A Year in Review: 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when I reflect back on my year, 2014 was a reflection, but I prefer the Year in Review of 2013, so that’s the title of this one. All in all, 2015 was a strange year, a good year, but a strange one. Looking back at it, it’s like I lived this life that wasn’t mine, I don’t know if that makes sense. For the most part my anxiety has greatly subsided and only surfaces at the most inconvenient of times, like parking lots, highways, riding bicycles through London, and when I have too much stuff to be done. My blogging hit a creative roadblock for a while and that was really hard for me to deal with, I just wanted to create great things and I couldn’t. Recently, I’ve been feeling better about that though and that helps a lot. 2015 brought the biggest adventure of my life yet, I lived in another country for three months, and that was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. If I had to describe 2015 in a phrase it would be: unexpectedly expected.

January

In January it seemed as if I was going through some self-evaluating. I had almost all classes for my major and minor and it lead to some major self reflection and evaluating. This was the semester that I went back to school and I felt content for the first time about that. Before there was always that bit of dread, but not that semester. Molly, Eric, Logan, and I all went on a little day trip to a bookstore in Harrisburg and to Chocolate World.

February

February is when the not blogging every day kicked in and I started to slack. I celebrated being single with two Galentines days I think I failed the 3-5 days a week. In order to try and combat this I started the 30 Day Blog Challenge. This is also when my blogging rut began. There were highs and lows of it throughout the year. However, because blogging had hit a rut, I was enjoying my life. This is also the last month that I would go home for the job that I hated so much.

March

At school March means spring break, which usually means a week of working, for me, it meant quitting my job. I had never quit a job before so it was this huge step for me in my life. I was kind of afraid, but also so glad that I did. I quit in order to go Florida with my friends for spring break, which was a great decision if you ask me. This was also the month where I honestly almost stopped blogging if I’m being honest. I hit a rut, I didn’t always enjoy blogging, I stopped doing the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I was at the peak of my creative roadblock. March was a month of highs and lows.  However, by the end of the month I felt that I was slowly climbing out of my rut and onto better. This was also the month I found out that I had been accepted to go to Dublin for the semester, it was official that I would be studying abroad in the fall.

April

To be honest. I don’t remember anything about April.  April is a weird month where nothing really happens. We had May Madness at my school and it was like 45 degrees outside. I don’t know why we had May Madness in April, I think it had something to do with finals week. Other than that, I feel like April is such a filler month. It’s project after project and paper after paper, other than that there’s not much to it.

May

May means the end of school. This year, I went home without a job and with fewer friends waiting for me than I was leaving, and it just felt weird. Normally I go home to a routine and this time I was going home to job application after job application. All of this time was good for me to start to get ready for studying abroad. I went on some hikes and just took some time for myself. At the end of the month, I was back working at my new job that I love.

June

 

I started LNBM in June which is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done for this blog. While it greatly feeds my laziness in the blogging department, it always seems to decently well with readers. I also continued my visits to Frederick to see Logan, Molly, and Eric. They also came to PA a few times, it was easier for me to go there just with schedules and everything. June was another month of severe bloggers block. However, this was the first time I didn’t keep it a secret. I was open and straight forward about it, which I think made it easier to write.

July

In July I went back to Florida, this time with my family. I got to accomplish a life dream, to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and see the giraffes from my hotel window. I also got to experience the magic of the updated Harry Potter World, which was absolutely amazing. The bloggers block start to wear off a little bit and I felt like I was doing good in the blog world.  I always start to get a little restless in July. I’m ready for a set schedule and this summer I just never really got that. I like structure, and there was not a lot of structure in my life this past summer, which was probably a good experience.

August

August was a month of restlessness. I felt stagnate.  Everyone was getting ready to back to college and I was just waiting. Do you know that night before you leave before you go on vacation? That’s how August was for me. To me the world was paused, crawling until I made it until September when I could finally go to Dublin for the semester. I did go on my first solo trip to the beach which was the type of relaxation I really needed. I don’t like to wish away time, but at the time I was just wishing that August would just hurry up already. I celebrated my 21st birthday and going away with family and friends.  My friends slowly started returning to college and I continued to work, just waiting for the day that it was my turn to leave.

