We here at Pretty Southern proclaimed 2017 would be the Year of the Warrior
Little did we know that the fight is only getting started. If there’s one common feeling we can all share as this weird and wonky year comes to a close, it’s how we all questioned our identity this year. Who we are, what it means to be an American, our place in this world…questions we’ll probably continue to ask throughout out our lifetime.
Despite all the negativity in the world, our future is still very bright.
We got the phrase “Year of the Warrior” from our pal, Michelle Khouri. She created her own adventure in 2017, leaving her full-time gig as a magazine editor to pursue independence as a freelancer. Watching from the sidelines as Michelle has pursued her passions has been awesome, and I’m rooting for her just like I am you, dear reader.
And while we’ve all had our own wild rides in 2017, as frustrated as we may feel about some of the things that happened this year, Michelle has more words of wisdom for our future.
2016 was the year of the caterpillar
2017 was the year of the cocoon
2018 will be the year of the butterfly
Y’all dig that?! I certainly do.
Since college, I’ve always been a fan of writing ‘year in review’ posts. They are such a fun way to recap highlights from the past year, preserve memories, and reflect on tougher times.
When I sat down to write this post, I wanted to give a big ole “Fuck you!” to 2017. There was a lot of shit that went down this year y’all. My cousin, Paisley Rosas Langmeade, was killed by her husband, who then killed himself. It devastated our family, especially since they were both only in their 30s.
R.I.P. Paisley. We love you and will always miss you.
Coming to grips with the fact there was nothing we could have done to prevent what happened to Paisley is still an impossible pill to swallow. Then there’s all the other insanity happening in the world that makes me feel so helpless. Terrorism, genocide, mass shootings, the evil lunatics who rule our world. Dave Chappelle said that North Korea would be our generation’s Vietnam, and I’m pretty sure he’s right.
But then I remembered my mama’s words she told me after Trump got elected. Mom told me to think about how I can leverage all the goodness I have to be a positive force for change. There’s so much about this world I want to see improved upon, and if there’s one thing that 2017 taught me, it’s that we all are capable of anything if we put our mind, heart, and soul into it. I’m a firm believer of Gandhi’s quote:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
With that, I want to take a moment to recap some very cool moments of 2017.
I Became Atlanta
For a brief time this year, I was Atlanta. Thanks to Chris Watkins for letting me be part of the Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau’s #DiscoverATL campaign, this photo we shot together on the Jackson Street bridge overlooking downtown actually became the first image in Google’s search results for “Atlanta”.
And that same photo was featured on the side of a MARTA bus. There was a Friday afternoon back in the summer when I was leaving work for the weekend. This summer was awful after losing Paisley and it was a particularly rough week. I’m sitting in the car heading home and this MARTA bus rolled by with my picture on it. I’d heard about these buses rolling around town with friends sharing pictures on social media, but it was the first time I’d seen it in-person!
I’m not trying to be an asshole and brag about this stuff—it just seemed like a message from the universe saying, “Girl, you’re doing the right things. Keep it up!” Lord, at least I hope so.
Speaking of doing the right things 😉 On Valentine’s Day, my husband, Kevin, and I were named one of Atlanta’s Startup Power Couples by Hypepotamus. Getting to work in the up-and-coming world of Atlanta’s tech startups has been an absolute gift from God. If you’d asked me 10 years ago when I was first out of school what I wanted to do, marketing for startups never would have crossed my mind! It’s lead to some other pretty cool opportunities.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to get to know Stefanie Diaz this year. We first met when she interviewed me on her show Mastermind Your Launch on BusinessRadio X (replay here) and then Stefanie launched the Women’s Only Entrepreneurs (W.O.E) network here in Atlanta. Stef—girl—you’re doing amazing work and it’s been a blessing getting to know you.
There were so many other amazing moments from this year, too many for one blog post, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to all the Atlanta media mavens out there, especially Caren West PR and her team: Chad, Lauren, and Caitlin. The folks at CWPR hosted the best events of 2017. From happy hours at Atlas at The St. Regis, charcuterie and cocktails with Maureen Petrovsky at City Winery, the Urban Daddy party, and my all-time favorite charity fashion show Jeffrey Fashion Cares, I’m so excited to see what 2018 has in store.
And if you wanna hear more from my sassy ass, check out my first (probably only) standup routine.
So to officially close out the Year of the Warrior, I have to say thank you
Thank you, reader, for being part of the Pretty Southern story. Thank you for following along with our adventures over the past few years. Thank you for your support and always being there to help. We’re here for you and here to help change our world.
We’ll see y’all in 2018. Have a blessed and happy new year.