I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard no whether it’s personally or professionally. And I know I’m not the only one. In fact, I think so many of us can definitely relate. Most of the time, hearing no doesn’t cause me to think twice. But then there are the other times when no is the answer, and it’s the hardest thing to hear and/or see in an email, especially when that no is tied to something you want with every fiber of your being.

Recently, I experienced a no that ruined my day and caused me to feel totally off for a series of days. It wasn’t what I was expecting to hear at all, which always make everything worse, and it was tied to a huge dream I’ve had for years. As difficult as it was to swallow, it’s honestly for the best (something I can appreciate and understand after time has passed). Because yes isn’t always the answer you’re given, here’s how I’ve learned to handle hearing no when it’s the hardest word to hear:


1. Know when to defend your point of view. There is a point when you need to let something go, and then there’s a point to respectfully defend your views. If you feel like you want to explain your point of view further or if you see an area where you can compromise to meet the other person/group in the middle, say something. But realize what standing up for yourself will mean. If you find yourself thinking you’re uncomfortable making the possible compromise you’re about to suggest, don’t suggest it. However, if you’re willing to look at that compromise head on and make the change, go for it. Your no may turn into a yes, but you need to want that yes with bells on.

2. Dwell on it. I’m not joking. So often, friends, family, and people who mean so well encourage you to move on…immediately. I can’t. I’m not wired to simply move on. I think things through, and I talk about them. And that’s OK. That’s what helps me to move on with time. So, whether you’re like me or not, I encourage you to dwell on it. Think about what the experience has taught you, and what you can use from it moving forward. You’ve learned something without a doubt. By processing your experience, you may also realize there’s much more to the fact that you don’t like hearing no (or maybe there isn’t – maybe you just don’t like that you were told no. That’s OK if that’s the case!).

3. Feel all of the feelings. Particularly when a no is related to something you really, really wanted to experience, by all means feel all of the feelings. Sincerely. I was shocked, sad, and frustrated in the span of an hour…and then all of that again for a few days after that. It was terrible. But, I gave myself grace and left myself alone. I cannot stress this enough: give. yourself. grace. You will be OK again, just not right this second (…or today or even tomorrow).

4. It’s OK to fail. But you likely did not fail at all. How you view failure is entirely up to you. If you were told no but walked into a meeting confidently and honestly expressed your views, then you didn’t fail. You were honest with yourself and those who might be involved. In my opinion, that’s what you should do, and it’s also the bravest option possible. However, it doesn’t mean that hearing no is any less jarring, especially if it seemed as though everyone else agreed with you too. Can you present yourself in a different way in the future that might be a stronger option? That’s likely. But it also relates to point #2: you learned something to use down the line.

5. Switch gears. Spend time with friends, talk with family, read a book, run, catch up on your favorite shows, create a bouquet – do something that is completely unrelated to what you were pursuing. Your mind will be occupied with something much more positive, which will only help. Because it’s finally warmer outside, being able to run is invaluable to me. I’m able to work toward my running goals, which still makes me feel as though I’m accomplishing something. If you’re looking for a great book or two, I highly recommend this and this. Also, I’m addicted to “Southern Charm” on Bravo. Sorry, Charleston friends. ;)


6. Keep going. The phrase “everything happens for a reason” is one that I believe to be completely true. I also believe sometimes a door closing means you’re being indirectly protected from having an experience you would have hated in the long run. While the no means now isn’t the right moment, it doesn’t mean you will never do whatever it is you’re hoping for. Don’t give up. Keep going. Always.   

How do you handle hearing no? Do you have any tips to share?

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

…and your life. Let’s get real, it’s more for your life than anything else. ;)

I’m not a makeup girl. On a really adventurous day, I’m wearing concealer, blush, and mascara. But the majority of the time, I’m not wearing anything at all. Special events? I’ve always done my own makeup. In fact, when I went to my senior prom, one appointment after the other ran late…really late. I ended up having a whole five minutes to get dressed and do my makeup before my date arrived. I’m not joking – five minutes. I’ve never worked faster, and it made me laugh when a family friend asked if my makeup had been professionally done. Thinking that wasn’t a compliment didn’t even enter onto my radar because she’s a nice person, but I also didn’t need to question my timeline more than I already had been.

