Happy Wednesday, everyone! I can’t believe Christmas and New Years have come and gone – I’ve mentioned so many times that this is my favorite time of the year, so I’m so sad that it’s over! Nonetheless, it’s been a wonderful nearly two weeks with my family and friends, and I’ll be cherishing those moments for a long time until I’m back in Cleveland!
Something else I can’t get over is that it’s already the third day of January 2018?! I remember last New Year’s like it was yesterday, so this is mind blowing to me. Last year I wrote a post about my goal for 2017 (yes, one goal) and that was achieving genuine happiness throughout all aspects of my life. I mentioned that certain circumstances kind of hindered the year before, and achieving real happiness was something I wanted to really focus on this year. Of course, there were many ups and downs, but I think I made a lot of great progress in 2017! I learned to enjoy doing things by myself, and made a serious effort to eliminate toxic things from my life. I’ve still got a bit of ways to go, but thought I’d fill you in on some of my highs and lows of 2017.
One of my highs of 2017 was growing this little space! 2017 was by far the best year for Oliver’s Twist – as I secured more partnerships from an organic haircare line, a conscious fashion brand in Chicago, to one of the most up-and-coming brands in men’s skincare! I also saw an increase in readership – both on my blog and across my social channels – and think I’ve also virtually met some really amazing people! I’m looking forward to continue growing and seeing where this takes me, and can’t wait for what’s in store for 2018! Be on the lookout for my 2018 goals next week!
I think one of the lows was that homesickness has seriously started to kick in. I’ve been living in Chicago for almost one year and a half (you can check out my one year update here), and at first everything was fine. Oddly enough, I spent the first nine months of the year without ever going home, and it seemed to go by fast. However, when I went home for Labor Day, I realized just how much I miss my family and friends! It’s like that saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” and that rings true every single time I leave home now! Once I graduate from my program, I’ll have a big decision to make about whether to stay in Chicago, or move back to Cleveland. A lot can happen in one year, so we’ll see where 2018 takes me.
Although I’ve missed home a lot lately, I must say that I think I took advantage of all that Chicago has to offer this year! With some great friends beside me – both old and new – we really hit the town and experienced so many different things this year! From tucked away art festivals in Hyde Park, volunteering at a women’s shelter, jumping in Lake Michigan and staying out till 4am, to say this was an eventful year would be an understatement. I love how there’s always something new and exciting to try out here, and it’s extremely difficult to be bored. I’m definitely looking forward to crossing off even more things in 2018!
I think we can all agree that 2017 was a pretty tragic year with so many awful incidents, and hearing horrible news back-to-back really took a toll on me. I’ve stopped reading the news almost completely (which is huge because I’m a news junky), because I realized it was incredibly toxic! I’m a huge believer that what you put into your mind and thoughts can have a severe impact on how you feel. However, I think something “good” that came out of those awful tragedies, was realizing how blessed my family and I are, and to always be grateful for waking up each day and living the life that we live, and it breaks my heart to say this – but so many others have not been as fortunate.
With all of this said, I’m really looking forward to 2018 – both in my personal and professional life – and am particularly excited about the content that I have planned for you guys! I’ve really been trying to focus on more personal/in depth content, and can’t wait to see where it takes this little space. Also, be on the lookout for a reader survey headed your way next week!
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Photos by Katie Niemiec