5 things I've learned and 5 things I'm leaving behind in 2017

This past year has been kind of exhausting, honestly. 19 was confusing enough and then I turned 20 a few months ago in September and honestly, I’ve just been getting more confused about life ever since.

My love life this past year was the craziest it’s ever been. I launched my blog and started working with more brands and upped my content quality a LOT over the summer (shoutout to Chris, the photo creds in over half my photos and fave feminist guy). I became an Aerie brand ambassador and started working with other creatives. I met Grace (@ygwengrace) in New York, a fellow influencer and now close friend back in November. In March, I met Zoe (@zoebernstein) who I've followed forever. I'm determined to meet more friends in 2018! (Looking at you, Katiee)

I’ve done a lot this past year and through it all, I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning, though. Maybe some of the things I learned last year I’ll disagree with next year, but for now, here’s five things I learned last year and five things I’m leaving behind in 2017. Shoutout to Chris for these insanely magical NYE-esque shots. 

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED IN 2017

1. You have to say things out loud to make them happen. Or at least start to. There’s no point dreaming if you’re never going to actually make that dream a reality. Part of making that dream a reality is allowing yourself to say it out loud. I’ve been making it a point to tell people lately about my ideas, no matter how ridiculous they sound. Hearing myself say them out loud makes me feel scared, at times, but it’s also a step toward actually making them happen.

2. Tattoos hurt like a bitch but they are so worth it. Believe in your own strength. And take a leap of faith. I got my first tattoo this year I already have ideas for two or three more. I could dedicate an entire blog post to the story behind that first tattoo, and I honestly will, but part of the story is that getting the tattoo was a reminder to myself of my own strength. I went by myself and it hurt like a mf but it was 110% worth it. 

3. You have to listen to yourself. And speak for yourself. And think for yourself. No one knows you better than yourself. Sometimes, it can be nice to just listen to other people and do what they tell you to do. It’s easier, really. There’s a sense of security in listening to others and doing what they say instead of having to think on your own and figure things out. But fuck security. No one really knows you and no one really knows how you think--except for yourself. I let myself get dragged into a toxic relationship in which I was so emotionally manipulated that I couldn’t figure out what I was actually thinking and what he was telling me I thought. It was awful. It was easy for a little bit to let him tell me how I felt and what I was doing. It was easy to let someone else do the hard work of figuring me out. But easy sure as hell doesn’t mean right.  

4. Not everything is worth doing. Prioritize your life based on your passions. Is what you’re doing right now getting you to where you want to be? Is it bringing you more happiness than stress? If not, cut it. I have a tendency to say yes to everything. This is the year I started to realize the power of no. I left a startup that I was interning at for free after I realized my value wasn’t fully appreciated, nor was the startup going anywhere, anyway. I shifted my focus to my blog and started to make more moves with it.

5. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Stop asking “what if?” and start asking “why not?” Details can get figured out along the way. Just get started. I tend to get worried that I can’t make something happen because there’s so many steps and details. But this year, I realized that if I kept doing that, I would never do anything. Take my blog, for example. I still don’t really know what I’m doing with it. But do I know more than I did when I started? Fuck yeah, I do. And in another month or so, I’ll know even more than I did before. But I had to get started to even get this far.

 Photos by  Chris Rifon

Photos by Chris Rifon

FIVE THINGS I’M LEAVING BEHIND IN 2017

  1. Dating guys who can’t/won’t call themselves feminists. I've dated people who respected women but wouldn't call themselves feminists, and maybe in the past, that was enough. But not anymore. The more I learn about feminism, the more intertwined it becomes with my identity. And my identity is not something I'm willing to compromise for anyone.   

  2. Comparing myself to other girls. I’m learning to love myself as I am and embrace whatever the fuck that is. Something I like to say when I feel myself starting to compare myself to someone else is, “Yeah, she’s beautiful. But so am I.” It's a pretty revolutionary way of thinking, honestly, and I encourage you all to try it for yourselves. 

  3. Putting guys at the forefront of my worries at the expense of my dreams and career goals. I'm so tired of letting myself put all my energy toward my romantic relationships and putting my dreams and career goals on the back burner. This year, I'll rebalance the two so that relationships no longer come at the expense of my goals.  

  4. Wasting my time. On shitty relationships, toxic people, and opportunities that don’t take me where I want to go. This is pretty self explanatory, honestly. 2018 is my year, so I'm not wasting it on things or people that drag me down.

  5. Watering myself down. The people I look up to most and get along with best are those who are genuine and authentic. Being told that I'm genuine is the best compliment I can receive from anyone. So in 2018, I'm no longer watering myself down. I'm pushing myself to be even more authentic, even more open, even more vulnerable. And if that means that I push some buttons, so be it. The watered down version of myself is far less exciting, anyway.

 This is 100% my favorite photo  Chris  has even taken. Major Brandon Woefel vibes.

This is 100% my favorite photo Chris has even taken. Major Brandon Woefel vibes.

2018 is gonna be killer.

Drop a comment and let me know either something you’ve learned in 2017 or something you’re leaving behind in 2017! Also, should I do a blog post on my first tattoo???

Hope you guys have an amazing New Year’s!

 

xx

annabelle