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A Year of Loving Myself 2016

December 27 2016 | CeCe Olisa

 

I opened up my laptop to write this post and I had a little epiphany.

A year ago I closed out 2015 with some personal updates and I let you know that I’d stopped dating Robert. Now I’m closing out 2016 with some more personal updates including that I’m in a new relationship with a man who makes me very happy.

But before we get to the mushy stuff, let’s dive into a few ways that I loved myself in 2016. I suggest that you first read “A Year of Loving Myself 2015” so that you can truly understand my journey. I share this list in the hopes that I can help you to live the life you want and love yourself completely. So, let’s discuss a few ways that I loved myself in 2016.

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I Downgraded My Lifestyle (Temporarily)

When I quit my job so that I could pursue my passions full time and support myself on my own terms, my optimism got the best of me. I didn’t anticipate the rough patches that come when you’re building a business from scratch (spoiler alert, the rough patches are intense). In 2016, my commitment to my dreams meant that I was working harder than ever and some really amazing things happened (I had Buzzfeed features, Rachael Ray Appearances, theCURVYcon, etc.), but some of my friendships suffered, at times my finances suffered, additional stress and anxiety meant that my quality of life just suffered.

 

Life in 2016 was awful and awesome at the same time. People would congratulate me on everything I was doing and it would take a few minutes before I even knew what they were talking about because I was so deep in the trenches that I couldn’t see the amazing things I was creating. I was just trying to be okay and keep my head above water.

There were weeks and months where I longed to be “regular” again. I would say to myself, CeCe you really left a regular job, a regular paycheck, a regular routine– to be miserable? Are you nuts?

But I couldn’t shake the bigger picture, I couldn’t shake the visions I had for myself, my life and the business/career I felt was part of my purpose. My resolve to follow my passions and support myself on my own terms was stronger than ever.

When I worked for other people my time, my career path, my paycheck were all decided for me. Now I had all of that in my hands and although sometimes that responsibility is a heavy one to carry, there’s a beautiful freedom when you get it right. So, I accepted the fact that I’d need to live a bit more modestly in 2016 until things shook out. I took ZERO vacations, I didn’t shop as much *single tear*, I cancelled my fancy gym membership for a basic one… I adjusted my lifestyle to fit where I was currently, not where I had been/wanted to be.

If you’re looking to step out on your own, career-wise check out How to Blog and Make Money

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I Got My Squad Together

I used to be the girl with 750 best friends that I shared everything with. These days, I’ve got my family and a few trusted friends and that’s it. I used to feel sad about my friend circle getting smaller, now I feel like it’s the best thing for me.

Struggling with members of your squad? Check out How to Let Go of Toxic Friends

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I Let Things Go… Even When it Terrified Me

Can we discuss how scary the unknown is?

For me, it’s pretty terrifying. Even if I don’t like something, I’ll stick with it longer than necessary for the simple fact that it’s familiar to me.

Fortunately for me, I’m not wired to stay in something mediocre too long. So even when I had a great corporate job and made decent money I couldn’t see myself spending years working in a space that I wasn’t passionate about.

Even though I was dating a great guy, I couldn’t see myself spending my life with someone who wasn’t passionate about me. We both deserved better than that! lol

Now, as I explained above, my optimism gets the best of me sometimes. So I can honestly say that I didn’t anticipate that 2016 would feel a bit chaotic for me without the stability and routine of a job and a man in my life.

Once I finally got over my fear of the unknown, I immediately severed ties with the two major things in my life (my job and my relationship).

Then I immediately panicked.

I pushed forward, but sometimes self-doubt would creep in… maybe I made the wrong choice? Maybe I’ve got delusions of grandeur? People settle in to perfectly comfortable situations all the time… don’t they?

Then my inner voice would chime in maybe THEY do… but YOU don’t.

So, I adjusted. I embraced lonely nights. I embraced tight budgets. I prayed. I kept an open mind and heart.

It was awful.

It was painful,

It was necessary.

12 months later, my business/career in 2017 is looking to be even more stable and more exciting than ever. I’m doing more Television work, I’m working with more brands, my website and YouTube channel are growing.

Need a little Career Change Courage? Read: How Kale Smoothies Helped me Quit my Job

Oh yes, and there’s a new boyfriend.

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I know you love my dating stories (and I love sharing them with you) so I’ll take time to talk about my relationship in upcoming posts. But I like him a lot and you’ll be seeing more of him if you follow me on snapchat. As you remember with Robert, I’m not the type to put my boyfriend all over social media because my relationships are precious and private to me but I find it funny that within a year of saying goodbye to one relationship I was saying hello to something that felt really right.

