Inspiring and Valuable Lessons Learned From a Challenging Year


"Dear 2017, I thought we had something special, but it turns out you were just a liar and a cheat. I learned a lot from you, but I'm moving on to 2018. Sincerely, Sam Diego."

I don't you about you, but from everyone I've talked to and all of the tweets I've seen over the year... 2017 has been a difficult one lol. Don't get me wrong, not all was bad. I had some of the best times this year. I traveled to places I've never been to, booked myself a flight home for 3 weeks (when I haven't been back in 2 years), made new friends, became a part of an amazing social/blogging community, moved into a new place with my brother... the list goes on. Nevertheless, with the good comes the bad and I've learned some very valuable and inspiring lessons from this challenging year.

Time to get personal...

Let's take it from the top. At the end of 2016, I told myself that 2017 was going to be "my year," it was going to be the best year to date! And wow, was that anything further from the truth. At the time I was a Sales Coordinator, a position for a company I prided myself in, and in February, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I became unemployed. It was a low blow, but I accepted it as my path wasn't headed in that direction anymore.

Shortly after losing my job I moved into a new place with my brother, which I was super excited about. I haven't lived with my brother for over 7 years and was looking forward to having another family member in California. Things were starting to look up until my previous apartment's management group decided to screw me over in the worst way. After a considered (obsolete) lawsuit, I ended up having to pay two rents - without a job - all the while attending school. Crazy right? This was probably my lowest point in the year because I worked so hard to advance in my career, degree, fitness/health, I mean, you name it, I wanted to kick ass at it. Things just weren't going according to plan...

Fast forward to finally getting a job... working from home for a small company that doesn't require much communication & being in a home all by myself (90% of the time) really takes a toll on your mental health. Now, I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, I got up every day with a positive attitude that I was going to turn my life around one way or another; to be completely honest though, the stress of everything affected my internal happiness which in return affected all of my relationships between my boyfriend, friends, and family. It affected everything.

This is when I decided to change the game...

When my life felt like an ongoing downhill spiral, I knew something had to change. I knew it started and ended with me. So I stopped making excuses for myself and started turning the negatives into positives. I changed my attitude towards situations that were out of my control and put my focus on everything I could change; focusing on the people that love me for me, my health, career, and making the best of any situation because that is something I have control over.

Lessons learned...

  • You accept failure the moment you stop trying
  • Don't compare your life to others or you'll ruin yours chasing someone else's
  • Advice is only advice... it doesn't mean you have to take it
  • Be particular about who you let into your life, your happiness depends on it
  • Not every situation requires a reaction. Pick your battles wisely
  • Stop making excuses when it comes to what you want in life. Go for it!
  • Alone time and finding your own independence is crucial to self-growth
  • You don't have a bad life, you just need to change your perspective
  • NEVER stop working towards what you're passionate about
  • There's nothing wrong with taking breaks from things or people that stress you out
  • Your value doesn't diminish because someone else can't see your worth


18 New Goals for 2018...

  1. Get a promotion & raise
  2. Become apart of or create a local blogging community (in San Diego or North County)
  3. Increase my following/engagement on all social media platforms by 20%
  4. Get down to 18% body fat
  5. Obtain a 4.0 for spring semester
  6. Travel to 3 states I've never been to
  7. Go out of the country at least once
  8. Get back into Taekwondo or learn a new sport
  9. Build stronger relationships with my family and friends
  10. Pay off my debt by Dec 2018
  11. Receive a PMP certification
  12. Become completely fluent in Spanish by the end of 2018
  13. Collab with at least 5 brands by mid-2018
  14. Get a new car
  15. Become proficient in Photoshop and Lightroom
  16. Learn how to surf (I've been wanting to learn for years now)
  17. Invest, invest, invest!
  18. Accept and love myself (completely)

If you're reading this, I wish you the best in the new year. I hope you kick ass at your job, your side hustle, your goals, anything you're looking forward to. I want us all to succeed in life and I truly believe you can accomplish anything you put your mind to! & Start working towards them now! I know I'm not waiting until the New Year to start checking off these goals ;)

Much love & happy new year y'all!