2015: Finding Freedom

At the beginning of the year I wrote this post and declared that 2015 would be a year of freedom. Freedom from pain, rejection, worry, and self neglect.

I chose that day that this whole year, 2015, would be spent dedicated to building the life I dream of versus a life of fear and limitation.

And let me tell you, when you speak something that boldly over yourself, there isn’t much you can do that would prevent it from manifesting.

Freedom came in some of the most unexpected ways. And I can’t say it was always welcomed with open arms, but man, it was worth every bit of fight.

January: Freedom from Negative Relationships

The year started with a major decision. I was intentionally disengaging myself from a relationship that had been in my life for many years. I began to recognize that this friendship was hurting me more than helping me, and I knew then it was time for me to separate myself.  I had to forgive myself for “leaving them”, forgive them for hurting me, and respect myself enough to know I was doing what needed to be done to protect my heart.

The freedom that followed was one that allowed me a new sense of self respect. I began understanding the value of others treating me the way I deserve to be treated, instead of allowing them to walk right over me. I used this first step to help balance numerous relationships in my life, expecting others to treat me well, and knowing that I have the right to step back when they don’t. I had never felt this freedom before.

I learned this year that I am worthy of being respected.

February: Freedom from Expectations

Let’s be honest, I can be a bit of a control freak. And, you know, I’ve come to accept and even cherish that part of myself, but around February my idea of expectations for others changed a bit. I began to recognize that not everyone is built equally. Our mindsets and mentality can be very unique from one another, and because of this the way we respond to things may look very different. Having grace and patience with those who react differently than I would has been life changing for me. There is freedom to be found in allowing others to teach me that things don’t always have to be done my way.

March through May: Freedom from Depression

Wow. This is one that is crazy to say out loud. But truly, this happened. After years of ups and downs, and continually falling into a depressive state I was able to walk out of it. And the thing that did it: faith and persistence. Things got hard, you guys. March through May may have truly been some of the toughest months of my life. Why? Because I faced my depression head on. I sought out the issues, dug deep deep down into the nitty gritty dirty stuff, and felt it. All of it. I experienced hidden pains on a real level. I spoke of issues that I had never dared bring up. I confronted the things that had created this false sense of my value and challenged them to prove themselves true. And you know what happened? I learned they weren’t. When I pulled on every negative thought and emotion, acknowledged its existence, felt the real weight of it, and asked for proof, there wasn’t any. The only proof I could find of my inability, lack of worth, stupidity, and idea of what love looked like was within things others had told me. I had never actually learned them through experience of my true ability. What happens when you start disproving theories? You start building new ones. And the new theories I built were built solely on truth of things I have proven. I am capable. I am worthy. I am intelligent. And love is the greatest of all things. These things have been proven and that is what I have chosen to believe.

And you know what happened when I denied my old beliefs and brought my new ones to light? The depression lifted. Almost magically.

June: Freedom from Being a Fashion Blogger

When I began writing about my capsule wardrobe I got a major influx of followers interested in the fashion part of who I am and how I was building my wardrobe. The response to my fashion posts was trumping everything else I was doing, and very obviously so. So, naturally I had to give the people what they wanted, right?

This started to feel like an issue in my heart really quickly. Being a fashion blogger is never something I had sought out, and frankly it felt more vain and superficial than anything I was wanting to create. (Not to say fashion bloggers are vain and superficial, that was simply how I began feeling personally when moving that direction.) I knew I had more to offer than fashion tips and didn’t want to deny myself of that. After all, my purpose was never to inspire women to check and see what I’m wearing every day. I went back to the basics of what I wanted to accomplish and became completely okay in the concept of using fashion as an outlet to use my voice, to inspire confidence, change, and passion in the hearts of women. This is where the new flow of my posts came from. I would show some fashion, in order to showcase some beautiful companies, as well as giving inspiration in self confidence through the clothes you wear, but I would also speak my heart and inspire through words that reach deep into people’s hearts and challenge them to dig deeper.

July: Freedom from The Blog

There’s this thing I started doing once I became a blogger where I would go read a bunch of other peoples’ blogs and compare every detail of what they were doing to what I was doing. I would try everyday to write as many posts as everyone else, take pictures like them, and have content that seemed to be popular. After a year of feeding this terrible habit I stepped back and reevaluated. A lot of things happened when I took time away from writing on my blog, but one of the main things: freedom.

The pressure stopped… for the most part. I no longer feel a need to write five posts a week. Instead I write when I have a story to tell. I don’t have to fit in the same catergories as everyone else, I can talk about what’s actually important to me.  I don’t have to BE anyone else. The way I want to carry my brand is the way I’m going to carry my brand, regardless of what others think. And gosh, it sure feels better this way. Don’t you think? Authenticity has a way of making some major impact.

August: Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety welcomed itself into my life about three years ago, plowing over anything and everything in its way and setting up a California King in the main room of my brain. It took over some of my favorite spaces of my life, the main one being travel.

A week before getting on a flight the tears and pressure would start to take over. I would quite literally have to be carried to the airport, fighting the whole way, and very literally had to have someone else pack numerous suitcases for me. No matter how much I knew I wanted to be traveling the anxiety would create a whole new agenda and do anything in it’s power to take it away from me.

