New Year, not Quite the Same me

It’s been WAY too long since I’ve written here, I’m sorry for that, but 30 has been a really tough year. In 28 days, I’ll be 31-years-old, and I’m making a promise to myself that 31 will be better than 30. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some incredible moments in the past year, I went to Jamaica with the love of my life, and then in March I took him to Florida for Blue Jays Spring Training – both trips were amazing. Today, we’re thinking about taking a trip to South America or Europe and we’re hoping to go to Vegas in 2019 to see Aerosmith, one of my favourite bands and one I’ve never seen live; although in our first year of dating he took me to see Steven Tyler at the Sony Centre and it remains one of the best dates I’ve ever had. So, I’m not entirely unlucky but it’s still been a really tough year.

In January, after MONTHS of being chased by a new agency, I quit my job and accepted a new role that I was really excited about, by April we parted ways, as the entire strategy team was slowly laid off; I felt like I’d failed. My career has always been a source of pride for me, I decided I wanted to work in advertising when I was 16 (after realizing that I wasn’t quite cut out to be an actress) and I’ve been working pretty much non-stop for the past ten years, I love my job. So, at 30-years-old I felt like I was starting over again. I took some freelance contracts and things started looking up – but I was still feeling down. I missed my old team, I felt like leaving was a huge mistake, and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d failed. Today, I’m in a new role and it’s not quite what I thought it would be, but I’m hopeful that things will work out. Work may still be in flux but I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I’m still doing freelance work for a friend of mine and as I approach my 31st year I’m once again beginning to remember why I chose this career.

I read a post recently by someone who challenged the old adage that, “Advertising doesn’t save lives,” because it can. Look at Colin Kaepernick and Nike, a bold statement can improve lives, can make people feel strong, can change the social and political conversation. I picked this line of work because advertising is the intersection of business and art, and that gives me hope for the next year because no matter where I end up I’m still lucky to work as a strategist in this incredible industry.

Beyond, the work drama I’ve also been struggling with my health. I was diagnosed with esophageal ulcers in 2013, I had SO much trouble keeping food down – I’d walk down the street and all of a sudden, I’d be struck with the need to throw up, it was humiliating, people thought I was drunk; because only drunks throw up in the middle of the street, right? Since April I’ve been dealing with a resurgence, my ulcers are meaner than ever and despite trying several different medications NOTHING is working. My doctor has been trying to get me an appointment with a specialist, but it’s been hell, between summer vacations and long waiting lists it’s been impossible to get an appointment.

Today, we have a preliminary diagnosis of GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) which means that I’m closer to a solution. I’m hoping that by my birthday I’m no longer struggling, and I can enjoy a meal without the burning chest pain, aching stomach, and violent nausea.

Because of the work and health drama, I’ve fallen off the fitness train, and I’ve been feeling terrible about myself, I like working out, but when your world seems to be crumbling down around you it’s the last thing on earth you want to do. So, I’m recommitting myself to Beachbody and starting a new fitness program on Monday, four days a week 40 – 60 minutes a session. My goal is to feel more comfortable looking in the mirror, to see myself the way my amazing boyfriend does, as a strong, beautiful, woman.

Here is what I’m promising myself (I hope you’ll hold me accountable) in my 31st year of living:

  1. I will find the joy in my work again.
  2. I will find (demand) a solution to my health issues and celebrate with at least one of the delicious things I’ve been avoiding (or suffering through) for months… probably pizza, I LOVE pizza.
  3. I will follow the LIFFT 4 Beachbody program and share my results with you here (seriously, hold me accountable).
  4. I will share my stories with you at least once a week, writing has always made me feel more like myself.
  5. I will stop saying mean things about myself and celebrate the things that make me awesome. Because, I am a strong, beautiful, woman, and I control my own narrative.

There are other things I plan to do during the next year but those are the big ones. Those are the ones I NEED to do. And I’m sharing it with you here because I’m ready to start blogging again, the good, the bad, and the ugly, whatever that may be. Of course, I’ll always share my travels and adventures here, but I’m not going to be afraid to show you my flaws anymore. I’m not perfect, and 30 was the hardest year I’ve faced in a long time, but I’m ready to make 31 the best year ever.

What are you struggling with? What are your goals? Leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing. And, here’s a photo of an orchid because they are beautiful and they make me smile.



  One thought on “New Year, not Quite the Same me

  1. sharlene hunter
    September 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Shannon your beautiful writing touched my heart and I am sure your will help others to reach out as well. It is brilliant. Writing is a gift I am so glad you have decided to share yours with the world.

    • September 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Mama!

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