An overview of an outstanding year.
It’s that time of year again! The time for me to look back + reflect upon the previous year. But it’s also time to look ahead with deep enthusiasm towards the upcoming year. (You can find my yearly poetry-prose article review of the year here).
2017 was, without a doubt, the most amazing year of my life so far. It feels so good for me to be able to say that. At the beginning of 2017, I was so hopeful that 2017 would be great. But I was also terrified that it WOULD NOT live up to my expectations & that it would be disappointing. I was much too busy at the beginning of the year & burnt-out from stress. I didn’t want the rest of the year to be like that.
But I’d also never actually had an outstanding year before. I can’t think of any other year where I GENUINELY felt like I’d made an incredible level of progress & grew as a person. Especially not a year where I felt those as much as I did by the end of 2017. For me to be able to say that 2017 was an outstanding year is incredible & amazing & wonderful for me. Being able to say that is something I’m very proud of. The year didn’t just turn out awesome on its own. Almost EVERYTHING good that happened to me last year was a direct result of my own decisions. So I’m also proud of myself for being the one making these things happen. I’m proud of myself for gaining the necessary momentum to make 2018 even more amazing.
That’s my real goal for 2018. Take everything good & amazing about 2017, & 10X those results to make 2018 the new best year of my life. Considering how 2017 turned out as great as it did, I have a lot of faith that 2018 is going to be that much better.
Here’s what I achieved in 2017:
- I published a total of 11 books, up from 10 in 2016. The books I published in 2017 were: Feel the Hidden Flowers (the novel I’d been working on for 2+ years); Art Poems – Volume 3; FOG: A Zine; 50 Adorable Sheep Facts; Sun in the Night: The Poems of Art Poems & Assemblage; We Love You, Little Owl; Herkimer & The Bully; Larry the Owl Saves Christmas; Blobfish (Wonderful Wildlife, Book 8); The Walls Were Gray; & A Ship Onto a Sea of Hope.
- Acted in the second play I’ve been in (Shakespeare in Hollywood by Ken Ludwig, as Puck)
- Released my first-ever iPhone app! (Adorable Fall Stickers).
- Started a weekly YouTube show! I’m currently at 30 episodes (30!!!) & it’s going strong!
- Started my first podcast!
- Did my first cover song on YouTube (Changes by David Bowie).
- Went to an AMAZING selection of concerts. I saw 18 (!!!!!) musicians in concert, & went to my FIRST REAL CONCERT EVER:
- Daryl Hall & John Oates (My first real concert ever! It was such an immensely positive experience that it changed my life.)
- Tears for Fears (with Daryl Hall & John Oates)
- Allen Stone (With Daryl Hall & John Oates)
- Queen + Adam Lambert
- Styx (As part of their United We Rock tour)
- REO Speedwagon (As part of their United We Rock tour)
- Don Felder (As part of their United We Rock tour)
- Walk the Moon (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Portugal. The Man. (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Paramore (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Vance Joy (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- X Ambassadors (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- The Lumineers (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- MisterWives (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Bleachers (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Saint Motel (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Andrew McMahon & The Wilderness (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Magic Giant (At the 97X Next Big Thing festival)
- Ate rambutans for the first time.
- Grew my own wheatgrass!
- Bought my dream guitar – a beautiful Fender 72′ Series Telecaster Thinline!
- Bought my first Fender amp.
- Bought a saxophone.
- Got a sweet potato ocarina
- Got a stylophone.
- Bought a Cry Baby wah-wah pedal for my guitar.
- Got pet White Cloud Mountain Minnows, more Corydoras Catfish, & guppies for my aquarium. Also got Neon Tetras, which sadly did not work out.
- Started investing in the stock market.
- Completed my first-ever 5k! (Barktoberfest in New Port Richey, FL).
- Became a monthly donor to the Humane Society of the United States.
- Got a massage for the first time by Donna Joyce Foxwell.
- Went to my first yoga class at Flow Yoga in Port Richey, FL.
- Began learning to speak Spanish with the wonderful Duolingo app, which I highly recommend.
- Became more of a minimalist. Got rid of my old dresser & got a great dresser alternative (article coming soon!)
- Attended the free Dale Carnegie Public Speaking Mastery event.
- Went to a Daymond John’s Success Formula Event.
