4.What single achievement are you most proud of?
I put almost $2000 into repairs for my car plus paid off my car loan.
5.What was the best news you received?
I got a raise.
6.What was your favorite place that you visited in 2016?
Allegany State Park.
7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
My observation skills and common sense.
8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
9.Which new skills did you learn?
Tending bar, PagePlus (software), new chords on the guitar, cutting shoots off a plant, training a stubborn dog, treating a sprained knee, laying laminate flooring, and more.
10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
Charlie Horse. A walk with him transforms my mindset.
11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
Rural underdog flick.
12.What was the most important lesson you learned in 2016?
A little raise goes a long way.
13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
At the beginning of 2016 I lost 15 lbs. I thought I was on my way to my goal weight. I lost the motivation though and became stressed again. I didn’t let it completely tear me down. I stayed confident in myself.
14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Rachael, Emily, Mia, Dad, and Nora.
15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
I started taking on more marketing projects. I designed literature and photographed products.
16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
I had to remind myself to stop into the house on Thacher St. I met my parents for drinks once or twice a week. Also, Mike graduated and joined the Navy… three out of six of us are out of the house! Having Nora around has made it a little more fun to get together and hang out. She turns 1 on January 4th!
17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
I read two books that reinforced what I have come to believe about life. One was Maybe in Another Life and the other was Back When We Were Grownups. Both stories show how a person’s life can go in a variety of directions. One choice can change the trajectory forever, but thinking about how things could-have-been is not helpful. Happiness is the outcome of so many different story-lines. Hindsight can’t truly prove that you’re decisions were wrong.
18.What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
I will reiterate what I wrote last year: “I should start writing down the compliments people give me.”
19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
Walking Charlie Horse // kissing Nora // music
20.What cool things did you create this year?
I finally worked on the painting of Mia swimming that I started almost two years ago. Also I used up some cotton yarn to make a little blanket.
21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
The first half of the year, I was optimistic and really creative; the middle was stressful; the last part of 2016 was a combination of being tired, proud, and motivated for a new year.
22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
Shot a deer.
23.What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?
Camping with Rachael and Charlie and Jude at Allegany State Park. We just laid on the beach and played with the dogs and hiked 12 miles – no biggie.
24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
I helped out a lot with the modified high school volleyball team and it reminded me how much I miss the sport. I think I would like to continue coaching that level. Also, I realized how much I want to get back in shape.
25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
Automobile repairs. Although, “unnecessary” is a strong word. It is what it is.
26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
Dancing in the rain at the bar during the Strawberry Moon.
27.What was the best gift you received?
Dad got me a travel backpack for Charlie which I’m very excited about.
28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
I realized that I love living in my hometown. It’s such a beautiful town. I love that I can walk my dog down the street and let him run around off leash along the river. I like to think that my 12-year-old self would be interested in the life I live now but also kind of confused. My overall outlook is that I don’t need to impress other people, but I have to remind myself that almost daily.
29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
Check engine light.
30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
Oh my gosh I laughed so hard at Rachael for something just a few weeks ago. She just said something without meaning to be funny but I found it gut-bustingly funny.
31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
I don’t have an answer for this, but on December 27th I had my nose pierced. So far it’s been a good decision. No issues yet.
32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
I probably spent too much money at the bars. Which isn’t really that much, but over the summer I had stopped drinking for a few weeks and it really improved my state of mind.
33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
Remaining confident in Charlie’s training capabilities.
34.What activities made you lose track of time?
Walking, training, or snuggling with Charlie.
35.What did you think about more than anything else?
The Blue Tuscon.
36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
I’m still learning a lot at the tile factory, but I most enjoyed practicing the guitar.
37.What new habits did you cultivate?
Walking almost every day.
38.What advice would you give your early 2016 self if you could?
Don’t stop dieting. Don’t settle.
39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
I think a 180 is building up but nothing happened in 2016.
40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
The other girl I work with at the factory is constantly telling me how good at my job I am. She is so supportive that I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve it.
What do you want the overarching theme for your 2017 to be?
I think perseverance worked well for 2016. Persistence was critical to some of the struggles I faced. For 2017, I’d like my theme to be ADVENTURE.
What do you want to see, discover, explore?
Who do you want to spend more time with in 2016?
What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
Painting, photography, music.
Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
Still applicable: “I have a hard time giving people orders while at work. I feel self-conscious about needing things from people.”
