Hello again, friends. I know that this post is making its appearance a bit late, but it is still the start of the New Year nonetheless! 2014 was a year of many changes for me. Looking back I realize that I have learned so much in the past year and have really grown as a person. Though there were many good times in 2014, the year ended on a bit of a sour note. Right after Christmas I had my first (and hopefully my last) major car accident. In more ways than one I walked away extremely lucky in such a horrific situation. Such an event really put things in perspective for me and forced me to make a lot of changes in the up and coming year. Though the experience wasn’t pleasant, I think it really forced me to make certain changes that I’ve been hesitant to make. We all need a little push once in awhile, right?
After my accident, I decided to fly home to Minnesota for about a week. I literally hopped on a plane on New Years Eve, touched down in Minnesota at about 11:45pm, and rang in the New Year by hugging my amazing parents at baggage claim. I know some people might see this as a “lame New Years Eve celebration”, but it was just what I needed at this point in my life. Not an extravagant party, not bottles of champagne, not a big countdown until midnight…but just the opportunity to be with the ones I love the most.
On New Years Day I got to spend some much needed time with the rest of my family. I had missed them so much. They threw me my very own Christmas and Birthday celebration. We opened gifts, chowed down on an amazing Mexican feast, my Grandma made me my favorite butterscotch pudding pie, and we played card games all night long!
And of course the majority of my trip involved a lot of sister time. She is my built-in-best friend. We are so much alike, it’s almost scary. I know that I don’t keep in contact with her as much as I should or would like to, but this trip proved that even when we are apart for long periods of time, everything seems right again when we are back together. I love her so much.
I also made a list to hit up EVERY SINGLE ONE of my favorite restaurants! And let me tell you, I have a lot. I am a big fan of food, and I have seriously been missing all of the yummy goods that I can only find back home. One in particular is The Tea Garden. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I basically lived there in college. I also made sure to make a stop at El Tequila, The Blue Door, Menchies, Punch Pizza, and much much more!
I also had the amazing opportunity to send my baby brother off on his first study abroad experience. He spent about a month in the magical lands of Fiji and New Zealand. While standing there and hugging my brother goodbye, a lot of emotions were running through me. I was jealous, worried sick, but most of all extremely excited for him. Knowing that all of his wildest dreams that he never knew existed would come true, that he would see beautiful things that he never knew were possible, and that he would grow in so many ways – body, mind, and soul. It made me so happy.
A few days later I got a new hairdo! I mean, it had been a tradition that I would always color my hair darker on the study Monday of finals week before Christmas vacation, but this year I was going to try extra hard not to! I also wasn’t in college anymore, so I didn’t have as good of an excuse to go treat myself in the midst of the most stressful week EVER! I had it in my head that I wanted to go at least a year without coloring my hair so that I can completely grow my hair out to its natural color. But the new year had already brought on so many changes that I thought that my look needed one to. I don’t know what it is, but there is something so satisfying about reinventing yourself and treating yourself to a mini makeover. It always makes me feel like I can start fresh and take on the world!
And what better way to spend a new year than looking at puppies?!?! My boyfriend and I think that we found the perfect breeder in 2014 and we were just waiting for the right moment to give a cute little puppy its furever home. Unfortunately with my accident, I had a lot of new bills and expenses to pay, so we were unable to take home a puppy from the current litter. But I can’t wait for what 2015 has in store, because my gut tells me we might be able to finally save up for one at some point this year!!! If you were wondering, we are looking to get a beautiful blue merle Australian Shepard boy. The name of the little guy in the picture below is Nelson. He was such a cutie. I bet you can only imagine how hard it was to let him go!!!
And last but not least, due to my car being totaled in my accident, I had to make my first “big-kid” purchase…a brand new car. It took a lot of searching, it was extremely stressful, and I was under a time crunch, but I finally found one that fit me perfectly. Her name is Rosa and she is a 2013 Ford Escape. She is beautiful, she is strong, and she is sassy. I couldn’t be happier with my partner in crime that will be getting me around for the years to come!
