My Year in Review: Part 2 – My Personal Life

As some of you may recall, I posted my New Year’s Resolutions on here last January and, when I was thinking about all the books I read this year, I thought I should do an update on this as well.

Here’s a quick recap of my resolutions:

  1. Fill my life with as much happiness as possible
  2. Make a dent in my to-read list
  3. Challenge myself more
  4. Remember to dance
  5. Trust and love myself first.

Obviously, some of these are incredibly difficult to go, “Yup, nailed that one! I can cross that off the list now.”  Now, we’re going to have some show-and-tell moments to try to do just that.  YAY!  🙂

Fill My Life With Happiness

logo-facebookI don’t know how well I did with the first goal.  I mean, I’m generally a happy person, so it’s hard to say what came about because of that and when I actually consciously tried to make myself happier.  I will say that I realized that Facebook was, at times, toxic to my mood.  As a 24-year-old, lots of my friends are getting engaged, married, and starting families.  And because I don’t have that, I get jealous.  So detoxing from Facebook for a few days really helped me keep things in perspective.  So what if I’m not married?  Why am I comparing myself to someone I haven’t talked to in 5-6 years?  It didn’t make any sense to me.  But I still have some work to do there too.  I mean, I’m still Facebook friends with my ex-boyfriend, who I broke up with nearly 2 years ago.  Yes, I stalk him from time to time to see what he’s up to.  But more and more, I keep asking myself why I care.  So hopefully 2016 will be the year when I can actually click the “Unfriend” button and not feel remorse about it.

To-Read List

I think it’s totally safe to say I succeeded in completing my mission with my 2nd goal.  I’ve read more this year than I think I ever have in a single year.  And I’ve got Goodreads stats to prove it.  Check out these stats!

Total Books:

Screenshot 2015-12-30 15.11.14

Total Pages:

Screenshot 2015-12-30 15.11.26

TAKE THAT 2010!!  I think it’s safe to say that this is a serious dent.  Case closed.  Thank you, Outlander series, for the ridiculous page number count.

Challenge Myself

family-tree-background-graphics-4As for challenging myself, I think there are a few moments that definitely stand out.  First of all, as I mentioned in January, I wanted to figure out my family tree.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was about a freshman in high school.  And this summer, I finally started it.  It took a ton of time, but I now have nearly 9,000 people on my tree (and always growing!).  I can now share with people where my family comes from (France and Germany on my mom’s side, Germany and England on my dad’s), famous relatives (William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, and a couple of Salem Witch Trial victims, just to name a few), and interesting family stories.  My favorite story comes from my 8 or 10 times great-grandfather, who was a 2nd generation American.  When accused of stealing sundry goods from soldiers, his response was, “I didn’t steal them, the Indians left them on my property.”  (There are no surviving court documents to record whether or not the court bought that.)

As for another story of challenging myself, we’ll see that in the next section.  🙂

Remember to Dance

I have photographic evidence that I remembered to dance!  Tada!

Screenshot 2015-12-30 17.51.45

While he was a lovely partner, I have no idea who this guy is.

So here’s the totally-inspiring-and-not-at-all-lame story behind this.  This was at my barely-22-year-old cousin’s wedding in September.  When another of my cousins got married in October 2014, I didn’t dance much because I was trying to make my date happy.  It was his first time meeting my family and he didn’t want to dance.  I love dancing.  This killed me.  So I resolved that the next wedding, I was going to dance all out.

And this dress was perfect for it.  (My aunt who sent me this pic called it my “Marilyn Monroe” look.  Thank God I wasn’t flashing my undies.) But I was nervous.  I’m what I like to call “reserved” and I don’t like to make a fool of myself; my family calls me “serious” or, if they’re angry, “uptight.”  I just didn’t want to go out there and be the idiot pulling an Elaine from Seinfeld.



But I literally couldn’t have picked a better occasion to break loose.  Everyone at the wedding was so old-school.  It was old-fashioned social dancing with twirls and dips and strangers coming up and asking to dance with a pretty girl.  It was 80s music and the coolest dance to “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” that I had ever seen.  It was so me.  I had the time of my life.  (By the end of the night, I was barefoot, sweaty, and sore, but it was worth it.)

So much good came out of this.  I met someone I thought could have been special.  (Things didn’t go past the wedding though.  As we got to know each other more, we realized a relationship was not going to be in the cards.  But still.)  But the groom’s older brother told me about the salsa dancing club in town after he saw me dance.  I’ve been going almost every week since.  It’s been a great way for me to break out of my shell a bit and meet some really interesting people I otherwise wouldn’t get to know.

The lesson?  Dance.  Dance like no one is watching.

Trust and Love Myself

This is by far the hardest to really look at and know whether or not I accomplished it.  Because how do I know?

I will say this: I took a year off of dating in order to get to know myself better.  On January 1st, I broke things off with a boy who was a rebound more than anything.  And that wasn’t fair to either of us, but especially not to him.  I needed some space from relationships in order to really know what I wanted out of love.  I had to reevaluate what I was getting and what I wasn’t getting when it came to dates.

It was a long year, but a good one.  Not that I had many offers for dates until this fall.  Part of trusting and loving myself was knowing when I needed alone time/time at home doing my own thing.  (Which was a lot.  Motherhood, should it ever happen, is going to be really hard on me.)  I spent countless nights curled up with a good book.  I spent just as many nights watching sappy movies or documentaries that there is no way in all of Hades I ever would have gotten a previous boyfriend to watch with me.  This was my time.  I have only gone on 1 date this year, and that was just shy of 2 weeks ago.  I’m willing to work with this slowly, to see if anything develops rather than my usual obsessing and wondering “why isn’t he texting me?”

Along with that, I’ve also really started finding my own clothing style.  I’ve been interested in fashion for a while, but the turnover rate in my closet is slow.  I still have t-shirts in there from middle school.  (Not that I wear them…in public.)  But I’ve really started discovering what looks good on me (hello jeggings!), what styles I’m willing to try (BOOTS), and putting together outfits I never would have tried before (a button-down with a tulle skirt looks amazing).  It’s been a lot of fun.

And even though I’ve done it before, this was the year that I really got into yoga.  It wasn’t a continuous thing.  I go in spurts, doing it for a month, off for a month.  But yoga is definitely about finding inner peace, being you, and just living in the moment.  That’s definitely my speed of exercise.  (For anyone interested, I totally recommend the Yoga With Adriene channel on Youtube.  She’s fabulous.)


How about you?  How did your resolutions go?  Did you make your goals?  Comment below!  I love hearing from you guys!

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