Looking Back on 2017 | Highlights and Lessons Learned

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

Are you ready for a long post? I know I said my best products of 2017 post would be the last one for the year, but I started to reflect on the year and decided to share some of my thoughts with you all. Before we get into that, I want to say thank you all for discovering or sticking with me this year. Whether you’re a new reader or a loyal one from years back, I appreciate your support and I hope to continue inspiring you all with my fashion advice in 2018!

Below are your nine most-loved posts that I published this year! Keep scrolling to find out what my personal favorites are, and then read on as I share some of my life lessons.

Most-Loved Venti Fashion Posts in 2017

  1. BEAUTY | Jouer Cosmetics Lip Creme Swatches
  2. BEAUTY | Best Red Lipsticks for WOC
  3. BEAUTY | Spring Beauty Essentials
  4. STYLE | How to Mix Prints Like a Pro
  5. STYLE | How to Travel in Style – Airport Fashion Tips
  6. STYLE | Lookbook – What to Wear to a Concert
  7. OOTD | SXSW Styling Closet Staples
  8. OOTD | The Coordinate Cuff Bracelet
  9. OOTD | The Go-To Summer Off the Shoulder Look

My Personal Favorites of 2017

Now that I’ve shared what you all loved, below are my personal favorites from the year. These posts are my favorite more so because of the events and memories tied to them. There were a lot of bright moments in this topsy turvy year, so I wanted to highlight them to remind myself that even though none of us expected this to be our 2017, we can still pull personal memories from it that put a smile on our face.

  1. Going to SXSW (Rooftop Shoot)
  2. Shooting at the Pearl (Stripes and Converse OOTD)
  3. Attending BeautyCon and Visiting LA (Venice Beach OOTD)
  4. Attending StyleCon (Red Skirt OOTD)

What I Learned (or Relearned) in 2017

There’s value in speaking things into existence.

Remember a few years ago when The Secret and the law of attraction were all the rage? While I never rode those waves, I have always believed there’s some value in their basic principle. Looking back, this felt more apparent to me in 2017 than any year prior. There’s power in positive thinking, just like there’s power in the reverse. I feel like the action of thinking positively or saying you want something is the first step, and it kicks off your motivation and drive to achieve it.

I have several examples of speaking things into existence in 2017, but a blog related example points to attending events. I went into this year saying I wanted to attend an in-person blog event. I love to learn and have attended a few virtual sessions in the past, but I knew there was value in going to conferences. In the past, I would find out about them too late or the dates would conflict with my full-time job so it wasn’t practical or feasible for me to go.

Maybe it’s coincidence, but this year I actually wrote it on my whiteboard as a goal for the year, and I was finally able to attend! Not only that, but I ended up going to an event nearly every quarter (SXSW Create and Cultivate in March, BeautyCon in July, and StyleCon in September)! That’s something I wouldn’t have believed if you told me last year that it would happen. I’m not saying if you wish for a million dollars you’ll get it tomorrow, or that life won’t rain on your picnic unexpectedly, but sometimes speaking things into existence can be the catalyst for action.

It’s okay to take breaks. In fact, it’s necessary.

I’ve always enjoyed having some form of a blog as a creative outlet. In the heyday of the internet, I had Xanga, Geocities, MySpace, and even Blogger. I say that because back in the early days of blogging when everyone would post when they want and it was more of an open journal and less of an industry, social media wasn’t a thing. Now, it’s both a thing and a requirement. There’s some good and some bad with the introduction of social media, but the constant need to be “present” is my least favorite aspect. As a former psych major (I can hear my real life friends rolling their eyes as I say this because they all know I only majored in it for one year before switching to small business), I’m very interested in seeing what the effects of social media will be in the long-run. If I didn’t have a blog, I wouldn’t have social media…maybe just Twitter because that one can actually be fun.

