2018 For the Win and a Better Bolder Real Chic Life


Happy New Year friends

Like many of you I dive head first into a New Year. There’s just something about goal setting, organizing my thoughts, dreams, and future plans that really gets me going. An excuse to make a list? Yes, please! A reason to reflect on all of things I am grateful for… Oh, yeah! Out with the old and in with the new? Let it goooo..in my Elsa voice.

The Breakdown

Many of you that have followed along on IG have sent such sweet messages congratulating me on a wonderful year. What a lot of people don’t know or maybe don’t want to focus on (including maybe me some days) is that 2017 started off really rough for me. In fact it was the worst-best year of my life. 2017 was like a really wealthy but mean boyfriend. It brought me lots of good things but it totally broke my heart. My dad passed away early last year and my dad was my person. Although that was devastating (and still is) I learned a few things about my tribe. I learned that people will drive hours to hug your neck in an ICU waiting room, others will fly across the country to be by your side at a funeral, and there are those who will wipe your eyes and braid your hair until you can do that for yourself again.

But Still I Rise

After my dad died I was sure nothing would be as a good as it was before, but then as if my dad was orchestrating this whole thing from above, my life began to soar. I guess I kind of felt like I had lost so much already that I might as well stop playing small. I stopped being so guarded and put myself out there more because quite frankly nothing would hurt like that loss hurt, so I rolled the life dice and things started looking all 7 and 11 left and right.

Here are some amazing things that I did in 2017:

The Highlight Reel

  • I became an O Mag Insider-a select group of influencers that work with O The Oprah Magazine. (Who me? Yup!)
  • I went on an Oprah Adventure of Your Life Cruise with Holland America Line (My Year of Go!)
  • I saw a glacier, hiked a rainforest and saw amazing wildlife (Bucket list checked)
  • I was in the Love That Chico’s fashion show with O Mag’s creative director and 10 other O-Mazing women on said cruise (which was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time).
  • I kayaked a wild wild river and took those rapids like a boss (really I just managed not to flip by boat while paddling for my life)
  • I was featured in a major jewelry line ad with PANDORA Jewelry-which was the inside cover of O Mags Favorite Things issue (Crazy right?)
  • I went to Oprah’s Favorite Things Show and did a shot with Oprah (even crazier)
  • And to top that off I flew to LA the very next day to shoot a NYDJ ad with 9 other inspiring women (Still pinching myself)
A Brand New You and Me

At some point I thought this is my moment but you know what, I don’t want it to be a moment. I want it to be my life so I am saying to the Universe this is a New Year in my New Life. I want to inspire as many women as possible to pick up the broken pieces of their hearts or dust off the dreams they’ve shelved and roll those life dice like you’ve got nothing to lose.

Okay, Maybe not New but Better

We are going to start a New You series here on The Real Chic Life where we will talk about relationships, being bold, aging, goal setting and dream making. Courtney’s going to stop dropping in as a guest and join us more permanently on our chic best life quest.  We will pretty much still share the kind of thing we’ve already been doing but we are going to do it with Intention. So, If you’ve been waiting on permission to be your best you, here it is. Let’s do this ladies! And speaking of resolving to do things better, here are my top 5 for anyone looking to improve the quality of her life whether you’re a millennial like Courtney or 40+ perennial like me.

Try Something New– My husband said to me the other day, “I love how you are always trying new things.” “Really?” I said, “Like what?” He rattled off a pretty extensive list and I said “yeah ok, but doesn’t everyone do that?” “No”, he said “most people don’t take a chance and put themselves out there like you do.” I am not sure how true that is but I think trying new things is the key to figuring out exactly who you are and what you want out of life. If you’ve been thinking about trying something new stop thinking and  just do it. Thank me later.

Make Something Better– Some people think they can’t do something that has already been done because they won’t do it well or others will think they are copying them. So not true. No one knows who the first person to do anything really was but the reality is you don’t do it to be the first, you do it to be your best. You don’t have to be a pioneer to be passionate about something or leave something a little better than you found it. Whether that’s art, philanthropy or simply your job well done. Strive to make something a little better.

Read for Pleasure and Purpose– A lot of my friends separate themselves into two categories: fiction or non fiction readers. “I like to read for pleasure” some say or “I like to learn about something new” others say. I say do both. Indulge your creative and rational side. I try to read for both pleasure and purpose and I think it keeps me well rounded.

Eat Mostly Plants– I am a vegetarian who has just gone vegan for the 100th time but what I really believe the simplest way to eat isn’t to focus on labels. Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Glutton Free…and I just heard Dr. Oz say Pegan?? Oh boy… Just eat mostly plants! You’re welcome.

Tell Someone You Love Them– If I learned anything in 2017 it’s that we don’t get a do over. You only get this one life to live and love and though I know it sounds corny, telling someone you love them is high on my daily to-do list. I have plenty of regrets just like anyone else who experiences a loss, but not feeling or giving love isn’t one of them. You’ll sleep better at night. I promise!


Until Next Post,

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

2 thoughts on “2018 For the Win and a Better Bolder Real Chic Life

  1. So beautiful reading you talk about your dad. I love how detailed, well spoken and positive you are, he definitely raised you well!

    Such a lovely read and great way to end off my night, you’ve set me in the right direction! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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