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Bring On the New Year

I have a lot to be thankful for, especially as we mark another full rotation around the sun. Two-thousand-eighteen, thanks for all that you’ve provided.

When the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2017, I felt a little apprehensive. How could I not? I’d just flown back from Chicago, feeling full of love after seeing my entire immediate family and I was counting down the new year surrounded by friends. I had a feeling that 2017 would be a hard year to top—or even compete with. Within those 365 days, I had ran a newspaper, graduated from college, gotten my first adult job, moved to a new town, got married, traveled internationally, spent loads of time with my siblings, and bought my first new car. It was a major, significant, whirlwind of a year.

Hard to top sounds about right. But while 2017 was about making big moves and jumping into life-changing events, 2018 has been focused on both settling and thriving. I’ve discovered that “to settle” doesn’t mean getting less than you deserve, but to become nestled and familiar with your surroundings. For me, settling has meant exploration and growth, finding out what works and doesn’t as the newness of a chapter wears off.

My version of 2018 has been marked by busyness; you can read about all of my adventures in length. There has also been the stress and rigor that I’ve kept mostly behind closed doors: pushing myself to my limits with late freelancing nights, making lofty goals and feeling as though I failed them (especially regarding fitness), crying my way through one or two lost friendships, and wondering if I peaked—with writing, success, accomplishments—in college.

Amid the mess, though, I also decided to take more chances. I felt a void and missed writing, and Sunshine with Savannah was born. When I hit the publish button, it felt as though I was owning up, investing in myself, and taking a plunge into unknown territory.

I’m thankful to all that 2018 has taught me, even if the lessons haven’t been as kind as I’d prefer. But I’m also so, so appreciative of all of its sweetness: travel, support (both online and in-person with all the amazing people in my life), a year of wedded happiness, dance floor shenanigans, friend reunions, having my parents so close, lots of dog hugs, new recipes, transitions in my career, a brand-spankin-new niece, financial decisions, and many, many cuddles and kisses.

I do not know what 2019 holds, but I’m hopeful. I want to be better—as a person, wife, daughter, friend, employee, and inhabitant of the earth. I want to be kinder—as my first instinct, even to myself. I want to be considerate, generous, and compassionate, in all things I do. And really, I want to be grateful for everything I have, and for what I contribute.

Everything else, I hope, will fall into place.

Sending love as we enter into 2019, and venture onto the next calendar adventure.

Cheers,

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