2018 has seriously felt 10 years long. When I decided I wanted to put this post together, I had to keep asking myself did that happen THIS year?!
It’s crazy how the months speed by but the years are so, so long.
2018 was a really transformative year from me. I grew as a person, a professional, a friend and a creative. I tried new things, went to new places and got my first passport to take my first international trip.
There were plenty of highs and lows in between, but today I really want to focus on the highlights. Because the thing about long years is that it’s easy to count them off without truly celebrating how much happening during them. How much good they brought to us, how much positive change occurred.
I’m absolutely not the same Amber from 2017, and I thank God for that. I’m stronger, much more confident and have never felt more opptimistic about my life and what’s to come.
I’m looking forward to 2019 but for now, let’s take a moment to look back and reflect.
- Flew to Vegas with my best friends to celebrate our friend Naeema’s birthday. Best way to start the year was with a girl’s trip!
- While we were there, we randomly got into a club which turned out to be having a free Nelly concert! Completely unplanned but so much fun.
- Right before I took off for the trip, I filmed and uploaded this video after YouTube changed a ton of its creator guidelines. I loved doing a longer discussion video and it’s one that I’m the most proud of this year!
This was a month of coffee dates! I made a resolution to make as many of my URL (online) relationships IRL to truly grow my network. I met up with people I’d follow on Instagram for years, who’s blogs I’d be reading and careers I’d admire. There is so much talent out there and I want to keep these meet ups going (maybe in bigger ways) in the New Year.
March was a busy month for sure!
- I spoke on a panel about personal branding and creating content at the RadGirls Conference! This was an amazing panel of women, all doing great things and making big impact in the community.
- I spoke to a conference of about 75 CMO’s and CEO’s in tourism about a marketing campaign we’d launched at work. It was my first time in Pittsburgh and my first time giving a presentation to a group of people so senior to me. Did I mention I did it TedTalk style?! I only had about 2 weeks to prepare and it definitely tested my limits but I was so proud of myself after!
- I turned 25 🙂
April brought out nice weather which always gets me back in the mood to create!
- I presented a workshop on content creation at the PHL Bloggers Blog Connect Conference. This was my second or third time speaking at this conference and I always love sharing with other creators.
- I got a promotion at work! And switched full time to our social team doing production and creating more and more video content for our channels. There’s no way 2017 Amber would have felt qualified for this job. 2018 Amber barely did. But we’re more than 8 months in and I haven’t been fired or demoted yet so it must be going well!
- Oh, Beychella happened. Still in awe.
The most monumental thing I did this month was start seeing my current therapist. Things had been going well personally and career wise. But there were some areas of my life that kept triggering so much anxiety for me.
In 2016, depression and anxiety all but crippled me.
In 2017, I figured out healthier ways to cope, but knew I still didn’t have a handle on things. So in 2018, I made the call to get help and not let this thing control me anymore. Singlehandedly the best choice I could have made for my mental health.
June kicked off a seriously insane Summer of great opportunities and meeting amazing new people.
- I had my little sister stay with me for a few months. It’s crazy that she’s 18 now and starting college in the fall (another Temple girl!!) so it’s nice to spend some extra time with her.
- Went to a live podcast recording in Brooklyn and saw the most breathtaking sunset of all time while drinking cider on the roof top. Also got a lot of clarity about where I wanted to be in that moment.
- This was the month that I sat down and dreamed up the perfect title for the novel I’m currently working on.
Stepped fully into that busy summer season I mentioned.
- Took a few trips to New York to shoot video content for a social media project for work! I love New York but hate commuting in heat waves. Lesson learned there!
- I was selected as a member of a 30 Under 30 program and got to fly out to California to meet the other members of the cohort! It was a great conference and I really loved meeting everyone in the program. Also, working pool side with zero humidity is my new favorite way to work.
- Got to attend a few influencer events around the city.
- Managed to survive one of the most hectic travel schedules ever (California, NYC, Jersey, Philly, Baltimore, DC).
Slowed down on the travel this month and started working more and more, behind the scenes, on rebranding my blog and other projects under one umbrella brand 🙂
- Got to attend a book signing with Mikki Taylor and attend a book talk that one of my friends and mentors moderated with her.
- I hit 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel! Getting into video has been the scariest and most fulfilling change I’ve made as a content creator this year. I love the little community I’m growing over there and have been so in love with creating video content!
- Went to Boston for the first time. This was my last stop on my Summer of work travel.
Two of my favorite moments of this month both involve one of my favorite couples. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen them pop up time and time again in my stories — Taylor & Izzy. They’re two of my best friends and the best couple you’ll ever ever meet.
- At the start of the month, I shot their 1 year wedding anniversary photos. You can take a peak at them here, here and here. I loved getting a chance to capture just a little bit of all of the love they have for each other. Tay & Izz, if you’re reading this, I love you guys!
- Later that month, I helped distract Izzy for a few hours while Taylor got things together for his surprise birthday party. Lying to him, even just for a few hours for the sake of a distraction, was the hardest thing ever but totally worth it for his birthday.
- I got to volunteer as a member of the social media team at NortStar, a tech conference presented by the City and Black and Brown Founders. It was a conference created for Black and Latinx people working in various parts of the tech community. I met knew people, found new freelance work and had a great time creating content.
- Finally made it to Books Are Magic in Brooklyn to do some book shopping! It’s definitely one of my new favorite book stores and I can’t wait to go back. I vlogged the whole thing!
- I got to hear my favorite author, VE Schwab speak at The Strand and get a signed copy of her newest book Vengeful!
I spent so much time with my family in November, which is always my favorite thing!
- My little sister turned 18 years old! She was too cool to invite me to hang with her friends and celebrate but it’s cool.
- I made it to my sisters senior night football game and got to walk out onto the filed with her and my dad. She’s a cheerleading captain just like I was and I couldn’t be more proud of her!
- Thanksgiving, aka my favorite holiday ever.
No one is shocked I’m sure that the number one highlight this month was absolutely my trip to Paris. I’m working on an FAQ post about the trip and a day by day breakdown but you can checkout the vlogs for a good feel of everything I did, saw and loved about this amazing city.