2018: My Year in Review

Can you believe it’s almost 2019! Who’s ready for a new year, new you?! To be honest, I often cringe at that saying because when I think about the changing of years, the moment the clock strikes midnight we don’t immediately turn into princes/princesses (because we are already kings and queens-DUH!). Rather, we are still drinking the same glass of champagne and eating the same cheese dip as we were one second ago, but now it’s January instead of December. New year, same person.

This “new year, new you” mentality raises the notion that someone can become completely new in one second, which got me to thinking…can we really? Can someone truly become brand new in just one second?

Despite my minor pessimism, the answer is yes. A wholehearted yes. A without a doubt yesYES. YES. YES.

We are new every single second of every single day. Our breath rises and falls, we get older, we wake up and go to sleep, we learn something new, fail and succeed, all in a second. Not always just one second, but a string of seconds, that turn into minutes, hours, days and so on. Stepping into the new year, many people make resolutions to reset their paths and start over new. Get more sleep, travel more, pay off debt and exercising more are just a few of the top new year’s resolutions and while those may make for smoother sailing of life, what are the things that will really make us new? What are the things that come a new day, big and small, will bring us not happiness, but joy? This sense of being a new person with the new year, what parts of your goals or progress will help you get not to where you want to be, but who you want to be? The difficult emotions and hard conversations and internal struggles and obstacles in our lives that are holding us back from being a better version of ourselves, those are the resolutions, the intentions, we should be eager and heck, enthusiastic to get a new start to. And lucky for us, we can start in a second.

At the beginning of last year, I wrote my intentions for 2018. Inspired by Lee From America, my intentions go a bit deeper than just goals and tasks I want to accomplish. Some more entertaining while some more significant, yet all of them were made with meaning and intent to grow more into the person I want to become. I posted them on my bedroom wall and looked at them every day, not sure how each would come to fruition. It’s surprising how much patience and one’s subconscious can do. Apart from celebrating the end of a year and start of the new, I’ll also be celebrating because I fulfilled EVERY SINGLE INTENTION for 2018. How freaking awesome is that?!

It’s that feeling of crossing everything off your to-do list, except times a million. To think that in the last seconds of 2017, I set these intentions that were thoughtful and important to me, without a clue in the world how they would shape me. I cried and laughed and learned more than I think I have in a year and I thank the intentions I set for it.

To sum up my year…

My 2018 Intentions: UPDATED

Meditate in the morning: One great thing about my intentions is that they are flexible with the person I am becoming and as much as I meditated in the morning, I finally realized that meditation is not for me… and that’s okay! Meditation looks different for everyone and for me, it’s a mixture of journaling, getting my body moving and going slow. In effect, Greta introduced me to bullet journaling this year and my life is forever changed. I also started walking more (very hard for me in comparison to the high intensity workouts I normally do) which I will continue to incorporate this year as it’s a good way to clear my mind and breath some fresh air. √

Travel somewhere new: I wouldn’t be me if this wasn’t on the list. In the first week of 2018, I travelled to Vietnam (my first time in Asia!). Over Memorial Day Weekend, I went to Big Sur/Point Reyes with my mom for our first mother-daughter trip. Last but not least, I went to the South for the first time to Memphis and Nashville. Oh, and I went to Rotterdam on my Europe trip… Yeah, this one gets a √

Eat less red meat and more vegetables: Unintentionally, I stopped eating red meat a few months ago and have been experimenting with a lot of plant-based recipes. Don’t jump to conclusions, I still eat salmon. Will revise this intention when burger season is back. √

Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is a word commonly used today, but with a variety of different meanings. This year, it consisted of me asking the question “Is this life-giving?” and if not, I proceeded to remove it from my life. Accounts I follow on social media, things I bought, items I owned, people that I interacted with, I became extremely aware of who and what I consumed based on this one question and removed a lot of everything to make space for mindfulness. √

