If I started this post saying “new year, new me” I would expect that anyone reading would immediately close out and unfollow me forever – for that I could not blame you. However, there is something to be said for the fresh start that a new year brings. We count our lives in days, some of us in hours, some of us in minutes, but all of us in years (cue the RENT soundtrack.) “2017 wasn’t my year” yeah? Me either in some cases.
In 2017 I worked three different jobs and was unemployed twice – one by choice and another because of budget cuts by the DOE. I spent the first three months of the year in tears almost daily because I was working a job that was toxic in every sense of the word from 8am-5pm. When I got home I would cry and eat and cry and eat – because sometimes my relationship with food isn’t that healthy.
I started a political relations job that I loved, but after a month didn’t have anymore.
I was broke, frustrated and bored. Then a highlight happened – I started blogging regularly. It gave me an outlet and a purpose which I craved so badly and openly. So, I began to share my life with the world, which had its highlights and it’s “oh my god, this will never grow, how do I get people to interact with GOODNESS and not just outfits or recipes?”
Back to the employment part of 2017: I finally decided to jump head first into a dream that God had placed on my heart about a year before. I went through getting signed up for a certification program, interviewed at a high school the day after I had applied and got the job on the spot. I was now Del Valle High School’s new Business teacher.
Finally!! Cash. Flow. Praise God. What I didn’t realize was that while I learned to teach and manage 36 fourteen-year-old’s in one class period, I would lose focus on the other parts of my life that deserved more kindness than I gave them. While I was unemployed cooking and going to the gym were SO EASY. Then I started teaching and, well, let’s just say my pants are tighter than I would like them to be.
Regardless of how many fingers I can fit between my tummy and the denim, or how many chicken strips I’ve had in the last month, teaching, with all of its stress, was the right move. I work tirelessly to bring soft skills and belief into a room full of 14-18 year old’s who’s background is generally not like mine. As frustrating as my students can be, especially when they’re arguing with me about “who’s more broke”, they hold a big piece of my heart.
Off of the soap box…
2017 was cumulatively a rollercoaster that I’m not sure I ever actually stood in line for, threw up on a few loops, but felt weightless on the free fall.
Now we are so close to entering into 2018 and I am ENGAGED to the man who still opens my car door and always shows up. He is never absent in my life, the hardest worker I know and somehow puts up with me even though I am an absolute control freak.
I traveled all over the West Coast with this man this year. He loves “over the moon in a new place” Lauren and “we’ve been walking for hours feed me now” Lauren – which makes traveling with me, and enjoying it, seem somewhat miraculous. We watched seals cuddle. The rain fall outside the window of coffee shops. Had champagne overlooking skylines. Walked blocks and blocks to avoid another Uber ride. Took nap after nap after nap. Tasted the most incredible wines. Hiked mountains. It was a year to remember.
Joshua is kind, humble and extremely gentle-hearted. We’re engaged… Wow. What a fantastic way to bring 2017 to a close!
Like I said in the beginning, I won’t say “new year, new me” but I do have a few aspirations for what’s to come.
1. Live more kindly with myself and my body – treating yourself sometimes means “don’t eat all of your fries and hurt later.”
2. Be more present – I spend so much time planning for what’s to come that I regularly forget to look at what is already here
3. Create more content – I love to share my life and my heart! Even with a busy schedule I can take the time to open up more than just on Instagram. I am a writer by nature and have forgotten that over learning how to be an adult. I’d like to take more time to express myself. If I haven’t published a memoir by 40 then go ahead and tell me to go where the sun doesn’t shine (no but really, encouragement is key.)
4. Spend the next year preparing my heart and creating habits out of my actions to be a wife, spiritual partner, life giver and friend.
5. Travel – this year we went to San Diego, Portland and Seattle. 2018 already has a trip planned for March and a wedding planned for December, so we’ll see where the year takes us!
I’ve loved this year for what it was, and even for what it wasn’t. If you need me before 2018 you can most likely find me in a coffee shop, hand-in-hand with Joshua, reliving the last 365 days.
May the fresh breath of a new year wash over you and give you the chance to continue to grow.