And just like that, another one bites the dust! 2014 was such a big year for me, and definitely not in the way I expected! I started the year as a senior in college, not knowing anything (seriously) about life or myself. This year was the first in my life that my life didn't revolve around school, exams, and seasonal stress. I actually got to enjoy the fall, Thanksgiving, and the holidays. I got to enjoy the summer, and not just because I didn't have school. I've always loved being a student, but with all the stress of job hunting, I still got to find the benefits of not letting the academic calendar dictate my life.
In 2014 I traveled, graduated college, read some really good books, and overcame a lot of preconceived notions that had me worried about my future. Maybe every day wasn't the best, but I can't help but smile when I think back. My favorites?
For our whole lives my mom begged my sister and me to get along. She practically pleaded during our high school years, when our fighting was the most vicious. I don't know what it was about 2013 - 2014, but something just clicked. Just like that, we could get along. Instead of fighting over shower time or stealing clothes, we get over things. We laugh and we mess with each other. Maybe we've matured (though I highly doubt it). Either way, I'm so thankful that my sister and I had such a good year together. Love you, Katie!
2014 was a great year for concerts in my book! I've seen Brett Dennen and Foy Vance, Manchester Orchestra, Amos Lee, The 1975, Bastille, Passenger and Stu Larsen, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction. All excellent, though Ed Sheeran, The 1975, and Passenger were definitely my favorites! If my 2015 concert adventures are anything like 2014, I'm so ready!
Since graduating, and not having a full-time job at graduation, I took up freelancing to hold me over until I found my full-time gig. And you know what? It's taught me so much. I'm so thankful that I decided to go the freelance route, because I've learned about myself, my work habits, and (most boring and complicated of all) taxes. It even helped me figure out how to look like I have my life together! I didn't realize before I started how much actually goes into owning your own business, as little as it may be, and I feel much more of a #girlboss now! *self high five*
Oh, Charleston. I've only been two hours away from the city growing up, and lived there for a brief stint, but I never actually explored or experienced the city away from King Street and the market. With the help of my handy guide (and one of my best friends) Lanie, Charleston is one of my favorite cities that I just can't get enough of. Take me back!
6. Missed opportunities
I'll open up - remember when I said I've been freelancing since graduation? I've also been applying to jobs. Some of which I get to interview for. Since graduating I've turned down three job offers - all of which in amazing cities, with great companies and great people. None of which were the right fit for me. There have been times, especially around the holidays, when I wondered if I should have taken the jobs, but I'm still confident in my choices. Maybe those what-ifs will always be there, but for now I'm excited for the opportunities ahead.
5. Really good books
In 2014 I read some really excellent books. Starting with The Fault in Our Stars, ending with Not That Kind of Girl, and a few good ones in between (including Lipstick Queen, Grace, The Goldfinch, Lean In), I have a hard time keeping track of the books I've read! I'm planning on starting Yes, Please in 2015 since Amy Poehler is one of my favorite ladies! Also, if you're looking for a motivating book, I can't endorse Make It Happen by my former Southern Weddings boss, Lara Casey enough!
No joke, there are times when I stare at my laptop screen and don't want to write. I look at other people's blogs and photos and content and think that there is no way mine is of any value. I would rather be doing something else, you would rather read something else, and that is that. But after 2 years, blogging still pushes me, and I think I'm doing more posts that make me happy. I am happy of the direction that my content is going in, and I want that trend to continue in 2015! Some of my favorite people in the world have come into my life through blogging, especially this year, and I couldn't imagine life without it. Additionally, I'm so thankful that I switched to Squarespace in September too - more on that later! And I forget that I actually painted my own business cards - a somewhat daunting task for someone who is not detail-oriented with a brush. Go me!
My family. Always a highlight. Always a blessing. Y'all are amazing and perfect and wonderful. End of story.
I was lucky this year not to lose lots of friends after graduating. Like I've mentioned before, I like having a few close friends, not a group of them, which means that when one leaves I'm left with a hole. This year also was unusual, since most of my closest friends live outside of Columbia: in Charleston, Richmond, and even in the UK! Side note: THANK GOD for technology for keeping us together!
2014 was the year of the travelbug. Before this year, if I went to Charleston a couple of times throughout the year, my travel needs were satiated. This year I visited New York City (twice!), Richmond (twice!), Chicago, Charleston a handful of times, and Beaufort a handful as well! Technically I will go in 2015, but I also booked my flight to London this year too! No denying my love of shopping, but if I were to spend money on anything, I'm hopping on a plane (or train or car!) and heading somewhere new.