What a year! I’m always amazed when the year comes to an end, looking back, reflecting and trying to summarize everything that happened in the year.
This year had its down moments but, many beautiful memories were created.
Earlier this year I decided to start blogging full time. Something I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve always started and stopped. It was hard in the beginning because I was trying to figure out what to write about, so I started with my 31 days of self-love post.
Challenging doesn’t even begin to describe the process, but I was able to complete it and I was happy people read what I wrote and responded to me. It gave me the confidence to continue with my blog.
It’s been over a year now since I put modeling on hold because I wanted to focus on our wedding without feeling like I was overworking myself. I’m so glad I did. I had time to reflect on how I wanted to proceed with my career as a model while doing philanthropist work. I always hid in the shadows and do things behind the scenes because I didn’t want people to think I was a bad role model because my modeling photos wasn’t something they would approve of.
This year I stepped into the light and launched my non-profit organization ITAVFoundation. Taking a break from modeling showed me that I could do both. Acceptance starts with me.
No longer afraid to share my story or who I am with the world. 2017, the year I spread my wings. I took flight without knowing where I would go but found myself on the path I’ve always wanted to be on. But, this year also had its heartbreaks.
Having a miscarriage took its toll. Being able to share about my loss helped, even though some days all I could see was darkness, I am forever grateful to my village, my friends and everyone that reached out to me. I had to forgive myself to heal. Healing took a while, and even though I’m still healing the pain I felt in the beginning isn’t drowning me anymore. I’m so happy I connected with so many women and men who’ve gone through similar situations. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.
2017 wouldn’t have been a great year without you all. Everyone that send me letters of encouragement and inspiration.
The biggest highlight of this year? My wedding!!! The process of planning our wedding wasn’t easy. To be honest, the emotional toll it took on me, and my husband I also called our wedding off. Planning a wedding can be a stressful process especially if you’re aiming to please everyone. One thing I learned during this process was, it was our day and no one else's. Our day should be exactly how we wanted it to be and I’m so happy we made it just that. Exactly how we wanted it to be.
Planning our wedding opened significant emotional triggers I didn’t even realized affected it. Not having parents to do the traditional wedding duties, realizing that the family I grew up with in Jamaica wasn’t a part of my life and wouldn’t be at my wedding broke my heart. But, It also showed me how strong my village is, how strong the love they have for me, the bonds that we forged and how strong those bonds are.
Our wedding was the best form of unconditional love and the beauty of that love I've ever experienced.
But this year also brought tears. On May 17th, my aunt lost her daughter unexpectedly.
December 27th, my husband lost his grandfather and uncle on the same day.
Death is something that will always be a part of our year. Whether it’s close relatives and friends or senseless violence. Death affects us all. Don’t wait until someone is gone to reach out to them.
Make 2018 the year you forgive those that hurt you, forgive yourself, do what makes you happy.
We all have dreams and hope but don’t be afraid to make those dreams a reality and don’t let fear kill your hope.
2017 have taught me so much about love, pain, and what it means to be a friend.
Thank you for allowing me to be open, for allowing me to share my life, my story & my journey.
Happy New Year!