Goodbye, 2014

Of course I want to write about my 2015 goals (that’s coming next, possibly even today) and the hopefulness of a new year to live, but I couldn’t let 2014 go without some reflection. It was a year full of transition and new things, full of growth, and full of beauty. It ended with my all time favorite New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had. Fancy food, sparkly clothes, beautiful friends, sparkly beverages in fancy glasses, a photo booth, packs and packs of sparklers, and a sleepover. At our New Year’s Eve sleepover with the lights out, in our pjs, and laying on our floor beds (aka air mattresses, but floor beds sounds more Gossip Girl-esque fancy), we took turns verbally reflecting on 2014 and spoke our focus(es) for 2015 out loud. My short summary for 2014 was it was my best year yet and every year continues to get better.

Two days later I had to get out of the house to get my 2015 goals on paper and had a moment where I knew with every fiber of my being that 2015 was going to be another best year yet. Spoiler alert: One of my 2015 goals is to work out, like for real. I joined the gym three days before the new year and had been every day since (at the time four, now eight!). The rain, a little soreness in my legs, my cozy bed, more episodes of Gossip Girl to be watched, and my tummy ache all gave pretty convincing arguments to stay in. Once I got the the gym, more cars being there than I’d seen yet also argued for me to go back home. But I didn’t. Once upon a time going into a crowded gym would have terrified me. But I went. Then I took myself on a lunch/afternoon reading/writing date to McAlister’s during lunch rush hour. As I sat in a booth by myself with my books and journals and pens, excited and happy as can be, I realized that I would have never done that, or gone to a crowded gym by myself, a couple of years ago.

Jesus changes everything. There is nothing more empowering that to realize you’re not who you once were and though you could name a million things you want to work on, you like who you are now enough to confidently walk into a crowded gym by yourself or take yourself on a lunch date during lunch rush hour. The more I accept and embrace Jesus’s love for me, the more loving myself feels natural. No self help book or makeover could do that for me, only Jesus’s unconditional, relentless, scandalous love for me could. That is why every year since Jesus has captivated my love and affection continues to be the best year yet despite bad days, messy days, hard days, and giving up days. So before I post about my goals, hopes, and dreams for a new year, I want to remember and recap the great year that just ended.

2014 Things:

  • I went three months without a car and had to learn to depend on people and let people help me
  • I jumped on the Downton Abbey train, binge watched, made cute tea sandwiches while I watched, and then realized I could never binge watch a full hour long show with no commercials again and quit Downton Abbey.
  • I watched Frozen more times that I can even count and meant to write a series of blog posts called “Life Lessons From Frozen” but never finished them.
  • I wore my hair in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s day (and will probably do it again this year).
  • I saw a vehicle two cars in front of me try to shoot at another vehicle.
  • In January I notified the job I had worked at for three years that also happened to come with an apartment that I would no longer be working there as of May.
  • I freaked out a lot about not knowing what job I was going to have in May or where I was going to live or who I was going to live with.
  • I watched God answer tons of prayers for my fellow coworkers who were also leaving and myself about jobs and places to live.
  • I baked a lot of cookies and cupcakes for a lot of different things.
  • I got to pray with a sweet girl named Jasmynn as she decided that following Jesus was the best way to live her life.
  • I said goodbye to a job and season of life that I loved where I got the mentor some of the most amazing girls I’ve ever met and watch them grow because I knew God was telling me that it was time to move on.

  • I started a new job and moved into a HOUSE!
  • I turned 31 and had a magical fairy garden birthday party involving fairy snacks and watching Hook on a big sheet stapled to my house in the backyard.
  • I said “see you later” to people who had truly become my family and some of my best friends (my fellow RDs) as we all parted ways.
  • I watched God answer my prayers for roommates who would be like a family and provide accountability in unexpected ways (and get to live with two friends I’ve know for 10 and 12 years!).
  • I fell even more in love with my church family.
  • I liked a guy and he kind of maybe sometimes liked me back and we sort of went on dates that weren’t really dates and then I got confused and decided I liked being single more than being confused.
  • I experienced beautiful, deep, loving accountability.
  • I came back to Jesus a lot.
  • I learned more about living on mission and for the Gospel.
  • I met two new friends who are now my besties and I can’t imagine life without them.
  • I was a jerk, a lot.
  • I learned a lot about myself from living with people for the first time in 5ish years, and it was and continues to be a messy and refining journey.
  • I stopped being afraid of selfies.
  • I started wearing makeup semi-regularly as opposed to only on special occasions.
  • My nail polish collection traveled to the 300s and I finally stopped buying so much nail polish.
  • I got 5 new tattoos (current total is 9).
  • I had a freakish 3 day sickness where my lips and fingers turned blue.
  • I braved church on Father’s Day for the first time since I lost my dad.
  • I finally learned how to save money.
  • I started a college girls’ group with my roommate and aforementioned new besties to love on and invest in a younger generation of women.
  • I hosted a Welcome Autumn Party to ring in the first day of fall.
  • I acquired a really awesome firepit thanks to my brother and with my roommates created an amazing backyard space.
  • I had a lot of dinner dates, coffee dates, and girls’ nights with all the amazing ladies in my life.
  • I had another magical October 14th, one of the best yet.
  • I got asked to be in a fashion show (and chickened out).
  • I survived another November, my hard month.
  • I got to spend Christmas with another friend’s amazing family.
  • I WENT TO HARRY POTTER WORLD and took myself on my first real vacation as an adult.

I realized way more days than I didn’t that I love my life even with the hard stuff, even though I screw up, even though I’m single, I LOVE MY LIFE! I love my life because though I still stray from my Savior, I always go back. Though I still am a sinful mess, I don’t live in a pit of self-condemnation and shame anymore. I’m free. My life is abundantly full, the hard days make me aware of my need for my Savior, and that makes life beautiful.

Cheers to you 2014. You were a great year!

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