It’s been 81 days since I last publicized my pen…

...and in that time I’ve been recovering from some of Life's hiccups and also preparing for what’s to come. Before we get there, here is my 2018 year in review in the form of accomplishments, failures, and lessons learned.

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Starting with the not so pleasant: FAILURES

I missed seeing my family far too much.

While this may not seem like a “failure” for some, it is too me. I’ve always wanted to have a healthy balance between my work and my family. This year I personally feel like I missed the mark. Time flies, and family is so too important to not make time for a 10 minute FaceTime session with the ones you love.

My health took a back seat in the second half of the year.

To be fair to myself, 2018 started off on a high note, with me completing my first half marathon. However, I fell off Big Time in the second half of the year. I struggled to stay on top of getting my workouts in and meal prepping, and I stress ate far too much. I still had plans to follow-thru with my second half marathon, but it was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Time management became a big “what is that?”.

That’s the best way I can say it. For learning purposes, looking back I don’t even know how I managed to do all that I was and still am doing. The second half of the year was in full speed forward, and I let my planner be lonely while I played every week by ear. Uncharacteristically me.

Blogging, consistently.

This was a huge goal of mine for 2018 and I feel like I did worse than I was doing – HA! The time management bit was important to have in order for this to happen successfully.

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Moving on the good: ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Further rounding out my skill set.

I’m doing things now that I never really thought I’d ever be doing. For most of my post high school life, I’ve been primarily focused on becoming a practicing Professional Engineer. Somehow I’m also content creating, event planning, set designing, producing films, and holding a handful of other side hustles.

Confidence within my engineering career.

The feelings I had after graduating in 2015 largely consisted of “thank goodness I made it” and somewhat feeling like a floundering fish. Then I took and passed my PE exam in 2017 and started feeling like, “Hey, I think I can do this.” And now that I’ll have my physical professional license in hand in 2019, I’m feeling like “Yes, I AM doing this.”  I’m sure that evolving confidence has a lot to do with it. Confidence in asking questions, answering questions, admitting when you don’t know something, and speaking up when you do.

Making new, good relationships.

One of the best things to evolve from being involved in a variety of things is all the really dope people that I’ve met along the way. Every single person is so unique and talented, and I can’t wait for these relationships and connections to blossom even more.

Being a brand ambassador.

This wasn’t even on my 2018 to-do list. I’m just grateful it happened sooner than expected, and for all that I learned from it.

Blogging, even though not consistently.

Because I’ve really been doing the most. Just the other night while I was reviewing accomplishments of 2018 and goals for 2019, it hit me that I’ve got a lot going on. I’m confused as to how I’ve managed to keep my blog afloat through it all, and while I may not have published much on it in a while, I’ve never stopped making and acting on plans for it. (Hint: Stay Tuned).

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And for the growth aspect of it all: THE LESSONS LEARNED

Everyone is not meant to understand your grind –  friends and family, included.

Your grind is just that – yours. If you’re working hard to better yourself, and striving to accomplish things that your future self will thank you for – keep doing you honey. You are the only one that can visualize where you want to be, and the only one responsible for how you’re going to get there.

Be kind, always.

And even when you’re not in the best mood, at least try your hardest. Most times, the person at the receiving end of your 10 AM bad attitude wasn’t the cause of whatever has you grumpy and stressed. Leave yesterday where she is, especially if she wasn’t that good to you.

Mourn the end of the relationship and move on.

Romantically, professionally, friendships, etc. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the cycle of wondering what happened to the relationship, and where things took a turn. Take it for what it was, pull from it what you can use to level up, and move on. Period. Seasonal situations always have a reason for being just that.

Acknowledge your flaws by genuinely working hard to fix them.

The best growth happens when you’re able to look at yourself in the mirror, say, “Ew, I really don’t like that. I’ve got to do better.”, and ACTUALLY do the work to fix it. Way too many of us get stuck in the acceptance of flaws because “I am who I am”.  Well I’m here to tell you that, yes, we’re all human beings with flaws, but that doesn’t mean that those flaws have to define you. The room to do better will always exist.

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Shalin's 10 CentsHow did your 2018 play out? I’d love if you could share your top three with me. Leave a comment, let’s chat.

Love and Growth,

Love Shalin
Photography by Marian Ramos of Marian Ramos Photography


  1. Love love love this! Authenticity will ALWAYS give me life; especially from women.

    My Top 3:

    Moving to Nigeria. Leaving my family and friends is still hard. I still feel much like a stranger, but I’m focused, driven, and thankful.

    Forgiving my ex. It took 3 long years, and I guess it may not be a big deal to most people, but I don’t hold grudges, and I couldn’t shake that hurt. Baby, it’s SHOOK. I love him always, but I know he was not God’s gift to me.

    Loving myself more honestly. Even when I mess up. Even when I fail (completely) I’m loving myself through it and pursuing God’s guidance rather than breaking myself down.

    Thank you for sharing your truth; the good, bad, ugly, and blooming 💕🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always looking forward to anything you share. You inspire me to be more forward and raw in my writing, and to not think so much into how people may feel about my story, but more so how it makes me feel to share mine. Love you lots.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading this reflection. So much growth and improvement. Some people don’t understand that we need to be critical of ourselves in order to improve and that’s okay! Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for ya!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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