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  • Juliette Angelo

New Year, Same Me, Just Better, And Blonder

What a difference a year can make, right?

I saw a post on social media that said to compare your first selfie of 2020 to your last selfie of 2022. I went from a messy green haired girl holding an alcoholic drink to a nearly 2 year sober blonde haired lady with a glass of sparkling apple cider.

I don't reflect as often on my life as I probably should, mainly because I make a conscious effort to live in the present moment. Time moves so fast sometimes I wonder if it's even real. This past year has simultaneously felt like an eternity and a minute. Entering 2023, I am finally living in happiness, which does cause life to move a lot quicker. I am no longer struggling with myself, or with my circumstances, or with my past. I am eagerly approaching the future and appreciating the present. But dang, time flies.

This time last year I was about a month away from releasing the podcast that changed my life. I am so grateful for Hope is the Bird and the emotional, physical, and spiritual freedom it granted me. 2022 was one of the most intense cycles of my life, but looking back, I realize - despite the pandemonium surrounding me - I was always safe and protected. My trajectory was crystal clear - liberate yourself, take control of your life, be a part of the change, take time to process and heal, move forward.

Stepping into 2023, I feel lighter than ever. I have a world of opportunities at my doorstep. I am surrounded by great friends, I have a peaceful home, and I am excited about my future. I feel like I am back in the land of living, finally. With a social life and friends and fun. Fun is fun!

There are cycles in our lives that are more challenging than others. I believe they are preparing us for our future. Last year allowed me to fully step into myself. I let go of the version of myself I wore to survive. I no longer silenced myself out of fear of being disbelieved. I am so unbelievably proud of myself for taking initiative of my life and stepping into my power. In doing so, I found out others true colors, learned that family has nothing to do with blood, and that life is a mysterious and wonderful thing.

I learned about boundaries, I learned about standing up for myself. I learned that others will act like you are hard to deal with when you are not easy to fool. That real friends stand beside you no matter what. That it is okay to outgrow relationships. That love isn't and shouldn't be scary.

I do not censor myself anymore in fear of being 'too much'. I do not pay any mind to those who attempt to defame me. I do not feed into any negative energies that try to infiltrate my life, as I have learned from experience that feeding them is exactly what makes them multiply. I've learned that people only attack you because of their own internal struggles. Nothing negative said to me or about me has anything to do with me. The freedom that comes with knowing that fact altered my entire perspective, and allowed me to look at those attackers with greater empathy.

I remember walking into 2021 feeling defeated. As if I had nothing to live for, and no where to go. Like I kept running into this brick wall within my mind. I couldn't think towards the future, I couldn't think, period. I was trapped in this haze of pain and confusion. I felt completely disconnected from myself and my body. I spent every day just floating around. Stuck in the clouds. I was so miserable and alone.

I wish I could give that girl a glimpse of the life I have now. Grounded, healing, excited and optimistic. Not knowing the path, but knowing it is an amazing one. Completely at peace with just living. No more chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow. Recognizing that the gold is within me. The rainbow has always been over my head. (Thank you, Kacey Musgraves.) I hope all of us can see that one day.

Happy New Year. Let's celebrate this gift of life and step forward with grace. Practicing gratitude for the opportunity to experience another cycle. 2023 is a year full of magic. I'm calling it.

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