(Alright, so technically there's 366 days of this year if I'm not mistaken - hello, Leapyear - but aside from the technicality, I find this quote very fitting.)
It's super empowering to know you can write your own incredible, bad ass story. I mean once you really think about it and - try not to wince at the cliche - and truly believe in yourself, amazing things happen.
My 2015 truly wasn't all that great. I made decisions. I won't tell myself they were "bad" decisions because at the time those decisions were truly what I felt I needed to do. And I learned A LOT from them. And you know what? I am so thankful for those decisions because I wouldn't be where I am today.
Nearly two years ago I was sitting in the tiniest news bureau in Killeen, TX with two of my disgruntled co-workers around 10:00 o'clock at night. The police scanners were faint, fuzzy grumbles in the background. The phones were silent. And outside was pure dark. It was another slow news night. My feet were up on my desk with my hands behind my head. My two co-workers, both videographers or cameramen, in this case camera women, were chatting about what they were going to do when they "got outta here." It was a topic we chose daily to discuss. At that point "get outta here" meant more than leaving the physical news station, but the city, this life.
The conversation started up slowly with personal interests and possibly opportunities through a friend of a friend. But then suddenly (or not so suddenly, as we had been working, eating, breathing, sleeping news together for the past 6 months) we each let our guard down and truly shared what we wanted to do.
"Seriously - if you could do ANYTHING in the world, what would it be?" one girl asked. Then we drew this concept maps on the beaten down white board of things we were passionate about, things we were good at, little or not-so-little goals for ourselves. The thick black Expo marker couldn't keep up with each of us as we let it pour out onto the white board. And it was life-changing.
Now our goals, passions and dreams were physically in front of us. They transformed from vague clouds in our minds to these bold, visible real words in front of us. It was the quickest way to think, "Okay, wait this - this could actually happen."
What did I have in my little mind map drawing? I had writing, coffee, travel, write a book, running, become a TV travel host, and other personal health, family, relationship goals.
Now I'm no where close to having my own travel show (ehem about coffee) but I have a following, a brand of sorts that is still growing into itself and most importantly - more confidence.
Again, today I'm not particularly anywhere exciting. BUT today is the beginning of ALL of that. I feel like this past year was the setting up stage, laying down a foundation for a truly bad ass year. And I have every single one of you to thank. Your words of encouragement, positivity and pure passion for coffee have been little moments, but nothing short of powerful ones, to keep me pushing.
So, looking back on 2015 I've taught myself to set measurable goals, give back to the community, not overwhelm myself with how things will be in the long run, be always grateful for (and in) the present and to have more faith in myself and have more faith in God.
So I want to encourage you my fellow reader, if you haven't already, to:
1. Be honest to yourself: be honest about what you love doing and what you want to get out of this life (do not put others' opinions into your precious equation)
2. Write it all down: I prefer something large like a white board so it's big and in your face. Then you can snap a pic of it. Or just in a small little notebook will do. But whatever you do WRITE IT DOWN. Transform those quiet, nagging thoughts to reality.
3. Shout it from the rooftops: Let everyone know what your crazy about and why. People will be willing to help you reach your dreams more thank you'd think. You just have to know what you want before others can help you.
4) Set goals: "A goal is just a dream with a deadline" I'm not sure where I've heard that quote but it has never left me. Setting measurable goals is one of the most powerful things you can do.
5. Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up; Money is hard. Time is hard. People are hard. Yes - it's all going to be hard. But there are so many incredible free sources out there thanks to this thing called the interweb, you hardly have excuses. Don't give up. If you're not hungry enough, someone who is, will chase your dream. And as cliché as it sounds - If it was easy then everyone would do it.
Again I say, don't give up. You got this.
And with that, my fellow caffeinated friends, I leave you to go take it all out on some poor piece of paper and to begin writing your own future with a big, bold pen to make this year truly the most bad ass, most incredible year yet.
Erica - The Coffee Nomad