End of the Year Review: 2017

At the beginning of the year, I chose three words to grow in and help guide me throughout 2017: dare, light, and adapt. Dang, a lot has happened this year! For a few of my highlights, I…

  1. Got engaged…. and married!
  2. Spent a week in Florida with my sister and grandparents.
  3. Paid off all my debt.
  4. Played with elephants in Thailand.
  5. Packed up my life and moved to Italy.
  6. Started drinking cappuccinos.
  7. Took some online classes just for fun (I’m a nerd, I know).
  8. Explored several European countries (10 so far… don’t hate me).
  9. Made a successful Christmas dinner.

It was a crazy year. My life did a complete 180 (or at least that is what it felt like). I had a lot of neat experiences and have drastically changed the course of my life (2016 me didn’t think I’d be married by now). I feel like I’m finally starting to settle into my new life… but that’ll all probably change again in 2018. 😉

Here’s how each of the words I chose were reflected throughout 2017:

I chose this word because I knew I was going to have a lot of uncertainty in 2017 and that I was going to need courage to do some hard things. I got married (a little faster than most people). I quit my jobs. And I packed up to go live in a foreign county. There were times I had a lot of anxiety or fear, but I had to get to the point of getting over it and just moving forward. Trying new things. Daring to get outside that comfort zone. And trust me, life can be way better that way.

End of Year Reflection

This word had two sides to it: physical and mental. Physically, I aimed to travel light. I left what I didn’t need at home and took the essentials across the ocean with me. And even when I travel here in Europe, I always try to keep my bag to a backpack (just having to run through Rome’s train station to catch a train, I can say backpacks are always a good idea). Mental lightness was another story. As I mentioned earlier, there were a lot of uncertain, anxious times for me. I moved to a new country, didn’t know anyone besides my husband, and couldn’t work. So I was definitely down some days. Learning to make the  most of the time I have and not holding onto baggage was a hard, but necessary task.

End of Year Reflection

Being able to adapt was KEY this year. Especially dealing with the military and the Italian government (both of which are slow and disorganized and often tell you contradictory things), things could always change — and did. Paperwork took way longer than it should have, my passport got lost… you get the gist. When things were out of my control, I had to learn to trust God and adapt. Still a work in progress, but a helpful reminder.

End of Year Reflection

“When you’re in a situation that is foreign to you, you just have to pull yourself together and adapt.” — Dasha Zhukova

What about you? How have you grown over the past year?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Dana Baedke says:

    Hi Kayla, love your post and idea to choose words instead of resolutions for the New Year :). Congrats on your marriage and yay for you on the world travels!!


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