Thank you, next. 2018 is ending and I am amazed looking back at all that has transpired over the last twelve months. In the moment, it’s difficult to see how far you’ve come but when you think about everything that has happened, you realize how much you’ve actually grown. You are not the same person you were a year ago.
For me, 2018 was definitely a test, but not in a bad way. There were a lot of false beginnings, disappointments, anger and pain but I don’t regret a single moment. There are still so many things to celebrate amidst all of the plot twists that happened this year.
I published my second book, Blossom, a self-care journal, which is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I was interviewed on Miramar Live about my life as a full time student and author.
I was a guest speaker at a woman’s empowerment brunch
I started my very own podcast on my University campus.
I finally got by IBS under control after months and months of researching and trying different products, methods and doctors. (Tmi?)
I went through a breakup that was ultimately for the best.
I landed an internship at The Core Magazine, where I got the opportunity to co-create a magazine and expand my digital media skills.
I received another internship at Alikay Naturals, which gave me the best experience that I could have asked for.
And I finally graduated with my bachelor’s degree.
Graduating college was a huge moment for me. Four years came and went and I am not sure if it’s fully processed throughout my body that I am done with that chapter of my life. Graduating college finally meant that I would never have to go back to my dorm after breaks and holidays. Thank God! But I am forever grateful for this experience. They were right when they tell you that you can’t prepare for college. I, of course expected to graduate but what I wasn’t expecting were the life lessons, friendships, connections, life skills and confidence I gained along the way. I don’t regret a single moment.
The sacrifices I made were all worth it. The tears, the bouts of depression and anxiety, the sometimes unwillingness to do anything, the times when I was up at 4 in the morning, either working on a website, creating graphics, finishing creative projects, strategizing content for the podcast, or studying. I was always doing something. Always trying to create, improve, fix. The times when I had little help on my podcast and had to run the social media by myself, create graphics by myself, run home after work to upload the episodes to Soundcloud. I look back on these memories and shake my head because I don’t know how I managed to do it. All while maintaining a 3.4 gpa, holding a leadership position on campus, and working part-time.
But somehow, even with all of these accomplishments, I felt like it was not enough.
I mean, I authored two books in my college career and I yet, I still felt like I needed to do more. I tried to rid myself of this feeling, by working on my self-care workbook, so that I could keep myself busy. After I finished that, I really started focusing on web design and eventually landed my first client before even graduating. And still, I didn’t think it was enough. And I could not understand why. All of this and to still feel so unfulfilled.
Then I asked myself the question, “What do I have to do for it to be enough?” I heard a voice ask, “Why are you trying so hard to prove to others that you are worthy?“ It clicked. I wanted to prove that I am capable of doing the things I wanted without the help of anyone. I wanted to prove people wrong. That I can be successful. That I can make things happen for myself. I had an ‘Aha’ moment. I realized that no matter what I do, if I do not truly believe that I am deserving, nothing that I do will be good enough. I wasn’t taking time to celebrate my victories. I was comparing myself to other people and telling myself that I was not doing enough. I just moved on to the next project without stopping to give myself a pat on the back.
It became obvious to me that the person I was really trying to prove my worth to was myself. Because truthfully, we all need help. We are not meant to do this life thing alone. We need each other if we ever want to progress in life.
So, what have I learned?
In college, I re-learned how to be me. I learned how to speak with authority. I learned how to lead a team. I learned how to create a path when there was none. But, I could argue that I’ve always been like that. Determined to do it my own way. Determined to shine and to be great. Somehow I lost it along the way but this four-year experience helped me find my way back to me again.
This year, I’ve learned that I can never be off my path. I’ve learned that words mean nothing when there is no actions that follow. I’ve learned that worrying leads to nothing and that everything is happening exactly as it should be. I’ve learned the humility that comes with asking for help. And most importantly, I’ve learned the value of authenticity. When you are being who you truly are, the right people and opportunities will show up. 2018 was a wake up call for me to begin the life that I truly want and it all starts with me.
2019 will be a year of expansion. The year of setting boundaries and instilling discipline. The year of being true to myself. The year where I stop playing small. I am ready to take back my power and claim what is mine.