When the beautiful Miss Allie Jean (http://www.allisonbellucci.com) tagged me to participate in this tag, I didn't yet have a blog to post it on! Now that I do, I have zero excuse to refrain from taking on the challenge! So here goes nothin, a true reflection of 2017 and hopes for the New Year!
Top 3 Accomplishments of 2017
- This first on this list has got to be graduating freaking COLLEGE! Earning my undergraduate degree was such a huge accomplishment that I am genuinely so proud of. I graduated from CCSU in May of 2017, and despite that general time conveniently being one of the more difficult times in the year for me, I walked across the stage with a smile on my face, family in the audience and a degree in hand. My senior year was TOUGH on many levels, but I somehow managed to graduate with a GPA I can be proud of, my name on the dean's list and best of all, ON TIME - in just 4 years! Thanks to my incredible parents who made college financially possible for me and for my dance team for making it the greatest experience I could've ever hoped for. Staying home and commuting to Central was the best decision for me, and I miss it dearly (sometimes) ;) I really don't think my time in school is done at all, though...I hope to go back for my Master's in the near future, stay tuned!
- Getting a new job! My life has been rocky as hell the past year and truth be told, I've been all over the place emotionally, physically, mentally, you name it! Not even a full two weeks after my graduation, I moved to Oahu, Hawaii (I'm 99.9 % positive there will be many posts on this in the future so bare with me on the brief mention of this here) where I was not actively working, other than some pop-up, inconsistent babysitting jobs here and there, and where I was updating my resume, linkedin account and cover letters weekly, dying to at least be PREPARED for a potential job. I was so anxious to get to work, find a "big-girl job" or honestly, at that stage of my life, just keep myself busy and have my own agenda again. I missed school so much in the summer because I was lacking my own schedule, routine and purpose. I learned so much about what I require in my day-to-day life to keep me going, keep me sane, and a purpose was definitely one of them. When I eventually moved home to New England after just a quick couple of months, I needed change, FAST. I needed money, I needed to be busy and I needed to get to work. I felt lazy, bored, anxious and like everyone was staring at me, waiting for me to make a move. The pressure was definitely on to do SOMETHING with my life, even if it was just temporary. So, we got me a new car, and I applied for a job as a Special Education Para Educator at an Elementary School in a city near by and I've been there ever since. I adore the kids I work with, value the work that I do and I feel like I am actually making a positive impact on their lives. Although this job is only temporary, and certainly not a career path for me, it is giving me the purpose that I desperately needed, I am spending my days working with and helping the most deserving young students I've ever met, and they have no idea, but they're helping me even more.
- I've accomplished choosing me and trusting myself. I am so proud that I have learned to trust my mind, my heart, my gut, my intuition. I am so proud that I didn't allow 2017 to end the same way that it began, and that I got out of a situation that gave me no choice but to run. I am so proud that I made the choices that I made, as hard as they were, and I am so proud that I chose my future, my life, my success and my dreams. Choosing me, was a huge accomplishment, and most definitely the most difficult.
Top 3 Goals for 2018
- Keep up with this blog! Starting it was the first goal, and I am relieved that I can already check that off my list, just a few days into the new year! But starting it was just the first step, now it's all about remaining consistent with it, staying inspired, remembering why I wanted to start it in the first place, and keeping a schedule! I want this to be a priority for me, because I am already feeling so passionate about it and I want it to lead me in so many directions, plus I hope if people keep reading it, I'll continue to be even more motivated! Blog. First goal.
- Get back in the gym, consistently...and eat right. I am so focused on bettering myself emotionally and mentally this year, but I need to remember how important it is to stay healthy, physically, too! When I was in college, my dance team kept me in line physically, I was always in decent shape and working out consistently. (I miss it so much wtf I also really really really need to pick up my dance again it's been far too long), but now, it's all on me! I have the gym membership, I'm just inconsistent. I gotta hold myself accountable (isn't that always the hardest part?), make a schedule I can stick to, and just DO IT. I also need to ease up on the cookies and ice cream lol.
- Dance. I need dance classes, practices, a team, something!! I have danced my entire life, since I was 5 years old, and this is the longest time I've gone without doing so. I feel like something is missing in my life and I HATE it. I miss my College team so much and I am having serious withdrawals. I would love to be on a team again, but even if that's not an option right now, I need to pick up a few classes for fun. If you have suggestions for me on where to go, studios I should check out, classes I can take, please please let me know.
- I'm adding an extra goal here because how can I just pick 3?!?! There's so much I want to accomplish, and I feel like if I write it here for all to see, I will hold myself more accountable. (keep me in check, please) My fourth goal is really broad, but I just need to really buckle down and figure out my next big move. I have so many ideas running through my head on what I want to do for a career, what I want to do for work, how I want to make money, what I want to study next, where I want to live, things I need to see, visit, experience, etc. and I haven't been able to straighten any of it out because I feel like so many of my ideas, passions, dreams and wishes are far-fetched. But what I need to remember is that life is so short, and I need to stop putting limits on myself. If there's even a slight chance I can pull it off, I need to try. So my last goal is simply to lay out a few (relatively realistic) options and paths I want to go down, and go for them. Whether that includes researching jobs, hunting them down, applying like crazy, moving out and/or saving up money to travel or whatever it is, I just have to write the ideas down, do the research and make the moves. I am open to anything and everything, I just want change and I want experience. There is so much opportunity in the world and I want to make sure that whatever it is I do in this life, I am happy and excited about the work that I am doing, the people I am around, and the place that I am in.
