So I've been thinking about life lately, and I've been looking back on some decisions that I have made over this past year. Sometimes you need to take a step back and evaluate how you've been living. I've had some really great experiences, learned some tough lessons, and discovered more about myself. Come revisit 2018 with me.
Let's go back to where it all started. This year started out with a bang, and a bottle of Jameson. My New years kiss. No shame. The beginning of my loves woes of 2018. LOL I would go on to "talk"to a guy that I met because we had mutual friends on Facebook and he liked dogs. Note to self: Leave the puppies out of it, it gets you into trouble. 😂
February was a bit of a blur. The days seemed to fly by and I didn't seem to have much care for how fast or what they were filled with, I was just along for the ride. Insert the fundraiser boutique for my small business J. Isabel Designs that would introduce me to two important characters in my story. I "dated" a boy for two weeks before realizing he was too young and not ready to match my maturity in an adult relationship, and I learned that yet again, timing is a bitch. I also met someone who would come back into my life at a later point and would be the most unexpected plot twist.
March brought another set of surprises, but was overall a pretty steady month. I was the happiest I had ever been. I had great friends, loving family, and my small business J. Isabel Designs was moving along. I had so many wonderful days that I wondered how I could be so happy. The best part? I had one of the biggest and most important business meetings of my life. It was the scariest and most adult thing I had done, and it turned out REALLY well! I had received an email a few months prior and after putting on my big girl pants and heading to Beverly Hills for the biggest and scariest moment of my life, I gained myself the very overwhelming and exciting opportunity to partner with MGM for a few fun projects! A win for J. Isabel Designs and a big boost of confidence for Jess. Doing big things over here! ;) The happiness streak continued.
Bring on April.
I got a job. Yes, a job away from my small business. I had been wanting to get out of the house, and I had forgotten what it was like to work around other people and to actually have to wash your hair and put on clothes to go to work. LOL I worked my ass off for a few weeks, listened to people's drama in the break room, and then I quit. Yep, I quit. I went back to doing what I love because even on the worst days, it sure as hell beat working for someone else and feeling like I was stuck in the mud. During this time, I had another boy try to "wife me up" as they say, after a few minutes of knowing each other. I politely declined the invite to meet his grandmother before I had even met him, and I refused to accept his text message half nude selfies before I went about my business. Boy bye. 👋🏻
May 18th was the day I accidentally chopped all my hair off. My beautiful long luscious hair, was gone. It was partially my fault for desiring a change so badly and telling the stylist to do what she thought was best, all while keeping my eyes closed for the entire process. I wish I would have told myself NO. You do not need to cut your hair, you don't need layers, your hair is just fine, but you can't tell this girl a thing. LESSON LEARNED. It's officially been six months since then, and this mane grows fast so your girl is all good ;) Now onto the fun stuff! May 19th was my 2 year business anniversary with J. Isabel Designs YAY! 2 years of ups and downs and wanting to quit, but not letting yourself give in to the stresses of what small business brings. It's been a tough road, but here we are well on our way to year three and there is no stopping in sight!
Want to checkout what I learned in those first two years in biz? Check this out https://www.jisabeldesigns.com/blog/what-a-ride!
Enter June 2018.
June was an eventful month to say the least. The beginning of Summer. My favorite time of the year for soaking up the sun, getting lost in the waves of the ocean during the excessive amount of days that I spend at the beach, and for hanging out with friends as our schedules often allow us a bit more free time to connect. June started like any other Summer month. I went to the beach, went out for coffee, swam in my neighbors pool, laid out in the backyard, and went on my first girls night. Girls night was not what I expected. There was a whole lot of shots, twerking, and hair flipping. Side note: I don't twerk so I watched from a safe distance. LOL My friends and I threw a surprise party for a good friend and that night I learned that I am getting too old to stay out that late, and that the bar scene isn't really my thing. Still, I had fun and was proud to have stepped out of my comfort zone.
Mid- June I attended my annual river trip with family and close family friends and I had an amazing time! It was so nice to finally get away and spend some time on the water with not a worry in the world, and a drink in my hand. I had no cell phone service, so it literally forced me to enjoy life away from all social media and electronic devices. Just what I needed to hit the rest button.
The end of June was really where the fun was at. Remember one of those characters I told you about in February? Well he unexpectedly rejoined my journey. June 28th I went on a coffee date with someone who would end up being my boyfriend. Little did I know, I would learn a lot over the next few months.
June 30th. Iration concert. BEST NIGHT EVER.
July 2018 baby!
July was a welcome month filled with new experiences. You see, I had just started dating again after a few failed attempts at forming a relationship with someone who wanted more than to send me "interesting" photos. Ahh modern dating.
I also rode in my first Uber. Good news, I survived.
