• Joaynna Cook

Stay Determined.




I woke up late on December 29th, 2019. I was in Colorado and I got left behind by my family who took off to go skiing. They left me oversleeping and taking the second day in a row off. It was a couple of days after Christmas and before the new year, that time of year where you are stuck in limbo. You don't know what day it is, the family has been around for probably too long, its cold, your always tired and for me, I was still trying to find my footing after returning from Europe. Those days might be the worst days of the holiday season. My anxiety ran wild. I still wasn't back in Michigan. I had been staying in Colorado for 10 days. I was so close to home but not there yet and I was just wanting to get there.


So much has happened since December 29th, so much has happened in 2020. Yet, particularly on that day, I was searching for the inspiration of a "new years resolution". I had just returned from an incredible adventure and I was feeling like there was no way I could top that. Like no "new years resolution" would even compare to what I had done in 2019. I was stepping into 2020, with NO money. Going to a job that was not exactly the most reliable. Leaving the secure full-time job at my family company to continue to chase dreams. I was moving out of the house that I lived in for free to pay rent and live with four of my friends. I was coming home to a less than ideal situation and I didn't know if I ready.


2020 was going to be the scrappiest and most uncertain year of my life. How do you create a resolution for that?


Then just as I was starting to lose my breath over the situation. I saw this. I was perfectly placed in my Instagram feed that morning.


"one of the most important qualities to develop in life is having a strong determination. at some point you just have to put your foot down and say, i am going to move in this new direction and no person or situation is going to stop me. great transformation always have a beginning."

The moment I read it I knew "Staying determined." was going to be my new year resolution. Just that plain and simple. No guidelines nothing specific. Just me stepping into my power. Putting my foot down and say "I am moving in a new direction."


I am moving to a new place.

I am moving to a new job.

I am moving to a new mindset.

I am moving.

I am growing.

I will keep moving and growing.

Traveling has been one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have done. It taught me some very specific things about myself. The first being, I am so much stronger than I know. The next, I can truly trust my intuition. The last, that most people are seeking for the same love and acceptance that you are. The sum of all three of those things is that love, trust, and acceptance come from within. You have to trust yourself enough to step in and peel back the layers finding the love and acceptance for yourself.


Waking up every day in a new place proved to me that it all comes from within. Love, trust and acceptance are the basis of my personal security. (I bet Brene Brown has researched that to be true.) When traveling for long periods of time- shit can hit the fan. You lose phones, passports and rail pass. You leave behind all the underwear that you own in London while you head to Dublin. You get terrifyingly black-out drunk in cities that you have only been in for a day. Yet, by the grace of some higher power, you aren't kidnapped and you make it out of three months with some funny stories.


The more you lose, the more things get fucking sideways on you the more you are forced to put it back together. I had to turn to myself. Rein it in. Find the love, find the acceptance, find the trust and move forward. It takes determination to step into something unknown, it takes more determination to get up after everything is fucked up and step back into the unknown. It takes staying determined to continue plunging into the unknown time and time again.


2020 is going to be scrappy, its the truth. Chasing dreams takes getting down and dirty sometimes. Yet, 2019 I plunged deep into the unknown. I am not afraid of uncertainty anymore. I am staying determined this year.

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