A Look Back at 2017 (w/ Lots of Pictures!)

At the end of 2017, I planned to write this post but continued to procrastinate. I was slacking to share any of my writing for reasons which I deem inexplicable. I was practicing my craft. That’s all I intended to do and sharing much of it felt too soon and became more difficult than I imagined. I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day and accomplished some things with my writing and reading habits in 2017 that changed the way I live.

I completed Julia Camerons ‘Morning Pages’ over the summer, read several books on creative and non-fiction writing, started blogging, filled nearly 3 journals, 4-5 notebooks, and took many notes in Google Keep that I often forget about nowadays.

For this post, I am going to share some highlights and memories from 2017 which made it a truly remarkable year, avoid the negatives of 2017 (maybe a later post to share lessons learned, failures, etc…), and shed some insight into how I see 2018 turning out.

Where to begin?

How about with the best trip of my life; Breckenridge, CO to ski/snowboard with 20 people from Minnesota (mostly), only one of which I knew personally? (My friend Max)

 

After a disappointing finale to 2016, planning this trip to Colorado propelled my life into a positive direction and I’m happy to say 2018 is shaping up to be even better! I am grateful for all of the amazing new friends I met from Minnesota. Thanks for inviting and welcoming me on your trip to the Rocky Mountain state!

Breckenridge was the greatest vacation of my adult life and I find myself reminiscing of fresh powder, bluebird skies, countless Dale’s Pale Ales, early mornings preparing to shred and late nights, dancing and celebrating such a beautiful place. I’m disappointed I won’t be able to join you all this year at Whistler Blackcomb in BC, Canada, but I’m lucky to have joined you all in the first place. Have an incredible trip and enjoy the powder!

After vacation away in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, I focused back in at work.  I wound up leaving one company to join another and planned a vacation to Wilmington, NC to see my parents, play some golf, and attend the Wells Fargo Championship with my dad at the stunning Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina. It reminded me of what Augusta National would be like (I’ve  never been).

 

It was great to see my family, spend some time with my brother, meet some of my favorite PGA Tour players, do a little surfing, and relax on the beach!

Oh, and if you’ve never seen Dustin Johnson in a Wednesday Pro-Am smash his driver you’re missing out. Thanks for the show of hitting three consecutive drives on this hole DJ!

 

 

In March I was fortunate to have moved to Boston, found a new job in the Seaport District and fell in love with the city. I’d take the train into downtown, walk nearly everywhere, and explore often. I miss you Boston. Maybe I’ll be back soon…

Soon after starting my new job I attended my first trade show in Wisconsin. Although I resigned from the company only 3 months after starting, I had such an amazing time at the trade show that it’s worth it to share the only photo of me representing our booth at the time.

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Huge thanks to Zerto for being such a great company and providing me with the opportunity to join their team and represent a game-changing BC/DR technology in the SaaS marketplace.

Thanks to the few colleagues I met in Wisconsin who didn’t allow me to leave without drinking several beers and forcing shots of Jamieson down my throat before I caught my flight home, oh and don’t forget about the cheese curds! (Sorry for the terrible picture quality).

Only a few short weeks after returning from Wisconsin and attending ZertoCON, a conference for Zerto in Boston, I resigned from the company and set my intentions on the pursuit of an independent business venture – a Solopreneur idea – and to relocate down to Wilmington, NC to start a new career and get my financial life in order. I’m happy to report that much of my ambitions and goals have been accomplished and I’m closer than ever to living debt free.

After I resigned it was game time. I planned to drive down to Wilmington, NC with no more than would fill my car. I sold nearly everything and made about $1,000 in a matter of a week. This taught me a lot about what I truly needed for material belongings to be happy. Decluttering my life of excess material possessions helped me find much more joy in hobbies that I previously would escape to TV, mindless organizing, and non-productive tasks.

Throughout the few weeks before driving myself to NC, I did quite a bit! I wandered aimlessly throughout Boston exploring new places, trying new coffee shops, and spent some time with friends in the city. I spent an afternoon at the Museum of Science (highly recommended) and lost myself amongst the fascinating scientific discoveries and inventions of the modern era.

 

I did a 3-day water fast during one of the hottest times of the year which tested me more physically and mentally than anything ever before. I felt more alive, energetic, and clear-minded at this point than ever before. Now I do sporadic intermittent fasting a few days a week to keep my body from overworking itself and it has worked great for me since.

I attended a Tony Robbins Ultimate Wealth and Achievement Summit which had guests of Tom Brady and Julian Edelman speaking on their remarkable lives of achievement, discipline, and persistence towards becoming the best at what they do. As a Patriots fan, this was INCREDIBLE to hear live and in-person.

This was one of the most sensational moments of my life. I put aside the cliches of some people I know and their perspective of self-help/personal growth and immersed myself at this event. Tony Robbins helped to guide into a high energy state and uses his remarkable depth of psychological and physiological expertise to educate you on what it takes to live with purpose and positive energy. To this day, nearly 7 months later, I’m still reviewing the notes from this seminar and some of the techniques, strategies, and ideas gained from ONE DAY of 2017.

