A Rollercoaster of a Year: 2017 Recap
Welp. 7 days into 2017, and I am finally getting to this.
I am a little late, but better late than never, right? I contemplated on just foregoing this blog post, but honestly I am doing this for myself. Last year, I wrote a post similar to this and each time my year felt a little rough, I found comfort and solace in reading my “Whirlwind of Year” post. It constantly reminded me that although there were lows to my year, the highs always made up for it. So though I’m late, I’ll still write this recap/reflection so that when I reach some rough points this year, I have something to look back on.
I cannot believe another year has come and gone once again. After my whirlwind of a year in 2016, I did not think my life could get any better or for that matter any crazier. I had lived a life I had always only dreamed of and did things I never thought was possible, it couldn’t get better. Right? Wrong. I knew that the moment I started my year with back to back travels and so many new experiences. 2017 was more than just a whirlwind--it was one neverending rollercoaster. There were days and times where I felt like nothing at all was going right in my life and was so close to just giving up. But then there times that I was so high on life--like there was no way my life was real. This year, I got to visit my favorite place in the world (the absolute city of my dreams) SO MANY TIMES. Honestly, more than I ever have in a year. And I even got to MOVE there. I honestly still can’t believe I DID THAT. I made that HAPPEN. I got to work with some of the biggest brands of my entire blogging journey and travel to some of my biggest bucket list destinations. My biggest problem has always been self sabotaging and telling myself that there was no way things would get better because it was already the best it could have been. But looking back on my 2017? I now can gladly say that I am wrong. Just when you think life can’t get any better, it does. So thank you 2017, for all the lessons on life you taught me and for continually teaching me that no dream is too big.
Ahhh. January. The start of something new. After spending my January 2016 moving far, far away to somewhere that was so foreign to me, I wanted to make sure my January of 2017 would be up to par. So, I started my year off in my favorite place in the world--New York City. Most people hate the snow, but I love it so you can only imagine the wonderland I was in. January foreshadowed what my year would look like in terms of travel, because that January I traveled to NYC, Utah, D.C. and back to NYC because why not right? When I moved back to the U.S., I wanted to make sure that I turned my passion for travel into a lifestyle and that is exactly how I started my year off. This month taught me how much I love being on the road.
February started with more travels and marked the month of trying new things. I made my way to Indianapolis, Birmingham and Atlanta all for the first time ever and absolutely loved it! This month taught me that I can learn to love domestic travel and didn’t need to always travel internationally to continue on with my passion for travel.
March was not exactly the best month for me. A lot was happening in my personal life. A lot of changes and challenges and so so many questions and life decisions. This was also the semester I took extremely challenging courses and coupled with a lot of other responsibilities that I had, it was a little difficult to keep up with my instagram and blogging so I kind of let go a little--not my proudest moment.
April marked a breath of fresh air. Each time life presents me a challenge or when my life just gets a little too much for me to handle, I always turn to travel to rejuvenate me. So that is exactly how I started off my April--with a cross Atlantic trip to Italia. I had been dying to go to Italy and was a little sad that I didn’t get to cross it off my list when I was living in Europe. A lot of people told me to get all of the places I wanted to visit off my list, because it would be awhile before I would return. This month proved to me that if you really want something and you set your mind to it, it can and will happen. While my travel was not as cheap as it was when I lived in Madrid, it was definitely still very affordable. This month struck the notion that travel is expensive...even while living in the U.S.!
While I enjoyed all my travels this month, it also taught me to not pack on too much onto my plate. I went to San Francisco shortly after my Italy trip and while at any other time this would have been great, there was A LOT going on in my life at this time. My classes were getting harder and harder, a lot of personal things going on that just kept eating and me and a whole lot more unanswered life questions that made traveling a little bit of a burden. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The beginning of May marked some new challenges and really showed me who I could depend on in my life. A lot of things that happen in our personal lives as bloggers are never shown to the world, so I am glad I had people in my life who helped me through some tough spots.
While I experienced some more tough points in my life during this time, like getting into my first major car accident that really took a physical toll on my body, this month marked a light at the end of the tunnel. I picked up my 2nd little in my sorority and landed an amazing internship that ultimately took me to my dream city. I also took another trip to NYC this month and worked with an events company for the first time and wrote my first event style lifestyle piece--such a great experience.
