Around the end of December, I sit down with my planner and go through everything that happened in past year. This tradition began a few years ago as a way to reflect and plan ahead for all the bigger things I wanted in the New Year! I also decided that “New Years Resolutions” weren’t helpful for me and most of the time. I felt guilty not keeping up with them. Instead, a few years ago, I decided to pick a word for the year that would guide me and be the basis for all my decisions, in my personal and professional life.
In 2017, my word for the year was FOCUS. I wanted to focus on growing, encouraging, and building something that I was proud of. My focus was geared towards becoming a full-time blogger, developing a location independent lifestyle, and making sure that Mario and I could be in the same country! I focused on building relationships and connections from people all over the world – who helped push me to do something I love!
FOCUS in 2017
Oh goodness, what a year it’s been! I don’t know where to start! In January, I celebrated the holidays at home with my family and was working full-time at my job as a Training Coordinator. At that point, I had been working full-time for about six months. I was making a good salary for an entry level job, I had health insurance, and I was investing back into the Quirky Pineapple Studio every chance I had!
In February, I booked a flight to Spain to visit Mario. We stayed in Madrid, in a little Air BnB and explored the city together. To be honest, I was terrified of coming back to Spain because of everything that I felt the last time I was there. When I left Lucena, Córdoba in June 2016, I thought I’d never come back to the country because I felt like I was wasting my time in this country! I mostly felt trapped, extremely alone, and like I had no friends. I didn’t want to be an English Teaching Assistant anymore and I didn’t want to make “chump change” as my dad would sometimes call it. But, something about being in the capital city of Spain, exploring all of the cute cafes, the busy streets, and meeting other expats – I left thinking, what if I could call Madrid home one day?
After my one week trip to Madrid to visit the boyfriend, we really sat down and tried to decide what the heck we were going to do to be physically together by the end of the year. That’s when we really considered the idea of one of us moving. But, with the new administration in the United States, and the extremely high cost of living, we thought it’d be easier if I moved back to Spain. Just thinking about that thought made me panic. I don’t think I was ready to admit that to myself for a very long time, nor did I want to quit my job before my one year “workiversary” with this company. So, we decided to wait until April/May to get things moving.
So, until then, I dived into work and tried to streamline processes with my co-workers. My goal at my full-time job was to try to travel, implementing different training courses throughout the world to our clients. I loved having the opportunity to meet people from all over the world! People who worked in the government, creating the policies that would help improve infrastructure, jobs, and the environment. I was inspired EVERY DAY working with people who worked hard to create a better life for others. And maybe, I’m looking at it through rose-colored lenses, but having the possibility to meet so many people from countries in Africa, Latin America, and SouthEast Asia, it encouraged me even more to push forward.
FOCUS in Blogging
In April, I attended my first blogging conference. I drove the 3.5 hours up to Pennsylvania and stayed with a fellow blogger I had never met! The weekend was filled with workshops, all the blogging and Instagram-worthy photo ops, and SO MUCH NETWORKING. Connecting with fellow bloggers in person was AMAZING. These are my people, y’all! They understood my need to document everything! I didn’t feel silly asking for multiple photos from different angles, I didn’t feel silly re-organizing something for the perfect flatlay photo, and finally I was able to talk about Instagram engagement and SEO with people that totally got it! Networking online is important, but in-person meetings are a completely different feeling. That weekend, I had the idea that I could take my blog full-time by the end of the year.
After the conference, I started brainstorming ideas to work with clients. I didn’t want to only have sponsored content on my blog or Instagram, something that I don’t enjoy too much. I wanted to be able to create something “original” and help someone else find the passion I had for blogging in a different way. During the month of May, I cranked out ideas and thus the idea for my rebrand was born. For the next few months, I sat down everyday and tried to organize my thoughts for what would finally be the Quirky Pineapple Studio! But, before that, I swear I had papers and papers of notes and random thoughts thrown around my family’s dining table!
