What does abundance mean in our lives? To each of us individually?

Back in January, I declared that "abundance" would be my Word of the Year and that I would manifest it in all its many forms! A little wishful thinking? Perhaps...

Since then, lots of change and interesting happenings have come about in my life. I know it's true every year: we say, "Oh man, I did not see THAT coming!" and that year successfully becomes one of the best or one of the worst years of our life so far, and we shout it from the rooftops.

In saying that I wanted abundance, I was opening myself to opportunities and telling the universe that I was ready for it all (without fully understanding the magnitude of this ask - as usual, am I right!?).

I started out the year by receiving a message from two friends on social media telling me about this really cool studio space they had found downtown. Ironically, it was an old competitor's space. We all decided to meet with the renter and within 24 hours, our office was nearly fully set up and IKEA furniture had been built!

In March, my business was nominated for two categories in our regional "Best of the South Sound" awards. We placed 2nd in both categories and started to feel like true contenders in our community.

Things were expanding in my personal life as well. My sweetie and I were starting to think about purchasing our first home. We spoke to our real estate agent and a broker, and decided it was best to wait, renting for a while to save up for our dream home - we didn't qualify for any decent loans (I'm not complaining) and the best option for us was to save up homeowner expenses upfront and come up with the entire downpayment (seriously not gonna happen in a period of 3 months before our apartment lease was up).

Shortly after, I got an email from a past client inviting me to consider a 3-day retreat hosted in my city by a best-selling author, hypnotherapist and all-around girlboss guru who was coming to town. Although money was tight, I jumped at the opportunity and clung to abundance, knowing that everything would work itself out and that I needed to do this for my growth. Two days into the retreat, I became immediately ill overnight. I'll spare you the details, but I was frequenting the bathroom meanwhile experiencing the worst chest pain of my entire life. After a couple urgent care trips, a 3 a.m. visit to the Emergency Room, a CAT scan, two blood draws, an EKG, some x-rays and an IV, I was feeling like I was on the road to recovery! What a wild ride it was. With an undiagnosed mystery illness, I had realized what happened: my body was physically manifesting the emotional trauma I had worked through the two days prior with our hours of meditation and hypnotherapy, returning to our past selves and healing old wounds.

This was the wakeup call I needed to change my life - implementing better eating habits and eventually, I hope to get on an exercise regimen that works around my schedule. As the girlboss guru from the retreat would say: "Just move 1% closer to your future self each day."

I was also called to reevaluate my purpose on this blog and truly recenter, rewiring how I believed a blog "should be" and working to express myself in full sincerity, not chasing after SEO or the next best keyword - this is a fun space, after all! :)

By the beginning of April, we received word that the owner of my studio space was set to expand the space and wanted us out as of that fall (after our 6 month lease). We always knew this was a possibility but had hoped it wouldn't come so soon. As a group, the studio made a collective decision to wrap up our endeavors by the end of June, no longer dragging out something that was inevitably coming to an end. While I was sad to say goodbye and will miss our co-working moments, I truly didn't need an office space for anything other than meeting clients (it was a nice luxury!), so I returned to creating a home office once again and enjoying the days working from coffee shops for a nice change of scenery and human energy.

At the same time, sweetie and I decided to rent a house. This left us moving out of our tiny, cramped 700 sq. foot apartment to a new, exciting 3,000 sq. foot place we could call a home by the beginning of May - PLUS a home office with double-doors and two beautiful windows (aside from the fact that this is totally the hottest room in the house - the sun is practically hugging me!). I signed 3 ongoing retainer clients within a week of moving in and business is booming per usual.

Adjusting to this new home hasn't been quick. I'm starting to learn all of the mannerisms of the home - how it sounds when the house settles, what it's like when the blinds hit the windows on windy days, the list goes on and on. I'm also learning how incredibly vulnerable it can feel to sit alone - without WiFi or TV - in a two-story house at night, just you and your thoughts. I could jokingly apologize for this statement, chalking it up to something like #millennialproblems!, but I won't, because I know that's cutting my experience short and we all have different ways of processing experiences. The adjustment of 700 > 3000 has been intense, to say the least, and I now have so many responsibilities I never had before - plus a yard to maintain!

Most recently, I received a letter from the President & CEO of a local bank, congratulating me and my networking group co-founder, Olivia, on our success running a networking group made up of 130+ local women entrepreneurs. It's these moments of abundance - no matter how big or how little - that remind me how lucky I am to be living this life and sharing my happiness with those who most care for me. I feel like I have finally found my tribe - my folks who won't leave and betray me when being my friend becomes inconvenient for them. Through my successes, I have become very aware that I have received a great blessing of being able to weed out those who don't have my best interest at heart or support my holistic being, rather only parts of me. My past accomplishments, present accomplishments and future accomplishments are all a part of me, as are my trials, slights and regrets.

Take it or leave it.

Although I asked for abundance, perhaps I didn't know the WHOLE LOTTA abundance that was coming for me! The journey is just beginning and I couldn't be more excited to see where it takes me next. When we ask the universe for "abundance", what are we really asking for? The most well-known desires of money, power and fame? Or, a change of lifestyle to remind us of what's most important? An eye-opening experience to shake us awake? A reopening of trauma to heal?

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Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating college in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to life's problems + that all women should embrace a #girlboss mantra.