Dear Reader,

When I sat down to write "Unmatched" on Sunday I opened a journal I've only used on one other occasion - a journal I purchased at the dollar store on December 31st 2017. It was a last minute buy; Cody and I were on our way to Teddy Bear Cove to soak up the last day of the year in a hammock, reflecting and writing. But I was without a journal. So I grabbed a tiny journal for a dollar and happily sat and wrote two very important entries.

  1. Gratitude Practice 2017
  2. 2018 Resolutions 

On Sunday I read both these entires with a huge smile on my face. For the past two years I've written down my resolutions, in big long lists. In fact, I remember reading my resolutions from December 31st 2016, and thinking, "Damn. Those did not come to be." As is all too common.

But this year I was determined to follow my resolutions. I spent the last day of 2017 in one of my favorite spots in the PNW, writing about the beautiful places I would see this year, the beautiful things I would pursue and accomplish. And here I sit today, in the co-op, in my PNW shirt, ready to set off and leave the land I love to follow my resolutions fully. With this said, I'd like to share my gratitude and my resolutions with you.

Gratitude Practice 2017:

In 2017 I am grateful for:

  1. The Women's March
  2. The Black Lives Matter March
  3. My little apartment in Lynden
  4. Every hike I have completed - or perhaps, not completed
  5. Gypsy-Rita
  6. Presence Studio
  7. Support and Love
  8. My Therapist
  9. Hammocking at Teddy Bear Cove
  10. Steady-ISH income 
  11. The families I babysit for
  12. My family
  13. Myself
  14. The writing I have done
  15. Freedom
  16. Naked photo shoots
  17. Cody and my trip to Lopez Is - thanksgiving bagels and thrift store finds
  18. Bob Bags and the White Envelope Christmas Tradition
  19. Yummy Food
  20. Leavenworth and the Enchantments 
  21. My partner's hugs
  22. Good Music
  23. Solo Hikes
  24. Kelsey's Dance Workship
  25. The Ability to travel
  26. Blue Skies
  27. Mountain Tops
  28. Brunch
  29. Marcus the cat
  30. Kaari's Friendship
  31. Daphne - my Honda
  32. Fresh Air (not smokey: anti-gratitude haha)
  33. Taco's and Tequila
  34. Shower Baths (my favorite)
  35. Mason - my nephew
  36. GG - my grandma
  37. Mother Nature

2018 Resolutions: 

  1. Be kinder and more patient with myself
  2. Honest Communications 
  3. Let go of toxic relationships 
  4. Work through my anger
  5. Dance more
  6. Spend your free time outdoors
  7. Gypsy-Rita Trips
  8. Blog
  9. Become financially secure and satisfied by something that works for me
  10. Sleep under the stars a lot
  11. Swim a ton - in the ocean 
  12. Drink more mulled wine
  13. One trip abroad this year
  14. At least 5 solo trips this year
  15. LOVE BIG!
  16. Remember/rediscover your love for fitness in whatever way is right for you
  17. Hot Yoga
  18. More gratitude 
  19. More sunsets and sunrises (preferably on mountain tops)
  20. Do more shit that serves you
  21. Hone into your strength, power and self love, and trust your god-damn self, QUEEN!
  22. 500 words a day

So there you have it, I had a ton to be grateful for in 2017. But mostly I want to talk about my resolutions. In 2016 and 2017 I made resolutions that mattered to me deeply. Ones that would inspire growth, challenge me, and fill my heart with joy. And for the first time in my life I feel like I'm really on track to accomplishing them ALL. I am not there yet but I am on my way.

Sitting here in the co-op in a sea of people I am holding back tears. Because it is all too rare for us to follow our intentions, our resolutions, our goals (whatever you'd like to call them). We are often pre-occupied with our shoulds, our partners, our friends, our families, everything that we hold more important than ourselves.

It's the classic: sign up for a gym membership in January and cancel it by March situation. I've fallen into it for countless years. And I find this pattern overwhelmingly disheartening. But this year I reached a space where I decided I was done putting myself behind everything else. 

Because of this decision, I started Empowered Wanderer, I am about the set out on a solo trek around the world, I danced my ass off, I let go of toxic relationships, I pursued friendships that scared me, I learned how to boulder, I solo hiked, I swam in the ocean, quit two jobs that did not serve me and planned a retreat for women to harness their own power and remember their value. 

Imagine if we all re-learned our value, if we began to to put ourselves first and live our lives with the intention of pursuing joy and passion.

I'm sure it's way easier said than done - after all it's taken me 24 years - but I encourage each one of you to make your own lists. Write your gratitude, think about everything in your life that gives you energy, joy and light. And then write about how you can cultivate more of this, everything you will do for yourself to ignite your fire for life again. 

May we all live with our souls blazing and our hearts pumping, as our resolutions are not only seen, but realized.

With love,