Sit with emotions: This ties into mindfulness, but is its own intention as numbing out emotions seem to be one of my strongest skills, for good and bad. But this last year, I sought and found people both professionally and personally that have taught (and are still teaching) me how to do sit and feel my emotions. It’s hard, especially for someone who doesn’t like to sit. Growth is not always linear, but I am moving in the direction of progress. Anything is better than standing still… even sitting. √

Talk with Jesus more: If I’m sharing part of my intentions, then I’m sharing them all and this was one of them. Jesus is who I know to be Life and Grace and Hope and I know what this means to me. Surprisingly enough, a lot of my conversations with Him were through other people and people pouring into me. Hoping to fit in a few more conversations before the end of the year because He’s a good Listener despite my silly mess I call my life. √

Talk about Jesus more: I got to do this more often than I had planned this year, again with the subconscious power of seeing these intentions every day. The constructing and reconstructing of my faith has been so beautifully shaped by deep conversations with my Christian and non-Christian friends that as much as I haven’t done the traditional church things, I got to talk about Jesus a whole bunch so that’s really rad.√

Get my creative juices flowing: In January, Greta and I started The Little White Table. It’s been such a fun creative outlet that plays to each of our strengths and among the crazy, chaotic, obsessive foodie things we do for it, I am so grateful for G and her part in it. (Shoutout to Leigha for being a semi-great hand model.) √

Do some drastic change in appearance: I just chopped my hair somewhat drastically (?). I also started painting my nails for the first time since I was six years old so counting that too. √

Embrace imperfection: This one’s a biggie. If I had to choose one word to describe 2018, it would be ‘vulnerable’. Being vulnerable is tough, extremely tough, and to not only name my struggle with imperfection across all areas of my life, but to EMBRACE it is not exactly my first response to unknown, uncomfortable territory. But I’ll never forget the moment this year that I cried—no, sobbed— in front of all 80 plus co-workers at my last job as I shared openly how imperfect I was and how my imperfections manifested in physical, emotional and mental health struggles. That was one of the most character-defining moments and set in motion my journey to fully embracing imperfection. √

Be a BADASS: All caps, all bolded. This intention was my takeaway from Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass book (highly recommend reading) as I was feeling empowered to go into 2018 with all the chutzpah and “tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.” With the utmost humility, in 2018, I can say I was a BADASS. Examples include:

  • I boxed all year
  • I quit a job I loved to put my health first
  • I ran my second half marathon after ten weeks of training and without injuring myself
  • I managed to see all of my closest friends from my study abroad program in Milan
  • I hiked over 22,000 ft. elevation gain.
  • I became part of a team that is making waves for women and will continue doing so in the new year
  • I got nominated and WON the 2018 SAVEUR Reader’s Choice for Best Travel Blog
  • And so much more…

2018, you were good to me. You weren’t easy by any means, but you were good. But I am beyond ready for 2019. Which now begs the question, what are my 2019 intentions? At first I wanted to share them here, to inspire others and to help keep myself accountable. But then I would be missing the entire point that they are MY intentions for ME. And ONLY me. I’m sure I’ll share them eventually, maybe at the end of next year, or maybe never at all, but all I know is as long as I have the amazing people around me and most importantly, myself, supporting me, I’m excited for the new year to change even more and be new again.

What are your 2019 intentions?

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3 Comments

  1. Coke Roth
    December 29, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    You are always seeking an adventure, Soleil, and a compass check suits everyone well. I wish you love, laughter and health on this recalibration… it will be a joy to share the progress on your most entertaining blogs. Your dad loves you…

    • soleilroth
      Author
      December 29, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Much love.

      • coke roth
        December 30, 2018 / 7:48 pm

        Remember the job of a parent is to not mess up the factory installed equipment….what you have, you cannot teach, buy or compel. I merely nodded my head with different measures of approval when you occasionally looked back. YOU ROCK (capitalized, bold, underlined, italicized, 100 font, punctuated with BADASS explanation points, highlighted in neon red)….

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