As 2014 Comes to a Close…

You know that pit you get in your stomach when you know you need to do something, but it’s gonna be hard, so you want to put it off as long as possible? Well…that’s this post. Now, I’ve been pretty vulnerable in this blog before, especially during this last year, but today is going to be a little bit different. Today, I’m talking about my flaws. Think of this as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” minus Jimmy Stewart…and the adorable, small children.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple days, Facebook has rolled out it’s annual “look at how great my year was” slideshow. This year’s tagline has been the popular “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it!” To be honest, I’ve rolled my eyes more times than I can count, but that’s besides the point. The actual point I’m trying to make here is, what if it hasn’t been a great year? Or, what if you want to thank everyone but that one person, who purposefully made your life a living hell for the last two months? Where are those options, Facebook? Nowhere to be seen. But, I digress…

I find myself in the former category: 2014 wasn’t a great year for me. It was expensive. Expensive in the “well, I guess that’s going on my credit card…again” kind of way. The “I should probably ask my parents for a loan, but I’m too proud to do so” kind of way. 2014 was the year that my job spent the spring hitting me over the head repeatedly, and then one more time for good measure. Back pain, difficult students…those became my life. 2014 was the year I was finally going to go out with a guy I’d liked since college…until he stopped talking to me two weeks before the date, and I ended up cancelling myself to avoid being stood up…and then spent the next several months worrying about what I’d done wrong. 2014 was the year I ended a broken friendship. 2014 was the year I became my own worst enemy. The year I felt like crap for not being married, not having kids, not being the person my friends all bragged about for changing the world. And 2014 was the year that I finally, after months of being a jerk to myself, had a major meltdown on my bedroom floor. My hardwood floor. (Not the best place to have a meltdown.)

It happened over the summer. I came home from work one day, and had just had enough, and I lost it. I ugly-cried for about 30 minutes, before moving to my bed to ugly-cry some more. When I finally regained my composure,  I decided I didn’t want to be upset alone. So, I texted about 15 of my most-trusted friends. I kept it simple: “I need some prayers. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. Please send me some happy thoughts.” And the prayers and happy thoughts rolled in. It was incredible! But of course, that alone couldn’t make things better. It helped, but I knew that I needed to do something. And I did.

For the past 5 months, I’ve been working with a life coach, who just so happens to be my dear friend, Aubree. What’s a life coach, you may ask? Well, simply, she’s helping me figure out life. Each week, we have a one hour session via Skype, and we focus on whatever I need to for the week: stress management, how to approach good-looking men (seriously), how to better balance my time, what it will take to make my cooking blog profitable, etc. To say it’s changed my life is an understatement; unlike the first half of 2014, I actually feel like I have control over my life. Working with Aubree is the best thing that could have happened to me in that moment, and is something I’ll never be able to thank her enough for. Now, with that being said, having a life coach is a lot of WORK. I truly believe you get out of it what you put into it, so I’ve been putting my all into it. It’s been exhausting. It’s been emotional. But it’s been great. At the end of every session, I always tell Aubree, “you’re great!” And she always says, “You’re great! You’re the one who did all the work.” And while I begrudgingly admit that that’s true, it’s work I wouldn’t have been able to do without her unwavering love and support. If a life coach is something YOU have ever thought about or are now thinking about, I highly recommend Aubree. Highly, highly, highly. Ask me about it…I’m happy to spill. 🙂

Working with Aubree hasn’t been a magical solution. My life wasn’t and isn’t instantly better. In fact, I still have a lot of days that aren’t great, but I’m learning how to deal with them productively. I’m working on what I need to positively deal with stress. I’m working to adopt a positive mindset and to stop overthinking. I’m working to focus on me, and to stop trying to please everyone else, because it just doesn’t work. And I’m working to be confident in my choices, even if they are challenged by people I love. I was talking to Ria a few weeks ago, after a particularly hard day (spoiler alert: I cried over FaceTime…alot.) She challenged me to come up with a word I wanted to live by for 2015. Not a resolution, but a word. I’ve been trying out the word “can” for the past couple of weeks, and I love the change it’s made to my thinking. I haven’t decided if that will be my word or not, but I know that it’s made a positive impact on me. I am also setting some goals for myself for 2015. I spent a lot of time in 2014 feeling like my life was at a standstill, but not this next year. I’m in the process of coming up with 8-10 very clear, very concise goals for myself. I got the idea from the “School of Greatness” podcast (thanks, Aubree!) which I highly recommend. Finally, I’m working on being happy with where I’m at: a single homeowner, who is healthy, has a supportive family, amazing friends, and the two cutest cats on the planet.

So, why did I write this post? Well, it’s no secret that I wasn’t the best at blogging or working on my list this year. I own that. But I wanted you to know why. Why I wasn’t blogging, and why I didn’t work on my list. I wrote this post because I needed to see it, typed out, for me to fully move forward. I needed to acknowledge that 2014 was a hard, exhausting, shitty year. I don’t want you to feel bad for me, nor should you. My shitty year is making me one kickass, strong, confident woman. I’m ready for what this next year has in store for me, and I’m predicting it’s going to be pretty great.

Alright 2015, let’s dance.