During the month of May, I also found out that I had two ovarian cysts that were relatively large in size. One was attached to my right ovary (9cm) and the other to my left (4cm). I was shocked, because that 9cm cyst was the size of a grapefruit, y’all. That’s HUGE. Over the next few months, I took medication to reduce the size, but it ultimately led to surgery in late September. This also pushed back the plan to move abroad, so I focused my time on my rebrand and decided that I’d be working on writing and branding with my clients!
FOCUS in Chasing My Adventure
My main goal for 2017 was to become a full-time blogger. A full-time blogger that is location independent, building a home with my boyfriend (sounds ironic, right?). I wanted to find (or create) a job that gave me the opportunity to write, create content, help and meet people from all over the world. That job also needed to give me the opportunity to plan events and create connections in all aspects of the creative industry!
Well, here we are Pineapplers – after a full year of learning, growing, and trial and error. I’ve landed in Madrid, Spain with my boyfriend. In a small and very cozy one bedroom apartment. I quit my full-time job and took the leap to pursue my blog full time. I rebranded to the Quirky Pineapple Studio, offering copywriting, content creation, and brand/blog strategy for people in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Most of my work involves a good connection to WiFi, my laptop, meeting people all over the world, and creativity. I’m living out MY adventure everyday. Pineapplers, I f*cking did it. I created a network of people I’m inspired by everyday, found a group that pushes me to do the best. The Fierce Diva in me isn’t hiding anymore. I really
fucking did it, and I am SO thankful to all of you for supporting me along the way.
Thank you, Pineapplers!
Thank you to my family, friends, the Pineapplers, my Instagram family, all of the connections I made this past year. I am so grateful to my first clients, who trusted in me and believed in me. Thank you to the people I’ve collaborated with, the likes, comments, shares, and support. I am so appreciative that I am able to pursue this dream of mine. I’m so thankful and blessed for all of your continuous support (and even the hate!) that I’ve received, because it’s only pushed me further!
2017 has been a big year for me, to learn, trust, and focus a little more on who I want to be and where I want to go. My biggest lesson for this year has been to trust the process and trust in the timing for everything. I’ve always been impatient and extremely anxious when it comes to plans and making sure everything is perfect. This year, with so many different ups and downs, I’ve learned that a little faith goes a long way and that if my gut is telling me something, I should probably listen to it.
2018 Goals and my NEW WORD!
Alright, I’m a big believer in “manifesting” and throwing things out into the Universe so that it knows what you want. Also a big believer in working towards that goal every day to show the Universe that you’re ready for it – but that’s some “woo woo” stuff that I’ll get into later! Here are my goals for 2018 and my new word for the year!
- Have a full client list for 2018 (working with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and side-hustlin’ divas in the tourism and hospitality industry)
- Create a 3-6 moth virtual mastermind group with people from all over the world (somewhere we can hold each other accountable and learn from each other)
- Build a network of people within Madrid to create monthly in-person workshops that involve different crafts or topics (hopefully start that by the Summer!)
- Attend at least 2 different conferences for blogging or entrepreneurship and 1 retreat!
- Travel with the boyfriend to at least 5 new countries (oh, that’s a big one)
- Make half of my corporate salary in revenue through the Quirky Pineapple Studio!
- Start a little garden in our backyard!
- Build my YouTube Channel again for a passion project and creative outlet
And the word that’s guiding me through this all is GROWTH. I want to grow into the person I’m meant to be, without fears or shame to be honest and vulnerable (with myself and to the people closest to me). I want to grow my business to be sustainable, as well as profitable. I want to grow my new home with Mario. I also want to grow my Spanish skills! I want to grow in faith, love, and hope.I’m excited for all the change that’s going to push me to grow more!
Do you have a word for 2018? What is it and what does it mean to you?
Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
2016 Recap and Goals for 2017
My Brand Relaunch: Introducing The Quirky Pineapple Studio
The Quirky Pineapple Studio Launch Party Recap!
How to Start a Blog (That Doesn’t Suck…)
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