To clarify, it’s not that I don’t like makeup. I genuinely like mascara and concealer (obviously!). But when I’m in a hurry to get out the door, makeup is the number one thing that doesn’t stay on my getting ready list. I’m more concerned about my hair (as I should be). Makeup is fun, but it’s never affected my confidence…until a few weeks ago.

Earlier this year, I had new head shots taken for my website (they’ll be revealed with the rest of my updated site soon!). I worked with a wonderful photographer, and I love how they look. I feel like I not only look like myself in the photos, but I’m acting like myself – a double win. But like the rest of the world, I always find something that I don’t love about pictures of me. And I immediately wished my makeup had been a bit more visible. When The Styled Bride invited me to have my head shot taken for their website, a makeup artist was the number one professional on my must-hire-now list.

I’ll never look back. Ever.


My friend, Jacqui, is an awesome makeup artist. She’s crazy talented and also one of the sweetest people. I was thrilled she was available at the partial crack of dawn on a Sunday morning. But I was even happier to be able to work with a friend who’s also a pro rather than someone I had never met before. The first thing Jacqui explained is makeup photographs three shades lighter. Mind blown. That’s why I was unable to see my everyday makeup in my previous photos. And, it’s the #1 reason why you should hire a makeup artist for your wedding.

I went on to request a natural look, and Jacqui used products to achieve exactly what I asked. A quick tip: I said yes to everything Jacqui wanted to do. Eyeliner, curled eye lashes, bronzer, blush, #allofthethings. She’s the pro, and I trusted her. Do the same with your makeup artist. Because I was wearing quite a bit more makeup than I normally do (that’s not hard to accomplish with my sometimes three product regimen), I was nervous about whether I would still look like myself. Again, I trusted Jacqui completely, and I should not have been nervous at all. From the first moment I saw it, I loved my look. But far beyond that, I loved how I felt. I felt awesome and completely confident because I knew my look was polished. Amen. Hire a professional all of the time.

If you’re getting married or getting ready for your day in the Philadelphia area and are searching for a makeup artist, I cannot recommend Jacqui more highly. You will love your look, and you will love her. She’s fun. :) Please send me a note if you would like to contact Jacqui! I’m happy to introduce you.

I spent last Wednesday helping my friend Megan style her tables at The Big Fake Wedding in NYC. I loved being able to be creative just because, plus it’s always the best when I get to spend the day with friends I don’t get to see very often. I also sometimes experience waves where I feel as though I am the only one on an island within my industry. It’s definitely not the case, and the reminders that it’s not true always happen at the times when I need it most.

As a way to check my phone to determine the best train times and not have to feel panicked about who was standing by me the entire time in the middle of one of the busiest areas in NYC (#justcallmeparanoid), I decided to pop into Old Navy. I made the decision right then and there that I needed to wander around the store and not be so concerned about leaving the city because spring was a season that was happening as a result of their new arrivals. Y’all. I wanted everything. Bright colors! Preppy patterns! SPRING AND NOT SNOW! A few things I loved, still want, and…purchased:


 “Life is a Beautiful Ride” teeOld-Navy-Eyelet-Shirt

Sleeveless Eyelet ShirtOld-Navy-Color-Block-Sweater

Color-Block SweaterOld-Navy-Embroidered-Pattern-Pullover

Embroidered-Pattern PulloverOld-Navy-Budget-Friendly-Wedding-Guest-Dress-Floral-Chiffon

Floral Chiffon Maxi DressOld-Navy-Canvas-Field-JacketCanvas Field Jacket


The Rockstar Skinny Jeans – MintOld-Navy-Floral-Canvas-SneakersFloral Canvas Sneakers