June marked a turning point to my rough year. First of all it was my birth month, the month I finally turned 21--woo Networking Mixers! (Seriously the only thing I was excited to turn 21 for). But it also marked my move to NYC. While this was not that big of a deal to most people, it was an incredibly big deal to me. New York City had always been just a pipe dream to me. I had always loved NYC, but I knew it wasn’t in the cards for me until I was at least 25. Because who is crazy enough to move to NYC at age 20 right? → This girl ←
Moving to NYC even if just for the summer was so important to me not because it was just NYC, but because of the sentiment behind it. New York was my BIG DREAM. It was my favorite place in the world, a place I always dreamt of. To move there 5 years earlier than I imagined reignited my confidence and reminded me that I was absolutely capable of anything I set my mind to.
July was a dream. Honestly was it even real? It definitely still feels surreal. I was living and breathing NYC everyday. Working at an amazing internship that provided me with so many amazing opportunities and exposure to a completely different world. By the end of the month, I had moved into my own apartment in Brooklyn and felt so incredibly happy to be doing it all on my own. This also marked the first month that I signed my first contract for my blog and actually got paid to create content. Before this, I honestly never took what I did with my blog and IG seriously. It had always been just a hobby. It was not until a friend reminded me that I am good at what I do and that I should not be ashamed of it that I started owning it--owning being an influencer. You know who you are, thank you.
August marked the month of hustling. More than I ever have before and worked on my blog harder than I ever have before. After weeks of contemplation, I finally took the plunge and redesigned my whole website on my own, even though it would have been a lot easier for me to pay someone to do it for me. Hours and weeks on end later, I launched this new, redesigned site--one of my proudest accomplishments to date. If you know me I know nothing about graphic or web design, so this project was a huge challenge. I signed more contracts and collaborations more than ever before and scheduled a minimum of 3 photoshoots a week. I was thriving. In my dream city, my favorite place in the world, and I was doing it all on my own. This month really boosted my confidence and reminded me that I am capable of absolutely anything I set my mind to.
September also marked another major milestone for me because I was invited to New York Fashion Week for the FIRST TIME EVER! I was thrilled. No scratch that, I was living a dream. Attending NYFW was my #1 goal when I first created this blog years ago. It was a pipe dream for sure, a maybe one day I’ll make it that far kinda thing. But when I started getting invites to multiple runway shows? I was shocked, amused, thrilled, ecstatic--basically every word in the book. This solidified the notion that I could make something out of this hobby turned passion.
October slowed down a little for me. After a crazy, hustling and bustling summer in the city and attending Fashion Week, I settled down a bit and focused a little more on my personal life than I did on my blog. I threw myself into school, work, and other things going on in my personal life and kind of put my blog on the backburner for a bit. I wish I hadn’t, but another lesson learned right? A really big tragic event happened in Las Vegas this month as well, so it was a little difficult for me to continue being an influencer at a time like that without feeling guilty.
As November rolled around, I decided it was time to stop making excuses about being busy with my personal life, school work, work, etc. I knew working on this blog made me the happiest and it was evident that I was not the happiest because I started paying less attention to it. So I started getting back into the groove of things (less on the blog and more on IG), started accepting collaborations again and signing contracts for December, scheduling and doing shoots, etc. This definitely solidified that I was happiest working on my IG and blog and that it has definitely become a huge part of who I am.
The beginning of December was rough. So much was happening in my personal life, I ended up in the hospital, I was not sleeping nor eating well, and I started to feel like I was drowning and no longer doing and surrounding myself with what made me happy. So I finished off my semester and boarded a plane to rejuvenate myself the only way I knew how, another international trip! I made my way to Cuba (read about it here), followed by Disneyland and realized that travel is definitely a huge part of who I am and something I need constantly in my life to remain happy. I signed more contracts and collaborations and decided that I will focus more on my blog this year since it is what makes me happy.
This year has definitely been a rollercoaster filled with so many lows, but topped with more highs. While a perfect year would have been ideal, I wouldn’t change anything this year because it has definitely allowed me to grow into a person I am proud of.
Till Next Time,