Lifestyle Winter Outfits

How I Grew The Heck Up in 2017

Standard blog opener right now: “WOW I cannot believe it is already 2018 and 2017 is over! My how time flies! Also, are you guys freezing cold? Because, same.” << Wish I could act like I am not totally one of those people haha.

Anyway, Happy New Year! Hope you are all doing great at your 2018 goals. Me on the other hand, I tried to go to the gym last night but it was too crowded. I’ll try again in 2019. Lol…jk….I hope.

I wanted to share this post all about what I learned in 2017. It was a big year for me. I grew the frick up and I’m not even exaggerating! And boy, did I have a blast doing it. This is a long post, so stick with me. I am sharing 12 high-level things I learned last year and then I want to share some things that made my 2017 amazing! *These kind of go hand in hand but whatever*. Also, some more pics by Courtney Garrett because love these and I thought you all might, too!

It’s okay to be alone. No, really, it is. Go ahead, live alone, move to a new city alone, eat out in public by yourself. Yeah, these things can be scary but who cares? You are the only one holding you back. I used to be terrified of being alone. I swore I’d never live alone or eat alone but here I am doing it all the time. I can say that eating alone is relaxing and no one is judging you. They are too busy with their own lives.

Talk to people. Everyone has a story. From coworkers to strangers. Have a conversation and get to know people. Make them feel valued and important. Ask them REAL questions and don’t compare it to yourself, just let them talk. It’s so nice learning about others without the expectation to share everything about yourself too. If they ask, you can share, of course. But be mindful of letting OTHER people talk. I noticed I have trouble doing this, and I am constantly working to catch myself now and improving every day.

Don’t be guarded. This was/is hard for me as well. I like to be the cool kid. The one who is tough and phased by nothing. Truth be told, that is such a front. I am only human and to have real relationships with people (literally anyone) I have to let my guard down. Do you have trouble with this??

Thank people more than necessary. I have always been one to say thank you more than I need to. I think my mother beat it into me (not literally, or wait, now that I think about it, maybe it was literally? haha jk) to say thank you to adults, friends, strangers, etc. In the south, it is definitely more common to hear thank you for little tasks as they happen, but don’t forget to tell people thank you when they really make an impact on your life. Write them a letter, send a text, email, carrier pigeon, whatever. You will feel better when you do this, promise.

Good friends are a great thing. There was a time in my life where I felt like I had NO friends. Where I had no one to talk to and it was so isolating, but in reality, I did that to myself. So in 2017, I made a point to spend time with my friends, cherish that time, laugh, cry, sit in silence, talk about nothing or travel the world. Wow, am I thankful for this. I love my friends so so so much and I know I have people in my life that would do anything for me! I hope they know I’d do the same.

Slow down. I read something once that said if you have road rage you are a selfish person. The reason people (typically) have road rage is that they think their time is more precious than everyone else’s. They think they need to get where they are going quicker or more urgently than everyone else driving. Does that not make SO much sense? I know we all get frustrated when we are running late and the traffic is horrible. But in reality, the reason we are driving crazy and fast and pissed off is that we did not prioritize our time correctly and we should have given more time. So, rather than get all sorts of mad about traffic and when I’m late places, I have tried to learn. My time is not any more precious than anyone else’s and my poor and psycho driving could only hurt myself and others, so I should probs slow the freak down.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I am pretty good at this. I just always have been. Now, I know I CAN be dramatic in some cases but I am actually really laid back and try my best not to let little things (especially things I can’t control) take over my life, ruin my day or put me in a bad mood. This is always easier said than done, but I like to really stay level-headed and not freak out about dumb stuff.

Do the things you love to do. Seriously. Stop saying no. In 2017, if I wanted to do something, I did it. Cue me having the best year of my life. It didn’t matter if I was tired, nervous, had no one to go with, no money, no plans, whatever. If I wanted to do it and it made sense, I just did it. I am so done with saying “dang I wish I had done that” or “wow that looks so fun, I wish I had gone”. Who else is over saying no?

Make decisions. Whether it is about where you want to have dinner or what color shoes to wear with your outfit. Don’t be indecisive. You have an opinion. “I don’t care” is not an answer and the truth is, you usually DO care. People like those who can make a decision. Studies show that they are respected more. It always irks me when there is a question and people say “i don’t care” then I make a decision they don’t like. I’m like CMON NOW, 2 SECONDS AGO YOU DIDN’T CARE! That being said, “I don’t know” is an answer but there is a big difference between the two haha. I could say idk right now but get back to you later with a real answer.

