January 2018 Reflections, Everything is Shiny and New

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January 2018 Reflections: everything is shiny and new and I’ve been reflecting on bravery, small talk, and knowing your worth. I recently did a reader survey and I learned that people would like to see more updates on my health and my life goals.

It was a pleasant surprise and also fits what I’m practicing in my everyday life. I’m trying to be very intentional in planning my days and setting goals and this includes a lot of reflection. I’m going to challenge myself to do a health update on the last day of every month. This way I can reassess my goals, my health, and set intentions for the next month.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’m approaching the 2-year mark of having my colon removed. And in a lot of ways, I’m feeling like my body is finally “becoming”.

I’m able to eat more raw foods now and am digesting the majority of it. The past few times I’ve gone out with friends or family, I’ve managed to not overeat and spend the night pacing around in pain. Everything seems to finally be coming together. So in this shiny and new January, here are some of the things I’ve been reflecting on.


I’m struggling with Facebook: it’s hard for me to find my voice and to find a connection with people. On Instagram, I have an easy time being myself and connecting with people. One of my goals though is to do more stories and be in front of the camera more.

When I was really sick, I did a lot of Facebook Live videos where I just talked. And people loved it. I’m going to try and do one today as part of my practice of reflecting on the month. But it’s scary. And that brings me to one of my major observations: it’s a lot easier to be brave when you’re sick.

I think maybe it has to do with not having enough energy to deal with your own bullshit. Your ego, insecurities, and fears seem like such small obstacles compared to what your body is going through. It’s a little freeing and I’d like to harness that feeling now that I’m healthy. After all, it would be a shame to have gone through everything and not grow from it.

Small Talk

Ever since I

  • Got sick
  • Started getting biologic infusions
  • Moved back in with my parents
  • Been unemployed
  • Became a self-employed food blogger
  • Had multiple surgeries
  • Lived with an ileostomy for 3 months
  • Practically lived in the hospital
  • Turned 30

I have an extremely difficult time participating in small talk. Whether I’m meeting new people or ran into someone I used to know who has no clue what’s been going on with me, small talk kills me.

All the standard small talk questions eventually led to me feeling like I have to explain myself. In some ways, small talk is like lying. And I’m not very good at it. I want to answer honestly because it’s my instinct. Trying to craft my answers so the conversation doesn’t lead to the past 4 years of my life and my health is exhausting.

I feel like most people don’t want to jump straight into all that stuff. They want easy, fast, and short answers while they assess you and your worth. People will always wonder WHY, and learning to recognize the times when people want deeper conversation or when they want quick and easy is hard. But as time passes and I get more practice, it’s getting easier.

Knowing Your Worth

Photograph of hand holding a blooming flower with a face in the background.

One of the reasons small talk is hard is that I feel insignificant, unsuccessful, and a little bit of a loser. I get into the comparing game: they have careers, they have their own place, they already have a family, they have a 401K, etc.

But you will always be a loser if you’re comparing yourself to everyone. My mantra this New Year is wake up, get brave and know your worth.

I want to get brave and demand to be taken seriously and paid for my work. I want to:

  • Know my work is worth the price I decide to charge
  • Demand that the brands and influencers I’m trying to work with recognize my worth
  • Let them know I won’t work for free

Moving on to February, I want to

  • Develop pricing for sponsored blog and Instagram posts
  • Set prices for freelance food photography and styling
  • Get a media kit together
  • Start reaching out to brands to land paid sponsored posts

Whew, this felt good to finally get written and feels helpful. Let’s all meet February with some bravery!

Join the Conversation

  1. I love this… I think you’re so right about comparing yourself to others. I worry about that myself! I’m glad you’re doing more health posts again, and I hope things continue to go well for you!

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