Best of 2017

Life

Like every other blogger in the free world, the end of the year is prompting this Best of 2017 post. Since I just started my blog this summer I’ve never done this before, but I love seeing the rest of the blogosphere take this opportunity to reflect on the past year. So I’m jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and sharing the most impactful moments of my own 2017 experience.

#1. I quit my job.

This was such a huge deal, and without question the most important moment of the year. I’d spent the last nearly 15 years working myself to the bone to climb the ladder of a Fortune 20 company, and had been very successful. My salary was over six figures before I turned 30, and before I’d even finished earning my degree. The problem was, I was miserable. As a single mom, I’d missed nearly every milestone in my kids’ lives and was so tired of feeling guilty every time work and life collided. So I walked away…and haven’t looked back.

#2. I graduated.

My teenage years did not go according to plan, and I didn’t go straight to college out of high school. Instead, I got married (and quickly divorced) and became a mother. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I decided to pursue a degree, and in May of this year I finally graduated. This represented the completion of years of balancing schooling with work and motherhood, and I actually cried with relief and joy. I am SO PROUD to have my degree in business, even if I didn’t finish earning it until after I quit my job.

#3. I adopted.

dog, puppy, adoption, pet, family

A puppy, that is. My boys have been begging me for a dog for years, as boys do, and I’d always told them it wouldn’t be fair to bring a dog into a house where no one was usually home. When I left my career I surprised them with our little rescue puppy, who quickly stole their hearts. We named him Winston Churchill, and he’s a big snuggle-bug that we can no longer imagine our family without. Pets are a lot of work (and mess), but they more than pay it back with loyalty and love.

#4. I started writing.

So, I’m a nerd. I love to read, I love to write, and my idea of a perfect night is watching Jeopardy with a cocktail. I love business and was very good at the traditional corporate gig, but my secret dream was always to be a writer. When I left the only job I’d had since high school, I knew it was now or never so I launched this little blog and started sending freelance pitches. I’ve since sold my first piece of freelance work, and have three loyal readers of my blog (my twins and my best friend, lol). Success is on a much smaller scale, but I am a thousand times happier.

#5. I chopped off my hair.

hair, brunette, pixie, long hair, haircut, locks of love

I have always had long hair. It was the one thing I always got compliments on, and as an insecure female who’s never been accused of being a natural beauty that was a big deal. I’d always secretly wondered what it would be like to have a pixie cut, and my Pinterest boards were full of Emma Watson looking like an absolute dish with her super-short hair. After I quit my job I was drunk on freedom and pulled the trigger, going from waist-length to pixie in a single snip. In the process I discovered that I have course hair and a crap-load of cowlicks (and will thus never approach Emma’s ability to pull this look off), but I did something I always wanted to do and that was a very brave thing for me. And even though the aesthetic isn’t quite what I’d hoped, some amazing little kid is now sporting my hair thanks to Locks of Love so it’s impossible to regret it.

So that’s my year in review, and it was a whopper in my book. Most people would consider it a step back, and I can’t even count how many people have told me I’m crazy for walking away from such a great career, but I accepted that my definition of happiness is my own and that it’s up to me to pursue it. I may find myself flipping burgers in a few more months when my savings runs out, but I’ll do it cheerfully knowing I gave my dreams a chance. Besides, it’s honest work and everyone’s got to eat.

Cheers to 2018!

xH

14 Comments Write a comment

14 Comments

  • Duia January 22, 2018

    oh, looks like your 2017 was your year, so eventful and inspirational!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com January 22, 2018

      It was a big, scary, crazy year…here’s to hoping 2018 is great for both of us!

  • Angela December 29, 2017

    Reading this post was so inspiring! You should be so proud of yourself. You are the definition of a fighter and someone who knows what she wants in life. I am rooting for you!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 29, 2017

      Thank you, Angela! This comment made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post, and I wish you the happiest of new year’s!

  • Sarah Tapley December 29, 2017

    I couldn’t be more proud and inspired by you!! You are amazing in every way!! I’ve looked up to you for years and continue doing so!!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 29, 2017

      It goes both ways! You are one of the strongest people I know, and I am so lucky to call you my friend!

  • Mirlene | Savory THoughts December 28, 2017

    WOW!!!! I love your story. I look forward to the day I can walk away from my job. Though I am blessed to have a wonderful career, It is not my passion. Funny you mentioned cutting your hair; I am looking forward to mid – January when I can sit in that chair as tell my stylist to go for it. Your story is an inspiration. Good luck in 2018. looking forward to reading more!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 28, 2017

      Thank you so much, Mirlene! That’s awesome that you’ll be making the change with your hair…it’s transformational in a lot of ways. And I’ll be rooting for you to trade in your career for something you’re really passionate about one day soon! Happy New Year, and thanks for taking the time to read my post!

  • AmberLynn December 28, 2017

    Well, it seems that 2017 has been an eventful year for you. Congrats on your graduation (I just graduated with my degree 2 weeks ago). Best of luck and much success to you in 2018! Happy New Year!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 28, 2017

      Congrats on your graduation as well! Doesn’t it feel great to be done? Happy New Year!

  • NIcole December 28, 2017

    Heather,
    It sure sounds like you had an amazing year. It took a lot of guts to quit your job (and maybe even more to cut your hair – which looks great by the way), especially when you’d been working so hard to climb the ladder. You’re right though, you really need to do something that makes you happy. Much of your story mimics my own story – right from getting married, divorced and becoming a mom when I’d planned to go to school to quitting my high paying job to spend more time with my son. So, I really know how big of a year this was for you. Great job! And good luck in your next year 🙂

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 28, 2017

      Thanks, Nicole! It’s so good to know I’m not the only “crazy” one out there. I hope 2018 is a banner year for you as well!

  • Katie/Celebrating With The Bug December 28, 2017

    Congratulation on graduating!!! What an inspiration you are to women everywhere!

    • hmellick4@gmail.com December 28, 2017

      Thank you so much! I’m SO happy to be done! 🙂

Leave a Reply