Letting Go of Guilt - my 2017 recap
So I've been wanting to do a re-cap of my 2017 for a while now. I've even sat down with my laptop to start the process a few times. But every time I've started typing the words fail me. So I've given up.
This time though, I'm going to push through.
What can I say about 2017? First off, it was a bit of a blur. While it was happening, it felt like it was passing wayyy too fast. And now that I'm looking back it seems like I can't remember everything that happened in detail like I'd like.
Here's what I can remember happened for sure:
- I did a good bit of traveling. I went to Austin, TX, New Orleans (for the 2nd time), and Hawaii. Plus a buzzer beater trip to Orlando, FL to bring in the new year with family.
- I was chosen as a finalist in the Voice competition for the 2nd year in a row, and got a pretty big photo of myself published in Click magazine.
- I did a lot of shooting and saw my artistry grow, especially towards the end of the year.
Overall, I had a pretty good year for the most part.
Yes, there were some difficulties. I lost my last living biological grandparent, experienced some physical health issues that I'm still currently dealing with, and moved out on my own again (so I'm re-adjusting to the finances that come with living alone).
But I realize there are so many whose situation is worse than mine, so I try my best not to complain excessively about the lows life can bring.
However, for all the things I successfully accomplished in 2017, there's a list of things I didn't accomplish. At first when I was thinking back on my 2017, I was feeling pretty good about my year. Then I started flipping back through my planner and saw the goals I had written down but never got to cross off.
And at first I was disappointed in myself. I started asking what I was doing last year that prevented me from crossing those items off of my "to achieve" list. I immediately forgot all the things I had managed to make happen underneath the looming shadow of the things I hadn't. I really started feeling like I had basically wasted the year away.
Guilt /gilt/ noun: a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation.
That's what I was feeling. Like I had ultimately failed in 2017. Sure, I had a few shining moments - but did that really outweigh all that I hadn't accomplished.
Then this morning as I was walking my dog I had a realization. I gotta let go of that guilt. I can't focus on what I didn't achieve last year, residing in this space of self-pity, "woe is me"-ness. Nah. Because how will that help me moving forward in 2018 to achieve anything? (Hint: it won't).
Truthfully, I feel like there's always something lingering around to feel guilt about. Always.
- Guilt I don't pick up my camera everyday to shoot.
- Guilt that I'm not creating enough on a consistent basis.
- Guilt that I don't always want to post to instagram.
- Guilt that I don't focus enough on growing my business.
So. Many. Things. To feel. Guilty. About.
But I don't wanna spend my 2018 drowning in guilt. I have no desire to start my year off with those feelings looming over me. So instead I'm going to look at what I didn't achieve in 2017 and figure out what held me back, then use that information to re-assess my goals in 2018 and plan accordingly. I'm realizing that I have to release the guilt and replace it with grace. Life isn't perfect, so why should I expect myself to be? Everyone has their own journey, so I shouldn't feel guilt that my path doesn't match the next person's. I shouldn't hold myself up to their standards - it's not fair and it's not realistic.
So looking forward to my 2018 and how I want it to play out, I think release will play an important role.
Releasing expectations. Releasing disappointment. Releasing negativity. Releasing stress. Releasing guilt.
Whatever your new year is about, whatever plans you may have, I hope you learn to let go of guilt and replace it with grace as well.
Happy New Year <3