So it has been a while.
2014 was an eventful year in many, many ways. I can see and perceive many changes in myself, mentally and physically. A break from "blogging" (more like attempting to blog, in my case, as I was not regular in blogging by any means...) was nice because it gave me time to reflect on these changes and re-evaluate what I want to do here. I'm still undecided, so I think I'm going to take things as they come.
One thing I've realized over the past couple of months is that most of the blog world that I was familiar with really did not agree with me, my values, my ideals. Photoshopping bodies into ridiculous parodies of oneself, extreme amounts of makeup and hair extensions, wearing cheap clothes for posts simply because it was a way to make money as opposed to sharing something one loves with the world, obnoxious bubblegum pink lipstick, going to any length to work in a referral/reward link to readers.... Ugh. It makes me sick to think of these things. One's individuality is completely lost when trying to keep up with the Joneses, and most of the blogs I came in contact with in 2014 all look the same. It's boring. In a nutshell, I did not and do not want to participate in that. I want to be me, do me, even if it means that in a year I am still the only one reading these posts. And that's okay if I am.
So, upon completion of my reflection of blogging, I'm going to recap, in the simplest of forms, 2014.
There was a lot of flying back and forth to Minnesota/northern Wisconsin to see my boyfriend.
A trip to New Orleans, which should have been more enjoyable than it was.
My gramma fell in her house and broke her leg. She had to have surgery and stay in a nursing home. The roles in my family really shifted during this time. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my grampa since he was home alone.
A Valentine's Day spent alone because schedules couldn't coordinate.
I helped close/reopen one of the biggest stores in my market, which was really cool.
A big gesture - a trip to see me, out of the blue - to attempt to repair what was broken.
Things worked out for a while, trips down here, trips up there. Going to the zoo, going to a wedding or two, just trying to spend time together.
I turned 23.
I became the right hand person for rollouts at my store. Looking back, having the confidence in myself and knowing that others had that same confidence in me was an incredible feeling and amount of freedom.
I became really good friends with a co-worker! A no-judgement, belly-laughs, pushes me to do new things kind of friendship.
I got a chance to be promoted. And it would have led to me relocating. (Spoiler alert: it didn't work out, and it was a good thing.)
The breakup, part II. This time it was for good.
I chopped my hair to my shoulders - a big step for me. I love(d) it! It felt so much fresher, more age-appropriate.
I helped open a new store in the market - again, incredibly cool. It was a good time for exposure for me and I built a good reputation for myself with a lot of people in the market.
I led a couple of roll outs at my store. So weird. So incredible.
After a couple of grasps at a promotion, a spot in the market finally opened up. Eek!
I switched stores, going from a sales associate to a keyholder/operations manager. Full time but a 45-60 minute drive from home. Coffee. Lots of coffee.
Gramps got really sick. Really, really, stay-in-the-hospital, we-might-lose-him sick. He pulled out of it though and is doing well as of now!
I became an espresso addict. I actually crave espresso in the afternoons. Not coffee, espresso. Yikes?
I, for the most part, have cut out fast food from my diet. I rarely go to McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. anymore. It helps that I don't have any incredibly close to me during the day or on the way home. If I'm going to stop, it's going to be because I can go inside my house and crawl into pajamas, not to get an unsatisfying cheeseburger.
I have also really, really cut back on drinking soda. My goal at the beginning of 2014 was to not drink soda ever, but if I want one I don't beat myself up over it. It's a couple of times a month and I try to only drink a can of Coke if I'm going to do it. I'm proud of myself for doing this!
I've become very attuned to how different foods make my body feel. On days off, if I make mac and cheese for lunch, I can just feel my body slowing down until I cannot resist a nap. If I try to make a cleaner, more healthy meal I feel way better! This is going to be one of my focuses in 2015.
Once I got promoted, I started going to bed earlier and waking up early, even on days off. It feels good!
I cut back on drinking, a lot. One glass of anything doesn't do much for me, so I just don't bother with it. I mostly drink on special occasions now (going out counts as a special occasion because it's such a rarity, ha!) and I've gotten a lot better at cutting myself off.
Around Thanksgiving I became incredibly aware of a few things. One, I have a great relationship with my sister these days and I'm so thankful for that. Two, that I am so grateful for the way I was raised, even if I hated it some days. The place that I work... it is incredible. I have seen thirteen year olds throw temper tantrums in my store because their moms told them they couldn't have everything they wanted from the store... I am grateful that my parents spent money on my education instead of buying a giant house in a ritzy suburb, that I got to go on educational vacations instead of trips to Mexico where binge-drinking was the main activity, that I got a job when I did. Third, my grandparents are getting old. Very old. And it's hard to spend time with them because of that, which I resent myself for saying. The next few years are going to be difficult.
I had a great night out (dinner, drinks, dancing!) with some friends that I haven't seen in a couple of months. It was great. I'm still laughing about that night.
I was a bit of a scrooge this Christmas. Working really sucked the spirit out of me, for many reasons. This year was difficult because more than ever, I saw people doing ridiculous things just to spend less money on their loved ones. It really brought me down. I only put up a Christmas tree in my room this year - I didn't have it in me to do anything else. The holiday itself really just ended up being a 24 hour reprieve from work.
Christmas gift wise, I am incredibly grateful for everything that I got. Since I am spending money on clothes for myself all year long, I wanted to check a few things off my shopping list: new sheets, a supply of my favorite bath products, some DVD's, and PJ's. I got all that and then some - thank you family and friends! Knowing I have all of these things to use on a daily basis without worrying about them or needing to go out and buy them is a great luxury, and I think of my gift-givers on a daily basis!
I spent New Year's Eve off of social media (the BEST), having dinner with my family, and then a low-key night with a couple of friends. It was perfect.