closure

The new year always throws me for a loop. I spent yesterday at home, off work, in a miserable mood, lashing out anytime Daniel so much as spoke to me. I guess a new year makes me feel obligated: to change bad habits, develop good ones, get motivated, achieve everything at once. In the final weeks of a year, I’m in full relaxation mode; not enough time to worry about accomplishing major goals or making significant decisions. It’s the only time, possibly all year, that I feel at ease and live day by day. All that being said, I don’t think I gave myself enough time for closure, and I’m hoping this list will help me sort 2012 out, close the book, and move forward.

blue ridge mountains

Five events that have been the best this year?

  • getting my name in the company newsletter at work
  • my last summer adventures with Florida friends
  • St. Augustine for our anniversary (even though it was brief)
  • seeing Obama in downtown Charlottesville
  • exploring Virginia

fossildandelion

Five events that have been the worst this year?

  • dealing with corporate crap at my former jobs
  • getting poison ivy
  • moving away from close friends and family
  • my bad attitude during Thanksgiving
  • doubting myself so often

kayaking st. augustine

What have you learned this year?

  • I am surprised by my own selflessness and selfishness. The pressure to figure out life really got to me this year, but I think I’ve settled into a more moderate temperament, trying to take opportunity as it comes and not be too hard on myself lest I completely destroy myself with internal verbal harassment.

lichgate

Was it the year that you had in mind?

  • I was so wrapped up in self doubt and work drama at the beginning of 2012 that I don’t really think I envisioned what the year would be like. I knew we might move, but I didn’t think too hard about it. If I had anything in mind, it was that I would become a successful fashion blogger and adored internet presence by the end of the year. It was my temporary solution to being miserable with my non-virtual life. Things were better than that, though, and I’m glad I moved.

wakulla springs flagler

What clothes did you wear the most?

  • My oatmeal colored Mossimo cardigan, like, every day.

dining room

What music did you listen to the most?

  • the Sherwood CD Jenny left in my car
  • Mates of State
  • Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise album (I listen to it a lot every year)
  • various Bluegrass music
  • the Simon & Garfunkel Pandora channel

What have you watched?

  • TV: Friday Night Lights, The Office, The Middle, My So-Called Life, The Cosby Show
  • Movies: Bernie, Take This Waltz, Perks of Being a Wallflower…

carter mountain

Which people did you hang out with most?

  • Andrea and Mike in Tallahassee, a little group of church goers/PhD students here.

What new people did you come to know?

  • Many, many new people. We’ve met a lot of great people here: Daniel’s colleagues, church friends, small group friends, and my coworkers.

obama in charlottesville

What is the best thing you’ve read?

  • Fiction: Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games triology. 
  • Nonfiction: Still by Lauren Winner

Did you do anything this year that you’ve never done before?

  • I traveled to Virginia for the first time, moved far away from family for the first time, and became a barista.

Did some of your friends become parents this year?

  • Yes, but not close friends.

What was your biggest achievement in 2012?

  • Managing to make money selling vintage online.

snow

Best bargain?

  • A limited edition print of Jacob’s Ladder from Israel that I got for .50.

What did you spend the most money on?

  • the U-Haul truck.

What do you wish you’d done more?

  • woken up earlier.
  • practiced the banjo.

Favorite video of the year?

yellow leavescouple photo

What did you do on your birthday in 2012?

  • ate Chinese food at home and felt sad.

How would you describe your style in 2012?

  • uncertain. I spent a lot of time over-thinking my personal style. I think it’s settled down into a sort of casual-girly-grunge thing.

shenandoah valley

 

(list from happy, honey, & lark; from Rodeo)

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2012 in review

2012 was a long year.

drops on branch

In 2012, I:

  • quit fashion blogging.
  • opened Water Lily Thrift (and sold more than 50 items on etsy alone!)
  • quit the craft store where I worked as a framer for nearly a year.
  • got poison ivy and experienced ‘roid rage.
  • celebrated Daniel’s and my two year anniversary in St. Augustine.
  • considered many academic and career options.
  • sewed a lot of things, including curtains, pillows, skirts, and a dress.
  • cooked more than ever before (and kind of enjoyed it).
  • became passionate about fair trade and buying second hand.
  • converted almost all of my makeup to organic.
  • learned barista skills.
  • photographed my newlywed friends.
  • became a better photographer.
  • won a couple giveaways.
  • wrote a few poems I’m proud of.
  • went antiquing often.
  • read 25 books!
  • moved to Charlottesville.
  • felt lonely, became better friends with myself, and made awesome new friends.
  • hosted Thanksgiving.
  • visited the Shenandoah Valley.
  • toured Florida Caverns and Luray Caverns.
  • kayaked with Andrea.
  • wrote 252 blog posts.
  • bought some pretty good clothes.
  • went on a country road adventure (and crossed the FL-GA line) with my sister to photograph old barns.
  • played a lot of Barbies with the seven year old I babysat (I miss her).
  • went to Lowry Park Zoo.
  • attended two weddings and a high school graduation.
  • had my wedding featured on Ruche’s blog.
  • was featured in the company newsletter for great customer service.
  • took nearly 1,000 photos (maybe more).
  • dyed my hair blonde (not doing that again).
  • ate lots of wonderful Asian food.
  • photographed some grad school graduate friends.
  • photographed a baptism.
  • quit church and found a church I love.
  • took adult ballet classes.
  • expanded my graphic tee collection (narwhals and elephants and cats, oh my).
  • painted, scrapbooked, modpodged, and canvas-stretched.
  • became a pet mice and rat owner. Oh, rodents.
  • saw a Bluegrass legend in concert.
  • felt defeated and uncertain.
  • felt confident and content.
  • had Christmas with part of Daniel’s family.
  • visited Baltimore.
  • experienced snow for the first time in a long time.
  • experimented with varied depths of field.
  • had horrible and wonderful work experiences.
  • felt humbled by the love of companions and the beauty of the natural world.

It’s not often that I feel that a year carried its full weight in time. But this year held a lot of change of both the psychological and the physical sort. I changed jobs three times, moved several states away, blogged a lot, opened an online business, doubted myself, loved myself, read many books, practiced patience and self-control, hosted parties, cooked real food, ate at good restaurants, played with Barbies, went to bars, discussed personal struggle with great vulnerability, put on fronts, argued, cried, practiced compassion, found a church community, adopted causes, voted, felt stupid, felt brilliant, slept in, woke up early, put my foot in my mouth, and spoke eloquently.

I overheard a woman at a restaurant in Baltimore telling her friend that she was glad 2012 was over. I have no desire to redo any part of this tumultuous year but I’m thankful for how the experience, transition, and room for contemplation have changed me. I feel that I, and my life situation, have changed for the better this year. There’s no reason things won’t keep getting better. Thanks for everything, 2012:  the chaos and the calm, the tears and the laughter, the boredom and the ecstasy.