September

September started with two visits to Hood. I finished working, went down for Eric’s birthday and then the next day I was off for Dublin. This was the start of my greatest adventure. This was the part of the year that I was looking forward to the most. After all of the paperwork errors and thoughts crossing my mind that I would never be able to actually go, it was time for me to go. I left on September 13 and got to Dublin on the 14. Right away we had walking tours, bus tours, and just sightseeing things. I had my 21st birthday in a different country where it doesn’t really matter because the drinking age is 18 there, but still I turned 21, that’s a big birthday, or so they say. I visited the Cliffs of Moher and just explored Dublin.

October

October was when life started to get crazy. I went to Howth which is a small little suburb type place of Dublin. I went to Paris to meet up with my dad who was on business, how many 21 year-olds can say that? Then I went to Galway, another little seaside town for a night with my friends. I ended in October in London, England. That’s just absolutely crazy. I did so much in one month.

November

I feel like November was yesterday, it went by literally in the blink of an eye. I went to London (again) and Brighton. I also went to Madrid and Sevilla. I was away from Dublin for a whole week and then I made the decision to not travel again while I was away and enjoy my last four weeks in Dublin. This is the first time any of my pictures from Sevilla are being posted, the adventure post will come soon. My family came for Thanksgiving and I got to enjoy more time with them which was great. When I said at the beginning that looking back on this year it’s like looking at someone else’s memories, that’s what November is for me, it’s so surreal that it seems like someone else’s life.

December

December brought an end to my biggest adventure. I spent my last two and a half weeks in Dublin with final assignments and seeing as much of the city as possible, going to all of my favorite places and just taking everything in before I left. Then I headed home. It’s still weird being home. It’s been about two and a half weeks now and it’s still just weird. I’m not used to it yet. I’ve been trying to see all of my home friends and family before I head back to school in a little over a week. I went to Frederick for an interview

2015.

All in all, 2015 was great. It was just a whirlwind of a year. It was a year of new friends, new people, new experiences, and new places. The last fourth of 2015 could be described as the year of new, and I want to keep that going. 2015 was great, but I’m ready for some more change. I don’t like change, but I don’t know, I feel like 2016 is the year of change. Resolutions to come tomorrow!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! To be quite honest, it does not feel like Thanksgiving, I went to class today. However, my family is almost back to Dublin! I don’t think I mentioned at all yet that they have been visiting this week which I’m so thankful for, it’s so nice to have them here for the holiday because it’s my favorite holiday and if they weren’t here I would be super homesick.

Anyway, I’ve been doing really good with blogging recently, I hope to keep it that way. I’ll be doing a LNBM for an update probably one day this week. For today I just want to share what I’m thankful for.

  • My parents. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be studying abroad, I wouldn’t have traveled nearly as much as I have been. They are so supportive and encouraging of me, and I would like them to know how much I appreciate and how grateful and thankful I really am.
  • My sisters. While they drive me crazy, I love having two sisters. They are so supportive and always there when I need them.
  • The rest of my family. I think I am very blessed in the family department. I’m really missing all of them today.
  • My old friends. I have the absolute best friends, from college, from home, from the internet. Every day I am reminded that I am so blessed for the friends that I have. It’s nice to know wherever I go, someone is always there for me.
  • My new friends. They have made my trip here amazing, the experience even more special than I expected it. Now I have friends throughout the whole US which is pretty amazing.
  • My corner of the internet. Whenever I’m having an off day I have this place that I can come and write my feelings out, not judged, with people who can relate.
  • My school and studying abroad. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be receiving a level of higher education, and more specifically this semester, to be so lucky travel abroad and see the world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a great day with your friends and family. Even if you aren’t celebrating take a minute to remember what you are thankful for today! Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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A Year Changes Everyone.

A little less than a year ago I wrote this post. A post that highlighted my expectations of what my senior year self thought my life would be like compared to what it was actually and now I’m looking back at my life from last year. This time last year I didn’t even know Eric and now he’s my best friend. This time last year I ate dinner alone in my room almost every night and now I eat with my friends for almost every year. Friends that I hung out with maybe once a month. I was going home almost every weekend because I hated college and now I don’t like knowing that I’m missing out here when I go home for a weekend.