What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I would like to awaken refreshed. I would like to exercise often. I would like to share more with other people.
Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
I have some nervous habits I’m really trying to get rid of altogether. So hard to do.
What do you want to achieve career-wise?
I still want to do as much good as I can in my current position. However, I have been considering asking a few people for their input and advice in regards to careers. I also really want to explore ways to make money online. I do love my hometown and small town life. I should take advantage of the possibilities of online work.
How do you want to remember the year 2017 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
I want to remember 2017 as the year I lost 40 lbs.
What is your number one goal for 2017?
To act out of love.
While putting your laundry away, you were thinking about choices. Life is full of them. The choice you make every day is to live in this town. You like it here, but you don’t know if somewhere else could be better. You know that you’d miss your family, but you don’t know if things would go right for you just because you changed the scenery.
Maybe it takes participating in a talent show at your high school to realize that something is missing. You’ve been preoccupied with making the right decisions without recognizing how you arrived where you are today. You have been having trouble believing in yourself because you’ve been disappointed by yourself in the past. You have been doubting your decisions. You just don’t trust yourself to make the right ones.
You hadn’t really yet put into words why you get so uncomfortable when you think about high school (and now college). Now you understand that the high school campus reminds you of the potential you had, and college reminds you of the anxiety and doubt that worstened while you were there. You don’t know why you didn’t acknowledge it before this, but your misconceptions have destroyed the pride you once had in your accomplishments. Now you constantly worry whether you should be changing the status quo or staying with this path. You can’t decide what your passion is and whether or not that even matters for a career.
There are a couple people in your life who truly believe that you can do anything you want. They want you to do what you love and be successful emotionally and financially. There are also those who want you to be rational and traditional about your career. A couple of them have given up on themselves a little bit. Show them all that it’s about hard work and a good attitude. Rebuild your self-confidence and learn to trust yourself again. Today is a new day.
Write down your goals.
Put your goals first.
Make this day better than the last.
Most importantly, understand this, in order for you to find happiness where you are, no matter where that is, you have to be happy with yourself. Stop letting your attitude beat down your goals. Even if they don’t appear to be amazing, life-changing plans, they are your jumping off point. Make sure that you keep moving forward, and only look back to glean something helpful. Don’t look back for too long. Remember, tomorrow is when it gets even more interesting.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay Taylor Jenkins Reid, I hear you. Did you have to drive it in so adamantly? Here I am, a lost and confused millennial with student loans to pay and life decisions to make, and you waltz in and tell me that it’s all going to be alright. How dare you?
This book was crafted perfectly for someone like me. The side by side comparison of two parallel lives both freaked me out and inspired me. I think that every decision I make alters my life forever and that worries me because I get stuck trying to make the right decision. Then I end up 29, like Hannah Martin, hopping from place to place thinking I have made all the wrong decisions.
I don’t have all the answers from reading this novel, but that is kind of the point. No one knows whether their choices are the right choices. The idea is to make a choice and stick to it and surround yourself with people that love you.
It seems so damn easy! Hannah’s story shows us that it isn’t.
The thing about these two universes is that the characters learn similar lessons but in different ways. I found the character development fascinating. Both Hannah and Gabbi discovered things about themselves and their lives through different means and at different paces. It was wild.
I listened to the audible version of this book. I have to say the narrator did quite well but I thought her male characters came across as weak. I had to reimagine their voices to give them more personality.
View all my reviews
I was sitting here ready to pour out my heart about being in a rut. I was going to say that my mission to be positive worked on my coworker, but I feel more down than ever.Then I realized that I wasn’t thinking about money. That mad me happy, like ‘Hey look at you!” Then I thought about money which made me feel bad again.
Then I stumbled upon this article from Inc.com: Why Millennials Feel More Pressure to Succeed Than Any Other Generation.
It reminded me about the times I have caught myself thinking about celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lawrence. I can’t be worldwide like Taylor Swift. I can’t make as much money as her, and for some wild reason, that makes me feel inadequate.
“Why haven’t I made a life changing app or website?”
“Why haven’t I become an amazing doctor?”
“Why haven’t I made a million dollars?”
“Why haven’t I traveled the world?”
“Why isn’t my body thin and youthful and tabloid worthy?”
“Why don’t I have an Oscar?”
“Why don’t I have a platinum record?”
