What I've Learned About Myself This Year

burgundy dress
satin dress dressed down with ankle boots and a hat
low back satin dress
I love taking this week between Christmas and New Years to reflect on the year and on my personal growth. I already shared 10 things I did to streamline and improve my life this year, but in today's post I wanted to dive a little deeper into a few things I've learned about myself this year. When I was younger, I often struggled to accept myself and to feel at peace. Fortunately, throughout the past few years I've made huge gains (just a natural progression of life, right?) and I hope that I can encourage you on that path as well! 

burgundy satin dress
low back dress with a hat
cute winter date night dress

I'm a true introvert, and that's okay.
I know memes about being introverted have gotten trendy, but I've always been an introvert and I feel like this was the year that I truly became at peace with that. While I absolutely love hanging out with friends and family, and always choose to spend as much time with Trey as possible, I most definitely draw my energy and peace from quiet time alone. For awhile I felt like I couldn't be successful in my career while being an introvert, but that's simply not true...I just have to maintain that healthy balance. I know how to collaborate and network, but I also know when I've had enough and when it's time to work on something quietly on my own. In my personal life, Trey is extremely extroverted (as are all of my best friends), which to my benefit, keeps me on my toes and forces me to put myself "out there." I'm terrible about making plans, but they all know that and are great at it. However, they also understand and respect that sometimes I would love nothing more than a quiet night at home to recharge.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend taking this quiz and learning more about your Myers-Briggs personality type. It's helped me to learn and understand so much about myself! That I'm not a recluse or depressed - I just crave *some* alone time. That it's okay to not have a quick answer to everything, because by nature I need time to process details and then thoughtfully give my answer. That I'm never going to be the girl with the large group of girlfriends, but that's okay. Learning about my personality traits, and my strengths and weaknesses, has truly changed my life and brought me peace. I challenge you to do so too!

I'm not going to be stick skinny again, but I can and will be lean and healthy.
I opened up a bit about this topic in this post last spring, but a healthy body image has never come naturally to me. From a young age I obsessed over my weight and calorie intake, worked out to "be skinny" and avoided many healthy nutritious foods because they had "too many calories." It was a depressing way to live! 

I've made so much progress over the past few years, and as of this year I feel like I truly have a healthy mindset when it comes to my body. My goals are to eat nutritiously as much as possible (but to not beat myself up when I don't) and to workout for a healthy body (and to hopefully add years to my life). I of course still want to be thin within reason (and according to what's natural for my body), but I can truly say that my focus is to be lean and strong, not skinny. Do I still get annoyed at the size of my legs? For sure. But when I start going down that path I remind myself of years of wonderful memories from dancing, and that my muscle shows that I workout and have strong legs. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have this healthier mindset. A huge goal of mine in 2018 is to increase my strength and muscle tone. I'm not afraid of it anymore!!

It truly doesn't matter if people will make fun of me or think what I'm doing is crazy.
I used to get soooo scared to post certain outfits, or to share more personal content (like this post!) for fear that people would judge me. I was scared to death to start my photography side hustle thinking that people would make fun of me and think I sucked. But then I just decided to get over it. The ladies I admire the most do their own thing.... wear what they want, post what they want, aren't scared to have opinions, aren't scared to create. You know what I mean. I realized this year that I want to be like that. Not scared, not second-guessing myself at every turn. And that if someone makes fun of me for something I post or for something I hustle at, that ultimately it reflects more on them than on me, and that I don't have to give a crap about what they say or think!           

dressing down a satin dress with a hat + boots
satin dress with a captain's hat
Dress c/o Lush Clothing (similar version by them here & here)  |  Hat  |  Ankle Boots  |  Bracelet (my favorite!)  |  Earrings are old from Target

Thank you so much for reading girls! It's truly been a great year with a lot of personal growth. It feels so good to be happier in my own skin.

PS - If (like me), you're cozy at home today and in the mood to online shop, today is the last day to get an extra 25% off sale items on Shopbop with the code JOY25! Also at Shopbop, I saw that one of my favorite brands has some gorgeous winter dresses right now if you have a winter wedding or event coming up (or are thinking ahead to Valentine's Day)!   

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xo, Jacy