Look back 2017

Holy cow, how many look backs do people actually read? Everyone seems to write them in some capacity. And do authors write them for themselves or for external recognition? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I’ll be the first to tell you, writing this is purely selfish. I didn’t do it for you.

Why put it on the internet then, Michelle?

Great question. Honestly, I have guilty pleasure of reading personal blogs. Not those fashion, beauty or whatever they mean by ‘lifestyle blogging’ blogs, but candid, rough, TMI, uber personal blogs that can only be found in low volume corners of the internet (or through that weird hit or miss Instagram Explore page). I’m captivated by digital displays of vulnerability.

So this is an attempt to not just be a consumer, but a participant in a practice that I believe to be the most precious output of technology.

Blah blah blah. Here’s what I picked up in 2017…


It’s great when you find a church with a pastor you love, but it’s more fulfilling to find a church with people you love.

This was the first year I showed up not because I was obsessed with the message or the person giving it, but because I was obsessed with the people (90% of them I didn’t even know). After a lifetime of Christianity, this was the year I figured out what it meant to be the church and not just attend it.

The serenity of travel isn’t hung upon how much you see or do but the quality of time spent with the ones you love. And sometimes your friends don’t need protecting, but instead accepted and embraced for who they are.

2017 was a crazy travel year with weekend trips between St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, and Wisconsin (go Badgers!), to adventures in Colorado and Maine, all leading up to three continents (!) in two (!) months this fall. I even biked across the state of Iowa again and up a piece of the side. I’ve been all over the place, seriously.

Nothing beat sitting in an authentic Andean hut with my friend cry laughing over the pictures we took of the days before. Only then did I recognize that five years prior when we met was one of the best days of my life.

On a similar note, you only regret the pictures you didn’t take. And I’m lucky I picked up so many gems this year.

$5 candles smell just as good as $40 ones, but quality moisturizer is well worth the ticket.

Nothing like a friend to say your bougie Dark Neroli/Lotus Flower scented candle smells identical to some of the fireside candles at Bath & Body Works. Good thing only I can vouch for the magic Fresh moisturizer does on my face. It rocks my world.

Having deep friendships is better than having many. Plus, you forget to count when they’re woven with quality.

I was on a date this year exchanging in one of those pre-functional/total auto pilot conversations when I was interrupted by “Wow, you have a lot of best friends.” Shoot, I do! I have my best friend from middle school, best friends from college, best friends from my department…

I didn’t realize how rare that was until I grew up. Witnessing for my friends elopement in Germany next to another friend from Denmark who I met in Dubai was kind of a the apogee for this personal revelation.

Be fierce (and fiercely devoted). The last thing the world needs is hesitation.

I’ve always been blessed to experience the full scale of emotions and while it can be exhausting not just for me but those around me, it’s has made growing up the most exciting thing ever. What started off as a super dark year has ended on this very deep high and I love connecting the dots back to moments when God really showed up to prepare me for His plan. Guys, He’s a total artist.

I low key think the world’s been rigged for me. But the truth is, I think it’s rigged for everyone.

Don’t make decisions out of fear.

I negotiated my first piece of real estate this year which was completely thrilling and stressful at the same time. I think I’d rock in sales if I didn’t also want a strong work/life blend.

I also continue to implement a new piece of technology at work in which I consistently teeter between thinking it could be the best thing to hit process management to meh, there is no way this thing is going to work.

Anyway, I’ve committed to not making decisions out of fear simply because I’ve never regretted anything I thought through rationally understanding the risk.


There’s the holy seven. I’m 23 so it’s technically my Jordan year, but in reality 2017 has been more of a Draymond Green year for me — I had to work for it, but it’s paid off pretty big.

Plus, my geriatric kitty is still kickin’ which is reason enough to celebrate.

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