Oh...2016

“In Omnia Paratus!” 

“Ready for anything!”

~ yelled by a drunk Life and Death Brigade girl wearing a gorilla mask while getting into an SUV on Gilmore Girls

In my recent dive into all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, I was reminded of this little saying.  So short, yet packed with so much.  It got me thinking about this past year.  How so much has changed in, really, such a short amount of time. 

Have you ever just sat down and thought about everything you have been through in one year?  I am sure you have.  I thought I would share some of my ups and downs with you.  Hopefully, if not for any other reason, so you can maybe think about your life in a different perspective.  In a better light!

So, in a true Gilmore Girls fan fashion, I decided I would take this “Year in the Life” in seasons…. (Please tell me I am not the only one who binge watched the new episodes quickly)

 

Winter

Top:  Beach in Guam Bottom left:  Me and Rebekah on our first outing together :)  Bottom right:  Last dinner in Hawaii with these two wonderful new friends I made, Mirina and Jessica

Top:  Beach in Guam Bottom left:  Me and Rebekah on our first outing together :)  Bottom right:  Last dinner in Hawaii with these two wonderful new friends I made, Mirina and Jessica

Oh…2016 did not (I repeat…did NOT) start out well for me.  I had suffered a huge loss in my life at the end of 2015 that carried over into the New Year.  Losing my grandmother really sent me on a downward spiral.  She was my best friend and I always went to her any time I needed advice or someone to just listen to me.  Now, the time when I felt like I needed her the most, I could no longer hear her voice or simply reach her on the phone. 

If you can’t tell, I am still really struggling without her physically here with me.  However, I have dreamt a lot about her and I pray and talk with her any time I feel like I need her.  I know she is still watching over me.

With all of that consuming my mind and heart at the time, I can say that I truly believed that I had one good thing going for me. I had met a man, or rather he started contacting me late in the previous year.  I think with everything I was emotionally struggling with, when this “relationship” ultimately didn’t work out, I took it harder than I should have.  I just felt like I was losing anything good I had in my life.   

The one amazing thing that came from that experience was meeting one the best friends I could ever ask for.  Rebekah, who was the first to make me feel so welcome among a large group of friends that had known each other for so many years, accepted me for who I was and became one of the closest friends I have ever had.

On top of all the loss I was experiencing, I was struggling with the typical, “I am almost 30 years old and I have nothing to show for it!”  Not thinking about my hard-earned college degree, a full-time job that has provided me with more than I deserve, and I had just bought my very first house 1 year before…all on my own!  Yet, among all the negative emotions I was experiencing, it was hard for me to focus on all that I had accomplished and should be grateful for. 

Everything started to change when I went on a trip with the military and met some new friends that have literally changed my life!  Jessica, Melia and Mirina helped me begin to realize that happiness was more than a relationship with a man or having a family before I reached 30 (like so many of my high school and college friends had). 

It was still a rough go for a few more months longer; however, having struggled with major depression before in my life, I quickly realized the road I was headed down and knew that I needed to do something about it…and soon! 

Spring

Left top to bottom:  Statues along the walk in Alabama, the start of my 8th tattoo, and me and my beautiful mom on her birthday.  Middle top to bottom:  Me holding my precious niece, Quinn, Melia and I after we completed my very first 5k, and me and the girls in my family on a girls night out.  Right top to bottom:  My dogs, Zoe and Napolean, at the new dog park, me the day I got my hair trimmed and colored, and a picture of the beach while on my trip in Mississippi.

Left top to bottom:  Statues along the walk in Alabama, the start of my 8th tattoo, and me and my beautiful mom on her birthday.  Middle top to bottom:  Me holding my precious niece, Quinn, Melia and I after we completed my very first 5k, and me and the girls in my family on a girls night out.  Right top to bottom:  My dogs, Zoe and Napolean, at the new dog park, me the day I got my hair trimmed and colored, and a picture of the beach while on my trip in Mississippi.

