How does time fly by so quickly? We were just in February, were we not?
Every year, whether I’ve been regularly blogging or not, I like to do a little year in review, just so I can look back on them (when I don’t mind re-reading cringe-worthy writing) and see myself growing. I don’t really keep a diary beyond important dates and appointments – I should, but I don’t (although that may change next year depending on my dedication) – so it’s nice to have a little record of me throughout the years. Like a little Christmas letter to myself.
This year, I can proudly say it’s been a year of regular blogging. One of my goals was to get my blog up and running and in a place where I could be proud of it. There have been ebbs and flows (as I spoke about last week) but overall I am really proud of what I’ve made it this year. It hasn’t taken over my life, but I don’t hate it either. It’s great!
It’s been another year of weddings which, despite the tensions that sometimes come along with them, have all been wonderful times of celebration. All of my friends whose weddings I attended or was a part of this year are old friends and I think that makes it even more emotional. All the memories of your long friendship all flood through and you get to add another big memory to the mix.
Of course, a wedding was the reason I jetted off to Canada and the USA in the middle of the year and it would be remiss of me not to do a little recap, since I never blogged about it. I had the opportunity to see some of my Dad’s family in Vancouver, some for the first time ever and others for the first time in nearly 20 years. It was also my first ever trip to Canada and I can understand why everyone loves it so much. I only saw a glimpse but I’ll be going back there as soon as financially possible. It was a week that I will cherish forever.
My second week was spent gallivanting around Tennessee and Florida, doing all the touristy things. Every day was wonderful, despite getting a touch of heatstroke in Memphis, but nothing from that week would top going to Universal Studios and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The last time I was in the USA, the theme park had only just been built and it was going to be nigh impossible for me to get there. Ever since, it had been my GOAL to get there – I knew I couldn’t go back to America without visiting, even if it meant fighting the Florida humidity. No matter how silly Harry Potter might seem to others, I never want to forget the feeling of being there and experiencing the magic that all the staff put into that park.
The third week was SO lovely spending time with my dear friend Paige and being at her wedding. The last time we saw each other before then was on the last day of school in 2009 – back when I was in Colorado. It’s a long time, but we’re both stubborn so we knew we had to make it work and being at her wedding was incredible, as was the whole week beforehand spending time together doing things that we never get to do since we live so far apart. Never undervalue a sleepover, that’s my lesson from this.
Travelling on my own this time around, I think I was more confident, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as my first trip to the UK. I think that’s hard for me to admit, being a very proud person, but it is the truth. Maybe it was because this trip was half the amount of time as the last, so I didn’t have as much time to get in the rhythm of travelling or maybe it was just a lot more stressful because of the sheer volume of flights I needed to catch (I am not a calm traveller as we have previously discussed). Or maybe it was because I already know life in America, so things weren’t so new to me. This is not to say I didn’t have a good time, because I absolutely did, but it left me a little more drained than the last trip did.
Much of this year, in fact, has been spent feeling drained. I recognise the warning signs much better now (something I’m counting as a win), although I did let it get too far this year before I did anything about it, but this feeling has become a little too familiar this time around.
In terms of the things I wanted from this year, I think I’ve done okay. I’d give myself a B-. Many of you know I put myself on a book-buying ban. I failed spectacularly at this, particularly in the last half of this year. I have bought significantly less books than in previous years – so I’m not beating myself up about it. I have big plans to get rid of at least another 50 books, so things are going well.
I finished NaNoWriMo – it was a sluggish ride but I really loved being a part of it this year, for the first time in a long time. I’m hoping I forget how awful my story was this year and I’m resolving to participate again next year. One of my related goals is to spend a few months outlining and researching so that I have a stronger plot. One month prior simply wasn’t enough.
Overall, it’s been a very emotional year. Just the other day I was saying to a friend that this stage of life is a very weird one. It’s not really a stage of life at all, because everyone is in different places. Some friends are still in university, some are living with their parents and some are buying their own homes; some are getting married, some are having kids and some are travelling the world. Of course, this kind of thing is probably relevant for every age group (everyone’s different, after all) but I think it’s magnified in your mid-twenties. As one of the ones who is being ‘left-behind’ (as society likes to call it, although I don’t really feel left-behind at all), it can be a strange feeling not knowing if you’re doing the right thing or not. Most of the time, I am confident in my daily decisions, which is all I can ask for, really, but there are others who are not afraid to voice their disdain for the decisions I make, which makes that confidence wobble – a lot.
I’m sure that’s not a problem unique to me, but it’s been one I’ve struggled with this past year and, since these annual blog posts exist so I can dig up the past versions of myself, it’s important to be honest.
So, that’s it, for 2017. I cannot believe it’s over so quickly but I’m looking forward to 2018 and having the illusion of a clean slate shattered on day two.
Have a great New Year, whatever you decide to do with it!