2018: A Review

I’m sure this will come as a surprise to no one, but I have to officially say that this last year has been the wildest, weirdest, and most life-changing one of my life thus far. There were so many things that happened, so many new places that were visited, and so many ways in which I grew, and in that I declare that 2018 was a game changer. I solo-traveled for the first time in March, followed closely by my big solo-trip around Europe; I learned more about who I am and the way I’ve been made (thanks for the assist, enneagram — a 4w3 right here); I learned how to identify my feelings and work through them in a healthy way; my confidence and belief in myself skyrocketed; I embraced my single status and am (finally) thriving in it; and — most importantly — I stepped into more freedom and abundance as I’ve continued to follow Jesus. It hasn’t been an easy year — not in the slightest. But it has undoubtedly been the best one yet.

So here it is: a quick recap of this last year . . .

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Real Talk: Being Single

As I’ve been hanging out in New York City for the last few weeks, I recently decided to make a reservation for one at a popular and busy dessert restaurant. After spending countless hours holed up in my friends’ apartment clocking my work hours and hustling over a new project (that I can’t wait to share with y’all soon!), I decided it was high time to take myself out for a sweet treat. So I made the 1.5 mile walk across Central Park toward the restaurant, ready to devour all things chocolate, only to end up slightly salty about a comment that was made to me by a waiter. As I was sitting down, he motioned to the empty seat and asked, “Where is your second person?” to which I kindly replied, “oh nope, it’s just me!” He half-smiled and said, “Oh, okay . . . well, enjoy.” That was one thing in itself, but then as I was leaving, he made sure to say to me over his shoulder, “hopefully next time there will be someone with you!”

While I don’t think there was any ill-intent in that this particular situation, I know that his comment could have been taken one of two ways: maybe it was said in kindness because it seemed like there should have been someone with me (like I’m cute and should have had a guy with me, or at least a friend), or that he was annoyed that — at the peak of their busy time of the day — they would only be serving one person/one meal instead of a “full party.” Sine I truly believe it was the former, you should know that I wasn’t personally offended. I have done so many things on my own at this point that a meal is pretty basic, and the truth is that I am totally comfortable taking myself out as I have learned over the last few years to truly enjoy my own company. What did take offense, however, was my not-so-slight justice complex, because all I could think was, “man, if I wasn’t as okay with being by myself, that could have really stung.” Which got me thinking even more that there are too many misconceptions around singleness, and — having been single for quite some time myself — there are a few things that I think need to be said about it from a single person’s perspective. And while I’ve confessed some things about singleness in the past, I’ve been searching for more: more truth, more guidance, and more encouragement for all of us as we, together, navigate the rapidly growing population of singles. But unfortunately, apart from this spot on message* (which I will reference many times in this post and encourage all of you to listen to ASAP), I haven’t come across much that suffices, thus I find myself here once again, sharing my heart on something that can be uncomfortable to talk about bluntly: singleness.

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The Next Adventure

It has been just over six weeks since returning from my Europe trip, six months since I left the states to start that adventure, and about one year since sharing the news that I was leaving Nashville to move back to California to prepare for the trip. It’s an understatement to be sure, but the last year has been a complete whirlwind of emotions and growth that included countless bouts of loneliness, excitement, frustration, and everything in between. After living in that beautiful city for four years, leaving who and what I knew and loved in Nashville proved to be one of the hardest decisions I’ve made thus far, only being slightly surpassed by choosing to solo-travel around Europe for almost five months. Both were difficult choices to make, and yet both were worth it in almost every way.

Speaking of, I realize that I haven’t properly shared an update on how the second half of the trip went (first half is recapped here), and the easiest way to do so is to say that it was even more eye-opening and life-changing than the first.

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Turning Twenty-Nine

As of today, I have officially entered into the last year of my twenties, and while I may be mildly freaking out about getting older, I am also quite excited about this next year of my life. The truth is that the closer I’ve inched toward thirty, the more I’ve found myself worrying, namely about the future, settling down, and being a “real adult”. But something shifted while I was traipsing around Europe, and I now find myself embracing this stage of life more than ever. Sure, it doesn’t look much like what life looks likes for most people my age, but it certainly is beautiful and wild and — I believe — exactly where I am supposed to be. And as I reflect on the last few years of my life that seemed full of worry and nerves and doubt, I have realized that if I could go back to give myself one piece of advice, it would be this…

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