This is an overdue post. Since this blog started as a reaction to my 28th birthday and my need to really take care of myself, I wanted to write a reflection on my 29th birthday to let you all know how the year went. Instead, life got a little busy and here we are already in the second half of January 2019.
But I still want to say goodbye to 2018. You know, properly.
2018 fell onto the extremes of both excitement and fear and in all different facets of my life. I learned a lot of lessons that I will hold on to for a long time. Due to the nature of some of these lessons, they may be vague and that is completely intentional on my behalf.
What’s the worst that can happen? They say no?
This has been a motif of 2018 and it has come to some amazing results. I kind of feel like it stemmed out of our running joke with our friends “What are they going to do? Kick us out?” Whenever I was struggling to make a hard decision, my partner, Dennis, started to ask me, “What’s the worst that can happen? They say no?” It really flipped a switch for me. If “no” was the worst thing that could happen, why not try? It translated well for a range of decisions from applying for jobs, to asking if someone would meet for coffee to share the ins and outs of their creative endeavors. And really, the worst thing in both of those situations (and the others throughout the year) was rejection. While rejection is terrifying, it is also not the worst thing that can happen.
My family means so much to me.
Okay, I can hear you thinking to yourself that duh, family has always been important. And it has. But this was an important year because my family got so close. My sisters are everything to me.
I am an artist.
This was the year I finally leaned into my creativity and saw my potential as an artist. Instead of hoping and wishing I could be like someone else, I had so much support and cheerleaders that told me to just go for it. The first time someone called me an artist this year I screamed to my nearest co-worker, “Someone thinks I’m an artist!!!!” They gave me a look of confusion and responded, “Because you are an artist.” Again, another switch.
This is the year I started my art instagram (@letsgocaro) and my Etsy shop. I made my first attempts at networking and got connected with some really cool people in San Diego. I’ve been really finding my style and practicing as much as I can. It has given me so much joy and happiness, it is crazy.
(I actually had this under a different tagline and re-wrote it as, “I am an artist,” which is still weird to type but so empowering.)
Therapy is okay. In fact, it is a good thing.
Actually, my most recent post was about my start with talk therapy. I still feel the way I did in that post that it can be a scary thing to do, but ultimately it has helped me. I always feel silly using the “tools for your toolbox” analogy because I literally know nothing about tools, but it is so true. A good therapist isn’t there to judge you or to tell you what to do. Instead, they will give you life hacks, techniques, practices to follow to better your every day life. That’s what I have found to be most helpful.
Where do I find the most fulfillment?
Asking myself this question has been one of the most important self-care technique I have applied (after therapy!). Another way I approached this question is how can I “spark joy” in my life? When I drive home from seeing a friend, does my soul feel restored? What can I do in my free time that makes me feel at ease? How can I support my partner in a way that he is feeling fulfilled in his journey? I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but I do have some. 2018 has taught me to just be aware of this question and be more intentional.
The goal of “self care” is one to always work on, but I feel like I succeeded this year. To be honest, the “self love” could still use work, but I think I’m on the right trajectory. As for 2019, I will write another post about my goals soon. Hopefully one of them will be to write blog posts more consistently. I am grateful for 2018 and the year of 28, so let’s see what 2019 and the year of 29 is all about.