It's My First Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To


It’s My First Birthday and I’ll Cry If I Want To


I’ve been experiencing all of the emotions over the last month with the realization that Wandering Root’s first birthday is approaching (literally all of the emotions.) My thoughts shifted through various processes, such as:

  • “What, that’s crazy, I made it a year?”

  • “Are you serious, it feels like it’s been at least 10!”

  • “You did it, good job, keep going!”

  • “You should probably quit, you BARELY made it!”

  • “That’s a huge accomplishment, be proud of yourself and celebrate!”

  • “Your 2018 books were in the red, you should probably take less risks!”

You get the point. Anyways, I was talking to my bestie, Jenn, who graciously edits my blog about having all of these emotions coming up and told her I thought I should blog about it but I kept talking myself out of it because it felt so vulnerable. I also said that I knew I had to share it because I want my brand to be authentic; sharing the good AND the bad. Jenn encouraged me to do that and suggested I write it like I was writing her a letter. I loved that idea and eventually decided to write my past self a letter...sort of a therapeutic reflection on what this past year was for me. While I’ve leaned on so many friends and family, most of this journey has been an internal struggle to just keep going. If you’ve been following along, you know this year’s only resolution was to speak kinder to myself, so with that in mine, here I go…


Hey Bitch,

You did it. You put yourself out there and even though you were afraid to do it and thought it was going to be really hard, it was even harder than you anticipated. But it was also more beautiful and more amazing than you ever could have imagined, too. People, even strangers, gave you positive feedback and found your work inspiring. You will always be surprised and grateful for this feedback and instead of always moving on to the next thing, celebrate it! It will be good for your self-confidence and make it easier when no one shows up for your classes or events. That will happen more than you’ll like to admit but here’s a reminder that your salary or your event attendance do not equal your worth. Neither of those things make you a good person. Regardless of what you or Wandering Roots does, it doesn’t make you a better friend, wife, sister, daughter, member of society and so forth. But since we’re on the subject of friends, you will make a lot of them this year and lean on your closest friends extra hard. It will be so incredibly humbling how many love you a lot and will go out of their way to support the hell out of you. You will be so grateful for this that it will often bring you to tears.

The universe will constantly remind you that with all of the highs will come plenty of lows. You will come to the sad realization that lots of people don’t want you to grow, change, succeed, etc. Their reasons are varied, they’re scared your relationship will change, worried they’ll realize how much their life sucks, have a “lack” mindset and consider you competition. This might be the hardest pill for you to swallow and your desire for everyone to like you will make it hard to quit these relationships, but I promise you that it will be worth it. You will get better at trusting your gut and avoiding painful situations. When you hear that you are being considered competition, it will surprise the hell out of you and make you laugh. You will stand firm in your values and always choose collaboration over competition. You know you don’t want to live a life where you succeed at the expense of others and for that, I’m so fing proud of you.


You will spend/lose/waste the most money that you have ever parted ways with in your life. This will actually be the hardest pill for you to swallow because you have valued yourself based on your paycheck for far too long. It’s cool, it’s just money, you can’t take it with you when you die. You’re still an intense budget-keeper and are able to still pay your bills with ease, travel often, and purchase a cottage, so calm the eff down. There will be an ultimate low point in the fall and one of your dear friends will ask you “are you making the same mistakes?” After thinking about your answer for several seconds, you will honestly respond with a confident “no,” to which he will respond with “then you’re doing it right.” This will almost turn into a mantra for you. You know successful people will fail constantly but they learn the lesson and then get back up and get to work. You will also get annoyed with strength being over-valued and celebrated and gravitate toward people and conversations that value vulnerability and are willing to have hard conversations.

You will find out who you really are underneath all of what you were trying to be. You’ll realize you are always stronger than you think and you’ll also cry more than you ever have in your life. You’ll have the most amazing support system that are always willing and able to be there for you and this is when you will discover your true worth.

You will finally start talking about yourself and your business because you will learn the hard way that if you don’t talk about it, no one else will. You kept telling yourself it felt like gross sales-y type self-promotion but you finally realized that was an excuse. You were actually too afraid no one was going to like your brand, which ultimately means they weren’t going to like you. Keep sharing, you’ll attract awesome clients and collaborations.


Remember to accept the failures with grace and learn the lesson and then MOVE ON. Don’t dwell on it. Remember to celebrate the wins! You work your ass off and normally don’t take enough time to acknowledge that. Try slowing down. Remember to make yourself a priority. You were really terrible about this last year, try harder. You’re the only one that can do this for you. You know how important self-care is.

Remember to ask for help. You’re getting better at this, but could still use some improvement. You love helping people and whenever you’ve asked for help, it’s always been a positive experience. Keep asking.

Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. You never know someone’s full story and comparing yourself to someone never brings positive results.

Remember that you are always enough. Your initial response to stress is to still avoid it like the plague. You know when you’re better off paying someone to do the job. You are actually pretty good at multiple tasks and titles that a year ago scared the hell out of you because you were clueless on the subjects. When it feels overwhelming, break it down into small manageable chunks and believe in yourself.


Remember your why, stay true to your values, and keep going. You’re doing great things. I love you, and I’m proud of you!


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer