What 2017 Has Taught Me

When I was little, a year seemed immeasurable. At the beginning of a year, I couldn’t imagine that year ever ending. A year seemed like a century. Fast forward, and suddenly a year feels more like a month. I know it’s cliche, but life is seriously flying by. And lately, that is stressing. me. out. Saying the words “I’m turning 22 in a week” sent me spiraling downward into an existential crisis like never before. After staring at the wall in a cold sweat for a couple hours, I decided I was going to have to find a way to combat this. If I’m freaking the heck out at 22, I won’t even make it to 30. My solution (probably temporary, but at least got me through my crisis yesterday) was to make a list of all I learned in 2017. I need this list to prove to myself that I did not waste an entire year of my short life. So, here’s what 2017 taught me. Here’s what year 21 brought me.

It’s okay to let go.

This was by far my toughest lesson of 2017. I am very sensitive, empathetic, and sentimental, so letting go of things is very difficult for me- letting go of people is even harder. I tie meaning to everything and everyone, and my grasp is far too tight. I’ve been known to cling to toxic relationships. Now I want to define toxic relationship here, because I’ve always disliked that term. I don’t like the idea of labeling anyone as toxic, but what I’ve learned, is that it’s not the person that’s toxic, it’s the relationship. The people I’ve let go of this year weren’t toxic people, the relationships between the two of us were toxic. We weren’t good for each other. I spent a ton of time feeling guilty for letting go of those friendships, because I still care deeply for those people, but I’ve learned that saying goodbye isn’t always bad. Eliminating toxic relationships is best for both sides. It’ll hurt, and it’ll be sad, but letting go is okay. In fact, letting go can be good.

You don’t have to know.

One of my most common phrases of this year was: “I don’t know.” I might even go as far as to say that was my mantra for 2017. I used to think it was bad that I didn’t have all the answers, or even some of the answers. I often have to say “I don’t know” and then go look it up. But I’ve decided that’s better than being ignorant or pretending to know. Someone, somewhere said something to me once about the wisest people thinking they know the least. That’s really resonated with me this year, and I’ve been spending a lot of time admitting what I don’t know, and trying to learn it.

I also use this phrase along with my life path. What do you  want to be when you grow up? Where do you want to live when you’re older? Do you want to make a lot of money that you can travel with or make little money doing what you enjoy? I DON’T KNOW. I used to feel guilty for not being sure about what career path I want, but I’ve decided it doesn’t really matter. I’ll figure it out- no worries. The opportunities are endless. The sky’s the limit. (These are phrases I tell myself  in the mirror so I don’t cry over having no life plans. 🙂 )

Health is Important

I grew up in a pretty healthy household. Our cereal had to be below 10 grams of sugar, we didn’t have soda in the house, and my dad was all for the organic label. I played sports growing up, and got plenty of exercise. Fast forward a little to the beginning of 2017. I ate pretty healthy, but I didn’t drink water and I didn’t exercise at all. I barely slept, and I spent a lot of time binge-watching Netflix. I’m not sure what changed for me, but this year, I’ve learned to care about my body, inside and out. Blogging has actually helped with that, because it helps me literally write out my goals. I’ve started going to the gym regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting actual sleep. Forcing myself to sleep for 7-8 hours a night changed my life. I think it was the fear of wrinkles that got me started on this health change, but I’m really grateful for it. This is the only body I’m going to get for my whole life- I wanna keep it as strong as possible.

Most Importantly
  1. Yoga is way harder than it looks.
  2. Ireland has delicious food.
  3. It’s okay if you lose the little cap on your tires. (you know, where you fill it with air)
  4. Kohlrabi is a vegetable and it’s pretty good.
  5. After you spray someone with pepper spray, you’re supposed to run because they’ll blindly lunge in the direction from which they were sprayed.
  6. You don’t have to take shots. No one will really care/notice that you avoid liquor.
  7. Cooking a ham is easier than expected.
  8. Estimating how much ham you’ll need is not.
  9. People that care about you will show it.
  10. Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini noodles are way better than you’d think.
Going Forward

I’m starting off the new year with the book “You Are a Badass”. I’ve heard crazy good things about it, and I’m pumped to jump into the new year with a tough, driven mindset. Feelin’ the same way?? Click on the book to buy it for yourself and read with me! It’s less than $10 from Amazon!!  Cheers to a badass 2018! 🙂 



  1. Julia Butler

    December 29, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I love everything about this post! I especially liked what you said about toxic friendships and toxic people. I struggled with this in 2017. What you said about the person not being toxic, but the relationship hit home for me!

    1. Erika

      December 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! The toxic relationship thing is definitely the hardest lesson I had this year. 🙁 I’m sorry you can relate!! <3

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