At the end of 2016, I wrote these three words to ring in 2017...
Declutter. Recover. Rediscover.
Two years ago, I started a controlled demolition on my carefully constructed, Excel planned life. I abruptly left a comfortable job, started a capsule wardrobe and went back to teaching in the classroom--something I swore to “never do again.” Somewhere in my life I took a turn into some unnecessary suffering, so I had to take a few steps backwards, in order to move forward.
2017 was all about going through the rubble--decluttering, recovering and rediscovering who I TRULY WAS all along.
Not the Jackie created out of fear and lack, but the Jackie created out of a place of abundance and faith.
During Thanksgiving 2016, I made up my mind that this was it. I was going to leave the classroom (and education) for once and for all.
I didn’t really have a concrete plan what I would do or how I would replace my salary, all I knew is that I needed to really start getting serious about turning my hopes and dreams into plans and realities.
No more time for being casual.
My focus for 2017 was simple:
- Leave the classroom.
- Replace my salary.
- Live for the day.
I started 2017 with my 30th birthday in Big Sur, CA--a place I had put on a Pinterest board two years ago, and the exact place I wanted to begin a new decade.
I took a lot of side jobs--from instructional coaching to photography gigs, social media marketing, writing, piano lessons, influencer marketing...
...and I found out that I was meant to do all of these things, yet none of these things...all at the same time.
And then, it was April.
I had my jaw surgery and spent almost a month in the hospital and a “recovery facility” for what the doctor diagnosed as a “steroid induced psychosis.”
It was this experience that really woke me up to the truth of who I am and what I came here to do.
I now knew what I needed to do, but I still didn’t know how to do it.
And yet, I said goodbye to my life as a high school math teacher and waited…
Alex and I took some time to go back to Buffalo--to "where it all started."
I spent some time getting in-touch with some new ways to express myself.
I thought that I would have some sort of “revelation” while in Peru--that somehow I’d find myself and know exactly what to do…
And yet, I came back to the States with a new perspective, but with no plan.
All I heard was this:
“Just enjoy your life, and when it’s time, and you are truly ready, we (my team of divine guidance) will let you know.”
Not really what I wanted to hear, but okay...
At the end of August, I had the opportunity to work for the Yellow Conference in L.A., which was an experience that allowed me to meet and network with creative women who work to be the change they wish to see in this world. I left the conference reasonably inspired. However, after spending some time really getting to know the state and its people, I left California with a new appreciation for calling Texas my home.
Despite some beautiful scenery, this girl who has been California dreaming for the past two years, is California Dreaming, no more!
And then Hurricane Harvey hit.
Natural disasters really have a way of reminding you what truly matters in life. So, I took to spending time watching movies with my husband, focusing on our marriage, our health and our home while contributing support to our neighbors experiencing the aftermath of the storm.
I went to learn more about retail, sales & design by working at West Elm while continuing to pick up some more consulting gigs and freelance writing projects.
And then, this December, I’ve been getting the whisper--
And so, at the end of 2017, I end a journey that was started three years ago.
I’m finally at a point in my life where I can wake up every morning and feel like I have a blank slate to create a life of my choosing and create a life where I can be whoever I want to be.
And who I choose to be, is the person who God created me to be.
Over the next few months, I’ll be summoning up the courage to show a different side of me and talking about some more serious topics I really care about (like politics, social issues, and history), while still regularly sharing lighter topics like my travels, home and style.
I will be traveling less, staying at home more, and spending more time doing the work I feel called to do.
I will continue to gain skills and knowledge in more practical and immediate aspects of healthcare and holistic living and apply these in a patient care setting.
I will foray into the world of professional journalism--something I gave up early on in high school because someone told me at a career day that journalists "don't make any money" and "couldn't have a family."
I will be a contributor in addition to being an observer and consumer of online conversations.
During the first week of January, I’ll be sharing some thoughts and my “vision phrase” for 2018, and sharing the values I intend to keep in mind when creating content this year.
I will also be sharing some books and quotes that have inspired me in 2017, and sharing the ONE video I’m using as inspiration for 2018.