Top 3 Favorite Memories of 2017
Not going to lie, this is the part of the post I was dreading having to reflect back on, which sounds terrible and all-too negative. I may be dramatically making it out to seem that 2017 was the worst year of all years for me, and that it couldn't get any worse and essentially throwing a giant pity party, but I want to make sure that I also recognize that there is beauty in everything, all things bad and unfortunate. I think that overall, I am a pretty positive person, and that I try to find the good in things, and try to look on the bright side. I know that there are hundreds and thousands of people who most likely had a far worse year than I did, and to all those people, my heart breaks for you, I am proud of you for making it to 2018, you are so strong and I hope that this next year is better for you. Unfortunately, it seems like the vast majority of people I know, (and honestly this entire world) had at least a little bit of a hard time within the past year or two, and I would never want to take away from their struggles. 2017 had its ups and downs for EVERYONE, like any other year! I mean honestly, though, sometimes it (still feels) like the world is about to end with the way some things (especially within the government) are going lol but we'll save that for another post. What else could we expect, though, right? That's life! However, as a whole, it really was a tough year for me and I don't wish to look back on too much of it all that often, to be honest. A lot of the "good times" were masked by the bad, and a lot of the "good memories" were with people I don't necessarily want to give credit to right now, or think about all that much. Unfortunately, so much of this past year was spent with someone I am no longer associating myself with, and that's still a difficult thing for me to process. I suffered a lot of loss and difficult change, and learned too many hard lessons to really be able to easily highlight the good. The best way I can describe this portion of the post is to relate it to the feeling you get when you have to scroll past old photos on your instagram or camera roll, REALLY FAST, of an ex boyfriend, that you once LOVED looking at, just so that you don't spend the next hour crying your eyes out and reminiscing on memories you'd rather not. SO, with all of this being said, I will quickly list a few brief and general things that I (even if it was just at the time) LOVED about this past year, and then we'll move on...
- I travelled a LOT on my own this year, and saw places and things I hadn't before, and even the places I had seen before, I saw different sides to and experienced far more than ever, and I am so grateful for that. LA, Hollywood, Disney, New York, Arizona... I was so proud of myself for doing all of the traveling that I did, on my own. It was really empowering and IMMENSELY tested my anxiety lol, but I did it! And I hope to do much more of it in the future.
- Getting my puppy :) I became a mama to a new pup this past year, just a few months ago, and she has been the greatest (most annoying) gift. I needed her more than she needed me, and she has been the most affectionate, sweet, playful, cuddly and loyal bundle of love. She's a HUGEEEE responsibility, but I wouldn't trade her for anything.
- Surprising my family and friends when I came home towards the end of summer. I didn't tell many people that I was hopping on a flight back to Connecticut, when I did. It was a very spontaneous, scary decision and I did it on a whim! I hadn't ever been away from my family and friends for as long as I had been, and I was able to seriously shock my dad, and some of my best friends. It was the best feeling in the world, dad still texts me sometimes and says "I can't believe you're home!" lol (It's been months).
- Adding a fourth, go figure. One of my favorite memories of 2017 was when Mom and I took a little trip to see one of favorite local Hawaiian artists, Anuhea, perform live in Rhode Island (bizarre and so rare that she would even be on the East Coast). We made a short and sweet girls trip out of it, and although I was going through a lot at that time, we had so much fun and it was exactly what I needed. We talked so much, I did her makeup, we dressed up, stayed the night in a fancy hotel and had a blast. I remember telling her when we left, how we desperately needed to do more of those. My mama is my strength, and she always knows how to make things better. I owe so much of the year to her, and I couldn't thank her enough for everything that she's done for me.
Top 3 Small Self-Improvements of 2018
- Don't feel bad saying "no", if I want to say "no". I am a people pleaser to a FAULT, and although that's a really great trait to have sometimes, I really need to learn that it's okay to stick to my guns and do what I want, if appropriate.
- Take more pictures with my camera! I used to use my camera ALL THE TIME, and I really stopped doing that in 2017. I just recently began picking it up again, but I need to buy more SD cards and start carrying it with me everywhere, again. It will definitely help to do so, especially having this blog now!
- Save money! Save, save, save. While I still can! I have so much I want to do, and I refuse to let money hold me back.
Okay, phew! Thank goodness I had nothing else to do today, considering I'm snowed in and have the day off of work, because this post took forever lol. But it was so good to get all of that out, and I have so much more I want to do and accomplish this year, that I didn't even write about. I hope that you take on this challenge for yourself, too. I really believe it's so healthy and often overlooked, how important it is to write down the things you miss, desire, remember, want, etc. It's good for mind and soul to reflect, and to release all that's inside. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to hold it all in. SO, TAG! Post your goals, memories and wishes for 2018, we're not even a week in yet. We have so much time ahead of us!
Happy New Year to you.