2016. How do you feel about him / her? Yes, I am personifying the year. In fact, I am almost certain that if you asked a random person how you felt about the year, a negative response would be uttered. Some of my good friends have even called it "a whole ho outchea", which I can understand, however, I don't have too many foul feelings towards this year. Let's be clear though. I'm not by any means saying that 2016 and I are best friends. Believe me, I have had quite the rollercoaster of a year as well, but I still learned some lessons. I also had some epic highs for any low I might have gone through. That's just the way the world goes.
I have gotten into journaling again, thanks to my beautiful Hustle Manifesto notebook from Myleik Teele (please check her out if you are not familiar with her greatness). With that said, I have reflected deeply about what 2016 taught me in different avenues of my life. When I thought about lessons I learned in regards to travel, I instantly knew what my big takeaway was from the year. It is a fairly simply concept, but I plan on making this my mantra for 2017.
I dreamed about the most epic Summer 2016 vacation in Europe for two years but I continuously psyched myself out of taking the trip. One, I am not the biggest plan of flying for extended durations. After 3 hours, I get extremely antsy. Secondly, I didn't even have my passport in Summer 2014 and the thought of being away from Lover (the ex) that long paralyzed me. Lastly, I was worried about the costs and who would be able to join me. I can remember another time when I was adamant about not spending Valentine's Day in Dallas and wanted to get away but I was single AF and had no serious prospective candidates so I ended up going with one of my female coworkers and we had a wonderful time as two single ladies. Hilarious in hindsight, huh?
Each time I take a trip, particularly my solo adventures, I feel like a certified lioness. My confidence level raises a little bit, I learn more about myself, and I realize that I am trippin' with my silly thoughts of "what if" and I end up having the time of my life. I still judge myself by letting my random moments of fear stop me from going after my goals. Y'all. I almost didn't go to Europe. In fact, at my mini goodbye party I had a brief 10 minute crying stunt (whoops). I almost missed out on meeting some of the most amazing people and pushing myself harder than I had ever done in my 27 years of living.
The common factor? Stop being a sucker and going after the vision. I firmly believe that Big Homie is leading my steps and 17 countries later, he has not steered me wrong. I can only hope that as the New Year continues to approach, I can apply this mantra to my true personal life. I'm much more free spirited when I'm somewhere new because I am more open to being vulnerable and novice. I have been alluding that 2017 will be a year of transition for me, and so if I have to literally write "Just go for it" in my planner every day (which I definitely would do), then so be it. Life is entirely too short and we are losing people close to us every day.
Whether you are holding yourself back from taking a trip, switching careers, shooting your shot in the DM's to your crush, just go for it. Delayed is not always denial and a "no" probably won't kill you, but can help redirect you. Think of going for it as a mini adventure every time you place yourself out of your comfort zone, abroad or not. Just know that I am cheering you on.
What lessons have you learned from 2016? I'd love to hear about them.