I knew going into 2018 that I wanted to make some pretty big changes in my life. Don’t get me wrong; I had an amazing life—one I was very proud of. However, there were parts of my life that weren’t allowing me to be my best me and that weren’t contributing to my happiness. I’d spent so many years and so much time being what everyone else wanted and needed me to be, but I wasn’t being what I wanted to be or what I needed to be for myself. This was the year when I was going to change all of that. This was the year that I was going to prioritize me. It was going to be a year of peace, health, and happiness. This was the year I was going to start living the life I’ve always wanted to live.
I Learned to Practice Self-care
This was the first change I made because I knew it was the most important. I’ve never made myself a priority. I’ve spent my life selflessly giving to everyone around me. The key was to learn balance. It was good to take care of others, and doing so makes me happy. However, the reality I have come to embrace is that I have to take care of myself first. It started with something as simple as getting facials every month. This then grew to taking time daily to go for walks. From there, it’s been just ensuring my needs are met first. It’s about taking care of myself and replenishing myself so I can be my best, which allows me to be the nurturer I love being. I still have a long way to go with this, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.
I Went Vegan
I was a vegetarian in 2009 but eventually stopped due to a lack of a support system. I continued to eat predominately vegetarian cuisine, but when I did, it was always met with comments like, “Oh, are you a vegetarian?” or “Wow, you eat really healthy, huh?,” all with a condescending tone like I’d just sprouted a second head. It was easier to just eat like the people around me to avoid judgement. Well, I decided this year that I didn’t care what anyone else thought. This was the lifestyle I wanted to live, and I was going to do it. The positive results of the decision were almost immediate. I feel better than I have in years, and the health issues I started having in 2017 have disappeared. Of all the changes I made this year, this one is the one I’m happiest about making, and I look forward to sharing more about this with my readers as I continue on my vegan journey.
I Changed Jobs
I’d been contemplating this change for a while. The problem was that my job was breaking me down more and more each day. My favorite part of my team’s job was shifted to another department, and there were numerous changes taking place. The environment I was spending most of my day in and the people I was spending most of my day with were changing drastically. All of a sudden, an environment that had been creative and fun was now filled with negative energy. It was hard because I was a manager, and I had a team that was depending on me. I felt obligated to tough things out for them, but at the end of the day, I was left with nothing to give myself or my son. When I was presented with the opportunity to change roles, I realized it was the change I needed, and that I had to do what was best for my family. My team was very supportive of my decision. Instantly, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I now get to be creative again, designing tutorials our customers will engage with daily. I also work from home, so in addition to being able to now completely control my work environment, I am home when my son gets home from school—a change we both appreciate. It’s been about three month since the change, and honestly, I wish I’d done it sooner.
I Started Attending Events I Love
I rarely get to do the types of things I want to do. I’ve always loved the fine and performing arts but rarely attended events because the people in my life didn’t share my passion. Similarly, I rarely get to see the movies I want to see because my tastes in movies aren’t shared with friends or family. This year, I decided I didn’t care about having anyone interested in attending events with me. If I wanted to do something, I did it. The result has been trips to the opera and ballet and other events that seem interesting to me, and I’ve had the best time. These are experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have had because no one wanted to share them. The funny thing is that as I tell people about this, they admire that I do this. People would respond with, “I’ve never seen an opera. That sounds so interesting” or “I didn’t realize there were those types of events in the area.” After the events, I started having people follow up with me and ask me about future events. This is definitely something I plan to continue. In January of 2019, I already have tickets to see a play, a ballet, and a concert. That’s not a bad way to kick off the new year.