Do you ever look back on something that’s happened and think how huge, overwhelming or insurmountable it seemed in the moment, but then, as time passes and the busyness of life persists, its magnitude diminishes and suddenly it’s just another thing of the past, barely making it (if at all) into your present?
Like most people, I spent the last few weeks thinking about my goals for 2018—what I hope to accomplish and how I plan to do it; and also, what I want more of and the stuff I could use less of (or completely go without). Plotting and planning, visualizing and manifesting, all while trying to be realistic about what’s feasible and avoid the all too familiar “I’ve-taken-on-too-much-and-don’t-know-where-to-start-so-imma-just-sit-here-and-do-nothing” paralysis.
I also took some time to reflect back on 2017—resolutions upheld or abandoned and challenges that weren’t…ahem…“part of the plan.” For me, it’s not a matter of reliving the past, but rather drawing inspiration, knowledge and a sense of resolve from its experiences. As someone who believes things happen for a reason, looking back helps prepare me to move forward and take on whatever may come my way in the future.
By far the most profound moment this last year was dealing with cancer. I found out four days before Christmas (2016), then had the surgery to remove the tumor just a few days into the 2017 new year. It wasn’t exactly the holiday surprise I had in mind—an attractive and kind single man would have been nice—but the “holy shit, life is really fucking short” realization sparked some pretty significant changes in the months that followed, making 2017 a rather interesting year. I made bold decisions; threw myself into new opportunities (stepping waaay outside my comfort zone); had some misses; and definitely endured more challenges—all the while remaining fairly steadfast that it was all happening for a reason.
Below are a few of those notable 2017 moments: some that were prompted by the big C, others that just came to be. My hope in sharing this list is for it to serve as a reminder that we all have ups and downs. Whether you’re over the hump of your 2017 challenges or still in the thick of it…hang in there and know that you’re not alone and that eventually those big, ugly, scary moments will become distant memories—things of the past that help shape your future.
A look back at 2017…
Quit my job of three years and embarked on a four-month exploration of “what’s next” (and subsequently overcame the massive bout of anxiety and insomnia that ensued after I did).
Co-taught a sold-out TEAMride spin class at Golden 1 Center—an experience I can easily describe in one word: EPIC! The 2018 TEAMride x Golden 1 rides on Saturday, January 13, have already sold out!!
Had my first intuitive (psychic) reading! A super interesting experience and one I would definitely repeat. Without any guidance from me, she pinpointed so many things that I already knew in my gut to be true, but needed that extra proof and reassurance.
Got more involved in my creative community by volunteering with CreativeMornings and connecting and collaborating with other creatives—something I’d been yearning to do and finally had the time (thanks to my newfound “temporary retirement”) to make happen.
Submitted essays for a travel writing contest. I wasn’t selected, which was somewhat heartbreaking at the time, but it was a good exercise in putting myself out there, regardless of what the outcome may be (something I talk about often).
Got nominated for Sacramento’s Most Eligible Bachelor & Bachelorette! I didn’t win, but laughed it off (with the help of a few drinks) and had a great time anyway. Side note: This was the day after the essay contest results, so it was quite a humbling week.
Coordinated (and posed nude for) #GETNAKED—a month-long Melanoma awareness campaign. A little back story (no pun intended) behind this project…
As open as I am and un-shy when it comes to wearing next to nothing (e.g. a bathing suit or just a sports bra and workout pants) on social media, I was SOOOO nervous to post my #GETNAKED image where my cancer scar was visible, but my backside was completely exposed. I worried what people might say or think and if it would affect my ability to get a job (I was temporarily retired at the time). But the reason I did a melanoma awareness campaign under the guise of #GETNAKED—a campaign originally started by the Melanoma Research Foundation—was to garner as much awareness as possible on how deadly this disease is. I wanted to make the greatest impact on millennials, so while baring all was drastic, I knew it would get their attention.
Solo-traveled to Nashville and hit it off with a professional rugby player from Australia…then learned about an hour into our conversation that he’s married with two kids. Eff…
Him: “How are you still single?”
Me: “Because I keep meeting guys who are unavailable.” (*rolls eyes, heavy sigh*)
Hosted my first creative pop-up event: The Patterned Pots & Succulents workshop! It was so much fun combining all the things I love—event planning, styling, being creative, teaching, socializing, and (of course) Sauvy-B. I’m hoping to do more events in 2018, so stay tuned!
Started a new job in lifestyle branding and advertising—a little over a year after first putting it out into the universe that that was the direction I wanted to go, then provided a gentle reminder here.
Turned 34 and had a really hard time with it. Not because I’m afraid of growing older, but rather the societal and biological weight that hits once a woman hits her mid-thirties. It’s odd, because I love being in my thirties, but I’m suddenly so much more aware of the fact that I’m still single and that if I do want kids (I do, by the way), the window of possibility is getting smaller and smaller each year. It’s a heavy reality, hence the “fuck, I’m 34” funk that washed over me for the better part of August and September.
Said goodbye to my dear Grandpa George. Something I knew would be sad, but was so much harder than I expected and again, reminded me how precious life really is.
Went through growing pains with the new gig—because #change and #perfectionism. It had been three years since my last reset, so I’d forgotten how much of a learning curve there is when starting a new job. And never mind the fact that I not only switched industries, but also went from in-house marketing and event production to advertising and branding at an agency. Needless to say, there were a lot of tears and feelings of frustration (mostly with myself) at the start, but eventually, I cut myself a little slack and started to find my groove. Now—thankfully—I’m enjoying it and genuinely love the people I work with.
Basically, August and September were ROUGH! But I got through ‘em. It only took a few self-pep-talks, a whole lot of wine, several emotional meltdowns and ultimately the resolution to snap-the-fuck-out-of-it.
Spent an amazing, sun-filled week in San Diego with my family for Thanksgiving, then welcomed my sweet nephew Bowie—Lucky number seven!—just in time for Christmas!
One year later and I can’t help but feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be. (Now if I could just meet someone who isn’t married or otherwise involved, doesn’t live in another country, and who gets me and isn’t intimidated by me. Tall order, I suppose, but I think 2018 is up to the challenge. Take note, Universe. *wink*)
If you take ANYTHING away from this post, I hope it’s this:
Take chances, make mistakes, step outside your comfort zone and ultimately cherish ALL the moments 2018 brings—even the shitty ones—because they all have a purpose.
Happy new year, my dear friends!
– S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H