We are not defined by the title we or anyone else gives us. Yes, I may have lived most of my life as a “girly girly” who despised gym class in school and anything that required I break a sweat. I may have laughed at the thought of working out and hiking… I mean who actually enjoys that?! I may have also been guilty of having (at all times) a freezer filled with filet mignon from Omaha Steaks, until… all of that changed. Through the years people grow and luckily with each year, we have the opportunity to re-write our story and re-define ourselves.
1. I have grown to love working out. Let’s be honest, it probably stemmed from me realizing metabolisms take a significant dip after 26. But in all seriousness, I love the energy I have after a workout. I also love popping on my wireless headphones and hiking up a mountain. I’ve learned there’s nothing like fresh air and being in nature to clear my mind.
2. I may have been a “girly, girly” but as you may have learned from reading my Costa Rica travel series and the introduction to my Backpack Europe series, your girl can hang with wildlife in a rain forest, live in a tree house, embrace hostel living for a full month and conquer fears each year while traveling.
In 2017 I learned that I am braver than I ever thought.
3. One lovely evening about 3+ years ago, I decided to throw on some fuzzy slippers, lounge on my sofa and throw on Netflix. Movies for the night were Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead followed by Super Size Me. I became enthralled but the endless selection of documentaries and over the next few days, I immersed myself in movie marathons. I proceeded to watch Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Cowspiracy, and the list goes on…
Needless to say, I have been living a ‘Vegan’ plant-based lifestyle ever since. I learned that there is so much information at our fingertips, all we need to do is search for it.
*In the process of sharing the story above, I realize I ended up sharing my top nutritional movies. If you have any interest in heading towards a healthier lifestyle, I would definitely start with the documentaries above.
4. I’m a Capricorn which means my life resembles a Rihanna song… work, work, work, work, work. Post it notes, word documents and excel truly make me happy, I love being well organized and prepared for everything in life. This year I learned that even when things don’t go as planned, amazing things can come from the unexpected. I first learned this lesson while backpacking, I had traveled across town via train to a vegan restaurant that I was beyond excited to try. When I arrived, the lights were off and it was closed for the day (yep, I also checked the hours online before making the trek). Instead of getting frustrated, I roamed the streets and found a random spot to eat. Unfortunately, the food was less than mediocre but I ended up making friends with a local. He gave me his “must see spots” along with his phone number in case I got lost or needed additional recommendations. He didn’t expect anything in return, he genuinely wanted me to experience the best that his city has to offer.
5. Having, and being a cheerleader for someone else is a noble act of kindness. It’s important to trade in friendships that no longer lift us up for new friendships that inspire us to grow and succeed.
6. Friendships are not solely built on having the same hobbies or common friends. What’s most important, is that you share the same values in life. Hobbies come and go, but values are what define a person through in through.
7. I love veggies, I’ve started adding them to practically every meal. If I can throw some greens in a blender, even better.
8. I’m obsessed with “nice cream”. If you don’t know what that is, its a healthier – “nicer” version of ice cream. Freeze bananas, blend them and add your favorite toppings. Wa-la, bananas with the consistency of ice cream but so much healthier.
9. Acai bowls can be eaten for breakfast and I’m totally on board with it.
10. When I shoe shop, I’m at the age where I will sacrifice “cuteness” for comfort. Yep, you will definitely see me browsing the “old lady shoe section” It started when my mom recommended I try memory foam sketchers for my backpacking trip. 2 memory foam sneakers and 1 month of non-stop walking, and I was praising my mom for her brilliant idea. Now, I head straight for the memory foam haha..
11. This girl who used to pack a massive suitcase for an overnight stay can actually carry her belongings on her back for an entire month.
12. I’m an introvert who never wants to hurt peoples feelings so I often found myself making excuses for why I couldn’t attend a particular outing. This year I learned it’s ok to say no to things that don’t bring me joy and to be honest with others about the reason why.
13. I further learned that music can transport me back to a particular place in time. Each time I travel, I dedicate a song to that destination. I throw on headphones and listen to that song and/or songs while I explore the streets of that city. Once I’m home, I will play that song when I need a little pick me up. An unexpected play on the radio, and I’m jamming in my car like never before.
14. I learned that girls night in is the best. Choosing a recipe, picking up ingredients at the market together and whipping up something delish, is my kinda night.
15. I have always been miss independent, almost to a fault, but have learned that it’s ok to ask for help. People aren’t mind readers who automatically know what we need but most are willing to help and make things easier for us, all you need to do is reach out and ask.
16. This year I learned to embrace old passions as well as explore new ones. Travel, photography and this blog, are all passions that I look forward to exploring more as the years progress.
17. In 2017 I learned that I grew beyond measure, from the previous year. This excites me because I look forward to continuing my growth mentally, physically and spiritually. I look forward to being inspired and inspiring others, in following my dreams and cheering people on as they follow theirs. Cheers to everything we learned in 2017 and everything we will learn in 2018.
Let’s inspire one another: Comment below with the number one lesson you learned in 2017