28 was a hell of a hell of a year. It had lots of ups and lots of downs, but you learned so much that you will carry with you forever and use to make 29 incredible too.
First off, you married your best friend—and you two have never been happier. The day was incredible, you smiled more than you ever have before, your husband was a dream in his tux, your reception was exactly the dance party you wanted, and there was only one tiny hiccup in the day (which you oddly saw coming in a dream a few days earlier). You also made it through wedding planning. That was an experience that taught you a lot—mostly that it’s awful and something you’re very happy will never have to happen again!
And, you didn’t just get to attend your own wedding this year. Oh no. You got to be a part of eight others, too. You stood by your cousin’s side as her Matron of Honor, read a beautiful reading after watching your person get ready to marry one of your oldest friends, watched three other college friends get married, wish you could have been there to celebrate a beautiful day for another, traveled across the country, and more.
Speaking of travelling, it was an incredible year for that too. You visited Florida twice, Cortland, Chicago, Ithaca, Ocean City, Jersey Shore, Anaheim, Pasadena, Plattsburg, San Francisco, Napa, Kenwood, Dublin, London, Berlin, Venice, Murano, Florence, Sienna, the Poconos, and Cancun. Each experience included memories that you will always cherish and your Honeymoon in Europe was an adventure unlike any other.
While all of these celebrations were so special, preparing for them was a hell of a challenge. With 4 weddings (including your own) and a minimoon in 8 weeks, you had to be more organized than ever, stick to a strict budget, lean on others for help, plan ahead of time, and most importantly BREATHE. You did it all and 2018 ended with you celebrating an unforgettable year while watching fireworks and drinking champagne in Venice with your husband.
While all of this was happening, you also maintained your brand new blog, With Cheryl. Sometimes you tend to forget what an accomplishment that is. You created a website, wrote and published 50 different posts, had your first podcast interview, wrote for Career Queen, attended the Blog Her conference where you met other incredible bloggers that you’ve learned so much from, and have been working on some pretty exciting stuff that you can wait to share with your readers. Sure, some days you question why you put yourself through this at all (more recently than ever), but when you hear that a reader applied your advice and it changed how they operate, you remember why this is so important.
But, as wonderful as most of 28 was, your world was also rocked after a great loss you and your family never saw coming. This year, you lost your Gpa, a man whose hugs were like no other, voicemails made you laugh for hours, and turkey carving skills couldn’t be touched. Your Gpa always reminded you that you deserved all the happiness in the world, laughing at yourself was admirable, and that you were always his “#1”. I’m still not sure how our family will move on from this loss, but I do know Baby Leilah, the most beautiful little girl who came into our lives just 6 days ago, will somehow show us how.
Before I go, I want to thank you. Thank you for always learning, consistently taking on challenges, growing from failures, and realizing how important it is to surround yourself with love, positivity, and the people who matter the most.
29, you have a lot to live up to, but we both know how much we love a challenge.
To read last year’s letter to me, click here.