Dear 2016

Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

I want to start out by thanking you. You threw a lot of changes, hardships and surprises my way, but every one of them taught me something and made me stronger. I also want to thank you for all of the beautiful, fun, magical moments you brought to me. If you talk to 2017, tell it to send a few more of those my way this year.

I started out the year pushing myself out of my comfort zone and signing up for an improv class. That decision turned out to be one of the best of the year. Improv brought me a new group of friends, gave me a hobby to focus on once a week, and also taught me countless life lessons. Though I decided to stop improv a few months ago, I will always be grateful for the time I spent with it in 2016.

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You brought one of the biggest changes of my life in March, 2016, moving into my very own apartment and learning to live all by myself for the first time. I remember agonizing over the decision of whether or not I wanted to live alone, but now that it has been about nine months, I am so glad I did. Being by myself has forced me to be more independent, and has also made me to learn how to balance alone time with social time, something I think I have been doing a great job of in the last few months.

2016, you really made me work for things this year. You pushed me to stop being lazy in life, and to go after what I want. This has manifested in many different aspects of my life, from improving my physical and mental health to being happier in my social and work life. I feel much more confident in what I want and what I need to do to get it, and I know I will only continue to be better about this in 2017.

You really tested my ability to stay positive during the last two months of the year, but in doing so, actually taught me to be more optimistic. At times it felt as though the hardship and tragedy was never ending; a breakup, the loss of a childhood friend, changes at work, political strife in our country. Through it all I managed to stay positive, and learned healthy coping mechanisms to get me through the days. I also learned the important lesson that no matter how bad things seem, there is always something to smile about.

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As I write this in the new year, I am so happy with where last year took me. I learned so much about myself and I grew a lot as a person, and I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have been in a while. I have an incredible support system around me, from friends to family to coworkers, and in some cases, these relationships have been strengthened by the tough times I had to face.

So thank you, 2016, for all of the moments that made up this year, good and bad. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them. I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring!

– Shelly

July, August & September Recap

July, August & September Recap

I dropped the ball on my monthly recap posts since June, so I thought I would bundle the main highlights from the last few months into one blog post to catch you guys up on my life. Enjoy!

Family Beach Vacation
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Growing up, my family and I used to go to Port Aransas every summer. We hadn’t been in a few years, so we decided to take a trip for old time’s sake. I took three days off of work, and left my laptop at home so I could completely disconnect and have some much-needed relaxation time. (I’m thinking of writing a post about how to have a work-free vacation, so let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in that.)

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It was my ideal type of vacation, because it had the perfect mix of chill-out time and adventuring. We spent a good amount of time reading, swimming in the pool and ocean, and watching the Olympics, but we also went out and explored new places in Corpus Christie like the botanical gardens (where a parrot with no beak hung out on my shoulder) and the aquarium!

Elizabeth’s Wedding
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One of my first ever friends, literally from when I was an infant, got married in August! Although she and I haven’t stayed in touch very well in recent years, my mom and her mom have remained best friends, and I was really excited to be able to attend her wedding. It was cool to to witness such a big milestone in her life and to remember playing with her when we were kids. Time really does fly!

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This was the third wedding Brian and I have attended together, so it was fun having him there with me along with my parents. Their reception was in a really cool lounge area. It was decorated with beautiful flowers, and the lighting was perfect. They also had an adorable slideshow playing with baby pictures, and I made it into one of the pictures!

Lauren’s Visit
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Last month, my friend Lauren (who I wrote about in my June Recap post) came to visit me for the weekend! It was so much fun having her here, and we managed to fit a lot of fun into a few days. We went to the Blue Cat Cafe (mentioned in my May Recap post), and ate delicious food at VoodooSpun, and Gourdough’s.

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On Sunday we went to an awesome event put on by Aerie, where we got to take free yoga classes, and meet the very sweet and super inspirational model Iskra Lawrence! Aerie is a unique brand in that they don’t retouch or Photoshop any of their models, and they make an effort to promote body positivity for young girls. I love everything they stand for, and it was really great to meet Iskra and get to hear her talk about how she has managed to stay positive and love herself despite the media and people in the modeling industry making it difficult.

Family Time in Wimberley

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My parents recently rented a house in Wimberley, and they’ve been staying out there almost every weekend. It’s right on the creek, and they are walking distance from a coffee shop, some restaurants, and even a library which they are now members of.

My younger sister and her boyfriend went out to stay with them for a weekend in September, so Brian and I went out on Sunday and we all got to swim and have a nice lunch at The Leaning Pear (which I mentioned in my June Recap). It was really nice visiting with everyone and having a “triple date”, and I can definitely see why my parents are loving it out there so much. It’s so peaceful and quiet compared to the bustle of the city, which makes for a great escape on the weekends.

I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been up to the past few months! I will definitely try to write a recap every month like I did in May and June, so be on the lookout for an October Recap next month.

Answer in the comments: What was your favorite memory from the last three months?