Year in Review: 2018
2018. What a year. It was a year of growth and big change.
Watching my belly grow through pregnancy and actually loving the entire experience of growing a tiny human. Experiencing growth in my business and interests. Growing my personal hobbies, like this blog and my little community on social media. And the biggest experience of all, becoming a mom. That really has grown and shaped me in so many ways.
I don’t feel like the same person I was at the beginning of 2018.
I knew change was coming when I started the year - being around 1.5 months pregnant and not sure what to expect, but I didn’t fully know what it would look like for me at the end of 2018. I started making big shifts this year in anticipation of becoming a mother. I slowed down my work schedule, cut clients that were too demanding and even moved out of the beautiful studio space downtown that I had been working in for two years. I was truly following my gut on so many decisions. Decisions that felt really hard and scary at the time. But I just hoped that they would all make sense eventually. That everything would fall into place as it should.
When I reflect on everything that happened in 2018, I was starting to carve out what my new life could be like. A life that was less focused on hustle and more on happiness.
2018 for me, was a year of finding myself. Of letting go of a lot of things in order to become the person I was meant to be. And even though it felt really scary and difficult as I was going through it, looking back, I was headed into the direction that was meant for me.
Some of my favorite moments from 2018 include speaking at several large conferences on everything from social media strategy to starting your own business and hosting workshops on building your brand. I found my passion in public speaking and sharing my story on how to build a personal brand. I know that this theme will definitely be playing a role in my life in the coming year - stay tuned on that.
I also put an emphasis on doing work that I love again. Less about the money and more about what felt “right.” When it came to my work, I decided I wanted to have a career that was exciting and manageable. Not one where I was constantly working, stressed and overwhelmed. Being pregnant really slowed me down and helped remind me what is important. Having Ford and seeing how little time I had to work was a reality check. So, I am glad I started to make little changes from the beginning. I also shifted from working mostly with bigger brands to also working with solopreneurs and creatives on their brand strategy. Of course, I still have a handful of my favorite small businesses that I will always work with. We grow closer each year and they treat me like I am a part of their team. I am SO thankful for the businesses that have believed and invested in me these past four years of being a full-time business owner.
I started writing again (for this blog) and have found so much joy in sharing my experiences, even if my audience is still small. Even though I didn’t start until midway through the year, I’ve already had so many exciting opportunities pop up as a result of putting myself out there and telling MY story. As a brand strategist, I’m so used to working behind-the-scenes for other businesses, so it was challenging for me to put myself front and center. Being open and honest isn’t always easy for me. Having my photos taken definitely was not easy. But I am glad I did and stuck with it. It gets more fun each day. Definitely more of this to come in 2019.
I made some shifts in relationships. I think the older I get, I become more aware of friendships that are two-sided and the ones that are only serving one person. I started seeking new friendships and work partnerships with people that brought positive energy and inspiration into my life. I realized that I didn’t have the time or energy for negativity anymore or friendships that were always one-sided. By becoming really clear on who I was, I was able to evaluate the people that were meant to be in my life. I think this was a very valuable lesson, as I was previously trying to be there for everyone. I also loved meeting new people in 2018. It’s really incredible how you find people that you are looking for when you put yourself out there. Hoping for more of this in 2019.
I became so much closer with my family and husband this year. I know it was partly from being pregnant and us knowing a new addition to the family was coming that brought us closer, but I am so thankful it did. I now am so close with my sister and mom. I have a new appreciation for family and how much they matter above everyone else. We have built new bonds and they have been so helpful with raising Ford. Seeing my husband become a dad and watching him takeover when I was recovering from a c-section made me appreciate him so much more. I am truly so lucky to have a husband and family that isn’t afraid to step in and help me.
Having a baby was the biggest transformation of all.
At first, becoming a mother felt unnatural and hard. But it keeps getting better each day. The newborn stage was really rough for me. There were days when I felt like I had lost myself. But I am finally in a place where I am confident, happy and totally in love with being his mom. It’s truly the best gift I have ever received. I am so thankful for Ford and everything he has brought me.