2018: Thank you, Next

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This year was both heartbreaking and full of opportunities, sometimes all happening at the same time and sometimes one after the other. For those of you who have followed along with my updates, I thank you for your continued encouragement and support. This blog, my Instagram, friends, and family have been the therapy I needed to move forward with a smile on my face and the positivity that life gets better. Sharing is always a scary thing, putting words and images out there for the world to see and judge is not an easy thing to do. But it is a choice I made which resulted in enabling me to do this full time and offering me unbelievable adventures and opportunities.

At the beginning of the year, I shared this post, Valentine’s for one, which is one of my more popular posts and I opened up about how I felt alone and I hadn’t mentioned the big “D” word. It took me a while to mention the word divorce and I still don’t say it much. Most of you have guessed what was happening as you followed along. Many of you have reached out to me with not only words of kindness but for support yourselves. I was surprised by the words exchanged and that I enabled others to open up and ask for help. Divorce is a lonely process, it’s hard to talk to others about it and the battles you go through are different in each situation. Emotionally it took a toll on me, and when I say me, this blog is about me, my feelings and my experience.  I don’t claim it is the whole picture or how my ex feels, but it’s my journey and how I felt. I write and share as a process of healing and hope that it can help someone else going through a hard time.

simple hello complicated goodbye quote, break up quote, healing quote, divorce quote, life quote, hello quote

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The hardest thing to deal with for 2018: The hardest thing overall (and will be until they go to college) is seeing my kids 50% of the time. I made this sacrifice when we decided to split up and it was a gut-wrenching decision. I’ve seen couples stay together for their family, I’ve experienced splitting up my own, either choice is not right or wrong but what works for you. The first few months, I would lay on the couch or bed all day when my kids weren’t with me. I worked from my bed and if it was a Saturday, I was a mess. I would guess most of you didn’t know that and it wasn’t something I felt shareable on my pretty Instagram feed, but those days have passed.  Seeing the positive, I try to spend quality time when I do have them and I plan ahead to do activities like the movies, plays, games etc. so that when we are together it’s full of adventure. When I don’t have them, I focus on work, catching up with friends, and housework that I couldn’t get to!  Plus since I work for myself, I volunteer at their school or carve out extra time to be with them which I wouldn’t be able to do if I worked for someone else. The constant theme of this year was seeing the positives out of the situation. This one will always be the toughest, but my #1 goal is to make sure they know I’ll always be there for them.

The best thing about 2018: I’ve said this many times but it was the opportunities and seizing them. Opportunities may come and go but I made decisions that enabled more opportunities and only had myself to listen to. I got to do amazing things with my kids, by myself, with friends, family and I’m filled with great memories of 2018. Through it all,  I somehow found myself through working. Since my personal life is work, sharing and writing put me at ease in transitioning forward and also enjoying the big moments in the year. From trips to LA several times, working on a few larger campaigns, at least 3 trips to Mexico, to being featured in Splash Magazine in December, I stored those items into my memory bank as the great things that happened.

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Biggest learning for 2018: I’m resilient and I’m slowly turning things around in my head about myself and what I do. There were moments in 2018 early on, where I felt hopeless, worried and full of anxiety. Where would I live, how would I make enough money to support my kids and myself, would I be able to move forward financially, emotionally, how am I going to survive this? And today, I can honestly say it’s all ok. I’m ok and I’m headed towards great as each day moves on. There was and still a lot said about me, what I do, and how I’m perceived and I still choose not to share any of it as those words spoken out loud give it meaning.  I know this, judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are. Keeping this mind has helped me move forward and I’m not the problem.

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Love and Dating: Love, I still believe in it and different forms of it and I’ve seen it change within couples. Currently, not something I’m searching for as my focus is my kids and myself. Dating . . . the question everyone wants to know. I have gone on dates, some pretty terrible ones, some ok ones. For now, just funny stories to add to my book one day (kidding :)) and dating is NOTHING like it used to be. And as for being alone, I wrote how it was a fear of mine in this post, and I no longer fear it. I actually like it and it’s made me feel more comfortable with silence, words in my head, and that I choose to be alone and to let certain people in. Until I feel someone is right, alone time is now my time to cherish.

Friendships: Most of you who follow me can see who my friends are here in Chicago, but one thing stuck out to me this year. I reconnected with my high school girlfriends and we see each other maybe at most twice a year since we reconnected. I tend to be the planner and whenever I head back to Seattle I reach out to the 4-5 girls to meet up. In two hours, we talk, catch up on life, and our lives differ tremendously. I love their support, their words, and learn something from every conversation. They do not care what I do, who I hang out with, what I wear, and there’s an easiness to it that is rare. Old friends bonded by old times.  This last time we met over X’mas and I walked away thinking that this is what friendship is about: caring about how people are, listening, no judgments, and just genuine love for each other.  Thank you ladies, (if you are reading this) for your time, words, and friendship.

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Goals for 2019: There is a lot I’d love to achieve in the next year and these are my top three.

{1} Emotionally: listen to my gut, see people as who they are, and continue in the space of starting to open up again. My insides were beaten up the past two years, it is time to put more love and kindness in there and continue to ignore the negativity that tries to creep in.

{2} Physically: Go to that dance class I loved (I did it once and haven’t been back); try to go once a week. It felt good and with the busy season, I didn’t make time for it. This is a priority.

{3} Financially: I hit my financial goals this year and now I’m increasing my goals for next year. But ESSENTIAL to this equation is budgeting. I’m trying very hard to budget so that I can figure out my next steps for the next few years.

I’d love to hear from you guys on what your goals are, any tidbits on what you’ve been through or what you like about the blog. Thank you again for all your continued support in reading, liking and sharing my journey with me.

To end this post:

I’m not too strong, I’m not too direct, I have feelings, I love love, I am loyal as can be, and I don’t put up with bullshit, so this is me. Thank you, next. 2019 I’m ready for you.

If you loved this post, these are a few other posts that are about me that did well this year:

10 Hardest Thing About Being an Entrepreneur

red soles and red wine, Jennifer woman, chicago blogger, fashion blogger, lifestyle blogger, 10 hardest things about being an entrepreneur, boss babe, if you are a business owner you need to read this

My Three Fears

red soles and red wine, Jennifer woman, chicago blogger, fashion blogger, lifestyle blogger, update about me and my 3 fears. sharing my fears about divorce

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

red soles and red wine, Jennifer woman, chicago blogger, fashion blogger, lifestyle blogger, 25 things you didn't know about me, get to know me, get to know a real full time blogger, must read blog for women

 

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