Reflection

I try my best to not have two posts like this back to back, but 2018 was one motherf***er of a year in every imaginable and unimaginable way and there’s no avoiding it. There were tremendous highs and absolute rock bottom lows, and each and every one of them deserves to be acknowledged.

I’ve done myself a disservice by not actually dealing with everything that happened in the last year – I sure as hell haven’t been willingly talking about much or any of it, and I’ve been on a writing hiatus for several months.

Family Relations

In 2018, my immediate family members and I hit an all time low in our relationships. It took one R O U G H sit down with everyone in the living room a few months into this year to finally talk about everything that everyone had been keeping in, but it was worth it.

As a direct result of that long conversation and subsequent work put in by all involved, my family now has pretty darn solid communication with one another, and we are back to truly enjoying each other’s company.

Friendships

There are way too many friendships I haven’t properly tended to in the last few years, and boy did I let some of them slide at the beginning of this year. I would like to thank everyone who has stuck with me through the bad and those who are helping me climb my way back out of the deep, dark hole I dug myself. Y’all are the real deal, solid gold, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the constant support, accountability, and tough love you all show me.

Financial decisions

As I write the heading, I can literally hear the lecture I would get from my financial advisor & grandmother if they knew half of the shit I buy in a month. This last year and a half has been the struggle of me finding a balance between “Treat Yo Self” and living minimally.

Found on Pinterest

In all transparency, I got myself into a really rough financial spot earlier this year and it was no one’s fault other than my own poor choices. I’m definitely working towards a better balance, but I’ve finally found some kind of stability, which is a great start.

Moving out of my parent’s house

Ok, let’s be realistic, everyone still has SOME of their stuff at their parent’s house, so I’m not completely out of their house. Despite that, I am paying rent and bills on top of the bills I was already paying while living with my parents and I no longer have a bed there. Now, not only do I have my family as a support system, but I have Ryan and Brandon’s support (and shenanigans) day in and day out.

Self Care – Physical

I have been severely neglecting my physical health. I had my last doctor’s appointment in October after neglecting my yearly physical (due in February) for approximately 18 months. In that time where I didn’t have a physical, I had more ER/Urgent care trips than I like to admit, and had a whole collection of not-so-stellar symptoms that impacted not only me but those around me.

Self Care – Mental/Emotional

A major thank you goes to my friends and family members who have been custodians of my health extending all the way back to when I refused to acknowledge there were any issues to begin with.

I hit my lowest low shortly after realizing that the “truth” I had been living for a year was a lie – I knew what I signed up for, and it turned out that what I signed up for was never what I received. It took until the day I walked away to realize just how badly I had my trust taken advantage of. I know that in ways I am still processing that fact, and I also know that I am a long way from being near the end of processing it, but every day I make progress.

 

The Take-aways

This year I truly did learn a lot about myself and the kind of life I want to invest in.

  • I started a new job that is the base of a career that I didn’t anticipate in the slightest, but excites me and constantly provides me opportunities to learn and grow
  • I’ve found myself building a life with another person that is a wonderful adventure filled with growth and challenges
  • I had many friendships renewed and strengthened
  • My family relations are arguably stronger than they have been in a very long time, if not ever
  • I got to travel a lot, and I already have many plans for 2019 that provide me with more balance – spoiler alert, I’m taking a BIG break from Disney trips

I’m anxious and excited to see what happens in 2019, and I know the foundation has been laid for it to be a big year. I look forward to continuing to share it with you all!

Changes

Thanks to Pinterest, I come across hundreds of quotes a day. Many of them I agree with, but few as strongly as this:

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I think back to what my life looked like a year ago, and it was dramatically different than it is now. One year ago, my dad was about to retire for the second time, and his long overdue knee replacement surgery had been completed (little did we know, he was going to be having a second one in the coming weeks). With all of this, I was looking for an advisor for a thesis topic I thought I was sold on. Thanksgiving 2015, Colin provided the turkey for our family’s dinner and we actually got to have our family gathering on the federally recognized day. Sounds like a lot of great things, doesn’t it?

Well, one year changed everything.

I watched my dad fight a horrific staph infection that required him to have a PICC line put in so he could receive Nafcillin on a drip for 20 minutes every 4 hours for 6 weeks, and (fortunately) make it out of that strong as ever without needing a third surgery. After seeing my dad flawlessly go through at least 7 other surgeries leading up to this, I hadn’t been more scared in my life with what happened (which was 100% not the fault of his replacement surgeon nor his orthoscopic surgeon preceding that).

I picked a completely different thesis topic than originally planned, and it turned out beautifully. My original thesis idea was not anything I was passionate about, and I would have hated every minute of the process with that topic. My advisors were tough and that entire semester was trying, but they pushed me to ensure the finished product was the best it could be.

This year, we effectively cancelled Thanksgiving. My Thursday, November 24 consisted of work for the bulk of my day, followed by pumpkin cheesecake and hard liquor.

I’m not meaning to sound tragic, rather, I want to emphasize the importance of being thankful for what you have while you have it. As difficult as some of it has been, I have learned so much about myself and others; I’ve had people walk out of my life I thought would be there, and I’ve had others that I was certain were gone unexpectedly walk back in, I’ve been blessed in ways that I can barely fathom, and I have experienced some of the greatest loss I’ve known in my life to date.

There is only one thing I can guarantee – my life this time next year will once more look completely different than it does right now.