How a Shitty 2017 Was the Best Thing to Happen to Me.

Someone asked me the other night if 2017 was a good or bad year. The question begged for a short answer or a one-word response which I couldn’t fathom. Then, after some moment, I realized, it was shitty.

Let me put some lipstick on for you 2017 because you bent me over and fucked me good. This was probably one of the worst years I’ve ever experienced. Life hit me at every angle at the same time with no apologies.

Please let me introduce you to 2017. Isn’t he great?

This is How 2017 Was a Little Shit to Me…

  • Dealt with a break up right before my birthday, the one day that you can’t help but be introspective and hard on yourself for all the things you haven’t achieved, or you’ve failed. #greattiming
  • Learned I had to have an invasive eye surgery in the middle of that little emotional tug of war. I would go blind in my right eye in a couple of months if I didn’t go in now – a week after my birthday. #greattiming (again)
  • The eye surgery was traumatic. To me, my best asset was my big round dark eyes. I wasn’t sure about that anymore. Sometimes, I can feel what they did to my eye. I lost 40% of my vision due to this procedure. It doesn’t help that I have blurred vision in my peripheral.
  • The recovery was worse. All the years of hard work to get my body into shape had to come to a stop. I can no longer hit the gym 5-6 times a week with any lifting. #greattiming 
  • Want another punch or two to the face? I couldn’t wear contacts, so no driving. I couldn’t get my eyes wet, so no pool time. I couldn’t wash my face of makeup, so no make to feel good or go on a date. #greattiming
  • Oh, and this little golden nugget – Thanks ex for not having the friendly decency to say, “Happy Birthday, sorry for being a dick” or “Get well, sorry for being a dick”.
His heart-shaped dick.

I had to stay in, live in my head, and watch the world go by while I recovered for the next two long months.

In summary, I couldn’t be my resilient self again. Other times in my life, I may have chosen not to do shit, but this time, it wasn’t a choice and that was the worst.

Fuck you 2017.

I had time to…think and build a raging hard-on to slap 2017 back in the face. I’m not about to go blind with this mundane outlook. In my mind, I’m supposed to live a great life beyond this prescribed routine.

I Had to Get Out of My Own Ass.

I modified my diet since I couldn’t exercise. I cut out drinking. I drank green tea as an appetite suppressant at night which stopped me from eating late. The result? I lost the last 10 pounds I struggled for a long time to lose.

Skype-for-Business-statusAs soon as I was cleared from recovery, I joined a co-working travel group since I already worked from home. I had no excuses. I would let the different timezone deter me.

Another fear I let go? Not worrying if my status online didn’t consistently show “Available” during work hours. Any potential hiccups with that during my upcoming travel wouldn’t deter me either. I would not continue to be chained to my desk.

Sicily would be my place for the month of August. Once the date was set, I couldn’t think about anything else, even my eye.

I ordered the Uber and was about to peel out of that shitty pity party.

The plan was to change things up with this travel to get past the eye trauma.

However, it did far more.

Beach LaptopI remembered the thrill in stepping out of my comfort zone.  I regained confidence and intrigue to explore the unknown again. I was re-centered and stripped away of all the layers of consumerism bullshit that really didn’t matter. There were bigger things in life to worry about and to not be afraid of.

Most importantly, I made new friends that were completely different from me who lived of life that was true to who they are and what they wanted: the Italians and the digital nomads. I had a refreshed perspective.

When I came back home, I gave up my Austin apartment,  moved all my things into storage, and committed to pursuing my version of happiness. I was finally breaking away from the American template.

Traumatic times can bring out the greatest life changes.

Life pushed me enough to the edge for me to finally do something about it. I would not have done any of this had I not been through the previous extremities.

If you follow my blog and Instagram (@Elisaut), you already know that after Sicily I went on to South Africa for two months. I now have safaris, cage diving with the sharks and climbing Lion’s Head under my belt. That was an amazing trip and it soon wasn’t my last.

I’m in Austin this weekend to spend time with my friends for the New Year. After that, I return to Houston to pack up for the next four months. I will be in Bali starting January for 6 weeks, then Vietnam for another.

2017 was not a good year, it was a great fucking year. I did things and went places I never imagined I would go. My life has completely changed and it all started with a shitty year.

Was 2017 a good or bad year for me? It was transformational.

How was it for you? What would it take for you to make the life change you’ve always dreamt of?

‘Til Next, Elisa

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