 

Lastly, I spent the final 3 days in Boston with a publishing company learning the ins and outs of writing and publishing a book. Thank you Black Card Books and Gerry Robert for sharing your insight into becoming an Author to establish yourself as an ‘authoritative’ person in no matter what industry or profession you are in.

Summer 2017 was phenomenal and full of growth, learning, love, and remarkable energy!

 

After an exciting (but short) few months living in Boston it was time to move. At the time this felt like the best decision for me and one that would allow me to take a step back, evaluate my life, understand what was important to me, and move forward as a better person.

I had dinner with a best friend of mine which I’m grateful to have reconnected with this year. We hung out a ton in Boston and we both realized as disconnected as we were, our lives were going in similar directions and it simply made sense. I intended to travel first thing the following morning but after we ate a four-course Italian meal topped off with some freshly brewed coffee I was convinced to leave that night. I said my farewells and hit the road.

Audiobooks ready, podcasts ready, and plenty of road snacks/drinks to keep me up! What an exciting and fun journey it was for my first road trip that was more than a few hours away. Without audio books or “voice notes” I think I may have gone crazy.

My first few weeks in North Carolina were much of the same as I was doing in Boston: Reading and writing a lot each day, reflecting, thinking, planning, and strategizing for what I was to do next. I kept up ALL of my routines from day 1. My first two months I didn’t wake up past 6AM. I limited alcohol, stayed focused on my work, started a freelance writing business, found my first client, made my first $20 on my own, and learned more than I could’ve ever imagined.

2017 was a year of embracing knowledge, accepting ignorance, and exploring my interests and personal passion more than anything else. To keep things optimistic, I used this time to discover more about myself (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) and to change the way I was living my life and my perspective of the world.

As you’ll see in the below pictures, North Carolina sunsets and sunrises are absolutely stunning. I was blown away each and every day and night by the sky!

 

Only a few weeks into July 2017 I found myself flying back to Boston with my dad to celebrate my uncle Joes 50th surprise birthday party on the beautiful Thompson Island! We stayed at the incredible Revere Hotel for a few nights and had a wonderful time!

As we were waiting for our boarding passes to depart from Boston, Lori Greiner walked into the airport behind us, though I didn’t have I time to pitch her on an idea I have, she was happy to take a picture which was awesome!

 

The return to North Carolina was different this time since I knew I had no other travel plans through the rest of 2017. I was fortunate to have found decent success freelance writing and managed to overwhelm myself with work. I finally felt deserving of the opportunities in front of me!

Only a few months into my freelance writing I realized that I was not going to be able to pay down debt and support myself doing that alone. I needed a job and spent the next few months writing as often as possible and finding a job that would enable me to continue the pursuit of my creative passions.

Over the next few months, I found myself dabbling in film/TV, practicing my writing more than ever before in my life, reading more books than I could’ve ever imagined, trying new things, exploring the area, and pushing my comfort zone as often as possible.

From surfing, mountain biking, and hiking to skydiving on my 25th birthday, I feel so lucky to have enjoyed so many amazing things this year with incredible people. 2017 was filled with so many new people and amazing experiences! Thank you to everyone!

 

I glazed over the fact that I was skydiving before. I couldn’t think of a better way to turn 25 than jumping out of a perfectly good plane! My anxiety and nerves immediately raced from 9AM the previous morning before we jumped when I called my friend Jess and asked her to jump with me. She immediately said “yes” and from that point on I knew I couldn’t back out.

Instead of writing about the moment, I’ll let some of the pictures do it justice and share a previous blog I’ve written (but didn’t share) about the experience and how amazing it was!

 

Oh, I didn’t get cut! I made it onto the TV Show Good Behavior thanks to TW Casting for hiring me as an extra. Wilmington, NC has an incredible history of film and TV. It was great to talk to producers, directors, actors, and get a sense for what it would be like working on a film/TV set for a career. I didn’t know what to expect and have a very limited film background. Luckily things worked out, I met some amazing people and hope to do more acting/film work in the future!

 

Did you find me in the pictures above? This was such a cool experience and I highly recommend you check out the TNT show Good Behavior! It’s a great story starring actress Michelle Dockery.

Anyway, 2017 has been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, and a year to represent significant personal growth, reflection, and appreciation for life.

Since I’ve been slacking on posting on my blog, my goal for 2018 is to publish all sorts of creative writing practices I’ve done over the last year and share more with you all while working on many other creative projects for the year.

It’s been a cold start to 2018 with all of this arctic-like weather home in New England but I couldn’t be more happy to have seen several inches of snowfall a few days ago here in Wilmington, NC, where they rarely see anything more than a dusting a year.

We celebrated by walking around in the snow-fall, had a toasty fire to keep us warm, beverages handy to maintain our thirst, and laughter all around.

Now it’s time to get down to business, focus on what is most important for 2018 and remember to be present in each and every day. To stay engaged with each moment and appreciate all of the happenings in all of our lives.

I’m certain 2018 will be more adventurous and exciting than ever!

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P.S.

In the interest of not procrastinating any longer, I did not edit any of the writing on this post as of 1.7.2018.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all the very best and most beautiful 2018 imaginable!

One last thing. I took these selfies a while ago and realized I looked a bit like Ryan from The Office… What do you think?

 

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