If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll already know that 2019 has been a year of extreme highs and downward-spiraling lows. And here I stand, nearing the finish line of my 39th year and reflecting on all the lessons life showed me this year. I'm bruised, battered, exhausted. But I'm also stronger, prouder and feeling TRULY like I'm living my BEST life right this very moment. I made it!
With the Winter Solstice right around the corner, I wanted to reflect, review, and even relive a few of those moments along the way in hopes that clearing this space - celebrating, learning and moving forward, will open up the doors for 2020 to be even better.
This year brought many accomplishments that I probably would have never guessed I'd live (or live through in all reality.)
I traveled truly solo for the first time in as long as I can remember.
I was invited to speak at a conference, as an expert in my field. I had the most wonderful feedback and have been invited to 2 next year to do the same thing.
I got really into weight lifting and hit many of the goals I set for myself. I learned to push through the negative self-talk and created a mantra "progress not perfection" (which, anyone that knows my Type-A personality understands what a struggle this is)
I completed my goal of 40 endurance races by my 40th birthday - an entire year early and with that finally decided to hang up my running shoes after 10 solid years of half marathons, 200-mile relays and 10K's. I still don't run 5K's and will go to my grave asserting that they're a waste of my time and money.
I posed in my skivvies. Alongside some really badass other females.
I hired the BEST business partner of all time. I think she likes me and I can't wait for what we can conquer together.
I successfully managed not one, not two, but THREE farmers markets - one of which had a mind-blowingly successful year - far surpassing any numbers I could have set for us. I brought one of those markets back from the grave, and likely put the other one into it. But I'm already in the works for a replacement!
I created a new Holiday Market and again, it's success (thanks to many involved) blew our minds.
I went to therapy with my mom, and together we apologized and let some serious shit go.
I traveled home to AK when I really, really needed to. (self-care became a thing this year for me...it's kind of amazing!)
I smashed some shit in a Rage Room for the first time.
And lastly...I lived through the not-fun-part of an emotional affair. Then, I worked hardest of all to save my marriage. This is not to throw my spouse under the bus, nor brag about how wonderful our relationship is - it's to reiterate that there are times in peoples' lives that you have NO idea what's going on under the surface. Even the ones you love most dearly. I lost sight of things amidst the chaos of life, and I'm damn proud to be back to a mindset where I can give my relationship the love and devotion it deserves.
All those things. All those lovely, meaningful, powerful things came with hard work, emotional turmoil and a lot of thoughts about giving the fuck up. In some cases, I got lucky. In others, I pushed through the pain, I smiled when I wanted to die inside. A lot of you have experienced parts of this journey with me. Many of you can pinpoint days where I was not myself. There were a lot of those days. I appreciate everyone that stood by me through thick and thin while I worked my shit out.
"Nevertheless, she persisted," is one of my favorite quotes. Along with "girl power," "lady boss," and "stay badass." A few of the more sassy ones I love are "don't tell me to smile," and "complex female character." Yeah, they're pretty gender-specific and that bothers some people. Not me. I've seen and I've experienced first hand how women handle heartache, pain, business and the like. So many strong women I know push through the hardest things, and very few are the wiser that she's going through hell in her journey. That's not to say there aren't strong men out there, but damn if we women don't know how to get shit done...even on the days where you can barely put your mascara on because of the tears.
So, sitting here on the other side of the heartaches endured this year, I'm celebrating the SHIT out of my life. I'm writing this in hopes that it inspires someone else to do the same. To shout from the rooftops all the incredible things you achieved this year, despite the odds.
Call it bitchy, call it proud, but the world could use a bit more confidence right now and I am A-ok with sharing the good shit. I've experienced first-hand what it's like to open up your heart and allow the universe to take over. I'm not usually a fan of letting shit go, and I'm especially NOT a fan of letting go of CONTROL.
Again, my hope is that by reflecting, reviewing and looking back to all the hard, tumultuous, brilliant, fanatical, heart-aching, fantastical things that happened this year, I'll open myself up for even more next year. I truly hope that those of you that read this are along for the ride, because we're going to be spreading positivity like fucking rainbows out there next year - through the good days, the bad days and the everything-in-between days.