2017 wasn’t all that I expected it to be. I’m not sure what I really expected it to be, honestly. Mostly, it was a year of change. I experienced more “big life changes” this year than probably any other year in my life. A lot of this year was very hard. Change and I are not BFFs, and I am still learning how to be comfortable with it. But, I learned so much about myself and grew as a person in more ways than I thought possible.
I started 2017 off by doing the scariest and most exciting thing I’ve ever done; I moved away from the only state I’ve ever lived in across the country to New York City to intern for my last semester of college. I learned to love the cold (this was the biggest surprise to me.) I learned how alone you can feel in a city surrounded by millions of people. I learned what it’s really like to work for a fashion designer (hint: The Devil Wears Prada isn’t a perfect depiction) and loved every minute of it. I learned the city can feel like home if you let it. I also learned that I wasn’t quite ready for it to be my home, and I decided to leave the city to start my “real adult” life back in Texas.
Fun fact: Between living there and all the trips I took, I spent more time in New York than in Texas in 2017!
Then, I graduated college. I crossed the stage twice and officially earned two degrees in retail merchandising and public relations, and then I panicked. Okay, I’m done with school… now what? I had already been away from my friends for 6 months, but I started to realize we weren’t all going to be living just a minute’s walk away from each other now that I was back in Texas. So what was my solution? Move back to Austin and pretend everything is the same anyway!
So I moved back to Austin. I made a lot of new friends, started my first full-time job, and learned that Austin post-grad isn’t what I wanted it to be. And that’s okay. I’m 22, I’m figuring it all out still.
It seems like every year I look back and think of everything I could have changed, everything I wanted to be different, every way the year “went wrong.” It’s okay if the past year wasn’t your best year yet, and it’s okay if it’s nothing close to what you thought it would be going into it. All in all, 2017 through me for a loop. With each step I took, (or misstep – #tbt to spraining my ankle by stepping off a curb wrong) I learned something about the world and about myself.
As with any year, I’m ready to close this chapter of the book and start a new, fresh page. As I get older, the less I know what to expect with each coming year. I probably won’t have it all figured out by the end of 2018, either. Although this year shook out different than I thought, I will always look back at this year and smile. This year I realized my strength and resiliency. In each of the 9 pictures below, I can detail out the excitement I had for what came next, and that’s the exact feeling I have about the coming year.
2018, I’m ready for you.