This time last year I spent 95% of my time incredibly anxious and essentially afraid to leave my room. Wednesday I left my room at 10:45 am and didn’t get back until past midnight. I have essentially made a complete 180 with my life and I really cannot compalin. While the anxiety still hits me- the past two days it has, but I moved past it. I’m handling myself and situations a lot better. I would say that I’m anxious about 50% of the time now but I also don’t let it confine me to my room unless it’s a really bad day.

There’s a lot of things that I regret about last year. There was this and group of people reaching out to me and I was ignoring them. I was cutting off myself off and I really don’t like that I was the reason that I didn’t allow myself to have fun. I spent all of my time wishing to be somewhere else and not enjoying the moments I had.

My life has really turned around and I’m really happy with that. I would say I owe a lot of this to my new friends. Especially Logan, Molly, and Eric- if it weren’t for them inviting me to things and making me feel included I don’t know if I would be as happy as I am now. I wouldn’t say I was unhappy before, but I also know that I wasn’t happy. A year can change a lot and I would say that if I would have let myself be open to all of these people I would have been a lot happier a year ago too. I don’t think people make happiness but when you surround yourself with people who really, truly care about you, your life really improves. I don’t feel like second place or second choice, I feel equal and that’s what I really like.

A lot changes in a year and every year a lot will change. You can look back at almost any year and see all the changes in your life and maybe it will be nostalgic. For me it’s not. For me it’s kind of filled with regret. I don’t want to focus on that though, I want to focus on the fact that I have probably the world’s greatest friends. I want to focus on the fact that I’m a lot happier and a lot less anxious. I want to focus on the fact that a year ago I never thought I would be where I am today in the best way possible. Sure people have left me in the past year but I guess sometimes that’s for the best.

I don’t know why I felt the need to share this but I read that old post of mine and I’m amazed at how content and pleased I am with my life. A lot changes in a year and I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing.

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Friendships: Where are they now?

So guys I’m still procrastinating on this paper so I decided to give you guys two posts in one day just because I was so flighty over break. 

Friends. This is something that I believe to be in the mind of every college freshman.  We have friends at home, friends  from school, friends from church, friends from work, and if you’re anything like me friends from a trip.  I was afraid to leave them behind.  All I had ever heard about going to college is meeting people that are going to be your friends for life, I didn’t want that at all. I had four best friends back home that I wanted to be my friends for life, but college didn’t change that.  I came into college with the idea that I had to get along with people, which I do. I’ve probably only met two or three people I can see myself being friends with for the rest of my time here- that is of course if I chose to stay here, but even after these four years are over (by the way one of these is my friend Logan, and you guys should check out her blog http://lexicallogan.wordpress.com/).  

One thing college has shown me though is the friends that are going to stick by you through everything, and it may be those that you least expect.  My friend Hannah and I will always be best friends, even though we hardly ever talk she’s one of those people that I can tell anything to and not be judged, only accepted. We can go months without talking but when we’re together it’s like we were never apart. My friends Lindsay, Katie, and Jade are amazing. We are constantly in contact with each other, via group message, and Lindsay and I nearly Google Chat nearly everyday, I know they’re always there for me.  Now those are the four I didn’t want to lose. During high school I had managed to lose several friends, sad, I know but I knew they weren’t good for me so I had to move on.  It’s surprising to me those from high school that have stuck around.  I’m still friends with the class president, which I never thought I would be. I’m still friends with a lot of people from church and that surprises me because we were never that close but we have grown closer now than before. I’m also still in contact with a lot of people from work and I talk and hang out with them outside of work too.  

Now maybe these friendships may change as time goes on and maybe I will lose more friends and gain some more here at college or if I transfer. It is comforting however to see that I was still able to maintain great friendships with those who meant a lot to me at home as well as still make a few friends here at college.  I don’t even doubt that I’ll be losing anyone of major importance in my life any more, I’ll only make new friends and expand my circle.

XOXO

Mary