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What I Learned in 2017 & What I'm Learning in 2018

It's only right that one uses the tool of reflection to shine light forward. That is in fact what reflecting is. *11:09pm on 1/3/18 is when I typed these very words.* Hmmm...

[caption id="attachment_1994" align="aligncenter" width="360"]📷 January 2017 | Los Angeles, CA[/caption]

2017 wasn't the most exciting year of my life. Truth be told, half of the year feels like a blur. Beside's my graduation celebration, it's hard for me to remember one meaningful thing that happened in June, and September's warmth made fall go by all too quickly. The last time I took a good look at the calendar it was December 8th, and now its 2018. Although that flash of time might seem normal to some people, something inside me wants so badly for 2018 to be different. I want to feel my skin this year. I want life to marinate this year. Most of us say we're looking forward to this year being special and full of new growth. But every year, no matter the trials and triumphs, is special and full of growth. Some years are filled with more fears and tears, while others more smiles and sunshine, but growth is present none the less. I'd like to believe that 2018 will bring sunshine into my life, and even more, that this year will continue to teach me that light is within, no matter the weather or the darkness.

[caption id="attachment_2005" align="aligncenter" width="360"]📷 February 2017 | Malibu, CA[/caption]

I guess I should have made this post about a week ago. Reflecting on 2017 already feels like dwelling on the past, but for whatever reason, this moment didn't feel true some days ago. Now seems like the right time to live in my sur name 'Sankofa', meaning, ' to return to the source and retrieve what you have lost.' Now is a good time to look at and resource last year and look ahead to what can and will hopefully be one of the most teachable years of my life.

[caption id="attachment_1995" align="aligncenter" width="303"]📷 March 2017 | Cochabamba, Bolivia[/caption]

I spent over 10 months of age 22 in 2017. 22 is the highest number in numerology named 'the Master Builder', symbolizing turning dreams into realities, confidence, ambition and discipline. I remember setting a real intention of 22 being a year where I was committed to start building the life I wanted for myself. But I'm not perfect... Some spring evenings were spent indulging in the juvenile gifts of senior year. Some summer days were spent sleeping in. Some fall mornings were spent avoiding eye contact and skipping breakfast. Two December nights, I cried myself to sleep. I was present through it all however, and to some extent I did add to the framework of my life. I traveled, graduated from college, started making money as a life coach, and continued my career in radio. And even though the last few months of 2017 weren't the easiest for me, I feel accomplished thus far in my journey of 'adulting' and growing wiser.

[caption id="attachment_1991" align="aligncenter" width="398"]📷 April 2017 | Los Angeles, CA[/caption]

We can probably all admit that 2017 wasn't the best year we've ever had. Every year has its' fair share of ups and downs, triumphs and challenges, but the most important thing is being grateful for being alive, understanding the polarities of time and the fragility of life. And if you hold those things close to your spirit, nothing really seems so bad. With that being said, I am proud to say that 2017 brought no regrets to my life.

[caption id="attachment_1999" align="aligncenter" width="374"]📷 May 2017 | Los Angeles, CA[/caption]

I'm sharing some things I learned in 2017 in hopes that you too will reflect on what they might mean to your life. And sharing what I hope to learn in 2018, in hopes that you too might see these things as something you want to channel this year or that they will remind you of a previous lesson you learned and now have the wisdom from it to show you survived. Onward and upward we go...

[caption id="attachment_1997" align="aligncenter" width="406"]📷 July 2017 | San Juan, Puerto Rico[/caption]

A few things I learned about myself in 2017...

