My 2018 was a.…… roller coaster, that’s for sure. This time last year, I had no idea my life would turn out the way it did but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason.
I got to go on a ton of fun trips, I read some really great books, and I worked on achieving the goals I set at the very beginning of this year. It seems way longer than 365 days but there are some years that flash by quickly and others that go slowly.
-Camp FI SE 2018: I went back to Florida for my second Camp FI SE and loved it. I reunited with amazing people from the previous year and made new friends while enjoying time at a beautiful camp. Click the link above to read more about that trip!
-Quitting my job & Moving to Minnesota: Even though this didn’t work out at all like I thought, I still consider it a highlight. I changed up my entire life and it felt insanely liberating! At least until everything fell apart later haha. I am so glad I took the chance on a new life. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me in the 9 or so months I lived in Minneapolis.
-STATEMENT 2018: At the beginning of May, I attended 2 day retreat in Upstate New York with some crazy smart, dedicated, talented women entrepreneurs. Any success I had this year can pretty much be traced back to that weekend and our subsequent biweekly Mastermind meetings. They are a wonderfully supportive group of ladies and I’m so glad I got the invite to go.
-Camp Mustache 2018: I went back for my second Camp Mustache in Seattle at the end of May. I got to hang out with my podcast cohost J before and after the retreat which is always a good time. We recorded a few episodes for the podcast (which turned out GREAT!) and had fun talking to like-minded people all weekend. I enjoyed the weekend and DID NOT climb Mt. Si again. Once was enough for this flat-lander.
-PM18: At the end of July, I decided to attend Podcast Movement which was a 10/10 decision. I met a lot of cool podcasters, learned a ton, snagged an epic mic setup in a rock/paper/scissors contest, and probably had a little bit too much fun singing karaōke at 2 am. Philadelphia is a neat city and I’m looking forward to going back to explore it in more depth sometime!
-Selling my rental property: My rental property did not contribute much of anything towards my goal of increased happiness (and in fact contributed a lot of stress and anxiety), so I sold it off before it ruined me. Thankfully, I was able to get rid of it fairly quickly and was able to recoup some of my money. Some, not all. Sigh. I definitely learned a lot in this area, though! I don’t want to be a solo landlord again on a rental, but I will probably invest in Real Estate again in some capacity. Far, far in the future. I don’t see that in the cards for 2019!
-Disney: After FinCon, a bunch of us pooled some cash and went in on a trip to Walt Disney World. I hadn’t been to Disney before, so it was a dream come true. Mostly. It was funny how being a conscious consumer and aspiring minimalist affected my spending habits. I bought some treats for family and a set of pins. That was all I felt inclined to take home with me as souvenirs. I did, however, eat whatever I felt like at the parks and had some amazing foods. I’m not sure what level of poutine is too much to eat in a few days but we did not hit that limit. Noms.
-Moving to DC: Getting a good job, finding an awesome place to live and moving to DC is a fantastic way to round up my 2018. I am grateful I was able to hop back into the world of work again relatively easily. I’m not going to lie, the people in the DC area FI community were a strong reason to move to DC. The community is hard at work making me feel welcome and it’s working! I’m thrilled I can just move here and within 2 weeks have dinner plans and things to do on New Year’s Eve. I would really be struggling in a new place without the wonderful people here!
I wasn’t quite the prolific reader this year as I’ve historically been, but I did manage to squeeze in some good books in 2018. They include:
-The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I read this book in sunny beautiful LA after borrowing it from the WoW’s while visiting them. It was really interesting to see the changes she made to her life, and she definitely inspired me make some changes and track the results.
-Anything by Tamora Pierce. I’m pretty sure I read all of her books this year (some multiple times) but I really liked her newest book, Tempests and Slaughter. The highlight of her books was seeing her in person at a con as she read us a short story from MY copy of HER BOOK. Safe to say, LIFE MADE. She was awesome and I hope she continues to write for many years to come.
-The Power of Broke by Daymond John. I read this book shortly after quitting my job and becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I took it to heart but no matter how much I hustled, it didn’t make a difference this time around. I highly recommend anyone thinking of going on their own to read this book before you do. It’s inspiring, for sure!
