I had a whole New Year's post envisioned in my head, I really did. It was where I would outline the goals I have for the year, and where I want my life to head, but then I really stopped and thought about it, and I'm so happy where I am right now. For the first time in forever, I look at my life and I'm thrilled with where I am, and where I'm going. Obviously there are always areas where you can grow and improve, and I'll probably post about my goals at a later time, but right now, I want to just embrace the fact that I am so incredibly fortunate with how I'm wrapping up this year.
This year has been one of pretty continuous growth, good and bad, easy and difficult.
2014 brought me...
I went to Paris and the French countryside where I learned that I can manage on my own and get by even with a language barrier, as well as make connections with people I meet.
I went to Philly on the first trip with Anthony, where I learned how much fun it can be to do touristy things, go new places, but revisit some of the old, eat everything and walk everywhere, and reconnect with old friends.
I went to the Catskills, where I learned that when you love someone, you can spend five days with them and never get tired of it, and then miss them when you're not together anymore (and I also learned how much I am now obsessed with House of Cards).
A better relationship with my family.
Ever since moving out, we laugh together more, share more together - one of the most meaningful conversations I had in 2014 was when I had my mom over for dinner and we ended up sitting and talking about all of these things we had never brought up for years and years. I left that conversation feeling so close to my mom for the first time in a long time, where we were completely honest with one another. The more I grow, the more I appreciate everything my parents did so that my brother and I could live an extremely privileged and fortunate life, and the more I grow to like them as people, not just as parents.
Love you, mom and dad (and glad you don't read my blog to yell at me for these pictures).
I met some incredible people this year, who I now consider to be very good friends.
This was even more meaningful for me as I did cut ties with some people I was once very close to, in the spirit of continuous growth and not allowing myself to have negative influences who bring me down in my life any longer. As I've said in previous posts, I truly believe that by removing the negative people from my life, I opened up my life for positive influences who are actually happy to see me grow and do well in life.
Growing comfortable in my own skin.
As I've never really hidden, I have suffered from body image issues for a very, very long time. While I'm ridiculously hard on myself, I'm working on giving myself a break, examining the good parts of my body, and working out more so that I can enjoy without the guilt. To help the process, I hung mantras of self love and acceptance in my bathroom cabinet (and on the mirror for when I have an event or function and feel shitty about myself) just so that I'm constantly reading words of positive affirmation. While I'm not entirely there yet, that's definitely a 2015 goal - to continue to love myself, despite weight gain and the fact that squats make my thighs bigger. Let's all take the 2015 pledge to cut ourselves some slack and embrace who we are (and do what we can to feel fabulous about ourselves more regularly - I'll always be a cheerleader for hot yoga!).
I finally decided on tattoos - I knew I wanted something in memory of Poppy, but for the longest, I couldn't decide what I wanted. I finally had the artist copy over an exact drawing of a heart that Poppy would draw on every single card he ever wrote any of us. I also got a lotus flower to signify the need for constant growth through all circumstances.
A new career.
I left teaching mid December to start my new position as a corporate trainer for a very well known financial institution. It's a huge, huge jump and was really bittersweet, as it required me to leave some fantastic coworkers who I grew ridiculously close to, but already, I'm learning new things, have had countless lunches and happy hours with my new coworkers, and am making significant strides in an up and coming position with endless growth potential.
This year taught me that things happen so unexpectedly, and in ways that sometimes you still may never be able to wrap your head around. I still want to pinch myself sometimes, because I have never felt luckier or happier than I have since Anthony and I started dating. It's funny, because once I reflected and really thought about what I wanted/needed in my next relationship, and fell in love with myself/identified areas that I could improve and grow from, it seemed like this introduction to a relationship materialized. I now have someone who shares the same values as me, who encourages me and is so supportive that I don't even have words for it, who is open with how they're feeling and is dedicated to work on whatever needs to be worked on, who is good looking and motivated and smart (I legitimately could keep going.. and am grateful that right now he doesn't read my blog to see what I mush I can be).
I have become one of those mushy people who is so blissfully happy in their relationship that I legitimately have nothing to say when friends complain about their relationships - and not from disillusion, but from genuine comfort and stability in what we have.
A new, more positive mindset.
One of the biggest things that I did for myself this year was to work on changing my mentality. I had been in this very negative spiral the year prior, and for whatever reason, it clicked this year that in order to move forward and grow into who I really wanted to be, I needed to change my own mindset and gear myself towards more positivity and less bitching and moaning. It's still a complete work in progress, because there are days when I am a miserable human being and am also miserable to be around - but most days, I can take a look at the good, try to see the silver lining, or truly embrace the fact that everything - literally everything in life - can be a learning experience if you look at it that way.
This shift in mentality hasn't always been easy - in fact at first it was super hard, and there are still areas - like body image - that I struggle with and am learning, but I wouldn't change how I feel now on the majority of days for anything in the world.
To close out this year, and a year where I was better at blogging (but want to do even better come 2015!), I want to leave you with some inspiration for a very positive start to the new year (just don't forget, you can make changes ANY day, month, hour, whatever that you choose - don't limit it to one day and get hung up if you slide back!).
While I don't put a lot of weight on the "new year" meaning it has to be my best ever, I'm looking forward to more love, laughs, vacations, problem solving, time with friends and family, brunch, wine, and new experiences.
How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I'll be spending mine dressed up (in all black, as per usual) with people I have a ton of laughs and good times with, eating too much, drinking champagne, and laughing until 2015 (I know I'm not a mind reader, but based on past experiences, I think this is a safe bet).
Happy New Year, beautiful friends! xox
Currently listening to: As many EDM end of year podcasts as I can get my hands on (aka that have Soundcloud accounts). I've made my way through 3 of them before I left for lunch today, so onto the next ones!