At the end of each year, I like to take a time out to reflect. I think about everything I’ve accomplished the past year, the things that need to be worked on and most importantly, the lessons I’ve learned through it all. As a fairly private person, it’s interesting that I share my heart the way I do on here but blogging has a special way of connecting all of us by shared experiences, emotions and memories. Over time, I’ve come out of my shell little by little and opened up more and more about my life. Initially, I was afraid to open up, be vulnerable and potentially be judged by others for not being “perfect”… but I am so lucky to have such an accepting, loving and supportive community. I’ve realized that we’re all the same and that most people want to see the realness of a person and not the perfected version. It’s taken me nearly five years to get to this point but I’m so excited to continue to share more of myself in 2020. Read on for my 2019 Reflection and a few fun posts from the decade 😉
Eliza J Dress c/o | Eliza J Faux Fur Capelet (currently on sale!) | Vintage 1920s Handbag (similar – modern, vintage) | LC Lauren Conrad Heels (old – similar here) | J.Crew Headband (old – similar here) | Kate Spade Watch (old – exact here) | Angara Ring
Reflecting on 2019
If you’ve been a loyal reader of my blog for the past few years, then you know the personal struggles I’ve gone through in recent years. While it can certainly look like rainbows and sunshine at times, it isn’t always. 2018 was a very hard year for me but it was the beginning of an amazing journey of self-discovery. I grieved the loss of my family after having to make the hard decision to cut them off after being emotionally and mentally abused for years. I developed health issues and couldn’t figure out what was causing them. I became burnt out working 18+ hour days between two businesses and a full-time job. I felt so lost, alone and wanted so badly to feel like my sunshine-y self again. In 2019, I was proactive in working on myself and I overcame everything that had held me back before.
What Went Well This Year
It seems that with this blog, every year is better than the last and 2019 definitely did not disappoint. I came to terms with my decision to cut off my family and healed myself completely. After many tests, I was diagnosed with multiple food intolerances, which happened to be the cause of all of my symptoms. I started focusing more on myself and less on my work. This really was a big year for me in terms of personal growth… perhaps my biggest yet.
The biggest change that happened in 2019 was my decision to take the biggest risk of all… to pursue my blog full-time and to retire from teaching guitar, my business of 14 years. This was not an easy decision by any means as I went back and forth about it for over a year. I got sign after sign after sign and tried to deny that this was the best decision because I really did love teaching BUT it no longer served a purpose in my life and it was difficult coming to that realization. It just didn’t make sense anymore and it came to a point where I needed to choose.
You see, this is not “just a blog” for me. Starting this blog was honestly my last chance to fulfill my fashion dream. I went through SO many obstacles and SO many hardships to get here….things that most people would’ve given up after. And if you’ve read my story then you know that some of my biggest virtues have been patience, persistence and resilience. For me to go through what I’ve gone through and to FINALLY get to the point where I’m able to truly live out my dream, it seems like a no-brainer. But when you have to give up one dream to pursue another, things become more difficult.
I went to Puerto Vallarta shortly after I announced my retirement and this was definitely one of the most life-changing trips I’ve ever had. I was still emotional over my decision but it showed me that I am exactly where I need to be. Looking back, every single obstacle and decision has led up to this point and life is too short to not take advantage of that. What’s the point of working so hard for something to throw it away out of fear? I truly feel that this is my purpose and that I was given a platform to help and inspire others with my story.
What Needs to Be Worked On
After cutting off my family, I felt like the blinders started to come off. I started to see that there are not a lot of genuine people out there. Before, I was a little too trusting of people and their intentions. I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings so I always said “yes” even if that meant that I never got anything in return…. not even a thank you. I realized that I always was the one giving to others….giving advice, giving time, giving resources, giving knowledge and honestly, it’s my own fault. I have always felt that my bigger purpose was to help others and this is something that I truly enjoy doing without expecting anything at all. However, there are A LOT of people out there that just want to take advantage and it’s draining and hurtful. It’s tends to be one-sided most of the time and for a lot of my relationships, it has been for many years. It seems that people only come to me when they want something and I’m just not okay with that. Moving forward, I realize that I have to stop giving so much to relationships that are one-sided because each time I do it I give away a little too much of myself and I can’t get that back. I need to prioritize myself instead of everyone else – lesson learned.
What Did This Year Teach Me
This year taught me a lot of things but mostly, that everything happens for a reason. Everything works out the way it’s supposed to, even if it’s not the way that we had envisioned or planned for it to. Looking back on some the hardest times of my life, I can see that things were being set up for a better future. There’s always a lesson to be learned from any situation …you can let it hold you back or you can grow from it. And no matter how painful and upsetting, I choose to use it as a learning experience, to grow as a person and to propel myself forward.
Just before the turn of the new year, I received some unsettling news. A very large scale secret project that I had been working on for the majority of the year, my very own vintage-inspired beauty line, was pulled… without warning. I put my heart, soul and SO much time into designing and creating it and wasn’t even given so much as an explanation. I was devastated to say the least. This would have been life-changing for me in so any ways and just like that… it was gone. I thought that FINALLY, everything that I had worked so hard for over the years was finally going to come to fruition, but God had other plans… and I’m okay with that because I trust that it will turn out even better. This kind of thing has happened to me so many times before and it always works out in the most unexpected and incredible ways. I know this will too and as much as it hurts, I have faith that there is a very good reason for this and that someday it will be a blessing.
I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I think I am and that I don’t give myself enough credit for my talents. I’ve struggled so much in the past comparing myself with others and feeling like I was unworthy… until I changed my mindset. I have a specific set of skills and talents for a reason. I am in this industry and able to do this for a reason. I struggled for years trying to figure out how I could possibly use my fashion to help others on a deeper level.. to really change the lives of others in a positive way… when all this time, it was sitting in front of my face. I’m living it and I’m doing it. I found my worth and realized it that it was there all along. Believing in yourself.. I mean, truly believing in yourself is so powerful. If you really want something, you can make it happen no matter what obstacle is thrown at you. I just think that a lot of people give up when it gets hard and that makes me so incredibly sad. If I were to give a piece of advice to someone, it would be to not give up on the thing you love the most. Just keep trying… take a different route, try something new but just don’t give up. <3
Decade in Review
Here’s a quick recap of my decade… just for funzies 😉