As the year is coming to an end, it's easy to get lost in what we have to do in the next year rather than reflecting on what the current year has taught us. So, because the foundation of my blog is to share my personal experiences with you guys and hope that you can in some way relate, understand situations better, or find the strength in yourself to tackle some obstacles, here is what 2017 has done for me.
1. 2017 started off with me leaving Louisiana and moving to Houston, Texas to further my career with Lush Cosmetics. I moved into my own place, met some amazing people, and started to adjust myself to living life outside of Louisiana. If you don't think that you can leave home because you'll miss it too much or you will never see anyone, I am here to tell you, my family visits me very often (if I don't go home to see them), my friendships are still going strong, and home is still there; it hasn't gone anywhere lol.
2. Of course, something bad had to come along and knock me completely off of my high horse. I bought a new car, acquired a car note and car insurance on top of rent and some utilities (Thank God for my parents and friends), and BOOM, my career at Lush started to become more of a burden. Hours got cut, business relationships were severed, and money got short! Stress started to come back over me; a feeling I hadn't felt since my last finals week at LSU. But, remember, prayer works. I called on God and I started reading my bible more and snapped myself out of the funk I was in but had not made a decision on what I was going to do about money. But fear not, me being who I am, earlier in the year I created amazing relationships with some amazing people down the hall, and a month later, I started to work for the greatest company in the world as a full time employee. If you don't know what the greatest company in the world is, even though I know it crossed your mind, it's Apple. I couldn't be happier. They took a chance on me and thus far, I am proving them right.
3. I found my voice. I have never been one to hold my tongue but I created a blog that was anonymous, so that I could speak how I wanted without the criticism and negativity of others. I have been writing as an outlet for my stress since college but Miss Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker's character on Sex and The City) was my inspiration to create a blog. After binge watching the series and the movies, I decided to finally start an anonymous one. The whole point was to give myself and others a voice, but how can I do that when I am hiding who I am behind my writing? So, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and created SNL(yes, my parents gave me initials like the show but it was not on purpose). It has given me a sense of freedom and although some feel that they have to watch what they say on these things, I don't. I write how I am feeling and as long as I am being respectful to myself and others, I will continue to do so.
4.I learned to let go. I let go of friendships that no longer were positive or beneficial. I also got rid of false hopes of relationships that were never going to happen. Sounds bad doesn't it? I promise, it has been the biggest weight lifted off of my shoulders because it took so long to get to this point. I reached a sense of freedom that I have never felt before and because of that, I now have people in my life that I will have for a very long time. Along with letting go, I opened myself up again to the possibility of dating and eventually loving someone because to be quite honest, my wedding has been planned since high school (Thanks Pinterest) and those ideas shall not go to waste LOL. But in all seriousness, I decided to not let previous experiences in my love life, dictate how I looked at dating and began to date again. So far so good ;)
5. Lastly, but the most important goal of 2017 for me, I found my independence. A little backstory: I am the youngest of 4 girls and have always relied heavily on them to function. I have gone through my entire life with this mentality and did not get slapped with the reality of it all until I moved away. I found that it was okay to be alone because in doing so, I got to learn more about myself and I got to really see my strength. I learned to protect my peace because I am in my own little bubble and when people bring their negativity into my bubble, I know how to stop it. I learned to stop making excuses and holding myself back when it came to doing things like traveling or going grab food alone. Just last month, I have been wanting to go to Austin to visit headquarters and do Apple people things lol, and I would never go because I did not want to go alone. I found that, I GOT TO DO WHAT I WANTED TO DO without having to wait on someone else. I moved how I wanted to move. Which makes me wonder why I waited so long to do so because I love doing what I want to do anyway.
So, to sum it up: stepping outside my comfort zone and figuring out who Shelby is, has been such a journey; one that I am still on. I knew obstacles would come, but keeping my faith has gotten me through those situations and opened up doors to things I have always seen myself doing. I learned to not be afraid to fail, because I have learned more about myself in those failures and saw what it took to succeed. Next, letting go of toxic people because I'm amazing and deserve amazing people around me. Lastly, made my own rules, live by them, and continue to be true to myself.
Hope this helps you roll into 2018 with some insight! See you in 2018!