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The Hardest Year of My Life. Here’s What I Learned

December 26, 2017

Girl in a silhoutte with a sunset in the background

At the beginning of 2017, Daniel and I were working on establishing our life together. We had gotten a realtor to start looking for homes, we were planning our wedding in October, and had discussed being pregnant with our first child by this last November… If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ve probably gathered that none of that is happening anymore, and that our sights have set on a venture much more ambitious. Between career changes, family fall-outs, and battling depression, this year shed light on what really mattered to us. It taught us the vital skills that we’ve needed to carry us into the future.

The Unexpected Will Happen

If somebody told me at the beginning of this year that I was going to be selling all of my stuff and traveling the world, I would have told them they are crazy! I had to evolve, and change my perspective on the world. The safe option wasn’t really as safe as I thought.

Point is, the unexpected will happen to you and it’s just a matter of what and when. As much as it might suck in the moment, never throw in the towel. Everything in life is temporary; the good and the bad.

You Need to Build the Life You Want

You could spend all day dreaming about what you want out of life, but fact of the matter is that it’s not going to fall on your lap while you’re sitting at your work desk. Daniel and I talked about wanting to travel the world for years, but our actions were doing all of the opposite. We did what we thought we were supposed to do, and not what we wanted to do. If you want to accomplish something, you need to at least walk in the direction you want to go. Which brings me to my next point…

Life is too short to stay comfortable

Comfort is a dangerous thing. It keeps us working jobs we don’t like, in bad relationships, and circumstances that are not in line with our true passions. I was ready to stay in a job that made me feel like less of a person, just because I was there for 3 years and was good at it. What good is comfort if you are not truly *living* your life? Life if too short to be running through the motions. You need to live life consciously, and deliberately.

Read, and Read Often

I credit a lot of my growth this year to books I’ve read in the hopes of pulling me out of the darkness I felt. They kept me engaged, motivated, and with my goals constantly in sight. I felt like I had control of my life again. A great book that helped me regain my strength is On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life. The fact the John O’Leary was able to succeed even after surviving the fire that burned him from head to toe, encouraged me. If he could do it, I could do it, too.

Change Hurts, but is so Necessary

From the career switch, moving in with my in-laws, and even selling our stuff, it all was painful. Even though it ultimately led to where we are now, that journey was far from fun, but it’s what made us grow and turned us into the ambitious people we are today. Bare the transition. Recover from the pain. But know it will make you appreciate who you are on the other side. You will be wiser, more mature, and more focused on the person you want to be, instead of the person you were.

Year in Summary

It sucked, it was painful, and it was necessary. I had the worst day of my life, and the happiest day of my life. I’ve felt my weakest and experienced my strongest. I’ve matured. More than anything, I made a conscious decision to fight for my own life. To live deliberately, and with purpose. Every experience, every heartbreak, every disappointment led me to the person that I am right now, and for that I will be forever grateful.

If you’ve had a bad year, I feel for you and wish you peace. May the new year bring you wisdom, love, and success!

 

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