And since it is a new year, I thought that I would take the time to write down what I have learned in 2014, and then share some of my goals for 2015. I know that there is a lot of writing below this paragraph, but I think that it might be very insightful for anyone who may want to read! I know that a lot of things have to be learned in your own way and on your own terms, but sometimes it’s nice to see some things that you might miss or not notice as you go along on this journey that we call life. I also listed a few of my future goals so that I will have it written down somewhere that I can look back on, and so others can keep me accountable. Also, it might help inspire some of you all as well!
Things I learned in 2014:
1. I learned that common curtesy and kindness is the minimum that anyone deserves, regardless of how they treat you. Not only do I believe in karma, but I also believe that if you can find it in your heart to show kindness to everyone that you meet, you and everyone will leave the situation feeling like a better person.
2. I learned that every day holds countless blessings.
3. I learned that having an open mind can in return open so many doors and present with you with many more opportunities.
4. I learned that once you accept your flaws, no one can hold them against you. This is a hard task to accomplish, but once you do, it is so liberating.
5. I learned that we all have pains, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be one. Yes, everyone has the right to vent once in awhile, but don’t let those venting sessions be all that you talk about. Learn how to confront your demons, let them go, and focus on the positive. You cannot always focus on the negatives because that will not only bring you down, but also the others around you.
6. I learned that hugs are ALWAYS helpful. Even if they are from a stranger.
7. I learn that it is impossible to please everyone. So don’t try to. There are always going to be people who want to disagree or argue with you about this, and that’s okay. Keep your mind and heart open and don’t let them get to you. You should first focus on yourself, and then extend your love and kindness on to others.
8. I learned that others opinions of you say more about them than they do you. Sometimes people are going to judge you and assume the worst of you even though they may be completely wrong. As long as you know your true self, their opinions shouldn’t effect you.
9. And most of all, I learned that I still have a whole lot more to learn. Like I said, 2014 was a huge year of change for me and it taught me a lot of things. I am so excited to see what else is in store for me as I continue to try to better myself in the year to come.
A few of my goals for 2015:
1. To do the little things for my loved ones around me. Lately I have been experiencing so much kindness from friends, family, and coworkers. One day I came to work sick and a coworker brought me back one of my favorite juiced drinks on her lunch break to help me get better. After my accident, I received a lovely little note and a Starbucks gift card from another coworker wishing that I get better and that she hoped that I have better days to come. I also received countless packages and “just because” card from my parents and my best friend back home around the holidays. After experiencing all of this kindness and realizing how much of an impact it made on me, I wanted to make it my goal to do the same for others. I think that it is important to see that the little things in life really do count the most. So cheers to batches of freshly baked cookies, random acts of kindness, and a lot of hand written cards!!!
2. I want to read more. Like a lot more. I have always enjoyed books, but I never make enough time to allow myself to enjoy them anymore. There is nothing more relaxing than sipping on a cup of tea and escaping to another world just by flipping through a few pages. It’s relaxing, it allows me to breathe, and it allows me to clear my head – even if just for a few minutes a day. I want to start to listen to audio books in the car instead of crappy radio music. And I want to read novels that help me grow as a person and teach me new things. I am making it my goal to read AT LEAST 1-2 books a month.
3. I want to go on more adventures. I have lived in Colorado for about a half of a year now and I still haven’t gone out to see what it all has to offer. I am so focused on eating, sleeping, and working that I never make time to do anything else. I always make plans in my head to travel, explore, and go on new adventures, but I never actually put them in to action. This year I want to make all of those daydreams come true. I want to see and experience anything and everything.
4. I want to be creative. This includes blogging more, taking more pictures, taking more videos, sketching, painting, decorating, and just creating. Being artistic has always been my passion in life and I have definitely not been making it a priority. Creating things and making art is what excites me, it ignites me, and it makes life enjoyable for me. I don’t know how I have let it slip away like I have. No matter how much I work or how tired I am, I want to start to make time for what I have always loved.