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My 2017 Highlights

December 29, 2017

Another year come and gone! Is it me or does time seem to move faster as you get older? I’m sure you can relate 🙂

Usually when I’m approaching a new year, I’m excited the old one is ending.

“I’m so over insert year here.”

“I’m so ready for a new year.”

But this year is different. 2017 was a year to be thankful for. Like every year, lots of amazing things happened, and lots of not so great things happened. But the difference between this year and past years is that I am a different person. God has been doing some amazing things and working on my heart. Because of this, I can say I am truly thankful for 2017 (regardless of the “bad.”)

Although I am thankful for so much, here are a few of the things I am most thankful for from 2017. My 2017 Highlights, as I like to call them.

My first trip to Colorado. Wow, Colorado is an amazing place! CJ and I planned a week long trip starting in Denver. We explored the city, got caught in a hail storm on St Mary’s Glacier during a day hike, and got to experience the beautiful city of Breckenridge. We even hiked our very first 14er at Quandary Peak in which I not only nearly died (exaggeration), but I also got engaged to my best friend with the most epic proposal. (Along with a million others on your Facebook feed, I’m sure…but don’t rain on my parade!) We then ended our trip in Grand Junction to visit my brother and road tripped to Moab, Utah. It was certainly a trip of a lifetime and so many wonderful memories were made.

Weekend trips with my friends. As you grow older, you inevitably lose touch with some friends from the past, but you realize how important it is to hold on to the friendships that truly matter. For me, all of my best friends happened to be spread out around the country, which sometimes makes me feel a little lonely at times. But I’ve realized that when you make time to see them and choose to create memories with them, it makes your friendships all the more special. And the travel bug in me doesn’t hate it! This year I went back to my college town of Wilmington, NC and got my dose of beach walks and sunsets. I went back to my hometown of Richmond, VA to celebrate new chapters in my friends’ lives. And you can’t go wrong with a girl’s weekend in Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC!

Good times with my family. Just so you know, my family is AWESOME. This year, I got to celebrate Mother’s Day at Topsail Beach, NC with my mom. I got to bond with my Dad and go kayaking on the lakes around Raleigh. I got to know my Uncle Neil, who always made me laugh and always had a story to tell. And I got to create amazing memories with my brother, who was my sidekick growing up and now lives in Colorado. Family is everything for me so I always appreciate every moment, little or big, because no matter what, family is always there.

Taking the leap. I decided enough was enough and quit my soul-sucking job for a new one. Although this one isn’t necessarily my “dream job,” it allows me more time and flexibility to be ALL IN and pursue my true dream job (which by the way, if you haven’t noticed, it’s this!) I’m thankful God has developed the courage and determination in me to go after what I feel called to do. It sure is scary and I have to fight off doubt from time to time, but I also know I wouldn’t feel as fulfilled right now if I didn’t take the leap.

Developing stronger faith. Unfortunately, our family was hit hard this year with cancer, which is never something anyone expects. Our precious Uncle Neil passed away after a hard fight, and my brother was diagnosed and is currently going through his fight. I’m not going to lie; some days are just plain hard. But I’m convinced that if this all happened a year earlier, I wouldn’t have handled it nearly as well. I was in such a frustrated place because every aspect of my life—job, relationship, health, and living situation— was not where I wanted it to be. I was battling anxiety for the first time in my life because I just could not for the life of me see how I could be thankful in the situations I was in. Turns out, God was just doing what He does best—changing my heart and bringing me closer to Him. But I had to go through all the crappy stuff to get to where I am now. And by the time 2017 rolled around, I had much stronger faith and now trust in how things will play out. There’s a plan I can’t control. And even though I’m still working on accepting this, I am so thankful of the progress I’ve made.

2017 has gotten me so much closer to the peace I strive for in my life. And for once, I’m not anxious for the New Year. I’m just simply excited.

What are you most thankful for from 2017? I want to hear from you! Comment below!

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