2018 in Review | Juliet

2018 was so much better than 2017. A lot of changes has happened with the blog and in my personal life that deserves some reflection and recognition. Time for a proper goodbye to 2018.

I feel like I have evolved a lot in the last 2 years, and I really like who I am becoming.

Asheville in November 2018

2018 was a year of healing.

In 2017, I was raped. It broke me, and I spent most of 2017 a shell of a person trying to keep some semblance of having my shit together.

In 2018, I reviewed and questioned everything, from the people around me to how I used to think about different aspects of my life. An overview:

  • Financially: I started budgeting again. It lasted 3 months and then I couldn’t do it anymore, but I lasted much longer this time than the other 5 times I tried to budget. I’m going to try again starting January 2019. I also used to buy a lot. Now that I am a modern nomad and have limited space, I think more about whether I need it or want it, and do I need to get it at this instant.
  • Socially: I worked on the close friendships I had. A major obstacle I had to overcome was feeling I put more effort into a relationship than the other person. I think one way for me to not feel that way from time to time is to spell out clearly to my friends my love languages so they understand how I can feel loved.
  • Worldly: For most of my life, I have not taken a stand on anything. Racial injustice? Political beliefs? Gun violence? Abortion? All these issues and I never peeped, never spoke up in public, or showed up to a march. The thing is, I care about lots of things! There are actually so many things that I was paralyzed on where to start. I realized that starting anywhere is better than not doing anything.

I still am in the process of building a life that challenges me and makes me better.

A great summary of 2018 is an excerpt from Issue 9 of my Modern Nomad Newsletter:

2018 was a year about forgiving myself for things out of my control, taking back control for myself, and figuring out who I am now and who I want to be. Make no mistake, 2018 was turbulent in its own ways – I cried much more on the road trip than I have in the last 3 years before I started my road trip – but I am much better at managing myself and my emotions.

This is the first time in a while where I’m not looking ahead at the next year with dread. I give less sh*ts about what people think about me, I give more sh*ts about my impact on the people I care about and this earth, and I’m finally… what’s the phrase? Filling out my britches?

The two questions I get most often: “Why are you going on this road trip?” and “Are you going to settle down (in Los Angeles) now?”

I still cannot articulate the driving force as to why I must go on this road trip. There were a lot of “and I can experience this and that”, but honestly, my soul needed this. I needed to heal from 2017 in my own way, on my own terms, and if that meant being a modern nomad for a year, then yeah. I had to be selfish and do something for me before I can better help the people and the world around me.

As to whether I’m going to settle down after I end up in California… most likely not. At least not yet. We’ll see though – it’s still awhile before this road trip is complete!

Scoping out Chicago in April 2018 with my parents when I thought I would just move to another city

The biggest change of 2018 was becoming a modern nomad.

After making sure I was in a good headspace, I needed to figure out what was next in my life.

The answer was to become a modern nomad: working full-time remote while road tripping across USA. I was nervous that life has led me to this point because it was unconventional. There were so many internal conversations I had with myself, but two thoughts really pushed me to do it:

  1. I really need a change. I can’t be in Boston for another year right now. I assumed that I would just move to another city, but my heart wasn’t settled after visiting the two cities I thought I would move to: Denver and Chicago.
  2. Time to walk your talk. I would tell my friends that if they wanted to make a change and had an idea of what that change is, then go for it. I wasn’t taking my own advice, though.

I was on the road for the last half of 2018, and that itself has brought lots of shifts. How do I stay connected with my friends and family? How do I not let myself get into a bad headspace when I am alone? How do I have fun and do what I want on the road and be safe at the same time? In 2019, I’ll be slowly answering questions people have asked me. If you are curious about something, leave a comment below!

Scoping out Denver in March 2018 when I thought I would just move to another city

I never thought I would write as much as I do.

I have hated writing ever since I was young because it’s not like math where there is one right answer. Who knew I would have a blog? I didn’t. Who knew I would have my own newsletter? I didn’t. And here we are today.

This blog has started to grow in terms of time spent on it as well as my love for it. Annie and I have hit slumps with the blog from time to time, but I am glad that neither of us fully gave up on it. It is also good that there was never a time when both of us were like “nah, I need a break” at the same time. I find it interesting to see our partnership and friendship work because it’s hard to designate specific times for “work mode” and “friend mode”. We have challenged each other to be better, and I’m excited to re-read the blog posts in 3 years from now just to see how much Annie and I have changed.

Las Vegas with the family in December 2018

2019 is the time to step into my power.

If you know me at all, my head is always spinning with things I want to learn and do. There are so many things that (1) I become paralyzed because I cannot decide where to start in fear that I’m starting at the wrong place, or (2) I get distracted by the latest thought or hot topic.

In regards to concern #1, it’s better to start somewhere than do nothing. It’s automatic fail if you do nothing, but when you’re doing something, at least you can adjust if you feel like you’re going down the wrong path. As for #2, it’s time to practice focus. I started to do that this year when at one point I had YouTube, blog, newsletter, work, and travel all on my plate. I needed to decide what I wanted to focus on so I can produce higher quality work and so I can maintain my health and sanity. Now I have to adjust for 2019.

Things I want to focus on in 2019:

  • I want to better understand my carbon footprint and how I can be more sustainable.
  • I’ve been very interested for the last 1.5 years to help the formerly incarcerated. There are many angles that I can approach this from, so figuring out what path suits best for me.
  • I want to build better relationships with my friends and family. I also want to reach out to friends from the past and see what they’re up to.
  • I have a voice. It’s time to discover it, nurture it, and use it.
  • I’m pumped for 2019. I’ve got a good head on my shoulders and I’m ready. SHE-READY, as Tiffany Haddish would say.

Stay tuned on the blog and on our Instagram for new adventures!

xo Juliet

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