Brunch with 2018: leaving behind 2017 and bringing hope in New Year

img_0455Photo Credit: Tiffany Carnes

OMG!, I was overjoyed to be invited by my dear friend, and host Tiffany (people say we look alike) for a New Years Day brunch. What better way to start the first day of 2018 than with mimosas, good friends, and healthy conversations! However, this hangout came with a breath of fresh air on ways to make 2018 hopeful and powerful.

After eating the delicious breakfast and catching up with friends I’ve not seen in OMG months. Backstory: I’ve joined a different church, life kind of steered us into separate directions. I was so excited to see everyone and connect on a deeper level. What we all shared became a realization the value of our friendships and united in prayer we can make a difference.

Tiffany asked us to bring our journals and to think of one word to encourage us in 2018. Next, we were given two assignments: (1.) take a few minutes to write 3-5 things to leave behind in 2017. (2.) think of things to bring into 2018.  For me, it was a no brainer for the first part, It took a lot of energy (slight hangover from NYE party) to gather my words. I wanted to speak truth into existence, as well as to begin the healing process.

Leaving Behind in 2017:

Lingering on the past of wrongful behaviors or actions done against me and things I have done to others. I keep rewinding to all the hurt I experience with my family and how uncomfortable I feel around them. I allow their negativity, at times effect my wellbeing to be at PEACE. At times, I find myself tense whenever they are around (afraid of saying the wrong thing and anticipating their wrong behavior), as if the air has left my body. When difficulties happen to me or involve myself, I run away scared, never to face it head-on. Or in my case, something so little turned into a nightmare, I keep recycling.  It’s hard to look at the person as trustworthy, when I have been bitten so many times by them. I can’t change what has happen, but I can change myself to be at peace.

Stop living for or by other people standards, stop looking for their approval and validation. I am always seeking to live the “perfect” life according to friends and family opinions of myself, out of fear of looking, to be real frank, “stupid” or “irresponsible” in their eyes. I’m always afraid they won’t “like” me or have the “wrong persona” of me, because I want to be perfect in their eyes. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve struggled in this area a lot. My intentions for now, is to live everyday listening to myself (and God, of course). Stop listening to others and comparing myself to others. I am NOT LIVING FOR THEM! My Happiness doesn’t come from them!

 Indecisivesness, Fears, Doubts, Anxiety, and Worries. Stop being afraid to take the lead on decisions and living with the decision. Sadly, in my personal life, I am afraid to take on “adult” responsibilities, because I always think I’m going to fail. Although, I dream of becoming a wife, mother, and entrepreneur, but as I’m learning and reading more about it, I get really scared. What if I cannot be perfect? What if I disappoint my husband and children? A contract for life, means there’s no turning back, it’s a forever commitment. I always think the worst instead of looking at the good. I see the ugly and beauty in this journey called, LIFE!

Acceptance, of I am GOOD ENOUGH.. I am only human, bound to make mistakes and face failure at times. Its not the end of my life or who I am as a person. It means I am learning. My weight, my beauty, my thoughts, and my actions are all about who I am. I just need to focus on the best version of myself. And damn it, I am good enough. I am EVOLUTION!

Remove unnecessary weapons and disrespect in my arguments with my fiancé. I find myself, continually going to the past to pinpoint his many failures, painting myself as righteous. More like superiority vs. inferiority. We’ve been doing it a lot against each other. It’s the “you” attacks and measuring who is “good” vs. “bad” spouse in the relationship. My fiancé says, “we fight to attack at the core, but not acknowledging the way we deliver our messages. And we both need to stop dwelling on the past every time we get into a disagreement.”  It’s not about whose right or wrong, its about helping each other solve the problem and connect stronger then ever.

Bringing into 2018:

Forgive and forget of others and self. Letting the past be just the past. Say what needs to be said (politely), and move forward. If the recipient chooses to remain the same, then accept them for where they are and move forward. I cannot change people. I CAN CHOOSE TO REMAIN AT PEACE. Surrounded by peace, feed the mind with peace, and speak peace into existence. God is my place of PEACE.

Do what makes me happy. Make a decision and live with it. Pray for God to guide me towards the right decisions. God knows we make mistakes and he forgives because he knows our heart. I will be more intentional in not seeking approval nor validation from others on how I CHOOSE to LIVE MY LIFE! I will always choose to make myself happy, not at the expense of another. Happiness for me comes in many forms, helping others, serving in church, writing my blog, pursuing my passions, meeting new people, hanging with family and friends, trying new things, being in love, and at times choosing a “non-healthy” food. Self-love!

Health and wellness. I don’t want to just lose weight and be fit. I want to change my lifestyle for balance. Balance could mean scheduling, commitments, and adventures, but acceptance of what is and how I cannot always change the hand that has been dealt. I want to balance myself when criticism attacks. I want to balance myself when obstacles arise. I want to balance my thoughts to vacant the negativity from my childhood from seeping into current situations. I want to create balance when switching into new careers, to persevere even when I feel like giving up. I want to create balance in many of the hats I wear (christian, fiancé, wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker, teacher, and entrepreneur). I want to create balance to value my self-care above all the hats. I want to create balance in loving myself above all of the enemies attacks. Balance takes on many of the lows and highs in life, we must acknowledge them, learn to Let Go & Let GOD!

Live in the present. I’ve been working on it since 2017. I want to be more discipline in this practice. It helps to remove my anxiety and stress over worries about tomorrow.


We are never promise tomorrow, who knows what it might bring. We do experience yesterday, which already occurred and cannot be rewritten. We should ask ourselves, What do you want to do right now? What would make you happy right now? Remember it comes with great responsibility. It’s a privilege to freely choose in the moment. As today is a snow/blizzard day (not safe to drive anywhere), I could stay in bed and sleep, but sometimes my mind wanders onto negative thoughts. So in fashion I found inspiration to write this post. This is my pleasure, because I love to write. Its a win-win situation. I’m not sure what to do next, but I love being proactive. Plus, my fiancé is home, I love talking to him, snuggling is a bonus!

Lastly, I thank 2017 for bringing amazing people. I have friends now, lol! I struggle to make life-long commitments to friendships. The fear of losing more friends or betrayed by friends, made it difficult to trust others. My heart became harden by the abandonment of friendships and even family. Yet, with prayer and honestly from my fiancé example, I was able to regain my happiness, in the mist of it all met some people who made an impact in my life. By no means, do I rely on their approval, I do feel bless knowing I can ask for advice about womanhood and being an adult. Still getting a handle on my identity as an adult. These are my accountability partners and my shine sisters. We met through Christ and still maintain contact. So this year I’ve decided to start a monthly girls meet up to reward our hard work or to just unwind.  Girls just wanna have FUN!

One WORD to define 2018:


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What’s your word for 2018?

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Hi, I’m Tiffany! My hope is to encourage and equip others to cultivate a life rooted Christ alone and create a simple lifestyle.

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