2018 in review

What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

Moving into my own home and living on my own. I can see myself years from now, driving down the road I live on now and saying, “There it is! My first house!”

If you had to describe your 2018 in 3 words, what would they be?

Crazy, messy, and bumpy.

What new things did you discover about yourself?

That taking care of yourself and taking care of business are two very tiring endeavors

What single achievement are you most proud of?

I paid off one of my bigger loan accounts. This loan in particular was my highest interest loan but it was in the middle of the pack as far as the balance amount. I had nine small-ish loans when I got out of school. Altogether, I have paid six off out of nine accounts. Eight loans were in one account with one payment. Then this one was on it’s own in another account. I have three loans left in the other account, but at the end of 2018, I’ve paid down almost 75% of my student loan balance.

What was your favorite place that you visited in 2018?

This is the part of the questionnaire where I have to go back and check my Instagram account and figure out where I went this year. Ahhhh yes! I went to Cleveland and Atlanta. Cleveland was more fun than Atlanta since I was in Atlanta for a trade show. I got to go to my first MLB game in Cleveland and buy tasty handmade pierogies.

Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

There are two parts of 2018. There was the beginning when I was dedicated to the house and work. Besides some relationship problems, I was really happy. I liked having my own space. I felt proud and confident about my decisions. The second part was after finding out about my company closing. I was not in a good place. I was stressed doing multiple jobs at work as people left to find new work. I got a sinus infection and was sick for most of October and November. I kept looking for something to get away from the situation I was in and I finally found it. There were so many moments at the end of the year that I just didn’t know what to do, but I kept going. My cousin says there is something to be said about the way I tough it out.

Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?

My list of confidantes has been dwindling. People keep coupling up and moving away from me. I still message Rachael the most when I have things I need to get off my chest. My buddy Pokey and I have been chatting more too. He has been very helpful and caring. Of course, my mom and dad are also on this list.

Which new skills did you learn?

My typing speed has increased greatly since I started my new job. I can’t believe how slow I had gotten and how quickly it came back! Also, I have learned some more at my new job. I painted a lot this fall so I think my oil skills are getting better. I actually think it would be hard for me to use acrylics again.

What, or who, are you most thankful for?


If someone wrote a book about your life in 2018, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

I guess coming-of-age, but that has been my life since age 21. It could also be a DIY book with all the house projects I did.

What was the most important lesson you learned in 2018?

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I bought a house because I loved the job I had and wanted to work there for a few more years and within months of moving in, I lost that job.

How did your relationship to your family evolve?

I hate to say this but the longer I’m single and childless, the more out of place I feel in my family. It’s like I’m not a child, but I’m not an adult. I can’t relate to my siblings and cousins, and I have nothing to talk about with my aunts and uncles. They ask me about work and how I am but there’s nothing much to say. My parents are my friends, but I still feel disconnected somehow. No one feels like home.

What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre.

What cool things did you create this year?

I painted some new pieces and actually sold a couple of them.

What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?

My yearly drunken Memorial Day with my friend Pokey.

What major goal did you lay the foundations for?

At the moment, my goals are in flux. I’m torn between staying on course or changing lanes. So I’ve paused. I’m paying the minimum on my loans and I’m keeping my eyes open.

Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

Worrying about saying the right thing and wondering how to act around certain guys. 2018 was a weird year for me when it comes to dating. I went from running away from a situation to trying to put myself out there to getting chased by a player. I guess I’ve been back home for long enough to know more people. Bar tending had helped with that a little, but I haven’t clicked with anyone. I just wish I spent less time worrying about things that weren’t going to work out anyway.

What was the best gift you received?

Sara made me a really nice sign for my birthday that says “All guests must be approved by the Chessie.” It’s very me and Charlie.

How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

2018 started out so rough then got really good and then got really bad again. Life is a roller coaster. Sometimes I can’t figure out whether I’m going up or down.

What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?

When a drunk guy told me he wanted to marry me.

What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

A clip on light for Charlie’s collar. I should not have waited so long. I love being able to let him out and find him again. The one I found on Amazon is really bright and effective.

What did you think about more than anything else?

How I was going to find a job I enjoyed.

What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?

I had a really good coworker that helped me get through the news about the company. I think it greatly impacted the way I think about work. Not liking the people you work with day in and day out is miserable.

2019 – another odd year

What do you want the overarching theme for your 2019 to be?

“Slow but steady.”

What do you want to see, discover, explore?

There is this Costa Rica trip I would really love to take. Maine is still on my list of course. One day.

Who do you want to spend more time with in 2019?

I want to go visit Pokey in NYC. I would also love to see Nancy again. She needs to come here (Nancy if you are reading this we need to make this happen this summer).

What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

I want to KEEP PAINTING AND MAKING. My most popular painting was my tree. I need to do a lot more of those and build on that demand.

Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

Routine and discipline. I think as someone who is creative, it’s difficult to be disciplined. I have many different emotional and creative needs that I tend to be erratic in my projects and outings. So I made a list of the things I consider my top priorities. I’m much better at some than others, and I want to align my priorities with my behavior… better than I have been.

What do you want your everyday life to be like?

I didn’t spend nearly enough time outside this year. I didn’t fish enough. I didn’t hunt enough. I didn’t hike enough. Not enough. I need more.

Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

A huge personal goal is to get back to waking up early. I managed to do it the first few weeks of my new job, and then I fell off the wagon again. I want to get an hour long walk with Charlie in first thing in the morning. I’m also really done trying to force my weight down. I’m going to try to keep better track of my physical activity and workouts first and foremost. I want the weight to be reflective of that. I told Pokey on Sunday, “I don’t want to be self-indulgent all the f*cking time.”

What do you want to achieve career-wise?

I want to research a lot. I need to look at cities and companies and masters programs. I just need to devote more time to thinking about expanding my world. Slow and steady.

How do you want to remember the year 2019 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

This is my fourth year doing a yearly review and this question is impossible to answer. Every year I’m amazed at what happened and how I got through it and what I learned. I don’t know if I’ll be able to remember something remarkable from every year in the next 10-50 years.

What is your number one goal for 2019?

I hope to be rational and calm. I keep freaking out randomly about what I’m going to do. I think the best thing to do is to keep talking about it with people I trust. Throw my plans out there and get feedback from people who care about me.