Hey there-can y’all believe we are down to the final two days of 2019? It seems like the older I get, the faster time flies. However, I feel like 2019 went by extraordinarily quickly! Who else agrees? Like it seems like just a few weeks ago I was ringing in 2019 and setting my goals for the year! And now it’s time to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of 2019 as it comes to a close. I feel like I say this every year, but 2019 was another year of ups and downs. I embraced new opportunities, achieved some goals, and made some great memories with friends. But I also said goodbye to a beloved pet of 15 years, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was also another year of imperfect progress. Although I still struggle a lot with contentment and unfulfilled desires of my heart, I can still look back and see how the Lord has worked in my life to grow me spiritually and emotionally over the past 12 months. Here’s some of my highlights and noteworthy events of 2019, in no particular order:
Became a Beautycounter Consultant
Becoming a Beautycounter consultant was hands down one of the best decisions I made this year. I’m proud of myself for taking this step to use healthier personal care products free of known irritants, carcinogens, and hormone disrupters. As someone who is at increased risk for breast cancer, it’s especially important for me to be proactive about my health. I can’t control my genetics, but I can control lifestyle factors. Once I learned how what I put on my body can impact my health, I knew I needed to make this important change.
Furthermore, I’ve simply had a lot of fun trying out Beautycounter skincare and makeup and sharing them with others. Sure, it’s nice to get the consultant discount and earn commission. But it’s most rewarding knowing that I’m helping people make better choices that their bodies will thank them for. I’ve definitely learned a lot about putting myself out there and not worrying about what others think. Direct sales companies often get a bad reputation. Yet, I still confidently share about Beautycounter because I know it is different and has a lot to offer. I’ve also learned a lot about perseverance and plugging forward even when I’m not getting immediate results! There have definitely been moments over the past eight months when I’ve been discouraged because my business hasn’t grown as quickly as I hoped. However, my passion for Beautycounter’s mission kept me going, and I’m closing out 2019 with my biggest month of Beautycounter sales ever! This is also the first month I’ve hit my personal sales bonus!
Switched Church Homes
Another significant event of my 2019 was switching to a new church. Now, this wasn’t a switch to a completely new-to-me church. I had previously attended my current church from about December 2012 to April 2016. Back in April 2016 I started going to a different church, and felt like it was a good fit for a season. However, earlier this year I started feeling increasingly disconnected. Although I enjoyed the worship and loved the sermons, I realized that it was simply way too big for me. I didn’t have any real sense of community. Furthermore, iit had become more difficult to connect with other young professionals in same season of life as me.
So right after Labor Day of this year, I started attending my previous church again. I still had friends there that I knew from when I previously went there. So I wasn’t starting from scratch with respect to meeting people. The worship and teaching at my current church are a bit different from my previous one, but still Biblically solid and a great fit for me. I’m especially thankful for how my friends welcomed me right back into that church community, and I’ve made new ones too. I love lingering after church for nearly 30 minutes on Sundays because I know so many people to talk to!
It’s important to find a church that believes the Bible is the infallible word of God, that faith in Jesus as your personal savior is the only path to salvation, and that shares your social values. However, sense of community is also a crucial piece determining a good fir for a church home. This is particularly essential for single young adults like me. Unfortunately, some churches struggle to make a place for those who don’t get married shortly after college. I’m so thankful my new current church has a solid community of young adults!
2019 was my first full calendar year of blogging here at Palmettos & Pineapples. I celebrated my one-year blogging anniversary back in February. Starting in September though, I really started to see increases in both blog traffic and affiliate sales. This was especially apparent in November during Thanksgiving week sales. Most of my blog traffic during this time period came from search engines, the best kind of traffic to get! Also, the blog posts that generated a lot of organic search engine traffic and affiliate sales for me during November were posts I had written months 10-12 months prior! Thus this was another reminder to me that hard work eventually pays off, even if you don’t see immediate results. Even though I want to continue to grow my blog traffic and affiliate sales, it’s encouraging to look back and see they are significantly higher than this time last year!
Encouraging Lifestyle Blog Posts
Although it’s exciting that I’ve grown my blog traffic and affiliate sales this year, it’s even more rewarding that God has used me to encourage y’all with some faith and lifestyle posts. These kind of blog posts don’t make me any money, but they have an eternal impact, which is more important. Although this blog has never been exclusively about fashion, I feel like it’s shifted even more into lifestyle content this year. I will always love sharing about preppy fashion, but I’m so glad to incorporate a variety of content. Here are my favorite encouraging blog posts I’ve written in 2019:
- “Dear Heartbroken Girl“
- “Nine Ways to Make the Most of Valentine’s Day When You’re Single“
- “Navigating Grief & Loss“
- “My Real Thoughts on Instagram“
- “Advent Reflections: Hope in the Waiting“
Quit Caring So Much about Instagram
Honestly, one of the best decisions I made for my mental health in 2019 was to quit caring so much about Instagram. I had a goal to hit 10,000 Instagram followers in 2019, which I’m nowhere near. In fact, my Instagram following has been essentially stagnant this year. Guess what-I’m completely okay with that! I’ve realized all the algorithm changes make it next to impossible to grow your following organically unless you have hours a day to spend engaging on Instagram or the budget to hire a virtual assistant. I have neither of these things, so I’ve have learned to accept my limitations. There’s actually a sweet peace and freedom in realizing that Instagram growth is not the ultimate goal! While I do value the connections I’ve made with Instagram followers, almost all of my blogging income comes via affiliate links on my actual blog! You can read more about my true thoughts on Instagram in this post!
More Clemson Football Domination
Of course I have to mention following Clemson football as a noteworthy 2019 event. My Tigers opened up 2019 by demolishing Bama in the National Title game. Then they ended the year with a thrilling victory over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff, earning a trip back to the Natty! 2019 was a bit different in that I only went down to Clemson for one game. However, I got to see two additional games in person when my Tigers came up to Chapel Hill and Raleigh for away games. Then I watched many more games on TV!
Lots of Beach Trips
With the exception of my trip to Clemson and retreat in the mountains this fall, all of my 2019 travel was to the North Carolina coast. I’m thankful that my family and my bestie’s family have access to accommodations in Emerald Isle and Wrightsville Beach. This makes multiple beach trips during the summer very affordable! I went to Emerald Isle four times, and Wrightsville Beach once. The beach is one of my absolute favorite vacation spots, so it’s a blessing to go multiple times each year. Frequent summer beach trips are a highlight of every year, and 2019 was no exception. I’m so glad that the North Carolina coast recovered from the hit we took during Hurricane Florence in September 2018, and that the 2019 hurricane season spared us.
(My 2019 Instagram Top Nine)
Overall, 2019 was another year that didn’t have any major life events, but rather a collection of little things. It included both cherished memories and learning experiences that have helped further shape me into who God wants me to be. My life the past several months of 2019 has been a huge work in progress. I have been learning a lot about balance, as my schedule is the fullest it’s been in my adult life! At the beginning of 2019, my plate consisted of my full time job, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), and my blog. Here at the end of 2019, it consists of my full time job, BSF, my blog, my church small group, my Beautycounter business, and a Christian mentoring program. Add in household chores and finding time for friends, and I feel like I barely have any time to breathe. Therefore, I’ve been thankful to have some more down time over the past couple weeks to regroup before 2020!
What have been some significant events and highlights of your 2019?
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