2014: Year in Review

In exactly two weeks, 2014 will be history. And you know me. I loooove New Year’s (so much that I sometimes almost overlook Christmas...). I love starting afresh, making lists of goals, organizing a plan. And I really love a good yearly recap.

But this year, things are different.

On December 31, 2013, I wrote a blah list of goals for 2014 just to fill up a page. See, I’ve been setting goals, reaching them, and repeating the process quite consistently since I began this blog a couple of years ago. Back in 2012, when I had that huge breakthrough and quit my job at Dr. Emerson’s office, I decided upon a few lifetime goals, divided them into attainable yearly goals, which I turned into monthly goals that I broke into weekly goals. It worked perfectly for two solid years. Then I suppose I grew tired, because last New Year’s Eve, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. I didn’t know what goals to pursue.

You might also recall that last December I was on the verge of turning twenty-five and experiencing what some might call a quarter-life crisis. In January, just after my birthday, I wrote this:
As I sat down to write a new list of goals I wanted to accomplish in 2014, panic overwhelmed me. 2014 would be the year I turned twenty-five. Twenty-five. A quarter of a century. Officially the mid-twenties. The last milestone before the big 3-0. A giant step closer to old.  
Yes, the panic fell upon me in a suffocating rush. I jotted down some goals, but they didn't feel like enough. I was about to be twenty-five, for heaven's sake. Twenty-five! These goals had to be big. And I had to get moving, fast.
I had a major thought shift on my twenty-fifth birthday. You remember that dramatic and angry list of twenty-five goals I made? I gave myself such a good talkin’-to in that post that I scrapped my New Year’s list and focused all my energy on not apologizing for being myself, not saying ‘yes’ when I didn’t want to do something, not saying ‘no’ when I really did want to do something, and not pretending to be someone else just to keep the peace. My rebellious new attitude seeped into every part of my life, freeing me from chains I had put on myself. I stopped beating myself up for not getting faster than an 11-minute mile. At least I was running. I stopped feeling guilty about declining invitations to social events I didn’t want to attend. I was much happier being in control of my time.

Through all of this, I realized I’ve been putting way too much pressure on myself to do everything perfectly or to make other people happy. It’s so unnecessary, yet I’ve done it my entire life. But I took my own words to heart this year and gave myself permission to stop caring so much. To relax a little and go with the flow. To laugh at the things I find funny, to eat what I want to eat, to wear what I want to wear, and to not worry about how other people perceive me for it.

While on paper, I haven’t really accomplished all that much this year, some pretty important things have happened as a result of my internal change. I’m healthier, happier, and more confident than ever. I fit comfortably into a pair of size ten jeans. I faced my fears and went back to college to finish my B.A. in English. And I’m pretty darn certain I found The One. I just had to find myself first, just like any self-help book would tell you.

So, yeah. 2014 has been a pretty amazing year for me. I feel like myself again. God has answered a lot of big prayers this year and blessed me more than I imagined. 

And there are still two weeks left.

Let's make the most of them. 

Merry Christmas, everyone, and have a wonderful 2015!