So, if you’re trying to figure out your dating life remember– it’s okay to compromise, but never settle.

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How has YOUR 2016 been?

I’d love to hear your stories of growth or even rough times… leave a comment and we can inspire each other!

Cheers to an amazing 2017!

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55 responses on “A Year of Loving Myself 2016

  1. KimS

    Very happy for you. My 2016 started out great but on day 16 (yes of the year) my boyfriend very suddenly and tragically passed away. We were destined for a beautiful life together and couldn’t wait to start a family. As the year ends, I look at my journey of grief, how far I’ve come and how much I have grown to accept. This is a life long journey of grief that I will carry with me my entire life… The incredible love we shared will get me through that, it is forever enshrined and safe in my heart. There is one thing I realize as the year ends and as we approach the one year anniversary of his passing, and that is that he would want me to have the most beautiful life, one filled with happiness, a husband and children. I look forward to your dating adventures, because I think I may be ready at some point in 2017, to get back on the proverbial dating horse. Happy New Year!

    1. CeCe Olisa

      My Goodness, Kim. I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine how that must feel. I’m praying for you and your journey to happiness. (Also, GorgeousinGrey.com has lots of good entries on grief for your reference). Happy New Year, Doll <3

      1. KimS

        Thank you, I will check her blog out as well. I appreciate your prayers! I actually found your blog (and several other fashion blogs) during my journey as a distraction to something that made me feel better! Always love your positive outlook and message!

  2. KL Woodsy

    Ok, so here’s my 2016 update. I was BORED to death at my very good job. My husband was out of work so quitting working wasn’t an option (we’ve got 3 kids and a mortgage). The problem with my job is that I had a LOT of down time and no real discernible career path. I took a big step and went back to school (online) at the university I left 20+ years ago.

    So for all of 2016 I worked full time, went to school full time, raised my kids (and husband) and with your encouragement stepped up my blog game.

    I found out today that I made DEANS LIST! 🎉 A few weeks ago I got a nice promotion at work. It’s a job that was created to maximize my best skills and on December 21st I received my first check from my blog!!

    I won’t be quitting my job for blogging (I like it as a hobby-but not a job). But I’m LOVING the increased attention it’s gotten from national sponsors. I’ve even been able to highlight the creative efforts of friends!

    Lots of growth and change for me. Yay!
    I am http://Www.OneBrownMom.com

  3. Tess Moore

    Urgh Cece I love your end of year posts *insert ugly cry* Last year I thought i had seen your best writing but I think you just topped it with this post. Raw and honest and so so sincere. Thank you for always being transparent. I’m working to one day earn a living from my passions so happy that you’ve given me a true account of what I might encounter! 2016 was a tough one for me, one where I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster but I’m grateful that there are always lessons and sometimes blessings in the mess. A few weeks ago my corporate job (which had been giving me the biggest stress of the year!) decided it would be best if I moved on and wanted to work an agreement out with me. Silver lining? I knew it was time to go so at least I get severance pay and space to understand what I need to do next. I’m also currently in a situation-ship that isn’t serving me the way I need it to and this has given me the push to finally end things and open myself up to something I deserve. I also started therapy off the back of your post last year and my God it’s been a lifeline! Sorry for the essay but just needed to get it off my chest so you know that these posts you write are helping shape minds and mend hearts each year so please don’t stop!
    Love your longtime ‘stan’ (lol) from London, England, Tess xxxx

  4. Samantha LV

    So great to read your end-of-year post! It’s amazing how much things can change in a year! My 2016 was chaotic to say the least. I finally passed the bar exam and I’m looking for a job to get a taste of the legal world. It’s so tough to find though so I’m a little discouraged. I have been reading your blog religiously but rarely comment, but I felt the need for this great post!! I’m also a June baby so I feel like we have those similar vibes 😛

    There have been a lot of family changes as well and I’m going to see more in the coming year probably. Dealing with difficult situations is tough and having those hard conversations wasn’t easy. I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall sometimes when communication is at a standstill.

    You seem so wise beyond your years CeCe, yet a big sister to me. I’ve always wondered how old you are, I hope that’s not too personal to ask!
    Following your dating advice allowed me to find a great guy and we’ve been together for 2 years now. Never settle is definitely a good motto!! Dating was always a struggle for me, but your blog helped me see that confidence is key, even when you don’t feel that from the get-go.
    Thanks so much for the work you do!! Lots of love from Canada xx

    1. KimS

      Congrats on passing the Bar (from one lady lawyer to another). Best of luck to you in your legal journey, it will have many ups and downs, never lose yourself!

