Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s just about 2017? I know that for a lot of people (and the world, in general), 2016 was a tough year. While every year has its ups and downs, 2016 was a pretty good year for me. I tried some new things, made some great friends, grew my blog and created some fun memories. That being said, I’m excited about what’s to come in 2017. No matter what kind of year I’ve had, I always look forward to the feeling of a “fresh start” that a new year brings. Don’t you? I also think it’s important to spend some time reflecting on the year that’s passed, so today, I’m sharing a 2016 year in review post.
This year was big for my professional development. Back in the spring of 2015, I made the decision to leave my sales job to study and pursue a career in web design (more about that here). I didn’t realize that a year and a half later, I’d still be trying to establish myself career-wise. The main reason for the continued journey is because web design didn’t work out for me. But hey – you don’t know if you don’t try.
Early in 2016, I started a job as a web and graphic designer. In many ways, it wasn’t what I anticipated. I spent the majority of my time working alone, I was underpaid and had little to no creative freedom. While that job was a bust, it wasn’t a big deal, because I quickly found a role in social media at a marketing and design agency. After a few months at that company, I started feeling unhappy with what I was doing. I loved my team and certain aspects of the company, but ultimately, it wasn’t for me either.
I’ve been working for myself since September, and I’m the happiest I’ve been professionally in a long time. I do some freelance social media and design work, but most of my work can be tied back to my blog. According to my friend Joelle of La Petite Noob, that makes me a full-time blogger. While it may be obvious to others, I have a hard time calling myself that right now. Granted, in 2016, I worked with some incredible brands and had some great opportunities, but I’m not making a full-time income from blogging (yet). Obviously, this is an area that I will continue to work on in 2017!
2016 was not a great year for my passport. A big reason for the lack of travel this year was financial. After all, I did change jobs a number of times! I’ve worked hard to save my money and at this point in my life, I can’t justify pulling a chunk of cash from my savings to spend on a trip. Other people would – but that’s just not me.
As a result, this was the year of the staycation. I’m still reminiscing about the awesome experience I had at the Miraj Hammam Spa, as well as a few trips I took up north with friends. Of course, I did come down to Florida for Christmas, so you don’t need to feel too badly for me! You probably remember this video I shared a few weeks ago, which documented my travels. I hope to do some travelling in 2017, but that’s still a work in progress.
Within the past year, I’ve experienced a lot of changes within my groups of friends – some good, and some not so good. Several months ago, I had to cut ties with a friend, which sucks. I’ll spare you the details, but ultimately, it had to be done. On the other hand, I’ve celebrated some awesome milestones with other long-time friends. A few friends got married and even more exciting, two of my closest friends had babies! One of these friends is long-distance, so it was extra special when she came home to visit and I got to meet her beautiful daughter. Thankfully, my other friend lives close by, so I get a lot of baby snuggles from her adorable son. I love that cute little face of his!
A 2016 year in review post would not be complete without mentioning the new friendships I’ve made. Over the years, I’ve made connected with so many people through my blog and social media. This year more than ever, I’ve turned some of those connections into real-life friendships. I’ve met so many incredible, creative and inspiring people and I love that I can call them friends! Even though I am extroverted in some ways, I’m also shy and awkward around new people. In fact, I used to hate meeting new people! Clearly, that’s no longer the case. A lot of people think that blogging and working for yourself in general can be lonely, but for me, it’s been the complete opposite.
What’s to come on the blog in 2017?
Well…I’m not sure! What I do know is that this year, I want to continue to grow my blog. That’s obvious, isn’t it? I worked with some really incredible brands in 2016, so I’ve got a good feeling about 2017. Since I really love blogging and working for myself, the hustle will continue into 2017.
This year, I plan to continue learning more about photography. I also want to deepen the type of content that I put out there. I love fashion, but I also love food, travel, beauty, design, blogging – and so much more. I’ve always said there’s more to me than what I’m wearing, so I want to continue to share and inspire in other areas, too. In 2016, I started to play around with video content, but I’ve only started to scratch the surface. I want to work on building my presence on YouTube. I’ve also seen some awesome growth on my Instagram and hope to hit that big 10k soon. If you follow me there – thank you!
…Do I still have you?
All and all, I’m excited about what’s to come in 2017…well, I’m not excited about the hitting the big 3-0 late this year. Eep! I really don’t know what the year will bring, but isn’t that what makes life exciting?
Happy New Year – I’ll see you all back here in 2017!