Jumping into the new year with a splash! See what I did there? 😁 I kept going back and forth on how I wanted to create my last post for 2016. Tomorrow is New Years Eve, so I could have easily dressed up for the occasion (like I did in 2015) or I could have inserted a bunch of my favorite photo memories from this past year. Instead, I wanted to take a photo that pretty much summed up how this year made me feel and how I want to start off 2017. It took a couple of tries (or maybe more) to finally get the right capture, but I think this picture pretty much sums it all up. I’ve learned to see the good in the bad and I know that you can’t have sunshine without a little rain. God definitely tests my limits at times and He challenges me, but all of this continues to make me stronger.
I have a lot of gratitude in my heart right now for all of the things that this year gave me. I have to say that as a whole, this was one of the best (if not THE best) years of my entire life. I don’t think I have ever said this about any other year with so much confidence. In no way was it perfect and trust me, I definitely faced some struggles and battled with inner demons. I feel like for every successful moment there was some type of set back, but
honestly that only makes me appreciate the success so much more.
In my professional life, I reached new heights! I said goodbye to A Love Affair With Fashion and completely rebranded to Naty Michele. It was such a long process, but I am more than happy that I made the switch. The blog got a full makeover and I started to expand on my content even more. I took on some big partnerships, including my first ever
nation-wide campaign that was seen in thousands of CVS stores. I think I am still on a high from that one. I had several shoots for magazine features that continued to pull me out of my comfort zone. I traveled more for work. I celebrated FIVE years of blogging. I upgraded both of my camera lenses and focused more on the quality of my content. I went from being managed full time back to managing myself and I realized exactly what I am capable of. I don’t need to list out every accomplishment, but I did want to highlight some of the ones that made a huge impact on my life this year. As I mentioned above, with every
successful moment some type of obstacle was thrown my way. For awhile, I allowed that to live in the forefront of my mind and never fully gave myself credit for all my hard work that had paid off. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and immerse ourselves with the good that we have done instead of allowing the bad times to out shine them. ❤️
In my personal life, I became an Auntie and a Godmother to my beautiful niece, Mia Angel! I am completely in love with her and being an aunt has opened my eyes to so many
possibilities, like having a child of my own one day. I did a lot more travel this year and got to visit new places, including solo trips to both London and Paris. I was so happy to check them off my bucket list. I traveled to Sweden with two of my best friends. Stockholm will
always hold a special place in my heart because of that. I began the process of getting my TEFL certification and allowed myself to think differently about my future. I celebrated my 33rd birthday and learned to accept where I am, at this point of my life. I met so many new people and formed new friendships. I continued to step out of my comfort zone and faced more fears.
On the flip side, I struggled a lot with my skin and my weight and lost a little bit of my self confidence along the way. This was probably the biggest demon that I battled this year. I was not able to grow my online family and in fact, for the first time ever I went backwards
instead of forward in that regard. I got really hard on myself because of it and often felt that I was not good enough. I learned that when it comes to love, I have built a huge wall ever since my dad died. I have to work on breaking that wall down so that I can share my heart again. The biggest heartbreak and set back of the year came two weeks ago when my grandmother died. I saw it happen, just like I did with my father. I was literally reliving what happened 6 years ago. The darkness came back those first few days, but I fought so hard to get rid of it. I am still grieving, but learning to walk more in the light this time.
Here are five of my biggest personal goals for 2017:
Build an even stronger connection to my faith and to God by going back to church.
Get my apartment in NYC. It’s something that I worked especially hard for this year.
Take better care of my body through consistent fitness and by living a healthier lifestyle.
Start writing my book and stick with it so that I can achieve this lifelong dream.
Love myself even more and be open to the idea of allowing myself to fall in love again.
Thank you so much for reading my very last post of 2016! I truly hope that you will continue to walk down this journey with me into 2017. Some new things are coming soon, so stay tuned! I’m very appreciative for all of you and the constant support you show me. I wish you and your families a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!🎉 We are getting 12 new chapters and 365 new chances. Let’s embrace this with open arms, open minds and open hearts. Love you!