Reflecting on the past year as a mom and a blogger. 2017 Wasn’t My Year And That’s OK, a reminder to celebrate those fall downs too.
2017 Wasn’t My Year And That’s Ok
I think everyone goes into a new year with high hopes. I certainly did. 2016 ended with the most honest post of my life – aka the depression post that went viral. With that year over, I thought the only way to go was up. More positive. Block out the negative. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Conquering introvert-ism, determination to make friends, be bold, get help and blog…better.
I made goals, big goals. I had a “word.” Worthy. I had a smile pasted on my face, head held high. 2017 was going to be my year. I was 100% sure of it. I had my dance on – hands up to the sky ready to take on a full 365 days with full force. But instead of feeling energized, I felt defeated. I found myself
counting pleading down the last few days of 2017 with a series of events that had me shaking my head:
A cracked computer screen, a string of profanities/death threats, and a ban from twitter.
I was DONE dealing with my “Voldemort year.” But hey, it’s a new year. A new slate. New goals. And a reflection on the past 365 days. Therapy. In my head, this sounded like a good idea. And while I see many of my fellow bloggers celebrating their huge business successes and smashing their personal goals for 2017, I sit here scratching my head.
2017 wasn’t my year. Not at all.
I think it takes some courage to admit that 2017 wasn’t my year. But just because it wasn’t my year, doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. Trust me, I learned plenty. I didn’t have the year of my life, and it’s ok. Today I’m recounting the year-that-must-not-be-named, a reminder to celebrate those failures and shortcomings just as much as those successes. Because not every year can be unicorns and rainbows.
I fell short of all of my blog goals…
I didn’t end the year feeling like a total success. In fact, I failed quite a bit. I didn’t accomplish any of the goals I had set out for that year. I didn’t land any major contracts with my dream brands. I didn’t win any awards. I didn’t make it on local TV. Heck, I didn’t even reach any of my personal blogging goals.
10K on Instagram – oh just about 600 short. Pageviews doubled? Yeah, let’s not even go there.
I didn’t feel like I made these unobtainable blogging milestones – honestly they were small and just for me. But I didn’t even make these tiny goals. And as a Type-A hard worker, this were tough numbers to swallow. Failure. I thought about throwing in the towel this year – multiple times. I pondered how easy it would be to go back to a desk job and earn one paycheck (one tax form), to leave my work at the end of the day, to not bring my work home with me. And I’m not a quitter. But I became cynical in my job – questioning morals, ethics, goals, people – basically everything to do with my job. I no longer loved the one-woman business I built. I despised it.
And my personal life goals
And while my work life was pretty ugly, my personal life wasn’t that pretty to look at either. I had to spend a lot of energy focusing on myself, my health and putting my family back together. Depression has a way of sucking every ounce of my spirit, with little left for passions, goals or appreciation for life. I was in survival mode, desperately trying to find myself, define myself and be myself. But honestly, I’m still not 100% sure I knew what I was anymore.
And that was just inside of my home. Outside I was dealing with the shame of my personal brokenness being exposed. I wasn’t sure who my “real” friends were anymore. Cynical at best, hateful at worst.
Add in December
Burnout. I was done, Done, DONE with 2017. But December wasn’t done with me yet.
I stupidly made a huge crack across my entire computer screen as I attempted to “clean” it with my sleeve. I was gingerly typing my last few blog posts of the year with a hope and prayer that my computer would hit the self-destruct button.
I was banned on Twitter, twice. Arguing with a social media powerhouse that I am a real person and begging for my username back – exactly how I wanted to spend the last bit of my year.
— Raising Whasians (@raisingwhasians) November 20, 2017
Oh, and to make things more fun, a brand decided to promote a tweet of mine during the last few weeks of December (I think that was a culprit to one of my bans). Unfortunately, I learned that twitter trolls are ugly. Curse words, death threats and questioning/mocking my depression – I was at my last straw. I shut down all of my social media, backed away and went into my corner – hiding from the world.
But that doesn’t mean 2017 was a failure
But before you label me Debbie Downer, just because 2017 wasn’t my year, that doesn’t mean that the year was a loss. Success can’t always be measured by monumental moments, but in those times that we fall down and get back up.
Reprioritizing. I took a step back from my blog and let my business be second for once. I pushed back with contracts, money and time. I took risks. I gave myself days off. I didn’t look at my phone or open my computer for days at a time. I gave up control and hired on help. I didn’t let the number of followers or the number of pageviews dictate my day-to-day success. Work became more like work and less like a tumor.
Reevaluation. I had to reevaluate every relationship in my life, from like-minded bloggers to business relationships to old friends. Saying goodbye, saying no, saying hard truths – I had a lot of toxic relationships that I needed to let go.
Reflection. I’ve reflected often on why I am here, what I am doing, and how I’m impacting the world. I’ve measured my happiness – true happiness by more than just how many “likes” or “retweets” I received that day. I started writing about things I cared about – topics that can change lives.
Replanting Roots. All of those twitter haters (I can’t believe someone asked me if I was “woke” using the word Whasian) made me take a real hard look at the name of my blog. I kept fixating on it – and I’m still proud of that name, what it stands for and what it has accomplished for both multicultural parenting and biracial children. And that made me want to get back to the roots of this blog – raising my 2 beautiful Whasian children. I had a small taste of passion again with my Kelly Marie Tran interview. I brought family and traditions to the focus – from my recipes, parenting tips and travel, being proud of being Korean and making sure my kids are as well.
Dreaming. And while this may not be the benchmark year for Raising Whasians the blog, I did find myself once again dreaming about the future. I still desire to partner with dream brands, make insanely amazing videos, and push my comfort zone. I also met someone who insisted that I write a book about my adoption story. That notion has stuck with me, with almost daily reflective questions coming to mind. “Can I write a book? Would anyone read this book? What does adoption success look like? Have I done enough on my blog and in my social media to celebrate adoption?” Podcast, TV, acting, modeling…who knows.
Changing My Love for Extreme Expectations
We all love a good underdog story. We also love when things go horribly wrong. We are a world in love with extreme greatness and extreme failures. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what is exciting, extraordinary, and empowering. We want the world to be bigger, more powerful, more successful. We like to forget those mistakes, missteps, and fall downs – unless we tragically fail. We don’t celebrate “the stuff” that happens in between.
I didn’t have an amazing 2017. But honestly I didn’t have a horrific one either. I’m somewhere in between, and that’s ok. We need to remember to celebrate that too – being ok.
It’s 2018 – a new year. Time to get to work. How was your 2017?
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