I’m currently Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

listening to Ole Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) on my vintage blue record player, drinking coffee out of my favorite camper mug, and finally writing this post. Reflection on the past year is something I’ve never really done before. I’ve always summed up the past year by “good or bad” but never given my memories, experiences, and growth from the previous 365 days any thought. This weekend, however, I started thinking about the start of the year through the very end and I encourage all to do the same.

What I’ve taken away from 2016:

So much change has happened for me in 2016. At the start, I had never been outside of the United States. By the end of the year, I traveled to twelve countries. Visiting all of those places never occurred to me as something to “check off a list”, but rather places that I made cherished memories of, and unique people from all over the world that I made memories with. I can’t imagine my life without knowing some of the people I met this year, and I often think about all of the smiles and laughter shared. 2016 was also a year where I learned to stop throwing pity parties for myself and how to enjoy and embrace each day. I learned that living in the present at peace is rewarding, and I’ve learned to let go of grudges on people (still learning a bit on that one).

4fd57dea-c450-4404-a6d0-1718cf003372My favorite lesson,

was learning to truly appreciate the friends I have. I realized this year how blessed I am with such sweet, hilarious, uplifting, and encouraging friends and I never want to forget that (not that I would). I hosted my first party last night with my high school friends coming over to play games (my favorite is”Watch Ya Mouth”), eat yummy guacamole (thanks Brian), and toast the new year with sparkling cider (non-alcoholic). To top off the night, my neighbors popped off fireworks, bringing a bang to the new year. There’s no other way I’d rather have spent ringing in the new year, and I hope that 2017 is full of joyful moments like last night.

My cupcakes from last night

As for 2017:

I am going to embrace each day for what it is, and love each day for what it is. I am going to open up my heart for more of God, and I am going to meditate on His word. As for right now, I am embracing being young and nineteen, and laughing with friends.

Au Revoir, 



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