-Muirwood series by Jeff Wheeler. If you like the fantasy genre of fiction, you will love this series. I think I powered through all of the books in the span of about a week. They are really good books!
-The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. A seriously fantastic book that will leave you feeling raw and excited about life. I realized I’ve done a bit of what she’s done, but there is a lot more room for me to grow and scale my efforts. I can do this by sharing more and giving more. What comes around, goes around and I want the things coming my way to be good things.
I’m sure there are more books, but those are the ones that stand out to me when I look back over the year.
Goals from 2018: The Year of Being
As is my usual, I assign an overall theme to the new year. 2018 was The Year of Being, which now that I look back on it sounds a little pretentious. I’m not stopping now though! I looked back over the post and will see how I did on my goals.
Be Happy: I feel like I did and didn’t achieve this goal. I guess it depends on what part of the year you’re looking at. The first half of the year was pretty great, but between my relationship, the stress of freelancing, and dealing with the Dingle House, my happiness took a sharp nosedive and only gradually returned towards the end of the year. Reading the Happiness Project was very insightful in this process.
Be Healthy: I’d give myself an overall pass on this one. I started biking and walking more when I lived in Minneapolis which definitely made me feel healthier. I also started eating healthier with the addition of smoothies and taking out some red meats. I don’t think I drank any less though. Maybe I should track that in 2019.…
Be Kind: I definitely tried to redirect my humor away from the people around me. This was something I very much wanted to fix and after a while I didn’t have to think about it anymore. Sometimes it would flare up when I found myself in old environments or in stressful situations, but overall: PASS!
Be thoughtful: I’d say this one could use a bit more work. It seems like every time I tried to sit down and be more deliberate about things, the more they fell apart. I’d like to learn how to plan and plot for the future more. I suck at setting goals and figuring out how to achieve them. My friends all have clear visions on what they want their projects or work to accomplish and I’m over here just enjoying the process. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, but maybe there’s something I can learn from them and vice versa.
Be Motivated: FAIL. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, but it was really hard and is really hard to motivate myself to do anything. I have a number of suspicions about why that is, but I intend to talk to someone about it in a few therapy sessions. I had the chance of a lifetime to go out on my own and I couldn’t make it work and I’d like to figure out why that was.
Be Present: In today’s world, technology can be a crutch for avoiding people or stressful situations. I did make more of an effort to put the technology down and focus more on life as it happened. There were definitely times when I used my phone to avoid talking to people and I shouldn’t have, so I’ll give myself a neutral on this one. Always room for improvement!
Work: I wanted to break even, get some speaking gigs and get some freelance writing gigs. I did not break even and I did not get any speaking gigs. I did get some freelancing gigs, but they were ultimately not successful due to chaos swirling around in my life. These goals get a big fat FAIL. It turns out I do better work for people under the strict structure of corporate work life and that’s ok. It wasn’t the best of experiences but it certainly was eye-opening.
Ironically enough, I don’t really want to talk about finances. It would require a lot of time and effort to dig through the failings of my finances in 2018 and I don’t really want to do it and be reminded of all the hard feelings. So, I will start fresh in 2019. I haven’t done any net worth updates lately because of the aforementioned feelings, but I will be bringing them back in 2019. Never fear, financial voyeurs, I will share them again.
Just not now 🙂
Year in Review
I look back on the last 365 days and I see it for what it was. I had some great times, I had a lot of good times, I had some bad times and a fair amount of stressful times. Overall, I’m grateful it all happened. I have a lot of fond memories (and some painful ones too) and I’ve learned a lot of incredibly valuable lessons. I’ve learned what I like, what I don’t like, what I need, and where I thrive. I’m warm, I’m fed, I’m surrounded by people who care deeply about me, I’ve got a cute cat, and I walked away from 9 months of self-employment without drowning in debt.
I am blessed.
I wish all of my readers a wonderful and bright 2019 full of good cheer, good food, and good company. Best wishes, everyone! May 2019 be your best year yet!
Thanks for reading! How was your 2018? What were some highlights of your year? Sound off in the comments below!