Reflecting on 2014 & Goals for 2015

Lifestyle | Jan 06, 2015

As a pregnant woman in my second trimester I’m going through insomnia almost every night and it always starts around 3 am and lasts till about 5 am. I randomly wake up and can not go back to sleep for the life of me. It happened when I was pregnant with Gio too. At first I hated it. Who wants to be up when everyone else is knocked out? But I have found that I do some of my best thinking at night. This is when I get all kinds of creative ideas in my head, or start analyzing my life: my journey, the past, where I am, where I want to get, things I want to accomplish, things I want to work on and so on. So this blog post is more like a talk I’m having with myself, to get more clarity and perhaps help you do the same, if you ever find yourself in the same boat as I.

I turn 28 years old in just a matter of hours. That just sounds so old, but I know it isn’t. Matter of fact, it’s just the beginning. When you are in your teen years you can’t wait to be in your 20’s. At least that was the case for me. There was something about being 20 something that made me feel like “oh I’m going to be a grown woman by then”. But as I near my 30’s I realize the 20’s are such experimental years. This is the time to figure out who you are (even though that’s more of a lifetime quest as we are constantly changing with each experience we have). These are the years of trial and error, learning who is really your friend, the kind of person you want to be with, the kind of person you are in a relationship, the kind of relationship you want, the kind of career you want, trying out all kinds of jobs in hopes of landing one that is financially secure, yet always dreaming of having your own business but not knowing exactly what or how to get there, etc. I speak for my own self as I mention these things. This may have not been you in your 20’s. But it was very much me. I experimented with things, people, relationships, jobs, fashion trends, looks, travel, and in all of it, I learned more and more about myself. My challenge is that I tend to be very hard on myself. So it’s a lot easier for me to pick out the negative things I want to fix, rather than point out the great things I’ve accomplished or have throughout these past few years. I’ve gotten a lot better at that, mainly with the help of my husband who’s always, always, and i mean always pointing out all the great qualities I have. So he’s made me feel like it’s OKAY to acknowledge the great things and the great person that you are, without letting what you consider failures to take over and make you feel like you haven’t done much or you need to do so much more.

In my early 20’s I made a ton of mistakes. Heck, I expect to make a ton more for the years to come…but different kinds of mistakes. There used to be a time I was so aggressive, so ready to argue with anyone that had anything sideways to say to me, let alone if they messed with my friends. I would practically lose it. There were times I literally fought men if I felt like they disrespected my friends when we went out to the club. Yea back then I was doing it for loyalty but as I have gotten older, wiser, and am now a mother, I realize loyalty doesn’t have to be proven that way. Matter of fact being put in those situations alone is just a thing of the past. Been there, done it, I had fun, but on to another stage in life. I’m sure people from high school would be shocked at the college version of me. And those that knew me in college would be shocked at the person I evolved to in the few years after it. And all of them combines would be even more shocked at the person I am today. Not because I have changed as a person, because my heart has always and will always be the same, but because my actions now reflect what’s inside. I have gotten to a place and age in life where I no longer feel the need to please others, or give in to social pressure, or fight others to keep the love and friendship of my friends, or change everything I’m about to make the person I’m dating happy, and so on. These are all things I’ve experienced and been through. And now I’m in a better place. I am so much more accepting of who I am inside. I’m not ashamed to finally be who I’ve always wanted to be or have envisioned myself as. And I have so much to do still to become who I now see myself in the future as.

You can tell I’ve been talking to myself too damn much because I’m getting all deep and probably not even making sense. But if you ever go through this, like I do, know that you’re not alone. Self reflecting is a great thing! It helps you see things better and gives you a clear vision of where you are trying to go. I look back at 2014 and boy was it a busy year! So much happened! Great things, bad things, good people, bad people, wins and loses, and quite frankly I’m excited for 2015. Every year, on the last day of the year my husband and I make a list of goals we would like to accomplish the next year. It’s a cool and fun exercise. 365 days later you won’t remember a thing you listed so it’s eye opening to read what your goals were a year ago. Some of those things can be totally irrelevant to you now. I remember one year I had put on my list I wanted to have 50 pairs of louboutins. Okay call me materialistic, but that’s where my mind was at the time. My priorities shifted and 3 years later I could care less how many loubs are in my closet. And as much as some of you shoe lovers will hurt when I say this…I just have to admit shoes just don’t do it for me anymore. Not the way they used to…you know, that unhealthy obsession I had with them to where I would literally choose not to pay rent just to have another pair of heels? Yea! That was STUPID. I love shoes yes. They’re fun, funky, girly, sexy, you name it. But I’m not losing any sleep wondering about my next pair. And I’m happy and proud of myself for that. Anyways, that list of goals every year has dramatically changed. This year we haven’t done our list yet. Somewhere between my pregnancy nausea, a small baby running around, a house full of kiddos to maintain, kids needing to be picked up/dropped of, in laws visiting, etc etc etc, we haven’t had the time to. But I think that’s good because I haven’t had the time to really think what I want for this year.

