TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN.
This is the year I turned 23. This is also the year I struggled to find balance between a corporate job that was sucking me dry and pouring into this little dream business of mine. I found love in 2017, which counts as hard because love shows you more about your weaknesses than anything else I have yet to encounter. This year I jumped from one corporate job to another, hoping to soak up valuable experience and pour more into this little dream business of mine. Let me let you in on why 2017 was a tough one.
1. I turned 23.
Two years from 25. Twenty-Seven years until 50. And NEWS FLASH! I don't have it all figured out. I didn't expect to have it figured out by 23, but I will be honest, I didn't think I would be here. On a positive note, I'm glad I'm not where I thought I would be at 23.
2. I'm in debt.
I tried to blame it on the fact that no one told me that loan repayment amounts would be far beyond "affordable" after college. "THIS WASN'T IN THE BROCHURE" I would tell myself every 23rd of the month. I am thankful for payment options though, because I guess it could be much worse? For 25 years of my life, I'll try to remind myself of my "invaluable" educational experience on every 23rd day of the month . That, and credit cards are bad. Don't buy into the extra points, "free" miles, and cashback bonuses. If you don't have it to spend, you won't have it to pay it back. (New motto for 2018!!)
"What you don't manage, will manage you" -Kris Volloton
3. I didn't get paid.
If you have a business, no matter large or small, you won't get paid. There will be people who will go MIA, make up excuses, and just flat out not settle up. "You can right it off" they would tell me. Yes, but the money you "write off" isn't ever in your bank account. The money conversation never gets easier. Which leads me to #4.
4. Money makes the world go round.
The money conversation never gets any easier. I want to help people and don't want to lead them through bad financial decisions at the mercy of my services. But I've learned, it's business. You pay for food to feed yourself, you pay for clothes to clothe yourself, and you pay to get your nails done. Why do you pay for these things? Because you can't do them yourself. However, there is something divine in trading your money for something that goes far beyond a dollar amount. I have been humbled in the lesson to always have the money conversation first and not get hurt when people turn away because of money. Thats okay, and I honor that honesty vs. a false commitment and hours spent on a project without pay.
5. Adulting is not fun.
They say it's a millennial term, "adulting". But I think its a life thing. Us millennials want to have the most fun, the most money, and the most freedom. But I've failed to conquer all three at once. I can handle laundry because I love clean sheets, but I hate bills (because broke all.the.time) and not being able to workout at 11 on a Monday because I have a job I have to report to. I hate emptying the dishwasher, but I don't mind vacuuming. I have OCD, but I can never get my tub as sparkly white as I think it should be. I don't take vacations (like to Cancun) because that job I have to report to doesn't think I should make 60K at entry level. But thats what all millennials say, right? I'm pretty sure this one deserves it's own post.
6. I found love.
This also marks my top 10 reasons why 2017 was awesome... but let me tell you: love is hard. Talk to me a year ago and I would tell you I never cried, I didn't get emotional about much, and I could do what I wanted on any given Friday night. BUT Love has turned me into a crazy, passionately emotional compromiser that can get upset in 0 to 100. Love has taught me more about my flaws and more about my struggles than any thing to date. Sharing a life with someone exposes all your shortfalls, and all your false expectations. But in this, growth, beauty and hope has risen from the ashes. Also, he doesn't like leftovers. WTH.
7. I haven't conquered discontentment
I hate...I mean despise the conversations that seem to evidently reoccur: "You just need to learn to be content". I don't disagree with this, but I haven't seem to get to the top of this mountain. Every stage of life brings a new discontent: "I'm 22 with a degree and live at home... ughh", "I don't live at home, but I just want to work for myself", "why does no one love me yet", "Now I love someone, but why don't we...blah blah blah". But of all of those, the same thing remains: wanting the newness of the next thing to fill the frustration of the current thing. We don't ever move on to the next thing until we learn the things we need to learn. So in other terms, I struggle with wanting to be patient to learn the lessons I need to learn. Anyone else?
"You can't sustain something you create, but He can sustain something He creates." - My mother
8. It's all about trade offs.
I traded living at home for a corporate job. I traded doing O+F full time, substitute teaching, and coaching track for moving back to Texas. I traded a Graphic Design job for a Marketing job. I traded single for not single (best trade yet ;)). I traded money for an awesome apartment. I traded a life for myself for a life for Him.
9. Working with your friends is....
Maybe the biggest struggle of all. I constantly fight these battles with myself when things go a little south. My tribe is the most important thing I work to cultivate and protect, but sometimes emotions get in the way. I've learned the money conversation is always better had upfront. Money should never get in the way of a friendship, but it will if you let it. "Friends" doesn't mean "free". I hate this one, but it has caused resentment in my heart. Friends who want things for free because you are friends, maybe aren't true friends. So I empower those who have the same struggles to be confident in your gifts and talents, and I assure you that those who honor you and your talents will respect the trade for services with finances.
10. Struggles create revelations.
My last point is the strongest. I promise. I don't believe in the facets of life that tell you that instagram profiles are reality and running your own business is all sunshines and rainbows. Shoot, I haven't written to all you lovlies since March. I've been hiding behind my fears, and dwelling in my own rejection that I'm not where I want to be. But I'm turning struggles into conquerings. I value honesty and reality. And here, I'm sharing my realities. And these are the one's in 2017 that hit me hard. But this is what growth is about. We have to struggle to grow. We just get better at the struggle.
I'm going to follow up this post with the 10 reason why 2017 was AWESOME because with all struggle come revelation. With revelation come growth and with growth comes maturity.
I'm also going to link to some of the things that have helped me through all of these struggles:
Destined to Win by Kris Vallotton, Walking in Godly Authority Podcast by KV, The Goal Digger Podcast and Jenna Kutcher are just to name a few. But I promise that these two podcasts, paired with some great literature by KV are a recipe for a deep spiritual workout.