In August I went on a trip. I got on a plane. I stayed in an unfamiliar area and went to a Conference surrounded by people I didn’t know and a strict schedule to keep. This trip changed my life. And not only because the Yellow Conference was life changing, but because I experienced an entire weekend without a single sign of anxiety for the first time in years. I like to think it’s because in that moment I was exactly where I was supposed to be, following the exact assignment that had been given for my life.

I still battle, but I caught a glimpse of freedom, and that was the first major step I needed in order to start disproving the anxiety’s credibility in my life.

September: Freedom in Being Single

I’ve never really been one for being alone. That’s not to say that I haven’t been capable of being single, or of being okay with not dating, but realistically I like to stay busy. It keeps my mind off of things. It has given me a sense of value to be around people while simultaneously keeping me from getting lonely. But this year has been one of extreme self awareness. With coming to know, understand, and love myself in a whole new light I’m suddenly so comfortable with the idea of being alone. It doesn’t feel so empty, or boring. I actually really enjoy being with myself.

And not only that, but with an understanding of my passions and a mission set forth I actually feel more hindered by the idea of a relationship than I feel drawn to it. That is most certainly a freeing feeling. For the first time in my life I don’t feel that my happiness, worth, or success will come through finding the man of my dreams and getting married. Instead I find that all of these things are finding their way to me through consciously living the life I’ve dreamt of and seeing myself as capable of success through my own voice.

October: Freedom from My Past

We all have a past. (Most obvious statement in the world right there. You’re welcome.) It looks differently for each of us, but most carry some weight of the impact that past experiences have left. I know I did. Intensely. The weight of disapproval, rejection, mistrust, and manipulation. And I carried it so closely that it began taking over my whole expectation for what the world has to offer. When I stopped letting my past define me, take hold of me, and manipulate me I was able to experience a new sense of freedom.

I no longer feel the bondage of family issues, or validation of people who aren’t able to give it. Do I feel the weight? Absolutely. But the bondage, well, that’s been cut off.

November: Freedom in Being Me

I am unique. And I kind of like it that way.

In October I filled out one of the most thought provoking questionnaires I’ve ever encountered. It was full of identity questions. Self worth questions. And dug deep into the heart of my passion for empowering women. When answering I found grace pouring itself through me. The words filling the page weren’t my own, they were the words of my heart. Right there on the page, in a tangible form. I’d never quite seen my love and passion spelled out in such a beautiful way before, and it felt empowering.

My application opened up the opportunity for me to stand side by side with a group of some of the most beautiful women in the world at The Bloomerie. And that was cool really really awesome, but the best part happened before my application was accepted. I was able to see myself in its truest form. I didn’t hide behind an Instagram photo, or carefully curate my words that would be on a blog post. I wrote from my heart and it was just there in it’s most raw form. And it was beautiful. I liked who that person was, all written out like that.

When I allowed my heart to be true to itself I began seeing myself surrounded by other hearts like mine. I witnessed encouragement and excitement from women who want to grow with me. I saw a tribe forming around me, because they wanted to be involved in me. The real me. And that’s pretty cool.

December: Freedom from My Job

One of the most important things I learned this year is that my job doesn’t own me. I have as much control of my job as I want to have over it. I have the choice of how many hours I work and how much it dictates my life. We all do, we just have to be willing to say no and set boundaries if things won’t work for us (and sometimes that looks like taking a new career path.) I am lucky enough to have a boss who finds my personal happiness to be more important than a profit and allows me the freedom to schedule myself accordingly.

It was scary to change up my life dramatically and take leaps of faith towards a different style of handling my work load, but it’s allowing me the opportunity to begin building the life I’ve always dreamed of. I am the only one who can make that happen. And I am ready to begin drawing my dreams into my life instead of waiting for them to magically happen.

Here’s to much more freedom and growth in the coming year.

Wishing you the Happiest of New Year’s. Go get your freedom this year. It’s so worth it.

IMG_9718Photos always by the beautiful Adelaine @fisheyefox

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  • Reply
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    January 3, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Amazing! It’s definitely been a year of growth and learning for me as well, many of the same lessons it sounds like. Though let’s get real, no one would EVER mistake me for a fashion blogger 😉

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 12:47 am

    What a great read, it sounds like you learned a ton this year!! It’s been a good one for me as well.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Okay, there is seriously so much about this post that I want to talk about. You know what…when I first found your blog, I admired you because you were a kickass fashion blogger, you were authentic, and gorgeous. But you know what? You are SO much more than just a fashion blogger, and I’m glad that you focus your time and energy into posts like this. You are such a #GirlBoss and I adore you to pieces!!!

  • Reply
    Julie Shelman
    December 31, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I so enjoyed reading your story of “Finding Freedom in 2015”. It was very enlightening and I hope I can apply some of it to my life! Thank you and God Bless.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Renshaw
    December 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Kylie,
    Thank you so much for you transparency in your post . It has awakened me to take on changes I need to make for myself .. Change for the good .. For my well being ..

    • Reply
      December 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you for sharing Suzanne! I hope to continue inspiring that growth and change. It’s such a hard thing to take initiative on but always feels a bit easier knowing others are pushing through too.

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