Lessons Learned in 2017

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Photos by Cassandra Vagher, edited by me

Look, I know I waited too long to share this outfit and now it’s not seasonally appropriate. Let’s just agree and get past it.

2016 was Kylie Jenner’s year of like, realizing stuff but honestly….2017 was my year of like, realizing things.

It’s been a hard one, y’all.

My word for the year was cultivate and I kiiiind of did that. I definitely cultivated my blog and started the tshirt business, but honestly I was stretched thinner than I thought I would be. Cultivate kind of turned into “survive.”

Here’s some stuff that happened in 2017:

  • I moved out of Texas (for the first time ever) to Denver.
  • I bought a house.
  • I still didn’t hit 10k followers on Instagram.
  • I climbed a bunch of mountains.
  • I started a business I am SO passionate about.
  • I was more anxious than I’ve ever been.
  • I (think) I cried more in one year than I ever have (moving away from everything and everyone you know is hard, you guys).

And here are some things I learned this year:

  • Mental health days are REAL and they can SAVE you. There was one day in particular where I was suffering from crippling anxiety and taking a day completely off made a world of difference.
  • Other entrepreneurs are the only ones who will understand what you’re going through, so make some friends and stop telling your friends and family about problems they won’t understand.
  • Saying no is ESSENTIAL. Whether it’s to opportunities, a night out, or letting someone “pick your brain,” it’s essential to say no sometimes.
  • Numbers aren’t everything, and a LOT of people buy fake followers. Just present your best content, keep working hard, and brands that matter will notice.
  • Relationships are everything and you should never burn your bridges.
  • Creating goals and saying things aloud is such an easy way to move towards something big. Obviously you have to put in the work, but there’s something very powerful about just SAYING it instead of dancing around it in your head.
  • Self forgiveness is important.

I think that last one is the most important thing I learned this year. I’ve owned a “side hustle” of some sort for almost 10 years now, and I’ve always been a hard worker. I spend most waking hours working – and most of the time I don’t mind. But I’m almost always “behind,” I have a never ending to-do list, and in the past that has turned me into a huge basket of anxiety. But over the last month or two, I’ve decided….no more.

No more kicking myself because I don’t finish a deadline I imposed on myself.

No more anxiety because I only crossed one thing off my to-do list.

No more frustration because I didn’t send out an email to my list for two months.

No more feeling like a failure because I didn’t post on Instagram that day.

I’m done with it. This isn’t to say I’m giving up on deadlines. But I’m offering myself forgiveness. I work a full time job, a part time job, this blog, and run Everyday Unicorns. There’s a lot going on and it’s silly to expect perfection 24/7. Instead, I’ll continue to push myself and do a little better each day. I’ll grow. I’ll work on things. I’ll figure it out.

But I’m being kind to myself in the process.

What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2017?

xoxo
Valery

One thought on “Lessons Learned in 2017

  1. First of all…these pictures are gorgeous!

    Sounds like you had a year with a lot of tough lessons. With as much as you having going on (can we agree that equates to 2 full-time jobs which how is that even possible??!!) I think your new rule is a great one. I have it in mind to do something similar (just spending more effort on things I *want* to do instead of things I *feel like* I should be doing, but otherwise, I haven’t really made any resolutions! I hope you’re feeling better and 2018 is off to a great start! xo

    Priya the Blog

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