A Look Back At 2017 March 24, 2018September 16, 2018 by jnomarie Wow, 2017. So much to be thankful for. Where do I even begin? So, I’ve finally had a chance to slow down and reflect on these past 12 months. And honestly, this one is going to take a while to come back from. I can’t tell if I’m feeling small right now or if my conception of life is too small to comprehend the giganticness of being. I met so many souls that changed my life and further grew my appreciation for this incredible world. There were incredible moments of pure joy, elation, and magic. There was also a hell of a lot of tears, confusion, heartbreak, chaos, disappointment, feeling lost, and failed plans. Indeed, this year has been an absolute whirlwind; every exceptional high has had its equal and opposing low, a roller coaster worth of ’em. There have been adventures of all sorts and crossing off of bucket list items, enough goodness to make my head spin. What have I learned? They say cats have nine lives, and humans have one. I was blessed with two. What most people wouldn’t guess is that I struggled with major experiences that nearly took my dreams, my passion, my whole being. And, the universe apparently had other plans for me and decided last-minute, by some lucky twist of fate, to keep me for a while. And here I am, choosing to celebrate it all wholeheartedly – the beautiful, the straight up ugly, the honest, the awe-inspiring, the love, the heartache, and everything in between that’s come to fruition in the past twelve months. I’ve gone crazy over things thinking they were meant to make my life whole. I’ve lost to countless night outs which pretty much gave me bad hangovers. I’ve taken dips which almost led me to drown due to unexpected full cramps. I’ve worked OTs and messed up at some points. I’ve been through shortcomings which had me stayed on the bed for days. But at the end of it all, I’ve made some unforgettable memories and met new people who I know will stay in my life forever. I’ve been to places which reminded me how small I am in this world and that changed my whole perspective in full turn. I’ve fallen deeper in love with my friends who stood by my side through ups and downs. I’ve met the person who shifted my world and is now keeping me up all night. I’ve climbed mountains, chased sunrises, planned crazy adventures and experienced the world over – or just had enough juice to see all the things through to completion, day in, day out. And all these are just a part of a chapter in the wonderfully weird thing that we call life. I’ve had a few people tell me how lucky I am to be able to go places and do so many things through the years. Honestly, luck has nothing to do with it, because I’ll tell you straight up that it all came down to choices, priorities, and compromises. I decided what I wanted, and I rearranged my life so that I could make it work. And yes, there were sacrifices, and it wasn’t always easy. That’s for damn sure. But you know, it’s accessible to everyone in some form or another, it really is. If there’s something you really wanna do, there’s always a way to do it. That’s seen. And if you have no idea where to start or how to do it and need someone to bounce crazy ideas off of, DM me! Hand over heart, I’d be happy to help any way I can. You have to know that perspective is a pretty incredible thing if you really think about it. You can turn bad to good in an instant, and start to see small miracles in things you thought were insignificant. Which is why every time I go, I learn a little more about who I am and who I want to become. But see, I may not be the strongest nor the greatest, but the thing with me is – I’m not afraid to look stupid trying. I’ll throw myself repeatedly at things, and when I fail, I’ll do it again, and again, until I get it. It may not be graceful, or effortless by any means, but I’m okay with winning dirty. Continuing to show up after every time I’ve bumped heads with my limitations. That’s the most I can really ask for. Truth is, you don’t need to be the best, but you do need to show up and back yourself, no matter how dumb you feel sometimes. And I hope you’ll do that too. At the end of the day, if the door ain’t open, go through the damn window. But find a way to do the things you think you cannot do. You owe it to yourself. It’s to set a solid foundation on which you can securely build your dreams, your passions, your goals. To have the mental stamina to see them all through. To be capable of loving your hardest in all aspects of your life – and to have the resilience to bounce back, mentally, physically, when you crumble (repeatedly, as we all do). Happiness is indeed a choice. Some days it’s handed to you on a silver platter and other days you have to fight like hell for it. It is ok to feel lost, disappointed, frustrated or stressed. We’re human beings, we feel and we over think everything. Just take those lessons, learn them and let them go. And if your life is in shambles and a cupcake or a funny meme makes your day, let it. Soak that shit up. Life is too short to pass up opportunities for happiness. If you master the skill of finding the beauty in disaster then you will always be able to find happiness. To me, there is nothing more attractive than kindness and sincere happiness. Spread that stuff like confetti. It will come back to you, I guarantee it. They say there are years that ask questions, and years that answer – 2017 was the former, most definitely. It’s been a year full of challenges and big questions, but a year full of falling more in love with the world and the people in it and I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Wrappin’ up this year with a neat little bow, signing off with a big thank you for the chaos, and.. 2018? We goin’ all in, always. I wished to leave this year with one goal – to have my mind blown as many times as possible. Well. Mission accomplished. Another 12 months have passed, and we ain’t even done yet. Here’s to life, and love, and adventures, and craziness, and everything in between. Let’s face this year head on. Relentlessly pursue passion and joy. Fight for what you want and believe in. Destroy your limits. Live vigorously, live out loud, live your life the way you imagined it. Find what it is that makes you contagiously and infectiously happy and hold onto it. You’re breathing, you’re alive, live like it. The 2018 adventure list is growing daily and I can’t quite shake the excitement for this new year to unfold and I’m in faith that this is going to be one of the bests. 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