This past year was a full one, looking back over it I can't help but smile at all the fun adventures I had and all the opportunities I was given to grow and change. Like so many others in the blogosphere, I too am taking the time to reminisce and recap all the treasures that I will be taking away from 2013.
What I LearnedI learned a lot this year, but the one thing that sticks out most to me is, grasping on a deeper level, that finding joy and contentment in life is greatly impacted by how I look at my life. I've said it before and I will probably say it again... it is easy to compare your life, your circumstances, to all those around you and in doing that it is easy to fall into a mindset of "I'm not where I should be, or who I should be." I know I am not the only one that has battled with the comparison monster. I think we all do in one way or another. Being that I turned 30 this year, I definitely had more battles with that beast than my norm. I was hit with the "What the heck, why do my friends this age have husbands, children, houses, etc. and I am still single, waiting, wishing, hoping?" It's not that I am impatient for those chapters to start, more it is feeling like because they haven't started yet you are behind and it's because of something you've done. Going through these battles has really pushed me to recognize the blessings and experiences I have. I may not have a husband or children yet but I have an amazing group of people around me that I love and cherish and that I have the privilege to share life with. I may not have my own place yet, but I have the opportunity to save and get out a debt while living with some of my best friends. I may not have the job of my dreams, but I have a job that I enjoy, I'm meeting new people and I am learning new things. Changing the way I looked at these things has helped me truly feel happy about where I am at this moment. I am in no way satisfied, I still want more and I will continue to dream... but I am content and happy and those are two things I will not take for granted.
What I DiscoveredThis year I discovered YouTube. I know what you are thinking, "where have you been, under a rock?" No, it isn't that I never watched YouTube before, I had definitely seen my fair share of videos before this year, but this year I discovered professional YouTubers that upload weekly and put inspiring content out on the regular. Whether they be beauty bloggers, world travelers, videographers or musicians there is an arsenal of talent and inspiration on YouTube that I have just begun to tap into. To be honest, I don't really watch much TV any more. I have YouTube channels that fill my subscription box and when I have down time I watch them and learn new things and on many occasion laugh my face off.
What I ExperiencedThis year I had a few new experiences, one of them that sticks out is going back to work in a corporate setting. For the last two years I worked from home, so going back into the work force was definitely a major change. To be honest, it is recent and I am still adjusting but it is something that has pushed me to grow in many ways. One of those ways is to get back on a normal sleeping scheduling. That may sound silly, but when you are single and working from home you can pretty much set any schedule you like. I would work throughout the day but it didn't have to be back to back hours. There were times when I would work through the night and then sleep until 11am. It was like being back in college, on the days I didn't have class I would stay up insanely late and then sleep all day. Why, because I could and I also had the insane notion that I was more creative at night. So that being said, the new job has reintroduced me to 5am. I can't say I am a fan, but it is getting easier. The job has also given me the opportunity to meet new people and just interact with others. When you work alone from home, it can be easy to turn into a hermit. I've really enjoyed having co-workers again and I am hoping to make some new friends and branch out of the comfortable shell that I've been living in.
What I LovedI love that fact that this year I was able to spend time with my family and every single one of my best girl friends. It may not sound like a big deal but it is quite a feat because they all live in different States, have full time jobs and the majority of them have growing families. It is honestly something that has never happened in years past and I don't know if it will ever happen again. Being able to connect with all of them has made me feel so lucky. Not only am I blessed to have so many amazing women in my life, but I got to have fun adventures with every single one of them. I was able to make memories that I will cherish forever. This year was full of things to look back on and love, but exploring Epcot with Ashley and her family, rocking out to Taylor Swift with Erin, hitting up Universal Studios with Gerri and her two boys (along with many mini-dates on my trips home,) having sleep overs and dancing around the living room with Jess and her girls, lunch dates with Amanda, talking for hours over coffee with Rachel, exploring Knoxville with Courtney and her family, having daily adventures with Tab and her brood and of course watching my Baby Bro get married to the love of his life and getting to spend Christmas with all of my fam in Florida... all of these experiences take the 2013 cake for me.
This year has been an amazing one, while there were challenging times and scary times there were also times filled with love and joy. I am happy with where I am and who I am at the end of this year, and I am looking forward to what 2014 has in store.
I hope you all have an AMAZING NEW YEARS EVE celebrating with the ones you love.
See you in 2014!