I am so proud of how far I have come this year. Looking back on 2017 it has by far been the most full of new things out of any year. I’ve been working on coming out of my shell and being more social for years but I really did so well with that this year, here are my highlights.
- Started volunteering by myself. I was so nervous to start volunteering by myself but I had no one to go with and I knew that I really wanted to do this. So I signed myself up to volunteer at the Audubon Nature Center and went alone. I have always loved spending time outside and it gets hard for me to be outside a lot in the summer when I don’t really have anything to do outside so this was perfect. Conservation, a little bit of exercise, and a whole lot of fresh air, plus free admission for a year! It was really hard for me to go by myself as I’ve been really shy my whole life and it’s been hard to go somewhere by myself where I know that I will not know anyone there, so this was a huge step for me.
- Made a friend while volunteering by myself. While volunteering, I met a girl close to my age that I began volunteering with. We got along so well and I was so proud of myself for coming out of my shell enough to make a new friend!
- Learned how to have a functional argument and stand up for myself, without ruining the relationship. Over the summer I got into a bad argument with a friend of mine and I decided to not default to my usual: being afraid of what they might think of how I feel. So I was blunt and told him how it was and how I felt. It sucked for a few days as this went on but in the end I said everything I needed to and so did he, we came to an understanding and things were better than ever. This taught me so much about how to stand up for myself and how to do it in a way that is productive and I’m comfortable with. I learned that the best way to do this is to keep accusations to an absolute minimum and focus on my own feelings about how I think things are, don’t make unfair statements because they cause a lot more trouble than they are worth.
- Started learning my worth. I’m very understanding, and sometimes to a fault. I let people take advantage of this sometimes but near the end of summer I began to realize that I didn’t want to be treated like that and I didn’t deserve it. A friend of mine told me to know my worth, and after that I cut the person who was making me feel under appreciated out of my life and it wasn’t easy but I know it was in my best interest. I felt so liberated and less afraid of being judged by those who were supposed to be my friends.
- First time in New York City! After my sister moved to the city in Spring, my mom and I went to visit her. It was the height of the summer and it was beautiful weather, perfect for exploring and walking miles and miles each day. I also got to spend a day there with my best friend, not something everyone has the opportunity to do!
- Said yes to so many things. This was something I hadn’t done as much in past years and enjoyed doing a lot more this year. I definitely opened myself up to a lot of new experiences and people. It did, however, get a little exhausting for my introverted personality. Next year I’m really going to work on finding that balance of knowing when to say no and not overextend myself.
- Began appreciating nature in a new way, realized that it was my sacred space and my happy place. Over the summer I went to a small secluded beach for the first time with my best friend and seriously felt so distressed when I left. So I went back with someone else to test it one more time and I have never felt so relaxed or calm in my entire life. The sound of waves and the secluded areas are where I found my happy place and I intend to follow that.
- Went to Boston for the first time! I went looking at colleges and I absolutely loved the city. It was so beautiful and I loved how easy it was to walk the city. Also, being so close to the water was much appreciated, especially learning that the water is such a destressor for me.
- Got a tattoo! I’ll be writing a post about this soon to explain the meaning and show pictures! I got it on my birthday and it’s a very small tattoo on my mid back of stars. As I was filling out the paperwork I started to rethink the whole thing but made myself do it and I’m so happy I did. I now know why people love tattoos, and why they rarely stop at one! This goes with #7 as I really learned that nature keeps me grounded and the stars will follow me wherever I go.
- Went on a Christmas vacation! Although I got behind on writing posts and am currently in the airport, this is so exciting! I don’t think I’ve ever been more than an hour away from home for Christmas so this is so much fun! I am going to my aunt’s cabin to spend some cozy family time and I couldn’t be more excited to be in the cold and snow!
Every year there are a million new things I do but these are 10 that stand out the most to me. From experiences to life lessons, there is never a shortage of new things happening! What did you do this year?!