- Started coloring my hair red, & coloring the ends of my hair bright colors like yellow & orange.
- Signed up for the 52 Weeks of Momentum course from Benjamin Hardy.
- Read 57 books, up from only a sad, small handful in 2016.
TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES:
- Went on my EPIC FLORIDA ROAD TRIP (which I wrote a book about – & that book will be out later this year!). My Epic Florida Road Trip was the first time I’ve EVER traveled by myself & the first time in my life I’ve gone on vacation. It was one of the best things I have EVER DONE. It changed me forever in the best way, & it gave me incredible confidence in my ability to take care of myself.
- Traveled on a plane for the first time when I flew to Houston to see Queen + Adam Lambert in concert. That trip also included other firsts such as “first time renting a car” & “first time traveling outside the state of Florida by myself”.
- Key Places I Traveled: Miami (FL), The Florida Keys, St. Augustine (FL), The Everglades, all around the state of Florida, Orlando (FL), & Houston (TX).
- Went parasailing in Key West at Sebago Watersports.
- Went to Zoo Miami (BEST ZOO EVER!) & saw amazing animals like tapirs, koalas, giraffes, giant tortoises, elephants, rhinoceroses, anteaters, otters, & flamingos. The zoo is 280 acres & is HUGE. It’s filled with so many amazing things.
- Went camping for the first time! Going camping is something I always wanted to do since I was a Girl Scout (but I never got to when I was one).
- Petted sting rays & nurse sharks (which were adorable) at Florida Keys Marine Encounters. Helped train the baby sting rays! Petted emus & a silky chicken at the Everglades Alligator Farm. Got to pet baby alligators at both places & held a baby alligator at the Everglades Alligator Farm. Held a pet skunk at the a booth at Barktoberfest.
- Fed giraffes, a black rhinoceros, & parrots at the Miami Zoo; fed emus, Silkie Chickens, & koi at the Everglades Alligator Farm; fed sting rays, nurse sharks, tortoises, turtles, tarpon, & parrotfish at Florida Keys Marine Encounters.
- Went snorkeling in a coral reef at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, FL. While I was snorkeling, I saw a Caribbean Reef Shark, which was awesome but it freaked me out.
- Stayed in a hotel by myself for the first time! (Comfort Inn, in Naples, FL).
- Camped in the Everglades! (Read my Epic Florida Road Trip article if you want to hear about how mosquitoes taught me perseverance). Went on a 15-mile bike ride in the Everglades, which was amazing.
- Went on an airboat ride in the Everglades at the Everglades Alligator Farm!
- Walked down Duval Street in Key West.
- Visited the Southernmost Point of the United States (in Key West).
- Visited an Alligator Farm (The Everglades Alligator Farm! I got to fulfill my desire to see gators there).
- Went to two BEAUTIFUL botanical gardens in Houston (Mercer Botanic Garden & Houston Arboretum & Nature Center).
- Went on a “canopy walk” in Naples at Myakka Springs State Park.
- Visited the amazing art museum, The Menil Collection, in Houston, TX. Saw art by Andy Warhol & René Magritte.
- Visited the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, an outdoor sculptural water fountain in uptown Houston.
- Visited The Galleria mall in Houston. The Galleria is the 7th largest mall in America!
- Went to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
- Went to the Smallest Post Office, which is in Ochopee, FL (near the Everglades).
- Saw baby armadillos foraging for food in the wild. They were one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen, & I saw them at Fort Matanzas Park in St. Augustine, FL.
- Toured a lighthouse (The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum).
- Toured an ancient building (Castillo de San Marco in St. Augustine, FL).
- Visited the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach, FL.
- Rode on a miniature train, an airplane, & monorail for the first time; rode on a boat for the first time since I was a kid.
2017 had some challenges, but it had way more triumphs than challenges. I finally traveled for the very first time. I finally started going to concerts & saw some amazing bands live. I accomplished an incredible amount. I felt myself grow as a person each time I faced a challenge or setback, & each time I broke out of my comfort zone. I far exceeded my own expectations for myself in 2017. I pushed myself creativity & in my business. I finally have a clearer image of where I want to go & what I want my life to look like. I started believing all the things I desire ARE possible & out there for me. Most of all, I started trusting that I have the ability to make those things happen.
Stay posted for my 2018 goals article, which will be out soon!