Inhale the Good Shit, Exhale the Bullshit: Reflecting on 2016

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Ohhhhhh 2016...You were a doozy!  

And I'm definitely not sorry to see you go.

2016 left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I finally found a tight group of friends that
I love dearly, but June kicked my ass and I lost one of the most special people I've ever known (as well as had to pay for hit-and-run damage to my car and broke my elbow in a freak accident!). I went on some incredible adventures with incredible people, but I also had defeating moments with people who I thought were my friends. I made one of the most empowering and exciting decisions of my life, but I also left the only path I'd ever walked and I've never been more scared in my life. 

I bet a lot of you can relate to that, huh?

Loss. Great moments. Scary moments. Defeating moments. Moments that made you feel like you've grown so much, and other moments that make you feel like you're continually taking steps back.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I thought 27 would look a lot different. I'm not where I thought I'd be in really any aspect of my life. I don't have the badass, lucrative, successful career I thought I'd have, I'm moving back in with with my parents next summer. I'm not married or even close.

It's not quite what I imagined.

But you know what I realized?

I can't let how my the year went be defined by the shitty moments. You never can.

If I did then, shit, 2017 is going to suck. 

I've started off 2017 with a cold I can't seem to shake. I still can't register for the one class I need to take to finish my second Master's, which will end up costing $10K ish. My airline lost my luggage and I don't even think they know where it is.

But, you know what has also happened in the first few days of 2017? I spent an awesome night partying with my parents of all people, cooked a phenomenal dinner for them, got to hang out with not 1, but 2 old friends who both have made me realize that I have great friends all over this damn country and moving back to Seattle next summer doesn't mean I have to start again.

Even in the shitty moments, there are so many blessings.

The fact that I'm even able to take this class this winter is a blessing! 

Even the fact that the airline lost my bag and though it's inconvenient and frustrating, it's not the end of the world. I have other clothes. I have my keys and can get into my apartment, which I can't say for everyone who's bag was lost. I got the equivalent of a $300 voucher for the inconvenience. It could've happened on the way back to Seattle instead of on my way back to Detroit, where I live and have an apartment full of belongings. The fact that I know  where my bag is, even if my airline doesn't (props to the United baggage handler in Chicago who called me!). It could be a lot worse.

So you know, instead of dwelling on the bad shit, you can choose to focus on the good shit. The silver-lining! So, in finishing up this post, I chose to look back through my photos from this year, and even in the shitty moments, I promised myself I would find the good!

So here it goes...the great moments of 2016...

Kicking off 2016 with my amazing team of Beachbody coaches. Though 2016 was a rollercoaster in terms of a) my commitment, and b) my love the coaching side of Beachbody, I will always have all the fucking incredible people I have met through being a Beachbody coach! The fellow coaches, challengers, customers, etc. some of whom I've still never met in person! These relationships are incredible and I cherish them so much!

Going to Traverse city for the FIRST TIME, to a sub-zero beer festival with my girl Constance, and having the absolute time of my life! And also realizing how much I love stouts and porters. No IPAs for this girl!

Finding one of the absolute soulmates of my life. Kristin, girl I don't know if you'll ever see this, but you are my ride or die. You're my best friend, my partner-in-crime, one of the people that just gets me and that I don't have to explain myself too!

My first real trip to Chicago, meeting Kristin's twin, and being there to video her engagement to her amazing fiance Bobby, more people who have become absolutely irreplaceable in my life! Despite the ridiculousness of being in Chicago for St. Patty's day weekend and the food poisoning that followed, we came away with some great stories, I got to eat deep-dish Pizza, see the green St. Patty's day river, and finally go to Shedd Aquarium. 

The bittersweetness of June! Though it was marked by some definite lows of my year, I also got to go on one of the most beautiful hikes with my girl, Rachel, visit my love and my fave Pt. Townsend-er, Melissa, who snapped this pic (second row - 2nd from right) which is one of my favorite pictures of me, ever! I got to see one of my best friends from high school get married! It was one of the most bipolar months of my year, but there were definite highs!

My first visit in Michigan from one of my friends was marked by my girl Mindy from college swinging by Ann Arbor on her epic US road trip and showing off some of her mad hooping skills, which you can check out on Instagram @MindyHoops! Thanks girl! It only took 3 years for someone to come visit! :-)

The infamous bike crash! Definitely not a highlight of my year, but you know I can't help but smile at that ridiculous picture of me with my arm in a sling, nonetheless getting pushed around the ER in a wheelchair (hospital policy! haha), and the awesome Thor bear Kristin got me! She put his arm in a sling so we would match!

September was another one of those bittersweet months. I decided to leave my graduate program that month. But it was also marked by the MOST FUN Tough Mudder, with the best team ever, and so many more people I can't believe I ever lived without! Savanna & John...God I love you too! Seriously, isn't that team photo the BEST!?! And let's not forget the unbelievable trip I took with Kristin to the upper peninsula of Michigan - probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been!

There's also the first visit one of my best friends, Cullen, made to visit me in Michigan! Also, this is the first picture him and I have ever taken together! So that's definitely a highlight of my year! ;-)

I got to see my girl Amanda for the first time in years, and fresh off her gold-medal finish on the women's 8 rowing team at the Olympics! Note that I made sure I not only got to hold the gold-medal but I also got to take a picture with it!

Of course, I couldn't forget the publication of not 1, but 3, of my OWN books! Including 1 cookbook, 1 meal prep how-to book, and my LIFE HANDBOOK! Agh still can't get over how excited I am about that! It was a huge step forward for me as a person and for me in this coaching business!

And of course, many beautiful and amazing outdoor adventures with my friends, as highlighted by this awesome kayaking picture from this summer!

So, what are the lessons from 2016?

  • That bad shit happening doesn't mean you have a bad life. Tests will test you. Just drink some coffee, put on some gansta rap, and handle it anyway! I always surprise myself with how tough I am.
  • You can find blessings ANYWHERE if you look for them and are grateful for them. 
  • That incredible people are all around you. You just have to find them! And I realized I have so many of them this year. Kristin, Jenny, Bobby, John, Savannah, Laura...I love you guys! You're my crew!
  • That nature is beautiful and it makes me appreciate the world so much. Agh the upper peninsula, Traverse city, the beautiful pacific northwest, and that simply gorgeous little spot down by the Huron River that I can walk to.
  • That it's okay not to follow your "plan." You can always make a new one. Who knows! It might even be way better! Leaving graduate school was hard, and scary. But the excitement of ALL the different things I am CAPABLE of doing in my life is so damn exciting and I need to rememeber that ALWAYS!!
  • That ends are also new beginnings. 
  • That loss hurts, but, as winnie the pooh says, "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard." RIP Grandpa. Love you!
  • "If it's not hell yes, then it's no!" should really be something I live by for the rest of my life.

I could keep going, but I think you get the jist. 

So to wrap this -ish up...

So many of us have looked back on 2016 and simply said, "Sorry, but I'm not sorry to see you go!" It was a rough year for a lot of people, I know. But I don't know that I like that. Because if you look back on a full year of your life like that, you're discounting and forgetting about all the little moments along the way! The crazy adventures, great conversations, big laughs, new experiences, awesome photo-ops, etc.

Find the good. Cuz it's there. You know it is.

You just have to look!

That's all for you!

Love you all! And happy 2017!