  5. neka Jones

    The year of 2016 was also a year of growth for me. I decided to go to nurse practitioner school, we bought our first home and I am just overall in a much better space . I love seeing and reading your growth and seeing your success!!!

  6. Neti

    I read most of your posts and rarely comment. I read your 2015 closing post last year and loved it. But, this post touched the core and I am going to re-read it again. Happy 2017 to You & Yours!!

  7. Deborah

    Hi CeCe life is filled with up and downs, Girl you are such an amazing person, you didn’t settle for less, you move on and followed you dreams, such a winner.

  8. Demitres Carriere

    Hi CeCe,
    You inspire me. My 2016 has been difficult due to losses. I lost my best paying job ever and within that same month I lost my favorite uncle. I have 3 uncle’s but this one was like a father to me. Then a couple of months later I lost a very dear friend. I battle with the sadness I felt and still feel occasionally. I have had to fight to not stay in sadness. I’m reinventing my idea of work and am getting used to not having a friend like her near me. I relocated to Dallas, TX from New Orleans, La 11 years ago and I still miss New Orleans. You talk about familiarity that’s what I miss. I miss my family and my city. I have accomplished more in Texas then I had in New Orleans but it’s just not home. Of course I visit when I can due to limited finances and other factors. I am working physically harder then I did when I was in my 20s but it’s made me feel in control. One of my accomplishments this year was to co-author a book. Its available on Amazon and you can purchase it from me through the link belowhttps://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F1540341550%2Fref%3Das_li_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26tag%3Dfacebook05b81-20%26camp%3D1789%26creative%3D9325%26linkCode%3Das2%26creativeASIN%3D1540341550%26linkId%3D2072b6a9cd262e1fd19a04525126b556&h=yAQE5tKOz&enc=AZOxQz0HNcnMAo8uMhOVu88b77xFo2lFUXe33qYyq9Rwp1yLfR9Ma65Q6RM9lY-xJJ64nAb1GWizQsdI4HAW83ui9PUhvlJspqBvzH0triV0yX_QKPFxMDr_eeHLZUStN0VyDaaqaCJZgL9AWBN9r-RCkNczgA31w8HA0bcLFkUQ7Q&s=1

  9. Impurrfect Life

    So glad your 2017 is going to look even brighter than 2016. I’ve been a fan of yours for a little while and so nice to see your journey and growth. As for me in 2016 I tried something I never thought about before…blogging. With inspiration from you and other You Tubers and my hubby I gave it a try and like it. Finally a space to explore my creativity! AND in the midst of one of my posts I released another from of creativity in my artwork. Ironically my posts were seen by some friends at work who wanted to buy. So now I have a hobby that pays me and give me joy. I’ve had new opportunities come my way in 2016 and feel so much more inspired. I know what you mean about not feeling passionate with the 9-5. I’m not quite in the head space to outright quit my 9-5 however I am willing to work double time and spend all my non 9-5 hours doing what feeds my passion. So far it’s working. I’m exhausted but loving every minute. Goals for 2017- Better fitness & taking R &R time. Best wishes to you and yours CeCe in 2017!

  10. jennifersawyer

    I am so happy that you are going that direction and realized that so and so didnt make you happy! I am so glad also that you are fine and have a bright 2017. I cant wait to read more post about your style and about your life. I love that you are candid but enough to keep the necessary things to yourself. I know the feeling. Having blogs and a business you can get into a mode and people think that you owe them your whole life story. when indeed you dont. It has been a long 2016 for me full of moves and changes, I started my business and took on another job. Its hard to do this and also have job(s) but I will figure it out in 2017. Always putting god first and my life love and family is key. I am barely making it out of 2016 without an emotional breakdown and just have scratches and bruises. Its better than last year. two more days and its over. Though snapchat is downloaded I forget to use it lol But i have just added you. Happiness in the new year is coming to us all!

  11. Reo

    During 2016… I discovered you Cece!! A friend of mine introduced me to your blog and I’ve been hooked ever since! 2016 was a year with ups and downs, but mainly I’m proud that I got out of an abusive relationship with the help of family and close friends.
    As 2016 winds to an end,

  12. Alaina Nichole

    I loved reading this! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and have loved seeing you grow and blossom into an inspiration to many. You inspired me to start my own blog, http://www.sidomdo.com I’ve been following your blog post on blogging as well. Keep shining and inspiring love.😚

  13. Kalyna C

    I just started my self love journey and I love reading your blog! Its amazing what letting go of years of self deprecation can do for your soul. Its not easy but its a worthwhile journey. You go girl!

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