Learn about yourself and those close to you. This can dramatically improve your relationship with yourself and others. I highly recommend studying Enneagrams. I read this book and I am a 7 through and through. Check out these few excerpts from the book about 7’s. If you know me, you are like WOW that is spot on. *Tell me if you have studied Enneagram’s before or if you’re going to read this book!*

“When things get too serious for too long I usually find a way to get people to lighten up, often by telling jokes and funny stories.”

“I think people worry more than they should.”

“Scratch the vibrant paint on the surface of a Seven and what you’ll find underneath is the need to avoid pain. I can’t say that strongly enough–Sevens don’t want to feel unpleasant emotions, particularly that swirl of fear and emptiness they register at their core. No one enjoys feeling frightened, sad, bored, angry, disappointed or frustrated, but for Sevens, emotions like these are intolerable.”  << Can’t even begin to explain the accuracy of this for me.

Stop letting others opinions define you. Everyone struggles with this. But at the end of the day, those negative thoughts aren’t what you need in your life! You don’t like my blog? You don’t like my jokes? You think I am fake or rude? You are entitled to your own opinion, but I am not going to change who I am because of your opinion. I have actually always been pretty good about this. I have never been much of a “people pleaser” I don’t do things strictly because I want to please someone. I do things because I want to do them or it is the RIGHT thing to do. If you know me at all, you know this to be true. I don’t much care what others think. Probably happier because of it. I still care about peoples opinion of me and don’t want someone to think I’m awful, but I know wrong from right, I know what is important to me and I will live my life the way I want to and not focus on how someone else thinks I should live.

Be nice. Seriously. Be nice to people. Not because you have to or you’re supposed to. Genuinely be NICE to them. You will start to notice how much happier you are. I have really worked on this. My resolution a few years ago was to be nicer (not exaggerating) I think I am doing a bit better? Haha tbd.

How I created my own happiness in 2017!

  • Started learning how to play the piano! I had talked about this and honestly thought I’d be over it by now but I am still learning almost every day. I love it. It’s so relaxing. But also so hard.
  • Bought a new camera lens and I really enjoy taking photos! Really wish I could afford a fancy camera and really start a little side gig. Maybe one day! For now, I love my camera and learning how to edit, use light, place the subject, etc. Fun and relaxing.
  • Traveled to Europe TWICE. This is no secret. Those trips changed my life. I am so thankful I was able to do that and I don’t plan on slowing down.
  • Started renting my house on Airbnb. This allows me to put my house on airbnb when I want to and when I can and I get to make some extra money here and there! Plus my house stays super clean haha
  • I learned how to cook! I would choose 1-2 new recipes a week for a while (kinda tapered off haha) and I wasn’t so bad! Plus I really enjoyed it. I would come home, listen to a podcast or music and cook dinner and lunch for the next day.
  • I joined a community group. This was super scary for me but it has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I am closer to God and I have made a ton of great friends!
  • I stayed single for an entire year. I can’t tell you the last time I did this. I did so pretty intentionally because I finally realized that I am looking for someone who literally sweeps me off my feet. For so long I thought it didn’t exist, but it has to, right? Tell me it does or me being crazy psycho picky is going to come back to bite me haha.

As for 2018, I just started my new job. Today was my first day and it was awesome. I was nervous (of course) but I survived haha. I am stoked about 2018. I have made the right changes, decisions, and moves to ensure my happiness while being a better version of myself overall. Let’s do this, 2018.

How can you create your own happiness in 2018? What are your goals? How are the things you did in 2017 going to help your 2018 be even better?? Drop me some comments!

Reference this post for outfit details!

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  • Reply
    AnnMarie John
    January 5, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. I need to do all the above, slow down, talk more to people and realize that it’s ok to be alone. I also need to join a community group. I signed up with meetup but haven’t gone out yet, I should! Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      Shelby Free
      January 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      You definitely should! All of these things are a little terrifying, but if you try it once and hate it, no one is going to force you to keep going. Let me know if you like MeetUp!

  • Reply
    Kim Mongelli
    January 11, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Just started following your blog… delightful content, energizing delivery… just what an old mare from California who is considering a move to Arkansas needs!!!

    • Reply
      Shelby Free
      January 15, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Aww thank you! Glad you enjoy it. And you’ll enjoy Arkansas even more! 🙂

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