Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014.

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...

Travel.
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).

New friends.
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!). 

Ink.
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.

Love.
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! 

14 comments:

Elle Sees said...

here's to a beautiful new year my beautiful friend!!

HiFashion said...

I feel like I probably grew the most this year than ever before too!
Glad to hear you're happy with where you life is right now - I'm nearly there so hopefully I'll be able to say that when we head into 2016.

Rebecca Harasym said...

Your 2014 sounded like it was just wonderful! I am so happy that you got closer with your family! Family is so important and they really help us through anything! Also congrats on your career! I am sure 2015 will bring more wonderful memories and moments for you!

Rebecca
www.winnipegstyle.ca

Jax said...

I am in love with this post! I don't know what you had planned, but this came out great. I am super jealous of your traveling. One day I will go to Paris too. It's such a great feeling to realize how independent you can be, right?? :) Second, I'm so glad that you found love and I hope that it continues to blossom!!

I'm so shocked that you left teaching. (You seem to have the personality for it!) That must have been a huge decision that took a lot of huevos to make. Best of luck in your new career adventures!! Maybe you gave me the courage I need to get out of the accounting world and move on to more exciting things.

Happy New Year!!! xo

Brooke said...

Sounds like an incredible year! I can relate to your experience of traveling around France. I visited Paris a number of times years ago when I lived in England and it was one of the first times I'd traveled solo in a country with a language barrier. I really learned how capable I was and it gave me so much confidence.
I also believe that sometimes you have to let go of relationships (and other things) to get to a better place in your life. Happy New Year!!

Abigail said...

Looks like you had a blast of 2014!! I hope 2015 has something better in store for you :)

Found you in one of the fashion blogs I frequent and thought I'd give you a visit. Would you like to connect via GFC or other social networks? Let me know if that is something that is of interest to you :)

xo,
Abby
http://www.fashchronicles.blogspot.com

Kari | The Kari Diaries said...

Cheers to a new year! I'm so looking forward to having you in my 2015.
Wonderful recap post. Especially the whole new friends part because, hello... me :) Just Kidding. It was wonderful meeting you all and definitely a highlight of my year.
Also those photos are Paris are gorgeous but not nearly as wonderful as those pics of your parents. Your mom is a total bombshell and OMG your dad?! Such a sweet picture!
That Rumi quote is outstanding. Do you read his poetry? If not, I suggest you to because it's all the same beautiful words.
Happy New Year, love <3

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Happy New Year, Allison!!! Your 2014 looked great and I cannot wait to see how the new year develops for you. Looking forward to getting to know you better, girl. So glad I found you in this vast world of blogs. ;)

xoxo

Kathy@RealTalk said...

happy new year! although 2014 was a tad challenging, i'm glad that you ended it with positivity!! xoxoxox

Christina said...

I'm so glad you had such an awesome year! You grew so much and seem so genuinely happy. You deserve it! I'm so happy I met you in 2014! Here's to the new year!

Kizzy Von Doll said...

It was a marvellous year of many things for you doll!! And I know the new one will have a lot more in store for you too!! Happy New Year..I hope all your wishes and goals come true as they are meant to be!! All love to you always my dear <3 <3 <3

Sara Louise said...

This post has made me so happy for you! I love your heart tattoo, it's such a lovely sentiment :)
Best of luck to you my friend this year! I wish you nothing but wonderful xo

Ines RdP said...

hello sweetie :)
nice post!, great pics so inspiring . . .
love design of your blog ... like everything!
Tell me how about follow each other?
Let me know please, I always follow back :)
Have an inspiring day :**
keep in touch

xoxo
www.thegrisgirl.blogspot.com.es

B @ The Sequin Notebook said...

I love this post and reading about all of the wonderful things that you achieved - what an incredible year! And of course, I'm thrilled to be even a small part of it. Looking forward to creating many more memories in 2015!!!