I am going to say something that probably won’t surprise most people, but 2016 was not my favorite year. I don’t know if I want to say that I hated 2016 (although at some times I really, really did), but mostly 2016 wasn’t about being carefree – it was more about growth. And when a year says “Hey, I’m going to make you a grow a lot.” you say, “Okay, bring on the pain.”. In a sense, I knew what I was getting into, but I didn’t expect to have growing pains for as long as I did. Probably more than half the year was spent dragging myself out of the hole I put myself in. But, bad times aside, a lot of good things happened in 2016.
Which is what we should all be focusing on, anyways.
In January I ran my first half marathon. I barely trained, but I ran the whole 13.1 miles anyways and lived to get a beer and pizza afterwards. I spent the beginning of the new years with friends and family. We took long walks and sat by the fire and marathon-ed Making a Murderer.
In February I started to play with watercoloring, and dove back into photography. I also started doing some freelance marketing work, while still working retail. I FINALLY put up my shelves in my bedroom, which was a huge feat.
In March I decided that my friends and I should go to Nicaragua and started the planning prep. I spent Easter with my family and friends at our lakehouse, and enjoyed time outside with friends. A lot of chess was played.
In April my fourth niece was born and I got to take newborn photos. I learned how to do my first yoga handstand.
In May I had a big month. I went to Nicaragua and I quit my job to work full-time in digital marketing. Both of these things were a god-send. Nicaragua may be my favorite place I’ve ever traveled to (except for New Zealand where I left my heart), and beyond that I got to go with all my closest friends.
In June I transitioned to working full-time in marketing again. One of my friends and I made a standing date every Tuesday to get together and do fun things. I got Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook and started to cook some things (big feat for me). We threw one of my best friends a baby shower. I started weekly yoga again at a new studio 2 minutes from my house.
In July I turned 26 years old! My friends threw me a surprise party and I got to go to one of my favorite places – Breckenridge, CO. I spent the 4th of July with family and friends at the lakehouse again and got a lot of relaxing in.
In August I had a rough month. But when you are in rough times, that’s when you rally and pull yourself out of the house. We had a girl’s weekend at the lakehouse with giant bird floats (as you do) and tarot card reading. I brought old friends to meet new friends in San Marcos for a tubing/birthday trip. I saw a new therapist which had a big influence on my perception of things. I finally finished painting my TV stand pink.
In September I did a lot of soul searching. We spent family time over Labor Day weekend and I got taught how to really play Pokemon Go by my nieces. We celebrated two of my best friend’s birthdays with fun celebrations! In mid-september I went to Seaside, Florida with three friends. It was a quiet trip on my end, but I got a lot out of it. I got asked out on a date for the first time in a long time, and despite it not being a good time- it was nice to hear.
In October I went on a last-minute trip to Belize with my long-time friend who I don’t normally see very often. We had the best time and I would do it again and again and again. I felt quiet in my head for the first time in months, and it was such a nice reprieve from being surrounded by social media and work. I was also given another freelance photography opportunity which was helpful for all the vacations I took this fall!
In November I feel I was given a second chance. The storm that was building all summer and early fall was turning into just a slight drizzle. It started out with a bang at a grand opening for a venue at work. New friends were made. Holiday markets were attended. I picked up a ukelele to begin to learn. My best friend from high school came to town and we took a day trip to relax and unwind. For Thanksgiving I flew up to be with her in Utah and re-discovered how much I love mountains and snow.
In December I accepted a lot about where I am in my life. I went with my mom to get a new kitten from the SPCA – her name is Sophie, and we love her dearly already. I took in a stray kitten the same weekend that only had one eye. Evelyn and I became friends and discovered we were neighbors when I found her owner. I went to the movies by myself for the first time. I had friends over to make gingerbread cookies and drink wine. I got to spend a good amount of time with my nieces, which is one of my favorite things. I took a lot of baths. I spent the holidays wrapped up in family and watched an insane amount of Christmas movies.
2016 for me was about travel and friendship. Without either of those things I don’t think I would’ve come out on top.
I got to travel internationally twice, which was amazing both times. I never thought I would go to central america, let alone two times in one year. I took quite a few domestic trips as well, and all of them were very healing. And while going back through the months, I realized how often I went to my family’s lakehouse which is really nice. I have always thought back on previous years and wondered why I only go once a year when it’s so close and so relaxing. This year I overcame that! As for my friendships – I think I made a big effort to re-connect with old friends and have seen that bloom in the past few months. I’ve also made a lot of new friendships that have resulted in a lot of fun times. It’s normally quite hard I think to meet close friends in your mid-2os, but when you do I think they make big impacts. So, very thankful for those. Also have to shout out to my parents who made this year amazing for me just by being there. I am the luckiest daughter in the world and I don’t take it forgranted.
So, despite the many nights that I wished 2016 were over (and there were many) a lot of positive things happened this year. I learned a lot about myself and look forward to putting that into motion, among other things.
Here’s to 2 0 1 7.