The spring and summer are admittedly my favorite times to purchase new clothes. The colors are bright, prints are finally fun again, and I tend to want all of the things. But, I’m picky with what I purchase. I have to be blown away or at least realize that I don’t own a number of other items that are super similar (striped tops!). And, Old Navy definitely wins. I haven’t truly loved anything there for a long while, but I ended up purchasing the “Life is a Beautiful Ride” tee, floral sneakers, floral and striped infinity scarf that I cannot find online, and mint jeans. If I had a spring or summer wedding to attend, I would absolutely be purchasing the floral maxi dress! For just under $40, you cannot go wrong.

Do you see anything that you love? Oh, and some of these pieces might not be new arrivals. But they’re new to me, so hopefully they’re new to you too. Now to go back to not spending money or shopping… ;)

Hi! : ) You may have noticed that I didn’t post a new blog last week, but I needed to take an purposeful break. The week prior, I found myself working past midnight almost every night. By Friday, I nearly had a panic attack. I was beyond simply wanting to sleep in over the weekend. I felt as though I didn’t want to do anything at all once I had sent my final email. Any type of activity seemed like far too much, which if you know me is really rare. I thrive on being active. I rarely want to just be, but that’s exactly what I needed to do. So I did – I took a complete step away if for no other reason than to simply self preserve.

But, I’m back to blogging! So, an update on what I’ve been doing and what’s to come:

Rebrand: Other than being sincerely exhausted, one of the other main reasons I decided to step away last week was to work on a project for myself. I’m so excited to share I’m going to be updating and relaunching my website! I LOVE my blog, but since I started it two years ago quite a bit has changed. I have new photos to share, updated services I’m really excited about, and an overall refresh coming down the pipeline. Last week, I took some serious time to write all of my own copy for my relaunch. 1200 words later and a lot of time spent scrolling through about 300 photos, and I’m definitely on my way. I’m so excited to share more soon! Hint: Carly is Inspired will no longer just be a blog…you’ll see it as a brand very soon. Brace yourself. Or maybe I should just do that. ;)


Flowers: I love flowers. They’re always my favorite event detail, and I love creating centerpieces and bouquets. When my friend, Megan, mentioned she was taking a class to learn more, I knew I definitely wanted to do the same.  I loved the class I took because it forced me to work with flowers each week and be creative with what I made. I designed bouquets, centerpieces, and floral crowns. And I really, really loved the challenge of making each my own.

Blogging: Every Last Detail is seriously my favorite. I love the mix of information and real weddings Lauren makes sure to have on the site. I’ve been having so much fun writing for her audience, and a few of my most recent posts can be found here, here, and here. On another note, I want to live in the inspiration shoot that was posted yesterday.

Instagram: After reading Rhi’s post about social media, I decided I wanted to stop going on Instagram for a while. I haven’t placed an official time limit on it (maybe a week?), but I was feeling as though every time I popped onto the site I slipped into comparison mode. The site was taking away some of my joy and love for the wedding industry, so as of Monday I haven’t been on. Instagram has so much value. Seeing what other people are up to should be fun and inspiring, and posting my own content should feel the same way. But until I’m feeling as though I have stopped thinking in terms of what I would post on Instagram (or Twitter or Facebook), I need to take a break. So far, I’m loving it.

Journaling: I always update my planner each week; however, I’m not one to keep a journal.  But I felt a crazy need to dump everything – the good, the bad, and the just plain frustrating – into a journal on Monday. I didn’t have an agenda while I was writing. I just wrote…for a solid hour…with a pen and paper. I was shocked at how much I was holding onto, and I felt myself gaining more and more clarity as I turned each page of my May Book. Ask yourself what you want – not everyone else, but you – and write it all down. I cannot recommend this enough! Thanks to my friend, Chelsey, for the suggestion.

That’s my (ever so slightly longwinded) update for now! I still feel as though I’m in self preservation mode, because I  truly want to be back in a place of feeling and being much more positive. But sometimes taking a step away is the very best and only way to come back stronger than before. Is anyone else in the same boat?

P.S: My goal, as always, with my blog is to be as transparent as possible. Real life isn’t as pretty as what you see on social media. Overwhelm happens. Sometimes things that are supposed to make you happy…don’t. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is to lean on friends and keep going. This too shall pass.

I crave white space and clear days, and I’ve been craving both even more lately. One of the most important things to me is to focus on the fact that I “work to live” not the other way around. But my Type-A-overachieving-self likes to flip into doing the opposite. When that happens, I become overly stressed. I realize I’m not sleeping correctly even though I know I’m exhausted. I do less of what I want to do, and I focus so much more on what needs to get done in order to stay afloat. I say yes to far too much because I want to do (and feel that I need to do) all.of.the.things. It’s a terrible cycle, and one that makes me feel relieved to just write here. I sincerely hope one of you can relate!

I love the feeling of accomplishment. I love reaching higher than I thought I could and meeting my goals. Being busy is great, but feeling as though you’re being swallowed whole by busyness is really terrible. When I find myself wanting to respond with “I’m super busy”, I know it’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to create more margin, or perhaps just create margin in the first place.

Creating margin to me means not going on social media (something I find really difficult). It means fighting the urge to check my email. It means not responding to messages really late at night and trying even harder to not feel as though I need to respond on the weekend. It means getting together with friends who will make me laugh. It means that I need to stop working and do something – anything – else that will allow me to clear my mind and stop thinking.


In the winter, that means that I ski. And I become super protective of the time that I know I have available to ski. I will shuffle my schedule, stay up late to finish work, and force myself to say no in order to ski (this is the hardest thing for me to do). Being active is the best way I’ve found to relieve whatever stress I’m feeling, and skiing is one of my favorite activities.

My ski days are as challenging as I make them. I can opt to attempt black diamonds, or I can stay on the beginner and intermediate slopes in order to stay relaxed. My time is completely my own, and most often I lose track of time while I’m there. I have to be focused to avoid getting hurt (something I learned the hard way). I have to look from one side of the slope to the other to stay on track and avoid patches of ice. I have to push through fear that I’m not ready to try a harder slope because I know that I can slowly make my way down. With each passing run, I realize I’ve become markedly better at this sport since I started a few years ago…on a whim…because I knew then I needed a winter outlet that I crave now.

I love everything about skiing. But the thing I love most is that I’m forced to be completely present. If I’m not, I’ll miss the fact that I’m smiling as I make my way down the mountain. I’ll miss the fact that I’m skiing on a completely clear day, and even though it’s colder than cold, the sun is out and the view at the top is beautiful. If I’m not present, I’ll miss the fact that I’m doing one of my very favorite things.

This sport is an expensive way to force myself to create margin, but it works because I can’t be at my desk and ski at the same time. But I want to work to cultivate that same margin in other areas of my life. I don’t want to feel as though the only way to refocus is to be active (though there’s obviously nothing wrong with exercise). So, how do you force yourself to stop and slow down? How do you avoid the urge to work? How do you create margin? I need help, people. :)

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


One of my favorite blogs is The College Prepster. I love Carly’s name (obviously…), her fashion sense, and the way she talks about her life. She’s so relatable, and I would love to meet her in person in NYC. : ) Last week, she wrote a post about her favorite purchase from 2014. After reading it, I naturally starting thinking about what I would choose. I love fashion. I love shopping. But my favorite purchase wasn’t something I set out to buy. And I realized my favorite purchases are one in the same.


I’ve talked about her before, but my Nana has always had a huge influence on me. She’s one of the single greatest people I’ve ever been privileged to know and love. She influenced my drive to do well in school, and she was always eager to hear about my classes and grades. She also always made sure to attend every school event I invited her to. Pushing myself to graduate Summa Cum Laude from college was something I did for her when the idea of taking one more test, studying one more night, or trying even harder to perfect a paper seemed like way too much. But I knew she would be proud. So I finished strong, and it’s something I’m so happy I did for myself and as a way to honor her.

My Nana developed dementia four years ago during my senior year of college, and it’s as though my greatest fan and one of my best friends has been robbed from me ever so slowly much too soon. She wasn’t able to see me graduate from college, I’ve never been able to talk to her about my career (and receive advice from her that I would do anything to hear), and she now only sometimes knows who I am. But, she still influences me because, even at 93 and ailing, she is one of the strongest people I know.

She reminds me to fight for what I believe in. She reminds me to attempt to be as fearless as I can be because she immigrated to the U.S from England with my Poppy and my aunt. Together, my grandparents knew two people in this country, but they constantly believed that the best was yet to come. And her marriage to my Poppy serves as the reason why I work in the wedding industry. My grandparents have been married for over 70 years. It’s an epic feat, and their’s is an epic love story. Simply put, they never ever gave up on each other. Now, even as my Nana leans further into dementia, my Poppy won’t give up on her. Years ago he said he wouldn’t, and he hasn’t. They are my favorite example of love, and one I will forever hold onto. Side note: This song by Ed Sheeran is my favorite. It’s like he knows my grandparents. 

My favorite purchases from 2014 aren’t traditional purchases. I had my Nana’s 50th anniversary ring turned into a necklace, and my mom happened to bring home an opal ring after visiting my grandparents that I fell in love with immediately. I had both pieces altered and fitted by a local jeweler, and I almost hugged the woman and cried when I saw the results. I now wear both almost every day, and it’s as though my Nana is with me, especially on the days when I would do just about anything to really talk to her again. I’m forever inspired by my Nana, and I’ll forever believe the best is yet to come because of both of my grandparents. Wearing my Nana’s jewelry serves as a sweet reminder to keep going and know I’m still her “girl” whether she remembers or not. And she’s mine.

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

I’m a natural go-getter. When I decide I want to do something or I have an idea for a crazy dream I want to make happen, I start taking steps to make it into a reality. But that never ever means it’s smooth sailing. When the going gets tough, I start to doubt myself in a really big way. I wonder why I started in the first place; I start thinking that whatever I’m trying to accomplish won’t ever happen; I’ll even be filled with thoughts that I’m not good enough or talented enough. Side note: I loathe that word enough. To anyone who thinks I’m perfect, think again. I’m fairly confident…until I’m not. But I try to hide it to the very best of my ability.


When I’m feeling confident and when I’m fighting being enough, the importance of my tribe comes into play. In my head, I call them my girl gang. :) These ladies (…and my dad) are all business owners or best friends or family. Their affirmations that I should, in fact, keep going even when I’m in the trenches of frustration are usually what get me back on track to believing in myself. They’re all kind, savvy, talented in their own ways, and have the great ability to make me laugh. Oh, and they listen to all of my crazy. That last part might be the most important.

But there’s more. Because there’s always more.

The wedding industry is highly competitive. I’m sure that’s true of just about any industry. If you’re not feeling as though you’re competing against someone else, you likely feel as though you’re competing against yourself to be better, more fulfilled, enough. Aside from all of the aforementioned qualities of my greatest industry friends (and actual friends), there’s one more that should be absolutely noted: competition is tossed aside.

It’s freeing to know I have a group of people I can contact at a moment’s notice who will answer all of my questions without hesitation because they want me to understand the “how” and “why” behind the task at hand. They all want me to succeed, and I feel the exact same way about them. Tossing aside the feeling that you can’t help someone else for fear that they might actually be better than you is freeing because you realize you have company as you’re walking your road whatever road that may be. Company is more important. But you have to push yourself to ask questions and offer to answer them.

So how do you find a tribe?

  • Be the one who listens and offers advice…freely and without hesitation. Look for those opportunities because the person on the other end will be forever grateful to know there’s someone who wants to help. In the past week, I’ve been the one asking questions of others and the one being asked. Both sides are just as important.
  • Search for industry groups on Facebook and find likeminded people on Instagram. Even though you may be chatting online and not face-to-face, you’ll quickly realize they’re there and you’re all experiencing the same problems and achievements.
  • Attend an industry conference and network around the room. It’s always awkward to talk to people you don’t know, but it’s so worth it when you find common ground and realize you’re very much alike.
  • Surround yourself with the right people from your existing group. There are friends who are fun and then there are the ones who really get you. Have the ones who really get you on speed dial. And contact them often.
  • Contact people you admire. If you admire someone’s career, send them an email telling them exactly that. They’ll likely be flattered, and one conversation after another may lead to an awesome friendship (and a mentor).

Once you do find people you can contact at a moment’s notice, appreciate them always. Truly giving people are rare – hold onto the ones who believe in you. And always believe in them, too.

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

This year, I’m trying to anchor myself much more to being content. But this week, I forgot about that goal. HA! It’s just about the middle of the January. Logic might tell you that I just might be in trouble if I’ve forgotten about my word(s) already. ;)

I haven’t been content with where I live for a long time. I love my family and friends who live in the area. I really do love my hometown. But, I started saying I wanted to move away when I was a sophomore in college. I had dreams of living in a town I’ve always loved and being surrounded by a different group of people. I liked the idea of a new community and a new challenge. But I’ve had opportunities to make that dream happen, and I’ve turned them down. The opportunity hasn’t been what I wanted it to be; I haven’t felt ready; my financial goals were different than what I would be able to accomplish by moving; and if I’m being really honest with you (and myself!), it’s truly never felt quite right. I’ve learned dreaming and doing are different.


I’ve slowly but surely become hyper aware that I’m chasing two dreams….in two separate places. It’s hard enough to accomplish one goal, but it’s even harder when you’re not entirely focused on accomplishing it in one place. One conversation lead to a handful of others this week, and then I sat down and completed part 1 of Lara Casey’s goal setting series. There are few things that will make you feel better than writing down all of the good things that happened to you in a year. My list has over 50 grateful things on it because I wanted to keep going when I realized I was starting to feel better. Seriously, bad day? Write down what you’re grateful for or as many good things you can think of. #gamechanger

In doing this, I realized a lot of the things I’m grateful for from 2014 center around people, places, and opportunities that only exist because of where I live. I realized that I don’t need to move away in order to make things happen. In fact, it might even be far better to stay where I am. That, right there, made me feel as though a weight had been lifted. Is moving something I’ll never do? I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t think that far ahead! But I couldn’t quite place the feeling I had until I realized I was feeling content and happy and hopeful. One of my words, and half of its definition, for 2015. So, for now, I’m content with my path and even more so with where I live. I’ll take it because it’s progress.

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Through listening to The Lively Show and seeing posts pop up on Instagram, I’ve heard (and seen!) a lot of people talking about choosing one word to define their year. At first I thought it was strange. Then I decided I thought it was strange because it’s truly difficult to choose one word to anchor a year. And then I decided it was something I really wanted to do. Plus, two words came to mind almost instantly. So, I’m going with it.


I want to anchor 2015 to purposeful and content. Yes, I have two words. Go big or go home? The truth is I couldn’t decide, and they both have separate meanings to me.

I could feel the difference between 2013 and 2014 last year. But I couldn’t pinpoint the actual reason why I felt the year was different. My conclusion: 2013 was more purposeful. Don’t get me wrong, last year was filled with tremendous professional growth and the opportunity to see a number of new places. But I felt like I wasn’t choosing my own direction. I felt as though I was delaying making independent decisions in an effort to see how other people’s choices would impact my own. The result: that’s not a very good idea.

