• Jessica Mendes

2018 Reflection

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

I realize I’m a bit late on the 2018 reflection / "New Year New Me" post so I’ll just consider this a Chinese New Year / New Me post since the year of the Pig starts tomorrow.

As I sit and reflect on 2018, I honestly can’t seem to think any year can top it. It was probably the best year of my life and part of me wishes it weren’t over which is why it took me a while to write this. It was the year that so many changes happened for me and all of them were wonderful and unforgettable. It was the year I felt the strongest, mentally, emotionally, and physically, like I could accomplish anything. I was the most zen I’d ever been, practicing reiki on myself and learning so many new things to expand my knowledge on self awareness and preparing for motherhood.

My husband and I moved 3 times, twice while I was pregnant (crazy I know), in which one of those times was to a different country with our three dogs. I look back and can’t believe we did that and took such a huge step. It amazes me that I had enough strength to do all of that while pregnant. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still in Portugal. My friends and I thought we would back in the states within a year and that this would just be a fun adventure for us to try, but it’s definitely not temporary. We are very happy we took this move and don’t see us moving back to the states, at least not for another 5 years because life here really is great. I do however miss my parents and of course being with my friends and going out with them and laughing about the most ridiculous things. My husband’s family always tells me it was very courageous for me to up and leave my friends and family while pregnant and go to a place I’ve never lived in and that it was such a big change which must take a toll on me. Honestly, it sometimes does, especially now that I have a baby and want them to meet her and have her get to know them. But I try not to think about it. I’m living in the moment, taking each day by day, and staying in contact with them as much as possible.

For the first 7 months of 2018, I was pregnant and actually enjoyed my pregnancy, which I never thought I’d say. I got to live in the beautiful city of Lisbon and had some fun adventures, then moved to the small, peaceful town of Olhão to be surrounded by family, and had a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl, a baby better than I ever expected. I couldn’t have asked for a better year.

The only downfall was that I ended the year feeling weak, different, and lost. As I’ve stated in a couple of my posts on Instagram, I lost weight which was normal while breastfeeding but I knew it was too much. I found out I have hyperthyroidism which is what caused me to lose so much weight and feel very weak. I’ve never had thyroid issues before and no one in my family suffers from it that I know of so it was a curveball for me. I knew hyperthyroidism causes weight loss, but I had no idea it came with all these other painful symptoms. I went into 2019 feeling sick and having pain all over my body. One day I woke up with back pain which has been happening on and off since I gave birth, but this day was so much worse. I went to do some stretches to ease the pain and decided I needed to work on my core to strengthen my back and core muscles. I found myself crying while in plank position. Not just because of the pain I had, but because the pain made me realize how weak I was and that was depressing to me. I wanted to curl up in fetal position and just cry my misery out, so I did. I was already losing so much weight that I didn't feel like myself and now this. I used to be able to do planks like nothing and working out was actually fun for me. I couldn’t believe just how much my body has changed. I thought I was back to normal losing the pregnancy weight and all, but I wasn’t paying enough attention to my muscles and strength. My husband of course gave me a pep talk and encouraged me to see a doctor again so I did and now I’m taking thyroid medication, eating relatively healthier, and I’m feeling like myself again and working out.

2019 had a rough start the first month. I didn’t want 2018 to end because it truly was the best year, but I know I need to focus on moving forward, gaining strength and focusing on myself and of course my family. I feel like I was kind of losing myself and putting my life on hold because I get so lost and mesmerized watching Camila grow. I know it’s all about finding a balance in mom life and it’s still somewhat new. Years ago, before I had Camila, I used to think there was no way I could stay home with a baby for a whole year and that I would need to get to work after the first 4-6 months or so, but I love being with her and I’m excited I get to be with her everyday her first year and who knows how long after. She’s my greatest muse. She of course can take up a lot of my time and I’ll be honest, I get a little frustrated knowing I don’t have all the time I did before to focus on my blog and do everything I want to do, BUT I also know I procrastinate and don’t balance my time wisely so I’m learning to get better at that. Part of having change in your life is seeing what you’re doing wrong and admitting your faults and then learning to fix them. I’d have to say my two biggest faults are procrastination and not using my time wisely.

Even though 2018 didn’t end the greatest for me, I’m actually okay with that, because it taught me to be strong and see the silver lining in it all. You can’t keep crying and feeling sorry for yourself. If you want change, you have to want it and work for it.

So here’s to 2019! - The year I’m focusing on my strength, myself, becoming successful while helping others, and watching my little girl grow into the smart, beautiful young girl she continues to be. I hope you all have a wonderful year. May you find inspiration to be your best selves, grow, have success, good health, and most of all happiness, because without happiness, those things have no value. Namaste.

#newyearnewme #newyear #reflection

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