It’s crazy how quickly time goes by when you really think about it. I feel like I say this every time I sit down and write about reflection, but I feel like time is going by faster these days. When I was a kid, summers went on forever, the days leading up to Christmas ticked by so slowly, and the school year just never seemed to end. I actually read an article a few weeks ago that made me very nostalgic for my slow moving 90’s childhood.
Nowadays? Summers are way too short, the holiday season goes by so quickly that I’m in a constant state of stress, and work has replaced school—and the work never ends. To be honest with you, I feel like I graduated high school only a year ago and that I’m about to turn 20 years old, but that is so very far from the truth. I actually graduated from high school over 10 years ago, and I’m 31. 31!!! In 2020, I’ll be saying hello to 32.
The last time I rang in a new decade, I was 21, naive, and just days away from moving to New York City. I actually spent most of last decade in New York City, until my ex boyfriend and I decided to say ‘adios’ to our jobs, our friends, and our Bed-Stuy apartment at the beginning of 2019. We did this for our mental health and for a better future. We decided to recover from our extreme burnout in the Dominican Republic for a few months (I have dual-citizenship) with the intention of moving to sunny Los Angeles immediately after.
We closed the door to that Bed-Stuy apartment for the last time on February 13th, 2019. Little did I know, that exciting and scary step would turn into my version of a nightmare. Which leads me to my next step of reflection…2019.
Reflecting on 2019
2019 was such a trying year for me, but I ended it stronger and more powerful than I ever thought possible. I don’t think people realize how much strength it takes to pull yourself out of a dark place, but it takes all the strength in the world. Here are just a few of my wins and loses of 2019:
- My 16 year relationship ended. It ended very abruptly and unexpectedly in the most painful way in May. It wasn’t my choice, and I never really got that closure or explanation. But you know what? That’s okay. It took me awhile, but I came to the conclusion that I’m never going to heal or grow if I’m not able to let go. I’m not going to say that I’m 100% over it now, that would be dishonest to you and myself, but I’m not where I was eight months ago.
- I backpacked through western Europe: Portugal, Spain, France, and England. It was so beautiful and inspiring.
- I spent a month in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It was a lovely peaceful month and I was able to write and publish a book.
- I spent two months in Los Angeles. These were two difficult months for me, but I did enjoy this time in some ways. I went spinning almost everyday, I wrote a lot of articles, I went on a lot of job interviews, and I took advantage of the dispensaries…because, California.
- I went blonde…like really blonde. And you know what? Blondes do have more fun!
- I have grown a lot closer to the women in my life: Both my friends and my mom. While I have never had issues with my mom, I never considered us very close, but I have grown a lot closer with her in 2019. As for my friends? Our bonds got so much stronger. They made me realize I wasn’t alone in my heartache.
- I lost a friend to suicide at the end of June. This still weighs heavy on my heart and I think it always will.
- I spent my summer in Richmond, VA with very good friends. While the three of us were all going through pain and sadness, it was enjoyable being in their presence and they helped me take a big leap of faith…making the decision to go to Sweden.
- I spent three months in Sweden. I have always wanted to spend a lot of time in Europe, and in July, I felt so lost and confused; I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. Did I want to head back to LA and get a job? Or did I want to stay with a good friend in Sweden? I of course chose Sweden, and it was the absolute best thing I have ever done for myself. I feel like I found myself there. I found my superpower in a way.
- Right before going to Sweden, I went on a weeklong vacation with my parents to Maine. Something we haven’t done as a family in over a decade. It was really nice.
- I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway with one of my best friends. I’m a hardcore HP fan, so this was a dream come true.
- I started dating someone in September. We met in Sweden. Leave it to me to make my life difficult with an extreme long-distance relationship; but we’re making it work.
- I traveled to Budapest, Prague, and Rome…by myself. I have never traveled alone like that, but I’m so very happy I did. If you have never traveled to a foreign country by yourself, I highly recommend you do so. My very own Eat, Pray, Love. I even went caving!
- I have been able to grow this website to the point where it is my only form of income. Thanks for the support, ya’ll! My heart is full.
- I learned I was brave. I kept being hit with test after test, and I confronted each test with bravery and determination instead of fear.
2019 tested me, which brings me to the now, 2020…
As the new year was approaching, I was starting to think about my New Year’s Resolutions (as one does), and I came to this conclusion: Fuck New Year’s Resolutions! Seriously. I’m tired of the lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, work harder jabber. Instead, I decided I wanted to focus on intentions.
Intentions are more approachable and uplifting than Resolutions. Resolutions can often be very cruel and unfair restrictions we put on ourselves. They tend to address things we find wrong with us, and you know what? That isn’t self-love, that is self-hate. You will never get to where you want to be with self-hate. So what are my 2020 intentions?
My 2020 Intentions. A letter to myself:
2019 was hard, but you are strong. Exercise if it makes you happy, eat that salad instead of that piece of pizza if you want to, not because you feel you have to. Plus, you’re beautiful and loving yourself looks good on you. Honestly, just continue:
Continue learning how to be yours. Continue growing and strengthening your girl gang. Continue following your heart. Continue traveling. Continue being brave. Continue being the bad ass bitch you were in 2019. Continue knowing it’s okay to be sad sometimes. Continue knowing it’s okay to feel your feelings. Continue not giving up on love. Continue going on adventures to find where you belong. Continue, because that’s how you grow.
Simply continue. When in doubt, do the damn thing, because if there is doubt, it’s because you’re most likely between the easy/comfortable thing and the hard thing. The gold is where the hard thing is, not where the easy thing is.
For 2020 and beyond, I wish you sidewalk pennies on bad days (because there will be some) and the unfailing sense that things will be ok and work out how they are supposed to.
Your Best Friend
P.S. I know you’re scared, but have fun in Vietnam. You are going to be an inspiring teacher. You. Are. A. Bad. Ass. 💋
My 2020 intention is simple: Continue.
Unsolicited advice, but I highly recommend you all write a letter to yourself. You may find it very therapeutic. Writing this article was very therapeutic for me, and I’m so happy I did it. This is one of the most personal articles I have ever posted on Broke & Chic, and I will be writing more personal things going forward.
What are your 2020 intentions? Let me know in the comments below!
*BTW, my dress is from HM. My boots were thrifted. Find similar dresses here.