Dear 2017... short reflection of lessons learned in the last 365 days

8:36 PM

Dear 2017,

There was good. There was bad. There were ups. There were downs; and as always there were many lessons learned. Originally I was all ready to plan a cute outfit, put some bold lipstick on and have a fun "2018" photoshoot to start out the new year with some fun, fresh content. However, after getting home from a day of work and returning from my daily visit with a loved one who is dying of stage four cancer, my heart decided otherwise.
 As someone with aspirations of becoming more "known" in the social media world and collaborating with more brands, I think it is essential to continue to share what is REAL. Life is not always butterflies and rainbows, and I have learned that more than ever in 2017.
As I sit and reflect on positives, negatives, and lessons learned in this past year. I decided to share a few that I know will stick with me and just may help you...

1. Be True To Yourself (Do you, boo boo)
There were so many obstacles, decisions, plans that came my way, and it was this year that I realized these decisions are my decisions, and are going to affect ME. I learned to stop doing what people want me to do, or making the decisions I think people want me to make, but instead to start doing things for myself. This meant distancing myself from certain individuals, surrounding myself even more with certain groups and individuals, opening my mind to different ideas, saying "no" to plans I did not feel like being a part of... all because I was being true to myself and doing what I wanted to do.

2. Don't Lose Focus (Keep ya eye on the prize)
This was extremely difficult, and I can't say I did as good as I wanted to... but I learned how important it is not to lose focus of my goal(s). Everyone has a dream. Whether it is or is not what you are doing now, we all have life goals for ourselves. While I am working full-time and trying to financially create a future for myself, I have other passions and goals that I am nowhere near reaching. It's very common to have a 9-5 that does not directly relate to what we truly want to be doing, or dreamed of doing. So in realizing this, I believe my passions and goals should be a side hustle that I work just as hard at. There were some weeks I was tired, or some weeks I just didn't feel like coming home and working on social media content, but those were also the weeks that I lost followers, lost ideas, and lost sight of what I want for myself down the line.  The minute we lose focus of our passions and end goal, the farther away our goals will seem.

3. Work hard Play hard (Treat YO'self!) 
Like many other recent college grads, each month there is the unavoidable and hefty student loan payments, car payments, and tons of other bills that I do not even want to think about so therefore am not going to type... and let's face it sometimes we just need a day to feel like the Queens/Kings we are! This past year, I learned it is ok, in fact is imperative, to take time each month to just treat myself. So many of us work so hard and forget to take the time to give ourselves a pat on the back. Some days it is okay to eat what we want, grab a nice bottle of wine, get our nails done, hair done, everything did :) just kidding! But seriously if you take at least one "me day" each month and just focus on doing a few things that make you happy, it goes a long way! I have watched loved ones suffer with mental illness this year, and am sadly watching a loved one slowly die... these instances are heartbreaking, but they have also taught me how important it is to make yourself happy, live with no regrets, and do the things you love while you can because you truly never know what day will be your last.  

As I reached the end of my third lesson, my boyfriend Facetimed me and wanted to see what I had written. When he saw all of the text on the screen, he commented "Sheesh! You wrote all of that? What if no one reads it?" It made me laugh because in writing this, the last thing I actually thought or cared about was how many readers this post will have. I blog and post because I love to. I write because it allows me to reflect and feel at ease. Whether it's one or one thousand readers, I share these experiences and feelings because I know there is someone out there that can relate.

So 2017,  thanks for the lessons learned. And to 2018, I'm ready for ya!

Yours Truly,

Kait xo

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