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(Last Updated On: December 23, 2019)
Year reflection
Photo by Marvin Boyd

This is my third year of putting out my self-analytical-rehash of what Taylor-Swift-VS- Kanye-West-type internal drama went down since last year. Each year it gives me a little more anxiety because y’all are crazy supportive and have somehow stuck around to watch my awkward attempts at figuring life out, but MY OH MY there are MORE of you now. I’ve never loved the spotlight, and someone still needs to tell me what to do with my hands!!

I have to say, after last year I thought, “How the heck am I going to beat 2018 – where I traveled to 2 different countries, 2 new National Parks…” What I didn’t count on was that my idea of a “successful year” would change. So, golly gee, let me pour myself a glass of good ole boxed wine and get to this mildly-interesting, self-reflective mess of word vomit. You’re welcome.

painted hills
Photo by Disa Wold


I named 2017’s post ‘The Year of Sun and Rain’, because it was full of highs and lows; always one end of an extreme. Year 2018 was ‘The Year of Wind and Stars’, because I allowed myself to let go of what I THOUGHT my life should be and just let it happen.

This year I decided on ‘The Year of Lightning and Thunder’ (I’m going to eventually run out of basic weather terminology for titles). Why lightning and thunder for 2019? BECAUSE I DID A LOT OF SH*T THAT SCARED THE H$LL OUT OF ME. I may not have visited many new and exciting countries, but I learned the value of pushing what is “comfortable” and how to be better because of it – and I will treasure these lessons more than any lux travel destination. 

Photo by Cole Lundberg

On Life.

Every year I have failed. I have failed to figure out an alternative career that interests me and that makes me feel like I have found my purpose, and I’m better because of it. I remember throughout high school and college, motivational speakers would quite frequently blab on about how we don’t learn much from success, we learn the most from failing. It feels super cliche, but I truly believe this. Society tells us we don’t have time for failures, that we must effectively and efficiently monetize all of our free time and hobbies. I don’t know about you, but this was the basis of most of my anxiety that I’m just starting to figure out how to address.

Despite not finding the “perfect career” this year, that doesn’t mean I did not learn a lot. I have met more inspiring people than ever that push towards following their passions. I have learned how to stand up and voice my values by choosing to work with companies that have similar values and respect my time. Most importantly, I have learned there is a balance between forcing something to happen and allowing yourself space and time to grow into the best outcome.

2019 Year
Photo by Disa Wold

On Self. 

I made self care and self respect a bigger priority this year. Did I spend as much time as I should have on myself? Definitely not. It is very easy to stay in comfortable situations that are not good for us. It is less effort than the alternative of having to make physical or emotional change.

Ahhh yes, the dreaded word: CHANGE. My relationship with change has always been a bit unbalanced. I fear change a lot, but at the same time I crave it a LOT. For me, I have found that giving into the thirst for change has allowed me to grow past the fears I felt around it. I pushed past the fear of road-tripping to Alaska alone, of backpacking alone, and now facing this next chapter of my life without a partner. All of these experiences have been life changing in different ways, but each leaves me feeling that I AM capable of what I put my mind to no matter what unforeseeable AND foreseeable misfortune can surround it.

A lesson that I’m continuing to learn and grow in is: not spending time on things not serving you. If you focus on filling your life with things that bring you joy and weeding out the things that don’t, you’ll have more mental, physical and emotional energy to spend on yourself and radiate that positive energy to others around you. Easier said than done – I know, but it could be as small as replacing a negative thought you feel about yourself or someone else and replacing it with something positive. As you continue to do this with other things in your life, you will begin to tip the scale towards more positive than negative energy, and for me this is a noticeable difference. 

My current feelings on love

On Love.

Sigh. I feel like I have a lot to say about love, but lack the eloquence to say it currently. I just went through the most mature and respectful breakup I have experienced thus far in my life. Two people trying so hard to lift each other up as well as keeping ourselves above water, but in doing so we took turns drowning a little. Could we have stayed in that pattern for a long time? Yes. Did we almost? Yes. To sound like a broken record: It is very easy to stay in comfortable situations that are not good for us.

I have the advantage of moving around for work, staying in some locations as briefly as 13 weeks to as long as…well I could work the same job in the same place for the rest of my life (but no thank you). With each “uproot” I tend to evaluate what is working for me and what I want my next chapter to look like. Because of this, it was easier to make the necessary changes in my relationship, versus if my environmental situation remained the same it would be much much harder to embrace this change. 

I am fortunate to have experienced love and reciprocate it and to feel true vulnerability for the first time in a relationship. I cannot begin to state how massive this lesson was for me. Being completely honest about my fears, hurts, and insecurities to someone allowed me to love myself more (and to finally get a therapist HA). So, I will continue to cheer him on from a distance as a friend.

Photo by Jhamil Bader

On Goals.

I truly feel fired up about life right now and am very excited to step into 2020, a new decade. I am starting off the year unemployed and on a road trip to California where the next chapter is a gleaming blank page ready for all the adventures (and misadventures). 

I’m focusing my goals for the next year on meaningful experiences. Traveling slow when possible, spending more energy on myself and the incredible people already in my life, and allowing room for creativity in all my endeavors. Bless all of you who have made it to the end of this post. 

In the wise words of Yoda “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”    

Photo by Disa Wold

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  1. Brian Noble on December 23, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing this!

    • Melissa on December 23, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      Thank YOU for reading!

  2. Jill A Miller on December 23, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    nicely put! Yoda is very wise

    • Melissa on December 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      thanks mom ❤️

  3. Nuh14 on December 24, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Nice,.i love it.
    Thank you for sharing 😊

    ❤ from Bali – Indonesia 🇮🇩

    • Melissa on December 24, 2019 at 12:09 am

      Thank you!! I appreciate you reading it!

  4. Nuh14 on December 24, 2019 at 12:08 am

    I love this.
    Thank you

    ❤ from Bali Indonesia 🇮🇩

  5. Natalie Anderson on December 24, 2019 at 4:14 am

    What a beautiful person you are inside and out, Melissa! Life is certainly an evolution…

    • Melissa on December 24, 2019 at 5:07 am

      Thank you Natalie!! I was just thinking about you! I hope all is well 🙂

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