Look Forward by Looking Back

Sometimes I get caught up in how I’m not progressing fast enough.

That it feels like I’m not making any progress at all.

Like I’m standing still as the world races past.

And as I watch the world race past – I feel myself become glued to the couch – unable to stand, unable to take a single step.

Because I am not where I am supposed to be.

So what’s the point?

It takes me a while to realize I’m stuck in this loop. I am becoming better at recognizing myself in that loop.

But it still usually takes me seeing a meme or a quote or someone’s inspirational true story post about how we are not who we used to be – to remind me that I have in fact, made progress.

A shit ton of progress actually.

In just this last year.

Hell – in just the last 6 months.

As I watch our bank accounts routinely are overdrafted more than ever before, I just hope that my family sees my progress.

Just this morning I had to go to the bank to get new cards because one of my accounts closed due to a negative balance and the other accounts were used to pay the bank back, so my cards for my still active accounts – were red-flagged and turned off.

3 days before Christmas.

The girls only wanted a few things this year. We are always truthful with them and don’t hide our financial situation because they deserve the truth.

But, they have been freaking rock stars this year, so we splurged and got them their #1 wishes for Christmas. There may not be many gifts under the tree this year, but we are making the most of our time together.

We just baked enough cookies to put Santa and all the elves into a sugar coma. We debated if Santa wanted regular old boring milk or maybe a peppermint hot chocolate. The 9yr old knew Santa wanted Milk.

Last year, I would have been extremely ashamed that I cannot afford our girls the world like they deserve.

I would have woken up Christmas morning with a bucketful of guilt.

But not this year.

This year – I definitely had high hopes when I took a leap of faith. I thought I would have clients coming out of the woodwork.

I am a dreamer. What can I say?

My business may not be where I wanted it to be by now, but mentally – I am the healthiest I have ever been.

This year – emotionally – I am the strongest I have ever been.

Every single day I am taking more baby steps to become a published author and a paid writer.

So I want to do something different this year.

New Year’s is just around the corner. And with that, brings New Years Resolutions.

I don’t normally make any because I know myself. They will be broken faster than the speed of light.

But next year – is my year.

Next year, I am going to finally get my shit together.

Because I am ready.

All the pieces are falling into place after spending the past 34 years searching for them.

The last piece being financial freedom.

So, I am going to do something I have never done before.

I am going to write a letter from the future of December 2022 me from the perspective of December 2021 me who has battled endlessly to get to this point in her healing journey.

I am going to look back at how far I have gone while looking at where I am going to go.

I am going to use this letter as a way to keep me motivated, on track, and as a guide to see the big picture between the small wins I will be experiencing next year.


Dear Me,

When you wrote this, you were just wrapping up a year that ended up changing everything.

You were actively healing and practicing being present, mindful, and choosing happiness over all else.

You let go of the hurts of the past. You rose from the ashes like a phoenix rising. You took a leap of faith and now you are a published author.

6 months post quitting your job – you never felt more sure of what you wanted to do, yet your financial problems kept you awake at night.

Grateful for the family around you, you avoided the idea of going back to the corporate world as long as you could.

When you nearly threw in the towel, you decided to keep going a little bit longer.

And thank goodness you did.

You invested in yourself and now a year later – are finally reaping the rewards.

But you wouldn’t have gotten here had you quit.

And you certainly wouldn’t have marked some items off your living list if you decided the path you were forging was too hard.

You wouldn’t have hit $20K income by June, or published your book that was released on your 35th birthday.

You certainly wouldn’t have lost enough weight to climb through the trees or jump out of a perfectly good airplane as your family watched from the ground, holding their breath because they know how clumsy you are.

Instead, you faced your fears in 2021. You embraced what brought you happiness. You grew strong boundaries and stopped letting people walk all over you.

And because you learned how to remain stoic when the times were tough, it set you up perfectly for this last year.

Because you made friends with fear.

You learned how to cannonball into the pool without abandon and were greeted by laughs from your children. Apparently, no one was safe from your splash zone.

2020 was scary. 2021 was healing. And 2022 was your year.

When everyone was cautioning humanity to enter 2022 carefully and gently – you knew this year was going to be your year.

You grabbed the 1st of January by the horns and you ran.

Against all advice, you set your sights on 17 goals for this year. And being the overachiever you are – you marked off one by one.

Some items took you right until the end of this year to finally complete – but you actually did it. You got to finally cross things off your Living List.

Here are just some of the financial things you set your sights on AND accomplished:

  • Earn $3k/mo by April and consistently
  • Hit $20k self-employed income by June 30th (this one took you a little bit longer but you still did it!)
  • Edit, Polish, and Publish book by June 30th
  • Commit to writing 2 biz posts/mo for Spirited Wolf Media LLC & 2 pers post/mo for Finding Anchors in the Storm (some months you wrote more)
  • Write/Publish 250K words

And because you finally put your health first, you were able to:

  • Hike all 30ish miles of Wildwood trail (not at the same time)
  • Hike 52 hikes
  • Solo 16mi backpacking trip
  • Jump out of a perfectly good airplane
  • Tree to Tree Adventure Park
  • Read at least 5 days every week

Heck, you didn’t just step OUT of your comfort one – you SOARED right over the walls that no longer serve you.

  • Enter a national photography contest – not to win, but just to be included
  • Be featured in a local photography exhibit

You were right when you said 2022 was your year. Everything you fought through and for – was worth it. Especially when you spent 2 weeks in Disneyworld just living in the present, watching your kids smile from the moment they woke up to the moment they passed out on the shuttle bus back to the hotel.

But that’s not all. The girls are finally caught up to grade level. You waffled on whether to send them back to public school. You didn’t make a final decision until the week before they were scheduled to go back. But the decision you made – was the best decision you could have made.

And now, the first 6 months of your 2023 are fully booked with clients who are excited to work with you.

Kelly, this was the year you have been hoping, wishing, praying for – for years.

It wasn’t all roses though. This year also brought obstacles you couldn’t have imagined. You still bicker with your husband, that hasn’t changed. You have given up keeping your house clean because it’s just not a big priority for you.

But your Papa’s health continued to steadily decline.

Even though you live in the moment and love him like it’s his last, it’s taken a huge toll on your family, draining everyone.

But being the stoic you are – you have helped them find happiness. You may not be changing the World yet, but you are changing the world of people around you.

And that’s all you have ever wished for.

I am so proud of you. You are persistent and if this year is proof of anything – it’s proof that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

When the storms rage around you – you lean in to greet the seas with open arms, and you wouldn’t have it any other way

2022 was the year you finally accepted your strength, your power, and your curiosity.

Adventure on with Curiosity,
~December 2022 Kelly Steele

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