I guess I’m going to start with things about me that I would like to work on or change. Last year and the years before that I used to be affected by what others said or thought of me. This started happening around the time my instagram profile started getting some friction. Never before that did I encounter strangers speaking negatively about me. So all of a sudden the negativity or criticism I got online got to me. I didn’t know how to handle it. Two years ago, when I was pregnant with Gio I had really really hard time understanding it and it started to make me question my own self. I started wondering if I was the person some portrayed me to be? If I wasn’t worthy of the life I had? If I was just lucky or did I deserve anything? Was my husband for me for love or because we had a baby? I struggled. I suffered. I cried for nights and days. I admit to it now because I’m strong enough to handle it and I have learned to cope with it all. I get asked “how do I do it?” because people can read all the comments others leave me and I can tell that some of them get really aggravated when they read some of the things people say to me. They wonder how I don’t lose it or go off. Boy did I use to! But here’s how I see it: you are either the type of person that gets weak from it and surrender to it all, or you get stronger, grow a thicker skin and push through. I was both of those. At first I got weak, didn’t know what to do, got scared because I had a child growing inside of me and was afraid the stress and sadness would cause me to miscarriage. I got rid of everything and went away just to get a peace of mind. And the entire time I focused on me, my family, my relationship. Then I gave birth to my son and that changed everything. I saw light! There is nothing, and I mean nothing more important than the life you give birth to. There is nothing that can make me lose sleep the way my son coughing or having a slight fever at night can! I finally learned that people, whether those you know or complete strangers, come from all walks of life. You never know what they’ve been through, what they have experienced, the kind of upbringing they had, who raised them, the love or lack of they received when growing up, what relationships they have been in as adults, who hurt them, who loved them, what their current life is like, if they are financially ok or struggling to pay their bills, if they feel pretty or ugly, fat or skinny, do they feel alone or are they surrounded by love, are they hungry or do they not miss meals, do they have a sickness they’re fighting or are full of life and health…you just never know. Even those you think you know so well could be feeling emotions or things we can never think of or know about. So I started realizing that with so much uncertainty out there when it comes to people around us or even online, you are bound to taste bits and pieces of what they experience daily. Someone’s happiness or sadness comes out in one way or another. People have different ways of coping with it. Some like to write about it, some like to talk, some like to forget it all and ignore it, others like to belittle those they want to be like, some like to bully, etc etc. We have different ways of trying to feel better about whatever it is that we are lacking in life.

So once you truly understand that you will find yourself no longer upset or mad. I am happy to have gotten to a point where literally nothing someone tells me is going to bug me unless I feel that way myself. Say someone says I’m a bad mother…well I know good and God damn well I’m not. Soooo thank you for your input but I know it isn’t valid. Moving on. It’s human nature to get bothered by such things in general. You could get hundreds of great, amazing, positive feedback from people, and there’ll be that one nasty one that’ll leave you wanting to punch someone. But why? That used to be me! Whenever I get tempted now…I just picture that person in a sad world and how unhappy they must be. Then I genuinely feel bad. If they let me, i would befriend them. I would help them. I’ve been there before and I’m grateful for those that gave me a hand. I would be happy to do the same. This life is too short. There’s no point in being evil. There’s no satisfaction in it. There’s no rewards from it. The only reason I even blog or have a page is because I like sharing my experiences, learning from others and maybe helping someone out there who’s in the same spot I’ve been!