Comparing myself to celebrities seems downright unbalanced.
Maybe Tay-Tay has been on a world tour, but have she ever caught a trout along the river or had a black bear walk by her in the woods?
The author of the article I mentioned wrote that, “it was the shame of feeling like I haven’t done enough with my life … and that time is running out.” The funny part is that the author was talking about this feeling upon turning 30. I feel like this, and I’m only 23.
However, there is something to look at in the successes of the “rich and famous” which is that they have dedicated their lives to their work in a way that I will probably never understand. My one true complaint is that I wish I could have found my passion and the path to making money from it when I was 13. That would have been real nice.
Work is overwhelming me a little bit, and even though I told myself I was not going to stress about money and “career” and instead focus on my health and wellness, I’ve been slowly building up my stress levels again.
At the end of this month, I will have worked ten months at my current job. My previous job only lasted ten months-after having started to die inside after only about four months. Now here I am starting to fight the “death inside” feeling again.
A week ago, I told my coworker that the atmosphere at work was feeling negative and that I was fighting it. There’s no way I’m letting their energy consume me too. For me, staying positive at work means thinking about all the places I could end up in a couple of years-all the things I could do or see. Last Tuesday went along much the same. I was living in the present while enjoying the little flicker of hope that change can happen at any minute. I was really productive after work and felt really good about a trip I’m planning for May.
THEN, Wednesday hit me like a freight train. Between customers, suppliers, dealers, marketing reps, personnel drama, etc., an introvert like me can get eaten alive in a factory work setting. I decided that I need to actually start looking for my prime location. I have been saying that I’m going to research states and cities and find where I’m meant to be, but I haven’t done much.
After work, I took Charlie to the dam to try to make things better, but he wasn’t having a great day. We had to walk a bit before we got over that. We came home. I made a fire and stared at it waiting for God to tell me if I’m on the right track (I didn’t hear an answer). I ate dinner, and then I started researching and looking at maps. I started this post in a bad emotional state, feeling upset and tired. Then after scrolling through cities and maps, I just felt better.
I have a one year from now plan. I’m going to stick to it. I think it’s good, and honestly, for the most part, I’m happy. I am happy except for when other people make me feel like I shouldn’t be happy- like when my brother or sister says something rude about my degree or my grandma insists on handing me information on the jobs available in the school system, or a friend talks about her school counseling program like college is the end all be all of life decisions. All those people make me so frustrated. They make me feel inadequate. They make me feel like I messed up. They make me want to get a job I hate just so I can put on airs about my success and happiness. So to everyone saying I can’t or I won’t or I shouldn’t, please don’t, just go home and spend some time considering that other people find happiness in walking a dog and fishing the river and hanging driftwood on their bedroom wall.
Thinking about careers gives me nausea. I like my job; I like this business. Since I live in a rural area, cost of living is relatively low, but about half of my month’s earnings goes to my student loans. Thankfully, I live with my sister – which is less like living with a roommate and more like an actually family. However, I would like to be able to live a little. I feel like I’m wasting my single adult life worrying about whether or not I have anything left in my checking account to see a movie.
I have several options rattling around in my brain.
- Find a job in PA. It’s close enough to my family to make a weekend trip, and far enough to be out of NY.
- Get a part-time job and never see my friends, family, or dog.
- Find a job I’m not interested in, nor using my experience in, that pays better.
- Commute an hour to the closest city to a job that is either in my field of interest or pays better.
- Get a two year degree in engineering or nursing and change my field altogether so that I can stay in my hometown, perpetually single, with my dog and a homestead.
- Sell everything I own on eBay (plus the promise of my first born) and hope that puts a dent in my loans.
However, my most recent thought was that I should keep looking for and applying for jobs in a variety of places while also studying and reading up on marketing and business. I wouldn’t take any offer. It would have to be a really good move because I really do like what I’m doing right now. I could try to make as much extra income on the side, without going crazy from stress, and keep slowly chipping away at my loans. I have no interest in loan deferment or lower payments because that defeats the purpose.
I need those loans gone because they are weighing me down. They are evil. The government was crazy to give them to me in the first place.
I like to remind myself that the American dream isn’t built in a day, as corny as that sounds. I can’t compare my situation to everyone else’s, but it’s hard when people ask me about my career. I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t know where I want to live. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I work hard. I know that I’m a valuable employee. I have faith in myself to make a career.