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Best of 2018 + Lessons I’ve Learned

2018 was a yet another whirlwind of a year.  I became a first time auntie, spent my 33rd birthday atop a holy mountain, released my new ebook, Beginner Vegan, returned to our island home after being separated from it and my husband after hurricane Maria, spent my free time working a fruit farm, moved closer into the rainforest, helped with two beautiful weddings, lived and traveled in a camper through the ring road and beyond in Iceland, brought presents to the children at a home in Kenya with my love, expanded our businesses together, and delved deeper into meditation and mindfulness which have both been significant game-changers for me.  Here are a few highlight pictures from the year.  I am so beyond grateful to be able to spend my life creating and relishing from the deep well of love, strength, freedom, and exploration.  Thank you for being a part of my journey and allowing me to share some of the things I love with you.

Baby Darron.  Le sigh.

Spending time with baby bro before he moved to LA and I returned home to St. Croix.

Little lady’s first snow.  This island pup was not a fan.  Despite blistering sunshiny days, Nala will still sunbathe so the snow was just shocking to her.

Seal watching on one of our last days in the west fjords of Iceland.  We had successfully completed everything on our list we had set out to do and were driving back towards Reykjavik when an obscure turn that really should not have caught my eye did and we decided to amble down its rocky path just to see and was greeted with pudgy, playful seals playing in the water and bathing on the rocks.  It was such a sweet way to end the trip.

In between were many days of exploration, hikes, dinner parties, sailing trips, lazy beach days, concerts and festivals, new friends, and lots of good food.  But don’t be fooled, this is real life, after all.  It also involved panic attacks, weeks of torrential rain storms accompanied by power outages and and weeks of down phone and internet, work stress, mishaps and miscommunications, “crying days”, dishes that broke or things that got lost.  Here’s the real highlight though.  With each year I work diligently on my inner demons, traumas and hurt, the stronger and stronger I get.  The point here is that I can learn from my triggers, rain can most certainly bring on rainbows, being disconnected without phone and internet can help you appreciate the silence and simplicity, stress can be seen as part of the yin and yang alongside happiness and I’ve learned to distinguish the differences between distress and eustress (also, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger), mishaps and miscommunications can be primed as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and refine your output and connections, sometimes it does a body good to cry, and dishes can always be replaced as can those things that are lost.

2019 is going to be the best year yet.  Trust me.

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2 thoughts on “Best of 2018 + Lessons I’ve Learned

  • Liz Santiago says:

    Hi there, I happen to come across one of your videos about life on STX. My husband n I are planning to move there next year. We could use any advise in making this move. Thanks.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Hi, Liz! You’re in the right place. I have dozens upon dozens of blog posts and videos about STX. You can tailor your search under the St. Croix tab/category on my blog or check out my St. Croix videos playlist on my youtube channel. I also have a very comprehensive e-book about how we moved here, what to do when you get here and everything in between ranging from the logistics to the fun stuff and my personal favorites (restaurants, beaches, secret spots) + useful information that I wish I’d had access to before we moved here. Island life can definitely be tough, especially here but being properly prepared is key

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