So 2014 was a learning year for me. I hope every year is. But I feel that it taught me how to be stronger and how to have confidence in me, who I really am, and why I am where I am. It’s important to realize the type of person you are. If you are not happy with it, denial is the worst thing for you for you will be that same person you are denying the following year. Accept whatever it is that you don’t like and change it. It takes just that simple decision and you can turn it all around. Screw your past. Screw yesterday! Today is a different day. Tomorrow is a brand new blank page. Didn’t like the way you wrote on the previous page? Write better today! No one can impact your feelings and your emotions but you. And I think this is the hardest thing to master in life. So my goal for 2015 is to practice it more and get to a point where I no longer have to think about this, but that it just naturally comes to me. It’s a mental exercise but one that can change your life forever.

2014 was the first year of my motherhood. A 27 year old first time mom: scary! I think about every single day, month, milestone I hit with Gio, things I accomplished that I was so happy about (because I was truly scared going into this. I felt like I was going to be one of those moms that accidentally dropped their baby). And I feel that I did so much better than I thought. There were times I freaked out more than Gio himself, say when he bit his tongue that one time when I was feeding him outside, or how the first time he got fever and he was so motionless and wanted to be held and nothing more…let’s just say I have learned to do better around those times. I was a wreck. You couldn’t tell if I was the one with fever or Gio. But these were all first time experiences that helped me so much and today I am more comfortable as a mother. in 2015 I want to try more fun activities with Gio; get more involved locally and take him places. I am scared of another baby coming, I have to say. My attention is 100% focused on Gio every day, and with a small baby around, if I am anything like I was with Gio when he was first born, I fear that I might not give my older son any attention. But I know that’s not me. So then I start wondering “how the hell AM I going to do this”? Do I need to hire help? Everyone and their momma keeps telling me I need a nanny. They’ve been saying that ever since Gio was born, or even before that. Part of me gets it…okay yea it would help to get a minute to yourself and take a shower without worrying if my son woke up already and is crying. I swear every time I shower the water sounds like Gio screaming to me. So I immediately run out. I’ve learned to take 2 min showers. But the other part of me is selfish. I don’t want a stranger spending quality time with my son. Why? I can see if I had to go to work. But if I don’t, why not spend every single minute with him? Who’s hurting? If they’re worried about me…screw it. I’ll be okay. I don’t know a mother that suffered from taking care of her own kid. And if they’re worried about him somehow needing a professional to take care of him…welllllll that’s a whole other thing! I think people just do it because they can. I always get the “you can afford it. lucky you so just do it”. I think it’s amazing if you can do it. Some moms are comfortable with that and wouldn’t mind a few hours or some days a week of a break and to do what they want to do without having to worry about a baby. If that’s you, more power to you. I’m glad that you are able to not lose yourself in all of this. I personally cannot do that. I’m one of those “I had a kid so my life is just going to have to wait” kind of person. A child to me has always been THE most important thing in life I could ever do/have. So I put nothing before it. And that’s not healthy either. So my goal for 2015 is to find a way to take care of my two little ones. I don’t have to get help per se, but say on the weekend or on the nights we have the kiddos, I’ll be more open to perhaps let them take charge and get a break for myself, or my hubby and I. Maybe I will be open to hiring someone for a few hours a week to help me with them while I’m there? I don’t know. Haven’t figured it out yet. But it is something I’m going to force myself to be more open minded to.

