Now that I’m ready to write again, I want to reflect on 2018.
2018 was hard for me. It started out rough & never really got better. Sure, there were some highs, but a lot of lows. I experienced a lot of heart break, sadness, loss, & change.
In January, just days after my 20th birthday, my grandfather died. It made me realize that life is short & to never take anything for granted, especially the people in your life. Love, forgive & cherish the time you have with your friends & family.
A lot of drama & pettiness filled my life with some of the people closest to me. I drew away from people that cared about me in fear of being let down like I already had. I learned a lot about friendship. It made me realize that life is too short to worry about what other people think & let them dictate your thoughts & actions. And that REAL friends will be supportive & respectful, while also wanting the very best for you. Cut out the toxic people, people!
Last year, my relationship struggled. Long distance finally got the best of us & our differences started to show. I fought so hard to keep the relationship alive, but felt like a failure whenever my attempts to save the relationship failed. I so badly wanted to “save” the relationship because we had been together for so long. We talked about our future together, made plans to move in together, have a family. I so desperately wanted it to work out because he was my best friend. I felt safe with him. He was home to me. He was my first love, my first everything & I didn’t want to give that up. I didn’t want to lose him, because I knew that meant losing everything else.
But I realized that I can’t save people, I can’t change people. I can’t have what isn’t mine to keep.
In July, I made the decision to break up with my boyfriend of 3 & 1/2 years. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do because I hate hurting people. The last thing I want to do is make people sad & upset. I’m such a people pleaser. (Leaving that in 2018). I felt like I was not only letting someone down, but letting down the one person I never thought I would hurt. My best friend & love.
Although it was hard, it made me realize that letting go is so much easier than holding on.
What followed was a lot of sadness. I had to get used to a new normal. A new life without my person. I had never felt more alone.
Seven months later & it’s still hard. But I’ve learned so much about myself & what I want & need.
I grew up a LOT in 2018.
I got a big girl job that I absolutely love. It has made me realize giving back is truly my passion & whatever I end up doing in life needs to involve helping others because that is where I feel joy & fulfillment.
I grew closer to new people & let myself be vulnerable & honest. I forgave people from my past that let me down, & I let them back in with caution.
I started reading more self-help books & rediscovering my love for words & their power to heal.
I traveled out of the country & saw some beautiful places. It reminded me how amazing our planet is & inspired me to do everything I can to make this earth a better place.
I got some big brand deals for my blog & watched my Instagram grow. I made some amazing Internet friends that made me so grateful for the blogging community. I also started a YouTube channel to highlight my travels, which I hope to be doing more of in 2019!! I realized that the Internet can be a really positive place, but it’s all about what you make it.
While 2018 was a year of sadness, let-downs, loss, & change, it was also a year of GROWTH. And I plan to take that into the new year with me & grow in every aspect of my life. (Except for height. I will be 5 foot nothing forever.)
And for those of you who are also experiencing a huge amount of sadness, change, hardship, whatever it may be, just know that you will get through it & you’ll be a better person because of it. It will take a long time to heal & you may never fully be the same, but everything happens for a reason.
In the wise words of Kylie Jenner, 2018 was “the year of just realizing stuff.”
Here’s to a better 2019.
Photo: Katie Blankenship Photography, @katie.blankenship.photography