A letter to my past self to reflect on 2017 and start a new year with a new mindset.
Dear 2017 Raquel,
Being a fan of Back to the Future and Doctor Who, I am very aware of the consequences of interfering with timelines and spoilers. However, I was challenged by Aimee from Bold & Free Babes to write a letter to my past self, to you, and encourage you through 2017.
You know that thinking ahead has always been tough for us. We have a hard time making plans three months ahead because our lives tend to change pretty drastically pretty quickly. This year is no exception. You are in for a whole ton of changes.
It is amazing how many of those changes happen this year and how many we forget as time passes. I had to review my Facebook feed just to remember some of the highlights.
January starts off strong and social. You host two sets of family friends over for a family style dinner. You always enjoy expressing your love to others through food. What a way to start a new year! This might need to become a yearly tradition.
Building a Tank
In March, you build a tank! It isn’t quite life-size or operational but that doesn’t stop your son from having the most awesome army Nerf battle birthday party ever. Lots of planning and preparation pay off in a big way. The kiddo and all his friends have a super fun time battling around pallets and stacked tires in the backyard. The tank was all the kid talked about for months after.
I hate to tell you this but, in April your car of ten plus years is totaled… by your husband. Everyone is safe and that’s the most important part. Don’t worry, Buttercup, it isn’t all bad. You end up purchasing a new vehicle you absolutely love that better suits your growing business and family needs.
Sometime during these early months, you decide to buckle down on the blog. You start connecting with other bloggers and creating custom recipes for them. This is a gateway to connections that continue to add value to your life and business.
You can check out some of these collaborations: Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing, Wonderwoman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes, Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcake, Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, Beauty Bae Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes. Even the collaboration that introduced you to Aimee to begin with, Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes.
This year you attend your very first “real” concert. We’ve been to punk shows in art galleries and basements but this time the band is on a stage. You go to see Third Eye Blind with your best friend. In fact, you don’t just go to one, but two this year. She takes you to Third Eye Blind so you take her to see Sister Hazel several months later. I am pretty sure going to a concert has been on our bucket list for awhile.
In an effort to be more mobile and get healthier, you begin going on adventures to local state parks with a friend. Your walks are therapeutic and do wonders for your mental and physical health. This actually becomes a weekly activity you manage to maintain throughout the year.
This year must be the year of friendships. During an Email List Building Challenge in July, you make your first blogging bestie. You connect over creative ideas. Something clicks and all of a sudden you don’t feel as lonely in the business anymore. You have a companion that understands the struggles and also celebrates the triumphs. She is great for accountability and when you desperately need a cheerleader.
This summer you have family visit you for the first time since moving to Florida (two years ago). It feels like a full house with six house guests but there is nothing to be nervous about. The kiddo loves having his family visit and he enjoys showing off where he lives and all the beaches and favorite places around town.
By choosing to attend a blogging event in August, you shine as you meet lots of other bloggers and networkers. It is worth every penny and you end up making that money back in prizes. I am not even kidding.
You are able to then improve and grow your business through the connections you initiate. One of these connections has become invaluable to you and is currently working on your site right now as I write.
Always remember to follow up.
After the stress of the wedding last year, you may hope to have a sweet romantic anniversary this year. You will not celebrate the way you hope. You will go through a scary but humbling experience as you survive a massive hurricane headed straight for your home.
During this experience, you will learn what matters most to you, how you handle a crisis situation and how your friends and family react to your crisis. I am impressed with your strength and grace during such a stressful time. Apparently, baking really is our coping mechanism. The fire department won’t complain though.
You always imagined during the Zombie Apocolypse that you would be feeding the masses and creating masterpieces out of a bag of beans and canned beats. Imagining yourself in a crisis situation and reality can be quite different. However, you really pulled through and baked your booty off. You can reminisce about this experience in the post for Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes.
Your big life-changing month comes in October though. After a year of stress and paperwork, the step-parent adoption and name change for the kiddo is finalized. You decide to make MsCupcakeasaurus a bakery and not just a blog. You reach your highest weight and decide enough is enough. You start a nutrition program that you are more than determined to stick with. That determination pays off, Girl. Keep it up! You get some disappointing but expected news from the doctor and realize your family planning isn’t going as planned. This does not stop your household from growing by one more member though. I promise you will love him and realize what all the fuss over dogs is all about.
Your month is so hectic you don’t even write about it for a couple months. You can check out your October in Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes.
Yearly, you visit your grandmother in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. This year she actually lets you help a bit. She isn’t feeling great but she does get better. Try not to worry too much; she is a feisty stubborn woman but that is what keeps her going. This is a great opportunity to bond with your aunt while she is in town.
By the time the year closes, you will have lost forty pounds! You are persevering more than I ever expected. You are thriving, making the changes you want to see in your life. I am so incredibly proud of you and all of the ways you have found to grow your friendships, your business and yourself for the better.
Hang in there, Cupcake, you’ve got this!
Love and Sprinkles,
I hope you enjoyed this Letter to My Past Self. I am going to pass this challenge along to you. As we start a new year, try to take a moment to reflect on this past year and focus on all the ups and downs that you have survived and celebrated. I was reluctant to write this letter. I started writing what I wished I had done differently in 2017, and all of a sudden I was writing about all of the accomplishments for the year. I don’t expect that everyone has started a business or crashed a car but I know you have had your own ups and downs and I would love for you to reflect on those moments and acknowledge how far you have come.
I would love for you to share your letters with me. Any method you feel comfortable with sharing, I am open to receiving.
In the comments below, let me know what you are most proud of 2017 You accomplishing and what you hope to do in 2018.
Today we are making life taste sweeter by taking a look back.