Reflections on 2018

2018 has been a crazy year. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and been flipped up side down more than a few times.

Let’s just say I’m ready for this year to be over.

January - A beautiful start

2018 started wonderful. We had one of my very best friends visiting with their partner. They’re both very down to earth people and even though I had never met my friend’s partner before, she was a welcome addition to our little family.

We decided the best way to kick off the new year was to head to the ocean on New Year’s day. So we did!

It was the most refreshing New Year’s celebration I’ve ever had.

I feel the most at home by the ocean. The most alive. The most balanced.

I took a moment as we were getting ready to leave to take one more walk out to the water and stare out into the infinity that is the ocean.

I had the overwhelming sense that this was going to be a big year. Something was going to happen and it would lead me to myself.

The rest of January was spent reading and enacting the Miracle Morning, a system designed to give you a jump start to your day by taking time for yourself through meditation, journaling, affirmations, and other activities that lead to positive thinking

It changed how I approached my days and I still practice something that resembles it, but it’s a little more witchy these days 😉

January set a wonderful tone for the year, I was ready to take on the world.

February & March - Continued progress

In February I started my first bullet journal style planner. It was a game changer.

I’m one of those people that if I don’t write something down, I will forget about it. Having somewhere to plan and keep track of things is wonderful.

I also started a blog, something I had always wanted to do. My focus was on dance, music, and mental health. All things I am deeply passionate about. The blog was short lived but I may one day return to it.

February and March were full of continuing my miracle morning practice. I was working to have a consistent start time to my day but still hold compassion for myself if I didn’t stick to it. That balance was hard to find.

I was getting into a pretty good routine, but it started to be all about keeping a streak instead of using the routine to help me.

I was meditating, but only for about five minutes. Journaling would get done, but only to document what time I got up and what kind of mood I was in.

Half-assing things just to check them off a list was the name of the game and it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

April-June - The Pit of 2018

In march the downward spiral continued.

I was teaching dance, something I generally love, but never wanted to go to work.

Nothing I usually enjoyed made me feel any better.

I struggled with body image issues more than I had in my past.

Depression took hold with one of the strongest grips it has ever had on me.

There were some bright spots. I auditioned for a dance company, took some dance classes that I enjoyed. I was choreographing dances for the studio’s June recital.

But every time I felt like I was making progress, I would wind up back in the pit. Often only a week later.

This chunk of time is a foggy blur to me. My concept of a timeline is very vague.

Family Matters and job loss

At some point during this time my grandmother was in the hospital. I’m very close to my grandma, she’s always been one of my biggest supporters. She’s fine now but it was scary to know her health wasn’t the greatest, especially since she lives halfway across the country from me.

At another point my sister had to terminate her 20 week pregnancy due to major developmental defects. My whole family was devastated. We’re still recovering. I wasn’t able to be there physically to support her and that killed me.

In June the dance studio I taught at had their annual recital. Two weeks later I lost my job. I was let go because of differences in teaching styles. It was rough. It was stressful. But it was a good thing. It wasn’t the right environment for me, I wasn’t able to grow in the ways I wanted to.

On a happy note, at some point during this time I cut my hair. It was half way down my back and I cut it to a pixie. I did it myself and it was incredibly liberating. I’m growing it out right now but will definitely cut it again in the future!

This chunk 2018 was difficult. I felt lost. I felt stuck. It was like I wasn’t going anywhere with my life and I didn’t even know where I wanted to go.

July - Hope

The first part of July was rough. I was already in a funk, and to top it off I no longer had a job.

The second part was wonderfully energizing.

I was the technical intern at a dance intensive hosted by the college I got my degree from. My degree is in dance performance and lighting, the two things I got to do during this time.

I got to work with one of my very favorite lighting mentors and take classes from one of my favorite dance companies in one of my favorite dance styles.

My days were non-stop busy and I loved every moment of it.

I was even able to perform on stage, something I hadn’t done since over a year earlier.

It was like I finally found the resent button I had been needing for the last four months.

I was refreshed and re-energized.

I had a newfound hope and drive to pursue what I love, dance.

August - 2018 as a roller coaster

August was a little all over the place.

It started with a new job. I joined my sisters in selling merchandise at concerts. The job only lasted for a couple months but it was fun.

The first show I worked was one of, if not my very favorite band, Pearl Jam.

I was still riding the high of the dance intensive and continued it by not only working during the concert, but getting to see the first half of their second show a couple days later.

My sister scored two tickets from someone connected to the band. She chose me to go with her.

The only hitch was my whole family (mom, dad, two sisters) had tickets to see another favorite band of ours that night. This band is much less well known and was only doing a short reunion tour.

The venues were only about 15 minutes apart. We caught the first half of Pearl Jam, then took an Uber to catch over half of the second show.

That night was one of the best nights of my life.

I returned home by the second week of August, having just experienced a wildly inspiring dance intensive, and an incredible weekend of music.

All the energy I had raised faded quickly.

I didn’t want to go dance, and yet again found myself feeling lost and stuck. It was beyond feeling stuck, I felt stagnant. It was that kind of stuck that you know you’ve been there for too long and you’re developing a funk that you’re not sure how to shake.

Enter: Uranus Retrograde

I didn’t know it at the time, but Uranus went retrograde at the beginning of August.

Now, I’ve never been one for astrology. I will always be a skeptic. But it is crazy how it lines up with what has happened to me since August.

Mid-August is when I finally delved into paganism and witchcraft. You can read about how that happened along with the rest of my spiritual journey so far here.

Uranus retrograde is a time of drastic change, opposition, and generally feeling like you’re being flipped up side down.

Being an Aquarius, I am especially affected because Uranus is my ruling planet.

yay.

I was comforted to know that planets going retrograde isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes things do go a little haywire and certain planets lead to more issues than others (I’m looking at you, Mercury). But Some, like Uranus, mark a pivotal time of change and development.

This is exactly what I’ve had during this retrograde (that doesn’t end till January 6th).

September-December - A blur of discovery

The last third of 2018 has been interesting. And it’s gone by in a blur, though a much more positive one than the first blur.

I haven’t been interested in dancing, which is strange and even a little scary because I’ve essentially devoted my whole life to it. I have been interested in discovering my spiritual path and what it means to me.

I still don’t have a “real” job. Which is still stressful because you kinda need money to pay bills. But my extra time has allowed me to do more exploring, more reading, and to start this blog!

I am happier than I was when I was in the pit.

I feel like the fog has gradually been lifting.

In November I got to go visit my grandparents with my mom and one of my sisters. We were there right before thanksgiving for my mom’s birthday. It was incredibly refreshing to be around some of my favorite family members for the first time in over a year. .

It was also draining. I spent a good week needing to take things easy and recharge. Being around people that much when not only am I an introvert, but I’ve been staying home for months is very draining.

But I survived, I recovered, and I’ve felt much better ever since then.

Transitioning to 2019 - Final thoughts

I feel hopeful for 2019. I’m ready to follow through on the plans and goals I’ve started working toward this month.

This season is a time of reflection and celebrating not only what you currently have, but the brighter times to come.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting during this time, hence this glorified journal entry coming to you now rather than closer to the end of the year.

I’m already transitioning. I’m ready to leave 2018 behind and move into the New Year with passion!

I have big goals for my blog and my personal life in 2019 and intentions of starting up an Etsy shop!

I find myself remembering my time at the ocean. My gut feeling was right, this was a big year. And I am closer to finding myself. The year was just about as turbulent as the ocean itself but I sure have learned a lot.

 

What has this year been like for you and what are some of your goals for 2019?

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