Something did change…I decided to see what it was like to see a counselor.  It was kind of scary to think about sharing all my personal business with a stranger.  Yet, after my first appointment, I felt such a release after finally letting some thoughts out that I had been too afraid to tell anyone else.  That was the start of my true release.

I only went to a few sessions with a counselor, but it made me realize that my life was not as bad as I thought or believed it was. 

I made even more friends throughout this time.  The Air Show brought some bright and funny people into my life.  I really do believe God knows exactly what he is doing!  I can think back now and know that he was putting every single one of these people in my life for a reason. 

I took a leap and met someone I barely knew who asked if anyone wanted to join her to have a drink.  Shelby and I talked forever it seemed and we were instant friends.  That meeting became a weekly get together with all our friends as time went by. 

One of the best experiences I could ever have also happened during this time.  I became an “aunt!”  I say it that way because my best friend, Courtney, had her sweet and beautiful baby girl, Quinn.  I couldn’t wait to hold her and love on her!  I know she is destined for great things and I can’t believe I will get to witness all of them.

I also attended training with the military and shared the experience with a friend and coworker.  I don’t think this trip could have come at a better time for me.  The time away was everything I needed and I could clear my mind and spill everything with my friend, Jama.  She has helped me more than words can even explain.  We tried new foods, saw new places, and she put a smile on my face that I hadn’t had in a long time.  That will forever be a trip I will never forget.

I also took another trip towards the very end of spring.  It was another get away I needed.  It helped that it took me 9 hours to drive there.  I had all the time in the world to think and clear my mind with no distractions.  Yes, it was a bit of an opportunity to see this man I still hadn’t completely let go, but more than that it was the time away from all my obligations that made it one of the best trips I had in a long time. 

The drive home from that trip was the biggest release I had been waiting for all winter and spring.  I listened to music that brought out all my feelings.  I prayed continuously.  I prayed to find peace and happiness and, believe it or not, I prayed for this man’s peace and happiness over my own.  I prayed over him more than I ever thought to pray over myself, and it was one of the greatest feelings as I finally felt like I was really letting go of everything I was still holding on to. 

Summer

Top across: My family as they came down to visit and me with my grandfather :)  Middle across:  me and Maruska at Pop Pilates Instructor training and the girls and I at our Tuesday night get together.  Bottom across:  Melia and I on the lake, Chris and I at a concert for his birthday, and Rebekah and I at another Painting with a Twist event.

Top across: My family as they came down to visit and me with my grandfather :)  Middle across:  me and Maruska at Pop Pilates Instructor training and the girls and I at our Tuesday night get together.  Bottom across:  Melia and I on the lake, Chris and I at a concert for his birthday, and Rebekah and I at another Painting with a Twist event.

Summer was the true start of my healing…finally!  I was gaining more and more friends!  I was truly being blessed with so many wonderful relationships.  I had a variety of ages and experiences surrounding me.  I had a place to go when I needed someone to talk to…even just to clear my mind. 

I was busier than I had been in months and, to be honest, that is exactly the way that I like it.  The more I am doing the less I am sitting around thinking.  We all know what that can bring into our lives!

I could enjoy the sunshine with some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for!  I know I have made friendships to last a lifetime!  

So many get-togethers at the house, lounging in the mini-pool (you heard right, a mini-pool that fits comfortably 6 people at least lol) with a beer and some friends, let me tell you…some of the best times I had in many summers!

Between me and my steady group of girlfriends (Shelby, Jessica, Melia, and Elizabeth) it seemed there was always something to get into. 

I was also getting way more active in church events and attending regularly.  I was also picking up my running and trying to keep up with a good healthy eating plan.  During that and a new fitness program I had completed in the spring, I decided to take it one step further and take a certification class to teach Pop Pilates! 

