It’s safe to say that 2012 wasn’t my easiest year, but looking back from the other side I can also safely say it was one marked with more growth and experience than many other previous years.
In short (ha), I incorporated my business, knocked out another student loan (leaving just a couple to go), learned how to be a honeybadger (sometimes), started untangling my relationship with parts of myself I’d never fully acknowledged or honored (parts like sexuality, spirituality, and identity), learned what it means to go from being in a long-term, cozy-domestic relationship to truly starting to build a life with someone, learned how to communicate better, stopped worrying so much about what other people think of me (hint: they don’t, at least not as much as my ego worries about it), built on ideas and a commitment to take care of my body and tried naturopathic care for the first time (acupuncture, FTW!), started wearing red lipstick, gained and lost some weight, made serious changes to how I treat myself and my body, traveled over 50,000 miles, solidified some of the most amazing and meaningful friendships I’ve ever had, launched my first products, was paid to travel for the first time (a step beyond simply having my travel paid for), enjoyed amazing wine, fell in love with new whiskeys and bourbons, spent two weeks in Costa Rica, discovered the magic of not effing up good coffee (by drinking it black), and many, many more things.
A 29th Sunset
I was told years ago that going from your 20s to your 30s is marked with things like newfound self-awareness and confidence, and I never quite understood that until I got this close. I’ll turn 30 in 2013, and as I approach my 30th year, I’m starting to realize that these people weren’t lying. Not that you can’t find all that in your 20s, but there’s such a peace surrounding who I am and what I’m doing with my life that I think only comes from a decade spent trying to sort all of that out. I don’t have all the answers (and I think accepting that is part of the secret), but I’m learning to embrace my inner honeybadger now more than ever, something I never thought possible. I stopped worrying so much about being “nice” or “liked” and started focusing more on being honest and real. Sometimes that means the same thing. Other times, well, you can’t please everyone, and life’s too short not to accept that.
Being misunderstood does not mean you’re wrong or you’re crazy. It means you’re misunderstood.
There were times in 2012 that I felt scattered and disorganized by the idea of moving from ‘freelance social media consultant’ to ‘small business owner’. There were other times I felt overwhelmed by the weight of my own feelings, lost about who I was, what I was doing with my life, and what direction I was supposed to be going. I talked out a lot of deeply personal and confusing things with a very, very small handful of people. Talk about true friends. You know who you are.
On December 20, Chris and I left for a holiday break in Minnesota. We drove all the way from Portland, stopping in Bozeman, Montana, for a night, and then continuing on to Minnesota. About an hour from our destination, somewhere around St. Cloud, we broke through into some of the most thoughtful, enlightening, and fun conversations we’ve ever had. I love him today more than ever.
We set goals, solved mysteries of the Universe (or at least, formed our own theories), hashed out ideas for our own businesses and those of our clients, and we communicated better. We traversed snowy Idaho mountain roads and gasped, repeatedly, at the unbelievable beauty that surrounded us. No, seriously. Idaho is magical. I had no idea.
We listened to podcasts. I found a 90s station on satellite radio, and got really, really excited when they started playing songs from Hanson’s Christmas album (I can’t help it; it’s a favorite).
Get outta town, cousin!
I’ve learned this a few times in my life already, but it takes me a little while to seriously unplug and distance myself from work and the Internet. I take days off here and there, yes, but it’s difficult for me sometimes to separate my work life and my personal life, since they blend together so much and so frequently. When I finally do get it all untangled, new ideas and inspiration bubbles to the surface so quickly. This trip provided that separation for me, and by the end of it, I felt completely rejuvenated. I am ecstatic about what 2013 has in store.