January 23, 2018

Ça fait longtemps. It's been a while.

It's been nearly two weeks since my fingers have danced across these keys, and it is oh so nice to be back. I felt very prepared going into 2018. I had my word of the year picked out (more on this in a bit). I had my 12 dreams for doing decided. It's not that I've lost sight of those things, but more that I have been slower to settle into this new year than I originally envisioned. I don't know about you, but I fall into the category of people who hit January 1st and are ready to take the world by storm! This made it very difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that at the start of the year, I needed something very different. 

At first I couldn't put my finger on it, and I honestly felt a little bummed that I didn't feel the momentum that I wanted to feel. The more I sat with it and listened to the world around me, the more I realized that what I felt was completely normal. 

I was reading Modern Mrs. Darcy's 10 Things I Learned in 2017 post, and Anne put what I was going through into words better than I could myself: "I cannot function without a margin." The second half of 2017 was incredibly productive for me: I started teaching a new grade level, I started taking classes towards my degree en français, I got back into my art and tinkered with opening an Etsy store, I started this blog. I also had some amazing life changes - I got engaged!!! A lot of incredible things were going on. A lot. On the outside it may have looked like I was the girl who could do everything. Just as Anne discovered about herself, "it wasn't my favorite way to operate. I felt like a poorly calibrated machine, where the gears are jammed together too tightly for anything to actually move. It works, technically, but it's a grind." 

And this grind caused me to lose sight of the magic of it all. As Rebecca of Every Day Parisian recently wrote, "I am looking forward to finding the magic that was lost, once again." I put the Etsy shop on vacation, I chose to take one course instead of two, I stepped back from the blog for a moment, and I took time to enjoy my engagement. What felt like a loss of momentum was really a much needed reset. 

I turned 27 last Friday. I can't explain why, but the start of my 27th year seemed to mark a shift in my energy. Things feel less "jammed." I can think and see more clearly, and the start of this chapter feels most auspicious. I know there will be difficulties as I continue to journey through the various seasons of life, but I have become increasingly mindful of my need for space, that margin that Anne described. If I can make some very conscious decisions to avoid that grind, I believe I can find the balance I need to continue to cultivate my most contented life. 

On the note of creating space, I started this year with a one word theme, an idea inspired by Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast. My word is the ultimate embodiment of space: F R E E .

The word itself evokes a feeling of spaciousness for me. Say it aloud. It just floats on indefinitely, creating a sense of openness. For me, F R E E represents many things:

*free of clutter (physical and mental)
*free of a jam packed schedule 
*free of anxiety and worry
*free to follow what calls to me/open to any opportunities that may arrive

I'm stepping into 27 restored, and I am giddy with excitement as I consider all of the wonderful possibilities. My growing vision for the blog is still taking shape, but I'm excited for the things I have in mind! 

How has your 2018 been so far? If you've picked a word of the year, I would love to know what word you chose in the comments below! 

It's so good to "see" you. 
Warm wishes from me to you,


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