“I think 2018 tried to kill everyone.”
A friend of mine posted this on Instagram about a week ago and I couldn’t agree more.
This year I struggled with depression and anxiety in ways I never have before. Having almost daily anxiety attacks caused a close friend of mine to practically force me into therapy and I couldn’t be more thankful for her. I’m convinced she saved my life.
After Kate Spade’s suicide, I decided to write about my battle with depression and anxiety for the first time. Though I was scared AF to do so, I’m so glad I did because it resulted in a number of friends getting help for their own depression and open, honest conversations with others who have family members with mental illness.
My self-esteem and body image have been trash this year in part because of lupus which often keeps my body from doing what I want and need it to do and feeling how I need and want it to feel.
And then there’s aging. I’m getting closer and closer to 40 and the girl who once looked forward to being “fabulous at 40” is now lamenting her wrinkles and wobbly arms and even contemplating dyeing her grey hair — something I swore years ago I’d never EVER do.
I also weigh more than I ever have in my life. My goal for 2018 was to lose 20 pounds. I gained 20 pounds instead and I can no longer button my favorite pair of jeans.
Add to all of this the guilt that I feel for worrying about superficial things. While being in good health is important, I know that I can be a good writer, wife, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, and entrepreneur whether or not I have toned arms and rock-hard abs. This shit doesn’t matter and I know that. Yet, I’m insecure about these things nonetheless.
On a professional level, I didn’t grow my business as much as I had hoped and I still haven’t self-published the book I’ve been working on since the beginning of 2017.
I’m not sharing all of this to sound like a whiny baby. But in my social circles and even on social media I’m known for being “inspiring” and while I love that I also never want to be accused of being fake.
My life is not perfect and I refuse to pretend that is.
But that’s enough “Woe is me” for one blog post.
Let’s talk about the good things that happened in 2018.
In February I turned 37 and my husband and best friend surprised me with the best gift ever — a video with loving messages from all my closest friends and family members!
The highlight of my year (which is even clear from my Instagram Top 9) was taking the stage at TEDxBirmingham. I gave a talk on writing and feminism (which you can watch here) and accomplished a lifelong dream.
In April, my husband and I went to New Orleans for WrestleMania! (Yes, we love wrestling. No, I don’t care if you think wrestling is stupid.)
I attended the Teacher Self-Care Conference this summer and finally learned that taking better care of myself can actually make me a better teacher.
I went back to New Orleans in September for On the Run II and for an epic girls trip that I could in no way do justice in a blog post or Instagram caption.
I raised nearly $1,000 individually for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham and served as co-chair for Smart Party, the Women’s Fund huge annual fundraiser which raised more than $235,000 this year.
As for my writing, blogging, and business life, there are many successes to celebrate.
After feeling fed up for months, I reignited my love for blogging with this year’s #bloglikecrazy challenge.
My coaching business is growing and my clients are killing it! One client who wanted to sell 1,000 copies of her new book in a year, had already sold more than 500 copies within a month of her book’s release. Another client not only launched a new blog and grew her editing business, but she also learned how to better manage her days so she could spend more quality time with her family and make time to take care of herself.
My freelance writing career definitely went to a new level this year. I’ve continued to write for StyleBlueprint Birmingham. I started writing features for B-Metro magazine, BHM BIZ, and Portico Mountain Brook. I also started writing for Good Grit magazine, which has been a goal of mine for years, and I’m excited to announce that I’ll be writing a column for Birmingham magazine in 2019! I’ve also started writing blog posts for small businesses. I can’t wait to see what new heights I’ll reach in my freelance writing career in 2019 and, of course, I’ll be sharing with the See Jane Write community everything I learn along the way.
And speaking of the See Jane Write community, you — those of you who read this blog, those of you who are a part of my Facebook group, and those of you who are a part of my membership community –you kept me going through the good, the bad, and the ugly of this year. Your support means more to me than you will ever know!
I can’t end this blog post without giving you something practical to help you out as we approach a new year. So be sure to check out these posts:
3 Types of Goals Every Writer Should Have
How See Jane Write Can Help You Succeed in 2019
A Girl’s Guide to Freelancing
What were the highlights of your 2018? What are you most looking forward to in 2019?