This has been a whirlwind of a year for me, so I wanted to take a little bit of time to reflect on what has happened in my life over the course of the last 12 months. (I'm also reflecting on the fact that it's 65 degrees right now, and I still have to wrap every single gift I purchased. #somethingsneverchange)
My brother started high school and got his permit. I cried when my brother graduated middle school this summer. He has been through so much and still manages to be a well-adjusted child with a perfect GPA, lots of friends, and an unreal athletic talent. He called me on Tuesday to let me know he got his driver's permit! It's hard to believe that next Christmas he will be driving!
I almost got engaged. And then I accidentally found out and spoiled the surprise, and my left ring finger is still naked. Maybe next year? It's crazy to think that I met the man I now intend to marry when I was 22. This is our third Christmas together, and even though we aren't celebrating in the same state, I'm looking forward to our tradition of celebrating Christmas together on New Year's Eve.
I traveled... a lot... and with a lot of people. Since June, I've been to Asheville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Savannah, South Carolina, and New York... two weekends in a row! On my visit to Indianapolis for Father's Day and C's cousin's wedding, our families were able to have lunch together!
I started a new job. I had no intention of starting a new job this year, but sometimes when opportunities arrive, you have to take them! I was at a conference with my old job, and I had this really weird moment of clarity in the midst of chaos where I felt like God was telling me I didn't belong in my career any more. And I was devastated, because I really loved my job. And then the opportunity to take a new job came along. I loved my old job. I was good at it, and it didn't feel like work. My former co-workers are some of the best people I've ever met. But God has been moving a lot in my life since starting a new job, and I know I'm where I'm meant to be... at least for today!
I am seeing completely new doctors. I had a really difficult time getting a proper diagnosis for my chronic illness. After months of random, vague diagnoses and accusations of having an eating disorder, I was referred to a specialist. One week and three tests later, I had an accurate diagnosis and was receiving appropriate treatment. It was decided this February that it was time for me to see an "adult" doctor. I was bummed, but I was older than some of the parents bringing their kids in to see the specialist, so I guess it was really time. On top of that, my oncologist moved this summer. I'm so thankful for a doctor who constantly encouraged me. (And I'm thankful that my replacement oncologist is almost as awesome!)
I learned so much about blogging. I started treating my blog like a business this year. I worked hard to improve the quality of my content and photos. I worked with some amazing companies, and I became a member of RewardStyle, which motivated me to work even harder as a blogger. My work with blogging also helped me with my career, and I'm so thankful for that. And of course, I'm so thankful for YOU - the reader! My blog would be nothing without you, so thank you.
I got involved in my community. And I probably overcommitted myself... I'm not so great with moderation. I sat on my first board, was appointed as branding chair, and ultimately helped make a decision to dissolve the organization. I also sat on boards for our community's Relay for Life and young professionals organization, and I joined a leadership organization. I interviewed around 50 kids for a youth leadership program that I graduated from, and it was such a cool feeling! I feel most fulfilled while helping others, so even though it keeps me busy, I love it, and I'm thankful for the opportunity.
My friends are the best. A lot of weird things happened this year, and I'm really thankful for my friends because I don't know what I would have done without their encouragement and perspectives. I watched someone in my life go through something very difficult this fall, and I seriously don't think I would have made it through without my friends.
And so is my family. While quite dysfunctional, I couldn't ask for a better family. They are so thoughtful, encouraging, patient, and forgiving. Our family dynamic has changed a lot since my Papaw's stroke this summer, but I'm really thankful that we all still have our health.
I'm excited for 2016 and for a new project. I hope that 2016 will bring more personal growth for me and growth in my relationship with Christ. And I'm really excited about a new project! I spent a lot of time praying about what God wanted me to do with my life, and so far, he's just been giving me little clues to get me to the next place. I'm going to start on a new writing project in 2016 that I feel He placed on my heart. I can't wait to share more about it, and reach out to a few of you to get involved.
Again, thank y'all so much for your support in 2015. I can't wait to see where 2016 will take all of us!
Merry Christmas to you & yours!