Driving back to Birmingham Tuesday after a much needed Christmas vacation at home in Georgia , I reflected on my 2016.
The good, the bad, the ugly, and the ugliest swirled around my thoughts as the rain tapped against my windshield.
I began to break down in my head some categories of things I felt/experienced in 2016 and how I felt going into a new year with so much to look forward to.
As I stepped out onto the soft gravel, matted down after the shower; I felt like so much stress and weight had been lifted off of me. Joy flooded my legs moving back and forth as my mind toyed with all of the hopeful emotions surrounding the new year and what it means.
What I learned in 2016
- Trust God. His plans are perfect, they may not be your plans or your timing, but trust Him and you’ll be rewarded.
- Fear isn’t real. Fear is an irrational emotion. Choosing to not act or go after a dream because you’re afraid you’ll fail or won’t be good enough is robbing yourself and wasting your time.
- Waiting never gets you there faster. Putting something off won’t make it go away, especially if it’s something important. It just brings anxiety
- Doing things to please others is good and should be done, but not at the expense of your dignity or your dreams/desires. Don’t live to please someone who doesn’t value you or respect you. Leave them behind, even if you “like” then. Weigh your true pros/cons. If it doesn’t add up, leave and don’t turn back.
- Good things take time. It took me a year basically to save enough money, have enough time, & to fully commit to my career change to become a personal trainer. Guess what, I got it done. Stay focused and don’t give up it’s important to you, you’ll make it happen sooner or later.
- Grit. You gotta have some grit and backbone because life won’t always be sunshine and butterflies. When you’re tested, hurt, fail, betrayed, left, depressed or lonely- you need to be strong because sometimes you only have yourself and a God who is that strength. Get back up and don’t cry.
- Believe in yourself.Sometimes, you’re the only one who does and gets you. At the end of the day, who are you really trying to please?
- Be confident in your abilities and never stop growing or learning. Life isn’t meant to be comfortable. That’s called surviving. Do more.
- Do it yourself. Don’t depend on anyone but yourself to get you where you need to be. People aren’t perfect and neither are you, but you know you’ll be there for yourself.
What I’m leaving behind
- Stress,anxiety,worry, fear- that I’m not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, won’t have enough money, impress the right people, please everyone, do what God has planned for me. I know I will still have things that cause those emotions but I’m going to react and handle them differently by completely trusting what God has for me through prayer and just being joyful throughout everything.
- “Too busy” for family, for friends, for being kind and taking time to show that every #Onematters I regret that I was too busy this year for some of my friends and family who needed me or people I could have impacted more if I slowed down a little.
- Negativity!!! Not gonna invite it or entertain it. That’s that.
- Excuses– for anything. Own it.
- Putting myself second for any man or friend that doesn’t value me and treat me with the same level of respect and dignity.
- Debt. I don’t have much & I am poor right now but once I start having a more stable income and actually saving money, I want to make sure I invest it in the right places.
- People. Anyone that doesn’t have the same heart for being a light to others, any unhealthy human leach.
- Doubt. Of myself or my faith.
What I’m taking with me to 2017
- Faith in Christ– I’m not perfect but I serve a God who sees past that and loves me the same every day. I need to be closer to His word and to spend more time in prayer & the word to become more like Him & show other people I interact with His love and joy he’s blessed me with.
- JOY– I’m going to be joyful when I wake up, if I’m sick, if I’m well, if I’m at work, running, running late, sad. I know there will be struggles again but I’ll remain joyful and know that I can still be used to shine light and love despite my circumstances.
- Being present– actually being engaged in conversation with people when I’m with them. Not being impatient or flaky with friends, family, clients, or anyone I’m with. I want people to know they matter and to bless them. That means being there for them!
- Laughter–I want to LOL and smile more than ever this year and have fun and enjoy life no matter what this year brings
- NEW CAREER!!!! Did I mention I just got a job as a personal trainer at the YMCA greystone campus?! Woohooo!!! I’m so incredibly extatic and I’m going to devote all of myself to being the best personal trainer I can be for my clients and constantly keep learning and growing!
- New Friendships– I’ve made so many new, inspiring friends this year and I am so blessed! I can’t wait to plant more seeds and strengthen bonds I’ve made this year and make new ones. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.
- Serving– I know my new career is a way for me to serve others and I want to be more of a servant leader in all aspects of my life. I really want to make this year more about others and less about Lauren. Putting myself second for someone else to grow and be blessed is actually winning.
- Openness– to learn more, to say yes and go out and have some fun(not crazy drunk fun) but to new experiences and to travel and learn more about people.
- RUNNING–duh. But really, who knows where running will lead me this year..hopefully heathy!! & currently flirting with the idea of bumping up to the half marathon race this year competitively!!!
Okay, I know that was a lot . But 2016 was undoudbtedly the most difficult year for me on all levels. That’s set me up for a very pivotal, exciting and hopeful 2017.
I’m stronger, wiser, more patient, more obedient in my faith and more proud to be a female than I ever have been.
No, I don’t have a husband or any children to brag about yet-but I’m content with that for now.
I’m not lonely or bitter or searching at all actually right now. I honestly feel that at this point in my life right now that God is using me to do other things with the gifts I have.
I know and trust that when God’s ready for me to be with someone who loves Him more than me and values my heart above my flesh, I’ll know.
Right now, if 2017 goes without a single date I don’t think I could be much happier. lol but seriously..
I know some people can’t fathom that or cringe at the thought! but you can’t be happy with anyone if you’re unhappy alone. & I’m pretty happy with my life going into the New Year now! Dating just isn a goal for me right now.:)
Back to the female comment–
In 2016, I became surrounded by a lot of new female friends and coworkers(more than ever) because other than teammates in college, I have a lot of guy friends.
No, I’m not a hoe. Chill. I just grew up with all brothers and I’m sarcastic and kind of a “bro” and not a “typical female” as some say.
Anyways, I’m excited to be surrounded and inspired by so many incredible women lately. I am certainly a proud feminist and I have a feeling that for some reason 2017 will be a great year for women!
Women empowering other women and promoting equality instead of unjust, oppressive comments or actions is true feminism.(no not men bashing. That’s not what feminism is! I’m sure I’ve already lost the egotistical shovanist a few paragraphs ago anyways)
My Goals for 2017
- Grow/excell in my new personal trainer career & be the best I can be for my clients! Learn more each day
- Become financially stable & save money & no debt!
- Be a better servant leader in my community
- Empower women
- Spend more time growing in my faith in Christ and acting on that
- Be a better listener and supporter of my friends and family
- Be more patient & show everyone they matter
- Bump up to the half marathon in my running career and get to the next competitive level! Handle more pain..
- Break 17 in the 5K!
- PR for my road 10K!!
- Stay healthy running!!!(injury free)
- Learn new recipes and maintain healthy lifestyle
- Make new friends!! And go out more!
- Travel and enjoy LIFE
- Relax and know what rest is!
2016 as my last post detailed- was the hardest year across the board for me as well as many of you too.
2017 offers us HOPE & excitement for chasing down our dreams and becoming better versions of ourselves.
Let’s leave any negative emotions, circumstances & people that don’t line up with our visions for this year in 2016.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)