1. I'm a lot more creative than I give myself credit for. 2. I have a need to maintain control in every area of my life (still working on it!) 3. I inspire people, near and far. 4. I'm just about good at anything I decide to put my mind to. 5. I don't work well with anxious or pessimistic people. 6. I'm more forgiving now that I ever thought I would be when I reached this age. 7. I can actually take care of living things...MY PLANTS *tears*. 8. I feel most connected to the world between the hours of 4-7pm. 9. My Spanish is not too shabby! 10. My younger years have taught me lessons I am now beginning to use (this means I'm getting old LOL).  11. I can get tears of joy and growth out of ALMOST all my friends. ♥

[caption id="attachment_1998" align="aligncenter" width="258"]📷 August 2017 | Philadelphia, PA[/caption]

And some other things I learned about life in 2017...

1. No one is going to treat you better than you treat yourself. 2. Taking care of your hair is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 3. Good company can be found in random places. 4. No matter how anyone treats you, you always have a choice in how you respond. 5. Everyone comes into your life when they are supposed to. There is no such thing as bad timing. Even without the fairytale ending, it's always the right person at the right time. 6. People are thinking about you and sending you good vibes even when you think they're not. 7. People don't owe you anything and most people don't care how you feel, but that's okay! Life is too short for pity parties. You cry, and pray and sleep it off. And the next day, you don't feel that bad for yourself anyway. 8. Sometimes you need to talk about things, until there's nothing left to say. 9. Your flaws do not define your beauty. 10. The people you love most are always at the closest distance to hurt you. 11. Life is shaped like a helix. Things happen in cycles and patterns, time moves in circles, but we're never in the same place at the same time.

[caption id="attachment_2001" align="aligncenter" width="378"]📷 September 2017 | Atlantic City, NJ[/caption]

What I look forward to learning about myself in 2018...

1. How MORE flexible and strong my body can be while practicing yoga daily. 2. How to do everything I can for myself, before asking anyone else for help. 3. How to get through a whole book, any book, in one week. 4. What it feels like to live without emotional distraction for 1 whole year (still dating and getting to know people)! 5. How my writing will improve with practice, practice and more practice. 6. How to rock a wig without feeling insecure. 7. The benefits on my body of drinking a little under a gallon of water a day. 8. How to connect to the love within anyone and everyone I come in contact with. 9. How to choreograph a dance piece about an experience in my life without thinking my story isn't worth telling or that my art isn't developed enough. 10. How to not talk about things I'm planning to do, until I already have them in motion. 11. How to avoid all distraction in the midst of any task.

[caption id="attachment_1993" align="aligncenter" width="351"]📷 October 2017 | Philadelphia, PA[/caption]

And lastly, what I look forward to learning about life in 2018...

1. How to take action on what I want, no matter the mental or literal obstacles that appear to be in my way. 2. How to successfully gain and retain clients for my coaching business. 3. How to set things free, and not wait for them to come back. 4. The beauty of living at home and all the ways I can contribute to my household. 5. What people my age, in my field of work are doing to prosper and grow. 6. How to budget and save more efficiently. 7. How to see the actions of those close to me as an external part of who I truly am inside. 8. How to embody the Solar Plexus Chakra everyday.  9. How to be kind and generous to those who have hurt me. 10. Consulting with my spirit before I make every important decision. 11. How to give myself the proper time and space to overcome all pain and confusion.

[caption id="attachment_2000" align="aligncenter" width="376"]📷 November 2017 | Philadelphia, PA[/caption]

There were definitely a few occurrences that made me feel small and undeserving this year. My challenge to myself for 2018 is to not be defined by those wounds and to confront them with all the strength, courage and wisdom I have in my mind, body and soul. There were even more occurrences that made me feel joyous and proud to be who I am. Another challenge to myself for 2018 is not discrediting the obstacles I have overcome and the self-love I have continued to nurture. The ultimate goal: TO APPEAR AS EVERYTHING THAT I AM, AND NOTHING THAT I AM NOT, GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF MYSELF AT ALL TIMES, FORGIVING MYSELF FOR MISTAKES MADE, AND KEEPING 'GOD'FIDENCE IN MY HEAD, HEART AND HANDS.


[caption id="attachment_2002" align="aligncenter" width="269"]📷 December 2017 | Philadelphia, PA[/caption]



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