What a year! 2016 had it’s struggles for sure. I can never seem to escape those unexpected events that “create character” or “make me a stronger person” they seem to find me wherever I go. This year was a little different for me though. Instead of waiting for the challenges to find me, I went looking for them!
The old me
First of all, the old me would never have posted a giant photo of my face at the beginning of this post! Even when I was little I was the girl who wanted to disappear. I never wanted to draw attention to myself and didn’t feel like I was as good as anyone else. I taught myself to keep my head down, mouth shut and to stay out of the way. It continued as an adult but I wasn’t living, I was simply existing. This all comes from a lifetime of abuse in different forms…… maybe one day I will feel comfortable enough to share that with all of you…..but for now, baby steps my friends.
Funny as it may seem, social media is the perfect outlet for all of us who lack self confidence. We can interact with other people from a safe distance. If we feel the need to run and hide we only have to turn off the screens of our computers or phones. This is where my freedom to grow began.
Finding my voice
My daughter created my Instagram account for me in 2015 but I didn’t know how to use it and thought it was just a place to post selfies! 🙂 Eventually I decided to put some effort into learning how it all worked. By the beginning of 2016 I was pretty comfortable from the safety of my own little squares. Then it hit me. I realized I could put myself out there AND have a safety net too! I mean, if I tried and failed horribly I could always delete the account and the embarrassment would be over. It was time to leave my comfort zone.
Entering the Michael’s Makers Contest
Early in the year I saw a Facebook post about the Michael’s Makers Summit. The details said anyone could enter to win a trip to the summit by submitting an original creation or design. I immediately doubted I was good enough but then remembered my promise to myself, JUST TRY SHANNON. You will never know until you try. I did and won! The excitement quickly turned to fear as soon as I realized that meant leaving the protection of my home and Instagram squares to interact with real people face to face. Honestly, I considered not going on that free trip but after talking with a few friends I decided to go for it. The 3 days at the resort was one of the best experiences of my life! If I hadn’t pushed myself to try I would have missed out on all of it.
Starting my blog
You want to talk about terrifying?! The launch date of my blog was equivalent to the thought of running naked through my neighborhood! Anxiety was my cardio that day, but who am I kidding, I still have anxiety every time I publish a new post! I am always waiting for my first mean comment from a reader. For someone to tell me I suck and need to go away. Lucky enough it hasn’t happened yet (knock on wood) the old me thinks it’s probably because there just aren’t that many people reading my posts! 😉
This blog is only six months old and I have already learned so much. It is far more work than I ever expected but I am beginning to find myself more and more comfortable with each post I write. It is turning into a type of “home” for me and I am grateful to have another safe outlet to express myself.
Big moments in 2016
I was thrilled to have a small corner in the July August issue of Country Living Magazine! I represented Idaho as one of the 50 Dream Rooms. Crazy Right?!? You can read about how that all happened by clicking here!
I also put on my big girl panties and got the courage to pitch a project to The Home Depot. I wanted to create a statement wall in my Master Bedroom and was completely surprised when they said YES! If you want to see more of that project you can click here!
The year ended on a great note when The Home Depot asked me to work with them again on their Holiday Style Challenge! It was a lot of fun and I am still completely flattered to have been a part of it. You can read the full post on their blog by clicking here!
What’s next for 2017
People sometimes choose a single word to motivate them for the upcoming year. I thought for a long time what I wanted mine to be. I finally decided I was going to use the word “LOSE” to inspire me. I know it seems like a strange one. Most people use “Success” or “Clarity” or something along those lines. When it comes to me the more I lose the happier I will be. No, it’s not about losing weight, although I plan to get healthier it is not why I chose that word. I am going to lose to win in 2017!
I want to lose things like:
If I focus on losing the thoughts and behaviors that have been holding me back all these years I will continue to keep growing and my voice will only get louder. I have learned if something makes me feel a little uncomfortable and pushes me to try harder it usually has the biggest reward at the end. You will see new things from myself in 2017. I want to share more photos of myself and let you know who I am as a person. I also want to try making DIY videos! I plan on being very uncomfortable in the coming year. 😉
The Moral to the story
I didn’t write this post to brag about myself so I hope you are all able to understand that. I wanted to let you all know if you just try and believe in yourself you CAN do whatever it is that scares you! I can’t promise you won’t feel like puking or hiding afterwards but I CAN guarantee that the feeling of pride will stick with you forever and you will begin to change!
Thank you for being here with me on the adventure of mine. I HONESTLY appreciate each of you who take time to visit, read and comment. The support means more to me than you can imagine.
Happy New Year to all of you and your families!