I loved 2017. It was a year of adventure -- full of firsts, unexpected twists and turns and never ending ups and downs. The year rumbled with laughter, was sprinkled with creativity and warmed by friends and family. The happiest words I know are "I have enough."
I enter 2018 with a very full heart, a slightly emptier wallet, and much anticipation for the year ahead. Because there were some uncertainities regarding next gig in Chile over the holiday season, I felt like I stumbled into 2018 far less gracefully than I had expected. A stark contrast to how I approached 2017, the first year of my soul sabbatical.
But since it’s the reflective season, I started digging through past journals and to-do lists, taking stock of what has changed – and what hasn’t – as I thought about where I ended up at the end of the year and what I hoped would come next as 2018 unfolded. A little surprise emerged as I flipped through many the pages: I had a collection of post-it notes messages to myself that give a little glimpse into my learnings from 2017 to help me settle into 2018 with grit, grace and gratitude.
If you've ever been to my apartment, the post-it collage will be familiar. It's my life plan for the year.
My planning format for the past three years has focused on three key areas:
I also have a quirky life-hack of leaving post-its around my house as little reminders, switching up their locations and messages so that my brain never stops "seeing" them. Most notoriously is the one in my bathroom that says "Do you want teeth when you are old? FLOSS." Others hide in kitchen cabinet or on the bedside table. These ones tend reflect current challenges and learning edges.
Here are a few of the post-its that help tell the story of 2017 and what I was learning and the areas I was trying to grow into.
It's a bit hard to read in this photo but the post-it says "the universe is there for me, not against me." A great hippy-wo-wo message if I've ever read one.
So what were my insights from all this post-it propaganda?
Obviously, the biggest learning from 2017 was about the ever-expanding edges of my own resilience. Every experience echoed it. Don't be fooled and think it was easy or that I have some unique cosmic gift... If we imagine each post-it note to be an artifact of an archaeological dig helping us discover what life was like, I think we'd all conclude that I had to constantly remind myself what I could handle.
This biggest surprise of the year was how my own little meagre story of adventure offered inspiration to others about what is possible. I have never anticipated that my journey would have such an impact on the people I met along the way. In fact, inspiring others was never part of the vision, and honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable since it feels so trivial in the big picture. Who am I to inspire after all? I'm a privileged kid, lucky to have a good education and safety net ready to care for when I stumble. (Side note: A wise woman challenged me to redefine my definition humility in 2018 so I'm trying to find ways to reframe my fear of being a tall poppy that might cast a shadow on others.. but that's another year's lesson).
While I'd currently describe 2018 as a gawky and fumbling foal, these little messages give me a bit more confidence that 2018 will be bolting out of the barn with all the majesty of a mare in no time at all. But for now, its one foot in front of the other and I'll begin the way I always do - finalizing my list of habits to develop, things to learn and places I aim to explore in 2018.
"Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won't have titles until much later." - Bobb Goff
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
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