My 2017 #OneWord365: Authenticity

As I read 2016 recap blog posts written by my friends and people I follow, I realized two things: 1) I lied in my newsletter about 2016 being an amazing year for me and, 2) I lied, like a lot in 2016 about me being "ok" when I really wasn't more times than I can even count. Truthfully, I don't hope your 2016 was as amazing as mine! I hope it was better, because overall I felt that 2016 sucked! Yes, I had some incredible moments. However for the most part, my 2016 was full of angst, anxiety, anger, tears, confusion, and sleepless nights. I didn't keep track of how often I thought to myself that I felt "blah" regarding just about everything that I was doing. Honestly, even if I kept track, I would have lost count along the way.

Let me pause to be positive for a moment, before I start getting into deal about why I am so over 2016 and glad that 2017 is finally here!

I am sooooo beyond grateful for the many experiences in 2016 that were simply incredible to me:

  • Marrying my husband Jacob— our traditional Nigerian and American weddings were beautiful. So much love surrounded us. Plus, our receptions were lit! We are celebrating 6-months of marriage!
  • Launching this blog and the associated meetup group for millennial women of color. I am thrilled that women across America support my mission and are active in the community that I am cultivating!
  • Living a physically active lifestyle the entire year. Historically, I am good at being faithful for 2-3 months and then quitting mid-year. My fitness instructor and I celebrated that I joined her class last January!!
  • This year the quality time spent with family and friends was amazing!
  • Also, I am thankful for all of my accomplishments in 2016! I got promoted at work, I started checking items off my "Things to Do Solo Before I'm 30" bucket list, I created a powerful new workbook to share with my tribe, and the list goes on!

Now back to my scheduled program lol…

I reemphasize the year 2016 lowkey sucked! Instead of painting my 2016 recap to seem only rosy like many recaps posted on Instagram, being written about on blogs, or even chatted about amongst friends while clinking champagne flutes at midnight... I am about to be crazy authentic with you! 

Here are a few reasons why I'm glad 2016 is finito:

  • Planning my wedding was the worst! On a scale of 0 (Yah, no, hated it!) to 10 (OMG, it was lit!), I would rank wedding planning a measly 3. I've experienced some of the worst stress of my life, some of the ugliest fights with my now husband, and still shudder at how much money we spent! Plus, it took me 4 months to recover from decision fatigue. I was always a huge fan of small destination weddings and even courthouse weddings paired with a backyard reception. Now, I'm a fierce advocate for them! I wouldn't wish my wedding planning experience on anyone! 
  • The first few months of my marriage were rough! The stress from wedding planning definitely carried over into the first few months of marriage. We fought like crazy! Even though my husband and I unconditionally love each other, for a couple of months I hated having to answer the question, "How is married life?" When talking with my best friends, sisters, or mom, the truth would bring me to tears: "I always knew marriage was hard, but no one told me it would be this hard!” Thank God we are out of that newly hitched adjustment phase now! I absolutely love my husband and experiencing life with him!
  • My low body confidence sucked majorly! In 2016, everyone commented on how "thin" and "fit" I looked. How they wish they had the time to hit the gym like I did. How they wanted to shed some unwanted pounds. Even with exercising 3-4x a week, I still did not hit my target weight. In my mind, I related more to Jiggly Puff.
  • For many MANY months, I was so frustrated about work! I work so hard and I am a high performer in my department, but I often felt unappreciated. So when the director put me up for promotion, I was ecstatic. However, HR shut it down because I was "6 months short of the minimum required experience." Yes, that is right! Though the director believed that I had the experience and ability to succeed in the next role in her department, HR said, "Nah bro, she is too inexperienced." CRAY-CRAY, right?! That experience was just the tip of the frustration iceberg. NOTE: I did get the promotion 6-months later. Grateful!
  • I worried way too much about how others perceived me!
  • I chronically compared myself to others! The biggest comparison that I focused on was the fact that some people my age seemed to really have their lives put together: knew what their passions were, were self-employed and successful, traveled frequently, were very self-aware. 

Overall, 2016 was my year of feeling overly stressed and as if I was just floating around aimlessly while life bounced me from place to place. Honestly, the truth is I wasn't living my life for myself; I was living my life for others! As much time as I invested in my day job, I literally neglected other areas in my life! I spent very little time reflecting on where I was and where I currently am. I had very few moments were I was fully present or mindful.  The worst person I lied to in 2016 was myself! I was not living life the way that I desired! Instead, I worked hard to put up a facade that I had my mess together. I'm tired of allowing the world define who I am, permitting negativity to get the best of my emotions, and navigating life feeling extremely stressed! 

I entered 2017 with renewed clarity and determination! This is the year that I am promising to be authentic to myself and to take better care of my mind, body, and soul!

Now marks the start of me attracting to my life what I want most, defining who I am and my purpose, and living my life the way I envision. With my intention in mind, I created the Release Your Vision Life Mapping Workbook as a resource for myself, to guide me in creating and flourishing in my ideal life. My intention is also the reason I started Freeing She— to connect, collaborate, and support other women of color who are ready to live authentically and freely.

So, yep! I got some work to do in 2017, but it will be an exciting journey! Regardless of where you are in your own personal journey, if you have made the decision to start building and living your ideal life, I would really love to connect with you. In my post "How to Create a Vision Board that Actually Works," I shared details about the aspect of my own vision board and life map. I welcome you to join in on the conversations and share elements from your own life map. I also encourage you sign up for my newsletter "The Ambitious Woman's Guide" to join a community of women of color who are actively discovering, releasing, and living the lives they envision. As a gift for signing up, I will gift you your own Release Your Vision Life Mapping Workbook so that you can reflect on where you are, plan for where you are going, and make your ideal life your reality. 

I hope that 2017 will be your
greatest year yet!


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