This Little Light Still Shines: A Year in Review

It’s been one year since I started my blog. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to since my writing hiatus… Well, summer all I did was de-stress, okay? And New Years in Vegas was blessed, okay? And Galentines Day was the best, okay? Keep reading for what happens next… Okay?

Song Inspo: What’s Next x Drake

1 Year Down, Many More to Go

One year ago today, I published my first blog post for This little light of London. For 11 weeks after, I spent each Saturday waking up early to pray, do my devotions and then create my blog posts for you to enjoy. This blog has created a space for me to express myself intentionally, authentically and with confidence as I laughed, cried and reflected on my own journey through life. In June 2020, I had a horrific hospital experience that forced me to take a writing break in order to focus on my physical and mental health. After recovering from that situation, I honestly lost my motivation to keep writing. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to write each week that blogging became more of a task than a form of self-care. Thankfully, I have learned that sometimes even good things require breaks too. Stepping away from my blog for a while gave me the opportunity to practice recognizing and honoring the signals that my body gives off that tell me when I am doing the absolute most which calls for me to slow down.

So much has happened since I last wrote! I truly spent the rest of the summer between June and August practicing self-care amidst the ongoing pandemic. I took the time to focus on myself and what I really valued about the woman I was becoming. I spent time in prayer and devotions daily and I tapped in to my relationship with God. I wanted to share some highlights of my experience this past year because it has truly been a year of learning, growth and blessings!

In September I was nominated for and won a distinguished award at my part-time job in recognition of my efforts to support the students within our organization. During the weekend of the virtual award ceremony, I was also able to reconnect with one of my childhood friends as we went on a road trip to see our other childhood friend get married. It was great time of celebration, reflection and honest conversations.

In October I made a commitment to changing my physical health. I started going to the gym 3 times a week. I made the conscious choice to remain consistent and although progress started off slow, I can visibly see the change in my body for the better. Going to the gym consistently has taught me to be more disciplined, challenged me to go a little harder to achieve my body goals, and has given me more motivation with an extra boost of confidence. I am proud of the progress that I have made so far and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

Two major things happened in November: I bought a new car! I tried my hardest to hold on to my 2010 Jeep Compass, but after having it for 4 years and spending over $3,000 in repairs during this previous summer alone, it was definitely time to move on! I moved up a little in the world and was able to buy a 2017 Chevy Trax with no co-signer and only 13,000 miles! I even got a custom license plate (much to my best friend Hillary’s disapproval). I also went on an encouragement campaign for my friends and family. I reached out via social media to see if anyone needed any extra encouragement or wanted to receive some positive words through the mail. After gathering the responses, I spent a couple of hours in Target picking out cards for each individual who responded. I handwrote them each notes of encouragement and mailed them the following weekend. It was my way of sharing how much they meant to me in my life and the lives of others around them.

On the job front, I became more restless within my position at the high school where I worked. Teaching students during a pandemic was probably one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. I watched my students disconnect and become more weary as each day went. On top of that, admin within the school continued to create a toxic, culturally incompetent atmosphere for students and employees and it became unbearable. I felt like it was time to make a change, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. Last year, after experiencing major heartbreak and disappointment, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t make any future moves until I asked God about it first and got confirmation on how to proceed. So, I prayed about it and trusted the waiting process although it was extremely hard. I applied for a position with an organization that I had wanted to work at since graduating from undergrad. I applied for the position in November, but grew anxious when I did not hear back from them until mid-January. I am constantly reminded every single time that what God has promised me is always worth the wait. Three interview rounds later, on February 22nd, I was offered the position, moving me into a $20,000 increase, great health benefits, a generous PTO package and an opportunity to expand professionally and personally! I recently celebrated one month at my new job and although vastly different from the work I had been previously doing, I have enjoyed my experience and look forward to so much more.

In December, I celebrated my best friend Monti’s 28th birthday. This was the first time in 5 years that we had been able to fully celebrate her birthday together, so I put my birthday fairy skills to the test and had the most amazing time celebrating her and the wonderful woman that she is. It was on my heart to create care packages for those in my community experiencing homelessness so together with my boyfriend and his mom, we packaged up 80 mini care kits and 80 lunch bags. We spent the day riding around the city passing out what we had until it was gone. It truly was one of the most rewarding experiences that I will never forget and I plan to do it again in the future. I also took a trip to Vegas with my love to bring in the New Year. It was the first time I had been there and even in the middle of a pandemic, it did not disappoint!

In January, I decided to go on a 21 day fast for spiritual reasons. I wanted more clarity and a sense of discipline. It proved to be one of the best ways to start off the year! I felt more in tune with God and a better sense of self. February was an eventful month! I celebrated Galentine’s Day with my girlfriends, Valentines Day with my bf, and family birthdays. I was offered the position for my new job in February which of course called for celebration with my girls!

My older sister is in the Air Force and was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan for 6 months in mid March. So in early March, I spent a week in San Antonio where I was able to spend some quality time with my family before her deployment. I even got a matching tattoo with my sister to represent our bond! I started my new job the day after returning from San Antonio and have been on the go ever since!

In April, the plan is to catch my breath! It has been one of the most eventful years of my life! My favorite moments within this season has been the genuine quality time spent with my loved ones. I have been able to safely celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments, girls nights and major milestones with those I hold close to my heart. I am grateful beyond what words can explain!

Next month, I will be celebrating my 27th birthday. Time truly flies! Some of my major goals this year revolve around seeking God daily through prayer and devotions, continuing to make my health a priority and spending more time with family and friends as safely as possible.

It’s been one whirlwind of a year for me! A year wrapped up in many triumphs, challenges and waiting periods. I would love to hear about some of the highlights within your year so far!

Yours Always in Authenticity,

-L

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