Another thing I did in 2014 (and most of 2013) was be a stay at home mom. I have never been jobless. There were times when I’d fill out applications or forms, say at the airport, when we would go through customs. There would be a question asking what my profession was…I felt so empty. I had never experienced that before. Sure I’ve had tons of useless jobs, minimum wage type jobs back in my college days, and I’ve also had the really good paying ones, salary better than some doctors etc. But it’s not the salary part of it that made me feel awkward. It’s the emptiness of it all. I had nothing to put on that line. I had no title. That made me feel sad. I often talked to my husband about it. When I was younger, way younger, living in Albania, I always thought I was going to be married to someone who had a good job and I’d be cooking and cleaning at home. That’s kind of what I saw in my family. That’s how they did it over there (things have changed now). Then in my college days I envisioned myself as this powerful, successful business woman who needed no man to live the life she wanted and I’ve always wanted the finer lifestyle. I still do. I have no shame in it. Shoot, makes me happy to have a nice house and nice car etc etc. Sure, they don’t hold the key to my happiness but I like having those things. I digress. Point is, I had always wanted that for myself. Before I met my husband I had such a good career. I was making great money, sure I never saved any of it LOL, but I felt good knowing I could do it and did it myself. Then we met, clicked, fell in love, travelled, got pregnant, married, BAM. I’m all of a sudden a housewife with no job. That doesn’t really make me feel good. I bitch about it to him every now and then. Then I think about how obsessed I am with my son, and how much I love every single minute with him, how I love to scrub the house (I have a slight clorox fetish), and how I like to cook and make dinner ready for everyone when they come home, etc…would I miss those things if I go back to work? Would I be unhappy then that all of a sudden I don’t get to do those things? So what’s better? Or is it that people, or rather me, can never be satisfied with what they have and always think the grass is greener on the other side. The last few nights I’ve been up thinking about it all. I figured there has got to be a balance. There has got to be something I can do to make me feel like I’m still ME and am doing what I have always wanted as far as the career me goes while still being a great wife, mom, and enjoying all of the family time. I have come to the conclusion that as long as I find something I love and am passionate about, that I can do it part time, and maybe from home. So in 2015 I have made it a goal to launch an online children’s boutique. It combines my passion for fashion with my love and passion for children. I love dressing my son and shopping for him. There are such cute options out there but so many of them are hard to find. So my goal is to bring it to the mommies that follow me and make it easier for them to dress their babies fashionably. It’s just something small that makes us mommies happy. I look forward to putting a cute outfit on Gio and taking pictures of me. I feel like my baby is modeling or something haha. So if there are other mommies who feel like me, who barely shop for themselves and only do it for their kiddos, then they will like this 🙂

I plan to do it from home. Just me. Part time, for fun. I plan on being one of those stores people have relationships with and feel like family. I plan on emailing the customers myself and having conversations with them about the products or whatever they need. In short, I don’t see this as a money making type of business, but rather something that gives me joy and makes me feel productive and a business woman at the end of the day. So the last few weeks I’ve done a lot of researching, trying to find all the brands I want to bring to my store, how to connect with them, setting up a name and website, logos, designs, blah blah blah. I’m getting closer though. Next week I’ll be traveling to Turkey for a tradeshow where hopefully a lot of these brands attend and I can make some good contacts. I want the best of the best. I’m not going to settle for cheap shit just to sell something. That’s just not what I’m in it for. So this mommy, her baby and her other baby in her tummy are going to travel alone to attend this 3 day show 🙂 Hubby thinks I’m nuts, but hey, I’m a woman on a mission. I really am excited about it all and it’s my next project. Not that I needed one…hell, I have the new nursery to fix, a brand new room for Gio (can’t seem to find a floor bed for him anywhere so I think I’m going to just make one…wish me luck), maternity shoots coming up, a baby shower, ohhh let’s not forget BIRTH of my next baby, FML. I turn everything into projects. I make a list of things I want, pictures of inspiration, bookmark all sites i’m going to shop from, etc. So needless to say the online shop it’s every bit of excitement I need and want. I think it’s the best platform for me to unleash my talent. (read that in a sarcastic, overly dramatic way! LOL).

Aren’t you tired of reading? Heck, I’m tired of writing. But I’m wired at the same time. There is so much to think of, plan, research. I ordered this book a few days ago called “How To Start Your Own Online Retail Empire” and I finished it all today in two hours. Bookmarked things, made notes, made a list of things I learned from it that I had not thought of. I have another book to go through but maybe I’ll read that on the plane, on my way to Turkey. I just want to do everything right. I want the site to be cute, user friendly; I want pretty dresses and cute sets for boys; I want the mommies to feel happy when they get on there, to feel good about it; I want the shipping to be fast, and the packaging to be great. I don’t want those cheap plastic bags some businesses use to ship things to me. I want it to be and feel luxurious. Well, all that requires time, effort, money, and RESEARCH. I’ve been spending two days alone (nights only cuz I don’t get much time during the day) trying to find shipping packaging companies that will do custom work for not such crazy prices. It’s impossible to find any! If you know of any…feel free to share! I’ll be grateful forever!