July is a month that is typically filled with quite a bit of adventure for me, and this year did not disappoint. I attended my annual Santa Barbara vacation with some good family friends, I spent every weekend relaxing at a local park near my house for our annual Music by the Sea event, and I started dating. Dating means doing all the things that that you want to do, but taking someone along for the ride with you. Speaking of rides, one of my favorite things to do during the Summer is to attend the annual Los Angeles and Orange county fairs near my house. I was absolutely thrilled to go, and for the first time to go with someone that I was dating. I had a great time sharing the experience with someone else, and for the first time in a while I felt like this could really be a good thing. Just a few days later we attended a Luke Bryan concert, and OMG I was in LOVE. I am obsessed with Luke Bryan and to see him in concert for the first time was the most amazing thing ever. It was just an added bonus that I was able to share the experience with someone that I was getting to know, and I felt like I was starting to really enjoy their company.
Oh hey there August.
August 3rd. YOU GUYS. I have a boyfriend. It's official. I've only had one other failed attempt at having an actual boyfriend, so let's just forget about that and count this as my first one. I know you're thinking wow, she's 26 and this is her first boyfriend. Yep. I've dated here and there, but my standards have been raised higher and higher each time, that it is really difficult for me to trust someone after being shown so many times what I do not want. Things are going well. My family and friends approve. Wow, this is real.
August 13th. We put my dog to sleep. 12 years of unconditional love. Months of debating whether his quality of life was deteriorating too much to keep him around. The most heartbreaking decision that I have had to make. Learning how to live without my best friend, my secret keeper, and my shoulder to cry on so to speak. I was devastated. On a peaceful and sunny Monday morning, our vet made a house call to send my sweet boy to the rainbow bridge as I gently held his paw in my hand and caressed his head on my lap. As I watched them carry him away, I knew a little piece of my heart was gone, but I had the most amazing memories that were forever mine to keep. Read more about the love of my life Gary, and the hardest goodbye ever here. Saying goodbye to August as one of the most emotional months of the year was tough, but I wasn't prepared for what would come next.
Wake me up when September ends.
September 3rd. One month of being in a relationship. One month of movies dates, nights out with friends, cuddling, and kisses. Welcome Fall, and also, FOOTBALL! Ive recently developed an obsession with football, so it was fun to finally participate in all of the excitement of cheering your favorite team to victory. I feel like I've grown so much as a person this year, and have developed new interests that I am excited to further pursue! I recently released new products with J. Isabel Designs, and people are loving them! September seems to be looking up!
September 30th- We broke up. Things didn't work out. There were some mutual feelings about a looming separation, but I guess I didn't expect it to happen right when it did. Not all things are meant to last. I have no regrets. Sometimes people are meant to enter our lives to teach us things about ourselves and when their time is done, they must leave. It hurts when someone leaves, but new beginnings are beautiful. Moving forward.
October - The start of something new.
October was interesting. I got to spend time with my best friends, I had fun cheering on the Dodgers all the way to the World Series, and I spent a lot of time on myself and focusing on that #selflove thing we've been talking about. I also privately dealt with some family issues. I didn't share too much about what I was going through, but there are certain things that are best kept close. October had some challenging days, and it often felt like my world was being flipped upside down, but all of this growth that I have been experiencing this year really came out to play. I needed it. I went through the things that are meant to tear you apart, and I came out stronger on the other side. A year ago I would have been too weak and uncertain, and I would have cracked under all of this pressure. Not now. This year is MY year. I told myself from the very beginning, 2018 is yours babe, and boy has it been my best year yet. October typically gets me all excited for the upcoming holidays and business starts to get a little crazy, so there was that as a very welcome distraction. SO many new ideas were flowing this month, and I could not be more excited for the adventures to come. Halloween was a great time and no drama, that's just how I like it. November, where you at?
v v v v v v
November is where it's at.
This month has been so full of growth, has given me a major boost of confidence, and things have really been put into perspective. I have spent the month of November learning more about myself, what I want and what I don't, my direction both personally and professionally , and I have learned to control my reactions and emotions better than I have ever been able to. I'm really starting to step out of the shadows and really come back into the light. I had to take some time to figure out my direction, to figure out who I am, and now I am finally feeling ready to reveal that person to the world once again. This month I purged. I deleted people from my life and social media that no longer served a positive role. I unfollowed people that made me feel any negative way about myself, and I embraced more reality. I hate perfection and the idea of it. I don't want anything to do with it. I started sharing more REAL on my Instagram and felt more passionate about what I was doing. The response has been amazing. I have connected with more people, and more real people that share the same ideas about the work we are doing and the way we are living.
This year I have LIVED. I am so beyond blessed despite the ups and downs, the occasional dramas, and the let downs, and I continue to face the rest of 2018 with not a single regret. Imagine that. Growing, thriving, loving, living, and having no regrets. I knew it. I knew this would be my year, and guess what, 2019 is going to be even better! Watch out world, this girl is UNSTOPPABLE.