the old year // the new year

Amsterdam, April 2014
This year has definitely been my most eventful.  I'm pleased to report this year has been my happiest yet, and let me tell you the "cliche" advice I finally took to get there.

1. Push your limits.
This year I traveled to seven different countries.  As a proud homebody, I would have never guessed that I would live in one of the biggest, most vibrant cities in the world for almost four months and absolutely fall in love with it.  I would have never guessed that after this busy London lifestyle that I would choose to spend the next month traveling around England, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece (France is the seventh country, by the way--I spent an unforgettable spring break/birthday week in Nice and Paris).  I'm continually surprising myself with my more adventurous side, and I love that.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
It's one of the hardest things a person can do, but they'll be stronger for it.  Yep, stronger.  Asking for help doesn't make you weak--it makes you smart, courageous, and willing to learn from others.  I've learned so much about myself this year from the help of friends, family, and strangers.  I'm eternally grateful for all of them.

3. Say yes to opportunities.
Being in another country helped me with this.  I learned to embrace uncertainty instead of always playing it safe.  I said "Yes" more than "No" for the first time in my life.  And it was awesome.  As an introvert, I forced myself to do things more than I usually would.  The great thing about this is that after a while, it wasn't forcing myself-- it was 100% by choice.

4. Forgive yourself.
I make mistakes.  A lot. We all do.  All you can really do is cry and mope for a bit, and then pick yourself up again and keep going.  It's hard and sometimes embarrassing, but that's growing up for ya.

5. It's okay to not know what you're doing.
I keep trying to convince myself this.  I'm only 21, I repeat.  I'm only 21.  I have time to discover my purpose.  I have time to pursue my dreams.

Which leads me to my goals for this year!

1. Become a better cook.

2. Plan a cross-country road trip.

3. Save money.  Really.

4. Chase my dreams in a real way.

5. Stay focused on my goals.  Cut out some of the lazy in my life.


2015, LET'S GO!

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