Ms. Travel Chic: 2012 Year in Review: What I've Realized....

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Year in Review: What I've Realized....


This post is different from my normal. Beginning Jan 2013 this blog will be changing a bit..for the BETTER! In 2013 I will be bringing you weekly posts on travel deals, host guest bloggers and incorporate some faith based and life updates. I'm also working on some merchandising! Keep hanging around for all the fun:) 

This post is powered by #BLMGirls. Learn more about #BLMGirls HERE. You can check out other posts from #BLMBlogHop by visiting the following link: BLM Holiday Blog Hop

Now on to the post...

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. 
Ecclesiastes 5:18
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1

I’m always excited about the end of a year! Why?
1. Gives me time to reflect on all the great (and not so great) things that happened
2. It marks my birthday! (NYE baby in the house!)
3. I get a chance to hit RESET

At the beginning of this year I decided not to make any resolutions. Instead I just decided to be more fearless, confident, positive, focused and enjoy all that life was going to bring my way. I wanted to be open to allowing God to work in my life without giving him all my rules and demands. So as the year comes to a close I'm thinking back on the great year I've had and what I've realized:

I've realized: 1. Good friends are a blessing

As I've gotten older I've learned to use the word friend loosely. This year I had to let some people go. I didn't make an announcement, I didn't "unfriend" them on Facebook, I didn't block their number. I just simply limited my communication and moved on. Some people I just grew apart from some I purposely separated myself from. I decided I was no longer going to allow some people to be attached to my destiny.  I used to be that girl who was validated by my friends, always needing a group around me, always running to them for advice, always expecting them to support me. That girl is now a grown woman who has come into her own. Now when I think about my REAL friends who I know will be there for me no matter what, I can count them on one hand and I'm perfectly okay with that:)

I've realized: 2. God REALLY can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself (Thanks Oprah)

In May of this year I started my own marketing consulting company (I still work full time too). I wish I could tell you about an awesome business plan I put together, mentors that helped me get started and big time clients that came to me but I cant, it all just kind of "happened". I knew I wanted to use my passion for Marketing in a different way than what I was currently doing but I didn't know how and frankly at times doubted my abilities. So I just prayed. 

Then I made a connection with a guy who was looking to promote his newly released book. Before I knew it he was asking for my advice, which I gave and then he asked "How much do you charge for your services?, how can I hire you?" WHOA! I remember sharing with a friend what was going on. He reminded me of what I prayed about and to "not despise the days of small beginnings"(Zechariah 4:10), so I just went with it. Before I knew it I was drafting contracts, booking events and attracting more clients. This year I've been interviewed on the radio (listen here), expanded my client base, made great connections and got my client booked on a national radio show! Mind you I still don't even have a website yet lol. God is AMAZING, I can't even keep up with all HE is doing in my life. God has shown me I've got even more great things (beyond my business) on the inside of me that he wants me to share with the world. It can be scary at times thinking about the vision he's given me and the opportunities coming my way but I'm finally able to embrace it and keep dreaming big!

I've realized: 3. The path to finding true love has to begin with self love

So umm yea my love life.. *deep heavy sigh*. Lets just say this, I'm so glad God blessed me with the strength to overcome because the men I've dealt with in my past..frankly, I should be in the crazy house and hooked on Xanax! This year I ended a "relationship" (although I really could never call him my boyfriend *eye roll*) , briefly dated a few guys "below my standard" (desperation is from the devil) and started happily seeing a guy I'd been "crushing on" only to basically drive him away because I got "in my feelings" and went crazy (not cute!) Look, this ain't been no easy ride!
However sometime this past Fall I realized I cant keep doing this. This is getting old, and so am I! I own a responsibility in the slight dysfunction that is my love life. I decided it was time to dig deep and get to the root of my "men issues". I didn't have time to book Iyanla Vanzant to "Fix My Life", so I prayed, spent hours on the phone with my sisters (they're a blessing), took GOOD advice from friends and sought WISE counsel. I also got comfy in the self improvement section of Barnes and Noble. No shame! These reads transformed my mindset : Ms.Typed, The Gifts of Imperfection and Mastery of Love

(I highly recommend) 
What I realized is that my issues are unfortunately rooted in having an absent father. Although we reconciled when I was 18, it was frankly too late, he passed from cancer when I was 21. Not having him around all those years lead to insecurities, feelings of unworthiness and a fear of abandonment. Aside from my "daddy issues", feelings of shame because of weight gain and carrying guilt from past mistakes were all uncovered in my self discovery. Put all that together and add in a man with his own issues, a successful relationship it does not make. 
Being transparent about my issues isn't easy but since I'm now free from the opinions and judgement of others, I'm willing to do the work to become whole. I don't just want a man to have one because that's easy. I actually want a secure, positive and successful relationship and that begins with loving me more. 
"Truth, forgiveness and self love are the path to healing" ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
In the last few months I've met some good guys and have been able to keep my emotions in check. So I feel I'm rounding out this year better than where I started:-) So I didn't find "the one" this year. Maybe I already know him, maybe I haven't met him yet. I don't know and I'm no longer worried. What I do know is that forgiving my father for not being there, embracing my imperfections, knowing my worth and letting go of my need to control only brings me closer to my "Happily Ever After." I will be a wife one day, but there's no need to rush, I'm still a work in progress. Until then I'm enjoying the journey of dating and remembering to love myself every step of the way.

So yes, another year has passed and I didn't get engaged or married , have a baby, get a big job promotion or lose those 35 (ok, 50!) pounds. Instead I started a business, indulged in wine and food in the Tuscan countryside, bought a timeshare, discovered my life purpose, learned the gift of goodbye, experienced personal breakthrough and fell in love with ME again. This was THE BEST YEAR EVER.

2013- LET'S GO!

Ready for 2013? Leave a comment!

Wishing you blessings and prosperity:) ~ Toya Nicole

2012 Highlights via Instagram:)

I fell in love with Cabo, bought a timeshare and kissed a dolphin!


Spirit lifted and hope renewed at Joyce Meyer Women's Conference with Sarah.


I explored Italy and London with great friends!
 I had a photo shoot. Fancy!


I attended some great concerts


I embraced my natural hair and changed it A LOT:)


  1. Toya ~ I've enjoyed "following" you around the world on Facebook. Thank you for sharing so many personal details about your personal journey. I wish you the best in 2013!

    Devin W. Blackburn

    1. Hey Devin! Thanks so much. Wishing you an awesome 2013 too!

      Happy Holidays:)

  2. Good friends a definitely a blessing! So what type of merchandising are we talking out in #blmhop Andrea @

    1. Thanks for hopping over! Still in the works but possibly some t shirts, passport cases, travel bag and travel guide. Praying and planning on taking things to the next level in 2013:)

  3. Hello Toya,
    I love to travel and will be following your site. Continued blessings for 2013!


    1. Thank You Robin! You can also find me on Facebook at and Twitter @lnicoletweets.

      Happy Holidays!

  4. I loved living through you this year via phone, text and email but particularly Facebook! You are - as I've always said - a true inspiration. You are faithful and persistent, honest and compassionate, undeniably headstrong and unbelievably driven! In college, I was constantly in awe and a bit envious of your determination; after you've claimed something aloud and prayed, no one can hold you back. I admire that. And I'm glad to see that you know you are exactly where God wants you to be. Keep loving. Keep living. And keep excelling. #awesomeness =)

    Love you, girl!


    1. Aww friend! I can always count on your for an encouraging word friend! Love you to pieces forever!