My iPhone stopped sending push notifications for nearly all of my apps earlier this year and it was a blessing in disguise. In fact, I’m intentionally turning notifications off in 2018. I’m updating my settings so Facebook and Twitter can stop emailing me things they say I missed (what’s up with that?), and I’m creating systems so that I can keep an online presence on days (or weeks) where I want to unplug. I took breaks without creating systems to maintain a presence this year, so adding those systems will be a step up in 2018.

I took breaks several times this year on the blog and social media because honestly, 2017 was a lot. Also, social media is exhausting. I was also trying to balance the act of maintaining relationships, being healthy, having a successful work year, and creating content. Needless to say, I would burnout sometimes and have to step back. From those breaks, I learned that your audience won’t leave you, your blog won’t fall off the face of the earth, and opportunities will not disappear. In the blogging world, your to-do list never ends and it’s easy to spread yourself too thin because of the hustle mentality–another thing that needs to stay in 2017.

But you know what? Breaks are essential to growth.

When you unplug because the news is too much, because you feel exhausted creating content, or because you want to enjoy a vacation without the constant ping of push notifications telling you to stay plugged in, you’re able to cut out the noise and leave with a clear vision and sense of renewed energy.

Take the break and recharge. It’s okay.

People, places, and things come into your life for reasons, seasons, or lifetimes.

This is something I already knew, but I have to remind myself anytime change happens. Change is uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s always valuable. People can enter your life for a season and that’s okay. Places can become a part of your life for a season, as well. Not everything in your life right now will be there next year, and that’s totally normal. Even from a style perspective, material things can come into your life and they will be the most-loved items for a few years until you grow out of that style.

It’s natural for us to want to hold on to what’s familiar, but think of how stagnant life would be if we all still lived in the same town where we were born and only talked to the same friends we first met in elementary school. Where’s the growth? Where’s the challenge?

As people enter and exit your life, let them. Then, reflect back on what their purpose was. What lesson did they teach you? What value did they bring? As you move from one job to the next, think of the experience you’re walking away with. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s all part of your personal growth.

P.S. If a relationship, a job, or even the city you live in isn’t providing you with value anymore, it’s also okay for YOU to walk away, enter a new field, or move. The age of social media makes it easy to hold on to the past, but where’s the value in remaining social media friends with that someone you knew in high school who treated you like you were less than? Spoiler alert: There isn’t any value. Get rid of the clutter. Let go of the chaos. Eliminate the unnecessary noise.

In a nutshell, hit the unfollow and keep it moving.

You can’t do it alone.

This is self-explanatory so I’ll keep it short and simple. (Also, I have to get on the road soon before it gets below freezing!) Having a support system is so important, but it’s absolutely necessary to also have a support system within your field. As a blogger, I wear many hats. It’s important to know how to do everything, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I always need to be the one doing it. It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s extremely beneficial to have a circle of friends to bounce ideas off of who have similar goals. As with any job or hobby that can be done from the comfort of your own home, you’re prone to spend a lot of time alone. I’m so grateful to have a few blogger friends, both online and in real life, to connect with and vent to when I have behind the scenes blog tasks that are challenging.

Find your circle and flourish together.

I don’t enjoy leisurely shopping.

To end on a light note, I thought I’d share this revelation with you all: I don’t enjoy shopping for fun. As a kid if you asked me what my favorite hobby was, I’d say it was shopping. Ever since I went on my minimalist kick in 2016, my shopping habits changed and I feel like I’ve become a smarter shopper.

I don’t like going to the mall and walking around for hours just to see what I can find. For one, I want to maximize any free time I have these days and spending it aimlessly shopping just doesn’t sound fun or productive. Also, shopping for leisure is how you end up with one-time wear items clogging up your closet.

These days, I prefer to shop online when at all possible and save in-store shopping for times when I need to see something in person or I’m shopping with a purpose.

Shop smarter, not harder.

Those are just a few lessons I learned this year, but this post is extremely long and I may typing this on an iPad which is less than ideal. So with that, I hope you take something from this post! Did we learn the same lessons? Is there any piece of advice you learned that you’d like to share? If you could only use one word to describe 2017, what would it be?

Mine would be “wild”.

I hope you all stay warm and have a safe and Happy New Years!

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