Another year has come to pass, and so has the memories and lessons it has brought with it. I think back to who I was at the beginning of 2018, and I can’t even recognize that girl. What can happen in a year you say? The whole world can change, and you’re damn right it did for me.
The Rough Start
I started 2018 sucked into a cult that had consumed my life in 2017. Yes, I’m referring to bodybuilding as a cult because that’s what it is. I was struggling with self-hatred, an eating disorder, depression, poisoning my body, and not knowing who I was or what the fuck I was doing. As I’ve talked about before on this blog, my entire life changed when I threw bodybuilding and society’s standards in the trash. Why was I destroying my body to be different? Why did I do what I did? Why have I always cared about how my body, hair, or face looked? I still don’t have a definitive answer for any of it, but it’s irrelevant now.
It’s been since May 2018 that I started learning to love myself. To embrace my crazy hair. To take back my womanly body. To love my smile. To no longer punish myself for who I am. To no longer give a fuck about what anyone thinks. For me, it’s felt like I’ve been fighting demons in my mind for years. To say I’m finally free of them, and to have reached this mindset at the age of 20? I look forward to what the rest of my life will hold without these things holding me back.
The Hermit Comes Out of It’s Shell
Anyone who knows how I am knows how hard it is to get me out of the house. I love having conversation and connecting with other people, but I enjoy my own solitude over most things. However, this year I developed so many different relationships with people in my lives. I’ve opened up to certain people in ways I didn’t think I could and took myself out of the comfort zone I’ve always placed myself in. If we stay in our comfort zones, how will we ever change? Or find the true extent of what could be?
This year definitely gave me the most social interaction I’ve had in my entire life, and that makes me so happy. It’s so important to have different people in your life that you can share and spend time with, and I definitely learned that this year. Loneliness is something I feel often, and it’s because of barricades I put around myself, but 2018 was monumental in breaking some of them down. From comedy shows to weddings, to some questionable encounters, meeting up with old friends, indulging in my heart’s deepest desires, LOTS OF CONCERTS, and random girl dates, I’m grateful for every person and every memory shared.
Belong to the World
Traveling was no doubt the most incredible part of 2018 and my life. Ever since I was in 3rd grade doing my celebrity assignment on Kajol Mukherjee, a Bollywood actress, wanderlust has always flowed through my veins. My dream to travel always seemed so far-fetched and impossible. How would I ever do it? Then I met my friend Tony (pictured above) who came through my line at Aldi and said something along the lines of “Yeah, I just work and save money and then travel,” and I was like “THAT’S ALL I WANT TO DO!!” From that, we talked and he gave me some tips on what to look for and the beginner basics. Another friend had just come back from his own European trip and fueled with immense jealousy (lol), I stepped back and asked myself what was stopping me from doing the same!? Then, on April 25th I booked the trip of a lifetime for myself and my father. It meant the world to me that I was able to take my father and repay him for everything he’s done and provided for me my entire life. Not to mention, I’ll always be a daddy’s girl.
On October 31st, we flew out from Atlanta and arrived in Amsterdam where nothing could ever explain how unbelievable everything felt. We explored Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, and Gent before we arrived in Italy where I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. For years I dreamed of seeing the Colosseum. I’ve drawn it, painted it, sculpted it, and it was finally in front of my eyes. Nothing can describe how surreal everything felt and still does when I think about it. Sharing this with my father is something I will always cherish and never forget. We created so many fun, hilarious, and annoying memories, and I love every one of them. I could go on and on about my travels, but for the sake of THIS post, I won’t ramble (I’ll save it for another).
Dreams is what 2018 was all about for me. I dreamt so many things into reality that I never thought would be possible. I never dreamt that I could:
- Truly love myself
- Be honest with myself
- Be completely vulnerable with person(s)
- Travel the world
- Be truly happy
But you know what? Instead of dreaming and wondering, “What if?” I just…. did it. Every day in our own lives, WE prevent ourselves from our OWN HAPPINESS AND DREAMS. Each time a new year starts, we continue to live in the vicious cycle of unfulfillment, working to pay bills, and compromising our true happiness. What will it take for you to stop the cycle? To do what makes you happy? To follow your own dreams? Life is short. Spend it doing things that make your soul happy and with people who light your fire. Change your job. Make the move. Tell someone how you really feel. Travel. Read a book. Whether it’s big or small, do something on January 1st that will set you upon your path. The other 364 days are there for you to follow it and discover all of what life will bring you.
Let 2019 be your year of chasing dreams because, from this year forward, I will never stop chasing mine.