I tried a lot of things. I failed at a lot of things. I learned A LOT about myself in the process.
And for the first time in my life, I have a full record of much of it by way of this blog (though, I will say, many of the things I’m thinking about as I reflect in this post were not captured on this blog – remember, this is just a tiny, well-edited sliver of my life).
I sat down to write this post thinking it’d just be a list of happy things that happened this year, and it mostly was. But among all of the positives, I also saw a lot of room for improvement – ways in which I let myself down and areas where I could have done more, been more and followed through on more.
More, more, more. Bleh. When will I stop wanting more?
Regardless, I still feel like I did, saw, attempted, accomplished enough.
And that is something that I need to remember: I am and have enough.
One of the main lessons I learned this year is that I can’t “do it all” (cliche, I know). And that half of the things I thought mattered, really don’t matter at all (hello, wanting things that I actually hate and don’t want at all just because everyone else seems to like/want them). I’m extremely grateful for that lesson because it helped me realize:
Life is continuous reinvention. Re-evaluation of what matters. Re-construction of priorities. And re-commitment to goals.
HOWEVER, despite my natural tendency to have an “always improving” mindset and attitude (ahem, I’m pretty much a self-help junkie over here), this year I realized that being grateful for who I am, what I have and what I am already doing is important, too. Change is a wonderful thing, but so is savoring the present, living in the moment, and reveling in life as it happens.
This year, I loved more and thought more that I ever have before. 2013 was a year for falling back in love with, and in doing so, really getting to know myself.
Whoa, just typing that line and accepting that realization was powerful. What a gift. I can only hope that with each passing year I come to know myself more fully.
ANYWAY, I took a journey through the archives of this blog to come to all of these conclusions, and created a little bit of a memory lane for myself (and I guess, if you’re interested, for you as well).
All Things Wonderful & Noteworthy: 2013
- I traveled to Hawaii with my family,
- Started really blogging consistently, and
- Read & loved The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.
- I celebrated Mardi Gras with visits from my lovely college girlfriends, Ashley & Autumn and
- Marked the three-year anniversary of my sister Kristina’s death by writing about it for the first time.
- I made Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and had a crazy St. Patrick’s Day celebration in St. Louis and
- Shamelessly embraced my love for The Bachelor (well, specifically Sean Lowe as the Bachelor).
- I started training for a half marathon (that, though I did not ever run it, I learned A TON about myself from my attempt at it),
- Sadly reflected on the Boston Marathon explosion & pondered what it meant for media in our time, and
- Made this sangria with Alex. It was amazing.
- I went to Vegas for the first time with my family & had way too much fun,
- Attended my first bachelorette party ever for my long-time friend Lauren and
- Road-tripped to Dubuque, Iowa to spend an awesome weekend with college friends celebrating Jake & Nicole’s wedding.
- I celebrated my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary and had SUCH a great time (this was honestly the best night of my year I think),
- Read The Power of Habit and started thinking differently about what it takes to change your life, and
- Got mugged outside a bar in IOWA. What gives?
- I watched my best friend from high school become a Mrs.,
- Hosted my family for the fourth of July,
- Read the Joy of Less and started thinking about how to adopt a more minimalist mindset in my life.
- I headed back to the Quad Cities to see another childhood friend get married (congrats Ashley & Joe!),
- Really stated embracing St. Louis & all it had to offer as I got to know more people through kickball & such,
- Wrote about How to Be A Good Sushi Date, and
- Shared 7 Tips for Better Small Talk (two of my favorite posts).
- I celebrated my 1-year anniversary at SteadyRain & shared why I love working there so much,
- Went hiking for the first time since moving to St. Louis with new friends & loved every minute of it, and
- Wrote about what “Home” means to me.
- I travelled to LA & had the time of my life exploring with Autumn,
- Celebrated my entire family’s birthdays, and
- Shouted at the internet in a rant-y, gut-punching post entitled “The One Question I Want to Ask Everyone on the Internet”
- I took steps toward simplifying my wardrobe and applying more minimalist ideas to it,
- Worked on building my blogging confidence offline (many thanks to friends who read and talk about it),
- Saw The Lone Bellow with friends at the Old Rock House (’twas AMAZING),
- Launched Sponsorships on All Things E, and
- Hosted my family for Thanksgiving.
And finally, In December…
- I celebrated Ashley’s graduation from nursing school (what a stud!),
- Wrote about how to survive separation from faraway friends,
- Reached a full year of blogging on All Things E (OK, on the 23rd I will).
Well that was fun. I’m joining Erika for Grad-itude 101 today. Check out the link-up here.
What lessons did you learn in 2013? Which are you most grateful for?