I plan on blogging about my entire experience with opening an online business and where/how/which sites/services/etc I use along the way to make it happen. I know NOONE likes sharing these things for fear that someone else will start the same thing and bring competition. I don’t care for that. Let’s all do it. I don’t mind! I am doing this for my own happiness. If you follow the same step and do the same thing, more power to you. Do what makes you happy. We can both do it!

And lastly, my goal is to give more. Whether it be money, donations, my time, my help, my knowledge or expertise in whatever you need, I want to help more. It makes me feel good. It makes my day. It gives me positivity and great energy. Giving is never for those who receive it but rather those that give it. I rarely talk or mention those I have helped in the past, or those I continuously help. I don’t do it for that purpose. I do it because a. I can and b. I want to c. someone helped me in the past d. i like to pay it forward and e. I believe in what you give, you get. I want to do more this year. I started with cleaning my closet and my hubby’s from top to bottom and truly getting rid of everything we no longer use. Kid you not there’s like 4 huge, black trash bags laying around our closet right now. I have made a list of shelters I want to give them to. Some are homeless, and others are shelters for abused women. I shared a bit about this on my IG page. I plan on dropping them off by end of the week. Another thing I thought of doing one morning, after I had literally just spent almost $500 bucks on just skin products and make up, is picking a mommy each month to give one of these products to. (not my products, but brand new ones like the ones I bought, for them). I picked mommies because I know first hand how hard it is to find any time to focus on you. So a small little gift like that could be the motivation or push they need to do something for them without feeling selfish or like they’ve put a hole in their wallet. Just something small that makes me feel good. I picked my mommy of the month today 🙂

In the future I plan on organizing mommy get togethers…kind of like spa days for mommies; manicures, pedicures, hair, make up, and a section for the kiddos to play with one another while professional sitters watch them. I think this would be so fun and a cute way to bond with other moms you may otherwise never met. I want to do this in different states nationally. I don’t know when exactly I’m going to get this done with all other things I got going, but I promise i will do it. Somehow.

So that’s kind of where I’m heading in 2015. Tomorrow I’m going to get started on a vision board. I’m a visual kind of girl. I need to see it, touch it, feel it and I start believing and making it happen. My last vision board was almost 2 years ago (here’s a post about it if you are interested). I am happy I accomplished almost everything on there. I got married, got a baby, got my dream home, dream car (although it used to be range rover and I changed it to G wagon), built my dream shoe closet, bought more shoes, travelled, donated, etc. Some things on there I didn’t get to. I think it’s because I no longer see them as important right now: like the AMEX black card….um really? The fu*k do I want that for? So silly stuff like that. Or the lambo. I want it still, yes. But not now. I got a one year old, and a -5 month old. Where am I going to fit them in that beautiful yellow precious little thing? So yes one day I’ll get it. Just not now. Now I have such different vision for my life. So my new vision board will help me put it all into perspective and it’ll be a daily reminder of what I’m aiming for every time I wake up!

Okay….I think this is by far the longest post yet. I never cease to amaze myself with the ability I have to ramble the F on! I’m sure I’ve lost 80% of you by now…but to the other 20% thank you for reading it. (wish me Happy Birthday on my comments so I know it’s real *wink*) And I recommend that you too start thinking about your life and your path; where you have been, where you are and where you want to be tonight, before you fall asleep. It’s good to face it all and maybe you’ll get some ideas or find the motivation to go for these things even harder than before. Sometimes all we need is a little push. If you need help with anything, email me. I might not respond right away,  but I will. Some day 🙂 Which reminds me, another thing I want to do this year is help my followers who have or run their own businesses at home get the word out there. So I want to promote their business by posting it on my page, maybe once a week. I’ll pick different ones each time. It has to be businesses I like or approve or, or that I would myself use. But that would be cool to kind of introduce their stuff to all other people that follow me. Perhaps they will like it too! And this way I can help some stay at home moms or even entrepreneur women get some free promotion for their page 🙂 And yes, it will be free. I know people charge for that, but again, I’m not in this to make a profit. My goal is to give this year!

The end. Hallelujah <3


PS. Happy Early Birthday to me! YAY. Getting old. WOMP WOMP