I still vividly remember the weight lifted off of my shoulders as the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2018. I took a breath, and was ready to embrace the major changes that were about to take place in the coming year.
My friends, I’m going to be very blunt with you…2017 sucked. I just didn’t like it. I could write you an entire book as to why it was a good year, but I could write you a Harry Potter-style, 7 part series, as to why 2017 was NOT my year. I just felt so trapped and mentally unstable that I lost sight of what’s important in life, and vowed to make 2018 my best year yet.
I spent my New Year’s Eve last year at the gym until about 9pm; I was exhausted, and if I’m being honest, I was pretty depressed. I had run about 6 miles when I got a call from an amazing friend of mine trying to convince me to bring her coffee to our friend’s house. Being the person I am, I left the gym and brought her coffee; this was her way of luring me to our friend’s so I wouldn’t be alone on New Years. It was a low-key night, but I was grateful to be able to spend the end of my year listening to the most random music and lighting sparklers at midnight.
That midnight/morning was when I decided that I wasn’t going to spend my 2018 alone at the house or the gym all the time; even now I still tend to isolate myself with the fear that I’ll be disliked or just “in the way.” But when the clock struck midnight, I decided to make a change. I decided that I would go into this year trusting that God has bigger and better plans for me…I just need to be bolder, a better listener, and learn to trust the ultimate plan for my life.
Friends, 2018 has shaped up to be the best year of my life. If you know me well, you know a large part of my life’s story and you’re probably a part of that story (keep reading because you’re probably subtly mentioned…you know who you are).
I began the year by finishing up sophomore pastry labs in February, something I never thought I would be able to accomplish. As the end of labs crept closer and closer, the more I became stressed about finding a spring internship in order for me to complete my degree. Obviously I worked hard to find one, but to no avail because I had no plan as of the end of January. I prayed and I searched with no results, but then I started to trust that nothing had been offered to me because I just had to wait for something better. Not even 2 days later, I had 3 internship opportunities, interviewed with 2, and pursued the offer at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont from March-May.
That spring internship (although it didn’t feel like spring until the beginning of May) started to shape and mold me into part of the person I was prior to 2017. Yes, I understand that sounds weird, but I lost a large part of my identity in 2017 due to multiple things. Being away from home, certain people, and certain situations actually strengthened some shaky relationships, helped me to break off some toxic ones, and made me more grateful for what I had back home. Not only did being away from home help me mentally, but it helped my strengthen my pastry career…I made professional connections and realized that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought I was.
The day after I moved home, I graduated with my associate’s degree and got to spend the day with family (much needed after 3 months away). As lazy as this sounds, I didn’t really work until early July because I felt that I needed to not work for a little while, and I used that time to catch up with friends, make some cakes, and write a lot of music, and read a lot of books. I started to use time by myself not as a distraction from life issues, but as a time for personal growth.
Before going back to work, I was able to go on an AMAZING trip to NYC for the first time with some incredible people (shout out to Mama Tyler for sending us!) to celebrate Nom’s birthday/graduation. It was honestly such a great experience including getting a backstage tour of a Broadway stage and getting to take pictures on it. We made some fun memories and took some bomb pictures…plus we walked about 20,000 steps each day so I could afford to eat a lot of macarons from Dominique Ansel Bakery.
The day after I came home from NYC, I started working as a baking teacher for a summer camp in Seekonk. That lasted about 2 weeks, and it was so refreshing being able to teach young kids what I know about baking/cooking. I made some career connections there too, and made a great friend who comes to church with me on Sundays (hi Felicia ily)! The following week was VBS at my church, so I definitely had a lot of summer camp experience this year.
The rest of the summer involved working, working, and more working. I started working at Brewed Awakenings again, but this time at the Cranston location. Honestly, I love it there, and I hope to continue there for the time being soooooo if ya’ll need coffee, come stop by and see your favorite barista ;)
(also, shout out to all my amazing coworkers/friends/amazing humans that make working a whole lot more fun, love ya’ll)
Then finally, I got to September…the month that brought me so much anxiety. At this point, all my friends left home to go back to college and to top it all off, I started a new college major. SCARY STUFF YA’LL, mainly because I DON’T COOK! I may or may not have considered running away from campus on the first day of school because I was terrified, but like I vowed to do in 2018, I trusted the ultimate plan for my life and continued to work hard in all that I do.
These past few months have been insanely difficult between work and school, but they have overall been the most rewarding months of 2018. I thought that school was going to be awful, and while I’ve left class crying because of stress a couple times, I feel as though I’m doing the right thing. I know God has put me in this environment at this time in my life because this is what I needed. I’ve met so many people through just switching majors that sometimes I sit back and wonder how I functioned without them. Once again, I’ve made more professional connections, and I don’t dread going to school every day. Like I said before, it’s the people you surround yourself with that make your work environment so much better.
But to end 2018 on a very realistic note, I would like to give a huge thank you to the people who aren’t in my life anymore. I know God specifically placed you in my life for a specific reason or season, and regardless of how things ended, thank you for making me stronger than I was before. 2018 was ultimately a year of growth, and I think I did just that.
If 2018 was the best year of my life, how do I make 2019 better? You see, I have a specific goal…me.
I’m the type of person to apologize for things that aren’t my fault. I only ever see the faults in myself, and I don’t acknowledge that God gave me gifts and abilities and features that specifically separate me from the rest of the world.
This year, I’m done feeling sorry for myself.
I will continue to be bolder and fight for nothing less than what I know I deserve.
I’m not going to purposely change myself to make someone like me, because God knows that I do that too much. This doesn’t mean that I’ll settle either, because that’s not what I want for myself.
I’m going to travel more. I’m a broke college kid, but if I want to go somewhere, I’ll make it happen (if anyone wants to go on random adventures, I’m your girl).
2018 was my year, but by the grace of God, 2019 will be my year too.
If you read this far, this is my message to you:
As you embark on this New Year, try something new. Set new, realistic goals for yourself! Make a new friend, try a new hobby, go on a date, try new foods, etc. It’s the little things that you’ll appreciate the most! You never know what the future holds, so why not take a small step first?
Lastly, thank you to everyone who has made a massive difference in my life. Whether you traveled with me, helped me with stupid amounts of homework, comforted me when I was down, or went to 12,000 concerts with me (hi Katie ily), I seriously appreciate everything you’ve done for me.
Happy New Year ya’ll, make 2019 your best year yet.
Love, prayers, and caffeine