I cannot even begin to tell you how far out of my comfort zone this was.  Not only was I going to learn a new fitness program I had little experience in, but I was also going to travel out of state, spend the night in a hotel room, and attend this training all alone! AHH!  I was so unbelievably nervous, yet so excited at the same time.  I never imagined myself being brave enough to do something like this.  However, not only did I do it, but I met some amazing women and I passed and earned my certification. 

I can tell you that I never did start teaching, but the experience of the training alone gave me more confidence in myself than I had had in years!  I knew that if I could accomplish that then I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to! 

Getting my certificate was the highlight of the end of my summer!

Fall

Top across:  Me, Quinn, and Courtney when they came to visit, my puppies being smothered by me, and the girls at one of the first football parties of the season.  Center across:  Everyone who attended our Halloween Bash and the girls at yet another football party!  Bottom across:  Elizabeth and I at the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Concert, Jessica and I tailgating for the football game #VolNavy, and my best friend, Courtney, and her my beautiful niece, Quinn!

Top across:  Me, Quinn, and Courtney when they came to visit, my puppies being smothered by me, and the girls at one of the first football parties of the season.  Center across:  Everyone who attended our Halloween Bash and the girls at yet another football party!  Bottom across:  Elizabeth and I at the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Concert, Jessica and I tailgating for the football game #VolNavy, and my best friend, Courtney, and her my beautiful niece, Quinn!

Fall brought on more fun events with my friends.  Not only were bonfires becoming our favorite, but college football was in full swing!  #GBO #OHIO (I really can’t decide lol) What better excuse to have all your friends over, eat lots of food, and have a few drinks and laughs? 

Not only that, but I also gained another member of the family with the birth of my cousin’s baby boy, Ryker!  He is absolutely precious and everything I could have ever hoped for my cousin and his beautiful wife.  They make such a wonderful family!  I got to hold, cuddle, and rock him to sleep as I spent time with my family over Thanksgiving week.  My heart was so full!

All that pretty much sums up how fall went for me. 

The end of fall was probably my favorite part of the whole year.  My friends and I celebrated Shelby and I’s birthday’s.  Our birthday’s always fall on drill weekends so we decided to celebrate right in the middle of both.  I wanted to go big as this was my last year in my 20’s!  SUCCESS!! 

I had friends come from hours away to practically next door.  We had a great surprise as Melia surprised us and came out for a few even after driving hours back from Officer Training School!  I can honestly say it was one of the best nights I have EVER had!

Not to sound too terribly cheesy, but, looking back on it now, I know I have made true friends to seriously last a life time.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

After all, they helped me during my darkest time and made me realize just how much I am truly worth!

I am sharing all of this mainly to say what we all know…A LOT can happen in one year! 

I would have never thought at the beginning of 2016 that I would end up where I did.  I also never imagined I would feel as great about turning 30 as I did when the time finally came. 

Left top to bottom:  Jackie (my ZTA Big Sis) and I at a ZTA Alum event, me, Jessica, and Brianna headed out of the states, and the girls out for the birthday bash.   Center:  Big Ben in London as we stopped through.  Right top to bottom:  My family on Thanksgiving, Jessica, me and Shelby finally ready for the birthday bash outing, and, last, all of us who quickly leapt at the chance to see London.

Left top to bottom:  Jackie (my ZTA Big Sis) and I at a ZTA Alum event, me, Jessica, and Brianna headed out of the states, and the girls out for the birthday bash.   Center:  Big Ben in London as we stopped through.  Right top to bottom:  My family on Thanksgiving, Jessica, me and Shelby finally ready for the birthday bash outing, and, last, all of us who quickly leapt at the chance to see London.

I truly believe that 2017 is my year!  I know that there will be some ups and downs; however, I am feeling like I am about to accomplish more than I ever thought I could and I will finally see the light of my overall happy ending I have been waiting for!

Let me know of something big that happened to you last year?  Did someone impact your life more than you ever thought possible?  Share your thoughts with me!  I would love to hear your stories and get to know you as well.

Thank you so much for visiting and hearing a bit about my life! #fitinspirelove