Welcome to a new year, 2018! It's hard to believe another year has passed, and for me, it's hard to believe all that's happened over the course of just 365 days. It's been one whirlwind of a year that's taken me from living and working in Boston, to moving to Iceland where I returned to school, and all the way over to spending Chrostmas in Ireland. There are so many things I have to be grateful for looking back, all the opportunities and growth I've been afforded, and at times I still can't believe where I've ended up.
For me, 2017 began coming fresh out of yoga teacher training, working my ass off at two different jobs as a social worker, one in a residential substance abuse treatment program and another on inpatient units at a hospital, and trying to find my way as a new yoga instructor. There were many fails and lessons learned in that first part of the year. Even though it was really challenging and exhausting at times, looking back, I'm so incredibly grateful for all that those positions taught me.
Then, halfway through the year, the big move came. The hubby and I sold almost all of our possessions, took what remained halfway across the country to store at my parent's house, then moved with only our four suitcases to Iceland, a country we had never stepped foot in. My life changed entirely, from hustling in the big city as a social worker and yoga instructor to being a student again and working as a preschool teacher. I know I have talked about this before on both the blog and over on Instagram, but you just never know what life is going to through your way, and I never would have guessed this is where I would be at 27.
To wrap up the year, I also got to travel to a place I've had on my bucket list for some time, Ireland. This was such a great way to finish up 2017, and we saw some pretty amazing, beautiful sites. What I'm getting at with all this talk of travel and moving is that both have shown me how strong and capable I truly am. When you're thrown into new experiences, new cultures and need to just figure it out as you go, you realize how strong you really are.
Before leaving my job as a therapist at the residential program in Boston, I talked to some of the ladies during our sessions about travel and its ability to combat symptoms of trauma. I've learned this firsthand. Throughout the years, I've continued to battle with the belief that my own thoughts and capabilities aren't to be trusted, that in some way I'll get myself into trouble I can't get out of; a belief that is left from years of abuse and addiction. When I travel and am forced to adjust and make decisions on the fly, decisions that could have some pretty significant consequences, and I find that it all works out, it shows me again and again that I am capable of making decisions, that my own thoughts and intuition are worthy of trust again. Travel can be highly unpredictable, completely ungrounding, and you have to trust that both you and the universe have your back no matter what's thrown your way. It's like proving your worthiness to yourself through trial and error over and over again.
When you need to figure out where the closest and affordable food is at, where you can secure a bed, how to navigate an immigration system, and get around in another language, you quickly realize how powerful you are. Travel isn't the only way to realize your strength or test out your ability to trust yourself, and not everyone can afford to travel, but moving around and being put in new situations is what has helped me grow the most. We're talking about proving your own strength here and actually noticing it as an asset. The number one thing I hear from trauma survivors is that their power was taken away and they often feel like they can't get it back. When you rise to new challenges and bring awareness and appreciation to your strength in these moments, you're healing from that loss of power. You're bringing it back into your life, and I couldn't think of a better gift than that.
So, reflecting on the year, I'm grateful that I've been able to continue to heal from the symptoms left from trauma and addiction. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to travel and have new experiences, for these are the times that I'm able to heal and grow. I'm thankful for being able to feel worthy of even having all these experiences. I'm grateful that I get to start a brand new life in a brand new place. Slowing down and having space to grow has allowed me to bring more focus back to myself, to spend more time on my health and wellbeing.
I don't know what all 2018 will have in store for me, but I'm so excited to experience it one day at a time. I'm confident that there will be more growth, more time spent on developing and healing myself, and new places to explore. I encourage you to spend some time reflecting yourself on what 2017 has taught you, brought into your life, ways you've found adventure and healing. What has 2017 meant for you? Feel free to come back and share them here along with what you're looking forward to in 2018.
I hope this coming year brings success, joy, and healing into your life, in whatever ways are meaningful for you. Know that you hold the power to determine your future - I have faith that you are capable and worthy, you just have to trust yourself.
With love and light,