Just Go Left

To Thrive: My Love Letter to 2016

Choosing Joy, PersonalAshtenComment
Handwritten by Amber. Check out her Etsy shop here.

Handwritten by Amber. Check out her Etsy shop here.

When I think of 2016, I think of a new friend I’m meeting for coffee.

There’s always that little twinge of “pre-meet-up-nerves”; wondering if we’ll get along, hoping the conversation flows and they don’t judge my coffee order.

There’s also that little bit of shyness that comes with meeting someone new; a wall that instantly goes up when leaving one’s comfort zone and putting yourself out there, excited but not being entirely vulnerable just yet. Let’s also not forget the awkwardness of those first few moments trying to navigate the conversation, asking those standard new-friend questions like:

“Are you more *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?”

“Do you think Leo deserves an Oscar?”

“Who is your favorite character on Parks and Recreation?”

You know, the important stuff.

I’m excited to sit down with 2016, sip lattes and bond. I’m ready for the growth that comes with new years and new friendships; I’m ready for all the vulnerability that comes with that newness. 2016 already holds a lot of promise, and a lot of change (because let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be me if change wasn’t involved) but for the first time I don’t feel overwhelmed or like I’m being set-up on an unwanted “friend-date”: I’m nervous, a little uncomfortable, but I’m ready.

I’ve had a few people ask what my “word of the year” is for 2016 and for a while I was stumped. I’ve never had a “word of the year”, nor have I ever been sure I needed one because I was so set on “choose joy”, which fit all the bittersweet of the last two years like a glove. Of course “choose joy” will always remain a theme and a mission not only on this blog, but in my life, yet something about it didn’t quite fit with everything going on in the coming year.

Finally, it came to me….ironically over a cup of coffee on a warm December Saturday morning.

My word for 2016 is THRIVE.

Thrive is my reminder to be open to growth and change: to sit down across from 2016 and be fully present; to look for the opportunities to prosper while embracing mess and imperfection. (We all know this is easier said than done.) Thrive reminds me to a better girlfriend, dog mom and friend even when times get tough and to be intentional about cultivating healthy relationships.

You guys, I’m really excited about my word because it’s already proving to be a good fit for this year. Remember when I told you I had big news? And then I shared one small piece of it on Monday but promised more this week?

Here it is, the best thing to happen to me in a while:

 On January 1st I am joining Finally Free as the Creative and Community Outreach Director.

Finally Free is a program designed to empower women to listen to their bodies, to have a good relationship with food and break up with diets for good. The 12-video series allows you to go at your pace provides hand-outs to keep you on track and gives you TWO amazing health coaches, my dear friends Paige and Simi, to guide you along the way.

Picture that coffee shop we were talking about and sitting across from you are two of the most encouraging, inspiring and knowledgeable girl bosses you know…that’s what Finally Free is like.

This is a huge opportunity for me, you guys, and really it’s a dream come true. Not only will I be working with two of my biggest inspirations, but I’ll be doing something I love and am passionate about: helping people live their best lives. I’ll be doing a lot of social media and community outreach, helping answer questions about Finally Free and all the exciting things planned the girls have planned for 2016…and of course I'll be Instagramming like a boss

Let’s sit together, let’s have coffee and talk about thriving in 2016. We’re all friends here.