we don’t have money, the housing process SUCKS. It’s not just about the money. The process after the housing bust of 2008 has made it an insane process and I can’t tell you how much anxiety and stress the process caused me. I’m not even sure I’ve had a sound night of sleep within the last few months.
Being completely stressed and overwhelmed, I’m sure I had what could be considered a mild mental break, complete with crying my eyes out and yelling that there’s “no one to help me,” at my husband, I decided that just journaling wasn’t going to do it. So I sat on a therapist’s couch and let some things out. Just that one session helped me. I was putting way too much pressure on myself and that manifested in everything from the housing search to keeping my side business afloat. I want to go back and do a lot more work. But the initial therapist I saw is moving. Womp Womp. So one of my projects for the first quarter is to do some research for a new one.
I felt defeated and I wanted to give up. You get this idea in your head of what you want your life to be. And we all know that process doesn’t quite add up. Most often, we are somewhere and we are working to be somewhere else. Some things have taken a lot longer than I would have liked. I mean, yeah, I thought we would be in a house months ago. I thought my business would be a lot more poppin and I would have sold a lot more books. But it has been a slow burn, my friend. And in my heart, I got defeated. I felt like what is even the point of any of this? I should just work my job and be happy and go on about my life instead of trying to do this impactful work that I love and hope to do full-time at some point. But I had people in my life that asked me, “where is your faith?” And I broke down crying again. Where was my faith that God is indeed working on my behalf? Knowing that my life is unfolding and that where I am is not where I will always be. It gets HARD. Really hard sometimes. And that is how this year has felt for me. But I had to restore my faith that delayed does not mean denied. Sometimes God is hiding things for you, not from you. Stay the course. In the new year, I’m deciding to love Ashley as who she is in the moment and not the 2.0 version of her in the made-up future.
Everyone didn’t glow up quite like Cardi in 2017. But it’s still been a solid year. Lots of lessons, lots of love. But I will say that I am glad that it’s almost over. That I can at least believe that 2018 will be better. Sure our government is a wreck and new sexual assault cases are popping up each day, but I have to believe that it gets brighter. That’s just how I am wired. I will not spend the rest of my life worrying about whether it’s the end. I’d rather live every day to its fullest.
CLICK TO TWEET /// I will not spend the rest of my life worrying about whether it's the end. I'd rather live every day to its fullest.
The plan is to find my confidence again. To continue to push the limits of my comfort zone. To see more places. To focus. This year was also a year of finding my way back. There were things that I was chasing that weren’t my own. And I am back to the root of it. Writing and helping others write. Dassit. Doing it my way and not anyone else’s.
I’m hopeful. My first quarter goals are to release the next issue of Permission to Write. To launch the blog portion of that site. You can read more about that HERE. To re-launch my “In Bloom” study and to continue my “Dear Love Letters” campaign in February. All the while pitching and continuing to develop a fiction story that I am working on.
I just want to write more. There are so many half written ideas or pitches that were looked over, that I need to refine and put out there. So, I’m looking forward to a much-needed break from the ole ball and chain of my 9 to 5 during the holidays. LOL. Settling into my new home and writing beautiful words that I look forward to sharing with all of you.
I pray that 2018 is your Cardi B year. Let me know what have been your most important lessons of the year, either in the comments below or shoot me a tweet!