This year, I’m reverting back to how I acted in 2013. I had major goals that year that were not entirely centered on professional growth. That’s exactly why I loved that year. I flew by myself again, I ran a half marathon, I attended an awesome conference, and more. I made those choices because I didn’t want to be so focused on my career and where I was or was not headed. I want to remember my motto that I “work to live” not the other way around.

So, purposeful and content:

Purposeful – having or showing determination or resolve; having a useful purpose; intentional

Content – in a state of peaceful happiness

I love that intentional is part of the definition of purposeful. I definitely want to be intentional with my choices and my time. Much more so than I have been in recent history (I’m looking at you, social media). And content – that has possibly the best definition ever. Being content with my life and it’s direction is very difficult for me. I want to know if things are going to work because I’m working hard to make them happen. And I get frustrated when I don’t feel or see the growth that I think should be occurring as a result. I’ve already been reminding myself of both words for just over a week, and so far so good.

I’ll share more on how they relate to my goals for the year once I finalize what those look like. I will share one though that I know will stay in place for sure: stay off of social media in the evenings unless there is a defined purpose in visiting Facebook or Instagram (i.e.: I’m posting something relevant to an event, asking a pertinent question, or responding to someone.)

Are any of you taking part in the One Word Challenge? I would love to hear what word(s) ;) are defining your year and why. Let me know in the comments!

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2014

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

I haven’t blogged for a while, and just logging in for the first time in a few weeks made me happy. I miss this site because writing is cathartic and creative to me, so a quick post about 2015. :)

This past year has been the biggest one for me professionally. I made a ton of contacts, I worked a number of weddings, I was able to design floral arrangements for weddings with a local florist (a serious highlight!), and I realized why I truly enjoy marketing and events. I said “yes” countless times, and I’m forever grateful for all of the opportunities 2014 brought my way. In fact, many of those opportunities are continuing into the New Year. I’m forever grateful. Really and truly.

But if you read this post from last year, you’ll remember that I love New Year’s Eve. It’s hopeful and fun and in my case usually really relaxed. My favorite years are when I’m able to ring in the New Year by watching fireworks over my favorite beach. What I don’t love about the New Year is my fear of turning the page…to a completely blank one. January 1 overwhelms me because I have an intense desire to set goals and have new dreams in place for the year. I feel as though I need to start striving and doing instead of just letting myself be. In reality, there’s nothing special about January 1.

So, I’m going to let myself be. However, the other overwhelming thought I’ve had as I approach 2015 is I don’t want to lose sight of what’s important to me at my core.

There was once a time when I had to be busy all of the time because I couldn’t risk having the ability to think. Now, I crave space and free time. I value it because space and free time allow me to rest, recharge, and come back stronger. But space and time don’t happen if I’m not intentional about them.

Lara Casey’s new book just launched yesterday, and I cannot wait to read it. But my biggest takeaway before I’ve even purchased my copy or read the first page is I need to revert back to living my life on purpose.

Writing and reading and running and traveling and walking on the beach and spending time with friends and family (all of the things that mean the most to me at my core) do not happen by chance. But at times in 2014, I feel as though they did happened “by chance”. That’s what I want to change in 2015. I want to live on purpose again.

I want to say no to saying yes to all of the things. I want to be intentional with my time, so I can say yes to more space and time doing those things that allow me to feel like the best version of myself. I want to carve those things into my schedule first and work around them (not the other way around). I want 2015 to feel just as fulfilling professionally, but I want it to feel equally as fulfilling personally. I don’t want to simply check things off of a list. I want to make sure that list has direction.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in terms of goals for 2015. To all of you who read my blog, comment, and cheer me on, I love. Always. Creating space and living on purpose will allow me to write more. Because this my blog is something I love. It’s also something that’s going to be getting a small makeover very soon (that picture at the top is your sneak peek ;).

Happy 2015. I hope you ring in the New Year doing something wonderful. As my best friend told me, your new year starts when you want it to. If that’s on January 1, go get ‘em. If not, sit tight. I’m right there with you…on purpose.

Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter