Over the last two years I’ve taken some giant strides in a positive direction for my own personal growth and development, because the person I had turned into was not someone I could keep facing in the mirror. I grew tired and weary of her, and knew it was time to shed that constraining skin and start anew. By 2018, I found myself challenged with physically, mentally and spiritually understanding myself, and trying to continue to keep growing into a better me.

As this year draws to an end I find myself, as I am sure so many of you are doing, reflecting on what has passed.

I’m so happy with all that I’ve accomplished, which is such a change from how disappointing I’ve felt in the past. The biggest change, though, was not in anything around me, but in my ability to begin accepting the world around me and adjusting myself to my circumstances.

I grew tired of the negativity on social media, so I changed what I viewed.

I started liking more positive posts and putting myself in more positive groups. Little by little, my newsfeed and social circle changed.

I grew tired of feeling sluggish and being uncomfortable in my own body, so I started carving out time just for myself.

Whether it was a walk on my lunch break or a morning workout before the rest of the household rose, I made it work. Little by little, my energy increased and how I felt about my body became more positive.

I grew tired of feeling broke, having poor credit and not working towards a goal.

Little by little I learned about credit scores and how to improve mine. My husband and I committed to a budget and little by little our credit is improving and we are working our way into owning our dream home.

Maybe I have to get tired of something to change it, but isn’t that everyone? Why fix what isn’t broken? Well, I found what needed fixing and put myself to work. I’ve found accountability partners in all areas of life who helped me hit all these goals and more. I’ve learned to let myself answer to others and allow others to answer to me if we can truly help each other rise up to something better. We are a people of community, we need the support of others to rise together for something greater.

Oh! 2018 was full of big changes as well! My husband and I, together years prior, officially said our vows and became one.

I’ve started writing again, something I gave up long ago. Writing is helping me reclaim my identity and grow into who I was meant to be. I’ve started growing and learning social media, using it for good rather than to spread more negativity; to spread this message of hope and change that was so freely given to me.

I’ve started a makeup business.

I’ve started a YouTube channel with my husband and children.

Most importantly, I started to grow in my faith and work with others.

For me, if I get too focused on myself, I lose sight of what really matters, which is this wonderful life I share with so many others, from my family and friends to the mysterious and wonderful world around me. I am not the center of the universe, nor do I have to be.

I am a small part of a greater whole looking to help others become more comfortable in their own skins, shed what no longer fits and grow into the goodness that is this life.

Thank you 2018, for giving so gracefully and generously to me, for life gives us what we put into it. I am walking boldly into 2019 with the love and support to grow what I’ve started and to see what other adventures may lay ahead. My hopes for each of you are that 2018 ends well, and 2019 is full or richness and blessings.

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