2017: year of growth

2017 has been, simultaneously, one of the best and worst years of my life.

I have not had many words this year to describe all of my many feelings. While I have continued to write and share, there are so many more thoughts bottled up, compiling in my head, that I cannot seem to get out.

If 2016 was a year of successes and accomplishments and firsts, 2017 was a year of failures and hurting and learning from mistakes.

I write this tonight to reflect on the good and bad memories from this past year, and the lessons learned in the process.

I marched for justice, for equality, for democracy. I continued to work in this incredibly stressful political climate, but was motivated each day by the awakening of our country. It was a tough year for America and for those of us that believe in the progress our country made leading up to the 2016 election. But we came together, we showed the world we won’t rest until our voices are heard. And I think 2018 will show us that all of the sweat,  tears and sleepless nights, were all worth it.

I made my health a priority. Going into 2017, I was passionate about eating a mostly plant-based diet. It was important to me for environmental and ethical reasons. But my body did not adapt well. And after ignoring it’s cries for help for many months, I decided to put my health first. I dove headfirst into a plethora of health and wellness research, experimented with different nutrition protocols, and discovered this neat little thing called balance among it all. I found peace with food, food that fuels my soul & is also good for the planet.

I battled anxiety, and won. This was not a new battle. It was, unfortunately, all too familiar. But this year I hit a new low. To the point where I felt as though I was not even in control of my own self. So again, I put myself first. I sought help. I did more research. And while I did, against my stubborn wishes, succumb to the aid of anti-depressants, I have control of my life back, and I am ready to release the need for medication in 2018.

I learned what it means to have a partner in life. I met the love of my life at the end of last year, and our relationship so beautifully blossomed this year into the most spectacular partnership I could ever dream of. I learned how to lean on someone, to trust that someone might know me a little bit better than I know myself at times, and I learned that doing life together is so much better than doing it alone — after 23 years of thinking I’d be alone forever.

I learned that few good friends are better than many mediocre ones. With everything going on this year with my health and in my professional life, I did not have time for negative energy, which became the perfect opportunity to realize who I needed in life and who I didn’t. I learned the importance of investing energy in good friendships, and releasing the bad ones. And with this realization came a few of the most beautiful friendships I’ve been blessed to experience.

I learned I have a pretty kick-ass family. Okay, I already knew this, but I needed to give them a shoutout. My family has long been my rock, and the older I get, the more grateful I become.

And lastly, I learned I am worthy. Worthy of receiving love, worthy of loving myself, and worthy of being who I have always wanted to be. If 2017 taught me anything, it is that life is too short, too fragile, to waste any time being someone you’re not. This is so cliche, but I’ve been one to struggle with this my whole life — I live to please others and bring others happiness. But in 2017, I finally convinced myself it is okay — not just okay, but necessary — to be YOU. To change course if your life isn’t exactly what you want it to look like, even if it means being selfish at times. To take risks, and trust that you’ll be able to pick yourself back up if you fail. To be unashamed of the path you’re taking, knowing you are doing what makes you happy.

So with this, I leave you with my wish for 2018: that we all do more of what we love and less of what does not serve us. And that we continue to lift each other up, to move each other forward, and to celebrate each other’s successes. Because if the world needs anything right now, it’s more positivity, more love, and more badass people supporting other badass people.

with love & best wishes for a wonderful 2018,

evan.

 

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