2017: The Year I Started Loving My Life

In 2017, I worked toward two resolutions: 1) to do more things that scare me and 2) to be able to do the splits. Let’s just say I followed one more closely than the other and that’s why I’m living in NYC now and not on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.

It was a year of firsts for me: first time out of the country, first tattoo, first time visiting NYC - not to mention my first time living here, and on a sadder note, my first loss. RIP Papaw.

I tackled a personal fear through each experience in one way or another, whether I was saying yes to a vacation and learning to live a little, or saying goodbye to the comfort of my Oklahoma home and all of my family and friends.

Each decision helped me realize a deeper fear I had never recognized before: the fear I was settling for my life because I was never brave enough to change it. I suppose this realization was a reason why I was drawn to The Happiness Project when I was shuffling through a friend’s small library a few months ago.

In her 2009 book, Gretchen Rubin - a red-headed writer from the Midwest living in NYC with a knack for Aristotle and a resolution to start a blog. Sound familiar? - outlined an entire year of her life where she actively strove to be a happier individual through implementing monthly resolutions.

Inspired does not even begin to describe my state when I finished reading. Rubin wrote: “I grasped two things: I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change.” It stuck with me. I was never going to accidentally write a book, move to a new city, or love myself.

I made a decision to start choosing my life, one choice at a time, instead of feeling like I was letting it happen to me. I said yes to going out with friends on Friday nights even when it meant driving an hour and a half to, as we in Oklahoma call it, the city; I said yes to being photographed though I didn’t feel like a model; I said no to excuses that a weekend was not enough time to drive home and see my family; I said no to the convenience of a lifestyle that was not moving me toward my dreams.

And here I am. It’s 2018. I’m sitting in my NYC apartment, the sounds of the city making their way through the window. There is snow outside, and I am writing to an audience that may not even exist yet. Hello there.

My goal for this blog, while multifaceted, is ultimately to work to create a life I love and, along the way, to help inspire you all to do the same. Take a second today to think about the life you want - the one you think you’ll eventually grow into somehow or other. Maybe go order a copy of The Happiness Project for yourself. Then go enjoy the rest of your Friday.

I hope to see you all again soon.