Wow! Does anyone else feel like 2019 flew by? This past year was nothing short of challenging, exciting, frustrating and empowering. 2019 not only tried my patience, but it challenged me to stand up for my beliefs, be true to my vision, the legacy I want to leave and my journey. I’m not one to get all mushy – wait, what am I saying? Yes, I am – but I do want to share some reflection on my year. In reflecting, we learn. When we learn, we grow. Here’s to learning from 2019 and growing in 2020!
First Thing’s First
I want to “thank you,” my community. Thank you for sharing with me in this crazy journey called life. Your feedback on these blog posts, and your offerings of fresh ideas and comments has enriched my life. I cannot express how valuable it is when you take the time to share these posts on social media platforms and with your friends and family. Your engagement and feedback are what helps to propel this platform forward! And to my silent supporters, I invite you to contribute too. Share your feedback, thoughts and ideas for new topics. When I hear from you then know how to better serve you!
On a chilly January day, photographer @kendrakboudoir and I drove up to Lake Crescent where I spent two fun-filled hours nearly naked in the woods surrounding the lake for a boudoir photoshoot. It was a cold, clear winter day and, as the clouds lifted and rays of sun began to filter through the canopy of cedar and evergreen trees, I felt an intense permission to fully shine and unapologetically embrace my womanhood. With every click of the camera I congratulated myself on working damn hard to get to where I was in life, in my body, and in my sense of self-love and self-worth. I felt the power of the decision Dane and I had made to live in Washington, surrounded by nature, trees, water, and mountains. And here I was, in the midst of it all, a beautiful, strong woman embracing my own self-confidence like I’d never done before. It was truly a freeing experience in every sense of the word.
In March, Dane and I packed our backpacks and spent two-weeks traveling through Iceland, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg. This was my first experience traveling abroad. I was beyond excited to see Paris, a city I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl reading Madeline books. Dane was excited to share his favorite sites and activities since he’d lived in Paris and had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe in college. It was as magical as I’d imagined and more. Each day held countless “pinch me” moments that didn’t feel real. I could have spent days engulfed in the café culture lifestyle in Paris sipping coffee and wine while people watching or reading a book. When we came back, we made a promise to ourselves to slow down, take time to appreciate the meaningful moments in each day as the Europeans do. Being “busy” isn’t’ a badge of honor. Living and appreciating life each day is what matters, after all.
We spent our summer outdoors! The elusive sunshine appears almost 18 hours during these precious few months. Concert-going at the Gorge amphitheater located almost hanging off into the Columbia River, hiking every trail we could find, kayaking the Puget Sound and lakes here and there really hit home the decision we made to relocate our lives from California to Washington. We’ve never doubted our decision, but second-guessing is natural. This past summer felt like we really settled into “belonging” here.
On September 22nd Dane and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. As we reflected on our relationship and what we learned in our first year as a married couple a few things were apparent. We didn’t succumb to the pressures of married life (i.e. starting a family, keeping tough topics like money and finances off the table). If marriage and life have taught me anything thus far it’s not to compare yourself and your marriage to anyone or anything else. Focus on who you are as a couple AND as independent individuals!
In September I also decided it was time to give my coaching brand a refresh and had a photography session with the amazingly talented @littlealejandra in Seattle. She made me feel confident, beautiful and sexy. Here’s a big “ah ha” moment for you, reader – I have to work on these feelings! Investing in professional photography of myself is an investment in my brand and my company. It’s not easy to pose in front of a camera and feel confident. Luckily, a good photographer helps!
In October, we had new neighbors move in next door – Dane’s parents! After visiting us in Washington they decided to embark on an adventure of their own – selling and packing up their home in Dixon, CA and moving to Washington. As someone who’s moved to a new state, I know this is no small feat, especially when you’ve lived somewhere for nearly 30 years. I shared in their excitement and fear of taking a chance on themselves and starting fresh. I’m so glad they made the decision because it’s been absolutely wonderful having them nearby. The four of us joke that we’re literally living out a real-life episode of the show, “Everybody Loves Raymond!
2019 also brought me stress at my 9-5 job. I’d been working for a creative staffing agency since shortly after we moved to Seattle in 2017. For a time, I enjoyed what I did, until there was a marked shift in the company culture. The general feel of our team faded from unification and positivity to mixed messages, micromanaging and a general sense of unease. These trials and tribulations brought me so much clarity. For much of the year stress was showing up for me both physically and mentally in the form of weekly sore throats and ongoing stomach issues. To make matters worse, the ferries we from our home in Bremerton to downtown Seattle were constantly being switched out for maintenance, resulting in unreliable network reception. I’d gotten used to using my two-hour roundtrip commute to build and market my business. This became nearly impossible, due to the constant changes, making it hard for me to accomplish even the simplest tasks during my commute.
I cried. I got frustrated. I was a mess. As luck, (or the Universe) would have it, a change was in store. A poor performance review and a frank discussion with my manager resulted in quitting my job. It was the best decision I could have made for myself as I immediately felt the stress melt away, and consequently so did the perpetual sore throats and stomach aches. Fancy that. Leaving my corporate job was my cue to pave my own path, immerse myself in what I felt called to do, embrace change (and fear) and build a bold life on my own terms and so far, it hasn’t led me astray!
WHAT’S TO COME
Challenges present us with options. They help us choose our next adventure, embrace change and expand our comfort zones. You may not realize it, but you face these challenges everyday whether they’re screaming at you or whispering in your ear. It’s up to you to listen and decide which path feels right for you. When a situation is uncomfortable, it usually means you’re growing, learning and doing something to move forward. In my experience that thing you’re scared to do is actually your inner compass pointing (no, screaming) at you to take the leap.
I had that internal compass tell me a year ago that I needed to start up this blog. On February 9, 2019, I posted my very first blog sharing what my parents taught me about life and living it well, which has influenced me greatly and made me who I am today, shaping my belief system and philosophy in the process.
My internal compass started talking to me again this summer when I realized how much I enjoyed listening to podcasts during my commute. My compass kept saying, “why don’t you create your own podcast? Think of how many people you could reach, share new ideas with and positively impact?” As someone who admittedly can’t stand the sound of her own voice on answering machines, the thought of recording and putting my voice out there on a podcast platform made me anxious and sweaty (literally). I kept thinking, who am I to start a podcast? What do I have to offer? The answer, A LOT. We each have our own life experiences we bring to the table and those life experience can help impact change and learning if we choose to share them. So that, my friends, is what’s to come! In 2020 I’ll be tackling another challenge and hosting the Unapologetically Alive Podcast debuting January 7th.
If you’re ready to live more freely and empower yourself to live without regret, I invite you to join me on this journey! It is possible to build a bold life based on your passions, purpose and dreams. Through the podcast I will do my very best to help you discover how you can accomplish these life goals. Every two weeks I’ll cover a broad range of topics like lifestyle design, entrepreneurship, growth mindsets, goal setting, empowered living and more. Tune in and learn how to tap into your higher self in a powerful, purposeful and confident way. Together, let’s push fear aside in 2020! It’s time to celebrate who you really are by being unapologetically you.
As always, I’m here to be your sounding board as we enter this new decade together. Schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Consultation Call with me. 2020 is just a few weeks away, and there’s no time like the present to start expanding your comfort zone and creating great things next year!