2015 through 2018 was a blur. A blur of work. A blur of finishing college, starting my business, moving out on my own, and work being my whole world.
But not 2019. 2019 was different. 2019 held some of my happiest highs and hardest lows, laughing so hard I can’t breathe and crying so hard I can’t either, feelings I didn’t know I could feel and lessons I will never unlearn. I vividly remember saying once somewhere in the middle that this has been one of my hardest years so far. I’m not sure if I still stand by that or not, but I do know that even though I don’t want to redo this year I am so glad it happened. This year is one I won’t forget for a while.
This year has taught me that it’s okay to not be okay. And even moreso, it’s okay to not hide it. It’s okay to answer “um honestly terrible” when someone asks “how are you?” It’s okay to not know when I will be okay, and to just keep crying for as long as it takes. There’s no time limit on tears and there’s no should on be over it by now.
Life won’t always play out like I imagined. Sometimes it’s about letting go, trusting that maybe the universe knows what I need more than I do, appreciating what was and what it taught me, learning that endings aren’t failures just plot twists, and remembering the perspective my sister once told me and I will never forget: you didn’t lose them, they lost you.
Thank you for misunderstanding me, rejecting me, not seeing me, and teaching me to always see myself.
And in the last few months I’ve learned that time always works its magic. It always gets easier. There will always be more captivating conversations you don’t see coming and new connections full of beautiful potential and enlivening moments of unforgettable happiness ahead.
I am not perfect and I don’t want to be. Instead I want to be quick to apologize when I mess up and quick to forgive because everyone messes up. I want to give myself grace for not being able to do it all perfectly. I want to be honest and careful with my words, because even though actions speak louder words are important. I want to have love for the people who love me, and let them know how much I appreciate them. And I want to have love for the people who don’t love me, even if they never know it.
Work this year has been…not what I want. It’s been frazzled and fitting things in amidst moving twice and tons of traveling and life craziness. I miss creating and photographing and the fun that I know it can be when I’m not constantly pushed for time and almost missing deadlines. This year I’ve felt perpetually not caught up with my own self-created content calendar, and that needs to change.
When you work for yourself, you have to make work a priority because life will not do that for you. There is no clocking in and out or minimum hours required. There are always more recipes I could create or more jobs I could take or potentially better photos I could re-shoot. Good enough versus needs to be more perfect, or taking the weekend off versus working straight through is always up to me to decide.
This year has also been a humbling reminder that there are times when life won’t allow me to hustle. It’s okay to go slower, it’s okay to rest when necessary, it’s okay to prioritize mental peace over productivity sometimes. I want next year to be less checklists and deadlines, and more creating what I am inspired to share.
Create something that is meaningful and true to you. Something not measured by its success or reception, but by the heart and purpose of why you do what you do.Morgan Harper Nichols
Don’t get me wrong, delicious things have happened this year…
Even though THIS recipe is my personal favorite from the year, the top 10 reader favorites were…
- Tahini Medjool Date Chunk Cookies
- Double Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins
- Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Blondies
- Brownie Mousse Cake
- Peanut Butter Banana Bundt Cake
- Buckwheat Brownie Crunch Balls
- SunButter Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Latte Chia Puddings
- Berry Yogurt Cake
- Medjool Date Peanut Butter Eggs
This year was messy and hard and emotional as hell. But I am grateful for the things I got to feel. Grateful for all the beautiful little moments I get to keep as memories. Grateful for all the subtle ways this year has made me stronger. Grateful for new beginnings.